Bauchi SDG executes N500 m projects in 1-year: Bauchi State office of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), says it has executed N500 million projects during the 2019 intervention scheme.
Mrs Maryam Bagel, the State Director-General of the SDG, made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency , on Monday in Bauchi.
Bagel disclosed that the state office had constructed five comprehensive Primary Health Centers (PHC) at selected communities in Misau, Giade, Alkaleri, Ganjuwa and Dambam Local Government Areas of the state.
She said the health centres were provided with solar powered motorised boreholes; perimeter fence, staff quarters and VIP toilets to ensure comfort of the communities.
The DG said the SDG recently trained 1, 000 youths on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in 10 secondary schools, adding that 100 students were carefully selected from each of the participating schools.
Bagel noted that her office had developed a four-year strategic plan on project implementation which was forwarded to its national office for approval.
All the 17 targeted SDG goals are implemented based on the release of 50 per cent counter funding between Federal and State Government. We will religiously implement the our projects,’’ she said.
Bagel added that the project implementation were being monitored and supervised by 29 desk officers deployed to local councils, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
According to her, the programme is working in collaboration with willing international donor agencies to diversify investment opportunities as well as identify social protection issues to attract investors to the state.
She further identified some challenges facing the programme to include consistent and regular demand for intervention from local communities.
Bagel urged benefiting communities to protect facilities provided in their domains to achieve sustainable development.
Nigeria News Agency reports that SDG also focuses on interventions to improve girl-child education in its programmes.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Rabiu Sani Ali
Arewa Youth Entrepreneurs (AYE), says it has organised pioneer talent show in Kano to discover and nurture talents in the state.
Uba Abdullahi, the organizer of the show, said the season tagged:
“Hangout Arewa Talent Show” is designed to showcase different talents and technology breakthrough by trainees under (AYE).
Abdullahi, who is a photojournalist, said the show also aim to source and groom talented youths in the arts of photography, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), pastry, manufacturing, perfumery making among others.
According to him, it is pertinent to source for youths who are passionate about photography, catering, IT, soap making, manufacturing and pastry.
Abdullahi noted that the industry was fast growing, recorded rapid transformation and offered opportunities to accommodate millions of talented youths.
He said: “There is need to create a platform to source and groom the youths in their areas of talents and I personally trained hundred of youths on photography in Kano”.
Also speaking,Prof. Ibrahim Yahaya,
admonished the youths to believe in themselves, develop their talents and engage in productive activities to enable become self-reliant.
Yahaya, an investment consultant, added that:
“I want you to set your mind and believe in yourself, then you will be useful and add value to the society”.
While calling on the government at all levels to support the youths to move the nation forward through effective utilisation of science and technology, Yahaya said the show would play critical role in shaping the mind set of the youths and nurture them to successful entrepreneurs.
NAN reports that highlights of the event included exhibition of a fabricated tricycle machine by one Aliyu Haidar, and some IT intelligent devices as well as drone fabricated by Sa’id Muhammad.
Edited By: Rabiu Sani Ali
The Plateau Government , through its Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, said it had trained 300 girls on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to bridge the gender gap in the communication sector in the state.
The government also gave them computers to achieve the objective.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Rebecca Sambo, disclosed this on Monday in Jos when the ministry marked the International Women’s Day.
Sambo said the government had in August 2019 picked vulnerable young girls and trained them on ICT.
She said apart from bridging the gap in the ICT , the initiative would also enable the girls to have the required hands-on training to write the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board computer based tests.
She further revealed that the State Government, through the ministry, had trained over 279 widows in various skills and gave them start-up packs to enable them to be self reliant and financially empowered to look after their families.
The commissioner said that the blue print of the ministry for 2020 was to scale up advocacy and sensitisation of key stakeholders and to acquire a Rescue Center for survivors of violence for the purpose of rehabilitation, empowerment and reintegration into the society.
She, however, lamented that the cases of child trafficking in the state were on the increase, and that it was worrisome that the parents were the ones who were giving out their children to the traffickers.
She disclosed that the state government would be going to get 10 girls trafficked to Enugu back to the state.
Sambo said the ministry had held various sensitisation programmes for parents and stakeholders in the 17 local government areas of the state to educate them on the ills of trafficking their children.
She said the state government had identified poverty as the factor responsible for parents giving out their children in return for stipends, and had therefore, gave them some money to enable them to start up businesses.
She said gender inequality in Nigeria had to do largely with cultural, structural and religious practices and not the woman’s intellectual capacity.
The commissioner called on stakeholders to support efforts to bridge the gap between women and men.
She commended the plateau government for striving to bridge the gender gap by increasing the role of women in the administration of the state through numerous key appointments.
