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The National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu and senators from northern Nigeria have passed a vote of confidence on the country’s security agencies despite the accidental military drone strike in Tudun Biri village of Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
While 85 persons were confirmed dead in the strike and scores were injured in the most recent military mishap, Ribadu and the lawmakers are commending the commitment of security agencies to reducing the security challenges in the region.
The NSA who gave the commendation when he visited Tudun Biri village on a fact-finding mission, also assured that the bombing incident will not be swept under the carpet. He promised that a holistic investigation would soon commence to avert the recurrence of such an incident.
“We are here to physically see and also talk directly to the people, victims, and families and make an assessment for the Federal Government. It is a tragedy and misfortune. But it has happened. What matters is: how we move forward, what we going to learn from here, and what exactly we need to do,” Ribadu added.
He commended Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State for his display of maturity and leadership in handling of the unfortunate incident, particularly in providing relief materials and other logistics to the victims.
The northern senators, led by Senator Abdul Ningi, also visited Governor Sani to condole with him over the bombing incident.
The senators while expressing grief over the incident, commended security agencies for the success in the war against terrorism and banditry in the North West and North Central geopolitical zones.
They are also appealing to Nigerians to drop their emotions and sentiments over the incident and allow the government to thoroughly investigate the incident to avert recurrence in the future.
While expressing optimism that victims of the military airstrike will get justice, Governor Sani urged the National Assembly to review some obsolete laws that will strengthen security agencies in discharging their constitutional responsibilities effectively.
A former Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi and a former Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai were also at Tudun Biri village to commiserate with the community over the unfortunate incident. They also paid a private visit to the community.
— Muyiwa Adekeye (@MuyiwaAdekeye) December 8, 2023
Army Apologises, Rights Group Faults Incident
“The Nigerian military’s recklessness is a result of the authorities’ consistent failure to hold them to account for a long list of such atrocities. These unlawful killings of civilians cannot be swept under the carpet,” said Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi.
President Bola Tinubu and Governor Sani have also ordered a probe into the matter which threw the nation into mourning.
The incident is the second such accidental airstrike in Nigeria. Scores were also killed in January in Nasarawa State. It happened on the border connecting Benue and Nasarawa states.
The Katsina State Government on Wednesday inaugurated a special committee to probe the omission of some qualified candidates, scoring discrepancies, and other issues trailing the recruitment of 7,325 primary and secondary school teachers by the state government.
The State Commissioner for Women Affairs Zainab Musawa disclosed this to journalists at the Katsina Government House Press Centre shortly after the eighth State Regular Executive Council Meeting presided by Governor Dikko Radda.
She explained that the committee was set up following genuine complaints of some key stakeholders regarding the recent teachers recruitment exercise.
According to Musawa, this will enable the government to give employment offers to 22 qualified candidates omitted and strike out 152 names from the list of the 7,325 recruited teachers because they did not sit for the recruitment examination.
She maintained that 11 persons would also be removed from the initial list because they were not qualified.
Musawa further assured that Governor Radda would sanction the errant officials behind the recruitment scandal, adding that the state government would not take it lightly with anybody found guilty of indiscipline or engaging in acts contravening administrative regulations.
Governor Radda has also directed members of the State Executive Council to immediately commence ‘surprise visitations’ to public schools at their respective local governments of origin.
This is to assess the level of punctuality or otherwise of teachers in Katsina primary and secondary schools.
In the meantime, the State Government also reiterated its bid to commence full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies ( MDAs) in the state civil service from January 2024.
According to the State Commissioner of Finance Bashir Gambo, a private consulting firm has already been engaged to coordinate the TSA implementation.
He explained that the company would operate for six months in the state, adding that within the period, the consulting firm would train personnel and administrators to take over from them after their exit.
The commissioner said this initiative would not only ensure total control of all revenues coming to the state but also block financial leakages.
