South Africa Politics: Unions Ask Zuma To Resign   

Jacob Zuma, South Africa South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, is under pressure to step down from office as some citizens say he is no longer the right person to lead the country.

The latest call is coming from the country’s powerful trade union federation, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), which has about 1.8 million members and constitutes a key part of the governing alliance.

Mr Zuma has faced intense criticism following a major cabinet reshuffle which included the sacking of trusted Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan.

That decision led to South Africa’s credit rating being cut to junk status by standard and poor’s, putting more pressure on a troubled economy.

APC Chairman Calls For Ceasefire Between Senate And Executive

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Oyegun, has called for a ceasefire between the Senate and the Executive.

Mr Oyegun, made the appeal after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee with the APC caucus in the Senate.

The meeting which lasted for more than three hours, sought to address the acrimony between the Senate and the Executive.

The Chairman therefore called on the government at all levels, to maintain respect and civility with each other.

Also speaking to journalists after the meeting, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the Senate has resolved to focus on issues which would benefit the country.

Group Advocates Investment In Tourism For Economic Diversification

The Federal and State Governments have been urged to explore opportunities in tourism, as an investment option that would help boost Nigeria’s revenue generation in the face of the current economic recession.

The appeal was made at the 47th annual conference of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), which held at the Imo International Convention Center in Owerri, the state capital.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Growing and Diversifying the National Economy: The Real Estate Imperative’, the National President of NIESV, Bolarinde Ajayi, stressed the need for government to look into tourism and real estate development.

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, George Eche, commended the association for deeming it worthy to choose the state as the rallying point.

The Governor said his administration since its inception, has done well in contributing its quota to the growth of real estate and tourism, considering the numerous infrastructural development it has achieved.

“As I declare this event open by the privilege given to me by our Governor, Rochas Okorocha, we appreciate and commend the leadership of this great association for choosing Imo state for the first time after 47 years of this conference – this practically tells us your association loves Imo state and we welcome you on behalf of Imo people”.

He further stated that: “if there is any profession that should be thankful to any government for uplifting their values then the NIESV should be thankful to the Okorocha-led administration. This is such that since the advent of this administration, the spate of development in all nooks and crannies of the state has made estate surveyors and valuers busier than their counterparts in other states of the federation; our Ministry of Lands is also the busiest in the east of the Niger” he added.

Also speaking, the Chief of staff to the Imo state Governor, Uche Nwosu, stated that tourism is a catalyst to economic growth.

He maintained that the importance of the estate surveyors and real estate practitioners cannot be overemphasized in management of the tourism sector.

Nwosu further stated that many countries depend on tourism as a major means of economic prosperity and if Nigeria can invest in the tourism sector and seek partnership with the Nigeria institute of estate surveyors and valuers, it could help the economy.

“As we as a nation continue to lament about the fall in oil prices in the world market, do we ask ourselves what next? What if there is no oil? Do we have to fold our hands and see things go bad, as a state, do we have to keep waiting for federal allocation until we pay salaries and pensions? I think we need to go back to the drawing board and think about how we can recover and boost the economy through tourism.

“As professionals, NIESV is very key to this project and if every country or state can be well coordinated to harness the tourism potentials embedded in the land, and also partner with estate surveyors and valuers, we might have a way out” he said.

The four-Day conference came to an end with a dinner and presentation of awards.

Malabu Oil: Criminal Trial To Begin June 8, 2017

Arik Air Takeover: Court Fixes May 15 For RulingAn Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Danlami Senchi, has fixed June 8, 2017 for the commencement of criminal trial against Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited and others.

The others involved include: Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, ENI SPA, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete and former Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke.

Also joined in the case filed by the Federal Government are: Aliyu Abubakar, Ralph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujatti Stefeno, Burrafato Sebastiano and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

In the three-count charge preferred against the 11 defendants, Shell Petroleum Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, ENI SPA and some directors of the oil companies were accused of giving out $801 million ‎for the illegal acquisition of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.

The Federal Government also accused Mr Etete, Mr Adoke and others of illegally receiving the sum of $801 million to grant Oil Prospecting Licence 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas Limited.

