By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse
THE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has condemned the current fuel scarcity, describing it as a sad commentary for an oil producing country.
It also described as unfortunate the event that has thrown people especially the common man in to artificial sufferings
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the first quarter 2022 Zonal (Zone A) Executive Council (ZEC) meeting of the union
The communique was signed and made available to newsmen in Dutse Jigawa state, by the zonal publicity secretary, Comrade Basiru Yusuf.
The communique reads, “The hike in prices of petroleum products and the unfortunate influx of “off-spec” petroleum products have crippled the social and economic activities of the people in this country”
According to the communique, the level of inflation, worsened by incessant increases in the prices of
electricity and commodities are of a great concern to the association.
ASUP in the communique decried the threats of insecurity sweeping through the country as indeed being worrisome particularly as it related to the wanton disregard for lives and properties by criminals in the form of rural banditry and kidnapping, armed robbery, communal/religious clashes, secessionist agitations, etc.
It therefore called for deployment of new and improved coordinated efforts to curtail them, “We are hereby calling upon the government at all levels to urgently take decisive action to address all security challenges in Nigeria because what obtains today directly affects academic activities especially in Northern Nigeria where some schools and colleges are closed”.
The association expressed worry that the federal government has not fulfilled its part of the agreement entered with ASUP for the suspension of the last strike action of the union. “It is believed that there is need for urgent release of N15 billion revitalization fund as well as minimum wage arrears to the affected members of the sector in order to lay this issue to rest permanently”.
“The continued non-remittance of National Housing Fund, Pensions fund and other third party
deductions by IPPIS to many federal institutions has attracted the attention of the ZEC.
“This is a
testimony of the widespread accusation against the IPPIS. The ZEC therefore uses this medium to call the attention of relevant Ministries and Agencies to swiftly ensure that all such remittances are made”, the communique stated.
It added that finding has revealed that there is an ongoing undue interference by external forces in the
appointment of the Rector in Kaduna Polytechnic without recourse to the polytechnic Act 2019 (as amended)
They asked for the
strict adherence to the provision of the law in the selection process as they cautioned against such meddling in the spirit of fairness.
The communique also frowned at the recent reversal of the 65 years’ retirement age for polytechnic staff by Kano
State Government, while its earlier pronouncement was loudly applauded across all quarters. “We are calling on the government to maintain its former position considering it is part of the provisions of the Polytechnic Act (as amended 2019).
ZEC called on the Niger State Government to urgently look into the non-remittance of 7
months check-off dues for Niger State Polytechnic Zungeru chapter of the Union to enable it
“ZEC is hopeful that government will facilitate the reopening of schools and students hostels in
various institutions affected by the security situation and make schools across the nation safe and
conducive for learning”.
ACF chairman makes case for host communities to get 13% revenue derivation
**Says Governors have been misappropriating the monies
The Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) chairman, Architect Gabriel Aduku has appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure that the 13% Revenue derivation is not given to States but for communities bearing oil and other mineral resources.
He said the monies should be directly given to the communities instead of their State governments
Aduku who was a former Minister of Health was also an elected member of the Abacha’s Constitutional Conferece between 1994 to 1995 where he was the chairman of the Revenue Allocation committee which was on the schedule.
“So for this particular 13% revenue derivation Formular I will appeal to the president of the country to ensure that the governors have nothing to do with it.
He said, Tinubu who himself is experienced in governance as a two term Governor of Lagos State, a former senator and is a person that has mixed with people to reconsider the implementation and ensure that the host comunities benefit directly.
“The implementation of these should be strictly put together. The governors will have nothing to do with the derivation of thirteen percent fund that is in the constitution, its for all the communities that are affected.
He said the derivation is good but implementation had been the problem. “Many of the governors thereafter saw money and they would look at what to do, they would prefer to do the things themselves rather than give it to the people that are affected for the purpose for which it is derived.
“So that has been wrong, it became a major problem and one of the problems in Nigeria since the 13% revenue derivation came into law during the administration of Obansanjo in particular.
“We have seen what some governors have done with it and it encourages them to aspire to become President of Nigeria since they have money now. They use money making a factor for democracy so unfortunately it’s one of the evils that have eaten up this country.
