By Ifeanyi Nwoko
An Abuja-based property developer, Ms Farida Ahmed, has called on the federal and state governments to enforce building codes to ensure all structures in the country conform to standards.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Friday, Ahmed, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Premium Shelter, said that government must also begin to visibly prosecute those who have run foul of the code and whose structures had collapsed.
According to her, such enforcement and punishments will help to ensure that all other structures that would be built in Nigeria would follow standards.
She said that her company with its newly launched project, The Oak by Leptons Premium Shelter, would always ensure that only standardised quality materials would be used in their construction.
She charged Nigerian home owners as well as developers to equally follow suit to ensure that the cases of incessant building collapse in Nigeria comes to an end.
Nigerian government needs to pay more attention to the quality of materials that are being supplied across the country to build homes, offices and other infrastructure.
One thing is clear at the moment, there is still a lot of Nigeria to be built because we are still a developing nation.
This is why, standards need to be enforced across board to ensure that the homes and buildings that Nigerians are stepping into are structurally sound and can stand the test of time, she said.
The Premium Shelter boss also lamented the many cases of building collapses across the nation, saying that her company would continue to be at the forefront of advocating for stringent measures to be taken against construction companies that utilise subpar products for their clients.
I echo the sentiments of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babtunde Fashola, who has called for stricter adherence to the national building code, and its domestication across all the 36 states of the nation.
On our part, we will continue to ensure that we meet these standards, while also calling for the urgent prosecution of those that fail to do so, thereby, putting the lives of innocent Nigerians at risk.
Moving forward, those of us in the real estate and property sectors must all ensure that we are accountable to our clients.
On their part, the government must also ensure that it develops and adheres strictly to the town planning guidelines, instead of embarking on arbitrary allocation processes, Ahmed said. (NAN)
Source: NAN News
APC accuses Bauchi State Govt of starving Assembly of funds
By Ayinde Olaide
All schools in Bauchi State are set to reopen, starting from Oct. 12, according to Mr Aliyu Tilde, the state Commissioner of Education.
Tilde told a news conference, on Friday in Bauchi that the date was agreed after proper deliberation by stakeholders in the state.
Tertiary institutions are, however, exempted from resumption yet, he said.
The commissioner warned that any school that does not meet all the COVID-19 regulations laid down by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would not be allowed to reopen.
At the stakeholders meeting, it was resolved that all primary and secondary schools in the state can reopen starting from Oct. 12, subject to their adherence to all the COVID-19 regulations on school reopening.
We shall expand the COVID-19 school reopening template that was successfully used to reopen the SS3 classes in August, to cover the reopening of other classes.
No school shall reopen unless and until it meets the conditions stipulated in the schedule of reopening.
This simply means that not all schools may open on the said date, he said.
Tilde explained that the NCDC focal person on COVID-19 in the state would monitor and ensure compliance with the conditions stipulated.
The commissioner also said that all schools with low class population could resume fully and run their usual school hours since social distance can easily be achieved, while observing other COVID-19 school protocols.
However, to meet COVID-19 requirement for social distancing, schools with moderate and high sizes will stagger their hours and days vertically and horizontally, he said.
Tilder further explained that all public schools would be decontaminated before reopening.
He added that all teaching and supporting staff in public schools were required to fully resume work at their duty station on Oct. 3.
The commissioner said this would enable them to prepare fully for the school calendar year. (NAN)
Source: NAN News
Edo Trade Fair begins Nov. 27
By Joy Odigie
Edo Government is targeting local technologies, talents and agricultural products at its 2020 Trade Fair to begin on Nov. 27 to Dec. 20.
Mr John Imalingmhe, Director General, Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Friday.
Imalingmhe told NAN that preparations were in top gear to get massive participation for the fair amidst adherence with the COVID-19 protocols.
Preparation for the trade fair is on and we are canvassing participation within and outside the state.
