President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his administration’s commitment to investing in Nigeria’s human resources, especially the youth and the most vulnerable and poorest citizens.
Speaking at a Presidential parley with the participants of Senior Executive Course 42 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the State House, yesterday, the President said the focus of the group’s research for the year, “Population Growth and Human Capital Development: Challenges and Opportunities’’, was most appropriate in timing, and the recommendations will be fully considered.
According to the President, the focus of the administration’s human capital development drive is in creating more jobs, with particular focus on enabling the private sector, targeting more youthful population by streamlining priority on agriculture, arts, entertainment, mining and information technology (IT).
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said “I have no doubt that you have evaluated the theme given to you. I can assure you that many of your recommendations would be considered to further enhance Human Capital Development in the country.
“Let me reiterate that our administration is committed to diligently pursuing investments in people, especially in our youths as well as most vulnerable and poorest members of society. We will study and explore the creative and innovative recommendations in your report and direct implementations as soon as possible.’’
The President told participants of Senior Executive Course 42 that his administration had made tremendous efforts at diversifying the economy and reducing heavy dependence on the oil sector for government revenues and foreign exchange earnings.
“We are refocusing the economy on agriculture, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining, manufacturing, information technology and labour intensive industries to generate millions of jobs for our teeming youths and able-bodied Nigerians, while gradually integrating the economy into the global economy.
“This administration developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for 2017–2020, which focused on economic diversification and stabilization, making the business environment more competitive, as well as achieving macroeconomic stability by means of fiscal stimulus and improving the balance of external trades.
“We focused the plan on key sectors such as energy, agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, especially rail, roads, broadband networks. We have made considerable progress in food production, especially in rice. We will continue to encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships,” he said.
Buhari noted that efforts had been made in putting in place various programmes to equip Nigerians, particularly the youth, with requisite skills for employment, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, which include the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme, N-Power scheme, Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme, Graduate Internship Scheme and Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria programme.
The President said the Federal Government had taken steps to harmonise all operations related to technical and vocational skills development by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, culminating in a new partnership between the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association under a special initiative called the Technical Skills Development Project.
“In addition, government is implementing the Special Public Works programme to provide employment opportunities to 774,000 youths across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria. We have also recently introduced N75billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, of which N25billion have been provided in 2021 Budget. All of these are consistent with our policy of positioning the youth for strategic leadership in different fields of endeavour.’’
Buhari commended management and members of faculty of the National Institute for getting participants of Senior Executive Course 42 to focus on a theme and present a report as experts on the subject matter.
In his remarks, the Director-General/Chief Executive officer of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Prof. Habu Galadima, thanked the President for providing strategic and purposeful leadership for the country in spite of daunting challenges, appreciating the administration for ably handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
The director-general noted that the participants for Senior Executive Course 42, 2020, were properly guided by daily briefs and guidance of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
“We thank you for enormous investments in the people of this country through highly commendable programmes designed to take Nigerians out of poverty. One can only imagine the magnitude of the outcomes if these investments were not made,” he added.
FG Sets Up To Recover Illegally Refined Crude Oil
In a bid to block revenue leakages, the Federal Government, yesterday, inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Members of the committee, who took their oath at the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, were drawn from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, Defence Headquarters, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
The Solicitor-General of the Federation (SGF), and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Umar Mohammed, who represented the AGF at the event, said the major mandate of the committee, was “the recovery of illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
According to the SGF, “In line with the policy of the current administration on security and economy, as well as the preservation of the environment from negative hazards.
“The office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in collaboration with all stakeholders, have put in place a mechanism for effective and efficient management of illegally refined products recovered from dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“This mechanism was agreed by the relevant stakeholders and submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who considered and approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the purpose of implementing the Mechanism known as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For the Recovery of Illegally Refined Petroleum Products (Crude Oil) in the Dug-Up Pit found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
The SGF said the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“The responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee shall be guided by the SOP, developed for the project.
“The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019.
“It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country”, the SGF added.
FRSC Threatens Sanction Against Fleet Operators Over Speed Limit
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will sanction any fleet operator found sabotaging the implementation of the Speed Limit Device.
Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said this during the 2021 annual safety managers retreat yesterday in Abuja.
The retreat aimed at sensitising safety managers on the implementation of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme to attain best practices in fleet operations.
The theme of the retreat is: “Assessment of Speed Limit Device Implementation in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”.
Oyeyemi, represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle operations, Mr Hyginus Foumsuk, said that the corps would also sanction Speed Limit Device vendors identified for complicity.
The corps marshal expressed concern on the spate of road accidents and needless loss of lives, especially involving fleet operators.
“These, according to many experts investigations, could have been avoided if the concerned safety managers had been responsive in their duties,” he said.
Oyeyemi said that recent findings by the corps have also revealed a low level of compliance on the installation of Speed Limit Device and associated sharp practices among some fleet operators.
He noted that these practices included tampering with Speed Limit Device and connivance with vendors to deceive enforcement operatives.
This, he said, was with compliance certificates without actual installation of the device, calibration above the approved speed limits and others.
According to him, these shall no longer be tolerated as the corps will not hesitate to sanction violators henceforth.
Oyeyemi urged relevant stakeholders to address the decline on the proper vehicle maintenance as well as implementation of the passenger manifest by fleet operators and the drivers’ recruitment policy.
“We all know the essence of the passenger manifest and the significance of its proper implementation. You are therefore urged to take these issues seriously in the interest of safety.
“Passenger manifest is considered pivotal, thus its enforcement should continue along other traffic offences to compel the needed compliance. It is therefore pertinent that strict adherence to the existing policies be sustained,” he said.
“There is need for fleet operators to introduce improved practices to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers in compliance with traffic regulations.
The Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, commended the efforts of the corps on road safety.
Irukera noted that injury and fatality on the road were caused by speed, describing speed as a catalyst, aggravator and mitigator.
He urged motorists to take cognisance look into installing Speed Limit Device to avoid road traffic crashes and save lives and property.
He, however, assured FRSC of the commission’s support to punish violators, saying that excessive speed attracts a penalty.
Sokoto Assembly Approves 2021 Virement Request Of N155m
The Sokoto State House of Assembly yesterday approved Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s request of N155 million virement warrant on some capital projects in 2021 approved budget.
This approval followed the consideration of a letter by the state governor presented at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Achida.
Alhaji Bello Ambarura, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in the assembly, had moved a motion asking the lawmakers to consider the request at its plenary session.
Ambarura said that the request was necessitated by the present administration’s commitment to addressing a number of developmental projects.
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