In a related development, the State Government said it’s set to build at least 204 tube wells at various irrigation sites in the state while also providing solar-powered water pumps to farmers.
In this regard, each of the 34 Local Government Areas of the State would have six tube wells at their selected irrigation sites.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Livestock Management Ahmed Bakori disclosed this to reporters shortly after the Council meeting. He said the Federal Government has pledged to boost rice, wheat, and maize production in the state.
“On its part, the Katsina State Government would soon be providing viable seeds, together with NPK and urea fertilizers to identified dry season farmers in the state. Let me also add that the distribution of the farming inputs would be launched at one of the irrigation sites,” he added.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced that it has discovered over 4,800 illegal connections on oil pipelines in the country.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Mele Kyari disclosed this while appearing before the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Friday, December 8.
“We have over 4,800 illegal connections on our pipelines. That means in some lines, within 100 kilometres of pipelines, you have as much as 300 insertions.
“Therefore, even when you produce the oil, you cannot deliver them at the required pressure and therefore the volume will also be less.”
According to the NNPCL boss, people troop in from other parts of the country to insert illegal connections on pipelines in the oil-producing Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
President Bola Tinubu has expressed optimism on the prospect of increased investments from Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), saying his administration was ready to remove bottlenecks to attract investments.
He emphasised Nigeria’s long-term relationship with the company, which discovered the first commercial oil field at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta in 1956.
Receiving the management of Shell Group led by its Global Integrated Gas and Upstream Director, Ms. Zoe Yujnovich, the president in a statement by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, said his administration would continue to ensure the security and viability of existing and new investments in the country.
“We have made progress since our last meeting. I will continue to support and encourage you on this path. There is no doubt that there is a significant focus on investment in and around the continent. I am spearheading Nigeria’s global march for new investments at home.
“In view of our long-term relationship that has been established over the years, we want you to do more, and we are ready to encourage you in every way possible.
“We are very focused on resolving all investment-related issues. There is no bottleneck that is too difficult for us to remove in our determined march toward making Nigeria the African haven for large-scale investment in all key sectors. We need each other,” the president told the delegation.
In her remarks on behalf of the Shell Group, Ms. Yujnovich expressed Shell’s commitment to maintain its legacy of investments in Nigeria, particularly as the company refocuses its investment to key into new and existing opportunities in the deepwater and gas sectors.
She outlined the company’s dedication to the development of the gas value chain in the country, including a substantial commitment of $1 billion over the next five to 10 years aimed at unlocking gas resources for domestic use and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) project.
Ms. Yujnovich announced an imminent $5 billion investment opportunity in the Bonga North project off the shores of Nigeria, located in the deep water.
She expressed Shell’s eagerness to proceed with this investment and outlined several prospective investments that Shell Group is eyeing in Nigeria over the short to medium term. She commended the collaboration her team has experienced with the minister of state for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri and the special sdviser to the president on energy, Olu Verheijen, while acknowledging their roles in achieving significant progress in actualising the potential of these projects as well as others.
“Mr. President, I want to be successful in my role, and I cannot be successful in my role unless I can find a way to bring more new investments to Nigeria.
“I have made commitments to our investors that we will continue to invest in gas and oil. In Nigeria, I see all the conditions to continue to make this partnership stronger. In the deep water, we have an imminent investment opportunity in Bonga North. This is $5 billion. I am really keen to make that investment as soon as possible. We want to continue and build a pipeline of new investments in Nigeria,” she said.
Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has presented a N225.8bn budget estimate for 2024 to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
Dubbed the ‘Budget of Reengineering’, the estimate includes N111.3bn (49.3 per cent) for recurrent, and N114.5bn (50.7 per cent) for capital expenditure.
The proposed budget is higher than the N214.2bn of 2023, which according to the governor, is based on current economic indicators such as an oil production benchmark of 1.78 million barrels per day, oil price benchmark of $77.96/barrel, an exchange rate of N750/$, national GDP growth rate of 3.75 per cent and national inflation rate of 21.5 per cent.
