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151
The following vacancies exist in a construction company in lagos.

1.A young civil engineers with 3 years experience in construction industry.
Qualification: Bsc, HND.

2.A young storeman with 3 years of job experience.
Qualification: OND or its equivalent.

Interested applicant should send their CVs to info@lafred-ng.com

152
Vacancies / Vacancy - Civil Engineer (Click here for details
« on: April 22, 2015, 08:22:22 AM »
A firm requires the service of a young CIVIL Engineer with a minimum of 1-2 years post graduation., A as a site supervisor, He must be able to supervise projects and carried out cost estimates.

Interested individual should forward his CV to dotlawkoncept@yahoo.com, on or before the 25th of April, 2015.

153

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has applauded Nigeria’s response to the declining prices of oil just as African finance ministers expressed concern that the slow growth of the Chinese economy will impact negatively on many African countries.
Responding to a question at the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings, yesterday, the IMF  Managing  Director, Christine Lagarde, commended Nigeria’s strategic response to the oil price slide.

According to her, as  one of the seven oil-producing nations in the African region affected by the revenue loss, Nigeria’s response was commendable.

Seventy per cent of Nigeria’s revenue is derived from the sale of crude petroleum products, and  since the middle of last year, the country  and other Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have suffered over 50 per cent loss in revenue.
In a bid to manage the development, the federal government rolled out a cocktail of belt-tightening measures aimed at minimising the vulnerability arising from the attendant revenue losses from oil exports.

Such measures include surcharges on some luxury consumption, reduction in overseas trainings by government officials, voluntary cut in National Assembly budget, salaries of President Goodluck Jonathan and other top government functionaries as well as State House budget.
Meanwhile, African  finance ministers participating at the ongoing  meetings have rued over the impact of the slow growth rate of China's economy on the continent.

China, which  has become a major player in Africa’s economy in the last few years, has seen  its growth  at its slowest pace in three years as investment slowed and demand fell in key markets.
The African finance ministers, who spoke at a press conference were those of Liberia, Amara Konneh; Central African Republic, Abdalla Kadre Asane and Madagasacar, Gervias Rakotoarimanana.

In response to a question on what the slow economic  growth of China portends for Africa, the ministers said as a major economic partner to Africa, funding infrastructural projects and a major commodities importer  from the continent,  African countries will feel the impact.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/imf-lauds-nigeria-s-response-to-declining-oil-prices/207167/?

154
Baring any future change in its financial fortunes, Nigeria’s incoming administration may yet be confronted with more challenges delivering on its campaign promises from May 29, as China, the country’s largest crude oil buyer, may soon cut its imports over declining GDP growth.

The development is coming against the backdrop of anticipated increase in government security spending in its buildup to curtail terror threats in the North East and fixing key infrastructure, which formed part of its campaign promises.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has taken a hit since June 2014 when falling global crude oil prices reduced government’s revenue by over 50 per cent.

China and India became Nigeria’s largest trading partners after the United States of America reduced its  demand for the country’s crude following the discovery of shale gas and other cheaper, more efficient energy sources.

That perhaps explained why discussions on how Nigeria and other African countries that depend on crude and commodity exports would fair in the event of China’s economy taking a further hit in the months ahead became a dominant issue at the meeting of Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and finance ministers at the just concluded Spring Meetings in Washington DC, USA.

Beside being a major trading partner, China is a leading financier of major development and infrastructure projects in Nigeria, mobilising financial resources in support of private and public institutions across Africa, raising fears that such critical partnership might suddenly dry up if the Asian country’s slow growth persists.

However, giving the highlights of the key issues discussed at the Board of Governors’ meeting on Sunday, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, urged the incoming administration to build on the foundation already laid by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration since they are in line with the IMF/World Bank recommendations for countries affected by falling commodity prices.

The board had, among other things, called for fiscal restructuring in the economies of low income countries to enable them cope with impending resource constraints arising from low revenue streams.

But while commenting on the slow growth in China, Okonjo-Iweala said, “African countries must feel concerned about the slow growth in China because it is the largest trading partner in the continent. If your major trading partner is recording slow growth, it means demand for your product will be affected and as growth slows down, they may be less enthusiastic to lend to African countries. We are also worried that because they finance a lot of development projects, infrastructure finance may be affected too.”

While allaying fears over Nigeria’s revenue, she advised that if demand for Nigeria’s crude oil in China and India is going down, then there might be need for the government to monitor the trends more closely to avoid untoward consequences.

The Minister equally urged the incoming administration to pursue the economic diversification policy adopted by President Jonathan by focusing more on non-oil exports including processed agricultural products.

Commenting on the economic legacies of the outgoing government, the CME listed three years of macro-economic stability until the recent crash in crude oil prices, the establishment of institutions and processes to drive them, transparent and robust management of the country’s finances with Gifni and GSA and the establishment of a Mortgage Refinance Company of Nigeria (MRCN) as part of what the administration bequeathed to Nigerians.

Others include intervention funds for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the establishment of a development bank to provide long term loans to businesses and the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), rated 2nd in the world in terms of transparency.

In the real sector of the economy, Okonjo-Iweala, said so much was achieved in the agricultural sector, the creative industry, telecoms and manufacturing, which could make the sectors contribute more to the nation’s GDP in the years ahead.

