Workers of the three Kwara-owned media houses have decried the parlours state of the outfits that had led to their collapse.
The workers of the corporations separately blamed the state government for paying lip service to the plight of the organisations.
Workers of Radio Kwara, officially known as Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation, lamented lack of working tools, insincerity of government in the repositioning of the media houses and poor working condition.
Apart from lack of power supply to its two broadcasting stations in the last one month, they also bemoaned poor condition of offices, non-payment of two months salary and failure to release operational fund.
Speaking with NAN on Tuesday in Ilorin, Rasaq Aremu, Chairman, Radio, Television, Theatre and Art Workers Union (RATTAWU), Radio Kwara chapter, said that both AM and Midland FM stations had been off air for more than a month.
Aremu described the situation as worrisome particularly during the Ramadan that the stations would have generated a lot of revenue.
“It is disheartening that government now patronises private radio stations in town while it leaves out the government owned outfits to collapse,” he said.
Aremu expressed dissatisfaction with the purported repositioning exercise of the media houses by the government, saying “ there is nothing to justify the millions of naira allegedly claimed to have been injected.
“The staff of the organisation had in September 2018 embarked on a peaceful protest to raise alarm over the fraudulent repositioning exercise and called for the immediate removal of the Sole Administrator of the state-owned media houses, Dr Muideen Akorede, who is also in charge of the repositioning.
“The two old 35 kilowatt transmitters of the Midland FM had broken down while the newly purchased 10 kilowatt transmitter developed fault within two weeks when it was installed as a result of lack of Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) device,” he said.
He said that the government was owing the diesel supplier millions of naira while the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) had cut-off the power supply to the station due to debt yet to be paid.
In a similar development, workers of Kwara State Printing and Publishing Corporation, publisher of The Herald Newspapers, had also staged a protest over what they described as poor working condition.
The aggrieved staff decried the poor condition of their offices, the entire vicinity in which the media outfit is located as well as non-payment of accumulated allowances.
The staff, under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and National Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Products’ Workers (NUPPPPROW), had also shut down the gate leading to the premises of the newspaper house in Ilorin.
Speaking with newsmen, the NUPPPPROW Chairman, Abdulrasaq Ahmed, said the workers were protesting bad working environment and dilapidated state of infrastructure in the outfit.
He said that staff have had to contend with poor working condition for almost nine years without any hope in sight.
The NUPPPPROW chairman stated that the staff used to take refuge under the tree because of the unbearable nature of their offices.
He said the situation had rendered many able staff redundant.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mallam Mohammed Sabi, who addressed the aggrieved workers, called for calm, promising to table the grievances before Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed.
NAN reports that the Herald is one of the oldest state newspapers in Nigeria.
NAN also reports that the state television station has been off the airwaves in the last three months.
While no member of NUJ and RATTAWU at the television house was willing to speak with NAN on the development, a staff, who preferred anonymity, blamed the situation on lack of operational funds.
” Government had in the last few months stopped the release of operational funds to the station whereas it is the state revenue service that is collecting revenue generated by the station,” he said.
He also lamented irregular payment of salaries, noting, however, that the station was recently refurbished with modern tools and equipment under the state repositioning exercise.
“All our new equipment have been brought to the station, but what I can call our challenges are two.
“Government has stopped the release of operational cost and the morale of workers are low due to irregular payment of salaries.
“We are not being paid when other civil servants are paid. So, we are seriously working under a very poor condition.
“These are the reasons why we are not operating,” he said.
In his reaction, Dr Muideen Akorede, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication the Governor, blamed the financial situation for the operational lapses.
He, however, said that fund would soon be released by government to solve the problem of lack of electricity and diesel.
Akorede, who is also the Sole Administrator of the three media houses, promised a briefing on the repositioning exercise for the media houses.
Christmas: Lawmaker donates 400 bags of rice, 18 cows to constituents
Mr Luka Iliya-Zhekaba, a member of Nasarawa State House of Assembly, has donated 400 bags of rice and 18 cows valued at N5.2 million to his constituents in the spirit of Christmas celebration.
Zhekaba (PDP), representing Obi-2 Constituency, while distributing the gifts on Tuesday in Lafia, said the gesture was borne out of his desire to enable the beneficiaries and their family members to celebrate Christmas with ease and Joy.
He said the gesture was part of his service to God and humanity.
According to him, “Christmas season remains the best time for wealthy individuals to give alms to the less privileged in the society.”
