Okorocha Recommends Reduction In Govt. Workforce

Okorocha, workforceThe Governor of Imo State, Mr Rochas Okorocha, says for government to achieve any meaningful impact on the lives of Nigerians, there must be a reduction of its workforce.

Okorocha told Channels Television Johannesburg Bureau Chief, Betty Dibia, in South Africa that the removal of fuel subsidy and government’s announced palliatives do not necessarily mean states will earn more.

He highlighted one of the issues which he believes has affected the economy of states.

“The problem we have in Nigeria is that we have recurrent welfarism states and there is no capital aspect of the project. So what you do every day is salaries.

“A situation where you collect 2.6 billion and you have to pay 5.6 billion, so you have to look for 3billion every month (borrowed) is just not feasible.

“The number of workers in the civil service can as well go to the productive sector of the economy but nobody wants to hear this.

“We should create jobs but civil service jobs is not job creation, it is job creation on the basis of sentiment and politics.

“If we want to create real jobs, lets create jobs in the agricultural sector and the manufacturing sector. If we can take 70% of the population of the workers in the civil service and bring them to the manufacturing sector, then their salaries can go to 200,000 to 500,000.”

He explained further why states should not be asked to pay the 56,000 Naira minimum wage across the board as being demanded by the labour unions.

“I don’t believe that this salary across the board is the right thing. Lagos is a very rich state, they can afford to pay 100,000. Akwa-Ibom can afford to pay 200,000 and so many states in Nigeria

“Imo State gets about 2.6 billion Naira every month when other states get about 13 billion. So what I get in one year is what some states get in one month.

“What the entire South-East collects in one month is not up to what Rivers collects in one month. So we cannot put everybody on the same level, it should be according to their states.

“Then if we must pay that money – 56,000 – 100,000 as the case may be, we must address the issue of this overpopulated workforce,” he said.


Xenophobic Attacks: South African Government Promises To Prosecute Culprits

xenophobic Attacks
South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba

 The South African government has promised to deal with those behind the recent looting of businesses, and xenophobic attacks on African immigrants.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, says 300 people are already being questioned for their roles, and if found guilty, the strength of the law will come down hard on them.

Channels Television correspondent in South Africa, Betty Dibia, who was at the press briefing on Sunday, also reports the South African President Jacob Zuma has cancelled a planned state visit to Indonesia in order to attend to the lingering domestic situation in the country.

He visited some of the camps for displaced victims in Kwazulu-Natal province on Sunday afternoon where he commiserated with them.

There is expected to be a big townhall meeting on Monday in the province where the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, will host other traditional rulers and government official to discuss the situation.

A Nigerian mechanic’s workshop was among other foreign owned businesses affected by the violence.

The strong approach by the South African government is expected to help curtail the xenophobic attacks spreading across the country.

On Thursday, Nigerian lawmakers advised the Presidency to recall the High Commissioner to South Africa to discuss the situation and take swift action to save Nigerians in the KwaZulu-Natal Province that has seen days of protest against foreigners and xenophobic attacks.

On Friday, South Africa’s High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, told Channels Television that the South African government was having talks with traditional, religious and community leaders to see how they could address the issues from the root.

Chibok Abduction: PDP Chairman Berates State Government’s Approach

Adamu MuazuThe National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Muazu, believes that the Borno State Governor as the Chief Security Officer of his state should do more in the search for the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television and his first major interview since becoming the Chairman of the PDP, Mr Muazu feels that the Chibok situation has been used as a political tool.

The PDP Chairman spoke with our correspondent, Betty Dibia in South Africa.

He made reference to the warnings that preceded the Chibok incident which should have prevented the State Governor from allowing the school to host exams but which he refused to heed.

Muazu cited warnings by the Ministry of Education and the West African Examination Council, WAEC, expressing their fears and the view that the school was not suitable but which the State Government met with assurances of adequate security, only for the attack to be successfully carried out by the insurgents.

He, therefore, condemned the idea of the Governor traveling abroad and speaking to foreign media organizations and divulging what he saw as issues of Nigeria’s governance.

Network Africa: Terrorism, Murder, Animals On Diet, Questions Seeking Answers

Abuja bomb survivorThis edition of Network Africa starts with a question begging for an answer; is the security situation in Nigeria getting worse?

