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T. B. Joshua donates N12 million to South Africa returnees
Founder and Senior pastor of Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, SCOAN, Temitope Balogun Joshua widely known as Prophet T.B. Joshua on Thursday donated N12 million to the second batch of Nigerian returnees fleeing from xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
No fewer than 300 returnees arrived Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Wednesday with the assistance of a Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, with young children and many who had lost their means of livelihood during the recent attacks.
The money which was given was distributed among 162 people who visited the Church, with N100, 000 given to each adult and the remaining allotted according to the size of the families.
The spokesperson of SCOAN, Mr. Joseph told the returnees that T.B. Joshua is known for his philanthropy and that is what he did again.
“The man of God is fully aware of your presence even if he is not around and he has instructed that you should be well taken care of. He is also praying for you. This is what he’s known for.”
“You are the second set of people that came back and the first batch was also here last week and the man of God blesses them. So he feels what you are feeling right now and he shares your pains and that is why you are welcome here.”
“By the grace of God, the spirit of God will lead him to do what is best for you. Many of you have lost everything, you came back with nothing even though you properties, businesses are there.”
“The man of God said he cannot afford to close his eyes or turn deaf ears to your plights so with the support of Emmanuel TV Partners, the man of God has given everyone here today as returnees from South Africa the cash sum of N12 million.”
It was a mix of pain and relief for the beneficiaries who looked exhausted as they thanked Prophet T.B Joshua for coming to their rescue.
While giving their testimonies, Nnabuche Wisdom, one of the returnees said he already made up his mind to come back to Nigeria to continue his interior decoration work but he does not have a dime to live in South Africa.
According to the 30-year-old Imo State-born, “I was thinking of escaping South Africa but I do not have any money as I have lost everything due to the xenophobic attacks. On the 12th of this month, I was checking the internet when I saw this industrial machine that I like, it costs N102, 000 but I don’t have the money.”
“But here I am with N100,000 given to me by Prophet T. B. Joshua. I thank God and I thank the man of God,” he added.
Another returnee, Ipaye Joke who is heavily pregnant returned with his husband and their two kids. They got N250,000 to start their life back.
“I have hope to buy baby things for my unborn child and put my children back to school,” she said.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:55 pm
Heavy flood ravishes Appeal Court in Abuja, activities grounded
For some staff and individuals, with cases pending at the Court of Appeal, Abuja division, it will take a while to overcome the effect of the negative impact of the rainfall experienced in the city in the past few days.
Unlike the case last year, where minor flooding was witnessed around the court premises, the impact of the flood experienced between Monday and Tuesday this week was massive.
Not only were vehicles submerged, offices were flooded with files and documents impacted.
Most affected was the Abuja division, sitting on the lower end of the sprawling structure, which also houses the Court of Appeal headquarters.
“Some of our files were affected. We intend to work with lawyers in cases affected, for replacement. We have never had it so bad,” a senior official, who prayed not to be named, said.
Another, who sought to be identified with her first name, Juliet, said her car was among the vehicles that were affected.
“We had to escape without our vehicles. We were only able to recover our vehicle the next day, when the flood receded.
“My car is currently with the mechanics. They are battling to fix it. The car was totally submerged in the flood.
“Beside the engine that is said to have been affected, all the documents I had in the car were also affected,” she said.
A lawyer, Isaac Okechukwu said he was in court to ascertain the condition of things upon being informed about the development.
“I heard that the court was flooded and some offices and case files affected. I came to see if my cases were among those affected,” Okechukwu said.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:53 pm
Buhari incompetent, dragged Nigeria into dungeon of poverty – Sheikh Gumi
Famous Islamic Scholar in Northern Nigeria, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has said that, the 2019 general elections were the worst and has produced an incompetent government presided over by Muhammadu Buhari.
Sheikh Gumi who accused southern political class for the outcome of the 2019 elections argued that, Buhari’s government has plunged Nigeria into dungeon of poverty.
While arguing that, the southern political class deliberately supported what he described as failure during the 2015 and 2019 elections for their personal gains, the Islamic Scholar said, the elections were beclouded with massive irregularities, which according to him eventually produced gross incompetent government.
Sheikh Gumi stated this while playing host to the President and Founder of Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministries International, Prophet Isah El-Buba, who paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna on Thursday.
According to him, “the 2019 election was the most painful, worst election conducted in the history of Nigeria, which has now divided Nigerians across interests capitalising on their ignorance the real persons behind the faces they thought they know.
“We are having the same vision about getting the right purposeful leadership that is focused and all-embracing like hawk which protects all his children. This is the type of leadership we need.
“Nigeria is now seriously divided along all interests. Class struggle is now the major factor that keep polarising Nigeria. Now what brought the division is abject poverty. The poor and the downtrodden are now angry. All the crimes we have now came as a result of poverty.
“The politicians are necessary evil even though a lot of them are not educated. The crop of political leaders not educated to handle the problem we have in Nigeria today. The idea is very important and not what we see today. There is no point looking at who is doing what but the idea.
