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Buhari Promises Job Creation Amid Economic Woes

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President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja reiterated his commitment to creating more jobs, with particular focus on enabling the private sector, targeting more youthful population by streamlining priority on agriculture, arts, entertainment, mining and Information Technology.

Speaking at a Presidential Parley with the Participants of Senior Executive Course 42 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies at the State House, the President said the focus of the group’s research for the year, “Population Growth and Human Capital Development: Challenges and Opportunities’’, was most appropriate in timing, and the recommendations will be fully considered.

“I have no doubt that you have evaluated the theme given to you. I can assure you that many of your recommendations would be considered to further enhance Human Capital Development in the country.

“Let me reiterate that our administration is committed to diligently pursuing investments in people, especially in our youths as well as most vulnerable and poorest members of society. We will study and explore the creative and innovative recommendations in your report and direct implementations as soon as possible.’’

The President told participants of Senior Executive Course 42 that his administration had made tremendous efforts at diversifying the economy and reducing heavy dependence on the oil sector for government revenues and foreign exchange earnings.

“We are refocusing the economy on agriculture, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining, manufacturing, information technology and labour intensive industries to generate millions of jobs for our teeming youths and able-bodied Nigerians, while gradually integrating the economy into the global economy.

“This administration developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for 2017–2020, which focused on economic diversification and stabilization, making the business environment more competitive, as well as achieving macroeconomic stability by means of fiscal stimulus and improving the balance of external trades.

“We focused the plan on key sectors such as energy, agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, especially rail, roads, broadband networks. We have made considerable progress in food production, especially in rice. We will continue to encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships.’’

President Buhari noted that efforts had been made in putting in place various programmes to equip Nigerians, particularly the youth, with requisite skills for employment, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, which include the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme, N-Power scheme, Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme, Graduate Internship Scheme and Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria programme.

The President said the Federal Government had taken steps to harmonise all operations related to technical and vocational skills development by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, culminating in a new partnership between the Industrial Training Fund and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association under a special initiative called the Technical Skills Development Project. 

“In addition, Government is implementing the Special Public Works programme to provide employment opportunities to 774,000 youths across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria. We have also recently introduced N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, of which N25 billion have been provided in 2021 Budget. All of these are consistent with our policy of positioning the youth for strategic leadership in different fields of endeavour.’’

President Buhari commended management and members of faculty of the National Institute for getting participants of Senior Executive Course 42 to focus on a theme and present a report as experts on the subject matter.

In his remarks, the Director-General/Chief Executive officer of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Prof. Habu S. Galadima, thanked the President for providing strategic and purposeful leadership for the country in spite of daunting challenges, appreciating the administration for ably handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director-General noted that the participants for Senior Executive Course 42, 2020, were properly guided by daily briefs and guidance of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

“We thank you for enormous investments in the people of this country through highly commendable programmes designed to take Nigerians out of poverty. One can only imagine the magnitude of the outcomes if these investments were not made,’’ he added.

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EFCC Arrests 11 Suspected Internet Fraudsters In Osogbo

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, on Friday, arrested eleven suspected fraudsters.

They were apprehended by operatives of the Commission who, acting on intelligence, swooped on their hideouts in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

The Commission recovered twelve cars which include three Toyota Highlander SUVs, one Mercedes Benz GLK 350 SUV, One Acura SUV, two Honda Crosstour, two Toyota Venza and three other Toyota brands. Also recovered are phones, laptops and other devices..

The suspects, who variously claimed to be students, artisans, farmers and businessmen, are currently undergoing interrogation to ascertain their level of involvement in the alleged crime.

They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

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Restructuring Alone Will Not Solve Nigeria’s Problem

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A former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has said that restructuring alone can not solve Nigeria’s problems and cannot be done in isolation.

The former President called for the issues of nepotism, ethnic and religious bias to be addressed.

He stated this on Thursday while speaking at a dialogue on restructuring in Abuja.

He noted that Nigerians must restructure their minds because the issues at the national level still exist at the state and local levels.

The immediate past President General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo John Nwodo,  while delivering his speech said that Nigeria must restructure before the 2023 general elections.

According to him, “We must change the constitution of the country as the 1999 constitution was not produced by the majority of Nigerians.”

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Atiku Wants Biden To Help Nigeria Fight Terrorism

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday urged the new United States President, Joe Biden, to help Nigeria in its fights against terrorism.

Atiku made the call on his Twitter handle while congratulating Biden who was inaugurated as the US 46th President on Wednesday.

The ex-vice president expressed optimism that Biden’s administration would mark a new era in America’s regeneration and her reaffirmation as the beacon of democracy to the world at large.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain stressed that he looks forward to the removal of every travel restriction on Nigerian citizens in keeping with the good relations between the two nations.

Atiku wrote: “As Joe Biden begins his tenure as the 46th President of the United States of America, I am confident that this new era will mark America’s regeneration and her reaffirmation as the beacon of democracy to the world.

“As I congratulate President Biden and VP Kamala Harris, I urge them and their administration to strengthen US-Nigeria ties and help our beloved nation’s war on terror by providing every type of support required to win the war against the insurgency we face.

“I also look forward to the removal of every travel restriction on Nigerian citizens, in keeping with the good relations that have existed between our two nations beginning with the July 27, 1961 state visit of our first Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, to President John F. Kennedy, and continuing over the decades since then.

“As the playwright, George Bernard Shaw, once said, America and Nigeria are two nations divided by a common language. And millions of Nigerians and I wish to see that relationship sustained to the mutual benefit of both our democratic nations.

“Congratulations once again and may God bless both our nations and bring about a beneficial tenure for your administration.”

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