Direct allocations: Maintain fiscal prudence, rights group tells LG chairmen
A rights group, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Ebonyi chapter, has urged chairmen of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria to ensure prudent management of monthly federation allocations accruing to them.
The CDHR State Secretary, Mr Jeremiah Onyibe, gave the advice at a news conference on Monday in Abakaliki.
Onyibe said that the call became imperative in view of the implementation of direct payment of federation allocations to local governments as directed by the Federal Government.
He said that the operationalisation of the directive gave responsibility to the chairmen of the councils to preside over utilisation of funds made available to them under the new fiscal regime.
Onyibe said that fiscal prudence and discipline were required for effective management of local government funds in order to achieve the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He urged the various council chairmen to integrate their councillors, traditional rulers, community leaders and civil society organisations in identifying and implementing projects that would touch the lives of the rural people.
“The implementation of fiscal autonomy for local government areas is one of the best achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
“Before now, the activities in our local government were in comatose as the federal allocations made for the local government were allegedly hijacked bystate governors in disguise of joint account to execute their joint projects.
“The development was the highest fraud ever and financial injustice meted out to grassroots administration,” he said.
According to him, this singular practice reduced our local government funds as alternative income to the governors.
”The funds meant to be used for development of our local communities were therefore diverted and misappropriated.
“The practice also reduced the local government system as mere appendages of the state governments in Nigeria, as funds accruing to them were handed over to state governments and governors used them without acknowledging needs of the rural dwellers.
“But the recent decision to allocate funds directly to the local government has changed the sad narrative.
“There is therefore the need for civil societies, citizens and stakeholders to engage the council chairmen.
“They also need to monitor how funds released to these local governments are being utilised to ensure the funds are used for the interest of the masses”, Oyibe said.
He expressed concern on the poor state of infrastructure in public primary schools, lack of teaching materials, poor health facilities, leading to high rate of mortalities in rural communities.
He said: “As our local government chairmen receive their allocations directly, it is worthy for them to note that most of our public schools are in sorry state, lacking adequate qualified teachers, poor school infrastructure and basic instructional materials.
“Our public health centres have become ‘glorified’ medical shops, they are not operational as there are no drugs, nor qualified health officers to attend to our people and most of our health centres don’t even have basic equipment due to poor funding.
“Our rural roads are death-trap, posing difficulty for movement of people and farm produce since over 80 per cent of rural dwellers are peasant farmers, roads should be maintained to enhance accessibility”, he added.
Foundation lauds Gov Fayemi’s enforcement of lockdown directive in Ekiti
The Foundation gave the commendation in a communique at the end of Ekiti State Administration of Criminal Justice Working Group Bi-monthly meeting in Ado Ekiti.
It also commended Mr Olawale Fapohunda, the Attorney-General’s issuance of periodic statements, calling on security agents to respect the principles of human rights in the enforcement of the lockdown directives.
The foundation said review of progress of the implementation of ACJL in Ekiti, as regards compliance with the State Government directives on COVID-19, revealed that both the conventional and state security outfits were not trained before being deployed to enforce the COVID-19 lockdown directives.
The foundation said Ekiti witnessed minimal human rights violations by security agents, including no record of extra judicial killings as witnessed in some states
It decried the use and involvement of the military in the enforcement of the COVID-19 lockdown directives.
“This is against the tenents of civil engagements, as some of the human rights violations witnessed in the state were mostly perpetrated by the military and the state’s security outfits,” the foundation said.
“This negates the principles of access to justice; particularly, the right to fair hearing as preserved under the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).
“That following the gradual ease of the lockdown by the government and the full return to work, that Courts has commenced full sitting in all cases, including corruption cases,” the communique said.
The communique said that the military personnel should not be involved by the government in the enforcement of special duties, which were entirely civil in nature.
It said that goverment should categorise lawyers as essential workers, should there be need for future lockdown.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CLEEN Foundation, with support from MacArthur Foundation, was implementing the Project, “Promoting Accountability and Transparency in the Administration of Criminal Justice System in Nigeria” in Ekiti.
