Switzerland’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Chad and Niger, Dr
Hans-Rudolf Hodel, has urged Nigerian youths to work towards a peaceful general elections.
Hodel made the call in Yola while interacting with staff and students of American University of Nigeria, Yola, on democracy in Switzerland.
He said that violence in any form must be avoided, insisting that dialogue had remained the best way of resolving any conflict.
He lauded the university’s authorities for what he described as ”quality education” being provided to students, adding that education was the bedrock of all developments.
According to him, an educated population will ensure peace and prosperity of a nation.
On bilateral relations with Nigeria, Hodel said that Switzerland, currently with a population of eight million people, supported Nigeria’s independence in 1960 and established its embassy in the country in 1961.
He said currently Switzerland has about 60 companies doing business in Nigeria with Nestlé being the most popular among them.
The Borno State government said it planned to explore the
possibilities of completing the long awaited Biu Dam project using its own resources.
The state Governor, Kashim Shettima, stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Biu, Alhaji Mustapha Aliyu in his palace in Biu.
Shettima said the government had been worried over the continued abandonment of the dam in spite of its socio-economic potential.
He added that the state government had already paid its counterpart funding for the completion of the project.
“The state government has paid its counterpart fund for the completion of the dam but the Federal Government is yet to release its own for the commencement of work on the site.”
He said that the dam, when completed, would assist in tackling the problem of perennial water shortage as well as providing water for irrigation farming for the people.
The governor added that his administration had executed many developmental projects worth about N10 billion in the area since his assumption of office in 2011.
He named some of the projects to include the construction of the Miringa-Gunda road and reconstruction of Government Secondary School (GSS) Miringa.
Shettima said the administration also carried out mass overhaul of structures at Government Secondary School, Marama, as well as upgraded general hospitals in Biu, Kwaya-Kusar and Bayo local government areas.
Responding, the Emir thanked the governor for the visit which he described as historic.
A coalition of women, youths and persons with disability
in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have announced support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming elections.
They said, at a rally in support of APC’s presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja, that the party was better prepared to address the plight of vulnerable groups in the country.
They stated that women and the youth had been abandoned for too long while the welfare of disabled persons had been neglected.
National Coordinator, Harbingers of Change for Buhari, Hajiya Hasiya Suleiman, a member of the coalition, said that though the present administration had done its best, it was time for Nigerians to embrace change.
She said that Buhari represented the change that vulnerable groups in the country had yearned for in the past 15 years of democratic rule in the country.
Suleiman said that the group was committed to its support for Buhari’s candidacy ”till the results of the elections are announced”.
Authorities of Shehu Idris College of Health Science Tech
nology, Makarfi, Kaduna State, have shut its main campus following a fire outbreak in the female hostel.
Our correspondent learnt that the fire destroyed 25 rooms in the “female hostel block B” and left 200 students without accommodation.
The Provost of the college, Mr Musa Garba-Abdullahi, told newsmen that the college had been closed and examinations suspended.
“We have already started the first semester examination, which we are supposed to have completed on Wednesday, February 12, but this ugly incident happened.
“We decided to shut down the main campus and the examination suspended till further notice,” he said.
The provost, however, said that there was no loss of life because the incident happened while the students were writing their examinations.
The Vice Chancellor of Al-hikmah University, Prof Suleiman
AbdulKareem, has urged the Federal Government to extend its grants and financial assistance to private universities as part of measure to provide quality university education to youths.
Abdulkareem made the call at the 10th matriculation of the institution for the 2014/2015 academic session in Ilorin recently.
He also stressed the need for both the federal and state governments to continue to give priority attention to education through adequate funding, by providing basic infrastructural facilities.
The vice-chancellor noted that apart from being the best legacy a nation could bequeath to its youths, education is also the pivotal which the national development rests.
He, therefore, cautioned the newly admitted students against examination malpractice and other immoral behaviours, saying that the university had zero tolerance to them.
The President, Society for Women in Taxation (SWIT), Mrs
Justina Okoro, has called for synergy between tax institutes and governments to combat double taxation in the country.
