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FG: Security agencies to deal with those stoking ethnic tensions

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•Approves three-year ICT roadmap

…Jude Johnson 

The Federal Government has assured that security agencies are in high alert to deal with those causing ethnic tensions, especially groups threatening to harm or expel other ethnic groups in parts of the country.

The Minister Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, stated this on Wednesday, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja.

Mohammed’s assurances are coming against the backdrop  of the ultimatum issued by some northern youth groups for Igbos living in the north to leave as well as counter responses from other ethnic groups 

He said that thr federal governmen is determined to with deal perpetrators of renewed ethnic tensions in the country. 

The minister who was answering question on the issue said even though such ultimatums were not new, the nation’s security agencies were up to the task and on top of the matter. 

He said that the issue was not part of the deliberations during the FEC meeting but stressed: “The issue of one or two groups issuing statements that is capable of destabilizing the polity and then being responded to by another group, I think did not just start today or did not start yesterday.

“What I want to assure you is that security organizations are very very much on top of this matter.”

Meanwhile, the FEC has approved Information Communication Technology (ICT) roadmap that will drive the sector from 2017 to 2020.

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who briefed State House Correspondents  at the end of FEC meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said the roadmap is a framework that will ensure the creation of 2.5million jobs and 30 percent broadband penetration among others by 2020.

Shittu, said that  ICT currently accounts for a little above 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and was listed as one of the vehicles that will drive the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government.

The minister briefed alongside Mohammed, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and Isaac Adewole.

He said: “We thank God that at last the ICT roadmap 2017 to 2020 has been approved for implementation by the government. This roadmap essentially is a framework for development of ICT in  Nigeria generally. It is also one of the pillars of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. And the aim among others is to ensure the creation through ICT 2.5 million jobs between now and year 2020. Another aim is to ensure broadband penetration to all parts of Nigeria particularly to ensure that by year 2020 we will have penetration level of 30 per cent.

“We believe that the contents of the ICT roadmap would assist in harnessing innate skills and opportunities available to Nigerians. We know that are youths are very intelligent, very dynamic and they would utilize the implementation of the ICT roadmap to ensure that jobs are created and to really get Nigeria digitized.”

“This policy when properly implemented will contribute to growing the Nigerian economy such that even with government revenue it could increase the GDP to about 20 per cent by 2020. As of this year, the contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s GDP is a little above 10 per cent.

“Finally, we believe ICT will also contribute in making businesses easy and service delivery easy because of the e-government component of it and because of the e-commerce component of ICT roadmap,” he added.

The Council also considered a memorandum from the Federal Ministry of Health to centrally coordinate, place and fund the placement of house officers in accredited health institutions across the country.

Adewole said “By this singular act, the suffering of thousands of Nigerian young doctors will be put to an end. This new programme will be centrally coordinated by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria with effect from 2018.”

Malami said Council approved the ratification of  intellectual property treaty. According to him, the Office of the Attoney-General of the Federation (AGF)  has been mandated and instructed to draft the necessary instrument for transmission to the World body in terms of ratification of world treaties associated with intellectual property of copyrights.

Malami said, “Well, Nigeria is a signatory to intellectual property of organisations of copyrights treaty – the world treaty, Beijing treaty and maracaise treaty. All these treaties are intended to provide protection to our creators, musicians, audio visuals as far as the copyrights of their productions are concerned. So, Nigeria is a signatory to those treaties and international conventions.

“So, as a signatory to those international conventions, we have a responsibility to ensure that they take the benefits and enjoy the advantages of the treaties by way of Nigeria being a signatory to those treaties and conventions.”

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