The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has advised staff to partner with local communities and governments at all levels for the needed support to generate more revenue.
The Executive Chairman, Mrs Ifueko Okauru, gave the advice at the opening of the North East Region Enlarged Management and Town Hall meeting of the organisation in Yola.
Ifueko also called for the cooperation of states and local governments in the zone, to show commitment to off-setting all tax arrears within the shortest possible time and to avoid situations where arrears piled up again.
Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State has approved N597,000 as maximum Hajj fare for intending pilgrims in the 2010 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Alhaji Ibrahim Ninge, the Permanent Secretary in the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, made this known on Saturday in Bauchi while addressing newsmen.
Ninge also said that the sum of N582,000 was approved as medium fare while N488,000 was approved as minimum fare.
He explained that each pilgrim in the three categories would be given 750 dollars, 1,000 dollars and 1,500 dollars respectively as Basic Traveling Allowances (BTA).
He called on intending pilgrims who had already made deposits with officials of the board in the 20 local government councils to complete the payment before July 28, 2010.
FRSC’s “Operation Eagle Eye” will this month focus on the violation of the over loading regulation, driving with worn-out tyres and non-possession of spare tyres nationwide.
Mr Osita Chidoka, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, made the disclosure in Makurdi, on Friday, while flagging off the operation.
He said the FRSC would continue to invest in call centres and ambulance services to ensure safety on the road.
Chidoka, who was represented by Mr Bake Kwaga, the Zonal Commanding Officer in Markurdi, expressed readiness to involve mobile courts in the prosecution of erring traffic offenders on the spot.
The Borno State Government on Friday warned its pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to avoid prostitution, child labour and other negative vices.
“We have observed that some Nigerian women are of the habit of staying back in Saudi Arabia after the pilgrimage with the intent to engage in some activities that are negative in nature,”Hajiya Hauwa Mai-Musa, Commissioner for Women Affairs, said at Train-the-Trainer workshop in Maiduguri.
She was speaking at the North East workshop for women group on this year’s pilgrimage, added that some women also engaged in child trafficking to Saudi Arabia.
Mai-Musa said that rather than indulge in criminal activities in Saudi Arabia, the pilgrims should return home and engage in lawful businesses.
As part of its efforts to provide quality healthcare delivery, the Ekiti State Government is to redistribute more health workers to rural areas, Governor Segun Oni has said.
Oni said this on Friday, in Ado-Ekiti, when the people of Ilokun-Ekiti led by Onilokuno of Ilokuno-Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Jegede paid him a courtesy visit.
He said that the efforts would also combat the inadequacy in the number of qualified health personnel in the rural areas.
The governor noted that the inability of past administrations in the state to ensure fair play in the distribution of the available human resources in the sector led to the drought of qualified health workers in the rural areas thereby putting communities in the areas at a disadvantage .
Vice-President Namadi Sambo, has given an assurance that the execution of the Zungeru hydropower plant will be fully financed through appropriation.
He said this had become imperative in view of the fact that concessionary loans had yet to be sourced for the project.
Sambo made the disclosure at a meeting of the co-ordinating ministries, consultants, contractors and stakeholders handling the Mambilla, Zungeru and Gurara phase two hydropower projects at the State House.
The meeting was to address issues bordering on the provision of adequate hydropower supply in the country.
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in Kebbi State plans to collaborate with the youth corps members to expand the scope of tree planting in the state.
Dr Kasim Ahmed, the agency’s coordinator in the state, announced this in Birnin Kebbi while addressing batch ‘B’ NYSC members posted to the state.
He said the agency would engage corps members posted to rural communities to embark on tree planting to protect the environment even as the agency would seek the cooperation of corps members to create awareness among the people on the relevance of tree planting and the need to discourage tree felling.
An NGO, Gender-Based Violence Response Network (GBVRN) on Friday, in Lagos ,called for a multi-level approach to stem the spate of child sexual abuse in Nigeria.
Its Programme Officer on Human Rights Education, Miss Kate Ibeanusi, told newsmen that sexual assault and harassment of underage female children had become rampart.
“The increasing reports of cases of child sexual abuse in the state are a worrisome development that needs urgent concerted efforts to stem the tide,’’ she said in a statement.
Ibeanusi disclosed that at least 24 cases were reported between April and June.
A Minna Chief Magistrate Court on Friday, sentenced one Ayuba Umar of Suleja town in Niger, to two years imprisonment with hard labour, for extortion.
Umar was convicted on a charge of extorting N72, 000 from one Patrick Marshal of Otunsha Hotel, Keffi in Nasarawa.
Umar was charged with “systematically extorting the money from the complainant after series of telephone calls threatening to assassinate him if he refused to cooperate’’.
The Police Prosecutor, Mr Ahmed Danladi, told the court that Umar committed extortion punishable with death under section 294 of the Penal Code.
