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Reps Want President Tinubu To Comprehensively Review Orasanya Report

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By Gloria Ikibah
The House of Representatives has called on President Bola Tinubu to comprehensively review the “2012 Orosanye Report”, “Goni Aji Report” which reviewed Orosanye Report, the White Paper released by the President Jonathan administration, the Ama Pepple White Paper and the Ebele Okeke White Paper in line with current realities, while considering implementable alternatives that are in tune with the current realities, and which at the same time would have minimum unintended consequences, impacts, implications and outcomes.
The Hosue also urged the Executive Arm of Government to develop and implement policies that will reposition the agricultural sector, solid mineral sector and informal sectors which will serve as alternatives to those that may be laid off consequentially while at the same time spurring economic growth.
This was sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance on the “Call On The President To Comprehensively Review The 2012 Oronsaye Report, All Other Related Reports And White Papers Before Implementation”, by Rep. Kama Nkemkanma, Rep. Olumide Osoba and Rep. Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi.
In his lead debate, Rep bello Shinkafi, reminded that in 2012, the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, set up the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, headed by Stephen Oronsaye, a retired federal civil servant and former Head of Service of the Federation;
The motion reads: “Aware that the Oronsaye Committee, after their painstaking assignment, recommended the scrapping and merging of 220 out of the then existing 541 government agencies.
“Also aware that the Committee’s 800-page report noted that the government’s parastatals and agencies’ functions are overlapping and therefore recommended the reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161, the abolition of 38 agencies, the merger of 52 and the reversion of 14 to departments in ministries and the management audit of 89 agencies capturing biometric features of staff as well as the discontinuation of government funding of professional bodies/councils;
“Again aware that the Oronsaye Report said then that if the committee’s recommendation was implemented, the government would be saving over N862 billion between 2012 and 2015 with a breakdown which showed that about N124.8 billion would be reduced from agencies proposed for abolition; about N100.6 billion from agencies proposed for mergers; about N6.6 billion from professional bodies; N489.9 billion from universities; N50.9 billion from polytechnics; N32.3 billion from colleges of education and N616 million from boards of federal medical centres;
“Further aware that after the committee’s report, the White Paper committee set up by Jonathan’s administration rejected most of the recommendations, while those accepted were not implemented”.
The lawmaker further noted that in November 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari administration inaugurated two committees; one of the committees Chaired by Goni Aji, a retired Head of Civil Service of the Federation, was to review the Orosanye report and the second committee, chaired by Ama Pepple, also a retired Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, was constituted to review agencies created between 2014 and 2021;
“Also notes that upon submission of their reports, the Muhammadu Buhariled Federal Government in July 2022 set up another committee chaired by Ebele Okeke, a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to produce a white paper on the reports;
“Worried that the full implementation of a report 12 years after it was first made, which ordinarily may be described as outdated, especially because of how dynamic the society, economy, polity, technology and all facets of our national life has been.
“The House is concerned that contrary to the assumption that the full implementation of the report would reduce cost of governance, with the current realities, the full implementation of the report will not substantially reduce the cost of governance as it does not reflect the current situation in the Public Service of the Federation.
“House is deeply worried that the full implementation of 2012 Oronsaye report in 2024 will certainly throw up unintended consequences, implications and outcomes”, the lawmakers added.
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Nigerian Breweries shuts down two of its 9 plants due to ‘persistently challenging business environment’

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Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB plc) has indicated plans for company-wide reorganisation as part of strategic recovery plan which entails the temporary shutting down of two out of its nine breweries in Nigeria.

Following the recent announcement of its business recovery plan, the conglomerate which is a member of the HEINEKEN Group and Nigeria’s pioneer and largest brewing company indicated plans for a company-wide reorganisation aimed at securing a resilient and sustainable future for its stakeholders.

The company said the move is essential to improve its operational efficiency, financial stability and enable a return of the business to profitability, in the face of the persistently challenging business environment.

In letters signed by the company’s Human Resource Director, Grace Omo-Lamai, and addressed to the leadership of the National Union of Food, Beverage & Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) and the Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB), the company informed both unions that its proposed plan would include operational efficiency measures and a company-wide reorganisation that includes the temporary suspension of operations in two of its nine breweries.

As a result, and in accordance with labour requirements, the Company invited the Unions to discussions on the implications of the proposed measures.

It would be recalled that the company recently notified the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) of its plan to raise capital of up to ₦600 billion (Six Hundred billion naira) by way of a Rights Issue, as a means of restoring the company’s balance sheet to a healthy position following the net finance expenses of N189 billion recorded in 2023 driven mainly by a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion resulting from the devaluation of the naira.

