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HURIWA Lauds Ugwuanyi’s Economic Strides, Employment



HURIWA Lauds Ugwuanyi 's Economic Strides, Employment

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has extolled the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for his commitment to create employment opportunities.

HURIWA is particularly pleased with the recent statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Development and Director General, Enugu SMEs Centre, Hon. Arinze Chilo-Offiah, who announced the decision of the state government to train more 500 youths in various fields of innovative endevour in addition to the 500 already trained through the SMEs.

HURIWA, in a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onubiko and Media Affairs Director; Zainab Yusuf, stated that with digital skills being the jobs of the future, Enugu State is in line to have well-skilled techies to support startups and tech companies in the country and the continent as a whole.

They said: “The Enugu SME Centre has partnered with private sectors known for their expertise, to ensure that the technical, professional, and vocational capacities of the youths are fully built. The Enugu Tech, in partnership with Utiva, dealt with training on programming and product design.

“This was born out of the conviction that tech is the future, and for Enugu to thrive, it has to have a future in tech. The presence of tech experts in Enugu can also ensure a place for tech giants like Google and Microsoft to operate in the state. Enugu Tech has graduated over 500 persons, with an additional 500 yet to be trained,” HURIWA observed..

Also, following the recent release of the Global StartupBlink Ecosystem Index Report of 2021, HURIWA revealed that there has been a whirlwind of multiple emotions, surprise and happiness. “But the common question on everybody’s lips is ‘how’? With the rise of Nigeria’s ranking fueled by its massive consumer market and more than 500 active startups, one of the largest in Africa, very few expected that Enugu will make a huge contribution to this. More surprising is Enugu’s rank as the first Southeastern Nigeria state to make the list and the 978th globally.

“There is no doubt then that Gov. Ugwuanyi has etched his name on the sands of time, as a Governor whose vision has made Enugu state as a bride to be courted by every South-east man or woman for many generations to come and is working assiduously to consummate this reality.

“The mission is to put Enugu on the global map led the Governor through the Small and Medium Entrepreneur Centre to embark on numerous projects that were specifically designed to empower the people of Enugu and provide them with the necessary skills.

“Therefore, there is no gainsaying the fact that Enugu under the dispensation of genuine leadership of a man celebrated with the epaulet of ‘Gburugburu’ by his people offers a good example of how a combination of sustained investment in nurturing small scale enterprises and removing all stifling bureaucratic structures can launch a state’s economy onto a growth trajectory.”

Recalling that in 2018, World Bank Doing Business in Nigeria report had put Enugu State only behind Abuja and Lagos and a mid-2019 report by the National Bureau of Statistics, named Enugu state as one of the six states in Nigeria that recorded the highest net gains in full-time employment between 2017 and 2018 with a figure of 122,333, HURIWA noted that it was further proof that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s vision to make Enugu a major economic hub is yielding dividends.

READ ALSO: Why We Paid Hospital Bills, Others To Celebrate Ugwuanyi’s Birthday -ALGON

According to HURIWA, Enugu Tech (Programming and Programme Design), which is part of the programmes aimed at enhancing the skills of the people of Enugu, so they could become entrepreneurs in addition to alleviating the challenges of unemployment in the state is a testament that job creation is evidently the prime commitment of Gov. Ugwuanyi as it is the first item on his Four-Point Agenda; a to-do list that clearly outlines the administration’s priority goals which include employment generation; enhanced social services and good governance; rural development; security and justice.

HURIWA disclosed that one of the takeaways from this gesture is that Governor Ugwuanyi’s focus is to define human capital as a sector that should be funded and invested in, just as it is done in the agricultural sector, manufacturing, the creative industries and all.

Noting that difficult business environment remains a major factor often cited by investors as the reason Nigeria is hardly a choice destination for foreign direct investment despite its huge potential, HURIWA stated that the creation of the SMEs centre by the Ugwanyi-led administration of Enugu state was prompted by the dire prognosis that most small businesses in the local communities die before their fifth anniversary.