“But it can be simply managed if only there is sincerely of purpose in the people. So I submit again that the derivation factor is a blessing to Nigerians, and in all other considerations it affects the people, because governance is about the people, not about individuals, how much one can make out of it, or how much their friends made out of it.
He said Implementation of ideas or critical decisions for the progress of this country has been bedeviled overtime and it appears to continue to get worse. “So my candid input is that we should ensure that that particular 13% is allocated to the communities, by identifying the communities and putting an instrument, a management instrument that will be composed of people of integrity within the communities.
“And when they put themselves together they should constitute their leadership themselves, and such leadership can only be supervised by the government of the State and that of the federation on how that resource of thirteen percent is used within the communities.
“The interesting thing is that discussion were taken, we made an agenda for it and more of it was amicably discussion all through.
“Cardinal among the issue is the decision which is the derivation factor. Derivation factor from our search and researches has been on even during the self government of Northern Nigeria, western Nigeria, Eastern Nigeria and so on.
“Derivation were being applied to manage resources. We found out that derivation is important and so it should come to play in what we are doing.
“So in the course of our meetings and so on the 13% derivatives formular became necessary for the areas of oil production of which at that time were mineral contributing States substantially to the nation’s economy.
He said the approval was given and it was organised and members of the committee travelled to the oil bearing areas in Portharcourt in the South South, warri for a physical visit to the sites where we can observe for ourselves the extent of damage the exploration has caused the people, the pollution of the natural water, the danage to the arable lands and so on
He said after their trip they settled to discuss the issue of 13% derivation as basis for revenue allocation.
According to him, the Olu of Warri at that time after they explained their mission to him and what they had done so far, asked what the committee had seen.
He provided an aircraft to come or one of those oil expert to come and take to go and see more.
“That’s how he provided for us and got the oil companies to aid us to see these sites and that’s why we were able to fly over areas where the oil exploitation was carried out, including areas where gas flaring took place and we could see the effect.
“We flew round and in fact came as near as certain points where they were habitations within the area of this gas flaring. We saw people living in some kind of islands on top of the river.
“The effect of the oil was very obvious on the water. So we had the opportunity of seeing quite a bit of what was going on, and it made our discussion a little more fascinating for everyone that was in the committee, in the sense that we could appreciate the difficulties that people who lived in those areas were facing.
“Their water polluted, their atmosphere polluted. So there’s definitely need to take care of these people who by nature are already living in that area. They were pockets of agricultural activities but you could see certain areas where the agricultural activities were also affected by the oil spillage all around.
“This is not to talk of the open naked water that is polluted, and that’s where they drink water from. So we could imagine their difficulties. By the time we came back through Ajaokuta, because the same Olu of warri provided us an aircraft which could land on water and on ground.
“So it was easy for us to come back through Ajaokuta, so we landed on river Niger in Ajaokuta, at the Julius Berger’s port.
“It was amazing for the members. Most of the members had never really travelled South to see things,
not to talk of with an aircraft that lands on water and then goes like a boat to the port, and then drop us and went back.
“By the time we met at Ajaokuta and reviewed the situation in Ajaokuta we could only sympathise that Nigeria has the opportunities, but are we tidying them up?. It made our discussion, again a lot easier with full attention of my members most of the time.
“We got a resolution that says final resolution apart from details. It is to say that for all, the Revenue Allocation will be based on derivation.
“The derivation factor we arrived at was, not less than 13% of the minerals produced in that area which should go back to service the people.
“That is the ultimate aim. Looking at the sufferings of the people. The first set of governors that were to utilise the place was shortly after Abdulsalam’s administrstionAnd when they got in there was derivation factor of course had gone in and it should go to the states that are affected that’s how it was simply put.
Today the surprising thing is that Abacha’s regime was not accorded the opportunity of turning that conference outcome into reality because of the change that occurred. “And we could see that because of the value of that derivation committee work the regime of Abdulsalam decided to extract that portion, and carry on.
“And that is why it is today in the constitution which is being used and of course the normal ammendment today is resolved into the Petroleum bill as we started.
“So the background is very interesting and I’m happy that I chaired that controversial issue and it has become a reality and it should be applied.
