15 Days After, ASUP Suspends Nationwide Strike

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has suspended its nationwide strike 15 days after the industrial action began.

National President of ASUP, Mr Usman Duste, announced this on Wednesday during the union’s 14th National Delegates Conference at the Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi state.

He said the decision to suspend the strike followed the series of meetings held between the leadership of the union and the Federal Government.

According to him, both parties agreed to a Memorandum of Settlement and Action (MoS) on each of the issues raised by the union.

“The union considered the suspension to give an opportunity for implementation of the content of Memorandum of Settlement and Action, and shall be reviewed according to the timelines outlined in the MoS,” Duste said.

The decision to commence an indefinite strike was the outcome of the National Executive Council meeting of ASUP which held on November 11 at the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna State.

According to the union, the industrial action followed the failure of the Federal Government to implement all the agreements it entered with them since 2016.

Some of the demands included non-implementation of the NEEDS Assessment Report and shortfalls in personnel releases and withdrawal of allowances.

Others were non-passage of the amended bill of the Polytechnic Act, alleged infractions in the appointment of rectors, as well as improving the conditions of state-owned institutions among other issues.

The union had lamented that despite the long period given to the government to address some of the issues it had raised, government did not consider it necessary to address the demands for improved funding of polytechnic education in the country.

Dutse had also told reporters after the Council meeting that ASUP had given government sufficient time to implement all the agreements, saying they had no choice than to embark on an indefinite strike after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum issued earlier.

“On October 24, a reconciliation meeting was convened by the Federal Ministry of Labour in Abuja. The ministry in the eye of the storm, the Federal Ministry of Education, was poorly represented that no memorandum of action was agreed on.

“This clearly shows the level of disdain and disrespect with which the issues of the sector are being handled by the relevant agencies. In view of the above, our union resolved in its emergency meeting of NEC on October 31, 2017 to commence an indefinite and comprehensive strike effective from November 13, 2017,” he had said.

FEC Approves N1.5bn For Advertising

The Federal Executive Council ( FEC ) on Wednesday approved N1.5 billion for advertising campaign for nine months in radio, television, online and newspapers.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, briefed State House correspondents at the end of FEC meeting in Abuja.

She was with the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, at the briefing.

She said: “I presented a memo on the voluntary Asset Declaration Bill for approval of N1.5b to cover advertising campaign for nine months, for radio, television, online and newspapers including center spread.”

The minister said she also briefed FEC, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on the progress made by the government under the tax amnesty.

She added: “And it has been very well received. We have people who are ready to declare and pay. We sent out over 500 letters under the first batch, but there are thousands of Nigerians being targeted but the first 500 letters have gone out.

“We have started to get responses back and many people are asking for time to pay. Most of the governors have agreed to give more time for people to make arrangements for payments. This is indeed a very good news for Nigeria as it will help reduce over reliance on oil. It will improve our tax revenue so that whether oil prices are high or low, we will be able to provide basic services for our people.

“Very high net worth people are now being brought into the tax revenue profile. We hope to exceed the target that has been set.”


Adeniran: S’West May Produce Consensus Candidate for PDP National Chairmanship

One of the aspirants to the position of the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Tunde Adeniran, on Wednesday said there is a possibility that the South-west will produce a consensus candidate among those jostling for the position.

Adeniran, who is a former Minister of Education, stated this in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while addressing the state delegates to the National Convention of the party slated for December 9, 2017.

The aspirant said all the aspirants from the South-west are discussing.

Adeniran, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, Chief Bode George and Gbenga Daniel are contesting for the chairmanship of the party from the South-west.

“We are talking among ourselves and I believe one way or the other we will get it right, I also believe that God will step in”, he said.

