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NDLEA nabs 1, 344 drug suspects, alleged traffickers in Katsina — Commander 

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The  National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Katsina State Command has arrested 1, 344 people for alleged drug abuse and trafficking in one year.

The NDLEA Commander in the state, Mr Hassan Sani-Abubakar, made the disclosure at a news briefing as part of the activities to commemorate the 2024 United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Sani-Abubakar said that the suspects were apprehended from July 2023, when the commander assumed duty, to date.

He said the number comprised women and those who briefly counseled and released

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2024 theme  is: “The Evidence is Clear: Invest in Prevention”.

He said the command had secured the conviction of 112 cases and 120 cases were pending at various courts.

According to him, 136 suspects were counseled and admitted at its facility for rehabilitation.

Sani-Abubakar revealed that 1, 161.831kilograms  of cannabis sativa, 77.071 kg of psychotropic substances and 80.400 kg of other controlled drugs were recovered during the period under review.

“The rate of drugs and other psychotropic substance abuse and trafficking among the general public in the state  remains alarming and  of concern for the command and government.

“It cuts across all strata of community members which suggests that everybody is affected either directly or indirectly.

“It is a crystal fact that most of the people indulging in this inglorious trading of drugs are doing it for its huge economic and financial gains.

“And to that effect, the command has not relented in its operational tactics and strategies with a mission to cripple anybody found wanting, as we no longer see the drugs in usual places but unconventional business premises,” he said.

The commander,  therefore,  urged the public to continue to partner with the agency in exposing such bad eggs in the society. 

Ex President Buhari condoles with Saraki family

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Former President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the passing away of Chief (Mrs) Florence Morenike Saraki, the mother of the president of the 8th National Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki and his former minister of state, transportation and later solid minerals development, Senator Gbemisola Ruqayyat Saraki.


“I am saddened by the demise of Chief Florence Saraki, a strong pillar of the Saraki dynasty and a mother firmly committed to family values and the welfare of the less privileged. The commitment and resilience she had shown as she supported the family following the death of the patriarch, Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki, and Waziri of Ilorin is praiseworthy.


“She was a hardworking and people-friendly community leader whose kindness and thoughtfulness towards others is an inspiration. She will sorely be missed by many in Kwara state and at the centre.


“My thoughts and prayers are with the former senate president and my noteworthy minister, for whom their mother meant so much. May her soul rest in peace.”

Court nullifies reappointment of Muhammadu Sanusi II as Emir of Kano

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A Federal High Court sitting in Kano on Thursday nullified the reappointment of Muhammadu Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of Kano.

Alhaji Aminu Babba-Dan’agundi, who holds the title of Sarkin Dawaki Babba, had, through his counsel, Ibrahim Aliyu-Nasarawa, filed a motion dated May 23, in which he asked the court to restrain the Kano State government from implementing the Kano State Emirate (Repeal) Law 2024.

The law had repealed the 2019 Emirate Council law that established five emirates from the original Kano Emirate.

With all Emirs sacked, the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, who had been sacked by the Abdullahi Ganduje administration in March 2020, was reinstated as 16th Emir to replace Aminu Ado Bayero, who was was consumed by the repeal of the law.

Disatisfied with the development, Babba-Dangundi took the matter to court to seek a reversal of the removal of Bayero.

The respondents were the Kano State Government, Kano State House of Assembly, Speaker, Kano State House of Assembly, Attorney-General of Kano State and  Commissioner of Police in Kano.

Others are the Inspector General of Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and the Department of State Security Service.

Delivering a ruling, Justice Abdullahi Muhammad-Liman declared that all actions carried out by the state government following the passage of the Kano Emirate Council (Repeal) Law 2024 were null and void.

“I hereby order that every step or actions taken by the respondents in pursuant to Kano Emirate Council Repeal Law 2024 is null and void and is set aside.

“However, this order does not affect the validity of the law,’’ he said.

He also ordered all parties to maintain the status quo ante.

He held that the respondents were aware of the earlier order dated May 23, to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the case.

“I think it is a very serious matter for anyone to flout the orders of the court and go scot free with it.

“The catastrophic situation could have been averted if the respondents followed due processes by complying with the court order, which would still have allowed them to carry out their assignments.”

Muhammad-Liman granted the respondents’ application for stay of proceedings pending hearing and determination of their application at the court of appeal on jurisdiction.

“I hereby transfer the case to Justice Simon Amobeda, Federal High Court 3,” he said

Earlier, Counsel to the applicant, M. S. Waziri, had urged the court to nullify the Kano Emirates Council (Repeal) law 2024.

Counsel to Kano State House of Assembly and Speaker, Eyitayo Fatogun, told the court that he had filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal and a motion on stay of proceedings.

Fatogun also applied to be recused from the matter, asking for an adjournment to enable his clients find another lawyer, and pending hearing and determination of his application at the court of appeal on jurisdiction.

Counsel to Attorney General of Kano State and the State Government, Mr A. G. Wakil, aligned himself with the position of Fatogun.

Also, Counsel to the Commissioner of Police Kano and Inspector General of Police, Mr Sunday Ekwe, told the court that the duty of the police was to maintain peace in the state, and that was why they did not file any response on jurisdiction issue.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the State House of Assembly on May 23 dissolved all the four newly created Emirate council’s in the state.

NAN reports that Gov. Abba Kabir-Yusuf, on May 23, dethroned the 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, and reappointed Muhammad Sanusi II, as the Emir of Kano, four years after he was dethroned by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

Police to bolster security in Rivers after deadly clash over LGs tussle

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The Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, has condemned the recent outbreak of violence and subsequent breakdown of law and order at various Local Government Council secretariats in Rivers State, where supporters of two political factions clashed over the tenure of Local Government Council Chairmen, which unfortunately led to the tragic deaths of a Police Officer – Inspector David Mgbada, and Samuel Nwigwe, a vigilante member at Eberi-Omuma in Omuma LGA.

A statement signed by ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Force PRO said in response to these heinous acts, the IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, CP Olatunji Disu, to heighten security measures across the state and institute thorough investigations into the killing of the police officer and the vigilante operative, as well as the general violence which erupted in the state.

The IGP has specifically deployed operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) to assist the Rivers State Command in apprehending the killers of the police officer and the vigilante member. The IGP seriously warns individuals and groups of people who have a penchant for senseless attacks and mindless killings of police officers and other security operatives across the country to desist forthwith as the fullest force of the law will be meted on them.

The CP has also been directed to focus on increased patrols, strategic deployment of officers, and enhanced intelligence operations to prevent further violence and ensure the safety of all residents. The IGP extends heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the deceased police officer and the vigilante member noting that their dedication and sacrifice in the line of duty will not be taken for granted.

The Inspector General of Police called on all residents and political stakeholders in the State to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means of resolving differences.

Food Crisis: Expert urges FG to prioritize agric sector

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Prof. Raphael Okigbo, lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, has called on President Bola Tinubu led administration to pay more attention to the agricultural sector with a view to addressing the food crisis in the country.

Okigbo, a professor of Plant Pathology in the Faculty of Biological Sciences, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Wednesday.

He said the scarcity and high price of food items had demanded a deliberate effort to address the challenges in the sector.

The don blamed insecurity and high cost of transportation as the bane of food security in Nigeria.

Okigbo advised the Federal Government to open the country’s borders to importation of healthy food items in the short run to increase their availability and push down prices.

According to him, we are not producing enough, our farmers both men and women, can no longer enter the forest to farm because of insecurity; government has to address the problem.

“Again, the cost of moving produce from the farm to where they are needed has more than quadrupled; this is another harmful effect of removal of petrol subsidy.

“All this explains the scarcity of food items and their high prices where you find them.

“So, I want to say that the government should design a good and urgent policy to address the challenges in agricultural sector,” he said.

Security: Kogi Govt set to recruit 1, 050 hunters

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The Kogi Government is set to recruit 1, 050 hunters to beef up security in the State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports in Lokoja that this followed the State House Assembly’s approval of the government’s request on Wednesday at plenary for the recruitment of that seizable number of hunters.

The commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Salami Ozigi-Deedat, had sent a letter to the house for the recruitment of 50 hunters each in the 21 Local Government Area of the state.

In the letter the state government gave reasons for the proposed recruitment to include shortage of security personnel in the state and the need to curb crime and criminality in the state.

The assembly speaker, Alhaji Umar Aliyu, read the letter sent out during plenary on Wednesday.

Aliyu reminded the house of their previous resolve to recruit hunters, given the security challenges in the state

According to him, there is serious shortage of manpower in the state, and that the government’s request was in the right direction.

Consequently, in a voice vote, the legislators unanimously approved the recruitment of the 1, 050 hunters.

The house directed that the payment of salaries of the hunters would be made by the Caretaker Chairmen of the 21 local governments. 

Makinde approves appointment of Olakunleyin as 43rd Olubadan

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Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has approved the appointment of Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakuleyin as the 43rd Olubadan of lbadanland.

The governor gave the approval in a memo signed on June 14, 2024, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 19 (Cap 28) Law of Oyo State 2000 as amended.

According to a statement by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Honourable Olusegun Olayiwola, the approval is a culmination of a series of processes stipulated by the extant laws of the state regarding ascension to royal thrones.

The statement added that the governor congratulated the new Olubadan, praying that his tenure will birth greater developments in Ibadanland and Oyo State as a whole.

Man, 26, docked for allegedly stealing N2.9m

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The Police on Wednesday, arraigned a 26-year-old man, Abiodun Ayodeji, in an Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court, Ibadan, for allegedly stealing the sum of N2,957,950 belonging to a lady.

Ayodeji, whose address was not provided, was charged with conspiracy and stealing.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Prosecutor, Insp Toyin Ibrahim, told the court that Ayodeji allegedly committed the offence sometimes in December, 2023, at Alabi shopping complex, Molete, Ibadan.

He alleged that the defendant allegedly stole the sum of N2,957,950, belonging to one Mrs Seun Arowobusoye, without her consent.

He said that the offence contravened Sections 516 and 390(9) of the Criminal Laws of Oyo, 2000.

The Magistrate, Mrs Kausarat Ayofe, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 with two reliable sureties in like sum.

She adjourned the case until Aug. 6, for hearing.

Tinubu mourns long-reigning Chief of Moroa 

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President Bola Tinubu extends his heartfelt condolences to the Asholyio people in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State, on the passing of Dr Tagwai Sambo, the Chief of Moroa.

The President conveyed his condolences in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late traditional ruler was on the throne for 58 years and is regarded as one of the longest-reigning traditional rulers in northern Nigeria.

He played a pivotal role in the establishment of Kaduna State University, serving as its pioneer Chancellor.

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“President Tinubu pays tribute to a lifetime of selfless service, dedicated to education, peacebuilding, and community development.

The president prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed and comfort for the family and those whose lives the Royal Father touched.

NAN reports that Sambo’s demise was announced on Saturday in Manchok by the Palace Secretary, Mr Iliya Avong.

The first-class traditional ruler was 88 and had spent 58 years on the throne.

NAN reports that Sambo was born on Dec. 24, 1936, and ascended the throne at 30 in 1966.

Until his appointment, he was the Commissioner for Works and Housing in the then North Regional Government.

Reps hail Nigeria Armed Forces for successes against insecurity

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The House of Representatives Committee on Defence has hailed the Nigeria Armed Forces for the remarkable achievements and dedication in various theatre operations across the country.

Rep. Babajini Benson, the Chairman of the Committee gave the commendation in a statement on Wednesday in  Abuja.

He said that the successes recorded in various operations across the country underscored the bravery, professionalism, and unwavering commitment of our military personnel to safeguard the nation.

Benson commended the numerous victories against insurgents, bandits, and other criminal elements that have threatened the peace and security of Nigeria.

He said that the achievements were a testament to the resilience and sacrifice of the men and women in uniform, who tirelessly work to ensure the safety and security of all Nigerians.

“The recent successes of our Armed Forces in various operations across the country are highly commendable.

“These victories not only reflect the strategic prowess of our military leadership but also the dedication and bravery of our soldiers, airmen, and ratings.

“We owe them a debt of gratitude for their relentless efforts to protect our nation,” he added.

Benson assured the armed forces of the house unwavering support, while reiterating the readiness of the legislative body to provide all necessary resources and support.

This, he said was to enhance the operational capabilities of the military, ensuring they are well-equipped to tackle any security challenges that may arise.

According to him, we understand the importance of providing adequate resources and legislative backing to ensure the effectiveness of our military operations.

“We will continue to prioritise the welfare, training, and equipment needs of our troops to maintain their operational readiness and efficiency,” Benson assured.

He called on all Nigerians to continue to support the Armed Forces, acknowledging their sacrifices and contributions to national security.

Benson also urged the citizens to remain vigilant and cooperate with security agencies to ensure a safer and more secured Nigeria.

NOSDRA confirms oil spill from Aiteo’s field in Nembe, Bayelsa

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The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has confirmed an oil leak from the Nembe Oilfields operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Limited at Nembe in Bayelsa.

Mr Solomon Ukponevi, Head of NOSDRA’s field Office in Yenagoa, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Yenagoa.

He said that the oil firm reported the incident to the agency on Tuesday.

He explained that the Agency had deployed its officials to the spill site to ascertain the cause and volume of crude oil discharged to the environment.

On the extent of the pollution, Ukponevi said that the Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) scheduled for Wednesday would determine the area among other details.

“I will not be able to provide details until staff deployed for the JIV return from the fields, but I can tell you that Aiteo has reported the spill and investigation is underway,” he said.

NAN learnt that the leak occurred on Monday at a section of the 97 kilometer Nembe Creek Trunk line (NCTL) that hitherto fed the Bonny Oil Export Terminal in Rivers.

Following persistent vandalism on the oil export line with capacity to evacuate 180,000 barrels of crude daily, Aiteo resorted to using barges to convey crude from the Nembe fields.

The barges are used to transport crude from onshore oil wells to a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel from which Aiteo exports the Nembe Crude blend to crude tankers.

The Management of Aiteo is yet to respond to the incident.

No confirmed cases of cholera in Osun – Official

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Osun Government says there are no confirmed cases of cholera outbreak in the state.
This was disclosed by the Director of Public Health in the state Ministry of Health, Dr Akeem Bello, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Osogbo.
Bello, however, said that all the primary healthcare centres in the state had been put on alert in case of any outbreak of the disease.


“Presently, we have yet to record any outbreak of cholera in the state,” he said.
The director, however, stated that since last week when news about the outbreak of the disease had filtered in from Lagos, all the primary healthcare centres across the state had been put on standby in case of any outbreak.
“We are on top of the situation, and government is doing everything possible to ensure that in case of any outbreak, we can quickly curtail it,” he said.
Bello also said that an Emergency Operation Centre on cholera would be activated to prevent the spread of the disease in schools in case of any outbreak.
He also said that a surveillance team from the epidemiology department would be monitoring the situation in the state to contain the spread or outbreak of the disease.
“An emergency operation centre (EOC) will be activated any moment from now.
“Officials from the Ministry of Education and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) are members of the EOC and are well-informed about the cholera outbreak in Lagos,” he said.
Bello also said that government had placed jingles in some radio stations to sensitise residents of the state on the causes and prevention of cholera.
NAN reports that cholera is a highly-infectious disease caused by vibrio cholera, characterised by diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration, abdominal cramps and fever.


NAN also reports that if left untreated, cholera can lead to severe dehydration, shock and even death within hours.
However, prompt treatment with oral rehydration therapy (ORT) or intravenous fluids can effectively manage the disease.
Cholera is typically spread through contaminated food, water, poor sanitation and hygiene as well as close contact with infected individuals.
It can be prevented by proper hand washing, safe drinking water, proper food handling and storage and avoiding close contact with infected individuals, among others. 

Dangote said business cartel nearly sabotaged his oil refinery project

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Global and local oil mafia including international banking interests all made several moves to foil the location of a big oil refinery in Nigeria, according to Alhaji Aliko Dangote and other knowledgeable sources, according to reports by Empowered Newswire.

Dangote made this revelation during an interview Friday at the Afreximbank Annual General Meeting in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The 650,000 bpd Dangote Refinery is located in the heart of Lekki, in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to him, he didn’t realise the oil mafia was stronger than the drug mafia until he started building the refinery.

Dangote had granted an interview with CNN’s Eleni Giokas where he had earlier pointed to how western and international finance interests tried to frustrate the building of the refinery. But the Nigerian industrialist said CNN carefully left out such comments when the interview was published.

“They tried all sorts. But you know like what I told you in our interview. I told you that I’m a person that has been fighting all my life. So I think it’s part of my life to fight, the Nigerian businessman said during the Q&A at the Afreximbank AGM.

Explaining the push back from different quarters for him not to build this refinery, Dangote said: “I think the luck that I had by getting the refinery done is because people believed that we were crazy. It will never happen.

“So I think the people who were sort of sabotaging us, they were less concerned because they knew that this guys have entered into something that they were not going to be able to finish. So they didn’t really bother much.

“They thought we were going to fail so I must really thank a lot of our bankers for not panicking. The issue is, and I must state this not because President Oramah is here, that this refinery won’t have been possible without Afrexim Bank. I think he is one person that has so much belief in the refinery himself, and then the other gentleman is late now, Herbert Wigwe of Access bank but President Oramah, he is actually more convinced than some of my staff.

“He’s more convinced because when we took him there both him and some of his board members, they became so much sort of convinced this is the right way to go.

Then Dangote pointed to how CNN censored his comments in the previous interview which was also done with Giokas who also interviewed him at the AFREXIMBANK AGM.

“I must honestly tell you that, which I told you in the interview even though I didn’t see that part, I said that you know without the likes of Afrexim Bank, African finance corporation it will be very difficult for us to industrialize because you need to go to banks that do understand your language, do understand your own issues, your programs, forget about all the other banks.

“All the other banks only come in for taking us to the market, raising bonds, raising whatever you know and a lot of them, especially during the Covid, that they believe that we were going to stop somewhere. The Covid would’ve stopped us actually from constructing the refinery. They all left but now they’re coming back when they see the food has been cooked. The food is cooked, it’s on the table.

Dangote again narrated how the Saudi oil interest also tried to discourage him.

“But to tell you the truth, I learnt a lot because I know that four years ago I was in Saudi Arabia during the fasting time and I was invited for the Iftar dinner, which is breaking of the fast, and Dr. Farley, who used to be the minister of energy invited me to just come and break the fast with him and I went there.

“He just said, “Aliko I heard that you’re planning on building a refinery. What capacity?” I said 650,000. He kept quiet for a while and said… ‘but my advice to you is not to do it because normally refineries are built by major corporations or sovereign countries.’

“I said Your Excellency, but unfortunately we have already started so I’m not really looking for an advice. That was really how we continued. But to tell you the truth, it was very very scary.”

On raising the funds to complete the refinery, Dangote said he borrowed $5.5 billion to complete the project, but met a brick wall from international banks.

He explained: “When you look at it when we were building the refinery….first of all, we knew that yes, if we had gone with the idea of doing a project financing, the international banks would have actually shut it down. Shut it down in the sense that may be they might have asked me for my great grandmother’s certificate of birth, which I don’t think I will be able to find it anywhere.

“So what we did was to go in terms of borrowing the money based on our own balance sheet and you know that time naira was very strong and that was how we went through. So we got the money, borrowed the money based on our own balance sheet.”

“We borrowed $5.5 billion. But I know we paid also a lot of interest as we go along because the project was delayed (due to) lack of land you know also the sand filling. It took a long time. Almost six years or so we didn’t do anything. So it was actually five years it was actually in 2018 we started.

“We have borrowed that much and we have actually paid interest and some principal of over S2.4B. Yes we have done very well. We now have only about 2.7 billion left to be paid so we have done very well for a project of that magnitude.

On a positive note, Africa’s richest man added. “We will end up winning because the population and the government will be on our side because what we are doing is right.”

NDDC Extends Free Healthcare to Cross River Communities

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The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has taken the first phase of its Free Healthcare Programme, which it relaunched on June 16, 2024 to the General Hospital, Akamkpa in Cross River State for the benefit of people in the rural communities.


Speaking at the flag off of the week-long free medical outreach, the Chairman, Senate Committee on NDDC, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, hailed the programme, noting that it was essential to make healthcare available to people at the grassroots.


He emphasized the importance of providing healthcare for the people in their localities and remarked that the free healthcare programme was part of President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, stating: “The first and best gift to anybody is a sound health, able body and a sound mind”.
To support the free medical mission, Senator Ekpenyong said that he would provide free buses for people coming from Odukpani, Akamkpa, and Biase Local Government Areas and also give refreshment to the patients.


In his address, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku observed that the Medical Mission, which had already taken place in eight states of the region, had benefited over two million Niger Deltans.


Ogbuku, who was represented by the Assistant Director, Education, Health and Social Services, EHSS, Dr Eme Inyangabia, said the free healthcare programme was a flagship of the Commission, targeted at changing the health situation and narrative of the people in the region.
He stated: “It is in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, number three, which aspires to achieve universal health coverage and ensure health and well-being for all.”


Giving more insight on the programme, the NDDC Director, Education, Health and Social Services, Dr George Uzonwanne, said that cases ranging from malaria to fibroid surgeries would be attended to
He noted: “Those who will go through surgeries will be monitored until they are ready to be discharged from the facility as we have a team on ground to handle that, and cases that we are unable to handle will be referred to tertiary facilities for treatment.”


“We are looking to treat 3,000 to 3,500 patients but not really the number of patients but the number of data points because one patient may have more than three interventions. So we are looking at between 12,000 to 15,000 data points.


In his remarks, the member representing Akamkpa 1 State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Okon Owuna thanked the NDDC for bringing “a life-saving mission” to the state and promised to help mobilise his people to make good use of the opportunity.


The paramount ruler of Akamkpa, Ewot Ebani, thanked the NDDC for bringing the programme to the grassroots level. He expressed concern about the poor state of the General Hospital and appealed to the federal and state governments to improve the hospital’s facilities.

Police confirm arrest of 3 suspected kidnappers in Otukpo

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The Police Command in Benue on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of three suspected kidnappers in Otukpo Local Government Area of the state.

SP Sewuese Anene, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) over the phone from Makurdi.

Anene disclosed that the suspects were apprehended on Monday at a motor park in Otukpo.

She added that further details would be provided later.

Investigations by NAN revealed that the suspected kidnappers were detained by the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards (BSCVG) in Otukpo.

It was further gathered that the suspects were intercepted early Monday at a motor park while attempting to board a vehicle to Makurdi.

According to reports, the suspects allegedly received ransom from their victims and were on their way to Makurdi, the state capital, when the BSCVG received information leading to their arrest.

Witnesses stated that the suspects were found in possession of a substantial sum of money believed to be the ransom collected from their captives.

The BSCVG promptly handed over the suspects to the Police in Otukpo for further investigation

Ododo felicitates with Yahaya Bello at 49

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Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Usman Ododo has felicitated with the former Governor and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello on the occasion of his 49th birthday anniversary.

In his message of felicitation to the former Governor, Governor Ododo described Alhaji Yahaya Bello as a quintessential leader of men and women and a pathfinder who lifted children of the less privileged to prominence and led the state to a prosperous pedestal in the eight years of his administration in the state.

He commended the former Governor for his exemplary leadership and extraordinary vision that led to the transformation of the state to an enviable height on which the current administration is consolidating to sustain the legacies of a worthy leader.

“On the occasion of the 49th birthday of my leader and mentor, I am filled with gratitude for the courage you exemplified, the sacrifices you made for us to be where we are today and the legacies you bequeathed on our state and our people.

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“I wish you many more years in good health and prosperity as you will be surrounded by your children and the children of many people whose lives you have transformed as you celebrate the anniversary of your birthday”, Governor Ododo said.

The Kogi State Governor prayed for God’s protection of the life of the former Governor, wishing him a fulfilled life out of office.

Police denounce booing of Emir Sanusi, warn troublemakers

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The Police Command in Kano State has expressed displeasure  over booing  of the entourage of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II by some individuals while he was returning to his palace after Eid prayers.

This is contained in a Statement issued by the command’s spokesman, SP Abdullahi Kiyawa, in Kano on Monday.

He said that, the incident occurred when the Emir took a different route, as part of his religious obligation.

He said unfortunately, he was booed within the vicinity of Festival Primary School and Zage/Zango areas by some unidentified persons.

“Currently, the police command is monitoring the entire Sallah events to ensure law and order are maintained, adequate security measures are in place to tackle any form of security threats.

“Accordingly, the police command is warning individuals intending to cause chaos or breach the peace during the Sallah celebration to stay clear of the state’’, he said.

The spokesman further stated that at the moment adequate security personnel had been deployed to arrest anyone attempting to cause a breakdown of law and order.

The police warned members of the public to desist from carrying weapons during and after the celebration, saying that anyone found would meet stiff penalties.

“Rigorous stop-and-search operations and patrols are ongoing in all Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the metropolitan area to ensure a peaceful celebration”, Kiyawa said.

Over 3,500 persons to benefit from NDDC health intervention in C’River

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No fewer than 3,500 persons have been slated to benefit from a free five-day medical mission in Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River.

The medical mission is being sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with aim of providing healthcare services to medically underserved rural communities in the region.

The Commission’s Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbudu, said that the medical mission, which had already taken place in eight states of the region, had seen to the treatment of over two million people in Niger Delta.

Represented by Dr Eme Inyangabia, Assistant Director, Education, Health and Social Services (EHSS), he said the mission was the flagship of the Commission, serving to endear NDDC to the medically needy communities.

“The medical mission is one of several health programmes of the Commission, targeted at changing the health situation and narrative of our people in the region.

“It is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) No. 3 which aspires to achieve Universal Health Coverage and ensure health and well-being for all,” he stated.

Similarly, the Executive Director, EHSS of the Commission, Dr George Uzonwanne, said they were looking at 12,000 to 15,000 data points as a particular patient may be treated on more than one ailment.

‘‘We are carrying out a one-week short term intervention free of charge to the people of Cross River State.

‘‘We are looking at treating 3,000 to 3,500 patients but not really the number of patients but the number of data points because one patient may have more than three interventions.

‘‘So, we are looking at between 12,000 to 15,000 data points.

‘‘Treatments will range from things like malaria to things as complex as having fibroid surgery or general surgery,’’ he said.

Uzonwanne added that a team would be on standby to look after patients before they were discharged and others with more severe ailments would be treated by the commission in a referral hospital. 

FG denies renaming Murtala Muhammad Way after Soyinka

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The Federal Government has debunked rumours that Murtala Muhammed Expressway has been renamed after Prof Wole Soyinka

This clarification was issued in a statement signed by Rabiu Ibrahim, Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris.

According to the FG, “it is the Arterial Road N20 that is named after Prof Soyinka. The Murtala Muhammed Expressway remains unchanged”.

The statemwnt reads in full: “We have noted the rumours being circulated that the Murtala Muhammed Expressed Way in the Federal Capital Territory,  Abuja, has been renamed as Wole Soyinka Way.

“The renaming of the Murtala Muhammed Expressway Way has never been contemplated by this administration.

“For the record, on June 4, 2024, President Bola Tinubu inaugurated a new road in the FCT codenamed Arterial Road N20 (from Katampe to Jahi), which links the existing Outer Northern Expressway (also known as Murtala Muhammed Expressway) to the Northern Parkway (also called Ahmadu Bello Way).

“During the inauguration of the N20 (which is a new road), FCT Minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike, proposed to the President that the road be named after Prof Wole Soyinka, and the President agreed.

“Therefore, it is the Arterial Road N20 that is named after Prof Soyinka. The Murtala Muhammed Expressway remains unchanged and continues to bear the name of our esteemed former Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Muhammed.

“We urge all citizens to disregard any misinformation regarding the renaming of the Murtala Muhammed Expressway. The report is entirely false and only exists in the imagination of its purveyors.”

Forum backs Soludo on minimum wage for elected officials

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The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum says it supports the statement by  Gov. Charles Soludo of Anambra that governors and other elected officials should earn only the minimum wage given  the country’s current economic realities .

The National President of the forum, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, said this in an interview  with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday  in Lagos.

NAN reports that Soludo had,while reacting to the rejection of the proposed  N62 ,000 minimum wage by the Nigeria Governor’s Forum,said governors and other elected officials too should earn  minimum wage to have a  feel what workers are going through in the face of economic challenges.

” Let’s come clean and straight with Nigerians. Nigeria is very poor and broke, but the lifestyle of government and government officials does not show it, especially with the obscene flamboyance in public display,

“The poor are hungry and impatient, let us not annoy them more with our insensitivity. In this case, I agree with Reverend Father Mbaka, who said elected governors should also earn minimum wage. I agree that we should be paid that so that we can feel that as well.”,Soludo had said .

Yerima told NAN that in a country where the disparity between the earnings of political leaders and the average citizen is staggering, such a stance is not only refreshing but also necessary in fostering a more equitable society.

He said: “The statement made by Gov. Charles Soludo of Anambra, regarding the need for governors and other elected officials to earn only the minimum wage in order to reflect the current economic reality of Nigeria is both bold and commendable.

“For too long, Nigeria has been plagued by corruption and a lack of accountability among its political class. Elected officials often receive exorbitant salaries and allowances while the majority of the population struggles to make ends meet.

“This imbalance not only breeds resentment among the populace but also perpetuates a culture of entitlement among those in power.

“By advocating for governors and other elected officials to earn only the minimum wage, the governor is sending a strong message that public service should not be about personal enrichment but  about working towards the common good.”he said.

Yerima said that Soludo’s statement  should be lauded and supported by all Nigerians, who ,he said ,were tired of the excesses and opulence of their leaders while the country continues to face  challenges.

The forum ‘s president said it was improper for leaders not to identify with the people  in the face of  widespread poverty, inadequate infrastructure and a struggling healthcare system.

According to him, elected officials should be  willing to make sacrifices and tighten their belts in solidarity with the people they serve .

“There is the nerd  for elected officials to be in touch with the realities faced by the average Nigerian, as it is only through shared experiences and empathy that true change can be achieved.

“The call is a step in the right direction towards creating a more just and equitable society.

“His bold stance should be supportjed and emulated by leaders at all levels of government, as it signifies a commitment to serving the people rather than exploiting their positions for personal gain.

“As Nigerians, we must demand accountability and integrity from our political leaders,” he said.

NDLEA recovers 230,900 Tramadol pills, uncovers skuchies coy in Ogun

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has recovered a total of 230,600 pills of 200mg and 225mg of Tramadol, a prohibited substance in Gadar Tamburawa area of Kano, Kano State.

NDLEA ‘s Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, said this in a statement on Sunday in  Abuja.

Babafemi said that the NDLEA operatives arrested the duo of Yasir Rabi’u, 23, and Abubakar Ado, 30, who were major distributors of the illicit drugs in Kano and Jigawa states respectively.

He said that the suspected drug peddlers were arrested on Monday.

Babafemi said, “In the same vein, another suspect, Hassan Abdullahi-Ali, 25, was nabbed with 150 bottles of codeine syrup at Kofar Nassarawa area of Kano on Tuesday.

“Also, In Ogun, NDLEA operatives on Monday seized 390kg of cannabis and arrested the three in connection with the illicit drugs.”

He said that Muhammad Sani, Nura Mohammad and Samaila Rabe were arrested during an early morning raid at Ibese area of the state.

Meanwhile, Babafemi said that officers on Wednesday busted a skuchies making factory at Sabo area of Sagamu town where seven suspects were arrested.

“They include: Kareem Jamiu; Oriyimi Ayo; Bamidele Wasiu; Rasheed Olarewanju; Ramota Lawal; Amudalat Olarewaju; and Adeniyi Omotosho.

“Exhibits recovered from them include: 387 litres of skuchies; 70 litres of industrial codeine; 25kg cannabis and different quantities of Tramadol, Rohypnol, Diazepam.

“Also, there were various equipment used in the production of the new psychoactive substance and all were intercepted, “ he said.

Trust God for better Nigeria- CAN urges Nigerians

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rchbishop Daniel Okoh, President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged Nigerians to set aside their differences and trust in God’s promise for a better Nigeria.

Okoh said this in a message to the Muslim community in Abuja on Sunday, as they celebrate  Eid-el Kabir.

“I celebrate with Muslims all over the world as they celebrate Eid-el Kabir, a festival symbolising sacrifice, obedience, and faith.

On behalf of the CAN,  I extend warm felicitations to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

“I urge all Nigerians to embrace the values of sacrifice, obedience, and faith in our daily lives.

“Let us set aside our differences, heed the call for unity and peace, and trust in God’s promise for a better Nigeria.

Our nation is in dire need of God’s mercy, peace, and unity,” he said.

According the Clergy,, in the face of current challenges, Nigerians should unite in love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

He prayed for Divine intervention in the country’s security, economic, and political struggles.

“As the Muslim Ummah celebrate this festival, let us remember that our nation deeply needs God’s mercy, peace, and unity.

“Let us work together to build a Nigeria where all citizens can thrive, regardless of religion, tribe or creed.

“Our diversity is in strength and togetherness, we can overcome any obstacle,” he stressed. 

Two die in Eid-el Kabir day accident

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Two people died while three sustained injuries in an Eid-el Kabir day accident in Ososa, on Sagamu-Ijebu Ode Expressway, on Sunday.

Mrs Florence Okpe, the Spokesperson, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, confirmed the incident in a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta.

Okpe said that the accident, which occured at 11:28a.m., involved an ash colour Howo Truck with no registration number and a blue Toyota Camry Car with registration number APP 478 FS.

She stated that the accident was caused by excessive speed which led to loss of control and subsequent collision of the two vehicles

The FRSC spokesperson said that five people — a man and four women — were involved in the accident.

” A total of two people were killed, which comprised one man and a woman, while three women got injured,” she said.

Okpe said that the injured were taken to the General Hospital, Ijebu Ode for medical treatment while the deceased was deposited at the morgue of same hospital.

NDLEA bursts warehouse, seizes N4.7b drugs

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Officers of the Special Operation Unit of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Aba have discovered a cartel controlled by three suspected drug barons.

The agency’s Director, Media and Advocacy Femi Babafemi, announced this on Sunday in  Abuja.

The agency said that the suspects were arrested and the warehouses linked to the drugs were “taken down”.

The agency said further that substances suspected to be cocaine and methamphetamine in consignments were seized.

It said that the drugs could worth more than N4.1 billion in street value.

Babafemi said that the special operation was conducted between June 13 and June 14 at Boundary Avenue and a residence on Ohia road in Aba.

“Months of intelligence gathering led to the arrest of the leaders and the seizure of 20.76 kg of cocaine and methamphetamine from them.

He also said that the operatives of the agency in Lagos State uncovered an expansive warehouse stocked with a large consignment of a substance suspected to be codeine-based syrup located in Kirikiri.

Babafemi said that four persons were suspected to be connected with the importation and distribution of the substance.

He said that they were arrested during an intelligence-led raid on the facility.

“No few than 82,000 bottles of the opioid worth more than N600 million in street value were recovered from them.

“Also, a truck and two buses used for distributing the substance were recovered from the premises on June 10”, he said.

We are committed to delivering best services to Pilgrims – NAHCON

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has reiterated its commitment to delivering the best services to pilgrims.

The Executive Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, said this in his Eid-el Kabir message on Sunday in Makkah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Arabi stated that the commission was making concerted effort to improve on pilgrimage centrism in every humanly possible way.

” Despite the challenges encountered in the process of organising this onerous task which we know is invaluable to government, the pilgrims and other stakeholders, NAHCON remains committed to delivering the best services to all.

” To our pilgrims, our leaders, our clients and stakeholders, your unwavering support and constructive criticism drive us forward every day.

” As we continue this journey together, we know that success is not just about reaching the destination, but about what transpires within the journey itself,” he said.

Arabi stated that the commission remained focused and resilient, motivated by the hope that greater reward awaited it , if NAHCON got it right.

Arabi congratulated Nigerian pilgrims for witnessing Eid+el Kabir the most glorious day in Islam.

“:Today is Eid-el Kabir when Muslims all over the world congratulate one another for witnessing the most glorious day in Islam; the day of Arafat when Muslims converge to worship the Almighty in unison.

” The Hajj period is unique because it is a time when the dignity of the soul is what matters; not gender, not nationality, not race, not social status, not religious affiliations,” he said.

Eid-el Kabir: COAS hails troops’ gallantry, sacrifice

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has commended troops of the Nigerian Army for their commitment and gallantry in confronting the security challenges and threats in the country.

Lagbaja gave the commendation on Sunday in  Abuja, in his goodwill message to the troops and their families on the occasion of the Eid-el Kabir celebration.

He described the Eid-el-Kabir as a significant festival depicting the important place of sacrifice in humanity and divinity.

The COAS said the 2024 Eid-el Kabir celebration was also remarkable, as it coincided with the completion of his first year in office as the 23rd Chief of Army Staff.

He expressed gratitude to God for the gift of life and the relative peace restored in many troubled parts of the country.

He acknowledged the enormous sacrifice made by the army, both in human and logistics resources, in the ongoing battle against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, secessionist agitations and sundry crimes.

Lagbaja said the troops had displayed unalloyed loyalty, extraordinary courage and faith in the nation, thereby, emerging victorious in the face of grave danger.

He added that many of them currently bore the badge of courage and bravery in the form of battle scars and injuries, while others carried the memories and stories of their sacrifices for the country.

The COAS enjoined all Nigerians to show collective understanding and support for the government’s efforts to implement necessary reforms to restore economic prosperity.

He also urged all personnel and their families to renew their commitment to selflessness and patriotism for the growth and development of the country.

The army chief, however, reaffirmed his dedication to providing visionary and inclusive leadership needed for effective training, robust living standards and operational effectiveness.

He expressed profound appreciation to President Bola Tinubu, for his unflinching support and leadership.

Lagbaja also extended appreciation to the National Assembly, Minister of Defense, the Minister of State for Defense and the Chief of Defence Staff, for their strategic guidance.

He lauded Nigerians and the international community for their continuous support and belief in the Nigerian Army.

According to him, the Nigerian Army looks forward to continued collaboration to end security challenges and create an enabling environment for economic prosperity and other democratic dividends.

Eid al-Adha: Tuggar congratulates Muslims, calls for nation-building

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar (OON), has extended his heartfelt congratulations to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigerians, and the entire Muslim community worldwide on the 2024 celebration of Eid al-Adha. He stated that the sacrifice of Eid-Al-Adha was a profound and significant act and held a profound meaning for Muslims. It symbolizes and commemorates the ultimate act of devotion and obedience to Almighty Allah SWT, a demonstration set by the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) that resonates with us all.

Ambassador Tuggar fervently urged the Muslim faithful to seize the period to unite in prayer against insecurity and rededicate themselves to nation-building. As you offer your sacrifices, may Allah shower his divine blessings on you and fulfil all your prayers and aspirations on this occasion of Eid al-Adha.

He further stated, “Eid al-Adha is a time to reflect on the profound act of selflessness exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It encourages us to embrace the spirit of giving and stand together to support those in need, fostering a strong sense of community and togetherness. Let us use this opportunity to reach out to our neighbours, friends, and those less fortunate, ensuring that all share the blessings of this sacred festival.

“On this joyous day, may your hearts be filled with an abundance of happiness, your homes with the tranquillity of peace, and your lives with the richness of prosperity. Let us celebrate Eid al-Adha with deep gratitude and hope, looking forward to a future of greater harmony and cooperation. On behalf of all of us at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I wish you a wonderful Eid Celebration. The message concluded.

Alkasim Abdulkadir

Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister

Of Foreign Affairs on Media and Communications Strategy

Eid al-Adha: Tuggar congratulates Muslims, calls for nation-building

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar (OON), has extended his heartfelt congratulations to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigerians, and the entire Muslim community worldwide on the 2024 celebration of Eid al-Adha. He stated that the sacrifice of Eid-Al-Adha was a profound and significant act and held a profound meaning for Muslims. It symbolizes and commemorates the ultimate act of devotion and obedience to Almighty Allah SWT, a demonstration set by the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) that resonates with us all.

Ambassador Tuggar fervently urged the Muslim faithful to seize the period to unite in prayer against insecurity and rededicate themselves to nation-building. As you offer your sacrifices, may Allah shower his divine blessings on you and fulfil all your prayers and aspirations on this occasion of Eid al-Adha.

He further stated, “Eid al-Adha is a time to reflect on the profound act of selflessness exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It encourages us to embrace the spirit of giving and stand together to support those in need, fostering a strong sense of community and togetherness. Let us use this opportunity to reach out to our neighbours, friends, and those less fortunate, ensuring that all share the blessings of this sacred festival.

“On this joyous day, may your hearts be filled with an abundance of happiness, your homes with the tranquillity of peace, and your lives with the richness of prosperity. Let us celebrate Eid al-Adha with deep gratitude and hope, looking forward to a future of greater harmony and cooperation. On behalf of all of us at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I wish you a wonderful Eid Celebration. The message concluded.

Alkasim Abdulkadir

Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister

Of Foreign Affairs on Media and Communications Strategy

FG declares Monday, Tuesday public holidays to mark Eid-el-Kabir

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The Federal Government has declared Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18, as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

This is contained in a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Aishetu Ndayako, on Friday in  Abuja.

She stated that the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated all Muslim Ummah both at home and in the Diaspora.

She quoted the minister as urging the Muslim community to continue to imbibe the spirit of peace, kindness and sacrifice, as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim.

Tunji-Ojo also urged them to use the period to pray for unity, prosperity and the stability of the country.

The minister assured Nigerians that the administration of President Bola Tinubu would safeguard the lives and property of everyone. 

Eid-el-Kabir: FCT police tighten security ahead of Sallah celebrations

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Ahead of the 2024 Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the FCT Police Command has proactively deployed explosive ordinance devices (EOD) experts alongside personnel at various prayer grounds, recreational centers, event centres in  Abuja.

The massive deployment is aimed at ensuring residents of FCT enjoys a peaceful and serene atmosphere, before, during and post Eid celebration.

Josephine Adeh, FCT Police Command spokesperson made this known Friday in a statement issued to journalists.

The statement noted that several raids have been conducted on identified black spots, uncompleted buildings/shanties, stop and search, Vehicular and foot patrol across the city’s centre.

According to the statement, diversion points were created for motorists/commuters within the territory, some of which includes: diversion point around Eid ground by airport interchange to games village and Jabi by airport road into the main city.

“The Commissioner of Police FCT, CP Benneth C. Igweh psc, mni, urges residents to give the police operatives utmost cooperation, as the deployments is solely aimed at ensuring the safety of the populace. He also calls on the Muslim faithfuls in FCT, as they join others around the world in the celebration to embrace the virtues of the festivity, while reassuring the populace of his commitment to ensure the safety of all and sundry.”

“Residents are also urged to be vigilant and take advantage of the Police emergency lines to report suspicious activities through:
08032003913, 08028940883, 08061581938, 07057337653 PCB: 09022222352, CRU: 08107314192,” police said.

Digital Literacy: DG NITDA urges curriculum overhaul

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In a bid to foster digital literacy and cultivate talent through collaboration, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, has emphasised the urgent need to work together to review the existing school curriculum and develop a comprehensive one that incorporates digital skills at all educational levels. According to him, this is in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda to create millions of jobs by leveraging digital technologies and achieving a digital literacy rate of 70% by 2027.

Inuwa made these remarks during a meeting with the management team of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), led by its Executive Secretary, Professor Janaidu Ismail, at NITDA’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja.

He stated that digital technology has an important role to play in the design of the curriculum, content and processes due to evolution of technology. This disruptive technology has substituted the way of doing things worldwide of which Nigeria as a country is not to be left behind.

“We must lead in developing a competency-based, outcome-focused curriculum that addresses the demands of the 21st century. This will enable us to produce a skilled workforce capable of meeting the needs of the Nigerian market and attracting investment from other countries.  Integrating digital skills into the curriculum is crucial for national development and economic growth,” Inuwa stated.

He further asserted that government policies and objectives especially that which relates to sustainable development, 21st century skills, digital economy, creative arts and digital technology will create a pathway for nation building.

Inuwa also explained that things have scaled up to meet up the new normal, like computer precision to digitalisation which is the central focus of the curriculum to provide citizens with the required knowledge and skills and digital technology for growth and development.

In his earlier remarks, the Executive Secretary of NERDC Prof. Ismail Janiadu stated that their institution is charged with the primary responsibility of curriculum development for the country at all levels and this cannot be done without the infusion of digital literacy as a critical area for the development of any country.

The ES noted that the visit was to scale up the existing relationship, partnership and engagement and to explore potential areas that both organisations will have a tie towards national development.

Janaidu added that the institution is also responsible for undertaking and promoting book development, and local authorship for quality assurance, conducting educational research for public policies formulation and implementation and developing Nigerian languages and promote other languages to enhance education delivery and for public use.

The Professor also commended NITDA for its significant contributions to advancing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) across Nigeria. He praised the Agency’s efforts, which span across almost all states, and highlighted the impact these initiatives have had on driving growth and development in the ICT sector.

I-G warns against acts undermining merit-based promotion

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The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Olukayode Egbetokun has warned against acts to undermine merit-based postings and promotions in the Nigeria Police Force.

Egbetokun said this on Friday in Abuja during the decoration of 27 newly promoted senior officers.

He said the leadership of the current police administration had been committed to standardisation of promotion process in the force.

According to him, the current promotion exercise, like those preceding it under this administration, adhered strictly to the fundamental principles of seniority and merit.

“I will like to take this opportunity to sound a note of serious warning to unscrupulous officers who are attempting to undermine our merit based promotion process for personal gains.

“I urge them to seize lobbying for special promotions through influential persons and external forces.

“From now on, severe disciplinary action will be taken against any officer found guilty of soliciting for undeserved promotion through illicit means, masquerading as special promotion.

“This also applies  to officers soliciting for preferential postings,” he said.

The I-G pledged that promotion process in the Nigeria police would continue to be transparent and fair to all officers.

He said no officer, eligible for promotion would be denied their rightful advancement.

Egbetokun said the current police leadership had at inception, announced the suspension of special promotions to ensure a fair, equitable and transparent promotion process.

“While we acknowledge that exceptional circumstances can warrant special promotion, we will take appropriate and expedient action when necessary.

“We will revisit the decision at the right time and make exceptions where deserved, balancing individual merit to ensure fair and equitable process,” he said.

The I-G congratulated the senior officers being decorated and urged them to see their promotions as a call for more dedication to duty.

Police, military foil bank robbery attempt in FCT

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The Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in a combined operation with the Nigerian Military has foiled a bank robbery attempt in Abaji Area Council of the FCT.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the FCT, SP Josephine Adeh said this in a statement on Friday in  Abuja.

She said the Commissioner of Police in charge of the FCT, Mr Benneth Igweh led the operation that foiled the robbery attempt that happened on June 13.

Adeh said security forces had engaged the 15-man robbery gang in an intense gun duel after the robbers had attacked the bank with dynamite in an attempt to rob.

She said the gun duel forced the armed robbers to scamper to safety with various degrees of bullet wounds, while the security forces succeeded in apprehending three of the gang members.

The FCT police spokesperson said the suspects were arrested with various degrees of bullet injuries.

According to her, a yet-to-be-identified suspect was set ablaze by an irate mob at the scene after being neutralised by the security forces.

“A police operative and the gang leader, with bullet injuries were rushed to the hospital, but later confirmed dead by the doctor on duty, while others are still receiving treatment,” she said.

She said search operation was still ongoing to apprehend fleeing members of the gang with bullet injuries.

Adeh said the commissioner commended the effectiveness of the combined operation, and reaffirms the command’s commitment to continue to make FCT unsafe for criminals. (NAN)

Eid-el Kabir: NSCDC deploys 3,168 personnel in Kano

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Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kano State Command, has deployed 3,168 personnel to ensure hitch-free Eid-el Kabir celebrations in the state.

Its Commandant, Mr Mohammed Lawal-Falala, said in a statement issued to newsmen by the Public Relations Officer of the corps, Ibrahim Idris-Abdullahi, on Friday in Kano that the personnel would monitor sensitive places to prevent criminal activities or disorders during the celebration.

He said the personnel would work with the Nigerian Police, DSS, Federal Road Safety Corps, and KAROTA to maintain law and order, as well as free flow of traffic.

According to him, the personnel will provide maximum security at various Mosques, recreational centres, nooks and crannies throughout the festive period and after.

He urged officers and men to ensure protection of critical national assets and infrastructure, as enshrined in the Act establishing the corps.

He enjoined the public to cooperate with security agents, obey laid down laws for peaceful Eid-el Kabir celebrations in the state.

All is now set for Muslims across the world to celebrate eid el-kabir (the festival of sacrifice) on Sunday, after Hajj pilgrims stand on Mount Arafat on Saturday.(NAN)

Sallah: FRSC deploys 1080 personnel, 17 patrol vehicles in Ondo

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ondo State Command, has deployed 1,080 personnel, 17 patrol vehicles and four ambulances to ensure free flow of traffic during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration in the state.

Mr Ezekiel SonAllah, State Sector Commander, FRSC, made this known during a stakeholders’ meeting on Friday in Akure.

SonAllah, who explained that the personnel deployment comprises 596 regular marshal, 484 special marshal, said that the motive was to record zero crashes during and after the celebration.

The sector commander said that it was imperative for all stakeholders to join hands with the command to eradicate road crashes in the state.

SonAllah, while calling on leaders of driver’s union to counsel their members on the need to maintain appropriate speed limit, said that motorists must ensure that their vehicles were in good condition before embarking on any journey.

“In spite of FRSC efforts, we are still hearing crashes and it cannot continue; we need to come together as a team to fight the menace on our roads especially highways.

“So, it is compulsory for all commercial drivers to install speed limit devices on their vehicle, have standard tyres, functional wipers and vehicle lighting system must be working especially as we are in raining season,” he said.

He, therefore, vowed that the command would impound any vehicle without a valid driver’s licence.

“Please, if you don’t have valid driver’s licence, you don’t need to drive during this Sallah because we will impound your vehicle here in Ondo State.

“Go and renew your licence because driver’s licence is the only document that permits you to be on steering, and those who don’t have it have no business being on the wheel.

“We are going to be very aggressive about driver’s licence, and underage drivers will not be allowed in Ondo State.

“If you are 17 years, you are not suppose to be on the wheel because any person that we caught here in Ondo state, his or her vehicle will also be impounded.

He called on members of the public to inform the command of any obstruction or accident for quick intervention.

NDLEA boss says athletes can be winners without drugs 

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The Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has tasked the country’s athletes to excel and be tournament winners drugs clean.

The NDLEA Commander in Anambra, Mr Ogbonna Onyishi, said this when receiving executives of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Anambra Chapter, in his office  on Thursday in Awka.

He described drugs as any banned performance enhancing substance capable of derailing a persons ambition.

Onyisi said that athletes should subject themselves to constant training and discipline in order to excel in their chosen sports.

He advised budding athletes particularly to shun all performance enhancing substances, which could derail their ambitions of becoming world champions. 

The commander said that the agency had adopted a two-prong approach of supply reduction and demand reduction to fight the drug war in Nigeria.

He said that the NDLEA was working assiduously to bring every Nigerian to join in the fight against drug trafficking and abuse.

“It is not drugs that make you what you are, it is the training, professionalism that makes you a star.

“We will be willing to partner SWAN in sensitising the youth on the need for them to compete clean.

“Youth love and engage in sports, so we need to partner in our campaign against drugs. 

“Training and developing your skills is what makes you a star and not drugs. Doping is a crime, it can ruin one’s career,” he said.

In a short remark, Chimezie Anaso, Chairman of SWAN, Anambra Chapter expressed the readiness of the association to work with NDLEA in the campaign against drugs in sports.

Anaso called on NDLEA to promote sports as a veritable preventive and rehabilitation tool that youths could engage in.

“Drugs are largely abused by youths and sports is for the youth.

“While the NDLEA prevents drug abuse, SWAN promotes sports, so there is a symbiotic relationship that we can explore to achieve a drug free and healthy society,” he said. (NAN)

Kaduna: Troops neutralise terrorists’ kingpin, Buharin Yadi, others

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The Kaduna State Government, said troops of Sector 6, Operation Whirl Punch, have killed a terrorists’ kingpin, Buharin Yadi, along with dozens of his fighters .

The State Commissioner for  Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, made the disclosure in a statement issued on Thursday in  Kaduna.

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National growth LS

Aruwan said, “The infamous terrorist Buharin Yadi, one of the deadliest bandit leaders terrorising northern Nigeria in the last decade, has met his bitter end at the hands of security forces.

“The troops of Sector 6 Operation Whirl Punch rained down fire on the kingpin known as  Buhari Alhaji Halidu (alias Buharin Yadi) and his cohorts, abruptly terminating their ignominious spell of terror.

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“Halidu was neutralised in a fierce battle with the troops under the coordination of their Commander, General Officer Commanding 1  Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Mayirenso Saraso.

“This took place around Idasu forest at the boundaries between Giwa Local Government Area(LGA) of Kaduna State and Sabuwa LGA of Katsina State.”

He said the troops began the covert operation in response to intelligence reports on terrorists’ movement from Samunaka and Saulawa areas of Katsina State.

“On advancing to Samunaka, the troops found the settlement destroyed and cattle killed, evidence of recent criminal activity by the bandits.

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“A ferocious battle quickly followed, as approaching terrorists were pounded with artillery rounds at Hayin Almajiri, “he said.

Aruwan said that the troops then fought bravely through an ambush, to attain their objective.

He said, “Initial assessments indicated that at least 36 bandits were eliminated in the engagement.

“It was eventually verified that one of those neutralised was Buharin Yadi.”

He explained that Yadi and his brigands under his command had been unleashing terror on citizens in Kidandan/Galadimawa areas of Giwa LGA.

He named other areas that had been attacked by the fallen terrorists to include Sabon Birni/Kerawa areas of Igabi LGA, communities nearby Sabuwa LGA of Katsina State, and some parts of Niger and Zamfara.

Aruwan said Yadi was involved in large-scale cattle rustling, arms trading and drug trafficking.

“He had led his gang in the pillaging of communities and the slaughter and kidnapping of thousands of citizens in Kaduna and neighboring states.

“The merciless bandit was also known to have links with other deadly terrorist groups in the Northeast and North-West.

“The breakthrough brings to an end a manhunt by security forces for this terrorist, which stretched more than five years.

“The news of his demise spread like wildfire, triggering massive relief and widespread celebrations among locals spanning Kaduna and Katsina States, “he said.

Aruwan said Gov. Uba Sani has expressed his elation at the development, which he described as a pointer to the bravery, pro-activeness and sheer efficiency of the troops involved.

He quoted the Governor as commending Saraso for his sterling leadership and lauded the troops for the comprehensive victory.

Sani reassured the security forces in the state of his unflinching support and the continued collaborative stance of the government

“Members of the public are hereby informed that some of the terrorists sustained gunshot injuries during the encounter.

” Citizens in the general area and beyond are therefore enjoined not to render assistance (medical or otherwise) to individuals carrying  suspicious injuries, but to immediately report such to security agencies, “Aruwan said.

He said the Kaduna State Security Operations Room was available 24-hour a day to receive reports of this nature on the phone lines: 09034000060 and 08170189999.

While the Commissioner said that special operations against bandits was continuing in the general area, he urged the citizens to continue to volunteer supportive information to the security forces and the government.(NAN)

Tinubu appoints Tanimu Yakubu as DG Budget Office

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Tanimu Yakubu as the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Ben Akabueze.

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) disclosed this in a statement Thursday.

Mr. Yakubu is an accomplished economist and was Chief Economic Adviser to former President Umaru Yar’Adua, from 2007 to 2010; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria from 2003 to 2007, and Commissioner of Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning in Katsina State from 1999 to 2003.

The new Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Wagner College, Staten Island, New York, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the same institution.

President Tinubu thanked the outgoing Director-General, Mr. Akabueze, for his services and wished him success in his future endeavours, Ngelale said.

The President expects the new Director-General of this pivotal agency to further enhance the provision of efficient and qualitative budget functions, with a view to promoting fiscal sustainability, transparency, and accountability in public finance management for national development.

Nigeria to get fresh $2.5bn World Bank loan

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The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu has disclosed that the 2024 Supplementary Budget, which is still being prepared, would be spent on four identified transformational projects: Lagos – Calabar Coastal Road; the  proposed Sokoto – Badagri Road; the completion of all ongoing railway projects, which the Federal Government had yet to provide counterpart funding for.

According to him, the Supplementary Appropriation Bill will be partly funded with the balance of N50bn Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), which has been renamed Renewed Hope Infrastructure Fund currently domiciled in the National Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority (NSWIA) and $2.5bn World Bank loan.

The minister stated this when he appeared before the joint Senate a d House Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs to brief the members on the performance of the 2024 budget.

He further disclosed that the World Bank management would meet soon to take a decision on the loan approval.

It will be recalled that President Bola Tinubu had penultimate week, told the joint session of the federal parliament that he would soon send the proposed money bill to the federal lawmakers for approval.

Atiku Bagudu also said the proposed money Bill would fund the rehabilitation and expansion of dams and irrigation schemes in order to support increased production within the economy.

Apart from this, he said the supplementary budget would  provide more money to support CNG, LNG projects to provide for more energy competitiveness.

He said a study done by the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation showed that CNG vehicles are cheaper to maintain than petrol-powered ones.

The Minister added the trans-Sahara highway which the current administration inherited would also be funded with the supplementary budget.

He said, “the supplementary budget was announced or rather was mentioned when Mr. President presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council.

“In  the memo, he said that he inherited the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, which was domiciled in the National Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority.

“He has also identified transformational projects, including Lagos – Calabar, Coastal Road; proposed Sokoto-Badagri Road; completion of all ongoing railway projects, which we have  not provided counterpart funding.

“We also plan to fund the rehabilitation and expansion of dams and irrigation schemes in order to support increased production within the economy. Last but not the least, more money to support CNG, LNG.”

“The  three roads, dams and irrigation and railways, are what  Mr. President designated as the renewed hope infrastructure priority items. 

“So that’s what he directed that the ministry prepare for appropriation supplementary appropriation Bill.

“We have not finished work on the bill,  we have not submitted the supplementary appropriation draft to the Federal Executive Council yet. 

“So many people have approached the ministry and indeed leadership of the National Assembly as well as many members asking about the renewed hope supplementary appropriation”.

The Minister also said the current agitation by the organised labour on minimum wage might also be considered in the proposed legislation.

He said, “we are not clear how much revenue we have, given the challenges of the moment.

“Yes, we have done some scenarios given the exchange rate fluctuation and the impact of the budget and even scenarios given the current minimum wage negotiation that is ongoing.

“This is because even at N60,000, even at N62,000, that immediately doubles the minimum wage. 

“So it was the forecast that even at the lowest level, it will increase inflation rate and that might affect interest rates which will affect in turn, economic activity, debt services among others.

On the 2024 Budget performance, the Minister explained why some MDAs had not started projects.

He also said the Federal Government has mandated the Finance Ministry to take over payment of some major contractors.

He said, “unlike the usual practice where every quarter the ministry of finance sent money to MDAs depending on what the envelope size is; that has been discarded and replaced by the bottom up cash. 

“Under our procurement laws, ministries and  MDAs are supposed to commence procurement as soon as the budget is passed into law. 

“So, most MDAs are in that process now. The first quarter capital releases is not high because most MDAs have not yet awarded the contracts and consequently they have not put any request for cash. 

“We believe that it will pick up in this second quarter and subsequent quarters. So, the budget performance will be difficult as procurement processes are completed by MDAs.

“Equally, as part of an effort for better treasury management, the federal Ministry of Finance has now decided that, for some category of contracts, they will be doing the payments. 

“So again, that is intended to ensure that financial resources are pooled in one place, rather than sent to various MDAs awaiting processes. So those are the broad brief on the 2024 budget”.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Yahaha Abdullahi suggested the amendment to the 2024 Budget instead of a fresh appropriation because of the huge cost of processing it.

He, however said the executive arm of government is at liberty to determine how it wants to get its appropriation bill approved by the parliament.

Governor Adeleke Strengthens Grassroot Economy, Disburses N700m to Local Cooperative Societies 

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In his drive to boost local economy and alleviate hardship among the citizenry, Governor Ademola Adeleke today disburses cash backed cheques running into several millions of Naira to cooperatives societies at Ife and Obokun/Oriade federal constituencies.

Addressing a mammoth crowd of cooperative members at Ile Ife City Hall and Ijebujesa town hall, Governor Adeleke said the funds being disbursed to the local cooperatives are designed to support grassroot businesses and ensure financial inclusion for the vulnerable segments of the society.

The disbursement which came as the state government announced the commencement of distribution of federal and state rice to reach every segment of the society, drew wild applause from members of the cooperative movements in both federal constituencies.

While the Commissioner for Cooperatives and Empowerment , Bayo Ogungbangbe said this is the first time cooperative movement will be so supported , Governor Adeleke disclosed that the Federation of Osun State Cooperatives and the 332 Ward based Cooperatives are beneficiaries of the disbursement.

The Ooni of Ife, imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaaja the Second applauded the initiative describing it as “a strong way to reach the grassroot of small businesses.

According to the royal father, the cooperative approach will boost the local economy and provide much needed funds for the small business operators to thrive and survive.

Addressing beneficiaries at Ile Ife and Ijebujesa, Governor Adeleke said “we are here in pursuance of financial inclusion for artisans and local businesses” adding that “our administration is determined to financially empower our grassroot traders” as “the Cooperative platform provides the best path to achieving our agenda on financial inclusion.

“You would all recall that the first Osun State Cooperative Summit was held in January,2024. Part of the fall out of the summit was our government’s declaration that a sum of One Billion Naira would be released to the cooperative sector. My government is implementing that decision as can be attested to by stakeholders.

“The cooperative sector in the state comprises the Federation of Osun State Cooperative Limited ( FOSCOOP) and the newly established Ward Based Cooperative societies. In effect, there are now a minimum of about 332 Ward based cooperative societies in Osun State all of which have received about One Million Naira each. 

“To date, the amount of loans released to the Federation of Osun State Cooperative Limited (FOSCOOP) is about Seven Hundred Million Naira (N700.000,000) . The loan disbursement is being handled in batches.

“Our government had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federation of Osun State Cooperative Limited. The MOU provides a strong framework for the sustainability of the loan scheme. We reaffirm our resolve to complete the loan disbursement and even expand the coverage in the near future.

“Aside from the push for financial inclusion through the cooperative movement, our government is also deepening training of cooperative professionals. The more we produce trained professionals, the more the capacity of our cooperative societies to survive and thrive. 

“We have released funds for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Odeomu Cooperative College. Work is presently ongoing. I hereby further direct the Ministry of Cooperative and Empowerment to ensure proper linkage between the College and the state universities. This will deepen the capacity of the College through academic exchanges in relevant fields.

“We are here to directly present cash backed cheques to beneficiaries across the wards. I urge those targeted for this phase of the loan disbursement to invest it judiciously in their businesses. I advise that you start somewhere or add the fund to your existing businesses. 

“Our government will be following up. We promise to reward beneficiaries who grow their businesses from this exercise. We will not relent in our support to grow the local economy through financial inclusion”, Mr Governor posited..

Senate passes 2024 FCT supplementary appropriation bill  of N98.5bn

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The Senate on Tuesday at plenary  passed the 2024 FCT Supplementary  Appropriation Bill  of N98.5 billion.

This, followed  presentation and adoption of  report of Committee on FCT by the Vice Chairman, Senator Osita Ngwu (Enugu West).

Ngwu, in his presentation said, in line  with  provision of 1999 Nigeria Constitution  (as amended), the 2024 FCT statutory supplementary  appropriation bill was read the first time on May 15.

He said following  conclusion of the second reading on June 6, the bill was referred to the Committee on FCT for further legislative action.

Ngwu said in accordance with sections  62, 80, 88, 89 and 299 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), the committee meet with FCT minister and other relevant officials of FCT administration and deliberated on modalities to process  the budget. 

Ngwu said the FCT administration proposed the sum of  N98.5billilon for the 2024 FCT statutory  supplementary appropriation.

According to him, the proposed sum was to augment priority areas of the FCT statutory appropriation capital expenditure.

He said the committee recommended  for  approval the sum of N98.5 billion for 2024  FCT statutory  supplementary appropriation.

Ngwu said in considering  the budget,  the committee worked harmoniously  with  House  of Representatives to present one version of the appropriation bill for consideration of  Senate.

“On behalf of the committee, I hereby  present the recommendations for consideration and passage of the FCT statutory supplementary appropriation bill into law,”Ngwu said.

Highlights of the  appropriation bill include allocation of N48.5billion for  local engineering services, Education Secretariat, N18 billion, Department of Transportation N16 billion, while public building was earmarked N16 billion.

The Senate went into the Committee of Supply to consider the bill after which the President Godswill Akpabio the question for the passage of the bill and it was overwhelmingly supported.

Atiku: Failure of opposition, major threat to Nigeria’s democracy

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has slammed opposition parties for their failure to galvanize a coalition to challenge a ruling party.

Atiku said this in a statement to mark the June 12, 2024 democracy day.Though the former Vice president hailed patriots and the people of Nigeria , he expressed his disappointment at the state of the nation and the opposition.

According to Atiku, “the opposition political parties are even more guilty than the ruling party for the seeming lack of capacity to come together and galvanize a coalition that will retire the ruling party and articulate a plan of good governance that will earn the conviction of Nigerians.

“Today, the failings of the opposition parties to uphold the functionality of their existence is the major threat to our democracy. The earlier they realise that the fortunes of Nigeria lies in their forging a coalition, the better it will be for our country and the people.

Earlier, Atiku said, “The secondary purpose of declaring every June 12 as Democracy Day in our country is to commemorate the history of our long journey of becoming a stable democratic country. Truth be told, there’s no substitute to democracy as a form of government.

“Whereas our current democratic dispensation is a quarter of a century old, it will not be out of place to pay tributes to the sacrifices made by many patriots, chiefly among them Basorun MKO Abiola and his beloved wife, Alhaja (Mrs) Kudirat Abiola, Tafida Shehu Yar’Adua and Alfred Rewane, among many others.

“The historical timeline of the struggle that birthed this democracy is abundant with a series of coalitions and alliances amongst the political leaderships of that era to flush away the vestiges of military and dictatorial governance in order to return power to the people.

“It is commendable that for 25 years, we have witnessed an uninterrupted season of electoral politics. It is an unprecedented epoch in our history.

“It is worthy of celebration and commendation must go to the people of our great country. I must also congratulate the political class for having embraced the rectitude of nurturing a democracy, as well as the civil society. It is important that all stakeholders continue to do their bit to ensure the sustainability of our democracy.

Atiku noted: “But our democracy is not yet virile if it continually fails to deliver the promises of prosperity and liberty to the people.

“However, the past nine years has thrown up a regime of extreme hardship manifested in excruciating poverty and unprecedented levels of violence and insecurity upon our people. Sadly, the ruling All Progressives Congress is to blame for bringing forth this dawn of gloom.”

An Inquest into The Incredible Dreams of Garba Dakaskus by Umar Abubakar Sidi

By Paul Laim

Garba Dakaskus is in the custody of a famous mystical book, “A Guide to the Secrets of the Alphabet,” sought after by the most powerful forces in the world. An assassin hired by a prominent Abu Dhabi literary agency is out to get him and the book. Garba Dakaskus flees to an asylum in Kware, a small village in Sokoto, northern Nigeria, after learning of this conspiracy against him. As Garba Dakaskus and the mysterious book continue to be sought after, he starts to go on about the legend and mystery surrounding the book and why it is a valuable document that strong forces are pursuing.

The book, A Guide to the Secrets of the Alphabet, is purported to have been written by an eleventh-century scholar and mystic, Al-Juzjani, which contains the secret of “letters”, and in particular, the “first letter”. Thus, to possess the mystery book is to possess the key to a rare knowledge and secret of the universe. However, unknown to its seekers, the magical book does not exist, Garba Dakaskus, is in fact, the mystery book. This hidden truth underlies the narrative spine of The Incredible Dreams of Garba Dakaskus. The passage below foregrounds the crux of the narrative;

As you will soon come to know, the secret I am about to reveal to you is of utmost importance. As a matter of fact, the survival of a large chunk of human knowledge is tied to it. And the trust between us has no question as it has been decided based on a combination of complex astrological calculations. Wait! By a similar palm of fate, an imbecile who works in the row of death is headed to my location, which I will not disclose even to you. Yes. This is exactly the reason why I have memorized the manual, Weapon Training for a Modern Fighter, its four marksmanship principles, and I have a.22 Berett a pistol by my side. Wait, give me a second. My pager indicates the status of my evil guest, the man hired to take me out. He will soon arrive in Sokoto on the Lear jet belonging to the cement billionaire, Ali Tanko. As you can see, time is not on our side.

Through a series of contemplative and allegorical allusions, the narrator (Garba Dakaskus) employs a discursive narrative technique in proffering a pseudo-intellectual analysis of the concept of knowledge and learning by evaluating various postulations on philosophy, history, art, music, magic, literature, and language. These contemplations are inchoate and attempt to unravel the core of true knowledge and prestige of the book, learning, and intellection. The narrator presupposes that the genuine production of knowledge is the fulcrum of human enlightenment and civilization. The discourses are situated within the annals of the evolution of Arab-Persian cultural and religious trajectories with a tinge of the transcendental influence of Islamic ethos through the Uthman Dan Fodio Jihad in northern Nigeria.

The Incredible Dreams of Garba Dakaskus is a complex narration with enormous potential to trigger the consciousness of readers and rekindle the dwindling interest in experimental metaphysical narratives laced with magical realism and mysticism. It is refreshing in its complex deployment of discursive narrative and intertextual techniques not common to modern African fiction. By engaging complex epistemological themes, the author furthers the discourse on the concept of the novel as a form of literary theorization in the production of pristine knowledge. It can be likened to the enigmatic Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, Ruwan Bagaja by Abubakar Imam, and The Palm Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola, in its depth of artistry, employment of magical realism, robust language, and philosophical pontification on the concept of knowledge in all its ramifications.

The sturdy language of the narration and its tense and unstructured metaphors make it a hard read for less intellectually inclined readers as it requires a great deal of wit and patience to assimilate. Thus, it will appeal more to critical readers than non-critical readers. Although using the word, ‘Incredible’ in the title is a little disingenuous, it is nonetheless a remarkable representation of what true work of literary imagination embodies; brevity, creativity, language, and originality. It is a refreshing departure from the socio-anthropological narratives that permeate the African fiction landscape. Perhaps in another inquiry, this writer might delve a little more into the technicalities and inconsistencies of the novel.

Paul Liam is a poet and critic based in Abuja.   

Matawalle’s Excellent Scorecard at Nigerian Defense Ministry

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By Bashir Aliyu 

When President Bola Tinubu clocked a year in office, there are a lot of observations in regard to how the president has managed to confront the dynamic insecurity challenges in Nigeria, and given the ever evolving phase of Nigeria’s battle against terrorists and organized criminals, Nigeria has largely recovered from the brink, tilting the scale of the war to its favour.

As a former governor Zamfara State whose state had been besieged by marauding terrorists for years, mass kidnapping of school children, mass murder and destruction of remote villages were some of the most significant challenges that the Nigerian government had to grapple with for years.

No Ransom Policy 

Since he was made a minister of state for defense, Dr. Bello Matawalle, made it a priority to starve the terrorists of cash in order to inevitably make them understand that Nigeria will no longer be able to play a mind game with Nigeria. Ransom payment may provide temporary respite for the victims, but the reality of the matter is, it breeds more trouble for the country as more and more potential terrorists would be made to think the business of kidnapping pays off as evidenced by many tragic stories of civilians colluding with terrorists to kidnap people in return for a cut from the jackpot.

The ransom, as many security experts cautioned, only enabled the terrorists to rearm and return to wreak havoc on the defenseless villages, heaping more pressure on the government to do more and tackle terrorism. 

Matawalle was one of the few individuals to conclude that paying ransom has never made Nigeria safer. It has instead only emboldened the terrorists militarily and economically. It is against this backdrop that the federal government outlawed the practice, and instead created a Counter-terrorism Center to coordinate rapid action against kidnapping and terrorist hideouts that are scattered across the northwestern part of Nigeria. 

It is not worthy that the Nigerian army has successfully driven terrorists out of Northeast, and intermittent attacks which meant to sow panic among Nigeria, the terrorists/Boko Haram and ISWAP have degraded so much that they no longer have the manpower and logistic capacity to occupy in any part of the region. 

This is a huge success achieved by our gallant troops, and they deserve the supports of all patriotic Nigerians particularly the residents of Borno and Yobe. 

Military Industrial Complex 

Nigeria’s policy-makers have for long concluded that Nigeria posseses the industrial capacity to produce some of the weapons suitable for Nigerian terrains. 

T stem the tide of ammunition shortage and delay in purchasing weapons from superpowers who are busy supplying weapons to Ukraine, Dr. Bello Matawalle on 13th November, 2023 indicated Nigeria’s readiness to engage in domestic arm production to meet the need of its armed forced and obviate the need for diplomatic blackmail. 

Months later, our military industrial complex under the supervision of Defense Industry Cooperation of Nigeria  (DICN) is back to life, producing ammunition and Armed Personnel Carrier (APC), protective gears and many other critical weapons that are key to Nigerian military strength. 

Moreover, Nigeria’s military industrial complex will not only help provide thousands of jobs to Nigeria, but also enable Nigeria to support our partners by providing them with military support and training. Given our population, self-sufficiency is a key to Nigeria’s strategic autonomy and sovereignty. It is a long overdue for Nigeria, and this achievement is sure to boost the morale of our armed forces in no small measure.

The essence of Counter-terrorism Center under the office of National Security Advisor, Malam Nuhu Ribadu is to use the massive data Nigeria possesses, thanks to the massive data the country amassed during its decades-long war against insurgency and criminalities, to make it possible for Nigeria to rapidly track suspected terrorists and neutralize them while making sure civilians are not harmed.

It is noteworthy that Nigeria under President Bola Ahmad Tinubu is on the cusp of transition to a new phase of non-kinetic approach to counter-terrorism. Technically, the intermittent attacks being launched by the terrorists only intended to spread panic among Nigeria, and make look like the terrorists are gaining ground which is no longer the case.

The truth is Nigeria still has an upper hand as our army has decimated the terrorists so much that they can no longer engage our gallant troops in any serious combat. This is why they have resorted to targeting civilians.

But under the current leadership of Muhammad Badaru Abubakar and Bello Matawalle, Nigeria will sooner or later declare victory against insurgency and organized criminals.

Bandits kill 6 security operatives, 20 others in Katsina – Police

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The Police Command in Katsina State has confirmed the killing of no fewer than 20 people, four police officers and two operatives of the state-owned Community Watch Corps by some suspected bandits.

ASP Abubakar Sadiq-Aliyu, the command’s Public Relations Officer, disclosed this in a statement in Katsina on Monday.

According to him, the attack occurred on Sunday, at Gidan Tofa and Dan Nakwabo villages, all in Kankara Local Government Area of the state.

He said, “Yesterday, June 9, 2024, bandits in their numbers, armed with dangerous weapons, attacked the villages, shot and killed 20 people, injured two, and ambushed our Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) patrol team.

“The team was responding to the distress call, killing four police officers and two members of the Katsina State Community Watch Corps (KSCWC).

“The fact of the case is that on the same date, a distress call was received at the Kankara Divisional Headquarters.

”That bandits in their numbers, riding on motorcycles, armed with dangerous weapons, shooting sporadically, attacked Gidan Baki village, Kankara LGA, killing unsuspecting villagers.

“Immediately, the nearest APC patrol team was dispatched to the scene. While en route to the village, the team discovered that the attack was actually on Gidan Boka village via Yar Goje village, all in Kankara.

“The team quickly redirected towards the scene. Upon reaching Kurmeji village via Yar goje, the team fell into an ambush, where a firefight ensued between the team and the bandits,”  Sadiq-Aliyu  said.

According to him, upon receipt of the information on the attack of the responding team, swiftly the DPO mobilised and led a team of operatives to the scene and restored normalcy.

He explained that during preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the bandits attacked Gidan Boka village, killing 15 people and injuring two others.

“They also ambushed our patrol team and killed four police officers, three Inspectors and one Corporal and two members of the Katsina State Community Watch Corps (KSCWC).

“Also, the bandits, while escaping through Dan Nakwabo village, shot and killed five persons. Further developments will be communicated as the investigation proceeds,” according to Sadiq-Aliyu.

He revealed that the command has deployed additional operational assets to the area to work with all the relevant stakeholders towards preventing the recurrence of the attacks and ensuring the arrest of the perpetrators.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, while expressing his utter dismay over the tragic incident, extended his condolences to the families and friends of those affected by the incident,”  Sadiq-Aliyu  said. 

Nnamdi Kanu files contempt charge against DSS DG, Bichi

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The leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has filed contempt charge against the Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, over his alleged refusal to obey court orders.

Kanu, through his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, on Monday filed Form 49 titled: “Notice to Show Cause Why An Order Of Committal Should Not Be Made,” at the Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja.

The application, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015, is dated and filed on June 10.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the Federal Republic of Nigeria is listed as complainant/1st respondent, Yusuf Magaji Bichi is listed as 2nd respondent/contemnor.

The IPOB leader alleged that despite being served with the orders of the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako of a FHC in Abuja, made on May 20, Bichi had refused to comply with the said orders.

NAN reports that Justice Nyako had, on May 20, declined to grant an application filed by Kanu to set aside his 2017 bail revocation following the allegation that he jumped bail.

The judge also refused to transfer him to Kuje Correctional Centre or place him under house arrest as requested.

However, Justice Nyako reviewed conditions for visiting the IPOB leader at the DSS facility by his lawyers.

In a ruling, she varied the visitation days from two to three days in a week.

The judge ordered that Kanu should be given a safe and “clean” room to prepare for his defence with his team of counsel not exceeding five in number, instead of three lawyers that was formerly directed.

She equally ordered that Kanu and his lawyers should be allowed such a facility that is required for the preparation of his defence and be allowed to take notes.

However, in the application, Kanu alleged that the DSS DG had failed to abide by the orders.

It reads: in part: “Take Notice that the Defendant will on the ____day of _______, 2024, at the hour of 9 o’clock in the forenoon apply to this court for an order for your committal to prison for having disobeyed the order of this court made on the 20th day of May 2024, which stated in pertinent part as follows:

“You have not complied with the 3 (three) days per week visitation to the Applicant as was ordered by the court.

“You have not provided a safe and ‘clean’ room to the Applicant at the present facility to prepare for his defense with his team of counsel.

“You have not allowed such facility that is required for the preparation of the Applicant’s defence, which facility you have disallowed on every visitation since the said order was entered, as set out below:

“Interdiction, seizure, perusal and photocopying of legal documents relating to the trial preparation of the Applicant.

“By not retracing your steps after you were, on the 31st day of May 2024, served with a Form 48; Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Court.

“AND TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that you are hereby required to attend the court on the first-mentioned day to show cause why an Order for your Committal should not be made.”(NAN)

FG declares June 12 public holiday to mark democracy day

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The Federal Government has declared Wednesday, June 12, a public holiday to commemorate 2024 Democracy Day celebration.

This is contained in a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Aishetu Ndayako, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ndayako stated that the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated Nigerians on the occasion.

He said that as the nation mark yet another democracy day in its history, Nigerians should all reflect on the efforts of our founding fathers and ensure that Nigeria remained a united country.

Tunji-Ojo added that Nigeria should be more secured, peaceful and indivisible entity for the benefit of all.

He urged Nigerians to remain steadfast on the tenets of democratic governance.

The minister said that President Bola Tinubu was committed to positive reforms to revive the nation’s economy and enhance security.

Tunji-Ojo called on Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to appreciate the progress that had been made and look forward to a better future for Nigeria’s Democracy.

He wished Nigerians a happy democracy day celebration.

NAN reports that in June 7, 2018, former President Muhammadu Buhari on directed that the nation’s Democracy Day will, henceforth, hold on June 12 of every year as against the current arrangement where the ceremony holds on May 29.

Buhari also honored the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, with the highest national honour, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.

Buhari said further that, June 12, 1993, election was the freest, fairest and most peaceful election since Nigeria’s Independence.

“June 12, 1993, was the day millions of Nigerians expressed their Democratic will in the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our Independence. That the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military Government does not detract from its democratic credentials,” he said.

President Buhari also conferred a national honour on Baba Gana Kingibe and recognised late Gani Fawehinmi for his role in the actualisation of the June 12 elections.

The Abiola died in detention while struggling to actualise his mandate as contained in the annulled election.(NAN)

Your bank deposits are safe, CBN reassures Nigerians

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again reassured the banking public of the safety of their deposits and the banking system’s resilience.

The apex bank’s Acting Director of  Corporate Communications Department, Mrs Hakama Sidi-Ali, gave the assurance in a statement on  Monday in Abuja.

Sidi-Ali’s statement was a response to concern in some quarters about the stability of some Nigerian banks in the wake of Heritage Bank Plc’s license revocation,

She faulted claims that the CBN was considering revoking the operating licences of Fidelity, Polaris, Wema, and Unity Banks.

She also clarified that a circular issued by the Bank on January 10, 2024, notifying the public about the dissolution of the Boards of Union, Keystone, and Polaris Banks, was currently being circulated as though it was freshly issued.

According to the director, Heritage Bank’s case was isolated

“Allegations of further revocation of licences prior to the completion of CBN’s recapitalisation exercise are mere fabrications aimed at creating panic within the system,” she said.

She said that bank customers, particularly those of Heritage Bank, needed not worry about the safety of their deposits, adding that the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) had commenced payment to the bank’s insured depositors.

She urged members of the public to continue their regular banking activities without fear, dismissing any false reports regarding the health of specific Deposit Money Banks.

“The CBN, with its robust regulatory framework, is proactively ensuring the stability of Nigeria’s financial system, thereby guaranteeing the safety of depositors’ funds in all Nigerian financial institutions,” she said.

Sidi-Ali reiterated the assurances of the CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, that the recapitalisation of banks in Nigeria was intended to bolster the banking system and safeguard the sector against risks.

She urged all stakeholders to cooperate in ensuring the success of the process, which she said would be for the overall growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Without prejudice to the ongoing recapitalisation process, I want to restate that the Nigerian banking industry remains resilient. Key financial soundness indicators remain within current regulatory thresholds.

“Customers are, therefore, encouraged to proceed with their transactions as usual, as the CBN is committed to ensuring the safety of the banking system,” she said.(NAN)

Dangote Refinery: Bode George advocates shareholding for host communities

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Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has advised President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to ensure members of the refinery’s  host communities  benefit as shareholders.

George ,in a statement on Monday in Lagos, urged Dangote to learn from the mistakes made by companies in the Niger Delta and not allow same to happen in the Ibeju-Lekki/Epe axis of Lagos State, which hosts his refinery and petrochemical projects.

According to him, making communities  part owners will reflect inclusivity.

George, while congratulating Dangote for his investment in Lekki/Epe through his various projects in the axis , described Dangote as a businessman and patriot.

He said that Dangote had through his achievements and businesses  projected  Nigeria’s image globally.

“I want to congratulate Alhaji Aliko Dangote. All Nigerians should be proud of him. But, let me advise him: What happened in the oil-rich Niger Delta should be avoided in Lagos.

“I was told he is helping the indigenes of that axis by giving scholarships. This is commendable.

“He needs to go further by ensuring that host communities housing the massive refinery project benefit as shareholders, which would reflect their inclusivity as part owners.

“The project is so massive and is eternal that the indigenes of the communities deserve more than employments and trainings,” George said.

According to him, it is through equity holding in the company that the people can truly have a sense of inclusiveness.

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He said by this, the people would know that their inheritance had not been taken away from them for nothing.

He said: “Being a life -time business, pollution may soon start and the communities stand to lose from the degradation which the operations of the refinery would impact on the people of the communities in years ahead as the company continues in business.

“This may result in the pollution of their water which will, in turn, affect their fishing activities.

“The part ownership in the refinery is the only way to assuage the pains of indigenes of the host communities for the loss of their inheritances,” he said.

George said that scholarships, training and other empowerment initiatives were good move.

The PDP elder,however,said that  host communities  should be fully involved in  the business .

He said that only part- ownership of the refinery would make a lot of sense in terms of inclusiveness.

“That project is a very massive one, and is eternal, we are talking about the effect of the environmental degradation of the company’s operations which will be felt by the communities for several years by generations of people of the communities.

“It is pertinent to accord the people of Epe and Ibeju-Lekki part ownership of the company.

“I am looking at 0.1 per cent for Epe and same for Ibeju-Lekki. It can even be higher than this ratio, depending on the magnanimity of Alhaji Dangote and his team.

“I am offering this patriotic advice because it is not only the immediate host communities within Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area that would be affected by the environmental impact of the refinery operations,” he said.

He said that the impact of the refinery would be felt by coastal communities  in Epe Local Government Area.

According to him ,several communities beyond Ibeju-Lekki will be affected due to the magnitude of the refinery operations.

“For a massive refinery worth close to $20 billion and which is expected to produce 650,000 barrels of petroleum daily, one can only imagine the impact of environmental degradation that would be unleashed on the host communities.

“So, this fractional percentage in terms of equity holding would be beneficial to the communities, whose commercial activities would be affected by the operations of the refinery,” George said.

Mutfwang inaugurates chairman, members of PLASIEC

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Gov. Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau, on Monday inaugurated Mr Plangji Chishak, as Chairman and six other members of the State Independent Election Commission (PLASIEC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor had on June 4, forwarded the names of the appointees  to the state House of Assembly for confirmation.

Speaking at the event in Jos, Mutfwang said that the appointees were carefully selected based on their track records and experience in public service.

”This is very important and significant because today marks a new dawn in the annals of PLASIEC.

”The last two local government elections in the state were the most shameful, disgraceful and one that gave us a bad name.

”This is why we carefully selected this calibre of persons, particularly the chairman, who has been in the business of conducting election for years,”he said.

The governor, who charged the appointees to uphold the tenets of democracy through free and fair elections, said his administration would not interfere in its activities.

”I am a firm believer in the efficacy and effectiveness of the local government administration and so, we will allow the people to elect those who they want to lead them.

”This is why since we came on board, we have not misused local government funds, because we believe in having a credible leadership at the local levels.

”I want to assure Plateau people that we will raise the bar of credible and reputable local government elections; we will ensure that true democracy takes place at the local levels.

”You are coming at a time when the commission has trust deficit, I therefore, charge you to conduct local government elections in concomitance with global best practice,” he said.

Earlier, the chairman thanked the governor for finding them worthy of the appointments and promised to rebuild the confidence of Plateau residents on the commission.

”We receive these appointments with every sense of responsibility and humility.

”I want to assure you that by the special grace of God we will ensure credible elections in the local governments,” he said.

Chishak also promised that the commission would be open, fair and transparent in all its dealings.

NAN reports that members of the commission include, Theresa Kaze, Deborah Akanle, Waziri Kwande, and Ado Adare.

Others members are Audu Dorzhi, Dr Longman Pensiwan and Pam Davou, the Secretary of the commission.(NAN) 

Committee urges NLC to consider realistic, sustainable minimum wage

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The Committee of Youths on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS), has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), to align its minimum wage demand with governments’ ability to pay sustainably.

Its Director-General, Mr Obinna Nwaka, made the call during a thanksgiving service to mark the end of the 2024 Youths’ Week at the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Nyanya, Abuja on Sunday.

The theme of the thanksgiving service was, “Promotion of Peaceful Coexistence and Religious Co-creation in our Nation”.

Nwaka said that considering the current economic challenges in the country, “the federal and state governments may struggle to pay, if the amount is unrealistic.”

According to him, the N250,000 demand as minimum wage by the NLC for workers is not sustainable, considering the country’s current financial situation.

He pointed out that Nigeria is still recovering from the economic difficulties of the past administration and warned against making promises that could destabilise the nation.

He also argued that a substantial salary increase would be insufficient if critical infrastructure and public services remain inadequate.

He advised labour to also pay attention to addressing broader systemic issues rather than focusing solely on wage increase.

“We are in the same shoes. There are other areas; labour for example can advocate for good governance; it’s not just all about minimum wage,” he added.

He called on the NLC to channel their efforts towards advocating for improved healthcare and education services, including the provisions of critical infrastructure.

This, he believes, could have a more significant impact on the quality of life of the Nigerian workers.

“Even if they are paying you 500,000 Naira as a salary, it will not be enough, if a healthcare facility is not there; if infrastructure is not there; and if we cannot even send our children to a public school.

“The NLC should focus on motivating the government to invest in these essential sectors,” he said.

Earlier, the minister in charge, Rev. Samuel Labuja, said that the conversations, throughout the youths’ week, reflected the nation’s quest for unity and development.

Labuja advised the youths to maximise their potential and invest in self-reliance ventures, as against depending on white-collar jobs.

“The youths should understand that we can’t live together without peace, and the best we can do to make the nation move forward is to live in peace.

“Youths should learn not to depend on salary alone. They should make use of their God-given talent to earn more resources.

“Whatever you are doing, do it well to the glory of God to earn a living,” he said.

On his part, the Church’s Youths President, Mr Bobby Odia, described the week-long youths’ conference as impactful.

Odia particularly said that the youths, as leaders of tomorrow, have understood the need to contribute their resources towards the development of the country.

“We just celebrated the 2024 Youths’ Week with the theme, “Stand Firm and Take Charge”, and for us to be the future of tomorrow, we have to utilise our energy for the good of our nation,” he said. (NAN) 

Judgment enforcement: ECOWAS court dismisses Dasuki’s suit against FG

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The ECOWAS Court has dismissed an application filed by former National Security Adviser, retired Col. Sambo Dasuk., praying the court to compel Nigeria to enforce its judgment delivered in his favour on Oct.  4, 2016.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court had in the judgment declared Dasuki’s arrest and detention by the Nigerian government unlawful and a violation of his rights.

Justice Sengu Koroma, the Judge Rapporteur, while delivering judgment in Abuja on Dasuki’s application for enforcement, dismissed it on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain or enforce the earlier judgment.

Koroma said the court was guided by laid down procedures regarding the enforcement of its judgments as enshrined in the Community Law, and the proper party to institute an enforcement failure claim.

“Having thoroughly assessed the claims and constitutive texts of the Court, it lacks the competence to adjudicate the present claim,” the court said.

NAN reports that in the suit marked: ECW/CCJ/JUD/23/16, Justice Friday Nwoke had declared the government’s action against Dasuki as “arbitrary, unlawful, a mockery of democracy and the rule of law, and a violation of local and international rights to liberty.”

The court had further held that the government’s action violated Dasuki’s rights under the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

It, therefore, ordered the release of all the seized properties of the applicant, as well as the payment of N15, 000,000 damages to him.

Following the federal government’s failure to comply with and enforce the said judgment, the applicant, therefore, filed the application before the court for its enforcement.

Earlier at the hearing of the matter, the federal government denied the applicant’s allegations, stressing that the properties being claimed by Dasuki were subjects of ongoing criminal proceedings, which he did not disclose in the suit.

The respondent’s counsel had argued that the government had already fulfilled its obligations, adding that the court’s Chief Registrar had issued a Writ of Execution, making the relief prayed for by the applicant unnecessary.

The panel, which comprised Justice Edward Asante (presiding), Justice Sengu Koroma (Judge Rapporteur), and Justice Ricardo Claúdio Gonçalves (member), awarded no costs to parties in the suit.

35 Reps seek rotational presidency, single tenure of 6 years, others

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35 members of the House of Representatives have proposed a Bill for an Act demanding the constitutional alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones.

This according to them is to ensure equal representation and reduce the desperation and tempo of agitation for the creation of states.

The lawmakers led by Rep. Ikenga Ugochinyere (PDP-Imo), made the call while addressing a news conference at the National Assembly in Abuja on Monday.

He said that the lawmakers were also seeking the amendment of Section III of the constitution to provide for the recognition of the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones.

He added that they were also seeking the provision of a single tenure of six years for the President and Governors in the country.

“The bill is also seeking reduction in government spending and wastage, efficiency in governance, and national stability by providing a single term of six years for the President and Governors.

According to them, we want the creation of the office of two vice presidents from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria.

” The 1st vice shall be a succession Vice president, while the 2nd Vice president shall be a Minister in charge of the Economy, and both shall be Ministers.

He added that, the financial autonomy and accountability of Local Government Councils by prescribing an independent Consolidated Local Government Council Account was germane.

This, he said would be solely superintended by Local Councils and prescribing long-term imprisonment for any misuse of Local Government funds.

He said that the bill would seek to amend the relevant sections of the Electoral Act to ensure that all elections at both Federal and State levels were held on the same day among others.

The lawmaker said that the bill if become an Act, would ensure that all elections and election-related litigation were concluded within a period of six months.

This, according to his is before the swearing into office of the validly elected person for the office contested.

“Ours is a commitment to building a united, stable, and prosperous nation. Nigeria can and must become a great and modern nation.”(NAN)

Hajj: NAHCON transports 99.2% of Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi – Arabi

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), says it has so far transported 99.2 per cent of Nigerian pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj rites.

The Executive Chairman of NAHCON, Malam Jalal Arabi, made this known at a news conference on the first phase of Hajj operation, held at the Hajj House on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that all pilgrims that NAHCON, states and general stakeholders processed their visa would be transported to Kingdom Saudi Arabia 72 hours before the deadline for the closure of Kingdom air space.

“As of today, we have had 120 flights; we have carried more than 98, close to 99.2 per cent of our pilgrims.

“And by the end of today, very early morning of Monday, there will be no pilgrim left.

“Everybody will have gone to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia before the deadline normally given by the Saudi Arabia on the closure of their air space.

“In other words, 72 hours before their formal declaration on the closure of their air space.”

Arabi commended President Bola Tinubu and the Vice-President Kashim Shettima for their efforts towards the success of the ongoing hajj operation in the country.

“Of course, we must give credit to the President because he stepped in at that time that matter most.

“He (Tinubu) was an enabler, the Vice-President Shettima was round the clock, a motiveter, he stood by us too. The governors stepped in at that time when we gave up that they won’t.

“And of course, the various states executives of Pilgrims Welfare Boards too did all they could to ensure that we got to where we are today.

