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    Communities in Bayelsa inaugurate N141.65m projects

    Communities in Bayelsa inaugurate N141.65m projects

    By Nathan Nwakamma

    The Dodo River Communities Development Association in Ekeremor Local Government area of Bayelsa has inaugurated projects worth over N141.65 million funded by the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the beneficiary communities are Amatu I, Amatu II, Biabiri I, Bilabiri II and Bisangbene.

    The projects include Dodo River Secretariat in Yenagoa, building and furnishing of Bilabiri I Primary School, water treatment projects, concrete roads and twin-engine speed boats.

    Others include communication systems, provision of plastic chairs and tables and canopies for the communities, amongst others.

    Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Dodo House, a secretariat for the communities, Mr Okebia Keku, the Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa Ministry of Mineral Resources, applauded the association for the prudent use of the funds.

    He said that the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), the development template which the government was overseeing, had given communities greater participation in the selection and execution of development projects.

    Earlier, Mr Berry Negerese, the Chairman of the association, had explained that the projects were executed with funds provided between 2016 and 2019, adding that paucity of funds delayed the Dodo secretariat building project.

    He said that the introduction of the GMoU approach by Chevron had enhanced the capacities of Niger Delta communities in development activities as they now handle projects funded by oil firms in a transparent manner.

    Negerese appealed to Chevron and other development partners to assist the association with funds to furnish the secretariat to enable them put it to optimal use.

    He urged the oil firm to extend community employment opportunities to Dodo River communities it its Agbami offshore oilfields.

    King Joel Ibane, the Monarch of Iduwini Kingdom in Ekeremor, applauded Chevron for the gesture and appealed to the oil firm to sustain its development activities in its host communities.

    Mrs Uju Obiora, the Senior Programmes Manager, Participatory Partnership for Community Development, the associations mentoring organisation, applauded the transparent governance structure adopted.

    The in-coming chairman of the association, Mr Francis Amanmogiran, urged Dodo River communities to close ranks and seek more development funds from donors to complement their sole source of funding from Chevron. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Delay in PIB passage creates uncertainty in oil, gas sector

    Mrs Funmi Ogbue

    By Edith Ike-Eboh

    The Women in Energy Network (WEIN) says that the long delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law has created lingering uncertainty in the oil and gas sector.

    The network disclosed this in a statement by its president, Mrs Funmi Ogbue, in Abuja on Monday.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, Chief Timipre Sylva, says the PIB currently with the Executive will be sent to the National Assembly in two weeks time.

    She said that the delay had cost the country huge sums in revenue due to lost investments.

    The existing oil and gas sector regulatory framework is amorphous and ineffective because of too many overlaps in responsibilities and accountability.

    The expedient passage of and purposeful implementation of the PIB is critical to addressing most of the loopholes in the management and governance of the sector.

    The PIB when passed into law will improve governance of the sector by strengthening institutions in the areas of clarity of structures, roles, accountability, transparency, and overall efficiency and effectiveness.

    The PIB will ensure that the focus of legislating the sector shifts from the present to the future, she said.

    She further recommended that the National Assembly should endeavour to engage in both law-making and oversight of the relevant agencies.

    Ogbue added that they should deliberate on policies aimed at ameliorating the possible impact of the new developments, such as deregulation of the downstream sector on women in particular.

    The National Assembly should review all ongoing social investment programmes with a view to ensuring that they have sufficient focus on supporting and empowering poor women.

    WIEN will be willing to support the NASS in this review and also in proffering practical strategies and programmes that can improve these programmes and others that can improve the lives and livelihoods of poor women, she said.

    Ogbue noted that WIEN called for greater transparency, better efficiency, and a level playing field in the oil and gas industry.

    She further demanded for more female involvement in the governance of the MDAs in the energy industry by having greater participation at board levels. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    COVID-19: FRSC enforces 2-passengers-per-seat policy in Bayelsa

    FRSC official on Duty

    By Christian Ogbonna

    The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Bayelsa Command, on Monday warned drivers of private cars and commercial buses in the state not to violate its two passengers per seat regulation in their own interests.

    The Sector Commander, Mr Robert Ogom, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that the regulation was put in place in other to ensure social distancing.

    He added that this was necessary to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

    Ogom said that the command would not hesitate to prosecute any driver as well as tricycle operators that might violate the regulation.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bayelsa had recorded 313 confirmed infections and 18 fatalities from coronavirus pandemic.

    The sector commander said that the corps members in the state were committed to ensuring safer roads for the people.

    He urged the residents of the state to always obey the traffic rules and regulations, as well as the COVID-19 guidelines.

    Yes, we have a taskforce that we are working with and any offender arrested is taken directly to the mobile court. So, we must learn to stay safe.

    I enjoin all drivers to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines; make sure you wear your face masks and maintain two passengers per seat in your vehicles.

