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Category Archives: News

Kogi 2019: Bello’s Chief of Staff resigns

The running mate to the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer in the November 16 Kogi State governorship election, Governor Yahaya Bello, Chief Edward Onoja, has resigned his position as Chief of Staff.

A letter by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Arike Ayoade Arike, named former Director General (Protocol), Abdulkareem Jamiu as the new Chief of Staff to the governor.

Jamiu is replaced by Dr Gabriel Ottah as DG Protocol.

Edward’s emergence as running mate to Governor Bello had been highly speculated and was confirmed shortly after the blown rift between Bello and his deputy, Elder Simon Achuba, who is currently facing impeachment proceedings.

The letter of the new political setup reads: “Consequent upon the resignation of the former Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has approved the appointment of former Director General (Protocol), Pharm. Abdulkareem Jamiu as Chief of Staff to Excellency.

“His Excellency has also approved the appointment of Dr Gabriel Ottah as DG Protocol to His Excellency. The appointment takes effect from 14th. October, 2019.

Troops rescue 4 more abducted students in Kaduna

Troops of Operation Thunder Strike have rescued the remaining four students of Government Day Secondary School Gwagwada in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, who were abducted on their way to school on Oct. 10.

The Deputy Director Army Public Relations Officer,1 Division Nigerian Army Kaduna, Col Ezindu Idimah told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday night that the students have been handed over to their joyful parents at Gurmi village.

NAN recalls that bandits terrorising Kaduna/Abuja highway on  October 10, abducted 10 students of the school while on their way to school.

However, the quick intervention of troops led to the immediate rescue of six out of the 10 students while the bandits escaped into the forest with the four

“On Monday October 14,  at about 6 am, following a tip off from a reliable source, troops raided the hideout of the bandits and successfully rescued the remaining 4 students without any injury,” Idima said.

According to him, during the rescue operation, the bandits ran into the bush with gunshot wounds while abandoning the students after they had engaged the troops in a gun duel.

Idimah explained that Operation Thunder Strikewas a Defence Headquarters operation with troops  drawn from the Army, Air Force, Police, State Services and Civil Defence Corps.

The spokesman said the General Officer Commanding 1Division, Maj.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya has hailed the performance of troops and reiterated the commitment of the Division in bringing about peace and tranquility to its area of responsibility.

He assured that despite the toughness of the tasks, the nation should count on the loyalty and commitment of officers and soldiers to delive

Market indices slump further by 0.45%

Activities on the nation’s bourse resumed for the week on Monday still on negative territory with crucial market indicators dropping further by 0.45 per cent.

Specifically, the market capitalisation lost N59 billion or 0.45 per cent to close at N13.078 trillion against N13.137 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index, which opened at 26,987.45, shed 121.04 points or 0.45 per cent to close at 26,866.41.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are: Seplat, Nestle Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Cadbury Nigeria and Nigerian Breweries.

Analysts at the United Capital Plc, expressed optimism that the market would maintain mixed performing.

“This week, we expect the equities market to remain tepid, as market participants’ factor in the activities in the global economy and the fiscal environment atmosphere in Nigeria before locking in gains on stocks with strong fundamentals.

“We also expect third quarter, 2019 earnings to begin to trickle in,” they said.

However, market breadth closed slightly positive, with 17 gainers compared with 16 losers.

A breakdown of the activity chart shows that Cornerstone Insurance led the losers’ chart with a loss of 10 per cent to close at 36k per share.

Seplat followed with a decline of 6.85 per cent to close at N517, while Cadbury dipped 5.74 per cent to close at N9.85 per share.

Caverton dropped 5.38 per cent to close at N2.46, while Oando declined by 2.70 per cent to close at N3.60 per share.

Conversely, Courteville recorded the highest price gain in percentage terms to lead the gainers’ table, growing by 10 per cent to close at 22 per share.

Africa Prudential followed with 9.94 per cent to close at N3.87, while Associated Bus Company appreciated by 8.82 per cent to close at 37k per share.

Wema Bank rose by 8.62 per cent to close at 63k, while UACN appreciated by 8.40 per cent to close at N7.10 per share.

The total volume traded appreciated marginally to close higher with an exchange of 151.71 million shares worth N1.50 billion exchanged in 2,854 deals.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 139.88 million shares valued at N1.03 billion transacted in 2,688 deals on Friday.

FCMB Group dominated trading activity chart with a total of 55.67 million shares valued at N89.06 million.

Transcorp followed with 17.15 million shares worth N17.21 million, while FBN Holdings accounted for 14.39 million shares valued at N76.24 million.

Access Bank sold 7.36 million shares worth N52.35 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 6.87 million shares valued at N123.54 million. (NAN)

Lagos assembly threatens to arrest Ambode

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the former Governor of the State, Akinwunmi Ambode and four others who served under the ex-governor as commissioners.

The decision followed two preliminary reports presented by two different ad-hoc committees set up by the House to investigate the 820 buses purchased by Ambode and to appraise the 2019 mid-year budget. The former commissioners involved include Kazeem Adeniji (Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice), Olusegun Banjo (Commissioner for Budget), Akinyemi Ashade (Commissioner for Finance) and Wale Oluwo (Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources).

Presenting the preliminary report of a 9-man ad-hoc committee to probe the 820 buses purchased by the former governor, Chairman of the committee, Fatai Mojeed said that it was discovered that due process was not followed in the purchase of the buses.

The lawmaker said Ambode used the refund of the Paris Club for the purchase of the buses without the approval of the House, saying “he did not inform the House before commencing the purchase of the buses.

“Over N48 billion was spent on the purchase of the buses and N22 Billion were spent on import duties. 520 of the buses are still at the seaport.”

Mojeed stated that the Accountant General of the state told the committee that she depended on the approval of Ambode for the purchase of the buses and that no payment voucher was made available to the committee.

According to Mojeed, they also demanded for the budget instrument used for the purchase, but that there was no budgetary provision for the purchases.

“They could not produce any newspaper where the purchase of the buses was advertised. The committee invited 20 stakeholders, 16 of them complied, while four of them refused against the constitutional provision,” he added.

On his part, Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman Adhoc Committee on mid-year budget review, alleged that the above-mentioned commissioners were invited by his committee but refused to appear without giving any excuses for their absence.

Yishawu also claimed that the former governor gave some directives on spending without the approval of the lawmakers.

Reacting to the matter, some members of the House suggested that since the ex-governor and those officials who worked with him had been invited by the two committees and refused to show up, warrant of arrest should be issued on them.

Bisi Yusuf, the member representing Alimosho Constituency 1, told his colleagues that the House is empowered by the constitution to issue a warrant of arrest on the concerned individuals for their refusal to appear before the committees.

While expressing a contrary view, member representing Badagry Constituency 1, Ibrahim Layode urged his colleagues to tread with caution.

He advised that the concerned individuals should be invited through newspaper advertisements, stating that the ex-officials were likely to come across the publications.

According to the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, “I want to observe that if they have been invited and refused to show up, we should summon them and if they still refuse, then a warrant of arrest can be issued. Now, they’ve been invited, we should summon them by using the dailies before going to the extent of issuing an arrest warrant.”

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, noted that the issue was beyond arrest warrant, “because when this house invite people and they refused to show up, it’s like setting a bad precedence for others coming behind.

“The clerk should write them, including the ex-governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and if they refused, we will do newspaper publications and after that, we will issue a warrant of arrest,” Obasa stated.

Buhari nominates Adesina for re-election as AfDB President

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for re-election as the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Akinwunmi, while speaking at an event in Lagos on Sunday, appreciated Buhari for nominating him for re-election for a second term as president of the bank.

According to Adesina, Nigeria has invested so much in me.

“When asked by former President Goodluck Jonathan to serve as Minister of Agriculture, it was duty calling me to the land of my birth.

“I served Nigeria to the very best of my ability. I thank God that Nigeria’s agriculture sector witnessed a much-needed transformation at the time.

`With the strong support of President Jonathan and the then President elect, Buhari, we campaigned very hard for the position of the President of the African Development Bank.

“It was a Nigeria effort, as all hands were on deck.

“This included our former presidents and heads of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice Presidents Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo, and of course my dear indefatigable sister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who ran a spirited campaign for me.