Fintiri revealed that the budget includes N68.047bn from statutory allocation, N47.7bn from the share of Value Added Tax, N1bn from the ecological fund, N16bn for exchange rate difference, N6.6bn from non-oil revenue, N2.2bn from other FAAC transfers, N22.2bn from internally generated revenue, N4.9bn from aids and grants, and N57.1bn from capital receipts.
The Ministry of Works and Energy Development will receive N25.5bn; Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, N15.6bn; Ministry of Health and Human Services, N6.3bn; Ministry of Finance, N6.066bn; Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, N4.9bn; and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, N4.6bn.
The governor stated that the state would continue to maintain the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) programme, which is fully implemented in the state.
He directed all ministries, departments and agencies to include the classification code and vote of charge balance on their memos when requesting fund release to enable financial experts to accurately track releases.
Fintiri also stated that the state government would continue to train and equip civil servants with skills to improve their desk functions and enhance service delivery in the state.
Fintiri emphasised that the state would explore untapped sources of revenue to enhance revenue generation.
He added that his administration would prioritise key areas to improve the state’s fortune while carrying out its duties in all social and economic spheres with due diligence.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Bathiya Wesley, pledged that the House would act promptly to ensure the timely approval of the budget for the overall development of the state.
No fewer than five fake hospitals have been shut down by the Ebonyi State government while three fake drug distributors were arrested.
Governor Francis Nwifuru disclosed this on the floor of the House of Assembly as he presented the 2024 budget estimate, christened: “Budget of Innovation and Success,” to the legislature.
He said 107 medical quacks in the state have singed undertaking with a task-force on medical quackery in the state never to indulge in the unwholesome practice again.
Nwifuru said he was committed to upgrading the 13 general hospitals across the state to change its health status and provide access to healthcare services for rural dwellers
He said: “A total of 107 medical quacks have signed undertaking with the task-force on medical quackery never to indulge in quackery in Ebonyi State.
“The total of five quack centres have been shut down. The quack centres that have been shut down are: Eleri Hospital Afikpo, Party Hospital Ugbodo, Homeopathic Specialist Hospital Igbeagu, St. Patrick Hospital Iboko, and Alexander Hospital Umuezeoka.
“There’s also apprehension of three major distributors of fake drugs in the state and collaboration with the requisite agencies such as National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
“Imagine a state where every citizen regardless of their locations has access to world class health services.
“Our ongoing efforts to upgrade all the 13 general hospitals across the state are not just infrastructure enhancement. They are pathways to healing and hopes.”
A Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, has granted stringent bail conditions to three persons who were arrested for UTME registration impersonation examination malpractice.
Timilehin Akinwale, Olayinka Mustapha and Peter Okereke, were arrested on February 15th, 2023 at Aina Awaw International College, Ilu Abo, which was a CBT centre for Jamb registration and examination.
They were arraigned and remanded to prison custody in May, 2023.
At the resumed hearing of the case Thursday, Justice T.O Adegoke, granted bail to the defendants to the sum of N1m each and sureties who must have a company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) and do business within Akure metropolis.
Justice Adegoke ruled that the sureties must show evidence of tax clearance for the past three years and must deposit the original copies of their company registration certificates with the Registrar of the Court while the sum of one million by each of the defendants must be deposited in the account to be provided by the Court Registrar.
The sureties and each of the defendants, according to the Judge must write an undertaking that the defendants would attend their trial till the conclusion of the case.
Prosecuting Counsel, M. I. Osimen, called a witness, Oyegun Gabriel, the Technical Officer, who detected the suspicious registration transactions.
Oyegun gave evidence and tendered his the JAMB registration printout in respect of the 2nd defendant.
He explained to the court how the defendants were arrested at the Aina Awwal CBT Centre, Akure, for impersonation.
Oyegun almost informed the court that the defendants gave a written statement at the office of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), Akure Command.
