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THE STATES

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Ekiti

A Federal High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti last Thursday sentenced 17 men to two years’ imprisonment each for attempting to plant 18 kilogrammes of Indian hemp (Cannabis) without lawful authority.

The presiding judge, Mr Justice Emmanuel Obile, however, granted each of them an option of fine of N60,000.

Those convicted included David Luke (24), Friday Nwakana (26) Lucky Onyausuma (20), Olu Sounmi (28), Godwin Ogbu (19), Akpan Samuel (40), Bolaji Aluko (32), Bassey Akanima (22) and Anselem Urama (32).

The rest are Raymond Abenu (32), Amechi Akanu (42), Saturday Ileoben (25), Mathew Okah (27) Friday Ejeh (35), Taiye Echaruku (28), Okonye Chukudi (28) and Ezekiel David.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr Iliya Waji, a Senior Legal Officer with the NDLEA, had told the court that the convicts were caught attempting to cultivate 60 acres in order to plant 18 kilogrammes of Indian hemp seeds. He said that they were caught on March 6, 2012 at the Ise-Ekiti forest of Ekiti State.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Benson Nduka, had earlier pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy, considering the ages of most of the convicts, who could still be useful to the society.

 

FCT

An Abuja Magistrates’ Court, has ordered that a 23-year-old commercial sex worker, Charity Achibong, be remanded in prison for biting off her lover’s tongue.

Achibong of Jabi village, Abuja, appeared in court on a one-count charge of causing hurt contrary to section 245 of the Penal code.

The Police Prosecutor, Insp. Clement Egwu, said that one Mr Ephraim Okoronkwo reported the accused on July 9, at the Life Camp Police Station, Abuja.

He said that the complainant and the accused had a misunderstanding and heated argument in his room on the day of the incident.

Egwu said that the accused jumped on the complainant in the midst of the argument and bit off his tongue, adding that the accused tried to run away but was apprehended by a security man nearby.

The prosecutor said that the bite caused Okoronkwo serious injury, resulting in his being admitted at the Gwarimpa Hospital, where he is still receiving treatment. The accused pleaded guilty to the charge.

The Magistrate, Mrs Jacinta Okeke, asked that the case be suspended and that the accused be remanded in prison, while the condition of the accused was being monitored.

 

Gombe

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has called on the Gombe State Government to implement the 2006 Local Government Scheme of Service.

National President of the Union, Mr. Ibrahim Khaleel, made the call at the official inauguration of the state NULGE Secretariat last Wednesday.

He said most workers in the local government service in other states were already enjoying the scheme.

Khaleel also urged the governor to provide a housing programme for local government workers in each council headquarters as applied to other state workers.

The Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress in Gombe State, Mr. Ahmed Maisakala,  urged the governor to pay the arrears of N18, 000 Minimum Wage owed workers in the state.

In his remark, Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo, represented by his Deputy, Mr. Tha’anda Rubainu, assured the workers that the government would look into their requests with a view to meeting them.

 

Jigawa

The Jigawa Government, has awarded N500 million contract for the construction of two ultra-modern mini-stadia in the state.

The Director of Sports, Alhaji Muhammad Yahaya, who disclosed this in an interview on Thursday in Dutse.

Yahaya said the projects would be executed in Dutse and Kazaure.

He said the contracts were awarded to Mandh and Lidiano construction companies, respectively, adding that the projects were designed to meet national standard.

The director said the gesture was part of the state government’s commitment toward encouraging sports development at the grassroots.

He said the state had concluded arrangements to enable its athletes to participate in the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos in November, tagged “EKO 2012’’.

According to him the athletes would compete in the male and female football, volleyball, basketball and athletics. “Our players are ready to participate and win trophies at the tournament”, he said.

 

Kebbi

The Kebbi World Bank-assisted Community and Social De

velopment Project will train 118 traditional rulers on ways to reduce environmental degradation, says the acting manager of the project, Mrs. Esther Jatau,.

Jatau said in Birnin Kebbi last Thursday that the project would support the government, corporate bodies and individuals to checkmate the menace of environment degradation.

She noted that open defecation, especially during the rainy season, had become rampant and posed a threat to human health.

Meanwhile, Mr Musa Umar, t the General Manager of the Kebbi State Environmental Protection Agency, who is also the Desk Officer on Environment in the project, said that a total 280 people would be trained.

According to him, the second category of those to be trained include Directors of agriculture in local government councils, vigilance groups, farmers’ associations, media practitioners and NGOs.

 

Lagos

Some residents in Lagos last Thursday said the new Lagos Tenancy Law had not made the required positive impact on tenants I8 months into the implementation of the law.

The law prohibited a landlord in the state from demanding or receiving rents in excess of six months from a sitting tenant paying monthly and one year rent from a tenant paying yearly.

Fashola signed the Tenancy Bill into law on Aug.24, 2011.

Mr Akeem Folarin, a resident in Yaba, said that he was made to pay two years rent with high commissions to secure his new apartment.

