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THE STATES

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Three more political parties were Tuesday registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) bringing the number of parties to 57.

In a statement, INEC Director of Public Affairs, Mr Emmanuel Umemegere said the commission approved the registration of the parties after having satisfied all the requirements specified in section 222 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said the approval was given at the commission meeting Tuesday.

They include the National Transformation Party (NTP), Democratic Party for a Peoples Federation (DPPF) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

 

Benue

 

The Benue State House of Assembly has insisted that the Pesident, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, must appear before it to make firm commitments on the agreement he entered into with the Benue State Government, which he has allegedly breached by reducing the shares of the state at Benue Cement Company Plc (BCC). 

Addressing reporters at the assembly complex Tuesday after Dangote failed to appear before the House for a second time over the share crisis between Dangote Group and Benue State, House of Assembly, Speaker, Terseer Tsumba, stated that the Assembly had given the business mogul the last opportunity to appear before the lawmakers on January 12, 2010.

He said the last two dates given to Dangote to appear before the house failed to yield any results as the business mogul only sent his representatives.

Tsumba said that Dangote Tuesday chose to send a deputy managing director of his group who was in company of some senior staff of the BCC Plc. He stressed that the House was not satisfied with the action of the BCC core investor; hence the decision to give him the last chance to appear before the Assembly.

 

Plateau

 

Mr Biran Dadi of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) was Tuesday sworn in as chairman of Lantang North Local Council, Plateau State.

His inauguration followed a judgement by the State’s Local Government Appeal Tribunal, which deemed him the lawful winner of the council polls earlier given to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC).

Swearing in Dadi Tuesday, the Governor Jonah Jang lauded the council chief for his diligent pursuit of his mandate through the courts.

Jang said the swearing-in was another demonstration of his administration’s resolve to live by the rule of law.

The Local Government Appeal Tribunal has so far upturned three council elections in favour of the opposition parties. The Action Congress (AC) has retrieved Lantang South and Bokkos councils from the PDP through the appeal.

 

 

Kaduna

 

Officials of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) Tuesday in Kaduna urged the presidency to relieve the minister of Agriculture, Dr. Sayyadi Abba Ruma of his appointment for allegedly undermining the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank Limited (NACRDB), as well as the nation’s peasant farmers. The NACRDB branch of NUBIFIE accused Ruma of gradually killing the bank because of his selfish interest with all sorts of uncivilised policies that are against the survival of the bank.”

The union in a statement jointly signed by NUBIFIE, NACRDB chairman, Ade Martins Odigie and the president at the association, Bala Waziri and made available to journalists in Kaduna, alleged that Ruma, whose ministry is not even part of the shareholders of the bank, had continued to undermine the financial institution in addition to running it like his personal estate. The unions further claimed that the alleged “selfish activities of the minister have brought untold hardship to millions of Nigerian farmers who relies solely on credit facilities from the agric bank.

 

Ekiti

 

Legal Luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) and proprietor of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) has criticised universities operating from rented facilities saying such universities were set up for profit making. Speaking Tuesday at the inauguration of the governing council of ABUAD, Babalola said the need to make a difference in university education informed the setting up of his own university, adding that ABUAD has set the standard for future private universities in the country.

He maintained that many of those who got license to operate a university and are doing so from a rented apartment are after profit, saying this ought not to be the situation.

Babalola pointed out that many great universities all over the world were not established for profit making, adding that ABUAD is meant to operate like them, giving to the society quality university education.

Also, while playing host to the management at ABUAD, Ekiti State governor, Mr. Segun Oni, said the state government has spent N8 billion on the funding of state-owned tertiary institutions in the last two and half years.

He said the amount surpasses the N7.5 billion expended on the same tertiary institutions by previous administrations in the state during a period of 11 years.

 

Gombe

 

Accounting profession in the country may be on the verge of losing out in the global standard practice due to inflation and pervading  political insensitivity to critical economic issues, the National President of Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Mrs I.F. Gafar has said.

Gafar explained that the challenges in the practice of the profession, due to the unsavory external environment, has made data compatibility impossible because of poor handling of accounting historical records.

