Buhari congratulates former Gov. Bukar Abba Ibrahim at 70



President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with the former governor of Yobe State, Sen. Bukar Abba Ibrahim, on his 70th birthday.

In a congratulatory message issued by his spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday, Buhari commended Ibrahim for living a life of service to humanity and encouraging budding leaders in the state.

“As you mark your birthday in good health, surrounded by family members and friends, which is one of greatest and happiest moments in one’s life, I convey to you my good wishes and that of the entire people of this country,’’ the President said.

The President said that the former governor dedicated most of his life to public service, working for the state and nation for many years.

He lauded him for “vociferously speaking for the underprivileged as a lawmaker and inspiring younger people to take up the mantle of leadership.

“I wish you many more years of service and commitment to the nation. Happy Birthday.’’ (NAN)


Edited by Tajudeen Atitebi



Buhari to participate in peace, dev’t forum in Egypt



President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Tuesday for Aswan, Egypt to attend the Aswan Forum designed to set “An Agenda for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa.”

The president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

The Forum which holds between Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, is an initiative to address the interconnections between peace and development in Africa while promoting Africa-led solutions through strengthening policies and practices.

The initiative is being launched by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in his capacity as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) and as an advocate of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa – a recurring theme of his tenure as the AU Chairman.

It is also grounded in the AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, and the search for African solutions to African problems.

The gathering is expected to bring together heads of state and government, leaders from regional and international organisations, financial institutions, private sector and civil societies.

”(Others are) scholars, visionaries and prominent experts for action-oriented discussions on the threats, challenges and opportunities.

It is also expected to end with a Declaration on the theme of the Forum and become an annual event,’’ he said.

It would be recalled that the Speaker of Egypt’s House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal had delivered el-Sisi’s message to Buhari in Abuja on Oct. 28 inviting him to the inaugural Aswan Forum.

According to the presidential aide, the President will be accompanied by Governors Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.

Others are: Bashir td); Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada; National Security Adviser, Maj.-Babagana td); and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.

Buhari is expected back in Abuja on Friday.

Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz

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Agency assures Anambra road users of zero potholes ahead of Christmas celebration




Awka, Dec. 9, 2019 The Anambra Road Maintenance Agency has assured road users of government’s commitment to fix the dilapidated portions of the roads in all parts of the state ahead of the Christmas.

Mr Emeka Okoye, the Managing Director of the agency, gave the assurance in an interview with newsmen, while inspecting road rehabilitation in Awka on Monday.

He said the state government also engaged contractors to complement the agency’s efforts to ensure zero potholes across the state.

Okoye, who said that the agency was currently fixing the roads in Awka, said that over 30 roads had been fixed since the end of the rainy season.

He listed Roban Stores Road, Udoka Estate, Prisons Road, Aroma-Ifite Road and Amaku Hospital- Amaenyi Market Road as some of the roads already fixed.

Others are Club Road, Crescent Spring Road, St. Thomas Aquinas Church Road and Best Western Meloch Hotel Road, among others.

He said: “We are doing asphalt patching. We are also patching with the Dura Patcher vehicles acquired by the state governor.

“Three of them are working in three different locations and they have been doing that for the past three weeks.

“The government also engaged contractors, who are aggressively carrying out similar patching in Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Nnewi North, Nnewi South and other local government areas.

“Our aim is to meet up with the set target of filling every pothole in the state before Christmas and the job will continue even after the celebrations.’’

Okoye, who expressed satisfaction at the pace and quality of work done, said that the job was being done with a mixture of stones and bitumen as against concrete used earlier during the rainy season.

He further promised that traffic would be effectively controlled in major towns and cities of the state during the festivities to ensure smooth vehicular flow.

(Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Sam Oditah)





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Air Peace to commence flight operation to Ibadan



Air Peace says it will soon begin flight operations to Ibadan from Kano, Owerri and Abuja.

The Chairman of the airline, Mr Allen Onyeama, made the announcement in a statement issued in Lagos on Monday.

Onyema said: “Very soon, we shall start flying Abuja-Ibadan-Abuja daily, KanoIbadanKano and OwerriIbadanOwerri, three times a week.