Relatives of the defendants said they were afraid that the defendants might spend the Christmas and New Year in prison custody saying the bail conditions would be difficult to meet.
Forty eight hours after being summoned by the Senate, the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has now appeared before the joint committee on appropriations.
The Senate had issued a 24-hour ultimatum on Wednesday to the NNPCL boss after an observations that he had in previous occasions, shunned summons by the Senate to appear before its ad-committee probing over 11 trillion naira expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.
Responding to questions by the senate committee on appropriations on the potential drop in pump price of petroleum owing to the expected functionality of refineries, Kyari clarified his comment after he was interrogated again. He explained that it might be possible to have a reduction, but it is not the main objective of the refineries.
He buttressed that maintaining the energy security target has fostered the confidence that in 2024, Nigeria will become a net exporter of petroleum products.
The NNPCL boss affirmed that no subsidy is charged to the federation, adding that the NNPC has contributed 4.45 trillion naira as direct revenue into the federation in a combination of taxes, royalties and dividends and paid 406 billion naira as dividend to Federal Government’s account from July 2023.
According to him, Nigeria does not have credible data for PMS consumption in the country because of the absence of the instrument to measure.
The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, had on Wednesday, directed Kyari to appear before the committee in 24 hours.
Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.
They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.
The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government.
The Nigerian Navy has arrested 17 people said to be engaged in the illegal siphoning of crude oil in Ondo State.
Navy spokesperson, Commodore Adedotun Olukayode Ayo-Vaughan, disclosed this in a statement, saying the suspects were nabbed at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Igbokoda in the early hours of Thursday.
Also intercepted by the naval authorities was a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 Lagos.
“The vessel had 17 crew members onboard at the time of arrest and was caught engaging in illegal siphoning of crude oil from one of the well heads at EBESAN oil field about 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State,” he stated.
“The apprehension of the vessel was based on credible intelligence received by the Base on the illegal activities of crude oil thieves at the location which informed the swift deployment of FOB IGBOKODA personnel to enforce the arrest of the vessel and her crew.
“Notably, as the anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of FOB IGBOKODA approached MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS, the 2 x boats attached to the vessel fled on sighting the naval personnel which confirmed the engagement of the vessel in illegality.”
The naval spokesman stated that on arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the vessel was actively involved in siphoning crude oil from both sides of the wellhead.
Consequently, upon further search and interrogation, Ayo-Vaughan said it was further discovered that the vessel had onboard 17 crew members of Nigerian nationality.
Noting that the vessel’s storage capacity is about 15,000 metric tonnes and as at the time of arrest, the naval spokesman said it had loaded about 500 Metric tonnes of crude oil.
He noted that the arrest of MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS shows the Nigerian Navy’s determination to curb crude oil theft and all manners of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime domain.
“All criminals and their cohorts are hereby warned that the Nigerian Navy will use all legitimate means at its disposal to track and arrest perpetrators of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime environment.
“While individuals carrying out legitimate business are advised to go about their legitimate activities, the Nigerian Navy solicits the cooperation of patriotic and well-meaning members of the public to promptly report any form of criminalities, especially in the coastal communities for necessary action,” Ayo-Vaughan said.
See the full statement below:
CRUDE OIL THEFT: NIGERIAN NAVY ARRESTS MOTOR TANKER VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS FOR CRUDE OIL THEFT
- The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, (FOB) IGBOKODA in Ondo on Wednesday 6 December 2023 at about 10:00pm detected and arrested in the early hours of Thursday 7 December 2023 at about 3.00am, a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS. The vessel had 17 crew members onboard at the time of arrest was caught engaging in illegal siphoning of crude oil from one of the well heads at EBESAN oil field about 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. The apprehension of the vessel was based on credible intelligence received by the Base on the illegal activities of crude oil thieves at the location which informed the swift deployment of FOB IGBOKODA personnel to enforce the arrest of the vessel and her crew.
