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Senate moves to establish Metallurgical Training Institute

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SENATE-PRESIDENT
Senate President Ahmad Lawan
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The Senate has considered a bill seeking to establish the National Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha.

The National Metallurgical Training Training Institute (Establishment) Bill, 2021, which scaled second reading was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North).

The bill was read for the first time on September 15, 2021.

Leading debate on the bill, Senator Abdullahi said the  establishment of the Institute was against the backdrop of the feasibility study carried out in 1979 by the German Agency for technical cooperation (GTZ).

According to the lawmaker, the  German Agency observed the lack of the skill technical manpower to maintain and run the heavy Mechanical and Electrical equipment in the Steel, Oil & Gas and manufacturing industries.

He explained that the agreement between the German and Nigerian Governments out of which the Institute was established in 1980, required that the German Government provide equipment and organize foreign technical training for Nigerians, while the Nigerian Government should provide the physical infrastructure and the personnel to be trained.

The lawmaker noted that when established, the Institute would be responsible for training of low and middle level technical manpower in maintenance and repair works for Steel and Allied Industries in Nigeria.

He added that it would create a pool of indigenous technical workforce that can erect, commission, operate and maintain the steel industries thereby reducing Nigerian dependence on foreign technical workforce.

Abdullahi stated further that the Metallurgical Institute would undertake training of skilled personnel already employed in steel and allied industries, offer Advisory services to firms in the implementation of their training programmes, and provide jobs for youths through empowerment with appropriate skills and competences.

“The uniqueness of the Institute is in its practical content.

“The establishment of the Institute has greatly minimized the need to send Nigerians abroad for vocational training and skill acquisition as well as assisting in job creation for Artisans, Technicians and our teeming unemployed youths.

“In 40 years of the existence, the Institute has trained many Nigerians from six geopolitical zones in the country.

“The Institute was involved in the training of ex-militant of the Niger Delta amnesty Programme. This result was a huge success”, Senator Abdullahi said.

Contributing, Senator Uche Lilian Ekwunife, drew the attention of the Senate that the Institution ought to be sited in Obosi not Onitsha.

The Senate President, however, advised the lawmaker to take up the matter with the appropriate authority seeking its establishment for consideration and possible correction at the public hearing on the bill.

The bill after scaling second reading was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Solid Minerals, Steel Development and Metallurgy.

The Committee was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

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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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Conditional Cash Transfer: Lagos flags off distribution of ATM card, activation pins

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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Lagos State Government on Thursday flags off distribution of ATM cards and activation pins to beneficiaries in continuation of conditional cash transfer programme.

Speaking at the event which took place at Agege Local Government, Agege, Lagos, Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Hon.Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, appreciated the Federal Government through the National Cash Transfer Office(NCTO), under the Office of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), who has the mandate to develop humanitarian policies, provide effective co-ordination of national and International Humanitarian interventions, ensure strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response and manage the formulation and implementation affair, focused social inclusion and protection program in Nigeria.

She recalled that she was elated that CCT beneficiaries in Lagos State have received the bi-monthly cash stipends from the programme and have been availed with the much needed capacity skills through the Savings and Group Mobilisation (SGM) training, which have been in no small measure of immense benefits to their livelihood, which culminated in the result of the success stories that have been shared across the targeted LGAs /LCDAs.

“It would be recalled that the Federal Government in partnership with the World Bank, established National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP), have played a pivotal role to help end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity with a view to ameliorate the lives of the citizenry. The NASSP Project Development Objective (PDO), is to provide access to targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded National Social Safety nets system”, Arobieke said.

She further maintained that the National Cash Transfer Office under NASSP, was given the mandate to implement the Federal Government conditional cash transfer, also known as Household Uplifting Programme.

“The programme since inception has successfully paid beneficiaries via transparent and accountable means that enables the NASSPS programme pay beneficiaries at their doorstep through Payment Service Provisions (PSP)”, Arobieke said.

She also acknowledged the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for being a father of the nation and as well as a proactive governor for putting the programme in place with his audacious vision of lifting 100 million people out of the poverty net in Nigeria .

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