MANGEMENT and staff of Plateau publishing Corporation (PPC), publisher of THE NIGERIA STANDARD and SUNDAY STANDARD newspapers Jos have been applauded for keeping the newspaper alive.
Zonal Manager News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) North Central Mr. Kayode Olaitan gave the commendation when he led the delegation of his management team on a courtesy visit to the General Manager PPC, Dr Boniface Gwotbit in his office in Jos, on Tuesday.
Mr. Olaitan expressed happiness with the warm reception accorded them during the visit. He said that the purpose of the visit was for the two organizations to see how they can benefit from each other through partnership in the area of information discrimination as partners in progress.
The Zonal Manager explained that the other reason for their visit was to further build on the existing relationship that has been on ground long before now. He stated that, NAN has
benefited a lot from the existing relationship with THE NIGERIA STANDARD.
Mr. Olaitan maintained that NAN stories are always reliable, adding that the organization is the most credible as it also remains as the giant of Africa, since its news is everywhere and are equally supplied to different medium.
Resounding, the General Manager, PPC, Dr, Boniface G w o t b i t w h o w a s represented by the Editor daily of THE NIGERIA
STANDARD, Mr. Paul Jatau thanked Zonal manager, NAN, North Central and his Management team for the visit which he described as a good one to the corporation.
Dr. Gwotbit said that, PPC has been with NAN for a very long time and assured them of the corporation’s readiness to continue with the existing partnership. He added that the organization would also take advantage of some of the agency’s newly introduced products as partners in progress.
Jos Main Market: Group calls to halt proposed reconstruction
THE coalition of Plateau Indigenous groups and other related organisations, have called for the suspension of the proposed work at the Jos main market (terminus).
The group gave their stance after holding a meeting Monday at Government House Jos, convened by the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Plateau, Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo.
The CAN Chairman during a press briefing, at the end of the meeting between the groups and executives of the Plateau state Government told news men that the stakeholders are calling for a suspension of the proposed work due to ambiguity in the contract, and non-clarity of some grey areas.
The NIGERIA STANDARD NEWSPAPERS had reported earlier that Plateau State Executive Council had approved the reconstruction of the Jos Main market, rated as one of the largest closed door market in West Africa, which was gutted by fire in March 2022, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Jaiz bank at an estimated total cost of N9.4 billion Naira in three phases.
Lubo disclosed during the briefing that he had convened the meeting following tensions in the state, and information circulating on social media, that the state government had mortgaged the lives and properties of its youths for 40 years through its ambiguous agreement with Jaiz bank.
Fr. Lubo said the groups were aggrieved and were showing their displeasure with government for not consulting critical stakeholders before getting into such an agreement on the market reconstruction, saying it is crucial to them because it concerns their future.
He said the groups after the meeting made a resolution suggesting that the reconstruction should be put on hold until proper consultation is done with them and other critical stakeholders.
According to the CAN Chairman, “After our meeting, we came to a conclusion that government should go and redress this situation and look into our concerns until our fears are being addressed”.
“We (The groups) call on Plateau people to be kind enough to give us the benefit of doubt, that we have their interest at heart and will not allow anything to happen to them”.
Chairman CAN Youth Wing, Mr Markus Audu Kanda, said their consultations with government was very important because indeed, there had been gaps and trust deficits between the government and the people regarding the contract.
He however said the meeting had availed the groups the opportunity to listen to government and have an insight into the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between the State Government and JAIZ Bank, while the youths also gave their position to the government on their thoughts and concerns.
“We believe that the 40 years we are talking about is the time period of the youth of today, and if such decisions are taken with no inputs from the youths, then we believe it is not fair and good to us”
“Therefore we have suggested that what government is planning concerning the market reconstruction should be suspended until we are able to engage and educate people properly so that we can be on the same page, and agree holistically as people of Plateau state on the way forward” said the Youth Leader.
Plateau State Attorney General Chrysanthus Ahmadu, a Government representative and spokesman at the forum expressed concern that Plateau people have been misinformed on the reconstruction contract.