“Generally, the Enugu Youth Empowerment Scheme has contributed immensely to the rank that Enugu currently holds. The digital marketing programme has equipped and is still equipping the individuals in the state with the skill through which they can promote their businesses, placing them on the global map.

“The youths are trained on high income earning digital marketing skills. In November 2020, 300 youths graduated from the programme, and have gone ahead to establish trailblazing startups, an establishment whose reflections are widely acknowledged presently. The cost of this training, alongside others, was also subsidised to N50,000 from N250,000 with the funding provided by the Enugu SME Centre to participants through the Human Capital Development Loan; one of the many programmes under the Human Capital Development Loan Initiative.

“Of course, the vision of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, which is to facilitate easier access to resources required by entrepreneurs, SMEs and players in that environment to achieve sustainable development in Enugu State is gradually metamorphosing into reality.

“With the number of programmes the SMEs Centre has spearheaded in Enugu, the successes and development in Enugu have taken a positive turn, as the State Government successfully registered Business Names for over 6,000 startups, a number which is key to the recent global recognition.”

HURIWA pointed out that unlike the trend whereby virtually all politicians seeking the office of governor voiced their commitment to similarly lofty goals,  Governor Ugwuanyi’s empowerment programmes together with NBS’s job analysis across states has shown that his pledge was no typical campaign rhetoric.

The rights group expressed gratification in the sense that the governor did not succumb to the temptation of using the civil service as a job- dispensing point, which is a rather simplistic choice mostly embraced by politicians but tragically, turns out a shot in the foot as it merely further bloats the workforce and breeds inefficiency.

READ ALSO: You’re A Lawless Governor – HURIWA Tells Ugwuanyi

“What he did, rather, was invest resources to grow the potential of small businesses and laying foundations conducive to the emergence of new ones,” it said.

Beyond the fact that it helped create more jobs, HURIWA noted that it has also boosted the state’s internal revenue once ranked among the best 10 in the country by BudgIT, a civic group that advocates transparency in governments’ earnings and expenditure.

“Since 2015, Enugu has benefited largely from insightful policies which continuously give the state a sound financial base. These, plus prudent handling of the state’s resources by the Gov. Ugwuanyi administration also underlie Enugu’s listing among Lagos and Kano as Nigeria’s Most Financially Stable States by the Financial Derivatives Company.

“Such statistics offer a strong sense of validation, but none offers a greater sense of satisfaction than the knowledge that they are both in accord with reality and not a mere fleeting accolade. Gov. Ugwuanyi’s Enugu Tech (Programming and Programme Design) and other empowerment programmes of his reinforce this strong optimism.

“Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has remained committed as he was in his first term to improving the people’s wellbeing through sensible socio-economic policies, not grandiose ribbon developments that superficially impress but hardly yield any existential benefits to the citizens ,” HURIWA added.


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Gumi Protests As Court Declares Bandits As Terrorists



Gumi Protests As Court Refers To Bandits As Terrorists

Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has condemned a court’s declaration of bandits as terrorists as a political decision.

“I think the Federal Government has succumbed to media blackmail by a section of the country.

“It will not have any practical value because even before the declaration they are being fought and treated as terrorists,” he said.

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had declared proscribed bandit groups as terrorists.

READ ALSO: Court Declares Bandits As Terrorists

Specifically, the court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, held that activities of Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda bandit groups, constitute acts of terrorism.

In a statement issued by Malam Tukur Mamu ,the Dan-Iyan Fika and Media Consultant to Sheikh Gumi, the Muslim scholar said: “So it’s just a nomenclature which I believe will not change the dynamics on ground.

“If you can remember, IPOB was also declared a terrorist organisation. The declaration was even backed by the order of the court, but as you can see even the international community did not recognise FG’s declaration on IPOB.

“So it has failed to be effective or to achieve the desired results.

“They have not been banned from travelling to other countries, while their citizenship remains intact; it has not been denounced. So what type of declaration is that?

