- BUA Using Militia, Soldiers to Mine Site Allocated to Dangote – Ministry
The management of BUA Group has been using armed militia, soldiers and policemen to mine marble and limestone in mining sites allocated to the Dangote Group, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has alleged.
In a statement signed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Abass, and made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, the ministry said the company had been using a combination of armed militia, soldiers and policemen to obstruct the ministry’s team from executing the stop work order issued to the company in October.
The ministry’s statement was in response to an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari by the company alleging that a minister was involved in sabotaging its operations.
Abass said that the in the records of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, the BUA Group did not have a mining lease over the contentious site (No. 2541ML) and was therefore engaged in illegal mining.
He stated, “The ministry stands by the stop work order issued to the BUA Group and signed by the Permanent Secretary dated 17th of October, 2017.
“The letter was issued after thorough investigation confirmed that the BUA Group was indeed engaging in illegal mining of marble/limestone at a mine pit located on geographical coordinates N070 21’ 47.4’ E0060 26’ 51.8’, while the run-of-mine is stockpiled at an area with geographical coordinates N070 21’ 48.4’; E0060 26’37.2’.
“Clarification provided by the Mining Cadastre Office shows that the coordinates of the mine pit and RoM stockpile area fall wholly within the area of mining Lease No 2541ML belonging to Messrs Dangote Industries Limited.”
Abass added, “The ministry had earlier in 2015 issued a stop work order on this same disputed site but the BUA Group disregarded the order and went ahead with its illegal mining activities, under heavy cover of armed soldiers, policemen and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.”
“The management of BUA also resisted the enforcement of the latest stop work order issued on October 17, 2017 using a combination of armed militia, soldiers and policemen to obstruct the team from the ministry in effecting the stop work order.”
He added that the ministry would not compromise due process in its commitment to promote local and global investments in the Nigerian mining sector.
But in its reaction, the BUA Group said through its spokesperson, O’tega Ogra, “For the avoidance of doubt, BUA, as a law abiding entity, restricts its Obu Cement operations to mining areas covered by ML18912 and ML18913, and located in Obu Okpella, Etsako LG, Edo State. We do not have any mining activities, which are specifically in Okene, Kogi State as the ministry insinuated and as stated in the ML2541 lease given by the ministry to a competitor.
“The High Court sitting in Benin this morning (Tuesday) asked all parties to the suits before it, including the ministry, to maintain the status quo, which their spurious stop work order sought to overturn. We are, therefore, determined, as good corporate citizens, to follow the dictates of the court and not make further pronouncements on the issue lest we be seen to be in contempt of the court. We also advise media houses to be aware of this order of the court.”
Lagos Introduces Fuel Station on Inland Waterways to Enhance Ferry Operations
Lagos State Waterways Intrdouces Fuel Station for Ferries Operators
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Tuesday said it has introduced the first-ever fuel state on the Lagos inland waterways.
The fuel station was introduced to boost activities across Lagos waterways and increase transportation activities, according to a statement released by Nkechi Ajayi, the Public Relations Officer, LASWA.
Speaking at the five cowries terminal in Lagos during an event, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General manager, LASWA, lauded the fueling station project, adding that it would boost ferry operators’ activities and help them expand.
Emmanuel was quoted as saying “This project is significant to us at LASWA being a responsible agency of government.
“We are concerned about the hardship and occasional harassment usually faced by ferry operators while using jerry cans to get fuel from filling stations to run their boats.
“With the opening of this fuel pump unit to serve both commercial and private boat owners, the safety of lives and property on the Lagos waterways will be greatly enhanced.
“To further promote the safety of all waterways users, we urge boat operators to desist from moving fuel with kegs.”
Why N-power Beneficiaries Should be Retained Permanently
N-power Beneficiaries Must and Should be Retained Permanently
Poorly paid with little to zero job securities and economic provisions, thousands of Nigerian graduates and non-graduates continue to enroll for the social investment program, N-power, established by the Federal Government in 2016 to alleviate poverty and support the vulnerable.
However, two years later the program is experiencing a downturn with the government planning to throw beneficiaries (batches A and B) of the program back into the street despite the nation’s unemployment rate at a record high of 27.1 percent.
Participants, proudly referred to as beneficiaries by the government and its agents, have had to endure delays in inhumane stipends that can barely meet their daily needs to undefined or uncertain exit package plans for the participants of the program.
Despite all the limitations faced by volunteers, supervisors in schools and other places of assignments have said N-power beneficiaries played key roles in addressing a lot of their existing challenges and on numerous occasions and they have occasioned a new growth direction.
According to a Senior Special Adviser to the President on job creation, “What we have found out is that they are filling a lot of gaps in some places like schools, where they do not have enough teachers.In some schools where the N-Power are posted to, you discovered that it is only the principal and some NYSC members that are teaching students, the Npower teachers have helped to compliment their efforts.”
In Ekiti, a 34-year-old veteran teacher explained that “If not all of them, a majority of the N-Power teachers have mastery of the subject matter. They have not been found wanting also in the theoretical aspect of teaching. Especially the way they make use of teaching aid in classes; and that is actually very impressive.
“There is one of them who is a Physics teacher now, we have to keep deploying from one class to the other just because we don’t have adequate teachers to cover those classes.
“The one that is taking Christian Religious Knowledge is a born teacher, who is very efficient and very punctual in her classes.”
Another principal of Government Secondary School in Daurawa, Kano, Haliru Inuwa, said the eight N-power teachers posted to his school since December 2016 have been saving grace for both himself and the students.
He said “We have eight beneficiaries of N-Power posted to my school here.”
“Most of them are handling core science subjects which most of the schools in Kano state are lacking generally. Yes, subjects like Mathematics, English etc. To our surprise, and against the earlier concern raised that they might not perform well in teaching, the N-Power volunteer teachers are not only committed to their teaching, but are also punctual,” he added.
These much were achieved in spite of the poor salary and working conditions. Graduates and non-graduates of the N-power program have exceeded expectations and raised the bar of dedication and service to the people.
The Nigerian government, just like the private sector operators, continues to take advantage of the high unemployment rate it created to exploit supposed high demand services. What does one expect? when they have been undermined from the onset as ‘privileged beneficiaries’ even with the pivotal role they played in the economy.
N-power volunteers, Batch A and B, as promised are to be absorbed into permanent job positions and their salaries and working conditions reviewed to further enhance their commitments and impacts across the board.
Tanker Drivers Suspend Strike as NNPC and DSS Intervene
NARTO Called Off Strike as NNPC and DSS Intervene
The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) on Tuesday said it has called off its two-day warning strike that began on Tuesday.
On Monday NARTO had directed all its members to halt operations following the new policy of the federal government that restricted truck above 45,000 litres from plying Nigerian road.
The National President of the association, Yusuf Othman, said the directive was sudden with little to no time for affected tanker drivers to make adjustments.
However, on Tuesday in Abuja, Othman said the association had to call off the strike following the intervention of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Department of State Services.
He said “Yesterday (Monday), following an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council of our association, it was resolved that transport owners would park their trucks from 22nd to 23rd September, 2020.
“This was in protest of the Federal Government’s decision to ban all trucks of over 45,000 litres capacity from loading petroleum products from all depots throughout the country.”
He added, “However, following the intervention of the Group Managing Director of NNPC and the Director-General of the DSS, we are hereby directing all our members to resume operation nationwide.
“This is a directive that we revert to status quo until January 2021 to allow for wider consultation.”
NARTO president said the association now await peaceful resolution and hope that the agreed time would be enough for affected members to re-engineer their trucks in accordance with the 45,000 litres directive.
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