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Banditry: Implement FG’s N6bn Ranching Project in Katsina, CSOs Tells Masari

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Apparently miffed by the spate of banditry in Katsina State, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state has admonished Governor Aminu Bello Masari to implement the federal government’s N6 billion ranching project to tackle the scourge in the state.

The coalition also urged the state governor, to as a matter of urgency, pay the N10,000 monthly stipend of the newly recruited 500 vigilantes and equip them with modern weapons to ward off banditry.

The CSOs, in a press release issued to THISDAY by its Chairman, AbdurRahman Abdullahi, on Saturday, added that the implementation of the ranching project would end the grievances of the Fulani communities.

Governor Masari, had in different fora, confirmed the receipt of N6 billion from the federal government for the ranching project in the state.

Abdullahi explained that the speedy implementation of the federal government’s ranching project and judicious usage of the funds by the Katsina State government would avert banditry and other security challenges bedevilling the state.

According to him, “The state government should ensure implementation of the N6 billion Katsina state ranching project to address the grievances of the Fulani communities.

“The state government should, as a matter of urgency, provide the recruited vigilantes with the needed weapons and fulfil its pledge for monthly stipends for them to function effectively.

“Based on the coalition’s investigation, the vigilantes have only been paid two months’ allowances since their recruitment about five months ago and are left with locally made weapons to confront the bandits who are in possession of sophisticated weaponry.”

He maintained that the inability of the state government to pay the monthly stipends of the vigilantes and provide them with weapons was gradually dampening their morale and commitment to the job they were recruited for.

While describing 2021 as security challenging year for Katsina State, Abdullahi said hundreds of lives were lost to banditry, women were raped and many people have been kidnapped for ransom by the hoodlums in the state.

He stressed that the “ugly experience” had forced so many residents of the troubled villages and communities to flee their ancestral homes thereby turning many communities in the state to empty shells.

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PVC: Gov. Matawalle declares one-week public holiday

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The Governor of Zamfara State, Hon. Bello Mohammed Matawalle has declared next week Monday to Friday, (June 20th to 24th, 2022) as work free week to enable the State’s public and civil servants to go to their respective localities and obtain their Permanent Voter Cards, (PVC).
The Governor directed all the commissioners, Special Advisers, Permanent Secretaries, other public office holders, party officials and traditional rulers to monitor and supervise the ongoing Voter Registration exercise.

This was contained in a press statement signed and issued to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital by the State’s commissioner for information, Hon. Ibrahim Magaji Dosara.
According to the statement, every person above the age of 18 is expected to be part of the exercise, saying that it was their constitutional right to elect their leaders.

Governor Matawalle appealed to the general public to participate in the exercise so that they would not complain later.

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Taraba retirees protest against non-payment of gratuity

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The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) Taraba State Council has called on the state government to ensure prompt payment of all entitlements of its members as well as enrollment of all local government retirees in the state.
The state Chairman of the Union, Comrade Kefas Katan stated this at a World Press Conference held on Friday at the NUP Headquarters in Jalingo, the state capital.
He explained that the backlogs of gratuity for retired civil servants in the state are estimated at over N30billion.
The Chairman said the briefing was a replication of the one conducted on the 1st June 2022 in Abuja by the National President of the Union, Mazi Godwin.
Comrade Kefas Katan said retirees in Taraba State are facing numerous challenges due to the non-enrollment of many of its members into the scheme.
Reporting by Sani Suleiman; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare

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Buhari inaugurates council on e-Governance

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President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will continue to take advantage of digital technologies to transform every sector of the economy.

He stated this in Abuja while inaugurating the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and E-government.

The President tasked members of the council to work towards strengthening the capacity of government to develop, adopt and deploy digital technologies to make government more efficient and transparent, thereby improving Nigeria’s global standing in the ease of doing business index.

He noted that the council would provide the oversight needed to bring about a veritable structure for accelerating achievements in digital economy and in the implementation of e-government.

The President enjoined members of the Council to consider the task as a national assignment and justify the trust reposed in their ability to support and significantly enhance the digital transformation in the country.

He said the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, in 2019, and expansion of the mandate of the Ministry of Communications to include Digital Economy had brought significant progress and a number of unprecedented achievements.

President Buhari expressed delight that the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions had helped to formalize government online meetings.

He said Nigeria’s progress in e-governance had been noted by the international community, eliciting recognition from international stakeholders, including the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Chairman of the 2022 Forum of the highly regarded World Summit of the Information Society.

While congratulating the Minister, the President acknowledged that the Ministry had partnered with the Korea International Co-operation Agency to develop a National E-government Master Plan, approved by FEC in August 2019.

He listed benefits from the partnership to include training of over 1,400 Nigerian public servants in both Nigeria and South Korea on e-governance, the launch of an e-Government Training Centre, handed over to the Federal Government in 2019, and the signing-off of Phase II of the E-government Project for Building Foundations Towards Digital Governance in Nigeria, 2020-2026.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, had noted that the launch of NDEPS made provision for the establishment of the Presidential Council to co-ordinate the development of an indigenous digital economy.

He said the recent auction of spectrums by the Ministry, generated over 400 percent revenue to the Federal Government coffers, while two virtual institutions established by government had trained some 500,000 Nigerians on digital and emerging technologies.

The 27-man committee, chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, on behalf of President Buhari, has Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Governors of Gombe, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Edo, Lagos, and Imo, as members.

Others are the Ministers of Finance, Industry, Trade and Investment, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited.

Others are Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, and the Director General, National Identity Management Commission.

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