- Notably, as the anti-Crude Oil Theft Patrol Team of FOB IGBOKODA approached MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS, the 2 x boats attached to the vessel fled on sighting the naval personnel which confirmed the engagement of the vessel in illegality. Accordingly, on arrival at the scene, it was discovered that the vessel was actively involved in siphoning crude oil from both sides of the well head. Consequently, upon further search and interrogation, it was further discovered that the vessel had onboard 17 crew members of Nigerian nationality. The vessel’s storage capacity is about 15,000 metric tonnes and as at the time of arrest she had loaded about 500 Metric tonnes of crude oil.
- The arrest of MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS attests to the Nigerian Navy’s determination to curb crude oil theft and all manners of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime domain. All criminals and their cohorts are hereby warned that the Nigerian Navy will use all legitimate means at its disposal to track and arrest perpetrators of illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime environment. While individuals carrying out legitimate business are advised to go about their legitimate activities, the Navy solicits the cooperation of patriotic and well – meaning members of the public to promptly report any form of criminalities especially in the coastal communities to the Nigerian Navy for necessary action.
- Furthermore, it is believed that Tantita Security Service (TSS) is involved in these illegalities because Awoye riverine area which is close to the place of arrest is covered by TSS. Again, it was upon the arrest of the vessel by the Nigerian Navy that TSS began to raise false alarm, totally unfounded and indeed mischievous. Nonetheless, the Nigerian Navy remains resolute in the pursuit of her constitutional mandate for the protection of Nigeria’s Maritime Environment for national economic development and prosperity.
- You are please kindly requested to disseminate this information.
AO AYO-VAUGHAN Commodore
Director of Information
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has alerted Nigerians to be cautious of counterfeit naira notes in circulation.
The apex bank issued this warning in a statement it released on Friday, advising Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses, Bureau de Change, and the public to be vigilant and implement necessary precautions.
The CBN, however, assured the public that it is working with law enforcement operatives to apprehend those responsible for circulating counterfeit currency.
It also encouraged the public to embrace alternative modes of payment for day-to-day transactions to mitigate the risk of spreading counterfeit banknotes.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been drawn to the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, significantly higher denominations, by some individuals for transactions in food markets and other commercial centers across major cities in the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 20(4) of the CBN Act (2007) as amended, states that: “It shall be an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years for any person to falsify, make or counterfeit any bank note or coin issued by the Bank which is legal tender in Nigeria.”
“The CBN is constantly collaborating with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate fake Naira banknotes and arrest and prosecute counterfeiters.
“Members of the public are also encouraged to report anyone suspected of having counterfeit naira notes to the nearest police station or branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“Meanwhile, all Deposit Money Banks, Financial Houses and Bureau de Change and the general public are enjoined to be more vigilant and take all necessary precautionary measures to curtail the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit notes.
“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment, echannels, for day-to-day transactions to mitigate the risk of spreading counterfeit banknotes.”
Katsina State governor, Mallam Dikko Umaru Radda, has called on the federal government to probe the death of over 100 people in last weekend‘s misjudged bombings in Kaduna State.
He described the situation as a „tragic and devastating incident“ that left many in sorrow and anguish.
The governor made the plea in a statement signed by his chief press secretary, Ibrahim Mohammed Kaula, condoling the people and the government of Kaduna State as well as families of the affected victims.
He expressed sadness over the gruesome event which could have been avoided if the military troops had carefully analyzed the credible intelligence they had received of terrorists‘ movement, before launching their brutal aerial onslaught.
“The fact that this ugly incident is not just occurring for the first time calls for serious concern. But moving forward, lessons should be learnt, to avoid a recurrence.
„The government and people of Katsina State share in the sorrow of this unfortunate mishap. We stand in solidarity with the victims and their dejected families.
„More importantly, we urge the federal government and the military hierarchy to thoroughly probe this latest miscalculated airstrike, which has left sorrow and agony in its wake.
