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Northern governors unveil N6bn regional economic recovery

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The Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) has created a joint financial institution worth six billion naira to serve as a vehicle for the region’s economic recovery and development.

Gov. Kassim Shettima of Borno and out-going Chairman of the forum made this known while highlighting his achievements in the last four years on Friday in Kaduna.

He said the initiative was part of the efforts to make the region attain some degree of financial independence.

He said under the scheme, the region’s moribund textile industry and New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) would be revived.

Shettima said the fund expected to be contributed by all the 19 northern governors of the region had so far realised 650 million naira.

“In pursuance of these objectives, each state is to contribute N50 million monthly for a period of six months.

“So far, we have N650 million out of the expected N5.7 billion. I am therefore calling on states that are yet to fulfill their pledge, to do so, in order to enable us embark on the implementation of the various programmes and projects articulated under the scheme.

“These include the establishment of a renewable energy plant, capable of generating 3000 – 4000MW of electricity.

“The forum has also taken pragmatic initiatives to resuscitate the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) to restore it to its position as the business and economic live-wire of the region,’’ he said.

According to him, about 6 billion naira was approved by the forum for the implementation of a five-year strategic development plan, which will propel the region into economic prosperity.

“In addition, a new commodity marketing company was established, as a subsidiary of the NNDC, to develop and promote agricultural activities in the region.

“To further consolidate the economic base of the region, the NNDC had signed a memorandum of understanding with Savanna Petroleum Limited for the development of four oil blocks.

“The NNDC has commenced negotiations with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to venture into oil and gas exploration in the Northern region,’’ Shettima said.

He also disclosed plans to resuscitate the Kaduna Textiles Company to full production of textile materials, “which hopefully, would among other things, meet the uniform needs of our Armed Forces and other para-military agencies.“

Shettima said the forum had also resolved the misunderstanding between pensioners and the management of the New Nigerian Newspapers.

He said that the process had commenced for the payment of the entitlements of the pensioners.

He said the forum had a strategic plan to reinvigorate the newspaper and make it economically viable and professionally competitive.

On security situation in the region, the NSGF chairman said “We, as a forum, has introduced and implemented quite a number of measures to stem the tide of security challenges in the region.’’

Shettima said the NSGF had incorporated criminal offences into the penal code of Northern Nigeria to address the increasing security challenges in the region.

“Especially emergent criminal activities such as kidnapping, cattle rustling, incessant communal clashes, inciting religious preaching and suicide bombings among others, most of which were not properly codified in the criminal justice system of Northern Nigeria.

“The Forum, therefore established a Committee of Attorneys-General of the 19 Northern States to critically examine the provisions of the criminal justice system vis-à-vis, the emergent criminal activities, with a view to ensuring that perpetrators of such criminal offences are brought to justice.

“Accordingly, the forum advised all State Houses of Assembly in the 19 Northern States to make amendments and modifications to the existing criminal justice system,’’ Shettima said.

He also commended the Federal Government for the steps taken to address the situation.

“I would like to, therefore, express our gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his quick and immediate response to the issues of insecurity in the region which of recent, seem to be deteriorating.

“We appeal to the Federal Government to re-strategise and come up with measures that could deal with the situation more permanently. “

He said the forum had also initiated the move to fight the menace of drug abuse among youths and women in the northern region in a holistic manner.

Shettima said the Forum had set up committees of relevant stakeholders in each state of the region, towards ensuring eliminating the scourge of drug abuse.

“At the National level, the Forum made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to frontally deal with the issue of drug abuse and possibly declare a state of emergency in the fight against the scourge.

“It is gratifying to note that the Federal Government has heeded our call, which culminated in the setting up of the Marwa Committee against drug abuse.

“I would, at this juncture, extend the forum’s appreciation to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hajiya Hadiza Usman.

