Curbing indiscriminate parking of trucks in Jos metropolis
THE increasing numbers of erected warehouses by some business people within residential areas in some suburbs of Jos and Bukuru metropolis have become too rampant. It does not consider the problems that it causes residents, when it comes to the issue of movements of heavy duty trucks that convey goods to such locations for off-loading.
What seems to be difficult for those residents where warehouses have been erected is no other thing but the way such long-vehicles maneuver their way into the residential areas, especially when they are searching for a place to park so as to enable them off-load whatever types of goods they have with ease.
It is true that accidents sometimes occur when some of these long-vehicles are trying to find a place to park before off-loading the goods.
Other negative sides of this menace of trucks when coming into the residential areas with goods to off-load, is the issue that affects residents, who are either coming in or going out of the area. It causes serious inconvenience to the people. In fact, the worse things in this regard is the fact that the long-vehicles sometimes close-up the main road that leads into the residential areas for hours before it is opened for the residents.
What has equally been observed with the rampant case of erections of warehouses in the residential areas is that even those with small cars that come to the warehouses to buy whatever type of goods are not left out when it comes to the issue of creating unnecessary congestion for the residents who ordinarily are not supposed to have been part of such unbearable experience.
However, other issue that are very disturbing and cannot be forgotten is that some of the roads that connect with the warehouses within the residential areas have either become an eye-sore or are dead-traps. These types of bad roads have become dilapidated as a result of the movements of heavy duty trucks that convey goods to such locations.
It therefore, behooves on government to as a matter of urgent public importance, come up with laws that would put a stop to erection of warehouses within residential areas in order to avoid any form of challenges that may cause problems to residents.
Speaking with METRO FOCUS in Jos, some residents who barred their minds on the issue of erecting warehouses in the residential areas described such buildings as illegal structures, looking at the inconveniences that they cause to the residents when it comes to the movements of the heavy duty trucks. They stressed the need for the Plateau State House of Assembly to enact laws that would stop people from erecting warehouses in residential areas.
They expressed concern about indiscriminate parking of long-vehicles, both on the main roads side and also within the residential places, viewing it as very unpleasant as far as the issue of blocking roads into residential areas is concerned.
The residents were also of the opinions that government on its part, should find a place in the outskirts of the town, and build it for big trucks saying that doing so would go a long way in addressing or reducing the rate of accidents caused by the long-vehicles within the town.
They also called on the Plateau State government to as a matter of ensuring safety of lives of the people living in the heart of Jos and Bukuru metropolis make a law that would ban the movements of all long-vehicles that convey goods during the day.
The residents advised government not to allow petroleum marketers to build fuel stations close to residential areas because of the danger it may pose on the residents once there is any incident of fire outbreak.
They maintained that some fuel stations have gutted fire in the course of off-loading fuel, saying that such unfortunate incidents have resulted to loss of lives and properties in some parts of the country.
They also called on Plateau State government to enact a law that would ban tankers from moving with the said products during day time into Jos and Bukuru metropolis, saying that doing so would help in saving the lives of citizens.
Ag GM PPC warns against indiscipline
By HOSEA NYAMLONG
Acting General Manager of Plateau Publishing Corporation(PPC), publishers of THE NIGERIA STANDARD and SUNDAY STANDARD, Mr.Paul Jatau has warned staff of the corporation to take their work seriously.
Jatau made this disclosure while addressing staff at the Paste-up Hall of the corporation recently.
He stated that it has come to the notice of the management that staff have developed the habit of indiscipline and nonchalance towards their duty and as a result, don’t report to duty on time.
He said that time book would be provided in all the Directorates of the corporation in order to monitor the movement and reporting time of staff.
He added that it would not be business as usual as visitors visiting the corporation should ensure that they have business with the corporation or its staff. Unauthorize persons within the premises of the corporation would no longer be entertained.
Jatau in his submission during the address maintained that the corporation has recently witnessed cases of stolen property and also an attempt to steal one of the air condition compartment belonging to Express City line Machine of the corporation.