    We have arrested several offenders who violated the road safety regulations and COVID-19 guidelines.

    Generally, overloading is also an offence as far as the FRSC is concerned.

    Let us support the efforts of the Federal and the state governments in the fight against coronavirus disease.

    Let us maintain the common measures put in place by the government and healthcare workers to stop the spread of the pandemic, the Sector Commander advised. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Nigerias unclaimed dividends hit N158.44bn in 2019

    SEC Nigeria

    By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

    The total unclaimed dividend figure in the Nigerian capital market stood at N158.44 billion as of December 2019, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

    Data obtained exclusively by NAN from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show that the figure is still on the increase in spite of e-dividend registration introduced by SEC in 2015.

    NAN reports that dividend is the distribution of a portion of the companys earnings, decided and managed by the companys board of directors, and paid to a class of its shareholders.

    Unclaimed dividend is recorded when a shareholder fails to claim an already paid dividend after six months.

    NAN reports that breakdown of the components shows that unclaimed dividends with companies (15 months and above) stood at N119.01 billion.

    The ones with registrars amounted to N14.64 billion and unclaimed dividend less than 15 months old stood at N24.77 billion.

    Speaking with NAN on reasons for increase on unclaimed dividend, Mr Okey Umeano, SEC Head, Office of the Chief Economist, attributed it to large number of unclaimed shares.

    Umeano said the quantum of unclaimed dividend would always be on the increase as long as there were unclaimed shares.

    The main issue why unclaimed dividend is rising is because we have a large number of unclaimed shares, he said.

    According to him, many investors during the banking consolidation bought shares with different names as well as other peoples names which they were yet to rectify.

    Umeano explained that as companies declare dividend, those accounts would equally be paid, leading to increase in unclaimed dividend figure.

    He said that the commission introduced a forbearance window for multiple accounts to enable investors that bought shares with different names to regularise their accounts in order to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends.

    SEC gave a window for people to come and rectify the multiple subscription thing.

    Many people have still not been able to claim their own because some of them have forgotten the names they used.

    Some have not been able to prove to their stockbrokers that they are the owners of the shares.

    So, we still have a large chunk of those shares, and anytime dividends are paid, those shares are not claimed and those people dont get their dividends, Umeano said.

    He said that over N100 billion out of the unclaimed dividend figures were from those unclaimed shares.

    Until we bring down that number of unclaimed shares, this unclaimed dividend problem will continue, Umeano said.

    On the way forward, he said the commission would continue to put pressure on all the people involved in order to curb the problem of unclaimed dividends.

    Umeano called on investors to go and prove ownership of their shares, noting that SEC was not prosecuting anybody.

    SEC has given them amnesty to go and claim their shares and as people are claiming those shares, unclaimed dividends number will go down, he said.

    Mr Adebayo Adeleke, an investor and Managing Director, Lancelot Ventures Limited, said more efforts were on to ensure that source documents for share transactions contain bank details of investors.

    Adeleke said the hike in unclaimed dividends might be due to the recent listings of highly capitalised stocks such as MTNN, Airtel Africa , BUA Cement, among others, which may have pushed the figures upward.

    He said companies should be encouraged to publish the list of unclaimed dividends in national dailies, especially those years that were close to being statute barred.

    Adeleke stressed the need for more enlightenment for shareholders to embrace e-dividend payment platform. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Ogun: FRSC warns personnel against collecting bribe from motorists


    By Ige Adekunle

    The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, has warned its personnel to desist from collecting bribe from motorists in the state.

    The Ogun Sector Commander of FRSC, Mr Ahmed Umar, gave this warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ota, Ogun on Monday.

    Umar said that any FRSC personnel caught with such act would face the maximum punishment of termination of appointment.

    According to him, some of the bad eggs among the corps will soon be fished out for termination of their appointments.

    He said that the corps management was always talking to its officials to desist from extorting money or taking bribe from motorists.

    The Sector Commander also warned motorists to desist from tempting FRSC officials with the offer of money in order to have their way. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    FG inaugurates governing councils of 13 universities

    Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu

    By Funmilayo Adeyemi

    The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has inaugurated the governing councils of 13 federal universities in the country.

    Adamu, during the inauguration in Abuja on Monday, charged the chairmen and members of the various councils to foster harmonious relationships while carrying out their duties in the next four years.

    He urged council members and chairmen to respect the rule of law in the discharge of their duties while also respecting the rules of federal character in the appointment of their officers.

    The Minister also tasked the governing boards to block loopholes and come up with ideas that would shore up the Internally Generated Revenue of the universities.

    According to him, the major areas of challenge are inadequate funding as well as judicious use of available resources.

    So, let me advise you to come up with new creative ways to improve funding in your institutions.

    You will have to block the loopholes where the IGR slides away, he said.

