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Era of Looting Without Fear at NSITF Gone—Ngige

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chris ngige NSITF

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, has charged the new board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) to abhor corruption as the era of looking at the agency was gone for good.

Mr Ngige, while inaugurating the board on Tuesday in Abuja, said the new team must live down the past and lead a rewarding change in the fortunes of the NSITF.

He also charged the members to work to reposition and revitalise the organisation to fulfil its mandate in accordance with the Act establishing it.

The Minister also directed that procurement in the organisation must be done in accordance with Procurement Act 2007, Finance Act 2000, Financial Regulation and extant government circulars, especially on the threshold of procurement items.

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“Ladies and gentlemen, on your shoulders lies the burden of untying this organization from the tethers of stagnation. We must live down the past and lead a rewarding change in the fortunes of the NSITF.

“The years of the locust are now over. The era of looting of N48 billion without a single voucher is gone for good,” Mr Ngige was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Deputy Director Press and Head of Public Relations at the Ministry, Mr Charles Akpan.

The Minister also appealed to the members to adhere strictly to “the statutory conditions of service and remunerations for board members approved by the Minister as enshrined in the NSITF Act.”

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He expressed optimism that the new management would steer the ship of the organisation well enough for it to perform creditably its principal mandate, which is implementing the Employee Compensation Act (ECA 2010).

The ECA 2020, according to him, provides for “a fair, guaranteed and adequate compensation for all insured employees in case of any injury, disease, disability or even death arising out of or in the course of work.”

The new management is required to forward a quarterly and annual report of its performance to the Ministry of Labour of Employment.

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The inaugurated members of the management board of the NSITF were Dr Akabogu, Michael (Managing Director/Chief Executive); Mrs Akinwale, Caroline Temitope (Executive Director, Finance and Investment); Mrs Allagoa, Maureen (Executive Director, Administration); and Mr Gana, Modu (Executive Director,  Operations).

Others were nominal members comprising Mrs Lauretta Adogu, Director, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, to represent Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Alhaji Najeem Yasin, Deputy President,  Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), representative.

Chairman of the board of NSITF, Mr Austin Enajemo Isire, in his remarks, commended the members of the team for standing firm and accepting to serve.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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LG Polls: Ogun Imposes Movement Restriction

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Ogun LG Polls

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Ogun State Government has announced a statewide restriction of movement between 7 am and 4 pm on Saturday, July 24, 2021, to allow for the conduct of local government elections.

The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, said the restriction was at the instance of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), which is conducting the councilorship and chairmanship elections in all the 236 wards across the 20 local government areas in the state.

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However, during the period of the restriction, voters will be free to move to their polling centres within their neighbourhood and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.

The statement urged the electorate to be peaceful and avoid any act that could tarnish the hard-earned reputation of Ogun State as one of the most peaceful states in the country.

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This is coming after the Lagos State Government restricted movement between 8 am and 3 pm on Saturday for the same purpose.

Mr Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, had said in a statement Thursday that the restriction will enable the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct hitch-free elections across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas in the state.

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“The restriction will facilitate the ease of movement of the electorate, election materials and LASIEC officials for the sanctity of the election, effective monitoring and enhanced security,” Mr Omotoso said.

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Everybody Needs PR—Yomi Badejo-Okusanya

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yomi badejo okusanya Everybody Needs PR

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Group Managing Director of CMC Connect BCW, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya (YBO), has emphasised the importance of Public Relations to organisations and individuals, saying everybody needs PR.

Mr Badejo-Okusanya, who doubles as the president of the African Public Relations Association (APPA), therefore, submitted that efforts should be made to have a better understanding of the profession, noting that PR is different from journalism but both work together to achieve great results.

He called on organisations, leaders, nations, policy and decision-makers to never overlook the value that PR brings to the table.

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“Many still bear in mind that PR is only about press releases and organising events whilst those with an understanding of the weight PR professionals pull as a result of their expertise have yielded great results for themselves,” he said.

Mr Badejo-Okusanya, while speaking on the first-ever World PR Day held on July 16, 2021, charged practitioners to push forward the agenda of PR in their daily dealings, stressing that “PR needs PR.”

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The APRA leader said the decision to set aside a day for PR and a unified global agenda was indeed a welcome development, stressing that, for the past 33 years, APPA has been able to gather PR Practitioners in Africa and recently across the globe under one roof to push forward the agenda of PR, the profession itself and discuss issues, trends and solutions to PR needs.

“I am delighted because this day speaks to the fact that our effort is yielding results in ways that will take the profession to the level where it belongs and better utilized by organisations, businesses, nations, brands, individuals, decision and policymakers.

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“Truth is, everybody needs PR. It is part of our daily lives and PR is about telling a compelling story! This call for unity on a day such as this will bring about great opportunities and collaborations that will be beneficial to our profession in the long run,” he said.

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MIIVOC to Train FIRS Officials on FOI Act

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FOI Act

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A group known as the Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) is taking steps to improve the knowledge of government officials in the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2011.

Already, it has concluded arrangements with the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to train key personnel on the provisions and application of the law.

“Knowledge and capacity on the FOI Act are still very low in the country. There is a need for training and retraining of representatives of public institutions on the provisions and applications of the Act.

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“Poor understanding of the provisions of the FOI Act is one of the reasons for its poor implementation in Nigeria, particularly, among state actors,” the Executive Director of MIIVOC, Mr Walter Duru, said.

“Section 13 of the FOI Act makes it mandatory for public institutions to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right to access information or records held by the government or public institutions, as provided for in this Act,” he added.

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“Pursuant to section 13 of the FOI Act, the present management of FIRS approved the training for relevant officials of the Service on the FOI Act, with the view to ensuring increased compliance. The training is to be held on Thursday and Friday this week in Abuja,” Mr Duru also stated.

The MIIVOC chief, who also chairs the board of the Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria called on other public institutions in the country to take steps towards enhancing the capacity of their officials through regular training and retraining on the provisions of the Act.

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He also called on Nigerian citizens to take advantage of the FOI Act to hold governments at all levels accountable.

Mr Duru, an Assistant Professor of Communication and Multimedia Design at the American University of Nigeria, Yola is the leader of the non-state actors drive on FOI Implementation in Nigeria – Chairman of Freedom of Information Coalition in Nigeria.

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