The New Era Construction Company said that it would construct 160 shops in New Haven market in Enugu within next one year.
The site engineer of the company, Mr Chinedu Ozoude, stated this in Enugu on Wednesday when members of Enugu State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce and Industry visited the market as part of its oversight function.
The developer said that the intention was to change the face of the market noting that the company would equally make the market one of the first class markets in Nigeria.
Ozoude said that the company had done it in other states, adding that since its operators were from Enugu state they came to build it as their contribution in their own state.
He said that they were planning to build some new shops so that they could move the traders on the roadside inside the market.
He said the gesture would also help the state in increasing its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) rather than allowing the traders to stay on the road and causing obstruction.
“I have constructed over 70 shops, constructed drainage channels in the car park and also reconstructing the car park to make it look good.
“We are also constructing toilet facilities, trying to give the marketers a place they can use as convenience and also trying to put street lights in the market so that people can trade after 7pm.
“When I started the work newly I had some challenges as the traders were having issues with their chairman.
“They thought that the chairman was given money to do the project by the state government until I explained to them how Enugu State Government Executive Council approved the project.
“I have come to develop and not to take over the market.
“The contract is meant to last for 12 months; I started five months ago but I am optimistic that I will meet up with the time.
“I had a meeting with those trading on the roadside and they promised to come inside the market to trade.
“I am meant to construct about 160 shops and I have done up to 70 shops; the contract is being done under Public Private Partnership arrangement.
“My duty is to build and handover to the government while government will receive revenue from the shops.
“I will recoup my money from the sale of the shops,’’ he added.
Mrs Chinwe Odaa, the Head, Department of Market Development, Enugu State Ministry Commerce and Industry, said that the market did not have toilet facilities before.
Odaa said that the packing space was also not accommodating majority of the marketers, noting that marketers were also complaining of some illegal structures in the market.
She said that most of the people that had shops in New Haven market did not pay their annual development levy of N4000 which they were supposed to pay into the government purse.
She also pointed out that half of the shop owners in major markets in Enugu did not pay their annual dues even after being issued with demand notices.
Odaa, however, observed that they had promised to pay this time but she would not believe them until they did so.
Responding to some of the challenges, Mr Innocent Ugwu, the Enugu State House of Assembly Committee Chairman on Commerce and Industry, promised to liaise with the state government to provide all the necessary assistance to enable them to move forward.
He described the development as a wonderful idea.
He further advised the developer to use quality materials in the construction to enable the work to last for a longer period while urging the marketers to give the developer all the necessary cooperation to get the best out of him.
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Donald Ugwu
Lawmaker urges Chinese company to address water channelisation problem in Nasarawa
A Nasarawa legislator, Alhaji Ibrahim Muluku, on Monday, called on a construction firm to address the water channelisation problem in Nassarawa Eggon to avoid causing more damage to the neighboring Rugan Baki Iyaka Fulani community.
The lawmaker, who is the Chief Whip of the state House of Assembly, stated this while inspecting the damage caused to the Fulani community due to overflowing of water from the premises of the construction firm.
Muluku said he was at the community to see the level of damage done to the community and proffer solution to the problem.
“The people have complained that polluted water from the Chinese construction yard is causing more harm to them.
“So I am here to intervene and I will do my best as their representative to wipe away their tears,” he said.
After sympatising with the Fulani community on the unfortunate incident, Muluku assured that the matter would be reported to the appropriate authorities for prompt action, if the construction company eventually failed to do the needful.
He urged the community to exercise patience and keep supporting government policies and programmes in order to enjoy more dividends of democracy.
Earlier, the Spokesman of the community, Ishaku Muhammad, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the lawmaker, urging him to sustain the tempo.
Muhammad said that the community had been suffering from lack of proper water channelisation, saying that this had led to destruction of houses, crops, animals and other property of the people.
The community’s spokesperson, who claimed that all their efforts to meet with the firm had proved abortive, appealed to the lawmaker to come to their rescue.
Edited By: Razak Owolabi and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
ILAW-Nigeria criticises Mill Company for allegedly holding 126 workers hostage
Upah, who signed on behalf of the ILAW Nigeria, described the situation as that of forced labour, alleged that the 126 workers were kept against their will in deplorable conditions.
He said they were also on starvation rations for three months in Kano, arising from which not a few suffer from varying degrees of injury.
According to him, holding workers against their will, false imprisonment, forced labour, threats and intimidation at work place, harassment, and starvation rations constitute unwholesome labour practices.
“It is also an infringement on the rights and liberty of the individual as guaranteed, not only by International Standards established by the International Lablor Organisation(ILO)but also the 1999 Constitution (as altered) Section 35 (1) and actionable in criminal and tort laws.
“The conduct of the rice mill company is also against the grain of Decent Work Agenda to which we all subscribed,” he said.
The ILAW-Nigeria, therefore, called on the police, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Immigration (the company is alleged to be owned by an Indian) and other appropriate authorities to ensure that the full weight of the law be visited upon the culprits.
Upah said that the action should be made necessary and urgent by the fact that the company was allegedly not first time offenders.
