Al-Makura Seeks FG’s Support On Solid Minerals

Al-Makura Seeks FG's Support On Solid MineralsNasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, seeks to partner with the Federal Government towards harnessing the mineral resources that abound in the state.

The governor made the proposal when he paid a visit to the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

He also urged the Federal Government to look into the 13% derivation which he said the state was yet to benefit, stressing that it would help increase the state’s revenue base.

Governor Al-Makura also requested that the scope of solid minerals be expanded by establishing a mineral study outfit, as a means of employment creation for the teeming youth in Nasarawa State, north-central Nigeria.

“I would like to kindly request the Honourable Minister to grant Nasarawa State the license for industrial mineral mining; this will increase our revenue generation, especially now that we have an SPV ready to partake in this exercise.

“Besides that, I will like to assure the Honourable Minister that if Nasarawa State is vested with some support like mineral study outfit or mineral skill acquisition outfit that will help low class mineral miners to have the skills and means to prospect, I believe this will give Nasarawa State the opportunity to expand the scope of bringing different kinds of people to earn a living through mineral resources.

Focus On Diversification

“Finally, I will also like to put before the Honourable Minister the issue of derivation when it comes to mineral revenue, as it is now some of the mineral resources revenue that are being generated like Barytes and others, where the end users are in other states than Nasarawa because other state that do not even mine those minerals are the beneficiaries of the 13% derivation.

“So we want to put this before the Honourable Minister to look at it, so that we can carefully identify from which states those minerals are coming and which state deserve those derivation benefits.

“This, I believe at this very difficult period will support the state in doing so many things that will add value to the focus of the Federal Government on diversification,” he said.

Governor Al-Makura also seized the opportunity to invite the Minister to the state, in order to adequately analyse issues pertaining to solid minerals development.

“We want to extend a special invitation to you to come to Nasarawa State so that we can have a more practical interface for you to see what is there for you to support us and support the country at large,” he requested.

Accepting the invitation, Dr. Fayemi assured the governor of the Federal Government’s support to the State Government in realising its diversification drive.

“We have adopted an administrative mechanism to ensure that states are fully on board, in order to realise the objective of active participation in mining.

“Before we finish this month, I will come and I will go round myself to see those specific areas where the Federal Government can assist and partner with Nasarawa State in strengthening what you have already started by way of developing the resources that are available in your state,” the minister said.

Lassa Fever Kills Four In Nasarawa State

Lassa Fever Kills Four In Nasarawa StateThe Nasarawa State government has confirmed the re-emergence of Lassa fever disease in the state in north-central Nigeria.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Iya, confirmed the death of four persons during an interview with Channels Television.

Dr. Iya further disclosed that the state had recorded 16 suspected cases while 36 people, who had contact with the deceased, were being followed up.

He noted that all the cases were from Lafia, the state’s capital and that the government had taken adequate measures to stall the spread of the deadly disease.

The re-emerging case comes barely three weeks after the Ondo State government said it had put all measures to prevent the disease from spreading to the state.

As part of efforts towards achieving this, the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, convened a sensitisation meeting with stakeholders in the state.

2016 Mark D’ Ball: Organisers Suspend Basketball Tournament

Mark D’ Ball, Basketball Tournament, David MarkYouths looking forward to participate in the annual Mark D’ Ball basketball tournament will have to wait till 2017.

This is as a result of the organisers’ decision to suspend the 2016 edition of the Nigeria Basketball Federation-endorsed tournament.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the coordinator of the tournament, Mr Igoche Mark, said the suspension was sponsored by a former Senate President, David Mark.

Mr Mark explained further that the decision was due to a court order restraining the organisers from using Otukpo Club which is the traditional venue of the tournament in the last six years in Benue State, north-central Nigeria.

He, however, assured basketball players and fans that the organisers were already shopping for a permanent venue ahead of the 2017 edition of the tournament and beyond.

“Regrettably and painfully, we have been forced and compelled to put the 2016 edition of Mark D’ Ball basketball tournament on hold till further notice. This decision is inevitable to avoid the consequences that the ensuing litigation and possible breakdown of law and order may pose to our peaceful community.

