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THE NATION

NDDC: Buhari to appoint new board members

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President Muhammadu Buhari will recompose the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and send to the Senate for confirmation.

He made this known via a letter to the Senate – which was read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Tuesday.

“The Senate may wish to note that after the dissolution of the board of the NDDC, an interim management team was set up to manage the affairs of the commission before a new board was composed and sent for Senate confirmation.

“The Senate is invited to note that while the composition and Senate confirmation of the appointment of the board was ongoing, I had directed that the forensic audit of the Commission be carried out which is being overseen by the constituted interim management team.

“Based on this and in order to allow for uninterrupted process of the forensic investigation, the board appointment confirmed by the Senate had to be put on hold to allow the interim team continue to manage the commission pending the outcome of the forensic audit. Thereafter, a new board of the commission will be recomposed for the confirmation by the Senate,” the letter reads.

The Senate had in November 2019, confirmed the 15 nominees sent by the president as NDDC board members. Mr Buhari had sent the names of the nomineesled by an Edo State politician, Pius Odubu, to the Senate in October.

The president, however, refused to inaugurate the nominees, following the clearance by the Senate. During the confirmation process, the president ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the organisation from 2001 to 2019.

Also, before the nominees where cleared by the Senate, the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, named an interim management committee for the NDDC.

The lawmakers had said there was no need for the interim committee and that they would not recognise them. They are, however, compelled to screen and confirm the recomposed board nominees.

Mr Akpabio has, since assuming office, lamented the level of corruption at the NDDC, describing the place as an ‘ATM’ where officials looted government funds at will.

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THE NATION

NYSC solicits NITDA’s support, seeks more ICT centres for its state secretariats

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NITDA DG, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi and NIYSC DG, Shu’aibu Ibrahim. PHOTO: NITDA

By Lukman Oladokun

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has approached the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA to help in replicating the Information and Communication Technology Centre it established at the Federal Capital Territory Secretariat in other state secretariats in order to further strengthen the ICT platform of the Corps.

The NYSC Director-General, Shu’aibu Ibrahim, who was at the NITDA Corporate Headquarters in Abuja, pleaded with NITDA to avail more state secretariats with the opportunity given to the FCT secretariat.

Mr Ibrahim, a brigadier general, recalled that NITDA and NYSC have a long-standing relationship that dated back to when the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was the Director-General of the agency.

He stated that he wants to strengthen the collaborations that exist between the two government agencies.

Mr Ibrahim noted that strengthening the partnership would assist the Corps to overcome some of the challenges it is facing, especially on checkmating the spread of fake news on social media.

Citing an example with the story of a JSS2 student alleged to have impregnated a Corp member, the NYSC DG described the abuse of social media as worrisome and appealed to NITDA to stem the tide.

“Something has to be done to checkmate the menace of social media to save us from various embarrassments. Things that have happened in the past are now being put forth on social media to look like recent events. People are using the platforms to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

“You can imagine people creating accounts to defraud Corps member that they can help them to be redeployed.”

He called for the arrest of such people to serve as a deterrent to others so as to reduce the menace.

While responding to the NYSC’s request, the NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Abdullahi, assured that NITDA would look into the requests and start the intervention this year.

He said NITDA has done a lot in building the capacity of Corps members serving in the agency but “we can expand it to cover the FCT as a pilot project”.

Mr Abdullahi stated that it is pertinent for the agencies of government to partner together in helping to build the skills of the Corps members because “what most Corps members have is the knowledge and we need to help them in transforming the knowledge to skills so it can be beneficial to them and make them self reliance.”

He added that “NYSC is a gateway organisation that can be used to harness the potential of the youths in the country which will aid the nation in his drive to transform the economy to digital economy.

Mr Abdullahi noted that the agency has built ICT hubs and Digital Job Capacity Centre across the country which he said can be used in transforming knowledge to skills.

He called on the youths not only to use their devices for social media alone as it is distracting and time wastage but to learn skills online and make money.

“Social media abuse is a burning issues that disturbs everyone; we have to work with other government agencies to collaborate on solving the issue. There is need to regulate it and people should be held responsible for whatever content they posted.”

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THE NATION

Magu never said corruption caused Coronavirus, says EFCC

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Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has denied that its chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said coronavirus is caused by corruption.

The EFCC on Tuesday described as “false and misleading”, reports that Magu tied the cause of coronavirus to corruption while delivering his speech at the passing out parade of 281 cadets of the EFCC Detective Inspector Course-5 in Kaduna on Tuesday,

“This information is false and misleading,” the agency said via its Twitter, adding that its chairman only said, “Tackling corruption is a clarion call, given that corruption is a huge burden to the nation. It is worse than Cancer, Ebola Virus, Coronavirus and all other deadly diseases put together.”

But contrary to EFCC’s claim, Magu during the event attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, said: “Corruption is the biggest strategy to humankind. Your excellency, corruption is worse than all the diseases now running about.

“And I strongly believe, Your Excellency, that even the coronavirus is caused by corruption,” he said.

The video below captured the moment Magu made the statement during the passing out parade that was aired on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

“I strongly believe coronavirus is caused by corruption” – Magu, EFCC acting chairman.

Please where do we get these kind of people from? And how do they end up leading us?

Most importantly, how can we throw these set of people away pls? 🤦🤦 pic.twitter.com/HXnLQo4bdm
— Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz) February 18, 2020

Since its recent outbreak in Wuhan, China, coronavirus (COVID-19) has killed over 1,800 people across different countries and infected more than 70,000.

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THE NATION

Sacking service chiefs will further destabilise Nigeria, says SGF

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha on Tuesday said that sacking service chiefs will further destabilise Nigeria.

Mustapha declared the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will not sack the Service Chiefs now.

He said there are processes that must be followed to effect their sack.

According to him: “We are in a very difficult time now. We need everybody to be on board. We need synergy within intelligent community, within the military formations that will help fight this war.

“We are in a very difficult situation and when we begin to create cracks and divisions, who will be the beneficiaries?

“The adversaries are the ones that are going to exploit those deficiencies and further the cause of destabilising the nation”.

He spoke with reporters in Abuja after a book presentation titled CAN, Religion, politics and power in Nigeria by former General Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) Engr Samuel Salifu.

The SGF said what government needs is for: “At this moment, what we need is for everybody to be on the same page, fight the battle of securing the nation for protecting lives and property and ensuring that every Nigerian has the opportunity to live a prosperous live. I think that should be our main focus”.

He added: “You don’t sack people like that. There are processes and I believe that at the opportune time, those processes will be followed. You don’t just wake up and say sack people, it doesn’t happen like that”.

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