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Buhari creates 5 new Federal Ministries as he retains Petroleum portfolio

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday announced the creation of five new Ministries, namely; Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Police Affairs and Ministry of Special Duties and International Affairs.

The President, who announced this while assigning portfolios to the newly sworn in Ministers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, gave the names of the remaining two ministries to include that of Aviation and Power.

“I am pleased to inform you that the Federal Ministries have been further expanded to ensure effective service delivery,” the president said.

The new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will be headed by Hajiya Sadiya Umar (Zamfara) while that of the Ministry of Special Duties and International Affairs will be headed by Sen. George Akume from Benue.

Alhaji Muhammadu Dingyadi from Sokoto State is the Minister of the new Ministry of Police Affairs. Sen. Hadi Sirika is now full-fledged Minister of Aviation while Sale Mamman is the Minister of State of Power.

NAN observed that the Ministry of Power was separated from the former Ministry of Works, Power and Housing which was headed by Babatunde Fashola, who is now the Minister of Works and Housing.

President Buhari will retain the Ministry of Petroleum while Timipre Sylva is the Minister of State Petroleum Resources.

Some other members of the old team who returned either had their jobs trimmed or got a raise in their responsibilities.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed returns to the Ministry of Information and Culture as Dr Ogbonnaya Onu returns to the Ministry of Science and Technology but unlike Mohammed, Onu is to be assisted by a Minister of State, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi.

Others who retained their positions are Alhaji Muhammed Bello (Federal Capital Territory) Adamu Adamu (Education), Dr Chris Ngige Labour and Employment), Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs).

Alhaji Hadi Sirika , takes full charge as Minister of Aviation, while Mr Chibuike Amaechi is in-charge of Minister of Aviation in the Ministry of Transportation without the Aviation segment.

Malam Suleiman Adamu returns to the Ministry of Water Resources,  while Zainab Ahmed  is back to the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Abubakar Malami retains his post as Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation and Mr Babatunde Fashola keeps the Ministry of Works and Housing without the Power segment.

Dr Ikechukwu Ogah, a fresh hand, is Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development; Godswill Akpabio (Minister of Niger Delta Affairs) and Mr Festus Keyamo is Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs.

Mr Sabo Nanono is the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources; retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magash (Minister of Defence) and Ramatu Tijjani (Minister of State, FCT.)

Mr Muhammed Madmud is Minister of Environment; Sharon Ikeazor (Minister of State, Environment) and Amb. Maryam Katagun is the Minister of State, Trade and Industry.

Others are Adeleke Mamora (State, Health); Mohammed H. Abdullahi (State, Science & Tech.); Zubair Dada (State, Foreign Affairs); Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines & Steel Development) and Tayo Alasoadura (Ministry of State, Labour and Productivity)

Former governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, is now Minister of Interior; Mr Sunday Dare (Youth and Sports Development) while Paulen Talen  is the Minister of Women Affairs.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

Science & Technology

Buhari approves ministry’s request for security of telecoms infrastructure

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a request by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, for  provision of security for telecommunications infrastructure across the country.

Pantami said this in a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, the Spokesperson for the Minister, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

As part of Federal Government policy, the minister had championed efforts to identify telecommunications infrastructure as critical national infrastructure, with a view to protecting them from vandalism and theft.

The minister said also that the president had directed that necessary physical protective measures be put in place to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure across the country.

He explained that the Nigerian telecommunications industry, depended on a number of infrastructure that played critical roles in the smooth delivery of telecoms services in the country.

He said: “These are part of Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) because of the important role they play, in ensuring security and in the delivery of other essential services.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of Critical National Infrastructure to the sustenance of our economy and the security of the nation.”

Pantami, however, said that the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) had been notified of the president’s directives.

He thanked the president and commended the security agencies for the commitment they  demonstrated in securing the infrastructure.

The minister urged all the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduced the prices of data and calls for the citizens, adding that this was to reciprocate the gesture.

He also requested the MNOs to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country.

“We are also working toward the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments

The implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, both unveiled by the president, have repositioned the ICT sector.

“This is evident by the recent Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed that the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to the total GDP in the first quarter of 2020.

“We are confident that this will address the challenge of vandalism of our critical national infrastructure.

It will also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025),” the minister said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

 

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Entertainment

Minister, Buhari’s Aide, others react as Majek Fashek dies in New York

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The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo and Laurreta Onochie, an Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari have reacted to the death of the legendary Reggae star, Majek Fashek.

The Raggae star a.k.a rain maker, died after battling with cancer for nearly a year.

Mr Uzoma Omenka, his manager confirmed the news of his death on the singer’s Instagram page on Tuesday, adding that the Raggae Star also known as Rain Maker died at 11.45 pm on June 1, Nigerian time.

Omenka said the singer died in New York, where he was receiving treatment, adding that the doctors advised he should be moved close to his family, which informed his being moved to New York where his wife and three sons live.

He said contrary to insinuation that the Raggae legend died in London, he was moved from London to New York in September 2020 on the advice of the doctors that he should stay close to the family.

He said Majek was separated from his family for 10 years until last year when they were reunited on the advice of his doctors that he should be close to his family.

Majek was said to have died at age of 57 as he was born March 7, 1963.

However, the minister in a tweet said, ” R.I.P my big brother, Mr. Majekodunmi Fasheke (aka Majek Fashek), the ‘Rain Maker’ and extraordinarily gifted musician.

“They don’t make them like you anymore. Your remake of the song Hotel California remains one of my favorites and, of course, the ever green, Send Down the Rain!” Keyamo said.

Similar, Senator Shehu Sani inrin histhis reaction said, “some years ago I met Majek Fashek near a train station in New York before he returned to Nigeria, he was a shadow of the man many of us loved decades ago.

According to him, Majek rode through a rough and dangerous terrain in life, he tried to pick up and now is gone, he was an unforgettable legend.

Laurreta Onochie, an Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari said ” at last he rests, he escapes the life that held him captive.

According to her, h”escaped a world where talented people are milked till nothing is left; where no vice can touch him.

“But we won’t forget you as younger people, your music moved our feet and gladdened our souls, sleep well,” she said. 

——-


Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Politics

Activist says Buhari’s achievements excites opposition

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Mr Ebubeagu Ekenulo, a renowned activist in the South East, says the landmark achievements recorded by President Muhammadu Buhari is attracting scores of opposition members and their leaders to the ruling All Progressives Congress APC).

Ekenulo made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, the opposition being led in the country by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are excited with the tremendous development strides achieved by Buhari amidst security challenges, economic recession and COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

He described the defection of Chief Charles Ezekwem, former PDP chairman in Imo together with other PDP stakeholders to the APC, as a testimony of the President’s APC-led administration’s landmark achievements.

Ekenulo, who described Ezekwem as an astute administrator and visionary politician, said his defection was informed by his passion for good leadership.

The activist explained that Ezekwem was moved by the track records of the Buhari-led APC at both the national and state levels.

Charles Babatunde Ezekwem is not a mole but a patriot and selfless politician with bold heart to return Nigeria and Imo to the path of progress.

“He defected to APC with a large chunk of Imo PDP state and many local government executive members, and multitude of stakeholders to show solidarity to President Buhari and Chief Hope Uzodimma,” he said.

Ekunulo called on the remaining PDP members in Imo to support the APC led administration in the state to restore the lost glory of the state and Nigeria “that was battered by PDP’s failed leadership”.

According to him, Ezekwem left PDP for the greater good of Imo in spite of the fact that he built the party all alone.

Ekenulo, who expressed optimism of a future prosperous Imo, called on politicians to shun campaigns of calumny and discord but close ranks for a prosperous country.

NAN recalls that Ezekwem, immediate past Imo PDP chairman, resigned from the party in January 2020, ahead of the expiration of his tenure in August, this year.


Edited By: Muftau Adediran/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Aisha Buhari renovates 15-bed capacity facility in Nasarawa

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First Lady Aisha Buhari has renovated and equipped a 15-bed capacity ward in Mararaba Gurku Medical Centre in Nasarawa State to provide conducive atmosphere for COVID-19 patients.

Buhari also built two sanitary and administrative block in the facility.

Buhari, who was represented by Dr Haji Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, said the facility was part of her effort  towards supporting the state in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

She urged the management of the centre to ensure proper maintenance of the facility.

The first lady also distributed personal protective equipments (PPEs), food items and other medical equipments.

Buhari enjoined residents of the state to sustain prayers against the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In his response, the Nasarawa State deputy governor and Chairman, State Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, thanked the first lady for the gesture and promised to make judicious use of the facility.