On infrastructure, she said some major works were done on roads, rail, aviation inland waterways, while admitting that most of these projects were still work in progress, which the incoming administration could leverage on to boost the nation’s economy.

The Minister said other reforms carried out under the administration were in areas of tax administration, reduction in government expenditure and expansion of government revenue base assuring the effects of such policies would begin to manifest in the medium to long term.

“With respect to the banking industry, we now have banks that are safe and sound. We now have a financial system that is contributing to the development of the economy and all we need here is to build on these foundations so that very soon we begin to register double digit growth,” she said.

http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=115575

155

Four African countries, Angola, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Gabon were among nine leading global crude oil producers that joined chief executives of major oil companies to agree with senior government officials to ending gas flaring at oil production fields by 2030.

It was, however, not clear why Nigeria, reputed as Africa’s largest crude oil and gas producer, was not listed among the signatories to the treaty even when she is faced with severe challenges arising from gas flaring at onshore/offshore production sites by international oil companies, including Shell.

More worrisome about Nigeria’s absence at the zero gas flare out signing ceremony is the fact that her outgoing Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, currently serves as the President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

However, a source, which pleaded anonymity attributed the country’s non-representation at the zero flare initiative to the impending change of political leadership following the outcome of the March 28 presidential election and the uncertainty over the new policy direction of the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative – already endorsed by nine countries, 10 oil companies and six development institutions – was launched last weekend by United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim. They were joined by Royal Dutch Shell Chairman, Jorma Ollila; Statoil CEO, Eldar Sćtre; Norwegian Foreign Minister, Břrge Brende; Gabonese Minister of Petroleum, Etienne Dieudonne Ngoubou and several other senior government and corporate officials, and representatives of international development banks. The group collectively represents more than 40 per cent of global gas flare out.

Every year, around 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas produced alongside with oil is wastefully “flared” at thousands of oil fields around the world, resulting in more than 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted to the atmosphere – equivalent to emissions from approximately 77 million cars.

But if this amount of associated gas were used for power generation, it could provide more electricity (750bn KWh), which is more than what the entire African continent is consuming today. However, stakeholders were worried that this volume of gas is flared for a variety of technical, regulatory and economic reasons or because its use is not given high priority.

“Gas flare out is a visual reminder that we are wastefully sending CO2 into the atmosphere,” said Jim Yong Kim. “We can do something about this. Together we can take concrete action to end flaring and to use this valuable natural resource to light the darkness for those without electricity,” he stated.

By endorsing the initiative, governments, oil companies and development institutions recognise that routine gas flare out is unsustainable from a resource management and environmental perspective hence the agreement to cooperate to eliminate ongoing routine flare out as soon as possible and no later than 2030. They will publicly report their flaring and progress towards the target on an annual basis. Furthermore, routine flaring will not take place in new oil fields developments while governments will provide operating environments conducive to investments and to the development of functioning energy markets.

“As we head towards the adoption of a meaningful new international climate agreement in Paris in December, these countries and companies are demonstrating real climate action,” said UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. “Reducing gas flare can make a significant contribution towards mitigating climate change. I appeal to all oil-producing countries and companies to join this important initiative,” he said.

Oil companies and governments that have yet to endorse the initiative are currently undertaking comprehensive reviews of their gas flare out with hopes to join the initiative in the coming months.

Commenting on the development, Solomon Asamoah, Vice President, African Development Bank (ADB) said: “We welcome this global initiative to end routine flaring no later than 2030. The African Development Bank’s strategy for the period 2013 – 2022 has inclusive and green growth as the over reaching objectives and this initiative is clearly aligned with our strategic focus of sustainable development.”

Also reacting, Claudio Descalzi, the chief executive officer at Eni, a major producer said, “for many years, Eni has been committed to tackling climate change by reducing gas flaring and developing natural gas production and distribution programmes, contributing to the development of local energy systems. Eni’s endorsement of the initiative reflects our continuous commitment in pursuing our efforts to minimise the environmental impact of our operations.”

But according to Peter Enga, Production Manager, SNH (Cameroon), “launching this zero-routine-flaring initiative focuses global attention to various instruments to be put in place and targets to be set by adhering countries, companies and development partners to achieve the said goal.”

Also speaking, Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell with extensive operations in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, noted that, “ending routine flaring is a practical way to lower CO2 emissions while meeting the world’s energy needs. The “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative renews Shell’s existing efforts in this field. I call upon governments to support this initiative and work with the oil and gas industry to make it a success,” he maintained.

According to Patrick Pouyanné, CEO, Total, “Total believes that reducing flaring at oil fields is an important contribution towards mitigating climate change, and that is why we made the decision 15 years ago to eliminate routine flaring in all new projects. This policy continues to guide the company and that is why Total fully supports the global initiative to eliminate routine flaring by 2030,” he noted.

http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=115585

156
Oil & Gas Industry / NLNG remits $21bn to JV feed gas suppliers
« on: April 21, 2015, 08:06:52 AM »
The Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG, said it had spent over $21 billion as payment to Joint Ventures, JV, feed gas suppliers from inception till date, adding that 55 to 60 percent of this amount went to the Federation Account via its shareholding in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.


According to its publication titled, Nigeria LNG Limited: Facts and figures on NLNG 2015, the Company stated that it has utilised gas that would otherwise be flared, thus resulting to a significant contribution to the nation’s income while helping to protect the environment.

