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FG, France To Train 3M Youth On Space Technology – Tuggar

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar has declared that three million youth would be trained on the space of technology in Nigeria to promote employment opportunities in the country.

Tuggar made the declaration in an interview with newsmen over the weekend in Bauchi, saying the Federal Government and France signed an agreement to support young entrepreneurs to boost employment.

He said FG and France signed an agreement with France on the Digital and Creative Enterprise (I-DISE) programme aimed at promoting employment opportunities in Nigeria.

“The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of France, Catherine Colonnade signed the bilateral agreement witnessed by Bosun Tijani the Minister of Communications and digital economy

“The FG under the renew hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu has revamped more than 3000 training centers that three million youth would trained on space of technology programme

“The programme is being financed by the French Development Agency (AFD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) and the Bank of Industry (BOI)”, he said.

Meanwhile, The Minister, Yusuf Tuggar also inaugurate N873.67m Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) projects at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) and Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic (ATAP) in Bauchi

Tuggar said that education development is one of the cardinal priorities of the Tinubu-led Federal Government.

He stressed that everything humanly and administratively possible are being done to ensure that all hitches militating against tertiary education in the country are done with in order to ensure a smooth academic session.

The Minister added that TETFund will continue to intervene in providing infrastructure in all tertiary institutions across the country in order to ensure a conducive environment for learning.

Tuggar further said that the government will continue to invest in training and research to widen the scope of academic performance and enhance learning and teaching.

The Minister said that, “It is important to also commend and appreciate the President for the commitment he has demonstrated towards the development of education since the commencement of his administration on May 29, 2023.”

Tuggar added that,”I wish to assure you that the administration of President Tinubu remains totally committed towards providing greater support and the enabling environment to enable the Fund to improve on its performance.”

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Hardship: Bauchi Senator Empowers 100 Youth With Solar System Installation Skills

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Amidst the lingering economic hardship bedeviling Nigerians especially, the low class citizens, Senator Shehu Buba representing Bauchi South Senatorial District has initiated a 3-day solar system installation training for 100 youth in his constituency.

The youth would also be trained on maintenance of solar photovoltaic system and renewable energy design.

Speaking during the commencement of the distribution of the training form to the selected beneficiaries on Tuesday, Engr. Musa Idi, one of the Coordinators of the programme, said the gesture was to relieve some of the burdens occasioned by the present economic hardship on the selected trainees and make them self-reliant as well as employers of labour.

According to him, all the trainees would be presented complete tool kits to put what they had learned into practice.

“The Senator has given us the mandate to select 100 youth across the seven Local Government Areas of his Senatorial District.

“These youths are people that have little idea of electrical installation and they will be trained on solar system installation. They had been presented with the programme application forms already.

“At the end of the day, they will be able to install inverters in houses or offices and they will also be able to install street lights.

“After they have finished this training, the Senator has already purchased the tool kits to be presented to the trainees. This would enable them to put what they have learned into practice and become self reliant and employers of labour.

“The tools are not only meant for solar installation but they can also use them for electrical installation because it’s a very large kits,” he said.

He however, advised the trainees not to sell off the tool kits when presented but they should make effective use of them for the purposes they were meant for.

Also speaking, Mr Mohammed Gwaza, the second coordinator of the training, said that the mandate was to empower the next generation with the knowledge and skills needed to harness the abundant energy of the sun.

He explained that solar power is not just about photovoltaic panels and inverters, it represents a pathway to sustainable development, economic growth and environmental stewardship.

“Empowering these Youths today, the Senator has embarked on a journey to equip our young minds with practical skills.

“These skills will not only open doors to employment but also empower our youths to become change-makers in their communities,” he affirmed.

One of the beneficiaries who spoke on behalf of others, Abubakar Najeeb, appreciated the senator for initiating what he termed as a “life changing training” and promised to listen attentively and make the best out of the training.

The training would commence immediately after the end of the distribution of the training forms to the beneficiaries.

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IPC Train Journalists On Fact Checking Combatting Information Disorder

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By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna

The international Press Centre Lagos Nigeria, with Support from European Union, have conducted a two-day capacity-building event focused on combating information disorder in democratic governance reporting using fact-checking and Freedom of Information (FOI) tools.

Addressing the participants the Programme Manager of the Centre Mrs Stella Onwofia said this workshop is a component of the collaborative efforts between IPC and the Centre for Media and Society (CEMESO) under Component 4 of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGNII) project.

She explained that the training program seeks to address a critical aspect highlighted in the EU-EOM final report on the 2023 general elections, which underlines those online social platforms played a significant role in both campaigning and public oversight of the electoral process.

“However, there were instances where these platforms were misused, either for campaigning lacking transparency or for creating misleading impressions of widespread support.

