General news

British high commission explores agricultural opportunities in Plateau

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The British High Commission in Nigeria has expressed desire to explore investment opportunities in the agricultural sector in Plateau to enable it to invest in the area.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, made the disclosure when she paid a courtesy call on Gov. Simon Lalong on Tuesday in Jos.

Laing said that the commission learnt that opportunities abound in the area in the state and was willing to explore.

“There are British companies that are willing to invest in the area. We will appreciate if the state will furnish us with details about the sector,” she said.

The high commissioner further said that they were in the state to study the progress made by the government in the area of peace.

Laing said that they were also interested in knowing the challenges that the state went through in restoring peace.

According her, there are many British citizens residing  in Plateau who lauded the state government for the prevailing peace.

Lalong in his remarks, told the high commissioner that one of the initiatives by the state that brought peace was the establishment of a Plateau Peace Building Agency.

The governor stated that the agency, the first of its kind in Nigeria took proactive steps to entrench peace instead of the reactive approach of security agencies that was sometimes not enduring.

“At a point, Plateau was no longer home of peace and tourism but we are happy that we are back on track again as home of peace and tourism.

“In addition to the Peace Building Agency, we are not bias for people with disabilities and we have established a  Disability Commission,” he said.

Lalong further said that apart from agriculture which the British Commission had indicated interest, they should consider investing in the mineral sector.

He said that many British citizens who are resident in the state came as miners and that opportunities still abound in the area.

Edited & Vetted By: Chinyere Bassey
(NAN)

Economy

Harnesssing of mines sector key to industrial development — Gov. Ihedioha

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Imo Governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, says that no country can develop industrially without harnessing her mines and metal sector.

Ihedioha stated this at the 2nd Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Stakeholders’ Forum (MISF) organised by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for South-East stakeholders on Monday in Owerri.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the two-day seminar had the theme, “Building Local Capacities for the Development of the Nigeria Metal Sector.”

Ihedioha, who commended the ministry for the choice of Imo as host, said the theme was in tandem with the Rebuild Imo Agenda of his government which main trust was to revive the power sector for industries to thrive.

He said most industries depended on the metal sector, adding that any country that ignored the metal sector does so at her own risk, pointing out that the metal sector contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries.

The governor noted that the state was committed to the growth and development of its technical and industrial sector, adding that in most developed economies the metal sector was the highest employer of labour.

He called on the Federal Government to improve on the steel capacity of the country for it to achieve much and by extension connect Owerri and Onitsha to the rail line.

Ihedioha urged the participants to take advantage of the programme and dedicate themselves to finding solutions to the technical and steel need of the country.

Earlier, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, Minister of State, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, said the theme was in tandem with federal government’s resolve to vigorously pursue the diversification of the economy inter-alia the minerals and metals sector of the Nigerian economy.

He noted that the metal industry formed the bedrock on which the industrialisation and development of any nation of the world was built.

The minister said that without the steel and other metal industry, no meaningful technological advancement would be achieved.

Virtually, all other sectors of the economy rely on the metal sector in one way or the other to thrive, including power, agriculture, transportation, industry, electricity/electronics, construction, roads, and housing,” he said.

Ogah pointed out that Nigeria’s interest in the development of iron and steel industry dated back to 1958, with further action taken in the immediate post-independence era.

According to him, other countries that started their metallurgical sector in a similar way like Nigeria have been able to lift their economies from third world poverty and starvation due to the industrialisation they had achieved via a well-developed metallurgical industry.

He identified these countries to include South Korea, Algeria, Tunisia, India, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and Irag.

Ogah described metallurgy as the branch of science and technology concerned with the study of the properties of metals, their production and purification.

He added that mineral processing, physical metallurgy, smelting, extractive metallurgy and steel production were all metallurgical processes.

The minister said that the metal sector had to be positioned to amongst others improve the power, transportation, construction industry, manufacturing, agricultural sectors, and the mining and mineral processing.

