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Osinbajo pledges slots for NGE at NIPPS

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The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has promised to enrol members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) as participants in the prestigious Senior Executive Course of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru near Jos.

This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the President and General Secretary of the guild, Mrs Funke Egbemode and Mary Atolagbe, respectively, in Abuja on Sunday.

The Vice President made the pledge when he received the newly elected executive of the NGE, led by its president in his office.

He promised that his office would work out plans for editors to participate in the course from the next batch of the training.

According to the statement, Osinbajo said that slots would be assigned to members of the guild to undertake the course with a view to enable them contribute their quota to nation building.

The statement said the slots would also enable the participants from the guild to join the forums at NIPPS, where academics of excellence, seasoned policy initiators meet to reflect and exchange ideas on the great and critical issues of developing the Nigerian society.

The vice president however explained that members of the guild would be considered for the rigorous screening into the course and those who are successful would fill the discretionary slots for enrolment on the course.

He congratulated the guild for its recent rancour-free election, which demonstrated that it is a professional body of men and women of integrity and exemplary character.

Osinbajo, who said he regarded himself as a media person because his first book was on media ethics in Nigeria, also promised to support specialised trainings for editors and media professionals in the country.

He further promised to always support the media and explore means of an intervention fund for specific media projects.

The vice president said he would welcome ideas from the NGE on how best to improve government-media relations and in resolving challenges posed by the social media, which is without regulation.

He challenged the NGE to explore means of tackling fake news and finding effective means of regulating the social media.

Egbemode had earlier told the vice president that the guild was passionate about training and re-training of editors, and would be seeking to partner with other agencies of government for capacity building of members.

She intimated the vice president of the current harsh economic atmosphere in which the media industry was operating.

“While most other sectors are out of recession; the media industry is not yet out of the economic quagmire,” the NGE president said.

She suggested that government should consider setting up a Media Industry Intervention Fund for media operators that are battling with high cost of importing consumables, with a view to cushioning the current harsh economic operating environment.

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FRSC explores better strategies to tackle road crashes

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The Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kaduna, Aliyu Dutsinma, on Thursday said only better road safety strategies would guarantee safer roads in the country.

Dutsinma stated this at a North-West adhoc stakeholders consultative meeting for production of implementation cost model and Monitoring and Evaluation framework for Nigeria Road Safety Strategy II, 2019 – 2023, held in Kaduna.

He explained that the stakeholders were expected to make inputs on the identified cost and budgeting gaps from the first version of Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, which run from 2014 to 2018.

He said that it was important to have a realistic budget to implement all activities outlined under the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy Phase II.

According to him, the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy document adopted Safe System approach to road safety management anchored on the five pillars listed in the United Nations Decade of Action For Road Safety.

Dutsinma said lack of synergy among relevant agencies are compounding road crashes, emphasising that the phenomenon needed to be addressed through concerted efforts.

According to him, the strategy document will stimulate road infrastructure development across states  and other strategic initiatives meant to  save lives of commuters and other road users.

The FRSC official appreciated Gov. Nasir El-Rufai for hosting the event and his support to the commission.

He urged the participants to come up with favorable outcomes for the successful implementation of the policy document in all states, to tackle the high rate of road crashes in the zone.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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NAN celebrates Ojugbana, retiring board member

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The Governing Board, Management and staffers of the Nigeria News Agency , on Thursday celebrated Mr Charles Ojugbana, a retiring Director in the federal information ministry,  who represented the ministry on NAN’s governing board.

At the ceremony held in Abuja, Malam Wada Maida, the Chairman of NAN Governing Board, said that the outgoing member had contributed positively to the decisions of the board.

He said that the vacuum created by his retirement would be difficult to fill because of his wealth of experience and willingness, at all times, to contribute to the development of NAN.

Maida said that the board would continue to tap from the wealth of experience of the outgoing board member by reaching out to him when necessary.

In his remark, Mr Ibrahim Mammaga, the Acting Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of NAN, said that the outgoing board member would be remembered for his wealth of experience and belief in due process.

He said that Ojugbana had contributed to the development of NAN through excellent suggestions and willingness to receive NAN management at difficult times.

“This ceremony is in recognition of his excellent service to the development of NAN,” Mammaga declared. .

In his remark, Ojugbana commended NAN board and management for packaging the event, adding that it was a “good and encouraging initiative”.

He described the board chairman as a “detribalised Nigerian always ready to accommodate every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion and ethnic background”.

Ojugbana pledged to continue to offer necessary support to the board and management of NAN, adding that his doors would remain open for the agency.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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PLSG issues 238 Cs of O in Jos

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Mr Yakubu Datti, Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, on Thursday issued 238 Certificates of Occupancy (Cs of O), and 815 Right of Occupancy (R of O), in Jos.

Dati, in a speech at the ceremony, said that government was committed to restoring confidence and guaranteeing access to land titles for the citizens.

He said that government had simplified land documentation technology via the Plateau State Geographic Information System (PLAGIS), to enable applicants get their documentation within 21 days.

“The ministry has keyed into the Plateau State Development Plan and has embarked on reorientation and human capital development.

“PLAGIS is gradually eradicating past sharp practices and unnecessary bottlenecks to ensure effective and efficient land documentation through the application of technology,” he said.

He advised members of the public and organisations to ensure they were up to date with their titled documents as the ministry would soon apprehend and prosecute defaulters.

Dati said that titled documents would enable owners to access loan and fast track the ease of doing business within the state.

He urged land owners within the state to make use of the opportunity to get their document as Gov. Simon Lalong was committed to providing layouts for agriculture, tourism, mining and industries.

