The President, who was speaking at the State House Conference Hall, Abuja, said good journalism was panacea for prevalent fake news, disinformation and hate speech. President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday declared open the 2018 International Press Institute World Congress with a call on journalists worldwide to address the menace of fake news and hate speech for the good of humanity.The President, who was speaking at the State House Conference Hall, Abuja, said good journalism was panacea for prevalent fake news, disinformation and hate speech.According to him, the changing media landscape, the explosion of the social media and the rapidly evolving new technology have had profound impact on media business and media“It is satisfying, therefore, that you have chosen an appropriate theme for your conference: Why Good Journalism Matters: Quality Media for Strong Societies.“In a world where the borderline between hate speech and free speech has become blurred, good journalism matters. In an environment where fake news dwarfs investigative reporting, Good Journalism Matters. For survival in an increasingly competitive field, Good Journalism Matters. Good journalism promotes Good Governance,’’ he said.The President therefore urged participants to give depth to the topic in their discussions and conclusions.President Buhari observed that the Institute’s annual congress was holding in Nigeria during a period of global terrorism.According to the President, Nigeria experiences that scourge through Boko Haram, which has been technically degraded and has no territorial hold anywhere, anymore, in its northeast operational base.He said that the Internally Displaced Persons were gradually returning to their communities in reasonable safety and security.He said: “It is a reflection of your assessment of Nigeria as a safe country that you gave the country the hosting right for this conference.“As you have seen since your arrival, you made a wise and right choice.“It is the first time in the 68 years history of the media’s premier platform for press freedom that editors, media executives and leading journalists would gather in this country for its World Congress and General Assembly.“Nigeria is most honoured to host you.’’President Buhari further noted that Nigeria had a rich history of robust relationship with the IPI; prominent Nigerian journalists and media operators were and continue to be in the leadership of the international body.“But perhaps the most significant symbol of this special relationship is the Nigeria Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos established by IPI in 1963. It is our pride that your vision of a professional journalism training institution in Nigeria has taken firm root,’’ he added.The President also used the opportunity to speak on the introduction of visa on arrival policy which he described as one of his administration’s reform initiatives designed to aid ease of doing business in Nigeria.“I am glad that international delegates to this conference are beneficiaries of this policy,’’ he said.He also noted that the Nigerian government had provided necessary support for a successful hosting right from the time nation’s delegation presented its hosting bid in Qatar to the granting of that right in Germany last year.He, therefore, commended the efforts of the Nigeria Hosting Committee for organising this conference, saying that “it is one more evidence of Nigeria’s capacity for doing great things.
The Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazzau disclosed this on Thuraday at the opening of 2018 International Press Institute (IPI)’ World Congress in Abuja. The Federal Government says it will deploy electronic border management to control illegal migration and address insecurity.The Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazzau disclosed this on Thursday at the opening of 2018 International Press Institute (IPI)’ World Congress in Abuja.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the congress attended by international and local media personalities was declared opened by President Muhammadu Buhari.Dambazzau who was fielding questions along other ministers from Mr John Momoh, the President of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), said the e-border system would address the challenge of the nation’s porous border.He said the e-border would involve biometric processing of immigrants at point of entry and an establishment of multi-agency situation room.The minister said the multi-agency situation room would allow him and any other interior minister to monitor events and occurrences in borders from his office.He said his ministry was also developing a migrant data to identify and fish out illegal immigrants.Dambazzau assured that the e-border system would not negate the spirit of ECOWAS Protocol which is for regional integration.He said that the Buhari’s administration had taken the issue of security seriously considering its importance to national and economic development.On his part, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the Buhari’s administration had delivered on its promises to Nigeria in tackling insecurity, corruption and developing the economy.He disclosed that the country was now producing 4 million metric tonnes of rice and would be self-sufficient in rice production in two years.The minister also reiterated the commitment of the government to press freedom.Meanwhile, the outgoing Chairman of IPI, Mr John Yearwood and its Executive Director, Barbara Trionfi had reiterated the commitment of the organisation to fighting for press freedom globally.IPI is a Vienna-based global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists.The organisation is dedicated to furthering and safeguarding press freedom, protecting freedom of opinion and expression.It also prides itself in promoting the free flow of news and information, and improving the practices of journalism.
