Military Begins Road Construction Into Sambisa Forest

The Nigerian military on Wednesday said it had commenced the construction of roads into the Sambisa and Alagarno havens of the Boko Haram insurgents.

The military also revealed that over 80 per cent of the Sambisa Forest had been captured from the insurgents as it insisted that the counter-insurgency war in the North-East would soon be over.

The military equally disclosed at a press conference by the head of counter-insurgency operation in the North-East (Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, that 1,880 civilians mostly women were rescued from the insurgents in the last one week.

Irabor also revealed that in the last one week, 504 suspected Boko Haram insurgents were arrested while 19 insurgents surrendered voluntarily.

He noted that 37 foreigners were arrested by the military and they were undergoing interrogations to ascertaining their relationship with the terrorists.

Irabor during the press conference in Maiduguri, televised live to the nation, said, “We have embarked on roads construction within the Sambisa Forest to open up the area and also to ease our operations within the theatre.

“I call on individuals and corporate organisations to come in and support the military, as everything cannot be left to government alone. They can support us with construction materials and other materials, as roads are essential in reviving the economic development of the North-East,” he said.

Irabor warned members of the public, especially female students of tertiary institutions to be wary of new recruitment website, insisting that “Boko Haram insurgency is an evil that is meant to destroy the society.”

“I also urge the general public to continue to support the military in our final move to wipe out insurgency in the North-East through the provision of useful information and not to follow the ways of some media outfits that are bent on bringing down the military,” he appealed.

Credit: punchng

Senate Begins Final Work on Economic Recovery Bills Today

The Senate will this week inch towards passing half of its historic and the much needed economic reform package as six of the 11 priority economic growth and reform bills have been scheduled for public hearings between today and Thursday.

The legislation scheduled for public hearing today includes the National Development Bank of Nigeria Bill, which is intended to provide short, medium and long term financing to participating financial institutions for loans to small scale, medium and industrial enterprises in agro allied businesses, manufacturing, mining; and the National Road Fund Act to fund the rehabilitation and maintenance of the national road system.

Also, public hearing on the Federal Roads Authority Act, which is to manage the federal roads network so that it is safe and efficient, with a view towards meeting the socio-economic demands of the country; and the Customs and Excise Reform Act, which seeks to reform the administration and management of the Customs Service for greater accountability and revenue generation, will hold the same day.

Tomorrow, Land and Marine Transport Committee will hold public hearing on the National Transport Commission Act. The legislation establishes a National Transport Commission as an effective, independent and impartial authority in the transport sector.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Committee on Upstream Petroleum will hold public hearings on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIB).

This long-awaited legislation will establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven petroleum entities that ensures value addition and the internationalisation of the petroleum industry.

Procedurally, legislation is referred to the committee with the appropriate jurisdiction for it to hold public hearing after the bill has passed the first and second reading during the Senate plenary session.

Once the committee submits the public hearing report to the full Senate, the legislation is subject to a third reading, or final passage by members sitting at plenary as a committee of whole.

Read More: thisdaylive

Minnie Mouse Meant To Amuse Kids Begins To Twerk Uncontrollably, Leaves Kids In Shock (WATCH)

In a setting that seemed more like an amusement/ leisure environment for kids, Minnie Mouse made it look more like a dancehall club. Kids were seen surrounding the Minnie Mouse who went out of character and began twerking uncontrollably. The kids were left in shock, viewing the impossible happen right before their eyes.

Watch video as seen on the IG page of the Shade Room:

Man Begins Trekking From Lagos To Abuja To Support Sheriff

A trekker, Muhammed Isa, 32, has once again embarked on a walk from Lagos to Abuja in solidarity with the Ali-Modu Sheriff’s Peoples Democratic Party faction.

Isa, who started the walk from Berger footbridge along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, told newsmen before departing at about 9.12 a.m. that youths of the party support Sheriff as the Chairman.

“I am on solidarity trek from Lagos to Abuja to show my support and the support of youths to Sheriff as the authentic national Chairman of PDP,’’ he said.

The  internal leadership squabbles had factionalised PDP with Alhaji Ahmed Markafi leading the other.

Isa, a graduate of Psychology, claimed that the youth felt that Sheriff was the best person to manage the affairs of the party.

“I want to make something clear, Ali-Modu Sheriff is someone who is honest and listens to grassroots politicians; he has been working tirelessly to ensure that PDP regains its lost glory.

“This is the type of person we need as a leader to move the party forward,’’ he said.

The indigene of Borno said he hoped to finish the trek within 23 days.

“I have already planned my journey, I will be trekking from morning to evening, wherever dusk meets me, I look for an accommodation there.

“After morning prayers, I will resume trekking,’’ he said.

Asked about the security measures he has in place, Isa said he had none but believed God was with him.

“I believe with Allah on my side, no evil will befall me because I am not doing something that is bad or injurious to the country,’’ he said.

Isa also trekked when former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, conceded defeat on March 28, 2015 President Muhammadu Buhari.

