…As 137 graduates get starter packs
Vice President Yemi Osibanjo said yesterday, that beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme who have been trained in various skills and empowered in their respective trade areas will become the backbone of Nigeria’s economy.
He gave assurance that the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari will continue to work to create an enabling environment for beneficiaries of the programme to actualize their aspirations.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony for 137 beneficiaries held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the vice president told the graduates that there are opportunities for linkages with relevant agencies for loans, grants and technical support for their prospective businesses.
Osibanjo, who was represented at the occasion by a director in his office, Mrs. Lauren Braide, described the Amnesty Programme as a much-needed intervention developed and implemented as part of a larger developmental agenda for the Niger Delta region.
“I have no doubt that what you have learnt from this Programme will translate into significant personal and professional advancement for you and into great benefit for your communities and for the Nigerian economy as a whole. The kinds of skills you have acquired in this programme are the backbone, the engine of Nigeria’s economy. Without our artisans, our technicians, our small business people, Nigeria’s economy would be a vastly less productive one.
The Programme has made available start-up kits and packages for your use; ensure that you use them for the purpose for which they have been given to you. As you proceed from here, never forget that hard work and integrity are non-negotiable, and will make all the difference you seek. As fashion designers, leather workers and technology professionals, apart from your service skills, the most important asset you will have will be your reputation – for honesty, diligence and reliability”, he admonished.
The vice president reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to the full implementation of the New Vision for Niger Delta, an umbrella initiative aimed at fast-tracking the development of the region and ensuring that communities and people in the region benefit from the wealth of their land. “It is not mere rhetoric when I say that young people are at the heart of our vision for the Niger Delta”, Osibanjo emphasized.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, said henceforth, beneficiaries of the Programme will immediately be given starter packs at the end of their training for them to commence their businesses.
He noted that the 137 beneficiaries cutting across the entire Niger Delta region and are to receive their starter packs at the end of their graduation ceremony, were products of six months of meticulous and painstaking training in fashion and design, leather works, Information and Communication Technology.
“In my just over one year in office, the PAP has trained over 1, 500 delegates in vocational skills. In addition to the above, over 800 other delegates are undergoing various training programmes in about 20 qualified local training partners for duration of three to six months. The uniqueness of today’s graduation is that the delegates would receive instant empowerment. It is the first of its kind in the history of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
It has been observed that from the inception of PAP that after completing their training, delegates would have to wait a considerable amount of time before being empowered. This basically is as a result of the tight budget within which the Programme operates. But we intend to make a statement here and change the narrative. Be that as it may, over 1,200 delegates have been empowered during my tenure”, Dokubo disclosed.
Communications minister, Pantami hails ICT’s contribution to GDP
The Honourable Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has hailed ICT’s contribution GDP in the second quarter. In the report released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the contribution of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpassed that of Oil and Gas in the second quarter of 2019.
The report, released on Tuesday 2nd September, 2019, observed that the country’s GDP grew by 1.94% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the second quarter of 2018, which recorded a growth of 1.50%. Furthermore, the non-oil sector contributed 91.18% to the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2019 as opposed to the 8.82% contributed to total real GP by the oil sector. Particularly, the ICT sector contributed 13.85% to total nominal GDP in the second quarter of 2019 which is much higher than the 11.22% contributed in the same period in 2018.
The Honourable Minister observed that the significant contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP is as a result of the concerted efforts of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, especially the manner in which the implementation of the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is being pursued. These efforts, he said, led to a sustained focus on growing the non-oil sector of the economy, especially ICT and the results witnessed are testimonies of impact of these efforts.
The Honourable Minister reiterated the Communications Ministry’s commitment to the economic diversification efforts of the present administration and called on all stakeholders to support Mr President’s laudable initiatives aimed at taking Nigeria to the next level.
FMBN to provide affordable homes for Nigerian workers
The managing director and chief executive officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa said the Bank is committed to providing affordable mortgages to drive home ownership among Nigerian workers.
Dangiwa was speaking when the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir Joseph N. Ari and his team paid him a courtesy call in the bank’s headquarters in Abuja.
In a statement, Dangiwa said providing affordable mortgages to Nigerian workers is done through the National Housing Fund(NHF) Scheme into which Nigerian workers both in public and private sectors contribute 2.5% of their monthly income.
“Through the scheme, the bank has continued to provide affordable mortgage to Nigerian workers and construction finance for housing development. Our National Housing Fund (NHF) individual mortgage loan, granted at 6%, is the most affordable in the country” Dangiwa said.
In his response, the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir Joseph N Ari, commended FMBN on the giant strides in reforming the bank under the present management.
Ari said the purpose of the visit was to provide a platform that the two organisations will work together for their mutual benefits.
He called on FMBN to arrange for a sensitisation workshop for the staff of ITF.
NURTW members protest Oluomo’s emergence as caretaker committee chair
Some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State on Wednesday marched on the premises of the Lagos State House of Assembly in Alausa, Ikeja.
They protested the emergence of Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo as the chairman of the caretaker committee of the union.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as: ‘We say yes to union constitution, we want the government to save our soul in Lagos’, ‘We say no to Lagos NURTW, we say no to imposition’, ‘We say no to self-imposition as NURTW Lagos State chairman’, ‘We say no to thuggery in Lagos NURTW’, and others.
NURTW National President Alhaji Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa appointed MC Oluomo as the caretaker chairman, Lagos State chapter of the union.
It was gathered that Baruwa issued a statement on Tuesday dissolving the executive committee of the state chapter hitherto headed by Comrade Tajudeen Agbede, who is now Baruwa’s deputy, and replaced it with an 18- member caretaker committee led by MC Oluomo.
MC Oluomo, the chairman of Oshodi branch, Lagos chapter of the union, is one of those contesting for the Lagos State NURTW chairmanship.
Speaking during the protest, one of the leaders, the Chairman of Ojuwoye NURTW branch, Ademola Olanrewaju, alleged that MC Oluomo’s emergence would cause chaos.
“A meeting was held yesterday and after the meeting, it was decided that MC Oluomo should emerge as the chairman of the caretaker committee.
“Directly or indirectly, they are trying to impose him on us because there was fracas in Abuja and both parties were supposed to be dealt with, but MC Oluomo’s group was exonerated.
“What we are agitating for is that we don’t want MC’s government in Lagos State.
“Lagos State has given us the little it can in terms of empowerment, by giving us what to eat.”
At press time, no government official had addressed the protesters.
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