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Non-engagement Of PTDF’s Trained Nigerians Worries Agency

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The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Mr Muttaqua Darma has decried the non-engagement of majority of highly skilled Nigerians trained on the scholarship of the fund.

The executive secretary who expressed this worry during a recent courtesy visit to the Director-General of the Standards Organization of Nigeria Dr John Akanya, in Abuja disclosed that the PTDF was set up among others to help develop and update necessary human capital requirements to meet the constantly changing and challenging demands of the nations oil and gas sector.

He said, “most of the scholars are getting employed outside the oil and gas sector due to no fault of theirs thus defeating part of the objectives of the scholarship to ensure adequate local content development in the sector in materials as well as human resources to enhance technology acquisition and transfer.;

The fund is currently training qualified Nigerians in 20 topmost ranked universities all over the world in oil and gas related courses, some of whom are highly sought after in other nations.

It is a pity that the Nigerian oil and gas industry seems observed with the engagement of expatriates. He wondered what standards they use in their consideration as against the highly qualified PTDF scholars from some of the best training institutions in the world.

He then invited the SON to take part in a stakeholders forum being organised by the fund to examine the subject, brainstorm with a view to funding a lasting solution in conjunction with operators in the sector.

SON Director General Dr John Akanya expressed his organization’s willingness to work with the fund to find a lasting solution to the challenge, disclosing that one of his staff is currently enjoying the PTDF scholarship.

Dr Akanya emimerated the dynamic nature of quality which he said are only defined by specifications referred to as standards, towards which his agency had been working assiduously to mobilise Nigerians to imbibe.

He said, SON has been working closely with the local content development team in the oil and gas sector and promised to join hands with the PTDF and other stakeholders to ensure that the nation take maximum advantage of the said scholarship on whom great investments are being made from the nations common wealth.

Dr Akanya posited that issues of standards and quality must form key issues in the Nation’s quest for the attainment of vision 20: 2020 and therefore called on consumers to help drive standardisation in Nigeria by demanding for and insisting on quality in their patronage of products and services as well as taking the trouble to seek redress for lack of satisfaction in value expectation.

He then called on operators in oil and gas sector in Nigeria to support the scholarship programme of the PTDF by giving due consideration to beneficiaries on completion of their studies in the over all interest of the Nigeria economy and its people.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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