The Conference at Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Benue State chapter, has described as unfortunate the passage into law of a bill giving Governor Gabriel Suswan un-fettered powers to seek credit borrowings from the capital market and other sources.
Speaking with journalists at the weekend, Benue State chairman of the CNPP, Baba Agan, stated that the action at the state House of Assembly, was a negation of members responsibility to their constituents, which is to protect them from the exploitative actions of the state government. But Deputy Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, William Edor, who presided over the passage of the law, said the House had to pass the bill in record time to assist the government complete on-going projects stalled by funding.
Again he said the passage of the bill did not come as a surprise to the opposition, alleging that there is a plot to mortgage the future of the state.
According to him, when the House in September passed a resolution permitting the state government to borrow N13.1 billion, the CNPP had written letters of protest to the lending institutions informing them that the Benue State Government did not enjoy the legal support of the people, which led to the creditors demanding the passage of a bill to that effect to protect their funds.
The Plateau State Government has signed an agreement with Akintola Williams Deloitte, an accounting firm, to resuscitate Jos International Breweries (JIB) Plc.
The managing director of JIB, Mr Albert Kattlems, told news men recently in Lagos that Deloitte would not only restructure the firm, but review the company’s strategic options for growth.
The JIB, one of Nigeria’s blue chips in the past, is owned by the Plateau State Government. According to Katlems the agreements, which will last for six months with an option of renewal also includes the recruitment of a competent technical partner/core investor for the firm.
He said that the core investor, which will acquire the state government’s 63 per cent stake in the company, also had the opportunity of increasing its equities from the issued share capital the company.
The Federal Government will today make public the final report of the 2008 National Health Demographic Survey after the last one conducted in 2003.
The report is expected to provide details of the nations health indicators as the trend occurs in the rural and urban communities.
Wife of the president, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua is to launch the 2008 NDHS report in Abuja. The document captured fertility, Human Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and other sexually-transmitted infections, family planning, woman status and household trends in the country.
The survey was jointly conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC), United State Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Funds (UNPF), with support from Macro International.
It is expected to provide insight into the statistics on health and population.
The federal government has been urged to employ exterior vector control specialist in the roll back malaria programme.
The call was made recently at a day seminar titled “Management of Pest in Stored Products and in food industry” by the pest control association of Nigeria (PECAN), at the Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERC), Agidingbi Lagos.
The association noted that since the federal government has approved the use of treated net to combat malaria, efforts should be made to involve exterior vector control specialists.
PECAN noted that there is need for National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Federal Ministry of Heath and Environment as well as health managers to work together to manage and control pest and regulate hazardous effects of pesticides.
Earlier, the Association president Dr. Tokunbo Coker, emphasised that since PECAN provide services mainly in the industrial institutions on health related issues and for the association to give effective services, practical knowledge needs to be acquired on a wide variety of pests, their life – span, pesticidal formation appropriated for their management and methods, to avoid contamination of goods and pollution of the environment.
In another development, Tom Williams, an expert in tropical diseases from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), has said that 90 percent of children born with sickle cell anaemia in Africa die before they are diagnosed and can get treatment and half of those lives could be saved if sufferers were protected from bacterial infections.
Williams said that sickle cell anaemia kills more children in Africa than HIV, stressing that HIV commands vast attention from the international community, sickle cell anaemia is “Virtually Invisible”.
Sickle- cell anaemia affects millions of people worldwide, but more than 50 percent of the cases are in Africa, where around 200,000 children are born with the disease every year, he said.
To prevent fresh outbreak and further spread of cholera and other water-borne diseases in Borno, the state and local councils have procured and distributed N100 million worth of drugs, drips and other hospital consumables to the 27 councils.
The cholera treatement camps at biu, Gwoza, Ngaram-Bulabuli, Konduga and Dikwa have been provided with drugs and doctors to bring an end to further spread of water born diseases, Governor Ali Modu Sheriff has stated.
Sheriff, who spoke on the further spread of cholera and measures taken by government to contain the situation at the Maiduguri Government House, said the outbreak of cholera in August in Adamawa State spread to Borno through the Madube community of Gwoza council.
President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abdulwaheed Omar, has restated the readiness of the labour movement to resist any attempt by the government to deregulate the downstream sector of the nation’s petroleum industry.