We are happy that the trade fair will be free for everyone to participate and exhibit their goods and we are getting responses from different people we have reached out to, he said.
Imalingmhe, also Secretary, 2020 Edo Trade Fair Planning Committee, said the fair would offer an opportunity for people to buy goods at cheaper prices and promote Made-in-Nigeria goods.
It is a domestic fair, we are looking at local technology, local talents and local agricultural products. We want to look inwards and grow our economy.
We are targeting major manufacturers and distributors of local products to sell at reduced prices and the fair is also open to foreign participation, Imalingmhe said.
NAN reports that the trade fair is themed: Turning Global Economy to New Opportunities through Collaboration. (NAN)
Source: NAN News
A Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan on Friday, dissolved the marriage between two school teachers, John Fawole and his wife, Mary, over battery and threat to life
Delivering judgment, Chief Ademola Odunade, who granted Marys application for the dissolution, the two avoid confrontation with each other in the future.
Mary, who lives in Kolapo Isola-Genral Gas area in Ibadan, filed for divorce on grounds of battery and threat to life.
The petitioner called her husband irresponsible and a monster
Fawole, who resides in Olunwola area in Ibadan, blamed his mother-in-law for he and his wifes many troubles with her alleged constant interferences in their marriage.
He gave his consent for the divorce.
Fawole also accused his mother-in-law of having a hand in the collapse of his marriage.
Rather than ensure that our relationship remained solid, her mother created disharmony in our home.
My wife and I had two children, but she killed them by taking them to a quack doctor who gave them fake drugs when they were sick.
I have been a good husband and father all along, but her mother is a devil incarnate who never allowed our marriage to work, he said.(NAN)
Source: NAN News
By Peter Ejiofor, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
Unarguably, employability is very important, especially for the younger generations. However, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), two out of every five young people are either unemployed or have a job that keeps them in poverty.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than one in six young people are out of work, while those who remain employed have seen their working hours greatly reduced.
The impact of the global pandemic is greater in low and middle-income countries, where up to 75 per cent of young people work in the informal sector of the economy with no job security and little social protection.
Nigeria, with one of the youngest populations globally, falls into the category of middle and low income economies.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigerias youth unemployment rate rose from 25.5 per cent in 2017, to 29.7 per cent in 2018.
With the additional burden of the COVID-19 crisis, youth employment and employability are challenges that must be addressed urgently.
It is imperative that all hands be on deck to ensure that the youth are equipped with relevant skills for the workplace and for enterprise.
Nestl Nigeria is one of the leading companies in Nigeria which has consistently invested in youth empowerment, helping youths to build employability and entrepreneurship capabilities.
This, it is achieving through the Nestl Needs YOUth initiative, reaching over 13,000 young Nigerians in the past two years.
Activities in the initiative include career fairs, entrepreneurship training and mentorship, as well as technical skills training, equipping youth to find decent employment or profitable enterprise.
According to the former Managing Director, Nestl Nigeria, Mr Mauricio Alarcon: It is clear that youth have a critical role to play in building thriving resilient communities.
We believe that communities cannot survive or be successful if they fail to create opportunities for future generations. Through Nestl needs YOUth, we aim to help young people to access economic opportunities.
We also want to help equip the next generation of employees, and entrepreneurs, regardless of their field or level of expertise.
This is important for us as a business because young people are the employees, who will keep our company dynamic and competitive in the future, they are the future farmers who will grow the crops we need, and the future entrepreneurs who will help us reach new markets. This is one of the ways we create shared value.
It has also established what it calls Nestl Celebrates Youth, to coincide with the worldwide commemoration of International Youth Day 2020.
Nestl announced its newly established virtual internship programme in line with Nestl Needs YOUths focus on reducing youth unemployment across the globe.
The programme which is open to qualified youths from tertiary institutions seeks to transfer required international skills for the workplace. Registration is via the companys website.