“I sincerely hope that Nigerians will not take the herdsmen as terrorists, but should regard the criminality of the few among them against innocent people as acts of terrorism just as we see IPOB and their attacks on security agencies and other northern citizens as acts of terrorism.

“Very few herdsmen are bandits if you go through their population.

“I hope this declaration will not give the licence to people to be profiling herdsmen in general as terrorists and taking laws into their hands against them.

“It will cause more mayhem. The declaration will not change anything, it will not change the dynamics. Already the military is engaging them.

“It didn’t stop them from kidnappings and killings. The declaration will not end their aggression against the society.
‘It is a socio-political problem’

“The Fulani banditry is a socio-economic problem. We have seen it, we interacted widely with them.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Will Be In Ruins If Bandits Are Declared As Terrorists – Gumi

“We told the federal government the way out. It can only be won through engagement, dialogue and justice.

“That is why today there is relative peace in the Niger Delta because government has accepted the painful reality of rehabilitating and empowering them.

“There has to be equitable distribution of wealth in Nigeria and justice for every one.

“People don’t want to accept it. Before the issue of banditry that now affects all of us, the Fulani have suffered so much.

“They have lost their legitimate means of livelihood; I mean their cows through cattle rustling and extortion by security agencies.

“That has to be addressed as a means of genuine reconciliation and integration. They should have sense of belonging.”


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Court Declares Bandits As Terrorists



Court Declares Bandits As Terrorists

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has declared the activities of bandits in Nigeria as acts of terrorism.

In a landmark judgment on Thursday, the court said “Yan Bindiga group”, “Yan Ta’adda group” and others alike are active terrorists.

M. B. Abubakar, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Federal Ministry of Justice, filed an ex-parte motion.

A supporting affidavit, filed by Aminu Kayode Alilu of the ministry, explained why the application was made.

The government told the court that bandits were responsible for several acts of criminality in different parts of the country.

The oath pointed out that Yan Bindiga, Yan Ta’adda and others were responsible for “wanton destruction of lives and property in Nigeria, particularly in the Northwest and North-central states”.

READ ALSO: El-Rufai Asks Buhari To Declare Bandits As Terrorists

It mentioned, “kidnappings for ransom, kidnapping for marriage, mass abductions of school children and other citizens, cattle rustling, enslavement, imprisonment, severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, other forms of sexual violence, attacks and killings”.

The government said the outlaws were carrying out “acts of terrorism that can lead to a breakdown of public order and safety and is a threat to national security and the corporate existence of Nigeria”.

In his pronouncement, Justice Taiwo proscribed Yan Bindiga, Yan Ta’adda and all bandit clusters “either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called”.

The judge directed the Federal Government to publish the proscription order in the official gazette and two national dailies.


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Telecoms Services Restored In Kaduna



Telecoms Services Restored In Kaduna

Following the return of peace to the troubled parts of Kaduna, the state government has ordered the immediate restoration of telecommunication service in areas where the facility was earlier suspended for security reasons.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, said this while addressing newsmen in Kaduna.

He said, the state government had contacted relevant federal agencies to effect the immediate restoration of the services.

He recalled that in October 2021 security agencies had requested the shutdown as part of the measures to address the problem of banditry and related crimes.

READ ALSO: El-Rufai Asks Buhari To Declare Bandits As Terrorists

“The security agencies have notified he government that telecoms services can now be restored.

“The initial shutdown, along with other measures, had helped the security agencies to achieve some results“, Aruwan said

He said it was unfortunate that the measure, had its negative impact on the legitimate activities of citizens and businesses.

He assured residents that the restoration of full services in the affected area would be full achieved in few days.
While commending the sacrifices made by residents during the temporary shutdown he expressed regrets for inconveniences caused the affected areas.

The commissioner, however, said other measures, on security measures aimed at combating crimes in the affected areas remained in force.

“These include; prohibition of movement of motorcycle, the ban on weekly market, transportation of cattle and sales of cattle across the state,” he said.


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