Friday, 31 March 2017

'Abacha loot' is media creation, he 'deposited' funds in foreign countries to buy arms for peacekeeping - Bamaiyi

 Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd), has disclosed that what Nigerians refer to as 'Abacha loot' was media creation, saying that the late military Head of State, deposited funds to some 'friendly' foreign countries to enable Nigeria buy arms and ammunition for peacekeeping missions in the West African region.
Bamaiyi spoke on Thursday, March 30, in Abuja at the launch of his tell-all book ‘Vindication of a General.’ Excerpt from the memoir reads:

Governor El-Rufa’i pledges protection and welfare support for corps members

Governor Nasiru el-Rufa’i of Kaduna State, on Friday, pledged to provide protection and welfare support to National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in the state.
The governor made the pledge in Kaduna on Friday when the state NYSC Coordinator, Mr. Bello Ballama visited the Government House.
el-Rufa’i, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Barnabas Bala, said that the state government had placed high premium on the protection of the lives and property of the corps members.

According to him, that the government will also support the NYSC in carrying out its mandate especially in providing vital skills to corps members to be self reliant.
He said that the government, which recently received the award of best state in the ease of doing business in the country, would continue to motivate its youths to acquire skills for their economic empowerment.
The governor stressed that providing skills to the youths would help reduce unemployment and facilitate opening up of new businesses.
Earlier, the NYSC state coordinator, Mr. Bello Ballama appreciated the state government support to the welfare of corps members, and assured that the scheme would continue to contribute to the speedy development of the state.
According to him, that NYSC is a vital instrument of human capital development in the country.
He said that over 80 per cent of corps members serving in the state were deployed to the education sector.
Ballama added that the scheme had also provided critical manpower in the health sector, especially in rural areas.
The coordinator urged the government to support the state NYSC office with utility vehicles, ambulance and accommodation for its senior officials. (NAN)

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Sokoto Establishes School Of Remedial Studies

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has approved the establishment of school of basic and remedial to address continuous decline in the number and quality of students from Sokoto State sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
This was contained in a statement issued by Tambuwal’s spokesman Imam Imam in Sokoto on Thursday, stating that the decision was part of the recommendation of a committee headed by former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.
The committee was set up to look into ways and means of reviving higher education in the old Sokoto state, which now comprises of Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi.
Consequently, the state Council on Emergency in Education adopted the recommendation and gave the go-ahead for the establishment of the school.
“The school will offer quality training, by qualified teachers, to shore up student’s basic skills to prepare them for examinations leading to university admission,” the statement read.
It said the school would be equipped with requisite laboratories; classrooms and other top other facilities to enhance learning.
With this development, all higher institutions of learning in the state had been directed to stop conducting remedial programmes for senior school certificate examination (SSCE), and IJMB.
The statement stressed that the new school will run remedial programmes for SSCE and IJMB as entry requirement into universities.
The statement added that the school will also serve as a feeder institution for the State University.

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Kano to employ 250 health workers

The Kano State government has concluded plans to employ about 250 health workers who would be posted to health facilities across the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Kabiru Ibrahim Getso who stated this in an exclusive interview with Kano Chronicle said the employment was to further improve the quality of work at the state’s health facilities.
“The employment will include doctors and other health professionals who will be deployed to our various health facilities across the state,’’ he said.
Getso also noted that in less than one year and despite the economic difficulties, the government was able to employ more than 400 workers such as doctors, nurses, midwives and other health personals, adding that only the health sector was not affected by the government’s employment embargo.
He further explained that the state government had also sponsored the training of over 60 doctors who have specialized in different areas of specialization.
The commissioner reaffirmed the Ganduje administration’s resolve to move the health sector forward by ensuring that Kano people are able to access quality health care delivery.

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Security agents arrest suspected kidnapper with Human head in Bauchi

 Security agents in Bauchi state have arrested suspected kidnapper, Abdullah Dalhatu pictured above, for kidnapping and cutting the body parts of his victims for ritual. According to reports, the man led a team of security men to a forest where he buried the head of one of his victims, a 60 year old man.

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7-month-old baby fighting for her life after being raped by step father in Katsina State

A 55-year-old man, Magaji Dansale, has allegedly defiled his seven-months-old step daughter in Marmachi village of Musawa Local Government Area, Katsina State.
The mother of the baby, Zeenat Muntari, told newsmen that she separated with the father of the baby and married Dansale.
The mother said that she was suspecting that she drunk some substances that made her to sleep for several hours, the situation which paved way for her husband to allegedly commit the act.
According to her, when she woke up to breastfeed the baby, she noticed blood in her private part.
“I informed my husband about the matter; he started weeping saying that some people will start accusing him.
“In the morning, while I was washing the baby’s clothes, he also brought his trouser for me wash and I noticed blood stains on it.
“He later went to bush and brought me some leaves to treat her, saying that it is pile.
“The baby was later taken to Malumfashi General Hospital where the doctor confirmed to us that she was defiled and informed the police.
“I am suspecting him because it is only me and him in the house when the incident happened,’’ she said.
NAN reports that the baby was later referred to Turai Yar’adua Maternal and Child Hospital, Katsina.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Gambo Isa, confirmed the incident and said that the police would brief the media on Friday.