Osinbajo said that it was those factors that predispose individuals and communities to imbibing extremist beliefs and ideologies. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that enduring victory against violent extremism and terrorism can only be achieved through implementing policies that comprehensively tackle poverty, illiteracy and frustration.Osinbajo said that it was those factors that predispose individuals and communities to imbibing extremist beliefs and ideologies.He made the assertion on Thursday in Abuja, while declaring open the 7th meeting of the Ministers of Defence of the Community of Sahel-Sahara States – CED-SAD.“Indeed, the military aspect of the fight against terrorism is the short-term one; enduring victory will only come from swiftly and diligently building on military victory by implementing, over the long term, policies that comprehensively tackle the poverty, illiteracy and frustration that predispose individuals and communities to imbibing extremist beliefs and ideologies.“If there is one thing we have learned from our experience fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria, it is that the battle is as much social and economic as it is a military one.“But the narrative is worsened by the fact that violent extremism and terrorism do not walk alone, they are usually to be found interlinked with human trafficking, drug trafficking, illicit trade in drugs and arms, and various other forms of transnational organized crimes,’’ he said.The vice president said that within the community, security challenge had assumed new dimensions since the Arab Spring, with the collapse of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, proving to be a watershed moment.According to him, countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria have since then experienced an escalation of the twin global threats of violent extremism and terrorism, among others.The escalation of threats and vulnerabilities in the region, he said, had became an immediate and urgent security threat to the community.He, however, said that it was encouraging that significant progress had been made to contain the terrorist challenges through the individual and collective actions.Osinbajo also noted that other elements that fuel violent extremism and terrorism were ecological threats of desertification and drought, as well as the phenomenon of forced human migration, among others.“Africa has historically been susceptible to desertification due to the preponderance of semi-arid, arid and hyper-arid lands.“Climate change and other factors collectively exacerbate these natural geographical conditions to make more than 319 million hectares of Africa vulnerable to desertification.“In the CEN-SAD Community, the Sahara desert is advancing southwards at an alarming rate of approximately 600 meters annually,’’ he added.Osinbajo urged leaders in the community to promote agreements and partnerships that “will enable the Community fully bridge our development gaps, and meet the rapidly growing needs of present and future generations.’’.He added, “It is certainly in our collective interest to act proactively in this regard, by enabling and catalysing the jobs and prosperity without which these battles cannot be lastingly won.’’Earlier, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali said that the security climate in the Sahel-Saharan States “is characterised by several internal threats and a lineage of organised cross-border crimes.’’He said that those threats posed challenge to internal security and stability of the states and the region generally.The minister, however, said that cooperation and collaboration by members’ states in the fight against insurgency and terrorism had yielded positive results.“For instance, the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) comprising of troops from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, operating in the Lake Chad region against Boko Haram insurgency in collaboration with Nigeria’s Operation Lafia Dole forces have significantly degraded the Boko Haram terrorists,’’ he said.
The senator representing Yobe East, Bukar Abba Ibrahim on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari was not bound to implement the 2018 budget as signed 100 percent.
Ibrahim said that nobody was going to hang Buhari if he fails to implement the budget 100 percent.
President Buhari while signing the 2018 budget on Wednesday expressed strong reservation about the removal and insertion of certain projects outside of his critical projects in the budget by the National Assembly.
Ibrahim spoke in Abuja at a press briefing on a book entitled “Poorlitics: The story of the little boy from Goniri and Progressives Manifesto” by Bukar Abba Ibrahim Foundation and Bass Books (UK)
Reacting to a question on Buhari’s misgivings about the budget, Ibrahim said, “When in Nigeria have we implemented budget 100 percent? It will take us another 100 years may be to do that.
“Irrespective of whatever we put in there, he doesn’t necessarily have to implement all of them. Every year, we talk about 50, 60, 70 percent implementation.
“We hardly have 80 percent implementation. So, what does it really matter if certain things are inserted? Let him take a good look at them. Let him consult the right people and at the right time and decide which ones he really wants to implement.
“Nobody is going to hang him for not implementing the budget 100 percent. So, I don’t see any problem in that.”
Ibrahim, a three-term governor of old Borno and present Yobe States and, three-term senator noted that he did not sponsor many bills for about 12 years he was at the National Assembly,
He however insisted that he was going to re-contest for another term in the Senate come 2019.
He said, “Apart from being a three-term governor in my state, Yobe, I am also a three-term senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but still counting.
“I haven’t actually sponsored many bills. But to my mind, what is important in National Assembly is to support the right bills that are important to the nation.
