Minimum Wage Is Constitutional Matter, Says Gov. Tambuwal

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‎By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The issue of minimum wage is a constitutional matter which no state government can decide on it’s implementation or otherwise, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has said.

He said so far, the Nigeria Governors Forum has not taken any collective decision on the issue of minimum wage.

A statement issued by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, said the Governor spoke when he granted audience to the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Waba.

“State have only minimal say on the issue of minimum wage because it is a constitutional matter. Any change desired for the present wage will have to come through a constitutional amendment to be performed by the National Assembly.

“We must correct the impression that Governors are against workers. That is not the case. We are partners in progress and our roles are complimentary of each other.

“In Sokoto specifically, we are evolving various policies to better the lots of our workers and improve on their productivity. They are important allies and we hold them in high esteem,” Tambuwal stated.

Earlier in his remarks, Waba commended Tambuwal for the leading role he played in championing labour issues especially when he was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Sokoto Partners FG, World Bank on Large Scale Irrigation

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe

 

Sokoto government said it is partnering with the Federal Government and the World Bank to develop large scale irrigation scheme in the state.

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who stated this during a visit by a team from the partner agencies to Sokoto Government House, said the scheme, tagged Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMM), will support and improve agricultural productivity through strengthened institutional arrangement and improved access to irrigation drainage services.

 

He said the scheme will also complement existing major agricultural initiatives and focuses on improving large-scale public irrigation in Sokoto and some selected states in the North.

 

“We have so far committed a total of N4.9b for the reclamation of farms in the Kware Irrigation Scheme. Our government will commit about N460m while our partners will provide the rest. The Kware irrigation scheme, which will complement TRIMM, involves construction of 175 irrigation water conveyance canals, 120 units of haudraulic structures, 55 kilometres of feeder roads, five units of primary schools, two primary healthcare centres and two comminuty markets.‎

 

“The target is to enhance agricultural growth and production, provide job opportunities, tackle poverty among the populace and also help in developing rice value chain by boosting local rice milling in our state,” Tambuwal revealed.

 

In his remarks, TRIMM’s Project Coordinator, Engr Peter Manjok said given the global growing competitiveness in irrigated agricultural production, a window of opportunity was opened to help raise income and reduce poverty in the country.

 

According to him, the scheme, which will run for seven years, will involve the transfer of tertiary irrigation and drainage facilities to registered operators and Water User Association (WUAs) in affected areas.

 

 

Sokoto Recruits SURE-P Nurses, Midwives

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By ‎Abdallah el-Kurebe

‎‎Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state has instructed the Sokoto Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SPHCDA) to absorb 50 nurses and midwives trained by SURE-P into the state civil service.

A statement issued by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam explained that the nurses and midwives formed the backbone of SURE-P’s maternal health project executed in eight local government areas of the state in the last two years.

“We intend to continue with the maternal health project in the state even though the Federal Government has decided to halt the SURE-P programme,” the statement read in parts.‎

Tambuwal also directed the primary healthcare agency ‎to, on completion, employ all the midwives that were currently undergoing the compulsory one year internship training so as to boost manpower requirements in the state.

The statement further disclosed that the affected professionals, which include both indigenes and non-indigenes of Sokoto state, ‎would be placed on Grade Level 7 of the scheme of the agency.‎

It stated that, already funds had been provided by the government to settle their salaries and other entitlements. 

The last batch of trainees graduated on November 14, this year.

Posted by Abdallah el-kurebe

Sokoto Sets For $250m Food Processing Factory

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‎By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

In order to actualise the establishment of a $250 million food processing factory in Sokoto, Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has set up a technical committee that would work with the company, Erisco Foods Ltd, to ensure its realisation early next year.

A statement signed and issued by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Imam Imam said the Governor spoke when he received the management team of Erisco Foods in his office in Sokoto.

According to statement, Sokoto is open to business for all investors that were willing to invest in the state. “My policy of looking for Nigerian investors will continue because the country has capable businessmen that will make necessary difference in key areas.
 
“Establishment of the agro-based company will bring about development of the agricultural sector and provide job opportunities for our people. On our part, we will provide necessary incentives to encourage both local and international investors that want to invest in the state.

