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TUC Tasks Enugu On NHF Contribution Refund

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The Trade Union Congress (TUC), Enugu State Council, has advised the state go          vernment to set aside N5million monthly for payment of the planned National Health Fund contribution refund to retired workers.
The Chairman of TUC in the state, Comrade Chukwuma Igbokwe, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen, recently.
“The planned refund of the National Housing Fund contributions to the retired workers of Enugu State is hampered by the non-release of the arrears of deductions made from workers’ salaries but not remitted to the Federal Mortgage Bank by Enugu State Government between 2003 and 2007.
“The TUC appeals to Your Excellency (Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi), to approve for monthly release of N5 million for a period of 20 months to offset the arrears of N88 million,’’ Igbokwe said.
According him, the TUC believe that this refund no matter how little will impact positively in the lives of these retirees.
The chairman, however, urged workers in the state to continue to remain committed to contributing their best towards the development of Enugu Public Service by being committed to their duties and “zero tolerance for corruption practices’’.
“TUC liaises and partner with the state government on how to ensure that together we shall join hands to build Enugu State while at the same time pursue the interest of workers of Enugu State.
“Dialogue, constructive reasoning and superior argument should be the primary weapon for this struggle while other severe industrial actions can be applied as the last resort,’’ he added.

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Projects’ Execution: NSE Tasks FG On Executive Order 5

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The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has urged the Federal Government to act in line with Executive Order 5 by encouraging more multinational engineering firms to employ Nigerian engineers.
Mr Musliudeen Agoro,  the Chairman of NSE Lagos State branch, gave the advice, in Lagos yesterday while speaking with newsmen.
President Muhammadu Buhari had  on February 12, 2018 in Abuja,  signed Executive Order 5 that stipulates the need to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
Agoro said that signing of the executive order by President Buhari had  empowered and protected the local engineers, local suppliers and local contractors such that Nigerian engineers could lead projects.
He, however, said that signing of the executive order might not be enough, and called for its enforcement, government’s full backing and encouragement to enable Nigerian  engineers to secure and also lead in execution of projects.
According to him, the  implementation of the executive order on local content will  not only drastically reduce capital flight but also reduce unemployment and boost Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country.
”The signing of the executive order was very encouraging, but its implementation is key.
“If there is no full support and backing from government, it will be difficult for the Nigerian  engineers to lead in the  execution of projects amid foreign contractors,” he said.
Agoro lamented that  the effects  of Executive Order 5 had not been felt in the construction industry, saying that most of the projects were still being awarded  to multinational companies at the detriment of Nigerians.
He suggested that where Nigerian engineers did not have the expertise, they could partner with foreign firms in the execution of mega projects to avoid situations whereby jobs were hijacked by foreign firms.
“Unfortunately, collaboration is virtually non-existence between the local and foreign engineers/contractors in the construction sector.

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NPA Set To Acquire Two Tugboats For Rivers Port

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The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says the authority will acquire two more tugboats for Rivers Port Complex to enhance its operations in Eastern region.
The Board Chairman of NPA, Mr. Emmanuel Oladiji Adesoye, disclosed this shortly after the tour of Rivers Port Complex in Port Harcourt by the Board.
Adesoye said the tugboats were essential for the smooth operation of the port, decrying lack of functional tugboats at the port for years.
“The tugboats are very important instruments for NPA Rivers Port to carry out its functions optimally”, he said.
The chairman lauded the management of Rivers Port Complex headed by Engr. Yunusa Ibrahim Anji for piloting the affairs of the port, even as he frowned at the encroachment of the NPA lands and property by squatters in Rivers State.
He promised that the matter would be handled by the NPA management and the Federal Government in order to recover its lands from unwanted persons.
He noted that over 50 percent of lands belonging to Rivers Port had been encroached illegally by squatters in the state, saying the act goes to reduce the revenue accrued to the Federal Government through the port .
Adesoye said the aim of the visit was to asses the situations in the Eastern ports and proffer possible solutions to some  of the challenges.
The Board, according to him, had visited ports in the Western region and also toured Calabar, Onne and Rivers ports for a first hand information on their challenges and achievements.
While frowning at the spate of insecurity at the ports in the region, Adesoye said the act of piracy in the region was responsible for low container traffics experienced in Onne and Rivers ports over the years.
He assured the management of both ports that the issue of insecurity experienced in the pilotage area would be addressed by the Federal Government.
Earlier, Port Manager, Rivers Port Complex, Port Harcourt, Engr. Yunusa Ibrahim Anji, had identified host community’s encroachment into the NPA land as a major challenge.
He appealed to the NPA Board to intervene and save the port from the hands of unknown squatters.

 

Chinedu Wosu

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FMDQ’s Transition To Full Exchange’ll Create Competition – SEC

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the transition of FMDQ Securities Exchange Plc to a full exchange would depeen the nation’s capital market and make it more competitive.
SEC’s Acting Director-General, Ms Mary Uduk, stated this at the second quarter Post Capital Market Committee (CMC) news briefing in Lagos.
Speaking on the implications of the new exchange, Uduk said the emergence of FMDQ as a second exchange in the country would bring about competition in the nation’s capital market.
“What other implication will it bring other than competition; competition is good for any environment.
“It will help strengthen the market, it will help people to sit up and give people choice of exchanges.
“If you cannot do it in this exchange, you can go to the other exchange and we are expecting that others will come up as well,” Uduk said.
She noted that competition would bring down cost and as well improve efficiency in the market.
Uduk said the transition of FMDQ to a full exchange would position the Nigerian market in line with international standard with two exchanges.
On the plans by state governments to access the market for capital, she said the commission had not received any application from any state government.
Uduk, however, said that the commission would welcome any state government to raise bonds for developmental projects from the market.
“It will be good for transparency because it will help their financial obligations. For you to be able to access the capital market, you must have transparent accounts as well as governance,” she said.
Uduk noted that any state government approaching the capital market to raise bond must comply with the commission’s rules before their applications would scale through.
“One fundamental issue we look at is total debt of a state including the proposed debt compared with revenue,” she stated.
According to her, proposed debt will not be more than 50 per cent of the preceding revenue to avoid over borrowing.
Commenting on the commisison’s annual reports that have been pending for four years, Uduk said the outstanding accounts had been signed and would be in the public domain by next week.
“In the last four years, accounts of SEC were not signed because of lack of board. As we speak, the accounts have all been signed and they will be on our website before the end of next week,” Uduk said.
She added that the commission carried out enforcement action against Dantata Success and Profitable Company, an illegal investment scheme operating in Kano State its and environs within the quarter.
Uduk said the commission also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to combat money laundering, terrorists financing and fraud in the capital market.

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