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Humanitarian minister hails National Social Protection Policy review

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The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has applauded the review of the National Social Protection Policy. (2017-2020)


The special adviser to the minister on media Nneka IKem Anibeze in a Statement in Abuja on Wednesday quoted the to have given the commendation at a High Level Discussion on the Draft Revised National Social Protection Policy held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

Umar Farouq stated that Social protection is at the forefront of the development agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, given its positive social and economic impact and its ramification and life cycle effect on human capital development.

She added that the policy review will further make the process more transparent in line with the President’s vision of lifting 100m Nigerians out of poverty.

“The review of the National Social Protection Policy would not have come at a better time than now. The policy will define a clear line of engagement, track progress and spending on social protection in a transparent manner in line with Mr. President’s vision.

“I have a few thoughts for our consideration during this dialogue, central to which is the need to achieve a more useful coordination of the sector’s programmes. “As you are aware, by design, the different pillars of the Social Protection system operate through various institutional arrangements (at the federal and State levels) and across several Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government. This has created fragmentation in roles and responsibility for implementation and could be remedied through a joint coordination platform for the sector.
“I am therefore pleased above all, to note that the agenda of the Social Protection Policy Dialogue helps us build the groundworks for the achievement of this vision in a more systematic and collective way”.

 In his opening remarks, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning Prince Clem Agba thanked
all the Ministers of stakeholder Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Donors and Heads of other Government Agencies for their support towards the realization of the objective of the review of the elapsed National Social Protection Policy (2017-2020).

 
“It is important to note that the objective of the review is to address emerging issues, identify gaps and give the policy a national ownership that will carry the sub-national governments along. 
“I wish to assure you all that the diagnostic report that produced the draft policy was presented to all the states of the federation including the FCT through the State Ministries of Economic Planning, to elicit inputs for the revised national Social Protection Policy. With this, I can safely say that the process was consultative because the sub-national governments were carried along. 
 
“I wish to assure you all that the draft policy will be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval when all necessary observations by the stakeholder Ministers are agreed upon. I also wish to inform us that the implementation manual and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) framework for the policy is being prepared with the support of World Food Programme (WFP) within the joint fund for Social Protection”.
 
Prince Agba also noted that the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice and the four UN-Agencies supporting Social Protection led by the ILO have also developed a draft harmonized bill for Social Protection, aimed at institutionalizing Social 
Protection programmes in Nigeria in addition to the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation framework.” The draft according to him will be passed through the National Assembly for legislative processes after it has been subjected to critical scrutiny by all stakeholder MDAs whose  legal Advisers are already working with the Technical Working Group.
 
 The Ministers of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social, Labour and Employment, Health, Education and some other key Agencies reviewed the  process that eventually produced the draft on the revised National Social Protection Policy.

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Kano Gov reinstates Sanusi Lamido as Emir

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The Governor of Kano State, Abba Yusuf has reinstated Malam Sunusi Lamido Sunusi as the new Emir of Kano.
This came following his assent to the Kano Emirate Councils Law (Repeal Bill) 2024 which repealed the establishment of the 5 new Emirates earlier established in the state.

Yusuf announced the reappointment shortly after assenting to the Repeal Bill at the Government House,Kano.
The Governor ordered the former Emirs and other officials whom operated under the extinct law to move out of their official residences and palaces within the next 48 hours.
The Governor also directed them to hand over all government properties in their possession to the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, who is also the Deputy Governor of the State,Comrade Amin Abdulsalam Gwarzo

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PTDF promotion scam allegations prompt calls for Governments intervention

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The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), saddled with the training of personnel for the oil and gas industry, is under intense scrutiny for alleged promotion irregularities.
Ongoing investigations have revealed significant concerns about the agency’s promotion practices.

For precisely three years, while the former executive secretary, Bello Gusau, was heading the organization, it was discovered that twenty-four PTDF officials were sent on a training course called the Chief Officers’ Course, followed by a qualifying examination to move to deputy manager positions. The agency camped these twenty-four officers in a hotel in Utako for about nine weeks. After the conclusion of the examination exercise, the management, led by Bello Gusau, chose ten out of the batch for promotion, citing insufficient space to accommodate all officers due for promotion.

This decision was met with significant rancor, especially since management had earlier declared fourteen managerial positions vacant. An anonymous PTDF official noted, “It was almost obvious that the former ES organized the course as a sham, having predetermined who would be promoted and who would be discarded under the excuse of insufficient space.” This sentiment was echoed by other staff members who felt that the process was deeply flawed.

Moreover, double promotions were swiftly granted to management members within a year. Immediate pressure from the PTDF branch of PENGASSAN led to expedited promotions for junior officials, further masking underlying favoritism, tribalism, and discrimination. This prompted our reporter to embark on a fact-finding mission to uncover the truth behind these allegations.

The present ES, Alhaji Galadima, who took over from Alhaji Gusau, is allegedly planning another round of promotions despite purported vacancy limitations. According to findings, Alhaji Galadima has recently concluded promotions for top management staff, predominantly from the North, granting some double promotions while claiming there were no vacancies.

A staff member speaking anonymously highlighted the lack of a board of directors, which has centralized power in the hands of the Executive Secretary, allowing for unchecked influence over promotions and other matters. “The absence of a board of directors has allowed the ES to wield unchecked power, influencing promotions and other crucial decisions,” the staff member stated.