Okoro told newsmen in Lagos that many companies had crumbled as a result of double taxation.
“This also is retarding rapid industrial growth in the country, especially now that the country’s benchmark of crude oil is dwindling, we should encourage diversification and industrial growth,” she said.
She said that multiple taxations could discourage diversifications and industrial expansion.
“I urge all tax stakeholders to join hands to resolve this challenge. A good tax system should be targeted at consumption and not at investment.
“And whether consumptions or investments, none should be doubly taxed,” she said.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has
urged Nigerians not to be frustrated by the shift in the dates of the general elections.
Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan chapter, Prof. Segun Ajiboye, made the appeal while reacting to postponement of the February elections on Saturday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ajiboye said that Nigerians should rather ensure that they collected their Permanent Voter Cards before the rescheduled dates for the elections.
He described the INEC decision as a serious setback for Nigerian democracy.
“We condemn the shift in the dates for the polls but, however,we encourage Nigerians to keep calm in the face of unnecessary provocations.
“The decision is a serious setback for Nigerian democracy. But we should remain steadfast. Let us organise and not agonise,” he said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
in Plateau, has started the distribution of more Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), especially for those who registered in November 2014 in the state.
The commission’s Head, Voter Education and Publicity in Plateau, Mr Imahiyereobo Osaretin, told newmen in Jos, that the distribution began last week.
Osaretin explained that the PVCs were for those who registered in November 2014, while those who registered in 2011 and were yet to collect theirs, could also collect their cards.
“We have collected over 1. 3 million PVCs from our headquarters for those, who registered in 2011 and we have so far distributed more than 1.2 million out of the number brought to us, which represents 88.3 per cent.
”No fewer than 643,241 PVCs have again arrived from our headquarters solely for those who registered in 2014, and we have started distribution immediately,” he said.
He said that prospective voters, who registered in 2011 and had yet to collect their PVCs, should return to their registration centres as the newly arrived PVCs also had some of the missing ones.
The Sokoto State Government said it was sponsoring 42
students in Niger and Burkina Faso to obtain bachelor’s degrees in French.
Chairman of Sokoto State Scholarship Board, Alhaji Jelani Kalgo, made this known at the inauguration of an eight-month Intensive Preliminary French Programme for 70 persons in Sokoto recently.
Kalgo, represented by the Director of Administration of the board, Alhaji Salihu Galadanchi, said the first batch of 17 students were pursuing their first degrees in French at Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Another batch of 25 students will be leaving for the University of Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, for a similar programme.
“The board has also paid registration fees for fresh, returning , spill over and amnesty students at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
“The gestures are aimed at grooming interested and qualified indigenes to pursue degree programmes in French language.
The Commissioner of Police in Taraba State, Mr Ademola
Omole, has warned governorship candidates of vari
ous political parties against attacking opponents at campaign rallies.
Omole gave the warning at a meeting with governorship candidates of political parties in Jalingo where an accord to end attacks on opponents was later signed by the candidates.
The commissioner decried the clash among political parties in Suntai village which claimed two lives, warning that the command would come hard on anyone that went against the terms of the accord.
Our correspondent reports that seven out of the 15 governorship candidates in the state signed the accord.
SEAMATA Condemns Inport Duty Increment On Cargo
Members of the the South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) have strongly criticised and rejected the recent astronomical and indiscriminate increment in the import duty on cargoes charged by Nigerian Customs.
SEAMATA is the umbrella union of traders in all the markets in the South-East Geo-political Zone and traders of South-East extraction doing business across the states in the Federation and in Diaspora.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by SEAMATA’s President General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and its Secretary General, Mr Alex Okwudiri, in Enugu yesterday.
According to them, the Nigerian Customs introduced a method of working out import duty payment on goods and set out a particular minimum amount payable for each 40ft container.
The statement noted that items with the least percentage tariff of five per cent are not even spared.
The current import duties, the statement further regretted, are no longer calculated based on invoice value of consignments.
