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We’ll Hunt You Down, FG Warns Bandits, Cattle Rustlers

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The Federal Government has vowed to hunt down bandits and cattle rustlers in the North-West, saying it would bare its fangs, cut off their supplies and ensure that they are exterminated.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the pledge, yesterday in Katsina during a town hall meeting with stakeholders on internal security and conflict resolution.
At the meeting, Aregbesola stated that the activities of armed bandits in the North-West has heightened in the past decade and is a major concern and challenge of governance to the Federal Government.
In his address titled, “You have government’s ears”, Aregbesola said the Federal Government delegation was in Katsina to seek the cooperation of the state government and people of the state on how to bring an immediate end to the menace, so as to restore normal life, especially to the rural areas and the farming community.
“Our pledge to you here today is that we are ready and committed to this mission. As we all know, no military campaign can succeed without the cooperation and support of the people. Our mission here, therefore, is to meet with the stakeholders, listen to you and work out how we can best work together to succeed in this endeavour”, Aregbesola said.
According to him, banditry had been defeated in the past and President Muhammadu Buhari administration is bent on repeating the feat.
He said, “the Nigerian security architecture will isolate them, cut off their links and supplies, hunt them down and, except they repent and turn from their evil ways, they will be crushed and exterminated”.
The minister, who reiterated that the President and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) were in great pains over the wanton killings, theft, and destruction being perpetrated by these criminals, assured that “the total, brutal and ferocious might of the Federal Government will soon be brought on them.
“I am assuring you that all the total, brutal and ferocious might of the Federal Government will be brought on them. The Nigerian security machinery will be unleashed in its fury, the way we have never seen before. The sickening criminal acts of these evil people will be brought to an end and all citizens will have the assurance of peace and safety once again”, he emphasized.
Aregbesola noted that the security services have done a great job going after the bandits and halting them in their tracks.
He commended them for their doggedness as well as the efforts of the local vigilantes who have put their lives at great risks out of uncommon patriotism and concern for their homeland, communities, and people.
Responding, the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari assured that the state would give total support to the Federal Government in its bid to stamp out crime and criminalities from the state.
He commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for this bold initiative, noting that it will go a long way in stamping out the menace from the country, once and for all.
Also speaking, the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi extended the Federal Government’s condolences to the families of those that lost their lives and properties, and assured them that government was determined to stem the hazard out of the country.
The Director, Press and Public Relations in the Interior Ministry, Mohammed Manga, noted that after an exhaustive deliberation, the meeting requested more of the Federal Government’s presence in the state.
The stakeholders also called for the engagement of local vigilantes who are closer to the people and ready to respond at a short notice, while they urged the Police, Civil Defence, and other security agencies to take new community-based actions in order to identify all bandits.
They further asked the government to utilize the forests harbouring the bandits as well as deployment of more Agro Rangers personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to enable people to access their farms, among others.

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DPR Plans Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy For Oil, Gas Industry

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is formulating a Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) strategy for Nigeria to attain maximum value delivery from its oil and gas resources.

The Director, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, made the announcement during a keynote address at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), yesterday, in Lagos.

The conference has as its theme, “The Future of Energy –A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market.”

Auwalu said the industry initiative was one of the outcomes of the work of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), Lagos inaugurated in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “Following an in-depth assessment of the status of the industry, the department identified the need to formulate the ‘Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy for Nigeria’.

“This is to guarantee the actualisation of sustainable resource optimisation and the economic benefits arising therefrom.

“The framework for this industry action plan outlines six pillars or building blocks.”

Auwalu said the pillars were: Reserves Maturation and Production Optimisation, Exploration and Resources Maturation, Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery, Implementation Asset Stewardship, Performance Evaluation and Rewards Risk Management.

According to him, the draft framework has been shared with the industry, including professional associations like the SPE and the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists.

He said this was in preparation for an industry collaborative workshop to co-develop and enunciate this strategy for immediate execution.

“We count on the contributions and buy-in of all stakeholders on this crucial national assignment for our overall benefit and industry sustainability,“he said.

Auwalu said Nigeria was rising to the occasion as the ‘trigger’ for continental growth and economic transformation using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development.

He said the DPR would continue to foster innovative ideas and create opportunities for investments and sustainability in the industry.

Auwalu said, “As always, we are enthusiastic to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders, including the SPE, toward the realisation of government’s aspirations for the oil and gas sector.

“In our role as business enablers and opportunity providers, DPR will continue to promote efficiency to meet the needs of the industry, creating value, enhancing transparency, reducing barriers and transaction costs.”

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Pensioners Urge PenCom To Implement Unpaid 15% Increment

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Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have appealed to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to implement their 15 and 33 per cent pension increment and other benefits.

The Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN), South-West Zone, made the appeal,yesterday, during a peaceful protest held in Ibadan.

The CPUN President, Mr Joseph Idowu, while addressing newsmen said that PenCom has yet to implement the increment since 2007 and 2010 in spite of various promises.

Idowu said that their counterparts, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), had been enjoying the increment through the proactive stand of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

“The new consequential adjustment in pension due to the latest increase in workers’ salaries and wages are also being enjoyed by pensioners under DBS, neglecting the CPS pensioners.

“No CPS pensioner has received any interest on their accrued benefits since 2007 till date.

“We require your urgent attention to ensure that arrears on this are calculated and paid at the Federal Government official rate, as at the time of retirement,” Idowu said.

The president said that his members were suffering as some of them collect as low as N3, 000 as their monthly pension which was not accepted.

Idowu also said that his members were not happy with the delay in the payment of their retirement benefits, which the commission now paid after one year of retirement, contrary to PRA Act 2004 (Amended).

He said that Section 16 (5) of PRA Act 2004 says pensioners should be paid not more than three months after retirement.

Idowu, however, commended the commission for prompt payment of their monthly pension, urging them to prioritise welfare of pensioners under the CPS.

Also, a member of the union, Mrs Clara Fumilayo, called on the Federal Government to assist the pensioners,

Fumilayo said that their monthly pension could no more buy any tangible things based on the situation in the country.

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‘Only 29% Of Babies Breastfed Due To Reliance On Breast Milk Substitute’

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A professor of Paediatric and Child Health, Alice Romoke-Nte, says the aggressive marketing of breast milk substitute by manufacturers was responsible for the gap in breastfeeding of children by mothers in Nigeria.

Nte, who is also the coordinator, Baby Friendly Initiative at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) said the advertising of these baby food weakens the confidence of the mothers and makes them feel that these breast milk substitutes are better off.

She said this has left only 29 percent of Nigerian babies breastfed as a result.

Nte said the UPTH, Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt and other stakeholders were using this year’s World Breastfeeding Week to carry out aggressive campaigns to raise awareness for the need of exclusive breastfeeding.

She said the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes would be included in steps to ensure full compliance of marketing these artificial body foods.

Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt that joined in the rally yesterday morning for exclusive breastfeeding to mark the World Breastfeeding Week includes, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Top Health, Seaport, Eco, Atlantic City, and Golf Estate.

Others include, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway, City Valley, Passport, Creek View, Sky Waves, and Rotary Club of Port Harcourt.

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