“Today’s visit shows the resolve of the government to accelerate growth of the economy to improving the living standards of the citizens,” Tambuwal added.

Headed by former Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Chiso Dattijo, the technical committee has the commissioners of commerce and industries, agriculture, environment and works as members while Engineer Lawal Maidoki will serve as the Secretary.

In his remark, Chairman of Erisco Foods, Chief Eric Umeofia said apart from the food processing factory, his company was working with foreign partners to see to the possibility of setting up a tractor manufacturing company with the capacity to produce 30,000 tractors annually.

Posted by Abdallah el-kurebe

How Modern Biotechnology Can Create 25,000 Jobs, Says Ebegba, NABMA DG

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

Federal Government’s (FG)determination to diversify the economy as a result of the challenges in the oil sector has set it to develop immutable strategies that would ensure the creation of, at least, 25,000 jobs annually from the biotechnology sector.

A statement by the Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NABMA), Mr. Rufus Ebegba issued on Tuesday said modern biotechnology under legal biosafety regime had great potential to develop products, materials and living systems that could be used to expand the economy, especially in the area of agriculture.

According to him, the direct and indirect jobs would be created along the value chain of biotechnology products, which is being regulated by the biosafety Agency in the country.

Ebegba disclosed that analysis already concluded had indicates that about  25, 000 jobs could be generated annually in Nigeria from the biotechnology sector. 

“With a well regulated biotechnology sector, up to 25,000 jobs can be created annually and this will increase, with time, because more  biotechnology products will be made available  in the market and activities will be more. Job creation is critical in this sector,” he stated.

The Director General noted that with an agency in place to regulate the sector, the biotech industry would be more vibrant.  “You now have people who will be employed in the biotech industry. The companies are in place, doing research, producing genetically modified organisms  and deploying the technology. So along the line, there will be increased direct and indirect employment through the distribution chain of biotechnology products.

“Also, more labs will be established. We can now produce more food for our domestic consumption and for export. The Agency will also be generating revenue through permits and licensing charges,” Ebegba stressed.

Noting that the Nigerian textile industry was in comatose because of inadequate quantity of locally produced cotton to drive the textile industry, the DG observed that countries like Burkina Faso has recorded success stories in producing genetically modified cottons that were resistant to insects.

Ebegba equally disclosed that Nigeria was now ready to deploy modern biotechnology in achieving food security, safely. “We are looking at the situation where we have food in abundance in the Nigerian system. Now you can have improved crops, improved animals and other organisms; you develop new plants that can have higher productivity, and are disease and pest resistant and herbicides tolerant. So, with such stress on crops being reduced, you discover that these crops will attain their full potential.”

He emphasized that  with modern biotechnology, which is safe, there would be more raw materials for the industry and diversifying the economy is now more feasible than ever. 

Ebegba stated that the NBMA would enforce rules to ensure that only healthy and environmental friendly modern biotechnology products were produced in Nigeria.

He also reminded companies, Institutions, Organisations, Laboratories and all those carrying out modern Biotechnology activities as well as those dealing in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to conclude the formalization of their dealings with the Agency on or before 31st December 2015, as earlier directed.

The DG warned  that there were consequences against those who violate the National Biosafety Management Agency Act 2015 and other extant Biosafety laws and regulations.

Posted by Abdallah el-kurebe

Sokoto To Tap From Women’s Expertise For Good Governance

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state has assured that his administration would continue to rely on the expertise of women and other vulnerable groups in the running of affairs of the state.

‎The Governor said this in Sokoto at the weekend when he received Mr. Sentel Barnes, the Country Director of the International Republican Institute (IRI) ‎who paid a working visit.

“Despite cultural inhibitions, we believe our women have a lot to offer and we will go to extra length to get the best among them to render quality service to our people,” ‎he said.

Tambuwal disclosed that his administration had initiated programmes that would empower women, youths and persons with disabilities educationally and economically, adding that since he came to power, the issue of healthcare had been at the front burner with women and children being the top beneficiaries.

He said at present, the Chief Justice of Sokoto State is a woman, and there are other women who have held sensitive positions and left indelible marks ‎in the history of the state.

Commending the IRI for working to strengthen democratic institutions in Africa, Tambuwal said their efforts would help in promoting equality and good governance ‎in the country.