“That is what I really depend on. I’m not a bill creator. I also believe I have been supporting the right thing since I came to the National Assembly for almost 12 years ago. And I have been attracting projects to my constituency.”
Asked to consider his age, Ibrahim said, “I’m 69 years old now and, by next year, I will be 70. I had intended to go for the presidential race earlier but because of my respect for Buhari.
“We shall always respect our elders and I couldn’t have claimed to do more than Buhari. Do I withdrew along with senator Yerima of Zamfara State. Now that he is interested to go back for the second term, I am still ready to wait.
“If by the time he finishes, I don’t feel good, health-wise, I will just quietly go back to the Senate. If on the other hand, I am considered fit for the presidency, why not? Senate is not meant for young people, per se. You have a mix of the old, middle aged and young ones.”
Ibrahim however insisted that he has an uncommon style of politics.
“My pattern of politics does not centre on money and thuggery. I don’t terrorize the people but I prefer to serve.”
On how he is going to slugg it out with his state governor, Ibrahim Geidam, who is reported to have shown interest for the Senate seat, the lawmaker said that he was prepared to battle the governor.
He said that Geidam has not told him that he is eying the Senate seat for Yobe East.
He said, “As far as I know, he (Geidam) has not told me that he is interested to come to the Senate. He knows that I want to come back to the Senate. If he wants to slug it with me, I am ready to face him.”
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Benue Tribal Leaders have rejected the Federal Government proposed Pilot cattle ranching in Benue state.
The ethnic groups said they view the plan as another attempt to grab their land and give it to herdsmen.
In a statement signed on their behave by the President of Mzough – U- Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege , and made available to The Nation stated that while they agreed ranching is the best method of animal husbandry globally , they rejected the used of public funds to construct ranches for a private business of cattle cattle rearing.
The group also reiterated their called for the arrest and prosecution of Miyetti Allah Kaul Hore for their complicity in Benue killings.
The state reads thus: Our attention has been brought to a publication in several national dailies concerning the establishment of pilot cattle ranches in 10 states of the country including Benue.
The proposed project which has a 10 year plan is estimated to gulp N179 billion and N70 is to be sourced by the Federal Government to commence the project.
While we appreciate the position of the Federal Government to accept ranching as the global best method of animal’s husbandry, which has been our position in Benue State, we reject the idea by the FG to use public funds to construct ranches for a private business of cattle rearing.
We wish to state that cattle rearing remains a private business in the world and Nigeria in particular just like crop farming and should be treated as such.
There is a law on Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment enacted by the Benue State government and the law makes explicit provisions for those interested in the business of rearing cattle to come forward, acquire land and build ranches.
These herders will also have to abide by the terms and conditions of the land acquisition and the host communities will also have a sense of belonging.
As we reaffirm our support and stance for this law and all its provisions, we view the attempt by the Federal Government to build ranches for herders in our state as a grand plan to grab our land and give it to herdsmen in the name of ranches.
We wish to also reiterate our earlier call on the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for their complicity in the Benue killings.
If these people are not arrested and interrogated for threatening to invade our communities and carrying out their threats, we will continue to treat both the Federal Government and our killers as one.
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The South East Senate Caucus has expressed shock over reported cut in the 2018 budget allocation for the Enugu Airport Terminal.
The Chairman of the caucus, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, and lawmakers from the region said they learnt that an allocation of N2 billion sustained by the two aviation committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, were said to have been slashed to N500 million.
He said that the caucus had summoned an emergency meeting of South East lawmakers to unravel when the cut was effected and by who.
He added that “no right thinking Igbo man would support any cut on allocation for projects in the South East region.”
Abaribe, who said that the budget documents were verifiable, noted that “we are committed and determined to find out who made the cut.”
He said that the caucus actually lobbied for the Enugu Airport Terminal allocation to be increased to N3.5 billion until the Ministry of Aviation told members of the caucus that what they had was an envelope which could not be increased beyond the N2 billion allocation.
Abaribe, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, noted for instance that N30 billion was smuggled into the power budget without his committee’s knowledge.
He said that the N30 billion was listed for expansion and re-enforcement of infrastructure in the distribution companies to reduce stranded firms.
He added that “the amount never passed through the Senate Power committee.
“Where did such huge sum of N30 billion come from.
“Let the budget office and other relevant bodies conduct self examination. Such self examination will go a long way to clear gray areas.”
He explained that “in the case of the Enugu Airport Terminal and the Second Niger Bridge, we want to find out at what point the cut was made.”
