Some primary school teachers in Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa have been made to forfeit part of their salaries for being perpetually absent in school.The Education Secretary, Malam Danrimi Ahmed, told the newsmen in Mubi on Friday that the teachers were found wanting by a disciplinary committee.Ahmed said the committee, which found seven of the teachers guilty of absenteeism, made them forfeit certain percentage of their salaries based on the number of days each of them was not in class.He added that the amount deducted from the affected teachers salaries was used to purchase exercise books to be distributed free to pupils as compensation.“We have purchased exercise books to be distributed free to pupils as compensation for the lessons they missed because of the teachers absence,” he added.The education secretary noted that the state government and universal basic education board had provided teaching facilities and effected teachers promotion.
The Head of Agriculture, Bwari Area Council of the FCT, Dr Godwin Abah, says the council plans to boost cassava production in the area.
Abah said in an interview with newsmen in Bwari recently that the council had received improved cassava stems from the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture toward realising the goal.
“The samples of the improved stems were planted in our farm, it was harvested and what we got has been very good which encouraged us to look for more for our farmers,” he said.
According to him, the improved stems reduce cultivation time.
“When old stock took about three to four years before harvesting, the improved one was only for six months to one year to ripe for harvest.’’
He called on the farmers to visit the agriculture department of the council to get improved stem for trial and to increased cassava production.
Abah said that extension workers of the council were always on hand to advise farmers on ways of improving their productivity.
The Kebbi House of Assembly has closed deliberations for one week to enable members to verify and solve difficulties faced by civil servants over the e-payment system.
The Chairman, Committee on Information and Culture, Alhaji Rabiu Sallah, told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi last Thursday that the e-payment consultants would be invited to explain difficulties in the payment of workers’ salary.
He explained that committees of the House had been mandated to embark on fact-finding visits to ministries and parastatal agencies on the e-payment and proffer solutions.
He urged civil servants to be patient while efforts were made to resolve the problem.
Stakeholders in the oil and gas industry on Friday called on the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently find a lasting solution to the problem
in the power sector.
They told newsmen on Friday in separate interviews in Lagos, that the acting president should find lasting solution to the epileptic power to boost the nation’s socio-economic growth.
Mr Tokunbo Korodo, the Chairman of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas NUPENG , Lagos Zone, said there was the need to enforce total and radical changes in the sector to meet the vision 20-2020.
Korodo said the only way to address the problem of gas supply to the power sector is for the acting president to give a standing warning and instruction to all those concerned in the sector.
He said the epileptic power supply had damaged the growth of the nation’s economy.
Mr lssac Arowolo, the President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), said the only way to effectively address the issue of gas supply was for everybody to be committed to the set target.
He said apart from gas, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) should also develop another source of power generation and called for proper utilisation of the gas supply.
Arowolo urged the government to urgently work toward the reform to save the sector from total collapse.
Mrs Oluremi Oyo, on Thursday in Akure urged women journalists to embrace capacity building to enable them to cope with the challenges of the profession.
She said that training and re-training were the only way to ensure continuous self-improvement and that “without training, no media woman can meet the challenges of professional demands.”
Oyo spoke at a lecture entitled, “The Media Woman: Challenges, Pains and Gains,” at the 2010 Week of the Nigeria Association of Women journalists (NAWOJ), Ondo State.
“I wish to advise that as a body, you should take the issue of training your members seriously by exploring and exploiting every available opportunity to build their capacity.
“The Internet offers unlimited opportunity for aspiring journalists to develop themselves in various necessary skills for the advancement of their profession.
“I see no reason why journalists should not acquire skills in photography and usage of computer,” she said.
The NAN managing director, who said that the media world would soon experience drastic changes, held that only hard work and tenacity of purpose would see the media woman through.
Mr Sunday Akere, the Director of Publicity and Strategy of the Action Congress (AC) in Osun, on Thursday commended Acting President Goodluck Jonathan on his choice of ministers.
Akere made the commendation in a telephone interview with newsmen in Osogbo.
“Although, I am still watching the trend of events and I am waiting for the screening of the nominees by the Senate but the ministerial list is okay,” he said.
Akere lauded Jonathan for selecting those who were “versatile and competent in politics’’ as members of the Federal Executive Council.
“I am talking of persons like Prof. Dora Akunyili, the immediate-past Minister of Information and Communications,” he added.
Akere said that although he never supported the idea of recycling ministers, the need for experience could not be compromised in a fledging democracy.
He commended Jonathan for being objective and for not playing politics with issues of national interest.
“This is not a matter of pro- or anti-Yar’Adua; it is a matter of those who can effectively manage the country’s affairs. Therefore, there is no room for sentiments,” he said.
Nigeria Customs officials in Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States now use camels to chase smugglers, according to Mr Bitrus Kuyli.
Kuyli, the Comptroller of Customs for the three states, told newsmen on Friday in Sokoto that the animals had made it easier to penetrate the bush parts.
He said that donkeys were also being used as a means of transport in the remotest areas of Kebbi.
“The borders are very long and generally in the bushes hence the need to use the animals.
“The borders are porous and smugglers use all kinds of routes, but the customs officials can penetrate all corners with the use of the animals,” Kuyli said.
The customs chief said that the command was working with traditional rulers in the border communities to check smuggling activities.
“The traditional rulers are expected to assist with information needed to check the activities of smugglers,” he said.
Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba has said that the peer review initiative of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) will aid national development.
The governor said this on Thursday in Jalingo when he received the peer review team of the NGF.
