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Abuja

The Minister of Agriculture of Egypt, Mr Amin Abaza, said the just concluded Agri-business and Agro-industries conference in Africa would pave way for a more effective South-South cooperation.

Abaza said such cooperation would place Africa as a global player in agriculture during an interview with The Tide’s source  in Abuja.

He said that Africa had potential in untapped natural resources and if well harnessed with the proper cooperation, would result to   “tremendous’’ benefits for Africa.

“I am a great believer in Africa and I think that this century is going to be Africa’s century. We have plenty of potential, plenty of untapped resources.

 “And really by working together and having a south-south cooperation we will just reap the benefits of all the potential in Africa that we have not yet been able to use effectively,’’ Abaza said.

He noted that the main challenge for Africa was infrastructure, such as power, roads, ports and lack of funding.

Ekiti

The Ekiti State House of Assembly has promised to ensure efficient and full implementation of the N69.6 billion 2010 budget.

Mr Ayodele Michael, Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, made the promise on Thursday in Abuja in an interview with the newsmen

He said the House would re-invigorate its oversight functions to achieve the objective.

Michael noted with regret that the implementation of the 2009 budget fell bellow expectation.

“The House will on quarterly basis, summon the state Ministry of Finance and Board of Internal Revenue to give detailed analysis of the implementation of the budget.

“We will also embark on budget tracking to ensure full implementation of the budget.

“Last year’s revised budget of N58 billion was averagely implemented, but I can assure you that this year, the budget will be closely monitored to ensure full implementation,” he added.

The House had on Feb. 23 passed the budget.

Kaduna

A Sanitation Consultant, Dr Comfort  Olayiwola, has called on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) officers to engage in purposeful data-gathering to address the challenges facing the sector.

Olayiwola made the call in Kaduna while fielding questions after her presentation on the “Draft WASH Communication Strategy in Nigeria’’ at the three-day zonal stakeholders’ workshop.

“The communities keep more data better than all of us. Go and ask ‘WASH’ committees, they will show you a book containing dates, times and what they have done.

“But when you go to the office, you forget to do the same. How do we get the data back?

“You should keep records properly; you should package the data and present it to your local government chairmen and governors.

“This will serve as evidence. When you have concrete evidence; you can tell them to go and see the progress of work and challenges in the communities,’’ she said.

Olayiwola said that the development of the communication strategy remained a collective effort.

Kebbi

The Joint World Bank Assisted/Kebbi Community and Social Development Project (KBSCDP), will spend N1 billion on community micro- development projects in 2010.

The KBSCDP General Manager, Malam Usman Abubakar, told The Tide’s source in Birnin Kebbi on Friday that the World Bank granted N750 million as loan, while the state government released N300 million.

He said “we recieved N100 million out of  N300 million expected from the state.”

He added that the project development plans comprised  three micro-projects to be identified by benefitting communities.

According to him, each benefitting community is to contribute 10 per cent in cash or project execution materials.

Kogi

The Police Command in Kogi had arrested a bus driver with 16 bags of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the command, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, announced this while parading 14 suspects arrested from different parts of the state for different offences at the command headquarters in Lokoja on Thursday.

Abubakar, an employee of Olamaboro Local Government, said the driver was arrested at Ogori-Magongo.

He said the bus driver claimed that a man (not named) hired his vehicle marked Kogi: LG 86 LAM, to convey the substance from Alayere-Akure, Ondo State, to Anyigba in Kogi.

In an interview with The Tide’s source, the suspect said the man hired him from the park to carry gari but he later discovered that the bags contained Indian hemp.

The suspect said that he decided to go back but the man assured him that he would settle policemen on the road.

Lagos

The Lagos chapter of Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has urged Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to find lasting solution to the problem of power supply.

Mr Duro Kuteyi, the Chairman of the association in Lagos State, told The Tide’s source that  improvement in power generation and distribution would enhance the growth of small and medium scale businesses.

He urged the acting president to make the power sector his priority, saying the sector appeared to be one of the greatest challenges facing the growth of the nation’s economy.

“Stable and regular electricity supply will boost the economy and eliminate all the risks including health hazards, associated with other sources of power, such as pollution, suffocation and environmental degradation,’’ he added.