“Jonathan and Buhari are not good for Nigeria. When we told Jonathan to do something, he was looking at us from Muslim perspective. People were dying in hospital, kidnapping is the worst thing. I lost a daughter a few months back from this kind of kidnapping. After attaining position all they think is how to get contract and jet out of country.
“I will support you to move round the country because we still have good people all over the country. I’m ready to go with you. But, don’t forget to carry them along. You have to tell them. The last election was the painful election I have seen in Nigeria. In 2015, we realised we were handicapped because Nigerians are ignorant. I expected 2019 to be clean, but, it is the worst election I have seen in Nigeria.
“You can imagine, a government that is fighting corruption saw a governor from the North stalking dollars in his pockets and kept quiet. What example is the North showing? Nigeria needs a new page. People who will unite us. The surest way to move Nigeria forward is through free, fair and credible elections,” he said.
Earlier, Prophet Isah said, he embarked on national tour to see a new Nigeria where justice shall be the basis upon which the country is governed.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:35 pm
Shame on men who don’t feature enough women in their shows-Lami Phillips
Soulful singer, Lami Phillips has lamented over how male show promoters discriminate over female singers in the Nigerian music industry.Phillips added that women also have talents too.
Speaking in a chat with LITV, she said:” Shame on the men who put up the shows and don’t realize you can have five women and one man. My point is that we have talent,” Lami noted.
Asked If female artistes support one another, she said:”We women we’re perpetually putting each other down. We don’t gas each other up when we’re doing the right thing. We see beauty the wrong way, meanwhile people are trying to look like us.”
Lami also added that entertainers experience a lot of social pressure.
“You know, when you’re an artist or a public figure, people have opinions about what you should do, how you should look, what you should sing, what you should wear, and all of that stuff.”
Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:29 pm
NEC budgets N100bn for national livestock programme
The National Economic Council (NEC) has budgeted N100 billion for the implementation of the national livestock transformation plan (NLTP).
The council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo reviewed the proposal submitted by one of its subcommittees at its Thursday meeting in the presidential villa
Dave Umayi, Ebonyi state governor and chairman of the subcommittee on farmer/herder crisis, said the proposal indicates that the federal government would contribute 80% of the funds, while states would provide the remaining 20% and the land to be used.
He said the programme is voluntary for states willing to participate.
The governor also explained that the livestock programme is not only about cows, so states are free to use any animal they like to implement the livestock plan.
Umahi stated that the programme comprises of education and care for people displaced by farmers/herders’ crisis.
According to the governor, the council has not fixed a takeoff date for the programme.
Osinbajo had earlier launched the livestock programme in Adamawa state, saying the plan was to address the farmer-herder crisis in the country.
Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s media aide, had said the launch of the NLTP should not be confused with RUGA, a plan which was suspended by the federal government following public outcry.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:06 pm
Boko Haram insurgents now running for their lives -Army boasts
The Nigerian army says hundreds of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents are being flushed out of their hideouts.
Sagir Musa, army’s spokesperson, said this in a statement issued on Thursday.
He said artillery and aerial bombardments of Boko Haram settlements have forced the insurgents to flee to north and central Africa sub-regions.
“This mass movement for their lives was necessitated by the sustained air and artillery bombardments by the Nigerian Armed Forces and Coalition forces of the MNJTF, which killed uncountable number of the terrorists and destroyed their weapons and equipment,” he said.
“To further annihilate the fleeing terrorists, efforts are ongoing for continued shelling, bombardment and pursuits.
“Similarly, the countries in these sub-regions have also been contacted through the MNJTF headquarters.”
He said the various national troops and multinational joint task force (MNJTF) were maintaining aggressive patrols and blocking positions against infiltration by the escaping criminals.
He added that most of them had been hiding along the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger Republic and Nigeria.
In the past few months, Boko Haram insurgents had attacked military formations and bases, and this led the army to rework its strategy in fighting them.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:00 pm
‘They can take Nigeria to greater heights’ — Dangote hails Buhari’s ‘rare’ economic council
Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group, says the recently appointed economic advisory council by President Muhammadu Buhari has the ability to take the country’s economy to the next level.
In a statement released on Thursday by Anthony Chiejina, Dangote’s chief corporate communications officer, the businessman described the council as “tested and respected patriots who are always ready to put the country’s interest first”.
“The constitution of the Economic Advisory Council is a proactive move, by putting together tested and respected patriots, who are independent and always ready to put the country’s interest first and ahead of themselves,” he said, describing the move as a proactive one, which is capable of elevating Nigeria’s economy to greater heights.
Dangote urged the federal government to take advantage of this rare opportunity to strengthen the economy and put the country on the path of growth, job creation and competitiveness.
The president had, on Monday, disbanded the economic management team led by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and appointed an economic advisory council with Doyin Salami as the chairman.
Other members of the eight-member council are Mohammed Sagagi, Ode Ojowu, Shehu Yahaya, Iyabo Masha, Chukwuma Soludo, Bismarck Rewane and Mohammed Adaya Salisu, the senior special assistant to the president on development policy.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 4:30 pm
BREAKING: Reps order CBN to suspend cashless policy
The house of representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to hit the brakes on the implementation of the cashless policy it recently re-introduced.