In his remarks, Barnes said Sokoto is one of IRI’s focal states where programmes that would support political parties, civic institutions, open elections and democratic governance have been implemented.

He said they were committed to promoting the participation of marginalised groups in politics ahead of the forthcoming local government elections slated for January in the state.

Posted by Abdallah el-kurebe

Pres. Buhari’s Speech At Ministers’ Swearing in

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Today we have reached another milestone in the evolution of our new government which Nigerians overwhelmingly voted into office in the March 28th, 2015 general elections. Today we witness the swearing-in of new ministers of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

2. Since our inauguration on May 29, 2015, the Vice President and I have been mindful of the need to constitute a cabinet that will best deliver our expectations of a better country than we inherited. We want to work towards a prosperous nation respected for the right reasons, and whose citizens can hold up their heads anywhere in the world. And we are optimistic that bringing this set of ministers into the service of our country today is a step in the right direction, a timely move towards realizing our positive goals for our country.

3. Since we assumed office in May, I have been mindful of the need to ensure that the appointment of new ministers translates into putting round pegs in round holes while showing sensitivity to our diversity as a people and our various positions as groups of stakeholders in our country.

4. I have also been conscious of the need not to repeat such mistakes of the past where the right people were allocated the wrong portfolios, which translated into their performing poorly to our collective detriment despite their obvious capabilities. Also, I have responded to the counsel to consult as widely as possible, given the need to build a stable and all-inclusive government by reaching across our various ethnic and political divides.

5. With the inauguration of ministers, our government shall continue more decisively to implement its policies in respect of the economy and in other areas. While working hard to maximise revenue from oil in the face of a sharp decline in the price for the commodity, we are determined to diversify the economy in agriculture to enhance employment and explore solid minerals as a major revenue earner.

6. The primary aim is to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of such staples as rice and wheat and to become a major consumer and exporter of both items as well as solid minerals.

We intend to pursue policies that will generate massive employment for millions of our youth.

7. We shall also continue with greater determination and focus to pursue our goal of ensuring improved security for our country and its citizens, and without letting up on our fight against corruption. Our commitment to defeat Boko Haram and all the threats it constitutes remains as strong as ever. So is our resolve to root out vices such as kidnapping and neutralise the various forms of criminalities that threaten the social peace of Nigerians.

8. While recognizing the challenges we face and the need to surmount them, let us not fail to note the progress we have made in the short life of this government, as an indication of how much better we can do as a people driven by patriotism and a common resolve to do things right.

9. On the moral sphere, trust is slowly but steadily being re-established between the government and the people. Now, when the government speaks, the people listen; and when the people’s expectations are not met, they appreciate that it is not for lack of commitment or trying on the part of government. In effect, government business is now being conducted with transparency and cynicism is waning as a result.

10. Our adoption of the Treasury Single Account has resulted in the blocking of financial leakages in the public sector, making more funds available for the business of governance and ensuring the welfare of our citizens. The Central Bank of Nigeria has also assisted more than 30 States of the federation with concessionary loans to offset salary arrears for their workers. On the monetary side, the CBN has also implemented country-specific and innovative policies that have helped to stabilize the exchange rate and conserve our reserves.

11. Finally, our new ministers must proceed to work speedily and do their utmost to justify the confidence we have placed in them not only by their conduct but also by their performance in their various positions.

12. Over all our economy is poised for sustained job creation, poverty reduction and inclusive growth. Regardless of the present challenges we are confronting, I believe all Nigerians will keep hope alive and sustain their optimism about the future of our economic well being.

