The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), has pledged its support to the National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, in his quest to ensure that youths are carried along in the party affairs.
Malam Jaafar Loko, the chairman of the Nasarawa State chapter, said this, in a statement on Thursday in Keffi.
Loko said that youths’ inclusion and empowerment were some of the ideals that were mainstreamed into activities undertaken by the council to enhance Nigeria’s democracy.
”Empowering youths in politics, creating avenues for engagement and reducing barriers for young people’s political and economic participation are key to curbing youth restiveness.
”So, the significance of youth inclusion in politics can’t in any way be overemphasised,” he said.
Loko stated that the APC National Chairman had always carried the youth along since his days as the governor of Nasarawa State.
He said that the council was grateful to Adamu for appointing its Public Relations Officer I, Malam Muhammad Lawal, as his Personal Assistant on new media.
”The appointment of Lawal has rekindled the hope of Nasarawa youths and encouraged them to continue to mobilise support for the party.
”This is to ensure its victory at all levels in the forthcoming 2023 General Elections,” he said.
Loko, however, appealed to the APC national leadership to encourage states chairmen of the party to priotise youths’ participation in the electoral process.
Also, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, the Keffi Local Government Area (LGA) NYCN, Coordinator, lauded Adamu for appointing Lawal.
“The appointment of Lawal excites Keffi youths, especially the members of the NYCN.
“We thank Adamu (Turakin Keffi) for recognising and engaging one of us.
” This is a clear testimony of youths’ inclusion in the scheme of things at the national leadership of APC,” Idris said.
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has commended the innovation of Gov. Abdullahi Sule for building bus terminals in the state.
This, the House said, has gone a long way in addressing transportation challenges and improved on the standard of living of the state.
The Chairman, House Committee on Works, Mr Abdulaziz Danladi, said this when the state Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, led management of the ministry before the committee on its 2022 budget performance in Lafia on Wednesday.
The lawmaker observed that one of the outstanding achievements of the present administration in transportation system is the building of bus terminals in Karu and Lafia.
“This has address the transportation challenges in the State there by generating employment, improve revenue and the standard of living of our people,” he said.
The chairman commended Sule for bringing such wonderful ideas and called for its sustenance He equally underscored the significance of the Lafia Airport on the socio-economic transformation of the state.
Danladi also commended the efforts of the commissioner and his management team for living up to expectations.
He called for more support to the ministry to do more on the good jobs the management has been doing.
He made a case for employment of casual staff of the ministry by the state government to boost their morale and enhance effectiveness in service delivery, considering the importance of the ministry to the development of the state.
Earlier, the commissioner while presenting his ministry’s 2022 budget performance, appreciated the committee for supporting its activities to succeed.
He revealed that many projects have been initiated across the state with some ongoing and some completed.
The commissioner also appreciated the governor for the attention he is giving to the ministry.
“And the support the ministry is getting from the state Assembly,” Danladi said.
The commissioner however appealed for the employment of the casual staff of the ministry.
The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) on Monday called on National Universities Commission (NUC) to overhaul the curriculum used in teaching entrepreneurship courses in the nation’s universities.
The Executive Vice Chairman NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, canvassed this at the ground breaking of the permanent site of its Skills Development Centre and North Central Science and Engineering Integrated Laboratory, Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Haruna, who is also the Chief Executive of the agency, said most tertiary institutions in the country had no qualified lecturers and the enabling environment to teach entrepreneurship.
The NASENI boss explained that entrepreneurship was a practical course taught only by practicing entrepreneurs.
He said that experts in management sciences and marketing with no training in entrepreneurship were not competent enough to teach entrepreneurship courses.
Prof. Haruna assured that NASENI skills development centres across the country would collaborate with willing tertiary institutions in their catchment areas to bridge the manpower gap.
He said that the inauguration of NASENI skills development centre, Keffi symbolised government’s commitment to the development of technology base for the nation.
Haruna said the centre would serve as a knowledge transfer centre for the development of traditional design technology and standardisation.
This, according to him, is aimed at quality control with a view to enhancing the marketability of products developed by adopting indigenous technology and methods.
“This in turn will facilitate job creation and economic empowerment of our teeming populace especially youths.
“The establishment of Keffi skills centre will also complement the efforts of both the state and federal governments on job creation.
“For peace to prevail in any society, citizens, particularly the youth, must be meaningfully engaged and gainfully employed through capacity building for the generation of job opportunities”, he said.