He solicited for local and foreign private investments in these areas and many other sectors, assuring that government would create the enabling environment.

The desire of the federal government of Nigeria to diversify the economy from a mono-product economy predominantly dependent on oil and gas revenues to other sectors such as minerals and metals is well known to you.

Aside the seven strategic minerals (Iron ore, Lead/Zinc, Gold, Baritas, Bitumen and Limestone) every local government in Nigeria has one or more minerals located in it,” he said.

The minster identified other advantages of the metal industry on other sectors of the economy to include foreign exchange earnings and sustenance, contribution toward increasing the Gross Domestic Product, creation of job opportunities and acquisition of technical skills leading to technology transfer to Nigerians.

Others were exploitation of the abundant metal ore deposits and associated minerals to meet local demand and possible exports of surplus, springing up of economic activities in down-stream metallurgical industries and the mineral sector of the national economy and the mechanisation of the agricultural sector through the production of agro-processing plants and farm implements.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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Apapa LG to empower 160 petty traders with N100,000 each

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Mr Owolabi Adele, Chairman, Apapa Local Government of Lagos State, said that the council would soon provide N16 million as empowerment to 16o petty traders in the area.

Speaking at the council’s Consultative Stakeholders Meeting ahead of its 2020 Budget in Apapa on Monday, Adele said that each of the 160 identified beneficiaries would receive N100,000 to grow their petty trade.

The council boss advised those to benefit from the empowerment to use the money to improve their businesses and not to channel the money into Christmas gift.

He said that the council had completed Oluwole Primary  Health Centre which would be commissioned to improve the health outreach of people in Apapa Community.

We have embarked on first round of outreach on community vaccination and also we recruited additional medical personnel to augment the existing staff.

The council also bought Sienna buses so as to boost the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), but it is highly disturbing that our people’s attitude towards paying their taxes, levies and rates is not encouraging because of evasion.

Our administration has been able to rehabilitate some streets such as Pelewura, North Avenue, Maybin, Ijora Oloye, Tide Adeyemi, Tijani Adele, Lander, Ibiere among others with interlock bricks, ” Adele said.

He said that the council had provided 1000 of three in one pairs desk and benches for public primary schools for a conducive learning environment.

The council boss said that the council had been able to complete the renovation of most offices in the council.

Adele said that the council also bought General Certificate Examination (G. C. E), Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) forms, as well as organising talk shows and training for teachers and students.

Adele said that the council also organised continuous Spelling Bee competition, supported public schools, inter-sports competitions, purchased life jackets for pupils in  riverine communities, organise adult literacy and many more.

He said that from experience that different wards in the local government had peculiar needs ranging from infrastructure, toilets, environmental changes, school boats among others, adding that the consultative meeting would enable wards representative to present their needs before the council. .

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Edited /Wale Ojetimi

 

 

 

 

 

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Over 100m Nigerians lack Identity, says DG NIMS

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The Director General, National Identity Management Commission, Aliyu Abubakar said over 100 million Nigerians have no official identity.

The DG made this known on Monday in Kaduna, in a paper on Importance of National Identity to National Building, presented during the 6th General Assembly of Northern Traditional Rulers Council.

According to him, those with no identity comprised the poorest most vulnerable groups, including women and girls and less educated people among others.

He explained that inclusive and trusted identity system can help in empowering individuals and enhance their access to rights, services and formal economy.

Abubakar added that it would also assist in generating reliable and continuous statistics to measure progress, support informed policies and enable the growth of digital economy.

In his presentation on Border Closure, the Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service,  Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), explained that the measure had curved smuggling of prohibited items into the country.

Ali also said it had raised the NCS daily revenue collection from N4 billion before the border closure to N6 billion.

The NCS boss, who was represented by Comptroller Omiye Adesanmi, noted that smuggling of illicit drugs and weapons into the country had also drastically reduced.

He explained that Nigeria has engaged Customs administrations of neighboring countries to comply with the ECOWAS protocol on transit of goods and persons, to protect Nigerian economy from the effects of smuggling.