This is part of our no-city-left-behind initiative and our plan to interconnect various cities of Nigeria.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the airline in November announced the commencement of KanoOwerriKano flights.

Onyeama explained that the recent Corporate Award of Excellence to the airline by University of Ibadan was in recognition of its unparalleled excellence in the delivery of safe and comfortable flights.

Edited by: Wale Ojetimi

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Lawmaker facilitates N40m skills acquisition equipment donated to Apapa Vocational Centre



Rep. Ayodeji Joseph, representing Apapa Constituency in the House of Representatives, said through his efforts, Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) donated N40 million worth of equipment to Apapa Vocational Centre in Lagos.

Joseph made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Monday shortly after handing over the equipment to the Chairman of Apapa Local Government, Mr Owolabi Adele.

NAN reports that items donated are, industrial sewing machines, industrial ovens, catering equipment, chairs, furniture, refrigerators, desktop computers and LG plasma television.

Others are, hair dressing equipment, industrial fans, cameras, pressing irons, generators and clippers, for different skills acquisition.

I started facilitating this equipment to the vocational centre when I was the Apapa Council Chairman in 2008 and many people who did not learn any vocational skill got involved and became professionals in different fields.

When I became a member of the House of Representatives, I felt the best I could do was to improve my support to attract facilitation of more gesture.

That is the reason why I used my good office to talk to Border Community Development Agency (BCDA) to provide the equipment for the vocational centre.

All the equipment are for the vocational centre; not for any individual. Over a thousand people in Apapa community have benefited from the training,’’ Joseph said.

He, therefore, urged youths in Apapa to avail themselves of the opportunities at the vocational centre to acquire one skill or the other free to become useful to themselves and to help their families.

“If we cannot provide enough jobs for people, we should give people the opportunity to become entrepreneurs,” the lawmaker added

While receiving the equipment, Adele commended the efforts of the lawmaker and the support of BCDA to the residents of Apapa.

Adele promised that the council would hand over the equipment immediately to the vocational centre for the benefit of the youths in the area.

Edited by: Shittu Obassa/Adeleye Ajayi




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Extend fight against corruption to attractive industry, CCB boss urges



Prof. Muhammed Isah, Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, has stressed the need to extent the fight against corruption to the attractive industry.


He stated this on Monday at a high level seminar organised by the Anti -Corruption Inter-Agency Task Team to commemorate the 2019 International Anti Corruption Day in Abuja.

“United Against Corruption.“

According Isah, corruption cannot be completely fought without focusing on the natural resources of the nation.

He said that it was important to check corruption in the attractive industry, adding that that funds from this sector remained important for the infrastructure development needed in the country.

 about 70 per cent of these raw materials remain untapped.

“The bulk of every developing nation lies on its resources and if these resources are being diverted, it will not go down well for that country.

“The mining industry is the bedrock of every industrial development and it is important to check what is going on in the extracting industry.

“However, if these resources are being diverted by way of syndicated organised crime, you will find out that such nation cannot be among the nations aspiring to be developed.

“Even if there is a GDP growth on the pages of the newspapers, the people of that nation on the other hand, will continue to suffer because wealth will not reach out to them,” he said.

NAN reports that the event was organised in collaboration with the European Union, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme.

Others are: UNODC, MacArthur Foundation, Centre for Democracy and Development and the United States Embassy.

Editor by Modupe Adeloye/Dada Ahmed

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NiMet predicts hazy, thundery weather conditions on Monday



Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted

dust haze and hazy conditions over the North and Central cities with possibilities of thunderstorms over some parts of the coastal cities on Monday.

NiMet’s Weather Outlook on Sunday in Abuja forecast dusty hazy conditions with localised visibility range between 2 to 5 km over Potiskum, Maiduguri, Katsina, Kano, Damaturu, and Yola of Northern states during the forecast period.

It further predicted day and night temperatures of the region to be between 31 and 36 degree Celsius and between 14 and 19 degree Celsius respectively.

According to NiMet, hazy conditions are expected to prevail over the central states within the forecast period with day and night temperatures of 27 to 37 degree Celsius and 12 to 23 degree Celsius respectively.

