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Gov. Abiodun seeks FG’s approval of Free Trade Zone for Remo

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In line with his agenda to make Ogun State an hub for economic activities, the State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has sought the approval of the Federal Government for the operation of the Remo Economic Zone as a Free Trade Zone.

The Governor made the appeal on Tuesday when he received the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite and her team in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, noted that the approval was needed to enable processing companies that have signed to process their raw materials in the zone commence operations.

He emphasised that the zone would record multiple processing companies willing to sign up to begin work in the zone in the next one year if the approval was given, saying out of the six Special Agro Processing Zone, the State has the highest number.

Abiodun said, “We have an impending application for the Remo Economic Zone in your office as a Special Economic Zone that enjoys the status of a Free Trade Zone, and the reason for that is very simple.

“The entire economic zone is being developed in partnership between the state government and the third party, and we have located the airport as one of the enablers of its own. Part of the requirements that we signed with our partner was that this economic zone will be a Free Trade Zone.

“It allows all the processing companies all over the world who have already signed to process in that zone to process the raw materials that will be brought from all over the state and the zone. They can export them to other parts of the continent.

“We are aware that when you assumed office, you decided to review the numbers of Free Trade Zones that we have in the country and decide on which ones are truly required, needed, and deserving.

“The problem we have is that our partner in his determination to move that economic zone, has begun to award contracts and because the model we have was that in the process of doing that, certain taxes that you would have to pay if it is not an economic zone and that is hindering the process which is why we are looking at ways solving the problem speedily.”

The Governor said his administration has created four economic zones in the last four and a half years, in addition to the existence of the Agbara Industrial Zone.

“We realised that it is important to have these Economic Zones around the State so that investors can conveniently choose the part of the State that suits them. We constructed the Epe-Ijebu-ode road, and this road will evacuate goods and people from Lagos to the East through our state.

“We created another economic zone around Kajola because this is where we have the rail line that comes from Ibadan. We will soon launch our Dry Seaport at that particular Economic Zone.”

“We also have the one in Yewa through the Ota axis. All these economic zones are to ensure that the cargo produced in Ogun State is conveniently processed, and this will generate job opportunities and enhanced value chains,” he added.

While intimating the Minister of efforts to further attract investments to the state, the State helmsman informed that his administration would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with its partner to commence the construction of the Deep Seaport at Olokola to complete the circle of economic zones in the State.

The Governor thanked the Minister for the visit, noting that it would cement further the relationship with the government at the centre.

Speaking earlier, Dr. Uzoka-Anite applauded the state government for its developmental strides, saying the springing up of industries in the state was a confirmation of the conducive business environment and the availability of necessary infrastructure that attracts investors.

She said as the industrial capital, Ogun State has distinguished itself as a pioneer and leader in developing, expanding and attracting industries with ease, adding that the visit would enable her and her team to rob minds with the officials of state government on how best to be of help to each other.

“The federal government will collaborate with the state government to see how to improve and industrialise not only the State, but the whole country. We are committed to supporting the state in any way we can. Whatever the governor is doing to continue industrialisation, we will support him,” the Minister added.

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Ribadu to declare open workshop on 21st century policing

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The National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, is billed to declare open a two-day workshop on “21st Century Policing: Capacity Building Techniques and Brand Management for Security Image Makers,” which begins on Wednesday 24 April, 2024 in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, will give the keynote address while Chief Executive Officer of Halogen Security Services, Chief Wale Olaoye, is the Special Guest of Honour.

The workshop is packaged by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), the training arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), in collaboration with Fountain Bloom Limited, a Lagos-based strategy and development outfit.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, SAN, will deliver the welcome address while the ACAN Provost, Prof. Olatunde Babawale, is the Chief Host.

Participants are drawn from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, the Police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service and registered private security organisations.

Resource persons who will deliver papers include Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Frank Mba; celebrated columnist and former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Mr. Bola Bolawole; one-time Permanent Secretary, Lagos Television, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo and retired Director at the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa.

Papers will be delivered on the Challenges of Media Management and Public Affairs in Crisis and Emergency Situations; Crafting impactful Press Statements, Opinion articles and Speeches; Conference Organisation and Documentary Production for Optimum Publicity; Quality Assurance as Essential Element of News Copy; Sustaining audience Interest in Broadcast News and Documentary and Contents in Public Relations Question; Social Media and In-house Publication for Desired Effect.

The workshop will address critical aspects of the officers’ job schedule to further strengthen their work performance in accordance with the present administration’s policy objectives.

It will also sensitise participants to their duties and responsibilities in a democratic setting, with a view to reducing tension inherent in the interface with their various publics.

At the end of the workshop, participants would have had an improved understanding of image-making strategies, reputation management techniques, identity and personality interpersonal communication formulas, attitudinal change and behaviour modification patterns that will further enhance their capacity to interface with their various publics.

