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Prisons Service controller says premium is on corrective, reformative roles



The Nigeria Prisons Service places premium on correcting and reforming inmates so as to transform them into responsible members of the society on discharge, according to Mr Emmanuel Okoro, an official of the service.

Okoro, Controller of the Prisons Service in Nasarawa State, stated this on Thursday in Lafia, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Al-Makura.

“The nation’s Prisons service is committed to its core values of reformative and corrective roles in the lives of inmates so that they will become responsible assets to the society after serving their terms.

“It has remained our cardinal policy and major focus,” he said.

Okoro commended the assistance of the governor toward improving the welfare of inmates in the five prison formations in the state, but urged him to intervene in the areas of vehicles, infrastructure and other sundry issues.

Al-Makura, in a response, said that government would strive to make the prisons better for the inmates, and commended the officials for paying special attention to reforming those brought under their care.

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Osinbajo says right virtues make Nations great



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says some key principles for a nation to achieve greatness include righteousness, service and diligence, hardwork and planning as well as time consciousness.

Osinbajo made this known on Saturday at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Region 5, `Great Minds Summit 2019” at the RCCG’s Chapel of Blessing, Port Harcourt.

Delivering a keynote address titled `Exercising Kingdom Dominion’, Osinbajo said that the Church and Christians had the responsibility to transform the nation through exemplary lives and actions.

He said that Nigeria, with its great talents in all fields of endeavour, needed to imbibe the principles that made other nations great.

The vice president said the influence of the Gospel, alongside the right virtues, transformed not only Europe and America but also Asia.

“Let me explain how Emperor Meiji in 1871, (within three years of the Meiji restoration) having observed the phenomenal progress of the West decided to send a mission to the UK and America to discover how they did it.

“The mission became known as the Iwakura mission. It was led by Prince Iwakura Tomomi; it was a team of statesmen, scholars, administrators and students totaling 50 to UK and America and find out why these people are great.

“Many left behind to study; they studied the principles that made these nations great and of course, the Japanese copy very well; they copied the principles, and later Chinese copied from Japan too.

“What were those principles? Righteousness, integrity, forthrightness; Proverbs:14:34-righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

“This principle applies to a man or woman; because a nation is first a person; Genesis 12:2, I will make you a great nation;  first righteousness is the hallmark of the children of God.

“The second principle of the gospel which we need to practice is service and diligence; the principle of the gospel is that the greatest is the servant; the leader must be prepared to be the servant of all.

“Hard work/planning –the puritanical work ethic; this is the hallmark of the Christian; the puritans were so hardworking; so diligent that hard work was named after them.

“Time consciousness, Ecclesiastes 3:1–to everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under heaven, preparedness.; we must be conscious of time.

“All these principles made those countries great because the believers in those countries took their responsibilities seriously,” he said.

The vice president said that righteousness meant integrity, honesty, trustworthiness; meaning `No’  for No and `Yes’ for Yes.

In her remark, Dr Ipalibo Banigo, Deputy Governor of Rivers, thanked the vice president for honorung the invitation to attend the summit in Port Harcourt.

She said that Osinbajo was passionate about the plight of the common people which he demonstrated in the manner he supervised the implementation of the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs).

“When the General Overseer, of RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye was speaking about how we are going to move from great minds to greater minds and we should use this to help the poor; immediately, I thought about our vice president and all the good work he has been doing in this great nation.

“I remember vividly, the effect of the SIPs all over the country; all over the local government areas.

“I recall on an occasion, I had the privilege of riding with him in Bonny when I also represented the governor at the flag off of the Bonny-Bodo Road.

“We got to a section of the road and there were so many women and men and boys and all his humility, he stopped the convoy.

“He needed to talk to them and to ask them how the programme had impacted on them,’’ she said.

Earlier, in his exhortation, Adeboye said that the highest level of dominion was that which the people benefited from.

He said greatness could only be meaningful when it was used to impact on the lives of the poor who were suffering.

In his welcome address, the convener, Pastor Belemina Obunge, said that there must be proper deployment of the resources God had given one towards helping the poor, for one to experience greatness.

Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Ogun govt. tasks teachers on use of teaching aids in schools



The Ogun government, on Saturday, urged teachers in public primary and secondary schools to complement teaching with the instructional materials it had provided to enhance effective learning for students.

Mrs Aderonke Soyombo, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary, Secondary and Technical Education, stated this in Ilisan, Ikenne council area of the state.

Soyombo spoke at the 2019 annual conference of the state chapter of the Association of Primary Schools Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON).

“The Dapo Abiodun-led administration has invested huge funds on providing instructional materials in public schools across the state to aid teaching,” she said.

“We hereby appeal to our teachers to ensure that the teaching aids are put into use to make learning easy for our students,” she said.