He warned that any staff that would be caught in any act of stealing or be found in connection or found spearheading any criminal act of stealing property of the organization would be made to face the full wrath of the law and if found wanting, dismissed according to civil service rules.
He urged staff to be diligent in their work and also be vigilant in safeguarding properties of the organization from theft.
Earlier in a speech by the Director of Admin and Personnel(DAP), Mrs.Victoria Arin, she reiterated that staff are to adhere to the ethics, rules and regulations guiding the the Civil Service Sheme.
She stressed that staff must be disciplined in discharging his or her duty accordingly. And that any staff found wanting would be punished according to the rules and regulations guiding the establishment.
Arin advised staff to ensure that they are always at their duty post , for staff roaming about would not be tolerated anymore.” We must give value to our work and to sustain the legacy the corporation was known for.”
However, the acting General Manager in response to staff comments,questions and contributions,assured staff of the management’s readiness and commitment to address the situation in no time.
Government ready to revamp media organisations -Ashoms
As part of the Government to strengthen the Ministry for Information and Communication of the State. The Commissioner for Information and Communication Plateau State, Hon.Musa Ibrahim Ashoms has assured Government readiness to prevent the media organizations of the state
PLSG approves take – off of FMC, Orthopedic hospital
The Plateau State Executive Council recently approved the immediate take – off of the Federal Medical Centre,Wase and the National Orthopaedic Hospital,Jos .
Briefing journalists after the meeting held at the New Government House, Little Rayfield,Jos ,the State Commissioners for Information and Communication and that of Health , Hon. Musa Ashoms and Dr . Cletus Sukuk said Federal Medical Centre,Wase would use as a temporary site, the General Hospital Wase before relocating to the Legacy Project , permanent site located in the area when completed.
The National Orthopaedic Hospital Jos,the commissioners explained would use as a temporary site, the Old Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) , before relocating to the permanent site at Mararaban Jama’a, in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
On the issue of those people that have defied government’s order by refusing to leave the Old JUTH despite warnings, the Commissioner for Information and Communication said a team has been set up by government to ensure that that order was executed.
Hon.Ashoms appealed to Plateau citizens to accord the government maximum cooperation so that there would be no hitches in the take- off of the projects.
Nobody would be victimised – Gov Mutfwang assures Plateau workers
By PETER TITLE:
Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State on Friday assured residents of the state that nobody would be victimised following the constitution of the committee to review the recent appointment exercise into the state civil service.
THE NIGERIA STANDARD recalls that recently, Governor Mutfwang suspended all those employed since October last year by the immediate past administration of Simon Lalong in the civil service in the State, citing lopsidedness in the exercise.
Similarly, the governor had set up a 15-member committee to look into the employment exercise.
Mutfwang gave the assurance while swearing-in his Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, four Special Advisers and members of the Plateau State House of Assembly Service Commission.
He said, “Let me say this quickly; those who have been appointed to serve in the committee to review the issue of appointment, we do not intend to witch-hunt anyone.
“As a matter of fact, the information that we based our action on came from citizens and we thought it would be irresponsible not to investigate such complaints.
“We will continue to do all we can to ensure that the process is seamless, fair and just.
“We won’t treat anyone in isolation, and I can assure you that no one will be victimised”, he assured.
He urged the people to continue to pray for the government, as it unfolds policies that are beneficial to the citizenry.
The governor admonished those who have been appointed to see their appointment as a “responsibility and trust” bestowed on them by Plateau citizens.
While responding on behalf of the appointees, the Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Hon. Latep Dabang, appreciated the governor for choosing them to serve in their respective capacities.
Latep assured that the appointees would bring to bear their wealth of experience to add value to the administration with a view to ensuring the requisite development the citizens are yearning for.
Foundation, CAVSI provide free eye surgery
The TY Danjuma Foundation in collaboration with the Care Vision Support Initiative (CAVSI) is to provide free and comprehensive eye surgery to people with cataracts, glaucoma and other humanitarian services in Plateau State.
