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Tinubu Committed to Uninterrupted Academic Calendar- Aide

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The Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Students’ Engagement, Sunday Asefon, has expressed the president’s commitment to an uninterrupted academic calendar.

Asefon, a former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), spoke at the official unveiling of the 15 points Nigerian Student’s Renewed Hope Programme Agenda in Abuja on Thursday.

The former NANS leader said that the 15 points renewed hope agenda was to complement the efforts of President Tinubu to achieve an excellent educational sector in the country.

He expressed hope that the Nigerian education sector would take a new face as president Tinubu was committed to reviving the sector.

Asefon added that plans were underway to host the annual all Nigerian Tertiary Institutions Students Affairs Conference (ANTISAC), where the student union would engage with the institution’s students affairs and management to prevent any form of crisis in the institutions.

On the need to revive the reading culture of students, Asefon said his office would hold the National Student Competition/Regional Symposium on reviving reading culture and use of libraries.

” These programmes are what we are going to do while in office to complement the efforts of President Bola Tinubu administration.

“Majority of students say education is a scam and many have lost hope but we are committed to joining forces with our president in reshaping the face of education in Nigeria.

“Every year, people talk about international days but this year, by August we are going to be having the international student day to bring President Tinubu to talk to Nigerian students.

“We are committed to ensuring that we campaign against crime, indecent dressing on our campuses,” he said.

While on the bottleneck around student loans, he said these bottlenecks had been looked into as the loan would be accessed by indigent students.

Asefon assured Nigerians of 100 per cent transparency and accountability in the student loan process.

The Aide listed the students’ renewed hope agenda as Nigerian Students Leaders’ Regional Dialogue, Annual International Students Day Celebration and Annual all Nigerian Tertiary Institution Students Affairs Conference.

In the list are Local and Foreign Engagement of Students bodies, Stakeholders Dialogue on Safe School Project, Nigerian Students in Agriculture Programme, Renewed Hope Academic Excellence Reward Scheme, among others.

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NEWS

Borehole Drillers Seek Expatriate Levy Review

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The Borehole Drillers’ Association of Nigeria (BODAN), has urged the Nigerian Government to reconsider its decision on the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL), as it poses a threat to the survival of the drilling sector.

BODAN President, Mr Francis Uzoma, told newsmen on Monday that the decision has prompted many foreign drilling companies to consider relocating to other countries.

The Expatriate Employment Levy mandates an annual fee for organisations employing expatriate workers, requiring $15,000 (£12,000) for a director and $10,000 for other employees.

This move, according to the Federal Government aims to encourage foreign companies to increase the employment of Nigerian workers.

Uzoma said the federal government should reconsider the decision by reviewing the mandated levy to be more considerate in line with current economic realities.

According to him, its members, especially the foreign investors have been worried about the new decision saying it was not beneficial to continue to operate in the country.

“I just came out from a meeting with my members and they have expressed concern about the new law which mandates organisations employing expatriate workers to pay $15,000 for a director and $10,000 for other employees.

“These companies have already indicated their intentions to leave the country, many of them are Indian and Asian drillers.

“There are predictions of massive job losses, affecting mainly Nigerian workers and would contribute to unemployment.

“We are calling for total review of this annual levy as the one-month window given for payment is not tenable and would affect the economy.

“Without such reconsideration, there’s a risk of drilling companies relocating to neighboring countries, as they have expressed dissatisfaction and unfavorable business conditions”.

These effects, he added include potential repercussions on the borehole sector, hindrance to knowledge transfer, and limitations on equipment and technology use.

He stressed the potential retaliation from foreign investors, particularly Nigerians in diaspora, highlighting the importance of considering the policy’s impact.

He mentioned his intention to write to the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, outlining the adverse effects of the policy on the economy.

NAN recalls President Bola Tinubu’s cautionary statement during the recent launch of the EEL handbook, where he warned against using the levy to obstruct potential investors.

He highlighted the government’s expectations to enhance revenue and promote indigenisation, emphasising the objective of balancing employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates.

Tinubu clarified that the government’s aim is to narrow wage gaps between expatriates and the Nigerian labor force.

Also, it is to simultaneously foster increased employment opportunities for qualified Nigerians within foreign companies operating in the country. (NAN)

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Foreign News

Cambodia Arrests 2 Foreigners for Smuggling 2.27 kg Narcotics

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Cambodian customs police at the Phnom Penh International Airport said they have arrested two South Korean nationals for an attempt to smuggle 2.27 kg narcotics to South Korea.

The duo, a man and woman, were caught Sunday night while they checked in for a ZA215 flight bound for Seoul.

The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia said in a news release on Monday.

In their body searches, our customs officials found many packs of drugs wrapped around their waists, the news release said.

“As a result, some 1.29 kg of crystal methamphetamine and 0.98 kg of ketamine were seized from the two suspects’ possession.’’

The Southeast Asian country has no death sentence for a drug trafficker.

Under its law, someone found guilty of trafficking more than 80 grammes of illicit drugs could be jailed for life.

According to the country’s Anti-Drug Department (ADP), Cambodia nabbed 3,899 drug-related suspects, including 106 foreigners, in 1,659 cases from Jan. 1 to March 3, 2024.

According to the report they confiscated a total of 2.79 tonnes of narcotics.

Most of the seized drugs were ketamine, crystal methamphetamine, methamphetamine tablets, heroin, ecstasy, and cocaine. (Xinhua/NAN)

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NEWS

Police Raid Criminal Hideouts, Arrest 18 Street Urchins In Kano

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The Police Command in Kano State has arrested 18 street urchins for allegedly conspiring to attack innocent members of the general public.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Usaini Gumel, made this known in an interview in Kano on Monday.

Gumel said “the suspects are members of an unlawful society poised to launch unprovoked attacks on innocent members of the public.

The street urchins, the CP said, were arrested at some crime prone identified locations, criminal hideouts and black spots in the metropolis

He listed the areas to include: Mazaunar Tanko, Dandishe, Kofar Dan Agundi, Kofar Mata, and Filin Idi.

Others are Kofar Na’Isa, Kwanar Diso, Kukar Bulukiya and Dorayi Babba.

He said that items recovered from the suspects during on the spot search conducted on them included dangerous weapons and some dry weeds suspected to be marijuana.

Gumel said that all the suspects would be properly screened, profiled and after conclusion of investigations prosecuted in court.

“More sting operations would be conducted to ensure that the state remains safe for all residents,” he added. (NAN)

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