Yobe Youths Advocate Passage Of ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill

youths, turkish govt, NigeriansThe youth in Yobe state have staged an advocacy walk to the State House Of Assembly in Damaturu, the state capital, north east Nigeria, seeking the passage of the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill.

This, according to them is aimed at reducing the age qualification for youths aiming to contest elective offices in Nigeria.

The peaceful campaign walk which started from the Damaturu township stadium and ended at the State House Of Assembly complex, brought together vibrant youths across the state.

They were received by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Honourable Adamu Dala-Dogo (rtd).

The leader of the team, Mohammed Dauda Gombe, speaking at the event, stated that the main purpose of the bill is to promote increased youth participation in the political processes.

“No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a time. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts itself from its youth severs its lifetime.

“If the bill is passed into law, it will provide a platform for all adult citizens to participate as both voters and candidates, thereby enhancing resourcefulness of young Nigerians to improve governance and development at the local, state and National levels.

“It will deepen inter-generational dialogue and knowledge transfer, increasing patriotism and reducing youth involvement in violence and political thuggery,” Gombe said.

Responding to the plea of the youths, Mr Dala-Dogo, appreciated them for the initiative and assured them of the Assembly’s backing whenever the bills get to them.

He also called on political office holders and the government at all levels to accord the youths their rightful place in the scheme of things.

The speaker further revealed that the Yobe Assembly, under his leadership would be in full support of the ‘Not Too Young to Run’ campaign.

He therefore urged the advocates that the campaign should not just stop in the state but be taken to the national level.

“I implore you to take this campaign across the whole states of the federation and I can assure you that the moment it comes to our table, we will give it the desired attention to see that the bills see the light of the day” Mr Dala-Dogo said.

Plateau Assembly: Saleh Shehu Replaces Yusuf Gagdi As Deputy Speaker

Plateau Assembly: Saleh Shehu Replaces Yusuf Gagdi As Deputy Speaker The Plateau State House of Assembly on Tuesday, elected a new Deputy Speaker, Saleh Shehu, after the impeachment of the former Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Gagdi.

This follows a letter of no confidence in his leadership style, written and endorsed by 18 out of the 24 House members to the speaker and read on the floor of the House.

At the plenary, majority leader, Henry Yunkwap, presented the impeachment notice signed by the 18 members, which was confirmed and verified by the clerk of the Assembly.

Mr  Shehu, representing Dengi constituency was immediately sworn in to resume his functions as a principal officer of the Plateau State House Of Assembly.

Speaking on the impeachment, the former Deputy Speaker, explained that his removal had nothing to do with any indictment whatsoever, rather it was the wish of his colleagues.

“From the day I was elected, I saw it coming because I am one among equal, when I was elected I was not elected as the Deputy Speaker. I have no grudge against any member or members that signed the impeachment process. It is the decision of the House and I am most grateful that I was not removed for committing any fraud or mismanagement, I was removed simply because they don’t want me anymore.”

Mr Gagdi was elected under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to represent Kantana constituency in the state House of Assembly but defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress later in 2016.

According to him, the leadership tussle rocking the PDP was the reason for his defection to the APC.

Eight School Children Killed In Japanese Avalanche

japanese-avalancheEight Japanese high school students are feared dead, after they were caught in an avalanche at a ski resort.

The avalanche which occurred near Nasu in Tochigi prefecture, injured over 30 people.

According to Japan’s news agency, about 70 people including students and teachers from several schools were in the area at the time of the avalanche.

The children were taking part in a large scale mountain climbing event involving seven schools.

The area around the town of Nasu has several ski resorts and the region has received heavy snow over the past two days and avalanche warnings had been in effect.

However, rescue efforts are under way but bad weather and heavy snowfall have hampered the operation.

NIFAAS To Help Farmers In Nasarawa Familiarise With Modern Techniques

nasarawa-3The Nigeria Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (NIFAAS), has taken steps to help extension workers in Nasarawa state familiarize with modern agricultural trends, to enable them step down knowledge to rural farmers.

To this end, an Information Communication Technology, ICT workshop was organised for the farmers in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

According to the forum, the agricultural sector has now taken a technological dimension hence the need to introduce the development to farmers.

