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    TetFund harps on innovation to fast-track national devt

    According to him, the mileage attained by the most great economies today is tied to the huge investments on technology and innovations.

    We need to think and act fast in investing in our universities and other tertiary institutions toward that direction.

    If we should do things right, the frustrations that have hung over our institutions, especially the universities, will disappear.

    On our part, we shall continue to support research works and innovations in our tertiary institutions as this is what drives national development, he said.

    The executive secretary lamented that the traditional appropriation funding window for public universities in the country had failed the nation.

    Bogoro noted that for universities to effectively carry out their mandate of teaching, research and community development, there must be enhanced funding.

    The dwindling revenue in the country has posed serious threat to these institutions and therefore, emphasises the need for us to do more in driving and supporting research and development.

    The TETFund boss who was the guest lecturer commended UNILAG for its research efforts, noting that it had rightfully earned its place as one of Africas best in that space.

    Universty of Lagos is the best performer on the National Research Fund grant. They have been very persistent and I want to say that the quality of leadership in this university has made all these possible.

    It takes a serious academic to believe in research and go ahead to win grants. We will continue to support focused leadership in universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, Bogoro said.

    Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the primary

    He said the school had since grown in leaps and bounds with more than 15,000 registered students on its various programmes for the session.

    the

    due to dwindling resources of government in recent times

    Earlier, the Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies of the university, Prof. Alabi Soneye, said while higher education remained a paramount source of knowledge, qualitative research remained the veritable tool in the development and advancement of society.

    Source: NAN News

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    Imo NBA moves to collate data on unjust arrests
    By Victor Nwachukwu

    The Nigerian Bar Association, Imo branch, has set up a help desk to collate data of persons allegedly arrested and detained unjustly by the police in the state.

    This is contained in a statement issued by the associations Publicity Secretary, Uzor Enwere, in Owerri on Thursday.

    According to the statement, the help desk is aimed at addressing issues of wanton arrest and detention of innocent residents of Imo with a view to ensuring their release.

    He stated that the Bars Committee on Human Rights would coordinate the desk at the Bar Centre and complaints received would be taken up with the appropriate quarters.

    Considering that the courts are not sitting, the help desk will collate the names of innocent persons unjustly arrested and detained for the purpose of securing their release.

    This approach is dictated by the precarious security situation in Imo at the moment, which has the semblance of war situation.

    The outcome of our interactions reveal that there is more to the situation than meets the eye, Enwere stated.
    He added that the help desk would open by 10am from June 4 at the Bar Centre.

    He listed the help desk phone lines to include 08035251755, 08035512622 and 08035512622. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    French Envoy hails Esie Museum in Kwara
    By Olayinka Owolewa

    The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquire, on Thursday described the Esie Museum in Kwara as a wonderful discovery that is of a world class tourist attraction.

    Pasquire said this in Esie, Irepodun Local Government Area of the state, shortly after his tour of the Museum alongside Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, where an asphalt road leading to the historical site was also inaugurated.

    I am very happy to be here. I have never heard of Esie Museum before. It is really a wonderful discovery. It is a world class museum, which deserves to be well-known across the world, the envoy declared.

    Pasquire promised to encourage France nationals to visit the museum for various artefacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, and historical importance.

    I shall try to inform many people from France and I can advise them to come here to see this museum.

    Even with the new road that the governor just commissioned will help people to come and see this museum. It is very unique in this region and even in the world. It can be a world class tourist attraction in Kwara, he said.

    On his two-day visit to the state, the French ambassador said he was impressed with the developmental strides of the AbdulRazaq administration in the last two years.

    Within my two days of visit, I have seen so many new projects. I was impressed when I saw projects on rural development, the innovation hub, Ilorin Visual Arts Centre and we also saw some technical institutes.

    We saw the big BUA Sugar Company in the north of the state. What is important for Nigeria is more projects and more development, and I am very impressed with what I saw here, he said.