Osun Partners Chinese Firm to Establish N216 Billion Industrial Parks

The State Government of Osun has signed an agreement worth N216 billion with a Chinese firm, Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, on the establishment of Industrial Park in the state.
The Governor, during the agreement signing at a state dinner‎ at the Government House banquet hall in Osogbo stated that the state has agreed to allocate 200 hectares of land to facilitate the establishment of the Industrial Park in Osun.
The partnership, according to Governor Aregbesola, will support the state on six different investments which includes; cocoa bean processing, chocolate and food processing, salt processing, cassava starch processing, gold mining and power plants.
The total investment by Jiangsu Wuxi‎ Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited on the Industrial Park is USD 600 million.
He described the multi-billion naira investment partnership as part of his administration’s efforts to raise the bar of local and foreign investment in the state.
Governor held that the agreement would go a long way to support the economic drive of the state, particularly in the quest for industrialisation.
Reading through a copy of the agreement, Governor Aregbesola said the project will take-off by January next year as the state was ready to give all possible support to actualise the success of the proposed Industrial Park.
‎The agreement reads in part: ‎”On November 28, 2017 Jangsu WUXI TAIHU Cocoa Food Co., Ltd. held talks with the State Government of Osun, Nigeria on the investment in the establishment of Industrial Park in Osun State.
“Through full communication and negotiation, both sides reached resolutions which are summarized as follows: “the Osun Government of Nigeria agrees that Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food company Limited will invest to establish the Industrial Park in Osun State who will allocate 200 hectares of land for the Industrial Park.
“The total investment by Jiangsu Wuxi‎ Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited on the Industrial Park is USD 600 million. The first phase of the project includes six projects: Cocoa bean processing, chocolate and food processing, salt processing, cassava starch processing, gold mining and power plants.
“The construction project of Jiangsu Wuxi Tiahu Industrial Park will strictly abide by the relevant laws and regulations of the State Government of Osun and Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The government will provide policy guidance for the construction of JiangsuTaihu Wuxi Industrial Park and give support of energy, infrastructure and other aspects. After the completion of the project, favourable tax terms will be given.
“The state government will set up a working group for the construction of Jiangsu Taihu Wuxi Industrial Park, which is responsible for the docking and service with China. The two sides agreed that the project would start in 2018”.
‎In his remarks, the General Manager of Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, Mr. Liu Jianhui,‎ commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for tapping possible opportunities to develop the state commercially.
He said the company decided to establish $600 million worth projects in the state, having understudied the economic potentials of Osun to grow foreign investments.
Liu Jiangsu assured the state of fruitful partnership that would bring change to the economic activities of the state and as well create a robust bilateral economic relation between the state and Chinese firm.
The company’s GM said the investment will generate employment opportunities for the youths, thus creating wealth and employment for the state’s citizens.
According to him, we are bringing a huge investment into the state of Osun ‎so as to complement the existing investment on cocoa processing industry and as well support the state economically, commercially and industrially.
“We have very strong confidence in the fact that ‎the partnership would in no distance time bring about dividends to both parties as the state’s potentials would be appropriately utilized”, he stressed.
Members of the State Executive Council present are the Governor of the State,
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, his Deputy, Mrs Grace Titilayo Laoye Tomori, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, Chief of Staff to the Governor,  Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Ajibola Bashiru.
Others are; Commissioner ‎for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Mr. Ismaila Jayeoba Alagbada and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Forestry, Natural and Mineral Resources, Mr. Stephen Babatunde Ajilore, all representing Osun State Government.
Chinese delegation members includes; General Manager of Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, Mr. Liu Jianhui, Assistant General Manager, Shanghai Golden Monkey Group,  Mr. Zhang Hua, Nigeria Skyrun Cocoa Industrial Products Limited, Ms. Xu Feng and Chinese delegation members.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Hon. Ismaila Jayeoba Alagbada lauded Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s commitment to turn Osun to a commercial hub of the southwest region.
He confirmed the progress which the previous Chinese investment had made in the cocoa processing industry located at Ede, saying “we are here to chat a new course for the development of our dear state.

Vice President, Osinbajo To Inaugurate MSME Clinic, GEEP In Osun Thursday

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo will on Thursday launch the Nationwide Small and Medium Enterprise Clinic and the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme in Osun, South-West Nigeria.
The MSME Clinic is a scheme under the office of the Vice President targeted at helping small and medium enterprises to be positioned for critical roles in re-energising the economy.
A statement by the Commissioner Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives , Mr Ismaila Jayeoba-Alagbada explained that the Vice President will lead the Federal Government delegation to Osun to officially unveil the MSME Clinic and the GEEP in the state.
Jayeoba-Alagbada stated that the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) also known as MarketMoni, is an enterprise intervention program of the President Muhammad Buhari administration that provides soft loans for small businesses at no interests to farmers, artisans and small traders.
GEEP provides soft loans between N25,000 to N250,000 to beneficiaries to catalyse their businesses and provide positive engagements for many Nigerians who hitherto had faced problems of unemployment.
The MSME had earlier been set up in Aba, Ilorin, Sokoto, Jos, Katsina, Calabar, Abeokuta, Abuja, and Uyo.
The program was originally launched in Abuja in July this year.
It was initiated based on the survey that showed that MSMEs contribute about 48% to the annual GDP of the country.
Jayeoba-Alagbada said: “All is set to receive the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo for the flag off of these programmes and we are confident that here in Osun, he would find an already robust programme aimed to energising the economy.
“However, these fresh interventions would go a long way to increase opportunities for our people in the overall mission to empower our people.”

