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ICPC, NERDC to partner on enriching National Values Curriculum

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it would collaborate with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to re-examine the National Values Curriculum (NVC,) to enrich its content.

Speaking at a two-day teacher’s training on the NVC,  ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, on Wednesday said that the commission would also develop text books and other source materials for the teaching of values in schools.

The training was organised by ICPC in collaboration with Youth Alive Foundation.

Owasanoye who was represented by a member of the commission, Mrs Hannatu Muhammed said that re-examining the curriculum was necessary as a lot had changed over the years and a lot of input could be made to the NVC.

The chairman also said that the commission was partnering with teachers and educational administrators in inculcating positive values in children.

He said that values in education was a very important concept to the commission as ICPC aimed at getting children at a very young age and impress them with the need to imbibe positive values.

“Teachers are our partners in this.

“Over the course of the year, we hope to have greater interaction with teachers, parents and other stakeholders who interact with youths on the need to ensure that our youths imbibe positive values to be leaders we can all be proud of.”

He said that the commission was not resting on its laurels as far as  the NVC was concerned.

The chairman said that the ICPC was also interested in ensuring that the students got the best out of the curriculum adding that the commission was doing this through training of teachers on the teaching of the NVC.

He said that through the training, teachers would be able to identify elements of the curriculum in their teaching subjects and teach it accordingly.

Owasanoye further said that focusing the NVC training on teachers was intentional as they were the transmitters of the message of the NVC.

He said that in furtherance to the training, the commission intended to conduct a survey on how the curriculum was been taught in schools.

“The survey will measure the impact of the NVC on the students,” he said.

He added that ICPC was working toward infusing the curriculum into courses of polytechnics and universities.

Earlier, Director Education in ICPC, Mr Mohammed Hashiru said that in line with Section 6(b-f) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Act 2000, empowered the commission to prevent corruption through education.

“The ICPC decided to initiate the restoration and resuscitation of our positive national values of honesty, patriotism and love for one another that have been lost.

Hashiru who was represented by Mrs Azuka Ogugua said that the commission was committed to applying renewed strength to anti-corruption education.

“In anti-corruption education lies sustainable gains in the anti-corruption crusade, “he said.

Also speaking, Chairman FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), Mr Kabir Matazu, said that the curriculum was a national document that contained the aspiration of the nation on how it wishes the future leaders to be.

He was represented by Malam Abubakar Dansoho, a training officer in the board.

Matazu explained that the content of the national values curriculum was balanced in the sense that it had elements for developing character of students and also had elements for developing career.

“The curriculum has content on national values and those issues are actually suppose to help reduce or eliminate corruption.

Defence/Security

Nigerian Army decorates 23 new generals

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday, decorated the newly promoted Major Generals and Brigadier Generals with their new ranks.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the decorated generals comprising one major general and 22 brigadier generals are among the recently promoted officers by the army authorities.

About 34 brigadier generals and 47 colonels were recently promoted to the next rank of major general and brigadier general respectively.

While congratulating the newly decorated generals, Buratai urged them to remain responsive in the discharge of the constitutional duties.

He said that the new ranks had placed the officers in position to take higher responsibilities, adding that they must be responsive to their troops as well as the training needs of their units.

Buratai also urged them to remain steadfast for the tasks ahead of them, advising them to see their promotion as call to more service.

“You must remain responsive to your duties, responsive to your troops, responsive to the training needs of your units,” he said.

The Chief of Defence Intelligence, AVM Mohammed Usman, told the newly promoted generals to see their new ranks as gift from God.

Usman urged them to continue to uphold the constitution in the discharge of their duties, adding that new ranks comes with additional responsibilities.

“I want you to know that God gives promotion and it comes with additional responsibilities. To whom much is given; much is expected,” he said.

Also, the Army Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, enjoined the new generals to be prepared to face more tasking challenges.

“You are now a problem solver not just identifying problems and making suggestions but you must be ready to solve problems. As generals you must be dedicated to service,” he said.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

Nigeria enjoys relative peace, stability -IGP

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The Federal Government says the nation has continued to enjoy relative peace and stability in the ember months.

The Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, made this known after the meeting of the National Security Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, on Tuesday.

According to him, the meeting reviewed the nation’s security situation and noted that the situation across the country is stable.

He said: “The meeting reviewed the security situation all over the country and we realised that it’s stable, banditry has been reduced to the barest minimum, kidnapping had been reduced significantly.

“The epic center of this kidnapping as you know in the north western part of the country – Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, they are all very calm now.

“The insurgency in the northeast on daily basis they are being degraded and many of the insurgents are surrendering to the authority. They are giving up their arms and for that reason we have been encouraged to sustain the tempo.

