Boko Haram: North-East now ‘enjoys relative peace’ – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, praised the “collective efforts” of troops and other security agencies in the country’s terrorist-troubled North-East region.

Buhari while addressing the troops during his visit to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said the efforts of the gallant men and women have resulted in the “relative peace” enjoyed by Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Taraba and other North-Eastern states’ residents.

Buhari stated this inspite of the killings and kidnappings by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province fighters in the region.

But the President, in his address to the troops, saluted the courageous soldiers who have paid the supreme price in the last 10 years since the insurgency in the region started.

According to him, “Furthermore, we will continue to ensure that our wounded comrades get the best medical attention towards their full recovery.

“While acknowledging your collective efforts at decimating and degrading the terrorists and reaffirming the inviolable sovereignty of our nation, I also wish to extol your steadfastness and untiring efforts in the face of the difficulties you experience in the Theatres of Operation.

“Your collective efforts have resulted in the relative peace being enjoyed in the region today. Under my watch, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have been provided a firm strategy and clear sense of direction to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

“We should not allow our adversaries the opportunity or breathing space to challenge or undermine our national interests and core values. The defence and security agencies should rest assured of the Federal Government’s unalloyed commitment to winning the battle against terror and criminality.”

Buhari added, “Side by side with the efforts of the Armed Forces and security agencies, this Administration is developing a strategy for post-war reconstruction and peace-building. Concerted efforts are being made to fast-track re-construction and development programmes in the affected communities in the North East.

“I am hopeful that this will lead to the speedy resettlement of displaced persons, as well as the restoration of bubbling community life as the people return to their homes.

“As your Commander-in-Chief, I want to assure you that this government will continue to work towards the provision of timely funding and procurement of equipment for the Armed Forces and other security agencies. This is intended to boost the prosecution of the ongoing war to a logical conclusion and also to serve our collective interests and well-being.

“While I commend your resilience, let me remind you that there is still a lot of work to be done, to completely restore peace to the North East, stem the activities of armed bandits in the North West and North Central, as well as deal with other security challenges across the country.

“You must therefore remain steadfast and see this war to a conclusive end. In doing so, you must rely on interagency cooperation, strengthen your cohesion with the troops of neighboring Republics of Cameroon, Chad and Niger in our collective fight against the terrorists, under the auspices of the Multinational Joint Task Force. This will consolidate our efforts and facilitate the speedy return of peace and stability to the region.”

Source: TG news

​FG committed to succcess of NYSC scheme – Minister

The Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the success of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Akin Dare, gave the reassurance yesterday while inaugurating the Ambassador Fatima Abubabar-led national governing board of the scheme in Abuja.

He said the programme had contributed immensely to national unity and integration, as well as growth of various sectors, including education, health, infrastructure development, sports and social services.

The minister explained that the corps remained “a great source of pride to the government and the entire people of our dear country.”

He added: “Without doubt, all well-meaning Nigerians strongly recognise the continued relevance of the scheme, especially at this critical period of our national life.”

Dare charged the 10-member board on adherence to provisions of the NYSC Act, particularly as they relate to the roles and responsibilities of major stakeholders.

While acknowledging the daunting task before the board, he expressed optimism that with the retention of the chairman and some members of the immediate past team, who are conversant with the objectives, programmes and challenges of the scheme, “there is hope for a more robust administration to ensure more deliverables are provided for corps members.”

He urged the new board to consolidate its predecessor’s feats, expressing government’s satisfaction with efforts to make the scheme more visible.

“I commend the excellent synergy between the immediate past board and the management, which contributed to the remarkable achievements recently made by the scheme,” the minister said.

Dare called on the members to come up with initiatives that would make the programme more impactful and endearing to Nigerians, even as he charged them to sustain the harmonious working relationship in deference to expectations of the current administration.

The minister, who also endorsed the proposed National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund, called on stakeholders to support its actualisation for the strengthening of the scheme and provision of start-up capital for its trainees to actualise their business plans.

Guardian Newspaper

​ITF pays N1.9bn as SIWES supervisory, student allowances, says DG

The Industrial Training Fund ITF has paid a total sum of N1.9 billion as students and supervisory allowance under the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme SIWES and as well developed a website dedicated to SiWES to reduce the person to person contact.

The Director-General of ITF Sir, Joseph Ari who disclosed this during the visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Industry to the organisation said in line with the Act establishing ITF, the Fund has reimbursed contributing employers up to fifty per cent of the statutory annual training contributions remitted by them if the Fund’s Governing Council is satisfied that training programmes of the employer were in accordance with the Fund’s Reimbursement Scheme.

He further disclosed that the Fund during the year under review, paid a total of Five Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty One Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Five Naira to 401 companies as reimbursement for the year 2019.

“To ensure that we do not rest on our oars, the ITF unveiled the 2nd Phase of its Reviewed Vision: Strategies for Mandate Actualisation. The Plan, which is targeted at rectifying the lapses that were observed in the implementation of the first phase, build on the achievements thereof, and directly address emergent challenges of the Fund’s stakeholders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will serve as our operational road map in coming years with a 9-Point Strategic Plan.”

The Director-General also disclosed that arrangements have been concluded for the implementation of more skills intervention programmes amongst several other activities earmarked for implementation this year.

According to him, Programmes earmarked for implementation are the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Construction Skills Empowerment Programme (CONSEP), the Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C), the Passion to Profession Programme (P2PP), and the Agri-Preneurship Training Programme (ATP).

He narrated that the programmes will equip and empower about 12,000 Nigerians between three and six months in the following trades and vocations: Web design and programming, Advance Computer networking, Mobile app development, Iron bending, Masonry, Crop production, Aquaculture, Poultry, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration, Plumbing, GSM repairs and Ladies’ wig cap making.

Sir Ari who said ITF is in the process of amending its Act called on members of the National Assembly to support and hansten the process in order to develop the national economy.

He added that the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) that is managed by the ITF but funded by the Federal Government and has been instrumental to the development of human capital in Nigeria and currently assailed by numerous challenges.

He, therefore, appealed to the National Assembly to ensure adequate appropriations for the Scheme because of the establishment of new tertiary institutions, accreditation of new disciplines and the exponential rise of participating students.

In his response the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Industry Hon. Enitan Dolapo Badru commended ITF for its giant stride and contributions to the economy and its quest to empower the youths as a strategy to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.

Hon Badru said the National Assembly will cooperate with the Fund toward ensuring that the Act establishing the agency is reviewed to further promote efficiency and to spur it for greater heights and productivity.