She assured that government would continue to contribute its quota to the provision of conducive environment for teaching and learning.

Soyombo said that the conference had become necessary for head teachers to enable them undergo proper induction for optimal output and make support the government in its efforts at repositioning the education sector in the state.

Earlier in his remarks, the state Chairman of AOPSHON, Mr Balogun Olatunji, commended the governor for appointing seasoned professionals as key officers in the education sector.

He said that the conference was aimed at equipping teachers to improve the current standard of education in the state.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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President Buhari explains reorganisation at Presidency



President Muhammadu Buhari says the ongoing reorganisation at the presidency is aimed at enhancing service delivery to Nigerians.

A statement by the President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday, said the president stated this when he fielded questions from State House Correspondents, shortly after his arrival from London on Friday night.

President Buhari said: ”It is unfortunate that the recent disengagement of some political appointees from the presidency had been given ‘‘ethnic and political’’ interpretations.

‘‘They said 35 people were sacked in the Vice President’s office. We just created some ministries and we reorganised and people are giving it ethnic and political dimensions. It is unfortunate.”

Responding to a question on what next for his administration after a well deserved rest in London, the President said: ‘‘We are going to work harder and be accountable.

“We have tried to make Nigerians understand why we do certain things. Accountability from bottom to top is absolutely necessary.

‘‘Whoever is responsible for government property, [should know] it is public property, it is not personal and he has to manage it according to the law.

‘‘That’s what I expect and I think that we have been around long enough to impress on people that we mean what we say.”

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Strive to achieve financial goals before retirement, association tasks workers



The Association of Pension Desk Practitioners of Nigeria (APDPN) on Saturday called on Nigerian workers to develop financial goals and plans toward achieving them before retirement.

In a Communique issued at the end of its 2019 annual conference by Mr Nelson Bassey, Secretary of APDPN, the association urged workers to be pro-active to overcome the challenges confronting the pension sector in Nigeria.

The event which took place from Nov. 12 to Nov.15 in Abuja had the theme “Best Practices in Pension Administration’’.

The communique quoted Dr Chris Egbu, the Director of APDPN, as identifying non-existence of uniform set of rules, regulations and standard for the administration and payment of retirement benefits by states, local governments and the private sector as major challenges.

Egbu added that low level of financial literacy among workers had also led many into suffering after retirement.

He further highlighted other challenges to include lack of political will to enforce Pension Reform Act 2014 by states and local governments.

According to him, some state governments have yet to adopt or enforce implementation of Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.

“Also the eight per cent employee contributions had suffered setback without counterpart employers’ 10 per cent contributions,’’ Egbu said.

He emphasised the need for all stakeholders to support the federal government on implementation of contributory pension scheme.

“Some employers do not remit pension deductions to their workers’ Pension Fund Administrators untill after some years have elapsed resulting to loss of investment income of the employees,’’ Egbu said.

Egbu noted that participants at the conference expressed concern about the unwillingness of some state governors to implement the Contributory Pension Schemes in their states.

He called on the organised labour unions to engage such state governments in a dialogue.

According to him, the PRA 2014 gives PENCOM some regulatory powers.

“The provisions of this act shall apply to any employment in the public service of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, the states, local governments and the private sector.

“In the case of the private sector, the scheme shall apply to employees who are in the employment of an organisation in which there are 15 or more employees.

“Unfortunately, in many states and local governments, private sector with 15 employees or more have not implemented this scheme, without any consequence.

“It is therefore a call on PENCOM to exercise their regulatory powers and place necessary sanctions.

“The Federal Government is also called to withhold the allocations of states that have refused to domesticate PRA 2014,’’ Egbu said.

Egbu further said that the country currently had about N9.6 trillion pension assets domiciled with PFAs and praised the PFAs for efficient management of the fund.

“It is noted that this fund can be doubled if the informal sector organs are enlightened and mobilised to join the scheme through the newly-introduced micro pension scheme,’’ he added.

Egbu also canvassed for the amendment of the constitution to make contributory pension scheme compulsory for all tiers of government and the private sector.

According to him, this is important as the welfare of the citizens can no longer be left at the discretion of state chief executives.

“There must be an effective public-private partnership in enlightening Nigerians on the contributory pension scheme aimed at mobilising more resources to drive the welfare of senior citizens,’’ he said.

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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3 varsities emerge winners in CFA Ethics Challenge



Covenant University, University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Obafemi Awolowo University, have emerged top three winners in the CFA Society Nigeria Ethics Challenge.

Mr Banji Fehintola, president, CFA Society Nigeria, announced the winners after the finale of the national competition of the 2019 CFA Ethics Challenge on Saturday in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the three schools emerged winners in a national competition contested by seven universities that qualified from the regional competition.

