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Ortom tasks Benue youths on positive use of social media

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has charged Benue youths to utilize social media as a platform to evolve solutions to problems rather than using it to destroy personalities and institutions.

Governor Ortom gave the charge Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 when he interacted with the National Union of Benue State Students, NUBESS and Benue State Youth Parliament who jointly paid him a courtesy call at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.

The Governor told the youth groups that social media is a veritable platform in the 21st century, emphasising that “We can advance it to positively contribute in bringing solutions to some of the challenges confronting the society.”

Governor Ortom also challenged the Benue State Youth Parliament to evolve creative ideas to contribute to governance in the state.

“As you brainstorm in your parliament sessions, bring forth any creative ideas and channel them through the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development so add value to our governance,” he stated.

The Governor eulogized the resilience, mature and orderly conduct of Benue youths even in the face of challenges they were passing through, pointing out that he was impressed with the manner youths in the state conducted themselves, particularly during the #EndSARS protest across the country.

He stated that it was the culmination of the protest with no single incident of destruction recorded in the State that his administration convened the Benue Youth Summit, stressing that the resolutions from the summit were being implemented to support youth agitations and development in general.

On NUBESS’ appeal to the Governor to intervene in the prolonged national strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Ortom acknowledged that the industrial impasse had become a national embarrassment.

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The Governor stated that he plans to soon interface with the Benue State University branch of ASUU on how they could discontinue the sympathy strike to enable students to return to school.

Governor Ortom said he was impressed with the student’s idea to convene the Students Entrepreneurship Summit, stressing that it was a welcome initiative that would positively engage the students.

He encouraged the youths to lead exemplary lives, stressing that they must be of good conduct and shun crime and social vices, which he noted could be inimical to their progress in life.

Earlier, the President, National Union of Benue State Students, NUBESS, Comr. Gaius Injorovkaa and the Speaker, Benue State Youth Parliament, Ms. Rachael Tyona had in their separate speeches passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of Governor Samuel Ortom for his youth development and security initiatives in governing the state.

The NUBESS President particularly acknowledged Governor Ortom’s education-friendly policies, citing the attention the administration has given to the Benue State University, payment of students’ bursary allowances as well as revamping of primary and secondary schools in the State.

Also speaking, the State Youth Parliament Speaker, Ms. Tyona affirmed the premium Governor Ortom has placed on youth development initiatives in the state, stating that it was the reason the parliament deliberated and passed a vote of confidence on the Governor for his youth-friendly initiatives.

The two groups jointly pledged to stand by Governor Ortom in his unrelenting efforts at ensuring the security of lives and property, urging the Governor not to succumb to intimidation and even threats on his life.

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Tariff increase: Court fines Multichoice N150m, orders free subscription to all Nigerians

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Tariff increase: Court fines Multichoice N150m, orders free subscription to all Nigerians
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The Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal has ordered MultiChoice Nigeria to provide one month of free subscription for raising the prices of its DStv and GOtv services.

Additionally, the court imposed a N150 million fine on MultiChoice Nigeria for contesting the jurisdiction of an Abuja court that had previously restrained it from increasing its subscription prices.

The verdict, delivered on Friday, June 7, was handed down by a three-member panel led by Thomas Okosu. The court cited Section 39(2) of the FCCPC Act, which grants the tribunal jurisdiction throughout Nigeria over all profit-oriented commercial activities.

Okosu clarified that the tribunal’s jurisdiction covers all business activities within Nigeria, and he noted that there is no requirement for an aggrieved consumer seeking to enforce their rights to file a complaint with the President of Nigeria or the Price Control Board. He observed that the claimant had written to the FCCPC before filing the case.

“I conclude that this tribunal has the jurisdiction to preside over consumer rights in this case and resolve this issue against MultiChoice,” Okosu stated.

The tribunal also determined that the claimant’s lawsuit was not challenging the price hike itself but the illegality of MultiChoice’s eight-day notice to customers. It noted that MultiChoice had already disobeyed its interim orders and condemned the company’s action of raising DStv and GOtv prices.

The tribunal dismissed MultiChoice’s preliminary objection for disobeying interim orders and imposed an administrative penalty for failing to comply with the tribunal’s directives.

“The first defendant is hereby mandated to pay a N150 million penalty. MultiChoice is hereby ordered to give Nigerians one month of free subscription,” Okosu added.

Previously, the tribunal had restrained MultiChoice from increasing its subscription rates pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice filed by Barrister Festus Onifade. Onifade had sued MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), accusing the PayTV company of unjustly increasing subscription fees without giving customers a one-month notice and seeking interim orders against the organization.

