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Enugu Govt directs autopsy on remains of slained pregnant woman

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The Enugu State Government has directed that an autopsy be carried out on the body of a pregnant woman, Mrs Regina Mba, who was killed by unknown assailants on Thursday.

Mba, a native of Nchatancha Nike community in Enugu East Local Government Area of the state, was killed while returning from farm.

A statement on Saturday by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, said that the autopsy would assist security agencies in their ongoing investigation.

Ortuanya said that the autopsy would be carried out immediately at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital.

The woman’s protruding belly was said to have been ripped off, a situation which created security concerns in the area.

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World Bank disburses N529m for projects in Borno communities

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The World Bank has disbursed N529 million for execution of development projects in 54 rural communities in Borno.

Mr Chiroma Usman, Programme Manager, Community and Social Development Programme (CSDP), made this known on Friday during the disbursement of the funds at the Government House, Maiduguri.

Usman said that the benefiting communities are located in Bayo, Jere, Kaga, Konduga, Maiduguri and Magumeri Local Government Areas of the state.

He said that the projects would be executed under the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project (LEEMP), and Community-Based Poverty Reduction Project (CPRP).

Usman listed the projects to include water, health, education, environment, shelter and livelihood support services.

“CSDP has so far disbursed N659 million to communities under its various programmes in the past two years.

“Some 46 communities participated under the Community Driven Investment (CDI); 24 benefited from Group Driven Investment (GDI) while 149 others under Micro Project Scheme (MPS),” he said.

According to him, the participating communities were selected based on poverty prevalence index and other criteria set out by the bank.

Usman added that fund were disbursed to the communities based on the need assessment exercise, to enable them to execute projects of their choice, to improve their social and economic wellbeing.

The CSDP manager said that the project had encouraged enrolment and retention in schools, reduce infant and maternal mortality rate, reduced water-borne diseases and encouraged growth of small enterprises.

He said that other achievements of the programme included construction of access roads to ease movement of farm produce to the markets as well as flood, erosion and desertification control.

The state deputy governor, Alhaji Usman Kadafur, said the gesture would go a long way to improve the social and economic wellbeing of the people in the state.

Kadafur reiterated government’s commitments to collaborate with the bank and other development organisations to facilitate execution of viable projects in the state.

/ISMA

Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Ijaw Elders Forum, others call for credible, violence-free elections in Bayelsa

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The Ijaw Elders Forum, Lagos, in collaboration with Ijaw Professionals Association, Ijaw Nations Forum, Ijaw Women Connect and Embassara Foundation, have called on the people of Bayelsa to exercise their civic responsibility by voting the next governor of the state through a peaceful and credible process on Saturday.

The groups in a joint statement by Mr Efiye Bribena, and made available to the Nigeria News Agency expressed alarm at the turn of event in Bayelsa.

“We are alarmed at the recent turn of events on Wednesday Nov. 13 at Ogbolomabiri, in spite of the numerous workshops we organised on Peaceful and Credible Elections and affirmations by major political stakeholders.

“We call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend elections in any ward where political violence occur in the days leading to the elections or threatens the peace during elections.

“We condemn in very strong terms the violence and loss of lives experienced in Ogbolomabiri on Nov. 13, 2019.

“We wish to also call on INEC to reject results from any ward or local government areas with reported cases of violence, ballot box snatching or riggin,” Bribena said.

“Accepting results and declaring same from wards where violence or other election malpractices are perpetuated will be tantamount to incentivising violence and malpractices during elections.

“We will like to use this opportunity to draw the attention of The Nigerian Human Rights Commission and other relevant institutions of the state to the violence that occurred in Ogbolomabiri.

“The incident should be investigated and the perpetrators and their sponsors brought to book.

“We call on INEC and all relevant institutions of the state to maintain neutrality during the elections and ensure peaceful and credible elections as the people of Bayelsa troop out on Saturday to elect their Governor.

(Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Peter Ejiofor)

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Seek God’s intervention to overcome challenges, Cleric urges Nigerians

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The Spiritual Leader, Sacred Cherubim and Seraphim Church of Nigeria, Solomon Alao, has urged Nigerians to always seek God’s intervention to overcome the nation’s challenges.

Alao, who is also the Supreme Head of the Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church Worldwide, made the plea on Friday in Lagos.

He spoke on the ordination of his son, Solomon Alao (Junior), as the new Minister-in-Charge of The Holy Mount of Salvation (Model Parish) of the same church.

According to him, his (son) choice came through divine inspiration and people’s choice.

Solomon Alao (Junior) is the third person to head the parish and would take over leadership of the church from the late Apostle Emmanuel Adegoke.

“When we seek God’s face, there will be an end to emptiness economically and the many challenges facing the country will be a thing of the past.

“God will answer Nigerians when they reach out to Him in term of sincerity.

“The problems pervading Nigeria are as a result of sins and unrighteousness of its citizens,” he said.

The cleric also urged Nigerian leaders and citizens alike to pray for wisdom, divine visitation and help from God.

“We are not just talking about the problems now, we are talking about viable solutions.

“Solution is possible; we should not relent in praying for the country because God will visit us.

“I have high hope that Nigeria can be changed.

“I have hope that if we pray, God will give wisdom to our leaders to boost their efforts,” Alao said.

