​FG to sanction violators of Expatriate Quota rules ― Aregbesola

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the Federal Government was set to sanction any foreign organisation who breached the country’s Expatriate Quota rule.
Expatriate Quota is the total number of quota given to foreign companies within which to operate in the country.

Aregbesola gave the warning at the 2nd Stakeholders’ meeting on Expatriate Quota Administration in Nigeria at the Grand Pela Hotel and Suites, on Wednesday, in Abuja.

The Minister noted that it had become imperative to impose severe sanctions on whoever breached the country’s Expatriate Quota rules, noting that it had seriously impacted on the rate of unemployment in the country.

“Whoever is not worried about the rate of unemployment in the country is not a patriot. We must be concerned about the high level of unemployment in the country.

“This is largely due to the breach of the quota rules by foreign companies, who take up most of the jobs that ordinarily would have been taken by our citizens,“ he said.

Aregbesola recalled that he inaugurated a nine-man Special Task Force on business permit on Expatriate Quota Administration (EQA), on Dec. 1, 2020, to investigate, inspect, penalise and enforce sanctions for breaching the utilisation of EQA.

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“In Nigeria, whether indigenous joint venture or foreign, this permit and EQ are the best practices globally.

‘’ Every nation regulates its economic relations with other nations, in a mutually beneficial way, but putting its national interest and citizens above others.

“All nations of the world, in short there is no nation that can be careless of it because every nation is there to promote, advance, and to protect the interest of its own citizens.

“It is a healthy competition that has survived the test of time. If properly and effectively managed, it will lead to technology transfer, manpower development, and rapid industrialisation.

“Where nations are careless or unmindful of it, it leads to untold consequences of lopsided and imbalanced relationship, foreign domination, stunted development of the host country’s personnel, and ultimately creates a dependency syndrome,“ he said.

The Minister noted that the country had suffered from the syndrome of quota breach to a reasonable degree, due to a non-diligent implementation of the rules and guidelines.

“It is also replicable in many African and developing economies. So, this is a very serious national policy, as an average of 30,000 expatriate quota positions are issued and given to about 4,000 companies annually on the average.

“In strict compliance with local content regulations and national interest, therefore, about 60,000 middle level employment opportunities are expected to be created equally and annually for knowledge and skills transfer.

“But unfortunately, the country does not seem to benefit from these and the question to ask is that, since we do not have the benefits, how do we organise ourselves to earn it,“ the Minister noted.

Aregbesola reminded those behind such practices to desist as the Federal Government had resolved to deal decisively with them.

Also, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr Yerima Tarfa, noted that Nigeria had reached a stage where the enabling Act , guidelines, processes and its monitoring/evaluation had to be holistically reviewed to achieve local content.

Tarfa was represented by the Director of Employment and Wages, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Inyamali Audu.

He noted further that local capacity that existed and which held prospective job opportunities for thousands of Nigerians were unlawfully and arbitrarily filled by expatriate firms, especially in the construction and oil and gas sectors.

“The concern is not just that Nigerians are denied the available opportunities in these areas, but many companies actually exceed their legitimate quota,“ he said.

He urged the Federal Government to rise up to the challenge and come up with stringent measures to address the ugly trend, as well as ensuring that the local contents were secured.

Adamawa’s backwardness caused by past administrations – Fintiri

Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has scored his administration high saying that despite financial crunch, COVID-19 scourge and insecurity, he was able to give a robust account of his stewardship in the last two years.

The governor who made the position during a stakeholders meeting at government house Yola Wednesday, where he gave detailed account of his stewardship, accused past administrations for the decay in all facets of the economy in the state.

“Distinguished Stakeholders, I have taken the pain the take us through some
of these gloomy indicators so that you can have a mental picture of the
situation at hand when we took over.

” I am not lamenting. Far from it. I do know, these are pitiably extraordinary problems created by the wrong people in

“And your collective anger that you require a true leader to turn
the fortunes of the State for the better was the result that brought me on

” The sure way to thank you for this decision is to periodically give you
a detailed breakdown of what we are doing to reverse the ugly narrative.
Where we are Now,” he said

” We met a State that was virtually devastated in all ramification,
requiring more than ordinary ingenuity to patch and revamp. Conscious of
the task at hand, we went all out, dared distractions and subdued
impossibilities. Today, the ugly narrative is fast reversing, Adamawa State is
changing and our people are happier. This fact is admitted even by our
fanatic antagonists.

