The Bauchi office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has advised operators of fuel stations and gas plants in the state to ensure basic safety measures in their facilities to prevent fire outbreaks.
The state’s DPR Controller, Malam Abdullahi Iliyasu, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Bauchi, on Thursday.
Iliyasu urged marketers of petroleum products and liquefied Natural Gas (LPG) to imbibe the culture of fire drill to enhance safety of their facilities.
“Fire drills involves dramatising fire incidents in fuel stations and gas plants as precautionary measures against real fire situations.
“The drill will help expose attendants and staff to acquired expertise to attend to emergency safety situations especially during fire outbreaks,” he said.
Iliyasu said fuel stations and gas plants were expected to keep records of fire drills conducted in their facilities.
He explained that such records would acquaint the department of the commitment of the owners towards safety.
Iliyasu noted that no fewer than 13 fuel stations were sealed off recently in the state for violating the rules and regulations of the department.
The controller added that the offence included metre under delivery, construction of fuel stations without adherence to due processes and other related violations.
He said that the department had sensitised operators of fuels stations and gas plants on safety measures through numerous campaigns.
“We have sensitised marketers, pump attendants and gas plants operators on safety measures,” he added.
He said that the department had conducted routine surveillance to ensure that fuel stations and gas plants complied with basic safety requirements.
Iliyasu said the DPR plans to begin implementation of the Minimum Industry Standard for Training of Down Stream Operators to enhance safety across downstream facilities.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Ali Baba-Inuwa
NAF trains 435 specialists to man its platforms
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, on Monday said that 435 specialits have been trained by the Nigerian Air Force to man its platforms.
The personnel were trained at the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna.
He said that it was time for the institution to reflect on how well it has delivered on its mandate while the students reflect on the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead in building a successful professional career in the NAF.
He noted that for over 40 years, AFIT has consistently trained officers and airmen/airwomen who have performed creditably in supporting NAF operations as specialists in aircraft and armament engineering.
Also in works and services, supply management, communication as well as Information and Communication Technology.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 435 students where trained on engineering, armament maintenance, logistics and procurement management.
Others include, electrical/electronics/radar/Information technology, aircraft maintenance, Air Frame and Power Plant Option and avionics.
NAN also reports that among the 435 graduating students, 75 are officers and 360 are airmen and airwomen.
Abubakar said the vision of the current NAF administration was anchored on human capacity development for enhanced professional performance.
“Ensuring NAF personnel have the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively support Nigerian Air Force operations which remains the prime focus of my administration
“In the area of pilots training, two officers including the first female fighter pilot have concluded their tactical training on the A-Jet aircraft.
“Only last week, we witnessed the graduation of 29 officers of Super Mushk Pcourse and 46 who have successfully completed their ab initio pilot training on the Supermushak and the DA-40 aircraft.
”Similarly, last Friday, 24 special forces personnel passed out as instructors at the RTC Annex in Bauchi and the unit also commenced the training of 219 SF personnel.
“Later in the week, we shall witness the graduation of four student pilots that have completed their Basic Fighter Training course in Kano.”
According to Abubakar, these courses that have been concluded successfully despite enormous challenges including the COVID–19 pandemic.
”It will no doubt have positive impact not only on our operations but will go a long way towards ensuring that the Service is positioned into a highly professional and disciplined force.”
He also noted that the technical and logistics management courses conducted by the Air Force Institute have helped tremendously to reduce dependence on foreign expatriates and save huge foreign exchange for the nation.
“The execution of air operations in theatres across Nigeria using solely Nigerian crews, engineers, technicians, and controllers is a testament of the success story of our capacity building initiative.
”I congratulate the students for their steadfastness, tenacity of purpose and grit to complete your course work.
”However, let me remind you that the initial and basic courses you have just completed is the beginning of your journey as professionals in the NAF.
“You still have a lot to learn particularly from your superiors in the field.
