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Buhari charges Muslims to make justice, righteousness guiding principles

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the greatest commitment to Islam is for Muslims to put the virtues of the religion into practice and make justice and righteousness their guiding principles.

The president gave the advice in his Eid-El Kabir message to Muslims.

The message is contained in a statement on Saturday by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.

“We should be the mirror through which others see the virtues of our faith.

“Islam is a religion of peace and we should avoid violent extremist ideas that give Islam a wrong name because our conducts will leave more lasting positive impressions than what we say by word of mouth.”

Buhari regretted that activities of religious extremists were negatively affecting the image of Islam, calling on Muslims to always distance themselves from those preaching violence in the society.

“Violent extremism is the greatest challenge facing Islam today and the only way we can neutralise its evil influence is to distance ourselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach indiscriminate violence against innocent people.

”This flies in the face of the teachings of Islam,” the president stated.

He advised parents to protect their children from the deadly exposure to violent extremists who, he said, manipulated and exploited children for their own evil agenda.

“Boko Haram became a deadly force and major security scourge because Muslim societies were indifferent from the beginning to the activities of extremist preachers, who manipulate their innocent and gullible followers.

”Extremism is like a cancer which must be detected and destroyed from its early stages of growth,’’ the president said.

He, however, assured Nigerians that Boko Haram terrorism, kidnapping and other forms of banditry would be dealt with “uncompromisingly until we see the back of these evils plaguing our country’’.

According to him, in spite of occasional setbacks, the Boko Haram militants have been militarily weakened and scattered by the armed forces.

”They are no longer in a position to occupy any part of Nigeria, let alone hoist their flag and impose their reign of terror longer than 24 hours.

“As our armed forces get more equipped and trained in addition to being more motivated and reinvigorated, this administration is relentlessly committed to protecting Nigerians, no matter what it takes to bring a permanent end to this evil,’’ he said.

The president also advised Muslims to be tolerant and to continue to work for peace, unity, national integration and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

 

 

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Institute, COREN move to curb corruption in engineering projects

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The Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE) and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), have pledged to eliminate corruption and other  vices ranging from contract inflation and over designing in the execution of engineering projects.

Mrs Aishatu Umar, National Chairman of NICE made the this known she led a delegation of the National Executive on a courtesy visit to the President of COREN Mr Ali Rabiu.

Umar said that corruption in the Civil Engineering projects had remained a major challenge to the practicing civil engineers in Nigeria.

She said that getting jobs in Nigeria in spite of evidence of competence had become a herculean task.

The chairperson of NICE urged COREN to take advantage of its MOU with the Independent Corrupt Practice and other related Offences Commission to take aggressive action on corruption in the Civil Engineering Projects to sustain quality project delivery.

She said quackery was also another area that the institute was desirous of cooperation with COREN.

Umar also expressed worry over the fact that the job of Nigerian Civil Engineers had been high jacked by politicians and people who have nothing to do with the profession resulting in building collapses and other infrastructure in Nigeria.

She, therefore, appealed to COREN to aggressively fight against quackery in civil engineering domain in Nigeria as it would create jobs for the teaming population of civil engineers in Nigeria.

Other areas they sought partnership with COREN was Engineering Regulation Monitoring.

She appealed to the president to strengthen and properly fund the Engineering Regulation Monitoring programme of COREN in order to effectively checkmate those who had invaded the engineering profession especially in the civil engineering profession.

The National Chairman expressed joy over the released official Gazette no 51, volume 105 concerning COREN Regulation on the Construction Industry through an Executive Order endorsed by the President Muhammadu Buhari with the following highlights.

”Designs of all major engineering works are to be carried out in Nigeria; all contracts up to N2.5B are to be reserved exclusively for Nigerian Engineering Firms.

”Copies of all stamped working drawings are to be kept on site for inspection purposes; all major engineering contracts shall have a training component for training of engineering personnel.

”All drawings for the works shall be duly cross checked and endorsed by duly registered engineer.

”Regulation Compliance Committee – Division of COREN to be established to ensure compliance with Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) laws, local content laws, among others,’’ she said.

She urged COREN to aggressively drive toward the implementation of the gazette.

The delegation thanked the President of COREN for receiving them and pledged to give him the necessary support to enable him succeed in his tenure.

She invited Rabiu to the 17th International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineering (NICE).

The event is scheduled to take place at the Multipurpose Hall Government House Maiduguri Borno State, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 as the Special Guest of Honour.

Responding, Rabiu, said he was honoured and delighted to have his own institute visit him and thanked them for their support.

He assured the delegation that he would critically look at all their proposals and collaborate with the institute where necessary.

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Buhari meets Northern Traditional Rulers at Aso Rock

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Meeting

By Ismaila Chafe

Abuja, Aug. 23, 2019 President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met behind closed door with traditional rulers from the Northern part of the country at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the traditional rulers were led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and the Emir of Kano, Dr Muhammed Sanusi.

NAN reports that the agenda of the meeting between the president and the traditional rulers was unknown while leadership of the Monarchs also declined comment on the outcome of their deliberation.

President Buhari had on July 31 in Abuja met with traditional rulers from the Southwestern part of the country and assured that his administration was doing everything possible to tackle security challenges in the country.

The Oba and Chiefss were led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Kano State to integrate Almajiri system into modern education

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Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State says the state government will integrate the Almajiri education system into the modern academic curriculum of  the state.

Ganduje made the promise on Friday in Abuja while speaking to newsmen during a working visit to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.

The governor advised that education should be made free from basic to secondary levels in the interest of the Nigerian child.

“As a government, we have said that basic education and secondary education will be free; we have also made it compulsory to ensure sustainability.

