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FG to Scrap EFCC, 219 Other MDAs

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Federal government is to scrap 220 parastatals, agencies and commissions in line with the recommendation of the Stephen Oronsaye-led presidential committee on the rationalisation and restructuring of the federal government’s  parastatals and commissions.

Dr. Reuben Abati, special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, told journalists after the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting yesterday that the council has began deliberations on the Committee’s white paper.
 
The Oronsaye’s committee considered suggestions, recommendations from different quarters and looked at 541 federal parastatals, commissions and agencies and recommended the abolition of 38 agencies, merger of 52 and reversal of 14 to departments in ministries.

The recommendation is contained in an 800-page report submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan by the Chairman of the Committee, Stephen Oronsaye last year.

The report stated that the average cost of governance in Nigeria is believed to rank among the highest in the world.

Oronsaye said: “For example, there are 541 Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies (statutory and non-statutory).

“Going by the recommendations of the Committee, the figure of statutory agencies is being proposed for reduction to 161 from the current figure of 263.

“The Committee believes that if the cost of governance must be brought down, then both the Legislature and Judiciary must make spirited efforts at reducing their running costs as well as restructuring and rationalising the agencies under them, since the three arms make up the government.’’

In the report, the Committee proposed the removal of all professional bodies/councils from the national budget in order to reduce the high cost of governance.
Oronsaye-led committee, specifically mentioned the case of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) which it said should not be in existence.

“One case that stands out clearly in this regard is that of the Federal Road Safety Commission Safety Corps, FRSC, which should not be in existence in its present form,” the committee said.

While recommending its scrapping, the committee noted that what the FRSC was set up to do was a replication of the mandates of two existing bodies namely: the Highway Department of the Federal Ministry of Works with respect to the maintenance of safety and orderliness on the highways and the role of the Nigeria Police Force in ensuring law and order on the roads.

The committee said the setting up of the FRSC to take over partially the functions already apportioned by law to the Federal Ministry of Works and the Nigeria Police Force as a result of seeming poor performance and/or to satisfy political and individual interests was a typical example of misadventure in the public sector at a great cost to government.

Similarly, the committee noted that the functions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) were the traditional functions of the police.

The committee also noted that that an institution was inefficient and ineffective should not be a basis for the creation of new ones by the government, saying that the officers and men of the police had been reputed for performing exceptionally and winning laurels while on international peace-keeping and other missions.

The committee also noted the case where the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) Limited, which was established as the commercial arm of the Nigerian Space Research Development Agency, NASRDA, with a sunset clause, had now expanded its scope and now in rivalry with its parent body.

The committee also noted the case of the Nigerian broadcasting agencies (NTA, FRCN and VON), which it said focused more on structures rather than acquisition of broadcasting software.

It stressed that the world over, countries had made efforts to manage the agencies responsible for their mass media communication by establishing and taking advantage of a single coordinating point.

Such reforms in the media sector have been underpinned by the efficient use of resources and collaboration in order to have synergy amongst the operators.

In the Environment sector, the Committee noted that the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) was created to perform a function already assigned by law to the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR.

“Besides being a clear case of latter-day overlapping functions of agencies, the continued existence of NOSDRA is tantamount to paying huge salaries to persons who do nothing but wait for spills to occur.

“This is despite the fact that there is a standard operating procedure for oil companies in Nigeria to clean up oil spill whenever it occurs.”


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MTN Launches ‘Visitor SIM’, Designed for Guests Coming into the Country

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MTN Nigeria has announced the introduction of its new Visitor SIM specially designed for guests travelling into the country.

The Visitor SIM comes pre-loaded with an appealing package that includes local and international call and data bundles.

This package will enable people visiting from other countries to stay connected with their friends, family and business associates on MTN’s super-fast network.

MTN VisitorSIMs are easy for inbound international visitors to acquire, activate and use, in addition to which they offer far better value than any roaming tariff.

Not available from any other operator, the service is poised to deliver convenience and the best-in-class customer experience in line with MTN’s brand promise.

According to Adekunle Adebiyi, chief sales and distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, “The new Visitor SIMs will ensure that before setting foot outside the airport, people visiting Nigeria can plug in, reconnect – to loved ones, associates, tools and information, and begin sharing their remarkable experiences, with no concern about roaming charges.”

 

MTN Visitor SIMs are available in the arrival halls of international airports and other ports of entry.

They are valid for 14 days, which can be extended up to 30 days via MTN’s self-service menus or USSD.


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Nigeria COVID-19 Response: UNICEF, IHS Nigeria Collaborate to Contribute Medical Supplies

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received the delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. These supplies were funded by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.

Testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step towards diagnosing the infection. Tests enable health officials to understand the COVID-19 status of an individual and link that person to care, support and treatment while contributing to the protection of families and communities.

“Testing remains a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19. This is critical for understanding the burden of the disease on our population and targeting our response activities accordingly. The primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of this disease.

“This donation from IHS Nigeria through UNICEF will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19. We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners.” said Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC.

IHS Towers has been a strong and continuing partner of UNICEF. At the onset of the coronavirus in Nigeria in late February, IHS Nigeria provided funding to UNICEF to urgently procure essential supplies and equipment with which UNICEF supported the Government of Nigeria in its COVID-19 response.

“UNICEF is deeply appreciative of IHS Towers’ commitment to being a partner in UNICEF’s work in Nigeria. Once more, IHS has shown great generosity in supporting UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to work closely with the Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

“I am very delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families“, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative.

“We are proud to have played an important role in supporting the Government and our communities where we operate to provide crucial tools needed to fight this pandemic. We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country” said Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria.

This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Coca-Cola, Red Cross Society Expand Fight Against COVID-19 In Nigeria

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In a bid to support the fight against the Coronavirus disease, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with its national society Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has started the distribution of PPEs and risk communications efforts to the tune of N228 Million to support its COVID-19 interventions in Nigeria.

 

This is part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s $2.5million grant to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the COVID-19 pandemic within the West and Central Africa sub-regions.

The grant, which leverages the long-standing partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), seeks to support national efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus disease through the provision of essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk communications to impacted communities, healthcare personnel on the frontlines and treatment centres across the country.

 

Speaking on the donation, Yebeltal Getachew, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “The Coca-Cola System (Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nigeria Bottling Company and Chi Limited) remains committed to providing support to the communities we serve during these challenging times.

 

“By providing healthcare workers with much-needed PPEs, we are confident that this will go a long way in ensuring their safety as they remain on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

 

“Coca-Cola is proud to support the Red Cross as we deliver on our purpose of making a difference across the world”. 

 

Medical supplies being donated comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

 

Expressing his gratitude for the donation, Abubakar Kende, secretary-general for the Nigerian Red Cross Society explained, “We have identified the facilities in urgent need of these PPEs in consultation with NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health and will subsequently be distributed to these centres.

 

“This will ensure that treatment centres across the country are properly equipped with necessary PPEs as we continue to fight the disease”. 

IFRC seeks to directly impact the lives of over 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership. For over a century, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have sustained a rewarding partnership that has seen the rehabilitation and preservation of human lives across the world through the delivery of humanitarian aid and emergency response to communities affected by disasters.

 

 

 


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