“It is my sincere expectation that as you go to the field, you will be good and worthy ambassador of AFIT as you join a long line of outstanding graduates of this prestigious citadel who through excellence, hard work and commitment have continue to contribute to the success of the Nigerian Air Force.”
Abubakar expressed NAF appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, for his continuous support.
“The invaluable support the NAF has enjoyed over the years has placed us in a position to tackle the challenges of insurgency and myriad of other forms of insecurity across the nation.
“We hereby reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all Nigerians and indeed all the people who reside in our great country,” he said.
Earlier, the Commandant of AFIT, AVM Abdulganiyyu Olabisi, said that the basic courses were aimed at introducing the officers and men to their various trades in preparation for deployment to the field.
Olabisi said having recognized that the officers and men of the NAF can only give as good as they are equipped to, reiterated the need to train and re-train them to handle all the operational needs of the Nigerian Air Force.
This he said will deemphasize dependence on foreign nationals and non-military actors.
The Commandant appealed to NAF Headquarters to assist in the funding of the training initiatives.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/ Maharazu Ahmed
Why FG is commercialising NFC — Lai Mohammed
The Federal Government says it is reforming and commercialising the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) to address the agency’s teething challenges and reposition it for improved performance.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known on Monday in Abuja while inaugurating a Steering Committee for the Reform and Commercialisation of the Corporation.
He said the federal government has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct a due diligence on the corporation and sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialisation.
Mohammed said the NFC, which was established with a mandate to plan, promote, organise and co-ordinate the development of the Nigerian motion picture industry, has not been able to meet up with its statutory functions.
He noted that since its establishment, the Corporation has faced several challenges including inability to engage in commercial film production.
The minister said the law establishing NFC limits its operational functions such that it cannot leverage on the private sector-led growth of the industry.
Mohammed said the NFC’s civil service structure comes with bureaucratic limitations, budgetary constraints and operational inefficiency.
“A critical look at the existing organizational structure shows that NFC is over-bloated and needs to be restructured to reflect its purpose.
“NFC has obsolete equipment, with some dating back to colonial times,” he said.
The minister noted that the reform of the corporation will help in the efforts of the government to reposition the nation’s film industry, Nollywood, and make Nigeria the capital of entertainment in Africa.
Relying on International Monetary Fund data, Mohammed said Nollywood is the second largest employer of Labour and contributed N893 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015.
The minister noted that Nollywood could perform better if the NFC is restructured and needed infrastructure enabling environment are provided.
He noted that apart from wealth and employment creation, promoting film industry would help to build inclusion and reduce social tension.
Earlier, Mr Alex Okoh, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said with the tremendous potentials of the film industry to reposition the nation’s economy, the government needed to play a prominent role.
Okoh said that the government is reforming the NFC to take the leading role in harnessing the potentials in the sector.
He, however, clarified that the reform process “is not a privatisation of the corporation but the commercialization of this important enterprise and agency of government”.
“The clarification is that in this reform process, there is no transfer of ownership, no sale of shares and no privatization of the entity.
“It is basically to ensure the resident value of the enterprise and its commercial viability,” he said.
He said the steering committee being chaired by the minister would consider and approve the recommendations submitted by the project delivery team for the commercialisation of the corporation.
Other members of the steering committee inaugurated by the minister are, Okoh, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe and the Managing Director of NFC, Chidia Maduekwe.
The Director Information and Communication of BPE, Dikko Mohammed, will serve as the Secretary to the committee.
NFC, established by Decree No. 61 of 1979 and is 100 per cent owned by the Federal Government and has its registered office in Jos, Plateau State.
It is established to distribute documentary films on different aspects of Nigeria’s socio-cultural and political life and provide film services for the Federal Government.
The corporation is to train young talented Nigerians in the art of film making, conducting research into Nigerian films and provide technical and financial support to film Industry and practitioners.
NFC is also established to regulate and organise professional practice in the film industry.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Bayelsa begins 2021budget process, pledges citizens’ participation
The Bayelsa government on Monday said the 2021 budget would be driven by the citizens’ input and participation toward the utilisation of public funds based on the needs of the people.
