Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, has declared support for the Federal Government’s closure of the nation’s borders, commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his courage in taking the action.
Umahi made the declaration last Monday at Onueke, headquarters of Ezza South Local Government Area of the State, while declaring open the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Account Opening Week (AOW).
According to him, the nation will gain tremendously from the closure.
Umahi urged Nigerians to weigh the option of consuming poison from foreign produced-rice and ‘killers’ crossing the borders into the country in the name of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty.
“We should consider the benefits of protecting lives and quote me anywhere, I support the president on the issue of border closure.
“The closure of border means that the illegal smuggling of petroleum products is minimised and so many other benefits,” he said.
The governor queried the pressure from other countries for Nigeria to open the borders, noting that they should not be more ‘Catholic than the Pope’.
“When China closed its economy against the world, it sat and provided a pathway for its survival, bearing in mind, its population.
“When it eventually opened its economy to the world, one can see that it is a super power and so our nation should not be a dumping ground.
“I believe the CBN supports the border closure because it has helped to ‘shore’ up the value of the Naira,” he said.
Umahi said the campaign for the opening of accounts would be intensified in the state during the period, as political officer holders, especially the new appointed ones will be expected to open accounts if they have not.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman should stop paying party executives by cash and when one includes the market women of over 10, 000 who are expected to open accounts, we will have about 15, 000.
“We will support each rural farmer who has not opened account from the 64 LGA development centres with N1, 000 to open accounts.
“The CBN must therefore, lobby the development centre coordinators to ensure that the beneficiaries do not have to come to Abakaliki to do this,” he said.
CBN Abakaliki Branch Controller, Mr Chris Adayi, said that the event which started from December 2 to December 7, was going on across five other states of the country namely: Bayelsa, Ondo, Kano, Nasarawa and Gombe.
“The AOW is an initiative of the Bankers Committee, Financial Service Providers and all financial inclusion stakeholders in the state.
“We are expecting to open 47, 000 to 50, 000 new accounts and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and this means a lot of work for us.
“The activity is part of the initiatives aimed at driving collective action and achieving the intended targets, while targeting the grassroots,” he said.
Adayi said that during the event, deposit money banks, micro finance banks, pension, insurance and capital market operators would mobilise to open accounts for the citizens.
LG Boss Ready To Pay Workers’ Salary Arrears
The Chairman of Ahoada West Local Government Area, Evang. Hope Ikiriko, has vowed to pay salary arrears of all the council staff whose salaries were stopped after verification of their employment and postings are authenticated by the Local Government Service Commission.
This came as a reaction to the strike threat by the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Rivers State for the stoppage of salaries of about 110 workers of the council on the ground of alleged ghost workers.
Ikiriko, who disclosed this while reacting to the issue in an interaction with journalists in Port Harcourt recently, noted that the council discovered some discrepancies in the employment of some of these workers during staff audit.
“The council decided to embark on the staff verification because when I came on board as the council chairman, I discovered that the number of staff that came to work was between 20 to 50 persons.
“In the council payroll, we had about 1, 600 workers who are paid salaries every month, and how can we continue to pay salaries to this number of staff, and we had to set up a committee to verify those who are genuine workers of the council.
“This process revealed a lot of things, where some people claiming to be staff were not dully employed, infact they do not have authentic papers or document to back up their claims.
“Some of them on their own took over the position of their dead relatives, while some did not even know the procedure of employment and transfer, especially those of them that claim to come on transfer from other local government area” Ikiriko vowed.
By: Corlins Walter
FRSC To Clampdown On Traffic Offenders In Rivers
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has threatened to clampdown on all those that disregard road traffic rules, particularly those that make phone calls while driving and one-way drive.
FRSC says that making phone calls while driving is a very serious offence, and that those that will be caught from now will be arrested and made to go for Psychological Examination.
The Rivers State Sector Commander of FRSC, Salisu Umaru, who made this known in a media interaction in Port Harcourt Monday, noted that the command was not happy with the way some people disobeyed traffic signs and laws.
According to him, the sector is embarking on the ‘ember’ months enlightenment and enforcement campaign where all the machineries of FRSC will be fully mobilised to work.
“I don’t like the way some people drive in Rivers state. You see people driving one-way, not obeying traffic signs and laws, making phone calls while driving.
“ We want to stop these things in Rivers state. We will arrest and send offenders on psychology examination to ascertain why they do such things.
“ Psychological examination is not the same thing as Psychiatric examination. We are to do preventive enforcement on all Nigerian roads, whether federal or state.
“FRSC is not all about enforcement, but we do corrections.There are times we caution offenders without booking them, and that is official for us”, Umaru said. On why the FRSC made serious checks on vehicle plate numbers, the sector boss explained that the purpose was purely for security, to check criminal activities on vehicle procurement, and also those that used them for crime.
The FRSC sector boss also said that his corps were coming up with some help areas where people that have one problem or the other on the road could be attended to, with ambulance stationed there.
He said that the state government has been notified of the intentions, which according to him, was geared towards safety of lives on the road.
By: Corlins Walter
NIMASA, BPSR Partner On Maritime Transformation
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) are currently in talks on how to implement transformational initiatives in the maritime sector.
Speaking in Abuja during a visit to the Bureau, NIMASA’s Director General, Dr Bashir Jamoh, emphasised the importance of efficient and effective public service to Nigeria’s economic prosperity, adding that the agency is committed to collaborate with the ongoing initiative.
Jamoh, who was represented by the agency’s Director, Reform Coordination and Strategic Management, Dr Kabir Murnai, said the partnership would be focused on reform initiatives and development research.
According to him, a sustainable relationship between the two Federal Government agencies was essential for capacity development.
He stated: “We are here to see how we can connect with BPSR in order to clearly understand and key into government’s specific priorities, while still pursuing the respective mandates and goals of NIMASA.
“We desire advisory and technical support services for change management teams, to engender an environment of learning within NIMASA”.
Similarly, Director of BPSR, Mr Dasuki Ibrahim Arabi, pledged the Bureau’s commitment to the collaborative agreement for the mutual benefit of the two agencies.
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