At about 6:45 on Monday morning, a bomb went off in Nyanya Park in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, leaving 75 people dead and 216 others injured.  We take a look at how that terrible ordeal took place and also hear the accounts of some of the survivors.

Just as the nation struggled to recover from that dastardly ordeal, 200 final year students of an all-girl government school in Chibok, Borno State were abducted by gunmen who stormed the school in the dead of the night, ordering all the girls out of their hostels into four lorries.

The incident was one of such great concern that it was a major issue for discussion by delegates at the ongoing National Conference.

Thankfully Nigeria is not alone in the fight against terrorism, as the US Ambassador to Nigeria; James Entwistle, has reassured Nigeria of the United States’ wish to assist the nation in the fight.

Meanwhile, there is another question emanating from South Africa; is Oscar Pistorius using his emotions as a cover up? Chief Prosecutor, Gerrie Nel has consistently accused the athlete standing trial for the murder of his girlfriend of doing so with his continuous crying and vomiting in the court room.

On Wednesday April 16, Forensics Expert, Roger Dixon, continued to testify at Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.

He took the stand after the Paralympian concluded seven days of testimony with him reading a Valentine’s card from his girlfriend.

Just like he did from the start, the athlete denied intentionally killing Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14, 2013.

Economic Implication Of Ebola Outbreak

Network Africa, in its last edition, featured the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Ghana with over a hundred lives lost, most of them in Guinea.

In our report on this edition, there is some ray of light as the number of deaths caused by Ebola has slowed dramatically in Guinea and the outbreak is nearly under control.

According to the country’s health ministry, the latest toll is 106, down from the 159 confirmed and suspected cases of the virus since the outbreak began in February.

The new cases being monitored were people who had been in contact with those who had fallen ill but were not themselves unwell.

Unfortunately apart from the loss of life, there is another consequence of the Ebola virus and it’s the economy.

Since When Did Crocodiles Go Green?

On the lighter side of life, crocodiles are eating healthy now.

Did you ever imagine a time when you would find crocodiles eating vegetables and supposedly enjoying it?

Well that has happened about 400 kilometers northwest of Harare, Nyanyana crocodile farm, which is home to about 50,000 Nile crocodiles.

They are being fed healthy for a reason and that you would need to find out in the report, but be sure the reptiles are going green for a valuable reason.

Network Africa: Nigeria Now Africa’s Largest Economy As Rwandans Remember Genocide

Network AfricaOn this edition of Network Africa, the growth of Nigeria’s economy hits the limelight as it overtakes South Africa as Africa’s largest economy.

Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as the continent’s largest economy after a rebasing calculation almost doubled its Gross Domestic Product to more than 500 billion US dollars.

The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics confirmed that GDP for 2013 in Africa’s top oil producer was over 80 trillion Naira, up from the 42.3 trillion estimated before the rebasing.

Oscar Pistorius’ harsh grilling from the prosecution in his murder trial on Wednesday also features on this edition, with state prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, vowing to “get to the truth” as he questioned Pistorius about the killing of his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day 2013.

The prosecutor immediately boxed the double-amputee athlete into a corner in what could best be described by the defense as an “ambush.” Our correspondent, Betty Dibia in South Africa gives us details on the trial.

The UN World Health Organization has warned that this is “one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks they have ever dealt with” and it could take another four months to contain.

Therefore, to shed more light on the Ebola outbreak, Amarachi Ubani spoke to the Voice of America’s Carole Pearson, and it is quite revealing.

Stories From Rwanda

The past week has been highly significant for the people of Rwanda, as they remembered the victims of the genocide which ended the lives of at least 800,000 people in the space of 100 days.

The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, along with the UN Secretary, Ban Ki Moon, lit a torch which is to burn for 100 days, representing the number of days during which the genocide took place.

Also, France has acknowledged mistakes in its dealings with Rwanda, but has repeatedly shut down accusations that it trained militias to take part in the massacres.

Still in Rwanda, brother and sister, Chance Tubane and Patience Nduwawe, have chosen not to be victims of their circumstance.  They run one of Rwanda’s most popular websites.

They combine their skills in I.T. and Communication and in 2011, they launched tohoza.com – an online directory and advertisement platform, where Rwandans can post or search for jobs and houses, sell or rent anything, and even look for partners.

Their site has literally become Rwanda’s second most visited website, turning its young founders into widely known entrepreneurs.