Not less than 8,605 participants were registered in Osun state for the Federal Government’s initiative to reduce the menace of unemployment, coined N-Power.
The Permanent Secretary, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Fatai Kolawole, disclosed this on Thursday, as he commended the federal government for the laudable stride.
According to him, a total number of 10,042 participants registered for the programme in the state, out of which 8,605 eventually turned up for the screening exercise and onward deployment to various areas of assignment.
Fatai explained that the board, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has embarked on deployment of corps to various areas of assignment and proper education for participants.
He described the scheme as timely and a great complement to the teaching staff in the state, especially at the secondary schools, saying it has afforded the sector ample opportunity of adding more competent hands into its fold.
“As a service delivery agency, we consider it an obligation to listen carefully to complaints of participants and meticulously attend to them.
“Our major challenge is paucity of Information Technology compliance since the whole programme is IT-driven, which required great skill.
“All in all, the initiative is a profound relief for many unemployed youths in the country, it has greatly reduced unemployment in no small way,” he said.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerians to respect all Nigeria’s national symbols.
The Agency made the call in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, during a sensitisation parade to mark the 56th anniversary of the replacement of the British national jack flag with the Nigerian flag.
Return To The Farm
Speaking to journalists, the Deputy Director, NOA Osun office, Mr Bashir Oyedemi, said “the flag of Nigeria represents agriculture and unity”, as such Nigerians needed unity to forge ahead for a better Nigeria.
He added that in line with the Federal Government’s initiative Nigerians, at this stage, needed to return to the farm and boost agriculture. The NOA boss also campaigned for peaceful coexistence among Nigerians irrespective of tribe, adding that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable.
Nigeria, precisely on September 16, 1960, lowered the British Union Jack flag, which has been its symbol of identity since colonialism set in and in its place the Nigerian green-white-green flag was hoisted.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dr. Austin Tam George has urged the Federal Government to base its policy objective on popular debate and wider consultation to enhance participatory democracy and confront the many challenges facing the country.
He made the call while receiving the Rivers State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mr. Oliver Worlugbom on a courtesy call in his office.
He pointed out that such inclusive approach to policy formulation will fast track development in all sectors of the economy.
He said that the National Orientation Agency has a critical role to play in the mobilization and sensitization of Nigerians on government policies and programmes.
The Commissioner said that the policy objective of the Nyesom Wike administration in Rivers State was driven by the input of critical stakeholders to promote transparency and accountability in governance.
According to the Commissioner, part of Government effort to promote popular participation in governance was the establishment of a social media unit in the ministry of information and communication as a platform of reaching out to a geographically dis-aggregated audience.
Dr. Tam George who pledged the commitment of the Rivers State Government to partner with NOA in the State, said Wike’s development stride in the State, especially in the building of critical infrastructure and promotion of entrepreneurial development was unprecedented.
He further assured the commitment of the Wike administration to delivering quality services in the State.
Earlier, the Rivers State Director of NOA, Mr. Oliver Worlugbom, had stated that the courtesy call was to re-state the commitment of the agency to partner with the Rivers State Government in the mobilization and sensitization of the citizenry on government policies.
Worlugbom said that the Agency has enjoyed the support and goodwill of the Rivers State Government, over the years, and solicited for the support of the State and Local Governments in funding and provision of logistic support for NOA to achieve its policy objectives.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) says it is planning more civic education for Nigerians to help them participate in governance.
The Director General of the NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, made the announcement at a forum organised by a civil society organisation, The Situation Room.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Dr. Abari noted that the agency’s efforts would address issues of poor voter turnout during elections.
Speaking on behalf of other civil society organisations at the gathering, the Executive Secretary, The Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo, promised to sustain the tempo of NOA’s campaign for voter education.
The Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji, Kaduna State, has conducted an inter-agencies training on information sharing and intelligence gathering.
Addressing participants during the closing ceremony of the training, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said that the training was very important considering the internal security challenges facing Nigeria.
Mr Arase, who was represented by the Zaria Area Commander, reiterated that the Nigerian Police Force was determined to take its rightful place in internal security operations aimed at ensuring a peaceful and secured society.
