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COVID-19: FG Commences N20,000 Conditional Cash Transfer To Poor Households

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The Federal Government has commenced the disbursement of N20,000 Conditional Cash Transfer to indigent households (poor) at the Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

This is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to help reduce the effect of President Muhammadu’s lockdown order following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar-Farouk, said on Wednesday while kickstarting the disbursement that due to the scourge of COVID-19, the Federal Government is giving out N20,000 per person for the next four months starting from March 2020.

Sadia-Umar-Farouq

She explained that the President during his broadcast last week directed that the Conditional Cash Transfer should be given in advance of two months.

“We have directed immediate cash transfer to the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country,” she said.

“Because of this COVID-19, the vulnerable groups have to expand, because we are aware that there are people who live on daily wage, so we are also going to look at those groups of people to see how we can get this food relief intervention to them in this period.”

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PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS: AVIATION MINISTER, PERMANENT SECRETARY SIGN AGREEMENT

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In furtherance of the implementation of the Performance Management System in the nation’s public service, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Abubakar Sirika, has signed a Performance Management commitment with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole.

A statement by Dr James Odaudu
Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation on Public Affairs stated that the Performance management agreement was signed at a ministerial retreat organised by the Ministry in Abuja.

Speaking at the event Senator Sirika expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for granting approval to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to introduce the Performance Management System (PMS) in the Service, as the PMS is meant to change the old APER system used to appraise the performance of civil servants to determine their promatability to their next grade levels.

According to the Minister, the new system provides a platform that ensures a reliable assessment of officers, ensuring that promotion is purely based on verifiable merit.

The retreat with the theme “Delivering on the Aviation Roadmap through effective Performance Management System “ provided the latitude for the Permanent Secretary to sign a compact agreement on his key deliverable areas in line with the mandate of the Ministry and the nation’s sustainable goals.
The Retreat was also used by the Directors of the Ministry to sign their own compact agreements with the Permanent Secretary.

During the signing, the Honourable Minister eulogized the competency of the Permanent Secretary and for his vision in bringing together Directors of the Minister to have robust discussions and evaluation of the Seven (7) Aviation Roadmap envisioned by him on assumption of duty in 2015. He urged Directors of the Ministry to continue to give their supports to the Permanent Secretary for the purpose of delivering on the mandate of the Ministry and presidential deliverables.

Also speaking at the Retreat, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Meribole acknowledged the commitment of the minister to the welfare of the Ministry’s staff, and creating an appropriate environment for the realisation of the ministry’s mandate.

He reiterated the commitment of the management and staff of the ministry to the successful implementation of the aviation roadmap which is at the completion stage.

The Retreat, anchored by Diadems Global Support Services, a Consultancy outfit, had papers presented on “Ministerial Mandates and the Roadmap “; Emotional Intelligence “; Health and Wellness; and “Performance Management “.

The Retreat which began on Thursday 26th January, is expected to end with a Communique on Saturday.

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Buhari Appoints Prof Abdullahi Mohammed FCT SUBEB Chairman, Approves Constitution Of 3 Boards In FCT

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*President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the constitution of three Boards in the Federal Capital Territory Administration.*

The constituted boards under the supervision of the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, are FCT Universal Basic Education, FCT Area Council Service Commission, and FCT Primary Health Care Board respectively.

A letter from the office of the Chief of Staff to the President disclosed that the approval was sequel to a request made by the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, in a letter dated December 21, 2022.

The 14-member appointed to oversee the activities of the FCT Universal Basic Education Board include Abdullahi Mohammed, a Professor of Public Administration, as Chairman, Sule Alhassan as Secretary, Murtala Usman Karshi as member. Hon. Mohammed Angulu Loko, Adaji Usman, Hassan Musa Mohammed and Haj. Binta Mohammed Mayana, are also expected to serve as members of the FCT-UBEB board.

Other members include Haj. Aisha Ibrahim Baiye, Hon. Dapo Olutekunbi, Comr. Suleiman Ango, Hamidu Sarki, Hafsat Ismail, Adamu Mohammed Galadima and Ndatsu Mohammed.

Members appointed to manage the affairs of the FCT Area Council Service Commission include Hon. Audi Haruna Shekwolo as Chairman, Musa Loko as Administrative Secretary, Alh. Usman Yahaya, as Permanent Member 1, and Prince Suleiman Tanko Abubakar, as Permanent Member 2,.

Others include Yuda Pius Azana as member, Haj. Rakiya Ibrahim, Mrs. Nike Abubakar, Malam Rajab Yabagi, Haj. Aisha Adamu, Abdullahi Galadima and Alh. Shuaibu Umar.     

While the 12-member appointed to oversee the activities of the FCT Primary Health Care Board include Sen. Usman Jibril Wowo as Chairman, Dr. Isah Yahaya Vatsa as Secretary, Mrs. Sarauniya E. Erondu as Resident member, Haj. Amina Idris, and a representative of FCDA Director.

Others include a representative of Area Council Services Secretariat Director, Chairman of ALGON FCT Chapter, Director of FCT Treasury, General Manager FCT Health Management Board, Executive Secretary FCT Health Insurance Scheme, Chairman NMSA FCT branch and Chairman JOHESU, FCT branch.

