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Mining Union faults FG on planned sale of ASCO, wants CBN Gov sacked

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The umbrella body responsible for the affairs of mines workers in Nigeria, the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers (NUMW) has called for the resignation or outright sack of the Governor of the Central Bank (CBN) of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele over what it described as the inability of the apex financial institution to articulate policy measure that will lead to the rejuvenation of the moribund Federal-Government owned Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO), adding that government’s disposition to selling ASCO, a decision supported by the CBN, reflects the intellectual poverty of the country’s apex financial institution.

It could be recall that while briefing the Nigerian delegation at the end of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group meetings in Bali, Indonesia, recently, Emefiele said Ajaokuta Steel Company and other national assets will be sold to service the 2018 deficit budget.
While describing ASCO as the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization which must be nurtured and prioritized as an emblem of National Pride, the National President of the Mining Union, Comr. Hamza Mohammed called on government to ensure that ASCO remains under domestic ownership and control, adding that countries which developed their indigenous steel sectors have become better for it.

He tasked Emefiele and the Minister of Finance to articulate a policy direction for the funds needed to resuscitate ASCO, he called on the Senate to intervene by ensuring that the nations institutions in the finance sector work toward articulating a poly measure to address the problem.
“The Nigerian Union of Miens Workers entirely kicks against any form of sale or transfer of ownership of ASCO to foreign bodies or organizations as it is not the best for the development of Nigeria’s industrial sector,” he said.
Hamza who commended the Nigeria Metallurgical Society (NMS) and other professional bodies in the sector for condemning the idea of selling ASCO, called on the federal government to urgent articulate policy measures for the utilization of ASCO in the industrialization of Nigeria, adding that unless Nigeria develops her industrial sectors, it will not be able to play big in the committee of nations.
Hamza noted that it is not a good policy proposal to say that ASCO should be sold for the purpose of financing the 2018 budget, adding that only a mindless government will sell such a highly strategic institution to finance a year’s budget.

While stating that “the industrialization of ASCO, National Iron Ore mining Company (NIOMCO), Delta Steel Company (DSC) and the development of Nigeria’s iron and steel sector have never been negotiable and is still not negotiable, and will never be negotiable,” Hamza warned that the National Executive Council of the Mining Union will soon convene to deliberate on the necessity of embarking on a nationwide strike action if government does not heed the clarion call to shelve plans of selling the steel complex.
Hamza said: “It is socially, industrially and economically injurious to Nigeria to transfer in any way the ownership and control of ASCO to any individual or corporate entity,” adding that the federal government must ensure that it retains one hundred percent ownership and control of the systems.

Hamza who explained that Nigeria’s current economic challenges are the result of the failure of various governments to utilize the country’s human and natural resources, adding that government must act beyond the rhetoric of saying that ASCO can create huge number of jobs. “We know that ASCO can create huge number of jobs and we know that government also knows that, what we want government to do is to resuscitate ASCO so that it will deliver the beautiful promises of the sector to Nigerians.”
“No country can join the rank of super powers unless it develops its steel sector. I expect that government knows that the development of a country’s steel sector is will ignite the development of all industrial sectors of the country’s economy,” he said, and explained that it is only when ASCO begins the production of liquid steel that Nigeria can become a manufacturer of steel products like motor vehicles, airplanes and various steel instruments that symbolize national power and glory.

Discussing the strategic nature of ASCO to the industrial development of Nigeria and the African continent, Hamza said: “The Mining union laments that government handles with levity the importance of ASCO,” saying that ASCO is reputed as the largest steel plant in Africa.

Discussing other advantages of resuscitating ASCO, Hamza noted that apart from being able to generate more than five hundred thousand direct and indirect jobs, ASCO has the ability to become a major revenue earner for the government while also improving the Nigerian economy, if resuscitated.
Recalling one of the campaign promises that thrilled the union during the electioneering campaign of General Muhammadu Buhari, Hamza said Gen Buhari has assured that the steel sector will be developed as a major revenue earner for the country. He therefore tasked the federal government to live up to expectation of Nigerians in the steel sector saying that if ASCO is sold, it will augur well for the industrial development of Nigeria.
While calling on government to stop the exportation of unprocessed solid minerals, Hamza stressed the need to ensure value addition to solid minerals before they are exported to other countries, adding that a lot of jobs will be created for Nigerians if government effectively outlaws the export of processed solid minerals.

While he lamented that Nigeria suffers huge revenue losses when businessmen foreigners mine and export undeveloped solid minerals, he said government must exercise the strong will requisite for the resuscitation of ASCO, stating that if ASCO was resuscitated, steel raw materials will be mines and used to feed the production needs of the integrated steel complex.
“It is only when Ajaokuta Steel Company is resuscitated, the iron ore is mined in Itakpe would be easy moved to ASCO for onward use in the production of steel,” he said.

While he specifically noted that the potentials of the Nigerian steel industry have dastardly abused by foreign nationals, notably Indians, who were entrusted with the task of managing it, he tasked the Buhari administration to activate its institutions to develop a framework for the urgent activation of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Delta Steel Company and the National iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe, stating that apart from these, government should stair up the interest of the organized private sector to participate in the development of the country’s steel sector.

