Ebonyi state government on Tuesday inaugurated a selection committee for 13,000 indigenes needed for the Federal Government (FGs) Special Public Works Programme.
Chief Edward Nkwegu, Chairman of Ebonyi Federal Government (FG) Extended Special Public Works Programme (ESPWP), at the event affirmed that 13,000 indigenes of Ebonyi would benefit from the programme slated to begin in October.
Nkwegu asked the ESPWP selection committee to ensure equity during the selection exercise billed to last for three weeks started on June 29.
He said that the setting up of the committee was in line with section 16(1) of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), law which empowered the Minister of Labour and Employment to do so.
According to him, only the minister upon the instruction of the President can stop the committee’s work.
Nkwegu noted that the 13,000 beneficiaries would spread across the 13 local government areas of the state where 1,000 persons would be drawn from each LGA.
He said that the programme approved by President Muhammadu Buhari was aimed at recruiting 1,000 itenerant, unskilled and skilled workers each in all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.
“In Ebonyi, we will be recruiting 13,000 of our people for the programme and this number will include but not limited to supervisors and few skilled labours with respect to requests from ministry of Labour and Employment, other ministries, department and agencies.
“The beneficiaries will be engaged by the FG between October and December 2020 to carry out public works peculiar to each LGA.
“They will be engaged in areas including road rehabilitation, social housing construction, urban and rural sanitation, health extension and other critical social services.
“FG will spend N780 million in Ebonyi for the three months of the programme as each beneficiary will receive N20,000 each month for three months,” Nkwegu said.
He urged members of the committee to strive to make the programme a huge success in the state.
“You must therefore see this task as a serious, patriotic national assignment.
“This programme can rightly be described as one of President Buhari’s many ‘Star’ programmes for the lowly, weak and vulnerable people in our society, hence, we must treat it as such,” he added.
He directed committee members to reach out to their various LGAs to recruit eligible indigent and vulnerable Ebonyi people.
Meanwhile, Chief Martin Elechi, immediate past governor of the state, in a remark said that the programme was in recognition of the plight of the down-trodden by the President and his resolve to ameliorate their conditions.
“Buhari by this gesture is extending economic empowerment to the poor and vulnerable in the society,” Elechi said.
The former governor while congratulating members of the committee reminded them that their performances on the job would uplift them to greater assignments.
“Your activities will be monitored, recorded and recommendations will be made and if you perform well, this will only be an introduction to something else and so we are looking up to you to offer credible service,” he added.
Mrs Ann Agomeze, member of the committee, while thanking President Buhari for finding them worthy to serve said that the committee would ensure that only those targetted for the job would be recruited.
She said that the job was meant not for the well-to-do but for the poor, vulnerables and those who actually did the voting but we’re unfortunately forgotten.
She noted that Buhari had deemed it fit that these set of Nigerians would no longer be forgotten.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the committee is made up of 23 members.
Chief Henry Ude will serve as Vice Chairman, Marcel Okafor will serve as Secretary while three traditional rulers from the three senatorial zones were selected to represent Traditional Rulers Council on the selection committee.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (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)
COVID-19: Nigeria records 288 new cases, total now 44,129, with 896 deaths
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
The agency said that eight new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 896 across the country.
The NCDC said that the new infections were recorded in Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory and 13 states.
It stated that Lagos topped the list with 88 new cases, while the FCT reported 25 fresh infections.
Among others were Kwara, 33, Osun, 27, Enugu, 25, Abia, 20, Kaduna, 17, Plateau and Rivers, 13 each, Delta, 10, and Gombe, 8.
The agency stressed that states with fewer cases include Ogun, 4, Oyo, 3, Katsina, 1 and Bauchi, 1.
According to it, till date, 44,129 cases have been confirmed, 20,663 cases discharged and 896 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Meanwhile, the health agency added that washing of hands frequently with soap under running water was one of the best ways to stop the transmission of diseases like COVID-19 from person to person or after touching contaminated surfaces.
“#TakeResponsibility to keep yourself and loved ones safe and healthy.
“This election period, #TakeResponsibility by adhering to guidelines to protect ourselves and loved ones from COVID-19, including Physical distancing, Use of hand sanitisers and Use of face mask,” it advised.
