The Nigerian Army School of Finance and Administration alongside the 81 base Ordnance Depot would move to the newly inaugurated Nigerian Army Barracks in Epe, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai,said this on Thursday in his address read by Maj.-Gen. J.S. Malu, the Corps Commandant, Nigerian Army Engineer, that represented the former.
The COAS said, “The directives are premised on two vital exigencies: first, there is the need to bring military presence to Epe to beef up security there and around the general well-being of the people.
“Secondly, there is the need to relocate some of the Nigerian Army ( NA ) units that were affected by the construction of the railway lines around Yaba which is being undertaken by the Federal Government in order to improve the national transportation system.
“Two units will be moving here to occupy this place, which are the Nigerian Army School of Finance and Administration, and the 81 base Ordnance Depot,” he said.
The COAS said that he believed that the reconstructed barracks would also increase the reach and effectiveness of the NA, thereby also improving the socio-economic lives of the people of Epe.
“I believe that this reconstructed barracks will not only increase the reach and effectiveness of the NA but will also improve the socio-economic fortunes of Epe and Lagos in general,” he said.
He said that the inauguration was part of the NA’s quest to sustain the peace and security of the nation and his vision for a professional and responsive Nigerian Army.
“This commissioning is,therefore, a testimony of the NA’s quest for peace ,security and prosperity of the nation.
“This is in actualisation of the COAS vision which is to have a professionally responsive NA in the discharge of its constitutional role,” he said.
He added that the reconstruction was necessary as there had been expansion of the NA from five divisional structures to eight divisions.
“With the recent expansion of the Nigerian Army from a five-divisional structure to eight divisions and with several commands coming up ,there is the need to re-occupy the barracks that were, hitherto, closed .
“Subsequently, it was directed that the undeveloped portion of the Epe barracks be re-occupied,” he said.
He said that the NA had lived up to its reputation of unifying the country.
“The NA has lived up to its name as a unifying factor for the Nigerian nation.
” It has continued to serve the nation and its citizens as a bracing wall of protection against evil and a lighthouse of hope amidst the stormy insecurity,” he said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for always improving the welfare of the Armed Forces, saying that it was an evidence of the magnanimous support to the Armed Forces, particularly, the Nigerian Army.
He said that the inauguration of the Epe barracks coincided with the Nigerian Army’s 157th anniversary.
“Although, the Nigerian Army Day Celebration is taking place this year in Katsina on July 6, this commissioning is one of the many activities programmed to mark the week-long activities.
“I must add that similar projects are being commissioned throughout the country today as part of NAFCEL activities,” he said.
NAN reports that the NA acquired and gazetted the land in 1970, while acquisition of additional acreage of the land was done some years later thereby bringing the total land to 440 (four hundred and forty) hectares.
He thanked the Lagos State Government, the chairman of Epe Local Government and the Oloja of Epe for the cooperation given to the NA during the seven months that the construction lasted.
The Director of Army Works, Brig. -Gen. M.M. B. Mamman, on behalf of the Commandant, Corps of Engineer, in his welcome address said that the project started on Nov. 22, 2019.
He thanked the COAS for his unflinching support in making the project a reality.
Among the projects inaugurated are, the Quarter guard, armoury, magazine, 4x semi detached 2 bedroom,three blocks of student officers quarters.
Others are the 1.8km fence, parade ground, road and drainage system, and the Commandant’s residence.
Top officers present at the inauguration include: the General Officer Commanding, (GOC), 81 Division, the Corps Commandant, Nigerian Army Ordnance Corp, other top military brass and the Oloja of Epe.
Edited By: Peter Dada (NAN)
APC UK optimistic of Diezani’s prosecution by British Government
The All Progressives Congress (APC), UK chapter, says it has received favourable response from the British Government to prosecute former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke and other Nigerians suspected of fraud, bribery and corruption offences, living in the United Kingdom.
According to a statement signed by Mr Jacob Ogunseye, the APC UK Publicity Secretary, issued on Tuesday in Abuja, the assurance was given by British Minister of State for Security, James Brokenshire.
In the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria , the British government also promised to help Nigeria fight corruption to a standstill.
It said Brokenshire’s promise followed a petition initiated by the APC UK legal department to the British government on the need to prosecute the former petroleum minister and other Nigerians suspected of fraud, bribery and corruption.
The statement said the petition was sequel to a plea by Ibrahim Magu, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at a virtual meeting before his suspension.
It said that Magu had appealed to Nigerians in Diaspora to assist the commission in putting pressure on the British government to repatriate the former minister to Nigeria to answer charges against her.
It said the APC UK legal department took up Magu’s challenge by initiating a legal process reminding the British government of Alison-Madueke’s arrest on October 2, 2015 by its National Crime Agency (NCA) in London.
It recalled that Alison-Madueke was arrested along side four other persons on suspicion of bribery and corruption offences, but was released on bail.
The statement said the department also demanded for a speedy trial of the former petroleum minister in the UK or in the alternative, facilitate her immediate repatriation to Nigeria to face graft charges.
The statement quoted Mr Ade Omole, leader of the chapter, as saying that a fair trial as enshrined in Article 6 of the Human Rights Act would be followed if Madueke was repatriated to Nigeria to face trial.
“APC UK supported the legal process with petitions through Members of Parliament and Peers in the House of Lords, the British Government was left with no choice but respond promptly to the issues raised.
“The British government responding through its Minister of State for Security, Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire, promised to work with the Federal Republic of Nigeria in ensuring that corruption is fought to a standstill and persons involved in criminal acts are duly prosecuted,” Omole said.
He added that the response from the British government was a strong indication of good things to come regarding suspects hibernating in the UK.
