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FCT health workers will get outstanding salaries on May 22, says AGF

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The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, has said that all health workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be paid their outstanding salaries on May 22.

Ahmed made the announcement during a meeting with stakeholders,  convened by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls  that the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) FCT chapter,  had earlier threatened to go on strike on May 28 if all their outstanding salaries were not paid.

Ahmed blamed the delay on technical challenges encountered while switching to the IPPIS policy of the Federal Government.

He also blamed  the delay on incomplete information by some workers and laxity on the part of the consultant which he said had been fired.

The accountant general, however, said that all the issues had been resolved and that all workers would  be paid their due on or before May 22.

Earlier, Gbajabimila said the meeting was extremely important because lives of citizens in Abuja were at risk if the strike was  allowed.

He expressed disappointment that the health workers were not paid their due after several interventions by the leadership of the house.

“We have workers who have not been paid for five months, where do this happen in the world? How do you expect them to survive?

“All over the world, people are commending health workers but we are not paying them their wages.

“All over the world, people are giving health workers extra wages and allowances but we are not; I am hoping that we will be able to resolve this today and avert the looming strike,” he said.

Gbajabimila commended the health workers for keeping to their oath of office and for saving lives even when their salaries were not being paid.

Also speaking, the Minister of the FCT, Alhaji Mohammed Bello said that issues of non payment of  salaries does not usually happen in the FCT as there were professionals handling it.

He said  the none payment of health workers salaries was unfortunate and measures had been put in place to address it.

He promised that other “chronic matters” affecting the health workers would also be addressed immediately after the lockdown.

“The FCT at a time was rated as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“A lot of successes have been achieved in recent times. If the strike holds, it could jeopardise the fight against the virus,” he said.

The Chairman, Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) FCT Chapter, Comrd. Debora Yusuf thanked the speaker for his intervention.

She said the health workers were not against the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) policy of the federal government as they were also against corruption.

“We are the hero’s on the frontline against COVID-19 and it is unfortunate that we’re not being paid salaries,” she said. 

She thanked the house  for giving them a standing ovations during the International Day of Nurses.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

Defence/Security

Security: FCT begins implementation of state community policing

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has kicked off the implementation of the State Community Policing initiative aimed at reducing crime in communities and deepen trust between the public and law enforcement agencies.

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, made the disclosure while inaugurating the 16-member State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) for FCT, on Monday in Abuja.

Bello said that community policing worldwide had proved to be effective in curbing crime by making the police and community members work together in the prevention and solving of crimes.

He expressed optimism that with the Presidential approval granted for community oriented policing across the nation, Nigeria will begin to witness reduction in crime rate.

Bello, therefore, enjoined members of the committee to take the assignment very seriously and give it the utmost attention it deserved.

He also urged them to be nonpartisan in all their decisions and recommendations as well as be guided by the principles of natural justice and laws of the land.

He noted that community policing was a strategy that was anchored on trust between the people and the security officers.

“Once there is a trust deficit in any guise or form, the workability of this policy becomes highly diminished and we will have lost a great opportunity in improving the security profile of the territory.

“It is necessary that selection into the Special Constabulary is fair and just with proper screening.

“Those selected should also be provided with basic training needed for the job. There should also be a robust feedback and monitoring mechanism for the performance of those appointed to carry out tasks within the communities.

“There should also be confidentiality of investigation and protection of informants,” Bello said.

Responding, Bala Ciroma, Chairman of the 16-member policing advisory committee and the FCT Commissioner of Police, promised to deliver on the mandate and to entrench a result-oriented community policing approach in FCT communities.

Ciroma noted that the committee could only deliver on its mandate if FCT residents embrace community policing and provide the necessary support for its success.

On his part, Sen. Philip Aduda, representing FCT, pledged to support full implementation of the initiative across the territory to enhance the security of lives and property.

The lawmaker commended the Inspector General of Police for reviving the community policing system aimed at improving national security.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the committee included, heads of various government security organisations in FCT and respected political, religious, traditional and community leaders.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Metro

Sanitation: FCTA issues 7 days ultimatum to illegal mechanics

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after the expiration of the ultimatum.

