Sunday, 19 November 2017
Items filtered by date: June 2017

Former Commissioner for Information in Cross River, Mr Patrick Ugbe, who was kidnapped in Calabar on June 1, has regained freedom.

Ugbe, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Hit Fm 95.9, was kidnapped by gunmen at Ekpo Iso Street in Ikot Ansa, Calabar.

ASP Irene Ugbo, Police Public Relations Officer in the State, confirmed this in a telephone interview in Calabar on Saturday.

“As we speak, the CEO of Hit Fm has been released and he is right now with his family.

“No ransom was paid, the combined efforts of security agencies in the state and the office of the State Security Adviser were on top of the matter to secure his release.

“We thank God that he was released alive without any harm.

“The police, in collaboration with other sister agencies in the state, would continue to work together to safe guard the lives and property of the citizens’’, she said.

Ugbe also served as Chief Press Secretary and Commissioner for Youth and Sports in the eight-year tenure of Sen. Liyel Imoke as Governor of the state.

 
 
Published in News & Stories

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has criticised the proposed N5 petrol levy by the Senate, describing it as a huge joke.

Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of NUPENG, said in Lagos on Saturday that the proposal was ill-timed and also smacked of insensitivity to the current economic hardships facing Nigerians.

He wondered how the nation’s Upper Chamber could think of another fuel price increase when Nigerians were “striving to
cope with the current harsh economic realities”.

“How can the Senate propose such a bill at this particular period when poor Nigerians can hardly feed themselves?

“The prices of foodstuffs have tripled in the market, while workers’ salary has not been increased,” Korodo said.

Sen. Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano), the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, had on June 1, presented a bill entitled, “National Roads Bill” to the House.

The bill recommends that Nigerians should pay N5 levy on every litre of imported petroleum products and that levy will form part of the proposed national roads fund.

It also recommends the deduction of 0.5 per cent on fares paid by passengers travelling on inter-state roads to commercial mass transit operators as well as the return of toll gates on federal roads, among others.

Korodo said: “Just a year ago, the pump price of petrol was increased from N87 to N145 per litre and Nigerians accepted the increment because of the sincerity of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“Any attempt to adjust the price of petrol under any guise will be resisted by Organised Labour.”

The NUPENG chief called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the leadership of the Senate to step down the bill.

 
Published in Headliners

ONE of the greatest disincentives to military coups in Nigeria is the liberalisation of the broadcast media. If you seize a radio station in Kaduna to announce a coup, another officer will seize a television or radio station in Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Ibadan or Rivers,  to counter the coup. If you attempt a military putsch through an announcement on air in Owerri, someone else will make a counter announcement on radio or television in Abuja, Ebonyi, Jos, Ekiti or Bayelsa. It is no longer easy to plan a successful coup in Nigeria.

And to detect coup attempts is now so easy. Unlike the 60s to 90s when telecommunication lines can be cut in order to restrict access to information, as you mention your illegal attempt in one barracks, before you take two steps, the information has reached another barracks. So, how do you conceal a coup attempt in the era of GSM, Watsapp, Twitter, indeed all agents of instant communication? And coup is an offence against your country, a high treason. The experiences of men of the Armed Forces in the coup years of the 60s to 90s have nearly destroyed esprit de corps. And so, how do you expect Igbo, Yoruba or Ijaw soldiers to obey orders from a Hausa officer to overthrow an elected government? In the same vein, Hausa soldiers will not obey illegal orders from Yoruba, Igbo or Ijaw to sack a civil government, no matter how good or bad the elected government is.

Drawing from the benefit of hindsight, Nigerians will prefer a devil in civilian dress to a saint in an army uniform. It was military rule that brought the country to its knees. Indeed, while the civilians in the 60s allegedly stole in secret, the military governments looted the country dry, and openly. This country has not recovered from the pains of military rule and may not fully recover from the depredations foisted on the nation via  coup d’etats in the next 50 years because it is easier to destroy than to build. For instance, the regular assault on civilians by some soldiers is a hangover from the military rule. In developed climes, soldiers accord civilians regard and utmost respect to all constituted civil authorities.

Finally, a military coup in the present day Nigeria will only lead to civil war and disintegration of the country. With Boko Haram, MASSOP, IPOD, OPC, MEND, NDA, etc, no soldier will dare to attempt an illegal occupation of Aso Rock and Government Houses across Nigeria. There is so much inter and cross ethnic suspicion in the country such that any officer illegally occupying power will be viewed as that tribe trying to achieve by the barrels of gun what it could not achieve through the ballox box. No section will be able to lay claim to monopoly of violence. Civil war will be the consequence.