He said the establishment of the skills development centres across the country would also help the nation to leapfrog into the 4th industrial revolution.
“We cannot afford to be left behind as low technology base is the bane of underdevelopment”, he said.
The NASENI boss commended the efforts of Nasarawa state government in reviving crafts schools and Technical Colleges for skills acquisition, which he described as ‘must’ for industrial development.
Earlier, the Emir of Keffi, Dr Shehu Yamusa III, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and NASENI for the establishment of the agency’s skills development centre in the area The traditional ruler said that the centre would go a long way to reduce youth unemployment in Keffi in particular and Nasarawa state in general.
Also, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Keffi Chapter, expressed gratitude of Keffi Youth to Buhari administration for its numerous youth empowerment programmes since assumption of office.
The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has been commended for proposing to establish its skills acquisition centre in Keffi.
Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Keffi Local Government Chapter, Nasarawa State, made the commendation in a statement in Keffi on Sunday.
He commended NESENI’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof.
Mohammed Haruna, for choosing Keffi as the location for the North-Central skills acquisition centre.
The youth leader said the centre would provide skill-learning opportunities for the people of the area when it came on stream.
According to him, it will enable youths in the area to imbibe skills that will make them to become self-reliant.
”The proposed centre will help tackle unemployment, poverty and insecurity in Keffi to a reasonable extent,” he said.
The NYCN official also commended NASENI for setting up a committee for the symbolic inauguration of the agency’s North-Central Zonal Agricultural Machinery Equipment Development Institute, Lafia.
Idris said that the establishment of the skills acquisition centre in Keffi and the institute in Lafia by NASENI was a good omen to the state.
He said that the projects were a demonstration of the Federal Government’s resolve to tackle poverty in the country.
He commended the President Buhari-led governnment for providing the needed funding for the agency to perform its functions.
”The agency has been able to prove its mettle and delivered on its core mandates.
”It has done so well in terms of technology transfer, training, food security and agriculture mechanisation,” he said.
National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has commended Prof. Mohammed Haruna, the Executive Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) for his giant stride achievements on human capital development.
The NYCN Chairman, Keffi Local Government Chapter, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, made the commendation in a statement on Wednesday in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
Idris also applauded NASENI for ensuring the implementation of collaboration between Nigeria and Jordan on technology transfer, training, food security and agriculture mechanisation which were outcomes of the recent agreement signed between the agency and the Gheras, Decapolis and Ebsilon Group, Hashemite, Jordan.
The youth leader said the agency, under Prof. Haruna, had proved beyond reasonable doubt its capacity to deliver development goods through its achievements in the production and promotion of local content with its numerous innovations.
He also hailed the agency for the establishment of many entrepreneurship centres across the country which had the capacity to train youths in various new and emerging technologies and to make them self-reliant.
” We the leadership of NYCN Keffi Local Government, the native town of the NASENI boss, are pleased with how he is repositioning and transforming the agency in line with its mandate.
” We are glad that NASENI, under Prof. Haruna’s watch, has evolved a new approach to addressing the need for a viable and or the laying of a sustainable foundation for the industrialisation of Nigeria.
” We are also grateful to NASENI boss for offering employment opportunities to many indigenes of Keffi and Nasarawa State.
“This is what we have been yearning for in our locality. We need more people who value human capital development.”
Idris, therefore, called on other sons and daughters of Keffi and Nasarawa states to emulate the efforts of NASENI boss in providing empowerment opportunities for the younger generation.
The Kogi government says that 10,000 young people would be trained in business development programs in the state.
Ms. Rekiya Onnaivo-Sanni, Director General (MD), Kogi Enterprise Development Agency (KEDA), said this at a forum with executive members of the GSM Association on Wednesday at her office in Lokoja.
Onnaivo-Sanni said the state will already be partnering with an organization for the training that will start soon.
She said that one of KEDA's mandates was to bridge the interface between state and federal government to ensure that citizens benefited in the area of microenterprise.
“Currently we have identified three key sectors, we are going to discuss with President Muhammadu Buhari about care facilities such as cassava, palm oil and ICT business.
“This explains why we are having this forum with the GSM Association on how to open a GSM village in Kogi, where you don't need to go to Lagos to deal with your phones, iPads, laptops and computers.
“As an agency, we evaluated the association's operations and found that they are well organized and committed to adding value to Kogi's economic development.
