CMD urges government to prioritise human capital devt.



The Centre for Management Development (CMD) on Thursday urged government at all levels to make human capital development a priority for national advancement.

CMD made the appeal in a communique issued at the end of the 26th annual conference of Heads of Training and Development in the public and private sectors.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the a four-day conference took place in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The communique, signed by CMD Acting Director-General, Mr Bitrus Chinoko, said that capacity building of personnel should be captured in budgets because human capital development was critical to the growth of any sector.

It advised the government to consider the adoption of knowledge management system within the public sector and encourage succession planning through knowledge creation, sharing and utilisation.

According to the communique, government must also encourage more Public Private Partnership (PPP) in capacity building for national development.

It, however, charged the Nigerian Council for Management Development (NCMD) to develop an automated system that would remind accredited trainers and training institutions when their certificates were due for renewal.

Private and public institutions should be sensitised on the need to patronise only the NCMD accredited training institutions and trainers, ” it said.

CMD said:” there is need for public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy to adopt an electronic governance to fast track national development.

“Nigeria needs to have an integrated database that can be accessed by all parastatals for uniformity of bio-data and for fostering security.

Edited by: Wale Ojetimi

Oil & Gas

NNPC shortlists 78 companies for pipelines rehabilitation bidding



The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shortlisted 78 companies to bid for the rehabilitation of oil pipelines and deport infrastructure across the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that over 300 companies applied through the official portal published in the national dailies on Aug. 7 and only 78 companies met the expiration time of noon on Sept. 18.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, at the virtual public bid opening for the rehabilitation of the NNPC group downstream critical pipelines and associated depots/terminal infrastructure on Friday in Abuja, said the corporation was committed to transparency.

Kyari said that the process of selection of companies would be transparent and those who would win the bid would undergo a process of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the corporation to ensure transparency and accountability in all its operations.

He said that this would help the NNPC to deliver its services to all stakeholders efficiently, especially to the ordinary Nigerians, adding that the management of the corporation had aligned to the order.

The GMD said that it was unfortunate that the oil pipelines deteriorated over the years with activities of hoodlums and vandals, forcing its to be underutilised. .

He assured that the technology that would not be compromised by vandals would be deployed by the selected companies for the rehabilitation.

“You know that this project requires huge finances that is why we are adopting BOT, pipelines globally are managed by the private sector. What we are doing today is in line with global best practices.

“The NNPC is challenged because of resources constraints; today, we do not have all the resources required to reform this asset which has become so vulnerable and have lost their values and integrity over the time.

“Some of them are as old as 40 years, they are due for replacement and when you want to do replacement of this scale, we do need a lot of resources, which we don’t have.

“We have decided that we will bring in private partners who will rehabilitate the pipelines, they will fund it, they will operate it with us and ultimately, they will recover their investment from tariff on the pipelines.

“As soon as they recover their costs, earn their margins, they will hand over to the country, that is what we want to do,” he said.

Kyari said that the selected companies would have maximum of two years to deliver on the project, adding that by first quarter of 2021, the names of selected companies would be announced.

In his remarks, Mr Musa Lawal, the representative of the NNPC downstream, said that the corporation operated about 5,120km pipelines across the country.

He said that most of the companies had been inactive due to vandalism and activities of hoodlums on the lines, adding that it had also led to crude oil and revenue loss to the country.

He assured that the process of selection would be transparent as stakeholders were invited as observers to monitor the process.

NNPC as an IETI company will continue to ensure accountability and transparency in line with this; we have virtually invited other partners as observers.

“We have Infrastructure Concession Regulations Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), among others as our observers,” he said.

The Director-General of ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah commended the corporation for its efforts to adopting proper Public Private Partnership (PPP) in infrastructure rehabilitation in the country.

“This means that things can be done better in the country, we are happy with the show of interest in PPP, ICRC that will ensure that this project is carried out in a credible manner for Nigeria to see its benefits,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN
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COVID-19: Ikpeazu inaugurates second molecular diagnostic lab in Abia



Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Thursday inaugurated a Molecular and Diagnostic Laboratory in Aba to boost the state government’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the event, Ikpeazu expressed delight over the actualisation of the project.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the laboratory was realised through Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative between the government and Abia Development Summit (ADS).

He opined that the facility would enhance the people’s access to quality healthcare service.

“I pray that this facility will bring hope, succour and also restore the health of the end users,” Ikpeazu said.

In an address, Prof. Sam Erugo, the Chairman of ADS, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), credited the laboratory to the visionary leadership of Ikpeazu’s administration.

“We are ready to be in partnership with the Abia government to transform the health sector. This is the first phase and a work in progress,” Erugo said.

He expressed the NGO’s desire “to build a state- of- the-art medical facility” in Abia.

He recommended a PPP arrangement that could successfully run the laboratory.

Also, Dr Joe Osuji, the Commissioner for Health, expressed delight over the completion of the laboratory, saying it would quicken government’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Osuji said: “Some months ago, we were sending samples for COVID-19 testing to other states. “From that period, the state government did everything to address the challenge.

“This led to the building of a molecular laboratory in Amachara and because of the ingenuity of a group of Abia people, the state has a new molecular laboratory in Aba.

“I am happy that from now onward, the Abia people will no longer send their samples outside the state for testing.”

