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COVID-19 provides opportunity for NYSC to assert its continued relevance – DG

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The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has said that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for the scheme to assert its continued relevance.

He said the scheme was doing this through harnessing knowledge, skills and talents of corps members.

Ibrahim spoke at the 2021 Corps Employers’ Workshop in Dutse on Wednesday.

Represented by Hajiya Zainab Isa, Director, NYSC Northwest Area Office, the director general noted that while the nation was on lockdown, the scheme remained visible as it mobilised corps members to make various interventions to support the overall national efforts to contain the deadly virus.

He explained that during the peak of the pandemic, apart from the corps medical teams that provided healthcare services, other corps members made their impact through various interventions.

He listed the interventions to include the mass production and donation of face masks, antiseptic liquid soaps and hand sanitisers.

According to him, others were the fabrication and donation of automatic and foot-operated water, liquid soap, hand sanitiser dispensers and disinfection chambers in several states and the donation of food and other palliative items to indigent people.

“Others, he said, included sensitisation of the public on infection prevention and control measures, decontamination of public premises and conduct of free virtual teaching lessons nationwide for students in JSS 3 and SS 3.”

Ibrahim stated that the eventual ease of the lockdown saw an increase in the number of corps mobilised, thereby increasing the number available for posting.

He called on corps employers to continue to carry them along in in their respective workplaces, with priority given to their safety.

“As the COVID-19 protocols are still in force, I call on employers to continue to carry corps members along in their respective workplaces with priority to their safety,” he said.

Ibrahim drew the attention of the corps employers to some shortcomings observed on their part.

“These shortcomings that needed to be tackled head-on include delay in applying or not applying at all for the services of the services of corps members and expecting them to be posted.

“Increasing rejection of the corps members, aiding them to stage manage their rejection, under-utilisation of the corps members, delay in issuance of monthly clearance to deserving corps members, aid their absconding, lack of provisions for statutory welfare needs of the corps members and inadequate provisions for corps members’ security.

“Others are exposure of the corps members to COVID-19 risks, inhuman treatment at workplaces, delay in the issuance of final clearance to deserving corps members at the end of the service year, lack of support for corps members’ CDS projects and inappropriate usage of the recently introduced NYSC ICT App,” Ibrahim said.

He reminded the employers of their expected roles in the effective implementation of the cardinal programmes and other activities of the NYSC scheme.

Ibrahim expressed the hope that stakeholders would critically look at the issues raised and sharing experiences so as to chart the way forward.

Speaking with newsmen after the one-day event, the NYSC Coordinator in the state, Hajiya Aishatu Adamu, said the exercise was organised to serve as an avenue for exchange of ideas on the improvement of the scheme’s operations, especially through the provision of enabling environment for corps members to render qualitative services.

Adamu explained that in fulfilment of its objectives, the scheme promotes national unity and accelerated socioeconomic development of the nation, as well as instill in youths a tradition of industry at work and of patriotic and loyal service to the country.

She noted that the achievements of these and other objectives could only be sustained through the collective efforts of all stakeholders, including the managers of the corps members.

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No president will say there won’t be banditry next year — Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that no president will say banditry will next year.

Lai Mohammed said this while responding to a question on whether the current security challenges would end before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

Responding to the question at a press conference on Wednesday December 15, Lai Mohammed said;

“Nobody, I’m not sure any president will say by next year there will be no banditry. It is just like saying by next year, there will be no thief.

“But what is important is that they should judge us by our achievement. We’ve not thrown our hands in the air. There was a time they asked us to hire mercenaries, but our soldiers are doing their best in these circumstances.”

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Buhari jets out Turkey for summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave Abuja for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.

According to the organisers, the theme of the Summit is ‘‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’’ and the agenda includes reviewing the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last Summit in 2014.

This was disclosed in a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, on Thursday morning.

The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.

The Turkish leader had during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to 5 billion dollars and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.

It is expected that the Summit would provide guidelines and direction for cooperation with African countries for the next five years.

President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.

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2023 presidency: I’m not going to turn it down – Tinubu

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will not turn down the calls of those asking him to contest for president in 2023.

Tinubu stated this after a meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the former Governor of Lagos said he would, however, make consultations before officially announcing a decision on the matter.

“I’m not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly to tell Nigerians.

“But the president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today.

“So, don’t muddle the political water. Consult, make our programme known to the people later,” Tinubu said.

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