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Kogi Workers Woo Buhari On N30.8bn Bailout

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Kogi workers have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the release of the balance of N30.8 billion of the state share of the bailout fund for the payment of their salary arrears.
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Onuh Edoka, made the appeal yesterday in Lokoja at the delegate conference of the state chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN).
He noted that that the state government had embarked on “endless screening” of state workers, adding that the exercise had become strenuous, telling on the health of the workers who traveled from many parts of the state to Lokoja for the screening.
Edoka suggested to the Federal Government set up a committee that would comprise representatives of the state government and the labour to oversee the disbursement of the money, when released.
The State Head of Service, Mrs Deborah Ogunmola, disclosed that the state government had reabsorbed 870 out of the workers sacked in the wake of the screening in 2017.
Ogunmola, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in her office, Alhaji Okeme Abdulahi, did not disclose the number of the staff retrenched in the exercise.
She, however, said the staff affected were those who the screening committee questioned their educational qualifications during the exercise.
The head of service said the workers concerned were reabsorbed after their various institutions affirmed that their certificates were not forged.
She promised that more workers would be reabsorbed as soon as they put their records straight, saying that the reabsorption would be a continuous exercise.
Ogunmola also said that the various institutions contacted by the government had been responding, adding that government had been updating screening reports on the workers.
According to her, the insinuation, by the organised labour, that government had embarked on endless screening was not correct.
Declaring the conference open, the National President of ASCSN, Mr Bobboi Kaigama, said that corruption had assumed “a big proportion” in spite of efforts by government to tame it.
” The Nigerian political class should know that there is no way this country can be inspired to greatness if this beast is not decapitated,” he said
Kaigama,who was represented by Mr John Inalegwu, the National Treasurer of the association, stressed the need to reduce corruption to the barest minimum “in our system before it leads to catastrophic consequences.”
Thhe state Chairman of the ASCSN, Mr Aaron Yusuff, who was re-elected, thanked the delegates for the support and the confidence reposed in him.
He promised that issues of welfare, especially salary payment, regular promotion, training and training would engage his attention during his new term in office. (NAN)

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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