As the country’s security situation continues to get worse, the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari, to as a matter of urgency, overhaul the nation’s security architecture in order to curtail the blood shade occasioned by insecurity.
The association has also advised the Federal Government to make it compulsory for vice-chancellors and other principal officers of the universities to publicly declare their assets at the time they were appointed and when leaving office.
Speaking at the 4th NAAT Delegates Conference, yesterday, with the theme, “The Role of Technologists in the Economic Diversification Policy of Government: A Look at the Agricultural Sector”, the National President of NAAT, Comrade Sani Suleiman said that the security situation in the country has become worrisome.
According to him, “There is no part of Nigeria where citizens can travel on our deplorable roads safely. It is either robbery, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, militancy or Boko Haram attacks.
“This cannot continue in our country. The authorities must rise up to the occasion by changing their tactics of handling security situation in the country.
“The service chiefs have done a great job for this country and we thank them for the service they have rendered to their fatherland. It is time they give way to vibrant young officers with fresh ideas. The government must as a matter of urgency, completely overhaul the security architecture of the country for a better result within a short time. “
On the appointment of vice-chancellors and other principal officers of the universities, Suleiman said that such an appointment must be made more transparent and be based on merit.
According to him, “Ability of VC candidates to attract funds for research and infrastructural developments should constitute a qualification requirement.
“A situation where a VC who was appointed and could not get resources to run the university but keep pushing to increase school fees through the back doors by introducing all sorts of charges on already impoverished students is not acceptable.
“VCs on appointment must be made to declare their assets and make them public to the university community and do same at the end of his or her tenure in office.”
The NAAT president called for the resuscitation of government technical colleges, alleging that so many of the government technical colleges have become moribund with dilapidated infrastructures.
He also said that everything must be done as quickly as possible to conclude the process of renegotiation of the 2009 Federal Government agreement with the association.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration was fully determined to combat and defeat all acts of criminality, banditry and terrorism in the country.
In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the president was speaking at a meeting with the Executive Committee members of the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia (NICE), in Addis Ababa.
The President appealed to all Nigerians to support and cooperate with security agencies who were ready to defend and preserve the unity of the country.
The meeting, moderated by Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had observed a minute silence in honour of Nigerians brutally killed by Boko Haram terrorists on Monday in Borno.
Buhari also assured Nigerians, at home and abroad, that their protection would continue to remain a key priority of his administration, in addition to the war against corruption and economic growth.
On economic matters and doing business in Ethiopia, the Nigerian leader said he had been briefed on the challenges faced by some Nigerian companies with investments in the country, especially the Dangote Group and Lubcon.
“I have directed the relevant ministries to take up these issues with a view to resolving all complaints amicably with the Ethiopian authorities,” he said.
On the issue of Diaspora voting, the President while responding to a request by the leader of NICE, David Omozuafoh, said he was in support of it, but legislation was required to make it a reality.
“I have said it severally that I am not against it. However, you will need to convince National Assembly to amend the relevant laws to make Diaspora voting a reality,” he said.
On the conduct of Nigerians living in the Diaspora, the President expressed concern that some of their actions had not projected the country in good light, urging them to change their ways and obey the laws of their countries of residence.
He, however, commended Nigerians in Ethiopia, noting that they had the highest concentration of professionals working in international organisations such as the African Union, United Nations agencies.
“This is a correct representation of the Nigerian spirit of excellence and high achievement,” he stressed.
Buhari told the meeting that his government was committed to supporting and protecting all law-abiding Nigerians, at home and abroad, to prosper, urging all in the Diaspora to help achieve this by being good citizens and worthy ambassadors of Nigeria.
The President also encouraged them to be the best in all their legitimate engagements in their host country, saying that, “while you are out in the Diaspora, do not forget home as you represent some of the best human assets that Nigeria possesses.”
He, therefore, urged them to use their resources, skills and talents to help the development of Nigeria.
In his remarks at the meeting, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU, Bankole Adeoye, extolled the huge investments of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Ethiopia since independence through the Embassy.
He described the Nigerian Embassy in Addis Ababa as one of the Nigerian missions in the whole of Africa with the largest diplomatic and residential premises.
“Nigeria has continued to live the saying that Africa is the centre-piece of her foreign policy especially with the many impacts in the AU, the United Nations Economic Community for Africa (UNECA) and Ethiopia as whole,” he said.
The Ambassador commended Buhari for reciprocating the visit to Abuja of the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia given the country’s zeal to develop stronger ties with Nigeria.
He further extolled the President as one who has appointed the highest number of career ambassadors and attributed it to his flair for professionalism.
Also speaking, the President of NICE commended the President for the establishment of NiDCOM and his continuous leadership and contributions which have cemented Nigeria’s role as a central player in strengthening the AU.
Omozuafoh appealed to the Nigerian government to fast-track the implementation of the MoU with the United Nations on the Junior Professionals Programme allowing young Nigerians access to opportunities in international organisations.
“Similar opportunities should be explored with the UN Volunteers Programme, the AU Volunteers Corps as well as the ECOWAS Youth Volunteer Programme, “ he said.
I’ll Provide Solid Representation, If Elected -Banigo
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has assured the people of Abua/Odual Local Government Area that she would provide undivided representation if voted into the Senate in 2023.
