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News for the week ending on 1/10/04

NTI Retrains 15,000 School Teachers
The National Teachers' Institute (NTI) has embarked on a programme of retraining about 15,000 primary school teachers annually.


FG Proposes Bill to Save Oil Revenue - Minister
Finance Minister, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has proposed a radical law to put a tab on the use of oil revenue.

This, amongst others, is part of the efforts of the Federal Government aimed at reducing official spending to a moderate level as well as curb corruption.

Okonjo-Iweala said the Federal Government would introduce a Fiscal Responsibility Bill this year, which would limit the spending of the share of the nation's annual oil revenues by the federal, state and local governments, which stood at more than $10 billion.

 Atiku Makes Case for Guineaworm Eradication
Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday called for a pragmatic plan of action to fight the scourge of guineaworm infection in the country through adequate provision of water and associated infrstructure.

 Revenue Commission to Review Sharing Formula
The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commi-ssion (RMAFC) has agreed to review the revenue allocation formula, granting the request of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 ...IG Withdraws Policemen From Private Persons
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Tafa Balogun, yesterday ordered that all police personnel guarding private individuals should be withdrawn immediately.

 UK Proposes HIV, TB Screening for Asylum Seekers, Immigrants
IMMIGRANTS and asylum seekers to the United Kingdom may have to undergo mandatory screening for HIV and other infectious diseases like tuberculosis before being granted entry, if a new proposal currently under review by the British Government is passed into law.

 Nigerian SMEs to Parley With Aid Agencies
About 5,000 Nigerian small and medium entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to interact with international SME aid agencies with a view to developing strategies for financing their activities and making their products compete in the international market, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SME-DAN), Mrs. Modupe Adelaja has said.

 N1b Ship for Launch Tomorrow
As part of its efforts to promote indigenous participation in the maritime trade, in line with the Cabotage Policy of the Federal Government, a Nigerian Shipping Company, Caverton Marine Limited, has added a new ship to its fleet.

 Obasanjo, Others to Attend Anti-Corruption Crusade
President Olusegun Obasanjo and the national President Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Most Rev. Peter Akinola, are among the personalities expected at the maiden "Anti-Corruption Crusade" being organised by the Association at the Eagle Square Abuja on Sunday.

 Adeleke Succeeds Lemo At Wema Bank
THE Board of Directors of Wema Bank Plc has announced the appointment of Alhaji Alade Musiliu Adeleke as acting managing director/chief executive officer of the bank.

This followed the appointment of the incumbent managing director/chief executive officer of the bank Mr. Tunde Lemo as a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

 Crude Oil Price Hits $33 Per Barrel
Cost of imported fuel rising - Traders

Crude oil prices continued on the upward swing wednesday, closing at around $33 per barrel in the international markets. This is about $2 more than the old price.

 Education: Lagos Launches 30-Hr Compulsory Community Service for Schools
AS Lagos State government launched its newly introduced a 30-hour compulsory Community Development Service for all students in public Senior Secondary Schools, Governor Bola Tinubu announced plans to introduce new policy shift in its educational system, geared towards enhancement of educational values in the state.

Similarly, in a bid to ensure an efficient and effective system, the state government said that operation Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) would not be restricted to environment alone but would be extended to various aspects of the public service.


Industry: ADF Grants $18.1m for Rural Development Project in Nigeria
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), an arm of the African Development Bank, has approved a loan of US 18.1 million US dollars to finance a community based rural development project in Nigeria.


Ondo, Private Investors to Establish $1 Billion Refinery in Ilaje
THE proposed 1 billionn dollar petroleum refinery to be established by the Ondo State government and private investors is to be sited in the oil rich Ilaje area of the state.


FG Bans Imported Shoes, Fruits, Others
GOVERNMENT threw a New Year shocker yesterday prohibiting importation of fresh fruits, juices, furtniture, plastics, soaps and detergents, vegetable oil as well as men's footwears among several other foreign products.

The remainder, contained in a prohibition list read to State House correspondents in Abuja after the first weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of the year, include textiles, assembled bicycles, bags in leather and plastic and flowers (plastic and fresh).

Others are cutlasses, axes, pick axes, spades, shovels, wheel barrows, pork and pork products, beef and beef products, mutton, lamb and goat meat and toothpaste.