    AbdulRazaq had earlier explained that the construction of the Esie Museum road was part of the administrations integrated approach to engineer socio-economic and cultural development to make Kwara the new investment destination.

    National Museum Esie is a federal government project. What we have done is to construct a new road leading to it.

    This will also encourage more people to visit and open the economic space. We will be working with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture under Alhaji Lai Muhammad to make sure the right infrastructure is put in place and existing facilities upgraded, he said.

    This is the first museum in Nigeria and from today onward it will be more known that Esie is on global map. That is the whole idea.

    AbdulRazaq commended the French ambassador for his interest in attracting tourists to Esie Museum and other partnerships with the state government.

    We thank the French Ambassador to Nigeria for leaving the highway and come down to Esie personally to see what is here, the governor said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Insecurity: Nigeria has not lost control  Lawmaker tells ECOWAS
    By Lizzy Okoji

    Lynda Ikpeazu, member of the ECOWAS Parliament representing Nigeria, has told the Parliament that Nigeria has not lost control in the fight against insecurity and is determined to ending the menace.

    Ikpeazu made this known on Thursday in Abuja during the ongoing Extraordinary Session of the Parliament, responding to recommendations for a concerted regional effort to assist Nigeria fight the insecurity ravaging the country.

    Ikpeazu, who appreciated Members of Parliament for their concerns, said that Nigeria was exploring all measures with high level of determination to fight terrorism, banditry and other forms of violence.

    She said that insecurity in the region was not peculiar to Nigeria, stating that the nation had a stable political situation.

    Nigeria is determined to solve the insecurity confronting the country and several efforts are ongoing.

    We are, however, not too big to get help from anyone and I am not the Executive so I cannot speak on that.

    Nigeria is not the only country in the region facing insecurity and we are not just folding our hands, there are serious efforts ongoing in the fight against insecurity, Ikpeazu said.

    Ikpeazu noted that insecurity was a ripple effect of bad governance, poverty and human rights violation and that was why the Nigerian National Assembly had taken steps of its constitution amendment to address triggers of insecurity.

    She said that the House of Representative convened a summit of the Constitution amendment to get the input of all Nigerians in the process,

    The National Assembly is holding public hearing across the country to get the suggestions from the Nigerian people on the best ways to govern the country.

    This will enable us to get the views and contributions of Nigeria to constitution process which would in turn make them have a feeling of inclusiveness in the process.

    Nigeria has definitely not lost control, we have a situation and we are working tirelessly towards addressing it, Ikpeazu added.

    Mr Francis Alimikhena, another Nigerian representative at the ECOWAS Parliament said that Nigeria had taken several steps which had yielded positive results in the fight against terrorism.

    Alimikhena, however, noted that a collaborated joint-border approach would further help Nigeria and the region in winning the war against terror as most of the insurgents were habouring in neigbouring countries.

    If we get the cooperation of other neighbouring countries then we can be sure to win in the fight.

    Because most of the terrorism elements when they are being fought from Nigeria, habour and begin to operate from bordering countries.

    The Nigerian government and the military have been responsive, that is why when Nigerians clamoured for change of Service Chiefs, they were changed.

    And with the way the new Service Chiefs are going we are sure that the war in the North/East will soon be a thing of the past, Alimikhena said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    ECOWAS MPs recommend regional efforts to tackle insecurity in Nigeria
    By Lizzy Okoji

    Some members the ECOWAS Parliament have called for concerted efforts by West African member states and the Authority of Heads of State and Government to tackle the growing insecurity in Nigeria.

    The ECOWAS members of Parliament gave the recommendations on Thursday in Abuja following the presentation of a Country Report of the Nigerian delegation highlighting the spate of insecurity across the country.

    According to the parliamentarians, Nigeria holds a significant position in the sub-region and the growing insecurity and communal clashes in the country has the capacity to impact negatively on neighbouring countries.

    Hon. Shaka Sama, an Independent Representative from Sierra-Leone lamented the increasing level of insecurity across the region as presented by most member states in their reports.

    Sama noted that it would be difficult to sustain economic development in the region given the worrisome level of insecurity in the area.

    We have to mobilise concerted efforts of all ECOWAS institutions, the Authority of Heads of State and Government to look at the factors responsible for the security challenges and how to end them.

    Nigeria is very strategic to the sub-region and concerted efforts to end Nigerias insecurity will help tackle the insecurity in other countries of the region.

    A threat to peace and stability in a place is also a threat to peace and stability everywhere.

    We have to work together as a region to stop this problem because a lot of countries in the West are benefiting from our insecurity, Sama said.

    Similarly, Hon. Califa Seidi, a representative from Guinea Bissau said if Nigeria, the biggest country in the region could security challenge of the prevailing magnitude, then it meant the region was truly not safe.

    Seidi, therefore, urged ECOWAS institutions to do what must be done to tackle the challenge.

    It is important for ECOWAS to collaborate, particularly the Authority of Heads of State and Government to adopt effective measures to tackle the menace.

    It has become a concern for us all Member States and we have to give serious thought to it because our citizens are dying and it is impacting negatively on our economy, Seidi said.

    Hon. Sani Boucary, Third deputy Speaker and representative from Niger Republic, lauded Nigeria and its armed forces for being at the forefront of interventions across the region.

    Boucary also commended Nigeria for the leading role it is playing to ensure political stability in the region.

    He said all recommendations made would be duly noted and transmitted to the appropriate authorities.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that earlier, while presenting its country report, the Nigerian delegation said the security situation in the country was dire.

    The delegation decried the spate of unfettered violence, abduction, and killings by terrorist groups, bandits, and other criminal elements.

    Source: NAN News

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    Constitution Review: Conference of Speakers seeks amendment on impeachment procedures
    By Kingsley Okoye/Naomi Sharang

    Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria has sought for an amendment to impeachment procedures of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly.

    Hon. Abdullahi Wuse, the Speaker of Niger State House of Assembly, made the call in Abuja on Thursday at the ongoing National public hearing on review of the 1999 Constitution.

    Abdullahi, who spoke on behalf of conference of speakers of state legislatures, said there was the need to strengthen legislative procedures of removing a speaker.

    He said the process of removing a speaker of a house of assembly without fair hearing was an embarrassing situation that had always played out in Nigeria.

    The conference is proposing an amendment to section 92(c) of the constitution.

    The speakers deserve fair hearing and not for those members to come up and remove the speaker without hearing from the speaker.

    So, we are calling for the procedure where the speaker should be heard and the allegation properly investigated and, if found indicted, then a speaker can be removed.

    He also said the current standard on issue of financial autonomy had brought untold hardship to people, hence the proposed amendment to section 123(3) to reflect implementation of financial autonomy.

    We have inserted the issue of the allocation committee for each state.

    We also provided how the accounts of the judiciary and state assemblies can be run.

    This essentially is the amendment that is sought for in section 123(4) by the conference of speakers, it is essentially to strengthen that institution.

    In addition to that, we have also called for amendment of part 2 of the third schedule of the constitution where you have state executive bodies.

    Because the state Houses of Assembly Service Commission cannot be included in view of the need to have autonomy in the state assemblies.

    The state houses of assembly service commission need to be included in that schedule where you have state executive bodies.

    We have also proposed an amendment to chapter 1 part 2, section 5 of the Constitution calling for state police.

    He also said the conference was proposing devolution of power to states and local governments on issues relating to mineral resources, mining, geological survey and aviation among others.

    According to him, the conference believes that there is the need to strengthen the local government administration.

    This, he said would enhance service delivery at the grassroots.

    Dr.Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education in her presentation called for a single issue amendment to the constitution to allow for a referendum by Nigerians for a deliberation of a new constitution.

    We need to center the citizens in our democracy, we need to call for a deep sense conversation, Ezekwesili added.

    Source: NAN News

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    FCT minister advocates national unity, patriotism in constitutional amendment
    By Salisu Sani-Idris

    The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, says submissions seeking amendments to the 1999 Constitution should be guided by the principles of national unity, patriotism and peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians.

    Mr Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the minister in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said Bello made the call in his goodwill message to the National Public Hearing by the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, held in Abuja.

    He equally urged Nigerians to seize the opportunity provided by the exercise to strengthen national bond and cohesion.

    The strength of our country lies in the diversity and dynamism of her people. We should seize the opportunity provided by this exercise to strengthen our common bond as a people and guarantee the growth and development of our country.

    The minister prayed for amendments to certain sections of the constitution which would amongst others,bring governance closer to the people and also guarantee funding for the development of the FCT.

    He also sought amendment to section 7 of the constitution, proposing the inclusion of a new sub-section immediately after Section 7(5) to read as follows:

    A: (6) The functions to be conferred by law upon the Area Councils may include those set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Constitution and, where so conferred, shall be performed outside the Federal Capital City (FCC) and such areas as may be designated from time to time by the minister in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

    The justification for this is that Section 7 (5) as presently constituted, gives room for duplicity of roles, conflicts and mismatches in planning, provision of infrastructure and service delivery in the FCT.

    Bello explained that the amendment would address various arising challenges between the FCTA and the area councils.

    Bello, stated that collaboration between the FCTA and the area councils was necessary because the FCT was a planned modern project with a centralised planning system, cohesive infrastructural coordinates and interconnected engineering designs. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Constitution review: CAN lists demands, urges NASS to remove immunity clause
    By Jessica Onyegbula

    The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has charged the National Assembly to remove the immunity clause from the constitution, thereby making every Nigerian equal before the law.

    The General-Secretary, CAN, Barr. Joseph Daramola, gave the charge at a press conference, on Thursday, in Abuja.

    Daramola said that the Association was demanding for the creation of new states across the country, which, it said, would ensure administrative impartment and governmental dividends.

    CAN also demanded for devolution and decentralisation of power, and governance system, through formal introduction of geo-political zones and regions with clearly assigned roles.

    These demands and others were presented by the Christian Apex body at the public hearing on Constitution Review by the National Assembly.

    Other recommendations the body made include, Gender Equality, Women empowerment through education and inheritance, equal opportunities in all social-political affairs, 18 years as the age of maturity and consent for marriage.

    Federal structure and power devolution: confederation of independent regions or federation of states or regions.

    Devolution and decentralisation of power and governance system through formal introduction of Geo-Political Zones and Regions, with clearly assigned roles.

    Constitutional recognition for traditional rulers and religious leaders, by strengthening their cultural and socio- religious leadership responsibilities.

    Constitutional backing for the operational decentralisation and recognition of law enforcement agencies, expunge sections 214 and 215 (4) OF the 1999 constitution, he said.

    Daramola noted that CAN, similarly demanded the redefinition of courts of superior jurisdiction, to accommodate the purpose of regional and zonal systems, with respective appellate structures, and removal of religion provisions or, if need be, inserting constitutional provisions for ecclesiastical courts.

    Revenue allocation and sharing formula to be guided by the principles of sustenance and benefits, to sources of derivation on ratio of 70% retained by regions and 30 per cent for the centre.

    Maintain the Financial autonomy and independence of the Judiciary. Separation of the office of Attorney General from the office of the Minister of Justice. Proper constitutional definition of an indigene and residency rights.

    Creation of new states for administrative impartment and governmental dividends, to include: Southern Kaduna, Kataf, Gurara State, Adada State, from present Enugu State, Cross River North State, Okun State, Okigwe State, Oke Ogun State, he added.

    In a similar vein, CAN said the National Assembly should: Amend Section 3 (2) and delete sections 3 (6) of the 1999 constitution, to allow for the creation of local government areas of such autonomous administrative units, to be created by the respective regions and confederating units.

    Constitutional provisions for enforcement of our fundamental human Rights and review of the legislative lists contained in the second schedule of the 1999 constitution, Daramola also said, on behalf of the association. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    FG assures Nigeria-based UK businesses of support
    By Emmanuella Anokam

    The Federal Government has assured United Kingdom companies operating in Nigeria of its support at ensuring that they thrived amidst dwindling foreign exchange earnings.

    The government also vowed to create the enabling environment for them to carry out their businesses unhindered.

    The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, gave the assurance at an interactive session with a UK Business Team in Abuja, on Thursday.

    Adebayo, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Ifedayo Sayo, noted that the government was doing everything to ensure that investors in the Nigerian economy received the necessary support to grow their businesses.

    The minister, who facilitated the meeting, posited that the growth of the companies would mean more money for the government to build more infrastructures and also create jobs for Nigerian youths.

    This was as representatives of the companies lauded the CBN for the funding of local companies and the various reforms put in place to assist them in running their businesses.

    They, however, solicited for more forex to continue in business, saying that they needed foreign exchange to pay their lenders and maintain their machines.

    Some of the companies present at the interactive session included: GlaxoSmithkline, Savanna Energy, AzuraPower West Africa and Guinness Plc.

    Omon Elyhibro, a representative of GlaxoSmithkline, a pharmaceutical company, lauded the minister and the CBN governor for the support extended to the company by the government in their 50 years of operation in the country.

    Elyhibro said it was their desire to make the country an export hub for pharmaceutical products, through their partnership with local manufacturers, pointing out that the CBNs support for local manufacturing companies was commendable.

    Also, Managing Director of Azura Power West Africa, Edu Okeke, lauded the CBN for its support to the company, but sought more support in terms of forex, to enable the company to stay afloat.

    He said the company needed forex not only to pay their lenders outside the country, but also for the maintenance of their plants.

    Okeke, who commended the CBN for the various reforms that had helped the growth of the sector, stated that the reforms had helped in unlocking the sector.

    Emefiele, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Dr Kingsley Obiora, had explained that the CBN was doing its best to assist manufacturers with forex.

    He added that there were only three main sources of forex inflow to the Nigerian economy, including the sale of crude oil, remittances from Nigerians abroad and foreign investors, noting that the fall in crude oil prices had affected the inflow of forex.

    This situation informed the ban on the importation of goods that can be produced locally to ensure judicious use of the available forex.

    Emefiele, however, assured that some of the suggestions raised by the companies would be looked into to assist them in their daily operations. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Soldier commits suicide after killing customs officer at Seme
    By Raji Rasak

    A soldier attached to 243 Recce Battalion Ibereko, Badagry, LCP Mahmud Sulaiman, turned the gun on himself after he shot dead a customs officer at Seme border on Wednesday.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the incident occurred when the team leader was trying to retrieve the gun from Sulaiman following his strange behavior.

    In the process of retrieving the cocked weapon from him, which he resisted, he accidentally fired a shot and the stray bullet hit one Inspector of Custom, C.N Walter.

    The customs officer, who was attached to Seme Border Area Command, was rushed to Badagry General Hospital for treatment.

    But unfortunately, the customs officer died at about 6:40 a.m. on Thursday in the hospital.

    Subsequently, Sulaiman also shot himself and died on the spot, the source said.

    NAN gathered that the incident occurred at about 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday at Oloko checkpoint, Gbaji on Badagry-Seme expressway.

    It was learnt that Sulaiman, who was recently redeployed to the Ibereko Battalion from the Theater of Operation in the North-East, had been behaving abnormally since assumption of duty in Badagry.

    He always cock his AK 47 rifle fully loaded with ammunition, an action that made his Team Leader to report the matter to the Commanding Officer of 243 Recce Battalion, Col. Nicholas Rume, where he was serving.

    The commanding officer immediately ordered for the retrieval of the weapon from him, he said.

    Contacted, the Customs Public Relations Officer in Seme border, Mr Abdulahi Hussiain, confirmed the incident, saying that the situation is under control.

    It is true, it was an accident but the situation is under control now.

    It is unfortunate the soldier committed suicide, he said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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