He assured the people of more dividends of democracy to improve their standard of living.
” I will continue to initiate good policies and programmes that will have direct bearing on the lives of my people and the state at large.
” The essence of me joining politics is to touch the lives of my people positively, hence the need for me to continuously to improve the standard of living of my constituents.
I have decided to distribute 400 bags of rice and 18 cows to my constituents to enable them to celebrate Christmas with joy.
” This will go a long way in improving their standard of living during and after the Christmas celebration,“he said.
Zhekaba assured of quality and sound representation at the assembly in the interest of peace and development.
He solicited the support of the people to enable him to succeed in the task ahead of him.
The lawmaker urged the people and the state in general to continue to live in peace, respect constituted authorities and be law abiding for development to thrive.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Ogu Awotu, the PDP Chairman, Obi Local Government Area, thanked the lawmaker for the gesture and prayed God to reward him abundantly.
We are really proud of you as our good representative. You always carry everybody of the constituency along, irrespective of their affiliations.
We urge you to continue in that direction as the sky will continue to be your limit, ” he said.
The PDP chairman assured Zhekaba of their loyalty and support to enable him to succeed
Edited by: Joseph Edeh and Abdullahi Yusuf
Insurgency victims to receive agric inputs from Victim Support Fund
VSF Executive Director Sunday Ochoche announced this via a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by VSF Programme Assistant (Communication) Munachi Okoro.
According to Ochoche, the intervention aims at administering appropriate support to victims of insurgency and facilitate the restoration of livelihood of the victims in the states.
The VSF agro-based intervention provides agricultural inputs which include water pumps, improved varieties of seeds, fertiliser, pesticides and sprayers.
The dry-season farming programme will improve household nutrition and also engender financial independence for victims who have returned to their communities.
VSF continues to work to restore hope to victims of insurgency through promoting education for children through the provision of learning materials, introduction of foster care programmes for orphaned children.
“It also provides psycho-social support for women and children, economic empowerment for women, strengthening health systems to cater for the medical needs of victims, reconstruction of public buildings and peace building advocacy,” he said.
Edited by: Emmanuel Nwoye/Kayode Olaitan
Flooding: Ejigbo LCDA begins clearing of canals
Association urges members to update knowledge, be productive
Technologists under the aegis of Federal University, Otuoke (FUO), chapter have been advised to continuously upgrade their knowledge through seminars, conferences and workshop to enhance productivity.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the Chairman of the Personal Information System (IPPIS) for the payment of members of staff of FUO.
According to him, it will address the issues of non-payment of allowances of NAAT members.
Ama said: “There are numerous challenges faced by the union; ranging from allowances paid to individual technologists.
We work in areas that are technical, that are why we always have issues with allowances that are accrued to members.
People that distribute these allowances are members from other sister union and they always short-change us.
“They fail to pay us our due allowances, that is why we welcome IPPIS in order for government to pay individual technologists their due allowances and remove it from the management of the University.”
Edited by: Cecilia Odey/Dada Ahmed
Queen’s College principal urges parents to join hands in moulding the girls into future leaders of refute
The Principal, Queen’s College Lagos, Dr (Mrs) Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye on Monday, called on parents of its newly admitted students to join hands with management in moulding the girls into future leaders of repute.
Yakubu-Oyinloye made the call at the matriculation ceremony for new intakes for the 2019/2020 academic session.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that a total of 350 JSS1 students and few others for JSS2 and SS1 took the matriculation oath at the ceremony.
She said that counselling and continuous admonishing were keys in achieving greatness and academic excellence.
“I want parents of these new intakes especially to join hands with the college in moulding these young ones.
“Ensure that their fees are also paid on time as well as provide them with all their needs and provide counselling and admonition as required.
“Discipline and grooming of the child should be a joint effort between the school and the home. You need to spend time with your children, do not abandon them to the school.
“Finally, take time to pray for your children because unless the Lord builds a house, the labourers build in vain, ” she admonished.
The principal also advised the new students to be determined to put in their best in Queen’s College to enable them to pass on a very brightly gleaming and brightly burning torch.
Yakubu-Oyinloye lauded the efforts of the Federal Government in ensuring that the college continued to remain the flagship college for girls in the country.
She also expressed delight at the contribution of the old girls of the college over the years, in a bid to ensure that their alma mata returned to its glory days.
Also speaking, Mrs Modupe Adeyinka-Oni, Executive Director, Standard Bearers School in Lekki, urged the newly admitted students to ensure that they sustained the age-long tradition of excellence the college was known for.
