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Presidency backs Ngige on NSITF board

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The Presidency has intervened in the leadership crisis of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) which has pitched the Nigeria Labour Union (NLC) against the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.

The Presidency yesterday recognised the appointment of Mr. Austin Enejamo-Isire, a Chartered Accountant, as the rightful chairman of NSITF.

It noted that Comrade Frank Kokori was pencilled down for the headship of Labour Training Institute, said a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.

The Presidency also expressed deep concern and regrets over the turn of events that culminated in a skirmish at the private home of the minister in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Condemning the picketing of the minister’s home, the Presidency also appealed for calm, saying efforts were on to resolve the issue.

The statement reads: “Following the disagreement between the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over the appointment of the chairman of the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), the Presidency wishes to clarify as follows:

“That the NSITF is 100 per cent Federal Government of Nigeria-owned insurance parastatal, under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment designed for the role of insuring workers (employees) in the public and private sectors. The organisation is empowered by law to implement the Employee Compensation Act (ECA) 2010 with mandate to insure workers and pay them compensation for accidents, deaths and injuries in the course of work.

“The NSITF was bedevilled and riddled with corruption between 2012 and 2015, which resulted in a colossal loss and mismanagement of about N48 billion out of the total N62 billion contributions during the period.

“These were contributions by the employers – viz government and the private sector – for payment of compensation to workers and even to employers for loss of man-hours by their workers. This fraud has been investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the last chairman and some members of the former board and some officials of the NSITF are presently being prosecuted by the EFCC.

“All actions taken by the Minister of Labour and Employment towards the resuscitation and repositioning of this ailing agency, including the Administrative Panel of Inquiry into the affairs of NSITF and the suspension of the inauguration of the board in 2018, were part of the special work plan approved for the Honourable Minister by Mr. President.

“The appointment of the Chairman of this board, which is in consonance with Section 4(a) of the NSITF Act CAP N88 of 2004, was also approved by Mr. President since July 23, 2018, on the recommendation of the Minister.  Mr. Austin Enejamo-Isire, a Chartered Accountant, Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and renowned Insurance expert, Senior Member, Chartered Institute of Insurance of Nigeria (CIIN), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), was approved by Mr. President for this position. Also approved by Mr. President were the Managing Director and three Executive Directors, who had assumed duties since April 18, 2017.

“Others also approved as non-executive directors are: two members to represent the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), two members to represent the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and one member each to represent the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. Members of this board are to be formally inaugurated at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 13 (today) by the Minister of Labour and Employment at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja.

“Comrade Frank Kokori, our respected veteran labour leader, has Mr. President’s immense respect and has also been appointed on the recommendation of the Minister of Labour and Employment to chair the board of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS),  a diploma-awarding labour institution…”

Also, the NLC last night dismissed claims by the Presidency that the NSITF is a 100 per cent Federal Government establishment.

The umbrella labour union said the response of the Presidency to the crisis between labour and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngigie, over the board of the fund was coming late.

Reacting to a statement by the Special Adviser (SA) to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, NLC President Ayuba Wabba blamed the government for the prolonged controversy on the matter.

The union leader said if the government had offered its position earlier, labour would not have wasted its time.

In a telephone interview, he said: “The issue has dragged on for two and a half years and the response is certainly coming late. We ought to have known the position of government. But you know after two and a half years, it is coming late because these are the issues we have written severally on; we have campaigned severally about it and in all our meetings, including the delegates’ conference, we have talked about it.

“One: it is about inaugurating the board because all the Federal Government board of parastatals were inaugurated more than two years ago. But this particular board was singled out, and inauguration has not taken place and somebody has continued to run the place as a sole administrator, appointing people and also exercising the powers of the board. Nowhere in the Act has such a power been given to one person. That is why we have been so concerned.

“For instance, overnight he employed over 300 people without advertisement and most of them from his village. Nowhere has such power been granted to anybody. This is what we have raised and that is why the first agitation was about inaugurating the board.

“The issue of Frank Kokori was something that was introduced much later because in the first place, we were not even aware that Kokori was appointed as the chairman of the board. It is the same minister that informed us after inviting Kokori on various occasions.”

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Sylva assumes duty as minister of state for petroleum …As NNPC, others welcome him

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The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has assumed duties with a pledge to reposition and chart a way forward for the Nigerian petroleum sector.

