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N-Power Scheme: FG Deploys 50,000 Non-Graduate Applicants, Sept

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No fewer than 50,000 non-graduate applicants in the N-Power volunteer programme would be deployed in late September and trained in October, the Presidential aide on job creation and youth empowerment, Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, has said.
Imoukhuede dropped this hint in an interview with newsmen recently in Abuja.
The aide said that the deployment was delayed to enable the job creation team to provide all needed training materials for the volunteers.
He explained that the volunteers would be deployed to begin three-month vocational training in seven disciplines followed by nine-month apprenticeship in related industries before venturing into self-employment.
He said that September deployment was because officials had mapped the volunteers who applied in 2016 to go to the various centres for physical verification to ensure that those in existing N-Power scheme were removed.
“The basic tools that the trainees are going to use we also centralised the procurement and that procurement has been concluded.
“Contracts were awarded as at end of June and as I speak now literally all contractors have delivered to the six zonal warehouses that we then appointed.
“So we have a warehouse for South South in Edo which is a gateway into South South, for South East we have a warehouse in Umuahia, for South West we have Lagos.
Furthermore, “For North East we have Yola, for North West we have in Kaduna and for North Central we have warehouse in Abuja.
“These are zonal warehouses that have received tools for all the vocational trades from automobile to carpentry and all the seven disciplines.
“In addition to that the training consumables that the centres would also use to bring the volunteers to the level of industry competence were also procured and distributed in all the six zonal warehouses,’’ said the aide.
He said that the reason it was done was that one could really begin to measure standards.
“So, there will be no case of the training being given out in Yobe different from the one in Kaduna or in Umuahia and also no question of some centres having consumables and others claiming they were not supplied,’’ he explained.
The presidential aide said that a centre assessment committee, with the Labour Minister as Chair and him as alternate chair, was set up early in the year to visit the zones.
He said that with the committee the N-Power team had actually gone round the country and picked again three states in each geo-political zone plus Lagos and Abuja.
Accordingly, he said, that the training centres were now in 19 states and FCT, adding that all the centres are recommended for training and retreats across the country.

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FG To Recover N614bn Debt From 35 States

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, says the Federal Government has resolved to recover N614 billion loan facility from 35 states of the federation.
The minister disclosed this when she briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, at the State House, Abuja, yesterday.
Ahmed said each of the affected 35 states received N17.5billion as bail out from the Federal Government.
She said that already the Council had agreed to constitute a team to finalise modalities for commencement of repayment of the loan facility.
The team, according to her, would be constituted from the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Ministry of Finance.
The Minister of Finance said that she briefed NEC on the progress of the loan facility, detailing how the Federal Government has made a total of over N614 billion available to 35 States being N17.5 billion each.
“Council agreed to constitute a team from the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet with the CBN and Ministry of Finance to finalise modalities for commencement of payment,’’ she said.
The minister further revealed that she updated the Council on the activities of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Excess Crude Account (ECA) and other special accounts of the federation.
She said the committee requested for extension of time to finalise and present its report during the next meeting of the Council.
On the $9billion dollars London Court judgement against Nigeria, the minister said the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had assured that Nigeria would appeal against the judgment.

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I’ll Lift Nigerians Out Of Poverty – Minister

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The new Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, has promised to lift Nigerians out of poverty by developing the nation’s endowed natural resources.
He made the promise on Wednesday in Abuja when he assumed office shortly after he and other 42 ministers were sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Tide reports that the minister was received by directors in the ministry and some heads of parastatals and agencies under the ministry.
“I intend to learn quickly from all of you. I have been following the progress of Dr Kayode Fayemi, the immediate past minister of this ministry who did a lot of work.
“I also intend to learn the robes quickly with the Minister of State, so that we can contribute our quota to the development of the country, especially with regards to lifting people out of poverty.
“Mr President has promised to lift 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years, at the end of tenure of this administration which is four years, we want to at least achieve 40 per cent of that,’’ he said.
Adegbite expressed optimism that the administration would achieve a lot at delivering the dividends of democracy.
The minister said he would stamp out corruption in the sector in line with the agenda of the Buhari administration.
“Corruption fight begins with all of us, if we can be disciplined in the little things we do in our privacy, it will be easier to fight corruption in the country.
“We will join efforts with the Federal Government in fighting corruption to ensure a corruption free society,’’ he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of State for the ministry, Dr Ikechukwu Ogor, said he would support the minister to achieve the vision for the sector.
Ogah solicited the support of members of staff of the ministry to achieve the vision.
“We will all work as a team to take this ministry to an enviable position,’’ he said.
The ministry‘s Permanent Secretary, Dr Abdulkadri Mu’azu, welcomed the ministers and gave them the break-down of the departments and operations.
He said the ministry was strategic to the country, especially with regards to diversification of the economy.
Muazu pledged the loyalty and dedication of the management and staff of the ministry to the ministers to enable them succeed the tasks ahead.
Some members of staff of the ministry expressed optimism that the ministers would bring to bear their experiences to take the ministry to greater heights.

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CTA To Assist Farmers Access Drought, Flood Tolerant Seeds

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The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), has revealed that it is working with partners in various countries to ensure that farmers have access to drought and flood-tolerant seeds.
This move became necessary following the rising effects of climate change which has a direct impact on agricultural activities.
The Senior Program Coordinator of CTA, Dr Oluyede Ajayi said agriculture is central to development in Africa, but unfortunately it is subjected to a lot of pressures of climate change, like drought, weather extremes that affect food production.
Dr Ajayi who spoke with newsmen in Abuja at the Regional Workshop on Climate Finance and Support Mechanism for a Resilient Agriculture Sector in West and Central Africa said the point they raised was how to improve investment to help farmers become resilient and promote food security in the face of extreme weather.
“One of the points that we raised is how we improve investment to help farmers become resilient and to promote food security in the face of extreme weather situations, to do that requires more than investment, unfortunately less than 10 per cent of fund that goes to the climate is spent on agriculture, we are expecting so much from agriculture, but the fund that goes into agriculture in terms of investment to address climate issues is very low.
“So, this meeting is being organised to brainstorm the practical ways to leverage funding and improve financing to support climate action in agriculture”, he said.
He further said that they were also working towards exposing farmers to climate technologies which would assist in increasing their yield even in unfriendly weather.

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