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However, in its reaction, MultiChoice said it will appeal against Friday’s ruling of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal, CCPT, which slammed  a N150 milliuon fine against it for challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

Multichoice Nigeria said it disagrees with the ruling and will file an appeal against it.

The organisation said in a statement:  “MultiChoice Nigeria is aware of the recent ruling by the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT) regarding its jurisdiction to entertain a price regulation matter. We disagree with the ruling, and will therefore file an appeal against said ruling.

“As the matter is currently sub judice, we are restrained from making further comments.”

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Enugu Govt partners tech firm on training to tackle youth unemployment

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Enugu State Governnent has partnered a tech firm, African Leadership Accelerator (ALX), to train youths on online tech skills to tackle unemployment and idleness.

The state government and ALX Africa had made it possible for all Enugu State youths to access free-of-charge training on Artificial Intelligence (AI) applicable to all field of human endeavours and jobs.

Speaking further on the partnership on Thursday in Enugu, the state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Lloyd Ekweremadu, said that the partnership was meant to up-skill and upgrade knowledge newly or already acquired by the youths in the state.

Ekweremadu said that the partnership and the benefit it would bring to the state “is part of the employment vision of Gov. Peter Mbah to reduce unemployment in the state by about 70 per cent by 2030”.

According to him, what we set out to achieve is to ensure employability of Enugu State youths both in locally and international labour market, which is highly competitive.

“His Excellence, Gov. Peter Mbah is keen on developing the capacity of youths and creating their capabilities for them to compete at the global world employment market.

“We intend to use technology, tech enhancement and development to drive this process and ensure youths in the state cover up the knowledge and employability gap,” he said.

Ekweremadu said that the state would start with AI training, which will be done for all youths free-of-charge and thereafter other system and software training/courses would be done online at a reduced cost.

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He advised youth to take advantage of the trainig, adding the youth ministry was fashioning out ways to tackle the issue of getting a place within the metropolis where youths with challenge of not having power supply, internet connectivity, a laptop, tablets and android phones can participate in the training.

The Country General Manager of ALX Africa, Ms Ruby Igwe, said that the partnership on various tech training would bring modern skill sets closer to the people especially youths that needed tech skills for employment purpose and to create their own start-ups and be employers of labour.

Igwe said that the free-of-charge AI course training would be for youths between the ages of 18 and 35; while it would run for six weeks on online platform of ALX Africa.

She said that participants, who successful undergo the course, would be certified as well as have opportunities to participate in other online courses that would enhance their knowledge and reposition them to a vintage position in the global market and international mobility of labour.

“The curriculum for our courses especially the AI course is from a reputable US school and the same course is runned globally and even locally in some countries in Africa and one or two states in Nigeria. So, it is nothing short of internationally acceptable AI training.

“After the AI Course, other online courses, meant to equip youths with soft and international sellable online skills, will follow in partnership with the state government to ensure we carry hundreds of thousands of youths along and prepare them for the competitive future ahead,” she said.

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FG to inaugurate advanced facility for Gas Leak Detection Device and Printed Circuit Board technology

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NDDC presents award letters to foreign post graduate scholars
• Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe
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The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, will commission the Amal Technology’s production facility for Gas Leak Detection Device and Printed Circuit Board at Idu, Abuja on Thursday, December 21, 2023.
The Gas Leak Detection Device, known as Amal Aerio, is an advanced innovative solution developed by Amal Technology to detect gas leakages and avoid explosions
The homegrown innovation was initiated by Amal Technologies Limited and supported by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) under its Research & Development innovation intervention, which has a Technology Incubation and Innovation Centre (TIIC) domiciled within the Nigerian Content Tower in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Under the NCDMB’s Research and Development Framework, it facilitates ideas to market and provides institutional and funding support for market-driven research. It also supports the commercialization of breakthrough innovations with high market prospects.
The Gas Leak Detection Device is known as Amal Aerio, and the commissioning ceremony will be performed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, supported by the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe.
Other dignitaries expected at the event include the Minister of Solid Minerals, the Minister of State Steel Development, the Minister of Science and Technology, the Director General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Director General, Energy Commission and members of the National Assembly.
Amal Aerio is a gas and smoke detection device and it adopted Internet of Things (IOT) to introduce into the market a device that prevents fire disasters by alerting homeowners users through phone calls and text messages in the event of a gas leak. The facility also has the capability for Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing.
With NCDMB’s support to Amal Technologies Limited, the company’s products are guaranteed to be made available to Nigerians and exported. In this regard, NCDMB is deepening in-country capacity for research and development, leveraging Nigeria’s oil and gas resources to catalyse its industrialisation.
The innovation complements the Federal Government’s decade of gas policy and in particular, the drive to deepen the utilization of cooking gas in homes across the country, a press release by NCDMB, stated.
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