„Let its immediate and remote causes be investigated diligently, and necessary preventive measures taken.
„Also, the need for gathering credible and actionable intelligence before military operations are launched by troops cannot be overemphasized,“ the statement reads.
Arewa Youth Federation has disassociated itself from the demands for the sacking of the minister of defence, Badaru Abubakar, over the recent Kaduna bombing.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Comrade Adamu Adamu, the group said it does not know the individuals who held a rally calling for Badaru‘s dismissal.
While expressing regret over the unfortunate incident, Adamu lamented the political exploitation of security issues by certain politicians, particularly the use of fifth columnists who see the minister as the stumbling block to their selfish interests.
The group, however, reiterated its support for this minister‘s efforts to eradicate insecurity and usher the nation onto a trajectory of enduring peace, stability, and economic prosperity.
The statement said, „As representatives of the Arewa Youth Federation (AYF), we gathered here today to emphatically disassociate ourselves and the entire Northern Nigerian youth from the recent demands presented by a group during a rally held in Abuja, demanding the resignation of the Hon. Minister of Defence or his sack by the President.
„It‘s imperative to acknowledge the commendable efforts of the Minister of Defence in addressing the security challenges in the nation inherited by the current administration, particularly in stabilizing the Northern region which was severely ravaged by banditry activities. Notably, there has been a noticeable decrease in daily kidnappings along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway which testifies to the progress made so far in addressing insecurity challenges across the country.
“These proactive measures taken so far, have curbed the menace of bandits and crippled their capacity to carry out audacious attacks on villages as seen in the past thus providing a sense of security to the affected communities and the citizens at large. Regrettably, we recognize the unfortunate incident in Tudun Biri village in Kaduna State where civilians attending a Maulud gathering were mistakenly affected by an operation of the Nigerian Army that was originally meant to target bandits.”
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the country’s budgeting agencies to separate the budget of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) from Nigeria’s annual budget to enable effective implementation of the Fund’s mandate.
ASUU president, Prof Emmanuel Osodoke, made the appeal, yesterday, during TETFund Alliance for Innovative Research (TETFAIR) showcase held at Innov8 Technology Hub, Airport Road, Abuja.
Osodeke, who was speaking against the backdrop of suspicion that the national budget may not enjoy 100 per cent implementation, observed that strangely, for the first time, the government decided to add TETFund’s budget to the national budget.
The ASUU president added that once TETTund’s budget is included in the national budget, „it is finished.”
He also called on Nigerians to deal with the inferiority complex, which allows them to depend on services abroad, stating that every country in the world that wants to develop must use its ideas and use its people and those ideas are in the universities.
Osodeke decried continuous patronage of foreign goods and services by Nigerians even when they can be sourced locally.
“In 2020 we were challenged to produce something better than IPPIS, it took us two months to produce it, UTA, which we have presented to the National Assembly, to the House; then we said let’s test the twin and IPPIS came last; but Nigeria insisted on using IPPIS.
“Every year, the Nigerian government pays $40 to a company in the UK to pay my salary and you reject the one in your university. You want to do anything you run abroad,” he said.
While commending TETFund for the TETFAIR project, he assured that the men engaged in the scheme can solve Nigeria‘s problems, stating that “we must come back home and use our ideas.”
Osodeke also warned against political interference in TETFund from authorities overseeing the ministry.
“Nigeria is in a deep crisis. Our best brains whether in the academic or medical field are leaving the country. Thousands of our colleagues, the good ones, are leaving the country. Some are leaving to go and farm. We must rescue our country. Allow the money for universities go into universities,” he said.
Also, the minister of labour and employment, Simon Lalong, who described the occasion as a celebration of the remarkable innovative achievements over the year, said the scheme serves as a platform for researchers and innovators to showcase their groundbreaking ideas to transform them into tangible solutions.
