The Lagos State Government ( LASG) says it will start a five-week intensive training on July 13 for no fewer than 450 young entrepreneurs on the use of coconut waste in arts and craft.
The State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, said that the trainining would be organised under the state government’s waste -to-wealth initiative.
Olusanya said on Sunday in Lagos that the initiative was in line with the state government’s developmental T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of making Lagos a 21st Century economy.
She said that the initiative would also contribute to the tourism potential of the state.
”The objectives of achieving the goals of sustainable development and waste management are outstanding global challenges,” she said.
The commissioner said that finding innovative solutions for effective management of waste remained difficult as the breakdown of waste requires special processes that involve time, energy and expenses.
”Most people see coconut shells as waste and as such dispose them carelessly while others in the rural areas use them as firewood.
”The shells, however, can be recycled into artistic products such as jewellery, cutlery, indoor and outdoor decorative items and many more,” the commissioner said.
According to her, coconuts have the potential to produce electricity, heat, fiberboards, organic fertilizer, animal feeds, fuel additives for cleaner emissions, eco-friendly cutlery, health drinks, and many more.
“The state government through the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) is commencing a five-week training on the use of coconut waste in arts and craft.
“It is a waste -to-wealth initiative in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration. The coconut tree, also known as the tree of life, is said to have no single part of it wasted.
“This training will put this fact to use, while it will also be empowering the participants so that they can begin to immediately earn a living from skills they will be taught,” she said.
Olusanya said that the training would hold in five batches of five days’ each, with 18 trainees per batch, beginning from July 13 to Aug.14, 2020.
She said that the participants would be taught how to make various artistic items and go through practicals, marketing and credit acquisitions.
The commissioner said that the training would serve as a waste -to -wealth opportunity and a worthwhile venture for selected young entrepreneurs.
She said that the training would fully entail theoretical concepts and detailed practical sessions.
”When concluded, it will optimise the use of coconut shells which constitute a major waste product in coconut processing.
“Coconut is abundant in our country, Nigeria, and consumed by most people but we are not aware of its great potential for creating wealth.
“The coconut shells which most people see as waste and dispose them improperly can be recycled into artistic products.
“This also helps in sustaining the environment. As we are acquiring skills, we are also learning to sustain our environment.
“Sustainability of the environment is our goal and to achieve this, we are converting waste into valuable items for our use,” the commissioner said.
Olusanya said that the training was part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s contributions to the development of the tourism sector in the state as the production of some of the artistic products from coconut shells would reflect the rich cultural heritage of the people.
She encouraged other sectors where waste can be recycled to embrace the waste to wealth initiative as it could bring back discarded waste products into economic use and lead to the reduction of pressure induced by waste on the environment.
The commissioner also said that it would also create opportunities for income and employment generation in a relatively new area, thereby enhancing economic activities.
Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Peter Dada (NAN)
`NDDC yet to pay contractors that handled road projects I facilitated’-Orji Kalu
Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Kalu, said on Monday that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) had not paid contractors that handled roads he facilitated in Abia.
Kalu stated this in a statement issued by Mr Emeka Nwala of Office of the Senate Chief Whip and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria
The former governor of Abia was reacting to claims by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio that 60 per cent contracts awarded by the commission were handled by members of the National Assembly.
Akpabio mentioned ex governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori, Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, Sen. Orji Kalu and others as beneficiaries of several contracts awarded by the NDDC.
“The road projects mentioned by the minister are the interventions I facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before I became a senator,’’ he said.
Kalu argued that his name was mentioned because he used his letter headed paper to write a sympathetic letter to NDDC in 2016 pleading with the commission to rescue roads in Abia.
“I was Governor of Abia between 1999 and 2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018 during my tour to several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads.
“The NDDC in their consideration which I am very grateful to, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.
“Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention,” Kalu said.
The senate chief whip also noted that the contracts were awarded by fully constituted body of NDDC with its board and not any interim management of the commission.
He said “the roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu road, Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru ring road and Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze Ndi Oji Abam-Atan road.
“Others are Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende and Ozu-Amuru-Abam roads.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads long time ago except Abam-Atani road, which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
“Meanwhile, the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime.
“I am much concerned about roads because I understand the economic importance of good roads.
“As a community leader, I do not intend to stop my interventions on roads in NDDC states because all the states need good roads.
“Good roads help to drive the economy,’’ Kalu said.
He, however, urged the commission to focus on paying contractors that delivered their jobs.
Edited Obike Ukoh
Sen. Ubah, Obikwelu return as Anambra FA Chairman, Vice through e-voting
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, President of FC Ifeanyi Ubah has been re-elected as Chairman of Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA) for a second term, in an election conducted through electronic voting on Sunday.
Jude Obikwelu, a long time vice-chairman of the association was returned unopposed.
The result of the elections was signed by Jude Anayadufu, chairman of the 2020 AnSFA electoral committee and issued to newsmen by Obinna Dike, Head of Media and Publicity, on Monday in Awka.
Philip Balepo, a veteran journalist was also elected into the board as a first timer.
Other elected members of the board were Joe Amene, Uduh Kingsley, Amuzie Cyprain, Obiefune Collins, Adinnu Okezie and Ada Edward.
