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Amaechi, NUJ Mourn Akwu

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L-R: Deputy Editor-in-Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (nan), Mr Idris Abdulrhaman, president and chairman of council, Nigerian Institute of Management (nim), Dr Nelson Uwaga and another Deputy Editor-in-Chief of nan, Mrs Nkechi Okoronkwo, during a nan forum in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: NAN

L-R: Deputy Editor-in-Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (nan), Mr Idris Abdulrhaman, president and chairman of council, Nigerian Institute of Management (nim), Dr Nelson Uwaga and another Deputy Editor-in-Chief of nan, Mrs Nkechi Okoronkwo, during a nan forum in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: NAN

Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has condoled with the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the family of former National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Ndagene Akwu who died last Friday.
Mr Akwu  was said to have slumped and died at the airport in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The governor, who was represented by Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari said the governor received the news of Mr. Akwu’s death with shock.
In her words, “The governor was distraught when he heard about the loss of the former President of the NUJ, a true Rivers son. He asked me to come and express his condolence and that of Rivers people to the family of Ndagene Akwu.
“His Excellency is not around, if not he would have been here in person. He wanted the family to know that this is a loss to Rivers State because as you know Ndagene today is the only Rivers man who has been president of the NUJ therefore this is a loss for us as Rivers people and it’s a loss to the union,” she remarked.
She pledged the governor’s support to the union, assuring that the state government will provide support to the family at this trying period.
Meanwhile, the South-South Zone of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has said the news of the untimely demise of the former National President of the Union, Mr. Ndagene Ndamele Akwu, came as a rude shock to journalists in the zone.
Akwu, who was President of NUJ from 2004 to 2008, died last Friday morning, after slumping the previous day on arrival from Abuja, at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, near Port Harcourt.
The Secretary of the union in the South-South Zone, Mr. Edward Ogwude spoke at the weekend when he led the executives of the NUJ in Rivers State, to pay a condolence visit to the Akwu family in Port Harcourt.
Ogwude, who noted that death is a necessary end that will come when it will, said the death of the former National President was a big loss not only to his family, and Rivers State, but to the entire union.
Also speaking, the Chairman of NUJ in Rivers State, Mr. Opaka Dokubo, said the Union has resolved not to abandon the family of the late National President during its period of trial, and prayed that untimely death should not visit the family again.
Dokubo said the state council of the union received the news with great shock.
“The NUJ Zonal Secretary is already in Port Harcourt. We will soon pay a condolence visit to his family,’’ he said.
Responding, wife of the deceased, Mrs. Anthonia Akwu, thanked NUJ for the visit, saying it was difficult to believe that her husband who was hale and hearty when he travelled would be brought back home as a corpse.
Akwu served as the national president of the union from 2006 to 2009. Before then, he had served as vice president, zone F, and chairman, NUJ, Rivers State.
Akwu was until his death a Senior Editor with the Rivers State Television.

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FG Targets Production Of Locally Made Vehicles By Dec

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, has affirmed that Nigeria now has the capacity and materials to manufacture Made-In-Nigeria cars for local use and export.
With the enabling environment being provided by the government, she said manufacturers should be held responsible if the cars are not rolling out by December 2024.
Currently, Nigeria produces less than 10 per cent of the vehicles used in the country.
Last year, Nigeria’s vehicle assembling industry, estimated to be worth around N302billion, tanked to a new low due to increasing production costs and weakened demand for locally assembled automobiles.
According to the Manufacturers CEOs Confidence Index, activities of motor vehicles and miscellaneous assembly deteriorated further below the benchmark (50 points) from 48.6 to 46.7 points.
But speaking at the Automotive Component Manufacturers meeting in Abuja, she noted that the automobile industry is faced with both challenges and opportunities.
A statement issued last Friday by the Director of Information and Public Relations, Adebayo Thomas, said, “In a significant move aimed at fostering sustainable growth and development in Nigeria’s automobile industry, the Federal Government has issued a clarion call to all stakeholders, including manufacturers, dealers, regulatory bodies, and other players in the automobile ecosystem.
“The call comes as part of a broader strategy to enhance the sector’s contribution to the nation’s economy.”
Encouraging the stakeholders to key into the Nigerian Automotive Development Policy, the Minister said, “As far as we are concerned, the auto industry is now set to go.
“We are counting on all stakeholders to make that happen. If we do not produce made-in-Nigeria cars before the end of this year (December), it will be your fault, because I am sitting down here giving you all the assurances that this administration has created the enabling environment to make sure that the auto policy kicks off.”
Anite emphasised the need for collaboration among manufacturers, dealers, regulatory bodies, and other players in the automobile ecosystem, saying by working together, they can address challenges, streamline processes, and drive innovation.
She also urged stakeholders to maintain high-quality standards across the board, including vehicle manufacturing, safety features, emissions control, and after-sales services.
Stringent adherence to quality, she said, will boost consumer confidence and attract investment.
The minister assured all that the government would continue to encourage increased investment in research and development, adding that, innovations in electric vehicles, fuel efficiency, and alternative energy sources are critical for long-term sustainability.
On local content, she also emphasised the importance of promoting local content by sourcing materials and components locally.
By doing this, she said, the sector can create jobs, reduce import dependency, and contribute to economic diversification
In his introductory comments, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Nura Rimi, emphasised the significance of team action and shared vision as outlined in the Nigerian Automotive Development Policy.
He also urged stakeholders that the country “will overcome obstacles and unleash the full potential of Nigeria’s automotive component sector.”
He encouraged NADDC and other stakeholders to use the chance to form alliances, explore new areas of collaboration, and devise ways to catapult the automotive components manufacturing industry to new heights of success.
The statement added, “The government’s charge underscores the pivotal role stakeholders play in shaping its trajectory. Their commitment to sustainable practices will drive Nigeria’s automotive sector towards a brighter and more prosperous future.
“Environmental Responsibility: Stakeholders are reminded of their environmental responsibilities. Sustainable practices, recycling, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes are essential for a greener future.”