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APC to PDP: Nigerians have not forgotten your misrule

The All Progressives Congress (APC) reminded the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that even though Nigerians have forgiven the years of misrule and mismanagement of the nation’s resources, they have not forgotten how they party left the country in ruin, leaving the people in a state of insecurity.
Reacting to a statement credited to spokesman of the party saying Nigerians have been worse off in the last two years under the APC led government, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said Nigerians have not forgotten how corruption was practically legalized under the PDP government.
Abdullahi said the APC decided not to dwell on the plethora of PDP sins, but to pick up the pieces and build a country that every Nigerians will be proud of, pointing out that while Nigerians are always ready to forgive the PDP for what they did to the nation, they will never forget.
Abdullahi said: “All Progressives Congress (APC) finds Wednesday’s statement attributed to Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, the purported spokesperson of a rump of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) quite regrettable.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Buhari hails Nigeria, Saudi collab on education, others

President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed the relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia,  which he described as  ‘mutually-beneficial’.
He expressed optimism that the relationship would grow stronger in the years to come.
The President said during an audience with  the outgoing Ambassador of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Fahad Bin Abdullah Sefyan, a farewell audience at State House, Abuja,  that the relationship between the countries was strong, adding that apart from visiting Mecca and Medina for religious reasons, a lot of Nigerians are in Saudi Arabian universities.
He also noted that the last farming season was quite good, and the Nigerian economy was gradually reviving, adding that the two countries would have more areas to collaborate in future.
“I quite appreciate the relationship between the two countries,” he said.
Sefyan, who spent 20 months on tour of duty, said he loved it in Nigeria, and would have wanted to stay longer, if not that he was now due for retirement.
He commended President Buhari’s visit to Saudi Arabia in February, last year, urging that there should be reciprocal visits between the leaders of both countries.
On the security situation in Nigeria, the outgoing Ambassador told the President:
“I think you are doing very well, Your Excellency. We know what you have done with Boko Haram, and we applaud you,” the Special Adviser Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said in a statement.

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Niger State Government Declares Emergency in Water Sector

 Niger State Government Declares Emergency in Water Sector
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has declared an “emergency” in the water sector and vowed to bring down all the challenges hindering supply of potable water to the people especially in the urban centres.
The governor’s declaration came on the heels of a marching order he also gave the management of the state water board to “to fix the Chanchaga water water works or be fired”.
Governor Bello’s action was sequel to unscheduled visits to the Chanchaga Water Works where he found that some equipment imported to make the facility functional were not installed.
The governor, who had been briefed by the Commissioner for Water Resources Idris Abubakar Azozo that the remaining equipment were to be shipped to the country from Germany to make their installation complete, disagreed totally with the commissioner.
“No please, fly the equipment to the country, shipping takes time and water problem in Minna is an emergency. We cannot afford to delay in fixing it,” the governor said.
Details later…

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Don’t embarrass yourselves, you can’t summon me, Sagay tells senators

The Presidency was holding out an olive branch to the National Assembly yesterday.
But there were signs that their cat and mouse relationship could get out of hand.
The Senate summoned  Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption Chairman Prof. Itse Sagay over some “uncomplimentary” remarks after it suspended Senator Ali Ndume for making false allegations against Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki and Senator Dino Melaye.
President Muhammadu Buhari set up a committee to improve the relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
The Senate has refused to confirm 27 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) over the retention of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu and Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal.

Eight people have died from suspected Lassa fever in Taka-Lafiya village of Tudun-Wada LGA of Kano

Eight people have died from suspected Lassa fever in Taka-Lafiya village of Tudun-Wada local government area of Kano State.
The District Head of Tudun-Wada Local Government, Dankadai of Kano, Dr. Bashir Muhammad Dankadai said yesterday while briefing the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, saying the disease was detected in the village about three weeks ago following a mysterious death of four persons.
The district head explained that when he reported the case to the local government authority, a team of medical personnel was deployed to the village and it was discovered that many people in the village were having serious high temperature.
“Three people whose condition was critical at that time were rushed to ‘Yar-Gaya Infectious Disease Isolation Center for further investigation. One of them later died in the hospital, taking the total number of casualties to five. Two other patients died again and the last victim died yesterday, bringing the total of death to eight,” he said.
Also commenting on the discovery, a medical personnel in charge of Tudun-Wada local government, Mallam Lawan Maikano informed the emir that 51 others who had direct contact with the infected persons in Taka-Lafiya had been placed under surveillance.
“When the case of the severe fever was reported to us, a team of health workers was mobilized to the village. Later we informed the state ministry for health which also sent a team of medical personnel to the village. The result of the blood samples we sent to Lagos state for test confirmed that it was Lassa fever,” Maikano said.
Responding, the Emir of Kano called on the people to improve on their personal hygiene, and urged the state government to intensify efforts towards curtailing the situation.
When contacted, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ibrahim Getso, who also confirmed the death of eight people, said out of three people whose blood samples were sent to Lagos for test, two were confirmed positive of Lassa fever and the other was negative.
“One of the two people confirmed positive died in the hospital and the other is still on admission. So, medically, I can say out of the eight deaths, only one is confirmed to be killed by Lassa fever, while the remaining seven we call them suspects of Lassa fever,” he said.

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Reps summon Ngige, Adeosun over N302.4bn pensions liabilities

The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, and the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to appear in plenary next Thursday to provide details on how the Federal Government intends to offset its N302. 4 billion outstanding liability to pensioners.
Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, who issued the summons yesterday during a courtesy call by the National Union of Pensioners (NUP), stated that the ministers and heads of relevant agencies such as the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) must appear before Green Chamber next week to proffer a holistic solution to the problem of outstanding pension payments.
Dogara, who was responding to the plea of the NUP President, Dr. Abel Afolayan, who led his members to meet with him at the National Assembly, pledged that the House will assist pensioners to convince the Federal Government to make provision of sufficient funds in the 2017 Appropriation Bill towards offsetting the outstanding pension liabilities both under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) and the Contributory Pensions Scheme (CPS).
“We will yield the floor to them, so that they can tell Nigerians what they have done to get us out of this mess by 2017,” the Speaker stressed.
Citing Section 173 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, which states that pension and gratuity are rights that should be upheld for deserving Nigerians, Dogara stated that timely payment of pension and gratuity is key to stemming corruption in the public sector.
Earlier in his speech, Afolayan said several pensioners have died of poverty, hunger and treatable diseases because they hadn’t been paid for months.
He emphasised the need to put pension on first line charge, “so that pension payment will not go through the traditional rigorous budgetary allocation process.”
He said the 2017 liabilities for pensioners was “under-defined”, adding that while the 2017 proposal is N302.4 billion, the Executive’s submission is N109.123 billion leaving a difference of N193.282 billion.
“Regarding Contributory Pension Scheme (CBS), we have gathered the following facts and figures: a total of N91,914,899,000 was requested for in 2016 Federal Government appropriation bill, but the National Assembly approved N50,195,808,918 resulting in a Reps summon of N41,719,090,082,” Afolayan said.

 The Sun

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Hajj Commission introduces electronic payment system

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on Wednesday said it had introduced electronic payment system to avoid agents taking undue advantage of state pilgrims boards in accommodation charges during hajj.
The Executive Chairman of the commission, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, announced this at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions in Abuja.
He added that since the introduction of electronic payment directly to property owners, price of accommodation had crashed.
According to him, the commission had so far saved N1.4 billion in Mecca and 12.3 US dollars in Medina.
He used the opportunity to deny accusations in a petition that the commission manipulated the 2016 hajj operations to the detriment of service providers.
Mohammed said the petition brought against the commission’s 2016 hajj activities and the ongoing preparation for 2017 hajj had exposed the petitioner’s lack of sufficient knowledge of the commission’s mandate.
The petitioner said there were plans by the commission to increase transport fares of pilgrims for The petitioner had, therefore, sought the intervention of the House committee to avert further overbearing attitude of the head of the commission.
Chairman of the Committee Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta adjourned the matter till March 30 for further hearing.

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Zamfara people cry out for government help against meningitis

Nigerians in Gusau, Zamfara state have cried out to the government to help in preventing meningitis, which they said has been killing many people in the state.
The appeal was made by a cross section of residents interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Earlier this March, the Commissioner of Health in the state, Alhaji Suleiman Gummi said over 80 people had died as a result of the disease while another 500 were undergoing treatment at various health facilities across the 14 Local Government Areas of the state.
The people interviewed were of the view that the situation has worsened, although they could not cite figures.
According to  the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said, about 269 people have been killed in recent weeks by meningitis.
As of Monday, 1,828 suspected cases of meningitis were reported with 269 deaths in 15 of the country’s 36 states, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said on Twitter late on Tuesday.
Mallam Bello Aliyu,  a civil servant said that the rate at which meningitis has been killing both young and adult in Zamfara state was worrisome.
Aliyu said that his neighbor, a 35-year-old man recently died of meningitis and some of his family members had been infected as well.
Hajiya Salamatu Isa, a school teacher also complained about how her four year-old daughter died of meningitis, which she said was due to lack of vaccine.
She said that the disease became rampant in February and that she tried her best to immunize all the members of her family, but due to non-availability of the vaccine, she could not. The inadequacy of vaccines, she said killed several people, including her daughter.
Dr Oyaromade Abidemi, a consultant obstetrician, Head of Clinical Services, Ahmad Sani, Yerima Bakura specialist hospital, Gusau, said the disease was under control.
Dr Abidemi said that the state government and Medicin San Frontieres MSF nongovernmental organization donated some drugs to the hospital, for the treatment of patients suffering from meningitis.
He said that 80 percent of meningitis patients that were taken to the hospital at early stage had been treated and discharged, while those that were seriously affected before being taken to the hospital have 50 percent chances of survival.
The Doctor however said that the hospital had not gotten any vaccine to give the public to prevent meningitis.
Some medical personnel from Federal Medical Center Gusau, who pleaded anonymity told NAN that the disease had affected many children and adults to the extent that 80 percent of the patients in the ward were suffering from meningitis.
NAN also gathered that both the state government and nongovernmental organization had been distributing antibiotics  to hospitals in the state, for the treatment of the affected people, but vaccines are scarce.
At the two major hospitals in Gusau, Ahmad Sani Yerima Bakura specialist hospital and Federal Medical Center Gusau, there were hundreds of patients suffering from the disease, awaiting treatment.
Earlier this March, the Commissioner of Health in the state, Alhaji Suleiman Gummi said over 80 people had died as a result of the disease while another 500 were undergoing treatment at various health facilities across the 14 Local Government Areas of the state.


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INEC Chairman Emerges President of ECOWAS Election Network

After a keen contest, Nigeria’s representative and Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Wednesday emerged President of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC).
In the election held during a meeting of the ECOWAS electoral commissions, Yakubu garnered 10 votes to defeat Guinean representative who got four votes.
The Republic of Benin and Guinea Bissau emerged first and second vice-presidents respectively, while Burkina Faso clinched the position of treasurer.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, he said the election of Yakubu followed two days of intensive deliberations on how to deepen the conduct of free, transparent and credible elections and by extension strengthen democracy in the sub-region.
According to Oyekamni, the three-day meeting, which began on March 27 in Cotonou, Republic of Benin focused on constitutional and legal frameworks, civic and voter registration, register of voters, electoral logistics, results collation and transmission and technological innovations among others.

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Criminal Who Terrorizes Lafia-Abuja Highway Nabbed At North Bank, Makurdi

As shared by by a Facebook user, Armstrong ...

Nago and group Nabbed Criminal At North Bank.

In the early hours of yesterday youth in North Bank traced and got hold of one criminal who have been terrorizing the town especially Lafia- Abuja high way.

The apprehended criminal who was simply identify as Sati was tracked at Ronald myim filing station refiling the tank of a motorcycle which Nago and his group later discover to be a stolen one.

Members of the people around the scene where Sati was caught louded the efforts of Asema and group for arresting the criminal who many identify as one who has been terrorizing the area including Lafia-Abuja high way.

Asema Nago, Raymond Nago Asema, the Minda youth Ambassador after thorough investigation handed the criminal to men of Nigerian Police Force, headquarters in Makurdi.


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I was forced to kill 13 people, says 17-year-old Boko Haram suspect

A 17-year-old Boko Haram suspect (Name withheld) said he was forced to kill 13 people in Chikingudu forest in Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno, when he was held captive for three years by the insurgents.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suspect was arrested by men of the Borno Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) after he was sent on a mission by his Commander to spy on Maiduguri.
He told NAN in an interview in Maiduguri that he was sent by the terrorists to assess situation in Baga Road, Monday market and Custom market in Maiduguri, and report back.
“I was kidnapped in Marte by the insurgents when they stormed the town in 2013 and they took us away to Chikungudu forest in Kalabalge local government area.
“I was held captive for three years at Chikungudu. During those three years I killed 13 people in separate locations.

Nigerian students attacked by locals in Greater Noida, India

Earlier Inside Arewa report that some students were attacked by angry local in Greater Noida India.
 Some Nigerian students on Monday sustained severe injuries after a group of locals attacked them in Pari Chowk, Noida. The incident occurred at 6 PM when a group, comprising hundreds of locals, held a protest demanding all Africans living in Greater Noida region vacate their rented houses immediately.

The protest was triggered by the death of a class 12 student, who reportedly died of drug overdose, and five Nigerian students from the same neighbourhood were detained in connection with the case.

The locals also claimed that the boy was seen spending time with these Nigerian students and accused them of cannibalism.However, the Nigerian students were released owing to the lack of evidence.

Customs impounds senator’s 13 vehicles

Customs agents have sealed a senator’s house in Kano where they also impounded13 Toyota Hilux vans and a Land Cruiser Jeep suspected to have been smuggled into the country.
Officials of the Nigerian Customs’ Comptroller General Special Compliance Task Force carried out the operation yesterday.
The house is said to belong to Senator Barau Jibril, but the Senator could not be reached for comment yesterday. All calls put to his mobile phone by our reporter could not go through nor did he reply to text messages.
Leader of the special task force, Chief Superintendent of Custom, Bala Dole, confirmed the seizure to newsmen in Kano.
A source at Customs Headquarters in Kano told Daily Trust yesterday that no one had come forward to claim ownership of the vehicles.
“As I am speaking with you now, nobody has approached us to claim ownership of the vehicles. They are under our custody and the house where the cars were kept has been sealed by our men,” he said.
The source said the vehicles were smuggled into Nigeria through the Maigatari border in Jigawa state. He said officials of the task force trailed the vehicles from Maigatari to the senator’s house, impounded them and sealed the house.
The source added that the operation was carried out based on a tipoff.
The task force also seized 210 trailers loaded with contraband goods that were smuggled into Kano and Jigawa states from the neighbouring countries.
He said the goods confiscated include 97,570 bags of foreign rice and 2,916 cartons of spaghetti, 2,770 cartons of vegetable oil and 889 belts of second hand clothes.
Other items are 50 belts of fairly used school bags, 110 cartons of brand new foreign shoes, 956 cartons of mosquito coil worth N269m.
He said the seizure was carried out from July 2016 to date, saying the goods were smuggled into Kano, Katsina and Jigawa state through Nigeria’s borders with Niger republic and Cameroun respectively.
Senate’s N298m car carries fake document
 It emerged also yesterday that the SUV bullet-proof car purchased by the Senate at N298million was bearing fake documents.
The importer Tokunbo Akindele told the Senate Ethics committee investigating the matter that it was discovered in January, this year that the car carried a fake document.
He said the car was not imported for Senate president, Bukola Saraki and that at the time the vehicle was imported, it was not for his use.
“There was no document received at the National Assembly. The clearing documents were fake, this we found out in January 2017,” he said.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Services, Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Sokoto), said: “The Senate does not import cars; we buy our cars from the importer. The problem is between the dealer, the importer and the Customs”.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lanre Shittu Motors, Chief Olarenwaju Shittu explained how the car was sold to the Senate.
“The car was consigned to Lanre Shittu in October 2015 from Wale Tinubu, they were not able to use it for what they wanted to.  Not long there was complication; we facilitated the supply to National Assembly. There was never a time we sold vehicle to Saraki.
“When the vehicle had issue in January, 2017, we called Oando and documents were sent. The Customs said it was fake. We never had any document from National Assembly, “he said.
The public hearing continues today with the Nigeria Customs Service.

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National Assembly may pass 2017 budget before May

The 2017 Appropriation Bill may be passed before May 2017.Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, who disclosed this yesterday warned heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to desist from the practice of “mopping up” of funds at the end of March, 2017.
The lawmaker said that the lifespan of the 2016 budget would end on May 5, 2017.Goje said the National Assembly maybe compelled to extend the validity period of the budget, in the event that it is unable to pass the 2017 Appropriation Bill on or before the midnight of May 5, 2017.
He said: “Last year, when we were producing this 2016 Appropriation Bill, we realized that at the end of each year, there were usually requests for an extension of the budget from the executive. To avoid that, we decided to incorporate this new thing.

Five killed, several injured in two-vehicle crash near Tazame, Zamfara State

Five persons have been confirmed dead in a two-vehicle head-on collision on Monday near Tazame, in Zamfara State. The crash occurred between a golf car and another vehicle around noon. The driver was among those killed. May their souls rest in peace, Amen.

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'The six weeks’ time line for the closure remains, after six weeks, the Abuja airport will be reopened' - Hadi Sirika

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Julius Berger, the contractor handling the repair of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway, said yesterday that the work is 40 per cent completed.
They spoke in Abuja yesterday when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, led by its chairman, Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, inspected the project.
Resident Engineer, FAAN Mr. Yemi Ayelesan, told the committee that the hardest part of the work, which is mailing of the 3.6 kilometres runway, had been completed.
He explained that the laying of fibre glide rubber’’, which prevents water from going deep underground and also prevent runway from cracking has also been completed.
Ayelesan told the committee that the contractors are working to specifications and would deliver on schedule, expressing confidence that the six weeks period for reopening of the airport was feasible.
According to him, the contractors are working round the clock to ensure that they meet the deadline.
He said the repair work was a total reconstruction and not partial rehabilitation, explaining that the entire runway had been excavated for laying of asphalt.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Two men docked over N9.9m sales scam, locally made gun in Abuja

A Gudu Upper Area Court on Monday arraigned two men, Joseph Ikechukwu and Paul Nwogha allegedly accused of N9.9 million sales scam and unlawful possession of fabricated gun.
The accused are facing a four-count charge of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, cheating and unlawful possession of locally made gun.
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty and requested for bail.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr Donatus Abah told the court that Daniel Chukwukelu of Hammer Smith Company, Garki reported the case to the Area Commander Metro, Abuja on Nov.18, 2016.
Abah said the matter was later transferred to the Federal Capital Territory Police Command.
The prosecutor said the first defendant, Ikechukwu was a sales man at Hammer Smith Company and was entrusted with the company’s goods valued at N9.9 million for sale.
“It was for him to make sales and remit the proceeds to the company.
“Instead, he sold the goods and converted the proceeds to his personal use,” Abah said.
Abah said when he was later apprehended over the matter, he said he gave the proceeds to Nwogha to keep for him.

N289m SUV probe: Saraki at Senate panel,says no paper bears his name

Senate President Bukola Saraki appeared before the senate's committee on Ethics and Priviledges to answer questions over the controversial Range Rover Bulletproof SUV he has been accused of importing into the country without paying the necessary Customs duty. Last week, the senate mandate the committee to investigate the allegation made by Sahara Reporters. 
At the hearing, Saraki said he is not an importer and ha snothing to do with the said SUV. Also the importer of the SUV, Tokunbo Akindele, also appeared before the committee. He stated that the said SUV was not imported into the country for Saraki. The senate adjourned hearing to tomorrow March 28th.

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National Assembly has lost focus –Senator Abba Ali

 Senator Abba Ali, represented Katsina/Dutsinma Senatorial district under the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN. Ali is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as kinsman of President Muhammadu Buhari. Some 17 years after the return to democratic rule, Ali goes back memory lane as he relives his days as a federal legislator between 1979 and 1983 and laments that members of the present day National Assembly have turned contractors.
How do you compare your days at the National Assembly with what is obtainable there today?
It is totally different today. In 1979, we were purely politicians, members of the National Assembly, making laws, appropriating funds for the Federal Government and there were checks and balances in government.  We did not interfere in the running of government. Nowadays you see Senators and members of the House of Representatives handling money in the name of constituency allowances to do constituency jobs. It is not their job. It is the job of the government. They do not have the expertise. They are supposed to be lawmakers and that is Buhari’s fight with the National Assembly. Buhari wants to scrap it because it should not be there. If you want to be a lawmaker, then you should be a lawmaker. If you want to run the party, you run the party and if you want to be part of the Executive then you go there. There is separation of powers.

History As Sokoto Orthopedic Hospital Conducts Three Knee Replacement Surgeries

The Sokoto State owned Orthopedic Hospital, Wamakko, has successfully conducted three total knee replacement surgeries, the first in the history of the state, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Nuradeen  Altine told newsmen in Wamakko on Monday that the surgeries were conducted on two male adults, aged 60 and 65.
Altine said: “Two knees were replaced in both legs of one patient, while one knee was replaced in another patient.
”The successful surgeries were conducted on March 25 by a team of Surgeons from the hospital and their colleagues from the Orthopedic Hospital, Dala, Kano.
”The surgery is capital intensive because it involves the use of sophisticated equipment and titanium metal which is very expensive and had to be imported.
” We hope the Sokoto State Government will continue to support the hospital with equipment, logistics, to have more of such operations.”

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Graphic: Vigilante member accidentally shoots colleague to death in Niger State

 What was supposed to be a special event during at a Turbaning at Dagon Fadama, Kontagora L.G ceremony, took a different twist when a vigilante member who was on duty, was mistakenly shot in the head by his colleague in Niger State. It's yet unclear what must have triggered the shooting...

Emir of Borgu Calls On Niger State Governor To Provide Access To Clean Water

Despite playing host to Kainji hydro-electricity dam, some communities in Borgu local government area of Niger state lack electricity and have no access to portable water.
The anomaly was re-echoed at the weekend by the Emir of Borgu in Niger state Alhaji Mohammed Sani Kintoro IV, during an assessment visit by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to Borgu.
The emir lamented that the people of the emirate were dying from water-borne disease and that the hydro-electric dam had affected all portable water sources around the communities which played host to it, stressing that the situation was compounded by the failure of the federal government to provide alternative water sources, thereby leaving the people with the option of relying on contaminated water that often brought death to the emirate.
The emir also said despite being close to electricity source, power supply to New Bussa, the headquarters of Borgu local government had been epileptic, even as many communities within the emirate were not connected to power source.
Responding, Governor Sani Bello, who expressed his administration’s commitment to addressing the basic needs of the people, said the state government had earmarked N43m for water supply project in New Bussa, and that his government would collaborate with other stakeholders to address other grievances and needs of communities hosting the hydro-electric dam.

His Excellency Alhaji Dr Abubakar Sani Bello bags the most prestigious traditional chieftancy title as the Dan Majen Borgu.
The title was in recognition of his immense contribution to people oriented style of his administration.
However, Mr Governor has respectfully requested His Royal Highness to graciously consider the postponement of conferment of the title until after his tenure as Governor must have been completed after which his performance as Governor would have determined if he has indeed performed to their expections. 

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Ganduje flags-off N200m Bichi township road project

Kano state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Sunday, flagged off construction of 2 kilometer Bichi township road in Bichi local government area, at the cost of N200m.
The governor also flagged of water reticulation system project in the town which would cost government N137m.
The first project entails renovation and asphalting of the road, provision of streetlights and drainages while the water project consist of pipe laying from Watari water treatment plant to Bichi town and provision of two over head tanks.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

FG extends Abuja Airport repairs for 18 extra weeks

Upgrade on the runway of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja will continue for another 18 weeks, the Presidency has said.
A highly placed presidency official disclosed this in a statement made available to State House correspondents on Sunday.
The official, who pleaded anonymity, said the second phase of the upgrade work would be done at night to avoid disruption of flight schedules.
The Abuja Airport, shut down on March 8, 2017, is expected to be reopened on April 19.
The official hinted that a media tour to assess the progress on the Abuja Airport runway repair would hold this week.
"After the Abuja Airport reopens for operations on April 19, upgrade works on the runway will continue for another 18 weeks. This second phase of upgrade works on the runway will be carried out at night, with no disruption to flight schedules," the official said.
He said the latest report submitted to the Presidency by a federal government's committee overseeing showed that over 43,000 passengers passed through the Kaduna Airport in its first 11 days of operations as the alternative to the Abuja Airport.
He said that was more than the 41,000 passengers the Kaduna Airport recorded in the entire first quarter of 2015, and the 21,000 in the first quarter of 2016.
The official also stated that within this period, about 10,000 passengers took advantage of the free bus shuttle organised by the Federal Government to transport passengers between the Abuja and Kaduna Airports.

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Investiture Chancellor and award of Honorary Doctorate Degree to Alhaji Dr Umaru A. Mutallab, CON

 The investiture of the Chancellor (Alhaji Dr Umaru A. Mutallab, CON) of the University (Umaru Musa Yar'adua University) and award of Honorary Doctorate Degree to him. 
Governor Aminu Bello Masari, his Deputy Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly Rt Honourable Abubakar Yahya Kusada, Top Government Functionaries and other Distinguished personalities are at the convocation Arena of the Umaru Musa Yar'adua University Katsina for it's second Convocation Ceremony and Investiture of the Chancellor Alhaji (Dr) Umaru A. Mutallab, CON.
Fifty four graduands bagged First Class degree at the second convocation of the Umaru Musa Yar’adua University (UMYU), Katsina

FG saved 5m dollars from importation of rice, says Ogbeh

 Following the ongoing agricultural revolution policy in Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh on 23rd of March commissioned another Rice Miller called Walcot Rice Limited in Kebbi state. The commissioning, which took place in Arugungu local government, aims to boost agriculture production.
Ogbeh said that with the introduction of policies that has created a revolution in Rice Production in the country, the Federal Government has saved five million dollars from the importation of rice.
He noted that the country is losing over five millions dollars yearly because the nation has not diversified its economy, stressing that new agriculture policies has reduced poverty in Kebbi state.
The Minister who commended Walcot for their investment in Kebbi said that the people of the state and government would protect the investment with their hearts.
Remarking, CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the new agriculture policies have motivated many youths back to the farms. He revealed that 88, 000 new millionaires were created last year due to the 2015 Anchored Borrower’s dry season loan to farmers adding that before the end of 2017, 250,000 millionaires would have been created.
Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu assured the company that the people of the state would protect their investment and give them maximum support to succeed. The Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Muhammed Mera said if other states emulate Kebbi, farmers in Nigeria would be able to feed the nation comfortably.