The ANAN boss, who made the assertion while delivering her address at the sixth session of the mandatory continuing professional development programme held recently, in Gombe, noted that the greatest challenge facing accountants in the country was the ability to improve reporting standard that would suit the pace of global development.

She therefore challenged the professional accountants  to be alert and watchful as that would enable them to prepare for the unforeseen financial changes in the world economy in which the Nigerian economy was an integral part.

Gafar had therefore re-emphasised the need for continued training and retraining of accounts, as it was required by the profession in compliance with the international ethics and best practices of learning about new practice opportunities.

 

Plateau

 

The Plateau State budget performance in 2009 financial year was negatively affected by the November 2008 civil unrest in Jos, the state capital, fall in oil price and non reimbursing of the state of over N10 billion as its shares of excess foreign debt reductions handed over to Nassarawa state.

Governor Jonah Jang who lamented that all these adversely affected the state government projections, noted that the resources gulped by the management of the Jos mayhem would have been expended on the provisions of water and other social amenities.

According to him, it increased internal borrowing to cover the envisaged budget deficit, which impacted negatively on 2009 budget performance.

The state is to spend N74.8 billion in 2010, as against N78.4 billion in 2009, representing N4.5 billion decrease. Chief Jang, spoke while presenting 2010 Appropriation Bill to the state legislature recently.

According to him, the estimated Recurrent Revenue for 2010 is N33.5 billion as against N38.2 billion for 2009, while the Recurrent Expenditure gulped N25.8 billion in 2009 financial year.

 

Lagos

 

The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice I. Akerele Tuesday freed 34 inmates of Ikoyi prison.

Akerele who ordered the release of the inmates during a visit to the prison said her action was pursuant to section 1 (II) of the criminal justice release from Custody Special Provision Act Cap 340, 2004 law of the Federation of Nigeria.

The freed inmates were those who had been in custody longer than the maximum period of imprisonment which they could have served if convicted of alleged offence.

She said the move was to decongest the prison and urged the beneficiaries to go and sin no more.

 

Ondo

 

The lingering agitation by the organised labour movement for better wages for workers in the nation’s public sector may end on a positive note early next year.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Adetokumbo Kayode (SAN), declared in Akure, Ondo State capital Tuesday that “a new wage regime that would put smiles on faces of Nigerians, would take off soon.”

According to the minister, who is on a three-day official visit to Ondo State, final arrangements are already being put in place by all the concerned stakeholders in the wage issue to prepare a workable and acceptable framework in the first month of the new year.

He disclosed that the Justice Alfa Belgore panel, which was set up by President Umaru Yar’Adua to streamline issues pertaining to agitation over the wage matter, has been approved by the Federal Government.

His words: “The issue of minimum wage is under process. The Federal Government approved the Justice Belgore Panel, which hasp Labour, employers and government as members. We have been divided into sub-committees and we have been working and it is for the committee to round off its assignment.

“I asked them to round off early next year so that we can move on. We want to change from minimum wage to living wage. We want to have a salary that can allow people to live purposeful life and take care of the vagaries of the effects of the global and national economies on our social lives.”

