Mutual Benefit Group Wins Duck Creek Standard of Excellence Customer Award at Formation ‘24

Mutual Benefit Group (MBG) Takes Home the Standard of Excellence Customer Award for the Integration of SPLICE Software with Duck Creek OnDemand Claims.

BOSTON, May 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Duck Creek Technologies, the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of property and casualty (P&C) and general insurance, chose Mutual Benefit Group (MBG) as a 2024 Standard of Excellence Customer Award winner at Formation ’24 in Dallas.

The Duck Creek Standard of Excellence Customer Awards recognize customers who have achieved the highest level of excellence through their implementation of Duck Creek solutions and who have a vision to advance their business, while reimagining the future of insurance.

MBG earned the Standard of Excellence Customer Award for integrating the SPLICE Software texting solution and SPLICE NPS Survey Solution with Duck Creek OnDemand Claims.

MBG was looking to improve its claim process to be more personalized and proactive with its policyholders by keeping them informed at every point of the journey. MBG leveraged the Duck Creek and SPLICE partnership and integration to elevate the claims experience. This allowed MBG to utilize an innovative claims solution while ensuring their clients are kept well informed with the right data at the right time.

MBG was introduced to SPLICE at the Duck Creek Technologies 2022 Formation Conference in Orlando, Florida. SPLICE offers automated customer experience communication products – namely an innovative, automated texting solution. The goal of this project was to support MBG’s digital transformation by adopting this strategic communication program.

Today, MBG continually keeps their claims customers informed with text through thirteen different touchpoints of the claim. The Duck Creek platform was also configured to automatically document the claim file when the SPLICE notification is sent and logs any errors that may occur.

The versatility and support of both SPLICE and Duck Creek allowed MBG to fully integrate and automate messages while retaining the ability to manually trigger text messages as well. Having a compliant text message solution with personalization features and an out-of-the-box integration that could still be customized easily to work with MBG’s data and needs has saved time for MBG employees while keeping everything within Duck Creek without sacrificing MBG’s core values and protecting policyholders’ economic well-being, security, and existing relationships.

“Mutual Benefit Group (MBG) is a company that truly cares about the policyholder experience,” said Jenna Ha, VP Operations, MBG. “They have worked with SPLICE on ensuring policyholders are kept up-to-date with the right information and at the right time, and has implemented our Thrive™ survey application and program to constantly improve both internal and policyholder experiences. SPLICE is excited to continue working with MBG on further customer and employee experience initiatives.”

Duck Creek celebrates MBG’s incredible success in the P&C Insurance Industry.

About Duck Creek Technologies

Duck Creek Technologies is the intelligent solutions provider defining the future of the property and casualty (P&C) and general insurance industry. We are the platform upon which modern insurance systems are built, enabling the industry to capitalize on the power of the cloud to run agile, intelligent, and evergreen operations. Authenticity, purpose, and transparency are core to Duck Creek, and we believe insurance should be there for individuals and businesses when, where, and how they need it most. Our market-leading solutions are available on a standalone basis or as a full suite, and all are available via Duck Creek OnDemand. Visit to learn more. Follow Duck Creek on our social channels for the latest information – LinkedIn and X.

About MBG

MBG is dedicated to creating an insurance experience that benefits you. We have been providing insurance coverage for automobiles, homes, and businesses since 1908; we work diligently each day to help build and protect your economic well-being and provide for your security. We are known for our strong relationships with policyholders and agents; for our responsive, friendly, knowledgeable staff; and for claims service that consistently garners a high level of satisfaction, notably 97.5% based on 2022 policyholder surveys.

Media Contacts:
Carley Bunch

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9144641

Federal Budget Gives Canada’s Health Minister The Power To Limit Contraception Access

OTTAWA, May 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The federal budget, which is set to be passed before the end of June, includes changes to the Food & Drugs Act that gives the Health Minister the power (Section 326) to override regulatory approval for over-the-counter drugs, natural health products, and medical devices. The Consumer Choice Center’s Toronto based David Clement explained why this new power sets Canada down a dangerous path.

“Giving the Health Minister the power to override Health Canada approvals on OTC drugs, NHPs, and medical devices creates a scenario that is ripe for ministerial abuse, with a health minister sidestepping Health Canada to regulate from a position of bias, or in response to bad headlines,” said Clement.

“This power is even more problematic given the products and drugs that are covered by the change. As written, a future Health Minister could use this power to restrict access to OTC drugs like Plan B, or contraception like IUDs, and do so entirely at their discretion,” said Clement.

“If the Liberals are truly committed to ensuring that women have access to certain forms of contraception, they wouldn’t be giving a future Health Minister the authority and ability to override Health Canada approvals. By giving future Health Ministers this power they are setting the table for restrictions,” said Clement.

***CCC North American Affairs Manager David Clement is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries to***

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at


David Clement

Consumer Choice Center


GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9145371

Global Leaders Gather to Exchange Best Practices in Liver Health Policy

Global Liver Institute Convenes Fruitful Meeting on the Sidelines of WHA77

Geneva, Switzerland, May 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Global Liver Institute (GLI) convened esteemed global leaders for an event on the sidelines of the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, entitled “Together for Better Liver Health: Amplifying Best Practices Globally,” in partnership with the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). Now in its second year, this exclusive gathering has quickly attracted health leaders from around the world to become a driving force for liver health policy initiatives.

To complement the event, GLI released Best Practices in Liver Health Policy: A Liver Health is Public Health Report, which evaluates successes that certain countries have had in liver health policy to give insight and promote effective policies worldwide. The report highlights persistent challenges that patients face globally and thoughtful, thorough policies that address these challenges. Drawing examples from Egypt, India, Ireland, Scotland, and Türkiye, it showcases measures such as utilizing primary care data to screen high-risk populations and integrating fatty liver disease into national programs targeting non-communicable diseases.
The more than 100 types of liver disease- driven by a variety of causes from genetic, to viral, to over-exposure to toxic substances – pose substantial challenges for global communities and the health systems that serve them:

“We are so grateful to work with such an enduring partner, EASL, and the expert panelists featured, to showcase how addressing liver health aligns with achieving major global public health priorities,” shared Donna R. Cryer, JD, CEO of GLI. “We launched the Liver Health is Public Health Initiative in the UK in 2022 hoping to engage and inspire international leaders and health ministers to deploy the diverse and powerful array of public health tools available to them to the tasks of preventing, identifying, and treating the millions at-risk or living with liver diseases and today is a significant milestone.

In a remarkable display of multi-stakeholder partnership and progress built upon the success of the inaugural event, the event demonstrated the expansion and elevation of the collaboration. For a full list of speakers, including key government figures in health as well as the leaders of internationally renowned organizations, please view the program agenda.

“We are happy to co-host this event alongside GLI and look forward to seeing its reverberating global impact,” shared Aleksander Krag, MD, PhD, MBA; Secretary General, EASL. “It is critical that this event happens in Geneva, Switzerland, on the sidelines of the 77th World Health Assembly, while leaders from each member state work together to prepare next year’s health agenda.”


Christine Maalouf
Global Liver Institute

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9145053

Duck Creek Technologies récompense IAT Insurance Group et Coforge en leur décernant le prix Standard of Excellence

IAT Insurance Group, en partenariat stratégique avec Coforge, remporte le prix Standard of Excellence Customer Award pour la transition de plusieurs systèmes d’administration de polices hérités et cloisonnés vers le système Duck Creek basé sur le cloud, faisant ainsi un pas de plus vers la transformation numérique

BOSTON, 29 mai 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Duck Creek Technologies, le fournisseur de solutions intelligentes qui traces les futurs contours du secteur de l’assurance IARD (incendies, accidents et risques divers)et de l’assurance générale, a décerné à IAT Insurance Group et à son partenaire de transformation stratégique, Coforge, le prix du client de la norme d’excellence 2024 à l’occasion de l’événement Formation ’24 à Dallas.

Les Duck Creek Standard of Excellence Customer Awards mettent à l’honneur les clients qui ont atteint le plus haut niveau d’excellence grâce à la mise en œuvre des solutions Duck Creek et qui réimaginent l’avenir de l’assurance.

IAT Insurance Group, une compagnie d’assurance spécialisée de premier plan qui propose des produits d’assurance dommages et de cautionnement pour des marchés de niche, a reçu le prix « Standard of Excellence Customer Award » pour la transformation de sept segments d’activité diversifiés qui comprennent la responsabilité générale, les biens, la gestion du passif, l’assurance excédentaire, le transport maritime intérieur et les lignes d’activité de l’automobile commerciale. Le transfert des principales lignes de produits sur le système Duck Creek a permis de rationaliser les opérations internes de l’assureur dommages, d’améliorer l’expérience des utilisateurs et de faciliter l’accès aux données et aux analyses.

Manish Chawla, CIO, IAT Insurance Group, a accueilli la nouvelle en ces termes : « Nous sommes honorés de recevoir le prix Standard of Excellence. Notre vision de la transformation est profondément alignée sur nos priorités commerciales et sur notre engagement à mieux servir nos clients. Nous croyons qu’il faut tirer parti de la technologie pour créer des solutions qui non seulement répondent aux attentes de nos clients, mais les dépassent. Ce voyage de transformation a été rendu possible grâce à notre partenariat stratégique avec Coforge. Notre vision commune nous a aidés à la concrétiser, ce qui nous a permis d’offrir une valeur supérieure à nos clients. »

Dans le cadre d’une vaste initiative de transformation de l’entreprise sur plusieurs années et plusieurs millions de dollars, IAT Insurance Group a transféré plusieurs branches d’activité vers la suite complète de Duck Creek, couvrant 50 États. Cet effort, soutenu par Coforge, a été pensé pour moderniser les systèmes existants, améliorer l’évolutivité et assurer la conformité réglementaire à travers le portefeuille diversifié de produits d’assurance d’IAT.

Rajeev Batra, Vice-président exécutif, Insurance, Coforge, a déclaré : « En tant que ‘Premier Delivery Partner’ de Duck Creek Technologies, avec plus de 1 000 PME sous Duck Creek dans le monde, Coforge est fier de faire partie du voyage de transformation d’IAT Insurance Group. La synergie entre Coforge, IAT Insurance Group et Duck Creek Technologies illustre un travail d’équipe et une collaboration sans faille. », et de poursuivre

« C’est un grand honneur d’être récompensé par le prix Standard of Excellence. Nous nous sommes concentrés sur l’exploitation de solutions innovantes pour doper la transformation numérique d’IAT Insurance Group. Nos efforts de collaboration ont conduit à la transition réussie de plusieurs unités commerciales vers une plateforme moderne, améliorant ainsi l’évolutivité et la conformité réglementaire. »

À propos de Duck Creek Technologies

Duck Creek Technologies est le fournisseur de solutions intelligentes qui trace les futurs contours du secteur de l’assurance générale et IARD (incendies, accidents et risques divers). Les systèmes d’assurance modernes reposent sur nos solutions et capitalisent sur le potentiel du cloud pour mener des opérations agiles, intelligentes et évolutives. Authenticité, détermination et transparence, voilà les maîtres-mots de la philosophie de Duck Creek. Pour nous, l’assurance est au service des particuliers et des entreprises, au moment, à l’endroit et de la manière dont ils en ont le plus besoin. Nos solutions, leaders du marché, sont commercialisées à l’unité ou sous forme de suite packagée, et sont toutes disponibles sur la page : Duck Creek OnDemand. Consultez le site pour en savoir plus. Suivez-nous sur les réseaux pour découvrir nos dernières informations : LinkedIn et X.

Contacts auprès des médias :
Carley Bunch

À propos d’IAT Insurance Group

IAT Insurance Group (« IAT ») est une compagnie d’assurance privée spécialisée qui propose des produits d’assurance dommages et de cautionnement pour des marchés de niche. IAT est présent sur le marché par le biais de huit unités commerciales : Transport commercial, Excédents et surplus, Propriétaires d’habitation, Programmes, Marine intérieure, Réassurance, Caution et Gestion du passif. Les sociétés d’IAT sont notées A- Excellent par A.M. Best. Connectez-vous avec IAT sur LinkedIn et apprenez-en plus sur l’entreprise en visitant le site

À propos de Coforge

Coforge est un fournisseur mondial de services et de solutions numériques, qui s’appuie sur des technologies émergentes et une expertise approfondie pour offrir à ses clients un impact commercial concret. L’accent mis sur des secteurs tout particulièrement triés sur le volet, une compréhension détaillée des processus sous-jacents de ces secteurs et des partenariats avec des plateformes de premier plan nous confèrent une perspective distincte. Coforge est à la pointe de l’innovation grâce à son approche d’ingénierie produit et s’appuie sur les technologies du cloud, des données, de l’intégration et de l’automatisation pour transformer les entreprises clientes en entreprises intelligentes et à forte croissance. Les plateformes propriétaires de Coforge alimentent les processus d’affaires critiques dans ses principaux secteurs d’activité. L’entreprise est présente dans 21 pays et dispose de 25 centres de distribution dans neuf pays.

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9145255

Duck Creek Technologies Reconhece IAT Insurance Group e Coforge com seu prêmio Standard of Excellence Award

O IAT Insurance Group, em parceria estratégica com a Coforge, leva para casa o Prêmio de Cliente Padrão de Excelência pela transição de vários sistemas de administração de apólices legados em silos para o sistema Duck Creek baseado em nuvem, impulsionando a transformação digital

BOSTON, May 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hoje, a Duck Creek Technologies, fornecedora de soluções inteligentes que definem o futuro do seguro de propriedade e acidentes (P&C) e geral, homenageou o IAT Insurance Group e seu parceiro de transformação estratégica, a Coforge, com o prêmio Standard of Excellence Customer Award no Formation ’24 em Dallas.

O Duck Creek Standard of Excellence Customer Awards reconhece os clientes que alcançaram o mais alto nível de excelência através da implementação de soluções da Duck Creek e que estão reimaginando o futuro dos seguros.

O IAT Insurance Group, uma empresa líder de seguros especializados que fornece produtos de propriedade, acidentes e garantia para nichos de mercado, ganhou o prêmio Standard of Excellence Customer Award pela transformação de 7 segmentos de negócios diversos que incluem Responsabilidade Civil Geral, Propriedade, Responsabilidade de Gestão, Excesso, Marinha Interior e Linhas de negócios de Automóveis Comerciais. A mudança das principais linhas de produtos para o sistema Duck Creek ajudou a simplificar as operações internas da seguradora de propriedade e acidentes, aprimorar a experiência do usuário e melhorar o acesso a dados e análises.

Manish Chawla, CIO do IAT Insurance Group disse: “Estamos honrados em receber o prêmio Standard of Excellence Award. Nossa visão de transformação está profundamente alinhada com as prioridades dos nossos negócios e o nosso compromisso de atender melhor nossos clientes. Acreditamos em utilizar a tecnologia para criar soluções que além de atender, excedam as expectativas dos nossos clientes. Esta jornada de transformação foi possível graças à nossa parceria estratégica com a Coforge. Nossa visão conjunta tem sido fundamental para nos ajudar a transformar nossa visão em realidade, permitindo a oferta de um valor superior aos nossos clientes.”

Como parte de uma grande iniciativa de transformação de negócios de vários anos e milhões de dólares, a IAT Insurance fez a transição de várias linhas de negócios para a Duck Creek Full Suite, cobrindo 50 estados. Esse esforço, apoiado pela Coforge, foi projetado para modernizar sistemas legados, melhorar a escalabilidade e garantir a conformidade regulatória em todo o portfólio diversificado de produtos de seguros do IAT.

Rajeev Batra, Vice-Presidente Executivo de Seguros da Coforge, disse: “Como Parceiro de Entrega Premier da Duck Creek Technologies, com mais de 1000 PMEs da Duck Creek em todo o mundo, a Coforge tem orgulho de fazer parte da jornada de transformação do IAT Insurance Group. A sinergia da Coforge com o IAT Insurance Group e a Duck Creek Technologies é um exemplo do nosso trabalho em equipe e colaboração impecáveis.”

Duck Creek Technologies Reconhece o IAT Insurance Group e Coforge com seu prêmio Standard of Excellence Award Nosso foco tem sido utilizar soluções inovadoras para impulsionar a transformação digital para o IAT Insurance Group. Nossos esforços colaborativos levaram à transição bem-sucedida de várias unidades de negócios para uma plataforma moderna, aprimorando a escalabilidade e a conformidade regulatória.”

Sobre a Duck Creek Technologies

A Duck Creek Technologies é fornecedora de soluções inteligentes que definem o futuro do setor de seguros de propriedade e acidentes (P&C) e geral. Somos a plataforma utilizadas como base dos sistemas de seguros modernos, permitindo que a indústria capitalize o poder da nuvem para executar operações ágeis, inteligentes e perenes. Autenticidade, propósito e transparência são fundamentais para a Duck Creek, e acreditamos que o seguro deve estar disponível para indivíduos e empresas quando, onde e como eles mais precisarem. Nossas soluções líderes do mercado estão disponíveis de forma independente ou como um pacote completo disponíveis em Duck Creek OnDemand. Visite para obter mais informação. Siga a Duck Creek nos nossos canais sociais para obter as mais recentes informações – LinkedIn e X.

Contato com a Mídia:
Carley Bunch

Sobre o IAT Insurance Group

O IAT Insurance Group (IAT) é uma empresa privada de seguros especializados que fornece produtos de propriedade, acidentes e garantia para nichos de mercado. O IAT chega ao mercado através de oito unidades de negócios – Transporte Comercial, Excesso e Excedente, Proprietários, Programas, Marinha Interior, Resseguro, Fiança e Responsabilidade de Gestão. As empresas do IAT Insurance Group são classificadas como “A” (Excelente) pela A.M. Best. Conecte-se com o IAT Insurance Group no LinkedIn e saiba mais sobre a empresa em

Sobre a Coforge

A Coforge é uma provedora global de serviços e soluções digitais, que utiliza tecnologias emergentes e profundo conhecimento de domínio para oferecer impacto comercial no mundo real para seus clientes. Um foco em setores muito seletos, uma compreensão detalhada dos processos subjacentes a esses setores e as parcerias com plataformas líderes nos fornecem uma perspectiva distinta. A Coforge lidera com sua abordagem de engenharia de produtos e utiliza as tecnologias de nuvem, dados, integração e automação para transformar as empresas clientes em empresas inteligentes e de alto crescimento. As plataformas proprietárias da Coforge potencializam processos de negócios críticos nas suas principais verticais. A empresa está presente em 21 países, com 25 centros de entrega em nove países.