He said the FCTA would reclaim all the spots from Apo round-about to the popular junction known as Apo NEPA junction.

Similarly, Attah said the second phase of the aggressive sanitation would begin from the NEPA junction to APO mechanic village, where illegal businesses had taken over great portions of the road, making it difficult for contractors to complete their work.

“This stakeholders meeting is to enable us interface with stakeholders who engage in one form of business or the other along the Apo road corridors, also known as Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX).

“The minister has given us a directive to reclaim all the road corridors, to allow contractors complete their jobs, and also allow the Abuja Environmental Protection Board officers beautify the place in accordance with Abuja master plan.

“We have given the affected people seven days ultimatum, because we want to put up a human face in carrying out the exercise.

“The minister had wanted us to start immediately due to his desire to complete all ongoing projects there as a legacy he will leave behind for residents of the nation’s capital,” he said.

The Director AEPB, Mr Baba Lawan, disclosed that the minister had selected seasoned professionals who formed an effective squad for the exercise.

Lawan warned that at the expiration of the ultimatum, the task force would move to the area, and whoever refused to vacate the place should not blame the administration.

He added that abandoned vehicles, furniture and every other thing left on the road corridors would be removed and seized.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Metro

COVID-19: South African-based firm donates palliatives to vulnerable in FCTA

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A South African Real Estate Investment Company based in Nigeria, Novare, has donated palliatives to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to help vulnerable communities cushion the effect of COVID-19.

Head of Legal of the company, Mr Chineme Onuoma, while presenting the items on Monday in Abuja, assured that the company would continue to support the FCT and Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the items donated included 100 bags of 50kg rice, 245 cartons of indomie noddle, 100 cartons of spaghetti, 100 cartons of vegetable oil and 75 cartons of tomato paste .

He commended the steps taken by the administration to manage the pandemic in the territory.

Onuoma revealed that aside the provisions of palliatives to underserved communities, Novare had approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020 with the intention to extend if necessary for its tenants.

“Particularly those tenants providing non-essential services as described by the Federal Government.

“Each of Novare’s mall accommodates over 60 tenants, having Shoprite and Game as its anchor tenant, with over 600 direct employees and well over 2, 000 indirect employees in each mall, including suppliers of the different goods and products sold by the tenants at the mall.

“To ensure that jobs and livelihoods are protected, starting from those closest to it, Novare, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, has so far approved four months rent-free period, beginning from April 2020 to July 2020.

“The rent-free concession granted to tenants have helped to keep their various businesses afloat, thus alleviating the financial burden on these tenants.

“This financial assistance enables the tenants to channel the income they generate to payment of staff salaries and sustaining their respective supply chains.

“This effectively reduces unemployment, which would have been the consequence if tenants were unable to survive this period,” Onuoma said.

He also stated that the firm had expressed commitment to observe all laid down protocols by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on the prevention of the spread of the virus particularly within its facilities and to educate and sensitize the public in line with government directives.

Receiving the items, FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, commended the thoughtfulness of the firm especially in supporting the vulnerable with palliative items.

Represented by Prof. Muhammad Usman, her senior Special Assistant on Administration, Aliyu also appreciated the company for putting measures in place to ensure job sustainability.

The minister, who stressed the need for collaboration in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, assured that the items would be distributed to underserved communities.


Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Police arrest man for allegedly defiling daughter in FCT

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The Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has arrested a 43-year-old man for allegedly defiling his 15-year-old daughter in Lugbe area of Abuja.

The Commissioner of Police in FCT, Mr Bala Ciroma, disclosed on Friday this at a media briefing in Abuja.

Ciroma said the suspect was mentally stable and had confessed to having carnal knowledge of his daughter on several occasions.

He said that another suspect was also arrested for luring and forcefully having carnal knowledge of a six-year-old boy.

He said the suspect told the police that he committed the unnatural act with the minor while they were swimming at a river in Mpape.

The Commissioner of Police said operatives from the command, investigating a case of child trafficking on May 24, arrested a suspect for bribing police detectives with N200,000.

He said the suspect offered the money to the investigators to truncate the ongoing investigation.

