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Bauchi NIPR Holds Citizens’ Summit On National Integration, Peace, Security

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The Bauchi State Chapter, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations(NIPR) on Thursday conducted a citizens’summit on national integration, peace and security with critical stakeholders as participants.

Declaring the summit open held at ML Audu Auditorium, Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, the state governor, Bala Mohammed observed that, bad governance is one of the factors responsible for the current spate of insecurity in the country.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Ibrahim Kashim, the governor said good governance is necessary for peace and security to prevail in the polity.

For Governor Bala Mohammed, peace and security are required for harmonious coexistence among the people and is basic ingredient for national integration.

“The convening of the Peace Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security by NIPR cannot have therefore come at a better time than now as there is need to examine and interrogate the threat to the existence of our great country as a united indivisible entity.

“The unity in diversity that used to characterized peaceful coexistence among the various people of the country in good old days must be restored. It is my hope that this forum would provide credible and sustainable solutions to the challenges that are facing the unity, progress and development of our country.”

He said for a country like Nigeria that is characterized by ethnic and religious heterogeneity to develop, there must be a deliberate and concerted effort by the government to engender peaceful coexistence amongst the various groups in Nigeria.

The governor therefore pledged for continued partnership between the state government and the NIPR as professional image making and reputation building managers for the promotion of the laudable achievements of his administration.

In a key note address, NIPR President and Chairman of the Council, Malam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo insisted that, good communication is key to solving and resolving national issues.

The NIPR boss said the Institute decided to come up with the citizens’summit on national integration, peace and security with a view to do the needful on the nature of relationship and understanding among diverse groups in the country for better and mutual understanding.

“As relations builder, NIPR has the necessary skills to bring back old days mechanism of resolving issues, by talking about current issues with a view to finding out how to solve them and that is why we came up with the idea of citizens summit so that our people can once again come together and utilize the opportunity positively for the benefit off all.

“In public relations, we speak as it is so that we can really understand the situation. You will agree with me that relationship of our people in this country are instead of becoming stronger we seems to be seeing a negative perception and it is believe that diversity is a positive phenomenon and therefore we must harness it for collective development.

According to Mukhar Sirajo, with good understanding, Nigeria can harness its resources for for the benefit of the citizenry and stressed the need for all hands to be on deck towards building a a progressive society for better tomorrow.

“Rather than to build a progressive society, we are always thinking at yesterday, rather than taking forward to better days. Our yesterdays are always better than our todays and we can’t build a progressive society that ways.

“The duty of every generation is to ensure a better society than the one inherited. It is a time to lay a foundation of ensuring we build a progressive society for better society.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Ambassador Jibrin Dada Chinade pointed out that, NIPR as a convergence of professionals working in and out of government, playing the roles of analysing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling leaders on how best to implement planned programmes of action for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians, must be appreciated by coming up with the citizens summit on national issues.

“I want to use this platform to appeal to governments at states and federal levels to attach premium to the outcome of this Summit, because the NIPR is just a professional tailor whose only interest is to stitch together the pieces of national integration, peace and security for national rebirth.”

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Government

FG Urges Workers To Foster Culture Of Integrity In Government Business 

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By Mohammed Manga

.…says Directors should harness collective expertise to drive meaningful change within our institutions.

The Federal Government has called on Civil Servants in the country to uphold the highest degree of principles,  standards, transparency, accountability, and ethical values in the conduct of government business.

The Permanent Secretary, of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Lydia Shehu Jafiya gave the advise in Abuja on Thursday, when she flagged off the first sensitization workshop for the year 2024, organized for the Directorate Cadre  Officers (GL 15-17) by the Ministry’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) under the Special Duties Department.

She stated that corruption, in all its forms, poses a grave threat to the foundation of our society, as it destroys trust, erodes justice, and also impedes progress.

Represented by the Director, Special Projects, Hajiya Aisha Omar, the Permanent Secretary informed that the sensitization workshop provides an opportunity to delve into the intricacies of the systems and practices, guided by the beacon of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), System Study and Evaluation  Scorecard.

*As leaders entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the public trust, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to integrity and excellence. We must lead by example, inspiring those around us to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct and accountability, by the ICPC Scorecard Template*, she said.

Mrs. Jafiya stated that as part of efforts to continue to raise awareness and identify existing gaps in the anti-corruption initiatives that had been put in place by the Federal Government, there was the need to sensitize officers on transparency, discipline, and accountability in the service.

The Permanent Secretary informed that the Federal Government, through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, had considered and approved the request of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on the establishment of ACTU in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that workers properly understand what constitutes corruption and how they could collectively and individually support the efforts of government in checking corrupt practices.

She emphasized the need for civil servants to key into the anti-corruption war of the government, which is one of the operational mantras of the present administration and an integral part of the crusade for national rebirth and social regeneration. 

*Corruption goes beyond financial crimes. It includes other forms of malpractices in the conduct of government businesses such as acts of omission, negligence, and asking for commission in the discharge of official responsibilities*, Mrs Jafiya said.

