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Agriculture

FG commits N31bn to 2nd Niger Bridge project — Minister

Bridge
By Monday Ijeh
Onitsha (Anambra), Feb. 8, 2019 (NNN) The Federal Government has committed N31 billon to the main works of the second Niger Bridge project, says Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing.

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FG commits N31bn to 2nd Niger Bridge project — Minister

Bridge
By Monday Ijeh
Onitsha (Anambra), Feb. 8, 2019 (NNN) The Federal Government has committed N31 billon to the main works of the second Niger Bridge project, says Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing.

Shehuri said this on Friday in Onitsha during an inspection of the ongoing Federal Government roads and bridge projects in Anambra.

According to him, N206 billion is the contract sum of the main work on the second Niger Bridge which started in November 2018.

The minister said that the project was expected to be completed in 42 months and that the contractor had so far done 17 per cent of the work within four months.

He expressed satisfaction over the pace of work, adding that the project would be delivered on schedule, if the current speed was maintained.

Shehuri pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure prompt and adequate funding of the project.

The minister appealed to owners of land and property affected by the project to show understanding with the contractor.

He said that the Federal Government was taking the necessary steps to resolve all compensation issues on the project.

“I want to appeal to the people seeking compensation to cooperate with the contractor because at the end of the project, it will be for their direct benefit

“Projects like this must be built on land or sea and so, must affect people; so we need to show understanding.

“The Federal Government is ready to resolve all issues of compensation arising from the project,” he said.

Mr Ajani Adeyemo, the Federal Controller of Works in Anambra, said that the Federal Government had committed about N3.5 billion on compensation related to the project.

He said that there were compensation problems and that efforts were being made to resolve the few minor outstanding payments. (NNN)
IMC/NKO
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Edited by Nkechi Okoronkwo

Politics

APC in Niger still united – Chairman

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Alhaji Mohammed Imam, Chairman,  All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger, says the party is still united despite recent petition alleging misappropriation of funds by some members of the state executive.

Imam stated this on Tuesday in Minna after an extended meeting with members of the party at the state and local government levels.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the state Financial Secretary of the APC, Malam Idris Gbongon, had recently petitioned the police alleging that the chairman and other executive members misappropriated funds accruing to the party.

The APC has set out mechanisms to re-strategise and ensure that the party remain united.

“We will not allow factions in  the APC in Niger or to be subdued by anyone, no matter the position the person holds, as the party remains a supreme body,” he said.

Imam said that party had properly  documented all the monies it had  spent.

“No money is lost. We have been running the system in the most transparent manner, in fact, we run it as if it is a Ministry. We have been prudent in resource management.

“The party has three signatories and the financial secretary who wrote that petition is one of the signatories and he has been the one writing the cheques,” he said.

He added that the financial secretary had never been sidelined any anyway as he had always participated in all meetings and party activities.

He pointed out that the financial secretary was being mischievous, saying that a five-man committee has been set up by the party to give  fair hearing to all parties involved  and submit their report in one week.

“This is an internal issue and we have internal mechanisms for conflict resolution which have been employed.

“A committee has been set up to give everyone  fair hearing and they will submit their report in a week time,” he said.

On the party’s relationship with the executive in the state, Imam said that it was cordial, “but the party should be consulted on some issues that affect it.”


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Olowo assures Nigerian Army of more support

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Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, the Olowo of Owo kingdom, has assured the Nigerian Army of its support in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, banditry among other security challenges in the country.

The monarch gave this assurance on Tuesday in his palace at Owo when the Brigade Commander, 32 Artillery Brigade,  Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar paid a courtesy visit to the palace in Ondo state.

Ogunoye, who lauded the Nigerian army for the success recorded in the ongoing fight against insecurity and other criminal activities in the nation particularly in Ondo state and Owo environs, said it was highly commendable.

The performance of the Nigerian Army in curtailing security challenges in the country under the leadership  of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai is highly commendable.

“We will continue to support the military in order to further the course of peace and stability in the nation and Ondo State in  general,” he said.

The monarch, therefore, appreciated the COAS  for his doggedness and leadership quality,  particularly in tackling security challenges across the nation.

Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who presented the letter of appreciation for projecting the Nigerian Army in good light to the monarch, said Ogunoye had helped security agency to tackle criminality in the state.

Buratai, who was represented by Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar, Commander of 32 Artillery Brigade in Ondo State, promised that the Nigerian Army would not relent in carrying out their constitutional role of protecting  lives and property of citizens.

Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin has been a lead advocate in projecting the Nigerian army in good light, considering his high profile and high esteem.

“And for also providing credible information to the security agencies in the state to tackle crime in Owo community,” he said.

The top army officer, who said that troops had been deployed to some strategic areas in the state as Arimogija, Owo and Oba Akoko area, said that 24 suspects had been arrested so far within two weeks of operation in the area.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

 

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Entertainment

Nigerian celebrities mourn late Majek Fashek

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Nigerian celebrities have taken to their social media platforms to mourn the death of Music Legend, Majekodunmi  Fasheke, a.k.a Majek Fashek.

Fashek’s a.k.a rain maker’s death  was  announced by his manager, Omenka Uzoma, through a short video on his instagram page.

Some of the celebrities include  Chibuzor Azubuike a.k.a phyno ,  Olanrewaju Fasasi, a.k.a Sound Sultan displayed the reggae artist pictures on their Instagram pages

Other  include Yomi Black, Bimbo Esho, actress Toyin Adegbola and Jude Okoye were not equally left out.

Phyno wrote: “Rest in peace, Legend.”

Sound Sultan had this on his page: “Rest in peace, power Majek.”

Yomi Black wrote:” Rest in peace, Majek Fashek.”

Also, Bimbo Esho, Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Musical Company, mourned the late reggae maestro as she wrote ” Adieu Majek Fashek. May you journey well. The Rainmaker takes a final bow to the cold hands of death.

Actress Toyin Adegbola said “Rest in peace, Majek.”

Jude Okoye, Chief Executive Officer of Northside Music, also wrote: “Rest peacefully, my Legend.”

Fashek died June 1, at the age of 57, in a hospital in New York.

Fashek was a Nigerian singer, songwriter and guitarist, who was best known for his 1988 album ” Prisoner of Conscience”, which included the multiple award-winning single, “Send Down the Rain”.

Fashek, worked with various artists worldwide, including Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Beyonce.

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Edited By: Muftau Adediran/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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Foreign

Nigeria to resume film production under coronavirus guidelines

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Nigeria’s movie industry is set to resume film production which has been banned during lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a producers association.

The Theater Arts and Motion Pictures Producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) announced relaxed restriction on movie production, saying it was in line with the Lagos state government’s relaxation order which took effect from June 1.

In a statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos on Tuesday, Bolaji Amusan, TAMPAN‘s national president, thanked members for abiding by the earlier proclamations of the association to stop shooting of films and other related productions during the pandemic.

He however urged the artists to take the necessary precautionary measures that would protect them from contacting the virus in the course of their work, as the pandemic had not been completely defeated.

He said part of the measures to put in place subsequently on movie locations was that producers must provide soap and running water for constant washing of hands by both the cast and crew members.

“Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, coughing or sneezing repeatedly, and quickly report such cases to the production managers for necessary actions,” Amusan said.

Nigeria’s movie industry, also known as Nollywood, is one of the largest film industries in the world in terms of quantity of films produced every year. Nigeria’s films and TV series have enjoyed popularity in Africa and even made a hit on international theaters, such as “Lionheart”, “Up North”, and “Chief Daddy“.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Nigeria yet to reach peak of contagion as COVID-19 cases cross 10,000: official

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The Nigerian government has expressed concern over the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country, saying the west African nation is yet to reach peak of the pandemic.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday night recorded 416 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 10,578, with 299 deaths and 3,122 discharged from hospitals.

Most of the fatalities recorded from COVID-19 were cases with other underlying illnesses known as co-morbidities, the NCDC added.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, told media on Monday it was necessary to restate to the citizenry, that Nigeria had not reached the peak of confirmed cases, adding that the battle against COVID-19 was a long term battle.

According to him, the majority of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local government areas in the country as 20 out of the 774 local government areas nationwide accounts for 60 percent of the cases.

Mustapha said the PTF has recommended to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to allow states to decide on easing lockdown measures, such as reopening of schools, businesses and worship centers shut since March as part of the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Joe Okei-Odumakin, a local observer, told Xinhua the government should step up capacity to test citizens for the virus so as to isolate and treat the infected. “Testing kits and reagents as well as protective equipment and materials are reportedly to be in short supply, in addition to their prices hitting the roof,” she said.

Okei-Odumakin also expressed concern that citizens with other ailments requiring visits to hospitals had been crowded out of the health facilities.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said there would be an application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of high transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

He said the mobilization of resources at state and local government area levels will create public awareness on COVID-19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Nigerian newspaper decries African American glass ceiling

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Blacks in the United States are unable to reach their full potential because of a glass ceiling created by whites, according to an article in a Nigerian national newspaper.

The article in This Day, under the title “The Mindless Murder of George Floyd,” asked, “Why are many blacks targeted in needless killings by the white cops? What crime have they committed? Is it a crime to be black? What happened to diversity and inclusiveness?”

African American George Floyd was killed after a white police kneeled on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes until he stopped breathing.

In a video, the victim was heard saying “I can’t breathe” while three other police officers stood by.

The incident has triggered protests against racism in the United States, forcing curfews to be declared in several parts of the country.

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat called on authorities in the United States to intensify their efforts to “ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin.”

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Nigerian Army Medical Corps gets new Acting Corps Commander

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The Nigerian Army Medical Corps gets a new Acting Corps Commander, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The handing and taking over ceremony was held on Monday at the Headquarters, Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Bonny Camp cantonment, Lagos.

The ceremony witnessed by Col. S. J. Adama, the outgoing Acting Corps Commander, who handed over to Col. I.B. Solebo.

The new Acting Corps Commander said that his vision was to have a highly regimented, professional and accountable Corps in the delivery of its services.

“You will agree with me that the amount of financial resources devoted to and already expended by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on healthcare infrastructure in our medical establishment is enormous.

“The Corps is unparalleled in the recent history of the Nigerian Army. As such, there is no gainsaying that to whom, much is given much is expected.

“By extension, performance, excellence and efficiency in the delivery of prompt and enviable healthcare to our officers, soldiers and their families is therefore not an exception, but the norm henceforth,” he said.

He said that regimentation was the bedrock of military indoctrination and panacea for victory at warfare and success in peacetime administration.

Solebo implored all personnel to reflect on the ethics, customs and tradition of the military and abide strictly by the rules therein, if we are to foster an enviable Corps for the future.

He urged all corps commanders to ensure that all military personnel in their various units engaged in physical activities as stipulated by the Nigerian Army to improve the performance at work.

According to him, to improve the performance at work, a physically fit body and mentally alert mind are essential.

“As such, all commanders are to ensure all military personnel of the Corps in their respective units actively participate in physical activities by way of morning physical training.

“And also evening games as stipulated by the NA except while on duty as the current COVID-19 pandemic settles.

“Participation in this activities are to be reflected in the PER’s of all personnel by their respective directors and commanders.

“All officers and soldiers of the Corps will also work to maintain their body mass index prescribed by the ASA.

“There would be special focus on health care deliver in the North East including the Reference hospital in the AOR.

“With the goal of reinforcing and bringing clinical, and surgical expertise closer to the location of injured amongst troops.

“Such that intervention is faster with the expected effect of further reduction in morbidity and mortality,” he said.

Solebo also said that all medical units would benefit from declaring their average drug usage on a monthly or quarterly basis.

According to him, drug availability on the NHIS in our hospitals and the scourge of fake drugs had become a topical issue.

“All medical units would benefit from declaring their average drug usage on a monthly or quarterly basis. This would aid budgeting and efficient use of primary funds including capitation and fee for service.

“A drive towards centralisation of drug procurement from a few validated sources would be urgently explored, whilst our drug manufacturing unit continue to explore capacity building and expansion to meet the drug consumption need of the NA,” he said.

Solebo, however, thanked the COAS for counting him worthy of steering the affairs of the Corps, saying that all his efforts would be channelled toward swiftly achieving the vision of the COAS.

