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Minister Fights NBS over Job Losses Figures

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Chief Audu Ogbeh, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has picked holes in the recently released third quarter report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), indicating that over four million jobs were lost under the present administration in 2017.

 

Ogbeh, at a press briefing on the National Egg Production Scheme (NEGPRO) in Abuja, faulted those he called ‘calculators of Nigeria’s economic indices’ for reporting job losses in the formal sector without noting that millions of jobs had been created in the informal sector.

 

The NBS report had stated that the country’s unemployment rate rose from 14.2% to 18.8% in 2017.

 

The reported job losses came on the heels of the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign promise to create 3million jobs annually, if it came into power.

 

Ogbeh claimed that there was no difference between income earned in the village and that earned in the towns and cities; pointing out that farmers; across the villages were getting richer.

 

Ogbeh said “In many of the states, communities have become richer. In some of the states; the last Hajj was funded; people bought their tickets; foreign exchange and travelled, they paid their way and went on Hajj in many of the northern states.

 

“Let me correct an impression; I’ve been reading in newspapers that Nigeria has lost four million jobs in the last two years and it became a campaign. But let me make it clear, if we’ve lost 4million jobs in the cities and in the factories; we’ve actually created six million jobs on the farms.

 

“Let no one pretend that income earned in the village is not the same as income elsewhere. There may have been some job losses; but there have been some job creation efforts in the rural areas because you will find this in many places that villagers are getting richer than many of us in the cities. In my village, the Cashew Association sold cashew worth over N150m and I am always proud to say that I taught them how to grow cashew nuts. And when I go home, I get palm wine in salutation.

 

“So, when the calculators of the economic indices of Nigeria talk, they don’t know what is going on below. I am in a position to say so because I see it. With this NEGPRO coming on board, another one million jobs would be added.”

 

However, the NBS report indeed stated that the nation’s labour population increased from 83.9 million in the second quarter of 2017, a difference of 1.2million in additional workforce.

 

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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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