She said that Plateau was the first state in the North to gazette the Child Rights Law .
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) said it had in 2019 trained 700 youths in InfoTech as a means of bridging the skill gap in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
The Director-General of the fund, Sir Joseph Ari, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Jos at the 2019 ITF Merit Award Ceremony, said the beneficiaries were drawn from the six geopolitical zones of the country
Ari said that due to the evident gaps in knowledge and skills in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) the Fund initiated the InfoTech Skills Empowerment Programme (ISEP).
He said the trainees whom were mostly degree holders, were carefully selected and equipped with specialised ICT skills, and that they were trained in advanced computer networking, computer networking certification and computer hardware maintenance and repair.
He also disclosed that 80 per cent of the trainees that the fund trained passed the certification examination, adding that with the international certification, the beneficiaries could compete for jobs outside the shores of the country.
The director-general said in 2016 the ITF in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) conducted skills Gap Survey in six priority sectors of the national economy and it showed that vacancies existed in the service, agriculture, construction and transportation sectors.
He said that the survey showed that vacancies were filled by non-Nigerians because of the absence of Nigerians with the requisite technical skills.
He said in an effort to bridge the gap, the fund initiated a number of skills acquisition programmes particularly targeted at the sectors with manpower deficiency.
Ari further disclosed that the fund had disbursed the sum of N2, 094,407,000 for the students Industrial Training Work Experience scheme (SIWES) in 2019 as student and supervisory allowances.
He said that N1,645,454,000.00 was disbursed as student allowances for 142,462 students from 325 tertiary institutions.
He said that SIWES which was the brain child of the ITF was initiated to provide students of engineering, technical and allied disciplines with practical experience of the real work situations they were likely to find after graduation.
Gov. Simon Lalong in his remarks, commended the fund for training and empowering many Plateau youths.
The governor, who was represented by his Commissioner for special duties, Mr Irimiya Werr, said that the ITF was the federal agency in the state that had contributed most to the state in various aspects.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the ITF Isolo Area Office emerged the best Area Office in training activities in the Category A, while the Abeokuta Area Office emerged as the best training Office in the category B; and the Akure Area Office emerged as the best in Category C.
Similarly, the Abuja Area Office emerged as the best Area Office in revenue generation in category A, while the Lagos Area Office and the Gwawalada Area Offices emerged as the best Area Offices in revenue generation in the category B and C, respectively.
The Abeokuta Area Office emerged as the best performing Area Office and Training Centre in category A, while Lagos Area Office and Gwawalada Area Offices emerged as the best performing Area Offices and Training Centres in category B and C, respectively.
The director-general urged the awardees not to relent in their efforts, but should work proactively for the betterment of the fund.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
A group, Women In Energy Network (WIEN), has urged government at all levels to promote women leadership in the energy sector by appointing more of them to head agencies and institutions at sectional, regional and international levels.
WIEN also called on the federal and state governments, specifically, to strengthen existing policies that would attract more women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Mrs Funmi Ogbue, President, WIEN, spoke at the group’s Breakfast Session held in Lagos on Monday to commemorate the 2020 International Women’s Day.
Ogbue said that the theme of the session, “Closing the Energy Gap”, was very apt because statistics indicated that women and girls were at the receiving end of the gender gap in Nigeria.
She said: “For instance, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators compiled from officially recognised sources, the percentage of women participation in the labour force (i.e economically active) in Nigeria was reported at 45.57 per cent in 2019.
“Also, women in Nigeria earn less than 60 per cent of what their male counterparts earn for similar work.
“Another World Bank study also showed that while the rate of establishment of women-owned businesses is quite high, these businesses are usually smaller, in the informal sector, in low value-addition sectors, and regularly under-perform those owned by men.
“When narrowed down to the energy space, the industry remains historically male-dominated at all levels, from leadership roles in major corporations to jobs working in mines and on oil rigs.”
Ogbue said in order to bridge this gap, women need to take leadership positions and develop their capacity to lead effectively, while inclusive financing options for women should also be created.
She said: “Every effort must be made to facilitate access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as women become more successful when they have access to technology they can leverage.
“Men must become champions for women by creating a new conversation which will ensure sustainability of empowerment for women and girls.
“For us at WIEN, we plan to reach out to more women and leverage on what other women networks, associations and groups are doing.
“We want to support women to get better businesses, trainings and make better connections.
“We are looking to champion more programmes like this, devoted to networking and empowering women, mentoring young women professionals, promoting STEM for young girls and strengthening women-owned enterprises in the energy sector.”