She further explained that “Despite repeated warnings from government officials about the dangers of misinformation, various entities, including individuals associated with major political parties, disseminated false information online.

Adding tha the report notes that major parties utilized paid advertising on online platforms, although the full extent of this practice remained obscured due to a lack of transparency within these platforms.

“The overarching theme of “Credible Elections & Democratic Governance” emphasizes the foundational principles that underpin our societies.

Mrs Stella maintained tha Central to democracy is the conduct of free and fair elections, empowering individuals to exercise their rights, hold leaders accountable, and shape their collective destiny.

She however said ,the rise of misinformation poses a significant threat to democratic governance, fostering scepticism, discord, and distrust.

“The training program, which commenced in Ondo State as the initial phase, followed by Port-Harcourt, is designed as a three-part series. Its primary goal is to provide journalists nationwide with essential tools, skills, and knowledge.

“The program aims to empower journalists to adeptly navigate the challenges of the digital era, all while maintaining standards of responsibility and ethical behaviour.

The Programme manager enumerated that “By promoting a culture of critical thinking, fact verification, and media literacy, our goal is to empower journalists to uphold truth, advocate for integrity, and safeguard democracy.

Following the conclusion of this intensive two-day capacity-building program, we anticipate the establishment of a network of journalists recognized as the distinguished IPC/EUSDGN fellows specializing in fact-checking, investigative reporting, and freedom of information journalism.

“Our expert speakers have been meticulously chosen, and the topics they will cover are thoughtfully designed to provoke a transformation within you during this training, enabling you to become agents for promoting good governance.

“The IPC extends its gratitude to our esteemed facilitators: Ms. Fatimah V. Shaibu, Department of Mass Communications, The Polytechnic Kaduna, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda, and Mr. Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director of the International Press Centre.

“Their adept facilitation promises insightful discussions, enriching our deliberations with their diverse perspectives.

“We express heartfelt appreciation to all attendees for gracing us with your presence, trusting that your contributions will enhance the value of our time together.

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How FCCPC Solved My Over N600,000 Estimated Billing By JEDC – Consumer

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An electricity consumer in Bauchi state, Abubakar Yusuf has recounted how his estimated billing problems with the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) was resolved within a couple of days by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC)

Yusuf, who is also a Professor from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, said he had an estimated billing of over N600,000 and was being charged N90,000 to N95,000 monthly.

He disclosed this on Saturday at the end of a four-day one stop-shop for addressing billing, metering, transformer, connection, disconnection, customer service and other electricity consumer issues in JEDC coverage areas organized by FCCPC in Bauchi.

“My complaint was so serious and when I came here, I was attended to quickly. I went through the guidelines, filled the forms and they interviewed me. In fact, I was receiving a huge amount of energy bills and it kept increasing every month to the extent that I was being charged over N600,000 outstanding bills.

“I received about N90,000 to N95,000 monthly. So, when I complained here, they quickly went through my record and do you know they finally asked me to pay to clear my account? Just about N50,000.

“This is so excellent, I never thought that something like this could happen in Nigeria. I am so impressed and I want to encourage everyone that has similar problems to come and complain to this FCCPC,” he said.

The Professor, who commended the federal government for the establishment of the commission and its commitment in solving people’s problems in energy related matters, said he is now a satisfied customer of electricity service.

Also speaking, Honourable Tanko Dutse, who could not hide his happiness said that the FCCPC had opened people’s eyes to the fact that they have rights over issues of electricity distribution and consumption.

He said “many people don’t know that they have a right because they assume it is still the decree during military rule that NEPA are always right and that you can not challenge them.

“But with this commission and what they are doing to people and especially myself, I’m very impressed and happy with how they solved my problem.

“I had wanted to instigate a legal action against the JEDC that I deserve to have electricity without any obstruction before I got to know about this commission. I came and they resolved the matter and right now, I’m so happy and grateful to the federal government for this laudable commission.

Dutse however, urged the commission to intensify awareness campaigns through the media so that a lot of people would get to know about the commission and what they do.

Earlier, Mr Adamu Abdullah, Acting Executive Chairman, FCCPC said that the one stop-shop is held in all zones of the country to gather complaints of consumers in supply and distribution of power, banking and aviation and proffer possible solutions to them.

He said this is because the mandate of the commission is to protect the interests of consumers across the country.

“Electricity Services consumers have come and reported to us that they are not satisfied with the services, so we decided to intervene.

“The complaints have to do with estimated billing, supply of meters, communities in which they pull resources to buy infrastructure materials like transformers, wires, poles and were still charged to pay for the installation apart from buying the materials themselves.

“These are issues we have discussed with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission since we have an MoU. So, if we find out that there is any customer that comes to report that something beyond his cap has been charged to his meter, we have to sit down with the DISCO and resolve it”. He said.

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