    Adamu said that visitation panels would be visiting the universities in the next weeks while calling on the new council members to effectively cooperate with the panel so as to lay a good foundation.

    He added that the effort of the government was to improve Nigerian universities in the next four years, hence the appointment of tested and proven officers.

    Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said the inauguration of the council members marks the beginning of a new phase in the introduction of the first 12 specialised universities.

    Rasheed said the NUC was also inspired by the Map of 2018-2020 and has been committed to revitalising Nigerias university education.

    He said the steps included immediate fostering of skills development and entrepreneurship as well as addressing inadequacies in facilities.

    Responding, the representative of the newly appointed chairmen, Prof. Funmilayo Togonu-Bickersteth, said the council members look forward to cooperation from the Minister and NUC, especially in the provision of useful information.

    She pledged the best of the council members towards the advancement of the nation and mankind.

    Among the newly appointed Council Chairmen is Prof. Nimmi Briggs to Chair the governing council of Ndufo Alike University in Ebonyi.

    The universities with new Governing Council Members are Federal University, Lokoja; Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State; Federal University Kashere, Gombe; and Federal University, Wukari, Taraba.

    Others are Federal University, Dutsinma, Katsina State; Federal University, Jigawa; Ndufo Alike University, Ebonyi, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State; and Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa.

    The rest are Federal University, Birnin Kebbi; Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara; Federal University, Gashua, Yobe; and Federal University of Health Sciences.

    Source: NAN News

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    Fake DSS personnel bags 12 years imprisonment

    Fake DSS personnel bags 12 years imprisonment

    By Olawale Akinremi

    A Federal High Court in Ibadan on Monday sentenced one Ademola Lawal to a total of 12 years in jail for impersonating a personnel of the Department of State Services(DSS) and N1.85 million fraud.

    Delivering judgment, Justice Patricia Ajoku convicted and sentenced Lawal based on the evidence before her and the fact that the convict pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against him.

    Ajoku, who noted that the court took awareness of the fact that the convict pleaded guilty, said:

    It is my belief that the convict is remorseful of his action now and has demonstrated that he is willing to change and contribute positively to the society.

    Nevertheless, Lawal is sentenced to two years in prison for each of the six offences to serve as deterrent to others.

    However, sentences shall run concurrently.

    In addition, Lawal shall pay the monies he fraudulently obtained from his victims which shall be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the judge said.

    The defence counsel, Mr Musbau Olapade, had shortly before sentencing, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.

    Olapade said that the convict was a first time offender and had learnt his lesson in a bitter way.

    At the trial, counsel to the DSS, Mr T.A. Nurudeen, had told the court that the convict was arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on impersonation and threat.

    Nurudeen said that the convict committed the crime between 2015 and 2019 before he was eventually apprehended.

    According to the prosecutor, Lawal separately obtained N1.5 million from a director of FCMB, N200,000 from one Bako Danbata and N150,000 from one Ibrahim Bunkutu.

    Nurudeen said that the convict, who posed as a personnel of the DSS, told his victims that he was in a position to help them out of their problems with the agency.

    He also said that Lawal intimidated and threatened two foreigners legitimately working at Tincan Island port in Lagos State through the internet.

    The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 1 (A) and (B) as well as 108 (2) of Advanced Fee Fraud and Cyber Crime Prohibition Act Cap, 2015. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Britain set to ban Huawei from 5G, though timescale unclear


    Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to ban Huawei from Britains 5G community in a landmark resolution that can anger Beijing.

    Johnson, however, win applause from President Donald Trump as the U.S. grapples with Chinas rising financial and technological clout.

    The U.S. has pushed Johnson to reverse his January decision to grant Huawei a limited role in 5G, while London has been dismayed by a crackdown in Hong Kong and by the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over coronavirus.

    Britains National Security Council (NSC), chaired by Johnson, will meet on Tuesday to discuss Huawei.

    Media Secretary Oliver Dowden will announce a decision to the House of Commons later in the day.

    The immediate excuse for the about turn in British policy is the impact of new U.S. sanctions on chip technology, which London says affects Huaweis ability to remain a reliable supplier in the future.

    It is unclear how far Johnson will go on Tuesday.

    Operators already had to cap Huaweis role in 5G at 35 per cent by 2023.

    Reducing it to zero over an additional two to four years is now being discussed, although some telecoms firms have warned that going too fast could delay key technology and disrupt services. (Reuters/NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    LASG to train 450 entrepreneurs in coconuts waste-to-wealth initiative

    Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu

    By Olayinka Olawale

    The Lagos State Government ( LASG) says it will train no fewer than 450 young entrepreneurs on the use of coconut waste in arts and craft.

    The State Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, said that the trainining would be organised under the state governments waste -to-wealth initiative.