“Now Nigeria has a problem as some of us have observed in all sectors the problem of implementation.
Why do we have that? We have loaded ourselves with so much of insincerity and lack of purposefulness of what we are to do to manage our country, we lost it.
“With the insincerity, indiscipline, it has resulted into what we’re having now,Total insecurity that is destroying our development. By the time we analyse this in things that is insincerity, indiscipline that is equating to insecurity, we are not very safe.
“But the intentions have always been there a lot of desires are all in the cupboards of all governments ,but implementation is. So we saw it coming.”
“Today, I find myself in kogi state and I chaired that occasion. Kogi state has become the only state in the North that has been marked as oil producing state after some protractions here and there but at last it is there.
“I would like to give you the insight on how this implementation should be carried out just in the way I have said it.
“We have traditional leadership which was established before the colonial times and we have a head of it of which we call the Atta of Igala. “The area of petroleum that came out is in his domain, Ibaji area, so to say and there are several locations that are very close to it.
“The communities are obvious and whatever derivation comes out of it should directly be used in the interest of the people through the community administration, native authorities administration.
“That is how we grew up, that is how we saw sense in using and enjoying government facilities and caring for it. So the idea of sincerity of purpose has to come into administration of these resources otherwise it can be another blow”
FG says it will set aside over 1.2m metric tonnes of wheat for National Food Reserve
By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse
In its effort to curtail overdependence on importation of Wheat from foreign countries, the federal government has projected to add over 1.2 million metric tonnes to the national food reserve at the end of 2023/2024 dry season wheat farming.
Minister For Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari made the disclosure on Saturday while flagging off the 2023/2024 national Wheat productions policy at Kadume village of Hadejia local government, Jigawa state.
He indicated that over 100,000 hectres would be cultivated this year to limit the country’s dependence on importation of the product.
Senator Abubakar Kyari said over 250, 000 farmers are to benefit from the federal government support to achieve production of over 1,250,000 metric tones across the nation.
The minister explained that, the flagging off of the program is a key activity in the implementation of federal government food security policy.
He noted that 100,000 hectres are targeted under the 2023/2024 national dry season Wheat productions policy, and a special package for 50 percent subsidy was designed for the registered farmers and their cluster.
“The registered farmers will be given free seeds while other inputs will be sold to them at 50 percent subsidy, aims at enhancing their capabilities to implement the program.
“Under the Federal Government policy we want improve our crops yields by 20 percent this year, with Wheat outputs targeted at 400,000, to 500,000 tones. Equally we will gradually continue to improve our irrigation facilities to diversify crops production for achieving food security, Jobs creation, growth and development “.
The Minister commended the commitments demonstrated by Jigawa state government and it’s farmers which proved to federal government that the state is a key and a reliable partner in achieving federal government food security policy, jobs creation and poverty eradication.
In his speech the JIgawa State governor, Malam Umar Namadi has called on the federal government to accelerate the completion of the Hadejia Valley Irrigation Project with potential irrigable area of over 25,000 hectares.
The governor said the area has the capacity to significantly deliver the Food Security objective of President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
Malam Umar Namadi explained that the Hadejia Valley Project, which was initiated by the Late Shagari Administration in the early 1980s, is still less than 25% completed after almost four decades.
According to him “Following a flag-off of the project performed in 2018, it is noteworthy that earlier this year, former President Muhammad Buhari has commissioned the successful completion of a segment of the Project covering about 6,000 hectares”.
The governor maintained that “There is no doubt that has significantly contributed to our quest for food security, job creation, and economic diversification. Despite this significant stride, however, there is still a long way to go considering the Project’s potentials. It is my prayer that the Tinubu Administration will make history by completing the project 100%.”
The governor note that the elaborate flag-off event as blessed by the presence of all these dignitaries underscores the priority attached to the Program which is critical to the attainment of State’s and National Development objectives of food security, economic diversification, and empowerment of the citizens.
He added that as many of us are aware, the Wheat Development Program an integral part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu aimed at accelerating the Nation’s drive to achieve food security.
It also perfectly aligns with several aspects of our 12-Point Agenda for Greater Jigawa particularly as it affects food security, economic diversification, job creation, provision of sustainable means of livelihoods for the citizens, and overall poverty reduction.