At the plenary session on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber said the policy will lead to a significant decrease in credit extension by Nigerian money deposit banks.
The lawmakers also said the policy will have negative impacts on small and medium enterprises “which are clearly the engine room for growth of the economy”.
In a circular released on Tuesday, the CBN had directed all deposit money banks in the country to charge 3% processing fees for withdrawals and 2% for deposits of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.
Corporate account holders will be charged 5% processing fees for withdrawals and 3% for deposits of amounts above N3 million.
The directive was, however, criticised by some Nigerians for various reasons.
In a motion introduced during the plenary session, Benjamin Kalu from Abia state and spokesman of the green chambers urged the lawmakers to call for the suspension of the policy pending further consultations on it.
He said while the policy is expected to reduce risk of cash-related crimes among other benefits, its implementation would have negative impacts on micro, small, and medium enterprises “thereby throwing many of them out of business and sending more Nigerians into poverty”.
Kalu said while Nigerians are still battling with the burden of the numerous bank charges introduced by commercial banks, the CBN deemed it necessary to “impose the implementation of cashless policy on deposits, without due consultations with all shades of stakeholder who will be impacted by the policy”.
“This overbearing burden is aimed at closing down majority of micro, mini, small and medium businesses in Nigeria while enriching Nigerian money deposit banks owned by a privileged few, without any known financial contribution to the consolidated revenue fund of the federation.”
The lower legislative chamber subsequently adopted the notion and urged the CBN to suspend the implementation of the policy “until the appropriate and extensive consultative process is concluded”.
It also directed its committee on banking and currency to meet with the apex bank to ascertain the relevance and need for such measure considering the prevailing economic situation of the country.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 4:15 pm
‘This is corporate extortion’ – Shehu Sani reacts to CBN’s new policy on cash withdrawals, deposits
Senator Shehu Sani, a former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central at the National Assembly, has reacted to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s latest policy to attach charges to cash deposits or withdrawals made by customers.
Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria had announced that deposits or withdrawals above N500,000 by customers will attract charges going forward.
The objective of the “transaction fees” is to give vent to the Central Bank’s policy designed to reduce cash in use.
CBN Payments System Management Department Director, Sam Okojere on Tuesday announced the take-off of the charges in a statement.
However, reacting via Twitter, Sani described the new policy as corporate extortion.
He wrote: “The new directives to Banks amounts to selective corporate extortion.”
Posted: September 19, 2019, 4:00 pm
Nigerian human trafficking kingpin bags 6 life sentences and an additional 129 years in jail
A Nigerian man identified as Ediozi Odi has been handed 6 life sentences and an additional 129 years imprisonment after being found guilty of human trafficking and related charges.
The Nigerian national was arraigned before Judge Natvarlil Ranchod of the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday September 18, after being arrested for keeping three young girls hostage to work as sex slaves.
Victims of the Nigerian human trafficking kingpin said to be young girls mostly aged 13-14 were lured from the streets with promises of a better life by recruits (other young girls) who bring them to a brothel owned by Ediozi Odi.
The girls said to come from poor homes are brought to the brothel which is reportedly a house masqueraded as a barber shop, forced to smoke a drug called “rocks” (manufactured and sold by Odi and is believed to be highly addictive) before being hooked up with clients.
Nigerian human trafficking kingpin handed 6 life sentences and an additional 129 years imprisonment in South Africa
The girls who will reportedly do anything to get their hands on the drugs after being exposed to it are first raped by Odi, an act said to be an initiation into the sex trade. While the sex trafficker's workers scout the streets for prospective clients, the girls are usually locked up in the house for the duration of their stay.
IOL reported that the girls are also locked up in a dungeon under the floor of the house whenever the police raided the house. Odi also takes the proceeds from the sex trade and only paid the girls who hardly got any food with drugs. He was busted after a 14-year-old teenager was rescued after a year, while two other victims were able to escape after a week. It was learnt that the police raided the house following a tip-off that the brothel master was going to move them to another facility.
Nigerian human trafficking kingpin handed 6 life sentences and an additional 129 years imprisonment in South Africa
Pictures of the dungeon where these girls were often kept were handed to the Judge during the court session and it showed the house was a filthy and unhygenic brothel which was littered with condoms.
Odi who used his co-accused Hlalele and Luke Botha as drug runners was convicted on 24 of the 29 charges against him. He received three life sentences on three charges of human trafficking and three more life sentences for each charge of rape. His bid to appeal against his convictions and sentences were also turned down. The two drug runners each received a suspended sentence for the possession of drugs.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 3:24 pm
Oyo-Ita's sack shows no sacred cow in Buhari’s govt
The Muhammadu Buhari administration will not shy away from its total commitment to fighting corruption, and there will be no sacred cows in the course of the fight, a group campaigning for the administration said today.
According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), the decision to relieve Winifred Oyo-Ita of her position as Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation is another proof that this government would not allow people with questions to answer to remain in office longer than necessary.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that the action is bound to send clear signals to public office holders on consequences for misdemeanours under the watch of President Buhari.
