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PEOPLES DAILY, friday, October 11, 2019

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News

Postal Service makes e-transaction easy, safer globally -Matankari From Ahmad Bauchi

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he Zonal Nigerian (NIPOST) Matankari has postal service

Mohammed,

Manager of the Postal Service Mr Kabiru explained that has made on-

line transactions easy and safer globally. Matankari made the assertion Wednesday during this year’s world post day celebration held in Bauchi. He said, the NIPOST has contributed immensely to the

socio-economic development of the country from its traditional mandate of mail acceptance and delivery to the opportunities offered by information communication technology revolution where goods can be purchased online and be delivered

to the door steps of the buyers by the post office. He explained that some of the services carried out by NIPOST include rent of P.O Boxes and Pmb’s bags, sales of stamps, mail acceptance and delivery, Ems speed post, parcel post, cargo/

logistics service, e-commerce, stamp duties and agency service. Matankari said as part of the celebration and their corporate social responsibility, they decided to embark on tree planting in the state to support federal government’s effort in protecting the environment. The district manager Bauchi NIPOST office Bitrus Shalangwa said the vision of the universal postal union is that post offices should be established in every place with 6, 000 inhabitants so that accessing postal services will be easy to all and sundry.

Okowa wants church to create more change agents From: Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

The Executive Secretary Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro (5th left )  Acting Director Public Affairs TETFUND Gbenga Arolasafe,(RIGHT) Deputy Director Executive Secretary office Kabiru Arugungu 2nd right and acting Director Education support Services Dr. Girei Bakari in a group photograph with   some TETFUND sponsored Scholars  during the Academic Staff Training Development (AST&D) annual verification exercise in Bonn ,Germany recently TETFUND

Prevail on Agip Oil Company to accede to our demands, angry host community tells FG, Okowa From: Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

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leh host community to Nigeria Agip oil company (NAOC) in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta state has called on the Federal Government and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to prevail on the operating oil company in the area to accede to its demands. The people of the community had recently protested what they described as inhuman and heartless activities of the giant Agip oil company to fulfill the agreement reached and threatened that they shall explore all ways to ensure the oil company is brought to its knee on its failure to the agreement. Hundreds of indigenes of the community had thronged out to stay put at the entrance to the Oil company to press home their

anger and disappointment as they also accused the firm of failure to employ people of the area as well as develop their operations. The aggrived protesters were said to have been drawn from 10 families, including Adoke , Egbema, Egdedemi,Ovuorien , Eraro , Ebave, Oko,Ululu / Atedezi , Okparo /Edubi and Emiye that make up Oleh community and host to the multinational oil company. But addressing Journalists in Asaba on Wednesday, the youth Chairman of the community Oil landlords, Prince Erube Oghogho said that Oleh community has five oil wells operated by Agip oil company, and decried the company’ nonchalant attitude to the Challenges facing the community. He said that the multinational oil company had failed to employ or provide basic amenities for the

people despite the heavy noise pullution emanating from the company’s operations which has led to the cracking of the walls of several houses around the Agip facility , adding we have done our best possible to ensure peace to no avail and the oil company promised to build a flow station here after drilling our 5th oil well but as we speak they have not done anything” He said that noise level vibration from the facility was beyond acceptable level as it has resulted in the cracking of building around the facility with resultant health hazards to the residents, adding that despite all the oil they drill from the land no single Oleh soon works in the company as direct staff. Also Speaking, the state Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Chief Emmanuel Amagbaduba

however appealed to the aggrieved members of the Oleh community to allow peaceful coexistence as efforts were being made to ensure the Agip oil company works with the agreement reached. He said: in Delta state we have Memorandum of Understanding ( GMOU) which guides the activities of oil companies and the government and I can give assurance that no interests will be left out since all parties must be present during the signing of such GMOU” But Officials of Agip Oil Company who responded on condition of anonymity said the people were making trouble for no tangible reasons adduced, adding that the Agip oil company had not failed in all to dispose to their demands, warning that the company was ready to do battle with the people on legal grounds.

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elta Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged the Church to engage more in soul-winning programmes, saying the converts will become change agents in the society. The governor made the call on Wednesday in Asaba when the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, visited him. He said that the world was witnessing challenges and that there was therefore, the need for more religious crusades to win souls who would contribute in rebirth in the country. “The global challenges have impacted on us as a nation and it calls for prayers; the church should continue to pray for our nation and keep hope alive. “We must continue to intercede for our country as God will make things better for us; we are happy that the prayers said at crusades not only win souls but touch our lands spiritually and positively. ``This soul-winning will help in the development of our society, because the people who are converted will become agents of change. “The more we have these change agents, the more the likelihood that we can effect a change in the situation of things in the country,’’ he said.

