Devatop Centre for African Development (DCAD), an NGO, has called on religious and traditional rulers to sensitise their wards to the dangers inherent in human trafficking and irregular migration.
Mr Joseph Osuigwe, the Executive Director of the organisation, made the call in Abuja on Wednesday, during a panel debate on human trafficking in Nigeria organised by the United State Embassy.
According to him, there is the need for adequate sensitisation and awareness at the grassroot on human trafficking and irregular migration to curb the menace in the country.
The executive director revealed that victims of human trafficking were often forced into prostitution, pornography, child labour, suicide bombing and ritual activities in other countries.
He said that human trafficking was largely responsible for the humanitarian crisis around the globe, hence the need for adequate sensitisation and awareness to curb it.
“Nigeria has become a fertile ground for human trafficking with the highest number of victims, due to lack of social protection for those living in poverty.
“Human trafficking seems to concern only civil society organisations, may be because political leaders feel it does not affect them directly.
“So, I call on traditional and religious leaders in the country to talk to their wards on the dangers of human trafficking and illegal migration.
“The government should also put up good laws that will prohibit and, if possible, bring trafficking to a complete end,”he said.
The director urged government and civil society organisations to tackle the seemingly endless losses of Nigerian lives caused by irregular illicit migration, calling for a political commitment to end it.
“From what is happening, human trafficking has become an endemic problem in Nigeria; even the rich are not totally exempted from the negative impact of this outbreak, if not checked.
“It has become important to curb the activities of persons engaged in the illicit and irregular migration business. We must all take this task seriously,” Osuigwe said.
The director, however, advised youths to desist from attitudes that would make them vulnerable to being lured into prostitution and other crimes.
Osuigwe also urged the National Assembly to support the call by enacting stiffer laws against human trafficking in the country.
Bwari Council Chairman pledges pilgrimage opportunity to residents
Bwari Area Council Chairman, Mr John Gabaya, has promised to offer Christian pilgrimage slots to some residents yet to travel for the spiritual activity in Israel.
Gabaya made the promise on Wednesday in Abuja, during a sensitisation workshop on pilgrimage organised by FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, in collaboration with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
“Government has, in the past, offered the opportunity for some people to travel for the religious activity because of its spiritual blessings. We shall make efforts to also offer the opportunity within our capacity,” he said.
“I promise to leave a legacy for Christians in Bwari Area Council because I serve a living God whom has given me the grace to lead his people.
“In my capacity, I will try my best to see that a few of those who have not gone on pilgrimage before, get the opportunity to do so.
“Government has always assist, but individuals must try and make their personal efforts by sacrificing a bit to ensure that more people gain the experience.
“This sacrifice is very necessary because it started with Christ who made a sacrifice for us all and it comes with a lot of blessings,” he said.
Mr Dabara John, Director of the board, in a remark, said that the event, which was replicated in other area councils, was intended to get residents of the FCT acquainted with the process of pilgrimage.
“It is the duty of the board to help residents to proper and deeper understanding of God’s word through pilgrimage.
“When you are sensitised, our duty is to help you arrange the procedure for the journey which includes transportation, accommodation and feeding. We do not want people to end up in wrong circumstances while on the spiritual journey,” he said.
Rev. Jonah Samson, Chairman, CAN, FCT chapter, who described pilgrimage as a journey in search of moral or spiritual significance, said that it was “very crucial to the Christian life”.
“That experience brings one to a higher experience with God. The journey is not only a sacred path, but an unknown destination to reach. Aside prayers, one could create time to relax and holiday in the process.
“It also gives us the opportunity to visit spiritual sites that are historical; it brings blessings of God to the Pilgrim, who also learns many things about national development, especially on agriculture and tourism.
“Pilgrimage draws one closer to God in all ramifications,” he said.
Edited By Adeboye Ajayi and Ephraims Sheyin
Adamu, Nwajuiba assume duty in education ministry
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and the Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Nwajuiba, on Wednesday assumed duties after the inauguration ceremony.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the ministers, who both arrived at about 2:45 p.m., were welcomed by excited staff of the ministry.
Adamu, who commended the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Sonny Echono for the support given to him during his first tenure, said that he and the former Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, had worked out the ministry’ srategic plan before their tenure ended.
“We had laboured over the time on the strategic plan for education but had to leave at the point of implementation.
“I had the opportunity, then, to remind President Muhammadu Buhari that the nation is expecting so much from him”
“When we were asked to come to the ministry during our first tenure, it took me one and half years to understand the ministry
“It also took me by surprise when I was re-assigned to the ministry of education. I had thought of how I would be sent to another ministry where I would have to learn all over again.
“I am happy that I am here because I know I am coming to a family; you all are my teachers and hopefully we will work well together again.
“The reality is that the confidence is reposed in the permanent secretary. When I came here, I had to get the idea of what education is. I got to see this after a year and half.”
The minister added that the appointment of the minister of state would be helpful, saying that he had met with the members of the staff of the ministry and would assume office fully on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Nwajuuba, a former board chairman, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, has said that he was happy to be deployed to the ministry.