He also thanked the outgoing Acting Corps Commander on the effort made to reposition the Corps thus far.

Present at the event include all Headquarters Directors, Commandants Nigerian Army School of Medical Science, Chief Medical Director 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Yaba.

The MD, Nigerian Army Drug Manufacturing Company Limited, the Ag Chief Medical Director Military Hospital Port Harcourt, Heads of Departments and Principal staff officers.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Health

Nigeria yet to reach ‘peak’ of COVID-19 cases – PTF

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19,  says Nigeria is yet to reach the “peak” of COVID-19 infections.

The chairmen of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha , disclosed this at the COVID-19 daily news conference on Monday in Abuja.

He said it was necessary to restate to the citizenry,  that Nigeria had not reached the peak of confirmed cases, adding that the battle against COVID-19 was a long term battle.

He urged Nigerian to pursue a strategy that would aid the sustainable control of the spread of the disease, stressing that risk communications and community engagement should remain  top priority.

He added that precision approached to containment and management should be adopted based on the overall assessment, including available data on the public health considerations and resultant economic impacts.

According to him, the PTF is of the opinion that Nigeria is ready to allow science and data determine her cautious advancement into the second phase of the eased lockdown for a period of four weeks.

“It is the consideration of the PTF that while Nigeria’s confirmed cases have increased in the period under review, the following factors should inspire confidence in the response

“Majority of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local government areas  in the country as 20 out of the 774 LGAs nationwide account for 60 per cent of the cases,” he said.

He said there was an opportunity to concentrate efforts in the high-burden areas, adding that the federal agencies and state governments were working together on the promotion and utilisation of guidelines on case management.

According to him, there is increased capacity to detect, test and trace those infected with the virus as 29 testing laboratories have been activated, with Bauchi being the latest addition.

He added that the test count nationwide had exceeded 60,000, stating that a shift in focus to community engagement and enhanced risk communication was imperative.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Economy

Nigeria’s bourse resumes trading in June with 0.19% growth

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The nation’s bourse resumed trading in June on a positive note, with the All- Share Index appreciating by 0.19 per cent.

Specifically, the index rose by 48.33 points or 0.19 per cent to close at 25,316.15 compared with 25,267.82 posted on Friday.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened the month at N13.168 trillion inched higher by N25 billion or 0.19 per cent to close at N13.193 trillion.

The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are: Dangote Sugar, Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank, Vitafoam Nigeria and BUA Cement.

Analysts at Imperial Asset Managers Limited stated that, “This week, we expect to see a measure of profit taking as some active traders may likely cash on profit.”

They reiterated that investors with long-term investment goals should continue to build their portfolios given the current attractive valuation of most fundamentally viable stocks.

The market closed positively with 28 gainers against 10 losers.

Japaul Oil & Maritime Services and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, improving by 10 per cent each, to close at 22k and N2.75, respectively,

Dangote Sugar Refinery followed with 9.69 per cent to close at N14.15, per share.

Cornerstone Insurance grew by 9.09 per cent to close at 60k, while Champion Breweries appreciated by 8.79 per cent to close at 99k per share.

On the other hand, Fidson Healthcare led the losers’ chart in percentage terms with a loss of 9.71 per cent, to close at N3.07, per share.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings followed with 9.22 per cent to close at N32.50, while AXA Mansard declined by 8.87 per cent to close at N1.85, per share.

Afromedia dipped 7.69 per cent to close at 24k, while Flour Mills Nigeria and Honeywell Flour Mill shed 4.76 per cent each to close at N20 and N1 per share, respectively.

However, the total volume of shares traded dropped by 22.21 per cent with an exchange of 253.31 million shares worth N2.65 billion in 4,775 deals.

This was against a total of 325.61 million shares valued N4.48 billion, achieved in 5,647 deals on Friday.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 41.01 million shares valued N221.78 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 36.17 million shares worth N887.46 million, while Japaul Oil & Maritime Services sold 25.44 million shares valued N5.54 million.

Zenith Bank accounted for 21.58 million shares worth N369.89 million, while Regency Alliance Insurance transacted 20.47 million shares worth N4.11 million.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

 

 

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