The health care intervention which has commenced at the Pankshin General Hospital is to last for the next five years, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Gima Forge. Forge who disclosed this while on courtesy visit on Governor Simon Lalong at Government House, Rayfied, Jos, Wednesday, said the intervention was aimed at dealing with preventable blindness.
Forge said aside from these, the Foundation had delved into issues around maternal and child health, neglected tropical diseases and other humanitarian services such as improving quality teaching in the state.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, the Foundation was established in 2009 by General Theophelus Danjuma borne out of the need to deal with preventable blindness which was dear to the heart of the founder. He added that they have been partnering with the Care Vision Support Initiative, an NGO based in the state for 12 years providing eye care services across the country.
The Foundation, he said provides grant for the screening of eye, health workers, medication and salaries for staff.
Governor Simon Lalong who spoke through his deputy, Professor Sonni Tyoden, described the intervention as a welcome development, noting that the state had longed to be part of the beneficiaries at inception of the Foundation until now and thanked CAVSI for collaborative efforts.
On its part, Lalong said government will do all that was possible to facilitate smooth operations of the Foundation within the five year period to enable them go round the state.
The areas of intervention which include health care, education and skills acquisition would be of immense benefit to the people of the state. He promised to encourage the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON in the state to do the needful by providing the necessary facilities for effective services.
Gunmen killings cause apprehension in the country
The activities of unknown gunmen who have terrorized Some States in Nigeria claiming innocent lives and rendering hundreds of families helpless have caused a lot of concerns for Nigerians as even the security agencies are yet to unravel those behind such mayhem and bring the perpetrators to book. The killings by gunmen have caused apprehension in the country. JWANTU MATHEW writes.
WILLIAM E. Gladstone was famous across the globe for his quotable quote. “Justice delayed,” according to the Liberalist who died on May 19, 1809, “is justice denied.” This dictum seems to have found a comfortable accommodation in the Nigerian system where Justice seems to be an alien.
In the North-west, most killings are attributed to bandits; in the north-east to Boko Haram; in the North-central and South-west, to killer herdsmen; and in the South-east, to unknown gunmen.
While some Nigerians believe the killer armed bandits are milking the citizenry by either killing some of their victims or collecting huge sum of money as ransoms to enrich themselves, the unknown gunmen who carry out assassinations may have been birthed out of cultism and cultists doing the bidding of their pay masters.
In 2021, four prominent Nigerians were murdered by unknown gunmen. First, former special adviser on politics to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Owerri, Imo state while on his way to Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport.
Also, the former judge of the Enugu state high court, Justice Stanley Nnaji, was dragged out of his car by unknown gunmen and shot three times. Similarly, a businessman, popularly known as Linus Owuamanam was killed by unknown gunmen along Premier Hotel-Sango Road in Ibadan, Oyo state. Chief provost of the Nigerian Immigration Service in Imo, Okiemute Mrere was killed along Owerri-Port Harcourt Road in Owerri, and his remains discovered in a bush.
In March 2021, the Niger state Command Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun confirmed the assassination of former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman of Tafa local government area in Niger state, Sule Ishaya who was murdered by unknown gunmen, adding that the Police is still investigating the matter.
Also, a middle-aged businessman, Salau Taiwo Hussein was said to have been whisked away from his resident around Brighter Road in Minna, the Niger state capital by unknown gunmen who stormed the area in their numbers heavily armed, as they were said to engage the local vigilantes in the area in a sporadic gun shots to achieve their aim.
Our reporter gathered that the security operatives comprising the police, local vigilantes, and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were already assessing the situation and are still trailing the unknown gunmen.
An independent study launched into the activities of dissident groups in parts of the country especially the Southeast region of Nigeria, particularly between 2021 and 2022, revealed that about 83 civilians and 36 security personnel were sent to their early graves by non-State Armed Groups, labeled as “unknown gunmen” and are yet to be brought to book.
In the independent study, data gleaned from Nextier SPD Violent Conflict Database also revealed that at least three civilians and one security personnel die weekly due to the activities of unknown gunmen in the Southeast region.