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Waive Tax On Electronic Imports, Women Engineers Appeal To Tinubu

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The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Lagos Chapter, has called on President Bola Tinubu to exempt the importation of electronic components from taxation for inventive engineers.
Chairman of APWEN, Ms Atinuke Owolabi, said this a in statement yesterday in Lagos, in commenration of the 2024 World Creativity and Innovation Day, with the theme: “Step Out and Innovate”.
The Tide source reports that World Creativity and Innovation Day is a global UN Day, celebrated on April 21, to raise awareness about the importance of creativity and innovation in problem solving.
This is with respect to advancing the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, also known as the global goal.
Owolabi explained that such a measure would significantly enhance technological progress, support local innovators, and elevate Nigeria as a leading hub for innovation globally.
She stated that in a world marked by dynamic challenges and unprecedented opportunities, creativity and innovation stand as the driving forces behind progress and transformation.
According to her, women engineers recognise the critical role that innovation plays in shaping our societies and driving sustainable development.
”On this occasion, we affirm our commitment to fostering a culture of creativity and innovation within our organisation and the broader engineering community.
”Together, let us step out, innovate, and inspire the next generation of women engineers to reach even greater heights of achievement and impact.
”We believe that by stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing new ideas, technologies, and approaches, we can unlock innovative solutions to the complex challenges facing our world today,” she said.
According to her, the theme: ‘step out and innovate’, serves as a call to action for women engineers everywhere to break barriers, challenge conventions.
She noted that it would also pioneer groundbreaking solutions that would propel them toward a brighter and more sustainable future.
Owolabi disclosed that in celebration of the World Creativity Day, APWEN Lagos had inaugurated an artificial intelligence club tailored for female engineering students and young engineers.
She said that the proactive initiative aimed to inspire and equip young engineers with cutting-edge technological insights.
Th chairman said, “Additionally, we already have a 200-capacity hall to set up a resource, technology, and innovation hub to empower women and girls in engineering.
”This endeavour serves as a catalyst for encouraging aspiring female engineers to embrace innovation and stay abreast of emerging trends in the field.
”APWEN Lagos stands united in its dedication to promoting diversity, inclusivity, and excellence in engineering.
“We encourage all female engineers to seize this opportunity to unleash their creativity, explore new frontiers, and make an indelible mark on the world.”

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Pan-Igbo Group Hails Dangote Group For Reducing Diesel Price

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A pan-Igbo group, Ndigbo Unity Forum (NUF), has commended the Chairman of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and his management for reducing the price of diesel from N1,600 to N,1000 per litre.
The Tide’s source reports that diesel is the major fuel used by heavy duty vehicles and generating sets to transport goods as well as run industries across the country.
The President of NUF, Mr Augustine Chukwudum, told The Tide’s source in Enugu, yesterday, that Dangote’s timely response to suffering masses of Nigerians, going through hell to get a meal a day, “is highly commendable”.
According to Chukwudum, Nigerians need to appreciate the patriotism of Dangote since what he has done will go a long way in reducing prices of goods, especially food stuff which has gone out of the reach of the poor.
He called on Nigerians, who wish and pray always for the betterment of the country, to appreciate and thank God for answering their prayer through Dangote’s move.
“It is clear that if Dangote Refinery starts fully and gets all the crude oil needed from Nigeria, the prices of petrol, kerosene and diesel will further reduce.
“We commend President Bola Tinubu for being a listening President and supporting the Dangote Group on our crude oil needs.
“We appeal to Tinubu to encourage Dangote by providing the company with crude oil at a reduced rate as we have been demanding,” he said.
Chukwudum said that this move and subsequent further reduction, would bring industries in comatose back to life, jobs created for unemployed youths and reduction in crime as well.
“We call on governors of oil-producing Anambra, Imo and Abia States to bring investors, who shall build refineries in each of the states to refine thousands of barrels of crude in commercial quantities,” he said.

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