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I will give priority to staff welfare, accountability-Acting CNA

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I will give priority to staff welfare, accountability-Acting CNA

The acting Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA) Arc. Olatunde Ojo, has pledged to revolutionalise and improve both the staff and environment of the nation’s apex legislative body during his tenure.

Ojo unfolded his plan to revamp, re-engineer and rejuvenate the National Assembly and its bureaucracy when the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Chartered Architects (ANCA) visited him in Abuja.

He also pledged to enthrone accountability, transparency and discipline in the affairs of the National Assembly’s bureaucracy.

Ojo said: “You know that integrity matters even in the practice of architecture and here also that is what I focus on to make sure that I don’t let you (ANCA) down and the entire nation.

“Also when we look at any built environment, of course, we operate in built environments and anywhere architects are found, they make sure they improve the environment.

“We don’t leave it the way we met it but we make sure that we improve on it. In the same way that is what my mind thinks and the mind of this administration as well.

“We have to make sure that during our tenure, we have to improve on the wellbeing of our staff.

“We will look at our environment and make it a place of international reckoning so that anybody who comes to Nigeria and wants to see our parliamentary environment, when they come here, they will know that this place is being managed by somebody who has architectural knowledge and comes from a good environment as well.

“Therefore, just as we do in practice, architects are transparent in practice, we have other professionals working with us, whatever it is, we carry them along.

“The same thing is what I want to do during my tenure. I want all my colleagues to be carried along.

“Transparency is part of it. Career wise, even in practice, we want to make sure that we train and retrain staff as a result of this, ARCON (Architects Registration Council of Nigeria) will organise one programme or the other. This is how we improve our name.

“In the same manner, we will borrow from that, I want to make sure that my staff, the entire community, are trained and retrained so that they don’t remain just the way they are or be stale in any manner.

“So whether we like it or not, we are still doing what we used to do and what we are still doing in practice, that is what we also do here.

On the agitation for staff welfare, he said he is in agreement with the generality of the staff that at this time, “We want to see as much as possible that we give proper attention to such agitation concerning welfare and training to make sure that we give everybody the sense of belonging through training, retraining and general welfare.”

The CNA said he will also ensure that strict discipline is maintained among the staff because to whom much is given definitely much is expected.

He thanked the ANCA leadership for the visit and said the association will act as a mediating influence in his action in office.

“I appreciate you for this visit and it is good to know that when I look at my left and my right and my back and my side, that some eyes are still watching which is a control operation.

“So you have done very greatly and I want to assure you that by the grace of God whatever we do I will not let you down.”

Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the ANCA delegation, Arc. Muktar Muhammed Mai, said the visit by the body was meant to congratulate Ojo on his appointment.

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Legislature

Senate President gets commendation for sponsorship of 100 weddings

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Senate President gets commendation for sponsorship of 100 weddings

Some serving and former lawmakers from Yobe State have applauded the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan for offering helping hand to some underprivileged youths and orphans in Yobe State to realise their dreams of getting married.

The lawmakers also lauded Lawan for his thoughtfulness in considering the new couples for skill acquisition programme which will empower them to stand on their own.

They made the commendation at the weekend at a mass wedding conducted for another batch of 100 couples at the Central Mosque, Nguru in Yobe State.

The new couples were from Nguru and Karasuwa Local Government Areas of the State.

The first batch of 100 couples from Bade and Jakusko Local Government Areas had their turn in Gashua in September while the last batch of 100 intending couples from Machina and Yusufari Local Government Areas are expected to have their dreams realised soon to make up the six Local Government Areas in Yobe North Senatorial District.

Speaking at the ceremony on Saturday, former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Sani Dahiru Elkatuzu, described the mass wedding and skill acquisition Programmes by the Senate President for the poor as impacting positively on the lives of the youths in Yobe North.

According to him, this has made them embrace responsibilities that come with marriage and caused them to shun a life of crime and violence which they otherwise would have turned to due to hardship and unemployment.

“We believe that most of the problems we are having with the youths around here is because they cannot afford certain basic things of life.

“Part of it is, if they cannot afford to have families of their own when they are ready to get married, and because of financial difficulties, then it becomes a problem.

“That is why I believe the Senate President decided to assist in this regard. From experience on the one conducted in Bade and Jakusko, the people are really impressed and happy that this is happening.

“It did not only stop at getting them married, the Senate President also went ahead to train and empower them with skills with which they can fend for themselves and their families.

“Any effort that can reduce the number of unemployed youths from the streets is definitely a step in the right direction, and that is exactly what is happening here.

“A lot of our youths are getting married and trained in skills to enable them secure for themselves the basic necessities of life. It is commendable, and everyone in the society is praising the Senate President for this,” Elkatuzu said.

He added that with the replacement of rural provisions by urbanization needs, there is a gap created which the Senate President’s skill acquisition programme seeks to bridge by ensuring the youths within the various constituencies have access to requisite skills needed to cater to their basic needs.

According to the former lawmaker, most of these youths in the past before the the intervention programmes of Senate President Ahmad Lawan, were considered ideal candidates by Boko Haram for recruitment.

“Culturally, those of us around here in the North East feel as long as you’re not married, you’re still a child and the responsibility of your parents and extended family.