It further stated that over the years, the company paid dividends of almost $30 billion, out of which 49 percent went into the Federation Account through the NNPC.

The company also said it contributed to the wealth and economic wellbeing of the states in which it operates; by ensuring it paid all applicable taxes and tariffs. “However, in 2014, the company’s corporate income tax amounted to about N220 billion, thus making it the highest tax payer in the Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa.”

It added that it converted about 133 bcm (billion standard cubic metres) or 4.68 tcf (trillion cubic feet) of Associated Gas, AG, to exports as LNG and Natural Gas Liquids, NGLs, thus helping to reduce gas flaring by upstream companies.

On Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, the NLNG said through its plant construction, the company attracted a considerable amount of FDI into the country. The project today has assets ranging from property, plant and equipment, worth over $14billion which is financed mainly by the NLNG’s shareholders; with 51 percent stake by International oil Companies, IOCs, and 49 percent to the country through the NNPC.

NLG further noted that since 20018, it has contributed about four percent of the country’s annual GDP. Also, with the current rebasing of the GDP, it now contributes about one percent to the GDP. Continuing, on Domestic LPG supply, the company said it optimised the price of cooking gas from over N7000 in 2007, to less than N3,500 per 12.5kg cylinder today.

In addition, it reiterated its commitment to delivering over 250,000 tonnes of LPG into the Nigerian market annually and has signed Sales and Purchase Agreements, SPAs, with 15 off-takers (all Nigerian companies) for the lifting of LPG for the domestic market. Furthermore, on its corporate social responsibility scheme, the company had in May 2014, signed an MoU with six Nigerian universities for the development of engineering education with $12 million, to boost education in the country.

Under the initiative, the company has committed to spend $2 million on each of the participating universities for the construction of modern engineering laboratories and procurement of cutting edge engineering equipment to aid teaching and research. Among the beneficiary universities are: University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Port Harcourt, University of Maiduguri, Ahmadu Bello University, and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/nlng-remits-21bn-to-jv-feed-gas-suppliers/?#sthash.nTtJxtAq.dpuf

157

The passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill is required to significantly ramp up the nation’s crude oil production, which has been driven down in recent times, The Punch reports.

Business Monitor International expects oil production to increase only slightly from 2.38 million barrels per day to 2.48 million bpd between 2014 and 2020.

According to BMI, the reasons behind this are that onshore production, continued instability, and investment problems are occurring due to regulatory uncertainty and these are not being helped by falling crude oil prices.

“There are also both downside and upside risks in Nigeria that are largely dependent on an improvement in the business environment and the content and adoption of the PIB.

Should the market continue without adopting the PIB, BMI believes that project investments and cancellations could see Nigerian production head downwards in the medium to long term, as new production fails to offset decline rates at mature onshore and shallow water fields.

“A more substantial increase in production is not at all likely until the PIB is passed,” it said.

http://energymixreport.com/pib-essential-for-growth-of-nigerias-crude-oil-output-bmi/?

158
News & Happenings / Emefiele Proposes Sale of Oil Joint Ventures
« on: April 16, 2015, 09:00:28 AM »

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has proposed that the incoming government to be led by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) consider selling down its majority stakes in joint ventures with multinational oil companies to shore up state finances and raise funding for infrastructure development.

According to the UK-based Financial Times (FT) newspaper, Emefiele has asked CBN officials to evaluate how much could be raised if the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) substantially reduced its 55 per cent equity in the joint ventures — with Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total and ENI — which pump about half of Nigeria’s 2 two million barrels a day of oil production.

He believes that $75 billion is a realistic target, and that private equity groups could be encouraged to compete with the oil companies for acquisitions to ensure the price is competitive.

Some of the proceeds could be used to rebuild macroeconomic buffers damaged by the collapse in world oil prices and failure of the outgoing government of Goodluck Jonathan to save more when prices were high. But Emefiele said a greater portion should be invested in transport and energy developments that would “grow the economy and create jobs”.

“If you sell down a 30 per cent stake, you could raise something substantial. It is an option they need to consider as a way of raising further funding,” he told FT.

He added that he had commissioned the research and would present the idea to Buhari when he assumes office on May 29.

“It is an option now because our revenues have dropped and we don’t need to pile on more debt. The alternative is to look for ways of releasing value from some of the government’s assets,” he said, adding that petroleum profit taxes could be adjusted upwards to compensate for the state’s reduced stake in crude oil sales.

Emefiele’s suggested remedy could prompt opposition from those ideologically opposed to selling off state assets, and resistance from politicians dependent on oil resources for patronage.

But it will find sympathetic ears among the more liberal, market minded reformers in the administration in waiting. Some of them believe that the NNPC should be sold off altogether — both to eliminate associated corruption, and to help free up commercial oil firms to invest in new production.

For years, Nigeria’s oil production has been stagnating at around 2m b/d because of uncertainty around stalled reforms and because of the state’s difficulties in raising its own share of development and maintenance costs.

Oil company executives argue that production could be almost doubled if the NNPC were commercialised or sold, and the companies freed up to meet the full cost of investment.

“Our manifesto says we are going to break the NNPC up. But the ultimate answer may well be to divest the whole thing,” said an influential politician in Buhari’s camp.