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa said that the government was poised to adopting best practices in budget process by engaging all stakeholders, which include the executive, legislature, civil society, labour, youths, women and community leaders, physically challenged amongst others.
Diri, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewrhudjakpo said that the state was adopting the citizen based approach in budgetary process for the second time.
“The Citizen’s Participation Budget Conference has been called in compliance with section 22(2) of the Fiscal Responsibility Law of 2009 (as amended) which states:
“The government shall direct citizen’s participation conference to be convened and cause the outcomes of the said conference, together with the view expressed to be published on the state website.
”Itis designed to ensure accountability and strong collaboration by all stakeholders in stewarding our communal resources.
“Indeed, in reviewing and approving the annual state budget, you play the vital role of guaranteeing that we apportion our resources sensibly and in accordance with our shared vision and values, with a view toward helping all our citizens thrive and prosper in a sustainable manner.
“Budget policy is therefore, mostly about planning. As Benjamin Franklin stated, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
“The impact of COVID 19 pandemic and the heavy toll it has taken on our inflows from federal allocations, means that the need to plan to diversify our economy has become more urgent,” Diri said.
He said that the government would focus on security, health, education and agriculture in the 2012 fiscal year for allocating resources among competing needs and plan for delivering on its promises and obligation to the citizens of Bayelsa.
Speaking earlier, Mr Akpoebidei Alamieyeseigha, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning noted that the participation of citizens would eliminate the issue of duplicating projects and ensure value for money.
He said that the input of the people at the foundational non-technical stage was critical to the success of the next statues and urged the stakeholders to participate meaningfully in the process.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that representatives of several groups took turns to make contributions and the NEEDS Assessment during the interactive session segment.
Chief Joshua Igbugburu, the Monarch of Bomo clan in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa urged the state government to fund the Yenagoa-Poroma road project to connect the coastal communities.
Also Mrs Dise Ogbise, the Executive Director, DO Foundation, who spoke on behalf of the Civil Society commended the government for adopting a transparent approach by involving members of the public.
She pledged the support of civil society organisations in the state to the process.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf
World Peace Day: NGO organises arts exhibition to promote peace, peaceful co-existence
DREP Programme Manager, Mr Chris Ogbonna, said at the event that the initiative was to promote peace and peaceful coexistence in communities in a unique way.
“We want to see how we can use art to promote peace by deviating from regular meetings and dialogue sessions.
“The idea is to use people with different skills such as arts to engage communities with their works.
“We are using the World Peace Day to unveil these kinds of arts exhibition and promote peace,” Ogbonna said.
He said that the arts exhibitions would take place in six communities in Plateau in the next six days.
He also stated that the idea of the exhibition was to see how to impart artistic knowledge into young people.
According to the programme manager, if the youths channel their energies into gainful ventures, they will have less time for vices.
He said the group had been giving grant to artists every year to encourage them in telling the story of peace.
Dr Jacob Onoja, a lecturer with the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Jos, one of the exhibitors, said that he engaged in arts that dealt with peace in communities.
Onoja said that going into the area of peace, conflict and dialogue he had seen the devastation in communities and that the devastated family members had suffered as a result of crises.
“The best way I can express it is that, in the quietness of the studio, tell the story by inscripting words in symbolic forms.
“When people relate with works of arts, you see the reactions it will elicit.
“The stories that are crafted into my works are stories of peace which if every community imbibes, they will help to propagate peace,” he said.
Mrs Becky Soemlat of Plateau Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, lauded DREP’s initiative of promoting peace through arts.
Soemlat described the exhibition as a welcome development that would tell the story of how peace would be achieved.
She said that the ministry had been partnering with artists to see how they could project the peace in the state.
Alhaji Salisu Hassan, Nasarawa Filin Ball Community leader, where the exhibition was held, urged DREP and the exhibitors to mentor youths in arts.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf