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04
Mar

Exclusive: Ex-Nigerian Chief Justice’s Son Joins Terrorist Group ISIS

Written by Naija Pundit.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 03, (THEWILL) – A son of a retired Supreme Court Justice and former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais (GCON), 79, has allegedly joined the notorious Islamic terrorist group fighting in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to sources with knowledge of the development.

The sources familiar with the intelligence report presently being reviewed by intelligence chiefs told THEWILL that the man (name withheld) left Nigeria a few days back for Syria, with his two wives and children to fight alongside ISIS, which presently controls large territories in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

THEWILL gathered that the intelligence report came from Saudi Arabia, one of the over 50 countries alongside the United Nations that has designated ISIS as a terrorist organization.

This is the second time a member of a Nigerian elitist family will be linked to a foreign terrorist group. The notorious underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a member of al-Qaeda, who is presently serving a life sentence without parole in the United States, is the youngest son of Katsina born Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a very wealthy Nigerian banker and businessman, who had also served as a federal Minister in the 70s.

Sources said Kaduna born Justice Uwais (GCON), who was CJN from 1995 -2006 and upon retirement served as Chairman of the committee that reviewed Nigeria's electoral laws in 2007, has been told about the development.

The Nigerian military and its West African allies are presently preoccupied with defeating the Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group responsible for thousands of brutal killings and deadly bombings in northern Nigeria and border towns in Cameroun and Chad.

Credit: THEWILL

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04
Mar

A Success Story: Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)

Written by Alaba Johnson.

Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)

MANDATE/JUSTIFICATION

As the lead agency of government for the development of human and institutional capacity for the oil and gas industry, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund is critical to the realization of Mr. President's Transformation Agenda. The Transformation Agenda is the organising principle for the sustainable repositioning of all sectors of the economy of Nigeria. PTDF is considered vital because no nation can sustainably develop beyond its human capital base.

HUMAN CAPITAL INITIATIVES

PTDF SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME

PTDF interventions, following the adoption of local content policy in the Petroleum sector as a fundamental aspect of the transformation agenda, have added substantial value to the oil and gas industry. There are now well trained, skilled, competent and capable young Nigerian professionals that can effectively man the various segments and levels of the petroleum industry as a result of the proficiencies they have acquired from PTDF trainings.

At the last count, over 2,500 PTDF Scholars have received academic training and research in oil and gas related disciplines at the M.Sc level and 642 at the Doctoral level through the Overseas Scholarship Scheme, while 897 others benefitted from the Local Scholarship Scheme.

VOCATIONAL & ENTREPRENEURSHIP SCHEMES

With the search for quick wins and low hanging fruits through the new emphasis on vocational and entrepreneurial skills, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund sponsored the training of 
1. Eleven (11) underwater welders with international certifications for maintenance of offshore installations and facilities.

2. 15 Drilling Engineers who also attained the International Well Control Forum certification in drilling.

3. 1,649 Engineers under the Engineering Design Training Programme to domicile Front End Engineering Design and Detailed Engineering Design projects in Nigeria.

Under the Welder's Training and Certification Programme, PTDF recorded another milestone achievement in the drive towards producing a critical mass of fabricators and welders required to meet the local manpower target for ongoing and planned projects in the oil and gas industry currently put at 8,000. So far, not less than One Thousand Seven Hundred and fifty (1,750) young Nigerians have been trained to various stages of fabrication skills and competencies under PTDF Welders Training and Certification Programme. 40% of this number are fully integrated in the oil industry while many others have been assimilated by Welders Training Centres as international institute of welding instructors.

POST AMNESTY SPECIAL TRAINING PROGRAMME

PTDF obligations under the Federal Government Post-Amnesty Rehabilitation Programme necessitated the intervention of the Fund in other Human Capacity Development initiatives that are targeted at youth empowerment and entrepreneurial development relevant to the operations of the oil and gas industry. Under PTDF Vocational Skills Training Programme, 120 Nigerian Youths were trained in auto-rotary technology; ICT, Software design, and Computer maintenance at the City and Guilds Certified KAR Academy, Cotonou, Benin Republic and are being assisted with soft loans to set up businesses of their own. The primary goal is to provide the trainees with solid technical and practical foundation and business skills necessary to ensure their success in a wide variety of employment opportunities in the petroleum industry.

PTDF special training and educational scheme under the Industry Collaboration Unit aims at building indigenous capacities in key operational areas of the oil and gas industry. The Fund is currently implementing three programmes under the scheme.