While calling on the Directors to harness the collective expertise and wisdom to drive meaningful change and foster a culture of integrity within our institutions, the Permanent Secretary said, *we are expected to engage wholeheartedly and share insights with our wealth of experience and collaborate in charting a course towards a corruption-free future for Federal Ministry of Finance in line with the policy objectives of government. We should stand united in our resolve to achieve this,* she emphasized. 

The sensitization workshop according to her was put together to conscientize and sensitize the Directors on the need to continue to exercise their supervisory roles of educating staff of the Ministry to imbibe the culture of integrity and shun corrupt practices while discharging their statutory functions as civil servants, to promote transparency, discipline, and accountability at the workplace.

*We must all join hands together with the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun in his quest to ensure sound work ethics that would position the Ministry, not only as a leading, responsive, and responsible Ministry as the MDAs with zero tolerance for graft but also in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration*.

Earlier in an address, the Director, Special of Duties, Mrs. Egundebi Yemisi stated that the workshop aims at providing the opportunity to deepen staff understanding of the systematic evaluation of processes and procedures of systems study and review. 

*As Directors, it is imperative that we ensure our systems are not only efficient but also seen to be transparent through examination and collaborative discussion, we aim to identify areas for improvement and enhance organizational effectiveness*.

She said that it has become imperative to recognize the importance of the ICPC Scorecard Template in gauging performance and progress toward our goals, stating further that, the scorecard serves as a compass, guiding us toward excellence by providing a comprehensive overview of performance indicators and the benchmarks of Anti-Corruption measures.

*By leveraging this tool effectively, we can measure our success, identify areas of excellence, and address issues requiring attention with precision and clarity*, Mrs. Egundebi said.

She commended the Honourable Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Lydia Shehu Jafiya, and the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Federal Ministry of Finance Mr. Okokon Ekanem Udo, for their avowed determination to ensuring the entrenchment of the Anti-Corruption crusade through the creation of an enabling environment to ensure the successful flag-off of the sensitization workshop for the Directorate Cadre Officers in the Ministry.

She expressed optimism that the aftermath of the workshop will spur the Directors to put more effort into combating corruption and anti-ethical behavior of staff in the conduct of government business.

During a paper presentation entitled *Integrity Scorecard and System Study*, the Deputy Director, *System Study and Review* ICPC, Mr Obaniyi Adebayo said corruption is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the society and has portrayed Nigeria in a bad light over the years.

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Government

Gen Faransa, Jalo, Isma’il, Patrick Makes List Of Board Chairmen, Special Advisers To Gov Kefas 

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By Sani Yarima

An official statement was released by the Secretary to the Government of Taraba State, Chief Timothy Kataps, on Friday, announcing the appointment of various individuals by Governor Dr. Agbu Kefas. 

Notably, General Aliyu Jeremiah Faransa (Rtd) has been named Chairman of the Taraba State Board of Internal Revenue, while Alhaji Kabiru Jalo has been designated as Chairman of the Taraba State Promotion Agency. 

Additionally, Hon. Charles Maijankai has been appointed as Special Adviser to the Governor on Homeland Security Matters.

Rev. Fr. Sunday Muke Patrick is now the Special Adviser to the Governor on Christian Religion Matters, and Zanau Hassan Maikasuwa as Special Adviser on Agriculture and Food Security.

Furthermore, Mallam Husseini Isma’il, who also serves as the Taraba State Chairman of the Forum of Islamic Preachers, has been appointed as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Muslim Religious Matters. 

Governor Kefas has also appointed some permanent secretaries among others to serve as board members. 

It is worth noting that the appointments are aimed at enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Taraba State government in delivering its services to the people.

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Government

JUST IN: Gov Kefas Directs Immediate Payments Of Gratuity, Approves N1b

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By Sani Yarima

Dr. Agbu Kefas, the Governor of Taraba State, has authorized the allocation of one billion naira to offset the payment backlog of gratuities. 

Emmanuel Bello, the Special Adviser on Media and Digital Communications to the Governor, released a statement on Sunday indicating that no payments have been made since 2011.

Governor Kefas signed the approval, directing the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the overdue entitlements are paid immediately. 

He expressed regret for the delay and promised workers that his administration would not abandon those who had served their state diligently.

In addition to the initial one billion naira, the governor also approved a monthly sum of N200 million to continue the payments and offset the backlog. 

During his campaign, Dr. Agbu Kefas had promised to offset pensions and gratuity despite the significant backlog and reaffirmed his commitment to this promise.

The Permanent Secretary of Pensions, Mrs. Rose Garba Ajiya, expressed her appreciation for this gesture, stating that it would effectively end years of anguish and frustration for aged pensioners. 

She assured the public that she and her team were well prepared to begin payments as all records were available and accurately kept.

In reaction to the gesture, the Chairman of the Forum of Islamic Preachers, Taraba State chapter, Malam Husseini Isma’il, commended Governor Kefas for his outstanding leadership and described him as a God-fearing person.

He prayed for God’s continued guidance, protection, and wisdom in the Governor’s governance of the state. 

He also urged the people of the State to maintain peace with one another to allow the present administration to fulfill its Moving Forward Agenda.

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