Employment Scam Can’t Happen In Civil Defence – Lagos Commandant

The Lagos State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) Obafaiye Shem has said that the incidence of recruitment scam does not happen in his organisation.

The Lagos State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) Obafaiye Shem

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Shem said he was surprised when the NSCDC’s name was mentioned among government agencies where employment racketeering take place.

“I can assure you that in Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp nothing like that is happening,” he said.

Lawmaker Says NASS Will Stop MDAs From Making Money Off Job Seekers

The Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Information and Communication Technology, Tajudeen Yusuf on Wednesday said the National Assembly is debating a bill that will stop government Ministries, Departments and agencies (MDAs) from using their recruitment portals to extort monies from job seekers.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Yusuf said while the Senate is dealing with the issue of employment racketeering, the House of Representatives will investigate the allegations that recruiters make money off job seekers through employment portals.

Expert Says Nigerian Education Curriculum Responsible For Unemployment

The Founder of the Centre for Applied Thinking, Josefu Adeyeni on Wednesday said the Nigerian Educational curriculum is structured in a way that graduates are prepared to be job seekers rather than job creators.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Adeyeni said the Nigerian educational system is using the 20th century curriculum to prepare 21st century people.

He said though the Bloom’s Taxonomy, which guided the curriculum structure in Nigeria education and was prepared in 1956, was revised in 2001, the country still use the old version which emphasised preparation for job after graduation.

In the video below, Mr Adeyeni recommends two steps to stemming the alarming rate of unemployment in Nigeria.

Demand Money For Employment And Be Fired, Senate Warns Government Officials

The Senate on Monday warned all government Agencies, parastatals and ministries in Nigeria to stop taking unemployed youths for granted.

The Senate threatened to deal with any one of them caught engaging in employment racketeering at the expense of job-seeking youths.

This is coming on the heels of the recent sack of the Comptroller General of Immigrations over an employment scam.

Channels Television’s correspondent Linda Akhigbe completes the report in the video below:

2013 Budget: Senate Says No Plans To Override Jonathan

The Senate on Tuesday said it had no plans to override President Goodluck Jonathan over the 2013 budget.

Reacting to a statement credited to opposition lawmaker, Senator Kabiru Gaya, who had told correspondents that the Senate would override President Jonathan if he failed to sign the 2013 budget, the Senate spokesman, Enyinaya Abaribe said there is no rift between the Senate and the executive.

Senator Abaribe  said both arms of government have resolved the  issues delaying the signing of the budget.

There is growing discontent over the inability of the presidency to obey section 58, subsections four and five of the 1999 Constitution which gives the President 30 days within which he must assent to a bill or signify that he withholds his assent.

The Constitution further states that where the President withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each chamber of the legislature by two thirds majority, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall no longer be required.

President Jonathan is said to be reluctant about assenting to the budget which was forwarded to him on January 14 following claims that the National Assembly increased the budget by moving allocations from Ministries, Departments and Agencies to fund constituency projects.

President Jonathan was alleged to have, based on the promptings of a senior minister, insisted that corrections on the budget be made in details before his assent.

Besides, the President had at a meeting with the National Assembly leadership raised the issue of the benchmark and the non- provision of funds for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on account of the retention of Arunma Oteh as Director-General. The National Assembly leadership had politely declined the request on Ms Oteh and the benchmark, saying that the two issues were non-negotiable but agreed to look again at the mistakes in the details of the budget.

Legislators from the opposition parties had given their intention to initiate moves to override a veto should the President refused to give his assent to the budget by February 13 which made it 30 days after the budget was forwarded to him.

2013 Budget: Lawmaker Says Senate May Override Jonathan

An opposition federal lawmaker, Kabiru Gaya has threatened that the Senate would override President Goodluck Jonathan if he failed to sign the 2013 budget.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Mr. Gaya said the Senate would this week take a final decision on its next action as regards the budget.

President Jonathan is said to be reluctant about assenting to the budget which was forwarded to him on January 14 following claims that the National Assembly increased the budget by moving allocations from Ministries, Departments and Agencies to fund constituency projects.

President Jonathan was alleged to have, based on the promptings of a senior minister, insisted that corrections on the budget be made in details before his assent.