It reports also as part of the project activities, CLEEN Foundation set up a State Working Group to monitor the effective implementation of Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) in Ekiti.
NAN reports that the stakeholders were in the justice sector and meet bi-monthly to deliberate on the effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
It is to explore strategies for collaboration with partners toward the attainment of the ideals of ACJL in Ekiti.
UNILAG set to boost entrepreneurship education through direct online platform
The Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Centre, University of Lagos, says it is set to launch its online Entrepreneurship Education platform for its 57,000 students.
The centre’s Director, an Associate Professor, Sunday Adebisi, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos that the platform would grant 24 hours direct access to the students everyday.
Adebisi was reacting to the recent ranking of the university as the third best most productive school in Entrepreneurship Education in Africa by Forbes.
Forbes is a global media company, focussing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and lifestyle.
Adebisi stated that the country currently have a population of between 15 and 35 that comprises about 70 per cent of the entire population, who are supposed to be in active production.
”The university’s entrepreneurship education platform is coming on board before the end of the year.
”We are expecting that by the time they do the next ranking, we are likely going to be number one in Africa.
”The reason being that we are now going to give direct entrepreneurship education access to the 57,000 students across board which include both the undergraduates, the Postgraduates, every year and every hour.
”Besides that, we are going to start talents hunting for enterprise creation.
“That is whereby every of our students, be it undergraduate or postgraduate that can create enterprise on campus, which we call Campus Startups, is going to be supported by management and will be launched.
“We are also going to get companies to infuse money into such startups,” he explained.
According to Adebisi, entrepreneurship today is almost everything, because citizens are now in a nation that needs to be extremely productive, with everyone being into production, to be able to be self-sustaining.
He noted that entrepreneurship was the only thing that could give everyone the opportunity to be able to be creative and innovative.
“All on their own, using their own ideas for profitable ventures, without necessarily hunting for jobs,” the director said.
He said that in a bid to further promote entrepreneurship drive among students, the university had also made it compulsory in all the units of the business school, be it Executive MBA in Human Resources, Finance and others.
Adebisi said the most important thing was that entrepreneurship remained key, as a general course, adding that this had been the focal point of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.
He said the vice-chancellor had always insisted that the key thing the institution must be known for, was entrepreneurship development.
Further on the recent ranking of the university, Adebisi described the development as one of the best thing to have ever happened to the institution.
”As we speak now, we have been ranked the third best entrepreneurship oriented university in Africa.
“And, this is the first time any Nigeria university will be so ranked by Forbes, in this kind of category.
”So, that is to tell you that what UNILAG is now known for today is that any graduating student from the institution is to earn two things: a degree and at the same time, extreme knowledge in entrepreneurship.
”Such graduate is also likey to have an opportunity of creating his or her own enterprise before leaving the university.
”So, today we are the third best in the entire Africa, and this is what has been the drive by the management of the institution.
“What is core to us is entrepreneurship ever since the Prof. Ogundipe-led management came on board, two and half years ago.
”We really want to salute all those who made the ranking possible, the students, staff and the entire management,” he said.
The director said that with the planned launch of the online entrepreneurship education platform, the institution would soon get to its much desired height, not just in the Africa, but the world at large.
COVID-19: Oyo CAN cautions Christians against flouting govt. directives
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Oyo State Chapter, has called on Christians in the state to comply with the all the directives of government including the lockdown of religious centres.
Akanmu said that it was important to make official statement to guide the leadership of various churches and fellowship centres, amidst misleading information which had rented the air.
“In a situation like this, it is pertinent that the CAN leadership in the state clear the air on misleading information circulating around to save followers from falling victims of fake news or misinformation.
“This, if not addressed, may eventually subject followers to severe punishment, as we all know that ignorance is not an excuse in the court of law,” Akanmu said.
He said that the Federal Government has done the appropriate thing by relaxing the measures to allow each state make decisions based on the current situation and report on COVID-19 pandemic in a particular state.
“As at today, the decision of Oyo government is to retain the restrictions earlier imposed on lockdown of religious centres, curfew from 8pm to 6am and on social gathering.