Ali pledged to seek stakeholders support including the media to ensure that the desired objectives of the exercise were fully achieved.

He urged Nigerians to patronise local rice and other goods, to boost the nation’s economy.

Another presentation on “Northern Youths and the Challenges of Drug Abuse in Nigeria”, by the Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Abdullahi (rtd), noted that the future of the youth in Northern Nigeria was being threatened by the flow of illicit drugs.

He lamented that the positive support, dedication, integrity and leadership that the region expected from the youths have vanished, as large part of the youth population have resorted to the use hard of drugs.

Abdullahi called for massive education and enlightenment campaign across the country on the dangers of illicit drugs use, noting that ignorance and lack of adequate knowledge were partly responsible for drug abuse.

Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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Anti-Corruption Day: ActionAid Nigeria advocates death penalty for corrupt officers

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Anti-Corruption Day: ActionAid Nigeria advocates death penalty for corrupt officers

Corruption

Abuja, Dec. 9, 2019 As Nigerians join the rest of the world to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, Mrs. Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), has advocated for a death penalty for corrupt officers in the country.

Obi was speaking in Abuja on Monday, during a rally to mark the day which has the theme: “United Against Corruption. My constituency, my project.”

She regretted that many people, who had looted the economy, were moving freely in their houses and even sitting in the parliament, urging Nigerians to stand up against such characters.

She called on public officers owing salaries to do the needful so as not to encourage people to get involved in corrupt tendencies.

According to her, the government should ask themselves how many hospitals and schools they have built to improve the society.

“We are standing here today because many women are dying in our hospitals due to the poor healthcare system; many young Nigerians are in the universities without allowances.

“We are standing here today because somebody gave us scholarship. Many years ago, our colonial masters gave scholarships to build human capital that will build Nigeria. The story is different today.

“What is happening to our education? Our public schools have been rendered almost powerless. Many people have so many houses; why do you have so many houses when you can sleep on only one bed at a time?

“We stand here to say that all those who are found guilty and charged for corruption should be brought to book.

“I want to advocate that those who are looting the economy should be sentenced  to death if found guilty.”

Obi, however, called on Nigerian government to stand against corruption, especially since President Muhammadu Buhari had vowed to fight the menace.

She, therefore, said that corruption should be fought from all fronts, and called on those in government, who had been indicted in corruption cases, to step down from office.

Mr Newton Otsamaye, Manager, Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C) project, an NGO, said that there was the need for a consensus to end corruption in the country.

“We are collaborating with civil society groups, ICPC, NOA so that we can have collective engagement to end corruption.

“As Nigerians, we are tired of living without water, hospitals, good roads and transparent government. We are here to join other voices to end corruption in our government, Churches, families, schools, parliament and executive.”


Otsamaye called on communities to report abandoned projects in their various constituencies to ICPC.

Mrs. Rasheeda Okoduwa, Director, Public Enlightement, ICPC, in her remarks, said that corruption should be fought to a standstill from the home before it spread to the wider society.

She emphasised the need for Nigerians to report corruption cases to ICPC to enable it bring those involved to book, saying that there was no hiding place for corrupt officers. 

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Mrs. Buhari distributes food items, cash to widows, orphans, others in Adamawa

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The Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has distributed food items and cash worth millions of naira to widows, orphans and other vulnerable groups in Adamawa.

The First Lady, represented by Hajia Fatima Rafindadi, a member of her campaign team for President Buhari’s 2019 re-election, who presented the items on Monday in Yola, said the intervention was under Mrs Buhari’s Future Assured Foundation.

Mrs. Buhari said the core objective of the food and cash intervention was to compliment Federal Government’s effort towards improving rural communities’ livelihood and income.

About 20 different groups are today receiving free donation of food items and cash worth millions of naira.

The intervention is under the Future Assured Foundation, which is established to support and improve living conditions of the less privileged across the country.

It is also part of an end of year gesture to bring smiles on the faces of common Nigerians,’’ she said.