Good or bad civilian government , the era of military regime  is over in Nigeria.  The military is not the watchdog of our democracy and should not constitute itself into one. That role has been handed to the press by the constitution. The military is not an alternative government, not being a political party. The teachers are carrying out their lawful duties in the classrooms, the doctors and nurses are fulfilling their constitutional mandates in the hospitals, with the farmers in the farms. So should the members of the Armed Forces fulfil their lawful duties of defending the country against external aggression and internal insurrection as permitted by the constitution and the Armed Forces Act in their barracks. This is the right and proper way to build a nation that we all can be proud of. The military cannot claim to be more important than teachers. Neither can doctors claim superiority over the police. Let every one and every institution fulfil its constitutional mandate.

If one political party in power is not doing well, then let another political party replace it at the next general election. That is the prescription in all civilised societies.  Our country can only develop when all hands are on deck to deepen the current civil rule.

  • Dr Joseph, a social researcher, writes in from Abuja
Published in Parliament
It is very unfortunate that some elders who ought to be looked up to by the younger ones as towers of strength in a delicate and complicated federation are the ones making regular toxic statements that can destroy the country’s basis for unity. The provocative statements by a socio-political group, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), to the effect that its members would not allow strict adherence to constitutional provisions should ailing President Muhammadu Buhari find it impossible to continue in office are insensitive, careless and unpatriotic in the extreme. To start with, President Buhari is only human and the prayers of all Nigerians are that he gets well soon to continue the execution of the duties of his office.

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) which has been very dubious in defending so-called“ northern interests” since the reported illness of the president met in Kano the other day and warned that some leaders of the ruling party had been exploiting the absence of the president to undermine the presidency. If this was so, such persons should be seen to be just as odious.

The opening part of NEF’s statement was innocent enough. The forum reported that it would support what it called “genuine restructuring of the nation” even as it insisted that the north was never at any time opposed to the move.

Fair enough, the NEF then maintained that the ship of state must keep sailing uninterruptedly until Buhari returns. The elders noted: “We are aware that attempts are being made to exploit the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve dubious political goals.

“We, therefore, warn those seeking an undeserved political advantage to desist. The north is conscious of its obligations as well as rights and will discharge and defend same without reservations.”

Its deputy leader, Wantaregh Paul Unongo, a former minister from Benue State applauded the president for transferring power to his deputy in line with the dictates of the 1999.

The NEF then pledged its support for Yemi Osinbajo’s acting presidency, advising him to be wary of enemies in the discharge of his duties. His words: ”The forum expresses its full support and encouragement for Acting President Osinbajo and urges him to exercise responsibility, as he did in the past with commitment, sensitivity and respect for the constitution.” The group then urged him to ignore mischief makers who seek to pit him against the president or the people whose mandate they both exercise.”

Unongo, however, continued in a veiled reference to regular national discussion points on restructuring of the federation :“For the record, the forum wishes to state that the north welcomes honest and sincere discussion on all aspects of our existence and remains available to engage any group to discuss and advance the nature of our union. We will resist the attempt to create the false impression that the region is hostile to enquiries into the basics of the nation’s structure and operations.

“We will also join other Nigerians in resisting any attempt to seek sectional and parochial goals outside the constitution and laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” Certainly, what the Northern elders are referring to is the current relentless quest for fiscal federalism.

Curiously, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami echoed the statement of the northern elders the other day in Abuja at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) forum on federalism when he said the issue of federalism is though desirable but not possible at this time. This view, of course, is casual, so dismissive and without the depth or rigour required of a chief law officer of the federation.

The northern elders and indeed, all leaders should note that the task of nation building is not for the fainthearted, not for irredentists, ethnic and religious bigots, especially at a time when the complex diversity of the federation is clearly experiencing some strains on account of the age-long but unaddressed national question. The conflict-resolution efforts of past leaders have produced so many documents including the more recent 2014 national conference report to resolve the national question. Almost all parts of Nigeria’s delicate federation have hailed the contents of that 2014 report as a good starting point following the consensus that led to its adoption. But Buhari has surprisingly disclosed he has not read that report, he has indeed consigned it to the archives. Unfortunately, it is the peace building effort nurtured by democracy in the last 18 years that those leaders who speak recklessly are undermining with their unguarded statements on the illness of an incumbent president. There is nothing unusual about a president being ill. And the constitution is not ambiguous on how to handle such a condition. What is more, even great countries have been successfully governed by men who took ill in office and not by threats from a section of the national constituency of the president. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd U.S. (president, 1933-1945), one of the greatest leaders the United States has ever produced led his country through and out of the Great Depression from a position of infirmity.

