NAN MD urges continuous citizens’ engagement to address insecurity

The Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Malam Ali Muhammad Ali, has called for continuous citizens’ engagement towards addressing insecurity in the country.

Ali made the call on Saturday at the inaugural lecture series and alumni engagement of the Institute of Strategic and Development Communication (ISDEVCOM), Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK).

The event, which also featured the induction of new scholars, was titled ‘National Security, Patriotism and Strategic Communication’.

Ali, represented by his Special Assistant, Mr Folorunsho Ojo, said that at such a trying time in the history of the country, no theme could have been better thought out and succinct.

He said that terrorism and banditry have continued unabated, ravaging vast swathes of land in the North East and North West Zones of the country.

The managing director expressed concern that kidnapping for ransom was also rampant across many states of the federation.

Ali further expressed worry that militancy and violent ultra
nationalism were eating into national fabric in spite of the best efforts of Nigeria’s security establishment.

‘I, therefore, want to congratulate the alumni association for its deep introspection in focusing on the ongoing national conversation on the insecurity bedevilling our nation and its nexus with patriotism and strategic communication.

‘What role does patriotism then play in checking the insidious menace of insecurity? What strategic communication tools can a country at war deploy in combating the triple evils of infodemics, misinformation and fake news?

‘Indeed, if security of lives and property is at the very core of our being, we should never be tired of engaging one another until we reach that point where we would all sleep with both eyes closed,’ he said.

Ali pledged that NAN would continue to offer media support to NSUK and its affiliates as part of its social contract with the Nigerian people.

In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor of NSUK, Prof. Sa’adatu Liman, said the university under her
leadership renewed its commitment to uphold highest ethical principles and core national values in pursuing the vision and mission of the school.

Liman said that she was determined to ensure staff and students engaged in a mutually beneficial atmosphere devoid of vices, such as extortion, examination malpractice, sexual harassment and other acts capable of delaying timely graduation of students.

According to her, this is one way they can position postgraduate programmes in particular to remain very competitive and impactful.

The VC said that ISDEVCOM had since 2018 placed the university in the enviable position of pacesetter in the area of science communication and development communication.

‘ISDEVCOM has continued to set the pace in the area of strategic and development communication scholarship and practice in Africa.

‘The inaugural lecture we are launching today is designed as an annual event where distinguished personalities will be invited to share ideas that shaped their practice.

‘I am happy that
the event has today brought together experts and professionals to share their knowledge and experiences,’ she said.

Also speaking, Dr Oluwatosin Dokpesi, the Executive Director of Programmes, DAAR Communication PLC, said that Nigeria was in a dire need of effective communication and information that would produce a positive outcome.

Dokpesi was represented by Ms. Raula Shangne, a senior officer at the company.

She said that the security challenges in the country required communications authorities to educate the citizens on how to tackle the menace, especially in the area of intelligence gathering.

Dokpesi said that there was a need for communication to be factual, precise and unambiguous to effectively engage citizens in addressing insecurity in the country.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

ANAN confers Fellowship on FMBN boss, Osidi

The Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), on Friday in Abuja, conferred its Fellowship on Shehu Osidi, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

The President and Chairman of Council, ANAN, Dr James Neminebor, said that Osidi was conferred with the fellowship for his contribution in driving the nation’s economy.

Neminebor explained that the conferment was in line with ANAN’s tradition of awarding fellowships to deserving members during its annual national conference.

The president, who urged the FMBN boss to carry the flag of ANAN with pride, described the association, established in 1979, as the second professional accounting body in Nigeria.

While noting the contribution of ANAN in driving Nigeria’s economy through strengthening the accounting profession, Neminebor, however, decried nonpayment of membership subscription fees, amounting to over N10 billion.

He described the development as a huge challenge, pointing out that with no sub
vention from the government, the association depends on membership subscription to thrive.

‘When I visited the accounts department, I saw indebtedness of subscription amounting to over N10 billion, meaning, members have not been paying their subscription fees.

‘How will ANAN survive? We have no subvention from governments. It is from subscriptions of members that we strive,’ he said.

He added that ANAN was a member of both regional and international accountancy bodies and pays its dues in dollars.

According to him, ANAN cannot afford to have members not paying their subscription fees.

‘We pay our membership subscription in dollars to regional and international accountancy associations, but members owe over N10 billion debts. This is a serious challenge,’ Neminebor said.

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He called on members, including organisations to do well to the association by paying their membership subscribers.