Speaking at the workshop, National Vice President of the Forum, Dele Tologbo, said it has become imperative for extension workers to update them in ICT, so as to be able to compete with their contemporaries in the agricultural sector.

“The reason for this workshop is to enhance how to be efficient with regards to your work, how to do the work better and how to transfer the knowledge to the farmers in order to improve the value chain with the new current demand all over the world”

He said membership with the forum will enable farmers access grants for research and increase versatility on the sector, through internet interaction with agricultural experts globally and among others.

The programme manager of Nasarawa Agricultural Development Program (NADP), Stephen Kpama, noted that the workshop would go a long way in broadening the horizon of extension workers on best agricultural practices.

“This is the right thing to do for us to know better on how to deal with our farmers since the extension workers are the link to the rural farmers”

He further urged them to transfer the knowledge gained to farmers and reiterated that the era of analogue agricultural practices no longer exist.

The participants sued for sustenance of such programs, noting that it has opened their eyes to modern techniques.

Kaduna APC Passes Vote of Confidence On Buhari, El-Rufai

APC National Chairman Assures Citizens Of Stable LeadershipThe enlarged caucus of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in Kaduna state, has passed a vote of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai for their policy directions and style of governance.

These were parts of resolutions reached at the end of a meeting of the state caucus, held in the state capital.

The essence of the meeting was to appraise the performance of the APC led administration in delivering good governance to the people in the state, and discuss issues facing the party and how to move it forward.

The caucus dismissed insinuations that there was division among its members, but insisted that they are united and therefore won’t be distracted by those who hide under guise of criticism to pull down the APC government in the state.

In attendance at the meeting are all the major stakeholders of the party in the state including members of the state exco of the party, Governor El-Rufai and his deputy, Bala Bantex, Speaker of the Kaduna state House of Assembly, Aminu Shagali, the Senator representing Kaduna North, Otman Hunkuyi, National Assembly Members as well as local government and ward executives among others.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, governor El-Rufai’s Special Adviser on Political Matters and Inter Governmental relations, Uba Sani, maintained that the era of paying or rewarding blackmailers is over in the state, saying the Kaduna APC has no division or faction.

Sani, stressed that the present government under governor El-Rufai, is transforming the state and not to share money to politicians who criticize or blackmail for settlements.

“Kaduna state APC caucus meeting was well attended by governor Nasir El-Rufai, Deputy governor, Bala Yusuf Bantex, Senator representing Kaduna North zone, Suleiman Hunkuyi, the entire State House of Assembly leadership and members.

“All members of the caucus are here. We discussed the progress of our party and all our discussions went well.

“In Kaduna state, we have only one APC, we discussed on how to reposition the party for service delivery to the people of Kaduna State”, Sani expressed.

The stakeholders, including Speaker of Kaduna state House of Assembly, Aminu Shagali, said that they would remain united and ensure that the APC emerges victorious in the forthcoming local government election slated for July 2017.

They also commended governor El-Rufai for his memo to President Buhari which they note was done in good faith and aimed at moving the nation forward.

“Our elders also gave us useful suggestions; we don’t have any faction or division in Kaduna State APC.

“Our party leadership at ward level to state is intact, so we don’t have faction. You know this government does not settle or pay people for settlements. We are not going to settle anybody who disagrees or criticize the government.

“The governor has told us clearly and he was elected to develop Kaduna State and not to share money. In Kaduna State, even a blind man knows that there is transformation going on in the state”.

With four months to the local government election in the state, stakeholders at this meeting said they would not be distracted by any group whose interest would be to cause crisis in the party.

Edo Govt. To Partner With NIW Towards Welding

Governor Obaseki Flags Off NIPDS In Edo State
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

The Edo state government, has agreed to partnership with the Nigerian Institute of Welding (NIW), towards a fabrication village in the state.

The Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this when he received a delegation from the institute on a working visit to the Government House in Benin City, the Edo state capital.

Obaseki lauded the institute for its numerous achievements in the areas of welding and fabrication, adding that the state would cash in on its technologies and vocational initiatives to create a fabrication village in the state.

He said, the fabrication village would be situated near a power generation station which would also allow for small and medium scale businesses to thrive contributing to economic growth.