“As residents of the state, we all should adhere strictly to the state directives. As Christians, we must honour and obey government regardless of the motive behind the decision, order or policy — either in good or bad faith.
“Even in a situation where government deliberately work against the church, God did not permit us to disobey or involve in violence,” he warned.
“If we sincerely call for God’s intervention at this point, He will surely answer and set our nation free from the bondage of lockdown brought on us by the pandemic.
“Anything that is not of God, CAN will never support it. After all, it is the building that is lockdown, the spirit of Christ that dwell in us can not be silent,” he said.
Akanmu said that everything happens for good for those who trust in God, saying this was a period for the people to develop themselves spiritually.
“That’s why as Christian leaders we train followers of Christ to be adequately equipped with the words of God, prayer and walk in the righteous path.
“For no reason should any Christian go against the law and order of the government. I believe that the Lord will return all our losses during the COVID-19 period in multiple folds in Jesus name,” he said.
Trump directs United States troops reduction in Germany: media
United States President Donald Trump directed the Pentagon to reduce United States military presence in Germany by September, United States media reported on Friday.
The move also limits the size of United States troops deployed in Germany at any one time at the 25,000-troop level. According to the report, overall troop levels under current practice can rise to as high as 52,000 as units rotate in and out or take part in training exercises.
The report came days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said due to the coronavirus pandemic, she will not attend the Group of Seven (G7) Summit that initially scheduled at the White House in late June.
A person familiar with the matter was quoted as saying that the troops’ reduction plan had been discussed within the administration for months and was not linked to Merkel’s decision on G7 Summit.
The reduction plan might further strain the relations between Washington and Berlin. The two allies have been at odds with each other on Iran nuclear issues, Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, and defense burden-sharing, among others.
Tim Davie named BBC’s new director general
Davie, 53, will replace Tony Hall as the BBC‘s next director general on Sept. 1. The Cambridge graduate has been promoted from chief executive of BBC Studios, responsible for monetizing shows including Top Gear around the world.
Davie, who joined the BBC in 2005 as director of the Marketing, Communications & Audiences division, said he was “honored” to take on the role, adding that the corporation needed to “accelerate change” to “stay relevant”.
“Looking forward, we will need to accelerate change so that we serve all our audiences in this fast-moving world,” he said.
“Much great work has been done, but we will continue to reform, make clear choices and stay relevant,” he added.
COVID-19: Imam pledges compliance with OSSG’s directives on Jumat prayer
The Chief Imam of Ifeland, Alhaji AbdulSemiu AbdulHammed, has pledged that Muslim faithful would comply with Osun Government guidelines on COVID-19 during Friday Jumat prayer.
He commended Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun for his efforts at ensuring that residents are protected against the novel coronavirus.
“We appreciate the governor for lifting the ban on worship centres and giving us two weeks to observe our religious services.
He, therefore, appealed to all Muslim faithful to ensure that they used their facemasks before, during and after Jumat prayer until they return to their homes.
The Muslim cleric assured that all government directives would be strictly adhere to.
Comply with Osun govt. directives on services, CAN orders churches
With the reopening of worship centres in Osun, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Ife Central Local Government Area has urged churches to comply with the state government’s directives on conduct of services.
” Government alone cannot do it for a tree cannot make a forest. So jointly, we must forestall possible spread of the virus as a result of the re-opening,” he said.
The CAN chairman said that the level of compliance with the guidelines given would determine further actions by the government.
According to him, churches should not extend their services beyond an hour with a maximum of two services per week as stipulated.
He also warned the ministers in the churches not to allow vulnerable persons, those with ailments such as tuberculosis and diabetes as well as those aged 65 and above in the services.
Olatipe also said that churches must fumigate their premises, provide washing facilities and sanitisers while worshippers must observe social distancing.
He said goverment was also opposed to sharing of devices such as microphones, distribution of food and water as well as closing of doors and windows of churches during services.
Olatipe further said that the use of thermometers to check temperature of worshippers must be strictly enforced.
The CAN chairman added that no churches in the state would be allowed to conduct vigils and children services.
