Senate To Pass Whistle-Blower Protection Bill In July This Year

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The upper chamber of the National Assembly will pass the Whistle Blower Protection Bill in July 2017, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said. 

Speaking at the launch of “Antidotes for Corruption: The Nigerian Story”, a book written by Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West, on Monday in Abuja, Mr. Saraki said when backed by legislation, whistle-blowing would have greater value “and it is hoped that we can pass it before July this year”.

The senate president further stated that other anti-corruption legislation being considered by the Senate included the Proceeds of Crime Bill, the Special Anti-Corruption Court, which will be done through constitutional amendment and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill.

Mr. Saraki said the executive and legislature must work hard to make it difficult for proceeds of corruption to find any hope.

He added: “We must fight corruption with sincerity. We must aim to go to the root of the problem. We must strengthen our institutions.

“If we work on prevention we will get to a milestone in our fight against corruption.’’

He added that the passage of the 2017 budget by the National Assembly was the first major step in ensuring openness.

“For the first time in our political history, the budget of the National Assembly changed from a one-line item to a 34-page document that shows details of how we plan to utilize the public funds that we appropriate to ourselves.

“The people are demanding more openness, more accountability and more convictions.

“Those of us in government are also responding, joining the conversation and accepting that the basis of our legitimacy as government is our manifest accountability to the people,” he said.

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Nigeria Announces Rescue Of Another Chibok Girl

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Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday announced the recovery of another Chibok schoolgirl by the country’s military.

The news which was brought to light at the Federal Executive Council meeting is coming barely 12 days after the release of about 82 abducted girls who were abducted by the dreaded Boko Haram group.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Secures Release Of 82 More Chibok Girls

This disclosure was confirmed by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, while speaking to State House correspondents in Abuja.

According to him, the affected girl has been brought to Abuja to join her colleagues who were rescued from captivity.

He said: “Yes, at the Federal Executive Council’s meeting, the Vice-President broke the cheering news to members of the cabinet and after that I have also spoken to defence people who confirmed it.

“The details are yet to fully unravel . But in terms of is it true- yes, it is true. I learnt she is already being brought to Abuja, but I have not seen her.”

The presidential aide was optimistic that the remaining Chibok schoolgirls and other Nigerians in captivity would soon be rescued.

82 Freed Chibok Girls Were Swapped For 5 Boko Haram Commanders?

He also dismissed the assertion that members of the Boko Haram sect had started regrouping in the Sambisa forest, saying that the Federal Government had the capacity to confront any security challenge arising from any part of the country.

He said: “One thing you can be sure of is that this government has the capacity to confront any security challenge that arises.

“So, if they are regrouping they will be flushed out again.”

“I believe that we have seen the worst of that insurgency. We are in a mopping up process and I believe the mop up would be completed.’’

It would be recalled, 82 girls were recently released by their captors in exchange for five Boko Haram (commanders) suspects held by the federal government.

Twenty one others were released in October last year and another three also regained their freedom, in separate circumstances.

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Nigeria Records N3.3 Trillion Lost In Oil Revenue In 2016

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The federal government has recorded a deficit of $11 billion (N3.3 trillion using the official exchange rate of $305 per dollar) revenue from crude oil export in 2016, according to the oil and gas revenue fact sheet of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Based on the revenue fact sheet released on Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Nigeria’s crude oil revenue fell from the $37 billion recorded in 2015 to $26 billion in 2016.

This is coming against the backdrop of $10 billion (N3.05 trillion) the Africa’s most populous nation earned from oil export between January and April this year.

Globally, the 13-member cartel of OPEC earned about $433 billion in net oil export revenues in 2016.

Nigeria’s Oil Production Increases By 274,000bpd In April

This represents a 15 per cent decline from the $509 billion earned in 2015, mainly as a result of the fall in average oil prices during the year, and to a lesser extent to decreases in the level of OPEC net oil exports.

This revenue, according to EIA, was the lowest earnings for OPEC since 2004. The net oil export revenues reflect OPEC members as of May 2017. Nonetheless, the EIA said Nigeria became the sixth highest revenue earner among the 13 OPEC member countries in the 2016 period.

For example, Saudi Arabia occupied the number position with revenue of $133 billion; Iraq, $54 billion; United Arab Emirates, $47 billion; Kuwait, $37 billion; Iran, $36; and Nigeria, $26 billion.

It explained that the net export earnings also included Iran, which the EIA did not include in earlier reports published between 2012 and 2015.

The EIA stated: “However, Iran’s net export revenues are not adjusted for possible price discounts the country may have offered its customers between late 2011 and January 2016, when nuclear-related sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sales were in place. Saudi Arabia earned the largest share of these earnings, $133 billion in 2016, representing approximately one-third of total OPEC oil revenues.”

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Audu Maikori Slams El-Rufai With N10bn Lawsuit For Violation Of Human Rights (See Details)

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Nigerian entertainment mogul and social activist, Mr. Audu Maikori, has sued the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, for the gross violation of his human rights.

In a suit (FHC/ABJ/CS/385/17) filed by his lawyers, Ballason’s Chambers, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Mr. Maikori, is seeking damages against Governor El-Rufai to the sum of N10 billion.

#FreeAudu: Reactions Trail Arrest Of Chocolate City’s Maikori, Over Statement On Southern Kaduna Killings

He is also praying the court to enforce his fundamental rights against undue harassment and intimidation by the Kaduna State Governor and the Nigerian Police, in the suit, which came up for hearing before the trial judge, Hon. Justice John Tsoho on Tuesday, 16th May, 2017.

Maikori had some months ago been at the forefront of advocacy to bring the world’s attention to the Southern Kaduna carnage following admittance by the Kaduna State Governor that he had paid the Fulani herdsmen aggressors in the region to stop the killings.

The Arrest Of Audu Maikori And Misplaced Call To Pray For Tyrant By Fani-Kayode

He was subsequently arrested by the Nigeria Police on charges of incitement, based on a petition by the Kaduna State Government, which attributed to a tweet, which he later retracted and apologized for when he discovered his driver had lied to him to obtain money fraudulently.

Following pressure and intense outcry, he was released on bail and subsequently cleared of any complicity by the Police Force Headquarters only to be re-arrested again and whisked off to Kaduna after Governor El-Rufai publicly vowed to prosecute him during the Social Media Week 2017.

The Killing Fields Of Kaduna State And The Maikori Affair

See suit below:

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Nigerian Army Warns Officers, Soldiers To Steer Clear Of Politics

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The Nigerian Army has issued a stern warning to all officers and soldiers in the Force to steer clear of politics.

While issuing the warning, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, revealed that some politicians have been making frantic efforts to infiltrate his officers for various political “actions and gains”.

The cautionary words from the Army Chief may not be unconnected to the air of uncertainty in the country arising from President Muhammadu Buhari’s illness, which necessitated his return to London penultimate week to get medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

Although he did not speak more on what the political “actions and gains” were, it is rumoured that Buratai’s warning followed a report of an attempt by some politicians to infiltrate the military, particularly the Nigerian Army.

A statement issued by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, said the army headquarters and the COAS had received information about such “sinister plans” by some politicians to derail the professional calling of some army officers.

The statement read: “This is to inform the public that the Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army and Lieutenant-General TY Buratai have received information that some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons.

“On the basis of that, he has warned such persons to desist from these acts.

“He also reminded them that the Nigerian Army is a thorough professional, disciplined, loyal and apolitical institution that has clear constitutional roles and responsibilities.

“He seriously warned and advised all officers and soldiers interested in politics to resign their commission or apply for voluntary discharge forthwith.”

“Any officer or soldier of the Nigerian Army found to be hobnobbing with such elements or engaged in unprofessional conduct such as politicking would have himself or herself to blame.”

“The COAS has further reiterated that the Nigerian Army will remain apolitical and respect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Lagos State To Introduce New Number Plates For Commercial Buses, Uniforms For Conductors And Drivers

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The Lagos State Government has announced that there are plans to introduce new number plates for commercial vehicles in the state.

The Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, stated this during the 2017 Ministerial briefing to mark Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s two years in office. The Commissioner said it would ensure clear identification of vehicles registered for commercial purposes.

“The state agencies like Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, Number Plate Production Agency and ministry of transportation will fine-tune the operations and issuance,” He added.

Elegushi explained that the development would bring a robust database for vehicles involved in commercial transportation to ensure safety of passengers. He added that about 5,000 commercial buses would be injected into the transport sector, while drivers and conductors will be given uniforms.

“There will be introduction of uniforms for drivers and conductors to signpost a commencement of decency, discipline and quality service to the people of Lagos State,” Elegushi said.

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Senate Orders CBN, NNPC, FIRS, 35 Other Agencies To Submit Budget Proposals Or Risk Sanctions

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The Senate on Tuesday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and 35 other Federal Government agencies to submit their 2017 budget proposals for approval or risk sanctions.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly stated that it was unbecoming that five months into the year, 38 statutory agencies of the Federal Government have failed to submit their budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year.

It further stated that the agencies continued to make huge extra budgetary expenditure against the law establishing them.

Speaking on Tuesday, the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South), who dragged the attention of the Senate to the matter, said it was abnormal for the agencies not to have submitted their budgets for approval by the National Assembly.

He further stressed that it was wrong for agencies to spend money that has not been appropriated by the legislature.

Na’Allah told the Senate that he intends to bring the issue to the floor as a motion so that Senators will understand the implications and the need to assist the government to fight corruption.

He said: “I deliberately decided that I will bring it on the floor, so that Senators will understand the implications.

“In our commitment to assist this government to fight corruption, we must stand on our feet that every spirit of our law must be obeyed by those holding public offices. I think that if you permit me I will like to come tomorrow by way of motion, so it can be debated on the floor of the Senate.

“The only approach this Senate can take to assist this government in fighting corruption, is to insist that gross abuse of power and misuse of power must be stopped by every government agency. The only way we can build our institutions is to radically address the issue of abuse of power and misuse of power. I think that if you give me permission, I will like to bring it tomorrow as a motion.”

Reacting to Na’Allah’s submission with an approval, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, expressed displeasure over the failure by most government agencies to submit their 2017 budget proposals to the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

Saraki condemned the practice where agencies of government spend money without statutory approval by the National Assembly.

The senate president ruled that the Senate would comprehensively debate the issue and take a resolution today (Wednesday).

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Nigerian Govt To Terminate 6 Abandoned Projects In Niger Delta

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The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has said it has concluded arrangements to terminate about six abandoned projects spread across the region with a view to enhance the development of the region.

This disclosure was made known by the Minister, Pastor Uguru Usani, while receiving the report on the audit and review of the East-west road and other project of its Ministry in Abuja.

Usani said that following the report from the Ministerial Technical Audit Committee on the contracts awarded from 2009 – 2015 in the Niger Delta, that some projects have been proposed for termination.

He listed the projects to include construction of OkpuhutaMbano Junction – Orie market –Lomara- Igwebulka (35km) – Abia State; Land reclamation and Erosion control project at OguduAbia Phase I, Abia State.

Others are Idoro-Eastern Itam Water Supply Scheme Akwa Ibom; Construction of Mbak Atai-Ikot Ntu-MkpetiOkuiboku road project (13.86km) Akwa Ibom State; Ukparam Water Supply Scheme and Construction and Supervision of Omelema – Agada II Road, Rivers State. Project Length 14.415km.

He said, “Gross lack of capacity problem, lack of seriousness on the project, lack of technical capacity to prosecute project and gross lack of competence by the contractors”.

“Prominent among other issues of violation were indiscriminate award of contract by initiating and benefiting departments without the leading and guiding role of the procurement department.

“Awards never took cognizance of availability of funds and annual appropriation provisions.

“This manifestly, emanated from inconsistency in government annual budgetary provision and lack of capacity to deliver especially where funds released do not correspond with performance.

“Most contracts were awarded with specific dates of completion but were not captured in subsequent appropriations.

“Consequently, no capital project was completed within the stipulated time frame.”

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Gunmen Kill Islamic Cleric, Wife And 4 Children In Ijebu-Ode

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A 35 year-old Isamic cleric, Sheikh Yusuf Amzat-Salam, also known as Alfa Abu, his wife and four children were killed by some unidentified gunmen in an attack on their home in the Atiba area of Odogbolu, Ogun State on Tuesday.

Imam, 20 Others Killed After Gunmen Attack Mosque In Niger State

It is understood that all the victims had been buried in accordance with Muslim rites, amid wailing by sympathisers and relations.

Sheikh Yusuf Amzat-Salam also known as Alfa Abu: killed along with wife, 4 kids
Sheikh Yusuf Amzat-Salam also known as Alfa Abu: killed along with wife, 4 kids

The Islamic cleric, his wife, eldest child, a girl aged 11, her twin brothers, aged 8 and the last female child, aged 2, were all butchered with machetes by the assailants whose motive could not be ascertained.

It was also learnt that the residents of the area woke up on Tuesday to meet the family in a pool of blood.

Gunmen Kidnap Ondo Perm Sec, Demand N70M For His Release

A close family friend, Mr Yusuf Oludaisi, described the act as dastardly and wicked, wondering what the victim must have done to warrant such treatment.

“He was someone whom we grew up together. I have known him for 30 years to be humble and kind to everyone who came across his path.

“It’s really sad because this was someone you will never see quarrelling or being disrespectful”, said Oludaisi, while speaking with NAN.

The younger brother of the victim, Alfa Ishaaq Amzat-Salam, however, said he would leave the matter for God to judge.

“I leave those who perpetrated such evil into God’s hands for He alone will judge them. The deed cannot be undone.

“I will always remember my brother forever for his loving kindness as he was a shining light to us all”, said Ishaaq.

Senator Gbenga Kaka (Ogun East), who was at the burial of the victims, described the incident as very sad.

“I am a close friend to the father of the victim and when I heard what happened, I was in shock.

“It is unimaginable what these people did and it brings much sadness to my heart. I don’t even have the words to describe it”, said Kaka.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in Ogun, Bimbola Oyeyemi, said the command was aware of the incident.

“We are already doing all to investigate and apprehend the culprit”, he said.

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JAMB Releases UTME Results For 742,906 Candidates

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has released the results for the first batch of candidates in the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

JAMB: 440,000 Candidates Sit For UTME Across Nigeria On Day 2

This is even as the apex exam body directed candidates in Ogbomoso to print notifications of their new examination centres from their email addresses.

JAMB: 357 Prison Inmates To Sit For 2017 UTME

The Head, Public Affairs, JAMB, Mr. Fabian Benjamin, in a statement on Tuesday said that the results of 742, 906 candidates who sat for the examination on Saturday and Monday was released within 24 hours.

“Candidates are to check their email addresses or visit the board’s website for the results. A total of 742, 906 candidates sat for the examination on Saturday and Monday. Another 401,292 candidates are expected to join them today, raising the number to 1, 144, 198 out of 1, 718,425.”

The spokesman added that the candidates, who have been posted to nearby towns such as Saki, Ago-Amodu and Ibadan are to sit for the examination between Thursday and Saturday at the new locations.

Recall, on Monday, some students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso had prevented candidates who were posted to the school to write the 2017 UTME from entering the premises or gain access to the examination centres in the school.

Meanwhile, the JAMB has said that it is monitoring the ongoing UTME through its central Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the country.

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N-Power: Nigeria Empowers 174,160 Youths

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The Ministry of Budget and National Planning had empowered no fewer than 174,160 youths out of 200,000 selected for N-power programme in the country.

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the Town Hall Meeting to celebrate the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration’s two years in office, its Minister, Udoma Udo Udoma, added that all beneficiaries from the 36 states had been engaged and had started receiving payments as part of the implementation of the N-power programme.

The minister said the N-power was implemented under the Social Investment Programmes as promised by President Buhari during his campaigns to help the poor and vulnerable people.

He said: ‘‘Hence, in the 2016 Budget we voted the sum of N500 billion for social investment programmes.

‘‘These projects are being implemented by the Office of the Vice- President, with my Ministry as the accounting Ministry Department Agency (MDA) for the programme.’’

Udoma said that so many people had also benefited from the Federal Government Cash Transfer programme, the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).

He said that the Cash Transfer Programme was aimed at providing targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households, with the final aim of graduating them out of poverty.

He added: ‘‘So far, 35 states have been engaged in the programme by signing its MoU and 30,000 households with validated Bank Verification Number (BVN) have been paid in the first 9 states.

‘‘Payments to address backlogs are currently ongoing.’’

The N-Power programme recruits and trains young unemployed graduates as teachers, agricultural extension workers and health support workers, etc.

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1,268 Nigerians ‘Voluntarily’ Return From Libya

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has disclosed that over 1,268 Nigerians have voluntarily returned from Libya from December 15, 2016 to May 16, 2017.

Speaking on Tuesday, Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, the Director General, NEMA, while receiving a fresh batch of 258 Nigerians who arrived in Lagos, said the returnees were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

Maihaja, who was represented by Dr Onimode Bandele, the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, said the fresh returnees came along with 20 children and infants.

According to him, another batch of Nigerians is expected back on May 25, and the exercise will continue as long as those stranded in Libya are willing to return home.

“Since December 2016, we have been able to bring back 1,268 Nigerians and the exercise will continue in collaboration with the IOM

“The Federal Government is collaborating with the various state governments to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees, ” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the returnees arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, aboard a chartered Libya Airlines Airbus A330-200 with registration number 5A-LAU at about 8:30pm.

They were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) , the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.

Also on ground to receive them were officials of NEMA, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

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Times Heroes & Daily Times Nigeria 91st Anniversary

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The attention of the board, directors and management of The Daily Times Nigeria (DTN) has been drawn to a fraudulent and manipulated press release trending on social media and purported to have emanate from the Legacy and Heritage Media Company.

We wish to unequivocally and categorically urge members of the public and numerous stakeholders of The Daily Times of Nigeria to discountenance the statement in totality.

A vivid and careful study of the illegal and fraudulent press release signed by an impostor claiming to be the company secretary, showed that it was the handy work of corporate hackers attempting to misinform the right-thinking members of the public on the corporate status and operations of The Daily Times of Nigeria.

The letter and spirit of the unauthorised statement also indicated that it was a calculated attempt to use the backdoor and social media to embarrass shareholders of The Daily Times of Nigeria and colour the national attention currently focused toward the DTN 91 years anniversary and 2017 Times Heroes Awards.

The trending fraud referred to as press release after more than two years of consolidated publication of The Daily Times, one of the titles in the stable of the media conglomerate and particularly now when the newspaper is celebrating its anniversary and hosting the Times Heroes Awards, remains a pointer to the wicked plans of the hackers and their ulterior motives.

It is instructive to note that The Daily Times was privatised in 2004 and all the assets and liabilities acquired by Folio Communications Limited as core and strategic investor. The Federal Government as represented by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as noted in the accompanied photograph handed over the DTN to the Chairman of Folio Communications, Mr. Fidelis Anosike.

Prior to the privatisation programme, the DTN ceased to be a public liability company in 2001 as the media conglomerate also exited from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The Daily Times board and directors, with Anosike as Chairman, once again reassured Nigerians and foreigners of our commitment toward the successful celebration of the newspaper’s anniversary and hosting of the Times Heroes Awards.

“We are committed and remain resolute in our mission and vision toward the restoration, reinvigoration and reposition of The Daily Times as the nation’s and continental media leader.

“As shareholders, we refuse to be distracted but remain focus and determine to meet the overall aim of the then Federal Government privatisation agenda,” Anosike said.

The board also assured members of the public that the anniversary celebrations and awards remain as scheduled and on course as planned.

Signed

Mr. Olisa Egbunike

Group General Manager

Folio Media Communications/DTN

 

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Lagos Plans To Introduce New Number Plate For Commercial Buses

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The authorities of Lagos State have said that it is planning to introduce new number plate for commercial vehicles in the state.

This disclosure was made by the acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, while addressing journalists at the 2017 Ministerial briefing to mark Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s two years in office.

Elegushi said the new regime of commercial vehicle number plate would ensure clear identification of vehicles registered for commercial purposes.

“The state agencies like Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, Number Plate Production Agency and ministry of transportation will fine-tune the operations and issuance,” the commissioner said.

The commissioner further stated that the database would contain a body tag, to be fixed to the body of the vehicles for effective monitoring and redistributing of routes for businesses.

He said that about 5,000 commercial buses would be injected into the transport sector to ensure safety and spread of buses and to ease transportation challenges in the state.

“There will be introduction of uniforms for drivers and conductors to signpost a commencement of decency, discipline and quality service to the people of Lagos State.

“It is also to serve as a mode of identification and distinction between drivers and conductors,” he said.

The commissioner also added that the state government planned to improve, expand and maintain infrastructure in line with globally accepted standards.

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Lagos Plans To Introduce New Number Plate For Commercial Buses

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The authorities of Lagos State have said that it is planning to introduce new number plate for commercial vehicles in the state.

This disclosure was made by the acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, while addressing journalists at the 2017 Ministerial briefing to mark Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s two years in office.

Elegushi said the new regime of commercial vehicle number plate would ensure clear identification of vehicles registered for commercial purposes.

“The state agencies like Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, Number Plate Production Agency and ministry of transportation will fine-tune the operations and issuance,” the commissioner said.

The commissioner further stated that the database would contain a body tag, to be fixed to the body of the vehicles for effective monitoring and redistributing of routes for businesses.

He said that about 5,000 commercial buses would be injected into the transport sector to ensure safety and spread of buses and to ease transportation challenges in the state.

“There will be introduction of uniforms for drivers and conductors to signpost a commencement of decency, discipline and quality service to the people of Lagos State.

“It is also to serve as a mode of identification and distinction between drivers and conductors,” he said.

The commissioner also added that the state government planned to improve, expand and maintain infrastructure in line with globally accepted standards.

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Fela Joins Hard Rock Collection 20 years Later, As Femi And Seun Kuti Perform Live

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Fela’s Costume To Be Donated To Hard Rock Collection, As Femi And Seun Kuti Perform Live

Late Afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s costume will take a fitting place among other world music greats on the renowned Hardrock Cafe Music Me Memorabilia Collection.

The singer’s famous children, Yeni, Femi and Seun Kuti will hand over costumes worn by Fela, including pieces of clothing and shoes to representatives of Hard Rock International in Lagos.

Fela Joins Hard Rock Collection 20 years Later, As Femi And Seun Kuti Perform Live Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of Fela’s death, a two-part ceremony is slated for Thursday, May 25 at Hardrock Café Lagos. It begins by 3pm with an induction ceremony to be witnessed late Fela’s friends, entertainment bigwigs and corporate Nigeria.  The ceremony will climax by 7pm when Femi Kuti with his Positive Force band and Seun Kuti with his Egypt 80 band hit the stage for a pulsating power-packed night of Afrobeat music.

One the major highlights of the induction will be the release of a new song dedicated to the late Afrobeat maestro by 2 time Grammy Award-winning artiste, Lekan Babalola. The song entitled ‘Mr. Lakaye’ (Tribute to Ogun) is produced by Will Angelero (New York – UK based Producer) and co-produced by Lekan Babalola. In addition, sensational artist, Fola David will do a live speed-painting of Fela on stage.

Also to be donated are original evergreen album covers whose designer, veteran artist, Lemi Gharioku will also be in attendance. Lemi is known for listening to and digesting Fela’s music, then expressing his reaction in Fela’s album cover design.  Lemi has designed over 26 Fela album covers.

The Hard Rock Café induction is being put together by foremost talent agency, Temple Management Company (TMC) after brokering a similar donation last year by juju maestro King Sunny Ade (KSA) as well as staging the much-talked about Sunny On Sunday concert.

Fela’s historic music journey began in 1958 when his parents sent him to London to study Medicine but cleverly opted for Trinity College School of Music. Fela formed his first band Koola Lobitos in 1961 providing the fodder for a movement that morphed into Afrobeat, a combination of elements of traditional High Life, Rock, Funk and Jazz.

Fela’s music became the voice of the hopeless and a constant thorn in the flesh of successive military governments. Some of his popular albums include Open & Close (1971), Gentleman (1973), Confusion (1975), Expensive Shit (1975), Zombie (1976) ending with Confusion Break Bones (1990).

TMC’s Head of Entertainment, Mark Redguard said, “The Hard Rock Induction is event again reinforces the influence that the great Fela Anikulapo-Kuti still commands twenty years later. We at TMC are delighted to be identified with another historic occasion that further develops and memorializes the Nigerian Music industry worldwide”

Other legends whose souvenirs are on the Hard Rock Memorabilia Collection include King Sunny Ade, Quincy Jones, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Bob Marley among others.

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FG Has Freed 12,000 Boko Haram Captives – Official

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The federal government has secured the released 12,000 Boko Haram captives, mainly women and children, an official has said.

Speaking on the development on Tuesday, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Ali, said that among those freed are the over 100 Chibok girls rescued by the Muhammadu Buhari administration in two batches.

Boko Haram: Nigeria Secures Release Of 82 More Chibok Girls

It is understood that the latest batch of 82 Chibok girls were freed in a swap deal with the Boko Haram with detained members of the group also released by the government.

The Boko Haram insurgency has caused the death of about 100,000 people since 2009 and has continued despite the terror group losing most of the territory it controlled to the Nigerian forces.

Details later…

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Ambode ‘Permanently’ Bans Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) From Lagos Roads

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday put the uncertainty concerning the absence of Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) on Lagos roads to rest once and for all, stating categorically that he has asked them to stay off the roads permanently.

Governor Ambode, who said this at the commissioning of Pedestrian Bridges, Laybys and Slip Road at Ojodu Berger, also urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to limit its operations to the fringes and highways and stay clear from the main streets of the State.

Governor Ambode Orders VIOs Out Of Lagos Roads ‘Until Further Notice’

He said the decisions were in line with his administration’s resolve to ensure free flow of traffic across the State, noting that their activities were contributing to traffic congestion on Lagos roads.

The Governor said, “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to reiterate that Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) have been asked to stay off our roads permanently.

“We also advice the Federal Road Safety Corps to stay on the fringes and highways and not on the main streets of Lagos. It has become evident that these agencies contribute to the traffic challenges on our roads.”

He said as an alternative, the State Government would employ technology to track and monitor vehicle registration and MOT certifications and de-emphasise impoundment of vehicles on the roads. Speaking on the interventions in Ojodu Berger, Governor Ambode said his administration at inception, identified the axis as one of the major traffic flashpoints that required urgent attention, adding that the decision was informed by the strategic importance of this axis being a major gateway into the State.

“What we set out to achieve with this project was to ensure smooth flow of traffic along the express, safeguard the lives of our people who had to run across the express and project the image of a truly global city to our visitors. Today, we are delighted that we have not only succeeded in transforming the landscape of this axis but with the slip road, lay bys and pedestrian bridge, we have given a new and pleasant experience to all entering and exiting our State.

“This project is the product of our innovative team of engineers, architects and town planners who have worked hard to create an innovative solution to tackle the challenges of this axis. I say a big thank you to the staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Works and the contractors – CCECC Nigeria Limited for a job well done,” he said.

To improve on the project, Governor Ambode said a food court would be built where people can relax before climbing the pedestrian bridge, as well as an interstate bus terminal within the Ojodu Berger axis for buses coming from outside Lagos to drop and load passengers, while intercity transportation system would move commuters within the city. Besides, the Governor assured that his traffic interventions would not only stop at the Ojodu Berger axis, but would be an ongoing process to create solutions to traffic congestion in every part of the State.

“If your neighbourhood or community is experiencing traffic challenges, be rest assured that we will soon be there. We will always ensure that promises made are promises kept. We will continue to rely on the support of all segments of the population for regular tax payments, obeying the rule of law and protection of public infrastructure. That is the only way we can progress and achieve our goal of being one of the world’s top centres for business, entertainment and leisure,” he said.

While alluding to the fact that the State has lived up to its reputation as a land of possibilities, Governor Ambode also expressed confidence that the future prospects of the State was promising and that the journey of the next fifty years has commenced on a very sound and solid footing. Earlier, in his opening remarks, the State’s Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Adebowale Akinsanya said the project was conceived by the State Government as a response to the yearnings of the people of Ojodu Berger Community for an improved, efficient and grid lock free road network, as well as the need to preserve the sanctity of life of Lagosians who hitherto were endangered by the need to cross the ever-busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Akinsanya, who is also overseeing the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, gave the scope of the project to include 98m pedestrian bridges with illumination, 150m length lay-bys on both sides of the expressway, 500m length of retaining wall with varying height from 3.5m to 7m and two multi-by bus park/bus lay-bys on Ogunnusi road with public convenience.

Other scope of the project included 650m slip road connecting traffic outward the expressway to Omole/Olowora Junction, 700m Ogunnusi/Wakatiadura dual road from Kosoko road junction to the expressway, 250m PWC Road to the expressway, street lighting on all the roads and multi-bay bus parks, signalization of all junctions, pedestrian walkway and drainage infrastructure, among others.

SIGNED

HABIB ARUNA

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

MAY 16, 2017

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“Nigeria Gradually Coming Out Of Recession” – Finance Minister

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Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has revealed that the country’s economy is gradually coming out of its worst recession in years.

Speaking at an Abuja Town Hall meeting, the minister also said the federal government is working to block wastages, increase GDP and embark on single window project execution.

“Nigeria is coming out of recession; we are beginning to see the signs and we will come out to become stronger,” the News Agency of Nigeria quotes Mrs. Adeosun as saying.

Details later..

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Federal Character Commission Probes DSS Over ‘Lopsided Recruitment’

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The Federal Character Commission (FCC) has demanded an explanation from the Department of State Services (DSS) over the recent recruitment into the organisation which has been described as lopsided.

The Nation Newspaper, quoted its Chairman, Dr. Shettima Abba, as saying that the commission has given the DSS a three-month ultimatum to explain the alleged appointment lopsidedness or face appropriate sanctions.

There has been an outcry in the country after the DSS recruited 51 persons from Katsina state alone whereas all the states in the South South got a combined 42 candidates.

The action is believed to have unduly favoured some states, contrary to section 14 (3) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

The report sparked outrage across the land, with many calling for thorough investigations into the alleged lopsidedness.

In his reaction, Abba pleaded for time before the commission would be able to make a categorical statement, adding that the DSS Director General, Mallam Lawal Daura, is out of the country on assignment.

He pledged that investigation would be carried out to determine if the agency had breached any extant law relating to appointments in line with the rules of the FCC.

He said: “In the Federal Character Commission, we are looking at the total number of indigenes of each state in a particular organisation. With the DSS, until we look at the total number on the nominal roll and compare it with the recruitment recently made, we cannot categorically say anything yet.

“The FCC has given the DSS three months to respond. If they don’t respond, whatever sanction that is being applied shall be taken. No answer has been given by the DSS because the DG is not in the country.

“Similar lopsided recruitment has been made in the past. That was in 2014-2016 which people complained about. We want to now go in to look at the total number from each state and this will determine our action.

“Although I have not seen the nominal roll I believe this one might be a corrective measure. We have already written to the DSS to supply us with the details of the recruitment and the details of their nominal roll including those who applied and those shortlisted so that we can confirm if the recruitment is lopsided or not. If we discover that it is lopsided, we will advise them appropriately.

“Certain states are seriously over employed, if you look at the recent ones, if they were under represented in the previous recruitment before this one, then it is a corrective measure.

“For now it is not yet time for us to conclude on anything. They have to provide us with details of their manpower across the states.

“The advertisement the DSS did was internal on their website. That was the reason we wrote to them to tell us the processes they used, we had earlier sent them our own processes of recruitment before and after they recruited. They are aware of FCC procedures and guidelines of advertisements, bringing out a long list and a short list on how these things are being done.”

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Gunmen Kidnap Ondo Perm Sec, Demand N70M For His Release

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped the Permanent Secretary of the Ondo State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Niran Ikuomola, on Sunday in Kogi State.

It was gathered that Ikuomola was kidnapped together with his driver on Sunday evening along the Lokoja/Abuja expressway, when going to Abuja for an official assignment.

Imam, 20 Others Killed After Gunmen Attack Mosque In Niger State

Speaking on the incident, the secretary of the state Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Roland Arohunmolase, who broke the news to newsmen in Akure, the state capital, said the Permanent Secretary was ambushed by unknown gunmen.

Arohunmolase further stated that one of the abductors contacted the family to confirm the incident, demanding N70 million as ransom for their victims.

His words: “Ikuomola was abducted yesterday (Sunday) with his driver on the Lokoja-Abuja road while on his way to Abuja for an official function. The kidnappers have contacted us this morning (Monday) demanding the sum of N70 million before he could be released to his family.”

Speaking on the matter, when contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, said since the incident occurred outside the jurisdiction of Ondo State, the police officers in Kogi State would take it up.

“Am not yet aware, although, it is outside our jurisdiction but am sure some of our colleagues (police) in Kogi would have taken prompt action on it,” he said.

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Naira Records Gain As CBN Injects $457.3m Into Forex Market

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The naira on Monday closed at N383 to a dollar at the parallel market after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) injected 457.3 million dollars into various segments of the market.

The local currency appreciated last week as it closed at N386/dollar on Friday, having closed at N390/dollar daily in the past one week.

How Nigeria’s Naira Fared Against Dollar On Parallel Market

The naira also firmed to about 305.60 to the dollar on the interbank market on Friday, up from 305.1/dollar on Thursday.

Speaking on the intervention by the apex bank, the CBN Spokesman, Mr Isaac Okorafor, in a statement, in Abuja, said that both the spot and forwards segments garnered 267.3 million dollars, while the wholesale segment got 100 million dollars.

Okorafor said the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles segments comprising basic travel allowance, tuition fee and medical got 50 million dollars and 40 million dollars respectively.

Meanwhile, checks by NAN on the volume of trading on the Investors and Exporters foreign exchange window in the past three weeks on the FMDQ platform revealed that 600 million dollars had been sold by both the CBN and autonomous sources.

Okorafor expressed satisfaction with the level of activities in the market.

The CBN spokesperson further said that the volume of activities being recorded in the Investors and Exporters forex segment was indicative of the fact that investors were attracted to the Nigerian financial market and the economy in general.

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JAMB: 440,000 Candidates Sit For UTME Across Nigeria On Day 2

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At least 440,000 candidates have sat for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) within two days across the country.

The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is’haq Oloyede, made this known in Abuja on Monday during a tour of the examination centres in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

JAMB: 357 Prison Inmates To Sit For 2017 UTME

Oloyede said that the exams would end in Bauchi, Abia, Niger states and some other states on May 15 while the UTME would continue in Kebbi state, Lagos state, Oyo and some other states.

He also said that some centres in Delta state were underutilised, adding that the Board would fully involve the centres in future exams.

Oloyede further called on candidates to avoid being exploited by unscrupulous persons in the name of getting exam questions for them.

The JAMB Registrar said that a case of a person who attacked JAMB officials in Abia state had been reported to the security personnel.

“I believe everything is going on well. We are monitoring the situation except for a person that was said to have attacked our staff in Abia state this morning.

“Candidates should be careful because some of these people go about telling the candidates they can give them questions.

“We are therefore appealing to people to do everything according to the law and avoid cutting corners with JAMB,’’ he said.

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Source: New feed2

JAMB: 440,000 Candidates Sit For UTME Across Nigeria On Day 2

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At least 440,000 candidates have sat for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) within two days across the country.

The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is’haq Oloyede, made this known in Abuja on Monday during a tour of the examination centres in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

JAMB: 357 Prison Inmates To Sit For 2017 UTME

Oloyede said that the exams would end in Bauchi, Abia, Niger states and some other states on May 15 while the UTME would continue in Kebbi state, Lagos state, Oyo and some other states.

He also said that some centres in Delta state were underutilised, adding that the Board would fully involve the centres in future exams.

Oloyede further called on candidates to avoid being exploited by unscrupulous persons in the name of getting exam questions for them.

The JAMB Registrar said that a case of a person who attacked JAMB officials in Abia state had been reported to the security personnel.

“I believe everything is going on well. We are monitoring the situation except for a person that was said to have attacked our staff in Abia state this morning.

“Candidates should be careful because some of these people go about telling the candidates they can give them questions.

“We are therefore appealing to people to do everything according to the law and avoid cutting corners with JAMB,’’ he said.

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N4.9bn Fraud: EFCC Re-Arraigns Fani-Kayode Before New Judge

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday re-arraigned a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, before a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, for an alleged fraud of N4.9bn.

The ex-minister was earlier today re-arraigned before a new judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, after he objected to being tried before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court before whom he was earlier arraigned on June 28, 2016.

Mr. Fani-Kayode, who was part of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign, was rearraigned alongside Nenadi Usman, a former minister of state for finance on a 17-count charge of money laundering and alleged diversion of N4.9 billion.

The 17 counts pressed against them border on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

Others include one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimension Nig. Ltd.

The anti-graft agency is accusing them of indirectly retaining N300m, N400m and N800m, all proceeds of corruption.

The EFCC also alleged that they committed the offence between January 8 and March 25, 2015, ahead of the 2015 general election.

In one of the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiring among themselves to “indirectly retain the sum of N1,500, 000,000.00 which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing.”

The defendants pleaded not guilty before the judge.

After much deliberation, the judge adjourned the case till June 6 and 9.

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Source: New feed2