Elders have the right to speak in a democracy but there is a time for everything and more important is the fact that their statements have tended to reduce Nigeria’s presidency to an ethnic throne. This perception is unfortunate when it is considered that Buhari was popularly elected into power with votes from majority of the people in the six zones in the country. The stance of the northern elders to the effect that they will defend the presidency of Buhari at all cost is therefore petty and uncalled for.

It is Nigeria’s presidency, not the leadership of any ethnic group. Nigerians are the employers of this president and he is responsible to them according to the constitution of the federal republic. The northern or southern elders should therefore not gather to issue such provocative statements as can lead to further strains on the polity. Their utterances should indeed be a balm to defuse tension, not to exacerbate it.

Nigerians decide for Nigeria. Nigerians, not the Northern Elders Forum, made Buhari President in 2015. If he would continue in 2019, Nigerians will say so through a peaceful democratic process. If he would not, the same process will determine that as no provocative statements from irredentists and parochial thinkers can stop the tide of democracy.

Published in Parliament

• Nigeria now fourth ranked team in Africa

The Super Eagles yesterday gave a glimpse of what their fans should expect from them against South Africa in an African Nations Cup qualifier on June 10 when they bashed Togo 3-0 in an international friendly game played in Paris, France.

Yesterday’s match at the Stade Municipal de Saint Leu La Foret, Paris was the Eagles’ last test match before next week’s encounter with South Africa and the Nigerians did not waste time in sending a strong warning to the Bafana Bafana.

Leicester City of England forward, Ahmed Musa opened scores for Nigeria in the third minute when Togo’s goalkeeper, Allassani spilled Alex Iwobi’s fierce cross along his path.

Rohr gave an inkling of his desire to win the game when he lined up the midfielders and attackers likely to play against South Africa on June 10. In the starting line up were Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Shehu Abdullahi, Elderson Echiejile, who captained the team, Mikel Agu, Chidozie Awaziem, William Troost-Ekong, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo.

Nigeria dominated the first half with Ndidi, Etebo, Iwobi and Iheanacho running rings around the Sparrow Hawks. Iheanacho missed what should have been the second goal when he shot an Iwobi pass straight at the goalkeeper, but the Eagles were not to be held back for too long as Musa grabbed his brace seven minutes later when he converted another pas from Iwobi.

Nigeria took the game beyond Togo in the 27th minute when Etebo robbed Allasani of the ball and squared for Iheanacho to tap in. Changes in the second half that saw the introduction of Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Uche Agbo, Ebuehi, Alampasu, Stephen Odey, Sikiru Olatunbosun and Alhassan tempered the flow of the game, but the Eagles held on to record yet another victory over Togo.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s unbeaten run since Gernot Rohr took over the Super Eagles has seen the country climbing two places in the latest FIFA ranking released yesterday.

The Super Eagles are now the world’s 38th best team and Africa’s number four. Nigeria are on 730 points, four more than the previous month and yesterday’s win against Togo and the expected defeat of South Africa on June 10 could take them further up the ladder.

Egypt, Senegal and Cameroun are the current best teams in Africa in that order, while Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Chile and Colombia make up the top five teams in the world.

Published in Sports

The 36 governors have resolved to offset workers’ outstanding salaries and pensions in their states as soon as the next tranche of payment from the Paris-London Club loan refunds were made.

Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

The statement by Mr Abulrazque Barkindo, Head of Media and Public Affairs, NGF Secretariat, said that the decision was reached by the governors after their meeting in Abuja on Thursday night.

The governors met in anticipation of the release of the money, which had been approved for payment by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Out of the N522.74 billion owed, N388.304 was paid to states in December, 2016.

Yari said that the governors were not oblivious of the hue and cry over non-payment of backlog of salaries and pensions, and the precarious predicament of the Nigerian workers.

He said that the governors deliberated on the matter and concluded that something immediate must be done to ameliorate workers’ plight by offsetting the outstanding pay and emoluments.