“In Nigeria, use of hydroxychloroquine is only limited to clinical trials.
“Please #TakeResponsibility and avoid self-medication,” it stressed.
The agency warned that a high percentage of those infected with COVID-19 did not show any symptom of the disease.
“So, to protect yourself and everyone around you, wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and follow all guidelines from the NCDC website,” it said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: SON, committee review safety guidelines for tourism sector resumption
Mrs Chika Balogun, Committee Chairperson and Director-General, National Institute for Hotels and Tourism, said via a webinar meeting on Monday in Abuja that the draft standards would help revive the tourism sector.
According to her, it will help the sector to pick up when the lockdown ends.
”The online meeting by the committee’s Working Group on Tourism and Related Services is aimed at mitigating harrowing effect of COVID-19 on the industry.
”It will find a common ground for post-COVID-19 way forward in reviving the industry.
”The draft standards on Health and Safety Measures for Tourism and Hospitality Establishments-Post Pandemic (COVID-19) Resumption Guidelines specified resumption requirements to comply with lives protection and business sustainability.
”The guidelines apply to Hotels, Restaurants, Fast Foods, Conferences, Meetings, Event Centres, Tour Operatives, Travel Agents, Tourist Information Centres, Airlines and Beaches, among others,” she said.
Balogun said at a difficult period like this, tourism stakeholders needed to put all hands-on deck to pull out of the pandemic challenges.
Balogun thanked the committee members for their commitment and dedication towards making Nigerian tourism sector at par with its counterparts on the global scene.
The Director, Standards Development, SON, Mrs Chinyere Egwuonwu, said tourism sector had been adversely affected by the pandemic within and outside Nigeria.
“National Mirror Committee is expected to oversee a comeback by the sector through deliberations on the draft standards and the eventual implementation,” she said.
Represented by SON Group Head, Service Standards, Mr Ayoola Ololade, Egwuonwu stated that SON was ready to work with stakeholders to revamp the sector to ensure that activities pick at the end of the lockdown.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Nigeria’s candidate for WTO chief prioritizes fixing dispute settlement system if selected
Okonjo-Iweala, who is competing with seven other nominees for the position of director-general of the WTO, told Xinhua in a recent interview that her top priorities if selected, would be preparing for the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Kazakhstan in 2021.
She also hoped to work on restoring the dispute settlement system and updating the WTO’s rule book.
The WTO’s dispute settlement body is currently paralysed.
The Appellate Body, considered as the Supreme Court for global trade disputes, is supposed to have seven judges and needs a minimum of three judges to function.
The United States administration has been blocking new appointments for more than two years, with United States officials claiming that the court had gone beyond its remit.
“I would be focusing, if I get the job, on the dispute settlement system because this is the fundamental pillar of the WTO,’’ Okonjo-Iweala said.
“If you have a rules-based organisation, you must have a place where rules are arbitrated and that’s what happens with the dispute settlement system.
“So, restoring that will be a top priority as well.’’
She also had a 25-year career at the World Bank, including as a managing director.
The candidate, who also sits on the board of Twitter and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, said she was confident to win the selection process and that she would be a listener-in-chief as well as a tough negotiator.
“I have strong political skills and negotiation skills.
“I think that’s very much needed; I am a consensus-builder and I’m a good listener too.’’
The candidate showed her confidence to “find a way to unlock the seeming division’’ on the trade side, between China and the United States, underlining that finding areas of mutual interest and to build trust within the WTO trading system would be important.
“Actually, if you listen to the two members, they have some things in common,’’ Okonjo-Iweala added.
“The dispute settlement system of the WTO is valued by both, they want it to reform, they don’t want it to disappear.’’
“I think the best thing China can do is to recover quickly.
“Because it’s one of the engines of growth in the world and it’s almost a quarter of world trade,’ she told Xinhua.
“So, if it recovers quickly, it means that it can help the rest of the world recover.
“So, that’s the role I would see for China.’’
Roberto Azevedo, the incumbent WTO chief, announced in May that he will officially leave his post on Aug. 31, a year before his term expires.
The second phase of the selection process, in which the candidates “make themselves known to members’’, will end on Sept. 7 and then the General Council chairperson will consult with all WTO members before making the final decision.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)