Akabe said the state government was making frantic efforts towards containing the spread of the pandemic in the state.

He said the facility would be used as one of the isolation centres to cater for the COVID-19 patients in the state.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Nasarawa State Hospitals Management Board, Dr Usman George, expressed appreciation to the first lady for the gesture.

George said that the facility was one of the site identified by the state government to treat COVID-19 patients.

”We want to make proper use of this place to have a unilateral flow where you have donning areas where you have personal protective equipments and areas where you remove the personal protective equipments.

”We also intend to put cardiac monitors and one or two ventilators as part of the state government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.


Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Politics

Edo APC Primaries: Obaseki visits Aso Villa, seeks Buhari’s blessing

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed door with Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports the meeting which was at the instance of the governor, came ahead of the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), scheduled for June, 2020.

Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Obaseki said he was in the Presidential Villa to formally intimate the president of his intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The governor, who is believed to be at loggerhead with the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, over his second term ambition, presented his Expression of Interest form to the president for blessing.

“I came to see Mr President to formally inform him of my desire and intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo State on the platform of the APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.

“As a father of the country, as our president I should not just assume or take things for granted – I have to come to inform him and solicit his support in my gubernatorial bid, and the president was quiet warm and quiet welcoming.

“When I showed him my Expression of Interest form, he looked through it and teased me that he would not have to go through this again and wished me good luck and assured me of his support,’’ he said.

On the political tussle in Edo, the governor stated that the crisis was being instigated from outside the state.

Obaseki also described the political misunderstanding between him and Oshiohmole as very unfortunate, saying however that he was ready to reach a truce with all aggrieved members of the APC.

“It is unfortunate that he (Oshiohmole) is taking the position he has taken. I believe that he was not properly guided.

“I am his Governor and it is my responsibility to seek peace for my State and with all my citizens.

“I will continue to strive for peace, I will continue to pursue peace, seek the interest of our people and I am open, that we should talk about how to move things forward.

“The relationship is still frosty but I am doing all I can to try and make it warm just for the sake of Edo people. I am committed to whatever it will take to have peace and not to lose lives in Edo, within the law, whatever I can do that is constitutional, I will do,’’ he stated.

According to the governor, he has the full support of his counterparts, all the governors elected on the platform of the APC, in line with the principles of the party, which encourages continuity.

On the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor revealed that about 300,000 out of the targeted 500,000 indigenes of the state had so far been screened for Coronavirus disease.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Metro

Rep lauds Buhari over appointment of  Obioma as NECO Registrar

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Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia), has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Prof. Godswill Obioma as Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO).
Kalu, who represents Bende Federal Constituency in Abia said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
He said  the appointment came at a time, the examination body was confronted with several challenges, which had undermined its operations.
The lawmaker, however, expressed confidence that Obioma’s breadth of experience and wealth of academic achievements would be used to address the challenges.
Kalu disclosed that he had been privileged to preview the registrar’s proposed 11-point roadmap for NECO, which showed a determination to reignite hope in inclusive and quality education for Nigerian children.
“Following the fourth UNESCO COVID-19 Education Webinar, organised on April 9, 2020 to examine the coping strategies currently considered by various countries to manage high-stake exams, it has become clear to me that unique home grown solutions are required for the peculiarities of our own challenges.
NECO’s leadership must figure out exam delivery modes that are complaint with new public health standards and technological realities while remaining inclusive and accessible to the millions of Nigerian children in rural areas.
“This responsibility is an intricate dance which will require the innovativeness and insight of a leader, possessing extensive local and international experience.
“Obioma’s breadth of experience,  academic achievements, as well as his far reaching contributions to education policy reforms in national and global contexts,   distinguishes  him as the right fit for the job; the square peg in a square hole,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Politics

Edo APC: Former Speaker seeks Buhari intervention

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo, Alhaji Kabiru Adjoto, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to step into the party’s crisis in the state.

Adjoto, who was a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, made the appeal on Monday in Benin while receiving the party leaders from Edo north.

The APC chieftain said that the president’s intervention would ensure the victory of the party in the September governorship election in the state.

Adjoto, noted that the crisis rocking the party in the state was becoming increasingly embarrassing.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the primaries for the Edo governorship election for June 22, while the gubernatorial election will hold on Sept. 19.

The development has stoked the battle of supremacy between the two factions of the APC in the state.

Adjoto, however, said that “the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party empowers state chapters to choose a mode of primaries based on peculiarities.

Edo state APC stakeholders have met and agreed on an indirect mode of primaries as the most suitable in the face of COVID-19 and for the fact that the state chapter lacks a comprehensive register of members,’’ he said.

He urged the president and other stakeholders to dialogue with the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, to avert the party being defeated in the September election.

“Obaseki’s victory is certain and he is constant as the Northern star. All those opposing him within and outside the party will eventually bow and vote for him.

“My advice to the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC is to play by the rules to avoid plunging Edo into crisis,’’ Adjoto said.


Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

President Buhari receives 4th Interim Report on COVID-19 from PTF

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday received the fourth reports of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19  at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, applauding the team for a job well done.

Speaking to State Correspondents at the end of the closed-door meeting, PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, said he presented the progress and challenges recorded by the PTF to the President.

According to him, the team also offered suggestions on ways forward in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, quoted the President as applauding the achievements of the PTF and other frontline workers and stakeholders.

“What we basically did was to submit the fourth interim report to him and to appraise him of the progress that has been achieved in the course of the last two weeks of the extension of the eased phase one of the lockdown.

“We also discussed some of the challenges that we’ve had and suggested what we need to put in place, going forward.

“As far as the work of the PTF is concerned, he was upfront with commendations.

He (Buhari) assured us that the nation is fully behind us in the work that he has charged us to do and that he’s also appreciative of the work of the frontline workers, particularly the medical personnel, the security personnel and the people who come in contact with the patients in the time of collection of samples, the testing and the care that they are giving,’’ Mustapha said.

According to him, PTF also discussed the issue of compliance and the President said “we should continue to appeal to Nigerians and drive home the point that it’s a personal responsibility for each and every Nigerian to undertake to ensure that he keeps himself safe and by extension keeping his family, loved ones and community safe’’.

He assured that the PTF would continue to drive the message.

“It’s a message of persuasion; it’s a message that should make people take personal responsibility for their own protection and health and we will not relent on that’’.

On the deliberate refusal of Kogi and Cross River states to be in tune with the present reality in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, Mustapha said that the issue was discussed during the PTF meeting with the president.

“We discussed challenges generally and I believe that in the context of those discussions, certain steps will be taken.

“We are doing everything to ensure that the entire nation is on the same page with one response.

“It is very important that we realise that no state is an island unto itself, when you deal with public health matters.

“Whatever happens in a particular locality has the consequences of spilling off to other constituencies.

“That is the message that we’ll continue to drive in our pursuit of getting everybody to be on board.

“I can assure you that there’s no island that exists as far as COVID-19 is concerned in this country.

“We must integrate all the responses from the different segments of the community and the state and have everybody to be on the same page.

“We will continue to pursue that and we must also ensure that it happens.’’

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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General news

Tinubu commiserates with Buhari over death of nephew

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Sen. Bola Tinubu, National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), on Sunday, commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of his nephew, Alhaji Ibrahim Dauda.

Tinubu, in a condolence message by his media adviser, Tunde Rahman, extended his condolences to the family of Dauda, Gov. Aminu Masari, the Daura community and people of Katsina over the tragic loss.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Dauda died in Daura, Katsina State, following a prolonged illness.

APC leader said: “Mr President, please accept my deepest sympathy and condolences over the passing of your nephew, Alhaji Ibrahim Dauda.

“My condolences also to the family left behind by Alhaji Ibrahim Dauda, to Governor Aminu Masari and the people of Daura Community.

“Coming after the recent demise of another family member, this may be further dampening but we cannot question God,” he said.

Tinubu urged Buhari and his family to take solace in the good and deeply religious life Dauda lived and the memories of the time they shared together.

He prayed Allah to give all the family members, particularly the wife and children the fortitude and everlasting succour to live without their patriarch.

“I beseech Allah SWT to support and strengthen you at this time even as you confront the nation’s current existential challenges.

“To the deceased, may Allah reward his good deeds, forgive his sins and grant him Aljannah,” he said.

NAN  recalls that on May 7, the President lost one of his nephew, Alhaji Mutari Dauda, after a brief illness.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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