“All the successes recorded was as a result of the cooperation received from members of the public, including the press because most of you have objectively assessed the actual security situation in the country, which your followers agreed to.

“So, we have been encouraged to continue with the tempo so that insurgency can be greatly eliminated from the country.

“Politicians and the hunters have been working with us and other stakeholders.

“As such we have been encouraged to work more closely with such groups of people so as to have the information that we require.

”We therefore have all the support that we need to defeat any form of criminality within the country.’’

On the pockets of unrest recorded during the Nov. 16 Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, Adamu disclosed that some arrests have been made by the police in the two states.

According to him, the ‘policemen’ alleged to have disrupted the elections in some parts of the two States were “fake” and not the personnel officially deployed for election duties.

He said that all security personnel, who worked during the elections were given “special identification tags”, adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.

“Before the elections, there was threats assessment of the two states and we realised that there was going to be violence in two states.

“Because, during the campaigns we saw how the opponents were fighting themselves, so we prepared so much for that. During one of the stakeholders meeting, I went to Kogi with the chairman of INEC and I also went to Bayelsa.

“Even at the point of signing the peace accord to conduct the election without any problems, after signing the peace accord in Kogi, within the hall there was problem by the parties.

“So we knew that it was not going to be easy and so we had to prepare heavily for the elections.

“During the elections, anybody you saw either in police uniform or military uniform that does not carry the tag that has been given for the election, that person is not genuine police officer or military officer or that he was not on official duty.

“We were aware of the fact that some politicians were going to sew police and military uniforms, so we devised some other means of identifying those that were on elections duty. We gave them tags,’’ he said.

On why the Police allowed violence during the elections even with security reports to the police before the exercise, he said: “You see, it depends on the way you choose to interpret.

“We did our assessment, we knew these things will happen but what we needed to do was plan to prevent it, or if it happens, to arrest. That explains why the number of policemen we sent to those states were so massive.

“Now, when you get the information and you did your assessment and you did your plan, the bad guys are also planning, and the people we are dealing with here are politicians. So, for us to be able to distinguish the bad from the good, one of the strategy was to create a situation that will enable us identify the good ones, genuine personnel.

“Then anyone without identification tag, is a bad guy and then we pick him. They came out as they planned but then, we made some arrests on the spot where we saw them, those that escaped through information and intelligence we also picked them.’’

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Commander urges officers to intensify effort at ending insurgency

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Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, has charged the 13 newly decorated Brigadier Generals to intensify effort in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.

Adeniyi gave the charge while decorating the newly promoted officers at the Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri on Tuesday.

He urged them to declare total war against the insurgents in their various Areas of Responsibility (AOR) until they permanently decimate the insurgents from thier enclaves.

“When I assumed office as a Theatre Commander, I promised to take the fight to the enemy. Those of you that are still remaining in the Theatre, we need to intensify our fight against Boko Haram, they are grumbling but we need to route them completely.

“I, therefore, urge you to go and start a fight with Boko Haram in your respective Area of Responsibility. I am now sending you back as brigade Commanders. If Boko Haram are feeling the heat, let them come for negotiation but if they don’t I urged you not to relent in eliminating them completely.”

Adeniyi urged them to be humble and show empathy to soldiers, society and all Nigerians in discharging their duties.

Brig.-Gen. Abdul Ibrahim, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, tasked the officers to discharge their duties deligently when they are posted in various brigades in the Theatre.

“As newly promoted Generals you have bigger task ahead of you. If you are tasked to go and occupy a territory, you should do so.“

Ibrahim urged them to provide the needed leadership that would reinvigorate the effort of fighting troops to completely wipe out the insurgents and restore sanity in the North East.

Speaking on behalf of the newly promoted Generals, Brig.-Gen. Ifeanyi Otu, Chief of Staff 7 Division of the Army, promised to rededicate efforts to uplift the Theatre.

“In the course of moving Nigeria forward, we promised to give more by providing the needed leadership to defend the country and ensure that it is secured,” he said.

Otu thanked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, for finding them worthy for the promotion and promised to uphold the confidence bestowed upon them.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

Zamfara killings: APC condoles with victims’ families

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, The Zamfara Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has condoled with families of victims of Sunday’s bandits’ attacks in Karaye village, Gummi Local Government Area of the state.

The state APC Chairman Alhaji Lawal Liman, in a statement issued in Gusau on Tuesday, described the attack as unfortunate and worrisome,

The Nigeria News Agency reports that 14 persons were killed and 10 others injured in the attack.

“On behalf of the entire members of APC in the state, I am using this medium condole the families of those who lost their lives to the incident.