“Now, one cannot attain full responsibility in life if he does not work and have a family of his own. And in order to make this young men responsible, we have to get them married.

“This is a cultural issue, as you’re not considered responsible if you don’t have a family of your own. Therefore, what the Senate President is doing is making them responsible by helping them have families of their own.

“In addition to that, a lot of the means of livelihood are gone because they are supposed to be based on rural provisions. Now, we have urbanization in place and people do not have the required skills to engage in trades that are associated with urbanization.

“The kind of skills that are being impacted on these young men are the kind that will keep them up to date with the realities of modern day society.

“Also, most of our young men do not have businesses or skills that would afford them to make decent living, and that is why they are prone to the Boko Haram recruitment.

“But with the kind of skills they are getting now, you will realize they don’t get recruited. They have shunned all forms of violence and they are no longer likely to be recruited because they now have a trade of their own”, he said.

Speaking at the Emir of Nguru’s Palace moments before the couples were wedded at the Nguru Central Mosque, the Speaker of the Yobe State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ahmed Lawan Mirwa, lauded the Senate President for fulfilling the promise made to the youths during his Campaigns ahead of the 2019 elections.

“By this, the Senate President has fulfilled his promise that he made during his campaign tour to the youths of our various constituencies.

“Today, we thank Almighty Allah that we have seen the marriages of one hundred ladies within two local governments; that is Karasuwa and Nguru local governments.

“Each local government married fifty each, and we thank the Senate President for providing all that is needed for the success of these marriages,” Mirwa said.

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Legislature

Communities in Katcha get Two Cottage Hospitals courtesy of SMA

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Communities in Katcha get Two Cottage Hospitals courtesy of SMA

Efforts of the Member representing Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency, Saidu Musa Abdul, (SMA) has started yielding dividends of democracy for the people as the long suffering residents of Niwoye and Dagba-Kota got a cottage hospital each in their communities.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Senior Legislative Aide to the Housw of representative member
Engr. Dodo Almustapha
According to the statement, the construction of the two cottage hospitals for the communities were part of the capital projects captured in the Appropriation Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for 2020 through the representation of the member.
He said, honorable Abdul had reiterated his commitment to alleviating the suffering of the people in accessing quality healthcare services through building of hospitals in the hard-to-reach communities in his Constituency.

Niwoye in Essa Ward and Dagba-Kota in Gbakogi Ward under Katcha Local Government of Niger State, have existed for many years without befitting hospitals where the rural populace could access quality healthcare services.
Upon completion and commissioning of the hospitals, the era of people traveling far and wide to address medical challenges with attendant excruciating bills will be brought to an end.

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Stop balkanisation of your professional bodies, Omo-Agege advises ICAN, PSN

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Stop balkanisation of your professional bodies, Omo-Agege advises ICAN, PSN

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has admonished two professional bodies – the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) to stop further division among their members.
He advised that they engage in dialogue with relevant stakeholders and mobilisation of members’ support to stop alleged plans to balkanise or duplicate the professional associations.
 

Senator Omo-Agege who doubles as Chairman, Senate Adhoc Committee on Constitution Review, stated this in Abuja when  the two associations paid him courtesy visits.

The Delta Central lawmaker applauded the organisations for identifying vibrantly with national aspirations, adding that more home-grown solutions can be developed by them for the benefit of citizens.

Congratulating Dame Onome Joy Adeniyi on her election as National President of ICAN, the legislator expressed the willingness of the National Assembly to support ICAN’s initiatives, stressing that he is an opponent of duplication of professional bodies.
He said: “I do not believe in balkanisation or needless duplication of professional bodies and that is why I will never support a purported New NBA because I always believe that we have enough mechanisms for resolving differences or disputes rather than going to form rival bodies”.

He Pointed out that other members of the National Assembly may have reasons for supporting the Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria Bill 2020 which ICAN vehemently objects to.
The Deputy President of the Senate urged the Institute to take the issue before other stakeholders, including professional members of ICAN in both chambers of the National Assembly.

Earlier, while receiving leaders of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) on behalf of the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, he called for further research into Covid-19 and other vaccines.

Citing the UTAS payment system developed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senator Omo-Agege said pharmacists and other professional associations can develop home-grown solutions to existing challenges.

“We will take a good look at the ‘Pharmacy Council Bill’ as you requested. You can count on us moving forward.
“We support your position about effective regulation of the sale of prescription drugs, especially when some people sell substandard products that can harm many citizens,” he said.

Earlier, Pharmacist Sam Ohuabunwa had called for the National Assembly’s intervention towards getting several ministries, departments and agencies to settle about N17 billion debt being owed pharmaceutical companies across the country.
According to him, the huge debt burden had made it impossible for the local pharmaceutical companies to increase production capacities.

He also called for the passage of the Pharmacy Council Bill towards transforming pharmacy practice and curbing the national health security risk posed by indiscriminate importation of drugs.

He expressed concern that a ‘Bill for an Act to establish the Pharmaceutical Technologists and Pharmacy Technicians Regulatory Council of Nigeria’, which is also before the National Assembly, will not only unsettle Nigeria’s health sector but also balkanise the PSN.
 

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