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Senate President in New Year message urges Nigerians to keep faith in the country

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The Senate President Ahmad Lawn has urged Nigerians not to lose faith in the country and its democratic institutions as current challenges will be overcome and become mere footnotes in the nation’s glorious national history.

In his new year message he personally signed and made available to the Senate press Corps on Friday he said the Year 2021 was challenging for people all over the world however he said it is praiseworthy that beyond the challenges, the rays of a bright future from the new year are visible

“As your elected representatives, our new year pledge is to continue to pursue our common desire of a just, peaceful and prosperous country. 

“We promise to continue to discharge this responsibility without fear or malice, confident that by working in harmony, Nigerians will build the great country that is their abiding dream and manifest destiny.

“Without a doubt, insecurity is today one of our biggest challenges. However, I can attest that the government is resolutely addressing these challenges. 

“As a critical contribution to that effort, the National Assembly has appropriated more funds in the 2022 budget to enhance the operational capabilities of our security agencies. 

According to him, the ninth National Assembly remains focused adding that it will never be distracted from the implementation of its Legislative Agenda as they had spelt out following our inauguration in 2019. 

“Within the context of that Agenda, we have passed many critical bills and have many more to roll out in the new year.

“At the beginning of 2021, we made specific promises to the Nigerian people with respect to our legislative focus. We are proud that we have kept those promises.

“For instance, breaking the jinx of the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB), which had defied passage for about two decades, was high on our agenda in 2021. 

“With the cooperation of the Executive and the support of the key stakeholders, we were able to break the jinx. We passed the bill and got it signed into law in 2021.

“This piece of legislation will significantly impact the Nigerian economy and propel a significant turn around in our oil and gas sector.

“It was with the same spirit of patriotism that we handled the Electoral Act amendment bill. We believe that sustainable democratic governance requires a transparent and credible electoral process.”

Lawan indicated that following the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold assent to the bill, they will make further consultations on the issues the president raised when they resumed in January. 

We shall find a way forward on this critical legislation in the new year. We are determined to deliver an Electoral Act that stands the test of time in safeguarding democracy and the electoral process in Nigeria.

“We are also looking forward to receiving the report of our Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution upon our resumption from recess. 

“We believe that the outcome of this very important exercise will promote unity, stability and peaceful coexistence in our country.

The Electoral  Act amendment bill and review of the 1999 constitution he said will be topmost on their agenda when they reconvene for Legislative business in the new year.

“Upon our inauguration in 2019, the ninth National Assembly had promised to reset the national budget calendar to January to December cycle, to make our fiscal system predictable and consistent with international best practice. 

“We have since 2019 passed the national yearly budget every December to enable the President sign it into law before the new year. In consistent with this, on Friday 31st December, 2021, we witnessed the signing into law by the President, the 2022 Appropriation Bill.”

He explained that the timely passage of the budget enhances the performance of the economy and specifically aided the recent quick recovery from recession. 

“We are determined to sustain this trajectory to act as an impetus to our economic planning and projection.

“The much that we have been able to accomplish this far can be attributed to the commitment and dedication of my fellow Distinguished colleagues and Honourable members and the prevailing atmosphere of cordiality between the National Assembly and the Executive. 

“We intend to sustain and even improve on this in the new year and beyond.”

He appealed for continued understanding and support of all Nigerians for the government at all levels. 

“As your legislators at the federal level, we will continue in the true spirit of our mantra to “work for Nigeria.”

I congratulate fellow Nigerians everywhere as we cross over from 2021 into a happy and prosperous 2022.

“I join you in thanking the Almighty God for His mercy that made the crossover possible for us as individuals and as a nation.




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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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