These include the helicopter piloting and air surveillance training programme in South Africa involving 20 Nigerian youths of different academic backgrounds.15 of them have already received private pilot and commercial pilot licences as well as Instrument Flight Rating Certification. These internationally certified pilots trained under the sponsorship of PTDF are currently undergoing internship as Cadets with Caverton Helicopters, a leading indigenous provider of aviation services and logistics for oil companies. The additional training at Caverton will enable them to be rated in the specific type of helicopters they are expected to fly for offshore operations in Nigeria such as air surveillance and conveyance of workers to offshore platforms and installation. The cadet pilots will also be able to accumulate the number of flight hours required to become full-fledged professional pilots. Under a partnership agreement with PTDF, Caverton Helicopters is committed to employing all the cadets upon successful completion of the internship programme.

Still under the Special Training and Educational Scheme, seventy (70) Nigerian youths are undergoing a 4 year undergraduate study programme in various engineering courses at Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology China. Another set of 60 are sponsored for undergraduate studies in Norway, while in Malaysia 50 PTDF scholars undergoing studies in degree and postgraduate degree programmes in Engineering, Information Technology and Business Management at the Malaysia Campus of the University of East London(Linton University College Campus, Malaysia) will be graduating this year.

INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING INTERVENTIONS

PTDF is also involved in the development and upgrade of institutions that provide some form of training in oil and gas related fields. The university upgrade project for instance entails the construction of buildings for university departments teaching oil and gas courses as well as the provision of books, ICT facilities, and laboratory and workshop equipment. Under the scheme, 26 departments offering oil and gas related courses in 26 universities across the country have been fully upgraded. The Fund has also developed 146 ICT centres in universities, colleges of education and unity schools across the country.

PTDF is also setting up world class facilities from scratch that will assimilate most of the scholars trained by the Fund overseas. They are expected to serve as lecturers and experts in different professional disciplines of the oil and gas industry in these institutions being developed by PTDF. These include the Federal Polytechnic of oil and gas Ekowe, Bayelsa State, which is 98 percent completed and awaiting commissioning. There is also The Federal Polytechnic, Bonny, Rivers State focusing on gas technology and environmental management. It is expected that on completion it will sustain the local technical manpower requirement of the Liquefied Natural Gas project also in Bonny. 
PTDF is also involved in the development of the National Institute for Petroleum Policy and Strategy, Kaduna for the training of management and executive level personnel in the petroleum industry.

PTDF AND PTI

PTDF upgrade of the infrastructure of the Petroleum Training Institute, Warri, Delta State has attained 90% completion level. Under the upgrade, PTDF renovated the dormant training rig at the school and made it to be the only demonstration land rig in Africa where international oil companies now send students for hands-on training. PTDF also provided the latest drilling simulators, known as simulator B5000 and C6000 as a result of which other institutions send their students for oil drilling training programme in addition to providing training for amnesty programs of the federal government.

PTDF also provided an ultra modern laboratory complex, a one stop research facility in diverse areas of onshore, offshore, refining and safety activities. In recognition of the importance of diving in offshore activities of the oil and gas sector, PTDF took a bold step to upgrade the Offshore Technology Centre (OTC) of the institute for the production of professional divers that meet international standard.

To further develop middle level manpower for the industry, PTDF is setting up a National Skills Development and Training Centre in Portharcourt, The project is over 70% completed.

RESEARCH PROGRAMMES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL TECHNOLOGY

The sponsored researches of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund through the endorsed professional chairs in universities have recorded significant outcomes capable of adding value to Nigeria's oil and Gas industry by domesticating the production of material inputs and technology used in the industry. For instance, the research on “immobilized oil degrading micro-organisms in local cellulosic materials for rapid deployment in bioremediation of petroleum contaminated soils” was found to be commercially viable for patenting and has been up scaled to pilot plant level for industrial use. The work on “hydrocarbon source rocks” have given strong indication for hydrocarbon presence in the offshore of the Dahomey basin at Okitipupa in Ondo state, while a successful breakthrough in the local refining of heavy crude using locally produced zeolite catalyst derived from clay was recorded in PTDF sponsored research at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. A prototype refinery using the locally sourced materials is being developed.

PTDF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND ENTREPRENEURIAL SCHEME

PTDF is not only providing training and education to deserving Nigerians under its capacity building programmes, the Fund is also enhancing employability and facilitating the engagement of its trainees in the industry through innovative entrepreneurial and youth empowerment schemes. By integrating internship, apprenticeship and entrepreneurial development as an integral component of its training programmes, PTDF is bridging the industry's employment gap and responding to Mr President's directive to agencies of government involved in training and capacity development, to boost employment opportunities for their trainees. In this regard, PTDF has achieved the following:
243 out of 531 who successfully completed the Manual Metal Arc Welding Programme of the Fund have been engaged in the industry. 14 are working in DICON, 28 in South Korea and 16 in Brazil. Thirty one Nigerians trained under the Train-the –Trainer Scheme of PTDF (WTCP) Welders Training and Certification Programme have become welding instructors in Welding Training centres.