The boards that will be inaugurated soon are expected to facilitate the administrative process in the FCT Universal Basic Education, FCT Area Council Service Commission, and FCT Primary Health Care Board respectively.

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We’re Committed to Free, Fair and Credible Elections – INEC Chairman

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By Emmanuel Oloniruha

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it’s leaving no stone unturned in its quest to ensure hitch-free and credible 2023 general election.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said this when he addressed the press at Chatham House, London, on Tuesday.

Yakubu said that INEC was satisfied with the level of its of preparations for the election, saying that 11 out of 14 activities scheduled for the election had been accomplished.

He, however, said that in spite of extensive preparations, there were still some outstanding issues and challenges of concern, some of which were beyond INEC.

Yakubu said that one of the problems had to do with the current security challenges in the country and the possible impact on the election.

He said security challenges in many African countries remained source of concern for election managers.

“For many years, Nigeria has been grappling with its own insecurity in the North-East, the long-standing Boko Haram insurgency has continued, albeit with attacks now more intermittent than regular.

“In the North-West and the North-Central, banditry, terrorism and the herder-farmer conflicts remain major challenges.

“In the South-South, the threat of renewed insurgency by groups demanding more share of petroleum revenue to the Niger Delta continues to simmer.

“In the South-West, although an earlier surge by a group demanding independence for the region has considerably dissipated, recent violent attacks on places of worship, rise in the activities of violent cults and kidnapping groups, as well as a history of violence involving groups seeking to control markets and motor parks remain strong,” he said.

Yakubu added: “In the South-East, the lingering agitation for separatism championed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) pose a major security threat.

“Not only have violent attacks by a number of armed groups increased, the long-standing weekly lockdown of the five States in that geo-political zone, continue to disrupt social and economic activities”.

He said that violence and threat of violence were major challenges to organising credible election in 2023.

He said that violence could make deployments for elections difficult, particularly where some of the attacks targeted at the electoral process and participants.

Yakubu, however, said the commission had been working with security agencies and other stakeholders to establish mechanisms to understand, track and mitigate security challenges.

“We are working collaboratively in the context of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

“We also have the Election Violence Mitigation and Advocacy Tool (EVMAT), which is a research and diagnostic tool for predicting and mitigating election violence prior to elections.

“In addition, there is the Election Risk Management Tool (ERM), which tracks and reports general risks to elections.

“In all, we feel assured by the actions we have taken and our collaboration with the security agencies. The 2023 general election will proceed as planned. There is no plan to postpone the election,” he said.

The INEC boss said that another challenge was the fate of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and rising attacks on INEC facilities, materials and staff.

He said that although INEC had revised its policy on IDPs voting, it was difficult to identify IDPs in some states as they lived in host communities or extended family members or in communities where they were not registered voters.

“As a result, it is very difficult for the Commission to provide necessary electoral services to such IDPs. However, those in camps within Nigeria will be catered for in line with the commission’s policy,” he said.

Yakubu said that between 2019 and 2022 INEC experienced 50 attacks on its facilities, mostly in the form of arson and vandalisation.

He said that the 2022 attacks constituted the deepest concerns for INEC.

‘’This is so not only because they are increasingly happening closer to the general election, but also because some of them seem to be coordinated,” he said.

He said that the implication of the attacks was that those facilities must be rebuilt and several election materials must be replaced.

“Further, the commission and security agencies must have to increase the number of their personnel to these facilities.

“Nevertheless, the commission is determined to continue its preparations for the general election in spite of these attacks.

“So far, all the destroyed facilities will be rebuilt, or alternatives found, and the materials lost are being replaced.

“However, the commission has repeatedly called for more concerted efforts to control the attacks,” he said.

He listed other challenges to include campaign violence, fake news and disinformation, campaign finance and vote buying as well as litigations.

Yakubu said that in spite of the challenges, INEC had promised Nigerians and friends of Nigeria that the 2023 general election would be free, fair, credible and inclusive.

“We have left no stone unturned in preparing for it, in spite of several challenges.

“But all elections, especially those involving the type of extensive national deployment like we do in Nigeria, will naturally come with challenges.

“We have worked closely with stakeholders and development partners to confront these challenges and we are satisfied with our preparations so far.

“Our commission does not take the pledge that we have repeatedly made to Nigerians lightly. We are leaving no stone unturned in our preparations,” he said.

Yakubu renewed INEC’s commitment to serving Nigerians only as an independent body.

“We cherish the institutional independence and integrity of the commission.

“With the enthusiasm of Nigerians, the goodwill of stakeholders and partners, and the commitment of the Commission, we believe that the 2023 general election will be among the best conducted in Nigeria,” he said.

He acknowledged that there were enormous expectations, both within Nigeria and outside, on the conduct and management of the election.

Yakubu said that those expectations placed a great responsibility on INEC, a responsibility that was not taken lightly.

“We appreciate that there are challenges and concerns. But we also realise that there is enormous goodwill and support, both in Nigeria and beyond,” he said.(NAN)

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