Another Chief Officer criticized the system for favoring the northern region, alleging, “They monopolize top positions and rotate power among themselves, perpetuating a cycle of exclusion and marginalization.”

Further investigations revealed that the same staff member had vied for the Executive Secretary position when the tenure of the immediate past Executive Secretary elapsed. He attributed his failure to favoritism perpetrated by the northern hegemony ideology, which many staff members believe is taking over the PTDF.

“Alhaji Galadima plans to merge previous course attendees with recent promotees, cherry-picking favorites for promotion to management cadres,” another staff member explained. “Some staff who have been due for promotion and waiting for nearly ten years are forced to answer to their juniors. This further perpetuates nepotism and favoritism.”

These practices have led to a significant decline in staff morale. Employees lament that merit and diligence are reportedly overlooked in favor of ethnic and religious affiliations. An anonymous staff member remarked, “Merit and diligence have taken a backseat to ethnic and religious favoritism. It’s demoralizing and undermines the integrity of our organization.”

The revelations underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reform within PTDF to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in its operations. There is a growing call for government intervention to rectify the situation and restore confidence in PTDF’s promotion process.

“The need for government intervention is urgent,” emphasized another staff member. “We need reforms to ensure fairness and transparency. Our organization’s integrity is at stake.”

As investigations continue, the hope remains that the PTDF will address these issues promptly to rebuild trust and uphold its mission of training personnel for the oil and gas industry with integrity and fairness.

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Andrew Chapman explains why scouting produces better leaders for better society

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The Chairman, World Organisation of Scout Movement (WOSM), Mr. Andrew Chapman, has explained why scouting has the potency to produce better leaders who will take the society to greater heights

He said they better and more useful in the society than their peers who did not have scouting experiences.
Mr. Chapman made the assertion while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, at the National Parade and Presidential Awards, organised by WOSM.
According to him, scouting is all about building confidence and self-esteem, learning important life skills and leadership skills, team building, outdoor adventure, education, and fun, stressing that Scouts learn how to make good choices and to take responsibility for their actions so that they are prepared for their adult life as independent persons.
The WOSM boss noted that this year’s scout jamboree taking place in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), would remind the young people that they are party of the global community.
Mr. Chapman, who came to Nigeria from Chicago, to witness the Scout jamboree and Presidential Awards, expressed optimism, that scouts who would become leaders at various levels in the country in future, would apply the noble skills and values they acquired in their early years in life, to render examplery and exceptional leadership to the nation.
“Scouting reminds the young people and even the old people that we are all interconnected. So, we coming here reminds the young people that they are part of the global community. And during their bids to become the governors, the mayors, the presidents of this country, I believe they will demonstrate those values instilled in them in scouting.
“We have done a lot of studies on the social impact of scouting, and we have evidence and proofs in every continent of the world, that young people who joined scouting, later in life become much more likely than their peers to get better jobs and to be more stable in the family.
“They are more likely to have better formal education; they are more likely to make more money throughout life and they are more likely to get along with other people because what we do in scouting cascades to after life. We teach young people how to get along with each other. Imagine if all the leaders of the world today are being involved in scouting, they will know how to get along with each other” he said.
Also speaking, the Director, African Region of WOSM, Mr. Frederic Tutu-Tutu Kama Kama, noted that highly qualitative Scouts have been trained in Nigeria, assuring that they are going to have positive impact on the lives of the Nigerians and the country at large.
He explained that, in scouting, they teach young people how to love each other, live in peace among themselves and give peace to the society in general, stressing that the way to achieve world peace is not by war or use of weapons, but through heart to heart and love for each other.
Mr. Kama Kama underscored the importance of recognising and rewarding people who had made meaningful contributions to the development of the society, pointing out that troubles do erupt societies because those who contributed so much to the society are not rewarded or given recognition.
“Our visit is not just to meet the leaders or the patron; our visits is also to meet the Scouts, to look at the quality of the vocational skills we are giving to the young people today. And the quality of that offering is also a reflection of the quality of the Scouts we have formed in Nigeria. And the quality of scouts in Nigeria is also going to have impact in the lives of these young people
“Our leader, Paul Baden Powell was a two star general of the British Army. He fought in India, he fought in South Africa and he fought in Ghana. However, what was important he said was, if you want world peace, it’s not through war; it’s not through weapons, it’s through heart to heart. In scouting, we teach the young people to love each other.
Like the experience these young people are having in this jamboree, is one that will last a life time. Between them, it’s very difficult for them to raise hand in violence against each other.
“Psychology teaches us that a character we have in life is what we develope through our young age. And if you miss instilling characters in young people, later life is useless. So, what we do to the young people today is to teach them friendship, love, characters, discipline. And these are the things that are going to present them as responsible citizens later in life and to be peace lovers.
“The significance of the award is much of recognition. Sometimes in life, we have disgruntled people because many people are not recognised. From my country, from Kenya where I work, and from around the world, many of the people, especially the teachers, the health workers, the soldiers, we have trouble in the society because these people are doing much and not recognised.
“So, the world needs to recognise the contribution of each of these persons to the development of the society. Scouting in very important to the development of the community, the development of the society and the development of the world scouting is for the development of the society. We don’t have the Nobel praise prize to give, but in the world, it is a recognition that you have made a contribution and it’s very important for us to recognise you”he said.
About 1500 delegates across the 36 states of the federation including the FCT are taking part in the Nigerian National Scouts Parade and Presidential Award, which is the second edition, and the largest scouting jamboree in Africa

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