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Expert Urges Govt. to Improve Nation’s Industrial Base

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Mr. Collins Agu, an Information Technology expert has urged the Federal Government to address the trend by improving the country’s industrial base.

Agu, who is the founder, Technology Development for Poverty Alleviation Initiative, an NGO made this known in Abuja.

He said it was disheartening that the country lacked industrial base that could spur local technologists that would exhibit their potential.

“The first thing is that in Nigeria, we don’t have industrial base. Our industrial base is zero.

“The process should be from the academia, which is more theoretical, then you come to the industry, which is practical and you learn more by so doing. So that is the first setback we have in Nigeria.

“Then number two is mentorship. We don’t have a lot of industry experts to mentor us in Nigeria because there are no industries.

“But over there, you see people who are already in industries, they come and give lectures, tell you about their latest works,” he said.

Agu said that most of the technology tools in the country were obsolete and scored Nigeria low in energy infrastructure.

“The third one is that we don’t have tools here; the basic tools, we don’t have them, software, hardware, etc. and if they are available, they are already outdated.

“Also, we don’t have energy infrastructure. There is no energy to drive all these things. We don’t have constant power sometimes, we may have two, three days power off. So these are the major challenges,” he said.

Agu, who holds PhD in Space Science, said there must be leadership re-orientation if the problems would be resolved.

He said Nigerian leaders must be ready to promote innovation hubs where innovators were encouraged in the art of inventing.

“This is so because innovation hub is more like an IT engine room where there are lots of practical activities going on.

“Also, relevant government agencies like National Information Technology Development Agency must from time to time organise capacity building programme to create awareness so that indigenous technologists are kept abreast of some of these emerging technologies,” he said.

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Ex-Israeli Minister Who Lived in Nigeria Accused of Spying

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Gonen Segev, former Israeli cabinet minister with a checkered history of attempted drug smuggling and credit-card fraud has been charged with spying for Iran.

 

Segev reportedly lived in Nigeria, where he first made contact with the Iranian Embassy in 2012, the Shin Bet internal security service said Monday.

Gonen Segev

Segev, who served as energy and infrastructure minister more than two decades ago, was arrested in May and charged last Friday with espionage and aiding the enemy in wartime.

 

He’s accused of providing Iran with information on Israel’s energy industry and security sites, as well as political and defense officials.

 

Most details of the indictment are under a gag order, Segev’s attorneys, Eli Zohar and Moshe Mazor, said in response to the charges.

 

The Shin Bet announcement “assigns the matters extreme severity while the indictment itself, whose details are under gag order, paint a different picture,” they said.

 

In recent years Segev lived in Nigeria, where he first made contact with the Iranian Embassy in 2012, according to the Shin Bet.

 

The ex-minister met with his handlers twice in Iran and later in other countries, and they gave him a system for encrypting messages, the agency said.

 

Israel regards Iran as its bitterest enemy because of its nuclear work, its ballistic missile program and its support for other enemies of the Jewish state. Iranian officials have referred multiple times to Israel’s annihilation.

 

Segev, a native-born Israeli, was elected to parliament in 1992 and served as a minister from 1995 to 1996.

 

He practiced medicine before entering politics, but had his license revoked after being jailed for trying to smuggle 32,000 Ecstasy tablets into Israel from the Netherlands, Israeli media reported.

 

He was also convicted of credit card fraud for falsely claiming his card had gone missing, then using it to withdraw money, media reported.

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FG Agency too Broke, Orders Staff to Pay for ID Cards

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The Centre for Satellite Technology Development, one of the centres under the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has reportedly directed members of staff to personally fund the production of identity cards due to “paucity of funds”.

 

In a circular with ref number: CSTD/ADM/41, dated May 21, 2018, signed by Shuaibu A.O, Deputy Director Admin and Finance, on behalf of Dr. Spencer Onuh, Director of the centre, reads: “I am directed to inform all staff of CSTD that the centre is no longer in a good financial position to fund the production of Staff Identity Cards.

 

“In view of the above, all staff are advised to personally fund the cost production of their staff identity cards through AP&D (Admin) till further notice.

“This is for your information and strict compliance please.

“Thank you.”

 

Centre for Satellite Technology Development, has less than 500 staff member.

 

According to Gbenga Omole, a printer at the Area 10 shopping complex in Abuja: “It costs N200 to produce a plastic identity card, but if you want to produce up to 500 cards, then we can give you a discount.”

 

A staff of the centre who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that the practice of staff sponsoring their identity cards production had been in practice for over two years now.

 

The staff said: “This has been in practice for a long time.

 

“I have even made my ID Card myself.

 

“It is unbelievable because the centre does not have to produce ID cards for all staff but only for promoted staff.”

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Shell Tasks Contractors over Safety, Rewards Champions

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Peter Costello, vice president of Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN) and Gabon has charged contractors working for and with Shell Companies in Nigeria to prioritise safety and be relentless in discussing the challenges and dilemmas, noting that the international oil giant was poised to help improve safety performance throughout the energy industry.

 

“Safety is our top priority. Everyone who works for us, or with us, has an important part to play in making SCiN a safer place to work. We cannot succeed in isolation and we must share the challenges by building strong partnerships to further improve our safety culture,” Costello said at the 7th edition of annual SPDC JV Contractor CEO Safety Leadership Conference held in Lagos last week.

 

He added: “We expect our staff and contractors to comply with safety rules and regulations relevant to their work; to intervene to prevent unsafe conditions; and to respect fellow workers and the communities in which we work.”

 

In his remarks, Osagie Okunbor, managing director of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, described the annual event as an opportunity to share learnings and ensure alignment, common ground and shared commitments on Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) in Shell’s joint operations.

 

“We cannot be too careful with safety issues. Through engagement, we ensure that the right competence is in place and we create opportunities for our staff and contract staff to speak openly about dilemmas. The collaboration must be continually strengthened so as to make Shell a safety model in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.” Okunbor said, adding that SPDC “more than ever before, is committed to delivering energy responsibly and safely, with total prevention of harm to our employees, contractors, local communities and the environment.”

 

While setting the conference scene, Chidube Nnene-Anochie, general manager Safety and Environment of Shell Companies in Nigeria, said the two-day conference was informed by SCiN’s mission to constantly work in partnership with contractors, regulators, industry trade associations and professional bodies to share Shell’s global safety experience, standards and knowledge.

 

She said the conference had over the years helped to increase safety awareness among contractors working for SCiN particularly in the areas of safety hazards that are peculiar to oil exploration and production activities.

 

Highpoint of the conference was the presentation of the 2018 SCiN Safety Leadership Awards to contractors who have distinguished themselves as safety champions in the areas of personal, process and transport safety, among others.

 

The conference was attended by SCiN including the Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Mr. Bayo Ojulari; Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Gas, Mr. Ed Ubong; and the CEOs and representatives of over 83 contractor companies.

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