Nestl Needs Youth Programmes in Nigeria includes Nestl Needs YOUth initiatives which is focused on three areas: Employment and Employability, Agripreneurship and Entrepreneurship.
These initiatives comprise Technical Training, My Own Business (MYOWBU), Youth Agripreneurship Development Programme (YADIS), and Employability Skills Building programmes, in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the Lagos State Government, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and various tertiary institutions, including Lagos Business School, LBS.
It is also equipping the youth for post-COVID economic recovery. To alleviate the additional impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods, Nestl Nigeria recently collaborated with NECA and Redwood consulting to offer online entrepreneurial skills training to over 1,000 youths during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The programme, NECApreneur, provided an opportunity for young people to upscale their entrepreneurial skills to support economic recovery post-COVID-19. The training covered a range of topics including how to start a business, market insight, logistics and operations.
The collaboration is equipping the youth with technical skills in the new realities, that technical skills are more essential than ever, not only for boosting employability, but also for supporting the industrialisation of our nation.
Since 2011, Nestl Nigeria has invested in helping young people build technical skills in machining, mechanical fitting operations, electrical operations, instrumentation operations and automation at its Technical Training Centres located in the companys Agbara and Abaji factories.
The 18-month multi-skilled vocational training programme prepares beneficiaries for the prestigious London City and Guilds technical certification.
Mr Sola Akinyosoye, the Country Human Resources Manager for Nestl Nigeria says: Nestls Technical Training programme has benefitted over 100 students so far, with over 90 per cent of them directly employed by the company.
One person lifted out of poverty translates to positive impact on the whole family and on whole communities. So, together with our partners, The Swiss Embassy in Nigeria, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), we will continue to invest in the education and capacity development of youths to help reduce the burden of unemployment, while creating a pipeline of skilled technicians for our business and for industry at large.
The ITF and NECA joined forces with Nestl Nigeria in 2019 to extend the reach of the Abaji Technical Training Centre. This initiative is in addition to the companys internship and graduate trainee programmes to help young school leavers build the skills required to find gainful employment.
For four years, Nestl collaborated with the Lagos State Government on the Ready, Set, Work (RSW), which aims to build employability skills.
Another channel through which Nestle accomplishes its youth development programme is by Engaging Youth in Agriculture Value Chain.
Considering the pace at which our population is growing and the need to improve food security by creating a sustainable food system, it is clear that the agriculture value chain holds great opportunities for youth to find decent employment, while developing innovative solutions for the future of food.
As a good food, good life company whose purpose is unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for future generations, Nestl works alongside other stakeholders to accelerate the inclusion of youth in the agriculture value chain.
To this end, Nestl Nigeria recently signed an agreement with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which aims to improve food security by increasing the interest and opportunities for youth in farming and agri-food businesses in West Africa.
The programme, Youth Agripreneurship Development Programme (YADIS), will reach 800 youths in Nigeria over the next two years.
The programme is focused on two value chains: A Cassava Plan, targeted at 400 youths implemented by Psaltry International Limited and a Cereals Plan also targeted at 400 youths, implemented by CBIL.
YADIS provides training on good agricultural practices, post-harvest management, food safety and entrepreneurial skills, while providing expert mentorship to help the youth become profitable in their farming enterprises.
The programme also provides input credit to access the right quality and quantity of various farm inputs required for increased productivity, while also linking participants to financial institutions to secure additional funding for business sustainability.
Building Future Entrepreneurs is another way the company promotes youth employment through My Own Business (MYOWBU), programme which works with young people to start their own small businesses as mobile caf entrepreneurs.
By providing entrepreneurship training and startup equipment, Nestl helps the youth to maximise their potential. Since the programme started, about 2,100 small businesses have been created.
The MYOWBU operators also form part of Nescafs consumer recruitment drive, thereby creating value both for the society and for Nestl.
One of the beneficiaries of MYOWBU, Mr Wasiu Adeyeye, who started as a pushcart operator, has grown his business to a more upscale mobile caf.