On his part, Osidi thanked ANAN for the honour, which he said
, reflected the values upheld at FMBN namely integrity, accountability and relentless pursuit of excellence.

Describing the association as a pillar of excellence and professionalism, the FMBN boss said that the recognition would further entrenched transparency and accountability in the housing sector.

‘This fellowship will serve as a reminder of the importance of promoting financial stability and transparency in the housing sector and ensuring that every Nigerian has access to affordable housing.

‘The fellowship is also a recognition of the positive trajectory we are now beginning to witness in FMBN, within the short period of the current Executive Management in office.

‘This is a sign that the implementation of the agenda we have set for ourselves has begun to bear the expected fruits,’ he said.

Osidi encouraged young accountants and professionals to continue to pursue excellence and integrity in their careers, saying ‘your dedication and innovation will shape the future.’

He assured ANAN of FMBN’s con
tinued support in the implementation of its plans and programmes.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

92 year old man cannot rule Cameroon-Akere Muna

Barrister Akere Muna has once again frowned at persistent corrupt practices in Cameroon by state officials at the detriment of the suffering citizens.

In a press conference in Yaounde on July 12, 2024, the legal mind fumed at a certain number of issues plaguing Cameroon .

The recent hike in the cost of procuring a national identity card by Cameroonians almost drove him crazy.

‘What is happening in Cameron is injustice. Because you are poor you can not have an ID card. Worst still, it is an offence when you don’t have an ID card. That means you are a potential criminal in Cameroon just because you are poor to be in possession of the ID that cost 15,000frs to 20,000 frs. That is not right.’ Akere Muna said.

A regrettable development to the corruption denouncer , who disclosed how top authorities fatten themselves for the labour of suffering Cameroonians.

‘Anyone of them who talks to me , I challenge them to name one thing that the government has done that you can say is for the interest of the people. You
cannot build a society where you punish those who don’t have because you have stolen. It doesn’t work like that. People should change their mentality.’ He stated.

The non-convocation of the Higher Judicial Council for the past four years was another irritating issue he frowned at.

‘We have four batches of magistrates who have not been sworn in. They are idle out there after going to school. There are families looking up to them. So if you were actually sworn-in in the 1st batch of ENAM, you can easily find yourself waiting for a degree with someone who was like two years behind you, even your younger brother. Then they will come out with a communique saying that the President has authorized the holding of the Higher Judicial Council’.

To him, all the communiqu├ęs signed and made public, with claims to be instructions from the Head of State are questionable.

‘The Head of State doesn’t take any decision. The thing is that the experts who draft these laws and control us will put the President in every single
document. They are those who pretend as if it is the Head of State. A 92-year-old man cannot rule again, cannot handle this country with armed conflicts in the Anglophone regions, Book Haram insurgency in the Far North, High cost of living, high youth unemployment etc. Lers be honest , can such an old person handle these issues?’ Barr. Akere Muna questioned.

According to him, the country is sinking to the sea floor with the President being a victim of the failing system he put in place.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Video: NAFDAC raids market, confiscates alcoholic beverages in sachet, pet bottles

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday confiscated alcoholic beverages packaged in sachets and pet bottles below 200ml worth millions of naira in Imo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the alcoholic beverages confiscated by the agency include: Action bitters, ballamour bitters and Chelsea London dry gin.

Some others are Squad 5 dark rum, Yagor milk cream liquor, Captain Jack, Banjinotu Alcoholic bitters, Tombo bitters, Big Ben, Rocket ginger, Yaahu blended gin and Eagle Aromatic Schnapps.

The agency’s Coordinator in the state, Mrs Mercy Ndukwe, led the enforcement team to the popular Rotobi Market in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

Ndukwe told NAN after the raid that the Federal Government had issued a directive banning the production of alcoholic beverages in sachets and pet bottles below 200ml.

She added that ‘in 2018, the agency, in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health met with the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Emp
loyees (NUFBTE), Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) and Consumer Protection Council (CPC), among other stakeholders.

‘During the meeting, an agreement was reached that companies should start packaging above 200ml.

‘The committee and the agency agreed to a moratorium of five years to phase out such packaged drinks by Jan. 31, 2024.

‘They also agreed to reduce production by 50 per cent by 2022.’

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Ndukwe added that NAFDAC had equally stopped the issuance of market authourisation to producers of alcoholic beverages below 200ml, while enforcement commenced on Feb. 1, 2024.