This was as some whistleblowers were subjected to threats of life, harassment and victimization by their employers and colleagues for daring to expose corrupt practices.
It should be noted that over six years after the Nigerian government introduced the whistleblower policy to help combat corruption in the country, Nigerians are now reluctant to report incidences of corruption following cases of threats and killings by unknown gunmen and lack of protection on the whistleblowers.
In 2021, the Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption PACAC, Prof. Sadiq Isah Raddah, stated at the public presentation of the report of a survey on five years of whistle-blowing policy in Nigeria which was undertaken by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, (AFRICMIL) in Abuja that an overwhelming majority (98.2%) of Nigerians perceived corruption as a serious problem and menace in the country.
He said “although, majority of Nigerians are aware of the whistleblowing policy, one quarter of the respondents are unwilling to report any form of corrupt practices while 3 of every 4 respondents have stopped reporting cases of looted funds for fear of being killed”.
Since 2018, killers of a young man identified as Kingsley Ekene Iwuoha who was attacked and shot dead by suspected gunmen in Owerri, Imo State capital are yet to be identified and arrested.
Families and friends have wept bitterly since Kingsley, popularly known as Don King was murdered and are seeking for justice.
While some of his friends claimed he must have been assassinated by those who envied his success growth, his relatives claimed he was murdered for being a whistleblower.
Kingsley’s sister, Helena Iwuoha while lamenting that after four years the Police is yet to make any arrest claimed that, before he was murdered, there were death threats because he (Kingsley) tried to expose corruption. “Kingsley’s death is not unconnected with his being a whistleblower”.
Accordingly, she said “Kingsley was a whistleblower and he was killed by suspected cultists working on the perceived orders of highly placed individuals for exposing corruption in the oil sector.
“I know about this because prior to his killing, Kingsley had complained to me concerning death threats he was getting. My brother had to leave Lagos State and ran to Imo state where he was eventually traced and killed.”
Reports have it that Kingsley was murdered on the 10th of September 2018 in Owerri after he moved from Lagos a few months earlier because of continuous death threats he was getting from cultists.
One of his friends, Ajuonuma Wilson who spoke to our Correspondent in Minna, lamented the delay in apprehending killers of innocent Nigerians by the security agencies in the country.
According to him “Kingsley was my best friend. He was a very promising young man who was murdered by unknown gunmen. The matter was since reported and till date no arrests have been made by the Police.
“He told me then that his life was in danger for exposing corruption. He left Lagos for Imo State and was murdered. Obviously, the protection of our lives cannot be guaranteed by security agencies”.
Reports have it that, beyond the death recorded, hundreds of people were said to have been kidnapped in the Southeast within the same period under review thereby creating more apprehension amongst residents.
It should be noted that the policy in theory states that whistleblowers’ “confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest extent possible within the limitations of the law.”
The policy offers protection for any whistleblower “who has made a genuine disclosure” in good faith, and promises that “restitution shall be made to the whistle-blower for any loss suffered” as a result of harassment, intimidation or victimization. But the case of Kingsley was not so, as over four years, his killers are yet to be apprehended.
No doubt, our security forces are trying to save the day, but the truth be told, the security situation in the country has overwhelmed them.
Nigeria: What hope for education at 62?
Nigeria has recently celebrated yet another independence anniversary as a sovereign nation which was granted to it on October 1, 1960, the day the British colonial flag was joyfully and in a historic mood replaced on the pole with the Nigerian flag signifying the departure from the colonial rule and from that day, every 1st October was set aside for celebration to mark the nation liberation CHINDAPBA NGOP, writes.
RECALLING how the independence celebration used to be, every Nigerian was eager to see and participate; school children, students, the military police, cultural troupes, masquerades and the display of ethnic groups dances to thrill and add colours to the celebration. The National anthem was sang with great sense of total commitment to our great nation and to crown it all, Nigeria was the envy of many African countries.