“We are involving them because in the planning stage we need to bring the already identified beneficiaries to a scientific approach in achieving results,” he said.
Earlier, the president of the GSM Association, Mr. Mohammed Idris, told the MD that they were at his office to communicate with her about the association and how to contribute their dues to the economic development of Kogi.
Idris said his biggest challenge was a GSM Village site with all the necessary facilities for his ICT business to flourish and help boost Kogi's economy.
He said that the association was well organized and had several committees that could control Internet fraud and criminal activities by members and the public, especially phone thieves.
According to him, the association believes that a partnership with KEDA will mean better opportunities and ease of doing business for its members and offer better service to the public who want it.
Police neutralise bandit, rescue 11 kidnapped victims in Zamfara
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the incident to NAN and promised to provide more details.
By Aminu GarkoMr Mohammed Idris, Niger State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, was on Sunday kidnapped by gunmen at Baban Tunga village of Tarfa Local Government Area of the state.
The Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview on Monday.
Matane said that the gunmen who came on about 15 motorcycles with sophisticated weapons kidnapped the commissioner at about 11 p.m. during a downpour in the area.
He said that the kidnappers had yet to make contact.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the incident to NAN and promised to provide more details.(NAN)
Residents of Niger on Friday urged the state government to boost the outreach of the state radio station, 91.3 FM to keep them abreast of its policies and programmes.
The News Agency of Nigeria gathered from residents of Borgu and Rijau Local Government Areas of the state that the signal of the radio station stopped in the area 10 years ago.
They said that there was need to boost the outreach of the radio station to enhance information dissemination at the grassroots.
The listeners lamented over the inability to get abreast with government policies and programmes in the past 10 years.
Malam Musa Kidebe, a resident of New Bussa in Borgu, who had been listening to the radio for more than 15 years said that signal to the area had stopped in the past 10 years.
Kidebe said that only Minna and its environs get the services of the radio station, describing the situation as unfortunate.
“In the past 10 years we have been cut off from the state FM radio in Minna. We have been completely sidelined here, to the extent that sometimes it takes one week for us to know what government is doing.
“Recently some of us did not benefit in youth empowerment programme due to inadequate information,’’ he said.
He appealed to the state government to increase the outreach of the radio in order to carry the people along.
Similarly, Miss Balkisu Mukhtar, another resident of the area told NAN that there was need for the state government to make its moribund booster stations across the state functional in order to reach the rural people.
Mukhtar said that the measure would bring about good service delivery to the people, especially on government policies, programmes and other information.
Also, Hajiya Aishatu Usman, a farmer in Rijau said that it was more than 10 years now since she listened to the radio.
“My husband who is also a farmer used to listen to the radio years back and inform me about what government was doing to help farmers but we cannot get the signal anymore,’’ she said.
Earlier, Dr Mohammed Aliyu, a public affairs analyst in Minna had said that the output of the radio station was limited to Minna the state capital and environs instead of serving the 25 Local Government Areas in the state.
Aliyu said that local government areas in the state such as Magama, Kontagora, Rijau, Mariga and Agwara are not adequately informed, enlightened and entertained owing to no signal from the station.
Responding on the issue, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, the state Commissioner of Information told NAN that the current state government led by Alhaji Abubakar Bello had increased the frequency of the radio from 91.2 FM to 91.3 FM.
Idris said that the measure was to enable the people get signal of the radio station, adding that its coverage has increased.
“Right now residents of Suleja can hear our FM radio. The next phase now is to resuscitate our booster stations at Borgu, Mokwa, Bida and Kontagora to reach our people,’’ he said.
He also said that government had concluded arrangements to revive the state AM radio in Minna that had not been on air for the past 21 years.
The Commissioner said that when the radio comes up it would cover the 25 local government areas of the state, 16 other states and neighbouring countries.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Parties deregistration and matters arising
A Report by Emmanuel Oloniruha, News Agency of Nigeria
Nigeria has witnessed increase in the number of registered political parties from three in the Fourth Republic to 30 registered political parties in 2003, 50 parties in 2007, and 60 parties in 2011.
The number fell between 2011 and 2013 when 39 political parties were deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), an umpire charged with the responsibility of conducting elections, registering, monitoring and deregistration of political parties.
Justifying the commission’s action, former INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega, cited the provisions of section 78 (7) (ii) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, which empowers INEC to deregister parties following the breach of any of the requirements for registration and failure to make any impact in the elections.
