The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, says the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N27.5 trillion submitted to the National Assembly demonstrates President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Idris stated this at the 2023 Public Lecture and Annual General Meeting of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) on Saturday in Abuja.
The meeting with the theme, “Demographic transition, ethical resources, and sustainable development: Reflection on Northern Nigeria”, was organised by the Kaduna Chapter of the NIPR.
The minister described Tinubu as a transformational leader with a solid track record in the private sector and at the level of subnational government.
According to Idris, Tinubu is a man who will not be fazed by challenges and obstacles, because he is a man that is more than equal to the task.
“Just this week, he presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N27.5 trillion to the National Assembly, the first full-year budget of his administration.
“The budget as presented, signifies a pivotal step towards the realisation of his Renewed Hope Agenda, by aligning fiscal strategies and priorities with broader national development objectives.
“In addition to its focus on development priorities, the budget demonstrates Tinubu’s commitment to fiscal responsibility with all sense of sincerity, transparency and accountability.
“President Tinubu’s administration recognizes the importance of prudent financial management as the foundation for long-term economic stability.
“As the 2024 appropriation bill moves through the legislative process, we are very optimistic that its passage will mark the beginning of a transformative era, bringing tangible improvements to the lives of Nigerians.
“Before the budget presentation, President Tinubu had assented to an equally important Supplementary Budget, signed some landmark bills and Executive Orders into law, and inaugurated initiatives on fiscal policy reform,” he said.
The minister added that the goal has been to deliver relief to the Nigerian people, and lay the groundwork for true and lasting prosperity.
On the theme of the public lecture, Idris said the concept of demographic transition is a very important one for Nigeria, considering the place it occupies as Africa’s most populous country.
According to him, by the year 2050, Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world, after India and China, and ahead of the United States.
“On top of this, we are a very young population, with a median age of 19. What this means is that half of the population of our country is younger than 20.
“We owe these teeming young people a great deal, starting with ensuring that they are educated for the world of the 21st century. Indeed, with our population, we are at a crossroads.
“The choice is now up to us, as leaders, as elites, regarding what direction Nigeria will proceed in.
“Today’s young people, if properly educated and catered for, will be tomorrow’s engaged and productive labour force.
“Demographics are not only about age; gender is another important element. Nigeria’s population is roughly split evenly between men and women.
“One of the pillars of President Bola Tinubu’s Eight-Point Agenda is inclusivity, which means inclusive policies and programmes for all segments of the population, especially youth and women.
“You can see manifestations of this, even in the array of appointments made by the president so far, and the prominence given to young people and to women,” the minister said.
The President and Chairman of Council of the Institute of NIPR, Dr Ike Neliaku, represented by a Fellow of the Institute, Alhaji Bashir Chedi, commended the Kaduna Chapter for being active, consistent and always setting the pace.
According to Neliaku, the theme for the conference is very apt and urged members to keep to the ethic and values of the NIPR and also to add value to organisations they are working for.
Similarly, the Chairman of Kaduna Chapter of the NIPR, Mr Haroun Malami, said public relations served as an indispensable tool for shaping perception and fostering a supportive environment contributing to sustainable development initiatives.
He said “figures from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that for every new children born in Nigeria between 2016 and 2019, seven were from the northern states”.
The keynote address on ‘Demographic transition, ethical resource and sustainable development, was delivered by the former Governor of Niger, Dr Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu.
The event attracted the Directors-General of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr Mohammed Bulama; Nigerian Television Authority, Salihu Dembos, and Voice of Nigeria, Mr Jibrin Baba Ndace.
Also, in attendance were officials from Zonal Command of EFCC, FIRS, Kaduna State Government, Gombe Indigens Association in Kaduna, Jam’a Matan Arewa and the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
NAN reports that awards in different categories were given to deserving members and other personalities in governance, gender politics and empowerment, tax administration, public broadcasting and many others. (NAN)
Lagos-Shagamu Expressway’s Long Bridge Undergoes Repairs March 4 — Federal Controller
The Federal Government has announced that the Lagos-Shagamu Expressway’s Long Bridge will undergo repairs to its damaged expansion joints from Monday.
