The Minister of Agriculture of Egypt, Mr Amin Abaza, said the just concluded Agri-business and Agro-industries conference in Africa would pave way for a more effective South-South cooperation.
Abaza said such cooperation would place Africa as a global player in agriculture during an interview with The Tide’s source in Abuja.
He said that Africa had potential in untapped natural resources and if well harnessed with the proper cooperation, would result to “tremendous’’ benefits for Africa.
“I am a great believer in Africa and I think that this century is going to be Africa’s century. We have plenty of potential, plenty of untapped resources.
“And really by working together and having a south-south cooperation we will just reap the benefits of all the potential in Africa that we have not yet been able to use effectively,’’ Abaza said.
He noted that the main challenge for Africa was infrastructure, such as power, roads, ports and lack of funding.
The Ekiti State House of Assembly has promised to ensure efficient and full implementation of the N69.6 billion 2010 budget.
Mr Ayodele Michael, Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, made the promise on Thursday in Abuja in an interview with the newsmen
He said the House would re-invigorate its oversight functions to achieve the objective.
Michael noted with regret that the implementation of the 2009 budget fell bellow expectation.
“The House will on quarterly basis, summon the state Ministry of Finance and Board of Internal Revenue to give detailed analysis of the implementation of the budget.
“We will also embark on budget tracking to ensure full implementation of the budget.
“Last year’s revised budget of N58 billion was averagely implemented, but I can assure you that this year, the budget will be closely monitored to ensure full implementation,” he added.
The House had on Feb. 23 passed the budget.
A Sanitation Consultant, Dr Comfort Olayiwola, has called on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) officers to engage in purposeful data-gathering to address the challenges facing the sector.
Olayiwola made the call in Kaduna while fielding questions after her presentation on the “Draft WASH Communication Strategy in Nigeria’’ at the three-day zonal stakeholders’ workshop.
“The communities keep more data better than all of us. Go and ask ‘WASH’ committees, they will show you a book containing dates, times and what they have done.
“But when you go to the office, you forget to do the same. How do we get the data back?
“You should keep records properly; you should package the data and present it to your local government chairmen and governors.
“This will serve as evidence. When you have concrete evidence; you can tell them to go and see the progress of work and challenges in the communities,’’ she said.
Olayiwola said that the development of the communication strategy remained a collective effort.
The Joint World Bank Assisted/Kebbi Community and Social Development Project (KBSCDP), will spend N1 billion on community micro- development projects in 2010.
The KBSCDP General Manager, Malam Usman Abubakar, told The Tide’s source in Birnin Kebbi on Friday that the World Bank granted N750 million as loan, while the state government released N300 million.
He said “we recieved N100 million out of N300 million expected from the state.”
He added that the project development plans comprised three micro-projects to be identified by benefitting communities.
According to him, each benefitting community is to contribute 10 per cent in cash or project execution materials.
The Police Command in Kogi had arrested a bus driver with 16 bags of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the command, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, announced this while parading 14 suspects arrested from different parts of the state for different offences at the command headquarters in Lokoja on Thursday.
Abubakar, an employee of Olamaboro Local Government, said the driver was arrested at Ogori-Magongo.
He said the bus driver claimed that a man (not named) hired his vehicle marked Kogi: LG 86 LAM, to convey the substance from Alayere-Akure, Ondo State, to Anyigba in Kogi.
In an interview with The Tide’s source, the suspect said the man hired him from the park to carry gari but he later discovered that the bags contained Indian hemp.
The suspect said that he decided to go back but the man assured him that he would settle policemen on the road.
The Lagos chapter of Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has urged Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to find lasting solution to the problem of power supply.
Mr Duro Kuteyi, the Chairman of the association in Lagos State, told The Tide’s source that improvement in power generation and distribution would enhance the growth of small and medium scale businesses.
He urged the acting president to make the power sector his priority, saying the sector appeared to be one of the greatest challenges facing the growth of the nation’s economy.
“Stable and regular electricity supply will boost the economy and eliminate all the risks including health hazards, associated with other sources of power, such as pollution, suffocation and environmental degradation,’’ he added.
Kuteyi said constant power supply would reduce substantially, the cost of production being incurred by the small and medium scale businesses.
He also advised the acting president to take decisive action on the issue of security and deteriorating state of the Nigerian roads.
The Ogun Government says it will no longer absorb beneficiaries of the Federal Teachers Scheme (FTS) in its teaching service.
Chief Sina Adejobi, Chairman, Ogun Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), made the announcement recently in Abeokuta in an interview The Tide’s source.
The scheme was introduced in 2006 by the Federal Government to address the dearth of qualified teachers in the nation’s primary schools.
Under the scheme, fresh graduates of NCE and degree holders are engaged on two years teaching service in public primary schools in all the 36 states and FCT, after which state governments are encouraged to absorb them with full employment.
Adejobi, however, explained that the state government already had 21,000 teachers who were NCE and degree certificate holders, considered to be adequate for its teaching service.
There must be transparency in governance and business for the creation of jobs in Nigeria, .
Prof. Dafe Otobo of the University of Lagos said in Ibadan on Thursday.
Otobo, a professor of business, made the call at a two-day seminar organised by Labour Writers’ Association (LAWAN) on the topic, “‘the impact of Economic Crisis on Employment”.
He said the unemployment rate would increase if effective management was not incorporated in governance and in the workplaces.
“‘There will be declining turnover and more people will be laid off if managers of various organisations do not help to shape the already bad economy,’’ he said.
