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•Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), in a group photograph with the Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries during the presentation of their 2016 Summit Report, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Tuesday, October 25, 2016.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said his administration would initiate a process of an upward review of pension of retired Permanent Secretaries in the State, just as he expressed the readiness of the State Government to commence massive training of civil servants starting from 2017.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja when he received the report of the 2016 Summit of Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries, said the decision to review the pension was borne out of the need to reward appropriately those who have served the State meritoriously for several years.
While alluding to the years of experience of the retired Permanent Secretaries, the Governor said his administration would tap into the wealth of experience of the members of the association and use it to help the civil service and also develop the State.
He said: “We will collaborate together more vigorously and tap into your wealth of knowledge. We want to start this with our massive plan starting from next year for capacity building for the largest civil service in Nigeria, the Lagos Civil service. We will also use it as part of our own development plan and imbibe this knowledge into the existing public service.”
Speaking on the review of pension of members of the association, Governor Ambode said the struggle for dignity of labour for civil servants had been on for a while, but that it was time for it to be actualized.
According to the Governor, “We are going to look at the pension of Permanent Secretaries positively because the whole essence is that if people retire at that level, and those coming behind us, there must be dignity in labour and then there must be some sense of fulfillment.
“That is why we must reward glowingly those who have served the State meritoriously. When we go out and see all the beautiful things in Lagos, we must realize that some people actually built those things and this is the time to celebrate and reward them,” he said.
He said over the past fifty years, Lagos had distinguished itself as the only State that has continually progressed in a manner that anybody would be proud of, adding that the progress was largely attributable to civil servants both retired and the present ones, who he described as the best in the country.
“What people don’t understand is that there is a culture of excellence in the civil service; there is a culture of resilience; there is a culture of capacity building which cannot be seen in the textbooks.
“There is also a culture of tenacity in which you have all that it takes to bring out your competences, your capacities and characters. That is what this association personifies and today, whatever it is that we have done in terms of public sector reforms is never enough because the whole essence of governance is to give back to the people the real quality service delivery that the civil service stands for,” he said.
Besides, Governor Ambode said it was a thing of pride that a member of the association is now the Governor of the State, which is a also a pride to the civil service, adding that all necessary support would be given to the association to further contribute to the development of the State.
Earlier, leader of the delegation and first Vice President of the association, Alhaji Mohammed Ajibola Olagbeyi commended Governor Ambode for his various developmental initiatives in the State, and support for the association.
While reeling out some of the recommendations in the report of the 2016 Summit of the association, Olagbeyi said the group was satisfied with the utilization of the Security Trust Fund, while it was recommended that Bi-annual security summit should be held at the Local Government level.
He said the association recommended the Inspectorate Department at Ministry of Local Government to ensure proper monitoring of Local Government to achieve targets, as well as the re-establishment of the Teaching Service Commission.
The association further recommended the reintroduction of primary health care activities and establishment of blood banks in all hospitals; strengthening of intermodal transport system, and review and harmonization of all environmental laws.
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to rebuild North-East part of the country ravaged by the terrorist group Boko Haram as he inaugurated a Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI).
The committee which was established on Wednesday in Abuja was tasked to take a quick look at the conditions of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East and take urgent remedial measures to alleviate these conditions.
The committee chaired by General T.Y. Danjuma (Rtd), according to the President, will be the apex coordinating body for all interventions in the region including those by the public, private, national and international development partners.
Its mandate is to develop the “strategy and implementation framework for rebuilding the North East region”, said a statement released by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on publicity and Media.
“The devastation to human lives and livelihoods by the insurgency in the North East is severe, with more than an estimated 20,000 persons killed, an estimated 2.4 million persons displaced and billions of naira worth of personal and public assets destroyed.
“Fortunately, the worst of the insurgency is behind us. This we owe principally to the valiant efforts of our military whose gallant efforts have significantly degraded the insurgency. With these successes, many displaced persons are willing and ready to return home to pick up their lives and move forward.
“The PCNI would not exist in perpetuity or isolation. Rather, it will exist for a period of 3 years, where after it is envisaged that a long-term regional development framework or entity may be established,” part of the statement reads.
The President stating that PCNI will be funded through federal, state and local government appropriation, as well as funds from the private sector and international development partners, called on all stakeholders to give the PCNI their maximum support to enable it to deliver on its mandate.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
The post Buhari vows to rebuild North-East, inaugurates PCNI appeared first on Ripples.
The leader of a military delegation from the Democratic Republic of Korea, Major General YO Song Chol, has commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for its exceptional roles in regional and global peacekeeping operations, which has accorded Nigerian Military positive image in the comity of global Armed Forces. He also eulogized Nigerian military’s professional competence that […]
As part of efforts in fostering a cordial relationship with the English clubs managers, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr on Tuesday held discussions in London with Super Eagles players and their coaches.