Kuteyi said constant power supply would reduce substantially, the cost of production being incurred by the small and medium scale businesses.

He also advised the acting president to take decisive action on the issue of security and deteriorating state of the Nigerian roads.

Ogun

The Ogun Government says it will no longer absorb beneficiaries of the Federal Teachers Scheme (FTS) in its teaching service.

Chief Sina Adejobi, Chairman, Ogun Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), made the announcement recently  in  Abeokuta in an interview The Tide’s source.

The scheme was introduced in 2006 by the Federal Government to address the dearth of qualified teachers in the nation’s primary schools.

Under the scheme, fresh graduates of NCE and degree holders  are engaged on two years teaching service in public primary schools in all the 36 states and FCT, after which state governments are encouraged to absorb them with full employment.

Adejobi, however, explained that the state government already had 21,000 teachers who were NCE and degree certificate holders, considered to be adequate for its teaching service.

Oyo

There must be  transparency in governance and  business for the creation of jobs in Nigeria, .

 Prof. Dafe Otobo of the University of  Lagos said in Ibadan on Thursday.

Otobo, a professor of business, made the call at a two-day seminar organised by Labour Writers’ Association (LAWAN) on the topic,  “‘the impact of Economic Crisis on Employment”.

He said the unemployment rate would increase if effective management was not incorporated in governance and in the workplaces.

“‘There will be declining turnover and more people will be laid off if managers of various organisations do not help to shape the already bad economy,’’ he said.

Otobo said it was regrettable that the impact of globalisation had taken its toll on organisations which  had no choice but to retrench workers to remain in business.

Otobo urged the government to embark on measures that would create jobs to improve the economy and make life better for the people.

Sokoto

Alhaji Abdullahi Maigwandu, the Special Adviser to Sokoto state Governor on Pilgrims Affairs, says that woman, who are three months  pregnant, will not be allowed to perform the 2010 Hajj.

Maigwandu also says that intending pilgrims, aged 65 and above, or 15 years and below, will not be allowed to perform the Hajj.

The Tide’s source  reports that Maigwandu gave this directive on Wednesday in Sokoto at a meeting with the officials of the agency and those of the 23 local governments of the state .

The meeting was convened as part of the preparations for the 2010 Hajj exercise in the Holy land.

“We shall no longer tolerate a situation where any of our pilgrims will violate the laid down principles guiding the conduct of  Hajj exercise,” he said.

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Emirates Resumes Flights To Nigeria, June 23

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The UAE carrier, Emirates Airlines, would start carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India from June 23, the UAE Embassy said as it announced revised rules on Covid-19.
“We look forward to facilitating travel from these countries and supporting various travellers’ categories,” the airline said in a separate statement, yesterday.
“Residence visa holders from India and travellers from South Africa should’ve taken two doses of a vaccine approved by UAE authorities and carry RT-PCR tests reports from labs approved by the federal governments of these countries.
“But for Nigerians vaccination is not made mandatory but all other conditions apply.
“In addition to the above, Indians have to take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to their travel.
“While there are four vaccines in the UAE for use on eligible individuals against the Covid-19 infection – Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V and Oxford-AstraZeneca, it is unclear if the UAE has approved vaccines administered on Indian, South African and Nigerian citizens in their countries,” it stated.
“All travellers are also required to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 48 hours before departure.
“UAE citizens are exempted.
“Only QR coded PCR test result certificates are accepted.
“All passengers must take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to flight departure.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.
“Passengers should undergo institutional quarantine until they receive their PCR test result, which is expected within 24 hours.
“Passengers should produce a negative PCR test certificate with a QR Code from labs approved by the Nigerian government.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival to Dubai Airport.
“Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations.
“Entry will now be permitted to residents who have received two doses of UAE-approved vaccines,” the state said.
The revised procedures for travellers coming from the Republic of India, South Africa and Nigeria were issued by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai.
They are effective from June 23, the Dubai Media Office said.
It said the updates are part of the committee’s keenness to protect passengers and ease hassles for them without compromising on Covid-19 preventive measures, said the Chairman of the Supreme Committee, Sheikh Mansoor Al-Maktoum.
The Media Office announcement said the updated travel protocols are part of a normal process of revising and optimising preventive measures based on the latest local, regional and international developments.