British Company Develops World’s Smartest Condoms That Detects STI, Rates Performance

A British company has released the first pictures of a ‘smart condom’ which collects very intimate data about the sex life of anyone brave enough to wear it.

The device is called the i.Con and can detect sexually transmitted infections as well as sending data about a sex session straight to the wearer’s smartphone.

British Condoms said its ‘revolutionary wearable tech for the bedroom’ measures the number of calories burned during intercourse, the speed of a man’s thrusts, how long he lasts and even what positions are used.

The condom firm said its invention would help men see how they ‘stack up to other people from around the world.’

Adam Leverson, lead engineer for the i.Con Smart Condom, said: “It’s here and it’s beautiful. We wanted the i.Con to look refined, non-intrusive and lightweight – the finished article is nothing short of any of those things.

“There’s a lot of tech packed into the i.Con and for us to be able to deliver it in such a way that there is absolutely no hindrance to the user was our main goal – and I think we have gone above and beyond with the i.Con to make sure of this.

“I’m just so happy that we can now share the i.Con with the world!”

The smart condom is a small band which fits around the bottom of a man’s penis, which means wearers will still need to strap on a normal condom to get full protection.

It is waterproof and features a band that’s “extraordinarily flexible to ensure maximum comfort for all sizes.”

Bizarrely, it even lights up to provide illumination for both partners’ private parts.

John Simmons, a spokesperson for British Condoms, added: “We’re extremely excited to share with the world the first glimpse of the i.Con Smart Condom Ring due to go on sale in the UK in January 2018.

“It’s truly the next step in wearable tech and we believe we have pioneered a product that will not only bring an extra element of fun into the bedroom, but will also help indicate potential STI’s present as well as prevent condom slippage, a leading cause of unplanned pregnancy in the UK.”

The condom company claimed 900,000 people have already written to express interest in the gadget.

Eid El Maulud: FG Declares Friday Public Holiday

The Federal Government has declared Friday as public holiday in commemoration of the Muslim Eid-El-Maulud celebration.

The Minister of Interior, retired Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, according to a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja.

The statement was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Mr Abubakar Magaji.

It said Dambazau urged all Muslim faithful and Nigerians in general to use the occasion to pray for peace, progress and unity of the nation.

He further urged all Nigerians to support the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in its efforts at building a virile nation, and wished Nigerians a happy Eid-El-Maulud celebration.

Eid-El-Maulud is celebrated every year by Muslims on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabi-ul-Awwal as the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.

Buhari Pledges To Return Home Nigerians Trapped In Libya

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the illegal migration of Nigerians declaring that all Nigerians stranded in Libya and other parts of the world will be brought home and rehabilitated.

The President said this on Tuesday night in Abidjan while addressing Nigerians in the Diaspora.

He also vowed to reduce the number of Nigerians heading for Europe illegally through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea by providing basic social amenities such as education, healthcare, and food security at home.

In an interactive session with members of the Nigerian Community in Cote D’ Ivoire, on the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit, President Buhari said all necessary steps will be taken to stem the tide of illegal migration by Nigerians.

Buhari reacting to the report of the death 26 Nigerians in Mediterranean sea said it is very difficult to know the origin of the people who died, while attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, because of lack of documentation.

“When it was announced that 26 Nigerians died recently in the Mediterranean before they proved that they were all Nigerians they buried them.

“But the evidence I have from the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, (Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa) is that only three of them were identified as Nigerians. But I’ll not be surprised if the majority of them were Nigerians.”

The President then advised Nigerians in Cote D’ Ivoire to be good ambassadors in their host country, warning that the Embassy will not hesitate to repatriate those who tarnish the image of the country abroad.

2019: INEC To Partner Political Parties For Credible Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will partnership political parties and other stakeholders in Ebonyi to ensure that the state records credible election in 2019.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Prof. Godswill Obioma, stated this while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Abakaliki on the outcome of a meeting between the commission and Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC).

He said that the collaboration would raise the capacity and awareness of political parties’ members, equip them with knowledge of the electoral process.

Obioma said that the synergy would also enhance understanding of provisions of the nation’s Constitution and the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.