Otobo said it was regrettable that the impact of globalisation had taken its toll on organisations which had no choice but to retrench workers to remain in business.
Otobo urged the government to embark on measures that would create jobs to improve the economy and make life better for the people.
Alhaji Abdullahi Maigwandu, the Special Adviser to Sokoto state Governor on Pilgrims Affairs, says that woman, who are three months pregnant, will not be allowed to perform the 2010 Hajj.
Maigwandu also says that intending pilgrims, aged 65 and above, or 15 years and below, will not be allowed to perform the Hajj.
The Tide’s source reports that Maigwandu gave this directive on Wednesday in Sokoto at a meeting with the officials of the agency and those of the 23 local governments of the state .
The meeting was convened as part of the preparations for the 2010 Hajj exercise in the Holy land.
“We shall no longer tolerate a situation where any of our pilgrims will violate the laid down principles guiding the conduct of Hajj exercise,” he said.
Nine Passengers Burnt In Oyo Auto Crash – FRSC
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said nine passengers have sustained varying degree of burns in an auto crash on Ogbomoso-Oyo Expressway.
The Sector Commander in the state, Joshua Adekanye, confirmed the incident in an interview with The Tide’s source in Ibadan yesterday.
He said the accident, which occurred on Saturday, involved a trailer and a truck at Sekona area along Ogbomoso – Oyo Expressway.
Adekanye said nine out of the total 13 people involved in the accident got burnt while four others escaped unhurt.
“The accident happened around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the truck vehicle caught fire while the trailer collided with it.
“The actual cause of the fire in the truck could not be ascertain because it happened at night”, he said.
He, however, said the likely cause of the trailer colliding with the truck might be speeding and wrongful overtaking.
According to him, the burnt victims are being referred to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital for treatment, adding that the RS11.31 Ogbomoso and RS11.312 Oolo Commands conducted rescue operation.
“Other agency that carried out the rescue operation are the Fire Service and Odo-Oba Police Division”, he said.
Adekanye called on motorists to shun night travelling, wrongful overtaking and dangerous driving to ensure safety on the road.
Association Lauds Gov Over E-Ticket Revenue Collection
Enugu State Governor, Barr Peter Mbah, has been commended for introducing E-Ticket system of revenue collection, which is aimed at increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
The President, Enugu State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ESMATA), Chief Stephen Aniagu, who made the commendation in a chat with newsmen in Enugu, expressed happiness that the system has already started yielding fruitful results.
Urging traders in all the markets in the State to cooperate with government by embracing the innovation, Chief Aniagu also expressed satisfaction with the announcement by the State Government that its IGR had increased tremendously from what it used to be before the introduction of the system.
According to him, traders in Ogbete Main Market have already identified themselves with the system, with a view to encouraging the State Government’s efforts at increasing its IGR.
On programmes and projects mapped out for execution by the Governor Mbah-led administration, Chief Aniagu said, “we have already started feeling the impacts of these projects.
“From all indications, Governor Mbah has plans to make Enugu State a role model. We are cooperating very well with the State Government. The relationship between the Governor and traders in the State is very cordial.
“Ogbete traders are fully involved as they have started paying their taxes as and when due. I urge all the traders to key in by ensuring that government revenue goes directly into government Coffers instead of private pockets”.
Continuing, Chief Aniagu further said: “The Governor has always carried along traders in Ogbete and other markets in the State in his programmes.
Fielding questions from newsmen on the level of peace in Ogbete, Chief Aniagu stated that there was relative peace in the market, adding that traders were fully supporting and cooperating with his administration.
He, however, advised traders in Ogbete and other markets in the State not to cheat their customers in any manner, noting that “the importance of carrying out you businesses with the fear of God cannot be over emphasized”.
By: Canice Amadi Enugu
EFCC Boss Vows To Fight Corruption
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ola Olukoyede, has pledged to refocus the anti-corruption war by adopting modalities capable of stimulating economic growth and development.
He gave the assurance while addressing members of staff of Ilorin Zonal Command of EFCC, at the Commission’s Office, GRA, Ilorin.
Olukoyede promised a paradigm shift in the agency’s approach to anti-graft war, to make it more proactive and result oriented.
“There is need for us to refocus our attention in EFCC. We need to define our scope of mandate with a view to stimulate the economy of the country.
“The era of stifling and crippling of businesses with unwarranted PNDs is gone.
“We must be able to separate proceeds of crime from legitimate funds and use the instrumentality of our mandate to create wealth and jobs for people.
“We will also use the instrumentality of our mandate to create conducive environment for businesses to thrive for a sustainable economic growth”, he said.
The EFCC boss also pledged to prioritise staff welfare, stressing that he was already in talks with the government for necessary support.
“We have done it before and we are going to do it again”, he assured.
Olukoyede asked officers of the commission to be above board and avoid acts of compromise in their line of duty, stressing, “We owe our nation the sacred duty of making this country free of corruption and crimes”.
He urged members of staff to work together for a good course and see themselves as officers having the same rights and privileges as encapsulated in Section 8 (5) of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.
The TIde’s source reports that the executive Chairman had earlier visited the palace of Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari, where he called on traditional rulers to deepen their partnership with EFCC.
He called for more cooperation in order to reduce corruption through adequate promotion of ethics, values and behavioral change among their subjects.
“Our royal fathers have a crucial role to play by using your good offices to champion the crusade against corruption among your subjects.
Responding, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari pledged to continue supporting EFCC and other law enforcement agencies in stamping out corruption and other form of criminalities in the State.
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