However, she said, most producers continued producing with expired licences or illegally.

She explained that ‘here in Imo, we gave time to see if they would reduce supply and sale of the particular sized products, but instead of reducing, it is increasing, which means the distillers and blenders are still producing and selling.

‘We cannot watch things go wrong, especially when the deadline ha
s elapsed. This is a policy of the Federal Government and it must be enforced.’

She said an examination of the alcoholic beverages confiscated showed some with NAFDAC registration numbers, but failed date marking like the production and expiry dates.

‘This is an indication that the producers are conscious of what they are doing, it is even a violation on its own,’ she stressed.

She said the agency had carried out regular sensitisation to educate the people, especially traders, on the ban and dangers of alcoholic beverages below 200ml, as well as plan to carry out enforcement.

The agency had also carried out enforcement on water producers who sell sachet and bottled water in open space at the Spibat roundabout in Owerri without regard to stipulated guidelines.

The coordinator said ‘we gave conditions before we register them, that water must be stored in a cool, dry and wooden platforms and not on bare floor, exposed to sunlight from morning till night.

‘You don’t store water anyhow because the packaging
materials are prone to certain reactions from sunlight.

‘You may produce clean water but in the process of storage and distribution, it becomes contaminated.

‘People don’t bother to wash the sachets before drinking water, so anything on the surface of the sachet can be consumed as well.’

Ndukwe advised them to erect makeshift shades and use wooden platforms, if they must sell outside their factories.

‘You hear the story of cholera everywhere, we don’t want residents to fall victims.

‘The enforcement is not to witch-hunt any individual or company, but to safeguard the health of the nation,’ she maintained.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Jos school tragedy: 81 victims discharged from hospitals

No fewer than 81 victims of the school building collapse in Jos, have been discharged from the various hospitals they were admitted to.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Saints Academy, a secondary and primary school in Jos, collapsed on Friday, while students were writing their third term examination.

Dr Abel Izang, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), of Plateau Specialist Hospital, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday in Jos.

NAN reports that the Saints Academy, a secondary and primary school in Jos, collapsed on Friday, while students were writing their third term examination.

Izang said that out of the 39 patients hospitalised on Friday, 23 had been discharged, while two were referred to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) due to spinal injuries.

Izang further said that the five patients who were still on admission were in stable condition.

Similarly, Prof. Steve Anzaku, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Bingham Univ
ersity Teaching Hospital, said that out of the 55 hospitalised, 23 were discharged and those on admission were in stable condition .

Mrs Chioma Ofodille, the Public Relations Officer of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) Hospital, said 23 out of the 32 patients brought to the facility, had been discharged, while the remaining nine were also in stable condition.

Dr Josiah Njem, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), told NAN that the six victims of the collapsed building, hospitalised in the hospital with various injuries were in stable condition.

NAN reports that no further casualty had been recorded from the four hospitals that treated the victims.

NAN reports that Mr Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, on Friday confirmed that 154 people were brought out of the debris of the collapsed building.

Sadly, 22 were confirmed dead by Ashoms, who also disclosed that six were in critical condition.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Presidential CNG initiative, partners target 1m vehicles for conversion

The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (P-CNGi) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Conversion Workshop Owners, to fast track free conversion of one million vehicles in the country.

The Conversion Incentive Programme will tackle barriers by offering free CNG kits and conversion to targeted one million vehicles in the next three years.

The P-CNGi embarked on this elaborate programme regarded as the highest quantum of conversions so far in the world.

Speaking at the MoU signing on Thursday in Abuja, Mr Michael Oluwagbemi, Programme Director/CEO, P-CNGi, said it had identified 123 conversion workshops, aiming to have 2,000, and achieve one million conversions by 2027.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the partners, including NIPCO Gas, Portland Gas Ltd., Fix It 45, ABG Oil and Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), are participating in the conversion programme.

The Conversion Incentive Programme is designed to tackle the barriers in Nigeria’s commercial tra
nsport entities/operators, to convert vehicles from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to CNG engines.

The programme is a government response, borne out of the complaint by Nigerians over the high cost of conversion amounting to about N500,000.

‘This partnership is basically to respond to that concern; firstly for commercial operators that are unionised through their unions can benefit 100 per cent discount, that is they will get the kits and installation done for free.

‘The unionised commercial operators include the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Nigerian Association of Transport Owners (NATO) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

‘And these will be done through the 123 certified workshops that we have identified while we will work with these five present in the FCT then activate more as we expand across the country.