Banigo gave this assurance when leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party had a meeting with her, at the Government House in Port Harcourt to map out campaign strategies, yesterday.
The deputy governor said, she was excited that the meeting was held for the stakeholders to understand themselves, to ensure the party wins at the elections in 2023, adding that by the grace of God the local government area would be better than what it is now, if she emerges as the Rivers West senator.
In a related development, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is the Rivers West Senatorial District Candidate of the PDP in the upcoming polls, has also met with leaders of the PDP in Ahoada East Local Government Area, where she urged them to reach out to their constituents and encourage the collection of PVCs.
“We must realize that with this new Electoral Act, the votes will surly count, as this 2023 election is not going to be like the previous elections, there will be a difference, people should not be afraid to pick up their cards and vote, they should not be lackadaisical about it, they should keep their cards safe and on the day of election they should come up and cast their vote, because this time every vote will count”.
She said the campaigns would be unit based and urged them to reach out to those in their units.
“Make sure you have unit executives in each of the wards, so we can have a door to door campaign”, Banigo said.
In his remarks at the meetings, the Vice Chairman of the Rivers West Senatorial District of the PDP, Dr. Nname Robinson Ewor, said there is a need for members of the PDP to go out and establish their presence in all units’ wards and constituencies, stressing that the nature of this upcoming election would be different from previous elections.
Ariolu, Others Welcome Ex-Deputy Guber Candidate To PDP
Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barrister George Ariolu, has led other party faithful, including Chairman of PDP, Ward 6, Kingsley Nna; Chairman of PDP, Ward 9, Collins Wobo Chukwu; and Obio/Akpor PDP Secretary, Kingman Ogbonna; to receive a bigwig and stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Rumuogba in Ward 6, Chief Williams Igwe, into the PDP.
Receiving the former Deputy Governorship Candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Obio/Akpor PDP Secretariat, Rumueme, Ariolu expressed delight over his decampment from the APC to the PDP, describing it as an indication that the party was waxing stronger.
Ariolu, who was greeted with euphoria by the LGA PDP Chairman, Chidi Amadi, who also welcomed the former deputy governorship candidate at the secretariat, promised to work closely with Igwe to build the party ahead of the forthcoming election.
He pointed out that the foundation of the PDP was built on togetherness, stating that collectively, the party would achieve more.
Ariolu thanked Igwe for wholeheartedly accepting to come back to the party.
According to him, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has separated governance from politics following his relentless battle to promote the interest of Rivers people.
Also speaking, Chairman of the PDP in Obio/Akpor, Chidi Amadi, said the reception of Igwewas a fulfilment of an age-long dream, and a welcome development for members of the party, expressing joy over the event.
He further commended Ariolu for his strong support and leadership towards the sustenance and growth of the party.
In his remark, Chief Williams Igwe affirmed his loyalty and commitment to the PDP in its quest to oust the APC and fix the broken state of the country’s socio-economic and political fabrics.
He described the reception as a homecoming for himself and his supporters who would be formally received at a formal event which would be organised by the state party chairman, adding that PDP remains a major political party which will unite the nation.
He added that his decision to defect to the party was well-thought-out, and called on others to join hands with the Rivers State Government to rebuild the socio-economic fortunes of the state.
According to him, he believed that it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the Rivers State governor in moving the state forward.
The former Deputy Governorship Candidate was also received by PDP Chieftain, Barrister Temple Ejekwu; Obio/Akpor PDP Woman Leader,Gloria Wonodi; Barrister Kelvin Akani; and members of Obio/Akpor PDP Executive.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
NNPC Posts N674bn Profit
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has declared a profit after tax of N674billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2021.
The profit represented a growth of 134.84per cent when compared with N287billion profit in 2020 which was recorded under the old Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said this at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja.
“NNPC progressed to a new performance level, from N287billion profit in 2020 to a N674billion profit after tax in 2021 climbing higher by 134.8per cent year on year profit growth,’’ he said.
Kyari also said that it recorded an increase in total assets from N15.86trillion in 2020 to N16.27trillion in 2021.
Speaking on the group’s financial position, Kyari said the corporation’s total liabilities decreased by 8.3per cent to N13.46trillion during the review period from N14.68trillion in 2020.
The GCEO said its shareholders funds position rose N2.81trillion representing 144per cent year-on-year.
“The performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and products theft, among others.
“Details of the performance of NNPC and the respective subsidiaries as well as that of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) will be published on our website www.nnpcgroup.com for stakeholder’s perusal.
“We look forward to achieving greater performance to support our growth aspirations and to create more value for our stakeholders as we drive full commercial operations under NNPC Ltd.,’’ he said.
He recalled that in September 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the publication of the 2020 NNPC Group Audited Financial Statement, in which NNPC declared a profit after tax of N287billion for the first time in 44 years.
Kyari said that in spite of the challenging operating environment, it strongly believed that the corporation had the potential to sustainably deliver better value to it esteemed shareholders.
He said it sought to become a dynamic global energy company of choice to its customers, partners and over 200million shareholders comprising of all Nigerians.
Kyari noted that the corporation in 2019 rolled out deliberate policies and initiatives aimed at reducing costs and eliminating losses while adopting technology to entrench transparency, accountability and performance excellence (TAPE) across its various functions.
He said the NNPC had recorded significant improvement over the past three years, turning up the curve from losses to profits.
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