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Business

FCTA Taskforce on Covid-19 stops NSITF promotion exams

The promotion examination of NSIFT staff was on Wednesday stopped by the FCTA Taskforce on Covid-19.

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The FCT Administration Taskforce on Enforcement of Covid-19 Protocols, on Wednesday, stopped the promotion examination of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) staff over violation of Covid-19 safety protocols.

This follows the convergence of over 1,200 staff of the NSITF at the New M&M event centre beside NICON Luxury Hotel, Area 11, Abuja for the examination, without adherence to the Health Protection Regulations Act, 2021, recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to a report from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the taskforce dispersed the members of staff of the NSITF from the exam hall and invited Mr Tesh Kibikiwa, the General Regional Manager, Abuja, who was coordinating the exams, for further explanations.

However, the invitation was resisted by some union members of the NSITF, who almost fought one of the police officers and also threatened to destroy the equipment of newsmen covering the event.

READ: Heads of defaulting revenue generating agencies will be severely sanctioned – Buhari

What Head, Media and Enlightenment of the Taskforce is saying

While briefing newsmen, the Head, Media and Enlightenment of the taskforce, Mr Ikharo Attah, said they had to take action following series of complaints from the staff of the NSITF.

Attah said, “We received several calls from the staff of the NSITF, in the past three days that they have been invited for promotion examination and that the numbers of people coming are in thousands.

“And, that they will not be able to manage the crowd so, we should ask the management of the organisation to postpone the examination.” 

READ: Minister highlights why Petroleum Industry Bill needs to be passed by mid-2020

He added that the Taskforce Chairman, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, had also got several complaints about the conduction of the examination, with some people showing picture and video pieces of evidence of the crowd.

He revealed that on getting to the venue, the taskforce met a mammoth crowd, but the officer coordinating the examinations claimed that they got an approval from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to conduct the exams.

Going further, Attah said, “We demanded for evidence and he couldn’t provide it. So, we asked them to please disperse and go home but that the most senior person, Mr Tesh Kibikiwa, the General Regional Manager, Abuja, should come with us and make further explanation.

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“But to our shock, while the entire staff agreed and very cheerful that the taskforce saved them from contracting Covid-19 due to over-crowdedness, some of the labour union members insisted that we can’t go with him.”

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READ: President Buhari bars religious leaders from Christmas homage

Attah said that in the process, the manager and one other director scaled through the fence and ran away to escape arrest and interrogation. This made the taskforce to tow one of the official vehicles of the agency and remove the number plates of the others that could not be towed from the centre.

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He said that the owners of the event centre would also be invited to explan why an event of such magnitude would hold without adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed into law the Covid-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy, citing powers conferred to the Presidency, by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010, and in consideration of the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of coronavirus infections in Nigeria.
  • The law, which is in 5 parts, includes: Restrictions on Gatherings, Operations of Public Places, Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols, Offences and Penalties, Enforcement and Application, Interpretation and Citation.
  • However, the Presidency has been worried over reported non-compliance by Nigerians to the recently enacted Covid-19 regulations.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business

Lagos seals 35 building sites after visits to Magodo, Ogudu, Eti-Osa, others

This enforcement of its physical planning laws is being carried out by LASBCA and the LASPPPA on behalf of the state government.

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Sanwo-Olu announces Lekki/Ikoyi toll gate to fully go cashless

The Lagos State Government has commenced the massive enforcement of its physical planning laws to prevent building collapse and illegal developments, as it sealed 35 building sites for various contraventions.

This exercise is being carried out by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) on behalf of the state government, with the team visiting several construction sites and buildings in Eti-Osa, Magodo, Ogudu, Gbagada Phase II and several other Local Government Areas.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was contained in a statement issued by Mr Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, Spokesman for LASBCA, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

He said the enforcement was to prevent haphazard construction from preliminary stages and to stop distressed buildings from causing havoc.

Abdulraheem said the enforcement team was led by Mr Gbolahan Oki, the General Manager of LABSCA. He added that LASBCA sealed a distressed building at No. 33 Oko Baba Street, Ebute Metta and dispersed children using the building as a school.

Oki said 35 sites were sealed for various contraventions including illegal demolition, construction without permit and failure to obtain necessary authorisation from LASBCA and LASPPPA.

Oki said, “The enforcement drive will be a continuous exercise.’’

The general manager appealed to Lagos residents to follow proper channels in processing their construction works and obtaining necessary permits from the state government.

He said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration was committed to ensuring that buildings in Lagos state were designed, constructed and maintained to high standards of safety so as to avoid loss of lives and property, through the existing building regulatory system.

Oki said LASPPPA’s role was to ascertain and validate the approvals obtained by the various construction sites visited, as well as monitor layouts and development schemes.

He added that LABSCA, on the other hand, was for the identification of distressed and non-conforming buildings and inspection/certification of various stages of building construction works.

What you should know

  • The Lagos State Government has for several months been on an enforcement drive of the state’s physical planning laws, so as to restore order and prevent the distortion of the ecosystem of the entire state and preserve the environment.
  • This has led to the demolition of illegal structures that either did not get approval or did not conform to the approved building plan or physical planning laws in such areas as Lekki Phase 1, Ikoyi, Magodo, Ogudu GRA, Ajao Estate, Ikeja and so on.

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Business

Nigeria signs pact with Morocco’s OCP Group to aid fertilizer production

The pact is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers.

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Nigeria has signed a pact with OCP Africa to aid the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative in Morocco. The pact was signed by the Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and officials of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

This was disclosed in a statement issued by NSIA and seen by Nairametrics on Tuesday.

This is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

To achieve the 750,000 tons target, a number of agreements were signed between OCP Africa, the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, and the NSIA in order to commit to the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.

Similarly, a Shareholders’ Agreement was also signed between OCP Africa and the NSIA for the creation of the Joint Venture Company. This agreement would oversee the development of a versatile industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.

It stated, “a Memorandum of Understanding between OCP Africa, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and NSIA was sealed. The objective of this pact is to evaluate the opportunity of an equity investment by the NNPC in the JVC and for its support on gas.”

What you should know

  • The business visit is a follow up to the industrial project which was officially launched in June 2018 following the success of the first phase of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative supported by OCP.
  • Through these agreements, the OCP Group has confirmed its commitment to the development of sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Nigeria.
  • The project was first announced during the official visit to Morocco of President Muhammadu Buhari and it is aimed at developing a versatile industrial platform in Nigeria.
  • Recall that in 2016, OCP Group first partnered with the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, supported by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.
  • This collaboration stretched across the entire agricultural value chain, from the introduction of customized fertilizers adapted to local soils and crops to improving the availability of fertilizers in the local market at competitive prices.
  • The partnership also included farmer support initiatives, supply chain development projects along with the strengthening of a close distribution system.
  • These joint efforts have led to the renovation of 13 blending units and packaging for fertilizers and installation by private operators of more than 14 new factories.

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