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Kogi to provide soft landing for ghost workers

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Kogi to provide soft landing for ghost workers

By John Akubo, Lokoja

The Kogi State government would soon unveil a package for those who were affected by the screening exercise that are ready to work by empowering them to become self-reliant.

The Governor of the state, Yahaya Bello, who spoke through his Director General, media and publicity, KingsleyFanwo, in Lokoja said the affected workers have stakes as indigenes hence the government will provide them with a safety net.

He said: “That was why the screening exercise is a win-win situation. As a responsible Governor, Yahaya Bello will not just throw them into the dungeon of uncertainty and poverty.

He has developed a plan to empower them to become employers of labour.“Areas of labour shortage will also be filled, giving opportunities to job seekers. The glorious days are ahead of us.

”He indicated that the state government has kept faith with its promise to genuine workers that it would clear all outstanding salary arrears once the screening exercise was done with.

Fanwo explained that the exercise would benefit all as it will free funds for infrastructural development whichwill serve the over 90% people of Kogiwho are not on the payrolls of government.

“This is key to economic developmentand amelioration of poverty. The exercise will also help genuine civil servants enjoy regular payment of salaries. It will help us to determine the duty schedule of civil servants and restructure the service for efficiency.

“Governor Yahaya Bello is already looking beyond the exercise which reports have been subjected to forensic tests by experts.

The panel has also worked out the cost of providing social safety nets for ‘’innocent victims’’ of the exercise. This is being handled by Actuarial Scientists,” he explained.

Fanwo stressed that the State had been paying huge wages and salaries to workers, thousands of who were unintended beneficiaries.

He added: “The implication of this is that we pay nothing less than one billion Naira to ghost workers or unintended beneficiaries every month.

”He said ordinarily a typical Nigerian politician would not even contemplateembarking on any staff verification for the reason of political safety above people’s welfare.

His words: “Confronting the ghost workers cabal in the system was one of the patriotic decisions of the present administration. It was a decision that emanated from statesmanship rather than a political mind. Politicians think of the next election while a statesman think of the next generation.“To save the next generation and build a new Kogi State, it was necessary to stop the flow of billions of naira into unintended pockets.

”According to him, the staff verification exercise made it open that some names on the payrolls were completely not real as they could not be traced to anybody.“That was why thousands of ‘workers’’ did not even turn up for the exercise. Some workers were not properlyemployed. Improper employment involves but not limited to giving appointments without due process.

Also, some workers falsified documents relating to their educational qualifications, age and others. We also have people who are earning multiple salaries.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without a digitalized payroll, which is one of the objectives of this noble exercise.

The exercise has also been able to check diaspora workers. People who claim to work for Kogi State but were staying and working in other cities like Abuja, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Kano and Ilorin,” he said.

Culled from the Guardian

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

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FG declares its readiness to deploy 5G network after precautionary measures

By Aminci Audu

The minister of communications and Digital Economy Isah Ali Pantami has declared that Nigeria is ready for 5th Generation Network (5G) as long as the major challenges are taken care of.

Pantami spoke yesterday, at a one day investigative hearing on the present status of 5G network organised by the joint Senate committee on communication, sScience and Technology, ICT and Cybercrime and Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.

The minister in his presentation allayed the fear among Nigerians over the planned deployment of the network saying the Federal Government has taken all necessary precautions by investigating through research and trial on all issues raised.

He said “The position is that we are almost at the final stage. So now, Nigeria is ready for 5G as long as we address the major challenges.”

“We have not gotten there, wether we will deploy 5G but we are on track conducting research, investigations, engaging stakeholders and definitely if all issues are addressed, the executive will support the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.”

He noted that so far no negative impacts has been established from the research and trial carried both locally and at the international level. 

On the speculation that the 5G network escalated the COVID-19 he said there is no link between 5G and COVID-19.
“And there is no relationship between 5G and any desease. The only issue being raised usually is about radiation.  But people don’t realise that the radiation of 4G is more harmful than that of 5G. 
“The radiation of microwave oven at home is more harmful than that of the 5G. The radiation of even the smart phone itself is even more harmful that that of 5G

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

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SELF backs Sylva over choice of Saipem on Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract

The South-south Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has faulted allegations of wrong doing leveled against the Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva over the choice of Saipem, an Italian firm to handle the Bonny NLNG Train 7 contract.

SELF in a statement argued that the deal also endorsed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Board Engr. Simbi Wabote was in the best interest of the country.

SELF position was in response to an online publication which accused the duo of bribe taking running into millions of naira in the deal.

SELF warned the publisher of the medium , Mr Jackson Ude, to desist from blackmailing leaders of the South-south extraction in a bid to score political goals.

Urging the Publisher of the online medium to show proof his allegation, SELF noted: “We strongly condemn the allegation leveled by Pointblanknews.com and its sponsors, this is highly condemnable and viewed as a sponsored plot to instigate hate against the Minister and derail his concentrations.

“This is ridiculous and belittling of Jackson Ude, the face behind this blackmail for being petty to the ground level for publishing tissues of lies about the persons of Timipre Sylva and Simbi Wabote.

“Nigerians should not believe this and throw it into the dust bin. It’s incumbent on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the positive drive of Minister and collaborate with him, towards the actualization of the onerous task at stake.

“Although Jackson Ude and his medium Pointblanknews.com are criminally known for thriving in the business of blackmail, especially against the officeholders from the Niger Delta region. But this forum will henceforth resist this criminality by deploying all known instrumental of law to fight the faces behind these tissues of lies.

“This Forum is using this medium to warn the likes of Jackson Ude to stay away from Nigeria and the South-south most especially if they are not ready to turn a new leaf because the business of blackmail has long become outdated and unpopular.”

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Great relief as Kidnapped Punch reporter, Nnodim regains freedom

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Great relief as Kidnapped Punch reporter, Nnodim regains freedom


It was a great relief for journalists, family members, friends and well wishers when the news filtered in that the Punch Newspapers reporter, Victor Okechukwu Nnodim who was kidnapped from his residence in Kubwa, Bwari Area Council on Thursday has regained freedom.

He was released almost 48hours hours after his abduction alongside two other neighbours who were also abducted.
It was gathered early hours of Sunday that he has been released and in high spirits.

The media world was jolted by the news of his abduction, as many turned prayer warriors supplicating for his freedom without any harm

His abductors, NationaUpdate learnt later communicated with his elder sister who resides in Lagos demanding for N10 million.

At the time of this report it could not be ascertained if ransom was paid before he regained freedom, but colleagues made efforts to contributed money towards his release, when it became obvious that the kidnappers were bent on collecting ransom.

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