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Digital Census 2023: Experts raises concern over possible operational risk



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ICT experts under the aegis of Young ICT Professionals have warn against operational risk and also ‘single point of failure’ scenario if the National Population Commission were to continue with its plan to deliver 800,000 devices from just one company for the upcoming 2023 Census exercise.

While welcoming the commission efforts to deliver a Technology driven census for 2023, the experts expressed concern on the unusual focus on foreign tablet brand and supplier saying its reduces the opportunities for Job creation in the country.

Speaking Tuesday in Abuja, at an event organized by Young ICT Professionals Dr. Abdulwahab Olajide Kunle urged the National Population Commission (NPC) to ensure such a high deployment of devices is fairly distributed among the competent factories in teh industry , so as to manage delivery risk and maximize job creation opportunities across the country.

He advised the federal government to patronise the local Industry robustly as preparations for the 2023 census begin in earnest.

Kunle said the National Population Commission (NPC), and Federal Government must embrace competent Nigerian producers of devices for 2023 National Population Census exercise to help grow the economy , manage risks and strengthen the security situation in the country.

He said one of the major challenges affecting the ICT industry in the country was that some Nigerians believe that imported products are of higher quality than locally-made one noting that the country now boasts of over 5 world class computer device assembly plants and 3 Original Equipment Manufacturers OEM certified by global bodies. These number continue to dwindle because of lack of fair patronage with local producers.

He commended President Buhari for his unrelenting campaign in the areas of patronising locally made products in the country, and said the FG efforts in that regards has greatly yielded result.

He said challenges abound for investors who struggle to justify investment, adding that the decision by NPC to procure 800,000.00 devices is enough to revolutionise the ICT manufacturing sector in the country.

He commended the steps taken by NPC by visiting local OEM’s to ensure NITDA compliance while conducting transparent bid process.

He said engaging local industries will help create job employment, and stem the security situation in the country.
According to him, Nigeria’s ICT industries have the manpower and capacity to manage and provide all the devices needed to conduct hitch free census in 2023 exercise without hindrance rather than import.
He added, “when the country continues to rely on importation of ICT devices from foreign countries that can be produced locally, it is simply exporting job opportunities abroad and also putting pressure on foreign exchange.

“When we talk about missed opportunities in developing local content through Npower, DSO, election devices, smart meters etc, all these projects could have sparked ICT manufacturing industrializations in the country,” he explained.
He appealed to the FG and policy-makers and industries to encourage and promote made-in-Nigerian products, saying that Nigerians are doing well in manufacturing quality products that could compete with their foreign counterparts.

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CUPP scribe describes Lagos-Calabar highway contract as highway of fraud




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**Says N3000 toll fee is exorbitant

The General Secretary, Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Peter Ameh has aligned with the ascertion of Former vice president Atiku Abubakar that Lagos Calabar highway contract as high way to rob the Nigerian people.
The CUPP scribe said it is high way to fraud saying that the cloud hovering over the award of the contract have all the trappings of corruption and abuse of power
In a statement he issued in Abuja on Friday Mr. Ameh said the process lacks transparency and due process, as the contract was awarded without proper oversight and competitive bidding process.
According to him, the cost of building the road per kilometer is outrageous and unacceptable.
“We are already worried that due process was not followed in both the selection and award of the contract for the project.”
He said, the intention of Federal government that vehicles would pay an average of N3,000 per toll is not acceptable and should be rejected by all Nigerian citizens as it will further increase the burden on the Suffering masses of our country.
“Anything above 300 Naira will create a lot of hardship but worst case scenario 500 Niara will be totally intolerable. Let the people breath.

“We all know that there are institutions and bodies, agencies that are created by law to take care of matters of this nature, ranging from the Federal Executive Council, which sits to consider the economic imperative of this kind of gigantic project, the National Assembly which has been constitutionally mandated to apprropriate the funds, Bureau of Public Procurement which looks at the entities that will execute the contract without the federal government spending above and beyond what the project would ordinarily have cost, and etc.

According to him, constitutional democracy which we practice, funds are not arbitrarily expended without the authorisation of the legislative arm, which controls the purse of the nation and the president ought not to have doled out a trillion naira plus to his friends without authorisation.

“But in the event that the coastal highway is a build-operate-transfer-project, due process must also be followed with the aforementioned institutions and agencies which ought to have put in their knowhow with their input taken into consideration.
“If President Tinubu, as reported in the dailies and social media, has awarded the contract to the Chagourys who are alleged to be his bossom friends and business partners without due process and due consideration to the constitutional and statutory provisions, the National Assembly (that is if we have a functioning and responsible parliament that is not beholden to the Executive Branch) is obligated to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate and possibly call the president to order because doing what he is alleged to have done is a breach of the Constitution which he has sworn to uphold and protect.
“APC government has failed to deliver on the promises of open government and has decided to use government to reward their friends and cronies at the expense of tax payers.
All government contracts must follow open and competitive bidding process.