”Between 2020 and now, the amount charged on cargoes as import duties have risen in geometric proportion from N750,000 to N2 million, again to N3 million and presently, to N3.3 million for 40ft containers; while 20ft containers jumped to N1.8 million.
”The Nigerian Customs on their own, work out payable import duty now based on “estimated” invoice value of consignment as against the actual invoice value of goods from the country of origin.
”This development is not only bringing untold hardships to importers but is also compounding the pains of the citizens as it dovetailed to astronomical increase in prices of imported goods as the Nigerian Customs estimated invoice value is always far above the actual cost of the imports.
”The indiscriminate estimate of value of goods by Nigerian Customs is adversely affecting the prices of goods in the markets today both imported and locally produced as it triggered a chain reaction.
”Even agricultural products are not spared in the chain effect of the price increase.
”In the general meeting held in Onitsha on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, the traders resolved to very strongly condemn and reject the increment.
”We are appealing to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to prevail on the Nigerian Customs to, as a matter of urgency, suspend the exercise.
”This is to save the Nigerian citizens from further economic hardships as further economic pains that follow such situations could lead to social unrest which our nation doesn’t need now”.
The statement also prayed and expected that the appeal of the traders would be favourably considered in the overall interest of the masses across the country. 7Ends.
By: Canice Amadi, Enugu
Kaduna SUBEB To Sack 233 Teachers Over Fake Certificates
Chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (KADSUBEB), Alhaji Tijjani Abdullahi, on Thursday, hinted that 233 primary school teachers have been pencilled down for dismissal for gaining employment with fake certificates.
Abdullahi, who spoke at a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, further noted that for the Board to be sure that the newly-employed teachers have the requisite qualifications, it went into secret verification of their credentials from various institutions attended.
According to him, the board has already verified 451 institutions they claimed to have attended, but only nine of them have responded so far.
He further added that the responses from the institutions showed that 233 teachers presented fake certificates.
He added that one of the institutions disowned 212 of the 233 fake certificates, adding that, the board would forward their files to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for forgery.
A visibly shaken Abdullahi noted that the Board will continue to check the integrity of the certificates presented by teachers to ensure that the teaching profession is not devalued by impostors.
How I Delivered 125 Children After Govt Hospitals Rejected Us -Woman Leader
Women leader of the Internally Displaced Persons, Durumi camp, Garki Abuja, Mrs Liyatu Ayuba, has narrated how she became a midwife in the camp following rejection of their pregnant members in government hospitals.
The women leader, who was displaced from Borno State after the Boko Haram insurgents killed her husband in 2015, revealed that she has successfully assisted in delivering about 125 children in the camp.
Speaking with The Tide source in the camp, Mrs Liyatu alleged that the National Hospital, Abuja, and other government medical facilities had denied their pregnant members access to medical care following their inability to pay bills.
According to her, a lady in the camp who needed a cesarean section died in the National Hospital after they were unable to pay for the operation.
“Few years ago, a lady came to this camp and she was 7 months pregnant. She came barefoot with only a wrapper and she didn’t have a bacha (hut) so she was squatting on another person’s own.
“The next three days, she was in labour and we took her to the National Hospital in Abuja here and we were told to bring 100,000 but we told them that we do not have such money that they should please try and save her life.
“They said they can’t do anything, that we IDPs are disturbing them. That was how the woman and her baby died in the hospital. They even refused to release the corps for us because we could not pay,” they disclosed.
According to her, she was angered by the incident which prompted her into midwifery to save the lives of other women in the camp.
“I learnt how to be a midwife from my grandmother. I started delivering babies on January 2, 2015, so from that year till date, I have delivered a total of 125 babies in this camp,” she stated.
Liyatu told our source that she has been sensitizing households in the camp to embrace family planning due to lack of funds to train the children.
“I have been telling them that people who have four to five children should do family planning because we are facing a lot in this camp, we are not collecting salary.
“And these children are not going to school and women keep getting pregnant. God will hold us responsible for the children that we are bringing to this world without training them,” she noted.
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