“But most pleasing and encouraging are the pilgrims themselves, because they persevered, they were so resilient and, in fact, that tells the story of who we are in Nigeria,” he said.

On his part, the Deputy Director, Aviation, NAHCON, Malam Goni Sanda, disclosed that the transportation of Nigerian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia back to Nigeria would begin on June 21.

Sanda said that all the air carriers have gotten approval and slots for the return journey in line with the principle of first-in-first-out.

“Based on the strategy we adopted this year, since we commenced the transportation of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, we didn’t allow the air carriers to go with the minimum capacity.

“If you recall, on day one, we started with only three flights, day two three flights and day four, five flights. We moved pilgrims to Saudi Arabia in staggered manner.

“Because, based on the record or history in the return journey, the first week of the return journey used to come with lots of requests and traffic at the Jedda International Airport,” he noted.

He, however, said that the Saudi General Authority on Civil Aviation didn’t give the approval of the adequate number of slots. (NAN)

Tinubu is rebooting education sector with creative initiatives, says group

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President Bola Tinubu is rebooting the country’s education sector with creative Initiatives that will introduce a fresh breath of air to the sector.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of the Tinubu Media Support Group (TMSG), Mr Emeka Nwankpa and Secretary, Mr Dapo Okubanjo in Abuja.

The goup said Tinubu’s initiatives in the education sector could be likened to building blocks for a progressive and modern education system.

“The education sector is one that the President Tinubu’s administration had since inception been quietly reviving for utmost efficiency in the last one year.

“Even the perennial agitation of tertiary institution’s work force have been on the decline, resulting to peace on campuses, calls for strikes are also dying down, the group said.

It attributed the development to Federal Government’s decision to remove universities and other tertiary institutions from the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) payment platform.

It noted that the IPPIS since its introduction in 2006, had been a source of acrimony between university unions and various administrations.

“But what may end up cementing Tinubu’s place in history in this sector, is the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELF) which started only a few days ago.

“But has received well over 60,000 applications from students of Federal Government institutions,” it said.

It explained that Tinubu had delayed the take off of the interest-free student loan scheme to ensure it also covered students who may be more interested in skills acquisition than university education

It said the ultimate intention of the move was to guarantee sustainable higher education and functional skill development for Nigerian students and youths.

The group added that the goal was to ensure that indigent students do not drop out of school due to financial constraints.

“As for funding, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, made its highest ever disbursement of N643.4bn to tertiary institutions since inception on President Tinubu’s watch.

“With Colleges of Education getting a minimum of N1.3bn while individual polytechnics and universities received N1.6billion and N1.9billion respectively.

“This quantum of funds improves teaching, research, and overall development of our tertiary institutions, staff beneficiaries are able to partake in conferences locally and internationally.

“It is also used to fund the writing of textbooks and also cater for payments of honorarium to supervisors in education related programmes,” the group said.

It added that the fund therefore, had a major impact on the development of tertiary institutions, staff, and students.

It noted that the Tinubu administration was also looking at addressing issues of out-of-school children and the need to boost secondary education.

The TSMG said like Tinubu, it considered the situation of out-of-school children unacceptable, noting that the president had approved system-wide policies to reduce the number of school-age children roaming the streets.

It noted that Vice-President Kashim Shettima was recently in Bauchi where he launched a multi-year Accelerated Senior Secondary Education Programme (ASSEP).

It said the programme was to pave the way for the overhaul school infrastructure and the facilitation of modernised curricula and an integrated virtual learning technology.

“The initiative is a major policy drive to bridge the gaping educational divide in the country, with the North-East region as the starting point.

“We also know that 10,000 teachers and educators have been trained in preparation for the establishment and launch of 37 smart schools, one in each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” it said.

It added that a National Education Repository and Data Bank was also in the works for the purpose of collecting, collating, and warehousing all education records from 1932 through a dedicated website.

It said there was already an approval from President Tinubu for a comprehensive national census of schools, teachers, and students in the country.

This, the TSMG said, was to address the lack of co-ordinated data critical for effective educational sector planning.

It expressed optimism that such data bank and census if in place, would go a long way to enhancing decision making and policy formulation.

This, it added was especially because data collated would aid evidence based planning and help identify areas where improvement was required.(NAN)

Troops foil kidnap attempt in Delta, rescue passengers

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 Troops of the Nigerian Army, successfully thwarted a kidnap attempt by suspected terrorist group on the  46 Km Ughelli-Patani Road in Delta on Sunday.

A post on its official X Handle on Sunday, the Nigerian army said its troops’ swift response to a distress call resulted in the rescue of passengers who had been kidnapped while traveling in a commercial bus.

It said the troops upon receiving the distress call, rapidly mobilised and confronted the terrorists, who were armed with assorted weapons.

According to the post, a fierce firefight ensued, compelling the terrorists to abandon their captives and flee the scene.

“The rescued passengers have been taken into safe custody, where they are receiving necessary care and support.

“Meanwhile, the troops are currently pursuing the fleeing terrorists,” it said. (NAN)

Gaza: Tuggar backs Biden’s ceasefire proposal, calls for de-escalation

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has called for immediate global action to de-escalate the spate of extreme violence against noncombatants in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Ambassador Tuggar also confirmed the support of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for proposals put forward by President Joe Biden for a cease-fire.

According to a statement signed by Alkasim Abdulkadir, Special Assistant to the minister on Media and Strategic Communications, Mr. Tuggar praised the US President for bringing a tentative proposal that could put an end to the hostility that has been raging for eight months.

“The Biden Ceasefire proposal should be embraced by world leaders and the totality of the international community— to intensify efforts towards a speedy resolution of the conflict, and the immediate cessation of the attendant extreme violence in Gaza and all other innocent civilians affected by the conflict.

Equally important is the continuous, sufficient and unhindered provision of lifesaving humanitarian supplies and services for civilians.”

Nigeria assures the United States of its support to bring about a complete cessation of violence and an end to the senseless loss of human lives and manmade humanitarian crises.

We are concerned that the ongoing carnage is setting a bad precedent for the international system of justice and are mindful that justice is antithetical to revenge. The Biden plan presents a clear path towards progress and the conditions required for peace.

President Joe Biden’s proposal includes a deal that will lead to a permanent ceasefire, a surge in humanitarian aid, the release of hostages, and a major reconstruction plan to rebuild homes, schools, and hospitals. Nigeria believes the Biden plan is the best way forward for all parties and can prevent any repetition of the tragic deaths on 8 June of more than 200 people at the Nuseirat refugee camp.

on June 8, Israel raided a refugee camp camp in Central Gaza, and freed four hostages from captivity. However, human rights groups have condemned the killings of dozens of civilians by Israel’s forces during the rescue missions.

Wike asks Tinubu to name two Abuja roads after Achebe, Clark

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to name two roads in Guzape Districts after Chinua Achebe and J. P. Clark.

Chinua Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and a central figure of modern African literature, while J. P. Clerk. was a Nigerian poet and playwright.

Wike made the request in Abuja on Saturday, during the inauguration of Guzape Lot II Engineering Infrastructure by Tinubu, to celebrate his one year in office

“I want to appeal to you, just like what you did last time when you approved the naming of Arterial N-20 Road after Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.

“There are a lot of Nigerians who also have in one way, or the other, made their own contributions, particularly in literary works.

“So many of them have made Nigeria proud. People like Chinua Achebe; people like J. P. Clerk.

“Your excellency, I want to appeal to you to name this road after Chinua Achebe and another road within the same district after J. P. Clerk,” he said.

The minister described Guzape as one of the biggest districts in FCT and fast developing.

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He explained that the contract was awarded in 2003 at N14 billion, during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration and divided into two lots.

He said that Lot I was awarded to Dantata and Sawoe while Lot II was awarded to Gilmor Engineering, adding that the contract was revised to over N18 billion in the third week of May 2023.

Wike said that Dantata and Sawoe had left the site for a very long time, until the Tinubu administration came on board, mobilised them back to site and work currently ongoing.  

For the completed Lot II, the minister said he had inspected the execution of the project over 15 times to ensure timely delivery of the project.

He disclosed that the project was delivered in spite of litigations by some residents to stop the contractor from blasting rocks to give way for road construction in the district.

He also said that the ongoing work at Guzape Diplomatic Zone would soon be completed.

Dr Mariya Mahoud, FCT Minister of State, commended President Tinubu for supporting the provision of infrastructure to Guzape and other districts of the FCT.

The infrastructure, according to Mahmoud, would enhance the quality of life of Abuja residents and benefit generations to come.

“The sustainable growth and development of any city relied heavily on the infrastructure,” she said.

Earlier, Mr Shehu Ahmad, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority, said that the entire Guzape District covered an area of about 1,070 hectares.

Ahmad explained that Lot I, being executed by Dantata and Sawoe covered an area of 450 hectares, while Lot II being successfully executed by Gilmor Engineering covered 620 hectares.

He explained that out of the 1,074 hectares total area, about 129 hectares have been encumbered by village settlement, of which about 66 fall within the area executed by Gilmor Engineering.

He said that the scope of work involved the provision of electrical power supply, including a 33/11 mini-injection substation to power the district one each for Lot I and Lot II.

He added that other engineering infrastructure included a mini sewage treatment plant, transformers, and street lighting poles that were erected and powered.

“The district is meant to provide services to about 1,017 plots of various usage and sizes – residential, commercial, as well as parks and recreation.

“The lot II we are inaugurating today covers 561 plots out of the 1,017 plots

“The Lot II has 31.3 kilometers network of roads, out of the 73 kilometres of roads in the entire district, while the one being executed by Dantata and Sawoe is about 30 kilomtres.

“The remaining ones were encumbered by village obstruction areas and attention is currently being given by Wike to hasten the compensation and resettlement of the village obstruction areas,” he said. (NAN)

Kano Govt employs 5,000 teachers, declares state of emergency on education

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The  Kano State Government says  it has employed 5,000 teachers into the state civil service to revitalise the education sector.

Gov. Abba Yusuf stated this while declaring a state of emergency on  education on Saturday in Kano.

He emphasised the need for quality  personnel to manage public schools in the state.

Yusuf said the initiative is  aimed at providing the required manpower for  public schools in the state to provide quality education.

The governor  said that the era of pupils receiving lectures under harsh conditions was  over.

He  pledged to ensure a total rehabilitation and provision of furniture for public schools in the state.

“The declaration of a state of emergency in education is a bold step towards addressing the challenges facing the sector.

“The government’s commitment to providing basic learning materials and infrastructure will go a long way in improving the quality of education in the state,” he said.

Yusuf said the  move was  to ensure that every child in the state  had access to a conducive learning environment.

He used the opportunity to highlight the crisis facing the state’s education sector, painting a stark picture of a system in dire need of reform.

“Over 4.7 million pupils are forced to sit on bare floors to learn, while 400 schools have only one teacher for all classes and subjects,” he said.

Yusuf   alleged that the immediate past administration closed down schools while  those vandalised were converted to commercial premises.

“Teachers struggle with outdated and insufficient  basic learnung equipment, while clean water and sanitation are lacking in many schools,” he said.

The governor accused the past administration of profiting from school lands over investing in education, leaving a legacy of neglect.

He promised to tackle the multi-faceted problems facing public  education in the state head on.

These, he said, include  the  shortage of qualified teachers, inadequate training programmes and socio-economic challenges faced by students.

“It’s time for  investment in public education and a commitment to providing quality learning environment for all,” Yusuf said.( NAN)

Tinubu vows to improve Nigeria’s economy

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President Bola Tinubu says his administration is prioritizing people-focused development by providing essential infrastructure and amenities that will improve the quality of life of citizens.

According to a statement signed by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President  (Media & Publicity), Tinubu made the remarks at the inauguration of engineering infrastructure in Guzape District Lot II.

“Minister Nyesom Wike has provided exceptional leadership at a trying time for the country. It has been a very challenging time for us in the country. We are still retooling and rejigging our financial system to bring prosperity and relief to the people of this country.

“You have demonstrated the capacity to build a team, lead a team, and deliver on promises. I commend you, well done.

“To all of you here, to the District Head of Guzape, and the representatives, litigation is not the answer. Compensation is the answer.

“Development that is focused on the people for economic prosperity and benefits is what we should pursue.

“Of what value is a swathe of land that is blocked by hills and rocks, and that is inaccessible. Let us talk to our people and come together to help build Nigeria,” the President said.

President Tinubu, who commended the contractor handling the project, Gilmor Engineering Limited, emphasized that his commitment to providing infrastructure across the country is not for personal enrichment or aggrandizement.

“I stand here as President; I do not have a plot of land here (Guzape District). But I have the people’s support and the mandate to deliver good quality of life and a living environment.

“That should be enough for all of us to share in the joy of commitment, dedication, perseverance, and the little gifts God has endowed us,” the President said.

In his remarks, the Minister of FCT, Barrister Nyesom Wike, explained that the contract initially awarded in 2003 at the cost of N14 billion was divided into Lots 1 and 2 to Messrs Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited and Messrs Gilmor Engineering Limited.

“Dantata had left the site for long. We had to bring them back after the President approved a memorandum to that effect,” Barrister Wike said.

The Minister disclosed that the development of the district, which covers 32km of road, had been fraught with litigations, which, however, did not deter the progress of the project.

He said shortly before the present administration assumed office, the cost of the project was revised to N18.17 billion.

Barrister Wike commended the President for not abandoning the project owing to his belief in government as a continuum.

“Since I assumed office as FCT Minister in August 2023, you have never interfered with our work. We are sincerely happy that you gave us the free hand to work,” he said.

The FCT Minister, who appealed to the President to name major roads in Guzape District after literary giants, Chinua Achebe and JP Clark, hinted that the ‘diplomatic area’ in the district will be completed within one year.

In a project overview, the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmad said the area being developed, Guzape District Lot II, is an urban fringe area covering 620 hectares, with 129 hectares encumbered by village settlements.

He said the entire district, Lot 1 and Lot 2, was designed to provide residential, commercial, and recreational facilities covering an entire area of 1,070 hectares of land.

“The Lot 1 area covers an area of 450 hectares, whereas the Lot 2 covers 620 hectares,” the FCDA Executive Secretary said.

FG offers Labour  N62, 000 as new national minimum wage

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The Federal Government said it has offered organised labour N62, 000 as the new national minimum wage for workers in the country.

Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo state said this while addressing journalists at at end Tripartite Committee negotiation meeting on Friday in Abuja.

Uzodimma who is also the Chairman of Governor Forum, spoke on behalf of the governors that there was progress in the negotiation of the new minimum wage.

According to him,we are almost there because are just about to sign the dot and there will be a complete closure. Every other thing will follow.

“The committee has worked so hard and the committee has reach an agreement. The tripartite committee is made up of three parties -the government, the Organised Private Sector(OPS) and the organised labour.

“In the wisdom of the committee, it has put together a recommendation that will be forwarded to Mr President for further action

“The organised private sector and the Federal Government have agreed on N62, 000 while the organised labour is asking for N250, 000.

“At the end of the day what is important is that we are talking. There is no hostility anymore. And the national anxiety is going to be relaxed as soon as this is made public,”he said.

Also, Festus Osifo, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC) noted that the OPS and Federal Government have recommended N62, 000 as the minimum wage.

“But for us we felt that with the current economic hardship and the difficulty in the land the sum of N250, 000 should be what will be okay for the minimum wage.

“We are going to sign a report and forward this position to Mr President. This committee is to make recommendation to him.

” So we will forward it to him and Mr President will forward it to the National Assembly.

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“We will keep pushing to ensure that we have a wage that stands the test of time in Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking, Mr Goni Aji, Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage, said the recommendation that they had was as a result of a deep dialogue and consensus reached at the Tripartite level.

According yo him, the situation that we are recommending to Mr President, some how, is repeating itself because it happened in the 2018 exercise.

“In 2018, it was the other way. The organised private sector and the organised labour recommended N30, 000 as minimum wage while the government side recommended N24, 000.