“And Dr. Vincent, a professional psychiatrist, for drawing the attention of the forum to the problems associated with drug abuse and making invaluable and implementable recommendations on the way forward,’’ he said.

Shettima expressed appreciation to members of the forum for what he described as “considerable support and cooperation you have been giving me in the last four years I have had the honor of being the Chairman of the Northern States’ Governors’ Forum.

“Within this period, we have been able to collectively make some modest achievements in various sectors, which are deliberately initiated and implemented for the overall growth and development of the Northern region and to some extent, Nigeria as a whole.“

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that governors of Kogi, Niger, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa Sokoto Plateau and Kawa States attended the meeting.

The governors later went into a close door session and are expected to issue a communique at the end of the meeting.

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55 % of Nigerians have no access to electricity – Clean Tech

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Clean Tech Hub, a Non Governmental Organization which focuses on research, policy development and consumer awareness on climate resilience, says 55 per cent of Nigerians lacked access to electricity.‎

Speaking during a workshop on promoting citizens access to clean energy solution in Nigeria”A Gender Approach” the facilitator,Mr Mark Amaza said that 93 million Nigerians lacked access to electricity.

He said the figure represents 55 per cent of the total number of Nigerians that lacked access to electricity in the country.

Amaza said that the workshop was organised to increase awareness on the negative impacts of the use of the various sources of dirty energy, socially and mentally.

“The workshop was also organised ‎to create a transition from the use of inefficient energy sources to adoption of clean energy sources.

“‎We are here in Kano to enlight people and food vendors to make them tap the abundant energy opportunity which is clean and healthy through INNOVATIONS, solution, support and awareness while on the other hand to help them avoid the risk associated with using dirty fuel,” he said.

According to him, many people still rely on fuelwood for cooking, pushing the rate of health risk and deforestation to alarming level.‎‎

According to him, training women, particularly food vendors across the country will drastically reduce the high demand for fuelwood for cooking and other industrial use with its accompanied health risk and smoke related illnesses.‎‎

NAN reports that Some of the participants interviewed said that over half of the country’s forests have been cut down, predominantly for fuelwood used in the last 12 years, a development exacerbated by rapid population growth.‎

They said that the training was timely considering the high rate of smoke related illness from use of firewood in the country.‎

‎They also commended the NGO for championing renewable energy system.‎

According to them, ‎decentralized renewable energy (DRE) solutions have shown potential as a key solution in addressing this disparity.‎

MNT/MTM

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Family,Friends mourn Olusanya, FCE, Akoka’s former provost

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Family, friends  and Colleagues of the late Dr Sijibomi Olusanya ,Immediate Past Provost of the Federal College of Education ,Technical (FCE)(T) Akoka, on Wednesday mourned at his Wake.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the late Olusanya died on July 9 in the U.S, following an undisclosed ailment at the age of 61.

He served as provost of the college for two terms ,between year 2011 and May 2019 and led the college to remarkable height of achievements.

In his remark, Mr Abidemi Olusanya, Son of the late provost, described his father as a loving husband  , a unique man and a mentor like no other .

Olusanya said the family had reasons to celebrate the death of his late father because he planned his life with God.

“I cannot wish for a better dad because he possesses everything you need in a father and if I could choose a father in my next world ,I will choose him again,” he said.

Dr Ademola Azeez, the Provost of the FCE, Akoka,  said the college would miss the late provost, as his sudden death would deprive the  institution from gaining from his wealth of experience.

Azeez described late Olusanya , as a man of peculiar administrative style ,whose demise posed a challenge.

“The college is involved fully in the burial of the late provost because of his immense contribution to the growth and development of the institution.

“I urge all the members of staff to reflect on the death of the former provost and allow peace to radiate among us.

God is the best judge ,not the positive or negative testimony given about the dead, ” he said.

A neighbour  to late Olusanya, who was simply identified as Mrs Adetanin, described him as her benefactor because he assisted her family greatly financially and also secured admission for her son and offered him scholarship too.