Besides, the President had at a meeting with the National Assembly leadership raised the issue of the benchmark and the non- provision of funds for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on account of the retention of Arunma Oteh as Director-General. The National Assembly leadership had politely declined the request on Ms Oteh and the benchmark, saying that the two issues were non-negotiable but agreed to look again at the mistakes in the details of the budget.

Legislators from the opposition parties had given their intention to initiate moves to override a veto should the president refuses to give his assent to the budget by February 13 which made it 30 days after the budget was forwarded to him.

Reps Back Senate In Demanding Maina’s Dismissal

The House of Representatives has joined the senate in demanding for the dismissal of the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina from the civil service.

The Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina

The chairman of the House committee on rules and business, Albert Sam-Tsokwa, who moved the motion, said there is the need to present a common front with respect to the institutional integrity of the National Assembly.

Almost all the lawmakers were strongly in support of the motion and condemned, what they described as the impunity and disregard exhibited towards the parliamentary institution by one public servant.

The House is “conscious of the need to present a common front with respect to the institutional integrity of the National Assembly,” the lawmakers said in a motion, adding they were “aware of the need to send a strong signal to the executive arm of the government of the resolve of the National Assembly to stop impunity and disregard for due process in the conduct of government business.”

The speaker said the country cannot be said to be fighting corruption and the indicted chairman is been seen in the corridors of power.

Senators have accused Mr Maina of refusing to surrender to the Senate’s investigations into the scheme, ignoring summons and raising allegations that lawmakers were after him.

The controversy peaked with the Senate’s unanimous decision last week calling for his removal and prosecution after more than one year of investigations.

After initially objecting on enforcing the resolution, President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday ordered the Head of the Civil service, Isa Sali, to commence sanctions on Mr Maina, for absconding from his duty post.

A government panel to recommend sanctions-which is clearly stated in civil service rules as dismissal-has been formed, and has yet to table its proposals.

Head of Service, Not Jonathan Can Sack Maina – Presidency

The Presidency has reacted to the ultimatum issued by the Senate that it should sack embattled Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, stating that this can only be done by following existing civil service rule.

The Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina

The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, who said the president was not backing Mr Maina against the Senate, pointed out that the lawmakers can summon anyone they so wish.

“As a man that believes in the rule of law, the president believes that laid down procedure should be followed in addressing issues” he said.

He added that the process of stripping any erring civil servant of his job resides in the Head of Service of the Federation, who is the executor of the regulations guiding the hiring and firing of anyone found wanting.

“The Senate has constitutional power to summon anybody. If such person failed to appear before them, the lawmakers are also empowered to issue warrant of arrest against the person.”

“The President has not in any way stood in the way of the senate in inviting Maina. You will recall that the police even declared him wanted.”

“Maina is a civil servant. If he has done something that amount to a breach of civil service rule, the appropriate office to do the right thing and ensure that due process is followed is the office of the head of service of the federation” he further adds.

The Senate had on Wednesday threatened a showdown with the President over the retention of Mr Maina as the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team despite the fraudulent investigation the Senate is conducting on him.

The Federal lawmakers were incensed over the repeated refusal of Mr Maina to appear before its committee investigating pension administration to answer allegations of his involvement in a N195 billion pension scam.

All the 180 senators at plenary signed the motion for the removal of Mr Maina as the head of the Pension Reform Task Team.

Senate Frowns at Ill Treatment of Nigerians Abroad

The Senate has asked the executive arm of government to press for redress and restitution for fourteen Nigerians deported from Spain.

The Senate made this resolution after considering a motion on the incessant unfair treatment and harassment of Nigerians in foreign countries.

The chairman of the Senate committee on foreign affairs, Matthew Nwagwu, who sponsored the motion, said the country’s nonchalant attitude towards the unfair treatment of Nigerians abroad makes the citizens vulnerable in foreign countries.

776 Nigerians are currently languishing in different prisons across the world.

According to the senate committee on foreign affairs, 395 Nigerians are in prisons in Spain; 126 in Gabon; 91 in Thailand; 62 in the United States of America; 30 in Niger; 43 in Malaysia; and 29 in Cameroon.

But are all these Nigerians guilty of the offences they were accused to have committed? The chairman of the senate committee on foreign affairs does not think so.