“Our focus, our commitment is on 2019 general elections and the desire to get things done right before and during the elections.

“This is a special IPAC meeting and the aim is to achieve two results,” he said.

According to him, it is to raise capacity ahead of 2019 in terms of equipping members with knowledge of IPAC and the electoral umpire with provisions of the Electoral Act.

Obioma said that it was also to sensitize political parties on the need to adhere to provisions of the Act.

“The meeting also highlighted the legal implications of violating the provisions of the Electoral Law and the need for political parties to conduct their activities within the ambits of the law.

“It is through a strategic partnership with the political parties and key stakeholders that our aim of having credible 2019 elections in the state can be achieved,” Obioma said.

He said that IPAC was set up within the structures of INEC to ensure inclusiveness in policy, transparency and probity in election process.

He pointed out that regular meetings were held to address issues that would benefit the members and electorate.
“IPAC is composed of all the registered political parties and meets with INEC from time to time.

“We chart a way forward, look at challenges, create strategies to combat the challenges and of course, make strategic plans in terms of sensitisation and other issues.

“As I have pointed out earlier, today’s meeting is a special one which was convened to address a particular issue.
“The issue is the provision of 2010 Electoral Law (As amended) with particular reference to section 92 (A) and (B) which deals with campaigns.

“The essence is to alert political parties of the provisions of that Act stipulating the guidelines, time limit, when to start campaigns and when to stop.

“They will know what constitutes a campaign and implications of contravening the provisions of the electoral Act,” the REC said.

He disclosed that the meeting deliberated on the need for violence-free polls in the state, saying that election was not a do-or-die affair.

He said that political parties were reminded to caution members, candidates and their supporters to limit their actions within the provisions of the law and avoid acts that could trigger election violence.

“Election is not a do-or-die affair and we were able to highlight the issue in the meeting and this is why we are calling for the strategic partnership to help build and cement our relationship with political parties.

“We encourage political parties and players to abide by the provisions of the Act to abide by guidelines and also to do all it takes to ensure that elections are credible, fair and free, and that people’s votes count,” Obioma added.

He said that INEC remained an unbiased electoral umpire committed to the discharge of its statutory mandate of conducting impartial and credible elections.

“We in INEC want to assure the public that we are unbiased umpires; we shall do our job, we will carry out our work taking into account our statutory responsibility as provided for in the Act.

“We will not add a vote that doesn’t count nor are we going to subtract a vote that counts.

“We are appealing for cooperation so that at the end of the day, everybody would have seen that we have done the job, people will have been happy to see that their votes have counted.”

Buhari: Tinubu Brought Me “A Beautiful Piece Of Information”

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, brought him “a beautiful piece of information” which he was not aware of before.

Buhari, however, did not disclose what piece of information it was but promised to discuss it in detail with the former Lagos State Governor.

“I also thank our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He has brought me a very beautiful piece of information which I was not aware of it until I sat down and read it this evening (Tuesday night). Thank you very much for your hard work and I will discuss that paper with you,” he said.

The president said this while interacting with the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

He is in the country for the 5th European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit.

He is being accompanied by Tinubu; Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State and Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State.

Buhari Seeks Senate Confirmation Of 10 Members of Code of Conduct Bureau

President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Senate to seek confirmation of 10 nominees as members of the code of conduct bureau, with one of them as chairman.

In a letter read by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Mr. Buhari sought the expeditious confirmation of the nominees.

The letter reads, “In compliance with section 541 of the 1999 constitution as amended and in pursuant to sections 1(2) and 1(3) of the code of conduct bureau act LFN 2004, I write to request for the confirmation of the following nominees for appointment as chairman and members of the bureau.”

The appointees are:

Muhammed Isa – Chairman Jigawa, North West
Murtala Kankia – member, Katsina North West
Emmanuel Attah – member, Cross River, South Sputh
Danjuma Sado, member, Edo South
Obolo Opanachi, member, Kogi North Central
Ken Madaki Alkali, member Nasarawa, North Central
S.F. Ogundare, member, Oyo, South West
Ganiyu Hamzat, member, Ogun South West
Sahad Abubakar, member, Gombe North East
Vincent Nwanne, member, Ebonyi South East

The letter reads further, “The curriculum vitae of the nominees are attached herewith. It is my hope that this Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will in their usual expeditious manner consider and confirm the nominees. Please accept Mr. Senate President, my assurances of my highest consideration.”