FG to train 1,500 Niger Delta youths in various skills
Ibadan, April 28, 2019 The Federal Government (FG) will train no fewer than 1,500 youths from the Niger Delta region in its various skill acquisition programmes in 2019.
Dr Tunde Anifowose-Kelani, the Chief Consultant, Siegener Sabithos Nigeria Limited, one of the organisations partnering FG in the training, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the statement was signed by Mr Henry Adedokun, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), of the firm.
He explained that the training was part of government’s efforts at increasing the human capital development in the country as well as check agitations and unrest, particularly in the Niger Delta areas.
Anifowose-Kelani said that 30 youths from the Niger Delta, were already trained in fish production, farming, Information Communication Technology (ICT), business development and entrepreneurial skills.
Anifowose-Kelani said that the empowerment programme was not only a means of fast tracking development but an avenue to actualise the human capital development programmes of the federal government.
“This empowerment programme is not only a means of fast tracking development of the entire region, but one of the ways to actualise the federal government’s human capital development programme.
“It is the belief of the federal government that in addition to infrastructure, human capital development is quite vital and essential for the growth and development of any nation.
“Most of the crises we have in Nigeria today are as a result of the long time neglect of human capital development, so this training will help reduce agitations in the region,” he said.
He commended the initiative by the federal government as well as the commitment of the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Usani Uguru Usani, to the programme.
Anifowose-Kelani charged those who had already benefited from the programme to replicate the knowledge gained in their respective communities for the overall development of their people.https://nnn.ng/fg-to-train-1500-niger-delta-youths-in-various-skills/
Buhari describes death of 2 Borno Emirs as “rare double tragedy” , painful loss
President Muhammadu Buhari has described the death of two Borno Emirs as a “rare double tragedy” and a painful loss to the people of Nigeria.
Buhari in a condolence letter he sent to Gov. Babaga Zulum and the people of Borno, commended the roles played by the late Shehu of Bama, Umar El-Kanemi and the Emir of Biu Mustapha Aliyu in maintaining peace and stability in their respective emirates, especially in the wake of violence caused by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Presenting the letters on behalf of Buhari, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who led the federal government delegation, commended Gov. Zulum for his foresight, commitment, devotion and courage for his peace building efforts to restore normalcy in his state.
“We would like to pray to God to change the situation from the challenges the state is currently facing.
“What you are doing is giving hope to Nigerians, because we have not seen a Governor, picking so much interest, risking his own life and then going after the danger that faces his people. We congratulate you for what you are doing.” he said.
Responding, Gov. Zulum expressed appreciation to President Buhari for sending a delegation to condole with government and people of the state.
Zulum said that the President could not send his delegation when the Shehu of Bama died due to the inter-state lockdown as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor added that the President personally called him and the Shehu of Borno to commiserate with them over the death of the Shehu of Bama.
NAN reports that the Shehu Bama died on April 27, at 60, while the Emir of Biu died on Sept. 15, at 79, leaving behind four wives, over 70 children and 200 grandchildren.
Other members of the delegation include the Ministers of State of Agriculture, Baba Shehuri and that of Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu was also part of the delegation.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Zamfara seeks whereabouts of N37bn refund on executed FG projects
Zamfara Government says it has alerted security agencies to track the whereabouts of over N37 billion refunds on Federal Government projects executed by the state.
Alhaji Rabiu Garba, the state Commissioner of Finance, announced this while addressing journalists in Gusau on Tuesday.
Garba alleged that the immediate past administration led by former governor, Abdulaziz Yari might have misappropriated the money.
The commissioner said the amount was initially quoted at over N47 billion as the funds used by the former administration in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 14 federal roads in the state.
“We understood that the cost of the verified projects at the Federal Ministry of Works stood at over N37 billion.
“But when we asked for refunds of the said amount, it was confirmed by both the Federal Ministry of Works and the Debt Management Office that the amount had been paid fully.
“On further investigation, we gathered that the money was collected by the Director-General of Nigerian Governors’ Forum and one lady who also worked in the same place on instructions from former Zamfara government.
“We wonder how people who are not indigenes of the state nor have they ever worked for the state should collect such a colossal amount on behalf of the government and people of Zamfara,’’ the commissioner said.
He assured that the present administration under Gov. Bello Matawalle will do everything possible to recover the money “so that we can use it in the development of the state’’.
But reacting in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria on Wednesday, the former Commissioner of Finance in the Yari led government, Alhaji Muktar Idris exonerated the administration from any wrongdoing.
Idris said that the immediate past administration constructed the roads at the cost of over N60 billion and claimed the same amount from the Federal Government.
