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Page 30, THIS DAY, Vol. 15, No. 5454

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ensure Responsible Budget Implementation, NACCIMA Tells Govt


he National President of LIle Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry. Mines and Agricu lture NACCIMA, Dr. Simon Okolo, has called on tl,e three tiers of government (Federal, State and Local) to ensure fiscal discipline in the implementation of tl,eir respec· tive year 2010 budgets. Okolo stressed tl,e need for the various governments to place priority attention on infrastructure development and provision of incentives to support business growth.

8y Crusoe Osagie He made the remark in Lagos while chatting with industry reporters on the state of the economy, and enjoined the private sector to imbibe good business ethicslbest practices to support governmentsl programme; to further slrengtl,en the existing cordial relationship between the pubUc and private sectors of the eeonomy.

NIMASA Begins Issuanc~- pf, '. Dockworkers' Biometric Cards a bid to ascertain the true identity of those who claim to be dockworkers in the


ation's seaports, the manage-

ment of the Nigerian Maritime Admini stration and Safety Agency (NIMASA has com-

menced the issuance of biometric identity cards with security features to all dockworkers reg::

istered by the agency. This ex.ercise is to ensure that only authorized dockworkers gain access to the nation's sea-

ports and private jetties siruated across the country. A statement issued in Lagos and signed by the Head of Public Relations in the agency, Ms _ Nwakae20 Nwokocha quoted tl,e Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Temisanre Omatseye, saying that the issuance of the biometric identity cards exercise is to ensure that only authorized dockworkers gain access to the nation's sea, ports, tenninals and jetties. He was said to have staled this at the formal handover of the fIrst set of ID cards to the dOC,kworkers in Lagos. The NIMASA helmsman urged temtinal and jetty operators to register dockworkers on their payroll with the agency. "All tenninal and private jetty operators who are yet to comply with the registration of dockworkers engaged by them are hereby requested to register such dockworkers with NIMASA in order to forestall work stoppage at their termjnals and jetties. ." We at NlMASA are comnuned to improving tl,e wellbeing of dockworkers in Nigeria. This registration will provide qccurate data for putting in place a pension sctieme for dockworkers in Nigeria", he said. He noted that tl,e ID card scheme would determine the tatal number of dockworkers engaged at tl,e nation's seaports, their employers and location which is in-line with internationally acceptable standantls as contained in the International Ships and Port Facility Security (ISPS)

Code. .. The Ports/TenninaJs are key to the nation's economy as most exports and imports to and from

"Witl, botl, the pubUc and private sectors working in partnership , the veritable platform for business networking and promotion for sustainable economy growth and development would be realised in the shortest time possible" he said. 111e NACClMA boss made it clear that the current ec0nomic situation of the country has brought to the fore the serious need for both government and the private sector to work together with a view to proffer ways and means of enhancing rapid and steady economic recovery and development. thls to take place when the


nation and indeed the whole world is searchiog for ways out of ·their economic problems and where many governments of the world are repositioning on issues involving the plivate sector iii the management of their economies for efficient results; "U our economy is to recover for enhanced and sustainable business and economic growth and development, government at all levels should give priority attention to the provision of infrastructuraJ facilities (good motorable roads, adequate power supply, portable water, efficient communication etc), including ensuring the security

to life and property and support to the real sector operators", Okolo declared. He insisted that the expeeted growth of the economy cannot take place withou t imbibing the spirit of good business ethicslbest practices by the public and private sectors and with the private sectors demonstrating tl,e read iness to support government programmes to further slrengthen the existing relationship between the pubUc and private sectors of the economy. He added that tl,e PubUc Private Pannership (PPP) arrangement must be effectively promoted and sustained to

MARITIME 8y fohnlwon Nigeria arc carried O'ut in these places. .' Therefore, the maintenance of peace and security. in all Nigerian seaJX>rts and terminal s cannot be over emphasized", the NlMASA Direetor General, said. TIle Association of Tenninal and Jetties Operators of Nigeria, represented by Dr.Ojo Ikokide of Apapa Bulk Terminal lauded the ' management of NlMASA for puttU,g in place the ID card scheme for dockworkers. He noted tl,at proper identification for dockworkers was essential for effectivesecurity at the temtinals and jetties. The President of the Dockworkers Branch of the> " Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, (MWUN), Comrade Adeyanju Adewale, also lauded the management of NlMASA for turning the forrunes of dockworkers around for the bener: " Since this management earne, things have been getting better for us. You started wi th training of dockworkers, which has been goinjl on smoothly. Now il is the proper identification of our members. All these efforts of NlMASA will go a long way in ensuring harmonious work environment in the nation's ports, jetties and terminals." The exercise wilJ be continu-' ous and wil l cover all ports/terminals and private jetties in Nigeria. At the conclusion of the exercise. dockworkers not registered and issued identity cardS by the agency will be denied access to any work area at the ports/terminals and private jetties". the union leader said. Accord ing to the staLCment, the biometric security documents issued by NlMASA are v ibrant and have oue- life colours on consistent uniform point quality.