On his part, Mr Moses Olamide, Chief of Staff to the Minister of State for Petroleum, said Nigeria was on course to achieve its target of making “2020 the year of gas’’ by deepening Liquefied Petroleum Gas penetration in the country.
Olamide said the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill was also being vigorously pursued, adding that such reforms would create opportunities for more women to come into the sector.
He commended the organisers for coming together on the platform of WIEN to champion the cause of women, stressing that such collaboration and synergy was needed, particularly with decline in crude oil prices.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle
The Federal Government, through the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), on Thursday advised participants of the 2018 Infotech Skills Empowerment Programme (ISEP), to take advantage of the opportunity to create fortunes and wealth.
The Director General, ITF, Mr Joseph Ari, who gave the advice at the ”National Graduation Ceremony of the 2018 ISEP”, in Abuja on Thursday, said that over 80 percent of the enrolled trainees passed their certificate examination.
Ari noted that the huge success by the candidates was due to the quality of monitoring and evaluation strategy put in place by the ITF in the course of the training.
According to him, with the acquired international certification, the employability of the youth is beyond the shores of Nigeria.
He said that the ITF had been in the forefront of actualising the federal government’s agenda of employing youths with employable skills and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Ari explained that the implementation of the InfoTech Skills Training Programme became necessary due to the discovery of gaps in knowledge and skills in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), sector of the Nigerian economy.
He added that the programme had also become imperative in view of the overwhelming evidence of the yet-to-be tapped potential economic benefits derivable from ICT.
”According to the Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic of 2019, published by the World Bank, Nigeria is capturing only a fraction of its digital economic potential and will need to make strategic investments to develop a dynamic and transformative digital economy.
”The ISEP is one of the many skills training programmes that the ITF has so far deployed to train thousands of youths, women and the physically challenged in line with its mandate,” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that 100 participants were trained from the FCT and a total of 700 from across the country.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
The House Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) of the National Assembly says that ICT will generate the biggest revenue in the country if the Federal Government harnesses the potential in the sector.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr Lado Suleija, made this known when the management of Galaxy Backbone (GBB) Ltd, made a presentation to the committee on Thursday in Abuja.
Suleija said that the country was now in the 4th Industrial Revolution, which was advancing through digital transformation.
Suleija said that the government company was saddled with so many responsibilities on ICT, especially in the area of centralising data base of all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government.
The Chairman promised to look into the GBB’s challenges, do amendments and enact new laws that would give them a conducive environment to deliver quality services to their customers.
“Actually, based on the submission of the presentation of the managing director, galaxy backbone, we are able to notice the challenges galaxy backbone is facing and why they are not giving available services to their customers.
“It has to do with some laws and also policies.
“We will look into that with the view of due amendments and enacting new laws that will give them a conducive environment to give quality services to their customers.
“We will work together and make sure we look into the laws and also policies so that they will be able to discharge their responsibilities creditably,” he said.
The Vice Chairman of the Committee, Mr Solomon Adeolu, urged the government to establish a synergy amongst MDAs by giving them the necessary attention in view of the roles they play.
Adeolu said that the document read during the briefing was impressive and revealing, adding that the GBB had the responsibility to drive the 4th industrial revolution in the country.
“The responsibility in this era is to drive the 4th industrial revolution; we have gone through the 1st, 2nd and the 3rd industrial revolution,” he said.
“The 3rd industrial revolution was the `dot come’ era and a lot of people made so much money, countries, cooperations, individuals; and right now we have the 4th industrial revolution.
The Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, who did the presentation, noted that in spite of the state of art infrastructure, it was increasingly difficult to compete with private sector companies because of compliance requirements that were peculiar to public sector institutions.
Abubakar appealed o the Committee to intervene in the area of funding and legislation to make the company more viable.
He also urged the Committee to support proper enforcement of the SGF’s circular on GBB’s mandate directing all MDAs to consolidate and centralise government Data Centres, transversal applications and Communication networks.
“Constraints posed by the government include process compliance obligations; Budgetary provision fails to match steep rise in demand for Galaxy’s services, internal infrastructure readiness issues with some MDAs.
“Lack of access to LANs and other internal infrastructure of MDAs by GBB staff; Internal IT capacity issues within several MDA affect uptake and utilisation of Gallaxy Services; Foreign Exchange Volatility.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said it would rake in four trillion naira as tax revenue from the extractive sector of the Nigerian economy in the 2020 fiscal year.
The FIRS made this known in a statement issued by Abdullahi Ahmad, Director, Communications and Liaison Department in the service in Abuja on Tuesday.
The statement said the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami, disclosed this when a team of the Nigerian office of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) paid him a courtesy visit.
