The consistent pattern of worsening unemployment in the country in the last few years as contained in a report by Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has been described as unacceptable and worrisome.
According to the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Group and Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu, youth unemployment rate in the country had increased from 29.50 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 to 33.10 per cent in the third quarter, but which was average 21.73 per cent from 2014 till 2017.
Speaking yesterday at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) 40th Anniversary Public Lecture, held at Ikorodu, Lagos main campus of the institution, Elumelu noted that the shifts in employment patterns and job descriptions were evident across industries, indicating that young people today would need to develop creative and analytical skills to fit into the new development paradigm or to become entrepreneurs, job creators or innovators.
The theme of the lecture was; “Repositioning Technical Education for Technological Development and Food Security.”
Elumelu, who was represented by the Executive Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Ayoku Liadi, described LASPOTECH as one of the leading technical and vocational education institution in the country, saying in view of global technological advancement, as the fourth industrial revolution, Nigeria as a matter of urgency needs to reposition its technical and vocational education to align with global dictate.
Still on the alarming increase of unemployment, especially in Africa, Elumelu hinted that Africa’s youths were challenged by deindustrialisation in many sectors of the economy as production becomes increasingly automated.
Towards this end, the bank chief said the higher demand for designed skills than for manufacturing skills, while the mismatch between the skills on offer and the requirements of employers and the drain on skilled talent suited for the needs of industry across Africa.
“Today, we hear about the world of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet, exploration to the Moon by the Chinese and Europeans, exploration to Mars and the Sun, and several other technological growth,” he argued, saying that rather Africa is once more faced with difficulty, socio-economic challenges, which threaten to reverse any progress achieved in the improvement of the quality of life for most of its population.
He, however, listed some of the challenges of technical and vocational education in the country to include inadequate funding, use of obsolete equipment, inadequate and deteriorating facilities, poor library and research facilities, poor job opportunities for graduates of technical and vocational institutions, staff training and retention, poor technical and technical education curriculum, apathy of political office holders and lawmakers towards the sub-sector and the Nigerian value system, which he said placed too much emphasis on university qualifications.
Focus on multi-million dollars gas project at Ogidigben, Olu of Warri pleads with Buhari
The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to focus on the actualisation of the multibillion dollars Ogidigben gas project in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. Ogiame Ikenwoli, who made the appeal while addressing thousands of Itsekiris and visitors during his fourth coronation anniversary at Ode-Itsekiri, (Big Warri) yesterday, said the gigantic project would engage Nigeria’s full priority, given the economic importance, such as job creation, and enhance economic potential.
“We believe that this should be one of President Buhari’s star projects and we will continue to plead with him for work to resume at the shortest possible time”, stressed the Warri monarch. He, however lauded Mr. President for giving approval and traction to the new Warri deep sea port, and the minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, for their joint action of making the project a reality. On the last general elections, the Olu lamented the losses by the Itsekiri nation, arising from mutual suspicion, greed, selfishness, narrow mindedness and unhealthy rivalry”, which he said left bitter experience within the Itsekiri nation.
“Needless to say that I am aware of all the horse trading that took place across party divides, driven mostly by these personal and very parochial considerations, as it stands today”, stressed the monarch amid loud ovation. He regretted that Itsekiri has come down from the position of four members at the state House of Assembly to mere two seats and blamed the setback on the action of politicians.
He reminded his people of Federal Government plans to have a national census and enjoined the people to make themselves available for the exercise, explaining that Warri South is the only few local government that the delineation is taking place.
Osun disburses N2bn to indigent citizens
… as govt launches programme to tackle unemployment
Osun State Government has launched Public Workfare and Special Grant Transfer programmes under the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO). It is aimed at providing immediate labour intensive work opportunities for indigent unskilled youths and provides life-sustaining assistance for the aged and persons with disabilities respectively in the state. Governor Adegboyega Oyetola at the launch in Osogbo yesterday, presented a cheque of over N2billion to 25,907 indigent and vulnerable citizens.
He disclosed that the programmes are in tandem with the administration’s resolve to improve on the state’s extant social investment policy and its vision to give adequate attention to the welfare of the aged and people with disabilities across the state.
