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Activist Seeks Telecom, Education Operators’ Synergy

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Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, has advocated a partnership between telecom service providers and the education sector to provide education for all.
He made the call while addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja on the sidelines of the 2015 annual National Management Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) (NIM).
The Tide gathered that the theme of the two-day conference is “Managing Nigeria for rapid and sustainable development: Redesigning the future.’’
Odinkalu said that the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) was set up to guarantee compulsory education for every Nigerian child, irrespective of geographical location or social status but had not been achieved.
“Basic education is defined as ending at the first three years of minimum education.
“At the moment we are not getting that minimum so we are breaching our own laws.
“Nigeria is said to have between 10.5 to 11 million out-of-school children and that is the rank from which you get the thugs, almajiris and all that.’’
To begin to get results in the education sector, Odinkalu advocated that the laws concerning education should be implemented while seeking ways to reach other Nigerians that might not be able to get conventional education.
“There are populations (adults) that are outside the range of regular education and so we need partnerships to deliver.
“How is it that there are GSM companies everywhere; whatever they did let’s learn from them.
“If Akin Adesina (former Minister of Agriculture) could make the GSM a facility for reaching all farmers, we should make it a facility for reaching all persons with education in the language they understand.
“It is very easy to turn the GSM companies into delivery vehicles so we provide the content and they can provide delivery,’’ he said.
The human rights advocate also said that he was optimistic that though Nigeria did not achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), it could achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mrs Adaeze Uzo-Kalu, the Executive Director, Asset Management, Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO), said that inclusion of women and youth in governance was important.
She said women were money and human managers and so would be good managers of the nation if included in running it’s affairs.
“In the last government, I was pleased with the inclusion of women and the only way we can go forward to achieving sustainable development is through women.
“Women are good managers of people and finance; it is therefore imperative to include youth and women for us to have sustainable development.
“If there is no inclusion of women and youth in the cabinet, they are capable of voting out the elected officers since they were instrumental in putting them there in the first place,’’ she said.
The chairman and president of NIM, Mr Nelson Uwaga, said that one of the major setbacks of Nigeria was mismanagement of both human and material resources.
According to him, other nations that are not as blessed as Nigeria have moved on to greater heights while Nigeria is still struggling.
“Nigeria is endowed with the finest of natural resources and the best minds in all walks of endeavour but poor management has been the bane of this nation’s development.

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CAC Registers 245,000  SMEs Free Of Charge

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says it has registered more than 245,000 Small and Medium Enterp-rises  free of charge.
The Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar,  said in Abuja on Wednesday that it did this with the approval of the Federal Government.
The Federal Government, he said, approved the free registration of 250,000 business names as part of its intervention to assuage the economic effect of Covid-19.
He said the Federal  Government paid 50 per cent of the cost of registration to CAC and more than 245,000 business names were consequently registered.
Abubakar explained that the process was electronic and applicants also got their certificates electronically.
He added that the numbers were divided between the 36 states of the federation and the FCT noting that Lagos, Abia and Kano States had the largest numbers.
He said free registration of 6, 606 business names was approved for 33 states while Abia, Lagos and Kano States would have 7, 906, 9,084 and 8,406 respectively.
Abubakar noted that aggregators were appointed and paid to collect SMEs information and submit same to CAC.
He explained that the commission provided special access for the aggregators for effective service delivery since they were responsible for scanning and uploading of documents.
He added that CAC had to take over from one of the aggregators appointed for two states but failed to deliver.
Abubakar said also that the intervention of CAC and appointment of substitute aggregators to take over in the two states sped up the process, already nearing completion.
“We are hoping that by end of September the exercise will come to an end,’’ he said.

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IPMAN Seeks Foreign Partnership For Robust Refinery Deal

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The Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN),  Mr King Eppie, has said that he would be seeking the partnership of foreign bodies as part of his plans to strengthen the association.
Eppie said this when he spoke in a chat with newsmen in his office in Eleme, Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State, Wednesday.
He pointed out that such plans would also encourage business growth especially to some of his members whom he said are  experiencing stormy business weather.
According to him, the challenging business condition was as a result of  non functional refineries in the country, stressing the need to seek for partnership.
He said that since its core business area was petroleum products, that his leadership would do all within its reach to improve the  system.
The Rivers IPMAN boss,  expressed hope that the ailing refineries in the country would bounce back to life.
“ I will be happy to see the refineries working again. Most of our members are suffering and business is no longer what it used to be, that’s why I want the refineries to come back to operation”, he said.
About the issue of legal battle in the association, he said that his team has been vindicated by the Apex court by declaring him the authentic chairman of IPMAN in Rivers State.
He recalled that the association was in a legal battle for about eight years, but expressed joy over its victorious end.
To those who were on the other side of the divide, he said that he has extended an olive branch to them as part of his plans to run an  all inclusive government.
“ The platform for those who went to court against us has been created for them to come back to the fold. IPMAN is one in the state and we are open to all, that is why we want everyone to come back”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the IPMAN chairman is  barely one week in office after years of legal battle that greeted the association as a result of leadership tussle.

By:King Onunwor

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1,818 MSMEs Benefit From Covid-19 Recovery Package In Delta

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No fewer than 1,818 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have benefited from Federal Government and the World Bank Covid-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) in Delta.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa addressed the beneficiaries at the launch of funds disbursement in Asaba on Wednesday.
He commended the Federal Government and the World Bank for the partnership to provide succour for those affected by the pandemic in the country.
He said that now that the scheme had been domesticated in the state, the beneficiaries were in the first phase of the programme.
Okowa also lauded the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) for supporting the federal government to ensure that the programme was approved by the World Bank for implementation in Nigeria.
He also thanked the World Bank for the intervention and for working with state governments in the country towards cushioning the socio-economic effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
According to Okowa, today’s ceremony is a major step at putting MSMEs that are badly hurt by the pandemic on the path of recovery and growth.
He said this was “more so, with the disbursement of funds to the first set of 1,818 beneficiaries who have met the World Bank stipulated eligibility criteria within the initial six months.
“A total of 2,529 MSMEs are expected to receive grants to support post-covid-19 loans, operational costs and to enhance their IT capabilities.
“Indeed, we are glad to be part of the CARES programme of the Federal Government.
“The focus of intervention clearly aligns with the priority of the state government to give relief to those whose lives, businesses, jobs and means of livelihood have been distorted by the pandemic.
“The programme, which we have domesticated as the Delta CARES, is a two-year emergency recovery programme.
“It is aimed at supporting state governments’ budgeted programme of expenditures and interventions.
“It is to enable them to expand access to livelihood support, food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms,” he said.
He said that the programme would also directly support 25,269 poor and vulnerable households with social transfers, basic services and livelihood grants.
The governor said it would as well support 13,976 farmers to boost food production and ensure smooth functioning of the food supply chain.
“The outlined figures are the targets stipulated by the World Bank, but do not preclude the State Government from scaling up if the need arises.
“It is my expectation that those charged with the implementation of Delta-CARES will be faithful in executing the mandate so that the desired results are achieved, bearing in mind that it is a Programme for Result (PforR),” Okowa said.
On his part, Dr Barry Pere-Gbe, Chairman, Steering Committee for Delta-CARES and State Commissioner for Economic Planning, commended Okowa for providing the funds for the programme.
Pere-Gbe was represented by the Commissioner for Youths Development, Mr Ifeanyi Egwunyenga.
He said that the main focus of the programme was to bring succour to residents whose means of livelihood had been disrupted by the impacts of Covid-19.
He said that the programme was hinged on three thematic area.

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