“We however call for calm and understanding amongst our teeming youth and supporters. We want to assure you that plans are afoot to conclude a permanent venue to host future tournaments, free from unnecessary political and legal encumbrances.

“We sincerely regret the drawback and setback that this unnecessary inhibition may have on the socio-economic well-being of our land and the untoward multiplier effects this forced postponement would have on our hoteliers, restaurants, small scale businesses and holiday makers,” the coordinator said.

Lawmakers Solicit Better Funding For NEMA

NEMA, House of Representatives, LawmakersSome members of the House of Representatives have called for improved funding of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to enable the agency expand its scope of activities for better delivery.

The House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness believed that the upgraded funds would help the agency carry out its strategic duties of threat identification, warning, prevention and post conflict settlement among others.

The lawmakers made the appeal at a retreat on disaster management held in Jos, the Plateau State capital in north-central Nigeria.

Chairman of the committee, Representative Isa Ali, expressed concern that the agency has been underfunded over the years and appealed for an upgrade for better performance.

On his part, the Director General of NEMA, Mr Sani Sidi, highlighted the agency’s uniqueness in managing Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria, which he said were over two million.

Amendment Of NEMA Act

The retreat is an annual event organised by the agency, and also a platform for interaction between NEMA and the lawmakers to share ideas on ways of enhancing the performance of the agency.

It is also a gathering convened to look into its legislative and budgetary support, considering the enormous tasks facing the agency in terms of tackling nature and human induced disasters in Nigeria.

Stakeholders at the session have called for the amendment of NEMA Act to help the institution cope with emerging trends in disaster management, with emphasis on acquiring modern equipment.

They also solicited for improved welfare packages with insurance scheme for staff of the agency, as well as the establishment of a National Emergency Management Trust Fund with a board of trustee to manage the fund.

Nasarawa Govt, Labour Reach Consensus Over Industrial Rift

Nasarawa, LabourThe Nasarawa State government and organised labour have reached a consensus over the lingering industrial dispute propelled by the payment of workers’ emolument in percentages.

The consensus was reached after a meeting of the tripartite committee set up by the state government at the deputy governor’s office in Lafia, the state’s capital in north-central Nigeria.

The meeting officially brought to climax series of meetings held by the committee with a view to resolving discrepancies that led to the July/August industrial action in the state and the continuous payment of workers’ salaries in percentages.

No Victor, No Vanquish

Giving a brief of the meeting which lasted for six hours, Chairman of the committee and Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Mr Silas Agara, told Channels Television that the state government and the labour union have amicably resolved all contending issues.

He said due to a number of factors considered by both parties, they have decided to shift grounds to allow a peaceful decision in the benefit and interest of the workers.

“We have amicably come to the final position and we have resolved all issues that made workers of Nasarawa State go on strike.

“Government on its own side shifted grounds, labour too have shifted grounds and as it is, there is no victor, no vanquish,” he said.

The 6-point agreement, reached by both labour and government, has the input of the representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The agreement included the payment of July salaries by 50% which would be paid in two tranches to commence on Tuesday, December 13 with the other part to be paid in January 2017.

Consequently, the agreement also involved the state government paying December salaries by 50% due to shortfall in allocation from the Federal Government while the government would device a means to pay full salaries in 2017, even if it means accumulating two months allocations.

The government also agreed to pay the remaining months arrears from the first quarter of 2017 as soon as the economic situation of the state improves.

The organised labour, who spoke through Comrade Sule Odeh, expressed satisfaction and promised to cooperate with the government.

“We have signed an agreement between us and the government because all issues have been resolved, especially the issue of July/August salary payment which the government has agreed to pay” he said.

The representative of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dalhatu Ahmad, on his part, appreciated both parties for reaching the consensus.

Police Promise Proactivity Over Fears of Ombatse Militia’s Return

Police, Nasarawa, Ombatse MilitiaPolice have promised to continuously take proactive measures in ensuring the safety of lives and property of the people of Nasarawa State, north-central Nigeria.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Abubakar Bello, made the statement in reaction to the purported emergence of a new Ombatse militia in the state.

A lawmaker representing Nasarawa Eggon East had alleged that the militia were planning to attack Assakio and Daddere villages in the state.