Watching this year’s activities of the independence celebration, Nigerians are no longer celebrating the anniversary of our nationhood enthusiastically. The spirit and avidity with which they used to celebrate it has faded away. This is because the foundation that was laid by our founding fathers have not been sustained and improved upon despite Nigerian’s wealth in petroleum and natural resources and its huge agricultural potential. Nigeria which was and still considered as one of the largest economies in Africa has suffered a serious gasp in all aspects of life after 62 years of its freedom. The dreams and aspirations for greater future of Nigeria appears to be dark and gloomy for an average Nigerian today.
However, the driving force of any great nation is education, therefore our productive capacity solely depends on the quality of education we put in place today. It was in this regards that our founding fathers established the Nigeria’s first five early generation and regionised Universities; Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) 1962, University of Ibadan (UI) 1948, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) 1962, Obafemi Awolowe University (OAU) 1962 and University of Lagos (UNILAG) 1962.
To keep pace with time and the ever-fast-growing population, between 1975-1980, the Federal government in its third National Development plan established seven additional Universities namely; University of Jos, Ilorin, Maiduguri, Port-Harcourt, Calabar, Sokoto, Ado Bayero University, Kano as the second-generation Universities.
Today, number of primary and secondary schools in the country have also increased considerably and their enrollment have been made universal. The proliferation and privatization policy of government have made individuals and corporate bodies to establish more schools. Now Nigeria currently has over 180 public and private Universities.
There is no denying the fact that in the last 62 years, Nigeria has made some progress in series of reforms that have also taken place in the education sector but the quality of education leaves much to be desired as the sector is at a crossroad. The explosion of higher institutions without commensurate number of qualified teachers has exacerbated the already battered educational system. Therefore, no progress has been made beyond the increase in the number of educational institutions across the country. Even with the increase, politicians are still clamoring for more Universities to be established in the country.
Admittedly, the transformation in the education sector has not yielded any positive development to unlock our enclosed potentials as a nation nor has it equipped us to get out of the extreme poverty.
Educationally we are still not where we ought to be notably in terms of the industrial revolution that is driven by the emerging technological advancements and skills acquisition. Technology remains one of the greatest components for change in the digital age. Nevertheless, how can Nigeria measure up with the emerging digital technology which is the sure way of creating wealth for the nation with the epileptic relationship between Federal government and the industrial unions in the public tertiary institutions over the years?
The over 8 months strike embarked by the unions in the Nigerian public Universities have no doubt made education boring for both students and parents and the frequent strikes in the past have repeatedly convinced many Nigerians that the quality of education is steadily dwindling thereby making them to lose confidence in Nigerias educational system.
It is most subversive and unpatriotic for the elites and the political class who most of them enjoyed better scholarships, tree meals, better and free accommodations etc. In the 70s and late 80s have become so insensitive watching the destruction of the very sector that had offered them the opportunities to become who they are today. They are not making education their priority to allocate more resources into education sector to enable the country accomplish its vision because most of our political leaders in government are now educating their children and wards in foreign countries and private institutions. More disturbing, even when our public universities are under lock and key, students are roaming in the streets as a result of the prolonged strike by ASUU, our leaders are proudly and shamelessly posting and celebrating the graduations of their children and wards from most of the prestigious universities in Europe and United States on social media. It is so sad that those who are vested with the responsibility of running our system do not believe in it and the bill to stop public officers from sending their children to school abroad has summarily been rejected. Lack of political will is really one of the factors that has ruined our educational system.
Our politics do not accommodate innovative leaders and intellectual capital who will break new grounds to transform our dreams into reality.
Another factor that has held the education sector down has been heighten and intractable insecurity caused by Boko Haram, ‘bandits, kidnapping and insurgency which have over the years threatened most parts of the country thereby forcing schools to close down for a long period of time. The frequency at which schools are closed as a result of insecurity and strikes by Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) has not only complicated the already bad security situation in the country but it has forced students and unemployed youths into the business of cyber-crimes, cultism, act of hooliganism, banditry, terrorism etc.