Adeyeye was a school leaver, who like most young Nigerians could not find gainful employment. He says he is thankful that he became part of the MyOwBu programme.
When my friend and former schoolmate introduced me to the Nescaf pushcart initiative, I did not believe that this business would help me become successful in life.
I soon realised that with hard work and persistence, I will succeed, so I patiently understudied my friend and worked diligently. Today, I am happy to say that, I have been able to cater for my wife and my child.
I am able to pay my daughters school fees. In fact, we are doing well. I am confident that my future is promising, Adeyeye said.
This is one of the beneficiary success stories that encourages Nestl to keep investing in creating opportunities for young people to attain their highest potential.
Nestl Nigeria continues to leverage the companys global resources and knowhow to make a difference by driving societal progress.
Nestl Nigeria is one of the largest food companies in Africa, with the purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come.
For over 58 years, the company has been delighting consumers around Nigeria by consistently delivering high quality nutritious food with staff strength of over 2,300 direct employees.
The company produces and markets several iconic brands, including NESTL PURELIFE, GOLDEN MORN, MILO, MAGGI and NESCAF. (NANFeatures)
**If used, please credit the writer as well as the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
Source: NAN News
President Muhammadu Buhari
By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday pledged that Nigeria would continue to assist Guinea-Bissau in any way possible, saying a peaceful and prosperous Guinea-Bissau is a win for West Africa and for Africa.
A statement by the Presidents spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja, said Buhari joined the Heads of State and Government of Senegal, Mauritania and Burkina Faso to celebrate the 47th independence anniversary of Guinea Bissau at the 24 de Setembro National Stadium, Bissau.
Speaking at the event, Buhari said he was proud of the support Nigeria provided to past electoral processes in the West African countrys commendable efforts to entrench democracy.
This support can only be increased under my tenure, he said.
The president also placed on record Nigerias contribution of troops under the auspices of ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB), noting that they played an important role in maintaining peace and security.
He congratulated President Umaro Sissocco Embalo, the government and people of Guinea Bissau on the 47th Independence anniversary.
the Nigerian leader said it was his sincere hope and prayer that Guinea-Bissau and its people will continue to grow in strength and prosperity.
He also expressed good wishes for greater achievements in the years ahead for the West African country.
He said:I feel delighted because this is my first official visit to Guinea Bissau since my assumption of office in 2015 and because I am here to join you , brotherly people of Guinea Bissau, as you celebrate this great day with renewed hope and aspiration.
I am truly grateful for the warm reception accorded me and my delegation, since our arrival in this city.
As you mark your freedom as a nation free forever, let me seize this opportunity to salute all Bissau Guineans both at home as well as in the Diaspora, for the strides you have made as a country.
Permit me to say Parabens! Congratulations!
Buhari recounted that on Sept. 10, 1974 Guinea Bissau declared its independence from Portugal, after a protracted struggle for freedom, which brought Portuguese colonization to an end.
It is fitting on this august occasion to remember your forebears and to celebrate them for the sacrifices they made for you to be free.
The highest tribute we can pay them is to build on the gains of independence. It is my sincere prayer that your country will continue on the path of national cohesion, growth and unity, he said.
On the return to democracy in the West African country, the president noted that in the aftermath of the peaceful presidential elections in 2019, which ushered in the present administration of President Embalo, Guinea Bissau had a great opportunity to unleash the great economic potential of this country.
The international community attested to the fairness of the elections now endorsed by the Supreme Court of Guinea Bissau.
I, therefore, congratulate you, the people of Guinea-Bissau for this achievement and urge you to sustain your unity of purpose, he said.
The Nigerian leader also used the occasion to reflect on the excellent relations between Nigeria and Guinea, pledging that his administration would take it to a new height.
Relations between Nigeria and the Republic of Guinea Bissau which dates back to the countrys liberation struggle against Portugal have been extremely warm.