President Muhammadu Buhari who signed the 2018 budget on Wednesday, said that the National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocation to 4,700 projects submitted to it for consideration.
He also said that 6,403 projects were injected, amounting to N578 billion.
He stressed that many of the project cuts were critical and may be difficult, if not impossible, to implement with the reduced allocation.(NAN)
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NiMet’s Weather Outlook by its Central Forecast Office in Abuja on Thursday also predicted day and night temperatures in the range of 25 to 32 and 17 to 23 degrees celsius. The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted prospects of moderate rains over the central states such as Makurdi, Jos, Yola, Kaduna, Jalingo, Abuja, Lokoja, Minna, Ilorin and Lafia on Friday morning.NiMet’s Weather Outlook by its Central Forecast Office in Abuja on Thursday also predicted day and night temperatures in the range of 25 to 32 and 17 to 23 degrees celsius.It added that the entire region was expected to remain cloudy except Abuja, Lokoja, Makurdi and Kaduna that would have chances of light rains later in the day.The agency predicted that the southern states would experience moderate intermittent morning rains, especially in Benin, Awka, Uyo, Yenagoa, Warri, Asaba, Ado-Ekiti, Enugu, Osogbo, Abeokuta, Shaki, Asaba, Lagos, Calabar Port Harcourt.It also predicted light intermittent rains over the entire southern cities later in the day, with day and night temperatures in the range of 27 to 30 and 20 to 24 degrees celsius.According to NiMet, northern states will experience morning thunderstorms and moderate rains over Maiduguri, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano and Gusau, with day and night temperatures of 29 to 34 and 21 to 24 degrees celsius.It stated that Sokoto, Gusau, Yelwa, Kebbi, Katsina and Kano would, however, experience localised moderate rains, while other cities were likely to remain under cloudy conditions during the morning and afternoon hours.It added that the chances of thunderstorms and rainfall activities over some parts of the country with varying intensities were probable in the next 24 hours.
Mr Adebisi Shonubi, Managing Director, NIBBS, disclosed this at the third Annual Banking Security Summit organised by MAXUT Consulting in partnership with OneSpan, a global data security company in Lagos. The Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), on Thursday said the banking industry lost the sum of N12.30 billion to various frauds between 2014 and 2017.Mr Adebisi Shonubi, Managing Director, NIBBS, disclosed this at the third Annual Banking Security Summit organised by MAXUT Consulting in partnership with OneSpan, a global data security company in Lagos.Shonubi said the figure was lost in 41,461 fraud cases between 2014 and 2017.Specifically, he noted that 2014 fraud volume stood at 1,461, 10,743 (2015), 19,531 in 2016 and 25,043 in 2017.Speaking on “Industry fraud overview with focus on mobile & payments related frauds,” Shonubi said the industry lost N6.22 billion in 2014 on attempted fraud value of N7.76 billionShonubi who was represented by Mr Olufemi Fadairo, Head, Industry Security Services, said the sum of N2.26 billion was lost in 2015 on attempted fraud value of N4.37 billion in 2015.According to him, the industry lost the sum of N2.19 billion in 2016 on attempted fraud value of N4.37 billion.Shonubi said gender fraud analysis during the period showed males accounted for 73 per cent, while females accounted for 23 per cent.He said more fraud cases were reported in 2017, with an increase of 28 per cent compared with 2016 but with less financial loss.On fraud channel, Shonubi said the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) accounted for the highest fraud in 2017 with an actual loss of N497.64 million with a fraud volume of 9,823.According to him, mobile trailed with N347.65 million loss on 5,055 fraud volume, while across the counter transactions accounted for N259. 02 million loss in 314 fraud volume.He said that “while fraud trend is generally on the decline, mobile fraud trend alone is on the increase.”Shonubi said mobile fraud would overtake ATM fraud by 2020 with the rate of increasing fraud in the channel.He listed the top three mobile threats in Nigeria to include phone theft, sim swaps and kidnaps.Shonubi, however, called on Nigerians to shield themselves by ensuring phone lock, sim lock, swap/recycle checks.Also speaking, Mr Mike Odusami, CEO/President MAXUT Consulting, said the summit was geared toward making the financial system safer for people to have trust in the system.“Our solution as a technology company is really about fraud prevention and making sure that this is the person the bank authorises because most of the transactions are not physical, they are done through electronic channels.“And also in the background, we are monitoring everything that is going on in the system, that is fraud monitoring and we have helped a lot of banks and financial institutions to do that,” he said.Odusami said the company was committed to make the banking system safer for people to have confidence in the system by preventing.He said the Nigerian banking system was advanced and not lacking behind in terms of digital banking.“We are very advanced; we are not lacking behind, but because a lot of transactions are still done through USSD channel, this is the normal feature channel and anybody can use it.“Lot frauds are done in that channel either through SIM swap, stolen phones and kidnapping. So we are working with the banks to develop a solution to curb that,” Odusami said.He said the country was still behind in open banking security, and that it was relatively new with more players connecting to the banking system.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit was themed: “Digital Channels & Open Banking Security.
