Employment: Reps Approve Report On Bill Prohibiting Age Discrimination

Employment: Reps Approve Report On Bill Prohibiting Age Discrimination

 

The House of Representatives has approved a bill seeking to prohibit age discrimination against job seekers in Federal Government agencies.

The lawmakers approved the bill during plenary on Wednesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

According to the sponsor and Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Rules and Business, Mr Edward Pwajok, the bill seeks to ensure that no citizen is deprived of employment on the basis of age.

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He explained that it seeks to eradicate the age barrier preventing youths from being gainfully employed in government agencies.

The lawmaker decried the situation where competent young men and women have been unable to get a job just because they graduated from university at the age of 25.

“We think that it will be unfair to deny them of the right to being employed only on the ground that because they have kept on applying for work, they will be denied the opportunity of contributing their own quota to national development,” he said.

He, however, stated that the bill exempted the security agencies, including the Nigerian Armed Forces and other paramilitary agencies where there may be requirements for some rigorous physical exercises.

FG Announces ‘Immediate Employment’ Of 168 Recipients Of The President’s NYSC Honours Award

FG To Employ 168 Recipients Of The President’s NYSC Honours Award

 

The Federal Government has offered employment to 168 people who won the President’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Honours Awards.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, announced this at the award ceremony which held on Friday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Professor Osinbajo directed that the recipients of the awards be employed immediately into the Federal Civil Service.

He also announced automatic scholarships for the awardees to undertake postgraduate studies of their choice.

The event was attended by the former Head of State and founder of the NYSC, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd).

 

Also in attendance were the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, and the Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, among other dignitaries.

The event was organised for corps members who served in the sets of 2015, 2016, and 2017.

 

The award ceremony took place at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital.

The President’s NYSC Honours Award, which was introduced in 1974, is aimed at encouraging corps members to contribute to national development by embarking on community development projects among others.

It was also instituted to reward excellence in service and to encourage coming corps members to imbibe the spirit of dignity in labour and national integration.

One of the criteria used for the selection of winners was corps members who carried out community development services diligently and completed them.

Another measure was those whose community development projects had direct and positive impacts on the communities where they served and those who were committed during the orientation course.

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Lack Of Skills Hindering Youth Employment, Says Presidential Aide

Afolabi Imokhuede

President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide has identified the employability status of Nigerian youths to be one of the major factors hindering employment in the country.

Mr Afolabi Imokhuede, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, stated this on Monday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“The majority of our challenge even with youth unemployment in Nigeria is also tied to the employability status of lots of our youths,” he said.

“Anytime we sit and engage, even as recent as two weeks ago at the Nigerian Economic Summit, the skills and competencies of our youths is always a major topic of conversation.”

Imokhuede, however, said President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, remained committed to fulfilling their campaign promises made to the youths in 2015.

But he insisted that “In as much as we have jobs constraint, the reality is that the competencies of our youths to fit into those jobs are also a consideration.”

On the Social Investment Programme, the presidential aide said, “One of the critical cardinals of that social investment is the job creation component targeted primarily at the youth between the ages of 18-35, which we’ve now come to know as the N-Power programme.”

“Now, that programme as ambitious as it sets out to equip at least about 500,000 of our unemployed youths with employable and enhancement skills and competencies over a two-year period.

“As we speak now, the first 200,000 are in their 11th month because they started December 2016 and they are volunteering their time in our public primary schools across all the 774 local governments in Nigeria, in our primary health centres and also in our agric-development programme,” he added.

Imokhuede hinted further that government plans to announce the second phase of the programme which targets 300,000 youths in November.

He said, “That is completely even different from what we do with the non-graduate programme because the N-Power programme is not only for graduates.”

“Even our non-graduates, those who have their SSCE certificates and above, are able to come into the skills competency programme both in vocational and technology and we are getting ready to roll out the vocational component in the next few weeks as well, in the very month of November,” he added.

Farmers To Get Four Million Bags Of Fertilisers – Presidency

Benue Police Challenge Farmers, Herdsmen On Agatu Peace DealFarmers in Nigeria will be getting more fertilisers before the end of 2017, as the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) will be delivering four million bags of 50kg Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) fertiliser to farmers at an affordable price.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu disclosed this at the weekend on “Hannu Ya Dawa”, an audience participation programme on FRCN Kaduna.