He said the 40 years term indicated in the contract is the sub-lease for the buyers, to help them recoup from buying the shops. Ahmadu said the agreement is that the allotees will be granted a 40 years sub lease by the Jos Main Market Authority at the end of 40 years after which the property reverts back to the market authority. “So if you are buying a shop know that you are buying for 40 years , it is not Jaiz bank to be given 40 years”.
“Jaiz bank is just a financier, it is putting money for the contractor to do the job , and at the end of it, they will sell 60 per cent while government will sell 40 per cent“, he stated.
While assuring Plateau people of fairness and equity in the sale of the shops, he added that the people should be rest assured and put their mind at ease because even the 60 percent to be sold by Jaiz bank would be adequately supervised by government to guarantee fairness.
He disclosed that government was still discussing with the bank and no conclusion had been made, however an understanding had been reached on how the market reconstruction contract wouldst be reached.
The Government spokesman however added that the Governor Simon Bako Lalong led government is proactive and has listened to the concerns raised by the stakeholders promising to table the issues being raised by the Coalition for further discussions.
The General Manager of Plateau Investment and Property Development Company (PIPC, Mr. Chris Yilzak who also described the meeting as a very positive consultation also disclosed to newsmen that the MOU between Government and JAIZ Bank had not yet been signed.
He however said the concerns of the people are genuine assuring that the interest of Plateau People had been at the forefront of the contract to make them benefit economically from the deal.
Bauchi records Monkeypox outbreak, no cause for alarm –Rilwanu
The Executive Chairman Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, has announced the outbreak of monkeypox in the state.
Dr. Rilwanu made the disclosure while speaking with Journalists recently in Anguwan Galadima, Tirwun shortly after flagging off OBR for the month of July.
“Yes, there is an outbreak of monkeypox in Bauchi, one person has been diagnosed with the disease while 2 others are still under close observation, as suspects of the disease for now”
“The victim is not from Bauchi State, he came from Adamawa State, he is presently receiving medical management at one of the facilities. We will not allow him to go until we are satisfied with his condition”.
“Unlike Cholera where you have to wait for about 15 cases before you declare an outbreak, with just one confirmed case, you can declare an outbreak of monkeypox” Rilwanu explained.
He assured that his Agency in collaboration with other stakeholders in healthcare delivery services are working round the clock to ensure that the disease did not spread beyond what it is at present.
“Our surveillance has been reinvigorated to ensure that suspected cases are immediately dealt with. Bauchi State is a gateway to the North-East subregion, we are therefore at alert to ensure that no suspected case of monkeypox goes unnoticed” He added
The Chairman of the agency appealed to the people to immediately report to the nearest health facility any symptoms of the disease for effective medical management which he said the disease requires for now.
He explained that symptoms of monkeypox, includes Fever; Headache;
Muscle aches and backache; Swollen lymph nodes; Chills and Exhaustion.
Adding that respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough are some of the symptoms while rashes,pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
NGO caution youths against electoral violence, intolerance
Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP), a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), has cautioned youths against electoral violence and intolerance to maintain peace in communities during the 2023 general elections.
Mrs Bola Nelson, Coordinator of CIPP, gave the advice at a one-day workshop organised in conjunction with USAID, Mercy Corps and Youths Critical Discussion, parents and youths from Adankolo community and religious leaders in Lokoja.
Nelson said parents, community and religious leaders played vital roles in moulding the hearts and attitudes of our teaming youths for a peaceful society.
“Electoral violence is one of the major catalysts of crises and destruction of lives and property in our communities. And we felt we should start tackling it with seriousness now that we are in the season of elections.
“We expect the participants of our programme to be good ambassadors, who will stand for peace and speak peace to their wards, families, neighbours, communities and organisations.
“We expect them to go and educate our youths not to allow themselves to be used by bad elements or politicians to disrupt the peace of our communities before, during and after elections,” she said.
Nelson also called on parents and religious leaders as ambassadors, to caution youths against hate speeches, rumour mongering, fake news and temperament.
“Discipline is key towards maintaining peaceful communities for the desired economic growth and development,” she said.