“This is another sign of the President‘s zero-tolerance for acts such as that which Mrs Oyo-Ita is being investigated for by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“Buhari has, on several occasions, maintained that the anti-corruption stance of his administration is non-negotiable and it is quite clear that he won’t tolerate any iota of verifiable scandal among key government officials.
“In this case, the anti-graft agency had been investigating Mrs Oyo-Ita over an alleged N3 billion contract scam, abuse of duty tour allowance, money laundering, among others, during her previous position of permanent secretary.
“So, like President Buhari did in the ‘grass cutting scandal’ when he sacked the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal for allegedly defrauding the Federal government to the tune of five hundred million naira (N500m), he had no misgivings about sending Oyo-Ita on indefinite leave.
“It is also somewhat ironic that the former HoS was relieved of her job on the same day that the EFCC presented a key prosecution witness in continuation of the trial of the former SGF.
“All these are enough proof that the Buhari administration is not prepared to look the other way and ignore cases of financial misdemeanours against top government officials at the same time that some members of the previous administrations were standing trial”, it said.
BMO also said the delay in taking action on the former Head of Service even after news of the investigation broke, is a reflection of the painstaking way the administration conducts its activities.
“We have seen how opposition elements and their supporters push false narratives of an alleged bid by some unnamed Presidency officials to shield Babachir Lawal of prosecution, even after he was indicted by the House of Representatives.
“Yes, it indeed took time before President Buhari acted, but he left no doubt about his readiness to follow due process by first suspending Babachir Lawal on April 19 2017, before officially relieving him of all duties on October 30 2017, for misappropriating funds intended for alleviating the food crisis in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in North-East Nigeria.
“And in Oyo-Ita’s case, there were suggestions that she had turned in her resignation letter few weeks ago but the Presidency rejected it until now that unexpectedly a statement was issued announcing that she was proceeding on indefinite leave to allow for completion of investigations.
“This goes to show that President Buhari is prepared to give room for benefit of doubt and allow the law to take its full course.”
The Buhari group also assured Nigerians that the administration would ensure that the former Head of Service and others alleged to be involved have enough opportunity to clear their names if the EFCC considers it necessary to charge them to court.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 3:18 pm
CAN raises alarm, calls out El-Rufai over notice to demolish church in Zaria
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kaduna State Chapter, has raised the alarm over an alleged quit notice to demolish one of the oldest Anglican churches in Zaria by the Kaduna State government.
CAN, therefore, drew the attention of the Kaduna State government to a notice to one ST. George’s Anglican Church in Sabon Gari, Zaria founded about 110 years ago.
A statement from CAN State chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab issued Thursday and made available to newsmen said, “The 7-Day Quit Notice by the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA), is purported to be a directive from the Executive Governor.
“The notice also claimed that compensation had been duly paid to the church. The Quit Notice, which was not dated, was addressed to: House No. 27, Church House, Sabon Gari Market, Zaria which in the actual sense is St George’s Church.”
The statement explained that part of the quir notice reads, “Reference to the directive given by the Executive Governor on the issue of Market development which compensation has been dually paid. However you are hereby directed to vacate your resident within Seven (7) days from now, failure to comply will leave the Agency with no option than to evict you at your own expense. (from 19h – 24 September).”
CAN observed that the signatory of the notice did not include his name, but it was signed by the zonal head of KASUPDA on behalf of the zonal Manager.
CAN explained, “We are alarm and apprehensive about this, if it is true that it is a directive from the governor. But we doubt much if the governor issued the directive.
“This is because in February 2016, the government made moves to relocate the church to pave way for the expansion of the market, but later realized that the Church has all valid documents and that even some parts of the market are on the Church’s land.
“Following the presentation of the necessary documents by the church, the matter was resolved amicably.
“We wish to state categorically that no any compensation was paid to the church.”
CAN wandered where KASUPDA officials got what it described as false information that compensation had been paid.
CAN asked, “Or are the KASUPDA officials playing a script or are they being used by some faceless trouble entrepreneurs to provoke Christians?
“It should be noted that the Church which was founded about 110 years ago, was liberal enough to allow the market in question to operate in some parts of its land. Is it now a crime to be liberal and accommodating?
“How could the governor revisit the issue which was resolved amicably in 2016, by issuing a 7-day quit notice?
We suspect that this could be the handiwork of some people who do not mean well for Kaduna state.”
CAN called on governor Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai to immediately investigate the purported quit notice from KASUPDA and take prompt action on the officers involved, adding, “This will go a long way in allaying fears and apprehension among Christians in the state and the nation at large.
“This unfortunate notice is coming just few weeks after the alarm about the purported demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, which, upon investigations, was later confirmed to be false.
“We urge the governor to take step to avert that kind of situation in Kaduna State.”
Contacted, the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Zaria, Bishop Abiodun Ogunyemi, confirmed the 7-day quit notice issued to the church by KASUPDA saying, “As l speak to you, l have written an official letter to the Anglican Church national body to intimate them of the development.