Mr Shehu said the 11 fertiliser blending plants in the country would be increased to 18 by the end of the year, development he said would, in turn, provide direct employment to no fewer than 50,000 Nigerians.

According to him, the projected delivery of the commodity (four million bags of fertiliser) by December is in addition to the six million bags of 50kg fertiliser already sold to farmers since the initiative started earlier in 2017.

‘”The problem of the shortage of fertilisers and its attendant high cost plaguing the nation’s agricultural production, seemingly intractable for decades, have been resolved following the successful execution of the mandate of the PFI.

“Since the implementation of the Initiative, the six million 50kg bags of NPK fertilisers were purchased by state governments and agro-dealers across the country,” he said.

The presidential spokesman noted that the production of locally-blended fertiliser had saved the Federal Government about $150 million in 2017, hitherto spent on foreign exchange; and N60 billion in budgetary provisions for fertiliser subsidy.

He said the successful implementation of the PFI had made fertiliser available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and in time for the 2017 wet season farming.

“Last year, Daily Trust newspaper reported that a bag of 50kg NPK fertiliser was sold at N10,900 in Benue State. Today the same commodity is being sold at about N6,500 in different locations across the country while the government-approved price is N5,500.”

Quoting the same newspaper report, Shehu said that a bag of maize which was sold at N21,000 last year is being sold at an average of N10,000.

“This is an indication that the initiative has enhanced food security as a result of the increase in food production.

“There is also a reduction in food-induced inflation while economic activities across the agriculture value chain are very impressive,” he said.

Senator Tinubu Congratulates Nigerian Workers

Senator TinubuSenator Oluremi Tinubu has joined in felicitating with Nigerian workers as they mark the Workers Day, appreciating the “immense contributions” they have made to national growth.

In a statement on May 1, the Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, said that Nigerian workers have formed a formidable force in the growth of Nigeria with their commitment to duty and “they must be proud of their contributions”.

The statement reads; “As a nation we must continue to acknowledge and celebrate their selfless service and their overall contributions to the development of Nigeria.

“As the nation shares and rejoices with you for the hard work, patience and patriotism on May 1st of every year, it is my resolve as member of the 7th Senate and Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity to work to ensure that the Nigerian Worker is adequately remunerated and his welfare maintained.

“I will continue to advocate for adequate protection of the Nigerian Worker against industrial hazards.

“In spite the of threats and dangers workers face in the discharge of their national duties and the erroneous security challenges that has crippled our economy over the years due to bad leadership, our workers have remained dedicated and undaunted to the position of government and senate.

“As we celebrate, I congratulate Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), they deserve commendation for uniting and giving a sense of direction to Nigerian Workers . Indeed, the labour of our heroes past has been uplifted.”

Senator Tinubu noted that the 7th Senate had passed into law, legislation intended to encourage, protect and improve the welfare of workers as well as sustaining their standards.

The National Minimum Wage Act and the Nigerian Workers Safety Bills were among the legislation, which she hoped would be sustained as Nigerians usher in a new era of democratic dispensation.

Child Rights: Govt Advised To Implement Existing Laws Not Create New

Child RightsThe Nigerian Government has been advised to pay more attention to implementing laws that protect the rights of children in the society, rather than creating new laws.

Erhumwunse Eghosa of the SOS Children’s Village, made this plea during a conversation on Rubbin Minds in commemoration of the International Day Of the Girl Child, where he noted that the issue of protecting the girl child needs to be put on the front burner internationally.

“If you want to develop a nation, or develop the world, you need to invest in the development of children, especially the girl child,” he said.

He explained that by empowering the girl child, 40% of the job of development would have been done, considering their roles in all facets of development, starting from their roles in raising kids.

He highlighted the need to provide social protection, employment, healthcare and education, with emphasis on the implementation of the laws that would ensure that all these are provided.