    Olusanya said on Sunday in Lagos that the initiative was in line with the state governments developmental T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of making Lagos a 21st Century economy.

    She said that the initiative would also contribute to the tourism potential of the state.

    The objectives of achieving the goals of sustainable development and waste management are outstanding global challenges, she said.

    The commissioner said that finding innovative solutions for effective management of waste remained difficult as the breakdown of waste requires special processes that involve time, energy and expenses.

    Most people see coconut shells as waste and as such dispose them carelessly while others in the rural areas use them as firewood.

    The shells, however, can be recycled into artistic products such as jewellery, cutlery, indoor and outdoor decorative items and many more, the commissioner said.

    According to her, coconuts have the potential to produce electricity, heat, fiberboards, organic fertilizer, animal feeds, fuel additives for cleaner emissions, eco-friendly cutlery, health drinks, and many more.

    The state government through the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) is commencing a five-week training on the use of coconut waste in arts and craft.

    It is a waste -to-wealth initiative in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration. The coconut tree, also known as the tree of life, is said to have no single part of it wasted.

    This training will put this fact to use, while it will also be empowering the participants so that they can begin to immediately earn a living from skills they will be taught, she said.

    Olusanya said that the training would hold in five batches of five days each, with 18 trainees per batch, beginning from July 13 to Aug.14, 2020.

    She said that the participants would be taught how to make various artistic items and go through practicals, marketing and credit acquisitions.

    The commissioner said that the training would serve as a waste -to -wealth opportunity and a worthwhile venture for selected young entrepreneurs.

    She said that the training would fully entail theoretical concepts and detailed practical sessions.

    When concluded, it will optimise the use of coconut shells which constitute a major waste product in coconut processing.

    Coconut is abundant in our country, Nigeria, and consumed by most people but we are not aware of its great potential for creating wealth.

    The coconut shells which most people see as waste and dispose them improperly can be recycled into artistic products.

    This also helps in sustaining the environment. As we are acquiring skills, we are also learning to sustain our environment.

    Sustainability of the environment is our goal and to achieve this, we are converting waste into valuable items for our use, the commissioner said.

    Olusanya said that the training was part of the Ministry of Agricultures contributions to the development of the tourism sector in the state as the production of some of the artistic products from coconut shells would reflect the rich cultural heritage of the people.

    She encouraged other sectors where waste can be recycled to embrace the waste to wealth initiative as it could bring back discarded waste products into economic use and lead to the reduction of pressure induced by waste on the environment.

    The commissioner also said that it would also create opportunities for income and employment generation in a relatively new area, thereby enhancing economic activities. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    NCoS empowers 3 freed inmates with training, tools

    Controller General, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) Mr Jaafaru Ahmed

    By Stanley Nwanosike

    The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) has empowered three of its freed inmates with vocational training and tools to enable them make a difference in the society.

    The inmates are: Mr Uche Utobo, who learnt tailoring; Mr Ifeanyi Aguwagu,who learnt welding works and Mr Sunday James, that learnt carpentry.

    Mr Joseph Emelue, the Controller of Correctional Service in Enugu State, presenting the inmates and their tools to newsmen in Enugu on Sunday said that the gesture was a routine of the NCoS.

    Emelue said that the training was to ensure that freed inmates contribute meaningfully to the society and national development after their release.

    He said: The NCoS is always positive about these exceptionally freed inmates that had been trained, re-oriented and empowered with occupational tools to face the world.

    Our service is that of rehabilitation whereby ex-offenders are actually reformed and equipped with skills to be able to live a law abiding live and be self-sustaining as they are discharged. That is what we are seeing here today.

    The controller, who did not disclose the cost of training and empowering the ex-inmates, noted that it would be difficult to quantify the amounts spent since we are training them as our own children.

    Our happiness is that these ones have turned out exceptionally and are ready to contribute to their immediate communities and the society at large.

    Emelue, however, told the serving inmates that custodial centres are not punitive places but places meant to give them a new and a better orientation and equip them for a life after serving their terms.

    Nobody comes to the correctional service to die; so the best option is for serving inmates to conform to the opportunities provided by the Federal Government and NCoS and utilise them for their own good.

    All we need from the serving inmates is their ability to be willing to learn and add something new, beneficial and viable to their lives.

    We are always here and willing to inculcate the best orientation and lifestyle in them, he added.

    Responding, one of the freed and empowered inmates, Mr Uche Utobo, appreciated the Federal Government and the NCoS for the opportunities of training and equipping them with tools.

    Utobo, who spoke on behalf of the other freed and empowered inmates, assured the NCoS that they would make a positive difference and mark within the society.

    The highpoint of the event was the presentation of tailoring machine and associated tools; wielding machine and associated tools and carpentry machines and associated tools to the ex-inmates according to the occupation they learnt.

    Source: NAN News

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