NITDA launches unity board to teach emerging technology skills

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he National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Monday launched its indigenous ‘Unity Board’, a technology hardware platform for teaching emerging technologies. The agency launched the board as part of its activities at the 39th ongoing Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) holding in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). GITEX is a global technology exhibition that brings together over 200,000 trade visitors, investors,

innovators, IT experts, countries, Information Communication Technology startups from over 145 countries of the world to share trends in ICT and ways of advancing technology innovations. Nigeria’s participation in GITEX, which is driven by NITDA, is a week-long programme holding from Oct. 6 to Oct. 10. The launch of the board was targeted at attracting novel investors toward promoting the indigenous product and showcasing the capacity of Nigeria in developing home-grown

technology. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the board is an initiative of the present Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Pantami, when he was the Director General of NITDA. Dr Agu Collins, the Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy Department, also a co-author of the unity board, said it would ensure the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) from the basics. He said “STEAM Education Kit is to drive learning and teaching

of Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics and Artificial Intelligence to accelerate local content development and indigenisation of technology through human capital development in emerging technologies. “Unity Board is a creative medium for advancing teaching and learning designed, specifically as hands-on learning tool to help today’s students to build skills for the creative and digital economy through critical thinking,” Collins said. According to him, it is a board

that brings all Nigerians together, showing local content which is one of the cardinal policlies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The director said that “by deploying learning with the board, the agency is ensuring that Nigerian youths have valueable skills.” He added that skills required in the ICT industry was becoming dynamic every day, hence the need to train the youths to be abreast with modern technology trends. (NAN)

PEOPLES DAILY, friday, October 11, 2019

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EDITORIAL

Xenophobic attacks and Buhari’s surprise visit

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resident Muhammadu’s Oct. Justice, Police, Immigration, Tourism, 2-4 state visit to South Africa Environment, Education, transport as must have surprised many well as Science and Technology. “ In this Nigerians. The reason is that regard, the two Presidents took note of the visit, though scheduled since 2018, the thirty-two (32) signed Agreements came after days of xenophobic attacks and Memoranda of Understanding on Nigerians and their businesses in (MoUs), and committed themselves to Johannesburg and other South African ensuring that those which are in force cities last month. Buhari was outraged are fully implemented while those by the attacks, which were which are not yet in not the first. He stopped Vice force are to be revived President Yemi Osinbajo for implementation,” the from attending the World communiqué stated. Economic Forum’s summit Both Presidents President on Africa which South Africa noted with great was hosting then. That satisfaction the Ramaphosa country’s President, Cyril economic cooperation acknowledged Ramaphosa himself was not between the two that the attacks sure Buhari would come republics and welcomed calling after the Nigerian on foreigners were the steps to increase not consistent leader’s strong condemnation trade volumes as with the values of the violence meted out to well as private sector Nigerians. Ramaphosa, in investments. They and principles his first public reaction to welcomed the important underpinning the attacks, said he hoped role of the Business the country’s Buhari would still honour Forum, which took place constitutional the invitation to visit South on the margins of the democracy. He Africa. In the event, Buhari state visit. They also did. The visit went off as assured President endorsed the decision though nothing ugly had Buhari that the South to establish a Joint happened to becloud it. Advisory African government Ministerial The communique of the was in full control Council on Industry, two presidents’ meeting Trade, and Investment. of the situation said they had pledged to The inaugural meeting and several take all measures necessary of the Council would interventions, to prevent a recurrence of be held not later than the September attacks on including April 2020, in Abuja. foreigners in South Africa. engagements with It is expected to serve President Ramaphosa as a critical vehicle the diplomatic acknowledged that the in facilitating and community and attacks on foreigners were promoting private others, were not consistent with the values sector participation in underway. and principles underpinning the economies of both the country’s constitutional countries. They took democracy. He assured note of the significant President Buhari that the South African footprint of South African businesses government was in full control of the operating in Nigeria in sectors such as situation and several interventions, telecommunications, mining, aviation, including engagements with the banking and finance, retail, property, diplomatic community and others, were entertainment and fast food industries. underway. He said further that “South They also noted and welcomed the Africa is an integral part of the African business activities of Nigeria’s small, continent and, in this context, advocates micro and medium enterprises, as well for a peaceful, vibrant and sustainable as the investment of Dangote Sephaku Africa and that as Africans, we all Cement in South Africa. have a shared commitment to foster Given the depth of the talks between peace and greater continental unity”. Buhari and his host and the wide On his part, President Buhari, who range of decisions taken as well as the condemned the attacks on Nigerians, assurances given by Ramaphosa to expressed his profound gratitude for protect Nigerians and their businesses the warm reception and hospitality in South Africa, the Nigerian leader’s accorded to him and his delegation. visit had been worth the trouble. Yes, The two Presidents appreciated the vast the attacks still hurt but Buhari had nature of the two countries’ bilateral shown maturity and statesmanship by cooperation which covers, amongst going ahead with planned trip to South others; Trade and Investment, Energy, Africa. After all, it is said, two wrongs do Mining, Defence and Security issues, not make a right.

