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FG approves new salary structure for NIMC staff

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The Federal Government has approved a new conditions of service and salary scale for the staff of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, disclosed this during the formal presentation of the approved conditions of service to NIMC staff in Abuja.

He said it was a significant departure from what was currently obtainable.

Pantami said NIMC conditions of service was a comprehensive document, saying that it would serve as the machinery through which the commission would articulate and implement its personnel policies and programmes.

According to the minister, the NIMC plays a critical role that impacts the life of every Nigerian and for people legally resident in the country.

“In light of the foregoing, it is imperative that the vibrant NIMC staff who are tasked with managing one of the nation`s most sensitive and critical assets are provided with the enabling environment to play this pivotal role efficiently and effectively.

“The first step I took on the personnel matter was to advise the Director General to set up a committee to review the existing policies at the time.

“Following the submission of a revised draft conditions of service by the committee, I scheduled arrays of consultations with relevant authorities,” he said.

Pantami said it was challenging rallying all and sundry to understand the exigency of the NIMC plight, and to bring everyone onboard considering the economic contractions witnessed in recent years and other pressing national projects.

He, however, said with persistence, determination and most importantly the support of Mr. President, the new salary scale and conditions of service were approved.

“The conditions of service include information about the NIMC, its core functions, offices and departments and the reporting structure as well as employment eligibility, categories, grade level classifications and staff obligations.

“Categorisation and eligibility for leave, promotion and career progression matters, pension and retirement benefits for all categories of staff, as well as robust staff emoluments, amongst others.

“Every chapter and sub-heads have been dutifully explained in simple and direct terminologies,” minister said.

He, however, said members of staff of the commission nationwide and across different cadres were implored to study and imbibe these conditions, the associated and complementary instructions, and notices and to become familiar with all procedures guiding their professional conduct.

“It becomes imperative to lay a strong foundational ID system for the country that can generate reliable and continuous data for policy and decision making, as well as accurate statistics for developmental planning and progress measurement.

“It is hoped that the approved conditions of service and the salary scale would serve as a veritable tool to re-engineer the operations, structure, and enhance NIMC’s overall functionality, productivity, and performance in line with the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), “Pantami said.

He said one of the major challenges in the supervision of the NIMC was the poor working condition of the staff since the inception of NIMC in 2007.

Pantami said multiple attempts had been made to change the narrative of the staff emoluments without success, saying process towards achieving a functional condition of service for the commission had commenced since 2010.

“Successive administrations have made efforts to institute a statutory personnel policy that accentuates the NIMC’s enormous mandate and humongous service offering to the Nigerian people.

“These previous attempts, although strong-willed, were unsuccessful, leading to disenchantment amongst the commission’s work force and loss of competent and highly skilled personnel to other agencies and organisations within and outside Nigeria.

“For an evolving digital economy like ours, foundational identity will provide a universal multipurpose system capable of supporting the needs for an inclusive legal identity to ensure citizen’s access to social services and effective undertaking of their civic responsibilities,” he said.

He enjoined all staff to ensure diligence, security consciousness and dedication for the seamless operation and integrity of the National Identity Management System (NIMS).

The Director General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, expressed  appreciation to Mr President for the speedy assent and approval of the new condition of service and salary structure.

“This is a demonstration of the President’s faith, belief and support for the laudable achievements of the commission in recent years.

“This will provide further motivation, hope and confidence in the NIMC to do more in the future, ” he said.

He also appreciated the support and uncommon leadership of the minister, saying his leadership had been tremendous and quite remarkable.

Aziz said under his stewardship, NIMC had pushed the boundaries of excellence in achieving unprecedented enrolment records and tackle seemingly difficult challenges.

The Postmaster-General of NIPOST, Mr Ismail Adebayo, said the welfare of staff enhances productivity, as well as spur them to double their efforts.

The postmaster-general, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Mr Yahaya Rufai, said the improved, well-packaged welfare of staff is an antidote to corruption. (NAN)

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I made mistake in picking Atiku as my Running Mate in 1999 – Obasanjo laments

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
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Ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has disclosed that when he served as a head of state in 1999 as a civilian, he had made a mistake picking his vice.

