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The Arewa Consultative Forum has rejected the proposal for the creation of state police , saying the privilege will be abused . The ACF ’s position has , however , drawn heated reactions from organisations , including Middle Belt groups , pan -Yoruba socio – cultural group, Afenifere ; and Civil Liberties Organisation . The All Progressives Congress ’ restructuring committee, led by the Kaduna State Governor , Nasir el – Rufai , had recommended state police , among other suggestions . Also the Nigeria Governors’ Forum last week supported Vice -President Yemi Osinbajo , who called for the creation of state police at a security summit organised by the Senate.

But the ACF , faulting the call for state police , noted that the creation of state police would lead to chaos . The ACF ’s Secretary General , Mr . Anthony Sani , in an interview with one of our correspondents in Kaduna , said if created , the various state governors would abuse state police the way the state electoral commissions were being abused . According to the ACF , governors will use state police to torment the opposition. “Given the experiences where state governments use the state electoral commissions to kill democracy at the local government level – where no opposition party wins a seat in the local government council – there is the high possibility of state governments abusing state police with dire consequences, especially in states with many ethnic groups and religions ,” the ACF ’s secretary said.

The ACF , he added , was opposed to state police because it believed that the problems of the police were lack of training and lack of equipment , as well as insufficient personnel. He also said given the paucity of resources , it would not be a good judgment to saddle states with additional responsibilities of state police. He said the northern body believed that the problems that led to the calls for state police could not be solved by the multiplication of security agencies. Sani said that the northern group was of the view that the Nigeria Police Force would perform better if given adequate training, equipment and manpower.

The ACF secretary said , “We prefer that police personnel be properly trained and adequately equipped , while their number should be increased rather that the introduction of state police .”However , the Middle Belt Youth Council President , Emma Zopmal , faulted the ACF position, saying the position of the northern group was borne out of fear. He said , “They are not experts in security and defence . State policing is the only way of guaranteeing safety of lives and property of citizens . Regional police effectively worked in the First Republic ; there ’s no doubt that it will work at the state level today .

“With the incessant infiltration of Nigeria ’s territorial space by Fulani herdsmen, the federal police can no longer protect some states and citizens from the marauding killer herdsmen. We are aware that Nigerian government says that the Fulani herdsmen are foreigners. “I do not believe that state governors will abuse state police . Even if they do so, they would have copied it from the present Federal Government , which also abuses police power . According to him, with laws governing state police system, there will be no abuse. “Strong institutions will also ensure that the state police system is not abused .

Our restructuring demands in the Middle Belt are state creation , creation of Middle Belt Region with its autonomy, state or regional police and solid mineral resource control. “Functional laws in the state will prevent any abuse of state police. Also, The President of the National Council of Tiv Youths, Chief John Akperashi , rejected ACF ’s position and supported the creation of state police. He said, “The truth basically is that state police remain the best to ensure an effective check of external aggression . ”According to him, the recent attacks by herdsmen had made the call for state police necessary.

He said , “Governors, although proclaimed chief security officers of their states , still appear helpless in the deployment of the security agencies, especially the police . ”He said the problem had strengthened the need for state police .Akperashi said , “ Certainly if the police are in the control of the governors at the affected states , this destruction and unfortunate killings wouldn ’t have gone up to alarming proportions.”The governor of Zamfara just came out to decry the inefficiency of the security formations in his state which he alleged failed him as he did everything humanly possible in mitigating that carnage.

“The governor of Benue State also stated the complicity roles of the security in his state and particularly the ineffectiveness of the police . If Ortom had had the police under his direct command , he would have achieved much more and saved more lives against what was witnessed in Benue . ”On its part, Afenifere dismissed as baseless the fear by the ACF that governors would abuse state police .The group argued that the ACF ’ s anxiety was not strong enough to stop the establishment of state police , noting that necessary institutions to check abuse by the governors would simply be put in place

Afenifere National Publicity Secretary , Yinka Odumakin, in an interview with Punch, said, “The handling of the killings by herdsmen across the country has shown that the Federal Government is misusing the Nigeria Police Force . Executive Director , Civil Liberties Organization, Steve Aluko, said efficient mechanism for checks and balances to guide against abuses could be put in place instead of the ACF ’s rejection. He stated, “There is the need for supervisory channels to curb the excesses of the governors.”According to him, the state police will enhance intelligence gathering needed for preventive actions rather than over centralised structures that delay , leading to wastage of lives and property .