“It is an idea that will be seriously looked at. But I don’t think it can be the immediate priority. First, we need to get back to a position where revenues that belong to the people are getting into the Federation Account. We need to stop the leakages,” he said.

Buhari, who cut his teeth in office at a time when the state was the main driver in the economy, may be harder to convince.

“We can’t just wake up overnight and sell the NNPC. First we need to see how much damage has been done and how we can stabilise the situation,” he said in a pre-election interview with the FT.

However, reformers in his camp believe he may be persuaded otherwise if oil prices remain depressed given the scant alternatives to finance the ambitious changes he has promised.

Meanwhile, the inability of NNPC to liquidate over $1.5 billion debt owed local and international oil traders involved in the importation of petroleum products on behalf of the corporation has raised concern over the long-term sustainability of supply of products in the country, THISDAY has learnt.

THISDAY gathered that the NNPC owes trading companies over $1.5 billion dating back to 2010, further confirming concerns that have been raised over the long-term effectiveness of the corporation and its ability to meet its obligations.
NNPC accounts for over 60 per cent of petroleum products imported into the country while private marketers account for less than 40 per cent.

The debt owed both local and foreign companies had initially risen to $3 billion. However, the corporation was compelled to seek a $1.5 billion loan in January 2013 from foreign and local lenders to offset its indebtedness to international oil suppliers following threats of lawsuits.

The loan was to be secured by 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from its exploration and production subsidiary, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

The foreign traders – Trafigura, Vitol, Glencore and Acardia, among others – were under intense pressure from their bankers such as BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, Citi Bank and Napaxis, which financed the imports to repay the loan facilities granted them.

It is not clear if the $1.5 billion loan was eventually secured, but industry sources maintain that over $1.5 billion is still owed by NNPC to local and foreign traders.

Sources among oil traders that do business with the national oil company also told THISDAY that the huge debt has raised questions over the ability of the corporation to continue to serve as supplier of last resort and provide stability in the fuel supply and distribution value chain.

According to some of the affected companies, the inability of the NNPC to liquidate its debt also raises questions over the solvency of the corporation and sends negative signals to global markets and foreign investors.

But in a swift response, a top official of the NNPC, who craved anonymity, told THISDAY that the corporation was doing everything possible to fulfill its obligation to suppliers in accordance with laid down procedures and terms of agreements.

“NNPC is a going concern with fiduciary responsibilities to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The fact that a change of administration is in the offing does not obliterate our financial and contractual agreements with all our suppliers and partners at different levels of engagements,” he said.

On the fear raised by the oil traders that NNPC may be insolvent, he said the insolvency tale was spurned in 2010 by a Minister of State for Finance.

“Interestingly five years after, the corporation is still standing on its feet. Like any other business concern, debit and credit transactions constitute the nucleus of NNPC’s financial operations with suppliers across board and the corporation is alive to its responsibilities to its huge base of clientele in the upstream, mid-stream and downstream sub-sectors of the industry,” he said.

However, a top official of one of the companies wishing to remain anonymous, was particularly bitter about the impact the five-year-old debt has had on his company.

“NNPC does not pay interest on delayed payments. When the import tenders were conducted in 2009, the pricing assumed a payment for the supplied products within 45 days after Notice of Readiness (NOR),” the source stated.

“We got bank facilities to finance these imports at rates of 12 per cent or 15 per cent per annum. Can you imagine the cost to us owing to the inability of NNPC to repay? All our profit has been wiped out and the banks have been chasing us to repay the loans,” said the source.

“Five years later, we still have not been paid and nobody is being held accountable. I hope with the new government coming in, they will honour their obligations and pay, with interest, the debts they owe all of us.

“The overall state of the corporation at the moment is a big hindrance to the sustainability of long-term supply,” the source added.

THISDAY gathered that these debts which, were accumulated on the back of NNPC’s erstwhile open account tender process, allowed reliable trading companies with a proven track record of good performance and strong capital base to supply products on behalf of the corporation with a payment undertaking as the guarantee.

“Initially, when a trader won the tender to import on behalf of NNPC, the agreement involved payment to the trader within 45 days. Even though NNPC was notoriously late in paying, trading companies involved in the process could easily get Letters of Credit (LC) from banks to fund the deliveries,” one of the traders told THISDAY.

“NNPC was notoriously late in paying, often running to 120 days, but the suppliers never defaulted. Nonetheless, the process suffered following the massive defaults by the NNPC, with debts spiralling to just over $3 billion and payment invoices not being settled even after 400 days,” he added.

THISDAY learnt that it was at this point that the banks became extremely doubtful of NNPC’s financial viability and pulled their credit lines to traders operating with NNPC’s payment undertaking.

This resulted in petrol scarcity and massive fuel queues nationwide. With no way of liquidating their debts, NNPC had to look for alternative ways of restoring importation to the country and eventually settled for swapping crude oil for refined product imports as a way out of the quagmire.

Debts accruing to oil traders and marketers have been widely fingered as being responsible for recurring fuel shortages in the country.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/emefiele-proposes-sale-of-oil-joint-ventures/206945/?

159
News & Happenings / INEC laments monetisation of election
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:55:54 AM »
Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has lamented the monetisation of elections in Nigeria, saying such is dangerous to sustenance of democracy.