This, according to him, made the governors to resolve as a matter of urgency, to pay workers their due as soon as the half of the Paris Club refunds is made.

“We all agreed that a substantial amount from the next tranche of the Paris-London refunds be used in the settlement of workers salary and pension arrears,” Yari disclosed.

He added that the governors were also committed to the verification of the input of all the consultants, who claimed to have worked towards the harmonization of the refunds.

The claim, the governor said, was in regards of what was due to each state since 2005 when the demand for the refunds commenced.

“At the moment, there are litigations from more than 10 different consultants still agitating for settlement for their roles in the quest to have the refunds made to states. ‘’

He said a committee headed by Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State had been set up to provide solution to the demands by consultants on the refunds to states.

Members of the committee are governors of Bauchi, Sokoto, Plateau, Bayelsa, Rivers and Gombe.

He disclosed that another committee made up of the governors of Imo, Bayelsa, Abia, Ekiti, Kano, Nasarawa and Bauchi was also constituted to work for the “reconciliation’’ of the forum members.

This, according to Yari, is to enable the governors to work harmoniously in a manner that will transcend all political affiliations so that all governors will speak with one voice on issues of national importance.

“There is no how you will mention any political development in Nigeria without mentioning governors. Governors are a bloc and a key component of this democracy.

“Therefore, we have set up a seven-member committee to look into the development surrounding the unity of the forum and the development of the country.

“The idea is for governors to be speaking with one voice,” he said.

 
 
Published in Business and Economy

Nigerian singer Dammy Krane (Oyindamola Emmanuel), has been allegedly arrested in Miami, U.S for credit card fraud.

According to online reports, the singer who is currently based in the U.S, was booked on Friday.

He is currently behind bars pending when he meets up with the bail requirements.

According to details on his mugshot from online reports, the singer was arrested for card fraud, identity fraud (named as Johnson Hunga) and theft (armed and conspiracy)

Krane signed under Hypertek music has a number of hits to his credit and has enjoyed fame in the industry.

There has been no official statement from his music label

Published in Entertainment

There is no denying that we spend a large proportion of our lives at work, which is why our careers are so important to us. If you’re thinking about taking the next step in your professional career, now is the time to make a change and push yourself to achieve more.

However, with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which direction is the best to take. Would simply reading a book help you to achieve greater success? Or would academic guidance add more value to your professional journey?

Returning to university is an excellent way to gain the skills and knowledge you need to move up the career ladder as it provides a managed journey through carefully curated content. Thanks to the advancement of online degrees, there’s also no need to quit your job to continue your studies, providing an accessible solution for the career-driven professional. In fact, millions of people around the world have already been jumping on this opportunity as the demand for online education continues.

Amongst our digital students is Tosan Ozoro, who studies the Online Masters of Public Administration at the University of Birmingham. Currently working as a Relationship Manager at Keystone Bank in Lagos, Tosan is using her degree to move into the public sector and make a difference to Nigerian society. After researching her options, she concluded that studying online was a feasible solution as she could continue to work whilst learning at a highly rated institution.

A course aligned to your career goals
With many online degrees to choose from, it’s important to undertake research to find a course which suits your needs and aligns with your career goals.

As a member of the Russell Group and world ‘top 100’ University (QS World University Rankings, 2017), the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, is committed to producing the very best research and innovative teaching experiences.

We offer three career-focused online degrees:

A course structured around you
Your location or professional situation won’t restrict you as there’s no need to relocate or pause your career to head to the UK. This allows you to make a difference to your surrounding economy.

For Online MBA student Patrick Gettleman, studying online was his only option: “With my job and career path, I travel for work almost on a weekly basis and could not be successful with a part-time program in person,” he explained. “I would simply miss way too many classes.

“I also liked the fact that there are live connect sessions 4 times per module. This helps to give the feel of connection to the courses that sometimes online education makes difficult to get. It doesn’t hurt that I have been able to join the connect sessions from 3 continents so far in my 6 months of study!”

Test and share your new knowledge immediately
Any skills and knowledge you acquire can be applied to your career in real time. You can also pass on this valuable knowledge to your colleagues, helping you stand out in the workplace.

Current Online MSc International Business student, Helena Feibert, explains the benefits:

“I have gained a deeper insight into many aspects of an international business and I have been able to not only apply theories in my work activities but also analyse past events and decisions to better understand the motivation behind them,” she said.