He stressed that the APC in UK had a good strategy and dedicated legal team that would ensure that looters did not commit crime in Nigeria and run to the United Kingdom to hide.
He said Nigerians should expect some traction on the near comatose criminal case involving the former petroleum minister going forward.
The statement quoted Brokenshire, as saying that: “The UK is continuing to lead international efforts to combat corruption, as evidenced by the commitments in the UK’s Anti-Corruption Strategy and the Economic Crime plan.”
He said the UK was determined to ensure that its society and economy remained hostile to illicit financial flows.
“As you will know, in 2018 the Financial Action Task Force assessed the UK as having the strongest controls of any country assessed to date.
“I am acutely aware of the negative impacts of grand corruption, including on developing countries.
“The International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre, hosted by the NCA, is working to recover stolen assets, share intelligence across jurisdictions, and build capacity to support grand corruption cases in developing countries,” he said.
He added that the centre had supported a number of high profile arrests involving politicians and public officials across the world.
“We are working closely with the government of Nigeria to prevent corruption, including providing support in-country.
“The NCA runs a number of multi-agency projects in Nigeria which target corruption as one of the threats to the UK,” Brokenshire said.
According to him, these projects provided specialist training, equipment, buildings and infrastructure.
He said it also provided UK-based mentors and intelligence to fight corruption at all levels, adding that the Department for International Development funds programmes to tackle corruption in the Nigerian public sector and oil industry.
Brokenshire assured the APC UK of UK’s commitment to combating corruption in Nigeria and other African countries.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Revival of ailing industries will strengthen currency -Expert
Mr Promise Amahah, an economic expert says revamping ailing industries and economic diversification in the country will help to strengthen the value of the Naira among world currencies.
He advised the Federal Government to also sustain the tempo in its diversification drive in different sectors of the economic to further boost the economy.
“The fall of the Naira did not just happen overnight. When Naira was stronger was when we had Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, Volkswagen Nigeria, Dunlop Nigeria Ltd, Michelin Nigeria, Bata and Lennards.
“Our Naira had value when we had Nigerian Airways, Steel Rolling Mills; Osogbo Steel Rolling Mill, Ajaokuta steel, Arewa Textile Mill, BEREC Batteries, General Motors and Kingsway among others,” he said.
Amahah, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Strategy Worth and Technology (SWAT), lauded Federal Government for its move to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The expert said the commitment by the Central Bank of Nigeria to revive Nigerian Cotton Textile and Garment industries was the right step in the right direction.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Third term Resumption: Private schools have right to charge fees – Minister
The Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, says that private school owners are entitled to charge fees for third term as schools start resuming for exit classes.
He was reacting to a question on if it was proper for private schools to charge third term fee since the period the exiting students would spend in school was short.
The minister said that private school owners were running a business venture and not a charity organisation.
He added that “for public institutions, we can’t tell you that we charge school fees, as most of our schools are free. Public schools are free and vary from state to state.
“But when you go into a contractual relationship with a school owner, a school owner is a passionate person, but is also a business person. He or she is not running a charity organisation, they may be charitable in their approach, but it’s not charity.
“So, it’s important that you appreciate that a private school is entitled to charge fees for the work they do. The person that runs a school may be passionate about education but will still charge fees.”
“We expect that throughout the period, students are working and learning.
“We don’t just want them to be in school and be playing, this is exit class, it says a lot about the six years spent in secondary school.
‘”All examinations are a test of outcomes. We will want our teachers to continuously engage the students,” he said.
Nwajiuba emphasised that schools resumption was for exit classes at the moment, adding that some schools had even opened on Monday, Aug. 3.
He said “I monitored developments in Lagos State, where some schools opened and cleaned the classes and the environment, while some other states will open as the week proceeds.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: FG to develop innovative interventions to improve survival chances
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says efforts are ongoing to develop innovative interventions to reduce COVID-19 case fatalities to below one per cent.
According to him, fatalities at present is at two per cent, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
Ehanire said that PTF members were aligned in non-pharmaceutical key role interventions in controlling new infections, as the measures of wearing of masks and avoiding crowds were easy, cheap and proven to be effective.
He added that “we would work with state governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at general hospitals or Primary Healthcare Centres to train and set up at least one sample collection site in every local government area in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.
“This means that we should consider adjusting to what has been described as the ‘new normal,’ a way of life that is intended to reduce risk of infection, while allowing meaningful economic life to resume and citizens to restore their livelihoods,” he said.
The minister said there was need to sustain the efforts as the increase in testing capacity recorded 40,000 in one month, while the number of positive cases dropped by over 2,000.
“The total number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154,454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3 per cent, as against that of June of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2 per cent.
“By Aug. 3, we recorded 43,841 confirmed cases out of of 286,091 samples tested, while 20,308 persons were treated and discharged with 888 persons dead,” he said.
Ehanire also announced that plans were ongoing to designate holding rooms at general hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or oxygen cylinders.
“Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit in lives saved will be significant,” he said.
Ehanire said that the task force responded to the request of São Tomé for commodities for COVID-19 response, as directed directive by the President.
He assured that there was continued increase and optimisation laboratory diagnostic capacity most recently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe and Bayelsa states.
The minister said there should be no anxiety among health workers about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the equipment had been reasonably well-stocked with materials and commodities and supplied to all sections of the country.
He said government was grateful to the United Nations and European Union for the donation of another consignment of valuable supplies, which he received on July 31.
“This additional delivery will boost our stockpile of wherewithal to fight the pandemic and it includes face masks and shields goggles, airways tubes, bio-hazard bags and safety boxes, test kites,” he said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)