Omar, who spoke in Ikaram-Akoko, Ondo State at the weekend, disclosed that the NLC had reached out to the federal government to stop the deregulation policy and that “for now, we are expecting the government to announce that the proposed deregulation has been cancelled.”
However, he added: “If government continues with the planned deregulation, we will call out our members and we will take necessary steps to frustrate the exercise. We will invoke the full power of organised labour to protest and we will frustrate it.”
The NLC chief, who spoke at the burial of Prince Samuel Kayode, father of Labour Minister, Adetokunbo Kayode, blamed the current scarcity of petroleum products on the proposed deregulation policy.
The nation’s health institutions may witness yet another round of strike following a threat issued last weekend by the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists to withdraw their services unless it demands were met by the authorities.
Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, the association expressed surprise that the federal government, having recently met the demands of medical doctors, was yet to release a circular to facilitate the implementation of reviewed salaries and allowances of laboratory scientists.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, first vice president of the group, Godswill Okara, said the association would no longer stand by and watch while the authorities treat members as second class citizens when the welfare of other stakeholders in the health sector were given prompt attention.
The Minister of State for Finance, Mr Remi Babalola, has advised the three tiers of government to look inwards to generate sustainable resources to meet the minimum requirements and needs of their economies, particularly the infrastructural development.
He gave the advice in Ibadan, Oyo State at the 2009 Ibadan week conference organised by the Jericho Businessmen club at the Banquet Hall of Premier Hotel.
The Minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Mr. Bode Agunbiade, advised the tiers of government not to solely depend on the monthly allocations from the federation account.
Delivery a paper on the theme of the conference “Infrastructural Development of Ibadanland,” Babalola explained that the provisions of infrastructures require further increase in government spending, especially in these modern times.
Dana Steel Limited, the core investor in Katsina Steel Rolling Company, has recorded a milestone in its privatisation Post Acquisition Plan (PAP) with the commissioning of its new 180,00 metric tons billet manufacturing plant.
The N5.4 billion plant (Steel Melt Shop) is a major step in the company’s backward integration strategy and is sure to boost the operations of the steel mill significantly.
Excited by the development, managing director of Dana Steel Jacky Hathiramani expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, and people of Katsina State, for their belief in Dana Steel, and their support in ensuring that the plant comes on steam.
The Sokoto state chapter of the Judicial Staff Union has called off the strike action embarked upon two weeks ago in the sate.
The judiciary workers had 19 days ago embarked on the strike action demanding improved welfare and condition of service to their members.
A communiqué at the end of its meeting signed by its chairman Malam Isa Saidu said the union is satisfied with the recent measures adopted by the state government towards improving judicial workers condition of service, which is expected to commence this week.
It regretted the inconvenience and suffering it subjected members of the public, during the strike action. It also commended the various workers in the state for their resilience and maturity through out the period of strike.
The Federal Government has said that it will establish the Universal Internet Service and viewing centre across tertiary institutions in the state.
This is said is aimed at tackling the problem of how access to cutting edge Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources among Nigerian students.
Minister of state for Information and Communication Idris Bibis announced this at the weekend while commissioning a public viewing centre built by the Ministry in collaboration with the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) in Kaduna.
He said the importance of information technology cannot be our emphasised, adding that the idea aims at putting information at the finger trips of the Nigerian students and their school communities in order to equip them to meet global challenges.
Kebbi Doctors Give 2,500 Patients Free Medical Care
Two thousand, five hundred persons benefitted from the medical outreach conducted by the Kebbi chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Gwadangwaji Community in Birnin-Kebbi Council Area of the state in August.
The outreach covered dental and gynaecological cases and awareness campaign on cancer, particularly cervical cancer.
NMA Chairman in Kebbi, Dr Murtala Muhammad-Dandare, told The Tide’s source in Birnin-Kebbi on Wednesday that the outreach was conducted after its 2023 Annual General Meeting.
He said the NMA in Kebbi organised the outreach in collaboration with the Kebbi State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KECHEMA) to provide free and quality healthcare service.
“We organise the outreach in collaboration with KECHEMA annually as part of programmes for our annual general meetings.
“We conducted outreaches in other council areas in the past, but a bigger outreach is being organised to cover free surgeries.
“In the August outreach, beneficiaries requiring surgeries were noted for the oncoming outreach”, Muhammad-Dandare he said.
