Oyo Pays 92 Pensioners N206m Gratuities

Mohammed Shosanya

No fewer than 92 pensioners in Oyo State on Monday received cheques worth N208 million as gratuities from the Oyo State government.

This, according to the Commissioner for Establishments and Training, Hon. Adeniyi Adebisi, is in fulfillment of Governor Seyi Makinde’s promise to the executives of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Oyo State Chapter.

The Commissioner for Establishments and Training, Hon. Adeniyi Adebisi made the disclosure during an interactive session with the Executives of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Oyo State Chapter and the symbolic presentation of cheques to some retirees.

He said the beneficiaries comprise state, local government and primary school retirees.

Hon. Adebisi stated further that about 92 retirees have been shortlisted for the payment and release of cheques has commenced.

The Commissioner explained that there is need for synergy and cooperation between the Nigerian Union of Pensioner and the Ministry of Establishments and Training, so as to make life better for Pensioners, while the Ministry is working on the review of pensions as directed by the Governor.

He stated further that, the Oyo State Government believes in dialogue as against industrial action to avoid sending bad signals to the general public.

He said, “Dialogue can resolve more than 50 percent of any problem no matter how big”.

Adebisi added that the State Government is committed to the wellbeing and welfare of civil servants, as well as the retirees.

In his remarks, the State Secretary Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Comrade Olusegun Abatan stated that the loyalty of the Union to the State Government was demonstrated in the last gubernatorial election, when pensioners trooped out en-masse to vote for His Excellency, as a sign of appreciation.

Comrade Abatan expressed his delight that the Governor fulfilled his promise to resume payment of gratuity and believes that the 13-points agenda presented by the Union would be executed one after the other especially now that the pension review is being looked into.

Some of the beneficiaries expressed their appreciation to Governor Seyi Makinde for paying their gratuities at this time of economic hardship and recession, praying that God will grant him more wisdom to move the state forward.

CSO Coalition Celebrates Tinubu’s Strides In Steel Sector

Mohammed Shosanya

The Civil Society Organisation Coalition for the Revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company,has celebrated President Bola Tinubu’s strides in the steel sector three months after he took over the mantle of leadership.

The strides manifested during the President’s recent visit to India for the G20 World leaders meeting,the coalitions said in a statement made available to Premium News on Sunday.

Mohammed Bougei Attah,National Coordinator,Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative, Abuja,Otunba Dele Ajayi-Smith,President, Africa Citizens Development Foundation, Lagos and,Barr. Clifford Thomas,
Executive DirectorFoundation for Civic Education, Human Rights, and Development Advancement, Uyo,signed the statement.

The coalition noted that earlier last month,President Tinubu sent a delegation, led by the Vice President, Sen. Bukar Abba Shetima to the Russia-Africa Summit where Ajaokuta was the main point of the visit.

The statement added:”We salute the “Can Do Spirit” of President Tinubu and celebrate his achievements in just three months in office.The President in a single stroke has brought great fortune to Nigeria with US$14bn pledge of Foreign Direct Investment, FDI to Nigeria.

“We look forward to his future visits to the UN General Assembly later this month, to US and other Industrialized Nations in the coming months and hope Ajaokuta revival continue to take Centre stage.

“Our immediate shared fortune is the pledged of US$3bn by Jindal Steel and Power of India. The Coalition trustfully hope, that this will bring upliftment to the long-term aspiration of the Nigerian Civil Society movement to see Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mills working again, which was abandoned at 95% completion stage since 1994”

The statement quoted the coalitions as commending the President for creating a new Ministry of Steel Development as a stand alone and for appointing Prince Abubakar Audu to head the Ministry.

They emphasized the need to inspire and promote personal and collective responsibility towards ensuring the growth, development and sustainability of the steel sector of the country.

They noted that,apart from the production of iron, steel, other valuable products that will be available in the course of operation of Ajaokuta Steel Plant will include about 110MW electricity, hydrogen, 35000 cubic meter of oxygen per hour, nitrogen, argon, coke oven gas, sulphuric acid.

The statement added:”We are aware that major industrialised nations do not want Nigeria to achieve her steel goal, which will also bring numerous forms of multiplier effects on the economic of the country, but the table must turn at this time in favour of Nigeria and Africa.

NESG Focuses 29th Confab On Pathways To Economic Transformation

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has anchored its 29th summit (NES 29) on ‘Pathways for Sustainable Economic Transformation and Inclusion’, on the strength of the urgency of translating economic growth into improved and sustainable living standards for all citizens.

This year’s summit theme hints at Nigeria’s potential for sustainable development, leveraging innovative policies, robust institutions, strategic infrastructural investments, and human capital development.