Rivers may demolish markets for flouting COVID-19 directives, says Commissioner
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, gave the warning in a statement issued in Port Harcourt.
He lamented that traders had continued to flout government’s directives that markets should be shut, due to rising cases of the coronavirus in the state.
Nsirim said that five markets in the state might be shut down permanently for flouting the directives. He did not elaborate.
“Any attempt to continue trading activities at Mbiama Market will lead to complete demolition of the market.
“Government has not approved any goat market at the Eleme/Ahoada stretch of the East-West road in the state.”
Nsirim directed authorities of Emohua and Ahoada-East Councils to shut down the goat market in the area immediately.
Israeli scientists directly observe light flow using unique quantum microscope
Israeli researchers have recorded flow of light using a unique quantum microscope, the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) said on Wednesday.
According to the Technion, this is a dramatic breakthrough in the field of quantum science, as a Technion research team directly observed the light trapped inside a photonic crystal.
In this research, published in the journal Nature, all the experiments were performed using a unique ultrafast transmission electron microscope, developed by the Technion.
Using the microscope, the scientists were able to change the color and angle of light that illuminates samples of nano materials and map their interactions with electrons.
“This is the first time we can actually see the dynamics of light while it is trapped in nano materials, rather than relying on computer simulations”, the researchers said.
This breakthrough may have an impact on numerous potential applications, including the design of new quantum materials for storing quantum basic units (bits) with greater stability.
Similarly, it can help improve the sharpness of colors on cell phones, televisions and other kinds of screens.
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- Food security: NGO distributes farm implements in Nasarawa
- Buhari assures Katsina residents improved security
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- Alleged Rape: Coalition commends Police over case against Fatoyinbo
- Kebbi Governor donates N5m to victims of bandits attack in Sokoto
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- No more mercy, bail for rapists in Ekiti – Fayemi
- Lebanon sees violent anti-government protest
- Women group advocate stiffer penalty for rapists to curb menace
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- More than 10,000 fans could attend matches in Copenhagen after COVID-19
- Iran’s border guards seize over 2 tonnes of illicit drugs
- RB Leipzig get financial boost with 100-million-euro debt relief
- Infantino calls for patience on fans returning to games
- Foundation lauds Gov Fayemi’s enforcement of lockdown directive in Ekiti
- Brescia to terminate Balotelli’s contract for missing training
- Zambia FM holds virtual meeting with UN Special envoy for Great Lakes Region
- Enugu CP assures CSOs of partnership to check rape, sexual offences
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- Don cautions youths against social media addiction
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- AfDB approves 288.5 mln USD to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 response
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- Palestinians harvest wheat in southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis
- Iraqi parliament votes on remaining members of al-Kadhimi’s cabinet
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- Africa’s COVID-19 cases over 175,000 – WHO
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- Ajimobi mourns Oyo politician, Adelere
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- UNILAG set to boost entrepreneurship education through direct online platform
- Zambia’s wildlife orphanage receives donations from Chinese enterprise
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- Egypt’s president meets Libya’s Haftar, announces Cairo initiative for Libya settlement
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- Cameroon army kills 4 Boko Haram militants
- Saudi G20 Presidency calls for collaborative global efforts to fight COVID-19
- UK COVID-19 deaths hit 40,465 as another 204 patients die
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- Spanish gov’t to levy fines on violators of face mask rules
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- Interview: UK epidemiologist says global collaboration vital to tackle unprecedented COVID-19 crisis
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- Thai state drug buster hands 600 kg of seized marijuana to medical researchers
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- Kenyan police nab 3 terror suspects with explosive materials
- Bangladesh reports 2,635 new COVID-19 cases, 35 new deaths
- Malaysia reports 37 new COVID-19 cases, 8,303 in total
- Interview: Death of George Floyd reveals Washington’s double standards, says Indonesian analyst
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- France says its army killed al Qaeda North Africa chief, Droukdel
- Malians rally against President Keita, demand his resignation
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- Iran reports 2,269 new COVID-19 cases, 169,425 in total
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