“Three of us were negotiating to rent the place; it would be stupid of me to offer to pay one year when two others were ready to pay two years.

“Some people were lucky to meet law abiding landlords that accepted one year rent, but not all the landlords are complying with the law and it is frustrating,” he said.

Mr Jolomi Ogunlana, a prospective tenant in Surulere area, said the tenancy law had not made the needed impact.

 

Nasarawa

Relatives of some patients last Wednesday attacked workers of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, for allegedly denying them access to patients.

A statement on Thursday by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Dr. Ahmed Ashuku, said the incident occurred at the maternity ward of the hospital.

Healleged that the relatives broke the burglary proof of the ward, threw food and other objects at the workers for asking them to keep to visiting hours two workers sustained injury during the fracas and had been treated.

Ashuku in the statement described the action as embarrassing and urged visitors to the hospital to respect official visiting hours.

“It should be noted that the hospital is not a social ground or a place for merriment, but a place for medical attention for the sick.”

 

Niger

The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), says it has trained 86 communities in 17 local government areas of Niger State on shea butter processing and production to boost their earnings.

The GIZ Country Representative, Mr Christian Vidmann, said this on Thursday in Minna during the opening of the stakeholders workshop on pro-poor growth and promotion of employment.

Vidmann said that the community members were trained on group formation and how to increase the quantity and quality of shea butter produced in the state for sale in Nigeria and aboard.

According to him, the communities were provided with processing machines under a partnership arrangement between the state government, GIZ and some companies.

He said that the GIZ was ready to partner with the Niger government towards the attainment of its vision of becoming one of the top three most developed economies in the country by the year 2020.

 

Osun

The Osun Commissioner for Health, Mrs Temitope Ilori, says plans are underway to procure modern technological equipment for the use of physiotherapists in the state.

Ilori disclosed this in Osogbo on Thursday at a scientific conference organised by the Osun chapter of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy.

She noted that physiotherapy was a distinct professional practice with specialised functions in health care and medical rehabilitation services delivery.

The commissioner, who was represented by the Acting Director in the ministry, Mr Adeboye Adelowokan,said procurement of modern equipment would boost health care delivery.

Ilori charged physiotherapists to be more committed and dedicated to duty as part of their contributions toward the reformation of the state’s health sector.

Earlier, the state chairman of the association, Mr Segun Oluwafemi, called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the area of physiotherapy, stating that there was a gross shortage of professionals and equipment.

 

Oyo

The Managing Director, LNG Ship Manning Limited, Dr

Grant Akata, last Thursday in Ibadan said organisations must effectively deploy the mechanism to rate and reward employees.

Akata said this in a lecture he delivered at the 2012 Annual Branch Conference of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM), Oyo State Chapter.

In his lecture was entitled: “Managing Performance and Reward for Organisational Success,’’ Akata, a human resource expert, said organisations must plan, ensure continual monitoring and review of performance as well as develop capacity to rate and reward performance.

He said individual and team members constitute the driving force for the delivery of organisational goals, adding that their contributions must have linkage with the team’s objectives.

Mr Sunday Adeyemi, the Registrar of CIPM, urged members to always update their knowledge, adding that the human resource remained the cornerstone of every organisation.

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Ogun Government Tasks Council Bosses On Improved IGR

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Ogun State Government has enjoined Local Government Council Chairmen to intensify efforts at improving their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and not rely on the federal or state governments for funds.
The state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ganiyu Hamzat, stated this during the January 2023 edition of the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting at the Oba’s Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Monday.
Hamzat said the move became imperative to enable them have more funds both from allocations and IGR to execute beneficial projects at the grassroots.
He insisted that the excess fund in the recent time needed to be increased in fulfillment of their mandate to their people.
The commissioner who disclosed that its inspectorate and monitoring department had commenced monitoring exercise to make project execution conform with the required standard stated that the ministry would continue to ensure that funds accruable to local council’s were well utilised.
In his presentation, Chief Economic Adviser to the Governor and Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, disclosed that N7,661,239,092.01 was received as December 2022 allocation for the 20 councils in the state, which emanated from Statutory Revenue, Value Added Taxes (VAT), Exchange Gain, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) and Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).
Represented by the Permanent Secretary and Accountant General of the State Treasury, Babatunde Aregbesola, Okubadejo said N7,221,233,073.00 would be used to pay the first-line charges, which included primary school teachers’ salary, local council staff salary, pensions, traditional councils, other payment of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) arrears, statutory payment to Local Government Service Commission, release to local councils and other charges.
He added that it excluded PAYE and five per cent bond on pension, amounting to N314,164,709.56, which was yet to be effected, while N754,170,728.57 remained as gross surplus for the month.
Also Speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Kolawole Fagbohun, urged the chairmen to make judicious use of funds available at their disposal to embark on projects that would improve the lots of their people.