In an interview with Channels Television, some Eggon indigenes, under the aegis of the Eye of Eggon denied the claim.

They described the alarm as a move to tarnish the image of their people.

In 2013, Ombatse militia purportedly killed about 90 Police officials on their way to Alakyo village to exercise their responsibilities.

An indigene of Nasarawa state also confirmed the severity of a reported violence which led to the loss of many lives and property in Nasarawa State.

During the heat of the violence, a former Chairman of Keana Local Government Council, Jibrin Keana, claimed that several school children were ‘slaughtered like goats’ by the Ombatse group allegedly responsible for the violent attacks in the area.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mr Keana explained that the group might be operating for political reasons as the name means “it is our time”, coupled with the fact that the governorship seat of the state had always been occupied by individuals from a particular ethnic group, Eggon.

Herdsmen Attack: Police Deploy SARS In Plateau, Nasarawa And Benue

Police, Benue, Plateau, SARS, HerdsmenThe Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 4, Oshodi Glover, has deployed over 60 personnel of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue states.

The police chief says SARS officials, who are trained in the act of human right protection, were among those deployed for internal security, fight against insurgents and herdsmen in the states in north-central Nigeria.

He hinted that the three-day training of the officers was at instance of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.

Mr Glover added that the training was consequent to allegation by the Amnesty International, alleging human right abuses and torture by SARS officers.

He further explained the rationale for the early deployment of police personnel to rural communities this year ahead of the dry season, saying it was aimed at forestalling the yearly clashes between herdsmen and local farming communities, when the herdsmen come down the Benue valley for greener pasture.

CBN Partners Institute To Empower Youths In Benue State

CBN, Youths, BenueThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has collaborated with the National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism to train 1,000 Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) students per session in Benue State.

The institute said that the training is aimed at enabling the beneficiaries have access to the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Funds.

The Director-General of the Institute, Chika Balogun and the CBN Programme Director on Enterprise Development, Lucky Omonya, disclosed this to reporters in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

It was during the working visit of Governor Samuel Ortom to the CBN North-central EDC workshop in the capital city, to inspect the ongoing renovation work at the centre and the duo expressed satisfaction with the Governor’s visit.

On his part, Governor Ortom commended the collaboration between the federal agencies and restated his commitment to the development of the centre.

He promised to pay up existing performance certificates of contractors handling the rehabilitation work.

The Governor described the development as a huge relief on job creation and self-reliance for the teaming unemployed youths in the state.

FG Takes Sensitisation On Counter-Terrorism To States

Counter-Terrorism, ONSAThe Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has embarked on sensitisation for the implementation of the National Counter-Terrorism Strategy across Nigerian states.

The ONSA says the sensitisation was part of measures to enhance the Federal Government’s onslaught against insurgency.

Speaking at the launch of the National Sensitisation Workshop in Jos, the Plateau State capital in north-central Nigeria, the Coordinator of Counter-Terrorism Centre (CTC) at the ONSA, Commodore Yem Musa, said that the fight against terror should not be left with the government alone.

He said that it should involve every Nigerian, which is the reason they were involving the citizenry in a united action.

Commodore Musa said that the programme, which was first in the series, is to consciously awaken the people on the need for a collective approach, as well as blend with security professionalism and government agency collaboration.

He explained that it involves civil relations in sustaining the successes achieved so far in the fight against terror.

Musa informed the audience that the sensitisation programme was not limited to states alone, but would also involve local government areas, organised private sector and the public.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who declared the workshop open, recounted government’s efforts in prosecuting the war against terrorism.

He expressed joy that the effort has been yielding positive results with the recent military onslaught on the terrorists’ stronghold.

The event was attended by security operatives, civil servants as well as civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations from Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Gombe states.

Benue School Of Nursing And Midwifery To Regain Accreditation

School of Nursing and Midwifery, BenueGovernor Samuel Ortom says the Benue State government is set to regain the accreditation of its School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Governor Ortom, in partnership with a development partner, Centre for Integrated Health Programme (CIHP), said reconstruction work at the school had reached 95% in the 700 million Naira investment aimed at upgrading the school to an all degree awarding institution.

