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Policy Dialogue: Military onslaught against terrorists yielding positive result – Senate President

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…As ICPC blames corruption for Nigeria’s insecurity

By Ogaga Ariemu

President of Senate, Dr Ahmed Lawan said recent military onslaught against terrorists, bandits, criminal elements is yielding positive results as the country fires from all cylinders in her efforts to ending insecurity.

This is coming as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said public sector corruption has directly, indirectly caused insecurity in Nigeria.

Lawan who spoke at the ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Insecurity in Nigeria’, a programme organized by ICPC in Abuja, harped on the need for all Nigerians to support Government’s efforts in curbing corruption and insecurity.

The Senate President who was the Chairman of the event said the fight against corruption is not restricted to government officials alone but a networked efforts by all the society.

He noted that, “Success can only be achieved if leaders and citizens alike are in the fight. It is not only about FG but the states, Local Government Areas”.

He lamented the collapse of Local Government structures in Nigeria, a major setback in preventing insecurity.

“The challenges of our country must be solved by all of us not only the leaders”, he said.

He added that, “Only recently, the president gave a marching order to the armed forces to extinguish bandits, kidnappers and other criminal agents against the state and her citizens, by December 2022. This administration is committed to achieving this set target. Accordingly, the past few weeks have seen security agencies flushing out terrorists from their hideouts in Kaduna Birnin-gwari axis, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto. Similar results were recorded in Niger, where, like in Kaduna, the Nigerian Airforce neutralised many terrorists”.

On his part, the Chairman, ICPC, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, said public sector corruption directly and indirectly causes insecurity in Nigeria.

He explained that diversion of Military funds, job racketeering, embezzlement of public money, others are the bane of insecurity in Nigeria.

Owasanoye highlighted efforts made so far by the Commission to reduce corruption and its attendance effect on Nigeria’s economy, society.

He added that the Commission under his watch will see to a speedy conclusion of all corruption cases currently being investigated.

According to him, “Policy dialogue aims to broaden our thinking on causative factors, enabling factors and policy gaps that weaken the country’s capacity to decisively and conclusively eradicate insecurity from within her border.

“At face value, insecurity is seen to be, and is sometimes treated as a matter requiring only a military response or reaction, but an in depth look into its possible root cause(s) shows that corruption is a major contributory factor to the continued existence and propagation of insecurity in the country.

“In fact, a clinical diagnosis of the insecurity menace in the country reveals that to effectively combat insecurity we require the collaborative efforts of Security Agencies (the military, intelligence, Police, Customs, Prisons, others), as well as Law Enforcement and Anti-Corruption Agencies.

“ICPC’s research and investigation findings on the subject matter show that Public sector corruption, directly and indirectly, enables insecurity, and can sometimes complement it.

“Cases of job racketeering abound in the security sector, many of which are under investigation by the ICPC. There are also ongoing investigations into military contracts spending. Recently, ICPC arrested a military contractor that received over a period of less than ten years cumulative sum of about N6 Billion from the Nigerian Army in suspicious circumstances and in violation of extant legislation. The Commission’s recovery of huge cash sums in local and foreign currencies, luxury cars, customized mobile phones, designer watches including three Rolexes as well as property documents from the premises of the contractor underscore the corruption that often attend military procurement.

“Some former military and security personnel are being investigated by ICPC and our sister agency for embezzlement of funds allocated to security. For example, a former head of one of the arms of the military in the twilight of his tenure deposited the sum of N4 billion from military budget into the accounts of two companies where he is beneficial owner and sole signatory.

“ICPC’s prosecution of this high ranking officer to recover all the implicated assets was strangely and perversely frustrated by a recently retired High Court judge who decided to forfeit some of the assets to FGN and the rest left to the suspect. While the Commission has filed notice of appeal, this strange development aggravates an already bad situation and escalates insecurity and impunity

“Funds to retool and reposition the police to a world class institution is no less threatened by corruption. The newly established police special intervention framework designed to eliminate underfunding of the police, the Police Trust Fund, is already under ICPC investigation for abuse, fund diversion bogus, questionable welfare packaging that is not for the police who are the beneficiaries of the fund and sundry corrupt practices. One may safely conclude that other security agencies are dogged by similar practices albeit to varying degrees”, he disclosed.

Also, in his remarks as the Key-note Speaker, National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Babagana Munguno (rtd) advocated that all hands must be on desk to sustain the efforts towards ending corruption, insecurity in Nigeria.

According to him, Munguno said, “It is significant we focus our attention on the root causes of corruption by reworking our value system towards promoting good governance, accountability and transparency in both public and private sectors”.

Meanwhile, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in his goodwill message stated that, “It is incumbent on us all therefore to break this evil nexus between corruption and insecurity. The less corruption there is in a society, the safer it becomes”.

The Policy Dialogue witnessed the amalgamation of ideas from renowned academics on effective policy frameworks required to ending the menace of corruption and insecurity in Nigeria.

Others dignitaries present at the session include: Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor; President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Waba; Representative of Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, DIG John Amadi; Representativeof Ministry of Defence; Representative of Ministry of Police Affairs; Representative of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs; Representative of Nigeria Governor’s Forum;The Emir of Keffi in Nasarawa State, Dr Shehu Chindo Yamusa III; President Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh and others.

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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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