 

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ITF launches ‘SUPA’ initiative to empower five million Nigerian artisans

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In a bid to enhance the skills and opportunities of Nigerian artisans, the    Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has introduced a groundbreaking initiative called “Skill-up Artisans (SUPA).”

The Director-General of ITF, Dr. Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun unveiled the SUPA initiative yesterday during the organisation’s 2023 Annual Merit Award ceremony in Jos, Plateau State.

Dr. Ogun emphasised that SUPA will revolutionise the artisan sector by providing training, certification, and licensing to artisans across Nigeria, thereby improving their employability and standard of living.

This transformative program aims to upskill, license, and empower up to 5 million artisans within a year, offering them better prospects both locally and internationally.

The implementation of SUPA involves the comprehensive collation of data on Nigerian artisans, identifying areas where training is needed, and facilitating certification processes.

However, the initiative has already registered thousands of artisans, with ongoing efforts to reach out to more individuals interested in enhancing their skills.

One notable aspect of SUPA is the establishment of a dedicated call center, operational round-the-clock, to address inquiries from the public and provide essential information about the program.

Dr. Ogun emphasised that SUPA underscores the Nigerian government’s commitment to promoting economic development and uplifting the standard of living for citizens nationwide.

“It is intended to drive national development, ensure the availability of skilled artisanal workers for domestic industries, and create a sustainable pipeline for labour exports. It will equally boost the pool of local artisans with proficiency in diverse skills, among other benefits,” he mentioned.

The Director-General called on the state governments, the organised private sector, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, and well meaning Nigerians to collaborate with the ITF in an effort to revitalise the Nigerian economy, especially in the area of SUPA.

On the implementation of skills intervention programs, Dogun pointed out that ITF has so far trained over 42,000 Nigerians who were empowered with start-up packs under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Skills Training and Empowerment for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C), Construction Skills Empowerment Program (CONSEP), N-BUILD, Project T-Max, Modular Skills Development, and Technical Skills Development Program (TSDP) in collaboration with the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).

He added that in the area of direct training and capacity development for MSMEs, the Fund implemented 565 scheduled and unscheduled training programs for 11,992 organisations from 908 organisations.

“In addition, we carried out performance and productivity improvement surveys for 48 companies and developed 35 training programs, of which 28 were implemented. Similarly, in appreciation of the importance of MSMEs to Nigeria’s economic growth, the Fund conducted monitoring and evaluation of MSMEs clinics for 241 participants and provided business support services and business needs assessments for 159 and 254 MSME operators, respectively.”

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Illegal arms: Kaduna Police seek collaboration with residents to end banditry

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…Nabs notorious gun runners, recover firearms

By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

Kaduna State Police Command has called on residents to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal arms proliferation and criminal activities.

The Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Command, CP Ali Audu Dabigi made the call in a statement issued to journalists in Kaduna on Monday by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Mansur Hassan.

The statement said the command had arrested some notorious gun runners and recovered sophisticated weapons.

According to Hassan, the Command’s operatives acted on credible intelligence and intercepted one Alkali Danladi, a 45-year-old man of Ungwan Hayatu Village, Yarkasuwa, Lere LGA, who was suspected of engaging in the illegal supply of firearms to bandits, he was arrested while coming from Jos, Plateau State.

He said Mr. Danladi, during the interception was found to have concealed several prohibited firearms, including one fabricated AK-47 rifle, five fabricated revolver rifles, and two fabricated pistols. Additionally, working tools such as fliers, screwdrivers, spanners and as well as charms, were discovered in his possession.

“The Kaduna State Police Command reports a significant development in the ongoing efforts to curb crime within the state, with the arrest of a notorious gunrunner and the recovery of prohibited firearms.

“On April 4th 2024, at about 0600hrs, diligent police operatives, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted one Alkali Danladi, aged 45, of Ungwan Hayatu Village, Yarkasuwa, Lere LGA, at Tsurutawa Village along the Kaduna-Jos Highway. Mr. Danladi was suspected of engaging in the illegal supply of firearms to bandits. He was arrested while coming from Jos, Plateau State.

“During the interception, Mr. Danladi was found to have concealed several prohibited firearms, including one fabricated AK-47 rifle, five fabricated revolver rifles, and two fabricated pistols. Additionally, working tools such as fliers, screwdrivers, and spanners, as well as charms, were discovered in his possession.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of one Gayya Koddi, aged 40, of Bundu Dingi Village. However, two suspects are still at large.

“The Kaduna State Police Command, under the leadership of Commissioner of Police CP Ali Audu Dabigi, assures the public that efforts are ongoing to apprehend the remaining culprits.

“The CP also urges citizens to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against illegal arms proliferation and criminal activities,” he said.

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