INEC National Commissioner for Ekiti, Oyo and Osun states, Professor Lai Olorode, also lamented the absence of internal democracy and relegation of political institutions to the background.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti yesterday at the presentation of certificates of return to winners of the National Assembly election in the state, he said: “The cost of organising election in this country is quite huge compared to what the cost is in other countries. America does not spend as much as an average legislator spends in an election in this country.

“After spending all these money, where are you going to get it back from if not from the public purse? It is so costly to do elections in the country because every process has been monetised.”

He frowned at situations where contestants would sell their property to contest elections, adding: “It shouldn’t be like that.

“We should be members of political parties because we believe in their ideologies, otherwise we create political gods in the political parties and if you don’t allow people to have a voice, political process is unwittingly endangered.”

Olorode, who said Nigerians must not take the current democratisation process for granted, lamented that this seemed to be the case now, following some factors he captured in his “spectre of electoral and democratic reform.”

Lamenting that political parties, as institutions in the democratic process had been relegated, he said: “How many members of political parties pay their membership dues in this country, like it was done in the olden days? Nowadays, you have strong people in political parties who call the shots and members have no voice. We can’t run political parties like that, it is not sustainable.

“There is no internal democracy in party processes in this country, it shouldn’t be like that. We should not gag the voices of the members. This is why we fear that the democratisation process in this country might be put in reverse gear.”

Recipients of the certificates of return include: Mrs Fatimat Raji-Rasaki (Central); Hon Duro Faseyi (North) and Mrs Abiodun Olujimi (South) senatorial districts.

Others are Ayodele Oladimeji of Ado/Irepodun/ Ifelodun; Segun Adekola, Ekiti South West/Ikere/ Ise-Orun; Julius Awodimula, Emure/Gbonyin/ Ekiti East; Thaddeus Aina, Ido-Osi/Moba/Ilejemeje; Olamide Oni, Ijero/Ekiti West/Efon and Kehinde Agboola (Ikole/Oye).

Earlier the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state, Mr Sam Olumekun, had said the ceremony was a celebration of the joint success of the commission, political parties, and security agencies.

Olumekun said he worked very hard to ensure the success of the elections.

Faseyi, who spoke on behalf of the incoming National Assembly members, congratulated INEC, saying they were determined to work hard at the National Assembly to improve Ekiti State.

The Senator-elect also assured that they were “going to work as a team to bring dividends of democracy to the people of the state.”

http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/inec-laments-monetisation-of-election/?

160
News & Happenings / UNESCO thumbs down Nigeria’s education system
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:54:36 AM »

. Says it’s among the worst globally

In 2000 when the United Nations member countries including Nigeria set the 2015 deadline for the attainment of the Education for All (EFA) goal, the deadline looked very far.

They all believed that the target was achievable. Now, 15 years down the line, only one-third of the participating nations around the world have hit the mark. Other countries, including all in the sub-Saharan African including Nigeria, the proud giant of Africa are far from hitting the target.

This revelation was contained in the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) of EFA released by UNESCO, the world agency in charge of the project in Paris, France, last Thursday.

EFA, as a global movement is aimed at meeting the learning needs of all children, youth and adults globally by this year. And to realise this objective, national governments, civil society groups and development agencies including UNESCO and the World Bank group were all tasked to mobilise resources towards achieving six specific goals under the project on or before the deadline.

The goals include: to expand and improve access to comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially among most vulnerable and disadvantaged children; to ensure that all children, irrespective of sex, ethnic and family background do not only have access to, and complete free and compulsory quality primary education; to ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes as well as to achieve improvement in adult literacy at least by half and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.

Others are to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by improving girl-child school enrolment and to improve quality of education and guarantee of excellence in the sector.

Unfortunately, Nigeria has failed to achieve any of the six goals despite persistent warning by the monitoring unit of the agency advising the country to double up its efforts in order to hit the target.

From the report, it is discovered that about 10.5 million school going age children which goal one of the project is aimed to address were out of school, with many roaming aimlessly the streets or engaging in one menial activity or the other.

While pointing out that 47 per cent of countries globally achieved this target with another eight per cent on a close range, the report says Nigeria is among the 20 per cent of countries that are very far from reaching the goal.

It reveals further that the enrolment gap between the children from poor homes and the average family in Nigeria has increased significantly with the former falling from 35 per cent to 25 per cent between the last two years.

On goal two, which is on achieving universal primary education through free and compulsory education for all children, the report had it that though 50 per cent of countries achieved the goal and another 10 per cent are close to it, the remaining 38 per cent, including Nigeria are far from achieving it.

Although, the report recorded an improvement in the school enrolment at the global level including Nigeria with about 50 million more children enrolled in the last 15 years, Nigeria despite its free and compulsory basic education policy, is still far from meeting the target.

For the third goal, which is to guarantee equal access to learning and life skills for all youths and adults alike, the report maintains that though 46 per cent of countries get most of their youths and adults educated beyond junior secondary school, less than half of adolescent population doesn’t reach senior secondary school. Achieving a 50 per cent reduction in levels of adult illiteracy is goal four.

Here, the report states that only 25 per cent of countries achieved the goal while 32 per cent including Nigeria are very far from it. Just like 2014 GMR, which put total figure of illiterate adults in Nigeria at 40 millions, the report still had it that 51 per cent of Nigerian adults are illiterates with women make up almost two-thirds of the figure.