I am determined to carry this excellent relationship to the next level of fruitful cooperation and partnership, together with my brother Umaro Embalo, he said.
On regional integration, Buhari stressed the need for ECOWAS member countries to remain committed to realising the vision of its founding fathers.
It is my desire that Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau as well as other member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will continue to provide the impetus in realizing the objectives and ideals of its Founding Fathers and to ensure security, peace and development of our region, he said.
The president thanked Embalo, the government and good people of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau for being a good host to Nigerians resident in the country, saying colonial boundaries will never break the bond of kinship that binds us.
Later in the capital city of Bissau, Buhari inaugurated a road named in his honour.
Source: NAN News
Prof. Umar Danbatta NCC Boss
By Jessica Dogo
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has emerged winner of the 2020 Zik Prize, in the Professional Leadership Category.
Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC Director, Public Affairs, made this known in a statement, on Thursday in Abuja.
Adinde said that the NCC boss was informed of the development through a letter dated July 2020, which was jointly signed by the Chairman of the Board, Sen. Jubril Aminu, and Prof. Pat Utomi, who were members of the Advisory Board of the prestigious award.
In his remarks, Utomi said that telecommunications contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria had grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, while broadband penetration had leaped from 8 per cent to 42 per cent, in the same period.
Danbatta is a square page in a square hole.
An academic professor, who, through the NCC, led the charge to drive Nigerias industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy leveraging telecommunications, he said.
According to Utomi, Danbattas leadership has enhanced transparency and innovation in the sector, such that recently, NCC was acknowledged by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as one of Africas foremost regulator.
He is an outstanding public servant, whose initiatives and reforms had contributed to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) playing a leading role in the socio-economic development of Nigeria, he said.
He explained that the Zik Award was set up in 1994 in honour of the first President of Nigeria, late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, with a view to encouraging and nurturing leadership in Africa and in Diaspora.
Among the past winners were: former President Jerry Rowlings of Ghana (1995); Late Nelson Mandela, President Yonweri Muzeveni of Uganda and former Chairman of NCC Governing Board, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, among other illustrious leaders in the continent, he said.
He noted that the 2020 winners included Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawal who won the political leadership category and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustafa, who won in the public service category.
Others were Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, his Delta counterpart, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa and Gov. Oluseyi Makinde of Oyo State who won in the good governance category.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Mr Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA) also won in that category. (NAN)
Source: NAN News
Stock Exchange Market building Lagos
By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
The bulls continued to dominate trading on the nations bourse with the market capitalisation appreciating further by N107 billion on Thursday, amid gains by blue chips.
Speficially, the market capitalisation inched higher by N107 billion or 0.79 per cent to close at N13.581 trillion from N13.474 trillion achieved on Wednesday.
Also, the All-Share Index grew by 204.12 points or 0.79 per cent to close at 25,987.14 against 25,783.02 recorded on Wednesday.
The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, among which are; Nigerian Breweries, Mobil, Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa and Guaranty Trust Bank.
Analysts at United Capital Plc said that the market was reacting to the monetary policy action.
As expected, interest for equities improved and reactions at the bond market also mirrored expectations. We expect to see continuous flow of funds into the equities markets, especially from local investors.
The banking names remain our preferred pick given the impressive H1, 2020 results as well as the increasingly cheap cost of deposits, which should keep profit margin buoyant, they said.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said We expect the market to close the week in the green as investors continue to buy low-priced stocks.
Market sentiment closed positive with 25 stocks in contrast with seven losers.
Nigerian Breweries led the gainers chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent to close at N47.85 per share.
Union Diagnostics with eight per cent to close at 27k, while Royal Exchange rose by 7.41 per cent to close at 29k per share.