‘Through the partnership the second operators which include Bolt Nigeria and UBER among others will also benefit 50 per cent write-off on the equipment an
d free installation, while government pays the remaining 50 per cent.

‘Arrangement is made too with these companies for them to pay at instalments without upfront.

‘Vast Nigerians depend on these Rideshares aside from the public mode of transportation; now Nigerians will be able to benefit from the low cost of transportation occasioned by the implementation of this programme,” he said.

He said the P-CNGi had about 20,000 plus potential conversion kits to be distributed to state with CNG capacity under the palliative initiative in the next three months.

He added that the National Assembly had made additional funding, to facilitate procurement of necessary kits and cylinders to be made available in the fourth quarter of 2024.

‘Work have started, installation of conversion kits has begun, mass transit vehicles operators that move 90 per cent of Nigerians will benefit and pass on their savings to consumers, based on the agreement,” he said.

The P-CNGi boss said it had a strong monitoring mechanism around
conversion and enforcement of reduced pricing, adding that the Nigerian Gas Vehicle Monitoring System would ensure proper conversion and tracking.

He further said that within the framework of the agreement, some significant pass-on of the savings would be realised.

According to him, the President upon adoption of CNG for transportation promised that Nigerians can benefit from reduced cost of transportation by ensuring proper implementation.

In their seperate remarks, Mr Mohammed Bawa of ABG Oil and Gas, Zankyang Duniwa, Operations Manager, Bolt Nigeria and Mr Aliyu Isa, Acting President, NURTW, pledged to ensure that Nigerians derived the CNG initiative benefits through 50 per cent transportation fare slash.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Cameroonians demand equal justice after compatriot’s killing

The Cameroonian community in Berlin is demanding equal justice after one of their own, William Chedjou, was killed in the Gesundbrunnen district. They are drawing parallels to the case of a police officer who died in Mannheim, where a swift and severe response was seen, and contrasting it with the perceived lack of urgency in Chedjou’s case.

Protesters argue that the disparity in handling the two cases highlights a double standard in the German justice system, with the lives of some citizens seemingly valued more than others.

Chedjou, a Cameroonian national, was fatally injured in Gesundbrunnen by someone who has been arrested. A local report said one person was arguing about parking space with William while another came with a knife and stabbed Willaim to death on Thursday, July 11, 2024. The Cameroonian community called for transparency in the investigation, including releasing the suspect’s name and photo. They are also demanding the harshest possible punishment for the perpetrator.

The community emphas
izes its law-abiding nature and the peaceful response to the tragedy, contrasting its behavior with the swift and severe measures taken in the Mannheim case. They argue that this demonstrates a clear disparity in the treatment of citizens.

German authorities have not yet issued a public statement regarding the specific demands of the Cameroonian community.

The Cameroonian community has said there will be massive protests in Berlin on Saturday, July 20, 2024, to demand justice.

The Cameroon Embassy in Berlin said it had spoken with the German authorities.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

MPS unveils equipment stimulator at Terminal 3

To test and sharpen the skills and competencies of operators at Tema Port Terminal 3, Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS) has unveiled a state-of-the-art equipment simulator.

Mr. Mohamed Samara, the Chief Executive Officer, unveiling the equipment simulator to stakeholders, said that it was in line with the overall strategy to boost the efficiency and competitiveness of the Tema Port.

Mr. Samara said for Tema Port to sell itself as a hub port, it must meet certain global standards being offered by various big hub ports in various countries.

‘We have to match that service level, if not exceed it, for us to actually anchor some services over here. For example, the crane productivity, not only the berth productivity, has to be tip top.’

He further said the safety in handling the equipment had to be good without inflicting any damage whatsoever to cargo while handling it in the fastest possible way for a quick turnaround of vessels.

Madam Julia Acquah, the Human Resource Manager at MPS, said the equipment s
imulator will add to the company’s various avenues intended to optimise skills development in the workforce.

She said that with the simulator, they were looking at upscaling the skills and competencies of their existing workforce by allowing them to have a picture of and a feel of the field environment.

‘So this gives you a picture of what it looks like out there and an environment of what it would feel like out there, so when you sit behind a console, you get to experience exactly what is happening out there.’

She added that the stimulator offered the employees the opportunity to make corrections, learn new skills, and learn better ways of working, thereby reducing accidents in the port.

Source: Ghana News Agency