Also banned are pencils and ball point pens, plastic plates, knives, spoons, forks, cups, buckets, bowls, containers and hangers in addition to barytes and bentimites.

Importers and businessmen/women who have placed order for these items or are about doing so, have been given 90 days (three months), beginning from today (January 8) to conclude transactions.


Study Scores Nigeria High On Internet Usage
A study by a Lagos-based Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) insttute, The Executive Cyberschuul, has scored Nigeria high on the use of Internet.

It said that Nigeria students have besieged the Internet with the study indicating that almost all students of higher institutions in the country have an electronic mail (e-mail) address.


FG Opts for Revival of Nigeria Airways
Former MD, Jiya, returns

The Federal Government may have opted for the removal of the beleagured national carrier, Nigeria Airways with the return wednesday of the immediate-past Managing Director of the airline, Mr. Jonathan Jiya, to his former beat following an accord between him and the government. The move runs counter to the government's position that the airline has been liquidated

  Mbakwe Passes On At 74
SECOND Republic governor of the old Imo State, Chief Samuel Onunaba Mbakwe, is dead.

Imo Govt Pledges to Assist Entrepreneurs
IMO State government has promised that it would do everything within its power to encourage private investors, wishing to set up industries in the state.

Rofico Launches Milcow Milk
COMPETITION in dairy products market is getting stiffer with the recent introduction of Milcow Instant Full Cream Milk.

The product, which is packaged and marketed by Rofico Limited, a Lagos-based company, is said to dissolve instantly in tea, coffee, custard, cornflakes and other cereals.

Belview Airlines Boss Emerges 2003 Fate Model Entrepreneur
MANAGING Director and Chief Executive Officer of Belview Airline, Mr. Kayode Odukoya, has emerged the 2003 winner of the FATE Model Enterpreneur Award.

The annual award, instituted by Fate Foundation, a non-governmental body based in Lagos, to recognise an ethical Nigeria Enterpreneur who has displayed positive values of hardwork, creativity and community development was recently held at Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos.

NITPA Cautions On ISM Controversy
Anxiety pervades Nigeria's information and communication technologies (ICTs) sector as deadline for users to quit the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands, expired last night. Nigerian IT Professionals in the Americas (NITPA), have cautioned that a balance must be reached in resolving the controversy.

Toll Plazas to Be Demolished Month's End
Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Farouk Lawan, has assured of full implementation of the 2004 budget.

Av.com Introduces New Tv Programme, A-Z
A new television A-Z, programme from the stable of Av.comgws, Nigeria's foremost broadcast content provider, will make its debut on the African Independent Television (AIT) on Sunday, January 11, 2004, at 4:30p.m. The programme is also scheduled to run on Lagos Television (LTV) at 7.30 pm on Wednesdays, beginning January 14, 2004.

Aminu Kano: Remembered Even in Death
Even in death, Mallam Aminu Kano was recently honoured as one of the distinguished, selfless Nigerians who gave his best to the political growth of the country. At the time he died in 1983, he was known to have left behind only a mud house, one daughter and five pieces of his trade mark white Babariga.

House Assures Nepa of Adequate Funds
The House of Representatives Committee on Power (electricity) has assured the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) of adequate financial appropriation in this year's budget to enable the corporation tackle the numerous problems facing the various power stations in the country.

Nigeria Gets 125,000 Bpd Crude Oil Boost From Amenam/Kpono
NIGERIA'S crude oil production will be boosted by the second quarter of this year, when the Amenam/Kpono field operated by Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (EPNL), a subsidiary of Total, reach its optimal production capacity of 125,000 barrels per day. The Chief Executive/Managing Director of the company, Georges Buresi disclosed this in his New Year Message to staff.

The two billion-dollar Amenam Kpono project which began production in July last year has an estimated reserve of 500 million barrels. Amenam/Kpono oil field, the company's latest offshore project, is envisaged to remain viable for at least 25 years.

FRSC Gets First Female Sector Commander
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), recently announced the posting of its first female Sector Commander. She is the new Lagos State Sector Commander, Ewhrudjakpor Ojeime.

Babangida, Ikedia Hit Camp
36 now in Falcons Camp

The duo of Tijjani Babangida and Pius Ikedia are the latest to join the Super Eagles Faro, Portugal Camp swelling the number in camp to 27 players.

