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THE STATES

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Adamawa

The Adamawa State House of Assembly recently  criticised officials of some local councils over alleged abuse of due process in their financial dealings.

The Tide’s source reports that the House in February set up six sub-committees to investigate the financial dealings of the councils, following cases of unpaid staff salaries, bank overdrafts and loans reported against some officials.

The situation led to the impeachment of four chairmen by their councillors, forcing incessant strikes by workers due to irregular payment of salaries.

The House Committee on Local Government led by Mr. Kwamoti Laori made the accusation in Yola after scrutinising the finances of Hong, Gombi, Song and Girei councils.

The Committee accused the councils of flagrant abuse of due process and poor financial record keeping, especially the incomes and expenditures.

It observed that the development was capable of breeding corruption and extravagance in the management of public funds at the third tier of government.

The Committee, while in Hong, discovered to its dismay that records of income and expenditure were not up to date, while documents needed to be ascertained was not accessible.

Borno

The Borno/Yobe Command of the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) has given an assurance that it will meet its N180 million revenue target in 2010..

Mr Ikpepe Lawrence, the Comptroller of the command told newsmen in Maiduguri, that the target was achievable going by the monthly generation.

“It may interest you to know that we are generating N15 million monthly in terms of revenue from import duties and other areas.

“This means that we should be able to generate N180 million at the end of the year,” Lawrence said.

He said that the officers and men of the command were committed to the task.

“We are not relenting because we have a duty to ensure that we collect all collectable revenue into government’s coffers.

“My officers are working 24 hours, while I give them good supervision to ensure that we attain our goal,” he said.

Lawrence, who assumed duty in 2009 as the Comptroller of the command, said that his posting to the command was a home coming.

 

                  FCT

Dr Seidu Mohammed, Director General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), said space science was the only technology that could fast-track Nigeria’s Vision 2020 and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mohammed made the assertion in Abuja on Monday in an interview with the The Tide’s source. He stressed that the country could only achieve its dream of being among the largest 20th economies by 2020 through space science and technology.

“In effect, Space Science and Technology remains a major tool for achieving Vision 20:2020 and the MDGs.

Mohammed added that the earth observation satellite remained the vital way to access and exploit resources that would enable the country to have adequate information to plan its urban cities.

The satellite, he added, could also give the opportunity to experts on information technology to gather information on every house in the city capitals and enable state governments to improve on their revenue profiles.

 

Kaduna

Kaduna State Government on Monday , blamed its local governments for delaying the installation of transformers recently distributed by the government to the areas.

The Commissioner for Rural and Community Development, Alhaji Abubarkar Musa, told newsmen, that more than 150 transformers were distributed to the councils for installation.

He said the state government had directed the councils to fund the installation of the transformers but nothing was done.

“We thought the installation was delayed because of their late arrival, but we realised that it was the councils that delayed their installation,”he said.

Alhaji Shehu Giant, the Chairman of the state branch of the Association of Local Goverrnments of Nigeria (ALGON), however, said the councils were making efforts to ensure their installation.

“The cost of installing the transformers are often higher than the purchase cost,” he said, adding that “as soon as the councils are financially buoyant, the transformers would be installed”.

Katsina

Irrigation farmers in Katsina State have urged the federal and state governments to facilitate the establishment of markets and processing companies for agricultural produce in the area.

The state Chairman of irrigation farmers, Alhaji Salisu Lema, made the call on Friday in an interview with newsmen during a tour of irrigation sites in Funtua, Musawa, Malumfashi, Danja, Dandume and Kafur Local Government Areas.

He said the establishment of markets and processing plants at strategic locations would enhance increased production and assist in reducing poverty.

Lema explained that various crops and vegetables were produced in large quantities during dry season farming, and that such produce were being transported to different parts of the country.

He commended the state and local governments over the sale of subsidised fertilisers and other inputs, and urged them to increase the quantity of the commodity in view of the large number of farmers.

An irrigation farmer in Kafur Local Government Area, Malam Yahuza Masari, said the inputs supplied by the government were inadequate, as a result of which many farmers could not benefit from the allocations.

He noted that the absence of viable markets and processing companies had hindered growth in the sector.