He noted that the Public Workfare programme would not only enhance the capacity of participating unemployed youth but also create and improve basic social and economic infrastructure in the state. He added that the programme “has taken over 10,000 vulnerable youths away from roaming the streets and are participating in productive service and earning monthly stipends.”
The governor said that the Public Workfare will also increase the income and consumption capacities of young participants and their households, raise effective demand in local markets, and increase household assets ownership, savings, and investments.
“Since inception, the Public Workfare component of YESSO has resulted in increase in the income and consumption of the young participants and their households and more importantly, active participation of these selected unskilled and unemployed youths in this programme has reduced youth restiveness and other social vices in our society,” he added.
On the Special Grant Transfer, Oyetola said it was “due to our active performance in fighting the scourge of unemployment among our youths, the World Bank gave the state the opportunity to participate in Special Grant Transfer; a programme designed for persons with disabilities and the aged to avail them the opportunity for enhanced consumption and improved health system.” While commending the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its efforts at reducing unemployment, especially among the youth through YESSO, Oyetola called on well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with government at all levels in the fight against unemployment in Nigeria so as to build a virile nation where peace and progress will thrive.
“As a front runner in Social Protection Policy and Practice in the country, the programme we are inaugurating today is just the beginning of the numerous social interventions we are engaging in to make life better for our people,” the governor declared. Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Lawal Azeez, commended the so-cial protection programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari and Oyetola. He lauded the efforts of the state government in taking the masses out of the scourge of poverty, hunger, unemployment and other societal vices.
In his remarks, the Head of Unit, Osun Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) Public Workfare and Special Grant Transfer, Mrs. Funmilayo Oladosu, enjoined the beneficiaries to be more active and productively invest their stipends so they can become better persons at the end of the programme. Also, the Osun YESSO Coordinator, Mr. Olabanji Hammed, applauded the efforts of the state government for always putting smile on the faces of the citizens regardless of their socioeconomic status. In their separate remarks, some of the beneficiaries commended the administration of Oyetola for prioritising the people’s welfare and for improving their standard of living in the state.
FG ready to solve your infrastructural, funding challenges, Fashola tells Surveying School Rector
In recognition of the series of infrastructural and funding challenges being faced by the management and students of the 111-year-old Federal School of Surveying, Oyo, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has promised Federal Government’s readiness to provide succour in order to make the Geoinformation and Mapping institution more relevant to the growth and development of the country.
The minister gave the exciting news during his speech as the Visitor to the institution at its 20th convocation ceremony where 10 sets of graduates from 2008 totalling 971, were awarded certificates of Ordinary Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and post HND degrees. In her address, the Rector of the institution, Surveyor (Dr.) Dupe Nihinlola Olayinka, an associate professor from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), who secured accreditation for all the courses being taught in the school within six months of her assumption of office, had complained that the school was lacking in funds and infrastructural facilities in spite of some giant strides she had made.
She had pleaded with the minister to include the school in TETFUND; “like other institutions to take care of the welfare of students and the staff, raising the budget ceiling from its current N450m to about N1.4bn demanded by the Procurement Unit; completion of new Administrative building for staff offices, among others.”
In his response, Fashola who was represented by Dr. Famous Eseduwo, with the Surveyor-General of the Federation and Chairman, Governing Council, S. A. Taiwo, in attendance, said that his ministry; “is aware of some of the challenges of the School such as infrastructure deficit, funding deficit, absence of TETFUND support, deficiencies in the enabling Act, under-funding and so on. We have started relating with the appropriate stakeholders towards finding lasting solutions to the identified challenges of the School.”
Court upholds Nsuke election as MOSOP President
A Rivers State High Court sitting in Nchia, Port Harcourt, has upheld the election of Fegalo Nsuke as the president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). The court presided by Hon Justice B. B Green struck out a suit seeking to upturn the election of Nsuke as MOSOP president following an affidavit of withdrawal from the complainants, Mr Gideon Amba, Chief Theophilus Dike and others.
Gideon Amba and Theophilus Dike, former Kingdom Coordinator of Eleme and former Financial Secretary of MOSOP respectfully, had approached the court to seek the extension of Legborsi Pyagbara’s tenure by one year. They also prayed the court to declare Nsuke’s election as invalid because the electoral committee, which conducted the elections, was set-up by the deputy president of MOSOP in the absence of the then president, Legborsi Pyagbara.