Lafarge Africa garnered 6.82 per cent to close at N14.10, while C
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is working to ensure early opening of polls and declaration of results, especially in the riverine areas, in the Oct. 10 governorship election in Ondo State.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, stated this on Thursday in Akure when he met with the traditional rulers in the state in preparation for the election.
Yakubu said that INEC would pay particular attention to places that have difficult terrains, so that it could deploy materials early and get the results out of these places in good time.
Just yesterday, we discovered that between Ese-Odo and Ilaje, we have 270 polling units that are riverine areas.
So, we have to quickly mobilise the boats and to get the results out early.
The last time we have the support that we need, because the boats that we use to move materials and to bring results back, have no headlights, so, they are hardly use at night, but the Navy provided support, because their boats have illumination.
Fortunately, the law empowers the commission to seek the support of the military in moving materials to locations.
So, I assure you that we are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that we deploy promptly and will also get results out to the state capital in good time.
The longer it takes to make a declaration, people will begin to assume something fishy is about to happen with the result.
So, we will ensure that results are promptly deployed and declared to restore peoples confidence on the electoral system, Yakubu said.
He said that the commission was also working to curb the issue of vote buying at polling units, through the reorganisation of its voting points and the ban on the use of mobile phone at the voting points.
We will continue to take steps to ensure that we do so, but it is happening in a number of ways.
We can only handle or attempt to solve this problem, while it happens at the polling unit level.
But when it happens outside the poling unit, it is difficult to track the perpetrators now that we are aware that vote buying has gone digital.
They now transfer money electronically ahead of the election, no longer during the election.
So, we will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that people dont buy votes at the polling units, he added.
The INEC boss assured the people of the state of free, fair and credible election on Oct. 10.
We are working towards addressing some of the challenges and we must make Ondo election better than that of Edo. We can only achieve that with your support, he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the INEC chairman also met with the media and security agencies.
Source: NAN News
By Philip Yatai
The National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it will prosecute any health worker caught promoting Breast Milk Substitute (BMS) and other infant formula in health centres.
Mr Nantim Mullah, Deputy Director, NAFDAC, Kaduna Zonal Office, gave the warning in Kaduna on Thursday, at a one-day sensitisation meeting on the International Code of BMS and National Regulations on infant formula.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sensitisation was organised by SCI in partnership with the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and NAFDAC, for health workers from Kaduna South Senatorial Zone.
Mullah explained that the International Code for Marketing of BMS, World Health Assembly Resolutions and National Regulations frowns at advertisement of BMS in health facilities.
The Code and the IYCF marketing regulations directed manufacturers and markers of BMS not to provide free products or samples of BMS to families, through health workers or health facilities.
They also warned against donation, acceptance or distribution of equipment or services to health facilities, gifts or incentives to health care staff as well as use of health facilities to host events, contests, or marketing.
The MBS Code equally warned against creating awareness directly or indirectly to parents and caregivers, on infant formula in health facilities by BMS manufacturing companies, he said.
He explained that the Code and the National Regulations were designed to end inappropriate promotion of BMS and other infants formula.
He, however, said that in spite of the provisions, health facilities in Kaduna state had continued to allow promoters of BMS products to sell in the their premises.
According to him, any health worker that contravenes any provision of the Code and Regulations will be charged under the relevant regulations of NAFDAC pertaining to food and food products.
This is because inappropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices contribute to the high child morbidity and mortality being recorded in the country.
The BMS Code must, thus, be implemented in its entirety to protect, promote and support optimal IYCF for child survival, health, growth and development.
The Code will be fully enforced with appropriate sanctions for violators as ignorance of the law is not an excuse for its violation.
Mr Isah Ibrahim, SCI Nutrition Advocacy Advisor, said that similar sensitisation was held for health workers in Kaduna North and Kaduna Central Senatorial Zones to create the needed awareness against promoting BMS.
Ibrahim urged the health workers to promote optimal exclusive breastfeeding which provides infants with all the nutrients required for healthy growth and development.
Source: NAN News