Speaking on these developments, Managing Director/CEO Nigerian Breweries Plc, Hans Essaadi described the business recovery plan as strategic and vital for business continuity:

“The tough business landscape characterised by double-digit inflation rates, naira devaluation, FX challenges and diminished consumer spend has taken its toll on many businesses, including ours. This is why we have taken the decision to further consolidate our business operations for efficient cost management and optimal use of our resources for future sustainable growth”.

“We recognise and regret the impact that the suspension of brewery operations in the two affected locations may have on our employees. We are committed to limiting the impact on our people as much as possible by exhausting all options available including the relocation and redistribution of employees to our other seven breweries; and providing strong support and severance packages to all those that become unavoidably affected. We are also committed to supporting our host communities in ways that ensure they continue to feel our presence.”

“We remain wholly committed to having a positive impact on our host communities and our consumers; leveraging our strong supply chain footprint; excellent execution of our route to market strategy; and our rich portfolio of brands across the Lager, Stout, Malt, Soft drinks, and Energy drinks categories; and more recently, Wines and Spirits with the acquisition of Distell”, he added.

The Nigerian Breweries’ business recovery plan includes a Rights Issue and a company-wide reorganisation exercise which includes temporary suspension of two out of its nine breweries in the country and an optimisation of production capacity in the other seven breweries, some of which have received significant capital investment in recent years.

The company reaffirmed its commitment to the long-term future of Nigeria and “stands as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s beverage industry.”With over 77 years of operations, the company said it would continue to demonstrate its enduring commitment to the Nigerian market and its people.

Incorporated in 1946 as “Nigerian Brewery Limited,” NB Plc made history in June 1949 when the first bottle of STAR lager beer rolled out of its Lagos brewery bottling line.

Today, it has a rich portfolio of 21 high-quality brands, including iconic brands like Heineken, Desperados, Maltina, Life, Amstel Malta, Gulder, Fayrouz, and Legend produced from nine breweries and distributed nationwide.

NN Plc recently added to its portfolio with the acquisition of an 80% business stake in Distell Wines and Spirits Limited, a local business in the wines and spirits category, as a demonstration of its resilient and forward-thinking strategy to deliver long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders.

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Nigeria becomes first country to introduce new 5-in-1 vaccine against meningitis – WHO

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By Francesca Hangeior

Nigeria has become the first country in the world to roll out a new vaccine – Men5CV – recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), to protect people against meningitis.

The World Health body, in a statement on Friday, said that the vaccine would protect people against five strains of Meningococcus bacteria and described Nigeria’s feat as historic.

It said that health workers would begin an immunisation campaign aimed at reaching one million people.

The statement said that the vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which funds the global meningitis vaccine stockpile and supports lower-income countries with routine vaccination against meningitis.

According to the WHO, Nigeria is one of the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries in Africa, situated in the area known as the African Meningitis Belt.

It noted that in 2023, there was a 50 per cent jump in annual meningitis cases reported across Africa.

“In Nigeria, an outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) serogroup C outbreak, led to 1,742 suspected meningitis cases, including 101 confirmed cases and 153 deaths in seven of the 36 Nigerian states between October 2023 and March 2024.
The states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, and Zamfara.

“To quell the deadly outbreak, a vaccination campaign was undertaken on March 25–28, 2024, to initially reach more than one million people aged 1-29 years,” it said.

The statement noted that meningitis is a serious infection that leads to the inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

“There are multiple causes of meningitis, including viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens.

“Symptoms often include headache, fever, and stiff neck. Bacterial meningitis is the most serious and can also result in septicaemia (blood poisoning). It can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours,” the statement added.

It quoted Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, as saying that meningitis was an old and deadly foe, adding that the new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives.

“Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal of eliminating meningitis by 2030,” Ghebreyesus said.

He said that the revolutionary new vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria – A, C, W, Y, and X – in a single shot.

All five strains cause meningitis and blood poisoning.

According to him, this provides broader protection than the current vaccine used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

He said that the new vaccine has the potential to significantly reduce meningitis cases and advance progress in defeating meningitis.

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Speaker Abbas mourns Ogbonnaya Onu

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By Gloria Ikibah
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Abbas Tajudeen, has expressed sadness over the death of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, one of the founding fathers of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who died on Thursday.
Chief Onu, who was the first civilian governor of Abia State, served as the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari. He was aged 72.
Speaker Abbas, in his condolence message through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Musa Abdullahi Krishi, described the late Onu as a brilliant scholar, excellent engineer, disciplined politician and an elder statesman, whose passion for democracy and good governance was immeasurable.
The Speaker recalled how Chief Onu, as the national chairman of the defunct All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP), worked with leaders of other progressive legacy political parties to form the APC, with the aim of changing the country for the better.
Speaker Abbas commiserated with the Onu family, the people, and governments of Ebonyi and Abia States, while praying to God to grant him eternal rest.
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