Insecurity has come to stay in Nigeria as long as universities and polytechnics continue to churn out graduates, and half-baked graduates in most cases without jobs, we will continue to witness greater security challenges. It is indisputable that education their priority to secured job before graduation from school was common but today, the population density of Nigerian graduates has made unemployment on the increase.
Brain drain is at its highest now in our public institutions because of poor economy and more so we are in money-driven society. Most of the educated and talented young men and women are leaving the Country for greener pastures. It is estimated by experts that Nigeria has lost over 500 consultants this year alone and a total of 9,000 doctors left Nigeria for Canada, United States and United Kingdom, in April this year according to the Nigeria Medical Association. The exodus, of the skilled and best brain in our Tertiary institutions is becoming worrisome it should be an issue of concern to government if we most build a great nation.
Sadly, again, the quality of education has continued to witness a sharp drop because of inadequate structures in our universities. Lack of facilities have made the learning environment not conducive for students, the few available structures are always overstretched.
Children in most of the primary and secondary schools in the rural areas study under trees, while those lucky to have roof over them sit on bare floor. The science laboratories in secondary schools are shadows of what they used to be. The libraries are filled with obsolete books if at all the Librans, still exist in most of the secondary schools.
Poverty has also prevented the children of the poor to migrate to foreign Countries to obtain quality education like their colleagues from the wealthy families therefore most of them cannot attend private schools that are available in the country as most parents cannot afford to pay the outrageous fees charged by the private and corporate bodies. Children from the low-income earners have abandoned schools due to harsh economic challenges.
For government to build talented and home grown scientific and technical expertise that could compete with other African Countries such as Rwanda, Ivory Coast, United Arab Emirates and even China, government must provide a purposeful leadership and commitment in funding our institutions right from primary to tertiary levels. Teachers must also be trained to bring to life technologies that can transform the Country from a consuming nation to an exporting nation, turning our huge population into blessings rather than a cause. The Bank of industry, should live up to its expectation by empowering our local industries to expand and diversify methods of production using our domestic resources and raw materials to finished products, it will boost job creation. This will no doubt remove the army of unemployed youths from the streets.
Change is also possible if government can find the existing universities and stop the proliferation of more universities.
Happily, Federal Government has recently announced a bursary of N75,000 per semester for under graduates studying education in public universities and N50,000 per semester for those in colleges of education, these will go a long way in encouraging students take up teaching profession.
Eze-Igbo expresses gratitude to NSSG
THE Eze-Igbo of Keffi in KeffiLlocal Government Area of Nasarawa State Igwe Celestine Mba has expressed his gratitude to both the Nasarawa State’s government, Keffi local government Council for the allocation of Shops to the Igbo traders in the recently commissioned Multi-billion Naira neighbourhood market in Keffi.
The Igbo leader also expressed his gratitude for the great role played by the Emir of Keffi.
Speaking with newsmen in Keffi after the swearing in ceremony of the Council’s Secretary, the Eze Igbo described the gesture as very commendable and gratifying especially that it would enable them to contribute to the socio-economic activities of the area, the state and the country and their osocio-economic activities too.
“We are highly grateful with what we were given already because as it is, half a loaf is better than no bread but just as Oliver twist who always asks for more, we are looking forward to have more if possible” he pleaded.
HRH Mba who described the gesture as a clear demonstration of carrying them along as important stakeholders, assured that they would not rest 0n their Oars in giving their contributions and support towards the general development of the area.
He then tasked members of his community to continue to live in peace and harmony and support constituted authority with a view to reap the fruits of democracy especially that the state government under the leadership of Engineer Abdullahi Sule has been carrying them along through appointments and other forms of patronage.
On the performance of the Keffi local government Chairman Hon. Muhammad Baba Shehu, the Eze-Igbo described him as a true and committed leader that has the great passion and desire to take the Council and its people to the next level.
While assuring him of their support and co-operation of all the Igbo community in the area in a bid to bring meaningful peace and development, the Igbo-leader however urged the Council chairman to continue to carry them along in the scheme of things so as to give them a sense of belonging.
NAN applauds PPC for resilience
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