WITH a view to addressing poverty and unemployment, 400 youths are undergoing training by the Borno State government in poultry and fishery. These would be empowered with working tools and take off grants before the end of this year.
Speaking last week during the opening session of the initiative at Mohamet College of Agriculture, Maiduguri, Governor Kashim Shettima said the training is in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN-MDGs) on food security.
He described the scheme as part of measures to harness the state’s rich agricultural and livestock resources in the Lake Chad Basin.
He added that 500 youths are also undergoing training and skill acquisitions at the Songhai Farms in Benin Republic.
The monthly allowance of the trainees has been increased from N4,000 to N6, 000.
‘Why Election Was Delayed’
By Olushola Ricketts
IN response to a recent protest by some members of the Odun-Ade Building Materials Dealers’ Association Lagos State over delay in the conduct of election, the executive body of the group, led by Mr. Modestus Umenzekwe, has called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.
During a press conference, at the weekend, the executive body said it was duly elected for a first term tenure of two years and is eligible for re-election in another two years.
Explaining the delay, the body said, “One of the subscribers to the new shopping complex being constructed by the Umenzekwe-led executive obtained an injunction to restrain holding of an election in 2008/2009.”
And that due to respect for the rule of law, the executive has obeyed the court order and has used a two-pronged approach to appeal the suit and pursue an out of court settlement.
It said: “Some members are greatly benefiting from the crisis, and are giving an impression of instability. Money has also been collected from members of the association in the guise of paying statutory levies to the local government, which is the function of the Exco. But we genuinely want peace.”
State Proposes Diaspora Village, Int’l Liaison Officers
From Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri
GOVERNOR Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has announced plans to build a Diaspora Village for Imo indigenes resident in other parts of the world, and also appoint international liaison officers. Okorocha said he is interested in ensuring that investors find Imo suitable, urging them to take advantage of the proposed Village, which would be constructed on a large expanse of land in the state. Okorocha disclosed this at the weekend in the United States during a dinner and awards ceremony. The event was attended by the President of the Council of Newark, Donald M. Payne Jr; Councilwoman at-Large of Newark, Mildred C. Crump; President of Humanity for Africa Foundation, Mr. Okems Innocent Okemezie; and business groups, leaders of institutions, entrepreneurs and Nigerians in the U.S.
Varsity’s Permanent Site Gulps N2b
From John Akubo, Dutse
THE Federal University Dutse in Jigawa State will soon commence development of structures at its permanent site with a sum of N2b earmarked by the federal government. The institution is among nine universities established by the administration of President Jonathan in February 2011. Making the disclosure at a press conference to mark commencement of registration of pioneer students, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Jubrilla Ameen, said the university will hold its maiden matriculation on August 1, 2012 for the 2011/2012 academic season.
Ameen explained that the university has admitted 250 students, and employed 43 academic staff that can effectively handle the five courses the university will take off with.
He said that about 500 hectares of land has been allocated for the proposed extension, which he said would commence in about two months.
According to him, the work will be handled by the federal executive council since it involves heavy projects beyond the scope of the university.
Fashola, Akinjide, Others, For LASU Student’s Book Launch
ALL roads lead to the Ojo campus of the Lagos State University (LASU) on Tuesday, July 24 as Chinedu Ihenetu-Geoffrey, a Part V Law student of the institution, presents his book to the public. Governor Babatunde Fashola, senior members of the Nigerian Bar, among dignitaries from all walks of life, are expected to pour into the MBA Hall of LASU to witness presentation of the book titled: “Power of Advocacy: A Moot Guide for Global Law Students”.
UniCem Targets Five Million Metric Ton Capacity
From Aniete Akpan, Calabar
THE United Cement Company of Nigeria (UniCem) has announced plans to expand its current production capacity in 2013. As the third largest cement manufacturer within the country, UniCem currently operates a state-of-the-art 2.5 million ton per annum Greenfield cement manufacturing facility at its Mfamosing site. The proposed expansion would double the company’s production capacity to 5 million tons per annum. A statement by the Corporate Communications Manager, Anita Stoll, at the weekend, revealed that decision to launch a project to increase production capacity was taken at the Company’s July 2012 Board Meeting, where the UniCem Board of Directors analysed feedback from preliminary studies. It added that the construction of the new facility is anticipated to take 36 months.
Stoll said, “the expansion project would utilise sophisticated European and Chinese technology and over 2000 new employment opportunities will be created in the state with the new plant which will be built beside the existing one.”
The Communications Manager disclosed further that move to increase the production capacity comes on the heels of the federal governments’ backwards integration policy on cement production.
She stated, “whilst UniCem currently holds market share in the cement market of the South-South and South-East market regions in Nigeria, these markets exhibit a strong demand for cement, and the increased production capacity will allow the company to better serve its current customers and meet the demands of new ones.
“UniCem currently invests heavily in the development of the industrial capacity within Cross River State through the building of a 20km cement evacuation road, which will allow for a safer and more direct distribution route from its plant. Expansion of its production capacity will result in further industrial development within the state, and will support job creation through both direct and third party opportunities.”