September 11, 2008

Yar’Adua Creates Ministry of N’Delta

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua yesterday stepped up ongoing moves to revamp the machinery of his government with the restructuring of the federal ministries under which a Ministry of Niger Delta has emerged.
Also, Aviation, Transport, Works, Housing and Urban Development, Water Resou-rces, as well as Agriculture and Rural Development are now substantive ministries.
THISDAY had reported exclusively last month that a plan to restore them as full-fledged ministries was under way.
Addressing State House Correspondents at the end of yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed, said the new Ministry of Niger Delta which will have two ministers, would lead and coordinate environmental and youth empowerment policy initiatives as well as reinforce the administration’s commitment to the overall development of the region.
He said there would not be any duplication between the new ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commis-sion (NDDC) as the latter will be a parastatal under the ministry.
“To make sure that the workload is given the necessary focus, two ministers are being proposed. One will be in charge of development of Niger Delta area whereby construction of roads, electricity, etc instead of being handled by ministry of works or power will now be aggregated in this new ministry for better focus, quick implementation to demonstrate the seriousness and commitment of this administration.
“The minister of state will take charge of youth empowerment because the Niger Delta has a twin problem of development of youth empowerment,” he said.
Similarly, the Ministry of Police Affairs has been restored to give necessary attention to the security imperatives of the nation within the ambit of the Seven-Point Agenda of the present regime.
“It is in line with the reform of the police as an institution and also because the police is the largest employer of labour in the public sector now. There are nearly 400,000 police officers and men, which must be given the necessary focus and attention,” Ahmed said.
The Ministry of Energy has also been broken into two ministries - the Ministry of Power to be manned by a substantive minister and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with a minister and a minister of state.
Furthermore, the ministers in the Ministries of Education, Mines and Steel Development, Science and Technology have been reduced by one each.
Under the new arrangement, there will be 28 ministries and 42 ministers in all.
A committee that will determine the new mandates of the ministries, their roles and relationship is expected to be inaugurated today by the SGF.
The committee is also to come up within one week the actual structure in terms of the number of departments and parastatals in each ministry.
The review of the current structure, according to the SGF, is predicated on the need to streamline and strengthen the mechanism for service delivery without sacrificing the objectives of the Public Service Reforms carried out in the twilight of the last administration.
Ahmed said: “Under this new structure which is expected to engender greater flexibility, direction and focus, there will be 28 ministries and 42 ministers to cover the constitutional requirements for federal character while addressing the issues of equity and affirmative action.
“Other ministries in the new dispensation are Finance, Health, Justice, Commerce and Industry, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Information and Communications, Labour and Productivity, Youth Develop-ment, Women Affairs and Social Development, Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Interior and Federal Capital Territory Administration. The National Planning Commission and National Sports Commission retain the same structure.”
He said President Yar’Adua had directed all ministers to re-articulate the mandates of their ministries and departments in line with the requirements of the Seven-Point Agenda under the guidance of the SGF and Head of Service.
The next FEC meeting will hold on Wednesday September 24, to allow the President enough time for the implementation of the restructuring exercise.
The restructuring is part of efforts to fast-track and effectively co-ordinate the implementation of the Seven-Point Agenda of the President.
Yar’Adua had decorated the new service chiefs last Monday, his first official assignment after he returned from a two-week sojourn in Saudi Arabia performing the lesser hajj.
And moments after the ceremony, the former SGF, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, was sacked and replaced by Ahmed who was formerly Minister of Defence. guardian..."WILL THIS SOLVE THE ON GOING CRISIS IN NIGER DELTA"?....this is one question i would love to ask mr president.

EU gives terms for intervention in Nigeria energy crisis

Thursday, September 11, 2008

EU gives terms for intervention in Nigeria energy crisis
From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja

THE European Union (EU) yesterday gave conditions that must be met if Nigeria is to enjoy intervention in the energy sector from its member countries.