The federal lawmakers said Nigerians continually face unfair treatment and harassment in foreign countries.

Some Senators however advocated for a change of attitude by Nigerians going abroad.

For other lawmakers, there is an urgent need to properly fund Nigerian missions abroad.

The senate asked relevant Nigerian authorities to press for redress and restitution on behalf of the 14 Nigerians deported from Spain who were not found guilty of any offense.

The senate president, David Mark asked the committee on foreign affairs to invite the foreign affairs minister, Olugbenga Ashiru to brief it on the Spanish deportation saga and what the ministry is doing to come to the aid of the Nigerian student held in Ukraine.

Senate considers barring public officials from foreign airlines

The Senate Committee on Aviation has ordered the British Airways and the Virgin Atlantic Airways to pay a fine of $135 million and $100 million respectively for conspiring to fix prices at the expense of Nigeria, operating a duopoly to the detriment of other airlines and engaging in the passenger fuel surcharge scam.

The committee, in its report on the violation of aviation laws and practice by foreign airlines and lapses in the operations of regulatory agencies, on Tuesday ordered the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to work with the Ministry of Justice and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to compel both airlines to pay the fines in line with the Civil Aviation Act 2006.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Hope Uzodinma said both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways were found guilty of the offences.

It also recommended that government officials travelling abroad should mandatorily use Nigerian flag carriers and charged the Aviation Ministry to work with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to enlighten the public on the imperative of flying national flag carriers.

The committee also recommended that the Aviation Ministry be engaged on its plan to float an indigenous national carrier, saying “Arik Airline with over 26 new aircrafts in their fleet and any other local airline with similar capacity which must have operated in Nigeria for a minimum of five years should be granted national flag carrier status”.

The proposal to grant Arik airline the national flag carrier status did not go down well with some lawmakers who argued that the Federal government should rather build its own airline.

The Senate President, David Mark queried the regulatory agencies for failing to protect Nigerians from the exploitation of foreign airlines.

“We need to do our homework before blaming the airlines. Nigerians expect us to protect them. Let nobody exploit Nigerians. The British Airways and the Virgin Atlantic Airways have exploited Nigerians. The regulatory agencies are the problems. They’ve failed in what they’re supposed to do. As weak as the laws are, they are not being implemented. We’ve problems with implementing the laws we put in place,” he said.

Some lawmakers argue that the committee’s report does not address the mandate given to the committee.

The senate resolved to consider the recommendations on another legislative day.

Senate committee recommends Arik Air as National flag carrier

The Senate Committee on Aviation on Wednesday recommended that Arik Air be allowed to serve as Nigeria’s national flag carrier, until the Aviation ministry is able to work out modalities of securing another national carrier.

If this recommendation is adopted by the National Assembly, Arik Air will enjoy preferential rights or privileges, accorded by the government, for international operations.

The airline company will also be required to display the flag of Nigeria in all its aircrafts. Presently, Nigeria has no flag-bearing carrier.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Hope Uzodinma, while presenting the report of the committee’s findings regarding the arbitrary fees charged by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic airways, said Arik airline should be allowed to fly the nation’s flag pending when a new national carrier would be approved by the Minister of Aviation.

“What we are saying is that for now let’s allow Arik to fly our flag around the world while the ministry of aviation is working out modalities of securing a new national carrier,” Mr Uzodinma said.

The committee in its recommendations also addressed issues relating to compliance or non-compliance with relevant aviation laws and all unwholesome activities by foreign airlines, and the role played by regulatory agencies which undermine the growth of the aviation industry in Nigeria.

The Senate President, David Mark, while reacting to the recommendations, requested the committee to produce a “compressed version of the recommendations” as according to him, the one presented was too bulky for members to deliberate on one after the other.

Aviation road show is not a jamboree – Minister’s aide

The Special Adviser to the Minister of Aviation, Oche Elias on Tuesday said that the road show planned by the Ministry of Aviation is not a jamboree but a means to attract more investors to the sector.

Mr Elias, who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the delegates to be on the road show will visit three countries within seven days and meet with 16 prospective investors.

In the video below, the aide to the aviation Minister speaks on the purpose of the planned trip and the current situation of the road show.