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Tangale-Waja forum sets agenda for federal lawmakers

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The Forum of Tangale-Waja Indigenes in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Abuja has tasked its members newly inaugurated into the ninth National Assembly to promote unity and development.

The forum made the call at a reception organised in honour of Sen. Bulus Amos, Rep. Simon Karu and Rep. Victor Danzaria, all from Gombe South Senatorial Didtrict, which was held in Abuja.

While Amos is representing Gombe South Senatorial District, Karu is representing Kaltungo Shomgom Federal Constituency and Danzaria, Balanga Billiri Federal Constituency respectively.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Manasseh Jatau, in his address said it would be profitable for the lawmakers to listen to those who approach them for advice and assistance.

“If people come to you, give them what they want, and if you don’t have it all, give them part of it; but if you don’t have at all, explain to them. Do not drive them away by tricks.

“Also, never make a promise that you will not be able to redeem or never send a representative to an event and make a promise you cannot fulfill. It can destroy your credibility,’’ Jatua said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Jatau was represented at the event by Mr Sagy Sule.

However, Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Sai’idu Mohammed said it was regrettable that those who represented the zone during the 8th and before then in the National Assembly did not do enough for their people.

According to him, the zone still suffers lack of infrastructure and impoverishment.

“with this 9th Assembly, we want a complete change so that the lawmakers we elected will work for us in their various constituencies.

“We want our representatives to unit our people and facilitate peaceful coexistence among the different ethnic groups in the zone.

“We don’t want them to be absent or be sleeping in the house when serious matters of national importance are being discussed. They should avoid pursuing personal interest at the expense of their people.

“I don’t want us to suffer again what we suffered to get you through into the National Assembly. Don’t always sit in your offices, go out to lobby for the state to gain dividend of democracy.

“If you fail us, we will not re-elect you again in 2023,’’ Mohammed stressed.

Also speaking, Mr Ladan Babakodong, Chairman Organising Committee of event said the aim of the event was to welcome the legislators representing Gombe South to Abuja; and to have conversation with their people.

Babakodong stressed that there was need for Tangale-Waje people to have a unique identity.

“However, it is not too much to demand from you to intervene in the areas of education, economy development, youths and effective representation.’’

Mr Ahaziah Suleiman, Executive Director News, Voice of Nigeria (VON) in his goodwill message tasked the legislators to always seek for counsel to excel in their duties.

“Always consult them and know what they need and not what you think they want when considering your constituency projects.

“You know what awaits you when you come and hide yourselves in Abuja and think that your people will not reach you only to wait for the next election before showing yourselves to them.

“You will be shocked with what will happen in 2023, God forbid; whenever you are in doubt please always consult your predecessors in the National Assembly from Tangale-Waja for guidance.

“Be courageous, work for the unity of our people no matter what it will cost you. We have suffered neglect in the past. You are our arrow heads, unite and bring us together for the betterment of Tangale-Waja.

“And to our people, let us stop over expectations from our representatives. Unnecessary demands and selfish request should be avoided. Let us come to them with requests and advice that will help our people,’’ Suleiman said.

He queried why Tangale-Waja could not produce governor or minister, adding that they have the qualification and what it takes.

“I challenge our elders and elites to remove religious politics, unite our people; let us have respectable voices from Tangale-Waja speak for us in unity.

“The time has come for us to close ranks and support one candidate no matter his or her religion or tribe to either become minister or governor in the future,’’ Suleiman said.

Responding, Sen. Amos appreciated the speakers and pledged to engage royal fathers, women and youths to move the zone forward.

He promised to work and ensure that peace reigns in the zone for all-round development.

“I urge us to come together and work as a team; it is not going to be easy but we will be fair to every community in the zone.

“I and the two members of the Federal House of Representatives from the zone will work together; I am a good listener and will listen to all.

“We will try as much as possible to do the best we can; we will also want you to pray for us to succeed in our duties,’’ he said.

Danzaria in his response also pledged that as a member in the Federal House of Representatives, he would work for the entire Gombe South, and not only for Balanga Billiri Constituency.

“I have no reason not to work with Amos and Karu. We are talking about next level which is forgetting the past and providing for the people, both women and youths.

“With our input in the two houses, we will bring infrastructure development to Gombe South; we will refuse to sleep until we give the best to Gombe South.

“It is time for a change, there is going to be peace and unity in the zone; we cannot shy away from our challenges, we need to talk about it and move forward.

“I am going to do my best. We have tested hardship, but we are not selfish; tell us what you want because we are representing you,’’ Danzaria said.

Similarly, Karu in his own response said that he would ensure adequate representation in the National Assembly and deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

“I look forward to seeing that this forum continues and not end as reception after election.

“I will set aside time in the constituency at least three times in a year to get feedbacks from the people. We need your support to succeed.

“We have Muslims and Christians in one family and we also have other minorities, but be rest assure that we will represent everyone from the zone,’’ Karu said.

Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Road accident claims 7 lives in Osun

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The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Osun on Saturday said that seven persons died in a road accident on Osogbo-Ikirun Road, with only one survivor.

The Sector Commander, Mr Peter Oke, made this known in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Osogbo.

“The accident involved an articulated Vehicle and a mini-bus with eight passengers which  occured on Osogbo-Ikirun Road in which only one person survived.

“Five male and two female, who are traveling in a Mistubishi (Space Wagon) lost their lives, while a female survived with injuries.

“A truck (Mark) with Registration No. FST597XY and a Mistubishi Space Wagon with Registration No. JJJ59CJ collided in the accident.

“All the corpses and the only survivor have been taken to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital in Osogbo,” he said.

The sector commander noted that the accident was as a result of speeding without road consciousness.

Oke, however, enjoined motorists to steer clear of anything capable of causing road accidents adding that the command would not spare anyone who went against road traffic regulations.

CU

Edited by Chidi Opara/Donald Ugwu

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