“We have also resolved to hold a stakeholders’ summit to this effect; the summit will brainstorm on how to take care of out-of-school children which include Almajiri,” he said.

Ganduje said the state’s plan was to modify the curriculum in such a way that would tally with the national curriculum.

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FMBN, Diaspora Commission plan to providing easy mortgage for Nigerians abroad

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The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is developing  a Diaspora mortgage housing scheme to assist Nigerians living abroad to own homes in Nigeria, the Managing Director, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, says.

Dangiwa spoke in Abuja on Thursday when Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, paid him a courtesy visit.

He described the visit as timely because the bank was currently managing Nigerians in the Diaspora on mortgage products developed for them.

Dangiwa said that several presentations had been made on the subject at external engagements attended by the bank, particularly in the UK and the U.S.

He said the bank had received positive responses and visits as a result of some of the engagements.

“The Diaspora Mortgage is a special window developed for Nigerians living abroad to facilitate access to finance for residential housing development at home.

“The steps we took show that we have the interest of Nigerians in Diaspora,” Dangiwa said.

He said that the central focus of the bank’s strategic realignment was to strengthen its partnership and collaborate with stakeholders to promote mutual understanding to  achieve  the purpose of the National Housing Fund (NHF).

He said that the bank was established to provide affordable mortgages to drive home ownership among Nigerians, particularly low and medium income earners, through NHF.

Dangiwa said Nigerian workers contributed 2.5 per cent of their monthly income to the NHF scheme.

In her speech, Dabiri-Erewa said the project would make the lives of Nigerians in Diaspora easier by enabling them to acquire their own houses.

She said that it would deal with the major challenges faced by Nigerians in Diaspora as many  had been duped by friends and relatives.

“Many of them will send some money home for people to help them build houses but at the end, those relatives will spend the money without doing anything,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

She said that Dangiwa had made mortgage attractive as poor Nigerians could now own houses.

Dabiri-Erewa said it was important that something was done urgently to ensure that Nigerians in Diaspora owned houses in the country.

She said that the staff of the commission would participate in the bank’s mortgage programme.

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FG tasks 1,000 civil servants trained by HUAWEI`s on quality service delivery

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The Federal Government on Thursday urged 1,000 civil servants trained under the HUAWEI`s initiative to improve the nation`s public service in their various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

HUAWEI is a technologies company limited, a Chinese multinational technology company, that provides telecommunication equipment and electronics.

 

Nigeria News Agency reports that HUAWEI Company is collaborating with the government of the federation to train 1,000 public servants across the MDAs.

 

Mustapha, who expressed gratitude to the HUAWEI technologies for partnering with the Nigerian government, said the initiative would upgrade the knowledge of Nigerian civil servants in area of technology to enhance quality service delivery in the country.

 

Represented by Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Mustapha said the training was aimed at improving the capacity of the federal public servants in ICT.

 

“This journey began in 2018 with signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government and the HUAWEI Technologies Nigeria Ltd.

 

“Interestingly, this event signifies a further collaboration between government and private sector organisations.

 

“This, I believe will facilitate the ongoing efforts at improving the quality of service delivery to Nigerians through all government policies, programmes and projects, “ he said.

 

The SGF opined that the initiative was machinery, which the Nigerian government had put in place, to ensure improvement in quality of service delivery through the deployment of technology.

 

He said HUAWEI technologies did not only trained the participants, but had also gone ahead to demonstrate its commitment to the application of the knowledge acquired by recognising 30 outstanding participants among the civil servants.

 

“I will like to commend the efforts of our sponsors for the initiation of this noble gesture as part of the obligations under the Social Corporate Responsibility programme, “ he said.

 

Earlier in his remark, Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, office of SGF, commended Huawei technologies for its corporate social responsibility obligations in Nigeria.

 

Represented by Mr David Genge, Director Planning Research and Statistic office of SGF, Adekunle said the initiative would continuously invest in people by improving ICT talents through technical training.

 

“ICT for change is one of such programmes sponsored by Huawei Technologies and particularly designed to build capacity and improve on the skills of 1,000 public servants in the area of ICT.

 

“Essentially, this programme complements the implementation of reforms in the Federal Public Service, part of which is intended to upgrade the public service through a constructive plan to boost knowledge and efficiency within the work force.

 

“It is paramount to note that government is dependent on a resourceful and efficient public service for the implementation of its policies and programmes for the actualisation of a better Nigeria.

 

According to him, the initiative is targeted at equipping participants with latest trends in ICT such as e-Government for the future we want, Big Data Cutting-Edge technology.

 

Others, he said, were trends, Internet of Things (IoT), Innovative ICT (Building a Smart City), which had direct impact on Government programmes and policies.

 

“ I therefore want to urge participants to use the acquired knowledge to positively impact on their work, bringing about innovative ideas that will boost service delivery in the best interest of the Public Service, “ he said.

 

Also speaking, Mr Zhou Pingjian, Ambassador of People`s Republic of China to Nigeria, expressed pleasure to join Nigeria in the awards ceremony.

 

Pingjian said civil servants played an essential role in the effective and efficient running of government of any country in the world.

 

According to him, with the ever wider spread and application of ICT in the society, civil servants everywhere are confronting more and more ICT-related challenges in formulating and implementing policies.

 

He said China remained committed to enhancing exchanges and cooperation between competent authorities of China and Nigeria, sharing good practice in each other’s ICT development.

 

“This will be achieved by seizing the opportunity presented by the digital economy, encouraging companies to carry out cooperation in ICT infrastructure, the internet and the digital economy.

 

“And also working together to narrow the digital divide and promote the building of an information society in Nigeria and China, “ he said.

MZM/AFA

Edited by Felix Ajide

 

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