According to a statement released by the Group, Nigeria is currently grappling with rising unemployment, income disparity, and multidimensional poverty.

“These challenges are worsened by an uneven allocation of resources, macroeconomic instability, and institutional deficiencies. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2022 revealed that approximately 62.9% of the population live in multidimensional poverty, threatening the development of a vibrant middle class. With population growth outpacing poverty reduction, Nigeria’s current trajectory highlights the critical need to prioritise long-term development and shared prosperity,” it added.

The group expressed satisfaction with the current administration’s 8-point agenda targeted at getting Nigeria out of the woods.

It refers to the World Bank’s forecast of an average annual economic growth rate of 2.9% for the country between 2023 and 2025, underscoring the possibility of positive change with all hands on deck.

It said: “Technological advancements and their increasing adoption offer glimpses of what can be achieved with the proper mechanisms. The change in political leadership also brings the opportunity for fresh ideas and the rectification of economic policies that have weakened the fiscal system.”

The group also advocated for constructive dialogue that incorporates the ideas of stakeholders. It assured that NES 29 would build on the legacy of previous summits to nudge the public and private sectors to co-create solutions that drive shared prosperity.

“In the context of a new government administration, there is an undeniable need to reinvigorate our efforts to achieve sustainable economic development. The 29th Nigerian Economic Summit is not just an annual event; it represents a call for change, a clarion call for renewed commitment, and a dedicated effort to turn our economy around for the better,” it said.

At the recent inauguration of the NESG and Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning’s Joint Planning Committee for NES 29 in Abuja, the NESG emphasised that the primary goal of this year’s Summit, scheduled to hold from October 23 to 24, 2023, is to enhance the economic agenda setting of the government.

We’re Not Involved In Oil Theft,Says Chevron

Mohammed Shosanya

Chevron Nigeria Limited CNL, operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited NNPCL,says it has no blame in the pervading oil theft in the country.

Its General Manager,Policy Government and Public Affairs,Esimaje Brikinn,gave the clarification in a statement on Saturday against the backdrop of a report in one of the online media platforms blaming international oil companies, communities and other stakeholders for the oil theft that has hindered the growth of the oil industry.

Chevron and another international oil company were specifically mentioned in the report allegedly attributed to the Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee set up to investigate crude oil theft.

Brikinn punctured the report and described same as untrue, incorrect, and made without any basis.

He reiterated his company’s commitment to supporting the collaborative efforts to prevent oil theft and pipeline vandalism in its area of operation,and affirmed that illegal bunkering and oil theft in the Niger Delta region has negatively impacted CNL’s operation and has devastating effects on the nation’s economy and the environment in the Niger Delta region.

He said his company continues to monitor the environment in its areas of operations and report any suspected illegal activity and breaches to the relevant government security forces and regulatory agencies.

He disclosed that CNL has helped in reducing pipeline vandalism and oil theft in Niger delta region by collaborating with communities around the areas of the company’s operations to set up the Community Pipeline and Facilities Surveillance Programme (CPFSP) in 2005.

Through the CPFSP, he said,CNL continues to tackle the challenge of oil theft and pipeline vandalism and engage the community youth in pipeline surveillance to reduce oil theft in CNL’s area of operation.

The company also deploys security surveillance equipment and other technologies in addition to physical water-borne patrols by the CPFSP and the government security forces.

He noted that CNL’s commitment to working with government agencies and others to prevent oil theft and its impact on the environment was recently commended by the Special Investigation Panel on Oil Theft/Losses in Nigeria set up by the Federal Government during their visit to CNL’s operations.

“CNL is committed to the highest ethical standards and business principles. CNL operates as a responsible company and conducts its business in full compliance with the law and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. CNL will continue to work with the Nigerian government towards the development of the oil and gas industry and the Nigerian economy generally”, Esimaje stated.

Moyo Lawal  Confirms Leaked Sex Video,Threatens Legal Action

Actress Moyo Lawal has reacted to the viral sex video of her which was leaked online on Saturday.

In her Instagram page on Sunday, Lawal first confirmed she was the person in the tape before debunking rumours that she authorised the distribution of the said tape.

“A private video of mine from a while ago has been inappropriately shared without my consent, violating my privacy and trust,” her statement began.

“I want to emphasise that this video was done with my ex whom I was to marry at that time, was never intended for public consumption and its unauthorised distribution is a breach of my boundaries. However this criminal breach of privacy will be treated with legal action,” the statement read.

Music Stars,Celebrities Don’t Need Private Jets-Akon

American-Senegalese Singer,Akon has warned music stars and celebrities against owning private jets, noting that they cost more to maintain.

He gave the counsel while appearing on the latest episode of the Impulsive podcast.