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Atiku’s America visit: Check your BP, Frank urges Buhari, APC leaders, supporters

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To avoid unforseen circumstances, the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has advised the leaders of the ruling party, including President Muhammadu Buhari and its supporters to ensure a check of their Blood Pressures over Thursday’s visit to America by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Frank said the advice becomes necessary because the former Vice President was demonized through some propagandists in the ruling party that Alhaji Atiku will be arrested in United State of America anytime he visits the country, adding that the recent development has proven otherwise.

Reacting in a statement Frank signed on Friday, he said Atiku’s Thursday’s visit to America and his acceptance by the US government has shown the world, especially Nigerian voters that all campaign of colony against the Waziri Adamawa were just propaganda to demonise him, which Nigerians should disregard.

According to Frank, going to America wouldn’t have being an issue if not for the challenge APC threw at Atiku and to prove to the world that he (Atiku) has never been indicted of corruption allegation anywhere in the world.

Frank said Thursday’s night must have been a sleepless one for some leaders of APC who had lied to their supporters about Atiku.

“APC made it a campaign issue that Atiku can never step on American soil without being arrested. In fact, I have read so many APC supporters who vowed to vote for Atiku if he does. Now, I believe they can now deal with it.

“Obviously stunned by the reality, I advice those of you still in APC or supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid to have a change of mind now by joining the moving trains because the development has nailed the coffin of the APC’s propaganda.”

While thanking the American government for its fairness and refusal to succumb to blackmails by the APC apologists, Frank said that Atiku’s visit to America is about economy development of Nigeria, creating conducive businesses environment and create massives jobs for Nigerians.

He added that Atiku Abubakar’s presidency will strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and the United State of America if elected.

“Recall a statement credited to the Minister of Information and Culture, calling of the US not to give Atiku a Visa to the country. Lai Mohammed also stated that if Atiku is given a visa it will amount to an endorsement by the US government.

“The Minister should now know as predicted by him that by the special grace of God America will endorse Waziri Adamawa because he is a better candidate than President Muhammadu Buhari.”

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Bayelsa is the new model of transformation- Dikson

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The governor of Bayelsa state, gov Henry Seriake Dickson has disclosed that the state is the new model of transformation in Nigeria today.

Gov Dickson who was a recipient of the prestigious Daily Asset newspaper award in Abuja, as the man of the year 2018 noted that a visit to the state will convince every doubt.

The governor who was represented by the commissioner of Information and strategy Daniel Iworiso Markson emphasized that the state does not go shopping for award.

According to the information commissioner, the restoration agenda places top priority on free education as a means to place bayelsa on the world map.

“Let it be on record the we do not go shopping for awards, the awards have been coming and are still because of the tremendous work ongoing in our state.

“The people of Bayelsa are privileged to have a governor like the country man governor at the helm of affairs, Bayelsa state is the new model of transformation in Nigeria. You need to see the state 7 years ago when we came into office but coming back to Bayelsa today, you will find it hard to recognize.

“In the state today, we have an international airport, we have one of the best public schools in the country where we are giving young people free education from primary to secondary. So this award is just a testimony to the fact that the world recognizes what we have done in Bayelsa and what we are still doing”.

The governor who thanked the organizers of the award said that recognition such as this will spur his administration to work harder.

Other recipient of the daily asset award include Speaker, House of Reps, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, Governor Benue state, Dr Samuel Ortom, Governor of v state, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and post humous award was given to late miss ochanya Elizabeth, as the daily asset young person of the year 2018 for being asexually abused by her guardian among others.

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Plagiarism Controversy: APC in a Manifesto Mess, Accused Hackers of Conspiracy

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It was mild drama as the ruling All Progressive Congress( APC)caught in another plagiarism controversy mess as it was accused of plagiarism in its manifesto that was themed “keeping America safe and secure” . It was a featured on its website in a section which was dedicated to energy policy ahead of a general election slated for February.

It was speculated with the title , “Our first priority is keeping America safe and secure”, and featured rambling copy critics said was likely lifted from other websites.

It is no longer news that the Ruling party ,headed by president Muhammadu Buhari was accused in the past of plagiarism,notably the president swearing in speech in 2015.

The former aide for ex-Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri,who in the past has been one of the famous critics accused the APC of “obviously” lifting the language “from Donald Trump”, though it is not clear when or even if the US president ever used the wording.

Refuting the allegation, was the APC spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, who blamed it on hackers and mischief makers and stated on Twitter that the website had been “hacked” and “unauthorised content” posted on it, adding that the party won’t allow the desperate people to succeed in their evil plots.

It was gathered that the content was quickly change and replaced with new innovation and inscriptions.

Nigerian could still recalled that ,it is not the first time the APC has been accused of plagiarism where in 2016, president Buhari was forced to apologise after it was revealed that a number of contents in a speech launching his presidential campaign had been lifted from the then American president , Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential victory speech.

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