From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The United Nations (UN) is set to support Nigeria’s overall counter-terrorism strategy by ensuring that it gets a robust national aviation security policy that mitigates effectively the threat posed to civil aviation by terrorist organisations and their operatives.
This would come with the establishment of two aviation training schools in Lagos and Abuja.
The UN-appointed Project Manager for the schools, Douglas Melvin, said the initiative would also enhance the capacity within the UN system to help interested member states to implement the United Nations Global Counter-terrorism Strategy in an integrated manner.
Melvin, who briefed Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, in Abuja, said the choice of Nigeria, out of 25 countries was in appreciation of its clear and well-documented road map on developing the aviation sector, with particular emphasis on safety and security.
He also disclosed that the up-coming United Nations General Assembly would make a proclamation on aviation security with specific reference to Nigeria.
The minister assured the UN of government’s readiness to provide all that was necessary for effective take-off and operation of the two institutes to be located in Abuja and Lagos.
Sirika attributed the choice of the country to the decision of government to establish a Ministerial Committee on Airport Security on assumption of office, adding that it defined the importance it attached to aviation security as a critical component of the overall national and international security system.
The project is to be fully funded by the United Nations, and delivered by the United Kingdom Department of Transportation while Nigeria is expected to participate in the provision of training premises and supply of low-cost aviation training equipment, among others.
FCC: Federal Character Commission wants employment irregularities rectified
The Federal Character Commission (FCC) has asked the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) to address all recruitment irregularities observed between 2013 and 2015.
Mr. Idris Adamu, the Public Relations Officer of the FCC, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja.
Adamu said that in May, the Acting Executive Chairman of the Commission, Alhaji Shettima Bukar-Abba, had queried the recruitment of 4,903 people into the Federal Civil Service during that period.
He explained that Bukar-Abba had met with Mrs. Joan Ayo, Chairman, Civil Service Commission, and directed all forms of employment irregularities detrimental to Federal Character principles be redressed.
He said that the commission was advised to comply with Federal Character principles by ensuring balance in 2016 recruitment through equitable distribution among the six geopolitical zones.
According to him, the FCC was not in a position to sack people who have been employed but to query governmental organisations that fail to abide by Federal Character principles.
Said he: “At the end of our meeting, the Civil Service Commission chairman said that the irregularities in the employments between 2013and 2015 would be gradually resolved.
“Ayo also pledged the commission’s readiness to work with the FCC in this year’s recruitment,’’ Adamu said.
NNPC: NNPC, NGA team up to boost gas supply
By Uche Usim
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) are working together to harness gas resources and improve supply.
Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, while receiving an NGA delegation led by its President, Bolaji Osunsanya, yesterday, also pledged the support of the NNPC to help the body achieve its objectives of ensuring that the country derives maximum benefit from its huge gas resource base.
The NNPC boss noted that as the midwife of the nation’s premier gas association in 1999, the NNPC has a moral and strategic interest in ensuring the continuous existence and sustained growth of the association.
Describing the NGA as a reflection of the development of the gas industry in Nigeria, the GMD said the corporation would continue to provide the association with human and material resources.
While thanking the members of the NGA for their advocacy in ensuring a review of the Production Sharing Contracts gas terms, Baru noted that the NNPC was working round the clock to ensure maximisation of the nation’s vast gas resources by incentivising all parts of the gas value chain.
On his part, the NGA president thanked Baru for the unflinching support for the association and pledged the readiness of members to work with the NNPC in this regard.
Osunsanya called on government to create incentives that would promote deliberate and well-funded projects in the search for gas as against the practice of accidental gas discoveries.
CULTURE: FG to repackage Abuja carnival
From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday disclosed that the Abuja Carnival was being repackaged to compete well with world-class carnivals to contribute massively to the country’s revenue and gross domestic product.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this while declaring open the stakeholders’ meeting of the 2016 Abuja Carnival in Abuja.
Mohammed re-emphasised government’s resolve to showcase Nigeria to the world through culture and tourism, stressing that the numerous contributions of the carnival to economic and national development of the country must be sustained.
He said that the carnival, when fully harnessed, would generate business opportunities for its vast value chain of skilled and unskilled workforce and the nation, as well as providing veritable springboard for production and infrastructure development.
‘‘We are repackaging the Abuja Carnival to compete viably with world class carnivals like the Notting Hill, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil and others that contribute immensely to their country’s IGR and GDP,” the minister said.
The 2016 Abuja Carnival, entitled “Creative Industry: A Pivot to Economic Growth,” comes up on November 19-22, 2016, while the pre-carnival activities hold between November 13-18, 2016.
Earlier, the Artistic Director of the carnival, Mr. Biodun Abe, described the event as Nigeria’s flagship cultural showpiece and the biggest cultural flagship in Africa.
NiMet: NiMet predicts cloudy weather today
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy weather over the central states of the country.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), there are chances of localised thunderstorms this morning over Southern Kaduna, Lafia and Jos.
The agency, in predictions contained in the Weather Outlook issued by its Central Forecast Office yesterday in Abuja, said that there would be prospects of localised thunderstorms over Abuja, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Jos and Bida in the afternoon and evening hours with maximum temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius.
It predicted increased cloudiness over the coastal and inland cities of the South-East, with chances of localised rain showers over the inland areas of the South-West in the morning.
NiMet also predicted localised rain showers over Calabar, Port-Harcourt and Lagos in the afternoon and evening hours, with maximum temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius.
It predicted that northern states would experience cloudy conditions over Sokoto, Gusau, Kano, Katsina and Yelwa in the morning, and there would be chances of localised thunderstorms over Kano, Nguru and Maiduguri in the afternoon and evening hours with maximum temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius to 33 degrees Celsius.