From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved new appointments in 13 Federal Government agencies.
According to Director (Press), office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Bolaji Adebiyi, President Buhari has approved appointment of Mr. Joseph Ari as the new Director-general for Industrial Training Fund (ITF), while Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) is National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Director-General.
Other appointments are Simbi Kesiye Wabote, Executive secretary, Nigerian Content Monitoring Board; Aboloma Osita Anthony, DG, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON); Mamman Amadu, DG, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and Sharon Ikeazor, executive secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).
Also appointed are, Princess Akodundo Gloria, National Coordinator/CEO, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, executive secretary, Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF); Umana Okon Umana, Managing Director, Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority; Sa’adiya Faruq, federal commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons; Usman Abubakar, chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC); Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau, executive secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and Yewande Sadiku, executive secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
INFORMATION: Minister bemoans infrastructure decay in FG press
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has expressed dismay over the level of decay of infrastructure and moribund machineries in the Federal Government Press, Lagos.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mohammed, who paid a working visit to the establishment yesterday, said its depressing state was a consequence of many years of corruption, maladministration and impunity.
He said the press, established 103 years ago, did not reflect, in capacity, environment and infrastructure, what a properly maintained and managed government asset should be.
Mohammed said that the press, which was established for the purpose of production of government printed materials as well as commercial printing, had become a shadow of itself.
Said he: “It is my belief that what we are witnessing today is as a result of many years of corruption, neglect and impunity. While I was going round for inspection, one thing came to mind that what we are suffering today was because those who were at the helm of affairs sometimes ago were not patriotic.
“They ordered and accepted substandard equipment and machineries even when the government paid for brand new ones. The consequence is what we are all suffering today.”
The minister, however, said hope was not lost because the administration would ensure a resuscitation of the establishment.
Power: NERC commences stakeholders’ consultations
The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has commenced nationwide stakeholders consultation on its mini-grid electrification programme aimed at accelerating electrification distribution in the South East and South/South zones.
Mr. Emeka Ezeh, the head of communication, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), in a press statement in Enugu yesterday, said that the consultation would hold in Enugu on Sept. 28.
Ezeh said that the electricity regulator would collate inputs from stakeholders on how to accelerate electrification in areas without existing distribution network, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that the commission would also look into areas with an existing but poorly electrified or non-functional distribution grid (underserved areas) by attracting participation of private sector, communities and NGOs in achieving the nationwide electrification.
Ezeh said that the initiative was in line with NERC’s primary responsibility to develop regulations, as conferred by Sections 96(1) and 70(8) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
The communication head said that NERC would license mini-grid operators after due consultation.
“The regulation seeks to minimise major risks associated with mini-grid investments such as sudden tariff changes as tariffs would have been agreed in advance by the relevant parties,” he said.
BUDGET: Why Executive-legislature partnership is crucial – Udoma
Basil Obasi, Abuja
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, has urged members of the National Assembly to support the executive and work collaboratively to deliver Nigeria out of the current economic quagmire.
The minister, who made the call while delivering a keynote address at the Gallery Colloquium on theme: “Budget as a Critical Tool for Effective Executive-Legislative Relations,” in Abuja yesterday, said the importance of partnership between all arms of government cannot be overemphasised.
Udoma, who was represented by Mr. Kayode Obasa, director, economic growth department, explained that teamwork between the legislators and the presidency was crucial in making sure that the budget achieves desired results.
According to him, the executive had a plan to get the economy out of recession and put it back on the path of sustainable growth, using the already outlined strategic implementation plan (SIP) to guide implementation process of the 2016 budget as well as the spending priorities in the 2017 budget.
Udoma said: “The National Assembly must not see itself as in competition with the Executive. Rather, we should appreciate the unique roles of both arms of government in the budget production process and ensure that these roles should complement one another.”
Udoma further noted that the executive and the National Assembly will benefit politically from a budget that successfully turns the Nigerian economy around and brings prosperity to our people. “We should be conscious of the fact that if we fail, no side, whether the Executive or the National Assembly, can completely escape the blame,’’ he said.
Study Centres: NCCE accuse NTI of performing below standard
From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Commission For Colleges of Education (NCCE) has accused the National Teachers Institute (NTI) of running a distance learning programmes that is below the set standards.
The Commission, however, believed that the declining standard of education, especially at the basic education sub-sector, could be linked to “half baked” teachers that graduates from teachers training institutions.
Executive Secretary of NCCE, Dr. Bappah Aliyu, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, said that the development had forced the Commission to begin policy and infrastructural monitoring of the NTI study centres to enforce strict compliance with the minimum standard.
Bappah noted that NTI awards NCE certificates through its distance learning platforms usually situated at designated study centres across the nation. However, there have been public outcry that the quality of students NTI produce in such study centres left much to be desired because of some obvious compromises.
He, however, said that the essence of exercise, which would be conducted in Nasarawa on Tuesday, was to ascertain the level of compliance with the laid down rules of engagement in all areas of concern, and will cover all the NTI study centers across Nigeria.