• L-R: Volunteer Leader, Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) , Mr. Oliver Nnona; ManagiJJg Director, Inscape Partners Ifltemational, Denmark,Mr.Halls Jakob Walhovd,and the CEO,Habiba 8a/OgElII COIISUItiflg, Ms./Jabibq BalogEUJ,al. the Human Resources PHOTO: Dan Ukan:a Stmtegy Roundtable Seminar ill Lagos .. Jecellily

Oil Nears $81 as US Dollar Weakens


il prices rose to near $8 1 a barrel on Friday in Asia as the US dollar weake ned, making dollarbased commodities cheaper for in vestors with other currencies. Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 35 cents to $80.88 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 8 cents to· settle at $80.53 on Thursday. The euro rose to $1.3368 on Friday from $1.3277 on llmrsday while tl,e dollar sUpped sligh tly to 92.53 yen from 92.66. Crude has meandered in the low $80s for about the last two weeks as investors look for signs grobal oil demand is

ENERGY By Chilw Amalll,e·NlVaclltlkll "'itllogtllcyrtport

growing. Some ana lys ts expect US demand to pick up and offset weak European consumption. "Overall , US oi l demand is definitely improving, laying the fou ndations for a broadbased recovery ... notwithstandi ng the weakness in ' Europe," Barclays Capital said in a report. "Thus, we continue to see oiJ prices consolidating in its current $75 to $85 range and o n course to gradual ly move higher to $80 to $90." In other Nymex trading in

Apri l contracts , heating oil rose 1.15 cents to '$2.081 a gaUon , and gasoline gained 0.67 cent to $2.224 a gallon. Natural gas was steady at $3 .980 pe' I ,000 cubic feet. In London. Brent crude was up 4 1 cents at $80.Q2 on t\.1e IC E futures exchange. Associated Press reports that Japan's ~ikkei average hit a two-month high today, while a day earlier tl,e Dow and S&P 500 jumped to 18-month highs, following a report showing the number of US workers filing for jobless aid fell sharply last week. 'The initial jobless claim was a very encouraging sign," said an energy trader at Hudson Capital Energy in Singapore, Clarence Chu. "If ·

IITA Research Boosts Cowpea Breeding cienl ists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (!ITA), Ibadan , Oyo State, and partners in the Netherlands and the United States of America (USA) are a step closer to developing approaches/tools, through ge nome mapping , that will facilitate progress in the conventi onal development of improved cowpea varieties with traits such as drought-tolerance.


bring about tl,e desired economic recovery and development. However. the NACCIMA boss lauded the efforts of the Act ing President , Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and his leam at worki ng to transform positively the economic fortunes of the nation through the execution of the reform programmes covering the various sectors of the economy (power, energy, transportation , telecommunication, financial serv ices, man power develop· ment , etc); to bring about the desired level of sustainable growth and deve lopment of the nation.

By Crusoe Osagie An ' UTA Lukas Brader Postgraduaie Fellow, Eugene Agbicodo, who carried out the genetic analysis of droughttolerance in cowpea (Vigna un gu icu lata L) and subsequently constructed a Unkage map of the crop, identifIed oortions on the cowoea

genome where genes that have effects on drought-tolerance and resistance to bacterial blight cou ld be located. His findings have been hailed by breeders as part of landmarks for marker assisted selection in cowpea breeding. A similar work was reported by researchers at the University of California, Rivers ide and researchers at the two institutions are comparing notes on the outcomes of their research to see areas of

agreement , acco rdin g to Christian Fatokun, Cowpea Breeder, who supervised the work at UTA . "If both parties are able to find areas of agreement or concurrence, such areas of lhe genome would be of immense benefit when marker assisted selection is to be applied i~ cowpea breeding. So what will take about 10 y........w ' accomplish could be done in three years or even less," he said.

With about 70 per cent of world cowpea grown in the savannah region of Africa, the protein-rich legume provides not on ly incomes but also improves the health. of itS'Con' sumers. However, cowpea faces several production constrai nts among which are diseases, insect pests, parasitic weeds such as Stri ga, and drought, which is becoming increasingly important in the cowpea . producing zones of sub-Saharan Africa.

the number of unemployed people drops. it wi ll be a big boost for oil." "And if something really concrete comes out of Greece. and people forget about Europe's problems and the dollar comes back down . then oi I could march high«," Chu said, adding that for now he expects prices to trade between $80 and $83.50. The European-IMF agreement for Greece included no numbers , but a senior European Commission source said the support package would be worth €20 to € 22 billion if required in an emergency. Oil inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key US crude oi l hub, rose by 754,739 barrels to 31.8 million banrels in the week to 23 March , according to a report from energy data provider industry Genscape released on Thursday. Demand for crude in Europe weakened sharply in January, down by 1.55 million barrels per day from a year earUer, Barclays.Capital said. citing data pubUshed by tl,e Joint Oil Data Initiative. "Fundamentals really don't support prices at tl,ese levels ," Chu said . "But the whole feeling is that oil is very resilient. and it doesn't want to go Inwpr"

THISDAY, Vol.16 No.5454  

IITA Research Boosts Cowpea Breeding

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