“But a federal government verification committee only approved N37.4 billion refunds which was on completed projects.
“Due to dearth of funds to repay such projects to about 23 states, which stood at over N500 billion, it was agreed at the governors’ forum that the states would collect the refunds in two tranches via promissory notes that would mature in three years.
“The states were to receive 40 per cent in the first instalment, in which Zamfara’s due amount stood at N14.9 billion.
“All the affected state governors also agreed that the director-general of the Governors’ Forum should collect for them.
“I still have the documents with me where we put over N10 billion as discounted from N14.9 billion into our joint account because we needed the money.
“So, we discounted and collected the amount through the Debt Management Office, Idris told NAN.
He explained further that the second promissory note was for N22 billion which was also discounted to a little over N17 billion.
“All the money had been deposited into the state government’s accounts.
“Zamfara people are free to check and verify these facts,’’ he said.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Damilare, Christiana emerge winners in Big Dreams Nigeria talent show
Adaja Damilare and Christiana Nsolo on have carted home N1 million each as star prizes after emerging winners at the grand finale of Big Dream Nigeria Talent Show on Tuesday night.
The reality show is geared toward discovering and developing young talents in acting and music.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the youngsters were announced winners at the grand finale of the maiden edition of the show which held in Abuja.
The duo beat 12 other budding talents who made it to the final day of the 5-week-long event to clinch the highly coveted grand prizes.
Damilare, Ondo State –born model and upcoming singer, won the grand prize for the music category of the contest, while 22-year-old Christiana from Delta State clinched the grand prize for acting.
According to the organisers of the show, the two best winners are to receive a plot of land each in the Federal Capital Territory as part of the star prizes.
The organisers also announced a plot of land each for the first and second runners-up in both music and acting categories of the show.
Amb. Kingsley Amafibe, CEO of Peace Ambassador Agency and Principal Executive of the Big Dreams project, told NAN on the sidelines of the grand finale that contestants were selected from a nationwide audition held at the beginning of the year.
He explained that 30 housemates started the show and that the number of contestants kept reducing in a weekly eviction process until the last two persons were announced winners.
According to him, the Big Dream Nigeria talent show initiative is àimed at offering talented and passionate youth a platform to express themselves and to be discovered in the creative industry.
He said that movies and music produced by housemates in the course of the show had been premiered and that all participants would be recommended to relevant stakeholders for music and movie roles.
“The reality show is aimed at building the next generation of talented Nigerians in the areas of music and acting.
“During their stay in the house, contestants were coached and mentored by seasoned filmmakers, actors, singers, and even leadership experts.
“They produced a movie and a song titled ‘9JA Go Beta’, which is to commemorate Nigeria’s 60 years of independence,” he said.
Amafibe said that the housemates were earlier quarantined in preparation for the premiere and commencement of the contest because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He called on relevant stakeholders, especially government at all levels to support initiatives such as the talent show in order to empower and gainfully engage teeming talented Nigerian youth.
“Our youths are talented but they need to be given platforms to express themselves, and that is why we want everybody to support this project so that we can get our youth off the streets.
“The entertainment industry can create the much needed jobs for our youth, especially as the country faces economic challenges,” he said.
Speaking with NAN, Christiana, a 300-level student of Architecture at the University of Benin, who won the star prize in Acting, expressed gratitude to the orgnisers.
She described the show às the kind of veritable platform talented and passionate young Nigerians needed for mentorship and direction in pursuit of their dreams.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
NCDC announces 176 new COVID-19 infection in Nigeria
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Wednesday.
According to the agency, the new infection takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 57,437.
The NCDC said that the new cases were reported from 14 states of the federation.
It stated that Lagos reported the highest infection in the country with 73, Plateau (50), FCT (17), Rivers (8), Ondo (6), Niger (5), Ogun (5), Edo (3), Kaduna (3), Oyo (2), Bauchi (1), Bayelsa (1), Delta (1), and Nasarawa (1).
According to it, till date, 57613 cases have been confirmed, 48836 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.
The health agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, have continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It added that the drivers of COVID-19 were different across the country, therefore subnational understanding of transmission was critical.
“We can’t celebrate decline in national figures until we test sufficient numbers in every state,” it stated.
The agency said that in addition, most patients who died were reported to have difficulty in breathing.
“Most people who died were 61-70 years of age.
The agency said that a properly worn face mask acts as a protective barrier to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Wear a mask properly covering your nose and mouth, no gaps secured with straps.
“Remember, a face mask is a personal item and must not be shared,” it said.
Edited By: Ejike Obeta