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Bagudu Vows To Lead Rescue Operation Over Yauri Abduction

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Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State last Saturday vowed to lead the rescue operation of teachers and students abducted from the Federal Government College (FGC), Birnin Yauri, in Ngaski Local Government Area of the State.
Bagudu, who is also Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum, spoke when local hunters visited him.
Reports had that the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, also paid a solidarity and sympathy visit on Gov. Bagudu.
Bagudu assured that some other governors and  stakeholders will join him in the ongoing search operations for the abducted students and staff of the school.
According to him, he will discuss with his colleagues and security agencies in this direction, so as not to jeorpardise the ongoing commendable operations to rescue the abducted students and staff.
He said: “But, we will go out there and like I promised, the day we will move out, I will not be in the office because we will join you in the field.”
The Kebbi State Governor said that this would be done barring all consequences in a bid to rescue the abductees.
Bagudu argued: “It is not weapons that win wars, but it is the will that bad people cannot triumph and we will show that, we have enough will power .
“President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies have been doing the best they could with limited resources.
“But, we also need to mobilize, kit ourselves and take on these bandits. Our various scriptures as Muslims and Christians allow us to put our lives at risk in defence of our honour, property and our faiths.
“In what the bandits are doing, they have challenged all of us, so, we can’t let them.”
Bagudu asked the hunters to go back and fully mobilise, pending when he gets the necessary clearance from the security agencies, adding, “we will meet in the field.”
The governor maintained that governors were not sworn in only to sit down in the office and work.
He stated that they are aware that one day they would be required to lead in the field, even though they are not military or police personnel.
He said that if hundreds of thousands of people can be mobilised during campaigns, same should be done now to join the search party.
He said: “What happened in Birnin Yauri should be the last straw. We should follow these bandits wherever they are and take them on.”
Bagudu also described the abduction as very callous, even as he lauded the security agencies, management of the school, ‘Yan Sakai and vigilantes for their heroic efforts since the bandits struck at the college.

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Govs, Others Task Security Agencies On S’East

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South-East governors and leaders have requested security agencies in the zone to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the zone.
They made the call on Saturday in Enugu after a meeting attended by political leaders, socio-cultural organisations, clerics and the traditional leaders.
The Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who addressed reporters after the meeting, condemned the killing of civilians in the zone by security agencies.
Umahi urged them to discharge their duties within the law and in accordance with their rules of engagement.
The Ebonyi governor reaffirmed the commitment of the region to the corporate existence of the country.
Umahi, however, said that such union must be based on love, mutual respect and equality of rights irrespective of one’s religion, ethnic group, political inclination and creed.
The governor said the various secessionist groups from the region were not speaking for the people of the area.
He said the leaders from the zone had set up a committee to engage the agitators to allow elders of the region to address their fears.
“We have come out publicly on many occasions to speak against such agitations,” he said.
Umahi said the meeting was in fulfilment of the June 11 agreement they had with a federal government delegation led by the Minister of Defense, Bashir Magashi, a retired major-general.
“Consequent upon that, we scheduled our own meeting today to discuss and articulate our positions.
“This is to enable us not only engage the presidential team but also engage our people over all burning issues,” he said.
The governor said leaders from the region had noted with concern threats against the Igbo people by some groups in other regions.
“The meeting pleaded with leaders of other regions to note such threats to our people, address it and protect our people,” he said.
He said that governors from the South-East had assured people from other ethnic nationalities of their safety in the region in spite of the prevailing circumstances.
The leaders condemned the killing of security personnel and burning of government infrastructure in the region.
He called on National Assembly members from the region to support the creation of state police in the ongoing efforts to amend the constitution.
The governor said the meeting endorsed the South-East joint security unit called EbubeAgu, and requested the personnel to work with statutory security agencies.
Those present at the meeting included Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
Anambra and Imo states were represented by the deputy governors, Nkem Okeke and Placid Njoku respectively.
Others were the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, and President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, George Obiozo.

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