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FG To Unbundle NIPOST – Post-Master General

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Amidst dwindling fortunes and changing global trends, the Federal Government has concluded plans to unbundle the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and create subsidiaries that will generate more revenues.
Post-Master General, Dr Ismail Adebayo Adewusi made the disclosure in Abuja when the Senate Committee on Communication visited him.
He said: “The agency will soon be unbundled into subsidiary companies in the mode of property development and logistics and transport company.
The subsidiary companies are expected to go into e-commerce, banking, internet post, among others which are the trends globally.
Members of the committee led by their chairman, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in their responses, tasked the Post Master General to think out of the box in confronting challenges facing the agency.
Tinubu, in particular, said: “Though the issue of Finance Act will be looked into by way of amendments since laws are not cast in stone, other challenges should be confronted within by thinking out of the box.
“We are impressed with the move already being made in unbundling the agency. We are very much ready to support you on this wonderful initiative with the required legislations.”
The committee had before visiting NIPOST headquarters, made a stop at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Maitama, Abuja, where submissions made by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Dambata, were more of achievements than lamentations.
Adewusi had, while lamenting the challenges facing the service, said the Finance Act was crippling NIPOST financially.
He also lamented that non-release of N40 billion estimated for transforming its services from analogue to digital since 2005, made it remain backward in postal services.
According to him, the Finance Act 2020 predicated on Finance Bill 2019 passed by both chambers of the National Assembly, has an injurious provision against NIPOST operations in terms of revenue generation.
“Specifically, the Act in one of its provisions removed the legal mandate of NIPOST on stamp creation, which further worsened the inter-agency rivalry that had been existing between NIPOST and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on stamp duties collection.
“While billions of naira as revenues from stamp duties have been lying idle with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), over the controversy of the right of ownership between NIPOST and FIRS. the incapacitation of the agency from creating stamps, has further worsened its financial status.
“This is even as the Federal Government since 1998, stopped funding the agency as far as capital budget is concerned.
“The agency in the light of these overwhelming challenges, appeal to the Senate Committee on Communications to come to its rescue by amending the provisions of the Financial Act incapacitating it from carrying out its traditional mandate of stamp creation with attendant crippling financially.
He also appealed to the senators to help fast track re-consideration and possible passage of the Postal Reform Bill which he said, will help in bringing about the required transformations of the agency.
He, however, assured the senators that despite the daunting challenges affecting its operations, efforts were already been made to reposition it digitally.

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ICT Skills’ll Deliver Economic Independence To Nigerian Girls – NITDA

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that if Nigerian girls are taught relevant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills at a young age, they will be set up for economic independence in future.
The Agency who made this remark through a press release signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, joined the global community to mark the “Girls in ICT Day.” The day which is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April falls on the 23rd April this year.
In the statement, Mrs Umar said that the Agency is highlighting the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in ICT, the world’s fastest growing sector.
She said, “During this year’s celebration, NITDA is drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women to participate actively in the ICT sector of our economy. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had estimated skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next few years. This opens a huge opportunity for girls and young women who have the ability to learn Coding, Apps Development, Computer Science and other ICT related courses.
“This will not only make them ready for a successful career in the ICT sector, but ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in just about any other field they might choose to pursue. With technology playing vital role in all manner of careers, from Arts to Social Sciences, and from Law to History, to Graphic Design, learning ICT skills at a young age will set girls up for economic independence. Furthermore, the ICT sector needs more girls and women and celebrating a day like this reminds us that ICT helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.
“It contributes significantly towards better healthcare, better environmental management, better communication, and better educational systems that transform the way children and adults learn. NITDA, in its proactive manner and in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy as well as in furtherance of bridging the gender imbalance in ICT in Nigeria, has embarked on series of Capacity Building programmes for women and girls across the country. Girls with ICT skills can expect to earn good wages and enjoy huge career opportunities.

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Keystone Bank Disowns Ex-staff, Fake Investment Company

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Keystone Bank Limited has alerted customers of the activities of one Mr. Obinna Onuselogu, who parades a company, Triple C Investment Limited, as an affiliate of the bank with the aim of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank, in a statement yesterday, said Onuselogu, who used to be a staff, was no longer in its employ.
It added that anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of the bank does so at his/her own risk.
“Please note further that Keystone Bank is neither related nor affiliated to any company known as Triple C Investment Limited, which Mr. Onuselogu claims to be its chief executive officer.
“Anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of Keystone Bank does so at his/her own risk,” the statement said.
It was learnt that the ex-staff has been using the name of the bank and its executives claiming to be in partnership with the bank with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank said it was working on a legal process and security agents to put an end to the unscrupulous activities of the so-called Tripple C Investment and its agents.

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Fishermen Union Warn Against Dead Floating Fish Consumption

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The Bonny Indigenous Fishermen’s Cooperative Union has set up a 20-man task force to work with the police and arrest any person or group of persons found with the polluted floating fish along Bonny sea and creeks.
President of the union, comrade Promise Bristol, made this known in a chat with newsmen in Bonny.
Bristol observed that a large quantity of different species of fish were found dead, floating on the sea, from the Atlantic Ocean to the communities and fishing ports in Andoni and Bonny Local Government Areas.
According to him, the species of fish included croaker, popularly known as “broke marriage”, “shine nose”, mackerel, among others.
Bristol lamented that the incident had brought untold hardship to the fishermen in the areas, saying that fishing is their only source of livelihood and appealed to government at all levels to come to their aid.
Bristol said the cause of the death of the fishes was unknown and warned members of the public against their consumption, pointing out that consumption of such fishes could be detrimental to human health.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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