Nami solicited the support of the OECD in stemming the tax evasion scheme of oil majors and multinationals operating in Nigeria through the illegal act of transfer pricing under which these foreign companies dodged tax and transfer their profit offshore.
The FIRS boss underscored the need for capacity-building, information sharing, data interpretation, usage and related technical synergy with the OECD in order to meet tax revenue targets in the extractive industry and the newly emergent Digital Economy.
He observed that revolution in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) had made physical filing of tax returns obsolete.
Nami, however, stated that ICT had also made tax collection more complex, especially in trans-border trade and trans-continental commerce.
According to him, in such trade big players like Amazon, Google, facebook, Alibaba and other e-commerce corporations do big business around, drive the digital economy and yet countries find it difficult to take due tax from the huge economic activities these online giants engage in.
“This is more so for developing countries like Nigeria where our people buy luxury goods more and more online while these big online stores don’t pay any tax to us.
“The complexity of the digital economy to the tax authorities also extents to the telecommunication and financial sectors, including the emerging trades and the exchange carried out using digital currency,” he said.
Similarly, Nami when he received the Comptroller-General (CG), Federal Fire Service, Dr Liman Alhaji Ibrahim, commended the service for its prompt response during a fire incident that occurred at its building in 2019.
He called for more synergy and collaboration between the FIRS and the Fire Service.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
The President of Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), Prof. Charles Uwadia, has charged Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals to become certified before practising.
Uwadia gave this charge in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that ICT certification separated quack ICT practitioners from the experts.
“ We currently have just over 5,000 certified IT registered members in our database from all over the country and we have more than the registered number who are practicing without any certification whatsoever.
“As a government establishment saddled with the supervision of the computing profession in Nigeria, we have non-professional and professional certificate examinations that come up twice in a year in accredited centres.
“We also have various refresher training that take place in various states across the country.
“By becoming a registered CPN member, you will become certified to practice, and this is what separates the quacks from the professionals,’’ he said.
Uwadia also urged employers and managers of labour to request evidence of registration with CPN from their IT staff before employment.
He said that if personnel managers would hire only certified IT experts, it would improve the number of IT members certified by the council.
“We are working hand in hand with government and private establishments to ensure that only certified IT experts are employed and awarded IT-inclined contracts.
“We must commend government establishments because you cannot be awarded government contracts if you are not registered with CPN,’’ Uwadia said.
The council president said that if only certified IT experts were hired in companies and organisations, it would reduce the number of quacks and non-professionals practising the profession.
He said that the council would be going into various partnerships in order to make its mandate achievable.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Oluwole Sogunle
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed says the Federal Government through Bank of Industry (BoI) has approved facility of about seven billion naira under its creative industry group.
Ahmed said this at the Greeners Business-to-Business Annual National Economic Dialogue 2020 held in Abuja on Saturday.
The economic dialogue has a theme “Positioning Nigeria’s Creative Industry as Growth Engine of Africa Continental Trade Agreement (AFCTA)”.
Represented by her Special Adviser on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Dr Armstrong Takang, the minister said the fund was approved to creative group of 35 firms in content production, content distribution, production equipment, digital transmission equipment among others.
Ahmed said in order to continue to build capacities among Nigerian youths, the N-Power Creative programme was created to train and develop 5,000 young creative talents.
According to her, the strategy is to put the creative industry on the global radar as exporters of world-class services and content.
She disclosed that the beneficiaries were trained and certified in Animation, Graphic Design, Post-production and Script Writing.
She added that all beneficiaries received computing devices that enabled them to master their skills during and after the training.
Speaking on AFCTA, the minister said the major areas which Nigeria had comparative advantage in the creative economy were Music, Film, Information Technology Industries and Fashion.
She stated that in 2016, the film industry sector contributed N239 billion of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Nigeria’s music industry grew by 9 per cent in 2016 to reach a value of 39 million dollars.
Ahmed noted that the music industry was set to grow by 13.4 per cent by 2021, with an estimated worth of about 73 million dollars adding that the gaming industry in Nigeria was also growing.
“The gaming industry is benefitting from a widening customer base, mostly the large and youthful population. UNICON values Nigeria’s video game industry at 150 million dollars.
“It also estimates mobile gaming to surpass 147 million dollars by 2020”.
In his remarks, the convener of the dialogue, Dr Mustapha Popoola said this year programme was the fifth economic dialogue which aimed at mentoring people to develop their businesses.
Popoola said that a lot of Nigerians mainly youths had registered under the platform.
He disclosed that the business to business which was a hub was being taken to creative hub and would be expanded to major cities of the country.
He stated that plan had been concluded to open centres in Lagos and Kano with a view to help develop people with business ideas across the country.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza