Thursdays, Fridays Are Now ‘Farming Days’, Imo State Government Declares.

The Imo state government has reduced the working days of some civil servants in the state. Workers are now to work for three days in a week, while they can spend the remaining two days on their farms.


This was as the government introduced a policy tagged: “Back to Land for Agriculture”, which is meant to enable the state workers engage and invest in agriculture for self-sustenance.


Governor of the State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, made the policy known when traditional rulers from the state, operating under the aegis of Royal fathers in Agriculture, paid him a courtesy call at the Government House Owerri on Monday.


He further explained that the State Executive Council has given approval to the new policy.


A statement by the state governor’s Chief Press secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, however assured that the new policy will not affect the salaries of workers.


The statement reads, “Against the backdrop of the “Back to Land for Agriculture” Programme, the governor directed that public servants in the state would now work from Mondays to Wednesdays, and use Thursdays and Fridays for agriculture (farming) while Saturdays can be used for ceremonies. And the directive takes effect from Monday August 1, 2016.


“However, the governor exempted public servants on essential duties like the teachers, nurses, doctors and people involved in Internally Generated Revenue drive. Political appointees are also exempted from the three-days working periods.


“We shall try this programme for the period of one year, starting from 1st of August 2016 and hopefully this will help. Let me make this emphasis before it is misconstrued or misrepresented, that this does not in any way affect the salaries of the workers.


“Workers will get their full salaries as been the practice. So the policy does not mean that there will be a cut in salary rather let us now find a way for our workers to supplement their salaries”.


He continued, “For this reason the issue of annual leave and casual leave is hereby cancelled. Resumption time for work has changed from 8am to 7.30am in the morning and ends by 4pm. Any worker that is not found on his or her seat between7.30am and 4pm on the days concerned will be summarily dismissed.


“Everybody must go back to agriculture. Every political appointee must own a farm. The youths would also be encouraged to take to agriculture. Schools including Universities, Polytechnics and Secondary schools in the state must own farms. The Community Government Council (CGC) must be strengthened for the sake of this agricultural programme.


“Two billion naira (N2b) has been set aside at the micro-finance bank for the purpose of this Back To Land For Agriculture policy so that those willing can access it. And time is gone again when politicians and some Imolites will come to government in the pretence of farming and collect loans and use it to buy cars and marry new wives.


“Again, the June and July Salaries would be paid this week. We are making sure that our workers are comfortable and our pensioners are happy because this is one area the whole nation is having a serious challenge.


“Our problem is not being unable to pay salaries but paying over-bloated salaries. We are also making effort to pay our pensioners once the harmonization is over.


“I also want to announce that government has appealed to families and those who organize burials on Mondays to Wednesdays to please change and have their burials on Saturdays so that we can concentrate on the government’s work and on the agricultural programme.


“Everything that has to do with agriculture no matter what shape it comes, government will support it. So many countries are going through economic crisis because of the fall in oil.


“Our nation is also going through very difficult moment. We have taken responsibility as leaders and we are not blaming anyone. Wise nations and leaders save for the rainy days.


“There were periods the oil price was in our favour. But those in charge then blew the money. They made no savings. Today the oil price globally has crashed and here we are. And we must fall back to agriculture as the panacea.”

Sex Scandal: U.S. Ambassador To Testify At House Thursday

United States Ambassador James Entwistle is expected to testify before the House of Representatives panel probing the allegation of sexual misconduct against three lawmakers on Thursday

The lawmakers- Mohammed Garba Gololo, Samuel Ikon, and Mark Gbillah – were accused of sexual impropriety while on a training programme in Cleveland, Ohio, United States between April 7 and 13.

The ambassador blew the lid on the scandal in a June 9 letter to Speaker Yakubu Dogara. He said the members brought disrepute to the parliament by soliciting for sex from prostitutes and one of them grabbed a hotel housekeeper in a bid to rape her.

While Dogara insisted that unless evidence is provided, the onus of proof is with those making the allegations as the lawmakers are legally presumed innocent.

On June 21, the House during plenary mandated its joint committees to investigate the allegations. The committees are: Ethics and Privileges, and Foreign Affairs.

The invitation for the ambassador to appear before the committee today was moved till Thursday on the request of the embassy.

The Speaker said no evidence had been forwarded to his office apart from the letter, and that there can be no conviction without a trial.

“Together with the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, we will get to the bottom of this matter”, he said.

Sources said yesterday that Entwistle may shock members by providing video evidence of the alleged misdeeds based on the continuous denials of the three members and the posture of the House that the Ambassador must show proof. But this information could not be independently confirmed.

Others expected to appear before the probe panel are : Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyema; Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, the three accused lawmakers and seven other lawmakers that attended the leadership Programme.

Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Ossai Nicholas Ossai, said yesterday the committee decided not to extend the invitation to the hotel management.

Credit: TheNation

Buhari To Visit Niger Delta Thursday

President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to visit restive Niger Delta region, recently rocked by series of attacks on oil facilities with the Niger Delta Avengers claiming responsibilities.

The visit will be Buhari’s first to the South-South region since becoming the president on May 29, 2015. He was scheduled to visit Cross Rivers but the trip was cancelled.

A media aide to Buhari said the president would travel to Ogoniland in Rivers state to flag off a long-awaited clean-up of the area, which has been affected by oil spills.