Earlier, Mr Fred Ogwo, the acting Transition Committee Chairman of Aba South Local Government Area, described the molecular laboratory as a laudable project.

Ogwo said that the facility would help to curb medical tourism and also address issues arising from poor diagnosis.

He said that the laboratory further demonstrated state government’s committment to the transformation of the health sector in Abia.

In a remark, Chief Chris Igwe, an industrialist, commended the state government for its support and contributions toward the actualisation of the project.

Igwe urged Abia stakeholders to join hands with the governamt to transform the state.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Sam Oditah
Source: NAN
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LASG plans fair to drive MSME development 



The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives (MCIC), Lagos, on Thursday unveiled plans to host an exclusive fair aimed at driving the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

Dr Lola Akande, Commissioner, MCIC, spoke of the plan at a news conference to herald the official commissioning of the MSMEs Fashion Shared Facility, also known as the Eko MSMEs Fashion Hub-1.

The theme of the fair, the 5th edition and first to be held during a pandemic, is  “Survival strategies to beat the odds”.

Akande said that the state, in acknowledging the role of MSMEs in economic growth, would give entrepreneurs stalls free of charge to showcase their products and improve profitability.

She, however, said that the shared fashion facility, equipped with state-of-the-art machinery to afford MSMEs in the fashion space the opportunity to utilise it, would cost N2500.

“It is our hope that the facility would enhance productivity and apparel quality that can compete favourably with their counterparts around the world, thereby promoting the Made-in-Lagos brand.

“In so doing, skilled and semi-skilled fashion designers who ordinarily would be thwarted by prohibitive start-up expenses are availed the privilege of access to these industrial machines.

“All these, for a token, would ultimately create jobs, boost trade and commerce, improve income and increase the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a corollary,” the commissioner said.

Akande said that Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was an integral element of the expected economic recovery and development of the state.

She said that PPP was the 5th pillar of the current administration’s THEMES agenda in the state, aimed at making Lagos a 21st century economy.

The commissioner said that the fashion hub, scheduled to hold on Sept. 18, would be commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo via zoom teleconference.

She said that the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, would cut the tape at the venue in line with COVID-19 protocols of social distancing.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Lagos MSME fair is scheduled to hold from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27, at Blue Roof, LTV 8.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN
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Boat Mishaps: Lagos Assembly asks LASWA to enforce waterways laws



The Lagos State House of Assembly has urged the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) to ensure strict enforcement of the state waterways laws to reduce incessant boat mishaps in the state.

The Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Mr Temitope Adewale (Ifako-Ijaiye I), made this known during an oversight tour to LASWA and the Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY), in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said: “Enforcement is key because most of the boat mishaps we have seen are caused by the local operators.

“At the end of the day, it gives a bad name to the state government but these boats are not run by the government agency.

“In terms of enforcement, LASWA needs proper rescue boats and you need to strengthen and enforce the operation of our waterways to reduce incessant mishaps on our waterways.

Adewale noted that LASWA was created to serve as a regulator and to provide the enabling infrastructure in the waterways transport sector.

The Assemblyman said the establishment of the authority was because there was need to transport people daily from point A to point B, which could not be done strictly by vehicular movement.

Adewale, therefore, said that there was need to create an enabling environment that would be lucrative and at the same time attractive and provide security for people to use the waterways.

“You are saddled with this responsibility of water transportation because the state government is looking for alternatives to road usage and, at the same time, encouraging mass transit of waterways has to improve in the state.

“There is also need to look for a means to have a Public Private Partnership (PPP), where investors will come with their own boats; but what is most important is that there should be enforcement on the waterways.

“Once you put the right infrastructure in place, we will definitely see investors coming to invest in our waterways system.

“This will even increase the life span of our roads and we will also have a reduction in accidents we see on our roads; therefore the incessant trailers (articulated vehicles) falling on our roads will reduce.

Adewale, however, said the major problem the authority was having was improper channelisation of the waterways and this should be done by the agency because it understood the routes better.

He said the exclusive right to channel the waterways routes would be added to the ongoing amendment of the Transport Law.

Adewale noted that for the safety of the state’s waterways, there was the need for LASWA to have a certification centre for boat operators and boat owners.

According to him, I want you to set up an effective and robust certification centre where boat operators, deckhands and captains are properly trained, mentored and monitored so we can have a safe ride on our waterways.

Earlier, the General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said the water transportation in the state presently contributes two per cent of total traffic in all motorised public transportation mode in the state.

Emmanuel, however, disclosed that road contribute over 80 per cent, hence the cause of congestion of the road network in the state.

He, therefore, called for diversification from road transportation as it would be important for the development of the state’s economy.

Emmanuel highlighted the challenges of LASWA to include the overlapping functions with the Federal Agencies and other state government agencies.

He said: “Others are the inadequate budgetary allocation, unpriotised channelising of routes, control over the waterways, abandoned wrecks on the waterways.

“Others are the lack of infrastructure, awareness and fear of using the waterways, the pollution on the waterways, the water hyacinth and debris on the waterways.”

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the committee also visited the Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) at Mile 2, Lagos.

Other members of the committee are Mr Ganiyu Okanlawon (Kosofe I), Mr Lanre Afinni (Lagos Island II), Mr Sylvester Ogunkelu (Epe II), and Mr Surajudeen Tijani (Ojo II).

Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN
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