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Classified document claims Abure entered agreement with NLC in 2022




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It appears there is no end in sight over the dispute between the Labour Party(LP) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as the suspended National treasurer of the party Oluchi Okpara has leaked a document that confirmed that NLC had a pact with the LP against the claims of Julius Abure.

The political wing of the NLC at a stakeholders meeting had sacked Abure and its NWC declaring the recent convention in Nnewi that returned Abure and his co-travelers as kangaroo

However, Abure Claimed the NLC has no power to dismiss him and the National Working Committee, as recently announced.
The document confirmed that the Labour Party had an agreement with the NLC

The Document indicated that there was a dispute between the duo which was mediated by INEC in 2022 showing the signature of LP national chairman, Abure and that of Ayuba Waba of the NLC

The document titled, “Report of Mediated Settlement between The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Labour Party by the Independent National Electoral Commission Zambezi Crescent Maitama, Abuja reads,

“We bring you fraternal greetings from the Nigeria Labour Congress {NLC) ard the Labour Party (LP). 

“We write to Inform you that the mediation initiative brokered by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the dispute between the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Labour Party has been successfully consummated on the 27” of June 2022.
“The consummation of the resolution is established in a TERNS OF SETTLEMENT which was willingly reached without any duress whatsoever between the two parties, the NLC and the Labour Partv and validated by the signatures of the President of the Nigeria Labour 
Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni. the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Barr. Julius Abure, General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, and the National Secretary of the Labour Party, Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim. 

The National treasurer of the Party  Mrs. Oluchi Oparah, who made the document available to the Guardian on Thursday  said, “The mark of a good and trustworthy person is in his ability to keep his word and respect agreement reached in the course of mediation settlement agreement in the Presence of Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) between the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) and Labour Party, (LP)

“It is only a morally bankrupt individual  who has no moral character that will reached, sign an agreement and then go publicly to deny such agreement. 

“The document above will prove to you what I have been saying about the existence of an agreement between the Labour Party and Nigeria Labour congress.

“Abure and his cohort can not continue on this path of lies and deception to justify their illegally convened and purportedly conducted national Convention.

“This agreement was sign consequent upon the mediation brokered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) between the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC and the Labour Party which commenced on the 26th of April 2022 and at which commitments were made for an improved cordial relations between the two parties consequent on the court Judgement by Justice Gabriel Kolawole delivered on the 20th March 2018. 
This mediation settlement agreement was signed by Bar. Julius Abure and  Alhaji Umar Farouk the National Secretary of Labour Party on behalf of the Party while Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of Nigeria Labour Congress and comrade Emmanuel Ubiaja, General Secretary of Labour Congress signed for the union

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Boat Mishap: NIWA Commiserates with AGN, victims’ families




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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has commiserated with the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and families of the deceased victims of the unfortunate April 10, boat Mishap on the River Niger that claimed four lives.

The NIWA Management, in a statement signed by Engr Dakio Horsfall, Ag GM (Marine), expressed deep regret over the boat mishap which occurred Wednesday on the River Niger en route to Asaba in Delta state at about 2 pm.

The boat accident which claimed the life of a famous Nollywood actor, Jnr Pope and three others with one, still missing, according to the statement, involved two boats.

NIWA, in the statement, commiserated with families of the deceased and prayed the good Lord to repose their souls.

“Regrettably, the unfortunate accident involved an unregistered fiberglass boat with 12 persons on board and a privately owned wooden boat with a lone driver.

According to the statement, Preliminary reports indicated that the accident resulted from a frontal collision between the two boats due to over speeding.

“Sadly, two people died at the scene of the accident, two more bodies were recovered 24 hours later off-site, while seven persons were rescued”, the statement said.

It further explained that upon receipt of report of the accident through its community-based structure, the Authority immediately deployed its search and rescue team to the scene for rescue activities.

“This team and other stakeholders, including the local divers, swung into action and have continued the search and rescue effort since Wednesday. As of the last count, one person is still unaccounted for” the statement added.

The statement further revealed that the Marine Department of NIWA has also activated its accident investigation mechanism with a view to determining the cause(s) of the accident and make appropriate recommendations.

The Authority reiterated the need for all users of the inland waterways to, mandatorily, adhere to all established safety protocols which include the completion of passengers manifest at the loading and offloading points.

Others are compulsory usage of life jackets on the waterways, avoiding over speeding, and yielding to weather dictates, at all times.

NIWA seized the opportunity to appreciate efforts of the Marine Police, local divers/fishermen, Maritime Unions, and other good-hearted Nigerians who rose to support the Authority in its rescue efforts.

“The National Inland Waterways Authority hereby assures all Nigerians of its continuous efforts aimed at promoting safer inland waterways for the use of all”, the statement said. (Ends)

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