“We are shocked with the development but we have all our documents which we bought the land and as it is, part of the market belongs to the Church which has been in existence for over a hundred years without any problem from any past administration in the State.
“We are praying that justice will take its cause on the matter because as a Church, we followed all the legal and genuine procedures in obtaining the land and out of our magnanimous deposition, we allowed part of the land to be occupied by the market, knowing fully well that our documents are genuine.”
Posted: September 19, 2019, 3:16 pm
Buhari, govs, ministers, others jet to New York for 74th UNGA Session Sunday
President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja Sunday for New York, United States to participate in the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74) which opened on Tuesday, September 17.
The President’s participation at this year’s gathering of world leaders is particularly significant as it coincides with Nigeria’s Presidency of UNGA.
On June 4, 2019, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, was unanimously elected as the President of UNGA74 – an indication of the country’s high esteem in global reckoning.
This marks the second time Nigeria would be occupying that prestigious position following late Maj-Gen. Joseph Nanven Garba’s election during UNGA44 in 1989.
The theme for UNGA74 is, “Galvanizing Multilateral Efforts for Poverty Eradication, Quality Education, Climate Action and Inclusion.”
The General Debates will kick off on Tuesday, September 24 during which leaders of delegations will present their National Statements as well as speak to the theme of the session.
President Buhari is scheduled as Number Five Speaker on the first day of the debates – another plus for the country as most world leaders will be listening in the General Assembly Hall while the global audience watches on live television.
The President is expected to underscore his administration’s commitment to building on the achievements of its three-point agenda following the renewal of his electoral mandate by majority of Nigerians. He will also reaffirm Nigeria’s position on salient global issues.
While in New York, the Nigerian leader and members of his delegation are expected to participate in the Climate Action Summit with the theme, “A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win,” convened by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres; the High-Level meeting organized by the President of UNGA74 on Universal Health Coverage with the theme, “Moving Together to Build a Healthier World”; UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development; High-Level Dialogue on Financial Development as well as High-Level Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
The Nigerian delegation is also expected to participate at the Side-Events organized by the country’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
These include: SDGs Integration – Bridging the Policy Planning – Budget Gap for the Achievement of SDGs, organized by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals; Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows and Strengthen Good Practices on Assets Recovery and Return to Foster Sustainable Development, organized by the Office of the National Coordinator/CEO, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development/African Peer Review Mechanism (AUDA-NEPAD/APRM) in collaboration with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption bodies.
Seven European and African countries have confirmed their participation at this event designed to mobilize collective global action against illicit assets and their recovery and return for developmental projects.
Moreover, the meeting will further boost the profile of President Buhari as the African Union anti-corruption Champion.
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources is also organising a side-event on Sanitation and Hygiene Campaign for a Clean Nigeria: Sharing Lessons and Key Insights.
This is crucial for Nigeria as donor nations and organisations are willing to support the country’s target to end open defecation by 2025.
The Nigerian leader is also billed to hold bilateral meetings with some leaders of other delegations; chief executive officers of big companies keen to invest in the country; Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates on sustaining the polio-free campaign as well as issues on human capital projects and development.
Before returning to Abuja at the conclusion of his engagements, President Buhari will meet with a select group of top America-based Nigerian businessmen and potential investors.
The President will be accompanied to New York by Governors Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi and Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Environment, Dr Muhammad Mahmoud; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire are also members of the delegation.
Also on the President’s delegation are: Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, Sa’adiya Farouk; Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu; Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu; National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; National Coordinator/CEO, NEPAD, Princess Gloria Akobundu; and Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 2:38 pm
Woman, two children die after eating 'Amala'
A 45-year-old mother and her two children died on Saturday after consuming suspected poisonous yam flour in Odo-Ayedun Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Areas of Ekiti State.
The eldest of the children was 14 while the younger one was 12.
It was gathered that yam flour, which they consumed, was procured by the husband and prepared by the mother of two.
All members of the family who ate the meal were found lifeless after dinner, except the father who is in a critical state at the Federal Teaching Hospital in Ido Ekiti.
A source, who craved anonymity, said two dogs, which reportedly ate crumbs of the food, were also found dead in the apartment.
It was gathered that the neighbours, who were thrown into mourning after discovering the incident on Saturday, alerted the police.
Lawmaker representing Ikole constituency II at the Ekiti State House of Assembly , Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, confirmed the tragedy to newsmen on Thursday in Ado Ekiti.
Aribasoye had raised the issue at the plenary of the House where he called for sympathy and investigation into the matter.
Recounting the sordid scenario to newsmen, he said: “A great tragedy occurred at Odo Ayedun Ekiti on Saturday. it was a mournful day for us as a family of three died mysteriously.
“A mother and her two children all died after eating yam flour. The remote cause of the incident is still unknown as members of the community are still in shock.”
Speaker of Ekiti Assembly Funminiyi Afuye sympathised with Aribasoye and the entire people of his constituency for the tragic incident.
He, however, directed the House Committee on health to launch investigation into the matter with a view to unravelling the causes of the mysterious incident.
When contacted, the police public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu confirmed the incident.
He said the police will join hands with other institutions to investigate the cause of the deaths.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 2:26 pm
Nigeria approaches World Bank for $2.5bn loan
Hafez Ghanem, World Bank’s vice-president for Africa, says the lender is in talks with the Nigerian government for a $2.5 billion concessionary loan.
Ghanem made this known in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Bretton Wood institution official said Nigeria received $2.4 billion from the bank in 2018.
“We’re talking about a new set of programmes of about the same amount, it should be about $2.5bn,” Bloomberg quoted him to have said.
“It’s important to resolve the problems of the power sector in Nigeria to bring in more investments. Because you need to bring down the cost of power to make the economy more competitive for the development of industries.
“Nigeria has a comparative advantage in that area because of the youth, a majority of the population is young. So if we want to create jobs, we need to invest much more in the digital economy.”
Ghanem said the World Bank would support Nigeria’s digital transformation because of its potential ability to transform other areas of the economy including industry, agriculture and services.
The latest figures released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed that the country’s debt increased by N560 billion between December 2018 and March 2019.
By March 2019, the total foreign debt stood at N7.8 trillion ($25.6 billion) while domestic debt was N17 trillion ($55.6 billion).
Foreign debt constituted 31.5% of the total debt stock while domestic debt constituted 68%.
The federal government had proposed N1.86 trillion as deficit in the 2019 budget to be funded by loans but it was reduced to N1.64 trillion by the senate before the budget was passed.
Commenting on the country’s debt profile, Zainab Ahmed, minister of budget, national planning and finance, said the country has a revenue problem; not a debt problem.
To this end, the federal government announced an increase in value-added tax to shore up revenue.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 2:20 pm
Buhari to address world leaders at UN
President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja for New York, United States, to participate in the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74) on Sunday.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, said Buhari’s participation in this year’s gathering of world leaders is significant as it coincides with Nigeria’s presidency of UNGA.
Adesina said the general debates will begin on Tuesday during which leaders of the delegations will present their national statements.
He said Buhari has been scheduled to speak on the first day of the debates, describing it as “another plus for the country as most world leaders will be listening in the General Assembly Hall, while the global audience watches on live television”.
He said the president will speak on his administration’s commitment to building on the achievements of its three-point agenda.
He also said the president will reaffirm Nigeria’s position on salient global issues.
“While in New York, the Nigerian leader and members of his delegation are expected to participate in the Climate Action Summit, with the theme, ‘A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win’, Adesina said.
“President Buhari will also participate in the High-Level meeting organized by the President of UNGA74 on Universal Health Coverage, with the theme, ‘Moving Together to Build a Healthier World’ .
” The Nigerian leader will attend the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development; High-Level Dialogue on Financial Development, as well as High-Level Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
“In addition to the above high-level meetings, the Nigerian delegation is expected to participate at the Side-Events organized by the country’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
” These include: SDGs Integration – Bridging the Policy Planning – Budget Gap for the Achievement of SDGs, organized by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals.
” Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows and Strengthen Good Practices on Assets Recovery and Return to Foster Sustainable Development, organized by the Office of the National Coordinator/CEO.
” African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development/African Peer Review Mechanism (AUDA-NEPAD/APRM) in collaboration with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption bodies.
Adesina said seven European and African countries have confirmed their participation at the event, designed to mobilise collective global action against illicit assets and their recovery and return for developmental projects.
“Moreover, the meeting will further boost the profile of President Buhari as the African Union anti-corruption Champion,” it said.
“The Federal Ministry of Water Resources is also organizing a side-event on Sanitation and Hygiene Campaign for a Clean Nigeria: Sharing Lessons and Key Insights.
” This is crucial for Nigeria as donor nations and organisations are willing to support the country’s target to end open defecation by 2025.”
The presidential spokesman said Buhari is also billed to hold bilateral meetings with some leaders of other delegations; chief executive officers of big companies keen on investing in the country; Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates on sustaining the polio-free campaign as well as issues on human capital projects and development.
“Before returning to Abuja at the conclusion of his engagements, President Buhari will meet with a select group of top America-based Nigerian businessmen and potential investors,” he added.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 2:16 pm
VIDEO: No need to apologize to Nigeria over xenophobia – Mayor of Johannesburg
Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba has said it "was not necessary" for South Africa to apologise to Nigeria for the recent xenophobic attacks.
"No, there is nothing for me to apologise about," Mashaba said on CNBC Africa's Political Capital on Tuesday.
"What do you expect me to really apologise for?"
Nigerians and other foreign nationals were attacked earlier in September by irate mobs of South Africans who blamed them for spiking unemployment and drug-related crime rates.
Many non-South African businesses in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria were also vandalised and looted by the mob.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa apologised for the violence at the weekend in Zimbabwe.
The violence, which claimed the lives of 12 persons, most of whom were South Africans, caused diplomatic rows between the country and her neighbours and Nigeria.
Nigeria, Rwanda, Congo and Malawi boycotted the World Economic Forum meeting held in Cape Town last week as a result.
Botswana told her citizens “travelling to South Africa to exercise extreme caution in light of recent developments resulting in violent unrests.”
Zambia also called off a planned football friendly with South Africa.
But Mashaba, the mayor of Africa's richest city, is unfazed by the violence although he insisted that he was not xenophobic.
His stance mirrors those of former South African deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi, foreign affairs minister Naledi Pandor and former president Thabo Mbeki.
South Africa has had an alarming increase in crime rates, especially femicide. The South African leaders accused Nigerians of being the ringleaders of drug and prostitution cartels in the country.
“We are not going to turn a blind eye on such evil crime happening under our watch," Mashaba said, adding that "the country [South Africa] also owes an official apology to the 10.2 million unemployed South Africans who are today without jobs as a result of billions of counterfeit goods being brought illegally into the country, killing local manufacturing.”
Posted: September 19, 2019, 1:01 pm
#NigeriaAt59: FG releases timetable for 59th Independence anniversary celebration
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved activities for Nigeria’s 59th Independence Anniversary Celebration.
This is contained in a schedule of activities released in Abuja by Director (Information) in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, on Wednesday.
The schedule reads as follows: “The activities start on Monday 23/09/19 with Press Conference, Media & Publicity at the National Press Center, Abuja.
“There will be Juma’at Prayer & Special Lecture on Friday 27/09/19 at the National Mosque, Abuja.
“Interdenominational Christian Service comes up on Sunday 29/09/19 at the National Christian Center, Abuja.
“On Monday 30/09/19, there will be National Youth Ent. Emp. Summit (NYEES2) Independence Edition at the International Conference Center, Abuja.
“On the same day, there will be The Republic2 (Ind. Edition) Youth Concert at the Millennium park.
“On Tuesday 01/10/19, there will be Independence Media Broadcast by the President by 7am.
“There will also be Presidential Change of Guards and Public Lecture/Gala Night at the State House the same day.”
Posted: September 19, 2019, 12:45 pm
VIDEO: My husband was killed but South African police closed the case, says returnee
Blessing Chioma, one of the Nigerians who returned from South Africa, has accused the South African police of inaction when her husband was killed.
Chioma said she returned to Nigeria so she could take care of her kids because living in South Africa became tough without her husband.
”I’m coming from South Africa, Johannesburg; I was married to a Nigerian, but South Africans killed him during the xenophobic attacks. I reported the case to the police, they know about it; they look for the guys, but you won’t know them because they come in groups, so nothing was done; the case is closed,” she said.
”Since then I’ve been coping with the children, but I returned them to Nigeria because I was no more meeting up in training them. So they’re here now in Nigeria; I came back to take care of them, but we came with nothing because they burnt our shops.”
Chioma’s husband was killed in 2012.
The first batch of 187 Nigerians from South Africa returned to the country last week. The second batch of 314 returned on Wednesday.
Nigerians were forced to return to the country following the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 12:38 pm
It’s an insult to say we shouldn’t spend N5.5bn on cars - Sen. Abdullahi
The Senate, on Wednesday, described the public condemnation of its planned purchase of Sport Utility Vehicles amounting to N5.5bn for the senators as an insult.
The Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi, stated this in an interview with journalists in his office in Abuja.
Abdullahi said the status of a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not undeserving of an SUV.
He said each of the 109 senators in the upper chamber would get one SUV, which would be paid for at the end of their four-year legislative tenure.
He said the burden on the shoulders of the senator was not a mean task and that an SUV for their work was not too much.
The Senate Leader said, “What is the problem there? It is an insult to say that a senator of the Federal Republic cannot ride a jeep in Nigeria. It is an insult. The N5.5bn is from the National Assembly fund and it is budgeted for every year, which they will pay back at the end of the tenure.
“I was a permanent secretary. I know what ministers get; we cannot even compare ourselves to ministers because we are higher than the minister(s). For you to say that a senator of the Federal Republic cannot drive a jeep today — come on, that is an insult.
“Go and tell the people that the work that we do is more than the work of ministers. The weight that is on me today; there is no minister of the Federal Republic that has it.”
Abdullahi said the collapse of the local government areas across the country had placed a burden on senators who “carry loads outside their purview.”
According to him, the Ninth Senate will ensure the independence of the local government structure to boost national development and stability of the grass-roots economy.
The planned purchase of the SUVs had generated public outcry.
Some non-governmental organisations even instituted legal action against the planned expenditure.
The concerned group of activists who sought the legality or otherwise of the matter in court were led by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 12:38 pm
‘He sees opposition as partners in progress’ — Wike commends Fayemi
Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says Kayode Fayemi, his Ekiti state counterpart, has never discriminated against members of opposition parties.
Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Wike belongs to the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wike gave the commendation at the inauguration of the ultra-modern Rumuwoji market in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Wednesday.
The inauguration of the project is part of activities to mark Wike’s 100 days in office.
Wike said Fayemi was made the special guest of honour at the event due to his exemplary leadership.
“My brother, the Chairman of NGF, Governor Fayemi is a great leader. He has never discriminated against opposition parties. He sees everybody as partners in progress,” he said.
“He is one of the few leaders who understand that a political party is a vehicle to get into government and that party affiliation should not bring animosity, especially when development is the focus.”
Wike also commended Fayemi for intervening during the controversial mosque demolition which created tension in the state.
“He called me when he heard about the development. He came here and intervened in the matter, not minding our political party affiliation. That is leadership. And such a leader should be encouraged,” he said.
In his remark, Fayemi commended Wike for engaging in several projects in the state.
He said such people-oriented action earned him the nickname “Mr Project”.
The Ekiti governor said his administration as the chairman of NGF will remain committed to supporting and defending members of the forum irrespective of political affiliation.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 12:38 pm
Osinbajo presides over NEC meeting
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday presided over the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The vice president, by the provisions of Nigeria’s Constitution, is the chairman of NEC.
This meeting is the second since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet for the second term.
The NEC meeting, held monthly, deliberates on the coordination of the economic planning efforts and economic programmes of the various levels of government.
The council comprises the 36 state governors, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, minister of finance, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and other government officials and agencies whose duties hinge on the economy.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 12:04 pm
BREAKING: Nigeria moves 10 place up on FIBA ranking
After the sterling FIBA World Cup outing, Nigeria Basketball Federation has moved up 10 places in the latest FIBA ranking. Nigeria is now ranked 23rd.
D’Tigers who became the first country in the world to qualify for the World Cup won three games and lost two to finish on the 17th spot out of the 32 teams in China.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 11:55 am
REVEALED: FG paid UK firm N8.5m monthly for PR — before company went bust
The federal government paid Pagefield Global, a UK-based public relations firm, N8.5 million monthly for “public affairs and public relations advice”.
The company has now gone under before the expiration of the contract.
The business deal, which was officially documented in May 2019, was entered for the Federal Republic of Nigeria on behalf of Dayo Apata, solicitor general of the federation.
Documents obtained by the newspaper stipulate the actual payment for the service as £21,600 (N8.5 million at current interbank rate) to be paid per month on a one-month notice period.
TheCable reports that it obtained copies of exhibits to the registration statement filed before the US Department of Justice (DOJ) pursuant to the foreign agents registration act (FARA) of 1938, as amended.
The act requires all US individuals that are agents of a “foreign principal” to register with the DOJ within 10 days of entering such agreement. It defines a “foreign principal” is “not only a foreign government, but also a foreign political party, person, or organization outside of the United States, and any entity organized under the laws of a foreign country or with its primary place of business in a foreign country.”
‘NO WRITTEN CONTRACTS’
In its ‘Exhibit A to registration statement’ dated May 2, 2019, Pagefield Global listed the “Federal Republic of Nigeria” as the foreign principal the company entered the agreement with.
The statement with registration number 6675, was signed by Stuart Leach, Pagefield Global chief executive officer (CEO), and listed Apata as Nigeria’s representative.
The exhibit B, with the same registration details noted, however, that the contract was not documented in writing.
It said: “There is no written contract between the parties. Our understanding is that we will be paid £21,600 per month by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on a one month notice period.”
In the description of the activities required, Pagefield stated: “Public affairs and public relations advice and monitoring, undertaking outreach and relationship building with various stakeholders and the media in connection with legal disputes that the Solicitor General is conducting on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The company confirmed that “the activities on behalf of the above foreign principal include political activities as defined in Section l (o) of the Act.”
Although the statement listed May 31, 2020 as the expiration date, checks reveal the company shut down in early September.
PR Week, a leading online PR platform, reported the closure on September 11. It quoted a spokesperson of the company, founded in 2017, as confirming the incident.
Posted: September 19, 2019, 11:25 am
BBNaija: Tacha and Frodd land movie roles in Nollywood
Nigerian filmmaker and director, Victor Okpalan, recently made the announcement via a post shared on his official Instagram page.
Okpalan explained that he and his team have spent the past few days trying to determine which one of the contestants that are still in the game, would be getting their support in terms of votes.
He said after careful deliberation, they arrived at the decision that the two housemates selected would be Tacha and Frodd.
"After days of sieving through over eight thousand comments, we have arrived at the two housemates that we will be voting for to win this year's #bbnaija2019 @callme_frodd and @symply_tacha," he said.
The movie director also went on to reveal that once the individuals make their way out of the Big Brother house, he would personally be handing them their first movie roles in the movie industry.
See his post below:
View this post on InstagramFinallyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! After days of sieving through over eight thousand comments,We have arrived at the two housemates that we will be voting for to win this year's #bbnaija2019 @callme_frodd and @symply_tacha Laods of airtime will be won to keep voting them. I WILL ALSO BE GIFTING THEM WITH THEIR 1ST MOVIE ROLES ONCE THEY LEAVE THE HOUSE. Apologies if your preffered housemate didn't make the list. Please no negative vibes or insults to anyone. #froddbbnaija #tachabbnaija #bbnaija19 #teamtacha #froddnation #noleavenotranferA post shared by Victor Okpala ( Superstar D) (@victorokpalan) on
Posted: September 19, 2019, 11:25 am