NLNG, JVs Train 7 project to create over 10,000 jobs
The Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has sealed Gas Supply Agreements (GSA) for the supply of feedgas to Train 7, a move that would create over 10,000 new jobs and increase the country’s gas production capacity from 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to around 30 MTPA. A statement signed and made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja by the NLNG General Manager, External Relations, Eyono Fatayi- Williams, NLNG noted that GSA’s entered into with Joint Ventures (JVs), signals the commencement of the project, which was expected to increase the company’s production by 35% and improve competitiveness in the global market upon completion. According to the NLNG, the Train 7 Project which was coming at the heels of the company’s 30th anniversary of incorporation and 20 years since exporting its first LNG cargo in 1999, was in line with its corporate vision of ”Helping to build a better Nigeria.” It further stated that the construction period after FID will last approximately between four to five years.
The statement reads in part: “The NLNG has signed the first Basic 20-year term of Gas Supply Agreements (GSAs) for NLNG Train 7 with Joint Ventures (JVs) for the supply of feedgas to Train 7, closing out another condition necessary for taking of the Final Investment Decision (FID).
“The Company also signed the second Basic 10-year term of GSAs for its Trains1, 2 and 3. The JVs are Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Total Exploration & Production Nigeria (TEPNG) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC).
“The milestone is coming after the issuance of a Letter of Intent for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract to SCD JV Consortium in September 2019 as well as the signing of the Nigeria Content (NC) plan with Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in March 2019. SCD JV Consortium is made up of Saipem of Italy, Japan’s Chiyoda and Daewoo of South Korea.
‘‘The Train 7 Project will ramp up NLNG’s production capacity from 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to around 30 MTPA. The Project will form part of the investment of over US$10 billion including the upstream scope of the LNG value chain, thereby boosting the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) profile of Nigeria.
“The Project is anticipated to create over 10,000 new jobs during its construction phase, and on completion, help to further mop more gas that would have been flared, and diversify the revenue portfolio of the Federal Government and thus increase its tax base.” NLNG is owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).
Insecurity: Bandits now forcing farmers to part farmlands, SOKAPU alleges
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) yesterday alleged that bandits terrorising residents in the area are now forcing farmers to hand over some parts of their farm to herdsmen before they are allowed to harvest their crops. The union also condemns the recent attacks in the area, saying that five persons have lost their lives while others remain critically injured. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Kaduna, SOKAPU President, Mr. Jonathan Asake, said: “We have been told by wary and frightened villagers on the Kagoro-Gidan Waya flanks that they have been enduring severe suppression, molestation and extortion before they harvest their crops.
“Those who have farms far from their communities are forced to surrender parts of their crops to serve as fodders for herdsmen’s cows to graze. Failure to do so results in untold consequences.” Asake, who was flanked by other executives, also “condemn in very strong terms the unprovoked, underserved barbarity unleashed on Zunuruk community by evil men. We equally sympathize with the families of those that lost their loved ones and pray for the quick recovery of those that were injured.
“We believe that all our communities must be free, safe and secured for every resident of Southern Kaduna irrespective of tribe, religion, political or cultural affiliation.” While narrating how the attack that left five persons dead took place, the SOKAPU leader said: “About 6pm on December 8, an annual football tournament to foster peace and unity between three communities had just came to an end at the football field of LEA Primary School, Zunuruk – a peaceful, farming community of Oegorok natives, close to Kagoro town in Kaura LGA of Kaduna state.
He said: “By our independent findings, it was just when the last whistle was blown, signalling the end of the match around 6pm that the rattling of what sounded like gunshots was heard followed by torrents of bullets fired at the crowd, raising a gust of dust, confirming to spectators and players alike that the deafening sounds were not just some ‘knockouts’.
MultiChoice opens ultra-modern office in Ibadan
As part of its drive towards delivering value to customers and shaping its business to respond to customers’ needs, MultiChoice Nigeria, yesterday, commissioned an ultra-modern office in Ibadan, Oyo State. The state-of-the-art facility will provide services such as sales, product activations, hardware maintenance, swops, reconnections and general customer services.
