The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, says the Academic Activities in Nigeria Universities will resume January 2021.
He says the negotiations between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal government had reached 98 percent, adding that it remains only two percent to be completed
He spoke Monday in Alor, Idemili South local government area of Anambra State, during the launch of Ngige free medical outreach at the Community’s Health Center.
Ngige said, “We have met about 98 percent of the request of ASUU. Some 5 to 2 percent is what you can call promissory notes.
“So, I am very hopeful that by midnight today, there are some works we are supposed to get on to do. They also have some work they are supposed to do on their own side with their people.
“Tuesday, we will meet in the afternoon and we will compare notes. We will put everything on the table and compare. I believe that we might have come to the end of the strike when we meet tomorrow.
“Well, it is a journey of a thousand miles which you will have to take one step first. Tomorrow, all things being equal, we will agree now to agree because we were disagreeing before.
“We disagree to agree and agree to disagree formerly. But tomorrow, I hope we will agree to agree. Once we do that, schools will re – open in January,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Ngige said the free medical outreach that was launched in Alor Monday, was equally extended to neighbouring communities like Abatete, Oraukwu, Ideani and Nnobi among others
He said those with different ailments like hepatitis, eye problems among others should go and be treated free of charge, adding that about 15 medical Doctors in different fields would handle the cases at the Health Center.
Customs Generates N1.6trn In 2020
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated the sum of N1. 562 trillion in the year 2020, NCS’s Public Relations Officer, Deputy-Controller Joseph Attah, stated in Abuja on Wednesday.
The amount generated was more than the target of N1. 380 trillion set for the organisation by the Federal Government during the outgone year.
Last year’s revenue was also in excess of the N1.342 trillion it generated in 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the economy during the period under review.
The feat, Mr Attah, said was “as a result of the resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by COVID-19.”
He said that the service revenue generation profile has continued to rise, annually, as the ongoing reforms in the Service insist, especially its strategic deployment of officers, strictly using the standard operating procedure; strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the Tariff and Trade Department.
According to him, other strategies that aided the NCS were: automation of the Customs process thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process; robust stakeholder sensitisation resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance; and increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves.
He said that the partial border closure which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports also significantly contributed to raising revenue collection from ports.
“Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but now NCS generate between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.
“Diplomatic engagements that took place during the partial land border closure yielded many positive results, including a commitment to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit. Operationalisation of joint border patrols at both sides of the border.
“The teams are required to share intelligence and ensure prevention of transit of prohibited goods into the neighbor’s territory,” he added.
The image-maker said that the NCS would strictly implement the outcome of the diplomatic engagements as the land borders open for the movement of cargoes.
He said that intelligence gathered during the period and the introduction of the e-Customs whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points would enhance border security and boost national trade facilitation.
Mr Attah disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Finance has purchased three new scanners, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also expressing commitment to purchasing four additional scanners and to establish the control centre for monitoring all scanning sites in their bid to boost the national economy, especially agricultural sector.
“This means that within the next six (6) months, NCS will have about seven (7) functional scanners to be mounted at strategic entry points even before the full deployment of e-Customs components which will see to the deployment of 135 modern scanners,” the spokesman said.
He also said that seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28.287 billion were recorded within the period under review.
According to him, “These seizures include arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry, and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on economic security and well being of Nigerians.”
FG To Start Administering Covid-19 Vaccines On Nigerians Soon
The Federal Government said it is planning to begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine on Nigerians before the end of March.
Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib disclosed this in a letter sent to Media Executives inviting them to a sensitization meeting on the COVID-19 vaccines.
The letter reads; “The management of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA wishes to express profound gratitude for your unflinching support to the ongoing effort to stop COVID-19 transmission in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA with the support of our development partners, is planning to introduce COVID-19 Vaccine from the 1st quarter of 2021, to protect the citizens and stop further spread of the virus in the country.
“This is to inform you that as part of the preparatory activities, NPHCDA has scheduled a sensitization meeting with Media Gatekeepers as critical stakeholders in this plan”.
The meeting which would good via Zoom is slated for this Friday.
Shuaib had at a briefing of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on COVID-19 in Tuesday said Nigeria will take delivery of 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of January.
He said; “In the first phase through the COVAX facility, we expect to receive approximately 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and bioNtech vaccine by the end of January”.
According to him, Nigeria expects to receive free 42 million doses of vaccines in the second phase through the COVAX facility being administered by ten Global Vaccines Alliance, GAVI.
“The second phase will be a combination of all the available approved vaccines currently in the market but this will cover only about 20 per cent of Nigeria’s population”, he added.
While Shuaib disclosed that to completely eradicate the pandemic, about 70 per cent of the total population needs to receive the vaccines, adding that only about 40 per cent will be vaccinated in 2021, while the remaining 30 per cent will be covered in 2022.
Shariah Council Applauds Demolition Of Sex Party Hotel
The Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria has commended the Kaduna State Government for demolishing the hotel where the maiden edition of Kaduna sex party was to take place, saying such illicit act will incur the wrath of God.
The council also hailed the government for arresting the organisers.
In a statement on Friday by the Council’s Kaduna State chapter Chairman, Engineer AbdurRahman Hassan, they said the current merciless bloodletting through banditry, kidnappings, armed robbery, and host of other vices, experienced in Nigeria are caused by immoral acts like the ‘Satanic’ sex party.
“Allah (SWT) stated categorically in Suratul Hajj verse 41, thus: “Those who, when We empower them in the land, observe prayer, and give regular charity, and command what is right, and forbid what is wrong. To Allah belongs the outcome of events,” they said.
“In line with this verse, the Council as an advocate of moral and social values commends the steps taken by the Kaduna State Government on the arrest of the organizers of the Satanic so called “Kaduna Sex Party” and the demolition of Asher Hotel at Barnawa, Kaduna.
“No doubt this kind of illicit act is one of the ingredients that is fueling the wrath of Allah (SWT) that we are inflicted with currently.
“The current merciless bloodletting through banditry, kidnappings, armed robbery, and host of other vices, are as a result of our derailment from ideal moral and cultural values.
“While we commend the Kaduna State Government for this commendable act, we also call on the government to scan for such places where illicit acts are perpetrated in the state, such as ‘Ajagunle’ area, off Maiduguri Road, in Kaduna North Local Government, where ‘Nude’ clubs do exist.
“May Allah strengthen our leaders to do right, may He protect our Imaan,” the Shariah Council said.