The Chapter Chairman also told the source that the outreaches were usually funded through members’ monthly contributions and donations by individuals and organisations.
“We rely solely on our members’ monthly contributions and sometimes donations by philanthropists and organisations.
“We appreciate KECHEMA and thank the organisation for its efforts and assistance in the procurement of drugs and the provision of logistics,”, he said.
Muhammad-Dandare called on the State Government to assist the association to expand the outreaches to remote communities of Kebbi.
FG Conducts 2nd Phase Computer-Based Exams For Public Servants
The Federal Government on Wednesday conducted the second phase of computer-based Confirmatory Promotional Examination (COMPRO II) for junior cadre officers in public service across the nation.
The examination conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), had a total of 9, 618 candidates from paramilitary and junior officers from the core Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), who participated in the exams nationwide.
Speaking after touring Abuja centres, the Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office, office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Dr Marcus Ogunbiyi, commended JAMB management for proper conduct of the exams.
“As you can see, the exam has been well organised and this is the first time we are holding a CBT for junior COMPRO candidates. Last year was for the senior cadre officers and I commend the level of their comportment.
“The way they have handled the system for now is encouraging and I believe by the time we come back next year for the same exercise, things will be better”, he said.
Ogunbiyi, however, identified some areas of lapses to include accreditation of officers which he said would be addressed before the next conduct of such exercise.
He said the reason behind the initiative by the Federal Government was part of its vision to reform the public service by going digital and to improve civil servants in the course of their work.
“In the first instance, the COMPRO is to test the ability and how well the public officers know the public service and to test the level of their potential to handle the assignments given to them as public servants.
“What we are doing now by going digital is part of reforms of the nation’s public service”, he said.
He said over the years, the service had been handling bulk questions papers and a lot of human interface in assessing officers.
“But going digital, we are now reducing the human contacts, it is done seamlessly. So it is what you put there, that is what you get back”, he explained.
Also, Mr Ateboh Ademu, Director, Learning and Development, office of the HOCSF, said Head of service office was satisfied with the level of performance of the exercise.
“As the Director of learning and development, the assessment so far as we have witnessed by all indication is excellent, is even beyond expectations, the attitude.
“The conducts of candidates and handling of the whole exercise have been done excellently”, he said.
Ademu gave assurance of non compromise of the system to sustain the needed standards.
According to him, having examined some of the problems encountered during the first conduct of the exam, the office of the HOCSF in collaboration with JAMB have put some measures on ground to address all observable challenges.
In the same vein, Mrs Blessing Garuba, one of the candidates from Nigeria Immigration Service, commended the innovative of computer-based examination for public servants in Nigeria.
Garuba added that it had improved her horizon as she could confidently operate computer on her own.
“When I heard about the exam I was panicking but going into the exam hall, I found out that it is all what I know. Besides, I have learnt a lot resulting from using computer”, she said.
The Tide’s source reports that the Federal Government had in 2022, introduced the computer-based examination for the senior cadre officers across all MDAs to fulfill its agenda of improving public service to a global standards.
EEDC Strengthens Partnership With Police Against Vandalism, Energy Theft
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says it is strengthening existing partnership with the Nigeria Police to curb vandalism and energy theft with its network franchise area covering the South-East.
Head of Security in EEDC, Mr Frank Ejiofor, said this during a courtesy visit to the new Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, CP Kanayo Uzuegbu, in his office in Enugu on Wednesday.
Ejiofor also noted that the visit was part of EEDC’s strategy to collaborate with its critical stakeholders.
“The EEDC is using this opportunity to solicit for continued support of the Nigeria Police Force against the various activities that impact negatively on our company’s operations.
“Some of these activities include vandalism of electricity infrastructure, energy theft and assault on our officials among others”, he said.
He also lauded the commissioner on his efforts to curtail the security challenges in the state.
Responding, CP Uzuegbu, assured EEDC of the Police Command’s willingness not only to support its operations but also its readiness to attend to any call on them for assistance.
The commissioner commended EEDC for its socio-economic impact and development in the country especially in the area of job creation for the teeming youths in the state.
Accompanying Ejiofor to the courtesy visit were EEDC’s Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Emeka Ezeh; Head, Customer Service, Mrs Ijeoma Ogudebe; District Business Manager, Ogui District, Mr Chimezie Chukwu, and the Chief Security Officer, Ogui District, Mr. Jonathan Arum.
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