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Environment

Lafia residents will enjoy steady power supply by first quarter of  2020 – NDPHC

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Residents of Lafia, Nasarawa state capital and its environs will soon enjoy adequate and steady power supply as the construction of the 330/132 KVA transmission substation in the city nears completion.

Mr Umar Moddibo, Manager of the project disclosed this on Thursday at an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) workshop with members of the Akurba host community and other stakeholders.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the project is being executed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

Moddibo noted that the project had reached 95 per cent and upon completion, would provide at least 23 hours adequate electricity supply to Lafia and environs.

“According to our work schedule, all major works at the substation will be completed by Dec. 23.

“What will be left is the powering (Turn in – turn out) of the substation from the nearest transmission line.

“Our target is that by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the issue of insufficient power supply in Lafia and environs will be over,” Moddibo said.

He explained that the substation have the capacity of 420 MVA and one of the best amongst the 72 substations so far built by the NDPHC in the country.

Moddibo said that the project would enhance rapid socio-economic development in the state through the reduction of cost of production of goods and services.

“This will encourage the establishment of factories and small scale business, improve standard of living as well as increase the revenue base of the state,” Moddibo said.

He said that the company would build block of classrooms for the community as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Mr Eze Odigbo, General Manager, Environment and Community Relations of NDPHC said that the essence of the EIA was to ensure the environmental sustainability of the project.

Odigbo, represented by Mr Olajide Olubunmi, the deputy general manager said the scoping workshop was part of the EIA process where the host community and other stakeholders interface with the company to collectively assess the impact of the project.

He noted that the ultimate aim was to ensure the mitigation or elimination of negative impact arising from the project.

In his remark, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmadu, District head of Akurba community, who spoke through the youth leader, Idris Mohammed commended the Federal Government for siting the project in their community.

According to him, the project aimed at industrialising the state is a clear demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to develop the country.

He, however, appealed to the company to employ some of the youth who were engaged in the construction of the substation as permanent staff.

Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Traffic Violations: Report erring lawyers to NBA, Falana tells FRSC

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Human Rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday  urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to report any lawyer who committed traffic offence to disciplinary committee of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in their jurisdictions.

Falana said this at the sideline of the FRSC 4th Quarter 2019 Retreat themed, ‘FRSC Operations in Public Perspective’ at Magodo, Lagos.

“There is no lawyer who has immunity on the road; if any lawyer misbehave on highways, report him to disciplinary committee of NBA in that zone for necessary action.

“Whoever goes outside the provisions of the law can easily be dealt with, nobody can challenge you for that,” Falana said.

According to him, a former Governor of Lagos State once arrested a Nigerian Army colonel who violated traffic rule.

“The arrest of the serving colonel by a former governor of Lagos State sent a signal to everybody that nobody is above the law.

“There were so many vehicles now with lawyer’s logo because they believe that they are above the law,” he said.

Falana said that only about 74 people have immunity in the entire country, the President, vice president 36 governors and their deputies.

“Anybody outside the list can be brought to book, the person can be challenged for breaching the law.

“For lawyers, if any lawyer misbehaves on the highway, if you don’t want to charge him, report him in writing to the disciplinary committee of the bar association.

“In Lagos, we have five branches of NBA Ikeja, Lagos, Epe, Badagry, and Ikorodu. Please, if any lawyer misbehaves on the road report him, no lawyer want to be charged and convicted for any offence whatsoever,” Falana said.

The human rights lawyer also advised the corps to always keep the records of convictions of any erring motorists charged to court nationwide.

“So that when they want to contest for elections, you will know that they have been convicted somewhere, that will be used against such offender, then everybody will be cautious,” he said.

According to him, “when the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, once said that anybody caught driving against the traffic must be taken to psychiatric hospital, many people were cautious in driving.

“If they have that in their record, that such person was once treated for insanity, nobody would employ them anywhere, then everybody would sit up, that is also one of the criteria for disqualification for elective positions.

“We must go back to the rule now, of course, the enforcement is relaxed, but we must go back to maintain sanity on the road,” he said.

Edited by Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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NEC to examine ownership structure of power distribution companies

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NEC to examine ownership structure of power distribution companies

NEC

Abuja, Nov. 21, 2019 The National Economic Council (NEC) has resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to look into the ownership structure of power distribution companies.

Imo Gov. Emeka Ihedioha disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He stated that `NEC resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee, including Kaduna Gov. Nasiru el-Rufai, as well as governors representing the six geo-political zones, to review the status of  the ownership structure of the power distribution companies.

El-Rufai was was at some point, Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) while the six governors are currently serving on the board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

“He said that the committee would also include representatives of the National Council of Privitisation (NCP) and BPE.

The governor said that what gave rise to the discussion on the NDPHC was an issue that came up in terms of ownership between the Federal Government and state governments.

“ It was important for us to deal with all concerns and establish factually what the true situation is.

“Whether it is a joint or partnership ownership structure between the Federal Government and the state governments or whether the Federal Government has divested its shares,’’ he said.

Ihedioha said that the Accountant General of the Federation, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, also briefed the council on the balances of national accounts.

He said that Excess Crude Account balance as at Nov. 20 stood at 324.d5 million dollars; Stabilisation Account, N29.48 billion; while Natural Resources Development Fund Account stood at N79.7 billion

Ihedioha said that the vice president, who is the chairman of council, briefed the meeting on the Single Window Steering Committee and the Apapa Traffic Task Team.

He said that Gov. Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State would join the team.

The Imo governor, however,  said that the nothing was discussed on budget support refund which came up at the council the previous month.

Edited by Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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