“By God’s grace, I was elected President of the African Development Bank on May 28, 2015, exactly 24 hours after my term of office as Minister ended.

“The nation jubilated as I became the first-ever Nigerian to be elected President of the bank since its establishment in 1964.

“Once again, Nigeria gave me air in my lungs.

“At the African Development Bank, we have worked very hard.

“In my four years as President, we have connected 16 million people to electricity, provided 70 million people with improved agricultural technologies to achieve food security.

“We have also given nine million people access to finance from private sector companies, provided 55 million people with access to improved transport, and 31 million people with access to water and sanitation.

“In all, 181 million people have directly benefitted from our investments.

“I am proud of all my staff and the Board of Directors whose hard work and relentless support have helped make this happen.

“The African Development Bank has continued to maintain its global AAA rating. Last year, the bank was rated the 4th most transparent institution globally.

“There is still much to do. We have gone some way climbing the steep mountainside of Africa’s development, yet there is still much way to go until we reach the mountaintop.

“Nigeria again is giving me air in my lungs, to keep on climbing.

“I wish to immensely thank and appreciate President Buhari for nominating me for e-election for a second term as President of the African Development Bank and for being such a wonderful champion and supporter of my re-election,’’ Adesina said.

Nigeria ready for 5G – Communication Minister

Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Oct. 7, 2019 (NAN) In line with global requirements of communications, Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications, said Nigeria was ready to deploy 5G network across the country to ease network flow.

Pantami said this on Monday at the ongoing 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) holding in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

GITEX is a global technology exhibition that brings together over 200,000 trade visitors, investors, innovators, IT experts, countries, Information Communication Technology startups from over 145 countries of the world, to share trends of ICT and ways of advancing technology innovations.

Nigeria’s participation in GITEX, which is spearheaded by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a week long programme holding from Oct. 6  to Oct. 10.

5G mobile network is the next-generation standard for wireless communication, set to start taking over the mobile network environment in 2019. 5G delivers vastly increased capacity, lower latency and faster speed.

The minster said “ Nigeria is ready for 5G network but preparation is key. We are ready but need deployment and before that we need pre-deployment and post-deployment.

“We are working to handle the challenges of pre-deployment but the approval has been given for the trial.

“Nigeria is not yet into the 5G network deliberately. Some of the telecom operators are ready to deploy the 5G network but the proposal was put on hold, so we can be productive and proactive.

“There could be potential challenges that could obstruct 5G network, which include regulations. You cannot just rush into it without preparing your ground,’’ he said.

He said that the Federal Government is engaging some security agencies like the National Intelligence Agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Police, among others to ensure a seamless process, while establishing regulations on deploying the 5G network.

The minister also said that 5G network cannot be deployed across the country yet due to some gaps in citizens being unable to access 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

“At the pace we are moving, some places do not even have 2G, there are over 200 cluster areas in the country and with this you cannot say we can move to 5G when some people are yet to access 2G, 3G.

“The gaps are already there, it is not a new one but you cannot delay advancement because other people are not benefiting, what we should do is to bridge the gap.’’

He added that Nigeria was not doing badly in technology, however, patriotism and confidence in indigenous products and services was lacking.

Pantami recalled that a Nigerian in the UK was the first person globally to develop, build and design first real time 5G network dedicated to self-organised networks in the UK , using general purpose processors.

According to him, we usually fail to deploy what we produce, we are so much addicted to foreign products and whenever we hear anything local it appears to us as inferior.

“That perception of undermining our effort is what we need to change.’’

NAN

ASUU splits as parallel body applies for registration

The Ministry of labour and Employment, has confirmed receipt of application for the registration of a new University Union, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), to be formed out of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister, Sunday, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the application was awaiting deliberation as stipulated by Trade Union laws.

According to him, a committee would be set up to define modalities before it will be approved.

“They have not been registered yet. Their application is in the ministry. It has not been treated.

“We are still looking at their application. I asked a committee to look into it, when we look at the committee’s report, we will know what to do.

“They submitted it even before I left office initially, they submitted the application in April,” he said.

On whether CONUA would not duplicate the functions of ASUU, Ngige said that would be the duty of a committee set up on the matter to reveal.

