Plateau South updates

Plateau State gets new Resident Electoral Commissioner

A new Resident Electoral Commissioner has been appointed for Plateau State. He is Mallam Hussaini Pai, an indigene of Kwali Arae Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the Commissioner Head of Department (HOD), Voter Education/Publicity, Osaretin Imahi Yereobo and made available to THE NIGERIA STANDARD in Jos, recently.
The statement added that, Mallama Pai who also served as Commissioner in the Prof. Attahiru Jega-led Commission is an educationist and a seasoned administrator.
Mallam Pai is an alumnus of the Ahmadu Bello University and the University of Jos, who had served as the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ekiti State (February 2011- December 2014) and Kogi State (January 2015 –February 2016).
He also had additional responsibility of supervising elections in Oyo, Ondo, Anambra, Taraba, Kano and Belyelsa States, in October 2015, he led a team of INEC observes to the Guinea Presidential Elections.
The new Resident Commissioner according to the statement also holds three traditional/chieftaincy titles.
Mallam Pai was before his first appointment as Resident Electoral Commissioner in 2011 held several positions in the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
He was a onetime Education Secretary (Gwagwalada Area Council), Board Secretary, FCT Primary Education Board, Executive Director, FCT Primary Education Board, Executive Chairman/Director, FCT Universal Education Board and Secretary (Commissioner) for Education.
Mallam Pai is also a patron and founder of the Student Advancement for Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE), member of several Professional bodies and winner of several awards, Mallam Pai is married with children.

States receive another tranche of Paris Club refund

States have been paid another tranche of the Paris Club refund.

Ekiti, which got N9.5billion in the first tranche, has received another N4.772billion; Abia got N5.715billion. The state received N11.4billion in the first tranche.

Governor Ayo Fayose’s Media Adviser, Lere Olayinka, confirmed Ekiti’s receipt of the second tranche while Commisioner for Finance, Obinna Oriaku, confirmed that of Abia.

However, the total amount paid out by the Ministry of Finance, has not been confirmed yet. Top officials of the ministry are waiting for clearance from Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, before giving out that information.

A total of N516 billion was released to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the first tranche.

The Ministry of Finance spokesman, Salisu Dambatta, in a statement after the release of the cash, said: “The debt service deductions are in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the Federal Government and states.

“While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some states had already been overcharged.

“The funds were released to state governments as part of the wider efforts to stimulate the economy and were specifically designed to support states in meeting salary and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers.

“The releases were conditional upon a minimum of 50 per cent being applied to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.”

FRSC tries 63 Drivers in Pankshin

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has tried 63 drivers in its mobile court in Pankshin Command Plateau state

The corps said the drivers were arrested on Saturday, July 15, and tried at the FRSC mobile courts for various offences

The FRSC said the mobile court of the FRSC has come to stay in the command as drivers who failed to abide by traffic laws will be apprehended and tried.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has tried 63 drivers in its mobile court in Pankshin Command Plateau state. The drivers, the corps said, were arrested on Saturday, July 15, and tried at the FRSC mobile courts for various offences. Speaking on the arrest, the Pankshin unit commander Nnamdi Akeh-Akabo said the corps’ outing recorded over 90 offences committed by different motorists.

Akeh-Akabo speaking with journalists said while some of the drivers were arrested for not possessing their licences, many others carried overloads and some failed to use the speed limit device. He said: “We today made an arrest of 63 drivers as a result of over 90 offences, out of which 7 of them were released, while the rest were penalised.

“We were shocked to discover that most of these drivers, especially commercial drivers still carry over load on our high ways despite our repeated public enlightenment campaigns over the years. “Of course, we had to penalise them to serve as the deterrent to others; this is because we desire to see that all the roads in the hinterland are accident-free for the safety of lives of innocent commuters,’’ Akeh-Akabo said. He further noted that the mobile court of the FRSC has come to stay in the command as drivers who failed to abide by traffic laws will be apprehended and tried.

The unit commander also charged motorists to ensure they obtain their driver’s licence, avoid overloading and obtain speed limit device so as not to fall into the hands of officers and men of the corps. He also called for the cooperation of NURTW to prevail on some of their erring members to sit up and avoid breaking traffic rules and regulations.

Irish Potatoes has potential to boost Nation’s economy

Plateau State Commissioner for Agriculture Linda Barau has discloses Government’s commitment to reposition and create a conducive environment for the production and exportation of Irish Potatoes in the State.

The commissioner discloses this in an interactive section organized by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council NEPC for Farmers and stakeholders in Mangu LGA of Plateau State.

According to the Executive Director and chief Executive officer of NEPC Olusegun Awolowo who was represented by Sarah Temlong stated that the exercise is aimed at accelerating FG agenda on revenue diversification on non oil export revolution adding that Irish Potatoes is one of nature’s economy which has the potential of boosting the Nation’s economy in times of gross domestic production and foreign production earnings.  He also stressed that avenues for marketing of potatoes exist and called on farmers to take advantage of it.

On her part, Plateau state Commissioner for Agriculture Linda Barau represented by the Director of administration, ministry of Commerce and Industry said Government has put machineries in place to complete the Jos inland port to promote exports.

Highlight of the occasion was a paper presentation on best Agricultural practices in Irish Potatoes cultivation and harvesting.

NDLEA Propose whistle-blowing policy to curb the menace of fake drugs

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has proposed a whistleblowing clause that would help to expose expired, fake, substandard medicines and unwholesome regulated products/sellers.