In his speech, the Director of Joint Studies of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Johnson Irefin, explained that such joint inter-agencies training would bring about developing of new techniques on standing operating procedures on internal security and low intensity operations.
He also stressed the need for security personnel and other stakeholders involved in conflict and emergency situations to adhere to the rules of engagement during internal and low intensity conflict.
The event was organised to gather intelligence on a regular basis, to ensure prompt response to crisis situations in line with the humanitarian challenges caused by the Boko Haram insurgents in northern Nigeria.
The training workshop, which drew participants from the military, Police, para-military agencies, National Orientation Agency and National Emergency Management Agency among others, lasted for three weeks.
It was conducted in two phases which featured lectures, presentations, planning and conduct of internal security operations in a multi-agency setting.
The Statement read: “The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate disengagement of the following Chief Executive Officers of the under-listed Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions”.
President Buhari also approved that the most senior officers in the Parastatals, Agencies and Councils oversee the activities of the organisations pending the appointment of substantive Chief Executive Officers.
According to the statement, President Buhari, however, thanked the affected government officials for their invaluable services to the Nation and wished them well in their future endeavours.
List of the 26 parastatals and agencies.
(i) Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) (ii) Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) (iii) Voice of Nigeria (VON) (iiii) News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) (v) National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) (vi) Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) (vii) New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) (viii) Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) (ix) Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board(NCDMB) (x) Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) (xi) Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) (xii) National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) (xiii) Petroleum Equalization Fund (xiiii) Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC) (xv) Bureau of Public Procurements (BPP) (xvi) Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) (xvii) Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) (xviii) Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) (xix) National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) (xx) Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) (xxi) Bank of Industry (BoI) (xxii) National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) (xxiii) National Orientation Agency (NOA) (xxiiii) Industrial Training Fund (ITF) (xxv) Nigerian Export-Import Bank (xxvi) National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
The National Orientation Agency has announced plans to embark on enlightenment campaign at the grassroots to sensitise Nigerians on whistle blowing on issues of procurement processes.
The Director General of the agency, Mr Mike Omeri, who announced the plan in Abuja on Wednesday, said issues of corruption had eaten deep into the nation’s system and required more of whistle blowing than just holding talks on how to end it.
Corruption can affect every sphere of life and if allowed unchecked in any society, it could lead to under-development, Mr Omeri pointed out in a meeting between government officials, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other stakeholders.
The meeting discussed strategies that would help ensure the eradication of the menace of corruption in the public service, especially in procurement processes.
An Assistant Commissioner with the ICPC, Sola Sodipo, stressed that while fighting corruption involved the cooperation of everyone, public servants should watch out for some early warning signals and also blow whistles.
Issues of how to combat corruption in Nigeria has taken centre stage at various meetings, showing the commitment of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackling corruption in Nigeria.
The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has assured that all will be well despite Nigerians’ worry over next year’s general elections.
Addressing participants at a workshop, sponsored by the NDDC, to prepare, equip and empower the people of the Niger Delta Region for a peaceful and effective participation in the 2015 elections, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Bassey Dan-Abia, told them that the commission considered it a duty to contribute its quota to ensure the success of the forthcoming general elections in the country.
Mr Dan-Abia, represented by his Special Adviser on Youth, Sports, Culture and Women Affairs, Barr. George Turnah, disclosed that the NDDC must be in the forefront in the quest to get it right in the 2015 polls this time.
He added that the country is blessed with a leader who believes in a transparent electoral process as he reminded them that President Goodluck Jonathan was the chief proponent of one-man-one-vote.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer harped on the need for a peaceful and successful election, stating that the process leading up to the elections was as important as the election itself.
Rivers State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Oliver Wolugbom, said that a lot of things have changed in the electoral process, making it unnecessary to stick with the old habits of engaging in malpractices on election days.
The NOA director said that the theme of the workshop, Citizens Responsibility: Towards a Peaceful 2015 General Elections was very apt as “Nigerians need to have faith in their country and believe that they will get it right this time
Mr. Wolugbom also appealed to the civil society groups, especially those with international affiliations, to be patriotic and help the country to build strong institutions that would serve as proponents of growth and development.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Projects at the Commission, Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli, who was represented by a principal office in his office, Mrs Imoni Ahunwa, in an interview listed the benefits of the workshop saying that, there was no better time to do this than now hence the people and youths of the region would know that it is no longer business as usual.