He told reporters that the institution in Markurdi, the state’s capital in north-central Nigeria, had been provided with facilities which include a 7.5 KVA transformer, fully kitted ICT and anatomy lecture hall, laboratory, library and the construction of new hostel accommodation.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on insecurity
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

The Governor explained further that the upgrade was part of the proposed plan to affiliate the school to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital for clinical sessions.

He noted that all was set for the visitation panel from the Council of Nursing and Midwifery for possible re-accreditation of the institution and pledged to fast-track the upgrade of the school.

On his part, the Deputy Programme Manager of CIHP in the state, Emmanuel Udeh, was confident that the completed lecture halls and administrative blocks would stand the Councils’ test.

He said the Council would also be pleased to see the improved laboratory and library which were part of the list of accreditation requirement the it issued.

Benue State School of nursing and Midwifery
Some blocks constructed by the state government at the nursing and midwifery school

The Principal of the School of Nursing in Makurdi, Pauline Atse, hinted that some of the students had participated in a mock clinical session for the accreditation exercise at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital.

On her part, the Principal of the School of Midwifery, Victoria Gusa, expressed optimism that some of the challenges they face would be addressed.

Governor Ortom had in May directed the Ministry of Health to apply for the re-accreditation of the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

The institution’s operational license was withdrawn in 2014 and the ministry is expected to apply to the Council of Nursing and Midwifery for accreditation.

Governor Ortom gave the directive while on the state wide inspection of ongoing projects ahead of preparations to mark his administration’s One Year Anniversary.

Plateau Security: Agencies Warn Against Arms Proliferation

Arms Proliferation In PlateauSecurity operatives have expressed worry over the rising proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Plateau State, north-central Nigeria.

Commander of the Task Force, Major General Rogers Nicholas, made the declaration while parading some crime suspects at the Operation’s Headquarters in Jos, Plateau State capital.

He noted that the proliferation of weapons was a threat to the peace of the state which they have been working hard to restore.

Major General Nicholas disclosed that the 13 suspects were on parade for various offences ranging from unlawful possession of firearms, armed robbery and car snatching as well as buying and selling of hard drugs among others.

He said six members of an armed robbery gang were apprehended in Langtang, southern part of the state while a syndicate that specialises in the business of hard drugs were also arrested by officers of the task force during their routine operations.

However, the special task force in the state, code-named “Operation Safe Haven”, says it has put strategies in place to mop up such weapons.

The Commander expressed delight that the inter-agency collaboration between the Task Force and other security agencies has been yielding positive results in the fight against crime and urged the public to give relevant information.

He advocated for a review of the criminal justice administration which he said has been an impediment in dispensing justice as it concerns various arrests made by the task force.

NECO Records Great Improvement In 2016 SSCE

NECO SSCEThe National Examination Council (NECO) has released the 2016 June/July Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE).

NECO says 88.51% of the candidates obtained five credit pass and above including English Language and General Mathematics.

The Registrar and CEO of NECO, Professor Charles Uwakwe, announced the release of the results on Friday in Minna, Niger State’s capital in north-central Nigeria.

He noted that there was a 20% increase in the general performance of candidates in 2016, as compared with 2015.

The Registrar disclosed that 905,011 of the 1,022,474 students that sat for the examination in Nigeria and other countries got five credits and above while 84.54% got credit pass and above in English Language and 80.16% obtained credit pass and above in General Mathematics.

He, however, said that 194 schools were involved in mass cheating while 14 schools had been derecognised by NECO for examination malpractice, even as 76 subjects were examined.

Professor Uwakwe decried the rates at which schools were involved in malpractices and cheating and warned that any school caught would be derecognised.

He attributed the increased performance of students in the examination to the contributions from NECO staff and his predecessors, who he said had laid a good foundation and the seriousness of the students.

The NECO boss stated further that the examination body would not reduce its standard in any way, especially as it intended to make its mark in the global assessment industry.

“I want to solicit for support from all our stakeholders.

“NECO should be seen as a Nigerian baby that requires the care and support of all, to enable her attain that first class international status.

“We are working hard to ensure NECO makes her mark in the global assessment industry,” he said.

Professor Uwakwe asked the candidates to access their results on with their examination registration numbers.