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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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NPC Warns Against Interfering With Pre Test Exercise

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The National Population Commission, NPC, in Kwara State has cautioned stakeholders to refrain from undue interference in the second pre-test census exercise in the state.
The second pre-test census exercise is part of the preparations for the main census exercise billed to take place in May 2022.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training of supervisors and enumerators for the exercise in Ilorin yesterday, the NPC Federal Commissioner for the state, Malam Abdulrazaq Gidado, also charged stakeholders to allow field functionaries to carry out their duties professionally for a good outcome.
The Federal Commissioner appealed to state and local governments concerned, traditional institutions, and communities to support the commission in carrying out the second pre-test census exercise by allowing unfettered access to facilities and places to be enumerated.
He said the pre-test exercise will be carried out in four local government areas of the state, namely, Kaiama, Ilorin South, Offa and Oke-Ero.
The Federal Commissioner explained that pre-test census exercise is usually conducted before the actual census and primarily aimed at testing the census methodology, questionnaires, data collection methods, and manual for fieldwork among others.
He assured Nigerians that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that the commission’s field functionaries are properly kitted and trained to observe all Covid-19 protocols throughout the period of the exercise as prescribed by the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on Covid-19.

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Man Jailed 15 Years For Stealing 16 Phones, Other Items In Adamawa

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A man in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for breaking into houses and stealing 16 phones and other items.
Abdulazeez Adamu, 22, from Nasarawo, Jimeta, was found guilty by Chief Magistrate Court 1, Jimeta, which established that he, along with two cohorts now at large, committed the offence at Bekaji, another residential community within the Jimeta axis of Yola.
The court established that Abdulazeez and the others, while armed with weapons, stole a TV set, an HP laptop, and 16 handsets valued at N734, 000 from a number of residents in their houses, namely Rebeccah Samuel, Rhoda Chiroma, Wedelo Pwamboki, Walia Hamman and Mary Zaro, all residents of Bekaji who jointly reported the thefts to the police on 11th November 2021.
The accused was said to have run out of luck during one of the operations with his cohorts in Karewa extension when they hit a security guard with a cutlass and injured him.
The guard, Muhammad Umar, raised alarm which attracted the occupants and his colleague who was on duty in a neighbouring house and who rushed to the scene, but by which time the convict and his accomplices had fled.
He was later trailed and arrested by vigilantes who were mobilised for the purpose.
During the trial, the prosecutor, Seargent Galeon Nimrod of the Karewa Police Division, called Umar as a witness.
The witness narrated his encounter with Abdulazeez who, under cross-examination, said the witness told the truth.
Consequently, Adamu was jailed for 15 years with the option of N150,000 fine for the offence of theft in a dwelling house and was sentenced to six months in prison without an option of fine for being in possession of dangerous weapons.
He is also to pay N500,000 as a compensation fee.
Reading out the verdict, Chief Magistrate Abdullahi Mohammed Digil said, “This court has sentenced you, Abdulazeez Adamu, to 15 years or you pay an alternative fine of N150, 000, for theft and also sentenced you to six months imprisonment for being in possession of dangerous weapons without an option of fine.”

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JAMB Tasks Tertiary Institutions On CAPS