“It is not just enough for us to pass beautiful laws and policies. What is utmost is how much we implement these laws and how much we encourage the right mechanism that will help us to ensure that these laws and policies are being implemented.”

The condition of the family backgrounds, he noted, is also an integral factor when talking about the rights of the girl child to education as there must be enabling environment for this to happen from the home front.

While Lagos State has taken the lead in protecting children in line with the law, many states are far behind as the Child Rights Act, he said, is still far behind in achieving its purpose because implementation has not been taken seriously.

Eghosa explained that when the focus of families is on trying to fight poverty, it would be hard for them to understand why their children should not engage in activities like hawking.

He advised that Government needs to appreciate the belief that implementing the Child Rights Act would require sensitizing families on why their children should not be on the streets irrespective of their needs.

He added that Government also must do more in creating economic empowerment for its citizens.

Moving forward, he recommended the creation of a database of all Nigerian citizens as this is the foundation of planning for a society. He added that communities should be encouraged to play major roles in making sure that child rights protection is enforced among the people.

Road Transport Workers Partner PAN On Made In Nigeria Cars

MUSA 1In a bid to patronise locally manufactured cars in the country and encourage local content, the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has concluded plans to buy cars produced locally by Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (PAN).   

The National President of the Association,  disclosed this during a visit of the association’s national executive members to PAN, in Kaduna.

He stated that the partnership with PAN was in order to support the federal government’s Automotive Development Plan which was launched to promote investment in the automobile sector, as well as create employment for the youths.

While appealing to Nigerians to patronise made in Nigerian cars, he also called on the federal government to put a total ban on importation of used vehicles into Nigeria in order to encourage local production.

The managing Director of PAN, Ibrahim Boyi commended the road transport workers for showing such patriotism and urged other corporate organisations and government agencies to emulate the association, assuring them that the company has the capacity to meet the demands of Nigerians.

Industrialist Calls On Government, Private Sector To Provide Employment

The National President, Association of Micro Industries of Nigeria, Muhammed Mustafa has called on the government to provide an enabling environment for the private to help in job creation for the youths.vlcsnap-2014-05-01-09h55m35s244

He mentioned that the government has an obligation in helping  the private sector to gain profit which will add to the expansion of business after which employment process follows.

While speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Mustafa questioned the outcome of the Skilled Acquisition Programme, if it grantees employments, he compared Nigeria to Asian countries, noting that these countries have 40% of their government’s procurement that must be supplied by the Small Business Communities.

He commended the Local Content Law for helping his association in funding small businesses but emphasized the need for stakeholders in the country to help fill the gap of the government, “the government alone cannot do everything”

He also noted that there are 38 thousand small business in India but are all controlled by a central body to enable the growth of the small and medium enterprises in their country.

Mr. Mustafa stated that the agriculture sector drives a lot of opportunity for employment, adding that in agriculture there is a lot of money in canning of food which his association is helping to drive.

He advised the private sector and stakeholders to take responsibility in job creation and not leave the load for the government.

 

We Created 195,534 Jobs in 2012 – FG

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku on Wednesday said a total of 195,534 jobs were generated in 2012 by the Federal Government via several contracts awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Minister disclosed this at the end of the weekly FEC meeting.

He said, “In 2012, the Federal Government generated 195,534 new jobs from the various contracts awarded by the FEC. It is the practice that ministers must say how many jobs they will create through contracts before they are approved by the council.”

He said 212 cases of industrial disputes were referred to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity under its arbitration role. 25 of these cases are going for arbitration while efforts aimed at resolving 114 cases were still ongoing.

According to Mr Maku, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu proactively engaged with labour unions thereby averting many trade disputes that could have cost the government heavy economic losses.

Similarly, the ministry also embarked on skills acquisition in favour of workers and labour leaders to create skills needed for amicable resolution of conflicts, indicating, however, that inadequate funding militated against many of its efforts.

This is also the lot of the FCT which is indebted to contractors to the tune of N420 billion over an unspecified period of time.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Muhammed said lack of adequate funding continued to slow down the administration, necessitating its partnering the Ministry of Finance to work out ways of floating bonds after establishing a sound framework so that the debts could be paid.