Dr Izeom Ignatious, Former Provost, FCE Asaba, said the late provost was not his friend but a brother in the comity of Provosts.

Ignatious said the late Olusanya was a true christain ,who lived an examplary life with his wife.

“I urge you all to forgive him ,incase his style of leadership offended you in any way or the other because it is not possible to lead without stepping on toes ,” he said.

In his Exhortation, Pastor Idowu Akande, titled his sermon as Death and the Hereafter and while reading a scripture from Hebrew 9 vs 27, said death was an appointment with the creator that it was mandatory.

Akande explained that death actually does not close the chapter of a man’s life but it was rather a transition to a curtain raiser for an eternal life .

“Physical death will surely come and when it does, it should not be strange to anyone, what should be strange is life in the hereafter, ” he said .

Akande, however, enjoined all to forsake sin and live holy to enable them make heaven in the hereafter.

NAN reports that the late Olusanya born on July 29, 1958 to Late Pa Olutunde and Victoria Olusanya from Ijebu -Ode in Ogun State, began his career in the college in 1981 before he rose to become the Provost in 2011.

He is survived by his wife ,Mrs Olusola Olusanya and three children ; Abidemi Olusanya, Salisu Olubowale and Sole Olubanke.

As slated ,lying in state and academic procession for the late provost would hold on Thursday while his remains would be buried afterwards at Vaults and Gardens ,Ikoyi.

RUKY/IFY

Edited by Ifeyinwa Omowole

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Zamfara Gov’s wife partners ANCOPSS on girl-child education

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The Wife of Governor of Zamfara,, Hajiya Balkisu Bello-Matawalle, has pledged to partner with the All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Women wing, to improve the girl- child education in the state.

Hajiya Bello-Matawalle made the pledge while receiving members of the association who paid her courtesy visit in her office in Gusau on Wednesday.

The governor’s wife noted that the confederstion had important role to play in complementing government efforts in the education sector in the state.

“I am highly delighted to meet with you, as principals. I recognise your support and commitments while managing schools across the state.

“It is impressive to have your number as women principals in this state, this shows that women in Zamfara are willing to contribute to the future education of our children.

“I am ready to partner with you, especially in the area of supporting girl-child education and also soliciting your support for various government policies, especially in your respective schools.

“The present administration in this state, led by Gov. Bello Matawalle-Maradun, came up with various programmes to boost education in the state.

“As principals of secondary schools, you are among major stakeholders of education sector in the state, all we need is your support and cooperation,”she said.

Earlier, the Chairperson ANCOPSS, Women wing in the state and Principal, Government Girls’ Day Secondary School, Gusau, Hajiya Hawwa-Kulu Lugga, pledged the support of the wing to the state government policies and programmes on education.

She said, “We are here to register our solidarity and support to the present administration’s policies on education.”

 

Lugga said the wing’s support became necessary, considering the role of the state government in improving education sector,especially in terms of the girl-child education.

“We are ready to partner with you to ensure the success of your various programmes to improve education sector in the state.”

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Global IT hails Buhari for appointing Abdullahi as new NITDA DG

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Mr Rasheed Bakare, the Country Director of the firm, gave the commendation in a letter addressed to the president and made available to the Nigeria News Agency , on Wednesday, in Ibadan.

Bakare, in the letter, applauded the appointment of the 39 year-old Abdullahi, describing him as a “digital guru and industry key player”, with potential to surpass his predecessors’ achievements.

He said: “Abdullahi, for a couple of years, has shown and proven to be a world class professional who will use his wide network to take NITDA to the next level, in line with the president’s vision.

“He will also ensure that the agency is more efficient and effective in its role as the clearing house for all IT projects and infrastructural development in the country.”

Bakare, while congratulating Abdullahi on his appointment, which it described as well-deserved, charged him to leave above board and justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.