But Republicans were divided over the two bills up for a vote in the House of Representatives, and Democrats signalled their opposition, making for a day of legislative drama. US lawmakers were poised to vote Thursday on long-term Republican-sponsored fixes to immigration amid a firestorm over family separations on the US-Mexico border.But Republicans were divided over the two bills up for a vote in the House of Representatives, and Democrats signalled their opposition, making for a day of legislative drama.The votes come a day after US President Donald Trump, in a stunning about-face, ordered an end to the family separations at the border.Images and recordings of wailing children detained in cage-like enclosures has ignited global outrage, forcing the legislative action on an immigration system in disarray.Despite Trump’s order there was no immediate plan in place to reunite the more than 2,300 children already separated from their families.”Congress has the authority and the responsibility to make the law of the land and to fix the immigration system,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a security forum on Capitol Hill.”We need Congress to act.”Two measures are before the House of Representatives — a conservative bill and a more moderate “compromise,” which the White House and leadership in the Republican-controlled Congress has been urging rank-and-file members to support.Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi said her caucus was opposed to both bills, and it was unclear if there was sufficient Republican support for the compromise measure.Trump himself raised doubts before the votes, seeming to signal that conservatives need not cast tough votes on the compromise while shifting the blame for failure to Democrats.”What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct,” Trump tweeted.The compromise bill, in addition to ending family separations, addresses Trump’s goals of boosting border security including funding for his wall, limiting so-called “chain migration,” ending the visa lottery program and providing legal protections for young immigrants in the Obama-era DACA program who were brought to the country illegally as children.”It does not guarantee citizenship, but it does provide for a merit-based visa that the DACA population could apply for,” congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of House GOP leadership, told Fox News.New legal battlesTrump has accused rival Democrats of causing the problems at the border, telling supporters that Democrats put “illegal immigrants before they put American citizens.”For weeks, Trump had insisted he was bound by law to split children from their parents and that only Congress could resolve the problem — before he radically shifted gears.Trump’s order suggests the government intends to hold the families indefinitely by challenging a 1997 court ruling known as the Flores Settlement, which places a 20-day limit on how long children, alone or with their parents, can be detained.Trump’s executive order would keep families together but in custody indefinitely while the parents are prosecuted for entering the country illegally.That move could lead to new legal battles for the administration.Trump said there was a need to sustain his “zero tolerance” policy to prevent crime.”We still have to maintain toughness, or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don’t stand for and we don’t want,” he said.After a downturn last year, the flow of migrants from Central America and Mexico has surged since October.From March to May this year, more than 50,000 people a month were apprehended for illegally crossing the border from Mexico.Nearly all of the arriving families, and many others, have officially requested asylum, citing the high levels of violence in their home countries.The “zero tolerance” policy, including mandatory separation of children from adults as a deterrent, was announced May 7.Gene Hamilton, a senior Justice Department official, said the executive order was a “stopgap” move and that Congress needs to pass new legislation to give the president more powers to fight illegal immigration.Current laws, he argued, simply encouraged people to enter the country with their children, expecting to be caught and then released into US society.Democrats have warned that any order to undermine the critical Flores protections would be immediately challenged in court.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, says the Federal Government will borrow N1.6 trillion to finance part of the N9.12 trillion 2018 budget.
The minister said this on Thursday in Abuja at the presentation of the approved 2018 Budget of Consolidation.
The N9.12 trillion 2018 budget was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday after it was raised from N8.61 trillion by the National Assembly.
The budget expenditure was premised on oil price benchmark of 51 dollars per barrel, while crude oil production was bench-marked at 2.3 million barrels per day and exchange rate of N305 to one dollar.
Udoma said N793 billion would be borrowed domestically, while N849 billion would be borrowed from foreign sources to finance the budget deficit.
