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Assist the poor in your communties, cleric advises Christians

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Rev. Fr. Kizito Fogos, the Parish Priest of Church of Assumption, Chongo’Pyeng, Jos, has advised Christians to support the poor and less privileged ones in their communities.

Fogos, who gave the advice in his sermon on Sunday in Jos, noted that the hardships occasioned by the advent of Coronavirus (Covid-19) had impoverished many people.

“God loves a cheerful giver; those who give to the poor will never lack. Christians must cheerfully give to the poor ones.

“The rich in the society must extend love to those who are suffering,” he said, and decried the greed and selfishness that had remained a major challenge in the society.

The cleric urged Christians to always offer thanks so as to get even more blessings from the Almighty.

“Food and shelter remain the major needs of every human being. In this season of Covid-19, a lot of people are lacking these two needs.

“In this era of new normal, we have a lot of poor people around us who hardly have one square meal a day.

“It is incumbent on iChristians to render assistance to this category of people. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver.

“As a believer, it is not your fat bank account, the exotic cars you drive, the mansion you live in that define you. It is the number of lives you are able to touch positively that matters,” he said.

Fogos called on political leaders and those in public offices to develop policies that would have direct impact on the lives of common Nigerians, urging them to discard greed and selfishness, and work for the good of all and sundry.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the congregation adhered to all protocols put in place by government to combat the spread of COVID-19

A NAN correspondent, who was at the Church, reports that majority of members wore their face masks while social distancing was observed during the mass.

Polycarp Auta: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

We will boost Imo IGR – special assistant

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Dr Nina Nwulu, the Special Adviser to Imo Governor on Signage and Advertisement Agency (IMSAA),  has promised to work assidously with her team to boost the internal revenue base of the state government.

Nwulu, who is also the Chairman of the Board of IMSAA, gave the promise in Owerri on Tuesday at the dedication of her office.

She said the agency was established to regulate and control signages in bussiness outlets, placement of bill boards and outdoor signs, brand activation and events and mobile advertisement, all geared toward raising the revenue base of the state.

According to her, “there are other government agencies on revenue generation, but IMSAA will not rest on its oars at over shooting its target on revenue generation.”

The special adviser called on the agency staff to work according to the rules and regulations guiding the operations of the agency to take it to another level.

She expressed appreciation to Gov. Hope Uzodimma for the appointment, saying through it she would contribute her quota in the development of the state and the nation in general.

Rev. Nnyene Etibeng, the Pastor of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) in Owerri, who performed the dedication, thanked God for the appointment of Nwulu as the Chairman of Board and Special Adviser to the Governor on IMSAA.

He urged her to see her appointment as an act of and favour from God and use it to serve both God and humanity.

“All we have belong to God. You do not hold tenaciously to anything in life for all shall fade away. It is only God that endures forever.

“If God gives you an assignment, ensure you work with God. See your self as a co-worker and co-builder with God and change the office for good.

“If you don’t handle your assignment well, God can take it away. Love your workers and carry them along, ” he admonished.

Etibeng said that it is God who makes and appoints leaders into office as such it is in the best interest of people to always support and encourage leaders to succeed in office.

He prayed to God to lead Nwulu through her tenure and help her overcome challenges to succeed.

Á

Edited By: Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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Judiciary

Shop assistant docked over alleged N2m thrft throne phone cloning

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A 30-year-old shop assistant, Sunday Ayedun, was, on Friday, arraigned before an Iwo-Road Chief Magistrates’ Court, Ibadan, for allegedly duping his boss of N2 million through phone cloning.

Ayedun, of an undisclosed address, was arraigned on a two- count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

The Prosecutor, ASP Sunday Ogunremi, told the court that Ayedun and one other at large, conspired to commit the offence.

He said that the defendant, between 2018 and May 3, at No. 10, Yemi Farounbi Street, Bodija, Ibadan, cloned a mobile number, belonging to one Mrs Wuraola Amoo, without her consent.

Ogunremi said that the defendant fraudulently withdrew cash to the tune of N2 million from his boss’s First Bank account.

He said that the defendant, using the advantage of having access to his boss’s cell phone, transferred her First Bank application to his own phone.

“The defendant removed sums of money from the account and transfer same to some accounts, unknown to Amoo,” said Ogunremi.

According to him, the offences contravene Section 383 and punishable under Section 390(9) and 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo, 2000.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Taiwo Oladiran, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000, with two sureties in like sum.

He ordered that one of the sureties must be a landed property owner, while the other must be a current account holder, with a statement of account of up to N500,000.

He, thereafter, adjourned the matter till Aug. 8, for hearing.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Defence/Security

Ebonyi community seeks FG’s assistance for potable water, lauds constituency projects

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Ebunwana Autonomous Community in Afikpo-South Local Government Area of Ebonyi has appealed to the Federal Government over difficulty in accessing potable water.

The traditional ruler of the community, Ezeogo Charles Azuenya, made the appeal in Afikpo on Thursday during an inspection of an E-Library in the area.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the verification was carried out by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), with its team on project tracking exercise.

According to Azuenya, access to potable water in the area is a major developmental challenge.

The monarch, also Chairman, Afikpo South Traditional Rulers Council and Chairman, Ebonyi South Senatorial District, said that households still relied on water from a dam for drinking and other domestic purposes.

He said that in pursuit of the challenge, legislators representing the constituents and the community had made several efforts to solve the problem but all efforts were not successful.

“It is a Federal Government project and about 3km away from the town. We plead for assistance,” the monarch said.

He was satisfied with the projects situated in the area and thanked the Federal Government for adding more value and improving the quality of education in the community.

Azuenya also appreciated Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji for attracting an E-Library project among other enterprises to the area and promised to bring children close to the venture to make impact.

The monarch, however, commended the Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye for the initiative on project- tracking exercise and educating citizens on their role in monitoring their constituency projects.

“I see beauty, prospects and big achievements for the future in these constituencies’ projects to the community and country at large,” Azuenya said.

The Chairman of Ebunwana Welfare Union (EWU), Dr Amaaka Udu and Secretary General of the union, Nwaeze Ibiam in their separate speeches, decried same challenge and appreciated the noble projects by the Federal Government.

They applauded the Federal Government for providing the completed E-library, construction of a diagnostic centre and modular theatre both at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike (AE-FUNAI) and a community outpost in the area.

Another resident and a retired teacher of Ebunwana Girls Junior Secondary School, Mrs Patricia Obo and Mrs Nkamaka Enyidiya, a Teacher at Ebunwana Model Secondary School, called on the Federal Government to address the water challenge faced by the community.

They complained that: “Water from the dam is our only source for drinking, cooking and other purposes while we suffer distance and more during rainy season because it changes colour.”

The Leader of the Team and Head Constituency and Executive Project Tracking Group (CEPTG) Enugu, Mr Tanko Abdullahi, said constituents must be involved, monitor and even take ownership of constituency projects in their own interests.

Abdullahi explained that the constituency projects were ventures that were selected by legislators and provided for in the budgets of government ministries and agencies for execution.

The Vice-Chancellor of AE-FUNAI, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, who was on a visit to the traditional ruler’s palace, told the tracking team and cabinet members of Ezeogo that the two community health outposts were established in accordance with the directives given by the Medical Council of Nigeria (MDN).

“Ebonyi-South and Ebonyi-North Senatorial zones respectively were chosen for the community health outposts, following the fact that the university is in Ebonyi-Central zone,” Nwajiuba said.

The Manager, Strengthening Citizens Resistance Against the Prevalence of Corruption (SCRAP-C project), ActionAid Nigeria, Mr Newton Otsemaye, said its agency was supporting ICPC on the exercise with grants.

Otsemaye explained that the grants were provided by Department for International Development (DFID) to ensure success of the tracking exercises.

The E-library was attracted in 2016 by Sen. Ogbuoji while the project had been completed and ready for use.

The exercise was in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Neighbourhood Environmental Watch Foundation, Divine Era Development and Social Right Initiative (DEDASRI-Africa).

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Foreign

United States COVID-19 assistance to Nigeria hits N15.5bn

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The United StatesCOVID-19 emergency aid to Nigeria rose to 41.3 million dollars (N15.5 billion) as of Thursday, according to the Department of State.

This represents an additional 11.3 million dollars (N4.2 billion) compared with the 30 million dollars (N11.2 billion) assistance to Nigeria announced by the United States in May.

In a statement on Thursday, the department said the amount was part of a 1.3 billion dollar (N488.8 billion) COVID-19 aid so far announced by the government for 120 countries.

It gave a breakdown of Nigeria’s share to include 3.3 million dollars (N1.2 billion) for health assistance.

According to the statement, 34 million dollars (N12.7 billion) is meant for “humanitarian funding for risk-communications, water and sanitation, infection-prevention, coordination and emergency food assistance”.

It added that 4.1 million dollars or N1.5 billion is reserved for humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people, including internally displaced persons.

“This assistance joins more than 8.1 billion dollars (N3 trillion) in total assistance for Nigeria over the past 20 years, including more than 5.2 billion dollars (N1.9 trillion) for health”, it said.

The department said the total 1.3 billion dollar package was in addition to not less than 100 billion dollars (N37.6 trillion) in global health funding by the United States in the last 10 years.

It added that the country had also dished out nearly 70 billion dollars (N26.3 trillion) in “overseas humanitarian assistance” within the period.

As of Tuesday, Nigeria had 26,484 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 603 deaths and 10,152 recoveries, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).(NAN

ARU//WOJ

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

Enugu community laments scarcity of water, appeals for assistance

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Residents of Ama-Ozalla Affa in Udi Local Government of Enugu State have appealed to the state government to urgently provide potable water to the community to avoid outbreak of epidemic.

Speaking to News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who visited the area, in Affa on Thursday, an indigene of Amaozalla Affa, Mr. Ikechukwu Agu lamented that getting drinkable water had become a very heavy task in the community.

Agu admitted that though there was a borehole that reticulated water to the community in the past but regretted that the water facility had stopped working for over 30 years.

“Water, which is a basic necessity of mankind for survival, had become an expensive commodity for residents of Amaozalla Affa community.

“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to get good water for our domestic use as we walk many kilometers in search of this basic necessity of life.

“In fact, we climb mountain to fetch water from Ibuzo-Enu stream because there is no borehole in the area to lessen our quest for water,” he lamented.

According to him, this development has made us to depend on Ibuzo-Enu and Ibuzo-ani streams as our only source of water especially during dry season.

Collaborating this, the Youth chairman of Amaozalla Community, Mr. Obiorah Nwafor, lamented that all the community efforts to provide water for themselves had not yielded any positive impact.

Nwafor appealed to the state government to come to their aid by extending water supply to them from either Ninth Mile or Ajalli River in Ezeagu.

Narrating her ordeal, a Primary School Head Mistress, Mrs. Dorothy Ugodu, complained of the dilapidated condition of schools in the community and wondered if Amaozalla was no longer part of Enugu state.

Ugodu said the primary school in Amaozalla was the worst in the whole of Affa as it had no toilet facility or parameter fence, which exposed the pupils to insecurity in the area.

On his part, the Vice President General of Amaozalla Affa Town Union, Mr. Felix Enyi, urged the Enugu state government to assist them to enable the community have a sense of belonging.

Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: Dangote assists PTF in testing Nigerian returnees

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The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) says it has continued supporting the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in testing Nigerian returnees toward reducing spread of Coronavirus in the country.

Ms Zouera Youssoufou, Chief Executive of the Foundation in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos, said that the foundation had assisted the PTF in conducting tests for over 500 Nigerian returnees.

She said that the test was to determine their COVID-19 status and ensure adequate isolation of returnees who test positive to the virus across the country.

According to her, as more Nigerians are being evacuated from various countries, Dangote Group offered assistance to the PTF in testing returnees as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

Youssoufou recalled that ADF had earlier donated a 500-bed isolation centre, mobile testing laboratory, 10 ambulances and three official vehicles, as part of its corporate support to Kano State.

“This is the usual way that Dangote Group through the Foundation reciprocates the cordial relationship that it enjoys from its host communities.

“The Foundation has so far assisted in the testing of over 1,000 people in Kano State, and provided Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), ambulances and SUVs in some other states in the northern part of the country,” she said.

Besides, Youssoufou said that ADF had also assisted the Group subsidiaries to donate relief materials, including food and cash, to ameliorate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in host communities across the country.

Youssoufou said the donation of food to host communities was synonymous with the company’s CSR activities in Nigeria.

“We realise that this is an unusual time and the pandemic has distorted the economy of everyone, so we now provide the food relief materials to the Group subsidiaries’ host communities,”she said.

She said that the gesture was in addition to the over N2 billion and other materials earlier donated by Dangote through the Private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to complement federal government’s efforts.

According to her, since the outbreak of the pandemic, the foundation on a daily basis, distributes bread to the vulnerable ones in the society to reach and sustain connection with the people.

She noted that ADF had signed agreement with the United Nations to purchase $4 million worth of testing supplies on behalf of CACOVID.

The Chief Executive added that the ADF had empowered over 106,000 women across four states in Nigeria with about N1.1 billion as part of its empowerment programmes in the country.

“The initiative, which is part of the Dangote’s Micro-Grant scheme, is aimed at poverty amelioration through economic empowerment of women.

“Through this programme, the Foundation has been able to empower 23,000 women in Sokoto; 34,000 women in Katsina; 21,000 women in Kebbi and 28,000 women in Zamfara.

“The beneficiaries of this programme were selected from the communities with primary consideration for vulnerable women, food distressed households with infants or children under five years old, disabled, divorcees, widows, and extremely poor residents in these communities,” she said.

Youssoufou said that the Foundation’s mission was to enhance opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education, and broaden economic empowerment opportunities.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Foreign

New York state to assist states with high COVID-19 infection rates: governor

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New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that New York will offer to assist states with high COVID-19 infection rates, as several states have seen spikes in cases.

Cuomo said at a briefing that 60,000 healthcare workers from outside New York came to help the state when it was at the epicenter of the crisis, and New York is ready to repay the favor.

“We had numerous states who came to our assistance when we needed it and I was very appreciative. Massachusetts, Oregon, et cetera,” said Cuomo. “We will never forget that graciousness and we will repay it any way we can.”

He said the state is also in touch with Arizona, Texas and Florida to see if there is anything New York can do to help them combat the disease.

The Empire State now boasts a 1.1-percent COVID-19 positivity rate based on a seven-day rolling average, the lowest of all big states in the country, according to the governor.

Five upstate regions that started reopening first — North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes — entered phase four of reopening on Friday.

Phase four allows low-risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment events, film and TV production. Higher education can resume and professional sports can be held without fans. Social gatherings of up to 50 people are also allowed.

The state saw 14 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday. Another 805 new cases were confirmed, bringing the statewide total to 391,220, according to the governor’s office.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed on Friday that the city will step into phase three of reopening on July 6.

“New Yorkers have shown incredible resilience during this crisis, and it’s because of their hard work that we are on track for Phase 3 on July 6,” he said at his briefing.

He also called on the state government to extend the state’s eviction moratorium until Aug. 20, as a previous moratorium signed by Cuomo in March expired the past weekend and many New Yorkers are still reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic.

“So many people are hurting, so many people just don’t have money for rent. Keeping a roof over their head is crucial right now,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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Environment

Flood: Aba residents appeal to Abia govt. for assistance

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Residents of Ukwu-Mango area near Ife-Obara basin in Aba, Abia, have appealed to the state government to save them from disaster resulting from a failed pump at the basin.

Akuchi Egbe, a resident of the area said the flooding of the area had persisted for many years, but escalated with the overflowing of the Ife-obara Basin following many days of downpour.

She said the 5.6 kilometer drainage system Abia government built at Ife-obara Basin to pump storm water from Ariaria area to the Aba river has stopped functioning, adding that  weeds have overgrown in the entire basin.

Egbe said the businesses of residents had crumbled due to lack of patronage from  their customers.

Another resident, Mr  Moses Igwe,  told  NAN that they had done  their best to tackle the flood in their own way,  but added that the situation had overwhelmed them.

He said that the flood sacked many families, submerged homes and made it extremely difficult for families to even come out from their homes after rains.

“From Omuma road, the abattoir at Old Express, down to Francis Street, Olumba Street and the whole of this Ukwu Mango, no place is safe from flooding, we are living in a disaster zone. 

“The Ife-obara Basin government always talk  on radio of  pumping water to Aba river; there nothing like pumping water from here to Aba river. 

“If there’s anything government  can sincerely  do to save us from the bad situation let them do it because people are already running away from their homes here”, he said.

Charity Ilomuanya, another resident stressed that the flood around the area was destroying their means of livelihood and their houses and property.

“Residents are losing important property to flood each time it rains and the situation has made us hopeless.

“We don’t know what is going to happen tonight when the next rain comes.

“There is an ECWA church at Olumba Street, go there now, nobody even comes there to worship again.

“It has been submerged since the rain started and the flood has destroyed almost everything inside there. 

“I plead with the Abia government to please come and save us because we have suffered enough here,” she said.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abia government had in 2017 reconstructed the basin with a pump in the bid to collect storm water from Ariaria area, move it to Ife-Obara and then to Aba river but the pump failed. 

 

Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Australian military deployed to assist with state virus outbreak

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will deploy over 1,000 military personnel to the state of Victoria to help contain an outbreak of COVID-19, authorities announced Thursday.

Victoria reported 33 new cases on Thursday, the state’s largest daily increase in close to three months, further fuelling concerns over a second wave of infections.

Premier Daniel Andrews said that the military would be assisting with a “testing blitz”, aiming to conduct 100,000 tests over the next 10 days, primarily across hotspot areas in the state capital of Melbourne.

Other States have agreed to help process the extra tests, which will be flown interstate by the ADF.

Wednesday marked the ninth straight day of double digit increases in Victoria’s case numbers, in contrast to most other regions reporting zero new infections for the past several weeks.

ADF personnel will also be involved in bolstering standards of the hotel quarantine system which has been linked to two of Victoria’s current outbreaks.

“Our soldiers are not law enforcement personnel… they are not security guards, but they are assisting those locations to make sure quarantine requirements are met,” Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds told the ABC.

Workers at a major supermarket distribution centre were also among the State’s new cases, with two employees forced to self isolate after they tested positive along with a number of their family members.

With the rest of the country looking to ease virus restrictions, Australians in other States have been told not to travel to Victoria and to avoid interacting with people from hotspot areas.

New South Wales (NSW), which has maintained an open border with Victoria throughout the pandemic, advised those travelling from Melbourne to self isolate for a period of two weeks.

Additionally Victorians were banned from attending sports matches, which in other states have begun allowing crowds of up to 10,000 people.

NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, said that officials from the popular Rugby League and Aussie Rules sporting codes had confirmed they would not sell tickets to Victorians.

(XINHUA)

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