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Winners-Take-All Approach Detrimental To Political Justice And Unity – Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has cautioned that the prevailing “winners-take-all” approach to politics in Nigeria is detrimental to political justice and unity.
Speaking yesterday as the chairman of the national symposium to mark this year’s Democracy Day at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Jonathan emphasised the need for a more inclusive system where parties that perform well at the polls are given a role in governance.
The symposium, which marked this year’s Democracy Day, brought together prominent figures from across the country to discuss the state of democracy in Nigeria and the need for reforms.
Jonathan highlighted the negative impact of the current zero-sum practice, which he said fosters a culture of do-or-die politics. He urged the National Assembly to work out a formula that would ensure parties that score a certain percentage of votes in an election are included in governance, thereby promoting political justice and unity.
“The powers of the presidents are defined by different constitutions and so on and so forth.
“So our National Assembly can also look at models that will suit us. The zero-sum approach, where a party that even sometimes gets 40% of votes, especially at the state levels will have nothing, gives rise to this do-or-die politics.
“That zero-sum approach, I think, is inimical to consolidating and strengthening our democracy.
“Let me conclude by saying that together, we can forge a Nigeria where every citizen has a voice, where opportunities abound, where the promise of a better tomorrow is not just a dream but a tangible reality.
“Let us therefore celebrate this milestone with pride and renewed determination.”
President Jonathan also advised President Bola Tinubu’s administration to ensure that the politics of the next 25 years are transformative and inclusive, saying that there must be a determined effort to dilute the politics of region and religion.
“And I know you and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was a key actor in the June 12 crisis, will have the capacity to navigate through that process.
“I believe this programme and others commemorating this landmark will point the way to that glorious vision and prepare the nation for golden time centenary celebrations of enduring democracy.”
Noting that the path towards democratic consolidation has been a difficult one, he said the return of democracy in 1999, after many years of military reign, signalled a new phase in the national journey and shared vision of unity, peace and progress.
The former president added: “In the last 25 years, we have made modest progress in this regard amid some challenges. As a nation, we built an economy that was once the biggest on the African continent, experienced significant infrastructural growth, made strides in the arts and sports, and recorded many peaceful political transitions at the national and sub-national levels.
“Democracy has also brought about improved access to governance, amplified silent voices and reinforced the idea of sovereignty.
“Whenever I tune in to Nigerian TV stations, especially in the morning and see young men and women discussing and interrogating contemporary political issues and holding leaders to account, I thank God for democracy and appreciate the gains we have made over the years.
“In these 25 years, through four power transitions from one president to another, including the death of a sitting president, we have seen the gradual strengthening of our democratic institutions, the expansion of civil liberties, and the active participation of our citizenry in the political process. This progress, while commendable, also reminds us that our work is far from done.
“It is, therefore, time to make this journey seamless, through good citizenship, patriotic service as well as sacrificial and exemplary stewardship.
“We must continue to build upon the foundations laid, deepen our democratic roots, and ensure that the dividends of democracy are felt by all Nigerians, regardless of their social, economic or geographic status.”
Jonathan also called on the political class and elites to lead by example and work with unity of purpose to guarantee peace, social justice, and effective governance for Nigerian citizens.
He emphasised the need for elected representatives to reflect their roles through their lifestyles and actions.
He said: “For democracy to yield its desired dividend, we the political class and elites must lead by example and work with unity of purpose to guarantee peace and social justice for the citizens. And our lifestyle must reflect that we are elected people.

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Ibom Developers Drive Sustainable Growth Through Skill Acquisition Workshop In Amazaba Community, Akwa Ibom

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Skill acquisition is a principal factor for building a successful career, significantly enhancing one’s employability and opening doors to various career opportunities. It serves as a cornerstone for driving holistic development within communities, fostering economic empowerment, and promoting sustainable growth.
Recognising the transformative impact of its ongoing skill acquisition initiatives, Ibom Developers has extended its programme to the Amazaba community in Eastern Obolo LGA, Akwa Ibom State, from 3rd to 14th June 2024.
This initiative aims to foster economic empowerment and community development by equipping participants with practical skills essential for economic independence.
During the event, 160 women received intensive training in catering, food hygiene, packaging, hairdressing, wig making, ventilation, and styling over a period of two weeks.
Distinguished guests, including Chief Gogonte Luke Nglass, Chairman of the Amazaba Council of Chiefs, Chief Alexander Ikowa, Village Head of Okorobilom, Chief J.J Job, Village Head of Bethlehem, Mrs. Gloria Gogonte, Vice President of the Amazaba Women Association, and Victoria Solomon Bibama, Assistant Secretary of the Amazaba Women Association, were present.
Grateful for the initiative and its impact on the community, especially in advancing women’s skills, Chief Gogonte Luke Nglass expressed optimism for transformative change, stating, “We are grateful, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing the profound effects of this initiative on our community.”
Skill acquisition empowers individuals to navigate the modern job market, achieve personal and professional growth, and contribute to economic and social development.
Emphasising the role of skill acquisition in empowering women and youth, Victoria Solomon Bibama expressed, “This is highly commendable, and initiatives like these bring us closer to a future where every woman can thrive, and no community is left behind.”
Equipping women with relevant skills, especially in rural areas, expands opportunities for meaningful employment. Ibom Developers’ efforts contribute to building a stronger society, facilitating economic growth and social progress.
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HYPREP Celebrates WED In Style 

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The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project(HYPREP) on Wednesday joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s World Environment Day in grand style.