13. The Ministries have been rationalised and reduced to twenty-four.

Posted by Abdallah el-Kurebe

Full List of Buhari’s Ministers and their Portfolios

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1. Abubakar Malami-Justice

2. Geoffrey Onyeama-Foreign  Affairs‎

3. Mohammed Dan Ali-Defence

4. Adamu Adamu-Education

5. Khadijat Bukar Ibrahim-State, Foreign Affairs

6. Professor Anwuka-State Minister of Education

7. Mrs Kemi Adeosun- Finance

8. Okechukwu Enilama- Industry,Trade and Investment

9. Aisha Abubakar- State Minister Industry,Trade and Investment

10. Chris  Ngige- Labour and Employment

11.James Ocholi-State Minister of Labour and Employment

12. Muhammadu Bello-FCT

13. Abdulrahman Bello Dambazzau-Interior

14. Udoma Udo Udoma-Budget and National Planning

15. Zainab  Ahmed –State Minister of Budget, National Planning

16. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu-State Minister, Petroleum Resources‎

  (Speaking here is the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, Says  Buhari)

17. Babatunde Fashola-Power, Works and Housing

18. Mustapha Baba Shahuri-State Minister of Power Works and Housing‎. ‎

19. ‎Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh-Agriculture and Rural Development

20. Heineken Lokpobiri-State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

21. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi -Transportation
 
22. Senator Hadi Sirika – State Minister of Aviation

23. Isaac Folorunsho – Health

24. Osagie Ehanire-State Minister Health

25. Aisha Jummai Alhassan-Women Affairs

26. Pastor Usani Usani- Niger Delta

27. Claudius  Daramola-State Minister,Niger Delta

28. Adebayo Shittu -Communications

29. Lai Mohammed –Information

30. Amina Mohammed –Environment

31. Ibrahim Usman Jibrin-State Minister of Environment

32: Eng Suleiman Adamu-Water Resources

33  Solomon Dalong-Youth and Sports

34.Kayode Fayemi-Solid Minerals

35.Abubakar Bawa Bwari-State Minister of Solid Minerals

36-Dr Ogbonnaya Onu-Science and Technology‎

Posted by Abdallah el-kurebe

Sokoto Introduces Contract Levy To Fund Education

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For every contract awarded by Sokoto government, one percent of the total contract sum will be set aside to fund the state’s Education Development Trust Fund, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has said.

The focus of the fund, already established under the headship of former President Shehu Shagari, is to facilitate the development of information and communication technology is Sokoto schools, training of women on vocational trades, skills acquisition training and disbursement of bursaries to indigent youths.

Others include revamping of girl child education, development of education policy framework, training of teachers and provision of critical infrastructure to complement government efforts in that direction.

A statement issued by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, said the Governor spoke when he granted audience to the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, who visited on a courtesy visit.

According to Tambuwal, revamping of the education sector remains a key priority of his administration.

“We are working with all stakeholders to build on the gains recorded in the state in the immediate past. But to be honest, we are all worried about the negative statistical indices with regards to health and education in Sokoto State.

“We will work closely with development partners and the UK government to revamp the sector. Specifically we seek your help in the training and retraining of our teachers and the development of girl-child education. 

“On our part, we are doing all that is necessary to achieve success. Already, we have introduced monetary incentives to mothers in rural areas to allow their daughters go to school. With your help, we will expand our areas of cooperation for the benefit of the people,” Tambuwal said.

In his remarks, Arkwright said the UK government has been supportive of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in the areas of security, trade and investment, education and health.

He said the UK’s Department of Foreign and International Development (DFID) has been working in Nigeria to support key sectors of national life.

On Tambuwal’s request for training of teachers, the envoy said the British Council, will come in to see how best they will collaborate to revamp education in Sokoto State.

State Police Is Best Way To Go, Says Gov. Tambuwal

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To effectively provide adequate security to its teeming population, Nigeria should decentralise its police force and allow state police, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has said.

Speaking in Sokoto when he received the Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase on a courtesy visit, Tambuwal said even though some governors in the North have in the past kicked against state police, present realities on ground indicate that the model is the best way to go.

He said several states in the federation now have various security outfits whose functions overlap with that of the police. 

He said while serving as the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2011 to May this year, the legislature had supported the move even though the exercise has not seen the light of the day.

“I believe it is time we reopen the debate considering the huge security challenges confronting the federation and how local expertise, if properly deployed, can be of great help to securing our communities,” Tambuwal added.

While advising the IG to set up a department of Community Policing that will tap from the experience of the local communities whose familiarity with their environments in unrivaled, Tambuwal assured of his administration’s support to the force to enable it succeed.

Earlier in his remarks, Arase said he was in Sokoto to familiarise with the officers and men in the state command. He sought the cooperation and assistance of Sokoto state government in the provision of logistic support to the force.