“Two figures were recommended to the then President for his consideration and onward transmission to the National Assembly for it to become a law. That is exactly where we are.,”he said.
He added thst the mandate of the tripartite committee is to recommend. It has no powers to approve but to recommend.

He said that the recommendation reached came as a result of deeper understanding and studies of all the economic indices and current inflation, state of the economy

He noted that the organised private sector and the government have aggressive on a figure which N62,000 while the organised labour is asking for N250.000.

“At the end of the day what is important is that we are still talking ,”he said.(NAN)

In search of wages for hapless Nigerian workers

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By Isa Aliyu Chiroma

The gridlock between the NLC and FG over increasing the minimum wage is a hot topic in economic and political circles. Advocates argue that raising the minimum wage is essential for reducing poverty and improving living standards for millions of Nigerians, while some caution that it could lead to job losses and increased inflation. As states grapple with these complex
dynamics, the need for innovative strategies to bolster internal revenue generation is essential.


A significant portion of the workforce in Nigeria earns near or at the minimum wage level. For these workers, the current federal minimum wage of N30, 000, often falls short of providing a livable income. This wage stagnation has exacerbated income inequality, leaving many families struggling to cover basic expenses such as housing, healthcare, and education.
Raising the minimum wage would directly address these economic disparities, benefiting nearly 60% of federal workers, lifting many out of poverty and injecting billions of Naira into the economy through increased consumer spending. This, in turn, could stimulate business growth and job creation, fostering a more robust and equitable economic terrain.


While the benefits of a higher minimum wage are clear, the path to implementation is full of challenges, particularly for state governments. One major concern is the potential for job losses, especially in small businesses that may struggle to absorb increased labor costs. These businesses often operate on thin profit margins and may be forced to reduce their workforce, cut hours, or even close their doors in response to higher wage requirements.

Moreover, states with diverse economic hurdles face varying impacts. For instance, states with a higher cost of living, like Lagos, may find it easier to justify and implement higher wage floors compared to states with lower living costs and weaker economic bases. This disparity necessitates a nuanced approach to minimum wage policies, tailored to the specific economic
conditions of each state.

To mitigate the economic challenges posed by a higher minimum wage, states must explore innovative ways to increase their internal revenue streams. This can be achieved through a combination of tax reforms, investments in infrastructure, and the promotion of economic diversification.


A common concern linked to raising the minimum wage is the potential for inflation. Higher wages can lead to increased costs for goods and services as businesses pass on their higher labor costs to consumers. However, this inflationary pressure can be managed through careful economic planning and policy measures.


Government can monitor and regulate price increases to prevent excessive inflation. Additionally, increasing productivity through investments in technology and workforce training can help businesses absorb higher wage costs without significantly raising prices. It’s also crucial for wage increases to be gradual and predictable, allowing businesses to plan and adjust their operations accordingly.


Increasing the minimum wage is a necessary step towards reducing poverty and fostering economic equity. However, it presents significant challenges that require innovative solutions from state governments. By reforming tax systems, investing in infrastructure, and diversifying their economies, states can generate the internal revenue needed to support higher wages.

Careful management of inflationary risks will also be essential to ensure that the benefits of wage increases are not eroded by rising costs of living. Balancing these elements will be key to creating a fairer, more prosperous society.

COAS to soldiers : Be creative in tackling security challenges

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The Chief of Army Staff(COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja has officers and men  to be innovative and creative in  tackling and resolving the security challenges currently confronting Nigeria.

Lagbaja gave the charge at the graduation ceremony of 80 Warrant Officers at the Warrant Officers’ Academy Course 43 on Friday at Jaji Military Cantonment, Kaduna State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that the Army chief was represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Nigerian Army (NA), Maj.-Gen. Mayirenso Saraso.

 He said, “This graduation marks yet another milestone in the history of the academy and its contributions to the ongoing transformation efforts of the Nigerian Army (NA) through effective training of Senior Non Commissioned Officers,  SNCOs.

“That will enable them to better discharge their responsibilities and bridge the gap between the soldiers and officers cadre.

“The role played by this institution is more critical at this time when our country is faced with myriads of security challenges.”

Lagbaja said the academy has so far been able to achieve this through focused training that has prepared its graduates to confront challenges in line with his philosophy.

He said, “To transform the NA into a well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.

”I wish to congratulate the graduands for their commitment and diligence in ensuring the success of this course.”

He charged them to bridge the knowledge and leadership gaps between the officers and soldiers in their various units and formations.

”Accordingly, it is hoped that the training you have undergone will reflect in your confidence, comportment, skills and overall bearing while discharging your responsibilities in the field.

“I  have no doubts that you are now better prepared to earnestly contribute in ensuring better administration and more efficient operations in your respective

 units and formations,” the COAS added.

Lagbaja also charged them to employ the knowledge and skills acquired to project their leadership and managerial capabilities for the benefit of the Army  and the Armed Forces.

 “I am privy to the fact that for the first time, four personnel of the Nigerian Air force are among the graduands for today’s ceremony.

“I am equally aware that among the graduates is a personnel of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Liberia while another Senior Non-Commissioned Officer from Liberia will be for the next course in July, ” Lagbaja said.

He urged that hands must continue to be on the deck to ensure that the Nigerian Army continues to achieve its mission.

”This is winning all the land battles in the defence of the country’s territorial integrity and protection of its interest thereby providing the required security for our dear nation, ” Lagbaja said.

The COAS appreciated President Bola Tinubu for his encouragement and continued support to the Nigerian Army in its resolve at repositioning the army for effective service delivery.

” Indeed, Mr President’s continued support to the Nigerian

Group photograph of the participants of Warrant Officer Academy course 43 at Jaji Military Cantonment on Friday in Kaduna.

Earlier, the Commandant of the academy, Brig.-Gen. Auwal Mahmuda , said the course was assembled in Jan. 8.

Mahmuda said it  comprised 80 students made up of 75 Warrant Officers and SNCOs of the NA, 4 Warrant

Officers and SNCOs from the NAF and a Master Sergeant from the Republic of Liberia.

He said the  22-week course covered  intense field training designed to enhance the capacity of warrant officers and Senior non-commissioned officers.

Mahmuda also said this was also aimed at developing the leadership and management skills of the students.

This is in order to equip them to efficiently interpret and communicate command decisions down the line, thereby bridging the gap between the officers and soldiers’ cadre.

Mahmuda said ,  “We shall continue to improve on the instructional curricular, facilities and environment in order to ensure that the training offered here is mission-oriented and beneficial.”

 The commandant appreciated the Army chief for the tremendous support given to the Academy.

 “Most recent intervention aimed at providing an access road, landscaping and car park for the newly constructed student hostel is greatly appreciated, “Mahmuda said.

NAN reports that awards were presented to the soldiers who distinguished themselves during the course.(NAN)

FG debunks rumour of 105k minimum wage

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The Presidency has debunked reports circulating on social media that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Wale Edun has submitted a new national minimum wage template of N105, 000 to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy made the disclosure Thursday evening via his verified X account.

“The Honorable Minister of Finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Wale Edun has not proposed N105,000 minimum wage. The contrary story being disseminated is false,” Mr. Onanuga said.

Mr. Edun alongside Atiku Bagudu, Minister of Budget and National Planning had earlier today presented the projected cost implications of implementing a new minimum wage to President Tinubu at his office in Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Tinubu on June 4 gave the finance minister two days’ ultimatum to come up with a new minimum wage template. This development comes after series of negotiations of a new minimum wage between the federal government and organised labour.

Senate wants investigation into death of 30 miners in Niger

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The Senate has mandated the Committee on Solid Minerals to investigate the cause of a rockslide in Farin Doki community, Shiroro Local Government of Niger.

The rockslide buried 30 informal miners alive in a gold mining site.

This followed the adoption of a motion at plenary on Thursday in Abuja on an “urgent need to address incident of the rockslide.”

The motion was sponsored by Sen. Mohammed Sani (APC-Niger East).

Sani said that on June 3, a catastrophic rockslide occurred at an open pit gold mine, resulting in 30 local informal miners being buried alive in the Farin Doki Community.

He said that the site was near Erena in Shiroro Local Government, Niger East Senatorial District.

Sani said the miners, in their quests for gold and lithium minerals, met their untimely death as the avalanche caved in; burying them under tons of rubbles.

He said the tragic incident underscored the urgent need for a holistic action to be taken to address the dangers faced and posed by local mining activities across the country.

Sani said it was imperative to secure the mining sites to forestall future occurrence and avoid further loss of life.

“This will go a long way to ensure that mining activities are conducted safely and legally to prevent future tragedies and improve the overall well- being of miners across the country,” he said.

He expressed worry that bodies of the deceased had yet to be recovered for proper burial by their respective families.

According to Sani, conscious efforts should be made by relevant agencies of government for the recovery of the bodies for burial.

He said given that Nigeria was desirous of diversifying its economy, adding that the mining sub-sector was lucrative enough and should be adequately exploited for the socio-economic development of the country.

“As such, the appropriate authorities should as a matter of urgency and necessity, initiate thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident so as to identify any existing lapses.

“As part of remedies to bring sanity to the system, strict regulations should be introduced in order to protect the lives of those who depend on this industry for their livelihood.

“It is also apt for relevant committees of the National Assembly to step up their oversight of mining activities across the country for the purpose of harnessing the benefits that abound in the sector,’’ he said.

The Senate, after observing a minute silence in honour of the victims, commended the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr Dele Alake, for his swift response in monitoring the situation.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to come out with strict safety measures and regulation on mining activities in Nigeria in line with international best practices.

The Senate also called for deployment of adequate security apparatus to the mining communities to maintain vigilance around mining areas to prevent further incursions and intrusion by informal miners.

It urged the National Emergency Management Agency and other relevant agencies of government to expedite actions on the recovery of the remains of the deceased in the catastrophe.

According to the upper chamber, such recovery will ensure that the bereaved families have final closure on their loved ones.

The Senate also urged the committee to accelerate the passage of the Mine Ranger Bill currently before the Senate. (NAN)

NITDA DG Inaugurates Startup Labelling Committee

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has taken a significant step towards driving the implementation of the Nigeria Startup Act (NSA) with the inauguration of a Startup Labelling Committee. The committee, inaugurated by Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, comprises representatives from both the public and private sectors.

The NSA, enacted on October 19th, 2022, established a legal and institutional framework to foster the development and growth of Nigerian startups. A critical provision within the Act is the Startup Label. This label recognises eligible startups, granting them access to the various benefits outlined in the NSA.

The issuance of the Startup Label hinges on a thorough assessment and validation process to ensure a startup meets the eligibility criteria as defined by the Act. The newly formed committee will play a pivotal role in overseeing this process.

In his address at the inauguration ceremony, Inuwa emphasised on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration’s unwavering dedication to fostering an environment conducive to the growth and success of young Nigerian innovators.

He acknowledged the pivotal role startups will play in propelling the nation’s economic development, and the significance of the committee’s work in nurturing and supporting these enterprises.

He elaborated on the various initiatives and support mechanisms the government plans to implement, aimed at reducing hurdles and providing financial assistance and mentorship opportunities to young entrepreneurs.

Inuwa expressed optimism about the future, asserting that with the right support, these budding innovators could transform their ideas into thriving enterprises, thus contributing significantly to job creation and the overall economic prosperity of Nigeria in line with President Tinubu’s priority area to “reform the economy to deliver sustained inclusive growth.”

He urged stakeholders to join hands in creating a robust ecosystem that would empower the next generation of entrepreneurs to flourish and contribute to the country’s progress.

Inuwa added that the committee will be instrumental in establishing a robust legal and institutional framework for the successful implementation of the Startup Act. Their collaborative efforts will ensure a participatory approach that benefits all stakeholders within the Nigerian startup ecosystem.

“The composition of the committee reflects the emphasis on collaboration. Representatives from government agencies, industry experts, investors, and startup founders will bring their diverse perspectives and experiences to the table. This collaborative approach is expected to lead to a more efficient and effective labelling process, ultimately benefiting the growth of Nigerian startups,” he stated.

Speaking on the roles and responsibilities of Committee, the National Coordinator, Office for Nigeria Digital Innovation, Victoria Fabunmi, listed the terms of reference for the advisory committee which include the following:

Review and evaluate start-ups’ applications for label based on criteria defined in the Act and any additional criteria that may ensure quality for the label; Periodically review and update additional labelling criteria to ensure alignment with industry trends; Conduct an impartial evaluation of submitted applications for Startup Label.

Furthermore, the Committee will Recommend on issuance or otherwise of Startup Label based on defined criteria; Provide feedback/comments/recommendations on areas of improvement where a start-up’s application is rejected; Where necessary, dedicate time to further engage startups for more clarity/details on information provided.

It will also periodically review its previous activities and data on labelling, to identify/recommend opportunities and gaps (e.g. DEI, sectors, capacity etc.) that policymakers may need to place added emphasis on; Periodically review workload capacity and recommend a fair ceiling for the number of applications to be considered per period. This is in consideration of the fact that the Committee is not a full-time position; and Members shall be subject to a Code of Conduct and must duly sign this prior to commencement of duties.

She also stated that the Labelling Committee comprises Nine (9) members from the following: Four (4) Representatives of Incubators (ISN Rep, North and South); Two (2) Representatives of the Public Sector (NITDA, NSIA); Two (2) Representative of the Civil Society’ and Portal Coordinator – to serve as Secretary.

The inauguration of the Startup Labelling Committee marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the Nigeria Startup Act. With a multi-stakeholder committee guiding the process, the Act has the potential to unlock the immense potential of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem and contribute significantly to the nation’s economic development.

Education approach must be adaptive, innovative forward-thinking – NUC

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Mr Chris Maiyaki,  Acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC),  has charged graduating students of Lagos State University  (LASU) to remain vibrant and relevant.

Maiyaki gave the charge  at the 27th Convocation Ceremonies  of LASU on Thursday, during which he also urged that education approach must be adaptive, innovative forward-thinking – NUC

Thursday’s ceremony was for award of academic and professional doctorate degrees, conferment of honorary doctorate degrees and emeritus professorship.

He said that Nigeria’s  future would depend on the commitment and competence of the younger generation who would soon take over.

“By redirecting our focus towards modern processes, we lay the foundation for a vibrant, relevant and globally-competitive educational system.

“Let us remain steadfast in our dedication to producing competent and dedicated professionals  who will shape the future of our great nation.

“It is, therefore, with great enthusiasm and optimism that I join you in this significant event that brings together the pillars of our nation’s educational landscape.

“Our approach to education must be adaptive, innovative and forward-thinking,” he said.

According to Maiyaki,  education is a dynamic and evolving field.

He said that  the role of universities in the transformative process could not be overstated, given emerging issues in the 21st Century.

“We need to equip our universities with the tools and knowledge needed to prepare students for the demands of this century.

“As the flagship regulatory agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the NUC has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of tertiary education in our nation.

“The NUC has made significant strides in advancing information and communication technology penetration within the Nigerian education system,” he said.

Maiyaki added that since 2009, the NUC had led in implementing various programmes  aimed at integrating Open and Distance Learning (ODL) methodologies, in line with global best practices.

He said that through the initiatives, university staff had been empowered to harness technology for enhanced student engagement.

“Additionally, the establishment of ODL centres by universities has expanded access to education, making it more inclusive,” he said. (NAN

2024 FCT Supplementary Budget scales 2nd reading in Senate

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The Senate has passed for second reading the 2024 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Supplementary Budget of N98.5 billion.

This followed the presentation of the budget estimates by the Deputy leader of the Senate, Sen. Lola Ashiru (APC-Kwara)at plenary on Thursday in Abuja.

The Senate had on June 5 stood down the consideration of the budget for lack of details on the document presented to the lawmakers.

Deputy President of the Senate Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano), urged his colleagues to allow the passage of the bill to second reading, following the presentation of