Then, he trekked from the same Berger area of Lagos to Abuja with the reason that Jonathan made a great sacrifice for the unity of the country.

“The fact that I am a Muslim does not mean that I should not celebrate Jonathan for the sacrifice he made for this country by accepting defeat.’’

Isa, who expressed optimism that he would meet the President and present him an award then, however, said that “if I did not see him, I don’t care.

“If I die on the road, I still believe that I die for what is right,’’ he said during the trek that began on May 6.

Credit: NAN

France Begins Dismantling Of Calais Jungle Camp

Migrants and refugees have begun arriving at official meeting points set by French authorities as part of the full evacuation of the so-called Jungle camp in Calais.

Men and women carrying suitcases and bundles of possessions gathered early on Monday in front of a warehouse which is serving as the main headquarters of the evacuation operation.

French authorities believe the evacuation will take around three days in total.

As part of the operation, between 6,000 and 8,000 migrants and refugees – mostly from Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea – will be moved to reception centres across France.

Dozens of French riot police vehicles and other trucks carrying equipment earlier set off in the direction of the operation centre.

The flyers distributed on Sunday instructed the migrants and refugees in Arabic, Tigrinya, Pashto and other languages to show up at the warehouse from 8am local time on Monday (06:00 GMT) with their luggage.

At the warehouse they will be separated into four groups for families, single men, unaccompanied minors and other people considered vulnerable before boarding one of 60 buses that will take them to nearly 300 shelters nationwide.

Read More: aljazeera

Sultan’s 10th Anniversary Begins Nov. 2

The Sokoto State Government will hold an International Symposium on the legendary Sokoto Caliphate as part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III on the throne. ”

The caliphate’s contributions to the economy, politics, leadership and good governance in the sub-Saharan region will be the focus of the symposium.”

Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Danladi Bako, made this known in a statement in Sokoto on Friday.

Bako, the Kogunan Sokoto and Chairman of the Publicity Subcommittee of the Local Organising Committee, said the symposium would hold on Nov. 2. According to him, renowned local, national and international scholars are expected to feature at the event.

He said that there would be a presentation on the proposed Nana Asma’u College of Medical Sciences at the symposium and some translated books authored by the founding fathers of the Caliphate like the legendary Jihadist, Sheikh Uthman Bin Fodio, Abdullahi Gwandu and Muhammadu Bello.

Bako further stated that a cultural night to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the people would hold on Nov.3, while special prayers for sustainable peace in the state, Nigeria and the world would be conducted on Nov. 4. He said durbar, featuring thousands of horse riders would hold on Nov. 5 as part of activities making the grand finale of the event.

The commissioner urged the people to cooperate to make the event historic and hitch-free. Abubakar the 2oth Sultan of Sokoto ascended the throne of his ancestor in November, 2006.


FG Begins School Feeding Programme This Month- Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said the government’s free National Home Grown School Feeding programme would start in some states of the federation this month.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President said this in an interview with some journalists.

The Federal Government had failed to commence the programme at the beginning of the current academic session in September as promised.

The programme, which was formally inaugurated on June 9, 2016 by Osinbajo, is part of the Social Investment Plans of the present administration for which N500bn has been budgeted for in the 2016 Appropriation Act.

The Federal Government, through the national manager of the programme, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanmi, had in July said it would commence the scheme in September when schools resumed, with 5.5 million pupils across the country.

But Osinbajo reportedly told the journalists that it was the expectation of government that the programme would kick off in several states before the end of the month.

He said while the Federal Government would fund the scheme for pupils in Primary One to Primary Three, it was expected that state governments would be responsible for pupils in primary four and above.

Osinbajo said, “Definitely before the end of this month, we expect that several states would have come on stream with their Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

“The programme will energise agriculture in the different states because it is what you plant that you feed the children with.

“We will be hiring caterers and cooks in each state because it will be Federal Government-funded from primaries 1 to 3 and the state governments hopefully would be able to cater for the other classes.”

The Vice-President said the programme was a section of the Social Investment programmes that would impact directly on the lives of Nigerian children and families.

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FG Begins Shortlisting Candidates For 500,000 Jobs– Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has commenced shortlisting candidates for the 500,000 jobs it promised.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Tuesday, in Abuja when a delegation of the National Council for Women’s Societies (NCWS) paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

Mohammed said that applications were being received and government had started processing them for the recruitment.

“The process for the recruitment has started. About 1.2 million people applied and they classified them into categories including agriculture support officers, teachers, technical officers and so on,’’ he said.

The minister also said that the payment of N5,000 conditional cash transfer promised by the government would begin before the end of the month.

He said the Minister of Finance, Dr Kemi Adeosun had earlier announced this. Mohammed reiterated the commitment of the government to improving the well-being and standard of living of the citizens.

“We are very concerned about the welfare of Nigerians and we are not sleeping; we are working day and night to ensure that the country retraces its step.

“Many of our critics have been unfair to us because many of them know that we did not invent the problems we are facing today. “ This is time to join hands together to support the government to move the nation forward,’’ he said.

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Probe Begins As Police Get Three Versions Of Budget

The police yesterday retrieved three versions of the budget from ousted House of Representatives Appropriations Committee chairman Abdulmumin Jibrin as probe of his allegation of padding began.

The Special Investigation Panel (SIP) has started sieving the documents to isolate the padded areas, it was learnt.

Jibrin petitioned the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies, alleging the padding of Budget 2016 by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuff Lasun, Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Minority Leader Leo Ogor and nine others.

 He claimed that they inserted about 2000 projects worth N284 billion into the budget.

Jibrin had a two-hour session with the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Amodu Ali-led SIP.

Jibrin, who submitted more documents on the matter to the investigators, may appear before the panel again either today or tomorrow.

Based on documents at its disposal, the panel may interact with other members of the appropriations committee, sources said.

A source said: “The search for padded areas by the panel has started. As at Monday (yesterday), the panel was in receipt of three versions of the 2016 Budget.

“These versions are the original copy laid before the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, the version  passed by the National Assembly but rejected by the President due to omission of some key projects, such as the N60billion Calabar-Lagos rail project; and the harmonised copy.

“With the retrieval of these budget versions, detectives have started identifying padded areas by the House members.

“After locating these padded areas, the SIP will be able to determine the focus of interrogation and the list of those to be questioned alongside the 13 already implicated by Jibrin.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “The SIP may interact with all members of the House Committee on Appropriations and some chairmen of committees.

“We are also monitoring every claim by members in the media to guide our investigation.”

For the session with the SIP yesterday, Jibrin arrived at about noon and left around 2pm.

“Jibrin brought additional documents to support his allegations. What he did was to support every allegation with proof and the sources where he got all the documents. He is trying to prove his case that the padding was criminal.

“We have requested him for additional facts. So, Jibrin could be with us tomorrow (today) or Wednesday. We have told him additional things to bring as part of our preliminary investigation.

“We will invite Dogara and the others after we are done with Jibrin, a source said

he added: “As the investigation progresses, we will inform the public. This is an investigation that will stand the test of time.

“ The nation should at the end of the day put an end to the culture of padding.  We will be fair to all who will appear before the SIP.”

Read More:

Probe begins as police get three versions of budget

NAF Begins Construction Of Permanent Base In Enugu

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Saturday, revealed that work had commenced on the construction of a permanent base for officers and men in Emene near Enugu metropolis.

The Commander, NAF Base Services Group, Enugu, Air Commodore Ebenezer Alade, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu that the move would further boost the morale of officers in Enugu.

Alade commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the special attention given to NAF officers and men in Enugu.The vision of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, is being felt in all units and formations of the NAF, and for us in Enugu, we bear testimony of that vision.

We are all excited about this development of construction of our permanent base in Emene near Enugu.

We are also happy that Enugu has become a re-occurring decimal in the agenda of the Chief of the Air Staff.

Alade, who, however, did not mention the cost of the ongoing project, said that a team of officers from NAF headquarters recently inspected sports facilities in Enugu toward the conduct of NAF Games 2016 later in the year.

All these are pointers to the strategic importance of Enugu to the NAF family,’’ he added.

NAN recalls that the CAS about two weeks ago inaugurated eight projects at Air Force Comprehensive Secondary School, Agbani near Enugu.

The projects inaugurated included a 16-bed ultra modern clinic, drains and reconstructed sections of collapsed school perimeter fence.

Others were the renovated dining hall, five classroom blocks, administrative block, three blocks of students’ hostel and reclamation of eroded football field.

Credit: Guardian

FG Begins Process Of Appointing Ambassadors– Onyeama

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday  said the Federal Government had begun the process of appointing a new set of ambassadors to represent Nigeria in various countries of the world.

Onyeama stated this at a news conference to mark one year anniversary of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration

Twenty-six  non-career ambassadors and ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary on tour of duty abroad were recalled in June 2015.

They were among the 93 envoys posted out in 2012.

The minister explained that the reason for the delay in their appointment was that the current administration wanted to do a thorough job to ensure that very competent hands were sent out.

“It is a work in progress; it is being done and may be in short time we will have the list of ambassadors going to various countries.

“Sometimes, it is on the approach of getting the best hands.

“So we want to be very clear of the ones we send out to represent the country; we want to be sure we have representations that will reflect real vision of this government,” he said.

He said that government was set to implement all the agreements signed with various countries to achieve the goal of signing such pacts.

Onyeama said that government had set up an inter-ministerial committee to work on them, to ensure effective implementation of the agreement.

“So far, what we have done is to set up inter-ministerial committee and identified all the follow up actions and set up timeline for them.’’

The minister added that government had identified the ministries, departments and agencies that would be responsible for different aspects of what was required in the agreement.

“That is a very concrete follow up mechanism put in place to actualise the agreements,’’ he said.

Credit: Sun

Why I Went Back To Secondary School, 60 Year Old Wheelbarrow Pusher Explains

A 60-year-old man, Mr. Adalabu Seribor, who is a Junior Secondary School II (JSS II) student at Izon College, Bomadi-Overside in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, is currently the talk of the town.

Seribor, a wheelbarrow pusher popularly called Oyibo in the community, disclosed how he took the decision to go to school at old age, a development that had kept many people wondering what he wanted to achieve in school at such an age.

Speaking with Southern City News, Seribor said, “I am sixty years now and I decided to go to school at this age because I perpetually feel the pain of being an illiterate in this modern world where everything has to do with English and education.

“My mother died during child birth when I was a little boy while my father was a hunter. I was bred by a grandmother after the death of my mother and later taken to a step-mother when my father remarried.

“I went through pains and hardship at my tender age to adulthood. It would interest you to know that I was so tender at the time my mother died that I was crying for food while she lay dead.

“I went through struggles all through my life history. I had the opportunity to go to school at my young age, when a relative who was a magistrate at Ekeremor in Bayelsa State took me to his house.

“But because of early morning beatings due to my failure to greet him when rising from bed, I went back to my father. I had no opportunity to go to school since then, and continued in hard labour to survive in life, which I am still doing.”

Narrating further how he took the decision to attend school at his current age, he said, “I realized that without education, one cannot do well in this present society. I also do not want a situation whereby someone else would interpret or write for me if eventually I am chosen to hold an office in my community.

“I make a living by pushing wheelbarrow. After school hours, I go back home to look for work to do, which I have been doing for a living. I pay my school fees from there. I am determined to complete my education because of the pains in my heart.

“I see that one cannot do well without education in this society. I do various menial jobs for a living. I pack dirt from gutters; I pack sand, clear grasses in people’s compounds and pack soak-away faeces in the dead of the night. I am a JSS II student and by the grace of God, I will finish from this school.”

Seribor said he would proceed to Teachers’ Training College at the end of his secondary education in order to achieve his dream of becoming a teacher.

“I want to teach and I advised young boys and girls wasting their time and years roaming the streets

to go to school. If I can go to school, then why are young people wasting themselves,” he queried.

His class teacher, Mr. Edsemi Anesah, described Seribor as a committed and hardworking student.

“My encouragement to him is that he should hold onto his determination. He is the oldest student in the school and I advise young people out there to emulate him,” Anesah added.

Credit: Sun

FG Begins Reconstruction Of Schools, Police Stations In North East

Secretary to the Govern­ment of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, yes­terday, said the Federal Gov­ernment has commenced re­construction of schools and police stations destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.
Lawal made this known in Hong, Adamawa State, during the graduation of 500 students trained by Buba Industrial Vil­lage.
The training was part of the Youth Empowerment Pro­gramme introduced by Yusuf Buba, the member represent­ing Gombi /Hong Federal Constituency.
He said reconstruction of the region was part of the electoral campaign promises of President Muhammadu Bu­hari.
The SGF stressed that the aim was to bring lasting solu­tion to insurgency and rebuild destroyed infrastructures in the region.
“The Federal Government has begun reconstruction of schools and police stations among other facilities de­stroyed by Boko Haram insur­gents in the North East region.
“The present APC – led government is determined to guarantee peaceful co-existence among Nigerians and ensure that citizens, ir­respective of their ethnicity or religion, benefit from the dividends of democracy,” said Lawal.
Meanwhile, the Nige­rian Air Force (NAF) has an­nounced plans to deploy more men in its counter-insurgency operations in the North east.
Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar stated this on a visit to military formations and tra­ditional institutions in Borno State where he announced that “the Nigerian Air Force is ex­ploring the possibility of ex­panding the Air Force troops in the North-East to ensure to­tal restoration of peace in the shortest time possible.”
He also explained that “with the planned expan­sions, more personnel will be deployed and more plat­forms created to widen our operations towards timely and speedy response in counter-insurgency campaigns.
“We are already widening the roles of our regiments as special combat forces to se­cure and protect key points after successful operations.”
Abubakar’s pledge is com­ing on the heels of successes recorded by the Air Force in its ongoing fight against Boko Haram.
An Unmanned combat Aerial Vehicle (UAV) belong­ing to the force, recently de­stroyed a logistics base used by Boko Haram.
The Air Force said the UAV was on intelligence, sur­veillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission when it came across the gathering of Boko Haram terrorists at Garin Moloma, about one kilometre north of the Sambisa Forest, a Boko Haram enclave.
The need for additional platforms by the Nigerian Air Force also occurs in the light of recent crashes experienced by the service.

Credit: Sun

Boko Haram: Police Begins Movement Of Logistics, Personnel To North East

The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase said that the Force will be launching the logistics and personnel for war against terrorism today.

The IGP, who disclosed this at the second round table on security stabilisation in the North East in Abuja, said the movement of personnel and logistics begins today.

According to him, “Following the outcome of the last roundtable, the Nigerian Police have heightened its deployment process.

“In furtherance to this, massive human and material assets have been mobilised while the engagements of strategic stakeholders, particularly the military and local communities are also being pursued with vigour.

“I can confirm that by tomorrow(today) Friday 18th March, 2016, the first logistics procured and personnel mobilised for first phase of the deployment will be launched”.

He also hailed the collaboration between the Nigerian police and the military in taking bold steps in neutralising and sustaining the pressure on terrorists.

In another development, the IGP also kicked started the balloting and allocation of Nigeria Police Force pre and post retirement housing scheme for Enugu, Yola, Katsina and Benin.

Credit: Leadership

$2.1Billion Arms Deal: Former PDP Chairman’s Trial Begins

The trial of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Haliru Mohammed, has opened before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

At the commencement of the trial on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), presented it’s first witness, Rouqayya Ibrahim, an analyst in the Forensic Unit of the Agency.

The witness told the court that during their investigation in 2015, the Agency ?discovered documents from the office of the Accountant General – a letter written by the Ministry of Finance to the Central Bank of Nigeria, requesting for the sum of 100 billion Naira with 30 billion Naira specifically earmarked for security issues.

Mrs Ibrahim further said that 300 million Naira, out of the 30 billion Naira, was paid into the account of the office of the National Security Agency and transferred into an account with Sterling Bank, named Bank Project and Property Limited.

She added that the payment of 300 million Naira, was paid in two tranches into the same account on the February 27, 2015.

The witness further revealed that there was a transfer of 50 million Naira, in five tranches of 10 million Naira each to the Abuja Geographical Information Systems for the purpose of mass housing development.

Mrs Ibrahim, however, said that the owner of Bank Project and Properties Limited was arrested and after thorough investigation, he said that the payments were made on behalf of his father, who is the accused.

The trial has been adjourned till February 23.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Saraki’s CCT Trial Begins March 10

Trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on 13 counts of false assets declaration is to resume March 10 before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Our correspondent confirmed that the CCT ?issued hearing notices and served same on parties to the case on Friday.

This followed a letter written on behalf of the Federal Government by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), intimating the tribunal of the recent judgment of the Supreme Court validating the ?trial.

It was learnt that Jacobs sent the letter with a copy of the Supreme Court’s judgment attached to it to the Danladi Umar-led CCT on Monday.

The Head, Press and Public Relations of the CCT, Mr. Ibraheem Al-hassan, confirmed to our correspondent that the tribunal issued and served hearing notices on the parties on Friday.

“We have issued and served the hearing notice today,” Alhassan said.

Credit: Punch

FG Begins Plans For Post Boko Haram Era

The Federal Government on Thursday said it is making plans for a post Boko Haram era.

This is coming days after President Muhammadu Buhari said it has “technically won the war” against Islamist Boko Haram militants.

The Minister of Interior, Lieut. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd), told the West Africa Conflict and Security delegation at a meeting in Abuja that the Federal Government is working on how to deploy security operatives to the region to ensure stability.

Head of the West Africa Conflict and Security delegation, Catherine Weiss, who visited the Minister in Abuja said that the conversation it began on violence mapping and strategic risk assessment must continue to holistically win the war.

This is one of many promises in the pipeline but first Nigerians are clearly anticipating an era of zero terrorist attacks on innocent citizens.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Kaduna Refinery Begins Production Of 3.2 Million Litres Of Petrol Daily

Kaduna Refining and Petroleum Company has started daily production of 3.2 million litres of petrol, a vloume authorities hope will end queues at fuel service stations across Nigeria.

A statement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) confirmed that the plant, which commenced production over the weekend with an initial Premium Motor Spirit yield of about 1.5 million litres, has ramped up its daily yield to 3.2 million litres.

“The injection of this volume into the system will significantly impact ongoing special intervention efforts designed to bring relief to motorists across the country,” the Corporation stated.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Queen Elizabeth Begins Commonwealth Summit With Climate Focus

Queen Elizabeth II opened the 2015 Commonwealth summit on Friday with a colourful ceremony attended by world leaders gathered for pressing talks on climate change.

The Queen dressed in an aqua blue coat with pink flowers adorning her trademark hat, was serenaded by a harp as she arrived to a red-carpet welcome at a huge sandstone conference centre on the seafront in the Maltese capital Valletta.

As the clock ticks to a UN climate conference in Paris starting Monday, leaders at the summit including France’s Francois Hollande, Britain’s David Cameron and the UN’s Ban Ki-moon will try to open the door to a landmark accord for limiting greenhouse gases.

“At this meeting, the Commonwealth will be charged with demonstrating leadership, often in practical ways, on an agenda of global issues,” Queen Elizabeth said in her opening address on the Mediterranean island.

“I wish you every success in this endeavour.”

Credit: Vanguard

Minister Of Youth & Sports Confirms Payment Of N5,000 To Unemployed Nigerians Begins 2016

The federal government has assured that it would commence payment of N5,000 promised unemployed Nigerian youth during the electioneering campaign, from 2016 .

The minister of youth and sports, Solomon Dalong, made the commitment on Wednesday when he paid a condolence visit on the national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, over the death of the party’s governorship candidate in the recently held inconclusive election in Kogi state, Abubakar Audu.

Mr. Dalong, who spoke to journalists during the visit , said the APC government was fully committed to fulfilling all campaign promises made before the last elections.

He said the payment of the promised N5 , 000 can only begin after it had been included in the budget.

“I would want the youth to understand that every promise must be backed up by budgetary provision and our promise to pay N5000 is not contained in the 2015 budget. So, definitely, it is going to begin in 2016 as we have made budgetary allocations for that,” he said.

“We are committed to the campaign promises of creating jobs, providing wealth and combat poverty. We have embedded in our manifesto things that we are translating to reality .”

Credit: PremiumTimes

NAF Begins Local Production Of Aircraft Spare Parts

The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has commenced the production of locally-made spares and other related equipment for its aircraft. NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, DOPRI, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, made the disclosure yesterday in a statement made available to journalists.

Alonge said the effort was in a bid to address the challenges associated with spares procurement from third party countries.

He said the Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in a bold move towards achieving this objective had set up both research and implementation committees comprising three professors and NAF officers in partnership with 28 indigenous universities.

Alonge added that the committees which only recently submitted a combined interim report were grouped into non-destructive testing team, security monitoring system and autopilot cassette team.

He said Air Marshal Abubakar expressed optimism while receiving the interim report that the NAF was at the verge of breaking even at producing locally made spares for maintenance of its aircraft.

According to the CAS, “the research outcomes of the committees will save the country enormous resources in hard currency and the time lag experienced in purchasing spare and military hardware from other countries.”

Credit: NationalMirror

Senate Begins Confirmation Of New INEC Appointments

The Senate has begun the confirmation of the INEC leadership, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu (INEC Chairman) Amina Zakari (Jigawa) Dr. Antonla Okoosi[Kogi], Baba Arfo[Borno], Dr. Mohammed Mustafa[Edo], Soyebi Solomon[Ogun].

First was Mr Solomon who advocated for electronic voting as a means of eliminating errors and overcoming logistics bottlenecks.

He believes the use of card readers must be reviewed for better future use, adding that INEC should train and re-train staff on the use of new technologies introduced by the commission.

He also noted that politicians must adhere strictly to stipulated rules.

On the other hand Dr. Mustafa insists that the role of technology is irreversible in the conduct of elections.

While Amina Zakari says INEC needs to be more transparent in its dealings with members of the public.

Mr. Arfo believes the role of INEC is key in the conduct of primary elections.

The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu says there is need to consolidate on the successes of the 2015 elections. “There are challenges with the use of the card readers but it is the way to go. Jega has done a marvelous job and I will consolidate on his achievements. My long term goal is to conduct elections where Nigerians will vote seamlessly”.

Credit: ChannelsTV

TSA Enforcement Begins Tomorrow

After 48 years of non-compliance, all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government shall in the next 24 hours commence implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), in line with the directive of the federal government.

It will be recalled that President Buhari set Tuesday September 15 as deadline for the full implementation of his directive that all revenue due to the federal government or any of its agencies must be paid into the TSA or designated accounts maintained and operated in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), except otherwise and expressly approved.

Already, to ensure quick compliance with the directive, the head of service of the federation, Danladi Kifasi had given the federal sub-treasury account name and number as Accountant General: 300002095.

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NNPC Begins Recovery Of $9.6billion Owed Nigeria- Presidency

The Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) has begun the process of recovering over $7 billion in over-deducted tax benefits from JV Partners on major capital projects, the Nigerian presidency has said

Quoting a report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari by the new Group Managing Director of NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the state oil company  had ‘commenced Performance Measurement & Benchmarking as well as Value for Money Review of NNPC and the JV Companies covering the period 2008 – 2013?. 

Mr. Shehu further quoted the report as saying ‘a reputable International Accounting Firm has been engaged by the NNPC to ascertain the exact amount due government on the Strategic Alliance Contracts entered by NPDC, where up to $2.46 billion of government money is to be recovered’.

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Senate Begins Probe Of Power Sector

The stage appeared set for a comprehensive probe of the nation’s power sector as the Senate declared on Friday that officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, its departments and agencies and other key players within the sector would soon appear before it.

The Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Power, Senator Abubakar Kyari, stated this when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, inaugurated the 14-member fact-finding panel at the National Assembly Complex.

Kyari said stakeholders in the sector from 1999 till date would be asked to provide information in order to achieve the committee’s laudable objectives.

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Arms Deals Panel Begins Sitting In Abuja

The 13-man investigative committee set up to probe the procurement of hardware and ammunition in the Armed Forces has started its sitting.

The committee has been meeting in the office of the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), a source in the Presidency said.

The source said, “I can confirm to you that the committee members have started meeting. They even started meeting before their appointments were announced. This is because they do not need any confirmation or any formal inauguration.

 “Available information showed that members are getting the needed assistance and support from interested parties.