“For Southern states, partly cloudy to sunny conditions with early morning mist/fog over Calabar, Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Akure, Oshogbo, Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti, Port Harcourt, Eket, Yenagoa, and warri are envisaged over the region in morning hours,” it said.

The agency envisages chances of thunderstorms over Port Harcourt, Calabar, and Lagos during the afternoon and evening hours.

It predicted day and night temperatures of the region to be between 31 and 37 degree Celsius and between 20 and 24 degree Celsius respectively.

Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Yashim

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Air traffic engineers wants FG to invest more on cyber security



The National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE) has urged the Federal Government to invest more in capacity building on cyber security to forestall cyber attacks in the industry.

The re-elected President of the association, Mr Ishaya Dung, made the plea in Lagos on Sunday.

Dung said the training would further prevent cyber attacks on the Communication Navigation and Surveillance /Air Traffic Management () domain.

He spoke at the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Conference Centre, Abuja.

Dung was re-elected for second term in office as President of the NAAE.

Also, at the election, which was the high point of the AGM, other members of the executive were re-elected for second.

Dung, who joined the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in 2002, is a Deputy General Manager, Electromechanical Services department in the agency.

He said the authorities should ensure that Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEPs) were properly equipped to mitigate the challenge of cyber security which had become a major threat globally.

“International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA) raised concern over cyber attacks in the domain.

“The approval of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for cyber security to be included in the competency-based training for ATSEP in document 10057.

“This was a remarkable achievement in the best interest of safety and security of evolving digital interoperable complex systems,”

Dung said.

He also appreciated the efforts of the Africa Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) in the presentation of a working paper for the harmonisation of personnel licencing at the regional level.

According to him, it will help to facilitate the implementation of personnel licencing in states that have been reluctant, owing to its non-inclusion in ICAO Annex 1.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye

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FG assures qualified teachers of good welfare, incentives



FG assures qualified teachers of good welfare, incentives

The Federal Government has assured qualified teachers of improved working conditions for optimum productivity.

Mr Sonny Echono, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, disclosed this in an interview with journalists, after monitoring the Computer-Based Test (CBT) teachers Professional Qualification Examination (PQE), in Abuja on Saturday.

NAN reports that the PQE was introduced in 2017 for teachers. Only those who passed the written examination are certified qualified to teach in the country.

Echono said that the Federal Government was looking at ensuring a strong foundation for education, stressing that ensuring quality teachers was the starting point.

“We must have committed and qualified teachers; we also want to ensure that teaching environment is in order.

“We have done a lot in terms of our curriculum and we will continue to enhance the curriculum to make it more responsible to the needs of tomorrow and the future.

“Teachers welfare  will be our top priority in order to attract more hands into the teaching profession and to avoid migration to other greener pastures,” he said.

Speaking on Local Government Autonomy bill, Echono said that Predident Muhammadu Buhari had teachers’ welfare at heart and had ensured they got their salaries and other allowances in good time.

“We are pushing that they should have direct fund charge, so that they will be paid same way as  our legislators and judiciary officers

“We are looking to other allowances to encourage teachers in the area of science and rural posting; we are going to be rolling out big Adult Literacy Programme in 2020.

“We discovered that over 50million of our people missed out first opportunity to get education. We do not want to waste money and build new schools or facilities. We will use existing facilities across the country, ” Echono stated

He further stated that the programme would be run in the evening or weekends to help promote adults education for those working to support their family.

“Our teachers will now have additional work and income by teaching the curriculum that we have developed.

“The programme will also focus on girls child and we have 11 focused states.

“We have a lot of efforts to make to correct the negative figures we have in terms of access to education and quality learning,” he said.

He commended the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) for organising what he described as “transparent exams process” in 47 CBT centres across country.

“More than 77,000 candidates are writing the PQE across the 36 states including the FCT under the close supervision of TRCN,” he said.

According to him, the Dec. 31 deadline to end quackery in teaching profession in Nigeria still stands.

He added: “The exams will continue, but today is just a final exams before Dec. 31 deadline. After this, we are going to move those who are not qualified outside the system.”

The permanent secretary said that the government was working on creating a teachers data base to collate the data of certified and qualified teachers.

“Anyone not certified or qualified to teach will not have any place in our classroom. We will begin the implementation in January 2020.

“We have also asked the TRCN to continue PQE to accommodate individuals who are just registering or who intend to write the exams,” Echono added.

He said that computer literacy was now compulsory for anyone aspiring to be a teacher.

Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, the Registrar of TRCN, in his remarks, said that Africa alone had a deficit of seven million teachers and that Nigeria accounts for the largest number.

“We need a lot of teachers in our schools. Some states have not recruited teachers in the last 10 year; when you get to some schools, you will find only four teachers in the entire school.”

He said that the test was smooth across the states, except in Ekiti where it was postponed due to  technical issues at the CBT centres.

Josiah assured candidates in Ekiti that the exams would be rescheduled in the next few weeks.

NAN reports that Lagos State has the highest number of candidates with 8,224, followed by Oyo State with 5,599, Ogun 4,448 and Adamawa, 3,779.

Sokoto State has the lowest numbers of candidates with 360 candidates.


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Lagos-Ibadan rail project: NASS Joint C’ttee inspects, expresses satisfaction



LagosIbadan rail project: NASS Joint C’ttee inspects, expresses satisfaction

The Joint Committee on Land Transport of the National Assembly on Saturday inspected the LagosIbadan Standard Gauge Rail Line project and assessed the free train ride flagged off on the corridor on Monday.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the federal lawmakers on oversight functions were led by Sen. Abdulfatai Buhari and Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, Chairmen of Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Land Transport.

NAN reports that the free train ride from Iju in Lagos to Moniya in Ibadan, which was flagged off by the Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Nov. 29, started on Monday, running one return trip daily.

Buhari, who noted that rail transport was key to economic development, said that the present administration was determined to bequeath to Nigerians  good rail transport facilities that would be linked to sea ports and airports.

According to him, the committee is very pleased with the progress of work and the train ride.

He said that the National Assembly had been approving huge amounts of money for the development of rail transport, and would not relent until the country would be completely connected by rail.

“Just three days ago, we passed the appropriation bill. A lot of money was allocated to railway. It has always been a cardinal point or  focus of the administration.

“We are very pleased with what we have seen. So far, we have been to five out of 10 stations (under construction) and we are very pleased,” he said.

The senator commended the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for the free train ride on the completed part of the corridor  -from Iju in Lagos to Moniya in Ibadan – saying it would bring succour to the masses.

According to him, the train test-run will alleviate the suffering of the people this Christmas season.

“We are very pleased, we hope Nigerians will be happy with what the NRC is doing. The main intention is to commission this project in April.

“Immediately after that, we will  commence the Ibadan to Kano rail line project. The ride we had was really beautiful.

“Imagine a project that they promised they are going to do within three years, and now in two years, they are completing it and we are test-running it,” he said.

He said that the train service would serve as an alternative for to road transport.

“It will give our roads a good lifespan such that we will have enough room to maintain our roads.

“Rail transport all over the world is key. We have not reached there, but we are going there,” the senator representing Oyo North said.

According to him, the project has been extended from Ebute Meta to Apapa Port, Lagos, for cargo evacuation to the hinterlands in order to ease road traffic on that axis.

He said that there was also a consideration to extend the project from Ebute Meta to the airport and Tincan Island Port in Lagos.

“This thing takes time, it is not something we can do in a year and it is very expensive.

“We need a lot of funds. Next year, we are launching the Eastern Zone which is Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.

“It takes a lot of money. Itakpe-Warri is ongoing, Kaduna-Abuja is working, LagosIbadan now working. Gradually we will we be there,” he said.

He appealed to the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC), the contractor handling the project, to establish assembly plants in Nigeria and train Nigerians for rail maintenance.

People alighting from train

Commenting, Abbas described the project and the ride as impressive especially as the project would be delivered six months earlier than the projected time.

“The level of work being done is quite impressive. Considering the period of time given to them (CCECC) to complete this project, the contractors are doing a wonderful job,” he said.

The Managing Director of the NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, expressed delight that the joint committee was pleased with the project and the train ride.

Okhiria expressed confidence that when next the committee would visit, the work would have reached Agege and  Ebute Meta.

Edited & Vetted By: Ijeoma Popoola

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