Accordingly, both the Federal Government and the Government of Jigawa State have accorded a topmost priority to the Program for which all hands would be on deck to ensure its success.
“Over the years, Jigawa State has successfully pursued an Agricultural Transformation Agenda which has significantly contributed to our Nation’s quest for food security and economic diversification”.
Malam Namadi stated further that, “Today, Jigawa State is a leading producer of rice, sesame, and hibiscus among many other crops. One of the resolutions under our 12-Point Agenda is to ensure full exploitation of the Jigawa State’s agricultural potentials through all-year round production by bringing more of our fadama lands under cultivation, gradual expansion of our irrigation facilities, and mobilizing our teeming youths into Agriculture and its entire value chain”.
He emphasized that the Wheat development programme partnership with the Federal Government is in line with state the government’s resolve to sustain progress and build on previous achievements of the agricultural transformation agenda. “It is in line with our objective to sustainably improve the socioeconomic well-being of our citizens.”
“I am also truly delighted by the choice of Jigawa State as the primary focal State for the Wheat Development Program. It is common knowledge that Jigawa State is the heart of wheat production in Nigeria with potential to provide up to 200,000 hectares for wheat production. “
Frank describes Tinubu’s quest for recognition in Guinness World Records as misplaced
A former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has described the quest by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be recognized in the Guinness World Records over reforms initiated by him since assumption of office as a misplaced venture.
He gave the indication in a statement in Abuja in reaction to the President’s comment in that regard while speaking in Germany recently.
Tinubu had while addressing an audience at the 10th German-Nigerian Business Forum, in Germany, said, “Nigeria voted for me for reforms and from day one of my inauguration, I started the reforms. To me, if you didn’t mention me in the Guinness Book of Records, I’d strive to find a way to insert myself because I did it without expectation.”
But Frank insisted that the only world record the President had set is to have inflicted severe economic pains and unbearable hardship on the people.
“You brandish your removal of fuel subsidy on Inauguration Day as an evidence that you ‘hit the ground running’ but you have failed to realise that that singular action has heated up average citizen with attendant pains, tears and sorrow.
“Your purported reforms have wrecked the nation’s currency with $1 now exchanging for over N1,000, up from N600 prior to your swearing-in as President. Yet you claimed to have broken a record capable of earning you a global recognition in the GWRs,” he said.
He insisted that even though the President claimed he was in Germany to woo investors, that none will be willing to invest in the country because of the negative world records he had already set as a personal.
“No investor will want to come to Nigeria when they know the President’s character is questionable because investors will always do background checks before they go to anywhere.
“Such background checks would among others reveal the negative reputation of the man inviting them as a certificate forger with proven links to drugs trafficking.
“Foreign investors will definitely not go to a country with a flawed electoral process or where
the judiciary cannot be trusted to guarantee justice to protect their investments.
“So, while investors will not come to Nigeria under your government, your name, if at all, can only be written in Guinness World Records as a certificate forger in line with the ruling of a Chicago Court,” he said.
He also cited some false claims made by the President as additional reasons why his drive for investors would not yield any positive result.
Frank who is the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and the Middle East, said: “He claimed that he had removed fuel subsidy, but fuel is still being subsidised by his administration even though the people now languish under the burden of astronomical increases in the pump price of fuel and other essential petroleum products.
“He claimed that he worked for Deloitte but Deloitte has since denied having his employment records.
“This is a President who often claim he is from the private sector but which genuine business has he done that qualifies him to be part of the private sector?
“He went to Saudi Arabia and India and upon return claimed he had convinced investors there to invest in Nigeria. But up till this moment no investor from Saudi or India has indicated interest to invest in Nigeria.
“If they didn’t corrupt the system, we’re not supposed to look for investors. Investors are supposed to look for Nigeria with her abundant human and material resources that can attract investors.
“These obvious flaws are reasons why we are mobilising Nigerians, both locally and in diaspora, for a Tinubu must go mass protest to resist and stop all these illegalities and deception, targeted at the gradual annihilation of the people through high cost of food, medicare, goods and services, among others, in the country.”
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