However, some leaders of the deregistered politicians went to court to seek redress and the court pronounced Section 78 (7) (i) and (ii) as being ultra vires to constitutional provisions and that made INEC to restore the licences of some of the deregistered political parties.
The number grew to 92 before the 2019 general elections, with many groups still seeking to be registered as parties by INEC.
Some analysts observe that a multi-party system is an essential part of a well-functioning democracy, so, they support the development.
Similarly, many critics express concern that the development poses more challenges to Nigeria’s evolving electoral system, especially where many parties are passive.
The critics note that with 73 presidential candidates on the ballot paper and 1,068 governorship candidates in 29 states in the 2019 general elections, INEC ought to urgently prune the number of registered parties.
Their concerns border on increase cost of election, confusion and time needed to identify multiple party logos of their preferred candidates on the ballot papers during the elections.
Malam Mohammed Haruna, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Kwara, Kogi and Nasarawa State, observes that the large number of political parties in the 2019 general elections created a lot of logistics problem for the commission.
So, after the 2019 general elections, including court-ordered re-run elections arising from litigation, INEC conducted a comprehensive review of the general elections and deregistered 74 parties on Feb. 6.
Some of them are the Alliance National Party (ANP) Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) African Peoples Alliance (APA) Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) Fresh Democratic Party (FRESH), Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and Nigeria Community Movement Party (NCMP).
Others are National Unity Party (NUP), Peoples Coalition Party (PCP), Peoples for Democratic Change (PDC), Peoples Trust (PT), Reform and Advancement Party (RAP), United Democratic Party (UDP), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and United Progressive Party (UPP).
Announcing the deregistration, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said that the parties were deregistered for their inability to fulfil requirements for existence based on Section 225A of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Yakubu believes that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) vests in INEC, the power to register and regulate activities of political parties.
“In addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution (Section 225A) empowers the commission to deregister political parties,’’ he explained.
Yakubu also observes that to implement the provision of the Fourth Alteration to the constitution, the commission carried out an assessment of political parties to determine compliance with the requirements for their registration.
He notes that one of the political parties, the Action Peoples Party (APP), filed a suit in court and obtained an order restraining the commission from deregistering it.
He explains that the party it challenged the decision on the grounds that the provisions of the 1999 Constitution in that regard is supreme on Electoral Act and that deregistration infringes their fundamental rights under the same constitution.
He also recalls that based on the provision, the commission, between 2011 and 2013, deregistered 39 political parties.
But Yakubu said: “The National Assembly amended the constitution to empower the commission to deregister political parties on breach of any of the requirements for registration as a political party.
“If political parties fail to win at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in one state of the federation in a presidential election or 25 per cent of the votes cast in one local government area of a state in a governorship election.
“Also, failure to win at least one ward in a chairmanship election, one seat in the National or State Assembly election or one seat in a councillorship election.”
Supporting the commission’s decision, Director of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) Idayat Hassan described the delisting of the political parties as a welcome development.
Hassan said that most of the parties did not campaign during the last elections while long list of political parties confused many voters during the elections.
“The long ballot itself increases INEC cost in production and proper management of elections. You find out that most of these parties are ethnic-based, have no presence in states as stipulated under the constitution,’’ she said.
Irrespective of this, the affected political parties, individually and in groups, approached the Federal High Court to challenge the action of INEC, demanding that they should be re-enlisted.
However, in various judgments, the Federal High Court upheld INEC’s powers to deregister political parties.
For instance, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court on May 28, in judgment delivered in the suit filed by NUP against INEC, affirmed the electoral umpire’s powers to deregister political parties.
The court affirmed that the constitutional powers of the commission and the reasons given by the commission for deregistering political parties were valid, in conformity with the law and sacrosanct.
The court further held that INEC’s powers could not be affected by the fact of anticipated local government elections by some states which dates were not fixed, certain or even ascertainable.
Taiwo, also in delivering judgment in a separate suit filed by Hope Democratic Party (HDP) against INEC, reaffirmed that the commission was empowered by the 1999 Constitution to deregister political parties that failed to meet provisions of Section 225 (a) of the constitution.
Similarly, Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja, in a judgment delivered on June 11, dismissed the suit filed by 32 political parties, challenging the power of INEC to deregister them.