“We are repositioning our state and NIW is a key plank for this revolution.

“Edo would like to go into a Memorandum of Understanding with the institute on how to accomplish a fabrication village.

“We have registered about 40,000 in our database for unemployed youths in the state”. Obaseki stated.

Obaseki further stressed that the government has plans to promote entrepreneurship among the youths.

“We will select those who are interested in welding and train them.

“We believe that when they have gone through the training and start their own welding business, it will tame the quest to travel abroad in search for greener pasture”, he stated.

The head of NIW delegation, Dr. Solomon Edeberi, said the body is seeking cooperation from the state government, in areas of a fabrication yard and overall industrialization of the state.

He maintained that a fabrication village in the state will boost job creation and promote a clean environment.

Obiano Tasks Anambra Judges On Speedy Dispensation Of Justice

Willie Obiano, Boundary Dispute, EnuguThe Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has appealed to the 28 High Court Judges and the four Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal, to assist in ensuring speedy dispensation of justice in cases being brought before them in the state.

The governor stated this during the swearing in of two High Court Judges at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, where he expressed worry that over 75 percent of inmates in prisons across the state are all on awaiting trial list.

A former Chief Registrar, Mrs. Ngozi Oyeka and a Private Legal Practitioner, Mr. Sylvester Odili, were the two newly judges sworn in, bringing to 28 number of High Court Judges in Anambra state.

Addressing the newly appointed judges, the governor stated that the appointment would help to reposition the state judiciary to effectively address the problem of delayed dispensation of justice.

“I am very proud of this day because in three years of my administration, I was able to bring the judges rank to ten.

“I stand to be corrected if any other governor has had the privilege of signing the certificates of that number of judges in three years.

“This is a landmark achievement and therefore we expect that with your number, now 32, including the judges of the Customary Court of Appeal, so with this massive number, I expect that the challenges we are having with awaiting trial will be solved significantly.

“Over 75 percent of our prisons are occupied by people awaiting trial.

“It is not the fault of judges alone, we are also re-organizing the Police Department of Prosecution to be up to beat in respect of the document they bring to the court”, the governor lamented.

Responding to the appointment, one of the newly appointed Judges, Mrs. Oyeka, expressed delight at the appointment and assured that as a call to service, they would discharge their duties with diligence and commitment.

However, the governor, also assured of the state government working out measures with the police to expedite action in the preparation of case documents, to enable the courts to have clear evidences that will support prompt dispatch off cases before them.

All I Want To Do Is Make Music Professionally- TQuest

tquestTemitope Sholeye, popularly known as TQuest, says although he was raised in a family that places much importance on education, all he wants to do is to make music professionally.

Raised in an environment where the new school Nigerian Hip-Hop music was nurtured, TQuest revealed that he had his musical dream rekindled after meeting with the likes of ID Cabasa way back when the Coded Tune imprint was a rave within Nigeria’s mainstream Music.

Speaking to Channels Television, He narrated how he started his musical career.

He said that he grew up in Akoka and his first encounter with Music production was after a friend of his, invited him to visit a producer down the street.

“We visited the producer and that was the first time I met ID Cabasa and 9ice at the studio,” he said.

That gave him an opportunity to have collaborate with Nice for the first time.

Speaking of the journey so far, TQuest said his family insisted that he got a degree first, before thinking about making music professionally.

He then made the decision to leave music for a while just to please his parents.

This however posed a key challenge to him as he was denied their full support.

Thereafter, he went on to get a degree in Business Administration, after which, his father still did not give his support.

According to him, it was until he released a song, ‘One Love’, where he featured J-Won, that his father finally approved of his music career.

“When he heard my song, ‘One Love’ on the radio, he called me and said they just finished playing your song and I heard the whole EP, and the presenter mentioned your name.

“He asked, is it the same TQuest and I said Yes, after a while I showed him the video and he actually liked it.

“Ever since then, he noticed that I don’t just want to sing because I have been seeing people singing or I like their swag but, because I have a message to pass.” he said.

The music video for his his recent track, “Lord I Pray”, has been lauded for shying way from the lewd trend dominating the industry and he credits this to the conscious efforts he makes to keep his content clean.