International human rights group, Amnesty International, in a report launched in Abuja on Thursday, says the Nigerian Police and military routinely torture women, men, and children – some as young as 12 – using a wide range of methods.
At the launch of a ten-year report of torture in Nigeria, the Director for Research and Advocacy of the rights group, Mr Netsanet Belay, said that although Nigeria prohibits torture and other ill-treatment in its constitution, the government has continued to turn a blind eye to torture in the country.
Mbazuigwe Onyekachi’s story is one of 500 allegations of torture against security operatives in Nigeria, documented by the Amnesty International in a report titled “Welcome to Hellfire, Torture and Other Ill-Treatment In Nigeria”.
Another victim, Mr Justin Nwankwo, narrated how he was beaten, suspended in mid-air and stripped naked into signing a confessional statement bordering on a murder case.
Stories like theirs and many others have made Amnesty International conclude that not only is torture an integral part of Nigeria’s justice system, there is also a systemic failure to ban and criminalize torture in the country.
The Amnesty report also reveals that there are 12 major methods used by most law enforcement agencies in the country to intimidate victims and also obtain statements from them, including beatings, shootings and rape.
The report also says that since the war on insurgency commenced, about 5,000 Nigerians have been detained without trial and that some of these detention facilities are not even known to the authorities.
The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency, Mike Omeri, speaking for the Federal Government, said that as a signatory to many treaties on human rights, torture is not permitted in the system.
However, he promised that government would investigate the claims and bring to book any one found culpable.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in Nigeria, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has dismissed rumours in some quarters of a possible coup d’etat, affirming the commitment of the Nigerian military to the defence of the nation’s democracy.
He said that the rumours were untenable and stressed that “the military is an arm of democracy”.
Air Chief Marshal Badeh’s comments were contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the National Orientation Agency, Mr Paul Odenyi, released on Wednesday after a meeting between the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Mike Omeri, and the Air Chief.
The meeting held at Badeh’s office was for the formal presentation of the Nigerian Centenary Flag to the Nigerian military.
After he received the flag, he gave an order for the immediate hoisting of the Centenary Flag in military formations across the country.
According to Badeh, the military as a professional group “has no option but to love Nigeria” and do those things that will ensure security and protection of lives within the nation.
Air Chief Marshal Badeh, who expressed surprise at the rumours, was emphatic that democracy had come to stay and that the military had no intention of truncating democracy.
“Why should anyone be thinking in negative fashion? Tell them we will not do it. Those rumouring coups must be living elsewhere and not in Nigeria. The Armed Forces are defenders of democracy. We are an arm of democracy, so how can an arm of democracy work against the democracy that we are part of?” the CDS asked.
“Do the Right Thing”
The Defence Chief commended the NOA for “living up to expectation” in its activities as typified by the Centenary Flag produced by the Agency, which he described as unique and of standard, as well as the coordination of the National Information Centre (NIC).
He expressed support for the Agency’s programmes and policies, including the renaming of the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) Brigade of the Agency to Community Support Brigade (CSB) and the Word Waste Bin initiative, urging the NOA to step up the ante in mobilizing Nigerians.
Mr Omeri had disclosed the Agency’s plan to soon launch a security awareness campaign tagged “Do the Right Thing: Know Your Neighbour”.
He said the campaign was, among other things, to complement efforts of the Armed Forces and also ensure return to that age old and celebrated value of being our brother’s keepers.
Presenting the nation’s Centenary Flag to the Defence Chief, the NOA Director General said the flag was symbolic of the nation’s history and heritage which it seeks to pass on to future generations of Nigerians.
He expressed the gratitude of the NOA for the support and commitment of the Defence Headquarters towards the National Information Centre, noting that such was a clear statement of the Armed Forces’ dedication to the speedy resolution of the security issues confronting the nation at the moment.
Omeri made a call for a day to be set aside by Nigerians to celebrate the Nigerian Armed Forces for their courage, professionalism and patriotism, pointing out that Nigerians owed the military a debt of gratitude for its selfless sacrifice for the nation.