Some primary school teachers in Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa have been made to forfeit part of their salaries for being perpetually absent in school.The Education Secretary, Malam Danrimi Ahmed, told the newsmen in Mubi on Friday that the teachers were found wanting by a disciplinary committee.Ahmed said the committee, which found seven of the teachers guilty of absenteeism, made them forfeit certain percentage of their salaries based on the number of days each of them was not in class.He added that the amount deducted from the affected teachers salaries was used to purchase exercise books to be distributed free to pupils as compensation.“We have purchased exercise books to be distributed free to pupils as compensation for the lessons they missed because of the teachers absence,” he added.The education secretary noted that the state government and universal basic education board had provided teaching facilities and effected teachers promotion.
The Head of Agriculture, Bwari Area Council of the FCT, Dr Godwin Abah, says the council plans to boost cassava production in the area.
Abah said in an interview with newsmen in Bwari recently that the council had received improved cassava stems from the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture toward realising the goal.
“The samples of the improved stems were planted in our farm, it was harvested and what we got has been very good which encouraged us to look for more for our farmers,” he said.
According to him, the improved stems reduce cultivation time.
“When old stock took about three to four years before harvesting, the improved one was only for six months to one year to ripe for harvest.’’
He called on the farmers to visit the agriculture department of the council to get improved stem for trial and to increased cassava production.
Abah said that extension workers of the council were always on hand to advise farmers on ways of improving their productivity.
The Kebbi House of Assembly has closed deliberations for one week to enable members to verify and solve difficulties faced by civil servants over the e-payment system.
The Chairman, Committee on Information and Culture, Alhaji Rabiu Sallah, told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi last Thursday that the e-payment consultants would be invited to explain difficulties in the payment of workers’ salary.
He explained that committees of the House had been mandated to embark on fact-finding visits to ministries and parastatal agencies on the e-payment and proffer solutions.
He urged civil servants to be patient while efforts were made to resolve the problem.
Stakeholders in the oil and gas industry on Friday called on the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently find a lasting solution to the problem
in the power sector.
They told newsmen on Friday in separate interviews in Lagos, that the acting president should find lasting solution to the epileptic power to boost the nation’s socio-economic growth.
Mr Tokunbo Korodo, the Chairman of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas NUPENG , Lagos Zone, said there was the need to enforce total and radical changes in the sector to meet the vision 20-2020.
Korodo said the only way to address the problem of gas supply to the power sector is for the acting president to give a standing warning and instruction to all those concerned in the sector.
He said the epileptic power supply had damaged the growth of the nation’s economy.
Mr lssac Arowolo, the President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), said the only way to effectively address the issue of gas supply was for everybody to be committed to the set target.
He said apart from gas, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) should also develop another source of power generation and called for proper utilisation of the gas supply.
Arowolo urged the government to urgently work toward the reform to save the sector from total collapse.
Mrs Oluremi Oyo, on Thursday in Akure urged women journalists to embrace capacity building to enable them to cope with the challenges of the profession.
She said that training and re-training were the only way to ensure continuous self-improvement and that “without training, no media woman can meet the challenges of professional demands.”
Oyo spoke at a lecture entitled, “The Media Woman: Challenges, Pains and Gains,” at the 2010 Week of the Nigeria Association of Women journalists (NAWOJ), Ondo State.
“I wish to advise that as a body, you should take the issue of training your members seriously by exploring and exploiting every available opportunity to build their capacity.
“The Internet offers unlimited opportunity for aspiring journalists to develop themselves in various necessary skills for the advancement of their profession.
“I see no reason why journalists should not acquire skills in photography and usage of computer,” she said.
The NAN managing director, who said that the media world would soon experience drastic changes, held that only hard work and tenacity of purpose would see the media woman through.
Mr Sunday Akere, the Director of Publicity and Strategy of the Action Congress (AC) in Osun, on Thursday commended Acting President Goodluck Jonathan on his choice of ministers.
Akere made the commendation in a telephone interview with newsmen in Osogbo.
“Although, I am still watching the trend of events and I am waiting for the screening of the nominees by the Senate but the ministerial list is okay,” he said.
Akere lauded Jonathan for selecting those who were “versatile and competent in politics’’ as members of the Federal Executive Council.
“I am talking of persons like Prof. Dora Akunyili, the immediate-past Minister of Information and Communications,” he added.
Akere said that although he never supported the idea of recycling ministers, the need for experience could not be compromised in a fledging democracy.
He commended Jonathan for being objective and for not playing politics with issues of national interest.
“This is not a matter of pro- or anti-Yar’Adua; it is a matter of those who can effectively manage the country’s affairs. Therefore, there is no room for sentiments,” he said.
Nigeria Customs officials in Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States now use camels to chase smugglers, according to Mr Bitrus Kuyli.
Kuyli, the Comptroller of Customs for the three states, told newsmen on Friday in Sokoto that the animals had made it easier to penetrate the bush parts.
He said that donkeys were also being used as a means of transport in the remotest areas of Kebbi.
“The borders are very long and generally in the bushes hence the need to use the animals.
“The borders are porous and smugglers use all kinds of routes, but the customs officials can penetrate all corners with the use of the animals,” Kuyli said.
The customs chief said that the command was working with traditional rulers in the border communities to check smuggling activities.
“The traditional rulers are expected to assist with information needed to check the activities of smugglers,” he said.
Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba has said that the peer review initiative of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) will aid national development.
The governor said this on Thursday in Jalingo when he received the peer review team of the NGF.
Our correspondent reports that the team was in Taraba to inspect development projects undertaken by the state government and assess their impact on the people.
‘‘The project monitoring exercise, being carried out by the team, will speed up development in the country and it should be encouraged by all,’’ Suntai said.
The governor expressed optimism that the outcome of the exercise would help in shaping government policies and the governors’ desire to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
NGF Director-General Asishana Okauru, who is the leader of the team, told Suntai that the focus of the exercise was on health, education, agriculture, water and other development issues that would enhance the people’s wellbeing.
He said that the peer review exercise was an initiative which the 36 states governors adopted in 2009 to review themselves with a view of encouraging healthy competition in development programming.
The Zamfara Government has expressed concern over the activities of land speculators using fake documents to defraud the public in some parts of the state.
Alhaji Bashir Madaro, the Commissioner of Land and Survey, expressed the worry in a statement issued in Gusau on Friday Gusau.
It quoted Madaro as advising the public to desist from land speculation and developing reserved areas meant for public use or face the wrath of the law.
The statement quoted him as urging the public to always transact land businesses with government to avoid being involved in shady deals.
“Appropriate documents relating to land transactions must be obtained from the ministry directly without any mediation, because the ministry will no longer entertain complaints on such issues,’’ it warned.
Emirates Resumes Flights To Nigeria, June 23
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.
Bagudu Vows To Lead Rescue Operation Over Yauri Abduction
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.
Govs, Others Task Security Agencies On S’East
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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