In her remarks, Hajia Lami Fintiri, wife of Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, who was represented by Mrs Justina Patrick, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs in the state, thanked the President’s wife for the kind gesture.

Mrs. Fintiri said the intervention would go a long way in improving and sustaining the lives of the beneficiaries.

She appealed to the beneficiaries to ensure that the items were used for the purpose they were intended for in order improve their living conditions.

Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Malam Yau Babayi and Esther Donald, of Actualisation Group and Yola South Widows Group respectively, thanked the first lady for the gesture.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that benefiting groups include; widows’ association, orphanages, the Nigerian Prisons Service, Federation of Muslim Women Association (FOMWAN), and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), among others.

The items distributed include; bags of rice, yams, cooking oil and wrappers.

Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
(NAN)

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Gender Based Violence: NGO urges journalists to focus on survivors

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A non governmental organization, Mercy Corps Nigeria, on Monday called on journalists to focus on survivors while reporting cases related to Based .

Oluwawemimo Onikan, Communication Officer, Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprise (ENGINE), a program being implemented by Mercy Corps, made the call during a press conference in Abuja.

The conference was organized ahead of the international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, and to commemorate the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence declared by the United Nations, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10.

She said that survivors centered approach in news reporting would empower survivors by putting them at the center of healing process.

Onikan said journalists should be emphatic, but avoid judgemental language during interviews with GBV survivors.

When GBV is a manifestation of power, the media can unintentionally create another experience where the survivors feel further disempowered.

Applying the survivor-centered approach involves prioritizing the survivors’ best interest, by following the guiding principle of safety, confidentiality, respect and non discrimination”, she said.

She stated that survivors of violence were often blamed by the society for dressing indecently or talking too much, urging journalists to challenge the norm by exposing perpetrators.

Onikan also said reporters must respect the right of survivors to refuse questions or divulge sensitive information and also avoid questions that are insensitive to culture.

She added that journalist should not report details that could put survivors at further risk and should provide information on local support service that address GBV cases.

Earlier, Mr Ram Kishan, Deputy Country Director, Mercy Corps said the organization was ready to partner with the media in fighting gender based violence in the country.

He said the issue of violence against children and vulnerable adult was a serious issue affecting the society and could be tackled with the help of the media.

Also, Mrs Chinelo Ezeobi, Policy and Governance Manager, ENGINE ll urged the media to publish names of perpetrators so as to serve as deterrent to others.

She added that perpetrators should be labelled mentally unstable and be made to undergo rehabilitation before going to prison.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Mercy Corps, with support from the UK International through its Education Fund, implements the New II programme.

The program is aimed at addressing barriers to girls education and gender inequalities for 18,000 marginalised girls in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory.

The programme facilitates Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection in the four states, working with various stakeholders including the Federal and State Governments, as well as line agencies to establish Reporting Protocols for Abuse.

Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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Strive to maintain your integrity, discipline, Gov. Emmanuel urges FRSC

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Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to continue to maintain the integrity and discipline that the corps was known for.

Emmanuel said this in his remarks at the inauguration of a new ultra-modern office complex of the FRSC, Akwa Ibom Sector Command, in Uyo on Monday.

The governor said that the FRSC had, over the years, maintained a high-level of discipline and integrity, making the corps one of the most respected outfits in the country.

He tasked the Corps Marshal of FRSC to ensure that the corps reached its peak under his watch.

“The discipline, integrity and training that the Corps is known for should continue. The FRSC under your watch will reach the peak.

“As you do your work this yuletide, God will protect our people from road crashes during this period.”

The governor said that a good working environment for FRSC personnel would enhance productivity.

Earlier in his address, the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, had said that the inauguration of the new office complex was part of management strategy to ensure improved services to the public.

Oyeyemi urged the people of Akwa Ibom to identify more with the Special Marshals arm of the corps so that they could have special marshals and Road Safety clubs across the state.