Concerning goal five, which is to close up gender parity in education, the report notes that Nigeria is very far from the target at both primary and secondary school level.

It states that child marriage and early pregnancy had continued to hinder girls’ progress in education hence, the need for training of teachers in gender sensitive approaches to close up the gap. Improving the quality of education and ensuring measurable learning outcomes for all is the thrust of goal six.

On this, the report states that although the numbers of pupils per teacher in class had decreased in some countries between 1990 and 2012 at the primary level, additional four million teachers would still be needed to and well trained for effective service delivery.

Giving insights into factors responsible for the failure of many countries including Nigeria to achieve the target, the report links the failure largely to corruption, conflict, lack of political will and inadequacy of investment in the sector, categorizing Nigeria’s education system as one of the worst globally.

But the education watchers while acknowledging the findings of the monitoring group however blamed the development largely on government.

They accuse government at all levels of not being committed in taking the sector to the next level. But the Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), Mrs. Gbolahan Daodu said people should not always blame government for everything.

According to her, though government may have its own share of the blame due to some constraints, what of parents who fail to send their children to school despite they won’t have to pay fee? “No school going age child in Lagos State for instance,” she pointed out “has excuse not to be in school when he or she will not pay any fee and will also enjoy free textbooks and instructional materials.”

She therefore declared that for Nigeria education to be globally competitive , government, parents and every other agent including the student will have to live up to their respective responsibility.

http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/unesco-thumbs-down-nigerias-education-system/?

161
News & Happenings / A Season of Bad Grammar
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:53:34 AM »
THE NATION ON SUNDAY of April 5 welcomes us today with this wrongdoing: “I escaped death by the whiskers (by a whisker)”

The Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) rounds off its presidential electioneering fiasco with these wrap-around congratulatory blunders: “We congratulate General Muhammadu Buhari for (on/upon) his victory in the just concluded (just-concluded) Presidential election….”

“Polls: World leaders thumb-up for Nigeria” Either: leaders’ thumb-up for Nigeria or leaders thumb up Nigeria

The Guardian Front Page Banner of February 6 takes over from TAN: “Council of States (State) advise INEC to consult on polls”

“Jonathan, Fashola, others mourn late Okoya-Thomas” (THISDAY Front Page Headline, February 3) Why not mourn Okoya-Thomas? Do we mourn someone who is alive?

“APC to boycott BON organized (BON-organized) television debate” (Full-page advertorial by Nigeria Elections Debate Group, January 31) “Ice blocks (cubes), sachet water, soft drinks imported from Cotonu”

“I have vowed to rebuild our dear state ABIA. We cannot continue to be first only on Alphabets. Join me to rebuild Abia and restore our bartered (battered) dignity. It is a promise I must keep.” (Full-page advertorial signed by the APGA governorship candidate Dr. Alex Otti, OFR)

“Fuel scarcity: FG gives Finance Ministry marching order (orders)”

“In Enugu, masquerade (masquerader) sings gospel song”

“President’s convoy trapped, heavy casualities recorded” Spell-check: casualties “Fashola allays fear (fear) of post-polls violence in Lagos” (THE NATION Front Page Sub-headline, March 31)

From Vanguard of March 20 comes the next set of slip-ups this week: “Over 350 experts from 30 countries are expected to converge in (on) Lagos come (in) November for the annual (yearly, preferably) Nigeria Hotel and Tourism International Conference.” “…the AYC trophy which has eluded the country for sometime (some time) now.”

“Even a child in this nation knows that the police derives (derive) its (their) enabling and operational authority from the dictates of the Centre….” The paper’s Metro Section institutionalized this same lexical bondage in one of its headlines: “In Kano, Police allegedly shoots (sic) tanker driver over bribe” Its Editorial was equally not left out in this particular police howler: “Nigerians would no doubt be happier to hear from the Nigerian Police what it is (they are) doing to enhance its (their) capacity….”

FEEDBACK

The Pentecostal faithful introduced “send-forth” to denote the “sending forth” of their ministers on evangelism. Sadly, some of us have ignorantly adopted the phrase when a retiring worker is being feted or sent off.

A referee equally “sends off” a culpable player.

I notice that parents contribute greatly to the poor use of English. For instance, they, including educated ones, ask their children to “on” or “off” the tap, fan or generating set.

These words are prepositions that are being made to do the work of verbs such as “switch” or “turn” on the television set etc. Similarly, the parents ask their wards, who eventually grow up learning bad grammar, to bring out the “packer” instead of the “dustpan” to collect dust/waste.

Now this! An educated neighbour tells her son to give her the “mopper” instead of “mop” (both noun and verb). God help me! Dear brother, keep educating them.

With due respect, the headline “NLC splits in (not into) two, as another faction emerges” is correct. Wordsworth in The Nation, March22, Page 66, refers. Please, look up “split sth in two” on Page 1697 and “cut sth in half/two” on Page 416 of the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (New Edition) for Advanced Learners.

Uncle Tunji Oseni was the Editor-in- Chief of OPEC News Agency (OPECNA) with the late James Audu as the Head of Information, when I worked as its Nigeria’s Liaison Correspondent (1985-1987). You were absolutely right in your tribute to him. May his soul continue to rest in peace. (KOLA DANISA, 07068074257)

Editors at The Nation newspaper must have, on March 29, Page 12, been overwhelmed by the enormity of poll-related news stories that they passed “al-Makura CASTED his vote”. The word “cast” either in the past tense or past participle is CAST. Also on the same page, the paper stated that “voters troop out EN MASS in Suleja”.