 

It actually started the celebration last Saturday with the planting of mangroves at the Bomu Creek in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.The planting of the mangroves was carried out in partnership with the Nigerian Environmental Society(NES) which massively mobilised its members to the waterfront, where the mangroves were massively planted to restore part of the degraded shoreline.

 

HYPREP indicated that it also carried out the exercise in conjunction with contractors who had already been mobilised to site to plant mangroves at the waterfront in keeping with its shoreline restoration programme.

 

At the Bomu Creek, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof Deinibarini Zabbey; the Rivers State Chairman of NES, Sir Amos Daminabo Atuloyedia; and others were all handy, as they stepped into the marshy environment, fully kitted and planted the mangroves, to the admiration of all present.

 

Speaking to newsmen, Zabbey said the exercise was the beginning of the 2024 World Environment Day celebration which would climax on Wednesday, June 5, the day the global event is marked annually, stressing that HYPREP was partnering with NES to plant mangroves at the waterfront to actually make the event worthwhile and colourful.

 

On his part, the NES boss, Sir Atuloyedia said the body was delighted to partner with HYPREP to celebrate this year’s World Environment Day, hinting that the society would also visit the Liquefied Natural Gas plant in Bonny as part of activities to mark the day, which he said would climax last Wednesday at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.

 

On Wednesday, the celebration of the World Environment Day took another dimension as HYPREP mobilised students from four secondary schools in Ogoniland, namely; Community Secondary School, Bomu; Community Secondary School, Barako; Community Secondary School, Mogho; and Bodo City Girls to carry out the removal of plastics at another section of the Bomu Creek, where mangroves had already sprouted.

 

The Project Coordinator, Prof Zabbey, the students and some HYPREP workers, who were all fully kitted, moved into the marshy landscape and weeded out plastics at the base of each of the lush mangroves.

 

However, before the event proper kicked off in earnest, the Head of the Livelihood Unit of HYPREP, Mrs Josephine Nzidee; Mangrove Officer, Mr Uche Izuchukwu; and Subject Matter Expert/Team Lead Mangrove, HYPREP, Prof Franklin Tanee had given the students,drawn from the environmental clubs established by the Project pep talks on what the day was all about and what they should do at the waterfront.

 

Addressing newsmen at the end of the removal plastics, Zabbey,who practically demonstrated leadership by example, underlined the importance of the World Environment Day celebration, describing the activity as the climax of what was started last Saturday in Bomu community.

 

He disclosed that HYPREP had established 20 environment clubs in Ogoniland, which it has been supporting as part of efforts to recover the biodiversity, stressing that the removal of the plastics at the mangroves was symbolic.

 

The Project Coordinator had earlier in a statement to celebrate the World Environment Day, noted that the theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Our Land, Our Future: Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience ‘, resonates deeply with HYPREP’s mission and ongoing efforts and achievements in Ogoniland and the wider Niger Delta region.

 

He said the 2024 WED provides an opportunity to reflect, design, and facilitate approaches to protect our commonwealth- land, restore degraded ones, and discourage human activities that compromise the integrity of the environment and biodiversity.

 

Zabbey further noted that for a region whose primary livelihood depends on fertile soil and flourishing river systems, restoring degraded environments is essential for recovering and sustaining biodiversity; improving agricultural productivity; and enhancing communities’ livelihoods, stressing that the future of the Ogonis and the wider Niger Delta depends on their land.

 

According to him, HYPREP is equipped with the necessary resources and strategically positioned to lead this generation to undertake this task decisively.

 

The Project Coordinator urged stakeholders to take definite stance to prevent oil pollution occasioned by oil theft, vandalism and artisanal refining, prioritise oil infrastructure maintenance and monitoring to protect the environment; to prevent and clean up plastic pollution that defaces and impairs land and wetlands; conduct adequate sensitisation and awareness creation to mainstream good environmental behaviours; and develop citizens’ capacity to pursue alternative and sustainable livelihoods, which would dissuade local communities from engaging in unethical acts, stressing that HYPREP reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the remediation and restoration of Ogoniland.

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