He said that in the last four years, the corps had been able to carry out several reforms on its structure to optimally utilise organisational resources and achieve greater productivity.

He said that the Corps’ Staff College was expected to commence academic activities in year 2020.

The corps marshal said that as the Yuletide season was fast approaching, the corps had mapped out strategy to ensure zero tolerance to road crashes.

“To ensure adequate security, a high level of collaboration is expected to play out among all the nation’s security outfits as we enter the yuletide.

“Massive deployment of personnel for the end of year patrol is expected. This will consist of 26,000 regular marshals in addition to 15,000 special marshals,” he said.

Oyeyemi also assured Nigerians that the corps visibility during the yuletide would be enhanced through the deployment of more than 700 patrol vehicles and state-of-the-art ambulances for rescue services at strategic locations.

“This is expected to ensure a hitch-free end of year celebration for Nigerians,” oyeyemi said.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the funding of the office complex, saying that the good working environment would enhance the productivity of personnel.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma and Ephraims Sheyin
(NAN)

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UNICEF, Kwara renew partnership in critical sectors

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Kwara State Government on Monday rolled out their key activities towards achieving development in the critical sectors in the state for 2020.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the activities were drawn from the plenary reflections of sectoral teams, constituted at the 2019 End of Year Review and Planning Meeting of the UNICEF and Kwara Government.

Dr Zakari Adam, Chief of Kaduna Field Office of UNICEF, said the objective of the meeting was to question what the funding agency had achieved in terms of cooperation with the Kwara government.

This, he said, was to identify challenges in the course of its 2019 activities with a view to avoiding such challenges in 2020.

The objective is to know if we have achieved any result. If yes, which one can we put forward as the more important result.

If partially, what is going to be our arrangement to complete what is remaining; and if nothing was achieved, or if we are faced with some challenges, what are we going to put in place to ensure we don’t face similar challenges in 2020,” he said.

The UNICEF boss expressed delight with the outcome of the exercise, saying that sectoral groups were able to agree on the way forward in education, nutrition, health and HIV as well as communication for development among others.

He also applauded the media participation in the review and planning exercise, rather than merely coming to cover the event.

The (media) partnership should not be about coming to report the meeting alone, but having you as part of our reflections.

Even your views, aspirations and the way media people communicate are needed.

The media has this capacity to develop clear participation from crowd, community and grassroots,” he said.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Shuaib Akanbi, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, commended UNICEF for coming back to the state after some years of lack of intervention.

Akanbi assured the agency of the state government’s cooperation at ensuring that the state is moved forward in the critical areas of interest to UNICEF.

He expressed optimism that UNICEF would soon help to restore the lost benefits of the state.

Mrs Memunat Adams, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry Information and Communications, pledged that the state would not default in its responsibilities at ensuring a smooth partnership with the agency.

Edited by: Moses Solanke/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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FG donates relief materials to flood victims in Kebbi

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Management has donated relief materials to over 351 victims of 2019 flood disaster in three Government s) of Kebbi.

The Director-General of the Agency, Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, who was represented by the Head of NEMA, Sokoto Operations Office, Dr Kofoworola Soleye, distributed the relief materials in Yauri Local Government Area of the state on Monday.

Soleye said the materials were given to alleviate the sufferings faced by flood victims in the affected local government areas.

We know that it will not be enough to take care of all what you lost, but just for you to know that the federal government is aware of your plight and commiserates with you,” he said.

Maihaja said that government would distribute 450 bags of rice, 220 bags of millets, 450 bags of beans,among others to the 2018 flood victims in three local government areas of the state.

 “An assessment was carried out by NEMA in conjunction with Management and officials of affected LGAs.

The areas are: Ngaski, Yauri and Shanga; where over 351 farmers affected by the 2019 flood in the areas,” he said.

The state Chairman of SEMA, Alhaji Sani Dododo urged the beneficiaries to ensure they use the items for the purpose they were meant.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Malam Musa Shehu thanked the federal government and NEMA for assisting the victims. .

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)

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