He said, “We have challenges of finance but we have developed robust business plan. We are heavily indebted to the tune of N420 billion. That is why we are leveraging on Public Private Partnership (PPP). Eight districts will be developed through land swap.

“I have craved the indulgence of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and she has agreed, and the council has noted our recommendation to float an FCT development fund that we can float bond after we have established a sound legal framework with the establishment of FCT revenue board that we can task to float that bond so that we can pay our debt and do new projects and programmes.

“We are also planning to concession the airport and Kubwa roads. Our major goals is to provide efficient framework for the FCT and ensuring framework for waste management is our priority for this year.

“We are also maintaining a robust relationship with security agencies and neighbouring state governments on security.”

Unemployment Is Not A Headache For Us – Aregbesola

The Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, has challenged the federal and state governments to map out strategies for tackling  youth unemployment in the country.

Shortly after participating in an endurance trek with 20,000 Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) cadets, trekking 5 kilometers in Osogbo, the state capital, Governor Aregbesola pointed out that service to the society which is the cardinal principle of life is dignifying and not humiliating.

He encouraged the cadets to make the best of the two-year scheme which is planned to help improve their lives as well as the economy of the state.

The members of the second batch of the OYES cadets recruited from all the local government areas in the state are expected to serve in various fields ranging from traffic marshals to sanitation coordinators, Green Gang Paramedics and teaching service between year 2013 and 2015.

Umuahia Hosts Made In Abia Product Exhibition

The first Made In Abia Product Exhibition has kicked off at Ibeku High School, Umuahia North Local Government Area, South East Zone.

The exhibition, staged by the Abia State Government, is in a bid to ensure development in the state’s industry by encouraging indigenous manufacturers and locally made goods with an aim to create wealth thereby discouraging any form idleness among the citizenry.

Goods on display at the exhibition include an helicopter manufactured by an indigene of the state and green Ogbono seed cultivated by a farmer from Isikwuato  Local Government Area (LGA) with assistance of Abia Government  Agricultural Programme.

Made in Aba shoes  assembled from the Twelve Clusters Shoe Making in Aba, hand made Akwete cloth from Ukwa East LGA, as well as locally made cassava mill engine among others.

The green Ogbono seed which can stay for one year without decay, Aba made shoes, traditional herbal practitioners, were displayed on the Abia Ministry of Agriculture stand with a lot more agricultural product ranging from coconut, pawpaw among others.

In his address, the state Governor; Theodore Orji said that the exhibition is to encourage the production of locally made goods and he charged the creativity of manufacturers to make goods to international standard.

“The Abia state exhibition would proffer the avenue and opportunity for the local manufacturers to interact with the government and table their needs if needs be which would encourage indigenous product,” said Obinna Ekwuribe, a private investor.

The event also showcased an indigenous manufacturer who had a cassava mill that can produce 20 tonnes of cassava flour and another for cassava chips and garri respectively.

 

Kenya To Build $14.5bn Konza Technology City

President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya has launched a $14.5bn (£9.1bn) project to build an IT business hub named Konza Technology City.

The new city dubbed “Africa’s Silicon Savannah,” located 37 miles from the capital; Nairobi will take 20 years to build.

Despite Kenya’s usually divisive politics, the project which has the backing of all political parties is expected to create more than 20,000 IT jobs by 2015, and more than 200,000 jobs by 2030.

Konza, a part of the government’s ambitious Vision 2030 will take advantage of the growing number of software developers in the East African nation.

“It is expected to spur massive trade and investment as well as create thousands of employment opportunities for young Kenyans in the information communications technology (ICT) sector,” President Mwai Kibaki said at the ceremony to launch the construction, adding it would be a “game-changer” for the country’s development.

He called on domestic and foreign investors to take advantage of Konza’s “tremendous opportunities”.

According to the Konza information website, the city wants to attract business process outsourcing, software development, data centres, disaster recovery centres, call centres and light assembly manufacturing industries.

A university campus focused on research and technology as well as hotels, residential areas, schools and hospitals will also be built.

Konza Technopolis Development Authority has been charged with the responsibility to oversee the building of the IT hub, which will be built in four phases.