From Uche Usim, Abuja
As the world gradually pans away from fossil fuel (petroleum) to biofuels, which are produced largely from agriculture, the Federal Government has urged Nigerians to prepare for the new economy with loads of benefits for the country.
The Acting Executive Secretary/Chief Executive of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA), Victor Shidok, who disclosed this in Abuja at a press briefing to announce an upcoming workshop on biofuels development in Nigeria said the new initiative would herald a new economy for the country.
Biofuels, he said, simply comprise of bioethanol and biodiesel which are blends of petroleum and agricultural products.
“Bioethanol E-10 for instance is a blend of 90 per cent gasoline and 10 per cent ethanol, while biodiesel E-20 is a blend of 80 per cent diesel and oil from jathropha, used palm oil etc. This harmony will lead to more job creation in both the petroleum and agricultural sector”, he stated.
He added that the new project was being undertaken by the Ministry of Petroleum, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), state and federal government ministries and other stakeholders like feedstock farmers, blenders, depot owners and potential investors.
He pointed out that biofuels was part of government’s renewable energy programme, adding that it would help conserve the nation’s vast forests, diversify the economy, contribute to fuel supply stability while providing clean energy to Nigeria.
NYSC: ‘No intention to scrap NYSC’
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, has said there was no intention to scrap the NYSC scheme.
Kazaure spoke yesterday in Issele-Uku, Delta State, during a visit to the NYSC orientation camp.
He said any insinuations about the scrapping of the scheme was borne out of “poverty of information.’’
The DG, who was represented by the Director of Mobilisation, Chief Frank Ekpunobi, said that the NYSC period in the life of an individual was a stop-gap and a time to differentiate between fantasy and reality.
Kazaure noted that the scheme was created after the three years of civil war, with the sole aim of national integration, and since its creation NYSC has performed well in the area of education, health care delivery and increased literacy. The NYSC boss also stated that there was nowhere in Nigeria today that there are no corps members rendering services to their fatherland. He, however, advised the corps members to stay in their places of primary assignment, avoid unnecessary travel and work hard to win awards during their service year.
Earlier, the NYSC coordinator, Delta STate, Mr Benjamin Omotade, said that camping activities commenced on a promising note.
Omotade said that different agencies, including the police, have cordial relationship with the camp officials.
UBEC: UBEC, Korea partner on teachers’ development
From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has joined force with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to build the capacity of teachers whose responsibilities is to build strong education foundation of children at the basic level.
They believed that poor academic performance of students at the higher institutions was caused by shaky and poor quality of education received at the basic level.
Country Director, KOICA, Mrs. Sook Hyun Park, said at the opening ceremony of the workshop in Abuja that joint effort of KOICA, UBEC with support of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) would go a long way in adding quality and credibility to Nigeria’s basic education system.
The theme of the programme was ‘Education for sustainable development’.
Park challenged the participants to take advantage of the workshop to improve on their teaching skills, reminding them of their responsibility of transferring similar knowledge to teachers at lower cadre.
Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi explained that the gesture was one of the positive outcome of the bilateral relationship between the Republic of Korea and Nigeria.
Bobboyi who was represented by Dr. Yakubu Gambo commended the Korean government for their assistance particularly in infrastructural development in basic education sub-sector.
NASENI: Reps task NASENI to develop home-made refinery
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The House Committee on Science and Technology has tasked the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to come up with an efficient home-made refinery that will reduce the current huge out-flow of foreign exchange used in importing various petroleum products.
It also promised to assist the agency secure more statutory funds from the Federal Government in carrying out its various research and development (R&D) mandate.
Committee Chairman, Beni Lar, who stated this in Abuja when she led the committee on oversight pledged their commitment to helping the agency achieve the collection of levy on income or turn-over of commercial companies operating in Nigeria as stipulated in NASENI’s Act 2004 Part VI 2(b) Laws of the Federation.
A statement by NASENI Chief Information Officer, Mr. Olusegun Ayeoyenikan said Lar noted that the nation cannot make any meaningful development unless its productive sector was up and running.
“We are determined to sit down with the Budget Office and also the House of Representatives Committee on Budget in order to kick-start the needed change to shape up funding of agencies like NASENI.
In his remarks, the Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna said a successful collection of the statutory levy shall reduce total dependency of the agency on government funding.
SON: Quality assurance critical to economic devt –SON
From Bimbola Oyesola
Nigeria’s potential in human and material resources can be optimised through deployment of standardisation procedures to ensure effective quality assurance of all locally manufactured products.
The Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma made this submission during an interactive session with Freight Forwarders and Clearing Agents in Kano recently
Aboloma described quality assurance as a critical element of the standardisation process for the growth of any nation.
He added that regular quality control, inspection, sampling, testing and certification of manufacturing processes ensure that products meet the requirements of relevant standards.
“They also guarantee continual improvement to satisfy customer expectations,” he said.
He said the realisation of the importance of quality assurance had been a major driver of the agency’s standardization campaigns.
“As the apex standardisation agency, it is the duty of SON to ensure that consumers get value for money and are protected from the dangers of substandard products; that is why I urge Nigerians to get involved in the campaign. We need the collaboration of all Nigerians to do the job effectively,” he said.
He said one of the current administration’s main agenda was promoting the ease of doing business in order to facilitate trade in addition to efforts to re-direct its focus to non-oil exports, with agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises as key drivers.