It should have read EN MASSE (with an E after mass). But for how long should journalists be reminded that “underaged” and “overaged” are outside known dictionaries. Sunday Vanguard, March 29, Front Page, refers. “Underage” and “overage”, both adjectives, are the approved uses. However, “middle-aged” (with a “d”) is correct. (Credit: as above)

EBERE, I am happy to say that many of our colleagues are beginning to appreciate the objective of your column. Congratulations! (SUNNY AGBONTAEN, 08062998165)

“OUR economy which was adjudged the best in (on) the continent….” And this: “Our politicians need to get their acts (act) together” (STANLEY NDUAGU, 08062925996) The next two interventions are also from Nduagu.

The Government of Ebonyi State of Nigeria circulated the following grammatical errors in its full-page advertorial on page 10 of the Daily Sun of Thursday, March 26, 2015: …government has sustained the payment of salaries and allowances to workers ‘as at when due’ (as and when due). This is, therefore, not the time to ‘demand for’ (demand) salary increase in any form.

…its policy of ‘labour friendly’ (labourfriendly) relations… …which informed the ‘strike action’. (yank off the noun ‘action’) …a rally which was addressed by the ‘ambitious gubernatorial’ candidate. Is there any guber candidate that is not ambitious?

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room unveils “it’s” (its) Election Situation Room. Are you embarassed by the above error? Please blame it on the election fever.

http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/bad-grammar/?

162
News & Happenings / MultiChoice’s disregard for court order
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:51:50 AM »

That Nigeria has for long been reputed as a docile country, where multinational companies operate with impunity, fleece the populace, compromise the political class and bureaucracy from top to bottom with bribes and desecrate the innermost sanctuaries of the system with all manner of atrocities, is no longer in contention. It is quite prominent in the oil sector, where such firms commit felonies they dare not contemplate in their home countries – like humongous oil spills and gas flaring – and get away with them. The same happens in the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) services, where all manner of exploitations of subscribers thrive, yet the regulatory authorities watch helplessly, or bark without biting. For a long time now, Nigerians have been complaining about the exploitative inclinations of Multichoice Nigeria, owners of DStv and GOtv.

About the middle of last year, a Nigerian group, the Joint Action Committee, comprising major stakeholders in the Nigerian movie industry complained bitterly that MultiChoice/M-Net had been consistently shortchanging Nigerian filmmakers concerning payments for featuring their films on Africa Magic channel as opposed to their counterparts from other African countries; and that M-Net was not encouraging local film production in Nigeria as it had been doing in other countries, especially in its South Africa home-base.

There was also the case of a Nigerian who said he bought a DSTV Explora decoder for N65,000. But when he visited South Africa some weeks later, he discovered that the same decoder sold for ZAR 1,999 (roughly N35, 000). All his efforts to get explanation for the price disparity failed. Worse still, his request to buy another Explora decoder in South Africa and transfer same for use in Nigeria was promptly declined.

Lately, Nigerians were angered by MultiChoice’s arbitrary plans to hike its DStv tariff by 20 percent, effective from April 1, 2015. Nigeria Broadcasting Commission’s (NBC) blanket and mere lip service that it would ensure that Nigerians got fair and better service from all service providers did not go down well with many. Consequently, Messrs. Adebayo Osasuyi and Oluyinka Oyeniji, DSTV subscribers/customers, headed to the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, which granted their prayers for an order of interim injunction restraining MultiChoice from enforcing its planned tariff increase. The presiding judge, Justice C. J. Aneke, adjourned the matter to April 16, 2015 for hearing, according to reports.

But reports last week indicated that MultiChoice ignored the court order and went ahead to enforce the new tariff regime. A national newspaper (not National Mirror) reported that the cheapest DStv package on which subscribers hitherto paid N1, 500 now costs N1, 800, among others. Some MultiChoice officials claimed they were yet to be served the court order, while others claimed they had no official directive to revert to the old tariff.

As has been widely acclaimed, compromised officials manning the nation’s bureaucracy that encourage bribe taking; inhospitable business environment which shoots up overall cost of doing business in Nigeria, et cetera, all contribute to the desperation of business outfits to recoup their investment. Indeed, the latest misadventure of MultiChoice is being blamed in some quarters on the fall in the value of the naira vis-ŕ-vis the American dollar. Incidentally, too, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the regulatory authority established by the government and empowered to police the telecommunication industry in Nigeria, is perceived to have failed woefully in reining in the excesses of Multi- Choice. The Nigeria Consumer Protection Council (NCPC) is also playing the ostrich game, when it should join hands with other relevant agencies to fight the rip-off.

Quite unacceptable, however, is MultiChoice’s treatment of the court order restraining it from putting the new tariff hike into effect. The court should examine the excuses advanced for the infraction, and if found not suitable, apportion the right punishment to the firm. No multinational company operating in the country should be allowed to perpetrate acts that would earn it severe penalties were such impunities to be committed in its home countries. Nigeria must not continue to allow itself to be rubbished by foreign companies operating in the country simply because it craves foreign direct investment. Perhaps, more importantly, the authorities in South Africa should call MultiChoice and the likes to order for the purpose of averting a diplomatic row occasioned by their contempt for Nigerian laws.

http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/multichoices-disregard-for-court-order/?