“I pray to almighty Allah to give the families of the victims the fortitude to bear the loss and make it easy for those who were injured”, he said.

Liman urged people of the state to continue to pray to God for sustainable peace and stability to the state.

Edited by Buhari Bolaji/Maharazu Ahmed

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ICPC uncovers N18.62bn padding scam by MDAs

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The Independent Corrupt Practices  and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has uncovered gross abuse of personnel budget and inflation as well as padding of nominal role by some Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) amounting to N18.62 billion.

The Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, made the disclosure at the National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector and presentation of integrity awards, organized by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in collaboration with ICPC, in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, the discovery of the scam followed the launching of the commission System Study and Review of MDA Practices, involving over 300 MDAs.

He said: “As at the time we went to press we had covered about 300 MDAs and the amount inflated was about N12billion.

“As at today your Excellency we have discovered additional N6b making a total of N18.624b restrained by ICPC.

“The exercise is still ongoing but we can confidently report that culprit MDAs are mostly academic and health institutions. For example preliminary findings show the following –

University of Benin Teaching Hospital N1.1billion; Federal Medical Center, Bayelsa N915million; Nnamdi Azikwe University N907million; University of Jos N896million; University College Hospital Ibadan N701million; Usman Dan Fodio University N636million and University of Ibadan N558million.

“These institutions and all those implicated will be given the opportunity to explain themselves however, while investigations are on to confirm any credible explanations they may have, we have alerted the Minister of Finance of our findings and appropriate steps are being taken to ensure that implicated MDAs will not be able to spend the excess built into their personnel budget.

“Let me note with regret sir that in the 2017-2018 fiscal year the balances recorded for personnel were wrongfully utilized by MDAs for other purposes due to lack of pro activity by late enforcement and related agencies. That sum amounted to N18.39b.’’

In light of these findings, the ICPC Chairman stressed the need for full implementation of the presidential directive that MDAs not on IPPIS should not be paid as the commission’s review had shown that most of the guilty MDAS were not on IPPIS.

He added: “In a similar vein, we found that some MDAs spent N9.2billion of capital funds on overhead related items contrary to extant financial regulations.

“We found to our surprise that some MDAs fail to remit tax and divert pension and NHIS deductions for unrelated payments thus aggravating the sufferings of other Nigerians.

“Some MDAs abused the e-payment policy of government thus making payments through staff accounts instead of to actual beneficiaries. Most egregious in the current cycle of review is the Federal Ministry of Water Resources where N3.3billion was paid out in about a month through the accounts of staff.

“ICPC arrested 59 directors from the ministry and investigation is ongoing.’’

The chairman expressed the hope that the conversation at the two-day summit would lead to concrete suggestions towards reducing these “anomalous practices and processes that fuel corruption and undermine the development aspirations of the country’’.

He pledged that the ICPC would take enforcement actions including recovery of diverted funds, name and shame and prosecution of the most egregious cases of infractions while putting some MDAs on a watch list due to their vulnerability and propensity to corruption.

“We recommend that diversion or non-payment or remittance of tax, pension, health insurance or any statutory deduction should attract dismissal of head of the agency and immediate prosecution.

“Should government accept this recommendation ICPC will furnish government with list of defaulting MDAs,’’ he said.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

NA Women’s Corps takes medical, sanitation outreach to Edo communities

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The Nigerian Army Women’s Corps on Tuesday carried out free medical outreach and sanitation exercise in Uholor and Ugbighoko communities as part of activities of the ongoing Exercise Crocodile Smile IV in Edo.

Col. Dorothy Ojie, the Chief of Staff of the Corps and Officer incharge of the activity in the South South and South East said this was to showcase women in the Army who had trained to be responsive to National engagements.

Ojie said that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai in his vision for a more professionally responsive Army had provided platforms for female soldiers and officers to rise to the peak of their career.

She explained that it was in view of this that the corps was created in 2018 for professionally trained women soldiers and officers who could be deployed for operations to any part of the globe.

She noted that the free medical outreach and sanitation exercise which was ongoing across the six geo-political zones of the country was to further boost civil and military relationship.

Okie said that the issue of health and sanitation could not be overemphasised as both go together, adding that the human body could fight off diseases and sicknesses with good health and proper sanitation.

The traditional ruler of Uholor Community, Mr Jackson Igbinoghene, commended the Nigerian Army for bringing the services to his domain.

He, however, appealed that the exercise should be more regular as not all persons in the community could afford good medical services.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the medical services provided includes medical consultation for hepatitis, Blood Pressure, Diabetes and general health care.

NAN also reports that free drugs as well as laboratory service were also provided, while sanitation exercise was carried out at Uholor community and the Ugbighoko market.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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