NAN reports that the new NITDA boss was born on Feb. 21, 1980 in Hadejia, Jigawa State.

He is a graduate of Computer Science from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT-Sloan), with 15 years experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture in both the private and public sectors.

He attended leadership and management courses at Harvard University, USA, University of Cambridge, UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

The new NITDA boss is the first Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s public sector and certified project manager as well as solution architect.

He worked at Galaxy Backbone as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead, Technical Solution Design Team from 2004 to 2013.

In 2014, he joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives total view of the bank’s IT infrastructure and easy decision on new IT investment.

Abdullahi was part of the team that executed software license rationalisation, which has increased cost savings for the bank in license annual subscriptions.

As a technology architect at the apex bank, he produced seven Solution Architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless policy in Nigeria.

The new NITDA boss also overhauled the agency’s IT clearance process and encouraged shared services among agencies which helped the federal government saved over N16 billion from IT projects.

Abdullahi is a member of both the British Computer Society (BCS) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), and he is a recipient of 100 Leading Telecom and ICT Personalities award in Nigeria.

Edited by Olabisi Akinbode and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

 

 

 

 

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Plant trees to mark special events: DG advises Nigerians

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The Director-General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano,  on Wednesday in Lagos appealed to Nigerians to  cultivate the habit of planting  trees to commemorate  special anniversaries in their lives.

Aminu-Kano made the appeal during the planting of 30 trees at the NCF Family Park in Lekki located within its premises by IBTC Bank  to commemorate its 30th anniversary.

He added that it would also help to restore the nation’s depleted forest cover.

He said that Nigeria had lost 94 per cent of her  forest cover and all hands must be on deck to reverse the trend through sustained planting of trees.

He commended the bank and appealed to other Nigerians, corporate organisations and the three tiers of government to emulate the gesture to restore the nation’s forest cover.

“This is something I will recommend to every Nigerian; to plant trees to commemorate  special events in their lives   because trees are long lasting and you remember that event whenever you  see such  trees.

“If you have an occasion to commemorate whether marriage, the birth of a child, jubilees, any birthday or landmark event, plant trees.

“I commend what the bank is doing and they have promised to replicate the planting in  the six geo political zones of the country.

“I hope  the public, companies and governments can do more to take to this habit of planting trees in hundreds,’’ he said.

Aminu-Kano said that NCF as part of its Green Recovery Nigeria initiative would continue to plant trees even in some forests that need regeneration.

“We can never get tired of planting trees. Even in a forest, there are places where you will need natural enrichment due to natural processes that some trees go through and die. And sometimes there is  the need to assist the forest to recover,’’ he said.

He lamented how  flooding  had been affecting  some trees in the Lekki Conservation Centre due to eastward ocean current causing erosion.

He said that this had continued to threaten the existence of the entire NCF.

He appealed to the Federal Government to support the Lagos State Government in combating the problem by building more groins.

He lamented the sharp drop in the nation’s forest cover to less than six per cent  and called for  sustained efforts by stakeholders to save the nation’s environment.

“We think that it is pitiful that the amount of land in Nigeria that is forested has moved from 40 per cent in the 1960s to arguably below six per cent.

“And the international standard which Nigeria signed up to is that a country should aim to have a minimum of 25 per cent of its area covered in forest;  so we have a long way to go.

“And we have to plant as many trees as possible; we are doing an exercise now with government and other stakeholders to identify which are the right trees that should go to the right places, in the right numbers, at the right time.

“We are losing 350,000 hectares of forests every year in Nigeria and we need to catch up by planting enough to not just replace the ones we are losing but pick up and try to hit that target of 25 per cent,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that two species of trees:  the African mahogany and Ijebu Mahogany were planted.

Mr Adeyemo Olayomade, NCF’s Conservation Assistant,  explained that the two species were chosen because both were hard wood of the same family, ever green and medicinal.

NAN reports that IBTC Bank was established in 1989.

 

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