163
News & Happenings / 2015 polls: NSCDC boss commends corps members
« on: April 15, 2015, 02:39:52 PM »
Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) Ade Abolurin, has commended officers and men of the paramilitary body for the exemplary role they played in the peaceful conduct of 2015,general elections.

Abolurin noted that the Corps members lived up to their mandate to conduct themselves with dedicatin , ‘humility and integrity”, along other security agencies, and which he said translated to the general peaceful poll in both presidential and gubernatorial elections.

In statement issued Abuja, the  Corps Commandant also hailed President Goodluck Jonathan for championing the philosophy of one man one vote.

While commending President-elect Mohammadu Buhari for peaceful, fair conduct at the poll, he urged politicians to emulate Jonathan who he said accepted defeat for peace and progress of the country.

http://dailyindependentnig.com/2015/04/2015-polls-nscdc-boss-commends-corps-members/?

164

Nigerian troops will storm what it said was the last remaining Boko Haram stronghold before the handover of power to incoming president Muhammadu Buhari, national security advisor Sambo Dasuki said on Tuesday.

"If not for the bad weather, we would have taken over that forest by now. But we are determined to ensure the Sambisa Forest is liberated and freed before the handover on May 29, God willing," he said.

It was believed that most of the 219 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok, also in the north-eastern state of Borno a year ago, were being held in the forest.

The military said last year that it knew where they were, but ruled out a rescue operation because of the dangers to the hostages.

There have since been several claims of the girls' whereabouts, including that they had been split up and sent to different Boko Haram strongholds and even taken to Cameroon and Chad.

Surveillance flights

"A lot of surveillance flights have been undertaken to identify where these girls can be located," Dasuki said, without giving further details.

Efforts were ongoing to rescue all the girls before President Goodluck Jonathan hands over power on 29 May to Buhari, Dasuki said in a statement.

Nigeria's military, backed by Niger and Chad with support from Cameroon, have in recent months recaptured a string of Boko Haram-controlled towns in the restive northeast.

The operations were used as a pretext to postpone 14 February elections by six weeks.

Dasuki said at the time that most of the camps would be destroyed before the rescheduled date of 28 March.

Jonathan's handling of the six-year insurgency and response to the abduction of the Chibok girls was seen as a factor in his defeat to Buhari, a former army general who was military ruler of Nigeria in the 1980s.

http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Nigeria-army-aims-to-destroy-last-Boko-Haram-camp-by-handover-20150414?

165
Jakarta summoned the Saudi Arabian ambassador Wednesday to protest the beheading of an Indonesian domestic worker and complain that her family and consular staff were not given prior notice of the execution.

Saudi authorities said Siti Zainab was executed Tuesday in the Muslim holy city of Medina after being convicted of stabbing and beating Saudi woman Noura al-Morobei to death in 1999.
Human rights groups have used Zainab’s beheading to urge Indonesia to abandon its support for the death penalty, as Jakarta presses ahead with plans to execute several foreigners on death row for drug crimes.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and three of his predecessors had previously written to the Saudi king asking for the victim’s family to forgive Zainab.

But the sentence was carried out despite Jakarta claiming Zainab’s family and consular officials were not given adequate notice before her execution.

“From the beginning, the government has struggled to provide her with assistance and has asked the family (of the victim) for forgiveness,” Indonesia’s foreign ministry said in a statement received late Tuesday by AFP.

“The Indonesian government filed a protest against the Saudi Arabian government for not giving prior notification to Indonesian representatives or to the family over the execution date.”

The Saudi interior ministry said Zainab’s execution was delayed until the victim’s children were old enough to decide whether the punishment should proceed.

Riyadh’s ambassador to Indonesia Mustafa Ibrahim Al-Mubarak said he was “surprised” to be summoned by the foreign ministry but would follow up on Jakarta’s concerns.

“The problem is not about the court and the execution, it is about the date of the execution,” he told reporters.

“I have to check what went wrong.”

Migrant Care, an NGO advocating for the rights of Indonesian workers abroad, condemned the execution and claimed Zainab was acting in self defence against an abusive employer.

The group urged Indonesia to abandon the death penalty “as a first step to push other countries to not impose the death penalty on migrant workers”.

Jakarta, however, remains determined to execute several drug traffickers — including citizens from Australia, France, Nigeria, Ghana, Brazil and the Philippines — as soon as possible.

Indonesia executed six drug offenders in January, including five foreigners, prompting a furious Brazil and the Netherlands — whose citizens were among those put to death — to recall their ambassadors.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia would proceed with the executions as planned, despite protests over Zainab’s case.

“Our commitment is to protect our citizens, that is our priority,” she told reporters late Tuesday.

“But there’s an issue of law enforcement which we have to enforce domestically.”

Amnesty International said the sentence against Zainab was carried out despite suspicions she was mentally ill, adding to what the London-based watchdog calls a “macabre spike” in Saudi executions this year.

See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/indonesia-protests-saudis-beheading-of-its-citizen-but-will-execute-nigerian-others/?#sthash.Q4klIkBD.dpuf

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