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He added that the overall budget deficit of N1.950 trillion in the budget represented 1.74 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He noted that the projected deficit was within the threshold stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) 2017.
Udoma said that N306 billion was expected from privatisation proceeds and N5 billion from the sale of other government property to part finance the budget.
According to him, the Federal Government expects that oil revenue will make up 41.7 per cent of the revenue for the budget, while Independent Revenue would make up 11.8 per cent.
He also said that proceeds from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) would make up 4.5 per cent as it was expected that revenue would go up significantly.
Other sources of revenue are Value Added Tax (VAT), which is to make 2.9 per cent, Company Income Tax (CIT) 9.2 per cent, Tax amnesty: 1.2 per cent, Signature Bonus: 1.6 per cent and Joint Venture (JV) Equity Restructuring to make up 9.9 per cent.
He added that grants and donor funding was estimated to make up 2.8 per cent, while other sources would make up 7.2 per cent of the revenue.
The minister said that recoveries would make up for 7.2 per cent of the revenue, noting that
the recoveries was made up of 320 million dollars from Swiss, assets and fines.
Udoma added that the 2018 revenue projections would reflect new funding mechanism for JV operations to allow for cost recovery in lieu of previous cash call arrangements.
He said it would also reflect additional oil-related revenue to include royalty recovery, new/marginal field licences and early licencing renewals.
Others are the review of the fiscal regime for oil Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs), restructuring government’s equity in JV oil assets with proceeds to be reinvested in other assets.
“This will improve efficiency in the operations of the JVs and position them for better revenue performance in the future”, he said.
Udoma added that increase in excise duty rates on alcohol and tobacco and tax administration improvement initiatives would positively affect collection efficiencies across various tax categories.
He, however, said that to get the projected revenue, Federal Government had embarked on some key reform initiatives.
He explained that the initiatives included deployment of new technology to improve revenue collection, upward review of tariffs and tax rates where appropriate, and stronger enforcement action against tax defaulters.
He also said that the Federal Government was improving Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) revenue performance by reviewing operational efficiency and cost-to-income ratios and generally ensuring that GOEs operate in more fiscally responsible manner.
Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, said this on Thursday at the 39th edition of Consumer Town-Hall Meeting held at Akpabuyo in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River. The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) says it will soon issue fresh directives to service providers on Data Roll-over plan.Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, said this on Thursday at the 39th edition of Consumer Town-Hall Meeting held at Akpabuyo in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River.Adedigba disclosed that the operation would take effect from June 26.He explained that the Data Roll-over would enable consumers to roll-over unused data from one to seven days, depending on the data plan.He said this was sequel to the earlier directive to service providers on forceful subscription of data services and Value Added Services (VAS), which had been in place since May.‘’The commission also developed 622 Toll Free Line through which you can easily lodge complaints for any unresolved service issues to the NCC.‘’I need to emphasise that failure of the operators to comply with the above directives will attract appropriate penalties, ‘’ he said.Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, the Director, Consumer Affairs said that telecom consumers remained the target beneficiaries of its activities.“This is why the commission is having regular interactions with the consumers and service providers,’’ he said.According to her, the theme of the meeting- ‘’Using Information and Education as Tools for Consumer Empowerment and Protection, ‘’ is carefully chosen as one of the cardinal objectives of the NCC.Onwuegbuchulam, who was represented by the Deputy Director in the Department, Mr Philip Eretan, added that Information and Education were necessary tools to fortify consumers.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that consumers used the occasion to ask questions on the services provided by the various network operators.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau
The Minister of Interior, Mr Abdulrahman Dambazau, has defended the Federal Government’s efforts in providing security at Nigeria’s borders.
Dambazau, a retired Lieutenant General and former Chief of Army Staff, spoke about the country’s security situation and borders during the 2018 World Congress of the International Press Institute (IPI), in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on Thursday.
He spoke during a session entitled ‘Conversation with the Government of Nigeria’ and moderated by the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh.
When asked to rate the performance of the Federal Government in checking Nigeria’s porous borders on a scale of one to 10, the minister rated the government a 10.
He said, “This is a difficult thing you are giving me because when you are talking about border security and management it involves so many things. That is one.
“Secondly, from what I have said, it isn’t something that is left to Nigeria alone. It is a regional problem that we are working very closely with our neighbouring countries on.
“In our own efforts, I will tell you 10/10.”
The minister explained that the Federal Government took a lot of steps to provide security at the borders because it is very concerned by the security of the nation’s borders.
