The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, has promised the needed support for the NEXT Cash and Carry shopping mall in order to ensure its restoration from the fire incident that engulfed it on Boxing Day.
The minister made the remarks yesterday while conducting an on-the-spot assessment of the mall.
He said the fire incident at the place was something that jolted the city given that it was an important investment, which provided jobs for many.
Bello described NEXT as one of the companies that provided tremendous support to the FCTA during the lockdown in form of palliative items, which were distributed to vulnerable members of the community.
He expressed delight that no life was lost, and substantial part of the premises where bulk items were stored in the warehouses was also saved.
According to him, “This particular incident brought out what is good about us as residents, as everybody united and supported them.
“Unfortunately, today, they are also vulnerable people, so it is our duty in the city to rally round and protect this important investment that has generated many jobs in the city.”
He, however, commended the managers and staff of NEXT Cash ‘N Carry for having and activating the internal firefighting mechanism in place, which greatly helped in curtailing the inferno.
On the update of investigations into the remote cause of the inferno, the minister said: “The experts are checking to see what the causes are.”
Meanwhile, the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has called for a review of the Fire Service Act of 1963 to put it in line with current realities.
The Director-General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idris, noted that the Act has become obsolete, and limits the enforcement powers of emergency agencies in carrying out their duties.
He emphasised that the laws must be reviewed for public safety.
PVC: Gov. Matawalle declares one-week public holiday
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.
Taraba retirees protest against non-payment of gratuity
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
Buhari inaugurates council on e-Governance
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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