Adeyinka -Oni, also the guest speaker at the event, urged the students to challenge themselves by thinking critically and come up with solutions to challenges of the digital age.
“You must be prepared to always think out of the box as the future of work has changed and so you too must shift.
“In all, be focused, disciplined within and outside the school, learn to adapt, be creative and show resilience,” she said.
Edited by: Wale Ojetimi
Nigeria’s stability is our priority – Sultan
The Chairman, Northern Traditional Rulers Council and the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Sa’ad Abubakar, says the stability of Nigeria remains the top priority of traditional rulers in the region.
The Sultan made the remarks at the opening of the 6th General Assembly of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council, on Monday in Kaduna.
He said as leaders at the grassroots, the traditional rulers have much at stake in ensuring peace and stability in the country and will continue to advise government at all levels.
Abubakar stressed that the traditional institution was not in conflict with the government, but working as partners to enhance national unity, growth and development.
The Sultan urged traditional leaders acros the country to contribute their best towards nation building.
He said that the meeting would focus on the challenges in the northern region and proffer solutions.
According to him, the Council would deliberate on raising access to qualitative education in the region, as a tool of fighting crime and insecurity.
He expressed the belief that the more people became educated, the less the level of criminality.
We are working on uplifting the standard education in our various communities and quality teachers, with good teachers, we will have quality education and good graduates,” he said.
To our governors, we will support them when they have good programmes, we will work very hard to ensure successful completion of their programmes,” he added.
He explained that they would continue to caution political leaders and advise them to always put the people first and to fear almighty Allah.
Abubakar appreciated the contributions of the Arewa Consultative Forum in finding solutions to the problems in the region.
On his part, Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State said the meeting is coming at a time government was working with security agencies to maintain peace.
He called on the traditional rulers to continue to encourage youth in their respective communities to identify with government policies geared towards improving their standard of living and development of communities.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Hadiza Balarabe said the state government would continue to encourage traditional rulers to take strong decisions on issues of education and security.
In his message, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said Federal Government appreciated the importance of traditional institutions to the success or failure of security in the country in view of their closeness and daily interactions with Nigerians.
He reiterated government commitments to addressing security the challenges in Nigeria.
Mustapha said that apart from deploying huge resources and political will to address security challenges, the Federal Government recently launched a new National Security Strategy to sustain current efforts and introduce new methods and technology into national security architecture.
The SGF urged the traditional rulers to come up with new solutions to the challenges of insecurity in the country.
He also called on them to continue to complement the efforts of government to stem the rising tide of insecurity and save the future of the nation.
“I wish to leave this gathering with this, the nation must remain peaceful, united and strong so that our economic potentials would be fully realised.”
Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed
Truck crushes driver to death on Lagos-Abeokuta expressway
The Ogun Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE) on Monday said that a driver was crushed to death in an accident involving two trucks around Conoil Bus-Stop, along the Lagos–Abeokuta expressway.
Oseni said that a tipper with registration AKD 411 XJ and a truck of the Nigerian Breweries, marked FST 115 XN, had slightly hit each other; a situation that was amicably resolved by other drivers around.
The unit commander said the tipper driver was, however, adamant, thereby, jumping on the truck of the Nigerian Breweries’ driver.
Unfortunately, his legs slipped off the vehicle and as he fell under the tyre, he was crushed to death on the head,” she said.
The body of the driver, Oseni said, had been taken away by the relatives for immediate burial.
She, however, said normalcy had since been restored to the highway to ease the free flow of traffic.
She advised motorists to always exercise patience, especially in the face of conflicts.
“Two wrongs cannot make a right,” she said.
Edited by: Moses Solanke/Wale Ojetimi
Harnesssing of mines sector key to industrial development — Gov. Ihedioha
Ihedioha stated this at the 2nd Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Stakeholders’ Forum (MISF) organised by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for South-East stakeholders on Monday in Owerri.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the two-day seminar had the theme, “Building Local Capacities for the Development of the Nigeria Metal Sector.”
Ihedioha, who commended the ministry for the choice of Imo as host, said the theme was in tandem with the Rebuild Imo Agenda of his government which main trust was to revive the power sector for industries to thrive.
He said most industries depended on the metal sector, adding that any country that ignored the metal sector does so at her own risk, pointing out that the metal sector contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries.