Addressing guests at the commissioning ceremony, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, said the state government was proud to associate with MultiChoice. The governor stated that the state is a conducive environment for tourism and other businesses.
He said: “We have over 100 tourism sites in the state and we urge corporate bodies like MultiChoice to help promote this industry in the state.” On his part, the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, reiterated that the people of Ibadan and Oyo State will continue to patronise MultiChoice products and services because they have affordable content that promotes the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba people.
NIS: Visa on arrival to facilitate regional integration
The Comptroller-General of Immigration (CGI) Mr. Muhammad Babandede, has said the planned visa on arrival at the point of entry, is part of Federal Government’s efforts at accelerating integration in Africa. In a statement yesterday by the spokesperson for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), DCI Sunday James, the CGI noted that the policy, which would take effect in 2020, would remove barriers hitherto militating against free movement on the continent.
He also added that the beneficiaries would be holders of passports of African countries.James said: “The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service Muhammad Babandede directed that clarifications be made regarding Visa on Arrival at the point of Entry for holders of passports of African countries.
“Nigeria’s strategic decision is taken to bring down barriers that have hindered free movement of our people on the continent by introducing the visa at the point of Entry into Nigeria with effect from January 2020. “The Comptroller General of Immigration is assuring Nigerians of the service’s commitment to ensuring high level professional ethics in delivering the services without compromising national security.”
Constituency project: ICPC declares lawmaker wanted
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has declared a serving House of Representatives member, Shehu Mohammed, wanted. According to the commission, the lawmaker, who represents Maiyama/ Koko/Besse Federal Constituency, was declared wanted for allegedly failing to appear before it in respect of an ongoing investigation. Spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, who said this in a statement last night, said: “Shehu Koko Mohammed is hereby declared wanted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for his failure to appear before the Commission, for an ongoing investigation against him.
‘‘Mohammed, an indigene of Kebbi State, is currently serving as an Honourable Member representing the Maiyama/Koko/ Besse Federal Constituency at the National Assembly. He was born on 16th June 1978 (41 years old) and is dark in complexion. “His current address is Wamban Koko Campaign Office, Jega Road, Maiyama, Kebbi State. Anyone who has useful information on his whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices or the nearest police station.”
Masari, Tambuwal, Wike, others for SME awards
Stakeholders including no fewer than five governors are expected to grace Nigeria SME Summit and Awards 2019 (SMESUMA 2019), scheduled for Abuja, on December 19. The stakeholders are gathering to brainstorm on the challenges facing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria with a view to charting the way forward. Stakeholders who make the difference in the sector will also be recognised at the event, according to the organisers.
The theme is ‘Nigeria’s Prosperity through SME Prism’ while keynote speaker is Prof Akpan Ekpo, a former Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo and immediate past Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM). Expected to share their experiences on SME and youth empowerment at the occasion are Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers), who would also be honoured as ‘SME Governors of the Year’ for their contributions to the development of SMEs in their respective states. Also expected are the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; Femi Gbajabiamila, Senator Tolu Odebiyi, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Chairman of the House of Representatives on Niger Delta Affairs and Union Bank Plc. Announcing activities kick-starting the event, the organisers, Lakewhyte Communications, in a statement, said the event, endorsed by the Small and ter user navigation system and a referral system to introduce new users and earn points in their WakaPurse.
“Plentywaka’s sole mission is to provide hassle-free transportation to the everyday Nigerian and we will stop at nothing to achieve that.” Enagwolor explained that one of the most celebrated features was the ability for app users to perform group bookings with its new multirider feature. He noted that the new and improved app was already available for download on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. Also, Onyeka Akumah, who is a co-founder of the company said that the app would provide an opportunity for partners with vehicles that could move more than six people at a time. According to him, Toyota Sienna’s, 14-seater buses, coaster buses, e.t.c. could also sign up as Plentywaka partners.
He said: “By signing up, they can list their vehicles on the platform and earn decent revenue as riders commute. Plentywaka is targeted at providing its riders with convenient, safe and comfortable bus rides at pocket-friendly rates. Medium Enterprises Development agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), would also recognise outstanding SME operators, individuals, government bodies and corporate bodies who have been at the forefront of the efforts to promote SMEs in the country.
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