He told the court that from May 9 to July 9, 2010, Umar called Marshal on phone consistently, saying that he was hired to assassinate him
An official of the Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr Adeyemi Sarumi, has called on the state government to introduce sex and moral education into the school curriculum.
Sarumi, who is also a supervisor in the state Motherless Babies Home, made the call while speaking with newsmen on Friday in Akure.
According to him, adequate sex education for children will facilitate prevention of unwanted pregnancies and loss of lives among youths.
He also called for sensitisation of adults on fami
ly planning and sex education, while students should abstain from sex to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile- Ife, authority has dismissed allegations of its involvement in a recent students’ clash in the institution as false.
During the clash, some students reportedly sustained injuries during the clash which erupted in the university on July 12.
Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, the Public Relations Officer of university, told newsmen in Ile-Ife on Saturday, that it was the management that rescued some students from the spot of the attack.
Olanrewaju said that efforts were being made to reconcile the students with a view to restoring peace.
Meanwhile, a pressure group, the United Action For Democracy (UAD), Osun Chapter, has expressed reservations over the incident.
The Sokoto State Government has awarded contract for the rehabilitation of the state Rima Radio at the cost of N120 million.
The Commissioner for Information, Malam Dahiru Maishanu, told newsmen in Sokoto, on Saturday, that the contract included the construction of perimeter fencing, rehabilitation of the entire structures and upgrading of the studios.
Maishanu said the project was aimed at giving the premier radio station in the north west a facelift.
He said the government had also embarked on projects worth N178 million to upgrade the state-owned newspaper company.
The Yobe State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Asmau Kolo on Friday, said 85 women master trainers selected across the state had been trained in five skill acquisition programmes for economic empowerment.
The commissioner made the disclosure to newmen in Babangida, Tarmuwa local government area, at the graduation of 35 women trainees from zone ‘A’.
She said that the women were trained on soap, cream, liquid soap, room freshner and balm making.
“The women are mostly housewives whose economic status is low. They have been trained to train others in their localities for a wider coverage on skill acquisition”.
The Zamfara State Government has introduced a dress code for female teachers in academic institutions in its bid to inculcate discipline in the education sector.
Alhaji Isa Maru, the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, said in a statement that the state government was disturbed by the upsurge of indecent dressing among female teachers.
Under the new dress code, female teachers must be dressed in a reasonable outfit that could guarantee them respect, not only among staff and students, but by the general public. Isa said that, “henceforth, it is prohibited for any teacher to dress indecently, especially in ‘half-naked wears’ during school hours.
Streetlight: Anambra Set For Solar Energy Option-Commissioner
The Anambra State Government says the switch from diesel powered streetlights to solar powered alternative will soon be completed.
Commissioner for Power and Water Resources in the State, Mr Julius Chukwuemeka, told The Tide’s source in an interview in Awka that the disruption in the streetlights project was due to the migration from diesel powered generators to solar powered energy .
Chukwuemeka said the diesel powered alternative had to be suspended because of its huge cost implication and adverse environmental effects..
He said the switch, which would be cheap and sustainable, would be concluded soon and streetlights restored.
According to him, the new system would also be made to run Independently without the danger of outage in transmission noting that the streetlights were also part of the state’s security architecture.
“Looking at what we had in the past, we noticed that hundreds of millions of Naira was being spent on diesel to power these generators, what this government is doing is to cut costs and achieve more.
“At that time, the price of diesel was between N200 and N250 per litre but now it is between N800 and N850 per litre, you can see that it is no longer cost effective to use generators.
“Diesel is also not very environment -friendly because of the emissions, so after our comparative analysis, we concluded that the best way to power the streetlights is to migrate fully to solar energy.
“We are considering energy sources that are cost effective and also amenable to a green environment, it should also be independent such that we don’t depend on the national grid,” he said.
Chukwuemeka said the solar energy source initiative was also being developed to power water schemes to drive public water supply projects in the state.
He said water supply had been restored at the State Secretariat complex, while the Iyiora pilot scheme in Anambra West was already functional with 5,000 gallons capacity reticulated solar motorised machine.
“However, we are discussing and working with EEDC to ensure that power supply hits 24 hours in most parts of the state and as you can see there has been overall improvement in power supply in Anambra,” he said.
NDLEA Recovers N8.8bn Tramadol, Nabs Suspect In Lagos
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has recovered about 13, 451,466 pills of tramadol 225mh worth N8.9 bililon in street value in Lagos .
Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi said this in a statement in Abuja.
Babafemi said operatives of the agency had also arrested the suspected drug baron, Chukwukadibia Ugochukwu, in connection to the recovered drugs.
He said the operatives raided one of the mansions of the suspect in the highbrow residential estate, Victoria Garden City, Lekki area of Lagos.