He said:”I attempted to own a jet, but it only lasted 6 months; I sold that thing so fast. Buy some hours and use it only when necessary, and most of the time use it as a way of negotiating; let that be a part of your strategy to the money, but whatever you do, never own a jet.

“Owning a jet means you spend two to three million dollars a year just for upkeep. You spend more on maintenance than the actual jet cost.

“This is the advice I give everybody: the money you have now has to last you a lifetime. When you think about it like that, the way you manage everything will be different.”

He also advised people to stay stingy and not lavish their money if they want to stay rich.

He said:“If you want to stay rich, stay stingy. I’m the stingiest guy on the planet.”

Oyetola Laments Deplorable Condition Of Ports

Mohammed Shosanya

Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola,has decried the deplorable condition of ports in Nigeria, saying the rots and cracks in the ports infrastructure,over staying of cargoes at the ports, excesses of foreign fishing firms is discouraging.

Oyetola,who expressed this recently during a working visit to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council
Headquarters in Lagos,added that long bureaucratic processes are major factors responsible for elongated cargo clearance time, thereby frustrating shippers and leading to the jettisoning of their containers at ports.

A statement by Henshaw Ogubike, the Director, Press and Public Relations,quoted the Minister as stating that he would engage the leadership of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the issue of abandoned cargoes at the ports in a bid to evacuate overtime cargoes and address other bottlenecks.

He said government will continue to provide conducive working environment for the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), that will facilitate the disposal of overtime cargoes at all the ports in the country and pave way for effective and efficient service delivery.

He also assured the council that government would look into their challenges and effect necessary reforms where needed for the success of the Blue Economy agenda of the current administration.

In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Hon. Emmanuel Jime, highlighted issues requiring urgent attention to include the amendment of NSC Act to institute effective port economic regulation.

Besides,Jime said that the NSC is a laboratory where policy making that drives the marine space is being regulated, adding that its objective is to ensure that Nigeria is the Maritime Hub in the sub- Western Region.

He disclosed that the actualization of one-percent (1%) freight stabilization fee on import and export to Shippers Council as enshrined in the NSC Subsidiary Legislation; implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN); establishment of a National Fleet, among others are the current concerns of the council.

He expressed his confidence in the administration of the new Miinister adding that the Minister has displayed passion towards creating impact in the maritime sector.

According to the statement,the Minister also visited the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), where the Acting Registrar, Chinyere Uromta,implored him to reconsider the Federal Government’s decision to exclude CRFFN from the National budgetary allocation, emphasizing on the crucial roles the Council plays in the freight forwarding sector.

She said CRFFN has brought so much sanity in the logistics of supply chain subsector and the Nigerian shipping industry. Hitherto, the era was characterized by missing cargoes.

She added that CRFFN is a Federal regulatory Agency and doubles as international regulator of freight forwarding practice in global setting.

She maintained that the CRFFN jurisdiction includes marine, aviation (cargo airport) and land borders.

She said: “Our establishing Act portrays us as a professional body and not a regulatory agency and we are making a clarion call for urgent amendment to CRFFN Act”.

Zaaki Returns,Plans Collabo With Olamide,Wande Coal In New Album

Veteran singer, Zaaki Azzay, is working with Olamide and Wande Coal in a new album,marking his return to music after taking a recess.

He had already recorded a song with Di’ja for his new Extended Play album and another song featuring Magnito.

He said:“I recently recorded a song with Di’ja for my new Extended Play album. I have recorded another song featuring Magnito, and I am looking forward to working with Olamide. I am discussing with Wande Coal as well. Once I finish those songs, the EP will be released. I intend to make a strong comeback to the music industry.”

He disclosed that he had been busy managing the affairs of the music industry, especially as regards the welfare of entertainers, including producers and instrumentalists.

On how he keeps ahead of latest trends, he said, “In life, one must learn to evolve. I always advise people to establish a relationship with God, so that He would direct them on what to do. All these ‘Gen Z’ artistes love to feature me (in their songs). They love what I am doing, and they know that I am up to date. The world is celebrating afrobeats, and our artistes are shutting down big venues such as the O2 Arena in London, United Kingdom. I am happy that is happening in my time.”

He also stated that shallow lyrics was not the fault of just the artistes. He said, “It is a two-way thing. I usually say that we are no longer Nigerian musicians, but international musicians. There are special occasions where artistes with meaningful lyrics are not invited. How would such people then be encouraged to continue singing meaningful songs?

“Meanwhile, those artistes have families and responsibilities. Aside from creating good melodies, marketing is also very important. A creative person can actually just focus on beats and be commercial. However, songs without meaningful lyrics will not stand the test of time.”