“The justification for the state police is the success story of the joint civilian and military operations in countering insurgency and extreme radicalism in the North – East. State police system is an idea whose time has come to tame the increasing criminality of the new age ,” he added The President , Conference of Ethnic Nationalities of Niger Delta , Prof. Kimse Okoko , dismissed the position of the ACF , adding that a new constitution would not allow state governors to go beyond their powers in controlling state police .He said , State police is part of the total restructuring that Nigerians demand ; it (state police ) has to be part of the production of a new constitution . This is because state police is related to the security issues being talked about in the country today.

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BEDC Explains Constraints On Power Distribution To Ondo South

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The management of BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) has assured residents of Ondo South that it is committed to providing power to their various communities provided the Federal Government through the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) addresses the present technical constraints that impede power distribution to the areas.

BEDC in its reaction to complaints by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State over lack of power supply to some parts of Ondo South appealed to the Governor to put pressures on TCN and other federal government- related institutions to create an enabling environment for BEDC to serve its customers better by addressing these technical constraints.

These constraints according to BEDC includes; the repair of the faulty breaker on the 30MVA TCN transformer which affected voltage to Ondo South axis causing very poor and none useful power ‘candlelight’.

BEDC also called for the replacement of the unstable Ife/Oshogbo 132KV undersized line and the recommencing/completion of the proposed 132/33KV, 2x 60MVA at Erinje in Okitipupa which will provide capacity for up to 90megawatts of power when completed.

“In order to have a lasting and complete solution to Ondo South electricity need as well as have a lasting solution to Ondo state general power limitations, the permanent solution is for TCN to complete the proposed 132/33KV, 2x60MVA at Erinje in Okitipupa project which has been awarded by NDDC and abandoned as well as replace the unstable Ife/Oshogbo 132KV undersized line” BEDC said.

When this is completed, BEDC said it will be able to take the transmitted power and distribute same to customers in other parts of Ondo South, but noted “this will only serve an additional 25% of the power needs in this area. This is because the estimated total power supply needed is 47.6MW and only additional 11MW will be available from this TCN source, hence there would still be a shortfall of about 36.6MW”.

BEDC said that in January it collaborated with Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) using National Independent Power Project (NIPP) to restore power supply to Ode-Aye town in Okitipupa and Igbokoda in Ilaje local government area of Ondo South by rehabilitating the distribution network in a phased manner and by bypassing major load using centers.

“This was done to demonstrate to customers in Ondo South axis that the network was ready to receive and distribute power when TCN makes same available” the company added.

BEDC says since 2015, it has escalated to Ondo State Government, Federal Ministry of Power and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) that the issue of power supply to major parts of Ondo South is largely and principally affected by TCN constraint.

It added: “TCN has not been able to transmit adequate power to BEDC in Ondo State and especially in part of Ondo South due to its technical constraints which have led to its existing problem of none availability of power in these locations.”

“We wish to state categorically that as a service provider, BEDC is not comfortable watching a large proportion of its customers located in Ondo state and most especially in several locations in Ondo South without supply for so many years.

The reality, however, is that in line with the existing methodology of buying and transmitting bulk power from TCN grid, such power which is purchased by BEDC is what is distributed to our customers in all areas.” BEDC stated.  

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UBA Boss Advocates Curriculum Overhaul To Equip Graduates For Technology Advancement

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The Group Executive Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Liadi Ayoku, has called for the overhaul of the training curriculum in financial institutions across Africa to reflect current technological realities, which according to him will reflect the modern business expectations and ensure the relevance of graduates to the continent’s economic growth and aspiration.