A press release Wednesday by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Chief Sylva pledged to work with the experts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the other departments and agencies under the Ministry to move the sector forward.

In a welcome ceremony for Chief Sylva at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who was accompanied by his wife, Alanyingi Sylva, stated that with the calibre of workforce in the Ministry, he was sure that the nation’s oil and gas sector would move to the next level.

Chief Sylva, who is a former Governor of Bayelsa State brings on the job several years of cognate experience in the petroleum sector.

The new Minister of State contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, reassured Chief Sylva of the readiness of all members of staff in the Ministry to support him to succeed in the onerous task of transforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the good of all stakeholders.

On hand to welcome the Minister at the brief ceremony were the Group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau; and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, amongst others.

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Police re-arrest suspected Taraba kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume

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The Police have re-arrested a kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume, two weeks after he escaped from the custody of the Intelligence Response Team.

The IRT operatives they came under attack from soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State, as they conveyed Wadume from the scene of his arrest.

Three policemen and two civilians were killed during the incident, while five other Police officers were injured.

The Force spokesman, Frank Mba, in a statement confirmed that  Wadume was re-arrested in the late hours of Monday at his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.

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Lagos governor, Sanwo-Olu, swears in cabinet members, warns against corruption

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday sworn-in 35 members of his cabinet that will assist him in piloting the affairs of the state in the net four years, urging them to embrace transparency and accountability.

The event held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, was witnessed by thousands of well wishers and dignitaries.

Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu said in his inaugural address on 29th May, he declared that his ultimate goal would be to ensure that Lagos State remained one of the top destinations on the African continent to live, work and invest in, saying that this was not just his goal, it was what the people expected from his government and “we cannot afford to disappoint them.”

“Fortunately for us, we have a foundation from which to build from. The Blueprint for a new Lagos and the Development Plan (2012 to 2025) are still relevant as strategic reference materials for a systematic implementation of medium and long-term policies in line with the overall vision for our State.

“However, in this administration, our task must be to accelerate the trajectory of growth and development of Lagos State embarked upon by the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and built upon by successive administrations. Today, providence has entrusted us with the great responsibility of ensuring that the vision of the blueprint and the Development Plan comes to pass wholly and completely.

 

Below is the list of the commissioners, special advisers and their portfolios:

COMMISSIONERS

Commissioner for Finance -Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo

Commissioner for Education -Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo

Commissioner for Health -Prof. Akin Abayomi

Commissioner for Fiscal Planning and Urban Development -Dr. Idris Salako

Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment -Mr. Tunji Bello

Commissioner for Information and Strategy -Mr. Gbenga Omotoso

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA -Mrs. Bolaji Dada

Commissioner Energy and Natural Resources -Mr. Lere Odusote

Commissioner for Transportation -Dr. Frederic Oladeinde

Commissioner for Agriculture -Mr. Gbolahan Lawal

Commissioner for Housing -Moruf Akinderu Fatai

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice -Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN)

Commissioner for Science and Technology -Mr. Hakeem Fahm

Commissioner for Ministry Establishment, Training and Pension -Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle

Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure -Engr. Aramide Adeyoye

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development -Mr. Segun Dawodu

Commissioner for Home Affairs -Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf

Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs -Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke

Commissioner for Commerce and Industry -Mrs. Lola Akande

Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture -Mrs. Olufunke Adebolu

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget -Mr. Sam Egube

Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations -Dr. Wale Ahmed

SPECIAL ADVISERS

Special Adviser for Agriculture -Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya

Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement -Princess Aderemi Adebowale

Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Affairs -Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo

Special Adviser for Housing -Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka

Special Adviser for Drainage and Water Resources -Joe Igbokwe

Special Adviser for Innovation and Technology -Mr. Tubosun Alake

Special Adviser for Urban Development -Architect Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi

Special Adviser for Central Business Districts, CDB -Anofi Olanrewaju Elegushi

Special Adviser for Arts and Culture -Bonu Solomon Saanu

Special Adviser for Transportation -Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka

Special Adviser for Commerce and Industry -Oladele Ajayi

Special Adviser for Education -Mr. Tokunbo Wahab

Special Adviser for Sustainable Development Goals and Lagos Global -Mrs. Solape Hammond

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