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has warned against offering of admissions to applicants by higher institutions outside the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).
JAMB said apart from distorting the statistics of enrollment into the nation’s tertiary institutions which it noted is required for national planning and development strategies, the conduct is also “a violation of ministerial directive on education policy.”
The JAMB registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, who said this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, noted that in spite of the constant warning against such conduct, Nigerian tertiary institutions offered a total of 706,189 ‘illegal’ admissions across universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics between 2017 and 2020.
According to Oloyede, a total of 114 degree-awarding institutions including universities and colleges of education that are affiliated with them conducted 67,795 ‘illegal’ admissions within the period.
He added that a total of 137 National Diploma (ND) certificates awarding institutions such as polytechnics and school of health technologies offered a total of 142,818 ‘illegal’ admissions within the three-year period, while 37 institutions that are categorised as monotechnics offered 5,678 ‘illegal’ admissions.
The JAMB registrar said; “In 2017, the Board introduced the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) as a flowchart to ensure quality control, transparency and credibility of admissions. Among other reasons, it was also meant to completely eliminate human interference, which invariably led to abuse, in the processing of admissions into the nation’s tertiary institutions. The system allows institutions to only admit candidates that meet the requirements as prescribed by individual institutional proprietors and academic Boards/ Senates. The process entails: initiation of the admission of a candidate by the institutional admissions officer after having confirmed the satisfaction of the set criteria; recommendation of the candidate by the head of the institution; approval of the admission by JAMB; acceptance of the admission by the candidate; and printing of the admission letter by the candidate.
“All these are done without hassles or encumbrances. Any process outside this scheme is illegitimate and it renders the admission process null, void and ultra vires. It is rather disappointing that some institutions continue to defy this decision of the National Policy Meeting, ably chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education, that CAPS is the only platform for processing admissions to the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
According Mr Oloyede’s presentation, the top five universities with the highest number of ‘illegal’ admissions offered within the period are the Universities of Jos, Plateau State with 7,600 cases; Benue State University, Makurdi with 6,161 cases; Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, with 5,669 cases; Kwara State University, Malete with 4,281 cases and Novena University, Delta State with 3,432 cases.
Among the ND certificate awarding institutions, the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, topped the chart with a total of 45,471 cases within three years, and it is closely followed by Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, with 37,828 cases and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, with 30,856 cases within the same period.
Others are the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State and the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State with 24,335 and 24,335 respectively.
Oloyede said apart from distorting the national statistics, candidates admitted through the irregular admission processes are made to go through difficult times in their efforts to climb the next rung of either their career or academic ladders.
“Sadly, this practice by our institutions has damaged the image of the country as statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and similar agencies are rendered inaccurate by as high as 900 per cent in some cases. This distorts the statistics of the number of students in our tertiary institutions. JAMB is then made to supply radically different figures of entrants for the same year. In addition, misplaced pressure is annually mounted on JAMB to condone (or regularise) such illegal and improper admissions made three or four years earlier by the heads of institutions who in almost all the cases are not the incumbent ones.
“Another absurdity is that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for tertiary education which JAMB provides for the Federal Ministry of Education is fed into the global databank of tertiary institutions and Nigeria continues to publish a low GER record which is far from the reality on ground. Also, one of the unsavoury effects of the undisclosed admissions by tertiary institutions is that it makes planning difficult. As we all know, failure to plan is planning to fail and we cannot overemphasise the importance of proper planning.”
According to Oloyede, beneficiaries of such ‘illegal’ admissions upon graduation are made “victims of deprivations.”
“When the graduates of the illegitimate process need JAMB admission letters to pursue post-graduation endeavours like housemanship, scholarship, enrolment into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others, they realise that they are out of sync. Some candidates had been forced in the past to seek Direct Entry into other universities after graduation just because their degrees were not recognised as a result of lack of admission letters at critical stages. The physical, psychological and mental strain on such candidates is better imagined than experienced. This could have been avoided if everyone played the game according to the rules,” Mr Oloyede added.
The JAMB registrar also expressed disappointment over what he described as massive fraud in the conduct of the two A Level entrance examinations in the country- Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) and the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE).
“It is quite disappointing that some of our colleagues were arrested while conniving with various examination syndicates to compromise the noble objectives of these two examinations. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) conducted a sting operation the result of which is monumentally embarrassing,” he said.
As a way of finding a lasting solution to the challenge, JAMB said it has already proposed to the education minister, Adamu Adamu, the desire to establish both A-Level task team and A-Level Qualification Verification Databank, which he noted will serve as repository for verified A-level qualifications in the country.
Meanwhile, the examination body said it has approved the introduction of two more subjects in its examination to be added to the existing 23 subjects for possible combinations by candidates.
The addition of the two subjects- Computer Studies and Physical and Health Education, will “enhance the career prospects of students transiting to tertiary institutions.”
Oloyede said the subjects will be available for candidates taking the UTME examination in 2022.
JAMB said as part of efforts towards curbing some identified “unethical practices” by operators of the accredited computer based testing (CBT) centres, it has resolved to embed the centres’ approved N700 charges for registration purposes in its application form fees.
“These centres are allowed to collect only Seven Hundred Naira (N700.00) as registration charges but they use the opportunity to engage in conduct unbecoming, including extortion, during the exercise. In order to put a stop to such extortion, we propose to make UTME registration henceforth cashless. In other words, JAMB will now be collecting the approved N700.00 registration fee on behalf of the CBT Centres along with its UTME registration fees and then remit what is due to each registration centre to its bank account on a weekly basis or any time frame acceptable to the centre owners. This intervention will block all loopholes through which hapless candidates are extorted by unscrupulous service providers,” the JAMB registrar said.

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