“All things being equal, the president will be in Ogoniland on Thursday for the historic clean up of the area,” the aide told AFP.

In August 2011, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report said Ogoniland may require the world’s biggest-ever clean-up.

Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has carried out several attacks on key pipelines and facilities operated by Shell and Chevron, causing oil production to slump to 1.4 million bpd from 2.2 million.

Buhari had pledged in his address on the occasion of his first anniversary as the president to ‘re-engineeer’ the amnesty programme for repentant former militants and engage leaders from the region in productive dialogue to proffer solutions to the region’s many problems and stem down the spate of attacks on oil installations.

He said, “On the Niger Delta, we are committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme report and are advancing clean-up operations. I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the delta communities.

“Re-engineering the amnesty programmes is an example of this. The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not distract us from engaging leaders in the region in addressing Niger Delta problems. If the militants and vandals are testing our resolve, they are much mistaken. We shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice.”

Credit: Guardian

Buhari Receives Rescued Missing Chibok Girl Thursday

For Amina Ali, one of the 276 school girls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State in April 2014 by the terrorist Boko Haram sect, it was sweet freedom on Tuesday as she was rescued from the fringes of the terrorists’ den in the Sambisa Forest.

And thursday, she will have the rare privilege of meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari who has been scheduled to receive her at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is set to receive her thursday. She will be brought by the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu Garba, said last night.

Although a web of controversy surrounded the circumstances of her rescue yesterday, the school girl, who was rescued along with her four-month old child and her husband, was briefly reunited with her parents before being handed over to the military who after debriefing her presented her to Governor Shettima.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu, who took the girl to the governor, said the governor had promised to present her to President Muhammadu Buhari today.??”I want to further confirm to you that, we have found one of the Chibok girls but plead for your understanding on this issue, we need to give her time to rest as you can see she is traumatized and nursing a baby.??”The governor has told us that he does not want to take credit for this and will hand over the girl to Mr. President who will in turn unveil her to the nation,” Ezugwu said.

Credit: Thisday

EFCC To Arraign Olisa Metuh Thursday

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is to arraign the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Olisa Metuh, after more than one week of being detained in their custody.

Reports gathered on Wednesday that Metuh, who was picked up at his Abuja residence on January 5, will be arraigned before Justice Okon Abang of the Court 10, Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja.

The PDP spokesman was said to have been arrested and under investigation by the EFCC for allegedly collecting about N400m from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), from the money alleged to be part of the $2.1 billion arms procurement fund.

Credit: ThisDay

Senate Defers Screening Of Rotimi Amaechi To Thursday

The Senate on Wednesday deferred the screening of minister-nominee Rotimi Amaechi to Thursday.

The development followed the inability of its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to submit its report on the petition against Mr. Amaechi.

The Chairman of the Committee, Sam Anyanwu, while briefing the senate, said that the committee could not meet on Tuesday following the late adjournment of plenary.

Mr. Anyanwu said that as at the time of adjournment of plenary, most of the members of the committee were “too tired to meet”.

He promised that the committee would meet on Wednesday so as to finalise the report on Mr. Amaechi and submit it on Thursday to enable his screening.

The development reduces to nine, the number of minister-nominees to be screened on Wednesday.

Among the nominees to be screened are Chris Ngige, former Lagos governor Babatunde Fashola and Ibe Kachikwu.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Akwa Ibom Election Tribunal Resumes Sitting Thursday

After two weeks of adjournment, the Akwa Ibom governorship tribunal sitting in Abuja resumes Thursday to adopt written addresses by parties in the matter.

Candidate for the All Progressives Congress in the election, Umana Umana, had approached the tribunal challenging the conduct of the poll and the declaration of Udom Emmanuel as winner.

At the last sitting, the Justice Sadiq Umar-led panel directed that the respondents should file and serve their final written addresses on the petitioners within seven days beginning from Monday, September 21, 2015, while the petitioners should file and serve their final written addresses on the respondents within four days.

In the sitting which lasted for about three months, the prosecution called over 60 witnesses.

Read More: thisdaylive

FG Declares Thursday, Friday Public Holiday

The Federal Government has declared Thursday and Friday this week as public holidays to mark the celebration of this year’s Eid-il-Kabir.

The declaration was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja and signed by the Director of Press, Ministry of Interior, Yusuf Isiaka, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Abubakar Magaji.

Government enjoined all Muslim faithful and Nigerians from all walks of life to extend the religious benefits of the festival, which include love, peace, empathy and tolerance to one another for the overall development of the nation.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Former Gov. Lamido Of Jigawa Returns To Report At EFCC On Thursday

Alhaji Sule Lamido, the immediate past Governor of Jigawa, on Monday, returned to the country from his foreign trip and promised to visit the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on Thursday.

Lamido stated this while speaking with newsmen in his Bamaina village in Birninkudu Local Government area of the state. He said that EFCC was anti graft agency of the government, recognised by law, therefore, he would not shun the invitation. “I am aware of the invitation.’’

According to him, he is always willing to honour this kind of invitation even when he is a governor that enjoys immunity. Lamido, however, said he would not join issues with the incumbent governor on the debt he left before leaving office.

It would be recalled that there was a conflicting figure on the debt inherited by APC-led government in the state. The former governor said that while leaving office, he held a special council meeting, where he briefed the press on the liabilities he left.