Elections were also successfully conducted into 19 Local Football Councils (LFC) while in Orumba South, forms were returned late and bye election would be held on a later date.
“The elections held on August 2, 2020 with Obinna Dike as the Returning Officer for the LFC, while Godwin Madubuko was the Returning Officer for the Board Elections.
“In the LFC elections, there was a tie in the Chairmanship position for Onitsha South with option of a coin toss. A bye election will be conducted for Orumba South LFC which returned forms late. Other 19 LFCs were through”, the statement said.
“The Electoral Committee thanks the candidates, delegates, agents, stakeholders, media and the government for their collaboration in ensuring a smooth electoral process.
“Appreciation also goes to the Nigeria Football Federation and Sports Ministry for their roles in the elections,” it stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Anambra FA elections originally scheduled for July 27 and July 28 were suspended on the orders of the state government that it would violate COVID-19 rules.
The election had reached advanced stage with conclusion of sales and return of forms, screening, appeal and final briefing for all candidates and delegates eligible to participate in the quadrennial election before it was called off by government.
The electoral committee communicated the development to the AnSFA which met and gave it powers to conduct the election through virtual processes.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Work resumes in Osun after Eid-el-Kabir holiday
Workers in Osun resumed work on Monday after observing Thursday and Friday Eid-el-Kabir public holiday declared by the Federal Government.
The state civil servants working at the state secretariat in Abere, Osogbo, were also back to their duty posts, as many were already behind their duty desks carrying out the day’s work.
The same scenario also played out at the Olorunda and Osogbo Local Government secretariats, both in Osogbo, where some workers were seen resuming to their offices, as some others, already at the secretariats, were busy with their office works.
Staff and workers of the state House of Assembly in Osogbo, were also at the assembly’s complex carrying out their various duties and responsibilities.
Workers at some federal establishments in Osogbo too were also back to their stations as a lot of them were seen carrying out their daily jobs.
A federal worker, Mr Kareem Ashimu, said he traveled to Lagos, where his family resides, for the Eid-el-Kabir, and he returned back to the state on Sunday evening to resume work this morning.
Ashimu said the extended public holidays gave workers the opportunity to spend more time with their family, especially those working in separate states from their family.
“Apart from the festivities and celebration stuff, the break afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with my children.
“Though the COVID-19 restricted visitations and social gathering, I had a low key celebration with my immediate family and the expenses was also minimal,” he said.
A staff of the Osun House of Assembly, Mr Kamal Adeniyi said this year’s Eid-el-Kabir was the only one he ever observed without travelling to his own town to celebrate with his extended family.
“I just pray that this Coronavirus goes away soonest because it has really caged a lot of us and restricted our freedom,” Adeniyi said.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
NIPOST: LCCI wants regulatory framework reviewed
Dr Muda Yusuf, LCCI Director-General, said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that a framework in which NIPOST was both a regulator and an operator was detrimental to the development of courier business in the country, and inconsistent with best practices globally.
He said the LCCI had strong reservations particularly over a provision in the courier regulation guidelines prescribing contribution by an operator, a sum equal to 2 per cent of its total annual revenue, to the postal fund.
This is to be used for postal development and delivery of postal services in rural and underserved areas.
“We submit that this provision will put too much burden on courier and logistics businesses and make them unsustainable.
“These businesses are already grappling with multitude of taxes and levies in the course of their daily operations.
“We request that this provision be expunged immediately in the interest of investments and investors in the courier and logistics sector of the Nigeria economy.
“Currently, NIPOST is vested with powers to regulate its competitors; this arrangement is unfair, inequitable, and inherently repressive”, Yusuf argued
According to him, it is a negation of the ease of doing business policy of the Federal Government and inconsistent with the extant competition law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We, therefore, urge the federal government and the National Assembly to urgently remedy the situation,” he said.
Yusuf also called for the review of the provision in the courier regulation which vests with the Minister the powers to compel any licensed courier and/or logistics services operator to undertake free delivery service for the purpose of universal postal service obligations/or any social service delivery in national interest.
He argued that the provision bordered on overbearing power with little regard for the interest of investors.
“This provision will undermine the confidence of investors in the courier and logistics business and should be immediately be repealed.
“It is a negation of the efforts of the federal government to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy.
“The reality is that many corporate organisations are already undertaking various forms of Corporate Social Responsibility projects without being compelled or coerced to do so”.
Yusuf also noted that citizens should not be compelled to patronise NIPOST irrespective of the size or weight of an item as stated in a courier regulation.
He referred to the stipulation that says: ”All courier items/articles such as Right Issues, Shares Certificates, Statement of Accounts, Cheques, Letters or Offer documents, etc weighing below 0.5kg brought to a courier/logistics service operator shall be recorded and referred to the nearest Post Office of the Nigerian Postal Service for processing and delivery.
“Failure to do so will attract payment to Nigerian Postal Service of a penalty of 90 per cent of the amount charged on the item by the erring Operator”.
Yusuf described it as an unfair provision and an infringement on the rights of citizens and in conflict with the principle of fairness.
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)