Ayoku, said this while delivering a keynote address during the annual lecture of the Faculty of Management Sciences, Lagos State University (LASU) titled: “The Future of Finance – Technology at Play” on Wednesday. He explained that finance graduates and professionals must be aware that it was no longer business as usual following the fast-changing technological landscape.

He said, “I am not certain if the finance and accounting graduates of today are familiar with modern financial softwares packages, including global accounting and financial reporting standards.

“Have they been imbibed with the ready-to-market soft skills like leadership, communication, commercial acumen, flexibility/openness to change and strategic vision? “If not, I will like to propose an overhaul of the curriculum to accommodate these,” he noted.

Ayoku further explained that with technology replacing basic financing, the finance professional that would excel in the future must be quick to retool and adapt to changes.

“Traditional knowledge of finance is getting stale in today’s business world and indeed there is dire need for retooling our skills if we must remain relevant n tomorrow’s financial world. Technology is fast replacing the basics of finance,” he surmised.

According to Ayoku, financial reporting is increasingly being automated, just as data analytics is demystifying performance analysis. Tomorrow’s finance professionals must have capabilities for business intelligence and cognitive analysis. “We must apprise ourselves of the most recent technology and continue to retool our skills to remain relevant today and into the future,” Ayoku said.

The Chairman of the occasion, Dr Rotimi Oladele, the Executive Secretary, Institute of Entrepreneurship, commended Ayoku for delivering a profound paper worthy of equipping account graduates for a future driven by technology while also praising the Chairman of UBA, Mr Tony Elumelu for his contribution to entrepreneurship in Africa, describing him as a ‘global brand of the rarest value’.  He said LASU would benefit from its collaboration with the entrepreneur.

“No doubt Tony Elumelu is not just a Nigerian of rare value to Nigeria but a Premium African of rarer value and of course a Global Brand of rarest value. Tony Elumelu today as an ultrapreneur is known all over for breeding entrepreneurs and start-ups in thousands and with millions of dollars ceaselessly in support for sustainability.

“We believe LASU partnering with Elumelu could be the best testimonial of a befitting support to the most multi-cultural and multi-tribal university in Nigeria. The profile of LASU Staff and studentship speak for this fact,” he said.

The LASU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Lanre Fagbohun, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Oyedamola Oke, thanked UBA for its support and sponsorship noting that a bank that believes in the support of education is indeed a special institution.

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Jim Ovia Foundation Funds Over 100 Students In Computer Education

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The Jim Ovia Foundation has funded the education needs of over 100 students in computer science and other related courses under the NCS-Jim Ovia Scholarship scheme. The scholarship scheme is a collaboration between the Jim Ovia Foundation and the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS).

Since the inception of the NCS-Jim Ovia Scholarship Award in 2015, Jim Ovia Foundation has continuously renewed its annual commitment of ₦ 15.75 million to fund 35 new beneficiaries under the scholarship,providingfor their studies and research in Computer and Information Science, Computer Engineering, Information Architecture, Information and Systems Technology and Information Technology and Systems Practice.

These 35 beneficiaries include 20 undergraduates, 10 Master’s degree students and 5 Ph.D students studying computer-related courses in tertiary institutions across Nigeria.

According to Mr. Jim Ovia, Founder/Chairman of Jim Ovia Foundation, “In this age of digitization and the use of the Internet for inclusive growth in the world economy, the Jim Ovia Foundation looks to maximize opportunities to provide education and technical know-how to empower youths in Africa to position themselves at the forefront of world-class information technology development.”

To apply for the scholarship, visit NCS at www.ncs.org.ng for details.

The Jim Ovia Foundation was founded in 2004 and is dedicated to investing in African youths’ unlimited and untapped potential as the key to their socioeconomic growth and improved standard of living. The Jim Ovia Foundation through its various programmes, including the James Hope College Foundation, Jim Ovia Foundation Leaders Scholarship (JOFLS) and Mankind United To Support Total Education (MUSTE), has supported over 3,500 young persons in education and entrepreneurial endowments all overAfrica.

Visit www.jimoviafoundation.org to learn more.

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