Rohr who watched Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Reading at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night, met with manager Arsene Wenger and discussed on the Gunners attacking midfielder Alex Iwobi.
The coach also on Wednesday met with John Obi Mikel alongside Chelsea coach, Antonio Conte, and technical director Mike Emenalo on the lack of playing time for the Eagles skipper.
Rohr has also indicated interest in visiting Ahmed Musa at Leicester City, Watford’s Odion Ighalo and other Nigerian born players who are drawn between playing for the Three Lions of England and the Super Eagles.
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
Nigerians have rejected the idea of selling national assets as a means of solving the present economic woes ravaging the country, as proposed by some members of the executive and some others.
While the issues is no longer dominating national discourse as it did some weeks ago, there are still many Nigerians who feel and are insisting that the sale of national asset is a must for President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, if indeed he is ready to resuscitate the economy of the country.
The proposed sale of national asset became an issue after it was formerly pronounced when Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, during the end of an inter-ministerial retreat in Abuja not long ago, said that sale of some national asset was one of the resolutions at the retreat for government to raise funds for a $15 billion fiscal stimulus plan to reflate and pull the economy from recession.
The idea was heavily supported by Nigerian Business mogul, Aliko Dangote, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senate President Bukola Saraki among others.
However, a recent poll conducted by Ripples Nigeria with question, “Should Buhari’s government sell national assets to get Nigeria out of recession,” showed a greater percentage of the Nigerian population voting against the proposed idea.
In the poll, participants had the option of voting ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘indifferent.
Approximately, 17.6 per cent would want government to sell assets, 79.8 per cent said no to it while 2.5 per cent were indifferent on the issue.
The apprehension of Nigerians opposed to the sale of national assets may not be unconnected with past experiences around sale of some national assets.
One of such experience which they still mourn and grieve over is the privatisation of the country’s power (electricity) sector, and telecommunications assets, which till date, many feel has impoverished the sectors rather bring about expected improvements.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
The post Nigerians want Buhari to dump idea of sale of national assets –Poll appeared first on Ripples.
Andy Murray insists his consistency on court is enough to overtake Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings and finish the year as world number one
The Serb currently leads the way by 2,415 points, but after a year in which he won his second Wimbledon and Olympic titles, Murray is hot on Djokovic’s heels and could take top spot before next month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Should the 29-year-old win this week’s Erste Bank Open in Vienna, he will narrow the gap on 12-time major winner Djokovic by 500 points, before the game’s finest then travel to Paris next week for the final Masters 1000 event of the season.
“I was close, if not to finish number one a few years ago, around the US Open time. But to finish the year-end world number one would be my best chance,” Murray told Sky Sports.
“If you talk about getting to number one, it’s not about individual tournaments, it’s about a 12-month period and obviously you want to be consistent and get to the latter stages of as many tournaments as possible, which I’ve done the last few months and obviously I will try and do over the next few events if it’s possible.
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
Juventus are ready to open the bidding for Liverpool and Manchester City target Mahmoud Dahoud this January.
The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder is on the radar of both Premier League clubs, who have been impressed by the 20-year-old’s Bundesliga performances.
The Syria-born German, 20, has already played 62 times in the top flight, scoring eight goals, but his future is unclear with his contract set to expire in 2018.
Added to that, his current deal reportedly contains a clause which will allow him to leave if any club bids just £8.4m for him in the summer.
However, according to reports in Italy, Juventus are not willing to wait until then to land the youngster and will offer around £13.5m for him in January.
Meanwhile, any Juve bid is expected to tempt City or Liverpool to firm up their interest with a bid of their own.
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
Senator Andy Uba led Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday expressed disappointment over repeated refusal of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, management to avail itself for investigation following petitions bothering on financial malfeasance in the agency. In his opening speech at the Committee’s sitting, he ruled out any ill-motives on part of the […]
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he has struggled to adapt to life in Manchester, labelling his living arrangement in the city as “bit of a disaster”.
The Portuguese has endured a mixed start to his stint as United boss, having lost three of his nine league games, including a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Chelsea on Sunday.
“For me it’s a bit of a disaster because I want sometimes to walk a little bit and I can’t. I just want to cross the bridge and go for a restaurant. I can’t, so it is really bad,” the former Chelsea boss told Sky Sports.
“Buy a house? I do not know, I do not know. The reality is that my daughter will be 20 next week, my son will be 17 in a couple of months.
“They are very stable. University in London. Football in London. Friends. So they are in an age where they can’t chase me like they did before. So for the first time the family lives in a different way.