Masari said most of their produce were perishables, adding that farmers had recorded huge losses due to the lack of storage facilities.

He said the situation could be reversed if appropriate markets and processing plants were provided by government in collaboration with the private sector.

 

Kogi

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has disbursed N3.6 million to 19 communities affected by the ongoing dredging of the lower part of River Niger.

Speaking in Lokoja on Friday, the Managing Director of NIWA, Alhaji Ahmed Aminu Yar’Adua, said that the money was to mitigate the adverse effects of the dredging project on farming and fishing activities in the communities.

He said that the affected farmlands and fish ponds were actually situated within the NIWA right of way but stated that the dredging was not meant to cripple the economic activities of the communities, hence the gesture.

Our correspondent reports that the benefiting communities which were grouped into two categories depending on the impact of the dredging, received between N150,000 and N200,000.

NIWA said that it has in addition, made provision for the establishment of community projects in Ohono, Adankolo, Ajaokuta and Idah.

Yar’Adua said that the money was channelled through the communities to the individual farmers because of their land tenure system, which vested land ownership in communities.

 

Lagos

Dr Olajide Ayinla, the Director- General, Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Lagos on Friday called for a review of proprietary rights to encourage research works.

Ayinla told newsmen in Lagos that such review should adequately protect the interest of originators to enable the sector to thrive.

He said fear by the private sector to invest in research and development could be as a result of poor protection under the existing laws.

“ No one would like to invest in a venture that will be an all comers’ affair without reaping the benefits,’’ he said.

The NIOMR chief said research work could thrive properly in the country if the patent rights were well protected.

He said there were indications that most of the research and development were being left in the hands of government unlike the practice in other developed countries.

Ayinla said investment of most Nigeria companies in research and development works was very low.

“ Abroad, companies contact tertiary institutions and private scientists for research work. I think investors should be sensitised on the importance of research to the companies and the economy,’’ he said.

Ayinla said research and development are more or less left in the hands of the government agencies.

According to him, NIOMR makes most of its research findings public to stimulate investment.

 

Niger

The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, has given Alhaji Mahmud Dalhatu the turban as the new Makama Nupe.

Abubakar, who performed the ceremony in Bida, Niger, recently, charged the new Makama Nupe to strive to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country.

The Tide’s source reports that the new Makama Nupe succeeded his elder brother, Alhaji Shehu Ahmadu-Musa, who died on November 19, 2008.

Dalhatu is the Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Brass LNG Ltd.

Abubakar gave assurance that the Nupe Kingdom would honour only those who had contributed tremendously to its development in particular and the country in general.

According to him, ‘’those who are given traditional titles are people of proven integrity and as well those who show concern for the development and socio-economic well-being of the emirate.’’

The Etsu Nupe said the honour done to some illustrious sons and daughters of the area was aimed at encouraging other people to live an exemplary life.

The ruler said the emirate would continue to celebrate its sons and daughters who offered selfless services to humanity, and appealed to highly placed individuals to continue to bring development to the area.

Osun/Ogun

The Nawair-Udeen Society of Nigeria says it is opposed to the return of public schools by governments to their original owners.

Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Adegboyega, the National President of the association, said at a news conference on Friday in Osogbo that the campaign for the return of such schools was against public interest.

He explained that the take-over of such schools by government was motivated by genuine reasons, and with the consent of the owners.

“The owners were not forced to hand over their schools to government. As a matter of fact, they were compensated.

“Besides the obvious reasons of financial incapability of the private owners, government took them over to make the schools become public property and remove all forms of sectionalism.

“They are open to everyone, regardless of religious beliefs or status,’’ he added.

Adegboyega said the public would suffer so many disadvantages if the schools were eventually returned to the owners.

He declared: “Today, private schools are being run with extravagance and capitalist intincts, where their owners have turned education to money making venture by charging exorbitant fees.

“Where will the poor parents get the money to keep their children in school? The Muslim community says no to exploitation, especially in schools.”

Adegboyega explained that the Islamic tenets compelled Muslims to always explore the possibilities of making life bearable and meaningful for the poor.

He asserted that “the inordinate urge to get rich quick at the expense of others,” was also not in line with Islamic tenets.