15 Young Nigerian Engineers trained by PTDF under its Drilling Engineers Training Programme, to acquire the highly-coveted International Well Control Forum Certificate in drilling, have all been engaged by the industry.

15 young Nigerians who have been trained by PTDF as Commercial Helicopter Pilots have been integrated into an internship (apprenticeship) program designed to culminate into full employment in the industry.

60 Nigerian Youths awarded undergraduate scholarships to study Subsea, Marine and Maritime Engineering as well as Innovation and Entrepreneurship Engineering in Universities in Norway have been guaranteed employment upon completion of their studies as a result of a unique partnership between PTDF and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR.

70 Nigerian Youths currently studying in Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology, China have been guaranteed employment upon completion of their Bachelors degree programmes. Another 50 undergraduate scholars of the Fund at the Linton University College, Malaysia are set to graduate this year.

PTDF under the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has risen above its inglorious past and perception as a slush fund to become one of Nigeria's most proactive, transparent and productive capacity-building government agency. One of that is committed to increased indigenous manpower participation in the oil and gas sector.

All these achievements are positive indicators to the significant impact of Mr President's transformation agenda on the programmes and activities of the Fund. PTDF, as a responsible agency of government, is completely aligned to the agenda in the implementation of its mandate.

 

 

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17
Dec

Amaechi loses out as Buhari settles for Osibajo

Written by Alaba Johnson.

Amaechi loses out as Buhari settles for Osibajo

Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has picked Yemi Osibajo, former attorney-general of Lagos state, as his running mate,Naija Pundit can report.

Buhari will submit his nomination form to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, a day to the deadline, after nearly one week of negotiation and horse-trading on who should be his vice-presidential candidate.

Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers state, had made a spirited bid to be chosen, but met with a brick wall with the zoning of the position to the south-west.

On Tuesday night, intense politicking threatened to mar the spirit in the party, as Amaechi made a last-ditch effort but was told by the retired general that Bola Tinubu, national leader of APC, would be the one to recommend the running mate.

Amaechi had succeeded in getting the enlarged meeting of the party’s leadership to oppose a Muslim-Muslim ticket, which Tinubu’s nomination was going to produce, but he was unable to benefit from the new development.

At a meeting with Buhari on Tuesday, Amaechi, according to sources who spoke with TheCable, made a case for the south-south to be given the VP slot because of the likely backlash in the oil-producing region if President Goodluck Jonathan loses the election.

He also told Buhari that it would be impossible for the APC to campaign in the Niger Delta with neither No 1 nor No 2 on offer for the region.

But Buhari reportedly told him that he had already agreed that the position should go to the south-west.

The governor invested heavily in Buhari’s campaign, paying for chartered flights, new vehicles and financing local and international media campaign to promote the candidacy of the former military head of state. Osibajo overcame last-minute challenge from other south-westerners such as former governors Kayode Fayemi, Niyi Adebayo and Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

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16
Dec

US Govt Exposes Tinubu's Fraudulent Past

Written by Alaba Johnson.

US Govt Exposes Tinubu's Fraudulent Past

‎The US government has exposed Bola Tinubu as a fraudster who falsely alleged to have attended the Chicago State University.

‎This was contained in a letter from the US embassy to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, after the latter made enquiries as to claims made by Tinubu that he graduated from the university.

It would be recalled that in his new book, 'My Watch', former President Obasanjo alleged that the former chairman of the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, had given him Tinubu's file in the EFCC and that Tinubu's case was "one of the worst cases" had seen.

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03
Nov

Some Hard Questions For The Buharists - FFK

Written by Alaba Johnson.

Some Hard Questions For The Buharists - FFK

This is indeed the time for us to answer some hard questions and speak some home truths. It is a season that shall separate the men from the boys. It is a time that the holy and wholesome light of truth shall overwhelm and expose the evil darkness of doublespeak and deceit.

It is a season that the enunciation and exposure of the ugly realities of the day must not be sacrificed or compromised on the alter of political expediency or on the table of fear.

Thankfully there are a few courageous and discerning voices that have risen to the occasion, made the relevant observations and asked the right questions. Amongst them are Mr. Bayo Oladeji and Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje. Permit me to begin with the former.

Oladeji, a seasoned and experienced journalist who writes for the Leadership Newspaper, wrote the following on his Facebook page on 31st October 2014. Add a comment

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