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Minister Commissions Kano CRFFN Zonal Office, Urges Customs Collaboration

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Minister  of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye has commissioned the Kano Zonal Office of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
This is even as he called for the collaboration of the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS).
Speaking during the commissioning in Kano , Adegoroye stressed  the President Buhari’s resolve to groom the Nigerian economy through the various infrastructure put in place by the Federal Ministry of Transportation to boost productivity.
While commending the efforts of CRFFN, Adegoroye however called on other government agencies, particularly the Nigeria Customs Service to cooperate with CRFFN towards achieving its mandate when required from time to time.
Adegoroye said “President Muhammad Buhairi is resolved to groom the Nigerian economy by the various infrastructure put in place by the Federal Ministry of Transportation to encourage productivity.
This new Zonal office built by CRFFN is another testimonial to that fact. While recognizing the efforts of other government agencies especially those under the purview of the Ministry of Transportation, I call for your cooperation with the CRFFN which may be required from time to time particularly, the Nigeria Customs Service”.
The Permanent Secretary,  Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani noted that the CRFFN has been training and certifying freight forwarders in Diploma and Higher Diploma Degree in about six Federal Universities across the country.
Ajani further encouraged all freight forwarders to seize the opportunities of CRFFN’s training and retraining programme to boost their business and professionalism. This is the core mandate of CRFFN to all freight forwarders in Nigeria.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Registrar, CRFFN, Barr. Sam Nwakohu noted that CRFFN remains focused in its determination to entrench professionalism, promote freight logistics efficiency, and improve Nigeria’s ranking on the Logistics Performance index.

Nwakohu informed that CRFFN have six zonal offices in all the geopolitical Zones in Nigeria.

He said the Kano zonal office was strategic being in a commercial capital of North Western Nigeria, adding that it would ensure total logistics integration to achieve CRFFN’s overall objective.

The Registrar however, enjoined all practitioners to take full advantage of the Zonal office to build capacity by way of training and leveraging on national and international logistics networks and alliances.

“We are committed to the completion of other ongoing projects across the country in full preparation of Nigeria’s participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), especially in the cross border logistics service provision and no geo-political zone will be left behind.

“We, therefore, enjoin all practitioners to take full advantage of our presence here to build capacity by way of training and leveraging on our national and international logistics networks and alliances”, Nwakohu stated.

While also commending the Federal Ministry of Transportation for its efforts in making the project a reality, the Chairman, Board of CRFFN, Alhjai Tsani Abubkar, on his part, noted that the Zonal office would make work and business easier for Freight forwarders who work at the Northern areas.

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FG To Deliver 1,071 Workers’ Homes In Eight States

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In line with the renewed drive to increase the delivery of affordable housing to Federal Government workers, over 3,560 homes would be delivered under phases 1 and II of the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme.
The programme promoted by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in partnership with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) is aimed at delivering decent, safe and quality housing for workers at affordable prices.
A statement by FMBN Group Head, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Timan Elayo, said plans were underway to commission 1,071 completed houses in project sites nationwide.
Elayo stated that the house types are based on proven social housing models, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, with prices ranging from N3.1 to N8.3 million.
The Joint Implementation Committee of the Programme, comprising of NLC, TUC and NECA has approved the commissioning exercise in eight states, namely 100 housing units in Akure, Ondo State, 100 housing units in Yola, Adamawa State,315 housing units in Katsina, 90 housing units in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, 180 housing units in Damaturu, Yobe State.
Others are 100 housing units in Sokoto, Sokoto State, 86 housing units in Maiduguri, Borno State, and 100 housing units in Kogi State.
In his remarks, FMBN Managing Director, Mr. Hamman Madu, expressed delight with the completion of the first batch of the housing units, applauding the labour centres for their cooperation and support for the programme.
Madu also commended the collaborative spirit that has  fostered the understanding of labour leaders and NECA on the realities and financial challenges that workers face, while making constructive inputs to the housing designs, pricing and other relevant conditions for delivering the project.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the government backing the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Programme was aimed at boosting civil servants’ welfare needs in terms of housing for effective service delivery.
Fashola, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of 116 FISH Housing Programme Units in Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), described Civil Servants as a critical component of development of a nation, adding that it is the reason the administration was paying special attention to their living condition.
He listed the Federal Government’s support for States to clear their salaries liabilities; civil servants salary review; Pension reforms, and the removal of equity contribution of the Federal Mortgage Bank housing loan of below N5 million for civil servants as among  the benefits of civil servants from the federal government.
The minister, therefore, commended the leadership of the Ministry’s Public Building and Housing Directorate for their commitment in securing the land and the development of the site master plan and infrastructure that would enable private developers’ interest for investment in the sector.

Similarly, he assured Gwagwalada Area Council, one of the host communities, of the government’s continued support and effort in developing the area.

Earlier, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi Esan, thanked the minister for providing the expansive land in a prime area spanning over five hectares for the construction of the housing units.

Folashade described the groundbreaking event as a watershed moment in accelerating attainment of government’s agenda of ensuring the welfare of civil servants through the provision of affordable housing.

According to her, the FISH programme was conceptualised as a vehicle to address the current housing deficit faced by civil servants insisting that the houses would further alleviate their sufferings.

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