A resource person, Mrs Esther Perter-Sanda, said that the role of parents in the upbringing of children could not be over emphasised, given its importance to a peaceful society.
Perter-Sanda said that in a family, there were differences just as in politics, especially in choice of political parties or candidates.
She said once there was respect and tolerance, peace would reign supreme in that home and community.
PLHA happy with pace of work at British-America
THE Plateau State House of Assembly (PLHA) has expressed satisfaction with the pace and level of construction work at the fly-over bridge along British America junction.
Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Transportation who is also the member representing Bokkos constituency, Hon. Amurudu Usaini made the disclosure recently as he led other members on an oversight visit to the site.
Speaking on his general assessment of what he saw on ground, Amurudu on behalf of the state assembly said he was impressed with the level of work which he described as about fifty percent completion.
He was however, quick to warn the construction company handling the project to keep to the agreed stipulated time of completion which is by the end of December, 2022.
According to him, tax payers monies have been committed towards the actualisation of this project by the state government and it was only wise for Plateau people to enjoy the benefits of their money.
Earlier, the Project Manager and Director Civil Engineering in the state Ministry of Works, Engr. Beedee Bot while taking the committee round the construction site explained the various scope of work and the current stage which he said is at the super structure.
He disclosed that the other scope of works remaining were the retaining walls on both sides, concrete works, hard work, pavement and surfacing etc while the casting of the main bridge was ongoing, adding that in the next ten days work would commence on the drainages and the other side of the fly over.
Also speaking, the Project Manager Cranebury Construction, the company handling the work, Engr. Dani Mansour assured that all work would be completed and handed to the state government by the end of December this year.
On challenges faced, especially regarding making funds available which might hinder the completion of work on time, he disclosed that there was none except for the rains which of course cannot be handled but promised to find ways of working around it.
Other committee members present included Hon. Timothy Dantong, Hon. Pirfa Tyem, Hon. Ezra Dakup, Hon. Gwottson Dalyop and Hon. Mohammed Ballo who made certain observations which were noted.
Plateau, South African company to invest in agribusiness
Plateau State Government and a South African company Wellington and White have agreed to invest in agribusiness in the state.
This was disclosed when the State Governor Simon BakoLalong receive the Managing Director Mr. Ian White and his team Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at Government House, Rayfield, Jos.
White said Plateau has alot of agric potentials and a fertile soil where anything can grow that is why his organisation took the opportunities partner with the state and explore its agribusiness potentials.
He said his company, based in South Africa has worked in Kenya and other countries adding that they are identifying the produce crops in the country to get them to commercial levels and remove the middle man to enable the growers gain more from their farm produce.
“The purpose of our visit is to identify what facilities are available, and the number of crops to start with. We will start with flowers, tomatoes and pepper, produce enough, train a management team to expand to other projects, make a name and brand including export opportunities”.
“We can do this job and take away lots of imports from Nigeria like tomato paste”, saying most of the tomato paste consumed in the country comes from China”.
Ian also said the project will engage extension services, right soil, right fertilisers, agronomists, extension workers, and will create many opportunities and it will be built over a span of 10 years which can attract international investors to the state.
Responding, Governor Lalong expressed great interest in the team and their proposed investment plan in his state.
He promised to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive with infrastructures like the dry inland port, and through enhancing a peaceful environment.
He also assured the visiting team that through the Plateau Investment and Property Company (PIPC), the body championing the project, his administration will facilitate and guarantee their investment in Plateau.
Speaking earlier, Managing Director PIPC, Mr Chris Yilzak who led the team to government house said the two Companies are working to enhance and turn around the numerous and huge agricultural and vegetable potentials of the state into viable economic ventures.
The PIPC Boss assured that with the profile of the SA Company that has been into agribusiness for over 30 years in South Africa, the project will create job opportunities, and a viable economic industry in Plateau State.
Plateau State Governor, Rt Hon. Simon BakoLalong, Mr. White from Wellington and White, South Africa, Managing Director, PIPC, Mr. ChryYilzak, Government officials and others in a group photograph after their visit yesterday at the new Government House Rayfield, Jos