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State Security: Jonathan Woos Lake Chad Commission

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President Goodluck Jonathan has called on member States of Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to develop new security plans to address the spate of violence in their territories.

Jonathan made the call at the opening session of the 14th Summit of the LCBC holding in  N’diamena, the Chadian capital.

Jonathan who arrived N’djamena last Monday morning to join five other Heads of State and Government for the Summit, expressed concern at the new spate of insecurity and the threat to peace around the borders of the lake.

He said the perpetrators, particularly in Nigeria, were taking advantage of the free movement around the border areas and urged member states to regard the security threat as capable of affecting the sub region.

Jonathan stated that the terror attacks would have wider implication on peace in the West African sub region.

The President suggested the expansion of the mandate of the existing multi-national joint task force around the lake, as part of measures to contain the security threats.

The President also underscored the urgent need to give a new lease of life to the activities of the commission to move it forward.

He said that after 48 years of existence, there was the need to provide the LCBC Secretariat with the necessary tools to function as a modern and forward looking organisation.

Jonathan challenged the member states to show more commitment to saving the lake.

He noted the effect of climate change and its socio-economic impact on human habitation, the ecology and bio-diversity of the basin.

The President re-affirmed the commitment of Nigeria to meet its financial obligations to the commission and called on other member states to also meet their obligations.

On equitable sharing of the resources of the basin, Jonathan said the commission should adopt the “Water Charter’’ initiative of the organisation.

He said the charter, if adopted, would also set the basis for the participation of international development partners in saving the basin from extinction.

Jonathan expressed delight on the feasibility study on inter-basin water transfer from Oubangi River in Central Africa Republic to Lake Chad.

Earlier in his remark, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Alhaji Sanusi Abdullahi, had stressed the need to reverse the drastic shrinking of the lake, in order to harness the resources of the basin in a more sustainable manner.

He said that the lake, which served as a common heritage and source of livelihood to over 30 million inhabitants, would go into extinction if urgent measures were not taken.

Abdullahi said that the lake had shrunk from its approximated 25,000 sq km coverage in 1962 to the present 1,300 sq km radius.

The Executive Secretary said the estimated cost of the water transfer project was N14.5 billion US Dollars.

He said with the exclusion of Nigeria and Chad which updated its contribution, a sum of 4.34 million CFA remained outstanding against other member states.

Abdullahi expressed gratitude to Nigeria and Chad for payment of regular contribution and commitment to the activities of the commission.

President Issufou Maahamadou of Niger, Francois Bozize of Central Africa Republic, and Idris Debby, of the host country attended the summit.

Cameroon, Libya as well as Sudan which had been granted observer status were represented at the summit.

Meanwhile, the directive by the Federal Government to close the country’s border in some troubled parts of Borno, Yobe, Niger and Plateau States with some neighbouring countries is taking a negative turn on the economies of the latter.

Nigeria’s Ambassador in Chad, Alhaji Abdullahi Omaki, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen yesterday in N’djamena.

Omaki said that Chad and Cameroon were the most affected by the directive.

“The volume of trade, largely unrecorded, is about 80 per cent in favour of Nigeria.

“Most of the goods and services coming into Chad, 80 per cent come from Nigeria with less than 20 per cent coming from Cameroon.

“If the borders were not closed and you go through the Banki road, the Gambo road you will see the numbers of trailers that are plying that route on daily basis.

“Now that the border has been closed with effect from the end of last year, if you ask the Cameroonian authority, they will tell you how much they are losing in terms of revenue that they collect from these vehicles that pass through Banki and Gamboru.’’

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IPPIS: FG, ASUU Meet, Today, As Fresh Strike Looms

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Delegations from the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are expected to meet, today, in a bid to avert a fresh strike.
The chairmen of ASUU branches had expressed readiness to commence a fresh strike over the non-implementation of their agreement with FG on IPPIS.
One of them, Chairman, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, said the protracted strike, which was to press home the union members’ demands for the continued survival of the public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues and providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items in the agreement.
Inuwa said over seven months after the MoU was signed only two out of the eight issues had been addressed.
He listed some of the outstanding issues to include payment of the earned academic allowance, funding for revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and setting up of visitation panels.
Others are renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of check-off dues.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room,” the letter read.
The National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, had said that the union was invited by the Ministry of Labour to discuss issues surrounding the Memorandum of Action, which was signed with the Federal Government in December, 2020.
However, Osodeke, explained the last time the union met with the government was around March/April.
He said, “The Ministry of Education, which is our ministry, has not called us to any meeting since we signed the Memorandum of Action. But the Ministry of Labour, which is just an intervention ministry, around March/April called us to a meeting in which we discussed and they promised to implement all those things.”

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30 Of 65 Private Jets In Nigeria Owe Duties, Customs Insists

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says 30 out of 65 private airplanes verified owe duties to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure to newsmen, yesterday.
He said some of the airplanes came into the country by Temporary Importation Agreement which allows them in without payment because it was secured by bond.
The spokesman noted that many later fail to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement.
The customs explained that the verification was not meant to embarrass anyone but to collect payments due to the government.
The service has given another two-week extension which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
Attah said with the increasing economic challenge, every revenue is important.
“With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies in and out of the country.
“The owners of private jets are highly placed Nigerians who should be respected and approached in a manner that provides convenience. That is what these extensions stand for,” he added.

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FBI Indictment: PSC, IGP Suspend Kyari, Name Inquiry Panel

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The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari, from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.
Kyari’s suspension was contained in a press statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, made available to newsmen, yesterday.
The commission said Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari from the service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the report of the four-man investigative panel constituted to probe him.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Force, CP Frank MBA, last Saturday, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
According to the IGP, the suspension would also create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel, to carry out its investigations into the allegations against Kyari without interference.
He explained that the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.
The four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP), is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.
“The SIP is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the force to the rule of law, and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.

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