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mrs Olukorede Kesha, disclosed this in a statement on Friday night in Lagos.
Kesha, who regretted the inconvenience that these repairs might cause motorists, appealed for patience and cooperation by members of the public.
“The Federal Ministry of Works wish to inform the motoring public that repair works for the damaged expansion joints on the long bridge will commence by Monday, March 4, 2024, simultaneously on both bounds of the bridge.
“Consequently, traffic leaving and entering Lagos through the long bridge will be narrowed to two lanes on both sides of the bridge to enable the contractor handling the repair works to commence works on the other two lanes of the carriageways.
“Thus, all road users are advised to be patient and adhere to lane discipline on both approaches to the Long Bridge and around the narrowed sections on the bridge.
“The earth road beside the Shagamu bound carriageway will be made motorable, to serve as complimentary road. Other road users are advised to use alternative routes.
“Motorists are further advised to cooperate with the traffic management officials deployed to manage traffic and ensure hitch-free movements to minimise discomfort during the duration of the repair works,” she said.
According to the notification, the repair, which will begin by 7.00a.m. on Monday, will last till March 25.(NAN)
NAFDAC Clamps Down on Illegal Sachet Water Companies in Anambra
The National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has shut down some unregistered sachet water production factories in Anambra state.
The companies were said to be producing water in unhealthy environments and operating without subjecting their processes to regulatory standards.
Coordinator of NAFDAC in Anambra, Louis Mmadubuatta, told newsmen in Awka that the exercise was part of the routine surveillance of the agency with the aim of protecting the health of members of the public.
“We have over time visited a number of water factories that do not comply to good manufacturing standards and normally such places are shut until they comply and those we earlier closed have done so.
“Those places are sealed and we are not opening them until they respond to the regulatory action taken against them,” he said.
Mmadubuatta, who did not reveal the locations of the sealed companies for strategic reasons, warned companies engaging in illegal manufacturing of table water and other regulated products to desist from such activities.
He said the companies should go to NAFDAC and register their products and those whose licenses had expired should endeavour to renew them.
“We are still embarking on massive sanction activities against erring companies,” he said.
The Coordinator urged members of the public to assist NAFDAC with information on illegal table water production activities going on in their neighbourhood for swift reaction while assuring them of anonymity.
He further advised that consumers should look out for product name, production and expiry dates, NAFDAC number and batch number and if they had doubts they should reach the agency.
Court Sentences Lady to Death by Hanging for Killing Enugu Make-up Artiste
From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu
An Enugu State High Court, sitting in Enugu, has sentenced Chiamaka Ifezue to death by hanging for killing an Enugu-based make-up artist, Ijeoma Nweke.
The court, presided over by Justice Kenneth Okpe, in a two-hour judgement on Wednesday, found the accused guilty of killing the victim by forcing her to drink a poisonous substance.
The corpse of the make-up artist was found in Maryland within Enugu Metropolis on Monday.
The deceased, Nweke had left home on Wednesday November 11, 2020, for a job but went missing afterwards.
Her supposed client, having refused to disclose the location for the job, asked the deceased to stop at the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) Bus Stop, where she would then be taken to the venue.
Nweke, having perceived foul play, sent the client’s phone number to her brother via text.
Her phones were unreachable after hours leading to suspicion that she might have been kidnapped.
This led to a frantic search for her by friends and relatives until early on Monday morning when her corpse was found at Maryland in Enugu.
Eyewitnesses said that her corpse was mutilated with a substance suspected to be acid.
While delivering the judgement, Justice Okpe, said every evidence pointed to the fact that the convict lured the deceased to her house where she poisoned the deceased and evacuated her body out of her house.
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