The Universities are: University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Abuja and University of Ibadan. Others are: Obafemi Awolowo University, Covenant University and the University of Lagos.

Fehintola said the challenge was designed to increase students’ awareness of the ethical dilemmas and issues they might face when they entered the investment management industry.

According to him, the challenge embodies the mission of CFA Society to promote high level of professionalism and ethical practice in the financial industry.

He said the students were given an ethics case study to analyse, evaluate, recommend and present solutions to a panel of judges.

According to him, the judges choose the top three winners based on identification and understanding of the ethical violations in the case, recommendations and presentations by the students.

Fehintola praised the students for their intelligence, perseverance and team spirit, saying all of them were winners.

He commended FirstBank for sponsoring the event as part of its drive to entrench integrity, transparency, ethical practice among the future finance professionals and the society.

Also, Mr Olaniyi Ogunbajo, Managing Director, Affiniti Capital Management, commended the students for identifying some underlying violations in the case study which included; loyalty to employers, conflict of interest and independence and objectivity.

He expressed optimism that the exposure would promote ethical investment behaviours among youths who were the leaders of tomorrow, thus reshape the nation’s financial landscape.

Mr Ismail Omamegbe, Head, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, First Bank of Nigeria, said the Ethics Challenge aligned with the bank’s CRS strategic approach and the objective of its Endowment programme-the Samuel Asabia Chair for Business Ethics at the University of Lagos.

Omamegbe noted that the challenge was a proof of its commitment to ethics, professional excellence, capacity building and inclusive growth of Nigerians, and that it underscored the bank’s core values of entrepreneurship, professionalism, integrity and customer service.

“We believe that promoting ethics in business is not only important for the reputation of our brand, but also one of the solid pillars that effectively support sustainable financial institutions,” he said.

Mosunmola Adefarati, a team member of the Obafemi Awolowo University, said the challenge had shaped the team’s knowledge and understanding of ethics.

She said the case study was challenging and required an eye for details to look beyond the surface, which she said was essential to thrive in the corporate world.

NAN reports that members of the team from the winning universities would get scholarships for the CFA examination, while the overall winning team would be unveiled on Nov. 30 at the CFA Gala Night.

Edited by Salif Atojoko

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Youth unemployment, threat to peace, progress – Gbadamosi



The Lagos State Action Democratic Party(ADP) governorship candidate in the 2019 elections, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, has urged government at all levels to create opportunities for young people to address the high rate of youth unemployment in the country.

Gbadamosi spoke to journalists on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony of Youth New Club (YNC) Skill Acquisition Programme, on Saturday in Lagos.

According to him, the youth are a great asset to the country as they have the energy, the number and the creativity to propel national development .

He, however, said that failure to create opportunities for the youth might force them into negative acts, hence, undermining the peace and progress of the country.

”Youth empowerment through jobs and others is very critical to national development.

”Unfortunately, governments seem to have dropped the ball, in the area of creating opportunities for young people, who actually constitute more than 70 per cent of the population .

”We must create opportunities for the youth in order to prevent the apocalyptic situation that former President Obasanjo warned us about, that if we continue to create a situation where the youths are unemployed, we will be creating a collapsing society,” he said.

Gbadamosi, who was the chairman of the graduation ceremony, said he decided to identify with YNC’s skill acquisition programme because he believed youth empowerment was the way to go.

He said apart from supporting YNC with resources to train the beneficiaries in the different vocations, he would be providing the 10 best graduands with capital to start their businesses.

While commending the youth organisation for the initiative, Gbadamosi said he would continue to provide support to ensure the sustenance of the skill acquisition programme.

He said youths could not be blamed for their low participation in politics as they were not given the right opportunity by the older generation.

Gbadamosi, however, urged the youth not to lose courage but double their efforts to seek leadership positions by taking active part in politics.

He warned young people against allowing themselves to be used and dumped by politicians during elections, urging them to start making political choices that truly care about them.

The ADP chieftain said nation-building was a collective responsibility, urging young people to do their best for the good of the nation.

He said it was not too early for Nigerians to start discussing 2023 as it was normal in politics to plan ahead.

Gbadamosi urged citizens to queue behind leaders that meant well for the country when it was time for election.

Speaking, Mr Abraham Osho, President of YMC, said the skill acquisition programme was initiated by the club in 2016 to help create entrepreneurs.

He said no fewer than 2000 youths, trained in vocations such as hairdressing, carpentry, fashion designing and others would be graduating at the ceremony.

”The essence of the programme, which for now is for youths in the Lagos West Senatorial District, is to create entrepreneurs and not job seekers.

”We believe entrepreneurship is key to national economic development, that is why we are doing this to empower young people,” he said.

He commended Gbadamosi for his consistent support for the programme,which he said, had impacted on many lives

Edited by Buhari Bolaji/Oluwole Sogunle

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