The religious leader also urged the Federal Government to take necessary measures to check against the reccurrence of the Jos crisis, through conscious efforts to eradicate illiteracy in the society.

He said this could be done, not only through regular schools, but conferences, seminars and workshops.

 

Sokoto

Alhaji Garba Umar, the Chairman of Augie Local Government in Kebbi State, says the government has awarded N669 million contracts for the construction of two roads in the area.

He told newsmen  in Sokoto that the roads were the 15-kilometre Argungu-Bubuce and the 10-kilometre Augie–Dundaye.

Umar also said that the government had embarked on the construction of a Primary Health Care Centre at Tiggi at a cost of N135 million.

“All these projects are nearing 95 per cent completion and they are aimed at improving the living standard of the people as well as access to quality healthcare,’’ he said.

Umar further stated that the government was constructing befitting residences for the district heads of Augie and Buyawa at N54 million .

“ This is to provide a conducive atmosphere for the traditional rulers to operate, as they play vital roles in the sustenance of peace and security,’’ the chairman further said .

Umar also announced that his administration had embarked on the construction of the first phase of the council’s secretariat at N32 million.

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Cost Of Living: Lagos Civil Servants To Work Three Days A Week …As Sanwo-Olu Announces 25% Discount On Public Transportation 

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, announced a reduction of working days for State public servants as part of plans to cushion the cost of living crisis in the country.

Sanwo-Olu made the announcement in Lagos during the ongoing media parley on economic hardship in the country

“We want to start with our public servants, immediately from next week, Civil servants from the lower level will be working like three times a week and level 15-17 can work four times in a week,” he said.

On the rising cost of food, he said that his administration would open more markets where Lagosians can buy food items at discounted rates.

“We will open Sunday markets in at least 42 identified markets across Lagos State. You will be able to buy food items at a discounted price. You will only be able to buy items worth up to N25,000,” the governor said.

He said his administration was also constructing four food hubs to ensure food distribution in tackling rising food prices.

“Coupled with the one at Idi-Oro in Mushin, four more food hubs are under construction and seven other locations in other local governments have also been identified for more food hubs to be developed,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has said that the state will resume a 25% reduction on public transportation in the state.

“Almost immediately from this weekend, we’re throwing back a 25% reduction on all public transportation.

“We’re working with the various unions to ensure that we also can support them. But on our BRT, our trains, our ferry services, we’re going to begin to enjoy that almost immediately from this weekend.

“I’ve given an instruction, so they are working on the logistics for that.”

Recall that the Lagos State Government, in a bid to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal, slashed the costs of transportation of all state-owned transport systems by 50 per cent in August 2023. It was, however stopped in November, 2023.

Furthermore, Sanwo-Olu announced a free delivery for pregnant residents across all government-owned hospitals in Lagos.

“There is an arrangement for free delivery including cesarean session at government hospitals,” he said.

On rising cost of drugs and other pharmaceutical products, the governor promised that his administration “will also give rebate on some particular drugs at our state government hospitals”.

The governor noted that his administration was also in discussions with various transport unions to reduce their fares.

“First is to express empathy with our citizens, We are not unmindful of the situation, as leaders, we must be able to solve socioeconomic problems,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He also challenged the private sector to look into what they can do for the citizens by replicating their role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

 

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Police To Lift Ban On Tinted Glass Permits

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The Nigeria Police Force said it has conducted a comprehensive review of the issuance of tinted glass permits and is set to lift the ban on it for vehicles.

Previously banned in June 2022, the NPF said the ban then was a proactive move to bolster national security and tackle criminal activities linked to the misuse of tinted glasses.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this in a statement yesterday.

He said that ICT analysts and Eenforcement officers nationwide would undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.

It read, “In a bid to enhance national security and curb criminal activities facilitated by the misuse of tinted glass, the Nigeria Police Force has concluded its review of the issuance of tinted glass permits, previously banned in June 2022.

“The ban was initiated due to widespread concerns regarding the role of tinted glass in aiding heinous crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, the illegal transportation of firearms, human trafficking, etc.

“With the proposed lifting of the ban, stringent measures are being implemented to prevent abuse and ensure strict compliance with guidelines governing the issuance and use of tinted glass permits.

“ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers nationwide will undergo a comprehensive training scheduled for the 29th of February, 2024, as a prequel to the reopening of tinted glass permit issuance.”

The statement also noted that the training will equip ICT analysts and enforcement officers with skills to regulate tinted glass permit registration, address public complaints, and enforce compliance.

It further stated, “The training will equip ICT Analysts and Enforcement Officers with the necessary skills and knowledge to regulate the registration process, guide registrants on the use of the portal where required, attend to complaints from members of the public, and enforce compliance effectively.

“It will focus on the intricacies of the new guidelines, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between public safety and individual freedoms while safeguarding national security.”

Highlighting the details in the to-be-newly issued permit, the statement explained, “The proposed tinted glass permit will incorporate distinctive features aimed at enhancing enforcement efficiency and security.

“These include a QR code linked to a central database for real-time verification, unique serial numbers correlated with vehicle and owner details, as well as a digital hologram ensuring authenticity and integrity, among other measures.

“It is crucial to highlight that the guidelines for the issuance of tinted permits and the use of tinted glass will strictly adhere to the provisions of the MOTOR VEHICLES (PROHIBITION OF TINTED GLASS) ACT 1991 and other relevant extant laws.”

Adejobi said this strategic approach underscores the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to prioritise public safety while upholding individual rights and national security interests.

Earlier in 2023, the police said they would soon reintroduce permits for vehicles with tinted glass across the country.

“The Nigeria Police Force remains committed to providing updates to the general public on the implementation of the reviewed process of tinted glass permit issuance, ensuring transparency and accountability in its efforts to maintain internal security,” the statement concluded.

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NOSL Launches “you are not Alone” initiative to promote mental health

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Maintaining optimal mental health is vital for thriving in society. To survive daily stress effectively, it is essential to cultivate positive coping mechanisms and embrace mindful living. Giving sufficient time to prioritise a healthy lifestyle becomes necessary in this quest.

To this end, On January 31, 2024, Natural Oilfield Services Limited (NOSL) organised a program ‘You Are Not Alone’ mental health awareness driven in partnership with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) at the University of Lagos to create an awareness about the significance of mental well-being. This event was a proactive endeavour to initiate open dialogues and provide substantial resources for mental health care.

Mental health challenges have no boundaries. This mental health advocacy had a unique approach by inviting both mental health professionals and students from the University of Lagos to share their expertise and personal stories. This collaborative effort cultivated an environment of truthfulness that promotes acceptance and understanding.

Speaking during the event Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola expressed, ‘Navigating the landscape of mental health stigma requires collective effort and NOSL’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ is a positive initiative in mental health support. This will help to encourage dialogues and welcome different perspectives, which can reduce discrimination.’

“By unlearning misconceptions, fostering awareness, collaborating, and sharing insights, engaging in the community, every small step can contribute to a more caring world, and amplify its impact to bring a positive change. ”

Also speaking, Dr. G.A Akinbode said, ‘In a world where mental health challenges persist, NOSL’s initiative will act as a guiding force and illuminate the avenues towards a benevolent future. We appreciate NOSL for inviting the students who play an integral part in shaping societal attitudes towards mental health, where mental well-being is prioritised and identified.’

According to him Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) is Nigeria’s largest youth run and youth-focused mental health organization championing the fight against mental health related stigma and creating an environment that makes it possible for people to seek care for their mental health without fear of discrimination.

“NOSL believes that mental health conversation is fundamental. The company is poised to make an ever-lasting impression, an unwavering commitment to long-term sustainability to value psychological well-being and support mental health challenges.”

Dignitaries present at the event were Dr. Mrs. Abolarin Abimbola, Director Special Education and Guidance and Counselling, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Dr. Umar Adisa, Sub-Dean of Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos, Dr. G.A Akinbode, Head of Department of Psychology, University of Lagos, Dr. U.N Israel, Staff Adviser, Department of Psychology, University of Lagos,
Mr. Abiodun Oguntola, Executive Director, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative and Ms. Oluwatomilayo Awodoyin, Clinical Psychologist, Mental Awareness Nigeria Initiative.

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