U.S. Supports Children Orphaned by HIV/AIDS with Micro-Grants

The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria is to support the economic well being of 50 women caregivers, particularly the vulnerable children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in five local communities in Apapa local government area of Lagos with a N2.9 million micro-grant. The support is under the U.S. Ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program.

According to a statement from the Public Affairs Section (PAS). U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, 27 local organizations have received funding under the U.S. Ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program in fiscal year 2017, one of which is Blissful Life for Women and Children.


“Under the U.S. Ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program, a local non-governmental organization, Blissful Life for Women and Children, will provide training to the beneficiaries of the micro-grants in the areas of business and vocational skills and trade mentorship, and will receive trade articles and supplies. Ten older orphans and vulnerable children whose parents are living with HIV will also benefit from the training”, the statement stated.


At an event held in Lagos and attended by senior local government officials, health, and community leaders, Acting U.S. Consul General Will Steuer said, “The people and government of the United States continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigeria and Nigerian families in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

“Today’s event highlights the importance of supporting families, especially children who are affected by HIV/AIDS through programs that not only support treatment for the infected, but also to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of families affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as the PEPFAR Small Grants Program seeks to do.”

Beneficiaries of the various training programs are expected to empower themselves and their families by building small businesses that will create more reliable income flows and improve their standard of living.

The U.S.-Nigeria partnership on HIV/AIDS began in 2004 through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). From 2004 to 2016, United States support for HIV prevention, care, treatment, and support programs in Nigeria has totaled more than 4.3 billion U.S. dollars in support of the Nigeria HIV/AIDS response.



Celebrating Ogwezzy-Ndisika, first female professor, UNILAG Mass Comm

> By Funmi Falobi <

History was made as the Council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), recently confirmed Mrs. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika as the first female professor, Mass Communication department.

Ogwezzy-Ndisika whose specialization straddles Communication for Development, Public Relations and Advertising was confirmed on Monday, June 5, 2017 making her the first female professor of the department in a record time spanning a 16-year stint as a lecturer in the Mass Communication department of UNILAG.

Prof. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika

According to her, “It’s like a dream, I am still in disbelief, but it’s a reality now to be at the peak of one’s profession”. While admitting that it has not been easy, she said, “lots of hard work passed through the grill. At every stage in the university, you must meet a panel of experts. It’s a big relief I won’t meet it again. It’s a big relief and above all, it is the Lord’s doing.”

Commending the people who have been part of her feat, she said, “The university management should be commended. If you do your work, and meet the criteria for promotion, you will be promoted. I appreciate all my teachers. It has been through the grace of God, hardwork and the good people around me”, she said.

Recalling her journey through the years as a lecturer in the Mass Communication department, Ogwezzy-Ndisika who had previously served as Head of Department, alluded her feat to God.   “I was not born when the department was established but now, I’ve made history in the department. You will know that it’s the finger of God”, she said.

Commenting on her feat, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Director, International Press Centre (IPC) noted that her confirmation into the professorial status was ‘very welcome’, describing her as a ‘thorough bred academic and professional’. “She has made enormous intellectual contributions to media professionalism and development,” Arogundade said.

Comments from former students were in unison that she is hardworking, diligent, persistent and intelligent and so “she deserves it”.

Mr.Biodun Elugbaju, a graduate from the department and a journalist with Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), said, “She has all it takes, she has the charisma and that’s the basic background for anyone in academia. She’s brilliant.”

“I am happy for her. She has worked to deserve such a position. I am not surprised at all.   I respect Prof. Ogwezzy,” said Dr. Kehinde Oyesomi, a graduate of the department and lecturer at the Covenant University.

On next step now that she is at the peak of her career, she told sdnonline: “my task now is to push other people under me up!”.

Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika holds a B.A. in Linguistics and Communication, University of Port-Harcourt; PGD, M.Sc. in Mass Communication, University of Lagos, M.A. in Gender and Development, University of Sussex, England; and PhD, in Communication Arts, University of Ibadan.

Furthermore, she is a recipient of ELF Petroleum Coy Ltd and British Chevening scholarships; laureate of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA); laureate of the African Association of Political Science, (AAPS)/Harry Frank Guggenheim (HFG); and 1991 best graduating student in Department of Linguistics and Communication, University of Port Harcourt.

In addition, she is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (MNIPR); Associate Registered Practitioner of Advertising (arpa); member, Association of Communication Scholars &Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN); African Council for Communication Education (ACCE); Association of Women in Development (AWID); Association for Promoting Nigerian Languages and Culture (APNILAC); and International Association for Mass Communication Research (IAMCR).

She is also a member of the editorial board of a leading national newspaper; has attended various local and international conferences; and published articles and books locally and internationally. She joined the services of the University of Lagos as Lecturer II in 2001.