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Amnesty Programme empowers 1,271 beneficiaries, trains 1,601

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The Presidential Amnesty Programme is set to graduate no fewer than 137 persons trained in different vocational skills, its Official has said.

The Presidential Amnesty Programme has empowered 1,271 beneficiaries from March 2018 to June, this year. The beneficiaries, who had already been trained in various skills, were given empowerment packs in their respective trade areas to enable them start businesses to eke a living.

Areas on which the beneficiaries were empowered include building materials, fish farming, poultry, welding, pig farming, plastic technology, electronic stores, cassava farming, commodity shop, and feed sales, among others.

The aggressive empowerment drive for beneficiaries drawn from all states in the Niger Delta is the result of efforts by Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, towards ensuring that already trained beneficiaries were fully engaged to fast-track development and deepen peace in the region.

A breakdown of the figure shows that 381 of the total number of beneficiaries empowered within 15 months of Dokubo’s assumption of office were on fish farming, while 351 got commodity shops. 118 were empowered on poultry; 164 on cement sales, 79 on welding and 42 on pig farming.

The empowered beneficiaries are among 4,269 scheduled for engagement on completion of their training in various vocational skills, and the exercise continues based on available funds.

In the same vein, a total of 1, 601 beneficiaries have completed training in various skills within the period under review, out of 4, 014 allocated to specialized training vendors. Beneficiaries on queue will take their turn as soon as funds are made available.

The already trained beneficiaries acquired skills in fish and poultry farming; Greenhouse farming; tailoring and fashion design, mechanized rice farming and agribusiness. Others include transformer repair/maintenance; pig farming, automobile, aquaculture and snail farming; shoe making/leather works, and ICT, among others.

In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to retool and refocus the Amnesty Programme to its original mandate, Dokubo has assured on his determination to ensure that vocational training centres in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo states are completed and activated for massive training of beneficiaries who are yet to undergo training.

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THE NATION

Breaking: Protesters clash at APC secretariat in Abuja over ‘Oshiomhole’

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Breaking: Protesters clash at APC secretariat in Abuja over 'Oshiomhole'

Protesters are attacking each other at the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party, in Abuja, the nation’s capital, over a yet-to-be ascertained issue.

The Witness understands that the protesters, who had also gathered to protest against Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, on Thursday, turned on one another as they matched towards the APC secretariat.

Meanwhile, the timely intervention of officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Thursday, however, prevented what would have been a bloody clash between pro and anti-Oshiomhole protest groups at the national Secretariat of the ruling party.

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THE NATION

Reps investigate NIMASA, NDIC over unaudited accounts

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The House of Representatives has placed the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, on full status enquiry.

This followed the non-submission of its audited accounts for years 2015 to 2018 to the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF).

The House Committee on Public Account took the action yesterday.

Also, the committee did not only place the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) on full status enquiry, but also summoned the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, over the unaudited accounts of the corporation.

This was part of the resolution of the House Committee headed by Oluwole Oke at the continued hearing of the “Deliberate and Reckless Refusal By Non-Treasury and Partially-Funded Agencies to render their audited accounts from 2014 to 2018”.

Julius Dung, who represented the Auditor General of the Federation at the session, confirmed the non-receipt of the accounts from both organisations.

Last week, the committee summoned the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki, with the permanent secretary in the ministry, over continued shunning of the invitation of NIMASA Director-General Dakuku Peterside.

Others were also invited.

Peterside was still absent at Tuesday’s session.

Read Also: Reps urge Fed Govt to appoint more Supreme Court justices

But Gambo Ahmed, the agency’s Executive Director of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, told the committee that Peterside was outside the country on an international assignment.

The committee rejected the excuse for his absence.

The committee rejected Saraki’s explanation for the non-submission of the audited accounts of the agency.

It expressed surprised when NIMASA claimed not to have a management account; hence, could not generate audited accounts for a number of years.

“We cannot submit an audited account from when we started. We must get the closing balance as at the last time we submitted the audit,” the Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, Bashir Jamiu, told the committee yesterday.

“Are you saying you don’t have a management account?” Oke queried.

“We don’t have,” he said.

The committee chairman asked if he was saying the agency did not have the balances to carry on with subsequent years.

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THE NATION

Presidency recalls sacked aides of VP Osinbajo

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Breaking: Presidency recalls sacked aides of VP Osinbajo

The Presidency has recalled some aides of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who were unceremoniously relieved of their duties late last year.

According to a report by Daily Independent revealed that instead of returning to their previous posts in the Pres­idential Villa, the aides have been rede­ployed to various ministries where they were assigned new roles by the supervising ministers.

Speaking on Tuesday evening, February 25, one of the af­fected Vice President Osinbajo aides, said some of them were recalled in December 2019 while some also got redeployed in Janu­ary 2020.

“We have all been recalled but not to our former posts. We have all been redeployed to ministries and we will be reporting to the ministers. We are no longer under the Office of the Vice President. It is not what we expect but it is better than what happened before when our ap­pointments were terminated abruptly.

“Some of us were recalled late last year while some of us got our letters in January this year. I have since returned to Abuja and resumed in my ministry.”

Another of the affected aides, who also spoke on the matter, said it took a serious intervention from prominent Nigerians before they were recalled.

“It was just divine because we have all lost hope. The me­dia also did not help matters as they were reporting that there is a rift between the vice president and the presi­dent and he may resign or be impeached.

“But we thank God for his grace and the intervention of eminent Nigerians including our then-boss, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who really fought for us to be recalled. I have also resumed in a min­istry”, she said.

Sacked Osinbajo Aides

The report said when Daily Independent contacted some ministries, some top officials confirmed that some of the affected aides are in the ministry. A top official in the Minis­try of Information and Cul­ture said, “Yes, some of them are with us here. They re­sumed in January this year”.

Another top official in the Ministry of Transport also confirmed that some of the af­fected aides were redeployed to the ministry.

The names of the affect­ed aides are Ajibola Ajayi, daughter of former governor of Oyo State, Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi. She was appointed Special Assistant (Legal) to the President (VP’s Office) in August 2019. She was a former SA to the President on Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) (VP’s office), from October 2015 to May 2019.

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