According to him, instead of yielding to the antics, the police officers acted professionally, collected the money and registered it as exhibit.

“Meanwhile, investigation into a tip off that a woman, now at large is running a baby factory is in progress. Some collaborators of the fugitive suspect have been arrested, and are helping with investigation,” he added.

Ciroma also said that five suspects had been arrested in connection to the death of one Mohammed Danjuma, whose remains were recovered around Gwagwa-Kagini axis of Abuja, on March 16.

He said preliminary findings revealed that the deceased boarded the syndicates’ cab as a passenger from Berger to Tipper Garage, Katampe.

“The findings indicated that he was diverted by his assailants to an unknown destination where he was attacked with wheel spanner.

“The deceased was also robbed of his valuables, including his ATM card which was subsequently used by the gang to withdraw money from his bank account,” he said.

He said the suspects were members of a notorious armed robbery syndicates that pose as cab operators to rob their victims.

Chiroma said exhibits recovered from the suspects were golden coloured Mazda 626 car with registration number, KWL-132 CN and Mazda 323 with registration number, CF 123-KSF.

Ciroma said operatives from the command, acting on intelligence, also led operations that arrested 12 suspects in connection to kidnapping activities around Bwari, Abaji and Kwali axis of Abuja.

He said the operatives dismantled some hideouts used by kidnapping syndicates in the areas.

He said items recovered from the suspects were 17 rounds of live ammunition, four dane guns, one locally made pistol and four mobile phones.

Other recovered item are two military camouflage uniform and caps, one motorcycle, five voter’s cards and two sim-packs and cards.

Ciroma said the suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigations.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Foundation partners FCTA to curtail spread

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Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has sought the partnership of the Federal Capital Territorial Administration (FCTA) to join in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Hajia Amina Abdulrahman, the Director of Planning and Research for the foundation made the request during the donation of 1,500 pieces of facemasks to the administration on Friday in Abuja.

Abdulrahman said that the 19 northern states of the federation had so far benefited from the philanthropic gesture the foundation was rendering to Nigerians to put a smile on their faces.

“Our board of directors and advisory council deemed it fit that we should contribute to the fight against this pandemic in the 19 northern states and the FCT; this is to augment what they have done by adding our own.

“This is what informed our mission to partner the FCTA in the fight against this virus through this contribution in our own little way,” she said.

According to her, when the time is right, the foundation will think of other ways to help the economy and help people get back in terms of recovering by levering on what the foundation does most.

Receiving the items, the Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Dr Mohammed Kawu appreciated the donation.

According to Kawu, government alone at all levels cannot fight against the struggle to curtail the fight on COVID-19 without the tangible contributions from well-meaning Nigerians.

Kawu said that the donation of the facemasks would go a long way to curtail the spread of the virus, adding that the donation would be put to meaningful use by the secretariat.

Edited By: Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Metro

Interstate Lockdown: FCTA arrests 74 violators, impounds 3 buses

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration’s (FCTA) Ministerial Task Team on the Enforcement of COVID-19 Restrictions has arrested 74 persons travelling through the city to other parts of the country.

The Chairman of the task team, Mr Ikharo Attah, made the disclosure at an interactive session with newsmen on Friday in Abuja.

Attah also revealed that the team had earlier arrested a bus driver, James Adegbe while travelling from Kaduna to Kogi state.

“Among those arrested are 17 passengers who were travelling on a Trailer from Warri in Delta state to Zaria in Kaduna state.

“Nine passengers in a Hyundai Bus going from Gwagwalada to Katsina, and a Trailer going from Aba to Kano state with six passengers were also arrested.

Also, a Hummer bus with 18 passengers from Warri to Zaria and another Hummer bus with 10 passengers from gwagwalada to Ibadan,” Attah said.

He said that the team had also impounded three buses, adding that Presiding Magistrate at the Mobile Court in Zuba, Ebiwari Damini, convicted both the drivers and the passengers.

Attah said that the magistrate also punished a driver who had been previously convicted for violating the rules.

According to him, the Magistrate ruled that two other buses be impounded in the FCT until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

“The driver was arrested, arraigned, fined and returned to Kaduna state. He turned back that same night and still found his way to Kogi state.

“Today again he was arrested travelling with a bus-load of passengers from Lokoja to Kaduna. The Magistrate fined him N10, 000 which is double of his previous fine.

“He also ruled that his vehicle be impounded at the Abuja Environment Protection Board Enforcement Head office at Area 3, Garki”, Attah explained.

According to him, those apprehended were travelling in two trucks and seven other buses.

Attah said that the FCT Administration was working closely with the security agencies to ensure sustainability of the interstate travel ban as placed by the President and Commander in Chief.

He said that the administration was worried that the number of interstate travelers attempting to enter or pass through the FCT seems to be on the increase daily.”

He therefore called on state governments to tighten their own end by ensuring interstate travellers are not allowed to move with ease.

“Sadly, some of those arrested here do not seem to understand why we are arresting them. This, I believe is because they now see it as normal because of where they are coming from.

“This is a Presidential Order and we must obey it to the letter until the ban is lifted,” Attah said.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Health

2020 Menstrual Hygiene Day: Group distributes free sanitary kits in FCT community

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An NGO, Development Aid for Children, Women and Youth Initiative (DEVAID), on Thursday distributed sanitary packs and products to young adolescent girls in Kabusa community in the FCT.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the gesture by the NGO is to mark the 2020 World Menstrual Hygiene Day celebrated globally every May 28 to create more awareness on the importance of good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

The theme of the 2020 celebration is: “It’s Time for Action Now’’.

Distributing the items, Acting Executive Director, DEVAID, Mrs Ngozi Izuora-Songu said the gesture was in partnership with the Youth Training Hub-Africa, Development Centre for Orientation, Discovery and Empowerment (DeCODE) and AWA Initaitive.

She said that the objective was to improve health and wellbeing through a well-managed menstrual hygiene.

Izuora-Songu, a development expert said the organisations also launched the “Pad a Girl’’ campaign in some communities in the FCT, Anambra and Cross River states aimed at ensuring that at least 10,000 girls were empowered on MHM information and production of menstrual sanitary kits.

“The campaign will focus on community awareness creation and mobilisation targeting behavioural and attitudinal changes, advocacy for improved reproductive health care for girls and women and service delivery,’’ she said.

She decried poor access to menstrual hygiene products such as sanitary pad, private toilets, hand washing facilities.

The expert also decried poor access to menstrual hygiene education, especially for low income earners, saying the situation was affecting them adversely.

According to her, supply of free sanitary pads for women and girls as well as provision and maintenance of toilets in schools, markets and other public places will aide in resolving challenges women and girls face during menstruation.

“We are advocating reusable pads, however, we are also going to give them disposable pads because part of our plan is to train them on how to produce reusable pads, which will empower them, sell it, and help them economically because we found out that one of the issues surrounding menstruation is period poverty.

“Clarion call across the world for partners to join hands and ensure that every girl within the menstrual age is not deprived of sanitary kits, have access to pad, menstrual hygiene information,’’ she said.

The Secretary, Kabusa Chief Palace, Mr Ezekiel Bitrus, expressed appreciation to the group for choosing the community to launch the “Pad a Girl Campaign and distribution of menstrual hygiene products to women and girls in the area.

Bitrus said the gesture would not only provide the beneficiaries with sanitary kits but would empower them on menstrual hygiene education and how to produce reusable menstrual kits for sale.

A beneficiary, Miss Princess Nwadukwe, said that the effort would reduce reliance on her parents for provision of menstrual sanitary kits monthly.

Another beneficiary, Miss Josephine Musa appealed to the government and organisations to look at ways to ensure distribution of free sanitary pads for young girls and women as it was a monthly necessity for them.

Dr Chioma Ibong, a medical expert and Resource Person for DEVAID, stressed the need for menstrual kits and hygiene products for women and girls to be donated freely or at a very subsidised rate.

She said that it was important to make sanitary products readily available for girls and women, especially for the less privileged persons in the society.

The expert also encouraged women to discuss menstrual hygiene with their daughters as well as seek immediate medical intervention when they noticed any challenges that might affect their fertility in the future. 

Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

 

 

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Metro

COVID-19: Cadbury, PWC donate palliatives items to FCTA

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Cadbury Nigeria PLC and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), on Thursday donated assorted palliative items to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) food bank to help the vulnerable people during the current lockdown.

Mr Ladi Sonuga, the Territorial Commercial Manager, North West, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, presented the items to the FCT Administration in Abuja, as part of measures to curb the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that the items donated by Cadbury Nigeria Plc include 500 cartons of Bournvita beverage, while PWC donated 600 bags of 10kg rice, 300 cartons of indoomie and 42 cartons of vegetable oil.

Sonuga described the battle against COVID-19 pandemic as a challenging period for all Nigerians and commended the steps taken by the administration to curtail its spread in the territory.

She stressed the need for a concerted efforts to sustain the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Sonuga revealed that the lockdown announced by President Muhammadu Buhari, had severely hampered operational efficiency of most companies.

“As a stakeholder in the Nigerian economy, we are deeply concerned about the implications of COVID-19, and its destruction; it is affecting lives, livelihoods and businesses.

“The lockdown implemented by almost all the states in the country, as well as specific lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and the FCT announced by President Muhammadu Buhari, has severely hampered operational efficiency,” he said.

For his part, the spokesman of Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Mr Tolu Adeleke, also thanked government at all levels in the battle against the pandemic, stressing that PWC had supported government efforts at different strata.

Adeleke called on the authorities of the FCT administration to judiciously distribute the items to underserved communities in the territory.

Receiving the items on behalf of the Administration, FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, commended the efforts of two firms in cushioning the effect of stay-at-home order.

Represented by the Director of Human Resource Management of FCTA, Malam Mohammed Bashir, Aliyu stressed that all hands must be on deck in the battle against the dreaded disease.

The minister noted that the items would in no small measure assist the administration to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Metro

COVID-19: FCT enforcement team shuts bars, arrests 8 violators for impersonating army officers

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Ministerial Task Teamed on the Enforcement of COVID-19 Restrictions has arrested eight persons for impersonating army officers and for violating the 8p.m. to 6a.m. curfew imposed on the territory.

Chairman of the task team, Mr Ikharo Attah made this known while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

Attah explained that the violators who were arrested in Kubwa  and Dutse Alhaji Districts of the FCT would be arraigned in the Mobile Court.

He said that some of those arrested were in drinking bars and gardens, while a tricycle operators and a commercial motorcyclist were arrested for operating during the curfew hours.

He said that at the Second Gate, Dutse-Alhaji, the team accosted the operator of a drinking bar who claimed to be a soldier but upon interrogation he admitted that he lied in order to evade arrest.

He said the impersonator further confessed that he is a Chef who closes late from work and not a military personnel as claimed.

Similarly, Attah said that at Dutse Makaranta, the team shut a beer parlour which was fully in operation few minutes after 10pm.

He said that the manager of the place also claimed that it is owned by a serving Major in the Nigerian Army, adding that they decided to operate into the curfew hours because of the occupation of the owner.

The chairman, however, said that the level of compliance with the night curfew in Kubwa and Dutse area was very high.

Unlike Lugbe where we went few days ago, most of the known nightclubs and bars in Kubwa and Dutse-Alhaji are closed. Vehicular movement is very few and made up largely of those on the exemption list”, he stated.

” The level at which some residents of Dutse Alhaji and Makaranta parade themselves as military personnel even when they are not”.

The Chef claimed to be a soldier while the beer parlour Manager said the place belongs to a Major in the Army.

” This must stop forthwith. People should not drag the name and image of the military in the mud.”

“In spite of the high level of compliance in these areas, very few persons still seem not to fully understand the purpose of the curfew.

” Imagine we met a lady who claimed that she was going to visit her friend after 9p.m. during the curfew.

” Also suprising during the night operation we caught two bricklayers who were returning from Bauchi state despite the interstate travel ban and were going home to Bwari town, ” he said.

The chairman appealed to other enforcement officers across the country to close ranks and halt the interstate travelling which seems to be going on massively in spite of the Presidential ban.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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