The governor noted that the state was committed to the growth and development of its technical and industrial sector, adding that in most developed economies the metal sector was the highest employer of labour.
He called on the Federal Government to improve on the steel capacity of the country for it to achieve much and by extension connect Owerri and Onitsha to the rail line.
Ihedioha urged the participants to take advantage of the programme and dedicate themselves to finding solutions to the technical and steel need of the country.
Earlier, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, Minister of State, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, said the theme was in tandem with federal government’s resolve to vigorously pursue the diversification of the economy inter-alia the minerals and metals sector of the Nigerian economy.
He noted that the metal industry formed the bedrock on which the industrialisation and development of any nation of the world was built.
The minister said that without the steel and other metal industry, no meaningful technological advancement would be achieved.
Virtually, all other sectors of the economy rely on the metal sector in one way or the other to thrive, including power, agriculture, transportation, industry, electricity/electronics, construction, roads, and housing,” he said.
Ogah pointed out that Nigeria’s interest in the development of iron and steel industry dated back to 1958, with further action taken in the immediate post-independence era.
According to him, other countries that started their metallurgical sector in a similar way like Nigeria have been able to lift their economies from third world poverty and starvation due to the industrialisation they had achieved via a well-developed metallurgical industry.
He identified these countries to include South Korea, Algeria, Tunisia, India, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and Irag.
Ogah described metallurgy as the branch of science and technology concerned with the study of the properties of metals, their production and purification.
He added that mineral processing, physical metallurgy, smelting, extractive metallurgy and steel production were all metallurgical processes.
The minister said that the metal sector had to be positioned to amongst others improve the power, transportation, construction industry, manufacturing, agricultural sectors, and the mining and mineral processing.
He solicited for local and foreign private investments in these areas and many other sectors, assuring that government would create the enabling environment.
The desire of the federal government of Nigeria to diversify the economy from a mono-product economy predominantly dependent on oil and gas revenues to other sectors such as minerals and metals is well known to you.
Aside the seven strategic minerals (Iron ore, Lead/Zinc, Gold, Baritas, Bitumen and Limestone) every local government in Nigeria has one or more minerals located in it,” he said.
The minster identified other advantages of the metal industry on other sectors of the economy to include foreign exchange earnings and sustenance, contribution toward increasing the Gross Domestic Product, creation of job opportunities and acquisition of technical skills leading to technology transfer to Nigerians.
Others were exploitation of the abundant metal ore deposits and associated minerals to meet local demand and possible exports of surplus, springing up of economic activities in down-stream metallurgical industries and the mineral sector of the national economy and the mechanisation of the agricultural sector through the production of agro-processing plants and farm implements.
Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi
Apapa LG to empower 160 petty traders with N100,000 each
Mr Owolabi Adele, Chairman, Apapa Local Government of Lagos State, said that the council would soon provide N16 million as empowerment to 16o petty traders in the area.
Speaking at the council’s Consultative Stakeholders Meeting ahead of its 2020 Budget in Apapa on Monday, Adele said that each of the 160 identified beneficiaries would receive N100,000 to grow their petty trade.
The council boss advised those to benefit from the empowerment to use the money to improve their businesses and not to channel the money into Christmas gift.
He said that the council had completed Oluwole Primary Health Centre which would be commissioned to improve the health outreach of people in Apapa Community.
We have embarked on first round of outreach on community vaccination and also we recruited additional medical personnel to augment the existing staff.
The council also bought Sienna buses so as to boost the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), but it is highly disturbing that our people’s attitude towards paying their taxes, levies and rates is not encouraging because of evasion.
Our administration has been able to rehabilitate some streets such as Pelewura, North Avenue, Maybin, Ijora Oloye, Tide Adeyemi, Tijani Adele, Lander, Ibiere among others with interlock bricks, ” Adele said.
He said that the council had provided 1000 of three in one pairs desk and benches for public primary schools for a conducive learning environment.
The council boss said that the council had been able to complete the renovation of most offices in the council.
Adele said that the council also bought General Certificate Examination (G. C. E), Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) forms, as well as organising talk shows and training for teachers and students.
Adele said that the council also organised continuous Spelling Bee competition, supported public schools, inter-sports competitions, purchased life jackets for pupils in riverine communities, organise adult literacy and many more.
He said that from experience that different wards in the local government had peculiar needs ranging from infrastructure, toilets, environmental changes, school boats among others, adding that the consultative meeting would enable wards representative to present their needs before the council. .
Edited /Wale Ojetimi
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