According to him, the arrest of Ugochukwu, who is the Chairman of Autonation Motors Ltd, was coming barely two months after NDLEA uncovered a methamphetamine clandestine laboratory in the residence of another suspected drug kingpin in the estate.
The Tide’s source reports that Chris Nzewi, was arrested on Saturday, July 30, along with a chemist, Sunday Ukah, who was said to have cooked the illicit drug for him.
At least, 258.74 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and various precursor chemicals used for the production of the toxic drug were reportedly recovered from Nzewi’s home during his arrest.
Babafemi said following credible intelligence, NDLEA operatives on Friday, Sept. 30 stormed the Plot A45 Road 2 home of the 52-year-old billionaire drug kingpin.
“A search of the expansive mansion led to the discovery of 443 cartons of Tramadol Hydrochloride 225mg.
“This was in a carton which contained 13,451,466 pills of the drug, while some cartons were already burnt in a fire incident in the house same day,” he said.
Babafemi said that before his arrest, Ugochukwu, who hails from Ihiala Local Government area of Anambra had been on the agency’s watch list.
The suspect, he said, was as one of those behind the tramadol drug cartel in Nigeria.
“Preliminary investigation shows that he has about six mansions within the VGC. one of which he uses to warehouse the tramadol consignment, while he lives in another one at Plot Z-130 Road 67 and uses one as his office.
“Five exotic vehicles had also been located in two of his mansions, out of which two SUVs including a bulletproof jeep had been successfully removed to the agency’s facility,” he said.
Reacting to the latest drug haul, the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig.- Gen. Buba Marwa, commended the officers and men involved in the operation for their diligence.
Marwa also appreciated Nigerians for supporting the agency in its arduous task of ridding the country of the menace of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.
According to him, “I’ll like to reassure Nigerians and other stakeholders wherever they are located across the country.
“This assurance is coming beyond our preparedness to work with them on this onerous task of saving our people from the drug scourge.
“This partnership is a further warning to the drug barons and cartels that there is no hiding place for them anymore.
“This is because, we remain on their trail and we’ll always get them, “he said.
NCSU Tasks FG On Recovered Looted Funds
Following the successful conduct of its 12th Quadrennial Delegates Conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the Federal Council of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), has called on the Federal Government to reinvest all recovered monies said to have been looted from the nation’s treasury by public office holders in employment generation ventures.
The union, which made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the conference and signed by its new Chairman, Comrade Adoga Gupada Aruwa and Assistant General Secretary,Comrade Daniel Otakpo, applauded the committed efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration and the various anti-graft agencies including other relevant organs of government in recovering the looted funds.
The union also expressed deep concern on the present global economic recession being experienced by workers and Nigerians, with it attendant effects of further exposing them to untold hardship owing to the negative activities of some unpatriotic persons in the oil sector, thereby making it extremely difficult for payment of workers’ salaries and provision of resources for infrastructural development programmes of governmental levels.
It, therefore, called on the government to diversify the economy to other sources of revenue generation by paying particular attention to Mineral Resources, Tourism and Agricuture.
The NCSU equally stressed the need for reduction of the cost of governance in view of dwindling resources, and observed with dismay hundreds of billions of naira frittered away in the guise of security votes, and enjoined the government to be more prudent in resources allocation.
The conference-in session condemn in strong terms what it described as unfortunate and illegal the continued coercion of members of NCSU without their consent by forcefully deducting from the salaries “dues”, despite several circulars from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, pointing out that this illegal act constitutes a breach and also an infringement on the right of such workers to belong to the union of their choice as guaranteed by the ILOC convention 87 and 98 and national laws of the country.
The union, therefore, called on the relevant agencies to enforce the right of workers to belong to a union of their choice, while at the same time, commending the Federal Government for keeping faith with workers by paying salaries and allowances of federal employees.
New officer selected at the conference to pilot the affairs of the union in the next four years include Comrade Adoga Gupada Aruwa, Chairman; Comrade Okwor Hillary Onyebuchi,Vice Chairman; and Comrade Akam Moses Oden,Treasurer.
Others are Comrade Greg Nwajei Peace Udoka,Trustee; Comrade Muhammed Babaniogu Kolo, Auditor; and Comrade Adelakan Adeyinka Olusola, Assistant Secretary.
The immediate outgone Chairman of the union, Comrade Timothy Odebunmi,in his valedictory speech, thanked the members for their support, and went ahead to list the modest achievements recorded by his administration in the past four years.
Odebunmi,who would be retiring from the civil service in the next few days, said his administration established an empowerment scheme where civil servants were trained and over 100 union members acquired tailoring skills and were empowered with some stipends. He stressed the need for the union members to close ranks as well as look inwards to fashion a way of solving problems collectively.
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