Not satisfied with the judgements of the Federal High Courts, the deregistered political parties approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgements of the lower courts.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja, in a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris with Justice Yargata Nimpar and Justice Peter Ige on appeal by NUP, upheld the decision of Justice Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja that held that INEC has the constitutional power to deregister non-performing political parties.
Idris, in resolving the issue in favour of INEC, held that the lower court was right in deregistering the appellant.
“It is, therefore, my well-considered view that the learned trial judge was right in its interpretation of the said provisions and has therefore occasioned no miscarriage of justice to the appellant.
“From my findings on this issue therefore, it is my strong and unshaken view that the appellant did not place sufficient evidence before the trial court. This issue is hereby resolved in favour of the respondent against the appellant.
“In the final result, I hereby uphold the decision of the trial court in its entirety. I hold that the appeal is lacking in merit and thus dismissed. I make no order as to cost,’’ ruled,’’ Idris ruled.
In a separate ruling on Sept. 2, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja also dismissed the appeal filed by HDP challenging the judgment of Federal High Court which upheld the power of INEC to deregister the party.
Also aggrieved by the decision of Justice Chikere, the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), Alliance of Social Democrats (ASD), Progressive People Alliance (PPA), United Patriots (UP) and 17 others went to Appeal court.
They are pleading with the court to set aside the judgment of the lower court, which had upheld INEC’s power to deregister political parties.
Delivering a judgment in the appeal, a five-man panel of justices led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, held that the deregistration was illegal because due process was not followed.
The appellate court held that INEC failed to comply with Section 225 (A) of 1999 Constitution (as amended) because it did not provide reasons for the deregistration of the political parties.
Dongban-Mensem held that the appellants were challenging the process of deregistration and not the act, directing that the appellants be relisted as registered political parties.
Reacting to the judgement, INEC, in a statement issued by Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, said that it would approach the Supreme Court on “conflicting judgments’’ by the Court of Appeal.
“The commission is faced with two conflicting judgements from the Court of Appeal; one affirming the powers of the commission to deregister political parties and the other setting aside the delisting of ACD and 22 others.
“The commission will approach the Supreme Court for a final resolution of the issues raised in the two conflicting judgements,” he said.
The chairmen of political parties whose parties were deregistered commended the Appeal Court ruling ordering their re-enlistment, while calling on INEC to obey court ruling before heading to Supreme Court.
Chief Peter Ameh, former Chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) and the National Chairman of the deregistered PPA, said that INEC’s decision to approach the Supreme Court would not stop it from obeying the judgment of the Appeal Court.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of Progressive Political Parties had advised the 74 deregistered political parties to rethink strategy to change Nigeria’s political trajectory instead of seeking legal actions.
Chairman of the coalition, Mr Bashir Ibrahim, advised the deregistered parties to come together and work out strategies for moving Nigeria in the right direction.
As Nigerians await the judgment of the Supreme Court, concerned members of the affected political parties believe that whatever may be the decision of the court, it will provide a good platform for deepening the nation’s democratic and electioneering process.(NANFeatures)
**If used, please credit the writer as well as News Agency of Nigeria
An Electricity expert, Mr Mohammed Idris on Monday commended President Muhammadu Buhari for granting a one-year waiver on import levy on prepaid electricity meters.
Idris gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Akwanga Local Government Area (LGA) of Nasarawa State.
According to him, the waiver by the President is a demonstration of political will directed at addressing the challenge of meter deficit in the country.
Idris, also the acting Director of Works, College of Education Akwanga (COEA), said he expected to see massive installation of prepaid meters by Distribution Companies (DISCOs).
According to him, this will go a long way in ending the regime of estimated billing as directed by the President.
“Prepaid meter is the only thing that will help both the electricity customers as well as the distribution companies from being shortchanged, as customers will only pay for energy consumed.
“If any customer fails to recharge, such a customer will not have access to electricity,” he said.
Idris stressed that prepaid meters would also address frequent clashes and attacks on staff of DISCOs by customers for trying to disconnect them over unpaid bills.
He urged DISCOs to put machinery in place to check the activities of some of their staff, alleging that some of them aid illegal connections by bypassing prepaid meters, thereby shortchanging the company.
The expert advised the appropriate agency of government to ensure total compliance with the ban on estimated billing by ensuring that it monitored that all customers were metered.
He appealed to customers to buy prepaid meters as was the case in other developed nations.
The approval was specifically predicated on a request by the Minister of Finance, Budget And National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed to support the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in rolling out three million electricity meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) framework.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)