Throughout your studies, you’ll be interacting with students and lecturers from all over the world, from various professional backgrounds. It’s a great opportunity to gain a global perspective on challenges you’re facing at work.

Advance your career today
Learning to juggle personal, professional and educational commitments can sometimes be difficult, but your return on investment – your career enhancement – should pay dividends.  

You’ll receive plenty of support when you study online, just as you would if you were on-campus. Dr Michael Shulver, Director of Online Content at Birmingham Business School, explains: “As soon as students have accepted an offer – even before they join – they can talk online with someone from our Careers Team,” he said. “There’s direct support on, for example, resume preparation and interviews.”

What are you waiting for? Join online students across the globe by enrolling to study at the University of Birmingham. Applications for our next intake are open. For more information visit our webpages.

 

This article is sponsored content brought to you by the University of Birmingham.

Published in Business and Economy

THE Senate is planning a N5 extra charge on every litre of petrol and diesel, as revenues for the proposed National Road Fund, a report of the committee on works commences.

The report of the Senator Kabiru Gaya-led committee, which was scheduled for debate on Wednesday and also on Thursday, but was shelved due to lack of time, recommended the creation of the National Road Fund, which, it said, should be sourced through extra costs on petrol and diesel.

According to the report, which was signed by 12 out of 15 members of the committee, Nigerians would be made to pay N5 more on each litre of petrol and diesel products imported into the country, as well as on locally-refined petroleum products.

The bill is equally proposing the imposition of the 0.5 per cent charges deductible from the fare paid by passengers on inter-state roads.

The Senate committee equally proposed other sources of funding for the road fund to include axle load control charges, international vehicle transit charges, road fund surcharge of 0.5 per cent chargeable on the assessed value of any vehicle imported at any time into the country, 10 per cent from toll fees on federal roads and 10 per cent of revenue accruing from lease or license or other fees pertaining to non-vehicular road usages along any federal road.

Though the report of the bill was already circulated among senators as it was listed on the Order Paper for Wednesday and Thursday, the lawmakers could not consider it this week because of time constraints.

It is most likely the report comes up for debate on Tuesday.

Senator Gaya had laid the foundation for the report on October 19, 2016, when he presented a

lead debate on the bill, submitting that the creation of road fund was the solution to problem of dilapidated roads in the country.

“At the core to the road fund solution is the concept that some of the insufficiency and unpredictability of funding (and, by extension, planning), can be mitigated by extracting additional funds from those that use the road assets in the form of a user-based charge or levy,” he had said during the debate.

Senators who signed the bill were the committee chairman, Senator Gaya; vice chairman, Clifford Odia; Bukka Aba Ibrahim, Ben Murray-Bruce, Abubakar Kyari, Mustapha Bukar, Sani Mustapha. and Mao Ohuanbunwa.

Others were Barnabas Gemade, Gilbert Nnaji, Ibrahim Danbaba and Buruji Kashamu.

Three members who failed to sign were the Senate Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye; Biodun Olujimi and Ahmed Ogembe.

Reacting, the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said any increment of the pump price of petroleum products would be resisted by members.

In a telephone conversation with Nigerian Tribune, Lagos State Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, said the union would wait for the Senate resolution to become an official policy before reacting.

He added that the union would be watchful in order not to act on misleading information, until issues became clearer.

“The alleged act is not official, because no formal announcement has been made, but the union is not resting on its oars to get the final deliberation on this imminent action,” he said.

The union leader said any programme or policy initiated to enact the bill, if passed, would be resisted with force, to provide succour to Nigerian masses battling with the current recession.

 

We’ll resist any increment —NUPENG

The Lagos State Zonal Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo in his reaction said any increment of the pump price of petroleum products, would be vehemently resisted by his union members.

In a telephone conversation with Nigerian Tribune, he said his union would wait for the senate resolution to become an official policy, before reactions would follow.

He added that the union would be watchful in order not to act on misleading information, which would necessitate a passive response for now, until issues become clearer.

He noted that any misleading information could evoke grievous reactions.

“The alleged act is not official because no formal announcement has been made but the union is not resting on its oars to get the final deliberation on this imminent action” he said.

He was however very clear on what would be the reaction to any policy that would add to the current hardship.

The union leader was unequivocal that any programmes or policies initiated to bring this unfavorable development to fruition will be resisted with full force because of its pressing negative consequences on the Nigerian masses who are still grappling with the current economic recession.

Published in Headliners
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