Among such conditions, according to the European Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Andris Piebalgs, is the establishment of a strong legal framework to protect reforms and investments in the sector.

Piebalgs, who is in Nigeria with his team to hold talks with government authorities and other stakeholders in connection with the Africa-EU Energy partnership, stressed that Nigeria is an important country for the European Union, especially since all the member countries are present in Nigeria.

During a chat with some newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, Piebalgs noted that Nigeria has a 580 Million Euros financing window under the European Development Fund (EDF). This, according to him, does not include country support from member states. He also canvassed Nigeria's support for the EU-Africa Energy Partnership programme.

However, Piebalgs noted that though Nigeria is aware of the enormous funding potentials from the EU, the country has never placed energy as a priority area for assistance in its bilateral relationship with EU.

He said: "Nigeria has never asked us for assistance in the area of energy. Rather, it had placed sanitation and institutional support, among others in its priority in its relationship with the EU. If Nigeria does, we will be glad to assist. We do not go into sectors that countries do not ask for assistance in.

"To be able to establish a working relationship with Nigeria in its electricity sector, we need to understand the reforms in the sector. We need to understand the privatisation plan for the electricity sector, the whole reforms, whether they can be sustained.

"We also need to get assurances that legal stability matters will be put in place for Nigeria to be able to access millions of Euros available for energy funding. For instance, how competitive is the electricity sector pricing, and how sustainable is the recently introduced reforms in that area?" the UN official added.

Answering questions on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, he disagreed sharply with the cartel over its reactions to happenings in the international oil market.

Piebalgs explained: "I disagree with the policies of OPEC. Countries suffer from the problem that we suffer-volatility of prices. It is a nightmarish situation. The solution is not to cut production or increase production as the case may be. It should be a matter of allowing each country to produce to its capacity. It gives the wrong impression. These cuts and increases are not helpful. It is not good for anybody. The oil price is really high. Demand is strong and will always be there. Let's establish normal markets." guardian.


After 2yrs of selfless service, a man realized that he has not be promoted, no transfer, no salary increase, no commendation and that the company is not doing anything about it. So he decided to walk up to his HR manager one morning and after exchanging greetings, he told his HR manager his observation. The boss looking at him, laughed and asked him to sit down saying;"My friend, you have not worked here for even one day". The man was surprised to hear this, but the manager went on to explain.
Manager: How many days are there in a year?
Man: 365 days and some times 366.
Manager: How many hours make up a day?
Man: 24hours
Manager: How long do you work in a day?
Man: 8am to 5pm(1 hour break).i.e. 8 hours a day.
Manager: So what fraction of the day do you work in hrs?
Man: (He did some arithmetic and said 8/24hrs i.e. 1/3.
Manager: That is nice of you! what is one-third of 366 days?
Man: 122(1/3*366=122 in days).
Manager: Do you come to work on weekends?
Man: No sir.
Manager: How many days are there in a year that are weekends?
Man: 52 Saturdays and 52 Sundays equal to 104 days.
Manager: Thanks for that. If you remove 104 days from 122 days, how many days do you now have?
Man: 18 days.
Manager: Ok! I do give you 2 weeks sick leave every year. Now remove that 14days from the 18 days left. How many days do you have remaining?
Man: 4 days.
Manager: Do you work on New Year day?
Man: No sir!
Manager: So how many days are left?
Man: 3 days sir!
Manager: Do you come to work on the Independence Day?
Man: No sir!
Manager: So how many days are left?
Man: 2 days sir!
Manager: Do you work on Xmas Day?
Man: No sir!
Manager: So how many days are left?
Man: 1 day sir!
Manager: Do you come on Boxing Day?
Man: No sir!
Manager: Let's even forget all the other public holiday. So how many days are left?
Man: None sir!
Manager: So, what are you claiming?
Man: I have understood, sir I did not realize that I was stealing company money all these days.