“It is the government’s belief that a lot of ground would be covered by the committee in its desire to ascertain what went wrong in the past as far as the procurement of arms is concerned.”

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EFCC Commences Probe Of Amaechi’s Administration

Strong indications emerged wednesday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced a detailed investigation into some financial transactions during the tenure of the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi.

The investigation was based on a petition by a Port Harcourt-based group, The Integrity Group, which on July 29, wrote to the EFCC, detailing three instances of alleged corruption, graft and abuse of office under Amaechi’s government.

In the petition, the group alleged that Rivers State electric power projects were sold and the proceeds converted to other uses through payments amounting to N60 billion to three companies all located at Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt.

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Assembly Begins Probe Of Tambuwal, Wamakko

The Sokoto State House of Assembly said yesterday that its probe of the state’s finances was to ensure that due process was followed in the utilisation of the funds.

NAN reports that the assembly had directed the government to furnish it with details of the state’s finances and expenditure from January to August.

The probe will cover the tenure of former Governor Aliyu Wamakko, who handed over to Governor Aminu Tambuwal on May 29.

Alhaji Malami Galadanchi, the chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, told NAN that the probe “is to examine expenditures, state of revenues, financial statements and the beneficiaries of such.

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PDP Begins E-Registration Of Members

Following criticisms of the actions of the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its National Working Committee have initiated online system of registration for its members across the country.

This mode of registration by members was once suggested by some aggrieved members within the party, known as PDP Renewal Group, but was rejected by the national leadership of the party and its governors.

Also, stakeholders of the party had insisted that this mode of registration must be introduced by the party.

Following the dismal performance of the party during the last general election, some members of the party have been calling for the sacking of the entire members of the NWC in order to give another set of leaders the opportunity to pilot the affairs of the party.

The criticism that trailed the poor performance of the party during the elections forced its Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, to resign.

Credit: DailyTimes

CBN Begins BVN Registration For Nigerians Abroad

As part of its efforts towards the full implementation of the BVN project, the central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in collaboration with key stakeholders in the Nigerian banking industry has finalized the guidelines for the enrollment of Nigerian banks’ customers in Diaspora.

The plan is to roll out this operation in 12 locations in the first phase. These locations are Leicester, New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston, Johannesburg, Beijing, Shangai, Ghuanghzou, Dubai and New Deihi. The second phase will include locations with lower concentrations of Nigerians which will be accommodated through schedule sessions for defied periods.

This was contained in a circular obtained from the CBN website yesterday signed by its director of Banking and Payments System Department, Dipo Fatokun, with Ref: BPS/DIR/GEN/05/009 addressed to all deposit money banks and the general public.

The circular, which provided the framework for the enrollment of Nigerian banks’ customers in Diaspora for bank verification number issuance, stated that Nigerian banks customers in Diaspora could present themselves for enrollment for the BVN without travelling to Nigeria.

The CBN advised customers of Nigerian banks to present themselves to the offshore branches/subsidiaries of any Nigerian deposit money bank, where such facilities have been made available for the enrollment for the BVN.

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Finally! Benue Govt Begins Payment of Salary Arrears

There was jubilation in all nooks and crannies of Benue State yesterday as the state government commenced payment of salary arrears of civil servants.

The former Governor Gabriel Suswam administration had owed salaries of workers for several months. The former administration said it lacked adequate finances to offset the backlog of salaries due to the dwindling federal allocation.

However, Governor Samuel Ortom had on assumption of office about a month ago, told the state workers that his administration would ensure that the salary arrears were cleared. He also sought a loan of N10billion in that regard.

Following the commencement of payment, the state workers had started receiving alerts from various banks, for their monthly salary payment since Tuesday and the exercise continued till yesterday.

Yesterday, the civil servants thronged to various markets in Makurdi and other major towns to purchase some items, just as many went to mechanic sites to repair their vehicles while others converged at varied unwinding spots discussing the development.

It was further learnt that some tertiary institutions in the state that were shut down including the Benue State University Makurdi are warming up to reopen. The striking lecturers have also received the alerts for payment of the owed salaries.

A civil servant who simply gave his name as Gwar, said, “because of the payment of the owed salary, I came with my wife and children to purchase items that we can use at home and they will also take to school.”


EFCC Begins Probe Of Ex-Governor Akpabio Over Alleged N108.1bn Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has begun investigation into alleged theft of N108.1billion of Akwa Ibom funds by former Governor Godswill Akpabio.

The action followed a petition forwarded to the commission by an Abuja-based lawyer and activist, Leo Ekpenyong.

Mr. Ekpenyong had on June 8 petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the EFCC, calling for Mr. Akpabio’s probe and accusing him of looting Akwa Ibom state treasury.

Investigations showed that several other indigenes of the state who have demanded the investigation of the former governor, have been invited by the EFCC to adopt their petitions.

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Anambra Begins Disbursement Of N2bn Small Business Loans

Anambra State Government has commenced the disbursement of the N2bn Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund.

The state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, believed that small business owners in the state now have an opportunity to make significant progress.

Obiano said this in Awka on Monday following the inauguration of the Anambra Small Business Agency and the commencement of the disbursement of the N2bn scheme.

The fund is Anambra State’s quota of the N220bn MSME fund domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The governor reasoned that lack of fund had been the bane of small businesses, saying this trend would change with the availability of the MSMEs Development Fund, which could be accessed by serious private enterprise operators.

Obiano said, “I am happy that the scheme has taken off in earnest because we worked hard to ensure that we meet the relevant statutory requirements and set up ASBA to superintend over small business activities.

‘Micro Small and Medium Enterprises constitute the major drivers of my administration’s vision to engender aggressive economic growth and touch the lives of the average citizen of the state positively. I have no doubt that their fortunes will turn around for good and that the local economy will feel the positive impact in no distant time.”

The Governor described the exercise as a consummation of his efforts since inception of his government, to devise a means of directly engaging the MSMEs sub-sector in the task of growing the state economy, creating employment and wealth opportunities for the people.

He urged the staff and management of ASBA to ensure effective implementation of the scheme, such that all bottlenecks, militating against easy access to such intervention by SMMEs would be removed.

The fund is divided into two with N1bn being the disbursement to micro enterprises and the other to small and medium scale enterprises at an interest rate of nine percent.

Chairman of the Board of ASBA, Mr. Greg Obi, identified stringent loan conditions as the major stumbling block to SMEs’ development in the country.


P/H Refinery Begins Production Of 5m Litres Of Petrol July

As part of efforts aimed at bringing the persistent fuel scarcity in the country to an end, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that the Port Harcourt refinery is expected to begin production of five million litres of petrol by July after rehabilitating its functionality to 80 per cent capacity.

Group managing director of the corporation, Engr. Joseph Dawha, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday after a routine inspection of the NNPC’s mega filling stations in Abuja, said the development follows the completion of the Turn Around Maintenance(TAM) of the refinery which would help boost fuel availability.

He also disclosed that the phased TAM for other refineries would be completed within 18 months period, adding that presently, the NNPC has about 1.1 billion litres of fuel which is sufficient to cover for 27 days at a daily consumption level of 40 million litres.

“The Port Harcourt refinery which has reached advanced stage will start receiving crude by the end of this month and start contributing to the availability of products in the country.

“ At the end of 18 months, most of the refineries would have been rehabilitated to a certain level whereby they can actually process crude optimally and make contributions to products availability in the country,” he said.

Dawha added that as a supplier of last resort, the NNPC is presently the only importer of fuel into the country while expressing the hope that other oil marketers would resume import as soon as issues were resolved between them and the federal government.

“In the last five days we have brought 428 trucks of petrol, averaging 85 per cent trucks daily to address the petrol requirement in Abuja and its immediate environs,” he said, adding that arising from the meeting with other stakeholders recently, the NNPC and its downstream subsidiary Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) was committed to ending fuel queues across the country soon.

Also speaking, the PPMC managing director, Haruna Momoh, who renewed appeal against pipeline vandalism said, “We have a robust pipeline network yet we cannot pump products through the pipelines. We have the products but need the distribution network to efficiently put the products in the filling stations.”


Fuel Scarcity: Senate Begins Probe

As fuel scarcity continues nationwide, the Senate Thursday directed its committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream ) to immediately commence investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the fuel crisis in the country.

The  Senate Order was sequel to the motion by the Deputy Senate Majority Leader,  Senator Abdul Ningi, who had called on the lawmakers  to pay serious attention to the fuel crisis that had created great hardship for Nigerians at the moment.

Senator Ningi wondered why a country that has abundant oil resources should face the kind of biting scarcity that had increased the suffering of Nigerians.

But the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, noted that since the Deputy Senate Leader raised the motion under personal explanation, the senate would not debate it but would rather approved his prayers.

Senator Ekweremadu said, ” Ningi’s prayers are simple and straightforward. He is asking us, as representatives of the people,  to direct our committees on upstream and downstream, to find out what is currently going on the oil sector and possibly find a way of addressing it.

“In that regard, we now ask our committees on Petroleum Resources ( Upstream and Downstream), to find out what is going on and what the government is doing about it and report back on Tuesday last week. That is our wish”

The Senate Deputy leader had while moving his motion, said since the Senate still has the mandate of the people? until June 1, it had the responsibility to intervene in the unfortunate development.

According to him,  “We need to know whether fuel scarcity has come to stay. We need to know whether it has become part of our life. We need to plan.

“By planning and talking about it we our now sensitising Nigerians to brace up for the impending issue of fuel scarcity whether it is going to be here permanently or temporary.

“But we can’t know all these things until we hear from the experts. Therefore my prayer is to ask the committee on downstream and upstream to come up with explanations next Tuesday through which Nigerians will know and plan their future.

“Otherwise, I think its legally and morally wrong to keep silent about it, sweep it under the carpet and to continue to believe these things are usual.”