The National Coordinator of CONUA, Mr Niyi Ismaheel, said on Sunday in Abuja that CONUA had a sole purpose of redefining unionism and restore peace and stability in the universities in Nigeria.

According to him, the union will help put to an end unnecessary delays in the academic calendar of Nigerian students, following frequent strikes.

“The Union, which started in OAU now has Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Federal University, Lokoja and Kwara State University, Molete as members.

“The union is putting necessary documentations in place for official recognition by the university management and the government,” he said.

A female cadet, Uchechi Promise Echefu emerges The Best Graduating Student From Nigeria Defence Academy (Navy)

Uchechi Promise Echefu has emerged the overall best graduating student from Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA (Navy) at the just concluded passing out ceremony of Cadets of 66 Regular Course, Short Service Course 45 (Army) and 67 Regular Course (Navy and Air Force). She also bagged First Class Honours in Computer Science in the faculty of Military Science and Inter Disciplinary Studies

Uchechi hails from Mbeke Autonomous community in Isiala mbano LGA of Imo state.

She also received the following Five academic awards.

1. Commander in Chief best graduating cadet Academic Award
2. Afe Bablola best Behaved graduating cadet Award
3. Chief of Defence staff best graduating cadet Award in Military Science and Inter Disciplinary Studies
4. Commandant Best graduating cadet in Computer Science.
5. Best graduating cadet in Navy.

Ransom demanded by kidnappers on Nigerian School girls

Gunmen who kidnapped six female students and two staff members from their hostels at a remote school in northern Nigeria have made a ransom demand, the regional governor said.

Armed assailants gained entry to Engravers College, a mixed boarding school in a remote area just south of the city of Kaduna, early on Thursday and seized the victims.

“They have made a demand for money and that is being negotiated,” state governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai told reporters in the capital Abuja.

The governor refused to disclose details of the demands or negotiations as the authorities were “trying to protect the victims and secure their release”.

Abductions for ransom are common in Nigeria and the school is located in an area that has become notorious for armed banditry.

It is far to the west of the region notorious for attacks by the Boko Haram jihadist group.

Boko Haram grabbed headlines around the world in 2014 for the abduction of 276 schoolgirls from the remote northeastern town of Chibok in Borno state.

El-Rufai said those responsible for the Kaduna kidnapping had made contact with parents and that police had gathered relatives together to facilitate communication.

He insisted the police, army and airforce remained on the hunt for the kidnappers and their victims.

A mother of one of the kidnapped children told AFP she had briefly spoken with her daughter by phone.

“My daughter called me early Friday morning on a phone number I didn’t know,” she said.

“She was crying and sounded frightened.”

The school was deserted on Thursday after parents hastily took their children home as news of the abduction spread.

Nigeria, South Africa agree on trade deals and mend relations

South Africa and Nigeria signed 30 trade and cooperation agreements on Thursday, weeks after a wave of violence against Nigerian nationals in Johannesburg and Pretoria had strained relations between Africa’s top two economies.

In September, mobs armed with makeshift weapons attacked businesses and homes owned by foreigners, leading to at least 10 deaths, dozens of injuries and up to 400 arrests.

In response Nigeria repatriated around 600 of its citizens living in South Africa.

Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa and Muhammadu Buhari, at the conclusion of a two-day visit by the Nigerian leader, said they regretted the violence and subsequent retaliation in Nigeria against South African businesses, pledging instead to deepen trade ties.

The local units of South African telecoms company MTN and supermarket chain Shoprite closed all stores and service centres in Nigeria after their premises were attacked by Nigerians protesting against attacks on their compatriots in South Africa.

“As the government of South Africa, we have expressed our deep regret at the attacks directed at foreign nationals and our condemnation of all forms of intolerance and acts of violence,” Ramaphosa told journalists.

Ramaphosa said the two countries had sealed 32 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding covering trade and industry, science and technology, defence, agriculture and energy.

Nigeria accounts for 64 percent of South Africa’s total trade with the West African Region and is one of its largest trading partners on the continent.

Buhari said beyond the economic partnership the anti-foreigner violence had to be addressed quickly.

“We decided to take concrete measures to prevent the recurrence of such unacceptable incidents in the future,” Buhari said.

Reuters.