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 9145255

Seme Customs command generates N2.63bn in 5 months

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Area Command says it generated N2.63 billion between January and May. Comptroller Timi Bomodi, the Area Controller disclosed this on Tuesday during a media briefing in Seme, Lagos. State. According to him, in the period under review, a total sum of N2,634,190,645 was collected. The controller said that the amount surpassed that of 2023 for same period by 272 per cent. He said that the command facilitated 143, 468 Metric Tonnes of export produce, with FOB value of ?35, 199, 971. 097, which is equivalent to $38, 461, 397.39. Bomodi said that the enforcement unit sustained anti-smuggling momentum in all nooks and crannies of the command. 'This onslaught translated into 474 interceptions of various contraband items within the period under review. 'These items include 12,448 Jerry cans and 30 litres of petrol, which is equivalent to eight tanker loads. 'Others are 6,467 bags of 50kg of foreign rice, which is equivalent to 10 trailer loads, 15 fairly used vehicles and 1,251 parcels of cannabis sativa. 'They also include 20 live parrots, two honey badgers, 2 pelican birds and 404 live tortoises, 3,023 general merchandise, 149 packages of codeine and 45 pieces of unused tyres,' he said. Some seized 50kg bag of foreign rice seized by Seme customs on displayed on Tuesday. He said that all the seized items had a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ?840, 003, 646. 'We note that there has been a marked increase in the illegal importation of Cannabis from Ghana and different methods have been used by criminals in their effort to beat our officers, all of which were neutralised,' he said. Bomodi said that a total of 18 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures. He added that 11 of them were granted administrative bails and three were handed over to NDLEA for further action. 'One was handed over to the Nigeria Police, while four suspects are still in Customs' custody.' He said that the command had set-up a complaint desk to address issues concerning the molestatio n of females in the command. 'We strongly frown at any act endangering the health and well-being of the vulnerable population of border stake-holders, who go about their normal and legitimate businesses daily. 'Stringent action shall be taken against any officer of any agency found guilty of molestation of any female on this corridor,' he said. 30 Jerry can of seized petrol on displayed in Seme command on Tuesday. Bomodi appreciated the cooperation of other government agencies in ensuring the peace, safety and security of the nation's borders. 'Special mention will be made of the effort of officers and men of the Nigerian Army, Air Force and Navy, who have stood shoulder to shoulder with us in this battle. 'Their unwavering support is crucial and we applaud their patriotic efforts,' he said. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Tinubu`s administration`s efforts in combating illegal mining