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Letter to the Editor

Let’s do away with House of Reps By Fredrick Nwabufo

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he flatulent size of the national assembly accents the orthodoxies and paradoxes of Nigeria. Nigeria’s lawmakers are some of the highest paid in the world, in a country where about 100 million people live on less than a dollar per day, and where citizens are expected to be stoic and exist in deficit while their representatives in parliament ensconce themselves in surplus. Is it not pharisaic that while the government insists on burdening citizens with more taxes and increasing the yoke, there is no reciprocity on their part? What is the government doing to shrink the cost of governance? Why will the government mull reintroducing toll-gates on roads; initiating tax on phone calls; increasing VAT from 5% to 7.5%, and introducing charges on deposits in banks without first curing its gluttony? As a matter of fact, we run one of the most expensive democracies in the world, and at the same time we are the global poverty capital. How do you define irony? Our elections are about the most expensive in the world, with the cost ballooning from about N2 billion in 1999 to more than N240 billion in 2019, trumping India’s -- a country much bigger in size and in population than Nigeria. On Tuesday, Italy’s parliament approved axing the number of its members by 37 percent. The country’s lower house passed a law to abridge the number of representatives in both chambers to save cost. By the legislation, the number of lawmakers in the lower house will be contracted from 630 to 400 while that of the senate will be cut down from 315 to 200. With each Member of Parliament and senator earning €230,000 and €249,600 respectively annually, the pruning is expected to save Italy about €82 million every year. And the measure will streamline parliament and save the country an estimated €1 billion. So, do we need 469 federal lawmakers – 109 in the senate and 360 in the house of representatives? I believe, a country in dire straits like Nigeria, where there is chronic infrastructural challenges, does not need this prodigious number and waste. Here is how Quartz Africa telescopes this extravagance: ‘’Nigerian legislators, among the world’s top paid, receive annual salaries of between $150,000 to $190,000 per annum depending on exchange rates. At current exchange rates Nigerian lawmakers, would earn around $160,000 more than British MPs who make around $105,000 according to data from The Economist. In fact, until plunging oil prices started putting

pressure on the Nigerian naira earlier this year, the Nigerian lawmakers were the second highest paid lawmakers in the world. The average legislators’ pay is more than 50 times Nigeria‘s GDP per capita. In a country where millions live on less than two dollars daily and minimum wage is set at $90 a month.’’ Also, Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state, has argued against this prodigality. ‘’We do need to look at the size of government in Nigeria and I am an advocate of a unicameral legislature. What we really need is the house of representatives because that is what represents,” he said at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group conference in Abuja. “You have three senators from little Ekiti and you have three senators from Lagos state. It’s a no-brainer that it’s unequal, I guess the principle is not proportionality but that if you are a state, you get it automatically but I think that we can do away with that. There are several things that we can do away within the government.’’ I agree with Governor Fayemi that Nigeria needs a unicameral legislature, but not on ‘’what we really need is the house of representatives’’. I think, we can do away with the house of representatives and retain the senate. Here is why. First, the cost of running the house is much more than that of the senate, if we are being practical about cutting the cost of governance. As of 2017, the personnel cost of the house is N5 billion, while that of the senate is N1.8 billion. Also, while the lower house had a budget of about N50 billion in 2017, the upper house had N31 billion. Second, there is more equity in terms of number in the senate than in the house. Each state in Nigeria has only three representatives in the senate -- based on the principle of equal representation -- while in the house, the number is hinged on the bogus theory of proportional representation. For example, while Anambra, a densely populated state and commercial nucleus, has 11 representatives in the house; Katsina, which is of little economic importance to Nigeria and which sizable portions of its landmass are desert strips, has 15 members in the house. Naturally, one side will have more votes in parliament than the other. Clearly, this is uneven and unbalanced. Nigeria is a delicate country and the sensitivities of the variegated population must be considered in national matters. To date, the southeast still wish for the creation of an additional state in the region, where there are only five, to correct the imbalance in geopolitical structuring. So, we can do away with the house of representatives. Who do they represent? @FredrickNwabufo

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