” We inherited a socially destabilized society with a disenchanted citizenry
who live in constant fear of losing their lives, livelihood and properties.
While general loss of trust, attendant upon by ethnic and religious
suspicions and intolerance was brewing among our plural nationalities.

” Absence of justice and fairness has instituted a culture of identity politics
which was negatively taking its toll on our people. Perennial farmer-
herder conflicts, was claiming lives, herds, farm produce and even
settlements of our people.

” The situation was so bad that no community in Adamawa State can claim freedom from it. Kidnapping and unrestrained urban crime such as the activities of ‘Shila-Boys cult went on brazenly as if there were no constituted authority to contain them. The northern zone which was just recuperating from the attacks of the dreaded Bokoharam
insurgents were practically abandoned to their faith with most of them
converting the emergency IDP camps into a permanent abode with no
hope of return to their ancestral homes.

” The State was sliding into
anarchy with no demonstrated authoritative commitment to sanity and
control,” he said.

The governor who decried the state IGR when he took over said despite the daunting challenges, he was able to restore sanity to the once battered state economy.

” In 2018, the annual IGR of Adamawa State was about 6 Billion. This was
considered paltry in this age where every State is deploying all its arsenal
to transit to self-reliance and sustainability. We inherited a Suffocating N140-Billion debt burden which we had to service every month from
the Federal Allocation. As if this was not bad enough, there was standing
monthly overdraft line to pay salaries provided by commercial banks that
chocks. This has led to budget indiscipline and non-compliance with
extant appropriation laws,” he said.

Nigerian Army restrategizes to combat security challenges in Niger State

The Nigerian Army is restrategising ways towards tackling security challenges in Niger State.

The newly appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) one Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna,  Maj. Gen. Danjuma Hamisu Ali stated this when he paid courtesy visit to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello who doubles as the Chairman North Central Governors Forum ( NCGF) at the government house, Minna.

The new GOC, explained that he was in the state as part of his tour of Military formations under his command, with the view to understudying the security situation in the State, and to get first-hand information.

He however, noted that the major challenges faced by the state is lack of manpower and that having additional battalion in the state would help in addressing the insecurity.

Maj. Gen. Ali also stated that one of the immediate plans is to establish a special force in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State and in Chikun Local Government in Kaduna State pointing out that those are areas where insecurity is high.

Responding, Niger State Governor and Chairman NCGF Abubakar Sani Bello expressed optimism that the new leadership in the Nigerian Army would tackle insecurity in the country.

The Chairman NCGF added that he is confident the new leadership would come up with technical operational ideas that would help bring an end to the security challenges confronting Niger State in particular and the Nation in general.

“The GOC has been fully informed about the security challenges we are facing, and 

his response gives us hope that insecurity will soon be taken care of because I can see that with the new leadership in the military they are really determined to address this security issues.” He said.

​Chibok schoolgirls: Pause as a parent, to imagine 2,549 days of pains

By Professor Babagana Umara Zulum

As a father of daughters, I can’t even imagine the pains of having one’s daughter held by terrorists for as long as seven whole years. 

However, I urge parents, especially anyone with a female child to pause for a while, no matter how brief, to imagine how it might feel to have one’s daughter abducted and held for more than 2,549 days so far. Imagine how parents and relations of these girls have been feeling in each of these days. 

Certainly, the mental torture of not knowing the fate of one’s daughter in the hands of Boko Haram is far worse than losing a child.

No parent can ever lose hope in a missing child and having that hope comes with so much pains of anxiety and depression. 

Parents of Chibok schoolgirls have been devastated yet they have demonstrated faith and strength in the hope of reconnecting with their missing daughters. They deserve our continued empathy, our compassion, our support and most importantly, sharing their optimism. 

As a father of all sons and daughters of Borno, I haven’t lost hope that our remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other abducted persons will be safely recovered.

From my series of interactions with the President, Commander in Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, I have seen in him that he is as concerned as the parents of the Chibok girls and all of us. 

Countless times, the President has shown me that he is not losing hope on the Chibok girls. He says to me although a number of our girls were reunited with their parents and are being catered for by the Federal Government, he is not happy until the remaining girls are freed. 

I believe the President and I urge everyone in Borno to sustain prayers for those girls and everyone in abduction to be safely freed, and for peace to be fully and permanently restored in Borno. 
I pray that Allah in His infinite mercy answers our prayers and grant us the peace we have been so desperate to gain in almost 12 years now. 

While we pray, our prayers are being combined with relentless support for security agencies and funding thousands of our recruited volunteers, as we all remain determined in our shared goal to free Borno and all its people.