Nigeria has been operating a monocultural economy for decades since the discovery of oil in 1956, relying on it to fund its development. The result is that other sectors of the economy would not receive the needed attention for their growth, posing a worrying obstacle to economic diversification. While various administrations in the past years struggled to change the trend, observers say the impact is yet to be reflected in the economy, and more political will is needed to achieve the feat. The country is faced with the reality of building its resilience for the future, especially as the demand for oil is expected to decline, resulting in a loss in its value. In building this resilience, it must leverage on opportunities in other sectors to generate revenue to drive the process of sustainable development. One of such is taking advantage of the global upsurge of energy transition to develop its solid minerals sector. A German company, Geoscan, conducted a preliminary survey which revealed Nigeria has a d eposit of an estimate of N750 billion dollars worth of solid minerals underground, of which a quarter had not been harnessed. To tow the path of exploring opportunities of these solid minerals, when President Bola took over the helm of the country on May 29, 2923, he promised to revamp the sector to improve the economic profile of the country. His Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, said the sector targets contributing 50 per cent to Nigeria`s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), through its repositioning. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the mining and quarrying sector contributed 4.47 per cent to the overall GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 during the period Tinubu took over. One of the eight key presidential priority areas is `to unlock energy and natural resources for sustainable development`, but achieving the feat requires attracting foreign direct investment and sanitising the sector. Nigeria prides itself in possessing the critical minerals required for energy tr ansition in commercial quantities across its states, which it must leverage upon to facilitate local development of its economy, especially in creating job opportunities and infrastructure development. To attract big players in harnessing these minerals, the government need to put in place friendly policies and initiatives. But while the Tinubu`s administration is removing impediments to the ease of doing business and strives to attract foreign direct investment to its minerals, it must deal with one of the major challenges bedevilling the sector, which is illegal mining. Illegal mining is the extraction of minerals or other geological materials without following the proper procedures which includes the necessary permits, licences or regulatory approvals to participate in the activity. Stakeholders say illegal mining is fuelled by insecurity in the mining environment, and is an act of economic sabotage depriving Nigeria of improved revenue. Similarly, Alake described illegal mining as a hydra headed mons ter, which scourge violates the legal restrictions against mining in public institutions such as national parks and educational institutions, religious centres or community properties. He further explained that illegal mining is not just unlicenced mining, but it covers licenced miners operating with invalid licences or licenced miners operating outside their coordinates or mining minerals not approved in their licences. When he appeared before the House of Representatives committee on Solid Minerals to defend the ministry`s 2024 budget estimate, he decried the rate of insecurity in the mining industry. He said that the situation was impeding the sector from generating the requisite revenue, and also alleged that illegal miners are the sponsors of banditry and terrorism in the country, which must be addressed for the sector to thrive. He said that the Nigerian economy is in dire need of rapid economic growth through the solid minerals sector given the limitless value the sector can provide, but the activi ties of illegal miners have made the mining environment insecure for investors. To check the menace, the ministry adopted a dual -pronged approach comprising of both coercive and persuasive measures being concurrently implemented to get the desired result to combat illegal mining. The persuasive method involves formalising artisanal and illegal miners into cooperatives, and since the policy, more than 150 cooperatives have been established so far. 'Recall that on the occasion of the declaration of the Seven Point Agenda, I gave illegal miners 30-day deadline to join co-operatives. 'This was later extended to 60 days. It is gratifying to note that between September 2023 and March, 2024, the Ministry registered 152 new cooperatives, ' the minister said. The move is aimed at easily identifying the miners through the cooperative to check illegality, and also enhance their business. For the coercive approach, a Presidential Inter-Ministerial Committee was established on Jan.17, to produce a blue print for se curing Nigeria`s natural resources, which comprised of mineral sites, marine economy and forests. The committee was expanded to include security agencies aimed at producing comprehensive strategies to address illegal mining, which led to the establishment of the Mining Marshal Corp, an inter-agency security outfit to secure the mining environment. The agency has 2, 220 personnel, who have been specially trained as a rapid response squad and deployed across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Alake at the recent Ministerial Sectoral Update on the performance of the Tinubu`s administration, said the corp has brought instant succour to investors, who, hitherto, watched helplessly while their cadastral units were pillaged by bandits and illegal miners. 'Many investors are besieging the ministry with desperate requests for intervention and we are responding with appropriate rapidity. 'Efforts to improve the kit and armoury of the Mining Marshals will enable us to increase the fleet, expand the field of operations and combat effectively the rarely restricted operations of illegal miners. 'The expected impact is that more miners will resume legal operations, increase mineral exploitation, pay appropriate royalty and encourage more investors to come, convinced of the security of the mining environment and the establishment of Law and order,' he said. He said that plans are ongoing for other security sister agencies to integrate their officers in to the outfit structure across the country for robust output. Alake said that the establishment of the Marshals has enabled the Mines Surveillance teams to concentrate on intelligence gathering to track and monitor illegal miners for apprehension and prosecution. According to him, the development is a major achievement as records show that no fewer than 133 persons are currently being prosecuted for illegal mining notably in Cross River, Kogi, Oyo, Gombe, Taraba and Niger. While these efforts have been acknowledged by stakeholders in the sector, exper ts recommend digitisation of informal or illegal miners, where they would have identity cards that government can use for their identification. Other stakeholders observe that while the Marshal Corp has been established to tackle insecurity and illegal activities at mining sites, there is a need for the government to make provisions for their back up in dealing with violators. This they say is crucial, as most illegal miners are linked to banditry where sophisticated weaponry is used. Source: News Agency of Nigeria

President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda and FCT civil servants experience