Lalong expressed confidence that the valuable experiences gained through the TETFAIR will empower Nigerian scholars to contribute significantly to their fields at home and internationally.
Earlier, the executive secretary of TETFund, Arc Sonny Echono, said the fair was organised to support researchers in universities to bring their innovative ideas to fruition.
While reiterating the importance of Nigeria transiting to a knowledge-based economy, Echono stated that the world has moved from a resource rich economy to a knowledge-based one and Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind.
“TETFund, as the foremost interventionist agency in Nigeria‘s Tertiary Education Sector has deepened its intervention in content- based programmes. The Fund is making conscious investments in support of research, innovation and development as it remains the most compelling strategy for accelerating sustainable growth.
“In our bid to promote the institutionalisation of R&D, we have sought effective support for impactful research and innovation through partnership between tertiary institutions/research institutes, industry and government as a national response towards technology,” he said.
On his part, the minister of state for education, Hon Yusuf Sununu, said the TETFAIR was not the only research effort being made towards national development, stating that Nigerian researchers were also engaged in multi prong efforts, including the development of vaccines for preventable diseases in Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
Sununu called on TETFund to scale up copyright ownership protection so that the innovators will not lose copyright ownership of their products and services.
In her remarks, the chairman House Committee on Tertiary Education, Princess Miriam Onouha, expressed satisfaction with the level of research efforts put together by Nigerian academics through TETFund‘s partnership with Innov8 Hub under the TETFAIR scheme.
Onouha expressed hope that gains made in the project will eventually help to address unemployment in the country, while assuring that the legislature will provide the needed support to ensure success of the TETFAIR.
President Vladimir Putin said Friday he will run for re-election in 2024, Russian news agencies reported, allowing the Kremlin leader to extend his decades-long grip on power into the 2030s.
The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.
Putin told Lieutenant Colonel Artyom Zhoga, a Russian military officer, about his decision to participate in the vote following an awards ceremony for army personnel at the Kremlin, state-run news agencies reported.
Putin will not face any major challengers in his bid for a fifth term and will likely seek as big a mandate as possible in order to conceal domestic discord over the Ukraine conflict, analysts say.
Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.
Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers will likely be barred from monitoring the upcoming vote.
Putin tightened media rules on covering the 2024 election in November, banning some independent media outlets from accessing polling stations.
The election will be held over a three day period from March 15-17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.
Five major parties have been allowed to submit a candidate for the 2024 vote without collecting signatures, all of which support the Kremlin and the offensive in Ukraine.
Putin’s most high-profile rival, Alexei Navalny, is currently serving a 19-year prison sentence on charges his supporters say are false.
In a statement issued through his team Thursday, he encouraged Russians to vote for “any other candidate” aside from Putin and called the elections a “parody” of electoral procedure.
– Pariah –
Since launching its full-scale assault on Ukraine last February, the Kremlin has waged a sweeping crackdown on dissent that rights groups have likened to the Soviet era.
Thousands of people have been detained and imprisoned for protests, and many thousands more have fled the country in fear of being called up to fight.
The Ukraine offensive has made the Kremlin chief a pariah among Western leaders and his country has been hit by unprecedented sanctions designed to curb its funding for the conflict.
But while sanctions initially prompted an exodus of Western companies and turbulence in industry, the economy has proven resilient and Putin’s domestic approval ratings have remained high.
Moscow has re-oriented much of its energy exports to Asian clients including China, allowing it to continue pouring money into the offensive, now in its 22nd month.
Analysts say Putin has sensed revived fortunes as Western support for Ukraine frays and Kyiv’s counter-offensive fails to pierce heavily entrenched Russian lines.
In a bid to boost turnout at the last presidential election in 2018, which saw Putin win by a landslide in every region, officials cast the vote as a pivotal battle against Western values.
The Kremlin appears to be employing the same strategy this time round, labelling the “international LGBT movement” as extremist in recent weeks, as part of a broader culture war with the West.