Stranded Passengers Threaten World Airways
Stranded passengers of Rite-time World Airways have threatened to institute a 'class action' against the management of Ritetime World Airways for the unfair deal they had been subjected to in their bid to return to their base in the United States of America after their Christmas festivities in Nigeria.

World Airways is an American carrier which is into a contractual agreement with Ritetime Aviation, another American-based company owned by a Nigerian, Dr. Peter Obafemi, to operate direct flights between Nigeria and the United States.

Obasanjo Orders Marketers to Display Fuel Prices
AS controversy rages on the new N1.50 fuel tax, President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday mandated petroleum products retail outlets to henceforth display prices on their pumps or risk severe sanctions.

They have a grace period of March to fully comply while government also approved the setting up of a trade malpractices committee to check sharp practices by retail outlets.

Ogun Pays N95m for WASSCE Candidates
Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State has approved the release of N95 million for the payment of May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for all the eligible public secondary school students in the state.

We're Ready to Discover Another Olajuwon
New Nigerian NBA club owners vow

Years after Nigeria's greatest export to the world famous American basketball scene Hakeem 'The Dream' Olajuwan quit the NBA stage, plans are on to ensure that the nation produces another NBA superstar.

This was disclosed by two Nigerian members of the American-based Professional Sports Investment Group (PSIG) Doctors Yele Aluko, 48, and Michael Etomi, 49, who spoke exclusively to THISDAYSports in Lagos on New Year's Day.

MTEL to Link LGA Hqs Before Dec - Minister
Communication Minister, Chief Cornelius Adebayo has revealed that there is a political focus to spread the services of the MTEL to cover all the 774 council headquarters in the nation before the end of the year.

2004: Jigawa Proposes N34.3b Budget
THE Jigawa government has proposed a budget of N34.312 billion for the 2004 fiscal year.

Ondo Plans Investment Intervention Fund
AS part of the efforts to kick start the industrialization process of Ondo State, the state Council of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OSCCMA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to raise N1 billion for the state investment intervention fund.

The signatories to the agreement include the Council of Chambers, the State Government and Bond Consulting Limited.

Lagos NEPA Targets N3bn Monthly Revenue
LAGOS zone of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) will this year vigorously strive to achieve an average monthly revenue of N3 billion.

Cadbury to Boost Operation With N2bn
CADBURY Nigeria Plc said it has concluded plans to upgrade its operations to world class standard through the investment of additional N2 billion in the leading food and beverage manufacturing plant.

The company said N2 billion fresh funds will be injected into its operations in the next three years with effect from present year.

UNICEF Names Kanu Soccer Ambassador
Apparently in recognition of his attempts at saving the lives of Nigerian children through his heart care foundation, the United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) has appointed Super Eagles star Nwankwo Kanu one of it's 'Soccer Ambassadors'.

The letter to this effect, signed by Mr. Roger Wright, the Officer-in-Charge, of the UN agency in Nigeria, has already been sent to the Arsenal of England player, who expressed his 'delight' at the appointment.

I'm Africa's Best Player - Okocha
Super Eagles skipper Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha has told KICK OFF AFRICAN NATIONS CUP 2004 GUIDE, which goes on sale nation-wide on Wednesday, that he believes he deserves to be crowned African Footballer for the past year.

Globacom Wins Brand of the Year
...as Nigerian Breweries Emerges Company of the Year

Union Bank, Sanusi are also winners

Brewing giant, Nigerian Breweries Plc, has emerged the winner of THISDAY's coveted award of Company of the Year 2003. Globacom, Union Bank and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Joseph Sanusi were also awarded Brand of the Year, Bank of the Year and Banker of the Year respectively.

Owners of Acquired Land in Delta to Smile
The Delta State Government has disclosed that it has paid over N800 million as compensation to people whose lands were acquired by it.

FG to Reposition Nitel for Buyers
The Federal Government is set to add value to NITEL to make it attractive for sale, communications minister, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, has said.

Jigawa Targets 1 Million Children for Primary School Enrolment
The Jigawa government says it will involve communities in providing relevant infrastructure to accommodate more than one million children expected to be enrolled in primary schools this year.

Banks to Raise Capital Base to N2bn
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that all banks the country to raise their paid-up capital to N2 billion by the end of 2005. The present minimum paid-up capital for banks is N1billion.


The reports were from This Day (Lagos), Daily Champion (Lagos), Vanguard (Lagos) and P.M. News (Lagos)

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