“A lot of efforts have been made to ensure that we have effective relationships both at the bilateral and multilateral levels to ensure that we do not accept the breach of border security.
“Because of the porousness of our borders, this government when it came (into power) was able to provide lots of logistics to the immigration department so that it can enhance its mobility to cover the border.”
He, however, conceded that because the borders are extensive, they cannot be protected by just providing more vehicles.
Consequently, the government is also collaborating with international organisations and regional governments and blocs to tackle the problem, especially that of migration.
Also, the minister said the government is using technology to tackle the security situation at the borders.
Another initiative is the decision to turn to border communities for help. But this has faced some difficulties, according to the minister, who cited an example of the chiefs of two border communities – one in Niger and the other in Nigeria – who were brothers and were uninterested in talking about borders or securing them.
The minister pointed that out that in tackling security challenges at the borders it was important to remember “the 1994 UN Human Development Report which has redefined security from the traditional perspective from territorial integrity to the issue of human security”.
He, however, said, “With the security threat of terrorism, particularly what we have in the North East, with the kind of weapons that are trickling in from areas like Libya and Mali, we need to do a lot more to reinforce our borders and this is precisely what the government is doing.”
Other ministers who participated in the session are the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechukwu Enelemah.
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It is an initiative of the state Ministry of Youth and Social Development, aimed at creating massive awareness on the implications of drug and substance abuse, as well as to get addicts off the streets. Worried by the increasing menace of drug abuse and its impact on the society, the Lagos State Government on Thursday launched the Lagos State Kicks against Drug Abuse (LASKADA) campaign.It is an initiative of the state Ministry of Youth and Social Development, aimed at creating massive awareness on the implications of drug and substance abuse, as well as to get addicts off the streets.Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State said that the decision to launch the awareness campaign was a response to the dangerous dimension that drug abuse had taken.Ambode was represented by Mr Tunji Bello, the Secretary to the State Government.He said: “This campaign tagged: `Lagos State Kicks against Drug Abuse (LASKADA)’ is a clarion call and a reminder of our responsibility as individuals, organisations and society to rise and safeguard our collective future.“We must condemn in strong terms, the excessive and persistent self-administration of drugs without regard to medical prescription.“As a responsible government, we will not fold our arms and allow this unhealthy practice to create a blurry future for our tomorrow.“This is what informed the establishment of Youth-friendly Centres in all the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).“These are to serve as avenues for relaxation and recreation as well as to further engage our youths in productive ventures so that the menace of drug abuse can be drastically reduced.’’According to Ambode, the Drug Dependent Rehabilitation Centres located in Isheri and Majidun were established to give support to the young ones addicted to drugs.“These centres are operating side by side with the privately-owned institutions which are also contributing significantly to the realisation of this overall objectives,” he said.In her remarks, wife of the governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, said that LASKADA campaign intends to carry out aggressive sensitisation on the misuse of drugs by young people.Ambode, who launched the campaign, urged LASKADA to be focussed to achieve its aim of addressing the prevalence of drug abuse.She also urged parents to be attentive to the needs of their children and wards.Also, Mr Agboola Dabiri, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Lagos, said: “We have observed that lots of young persons throng the state daily.“Many of them do not have any clearly defined way of making ends meet and they often get disappointed when their experiences become a far cry from expectations.“With this disappointment or frustration, most of them fall prey to pressure and influence from other youths who are already drug addicts and eventually gets lured.’’According to him, young people abuse variety of drugs including inhalants (fumes from glues, aerosols and solvents), over-the-counter cough drug- codeine, as well as sleep and diet medications.He said that they also abused other illegally used drugs like marijuana and stimulants- cocaine, crack and speed.“Youths involvement in this anti-social behaviour comes with outcomes including robbery, stealing, kidnapping, cybercrime, rape, domestic violence, murder, suicide and other outcomes, which are on the increase.“ We cannot allow the vitality and vibrancy in our young persons to get endangered by drugs and other unhealthy substances that are being peddled in recent times, because they constitute the country’s greatest assets.“The health and optimal development of young people is critical in national development agenda and deserves significant attention,” Dabiri said.Also, Mr Emmanuel Henshaw, who claimed to be a “Cocaine Recovery Addict’’, advised youths to stay away from drugs, saying as “it is a Killer’’.Henshaw said he got into drugs when he was 13 years old, adding “at my present age of 43, I can say there are no benefits in taking drugs.He urged governments, families, religious bodies, non-governmental organisation, schools and the entire society to join in the fight against drugs and substance abuse.