President Bola Tinubu-led administration has made it clear that its priority is to renew Nigeria's hope and renew citizens' trust in the government towards building a prosperous Nigeria. This, according to the president, will require a bold and ambitious agenda that addresses the root causes of our problems and builds a more prosperous, secure, and equitable future for all Nigerians. Tinubu, therefore, based his renewed hope agenda on eight priority areas namely, food security; poverty eradication; growth; job creation; access to capital; inclusion; rule of law; and fighting corruption. These ambitious goals, however, require the unflagging commitment of the members of Tinubu's cabinet, to ensure that the vision was not only achieved, but the hope of Nigerians renewed and confidence in the government rebuilt. 'I believe in the 'Renewed Hope' agenda of President Bola Tinubu, and Nigerians will see the difference in no distant time,' These were the words of Mr Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital T erritory (FCT), while receiving handing over notes from Mr Adesola Olusade, the immediate past Permanent Secretary of the FCTA. Wike, however, noted that not much would be achieved without the support of the workers of the FCT Administration. But how could the FCT workers provide the needed support without motivation, welfare, and career progression? Unlike other workers in the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, workers in the FCTA could only get to the position of a director and retire, because FCTA do not have a Civil Service Commission (CSC). This means that, unlike their counterparts in other ministries, workers in FCT could not get to the peak of their career by becoming a permanent secretary. In fact, permanent secretaries were being posted to FCTA by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. Often, these permanent secretaries were juniors to some of the directors in the FCTA. This was disturbing even when the National Assembly had passed a Bill for the establishment of CSC for the FCT and was assented into law by the then acting President Yemi Osibanjo in 2018. But the law was locked away in cupboards and shelves and growing dust, with no efforts to implement its provision by the previous administration. Analysts opined that this development did not only kill the morale of the workers, but also stole their motivation and the willingness to give their best to the Administration. Realising the negative impact this could have in actualising the vision of President Tinubu, through his renewed hope agenda, Wike immediately took steps to address the challenge. Against all odds, the minister, on Oct. 13, 2023, announced President Tinubu's approval for the establishment of CSC for the FCTA, in line with the provisions of the law. This was to allow career progression for civil servants in the Administration. 'That hindrance to the workers' career development has been removed with this development,' he said. Head of Federal Capital Territory Civil Service, Dr Udo Atang . On receiving the news, the elated FCT workers, in their numbers, stormed the Minister's Wing of the FCTA Secretariat, praising Wike and Tinubu for taking the bold step to implement the FCT CSC Establishment Act, 2018. Mr Korede Matilukoro, the then President of the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC), the umbrella body of FCTA workers, said, 'this singular act has put smiles on the faces of the workers.' Matilukoro pointed out that since 2004, the staff of FCTA had been deprived of becoming permanent secretaries, adding that Wike took the issue and within a month, secured President Tinubu's approval for the implementation of the law. But the excitement did not last long when a few days after, the Officer of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, announced the redeployment of Dr Magdalene Ajani from Transportation Ministry to FCTA. Ajani was to replace the then PS, Mr Olusade Adesola, who was to retire on Jan. 29, but the workers rejected the action, describing it as faulty, and called for the full implementation of the FCT CSC Law. Responding to the workers' outcry, Wike ran to President Tinubu, halted the deployment of Ajani and on March 12, announced Tinubu's approval for the appointment of Mr Udo Atang, as pioneer Head of Civil Service of the FCTA. The minister also announced the appointment of 10 Permanent Secretaries for various Secretariats of the Administration as provided for in the FCT Civil Service Law, 2018. Mr Emeka Ezeh was appointed the Chairman of the Commission's Board, with six others as commissioners, representing the six geopolitical zones. The excited pioneer head of FCT civil service, described the development as a demonstration of the reality of the renewed hope agenda of the Tinubu-led government. Commending Tinubu and Wike for renewing the hope of FCT workers, Atang pointed out that the staff of the Administration have never had it this good. He added that in the new FCTA system, every member of staff was a potential permanent secretary and head of service. 'I am also a beneficiary of beco ming a Permanent Secretary, a son of nobody, rising to the peak of my career when I know nobody except God. 'We never expected that such things could happen to us. 'In terms of the aspiration of reaching your peak. I am one of the shining examples that somebody can be a Permanent Secretary in the FCT,' Dr Babagana Adam, the pioneer Permanent Secretary, Health Services and Environmental Secretariat of the FCTA, has said. Similarly, the current President of JUAC, Mrs Rifkatu Lortyer, expressed optimism for a cordial working relationship with Wike, for demonstrating high regards for workers and their welfare. 'So far, he is towing the right direction because the civil service commission had been our fight for a very long time. 'We have put one or two requests, and he has answered us. Every one of our requests is being considered; that is the most important thing,' Lortye said. By and large, public analysts cautioned that now that Tinubu has actualised the long struggle for the FCT CSC, it was only fair tha t the workers pay back by being committed and work for the actualisation of Tinubu's Renewed Hope agenda. Source: News Agency of Nigeria