“We try to feel it, we try to see the evolution of our feelings and see how we cope with the situation.”
Mourinho also expressed frustration at dealing with the constant attention of the paparazzi, reports Reuters.
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
The Nigerian Army said on Wednesday that a sizeable number of the 39 soldiers declared missing after last week suspected Boko Haram insurgents’ attack in the border town of Gashigar in Borno, had returned. Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, stated this while briefing newsmen in Maiduguri. “It is true that […]
The newly appointed Sole Administrator of Buruku Council Area, Hon. David Yimam and one Mr. Emmanuel Nyajo have been remanded in prison by a Makurdi Magistrate Court for alegged murder of a university lecturer, Aondosoo Tondu. This is even as the Benue State Command of the Nigerian Police has also declared wanted, Ortom’s Commissioner for […]
Eleven persons, including Nigerians were involved in one of the biggest sham marriage to be uncovered in West Midlands, UK. They were on October 21, 2016, jailed for a total of 52 and half years.
A Nigerian pastor and two other men are regarded as the driving forces behind the racket that involved at least 45 fake relationships received the longest sentences. 41-year-old Donald Nwachuckwu, senior pastor at the Kingdom of Godfire Church in Bilston, was jailed for eight years .
He used his position to identify West Africans in the country illegally who were prepared pay up to £6,500 for permission to stay on the bogus grounds of being married to, or in a long term relationship with, a person from the European Union living and working in this country.
An astonishing £153,000 worth of credits passed through bank accounts run by the pastor under a false name before he was arrested at his home in Titford Road, Oldbury.
Nwachukwu and others had joined forces with a Nigerian law student to cash in a valuable asset -a person’s right to stay in the UK and claim benefits. The sham marriage gang was busted in 2013, following a tip of about a dodgy wedding between a 26-year-old Nigerian Edward James and Czech Julie Ondova, 20, who already had a boyfriend and two children but had accepted £800 to play the role of bride at Stoke Register Office with a further £1,000 due on completion of the nuptials.
The both pleaded guilty at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court to facilitating a breach of immigration law. He was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment and deported on July 29, 2014. She was jailed for 16 months and kicked out of the country on completion of her sentence.
Clemence Marijeni, aged 43, from Weston Road, Bilston was the master forger who created the fake documents to support the spurious applications for European Economic Area (EEA) resident’s cards that allowed the holder to stay in the UK and claim benefits. He was jailed for ten years. The graphics expert created fake histories for the West African and person supposed to be their long term lover – mainly Czech or Slovakian and promised up to £1,800 each to take part in the plot which ran from January 2012 to March last year.
False utility bills, rent books, pay slips and employment records backed the bogus claim of a legitimate marriage or lasting relationship. Some included pictures of the pair – who were strangers – side by side in bed, fully clothed or shopping together
Olatunji George, 44, a law student who had completed a module on immigration law administered the operation. He also got 10 years behind bars. He claimed to be paid up to £1,000-a-time to prepare packages of the correct documents and fill in the necessary paperwork for the bogus resident’s card applications.
His home in Taylor Way, Tividale held an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of information when raided by Immigration Enforcement investigators who, after a tip off, halted the marriage of a 26-year-old Nigerian and a Czech woman, who both lived in Wolverhampton. She revealed that Nwachuckwu had been involved in organising the bogus wedding. Checks on the pastor revealed phone calls between him, George and Marijeni.
Jozef Puzo, aged 28, St Pauls Road, Smethwick, was jailed for five years. He provided the final piece of the jigsaw by earning up to £750-a-time finding women and men from the zech and Slovakian communities prepared to take part in the scam. Both he and George are now on the run after fleeing during their trial but were convicted and sentenced in their absence.
Also convicted of conspiracy to facilitate a breach of immigration law were: Victor Ibeh, 32, Cherene Cotterill,27, and pavel Farbar, 30: Lenka Jocova, 38, Peter Fredrick, 27, Idris Agia, 31 and Aishatu Ibrahim, 25.
However, Aishatu Ibrahi has also gone missing but was given three and a half years while Agia was arrested moments before flying out of the country to Nigeria just days ago. He was jailed for three and a half years. The other five defendants were each jailed for between two and three and a half years. All defendants were found guilty of immigration offences. Jailing them at Worverhampton Crown Court yesterday, Judge Amjad Nwas said:
“These were all willing participants in a well organised system operated for profit”
Photos of other convicts below…
Rabe Abubakar, Abuja: The leader of a military delegation from the Democratic Republic of Korea, Major General YO Song Chol has commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for its exceptional roles in regional and global peacekeeping operations which have accorded Nigerian Military positive image in the comity of global Armed Forces.