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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Border closure, a bold step to revive economy — Oyo APC chieftain

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An All Progressives’ Congress (APC) Chieftain in Oyo State, Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan, has described the recent border closure as a bold step by Muhammadu Buhari’s government to revive the nation’s economy.

The APC chieftain told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Lagos that the border closure would bring about “a real turn around for the nation’s economy, if the opportunity was well utilised”.

“For instance, it has shown that most of our neighbours are virtually living on us; they make huge money, earn humongous foreign exchange for their countries out of our large population and size.

“A situation where all manners of finished and unfinished products, farm produce are thoughtlessly brought into the country can only lead us to total ruination.

“Wisdom dictates that for the borders to be reopened, we need to come up with strong home-suited policies that would make us achieve more from our association with other countries in terms of revenue generation and employment for our people.

“What we require as a nation is to strive for self sufficiency, and the first step toward that is the protection of local producers,” he said.

Olaosebikan, a former Chairman of Oluyole Local Government in Oyo State, urged Nigerians to give full support to President Muhammadu Buhari in the implementation of home-suited policies in his renewed bid to revamp the economy at this critical moment.

On local content development, the APC chieftain said that the National Assembly had a key role to play in enacting strong and workable laws needed for functionality and sustainability of local content development in the country.

“There should be a robust synergy with all the branches of government on this important goal of enhancing the Nigerian content in all aspects.

“Emphasis should be on concrete and accelerated development of local content in all spheres.

“Our economy would grow and the nation progress, if we have less to spend our foreign earnings on,” Olaosebikan said.

He urged the government to pursue only policies and programs patently capable of deepening the Nigeria content, local production and processing of farm produce.

“It is time to think Nigeria, eat Nigeria, drink Nigeria and act Nigeria in all circumstances.

“Time to individually and collectively support President Muhammadu Buhari on home-suited policies for our economy.

“Our ministers and governors should not wait for a presidential directive to patronize local industries such as INNOSOM, Dangote and others. They should make patronage of local industries, a necessity,” he said.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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Kano elders to meet Fashola over deteriorating state of Kano-Gwarzo-Dayi Road

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Worried by the deteriorating state of Kano-Gwarzo-Dayi road which links Kano to four states, communities in the area have resolved to send a special delegation to meet with the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, to elicit government action.

“We are formally going to lodge a complainant on the deplorable condition of the Kano-Gwarzo-Dayi road, which has become a death trap,” Alhaji Yunusa Haruna-Kauyu, the member representing Gwarzo constituency told the Nigeria News Agency in Kano on Friday.

He said the delegation will comprise the Kano State Commissioner of Works, Alhaji Muazu Magaji, the Senator representing Kano North senatorial zone, Sen. Barau Jibrin-Maliya and members of the House of representatives from the zone among others.

“It is necessary to meet the minister in order to express the concerns of our people on the deteriorating condition of the road.

“It is a very important road which links Kano with four other states and Niger Republic.

“The potholes along the road had witnessed a number of patches, but even the potholes that were patched last year have already gone off.

“What this road requires now is total rehabilitation not patching of potholes.

“So we want the Federal Government to look at the possibility of awarding contract for the total rehabilitation of the road,” Haruna-Kauyu said.

NAN reports that the Kano-Gwarzo-Dayi road is a major link to Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states, as well as parts of Niger Republic.

The road was constructed during the administration of military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and had never witnessed any major rehabilitation since then.

The lawmaker said that the total rehabilitation of the road would boost social and economic activities across the four states and beyond.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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FG spends over N1bn on conditional cash transfer beneficiaries in Niger

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The Federal Government says it has spent about N1 billion on the National Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in Niger in three years.

Hajiya Hadiza Shiru, Head of the State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU) in Niger, disclosed this during a training session on savings and group mobilisation (SGM) in Minna on Friday.

The training was for facilitators and desk officers from six Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the National Conditional Cash Transfer (CTF) is one of the component of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme towards tackling poverty and hunger.

The programme focuses on ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable population including children, youths and women with a monthly stipends of N5,000.

Shiru disclosed that no fewer than 18,888 vulnerable persons in 802 communities had benefited from the programme in the state.

She said that the training was for facilitators selected from each ward and one desk officer from the six LGAs.

“The facilitators are 71 in number; they are being train on how to form groups and keep records. They are expected to go back and teach the people how to form groups and cooperatives in order to enable them save the monthly stipend given to them,” she said.

Shiru said that the facilitators were selected from Chanchaga, Lapai, Paikoro, Edati, Mashegu and Kontagora, adding that the facilitators were expected to go back and step down what they had learnt to the beneficiaries.

Also, Mr Kola Solomon, the National Training Officer of the Cash Transfer Programme, called on the facilitators to pay attention to the training to acquire knowledge that would enable them step down what they have learnt.

“Giving the beneficiaries money is not enough to pull them out of poverty, they also need to learn about behavioural changes by saving part of these monies.

“So, we have adopted a strategy to encourage them form groups and let them know the importance of saving; this is the only way to be able to lift them out of poverty,” he said.

One of the facilitators, Asm’u Kawu from Mashegu Local Government, said that the training had improved her capacity on how to play her role as facilitator effectively.

“We have been taught how to help the beneficiaries in our communities form groups and cooperatives to save their monies and how to resolve conflicts among them,” she said.

Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Ismail Abdulaziz

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