Earlier, Echono had presented the handover notes to the re-appointed minister and the minister of state.
Edited by Gregg Mmaduakolam
FCT minister assumes duty, pledges consolidation
Federal Capital Territory (FCT), minister Muhammed Bello on Wednesday resumed office with a promise to consolidate on the foundation he built for rapid development of the territory during his first tenure.
Bello, who assumed duty alongside the Minister of State for FCT, Mrs. Ramatu Tijjani, told the FCT workers that he would be guided by policy guidelines given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari
Bello explained that Buhari was very clear on the direction he wanted the country to move in the next four years
“Buhari’s direction is clear; he wants to take Nigeria to where it truly belongs. What the administration did during the first tenure was basically to prepare ground and establish foundation.
“What we need to do now is to build upon the foundation that has been established
“I thank President Buhari for reappointing me as minister out of so many eminently qualified persons from my state. I also thank him for returning me to FCT.
“I also want to thank President Buhari for restoring the tradition of appointing a Minister of State for the FCT,” he said.
He thanked the management staff of the FCT administration for the tremendous work they had been doing over the years, urging them to guard the city jealousy.
“You have to work hard to build the city because it is a great city established by our predecessors.
“Abuja is a city that is growing far beyond normal growth speed, so we have to work at a speed more than the normal rate.”
The FCT Minister of State, Mrs. Ramatu Tijjani, who said that the reappointment of Bello as the FCT Minister by Buhari symbolised trust, solicited the cooperation of the FCTA staff toward success.
Speaking earlier, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa, assured the ministers of his full cooperation as well as the loyalty of the FCTA staff.
Edited by Ephraims Sheyin
Fashola expresses need to reduce cost of projects implementations
Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Wednesday in Abuja advised the staff of the ministry to consider how they could reduce cost and wastages in projects’ implementation.
Fashola, the former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, made the submission while addressing a cross section of workers shortly after resuming duty.
The minister said he expected all departments, agencies and parastatals under the ministry to evolve ways of cutting down costs during projects’ implementations.
The minister said the measure would assist the government to ensure utmost prudence in handling projects.
Fashola also advised the staff of the ministry to always ensure thoroughness while preparing its annual budget to boost efficiency.
“For this reason, members of staff will need to make their travelling and going on annual leave falling within October and November very flexible to ensure successful budgeting,” he said.
Earlier, the Minister of State, Abubakar Aliyu, said that he had a long working relationship with Fashola, adding, “ I pledge to work harmoniously with him and the staff of the ministry”
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Bukar Muhammed, congratulated the ministers on their appointments and posting to the ministry.
He said that the civil servants were required by the constitution to support the activities of government by providing services to the people.
The permanent secretary said that the staff of the ministry were prepared to work with the new ministers to ensure the realisation of their set goals.
I’ll end minimum wage implementation logjam, ensure industrial harmony in Nigeria – Ngige
The reappointed Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has pledged to promote industrial harmony and speed up processes for the implementation of the new minimum wage.
Ngige, while addressing newsmen at his residence after his inauguration as minister by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja, said that he was a man of his words.
He said that he would follow due process to put smiles on the faces of Nigerian workers.
“The issue of consequential adjustments in the minimum wage is currently being handled by the permanent secretary in my ministry and he has made some progress.
“By tomorrow (Thursday), we will get the notes from him and, I and the minister of state will know how to key in.
“The most important thing is that we want to make sure that the matter is addressed as quickly as possible so that we can put smiles on the faces of Nigerian workers.”
Ngige pledged to resolve all impending disputes in the sector, noting that his track record had reflected in his efforts in the last three and a half years.
”I don’t know what I will do differently. I am a man of due process. If you are also a man of due process, you will be my friend. Do things the way they should be done, and not abnormally.
“I put in all my energy in whatever assignment I am given and I have been doing that in the ministry of labour in the last three and a half years.
“I remain committed to working with labour unions. The Nigeria Labour Congress is a federation of some labour unions. We also have the Trade Union Congress and the United Labour Congress which, though, has not been officially registered,” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that there was a face-off between the minister and NLC over the constitution of the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) shortly before Ngige exited the ministry in May.
The two parties had engaged each other in war of words over Ngige’s refusal to allow a former labour leader, Chief Frank Kokori, to head the board of the Fund
NAN also recalls that NLC, through its immediate past General Secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson, had appealed to the president to give Ngige a new portfolio in the next cabinet, arguing that he was not fit to handle the labour ministry.
His words, “We think that government will be looking for problem if Ngige is returned to the ministry of labour as a minister because he does not understand how the place works and his own approach will create unnecessary industrial crisis.
“If the government is properly advised, it should look for where to put him. Ngige is a square peg in a round hole in the ministry,” Ozo-Eson had said.
NAN reports that Ngige was at the forefront of negotiations for the N30,000 new minimum wage which had since been signed into law by the president.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq