By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Navy has been commended by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for the delisting of the country from the red list of the International Maritime Bureau.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Mr Bashir Jamoh, gave the commendation during a panel session at the ongoing 2022 Navy Week, marking the 66th-anniversary celebration of the security agency.
Mr Jamoh also advocated an enabling triangle which, according to him, signifies infrastructure, good governance and maritime security, as the enabler of the blue economy.
“Now I do take what I call in my book, harnessing the Nigerian Maritime Asset which in other words is called the blue economy. One of the recommendations was the enabling triangle; and the triangle signifies, infrastructure, good governance and maritime security.
“Now without these three things there cannot be an enabled blue economy.
“Good governance means administrative function of managing the sea and ocean. How do we ensure effective administration of the maritime domain in the Gulf of Guinea?
“Because if you cannot administer the waters in the Gulf of Guinea, it means that the issue of harnessing the blue economy in terms of fishing and other economic benefits in the Gulf of Guinea is going to be difficult,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with the Naval Officers Wives Association has carried out free medical outreach for the Onne community in Rivers State as part of activities for its 66th-anniversary celebration.
The Director of Medical Services, Nigerian Navy, Surgeon Captain Mohammed Salihu, said free medical rhapsody include free checkup for malaria, blood sugar, and blood pressure; free malaria treatment, hypertension, diabetes, and free eyeglasses, amongst others.
He was represented at the event by Surgeon Captain Ugochi Nzeribe-Abangwu, said the dental department is also on ground to offer thorough dental care to patients.
“We brought this free medical service to Onne as part of the 66th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy. We are here today as part of our corporate social responsibility, particularly to the communities where we operate. We are here today to offer free consultations, and free laboratory investigations, in areas of hepatitis, malaria, HIV testing, and blood glucose.
“We also offer free COVID vaccination to the community for those that are yet to be vaccinated. We also have over 500 eyeglasses to give out today. The eye department is fully on the ground to assist them in that area. We also have the dental department checking the all-around needs of the community. We have tubes of toothpaste, toothbrushes and many procedures,” he stated.
Also speaking, the President of NOWA and wife of the Chief of Naval Staff, Mrs Aisha Nana Gambo, said the medical rhapsody was targeted at reaching about 2,000 patients in Onne, as the community hosting Naval facilities.
“The event we are witnessing today which seeks to further strengthen the relationship between the Nigerian Navy and our host communities is one in the series of civil-military relations, usually embarked upon by the Nigerian Navy as part of its constitutional responsibility of securing Nigeria’s maritime environment.
“Let me use this opportunity to remind you all that security is the collective responsibility to every one of us. At this community level and grassroots, so much is expected of you in passing relevant information to the Naval Base and other security agencies close to you. By so doing, we can work together to ensure that our society is safe, secured and free from criminal elements,” she said.
Council Approves Board to Manage Power Sector Liabilities
By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved the board composition and proposed governance framework for the sustainable management and payment of post-privatisation power sector liabilities transferred to the Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) Board.
In a meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the council also approved the fast-tracking of the work plan for the concession of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant (ZHPP).
On the board of the NELMCO board are the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who is the Chairman; while members will comprise the Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu; Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh; Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha; Managing Director, NELMCO, Mr Adebayo Fagbemi; and all its Executive Directors.
It was also resolved that two key members from the private sector be included on the board.
Also at the meeting, it was noted that the key objectives of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant concession include leveraging private sector access to finance and reduce the reliance on government budgetary allocation to fund the China EXIM Bank loan; and leveraging efficiencies and better facility management (maintenance) culture of the private sector for long-term preservation of the asset.
The Council had, in its December 2020 meeting, approved the concession of the ZHPP.
Similarly, the team was briefed on the performance assessment report of the nine Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs), which has been forwarded to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the sector regulator, for further review and action.
At the meeting, it was noted that a thorough performance assessment revealed that most of the set performance targets were not met by the nine electricity distribution companies.
Google Organises Residency Programme for Young Non-mainstream Creators
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Some young non-mainstream creators were recently gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for a two-day residency programme organised by a tech giant, Google.
The bootcamp took place from Tuesday, June 28 to Thursday, June 30, 2022, and helped participants learn how to better connect with their audiences and move the culture forward through platforms like Google Arts & Culture, YouTube and YouTubeShorts.
The program will see the first batch of 25 young Alté creatives from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Botswana, and South Africa attend the residency and be equipped with entrepreneurial skills on how they can enhance the visibility of their brands.
Google explained that it came up with the idea to upskill and celebrate the young creatives, who are normally not given a chance on mainstream media, which resulted in many of them taking to YouTube and others to tell their stories.
“It’s exciting to see creators that identify as non-mainstream find community on our platform. This comes just a few days after we announced a call for applications for the YouTube Black Voices Fund for 2023 aimed at elevating marginalised voices.
“The aim of the residency is to amplify the impact of the Alté movement in Africa and the world. We also want to showcase how products like YouTube and YouTube Shorts and platforms like Google Arts & Culture can help drive the culture forward,” the Communications and Public Relations Manager for Google West Africa, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, said.
Though it started in Nigeria, it has strongly taken root across the continent. Recent Google Search trends from across Africa show an increase in `Alté’ related searches from 2020, with questions like ‘What is alté?’, ‘Who is an alté?’ and ‘How to dress alte?’, being the most searched alté related questions.
Other top searches in Africa on Alté include alte’ music, alte’ songs, alte’ suit designs, top alte’ vibe, alte’ kids, alte’ Nigeria, alte’ in Ghana Music, and alte’ food.
Google has also invited Alté creatives that have global brands such as Tshepo The Jeans Maker to give career talks to the young creative entrepreneurs on how to further build and monetise their brands.
Reps to Investigate Duplication of Functions Across MDAs
By Adedapo Adesanya
The House of Representatives has inaugurated an ad-hoc committee to investigate the duplication of functions rife across ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) of the government.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, who inaugurated the committee, said that the panel aims to reduce the cost of governance and prevent redundancy.
He said that the government has noticed that there was duplication of functions by the different agencies which has led to reduced productivity.
“An organization’s vision and mission must of necessity be derived from the mandate and functions enunciated by its establishment act or any instrument that establishes it.
“Uncertainty sets in when we have multiple agencies carrying out the same functions, leading to bickering, suspicion, and eventually duplication of efforts and waste of hard-earned government resources and time.
“Governments in the past have put in place measures to ensure effective and efficient service delivery by agencies of government, e.g., SERVICOM, but this could not achieve much without a clearly defined mandate,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
He stressed that “The House of Representatives is not out to witch-hunt any individual or organization, but we are propelled by our desire to ensure good governance and in the exercise of our legislative oversight powers as enshrined in Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“This Committee is expected to come up with solutions to the apparent continuous conflict of functions and avoidable bickering among established Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), resulting in ineffectiveness, inefficiency and redundancy in the government workforce.
“The committee is therefore expected to engage relevant stakeholders and members of the public with a view to resolving the areas of conflict among the MDA’s, which may require amending some laws and/or outright repeal, as the case may be.”
Mr Gbajabiamila urged the MDAs and other critical stakeholders to work with the committee to complete its mandate in accordance with its Terms of Reference.
The Chairman of the team, Mr Victor Mela Danzaria, said that most of the laws establishing government agencies were made during the military regime and are not in tandem with democracy.
He said that subject matter has been a thorn in the flesh of previous governments which led to the setting up of various committees in the past.
“It is important to note however that our task is different from that of the Oransanya Committee. Whereas their major concern was to reduce the cost of governance, ours is to streamline, merge and if need be, scrap some in order to bring about efficiency in the governance,” Mr Danzaria said.
He assured Nigerians that the committee would conduct a detailed investigation into the activities of some of the agencies and come up with a report that would have a far-reaching decision that would strengthen the agencies.
Meanwhile, the Chief Whip who moved the motion that led to the constitution of the ad-hoc committee, Mr Muhammed Mongunu, said that during a series of oversight functions, it was observed that there were various agencies duplicating functions.
“It is out of the totality of our oversight functions over three sessions that generated the motion on the floor of the House and the parliament saw that there was the need to come up with something that would address these challenges,” Mr Monguno said.
He added that the committee needs to establish areas of mergers and synergies so that existing laws can be justified.
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