Our correspondent reports that the team was in Taraba to inspect development projects undertaken by the state government and assess their impact on the people.
‘‘The project monitoring exercise, being carried out by the team, will speed up development in the country and it should be encouraged by all,’’ Suntai said.
The governor expressed optimism that the outcome of the exercise would help in shaping government policies and the governors’ desire to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
NGF Director-General Asishana Okauru, who is the leader of the team, told Suntai that the focus of the exercise was on health, education, agriculture, water and other development issues that would enhance the people’s wellbeing.
He said that the peer review exercise was an initiative which the 36 states governors adopted in 2009 to review themselves with a view of encouraging healthy competition in development programming.
The Zamfara Government has expressed concern over the activities of land speculators using fake documents to defraud the public in some parts of the state.
Alhaji Bashir Madaro, the Commissioner of Land and Survey, expressed the worry in a statement issued in Gusau on Friday Gusau.
It quoted Madaro as advising the public to desist from land speculation and developing reserved areas meant for public use or face the wrath of the law.
The statement quoted him as urging the public to always transact land businesses with government to avoid being involved in shady deals.
“Appropriate documents relating to land transactions must be obtained from the ministry directly without any mediation, because the ministry will no longer entertain complaints on such issues,’’ it warned.
Lawmaker Charges Politicians On Electoral Promises
A Lawmaker representing Lagos Mainland, Federal House of Representatives, Mr Olanrewaju Oshun, on Saturday charged politicians to fulfil their electoral promises to the masses, to continually gain their trust.
Oshun said this in an interview with The Tide’s source after casting his vote at PU 03, Ward 008, Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, for the Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections in Lagos.
According to him, Nigeria’s politics has changed to an era where electorate expect that only politicians who deliver on their mandate should be voted for.
“At this era, politicians must understand the fact that they need to fulfil their electoral promises and be close to the people.
“The masses are more conscious that it is only politicians who perform well that should earn their vote”, he said.
Oshun expressed optimism that the will of the people would prevail in the elections, having voted for their choices.
On his assessment of the election, he lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improving on the conduct of the election, compared to the performance of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
According to him, the INEC officials arrived early at most polling units across the state, the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) functioned effectively, while the overall process of the election was seamless.
“There is a great improvement in the conduct of the election, compared to the hitches we had at the last election.
“People have voted and made their opinion known, so it should be counted and let the best candidate win”. he said.
The lawmaker noted that the turnout for the election was impressive.
Oshun said, “one cannot say there is voter apathy as such, as reported in some quarters because people cast their votes in few minutes and left almost immediately.
The source reports that Oshun was re-elected during the Feb. 25 National Assembly Election to represent his constituency.
ICPC Arrests Four Vote-Buyers In Sokoto, Katsina
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) arrested four vote-buyers in Sokoto and Katsina states during the just-concluded Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections last Saturday.
In its election monitoring operations across the states of the federation, officers of the anti-corruption agency encountered some vote-buyers at Kauran Miyo Primary School in Bodingo Town of Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
The Spokesperson, ICPC, Azuka Ogugua, revealed this on Saturday night in a statement obtained by The Tide source.
She noted that the Sokoto State monitoring team of the commission arrested three male vote-buyers; Mahe Bello, Musa Adamu and Mustapha Mohammed, all of Kauran Miyo Bodinga.
Ogugua said, “Mahe Bello was caught in possession of a cash sum of N38,000, two PVCs, one ATM card and an Infinix phone, while Musa Adamu had CFA228,000 in his possession which was being offered to voters. The third suspect, Mustapha Mohammed, was arrested with some PVCs in his possession”.
According to her, the ICPC monitoring team, however, came under attack while carrying out the arrest of the three vote-buyers.
This was as she noted that an officer of the commission, Rabiu Ibrahim, suffered a head injury from being hit by stones, and has been admitted into a hospital and he is in a stable condition.
She added that the three alleged vote-buyers were kept in the custody of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps before being conveyed to ICPC’s detention facility in Sokoto.
In a related development, the ICPC election monitoring team in Katsina State arrested one Tanimu Tabale for vote-buying at Tashar Yamma Polling Unit in Zango Local Government Area of the State.
Tabale, a 35-year-old man, claimed he was an observer in Makama Polling Unit but was arrested at Tashar Yamma Polling Unit with the sum of N20,000 in different denominations attempting to buy the votes and was apprehended.
Elections: LG Chairman Lauds Officials … Says No Security Breach In Keffi
Chairman of Keffi Local Government Area (LGA), Nasarawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Baba-Shehu, has lauded concerned officials for ensuring the absence of security breach during Saturday’s elections in the area.
Baba-Shehu gave the commendation while speaking with Newsmen shortly after the State’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Keffi.
Baba-shehu noted that the success recorded was as a result of the zeal and commitment of security agencies in the area.
According to him, officers of the concerned security agencies worked hard to ensure no one carried out any act that would destabilise the peace being enjoyed in the area.
“So far, as the Chief Security Officer of the area, I have not received any report of any breach in security and that is because our security personnel are up and doing.
“All the security agencies in Keffi LG did what they know best and what was expected of them. They were in every corner of the community”, he said.
Baba-Shehu who stated that the peaceful conduct of the elections in the area was commendable, and lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for ensuring the process met Nigerians’ expectations.
“I also have to commend INEC officials because the electoral materials reached polling units in good time and the election process also started early. So, there was no complaint of delay of accreditation or voting in Keffi”, he said.
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