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.
Yobe: Former APC Guber Candidate, 1,000 Others Defect To PDP
A former All Progressives Congress (APC) 2019 gubernatorial candidate in Yobe State, Dr Aji Kolomi, was among hundreds of members of the ruling party who joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently.
He was welcomed into the PDP’s fold alongside hundreds of his supporters at the main opposition party’s secretariat in Damaturu, the state capital.
PDP’s Publicity Secretary in Yobe, Hon. Salihu Mohammed Baba, in a statement, claimed that after the party has kicked off “Operation Flush APC In The State”, it has received over 1,000 APC loyalists into its fold.
He said the new entrants, comprising of men and women, were mostly from Abasha, Layin PS and Malaria areas within the metropolis.
“As the operation continues steadily, we welcome the new entrants into our great party the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), and urge our teeming youth to answer the clarion call by joining PDP for better Yobe and Nigeria”, he appealed.
Abdulsalami Abubakar Warns Against Increase In Fuel Price
Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), has warned against an increase in fuel price.
Speaking at the 19th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja, he said an increase in fuel price will push millions of Nigerians into poverty.
He said this following the recommendation issued by the National Economic Council for fuel price to be pegged at N302 per litre.
The former Head of State said, “Insecurity in the country is worsened by our dear economic situation. Unemployment and underemployment remain at a high level. Over 18 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty. All of these tend to have negative effects on security. In fact, Nigeria now faces a full security crisis that is confounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many states in Northern Nigeria.
“Most of these have disrupted the final value change across the country and negatively impacted the ability of Nigeria to produce, process, and distribute.
“There is a continuous rise in the prices of food items beyond the reach of many Nigerians. On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November. We all know that when this happens, it will push many millions of Nigerians into poverty.”
On insecurity, Abdulsalami stated that the situation has overstretched the country’s security forces and has led to the death of thousands.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria is once again at crossroads. Insecurity remains the single, most difficult challenge for the country. The Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, violence in the South-East, kidnappings and abductions of travellers across many states all continue to fester in the land.
“In addition to these, ethnic, communal and religious conflicts are rearing their head again in many parts of the country. All of these have greatly challenged and overstretched our security forces. This has caused thousands of deaths and millions of internally displaced persons in the country over the past years,” he said.
Osun APC Chairmen Forum Accuses Aregbesola Of Championing Crisis
The Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Party Chairmen in Osun State Local Government Council Areas has cautioned the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to stop henceforth the disturbance of the political peace of the State.
The APC party chairmen who spoke through their chairman, Rufus Awotidoye, on Tuesday, after a meeting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, stated that the conduct of Aregbesola constituted an obvious distraction to the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
Awotidoye disclosed that the Interior Minister’s affirmation in Ilesa last Friday “of being the brain behind the obnoxious, leprous and antagonistic pressure group within the state APC self-styled, The Osun Progressives (TOP), was unfortunate and needless.”
They praised the quick and prompt condemnation by the State chairman of the Party, Prince Gboyega Famodun, of the needless outburst of Aregbesola, stating that they were in agreement with the chairman’s timely response.
The local APC party chairmen, however, charged the governor to invoke his vast constitutional powers to deal with whoever is constituting a clog to the lawful performance of his official duties.
They warned Aregbesola to stop taking advantage of the gentle nature of the governor to foment trouble and crisis in Osun State each time he visits the State.
They reminded the Interior Minister that his ministerial appointment should be a source of blessing to the people of the State and not the other way round.
The local APC chairmen, who cautioned Aregbesola to desist from distracting Governor Oyetola from performing his statutory duties, accused him of being responsible for all the atrocities being performed against the sitting Governor and his government by the leadership of his militant political group in the state.
They asked the Interior Minister why he has chosen to be the tormentor-in-chief of Governor Oyetola when it’s on record that the governor as his Chief of Staff gave him a hundred per cent support for the eight solid years he ran the administration of the State.
The furious APC local chairmen told Aregbesola that “enough is enough, you should stop riding roughshod on the State as if Osun is a conquered territory of yours.
“There were functional politicians in the state before your foray into the political terrain of the state.
“You should stop playing God who possesses the absolute power to install governors in the State, as all powers belong to God Almighty.
“When it’s apparent that you could not allow any kind of such seditious act against your administration when you were in government, one wonders why you are doing the same to the focused administration of Governor Oyetola.”
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