The North Central Coordinator, NAFDAC, Mrs Josephine Dayilim made the disclosure while speaking with journalist in Jos the Plateau State capital.


She explained that there would be an incentive to whistleblowers that led to the confiscation of expired, fake, counterfeit and substandard drugs and products.


She however added that if the information given out is false and probably with the intention of diverting the attention of the agency to allow unscrupulous elements to fill the market with fake products, such person‎ would be handed over to the enforcement directorate of the agency for further interrogation.


She said that the agency is also advocating for a new law that would seek life term jail and confiscation of assets upon conviction of fake and counterfeit drugs vendors.


She said, “The current law stipulates a fine of N500, 000 or 15 year jail term for fake drugs sellers, but NAFDAC felt the punishment is mere compare to the harmful effects of fake drugs.”


She said the law also proposed compensation for the victims where counterfeit products is found to be the proximate cause of severe bodily injury, as well as to make counterfeiting a non-bailable offence.

Bauchi State Govt. seals 179 health facilities

Bauchi State Ministry of Health on Wednesday said it sealed 18 private healthcare facilities and 161 patent stores across the state due to failure to meet operational guidelines.

The Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr Bako Mohammed, disclosed this at a news conference during annual assessment of private hospitals and patent stores in the state.

Mohammed said “116 facilities were inspected, out of which, 42 were cleared, 23 were placed on probation, 21 were warned and 12 were suspended from rendering services.

“A total of 18 other health facilities were closed due to non-adherence to guidelines and failure to meet standard.

“We assessed the various types of private facilities including hospitals, medical clinics, specialised clinics, nursing and maternity clinics and diagnostic centres.”

The director listed some of the sealed facilities as Nakowa Health Clinic, Bundon Rishi, Kowa Clinic, Lafiya Clinic, Mainasara Clinic, Jamare Clinic, New Edge, Na-Allah Na-Kowa, Makama Consultancy and Mahmud Health Clinic, all in Toro Local Government.

Some others are Taimako Clinic, Samson Clinic, Accelerated Dental, Al-Ihsan, Jibo in Bauchi, Zera laboratory and Dambam Medical laboratory in Bauchi Local Government, while Salama Health Clinic is in Bogoro Local Government.

Mohammed said Toro had the highest number of private health operators as it had 50.

The Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Dr Sule Audu, said the assessment team inspected 278 patent stores in Bauchi Local Government alone.

He explained that 161 were sealed due to failure to meet requirements sets by Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, while 117 were certified to provide services to the public.

He said defaulters were advised to abide by the checklist provided by the Ministry to meet requirement and be re-opened.

According to him, some patent stores in the metropolis are found with abusive drugs and handed over to appropriate authority.

He said assessment would be scaled up to the remaining 19 local governments to maintain public health.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Halima Muqaddas, said the annual registration fee to operate had been reviewed.

She urged those with private facilities outstanding bills to pay up to avoid further inconveniences.

Federal Government Plans To Construct 2,700 Housing Units

The Federal Government is planning the construction of 2,700 housing units in the short term to create 105,000 direct jobs, and increase to 100,000 housing units by 2020 to achieve sustainable development.

The plan is stated in the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 (ERGP), a copy of which was obtained from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning on Thursday in Abuja.

The ERGP projects that Nigeria will make significant progress to achieve structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy in five key areas by 2020.

The key areas are stable macro-economic environment; achieve agriculture and food security; ensure energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products; and drive industrialisation focusing on Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as improve transportation infrastructure.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment is expected to take lead in the plan by coming up with key activities to provide housing units and create direct jobs.

According to the ERGP, the Ministries of Women Affairs and Youth and Sports also is expected to come up with strategy that will boost job creation and public works programmes.

Specifically, the Ministry of Women Affairs is expected to establish a job matching programme for new graduates by incentivising employers to retain National Youth Service Corp members at the end of their service.

The ministry is also expected to sustain and scale up the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) to deliver credit to 1.6 million farmers, youth, women market traders and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

On the other hand, the Ministry of Youth and Sports is expected to accelerate implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) using Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to generate 1.5 million jobs by 2020.

The ministry is also expected to enforce the local policy to promote job creation through procurement processes and expand workfare programme in collaboration with the states.

In addition, the Office of the Vice President is also expected to come up with strategy that will boost job creation and public works programmes.

The office will achieve that by scaling up the N-Power Volunteer corps to provide temporary employment for 500,000 graduates annually in education, agriculture and health.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour and Employment is expected to take lead in key activities that will roll out the targeted skills-to-job N-power Build Programme to build a competent workforce of technicians and artisans.

The ministry is also expected to develop a national manpower policy to match job skill requirements and education programmes.

Also, the Ministry of Youth and Sports is to take a visible lead by articulating activities that are captured in number 45, page 158 of the document.

The priority in number 45 states that the ministry should develop local empowerment centres to disseminate and provide business support to entrepreneurs through apprenticeship and mentorship.

The activity is to guarantee sustainability, provide incentives to participating employers, recognising participants and offer tax rebates.

In addition, the ministry is expected to establish skill acquisition centres in all the 36 states and the FCT.

It is also expected to provide incentives to corporate bodies and parastatals to expand opportunities for internship, traineeships for young new entrants into the labour market.

Meanwhile, according to the ERGP, the Office of the President is expected to provide support for the execution of the N-Power Knowledge Programme to train participants in animation, software engineering, graphic arts and device repair and assembly.

The ERGP provides for effective collaboration and coordination with the states to ensure that the Federal and State Governments work toward the same goals.

(Credit: NAN)