“At the time of this infraction, they were alleged to be on suspension from the membership of the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria “over some issues,” he said.
He said that the ILAW Nigeria would continue to work with the NLC, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, the Unions and State councils of the Labour Centres in ensuring that extant labour laws were not observed in the breach by employers.
He, however, said the ILAW was particularly keen to be involved in all lawful and constitutional avenues of seeking redress to ensure the observance of workers’ rights, which included filing law suits, signature campaigns among others, in order to protect the interests and dignity of workers.
Upah added that in pursuance of the objective, the ILAW, working with the state councils and their affiliate unions in Kano, would embark on all lawful means to ensure that the Kano 126 get justice.
“And by this Statement, the ILAW is sending a clear and unmistakable message to unscrupulous employers of labour, Nigerian and foreign employers of labour, that the days of workplace tyranny are over,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Kano State Police Command has confirmed that 126 workers were allegedly held hostage for three months at the Popular Farms and Mills Limited located in Challawaj Industrial Estate, Kano.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, confirmed this in a statement in Kano.
Haruna revealed that on June 21, at about 6:00 p.m., a complaint was received from Global Community for Human Right Network, Kano, that some labourers were wrongly confined inside the said Popular Farms and Mills.
He gave the address of the firm as No. 54 Challawa Industrial Estate, Kano.
‘On receiving the information a team of policemen were deployed and when the search was conducted, 126 labourers trapped inside the factory for three months were rescued,’ he said.
According to him, four officials of the factory have been arrested.
Haruna said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Habu Ahmad, has ordered an investigation to unravel facts of the matter.
Edited By: Cecilia Ologunagba/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Indian company allowed to market biologic therapy for Coronavirus patients
India’s Biocon has received approval from the country’s drug regulator to market, Itolizumab injection, to treat cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients, a company statement said.
In 2013, Biocon had launched Itolizumab, an anti-CD6 IgG1 monoclonal antibody biologic therapy for treating chronic plaque psoriasis, which it has now repurposed for treating COVID-19 patients.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been observed to induce an overreaction of the immune system, generating a large number of cytokines that can cause severe damage to the lungs and other organs.
The virus can cause, in the worst scenario, multi-organ failure and even death.
The approval of Itolizumab, from the drug regulator is based on the results from the successful conclusion of a randomised, controlled clinical trial at multiple hospitals in Mumbai and New Delhi, the statement said.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Appeals For Caution As Rain Persists
By Yunus Yusuf
Lqgos, July 9, 2020 (NAN) Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Plc, has urged its customers and public to be cautious around electrical installations within its network, as the rainy season begins to gather momentum.
Its Chief Operating Officer, Mr John Ayodele in a statement on Thursday, said the rainy seasons often witnessed the highest levels of incidents within the electricity distribution sector because of heavy rainfall, windstorms, and floods.
Ayodele, therefore, urged members of the public to be on their guards to avoid falling victims of any accident that could easily occur during the rains.
“There is need to create awareness on safety measures during the rainy season because of the hazards that electricity and water can cause.
“Avoid conditions that can compromise your safety around electricity, such as using wet electrical appliances or handling them with wet hands; stepping in puddles of water that can potentially be charged.
“You should also guard against exposed electrical wires, and ensure your houses are well earthed,” he said.
Ayodele also called on customers within IBEDC network to stay clear of snapped power wires and cables, sagging lines and fallen poles.
He said that in the event of any such incident, customers should call the Customer Care,0700-123 9999, or report through the company’s social media handles immediately, while maintaining a safe distance from the point of the accident.
He cautioned against the practice of conducting commercial activities under power lines and cables, noting that the cables could easily snap due to strong winds.
Ayodele further advised customers not to engage quacks for electrical writing or repairs as errors and deviation from sound technical practice and poor workmanship might lead to fires, loss of property and even loss of life in some cases.(NAN)
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
Indian biotech company to start human trials for COVID-19 vaccine
An Indian biotech company has been granted permission to initiate phase I & II human clinical trials after submitting data from pre-clinical studies for developing the first COVID-19 vaccine late Monday.
Based in India‘s southeastern city of Hyderabad, 569 km east of Bengaluru, Bharat Biotech has developed this vaccine in collaboration with the two state-owned institutions — Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV), and the human clinical trials are schedule to commence human clinical trials in July.
Bharat Biotech’s track record in developing Vero cell culture platform technologies has been proven in several vaccines for Polio, Rabies, Rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, Chikungunya, conjugated vaccine for Typhoid and Zika, and the comprehensive pre-clinical studies for COVID-19 vaccine have been promising and demonstrated extensive safety and effective immune responses, the statement said.
“The proactive support and guidance from CDSCO has enabled approvals to this project. Our R&D and manufacturing teams worked tirelessly to deploy our proprietary technologies towards this platform,” said Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech. The CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) is the national regulatory body for Indian pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
India, ranked fourth among all countries for number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, has 210,120 active cases with 16,475 deaths reported so far.