Obasanjo made this statement while fielding questions from secondary school students at a program at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Obasanjo admitted to making many “genuine mistakes” in his life while interacting with the students, but claimed that God helped him overcome them.

“Choosing my number two when I wanted to be president was one of the errors I made. But God saved me because it was an honest mistake, said Obasanjo.

Obasanjo while interacting with the students revealed that he had made many “genuine mistakes” in his life; saying, however, that God made him overcome them.

“One of the mistakes I made was picking my number two when I wanted to become the president. But because it was a genuine mistake, God saved me,” Obasanjo said.
According to reports, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential contender, served as Obasanjo’s second-in-command from 1999 to 2007.

Obasanjo and Atiku clashed with one and other for years while in government over matters they couldn’t agree on.

When discussing his second error, Obasanjo claimed that it occurred when General Sani Abacha, a late military ruler, was going to arrest him and the American Embassy offered him asylum which he refused.

Obasanjo claimed that had God not intervened, he would have perished during his time in prison.

“When Abacha wanted to arrest me, I was told by the American ambassador that they will arrest me and that America has asked that I should be given an asylum. I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life.”

The Balogun Owu stated that God had saved him from many things that could have been a mistake.

When asked whether the youths could be allowed to rule the nation, Obasanjo expressed worries, stating that youths may never come into power should the current trend in Nigeria continues.

The former president regretted that in spite of the “Not Too Young to Run” campaign, people contesting to rule the nation are between 70 and 80 years old.

“How can the youths run,” he asked, adding that the amount of money involved in going into politics would not allow youths to get to leadership positions.

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5000 LAGOSIANS GET FREE HEALTH INSURANCE ON SANWO-OLU’S BIRTHDAY

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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No fewer than 5000 Lagosians are to be enrolled in the Ilera Eko Social Health Plan – courtesy of the Lagos State Executive Council.

The gesture is to celebrate Governor Sanwo-Olu’s 57th birthday on June 25 and in the spirit of his compassion for the indigent and vulnerable.

Beneficiaries will have access to quality health care services and drugs under the ILERA EKO Standard Plan at no cost to them.

Nominees will be selected from the Lagos State Social Protection Register. An equal number of the 5000 eligible beneficiaries are to be selected from the five IBILE divisions of the State and will enjoy Universal Health Coverage.

These beneficiaries have been identified using a multi-dimensional poverty index tool, which includes the poverty means-testing to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity of the data generated.

ILERA EKO is the State Social Health Insurance Plan managed by Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), which offers the basic minimum health plan that provides quality and affordable healthcare for all Lagos residents, especially the middle and low-income earners as well as the vulnerable.

Services on the Plan include: General consultations; Specialist Consultations; Management of uncomplicated chronic diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma); Maternal and Newborn Care; Normal Delivery and Caesarean Section; Dental Care (with Composite filling) and Eye Care, including glasses.

There are also minor and major surgeries; laboratory tests and scans; HIV/TB Testing services; Emergency Health Services; Cancer Care and the provision of prescribed drugs.

A policy cycle under the ILERA EKO Health Insurance Plan runs for 12 calendar months in which an enrolee’s policy is due for renewal before the 25th day of the 12th month to enable such subscribers have access to care the next month (Start of renewed policy cycle).

The selected beneficiaries will commence access to care from July 1, 2022.

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Wife remanded as UK Court denies them bail

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife
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An Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in the United Kingdom did not grant bail to Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, and Beatrice, his wife, who were apprehended over attempted harvesting of organs.

It was gathered that the Nigerian couple was detained by the Metropolitan Police when they tried harvesting an unnamed child’s organs.

When the Senator was arraigned on Thursday, the court refused to grant him bail but ordered that he should be remanded till July 7

The Metropolitan Police while confirming the arrest said in a statement that the pair were charged to court on Thursday following an investigation by the police’ specialist crime team.

“Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting,” the statement read.

“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

They have both been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support.”

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