Mr Joseph Masin, State’s Chairman of CAN disclosed this on Thursday during the distribution of the relief materials in Lafia. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nasarawa State Chapter, has donated relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.Mr Joseph Masin, State’s Chairman of CAN disclosed this on Thursday during the distribution of the relief materials in Lafia.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IDPs, who are mostly Tiv people, were chased from their communities bordering Benue State by suspected herdsmen.Masin said, “today, we are again sharing relief materials to our brothers and sisters as a mark of our love and affection due their situation.“We know what you are going through without shelter, food, clothes and other good things of life hence the needs for the gesture, ” he said.He stated that despite the continue appeals, killings were still going on in communities of Awe, Doma, Keana and Obi Local Government Areas (LGAs).The Chairman alleged that last week, nine farmers who went back to clear their farms were killed in Kadarko village of Keana Local Government Area.He said this was very pathetic situation to see children, women and the aged being forced out of their homes.He appealed to the Federal and State and Governments to beef up security in the affected areas and also assist them to rebuild their communities.Masin also advised the IDPs not to take laws into their hands and enjoined the security agencies to always be proactive in ensuring security of lives and property.He listed the items donated to include gari, rice, maize, yam and assaulted clothes.Receiving the items on behalf of the IDPs, Abraham Shaminga expressed gratitude to the religion body for the gesture.He, therefore, appealed that security agents should be deployed to remote areas to enable them return to their communities.
Members of the All Progressive Grand Alliance ( APGA ) backing Chief Victor Oye as the National Chairman of the party have started celebrating the yet to be delivered judgement of the Supreme Court on the Leadership tussle within the party.
The Nation was informed that members of the party in Anambra and Imo states are already jubilating in anticipation that the Supreme Court will affirm Chief Victor Oye as the authentic National Chairman in its judgement scheduled to be delivered on July 13.
The source said that Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano had addressed the parry members assuring them that victory was assured and that Chief Oye would be affirmed as the party National Chairman by the Apex Court.
The party has been enmeshed in litigation over who is the real national Chairman between Chief Victor Oye and Martin Agbaso since May 22, 2017, when an Enugu State High Court presided over by Justice Ozoemena, gave an order of mandamus, compelling the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to recognize Chief Martin Agbaso as APGA National Chairman.
This followed an application brought before it by the party’s Deputy Chairman in Enugu State, Mike Alioke, asking the Court for an order of mandamus, compelling INEC to recognise the decision of APGA appointing Agbaso as the acting national chairman of the party.
Alioke had also prayed the court for a declaration that by section 4 of the Police Act, both the Inspector General of Police and the Enugu State Commissioner of Police are bound to ensure the compliance of the decision of APGA regarding the appointment of Agbaso as the acting national chairman of the party in order to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
He had also prayed for an order prohibiting INEC and its privies from recognizing or accepting any other person as the national chairman of APGA other than the Agbaso as submitted to it by the party.
Chief Oye challenges the decision of the Enugu High Court at the appellate court court and the decision. was over turned by the Court of Appeal while Chief Agbaso challenges the judgement of the appeal court court.
The Supreme Court had reserved judgement on the matter for July 13, following the refusal of the presiding judge, Justice Rhode Vivour, to discontinue with the case as requested by counsels to the defendant, Victor Oye.
While the news, jubilation spread to Owerri, it was further gathered that the group met yesterday in Abuja to deliberate on measures that would be taken to ensure that the APGA leadership did not strip away from the Victor Oye and Obiano camp, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
All attempts to get the reaction of Chief Victor Oye and Chief Martin Agbaso, to the report proved abortive as both contending chairmen refused to pick their calls.
However a chieftain of the party, Chief Eneja Okeke, who spoke to our correspondent on phone maintained his strong belief in the integrity of the judiciary, adding that the Nigerian judiciary has come of age and cannot be bought over by any money bag.
Chief Okeke, who dismissed the report of jubilation, insisted that though it could be true that the governor may have out of desperation influenced the judgement, the Supreme Court has given him cause to believe their integrity and would not yield to the desperation of any interest in the case.
“There may certainly be desperate moves to get judgement from the back door, but I can tell you that the integrity of the judges are at stake here.
“I am sure that they cannot sacrifice such hard earned integrity. So, any person can close the streets in jubilation for a case which judgement is still several weeks away from now. That shows their desperation, but we are not bothered because the truth must prevail”.
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