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FG, Tarab Gov’t sign MoU on skills development, job creation



Simon Lalong

Federal Government and the Taraba Government on Wednesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to operationalise FG’s Skills Upgrading and Vocational Training Centre (SUVTC), for job creation and poverty reduction in Taraba.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Simon Lalong, said during the event in Abuja, that the MoU would operationalise the SUVTC, located at Ibi, Ibi Local Government Area of the state.

Lalong congratulated the state government for keying into the vision of President Bola Tinubu on job creation and poverty reduction, through skills development.

He commended Gov. Agbu Kefas of Taraba for taking the bold step to stem unemployment and encouraged other states to key in.

He assured the government of the ministry’s continued support to strengthen skills development in the state.

“President Tinubu has said that he wants to take our youths out of the streets and by God’s grace, we will take people off the streets,” the minister said.

Earlier, the Minister of State in the ministry, Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, said that the SUVTC was designed to equip Nigerians with relevant skills.

This, Onyejeocha said, would create employment opportunities for Nigerian youths, adding that certificate was simply not enough.

“I am encouraging graduates to upgrade their skills because certificates may not work but skill will keep you going,” she said.

Also, Mrs Juliana Adebambo, the acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said that Borno government had completed a similar process, adding that the skills centre at Konduga was fully operational.

Adebambo equally said that Kano, Kaduna, and Edo state governments had also shown interest in the initiative.

According to her, establishment of skills centres, particularly in rural areas will significantly help in curbing the menace of unemployment and youth restiveness.

On his part, Gov. Kefas, who was represented by Mr Habu Phillips, Commissioner, Ministry of Cooperative and Poverty Alleviation, commended the federal government for the partnership.

He expressed optimism that the MoU would help significantly in creating jobs to address the problem of unemployment in the state.

This, according to him, is in line with the renewed hope agenda of President Tinubu and the moving agenda of Taraba government.

He explained that based on the MoU, Taraba government would take over the management of the centre for the benefit of all residents of the state.

The governor said that the government would train between 5,000 and 7,000 women and youths on different skills in the next three years.

“We have put in place proactive measures and effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure the smooth running of the centre to achieve desired results,” he aid.

He urged the federal government to build more skill centres across the state to increase access.


Hardship: Protesters Defy Police Warning, Hit Lagos Streets



Residents have hit the streets of Lagos State to protest against the increasing spike in the price of food and the high cost of living in the country.

The protest was facilitated by a human rights group identified as the “Take It Back Movement.”

This comes against the warning issued by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, on Sunday.

The protesters were seen carrying placards of various inscriptions at Ojuelegba Under Bridge area of the state to express their grievances.

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism



In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

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