Fiat-Chrysler official tells Senate company not to move jobs out of Italy
Pietro Gorlier from Italian-American carmaker Fiat-Chrysler said Friday the company had no plans to move jobs abroad despite challenges it faces.
Gorlier, who is Fiat-Chrysler’s chief operating officer for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, estimated earlier this week that the company’s car sales in Italy would end the year about 35 percent below 2019 levels, due mostly to the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Despite that and the ongoing merge process with French vehicle maker Peugeot, Gorlier vowed there will be no labor cutbacks in Italy.
“We will not move any of our vehicle production outside of Italy,” Gorlier said in testimony in the Italian Senate Friday, via video link. “We are a multi-national company and we will continue our activities outside Italy and we will also make changes there, but we anticipate output from Italy to increase.”
Gorlier called on the government to issue incentives for low-environmental impact vehicles as a way to help restart the output for the automobile sector, a key driver for economic growth in Italy.
“To help relaunch the sector, incentives for light hybrid vehicles must be increased as a way to restart the entire supply chain and to dispose of vehicles already in stock at dealerships,” he said.
In remarks earlier in the week, Gorlier estimated that some 450,000 Fiat-Chrysler vehicles are already in stock and ready for sale.
Fiat-Chrysler’s merger with Peugeot is set to be completed by the first quarter of next year.
Indian tech company collaborates with Microsoft to accelerate internet of things solutions
Indian technology solutions company Cyient has collaborated with Microsoft to accelerate internet of things (IoT) solutions for industry 4.0 through the latter’s cloud computing service Azure, a company statement said Thursday.
Cyient loT Edge Gateway 5400, the flagship product in the company’s family of loT gateways, is Microsoft Azure Certified and provides diverse connectivity and communication protocol options, advanced data processing, and edge analytics capabilities for remote asset monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions, the statement said.
loT projects are complex and take a long time to implement as customers find that choosing and connecting the right set of devices, assets or sensors to the cloud time-consuming. Hence, customers are looking for certified devices and platforms that are tested for readiness, compatibility and usability with the Microsoft Azure loT Suite, the statement said.
“Industries today are increasing focus on digital technology and building intelligence into equipment for remote monitoring and to extend asset life, improve customer experience, and ensure regulatory compliance. The Microsoft Azure loT Certification validates Cyient’s ability to accelerate loT deployments for customers and ensure seamless integration from the edge to the cloud,” said Suman Narayan, senior vice president, Semiconductors and Medical Technologies and Healthcare at Cyient, with consolidated annual revenues of 625 million United States dollars.
Microsoft Azure Certified for loT allows businesses to reach customers where they are, working with an ecosystem of devices and platforms, allowing for faster time to production.
“Microsoft Azure Certified for loT extends our promise to bring loT to business scale, starting with interoperable solutions from leading technology companies around the world,” said Jerry Lee, Director of Marketing for Azure Internet of Things, Microsoft Corp.
“With trusted offerings and verified partners, Microsoft Azure accelerates the deployment of loT even further,” Lee said.
Kuwaiti company launches smart solutions in preparation for return to normal life
Kuwait Telecommunication Company Ooredoo will offer an array of smart solutions to companies in the country in preparation for the gradual return to normal life, the company said on Saturday.
Abdulaziz Al-Babtain, chief business officer at the company, said in a press statement that the smart solutions include walking through thermal detectors, sanitizer gates equipped with thermal detectors and facial recognition, contactless attendance systems and social distancing solutions.
“Line crossing analytics will place virtual lines between employees to keep them within their own working area and will track compliance with health guidelines which also include wearing face masks,” he said.
“The world has changed since the onset of COVID-19, and we must adapt to the ‘new normal’. It is our duty to protect the nation by ensuring the availability of smart solutions to control the spread of COVID-19,” Al-Babtain said.
Kuwait decided on Thursday to ease the restrictions next week which were imposed to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
Female leadership boosts company value Aussie report
The report, released on Friday by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), found that having women in key decision making roles such as on company boards was strongly linked with improved performance.
By examining companies listed on Australia‘s stock market (ASX), they found that an increase in “top-tier” female managers of 10 percent or more led to a 6.6-percent increase in the businesses’ market valuation, worth the equivalent of 71.7 million United States dollars.
Report author and BCEC Principal Research Fellow Associate Professor Rebecca Cassells said effective leadership has never been so important during the COVID-19 crisis and the uncertain road to economic recovery.
ASX-listed companies with a woman in the top job of CEO, on average saw a 5-percent increase in their market value, equivalent to 54.5 million United States dollars.
However, according to the report’s authors, three in 10 of the companies studied had no female board representation at all, and overall women made up just 17.1 percent of CEOs.
Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency Libby Lyons said that the landmark study proved having more women leading business was not just about fairness, but also a commercial imperative.
“This report provides tangible proof to support the established business case for gender equality. More gender-balanced leadership will improve the bottom line and financial performance of any organization,” Lyons said.
“As we ‘snap forward’ to a post-COVID-19 economy, this report demonstrates that CEOs and senior executives must include gender equality as they develop recovery plans.”
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