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Jigawa to prosecute Lamido’s officials over N8bn

The Jigawa State governor, Mohammad Badaru Abubakar, has said that the names of officials who served in the immediate past government of governor Sule Lamido have been compiled for prosecution over alleged misappropriation of N8 billion belonging to the state government.
Badaru said this yesterday while launching the Jigawa State Universal Health Coverage in Dutse.
He said if the officials fail to return the money by next week, they would be arrested and arraigned in court.
Although, he did not mention names, he said a thorough investigation was carried out by a committee set up to investigate the fraud.
“We have 51 fraud related cases at hand and out of them, seven cases have been handed to the police for prosecution. The sum of N6 to N8 billion was believed to have been squandered by officials of the past government. If they do not return the money by next week, we will hand over their names to the police.
“The names that we are submitting to security agents are of those who were thoroughly investigated and found to have been involved in the act,” he said.
It would be recalled that in August last year, the then speaker of the state House of Assembly, Idris Garba Kareka, told journalists that the lawmakers had commenced investigation into the alleged embezzlement of N13 billion by the immediate past government.
He said the investigation covered 2008 to 2015 and that the misappropriation of funds was discovered to have been carried out in the Ministry of Local Government.

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Students/Teachers Protest: Taraba governor bans public demonstrations

Not comfortable with the incessant demonstrations by public servants, students and other governmental organisations, as a result of unpaid salaries and other entitlements, the Taraba State governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku has banned all forms of demonstrations in the state.
In a press statement, yesterday, the governor directed that groups or individuals interested in protesting must seek government approval before embarking on such exercise.
The statement, signed by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Illiya Bekyu Akweh, read: “Individuals or groups wanting to embark on any form of demonstration in the state without government approval are warned to desist forthwith or face the full wrath of the law.”
Citing recent protest embarked on by primary school pupils demanding for the immediate payments of their teachers’ salaries, the governor warned parents and guardians to desist from encouraging their wards to embark on such acts.

PDP will bounce back —Jonathan

FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed confidence that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will resolve its crisis and become stronger again, just as he stresses the need to urgently return power to the people in the party.
Jonathan, who had championed the possibility of a political solution to the impasse in the party, argued that litigation had handed the mandate of the people to the judiciary.
Jonathan, while receiving the report of the Governor Seriake Dickson-led PDP reconciliation committee, at his country home, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, on Saturday, gave the assurance of PDP resurgence in not too distant future.
According to him, “resorting to courts for political disagreements was abnormal.”
He also commended the committee for getting the two factions of the party to the negotiating table and added that a truce was in sight given the commitments so far by the party faithful.
“I have always believed that political differences should be resolved outside the courts. But unfortunately, we are already involved with it and gone up to the Supreme Court. We are hopeful of a political solution.
“Party politics is supposed to be a family affair and ought to be resolved amicably without resorting to the courts,” Jonathan said.
In his reaction, Governor Dickson disclosed that he accepted the challenge of rebuilding the PDP and expressed gratitude to the party that gave Bayelsa the platform to lead Nigeria through Jonathan.
He said political option remained the best way of resolving the crisis within the party.
He noted that Jonathan laid the foundations for a political solution when he convened a meeting of PDP governors a few weeks ago that approved the peace plan.
He said the report, which is a roadmap to achieving peace, was open to review and urged stakeholders with ideas to rebuild the party to table such ideas for discussion.
Speaking earlier, a member of the reconciliation committee Mr Mohammed Gana, said Jonathan epitomised peace in the way he conceded defeat at the last general election, a development  that stabilised the country.

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World Bank approves $200 million loan to boost agriculture in Nigeria

The World Bank has approved $200 million loan to Nigeria to support the government’s effort to boost small and mid-scale farmers.
A statement issued by World bank on Friday said the funds will help tackle low yields, lack of seed capital to set up agro-factories, low-level adoption of technology and limited access to markets.
'Priority value chains will include products with potential for immediate improvement of food security, products with a potential for export and foreign currency earnings,'  the bank said in the statement.
According to the Bank, about 60,000 individuals will benefit directly from the funding, of which 35 percent are women. About 300,000 farming households will be affected indirectly.
However, Nigeria is aiming to achieve self-sufficiency in rice by 2018 and in wheat by 2019 or 2020. By the latter date, it also hopes to be a net exporter of rice, cashew nuts, groundnuts, cassava, vegetable oil and many others with the World Bank loan.

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