Maj. Gen. Chol also eulogised Nigerian military’s professional competence that led to the defeat of the deadly Boko Haram terrorists in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.
The Korean expressed his country’s willingness to partner with Nigerian Armed Forces in the area of counter-insurgency training and capacity building for enhancing national defence capability aimed at total eradication of extremists in the West African Sub-Region.
South Korea Major General Song Chol said, “the world is currently witnessing series of security threats from radical groups such as Boko Haram, ISIS and Al-Shabab, noting that the Korean Armed Forces has been collaborating and cooperating with other countries to fight the common enemies.”
Other areas for mutual benefit hinges on the need for transfer of technology including the building of military industrial complexes.
Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Olonisakin assured the Korean Senior military officers that “Nigerian Armed Forces is ready to partner with any country of the world that share the same ideology and aspiration to fight extremism and terrorism in order to engender global peace and tranquillity.”
The post South Korea Partners Nigeria To Fight Insurgency appeared first on NTA.ng – Breaking News, Nigeria, Africa, Worldwide.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has described the meeting by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters and former Senator, representing Ekiti Central, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, with members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) as a confirmation that the federal government and All Progressives Congress (APC) […]
Justice Babs Kuewumi of a National Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday fixed December 7 to hear a suit by ex-First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, against the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), seeking to un-freeze her account. Other respondents are Skye Bank and a former Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripama-Owei Dudafa. […]
Laolu Akande, Abuja: The Buhari administration is gratified that the various reform initiatives put in place towards instituting a positive business environment are slowly but gradually yielding some dividends as Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business remains static, halting a falling trend in the past several years.
The latest World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 ranking report released on Tuesday, October 25th which ranked Nigeria 169 out of 189 countries in the overall Ease of Doing Business rank is a positive indication that the focus and tenacity of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the nation’s enterprise and economic environment is working and on course.
While Nigeria’s country’s position remain the same as last year on the index ranking, it is encouraging that Nigeria has recorded some positive outlooks in 4 critical areas of the ranking-namely: Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Registering Property, and Access to Credit.
The objectivity and reliability of this report coming from an international development institution give weight to the milestone recorded in particular on the distance to frontier (DTF) metric, where the country’s score improved slightly from 44.02 in Doing Business 2016 to 44.63 in Doing Business 2017.
According to the World Bank report the improvements noted mean “that in the last year, Nigeria’s enterprise regulatory environment as captured by the Doing Business indicators improved slightly in absolute terms – the country is decreasing the gap with the global regulatory frontier. This is a morale booster for stakeholders involved in the efforts aimed at removing existing bottlenecks in the enterprise environment.
This observation by the World Bank is indeed a recognition of the bold initiatives and untiring work of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, particularly through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
The President in August had set-up PEBEC, which has an active collaboration with the private sector, including a Secretariat led by Mr. Seyi Bickersteth of KPMG, “to remove the bottlenecks that stifle businesses and create the right enabling environment and investment climate.”
PEBEC comprises 9 ministers, the Head of the Service and the CBN Governor as members and is mandated to give progress reports to the Federal Executive Council on a monthly basis. The Council’s secretariat with a team comprising staff from both public and private sector is supported by knowledge experts and collaborates across ministries, departments & agencies as well as with other private sector stakeholders to achieve reform objectives.
President Muhammadu Buhari is absolutely committed to scaling up its reform activities so as to continue to arrest the past decline where the country fell from No 94 in 2006 to 169 in 2016, and positively project the business climate to an enviable position in the international business community.
With the reform efforts being put in place now, indications are that in subsequent years Nigeria will scale up significantly in the ranking.
The post World Report Shows Nigeria’s Rank In Ease of Doing Business appeared first on NTA.ng – Breaking News, Nigeria, Africa, Worldwide.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Dr Yemi Kale as the Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). He was appointed in 2011 for an initial term of five years. His reappointment is for another term of five years. Media Adviser to the Minister […]
Nigeria’s naira hit its weakest level on the black market in more than a week at 460 to the dollar on Wednesday, as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s move to channel dollars to retail currency outlets failed to ease liquidity shortages, traders said. The unit had been quoted at N455 since Oct. 17 before weakening […]
News Across the World
Since my days measuring the thickness of Arctic Ocean ice from British nuclear submarines in the early 1970s, I have witnessed a stunning decline in the sea ice covering the northern polar regions — a more than 50 percent drop in extent in summer, and an even steeper reduction in ice volume. Just a few decades ago, ice 10 to 12 feet thick covered the North Pole, with sub-surface ice ridges in some parts of the Arctic extending down to ...