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FG tasks treasury managers on reform



The Federal Government has tasked treasury directors of finance and accounts, and directors of internal audit on treasury reform.

The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmad, gave the task on Thursday in Kano at the opening of 2020 management retreat for the directors.

The retreat, themed “Global Best Practice in 21st Century Treasury Management”, was organised by the Office of the Accountant-General of Federation.

The minister, who described the theme of the programme apt and timely, urged the participants to put the training, experiences and skills they have acquired to help the government in managing the limited resources it has and in cutting down unnecessary expenditure.

“Let’s tell ourselves the truth and really help the current administration in putting the economy on the path of growth, especially as the country is facing a very difficult situation,” she said.

She also reminded the participants of the cardinal objectives of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, saying the administration has welfare of the citizens, economic growth and fight against corruption as its cardinal objectives.

“This administration has a strong demonstrated political will to ensure accountability, probity, transparency and openess in all its dealings.

“It is also obvious to all that this administration has zero tolerance for corruption and has demonstrated this beyond rhetorics. Just recently President Buhari launched financial transparency policy guidelines as well as open treasury.

“Stringent efforts have been made by the current adminstration to reposition the public financial sector to achieve the desired effectiveness and efficiency in managing scarce resources and enhancing the overall effectiveness for an value-deriven econony,” she explained.

On the issue of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), IPPIS enrolment, the minister said that about 55 per cent of them had been captured.

She also disclosed that only those who had been registered would get their salary henceforth.

Ahmad added that IPPIS system had helped in identifying over 70,000 ghost workers in the federal civil service.‎

The minister also commended the AGF for remaining steadfast in discharging his responsibility.

Ahmad, however, called on the drivers of the economy to be exposed to the global best practices, adding that it is apt for the routine retreat to focus on directors of finance and accounts, and directors of internal revenue.

Earlier, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmad Idris, said the 2020 Management Retreat would enable the directors to brainstorm for public treasury reform.

Idris said that the overall objective of the retreat was to promote accountability and transparency in all facets of the nation’s public finance and management.

He urged the participants to be the change agents in positioning the treasury for greater height and improving service delivery.

“The objective of this retreat is, among others, to review the progress achieved so far in the implementation of all financial management reforms we have started with specific emphasis on challenges and examining the way forward thereby making them realise the objectives for which we set out to implement them.

“We look forward to well participatory, interactive, engaging and fruitfull discussion and constructive contribution with a view to strengthening and deepening the full implementation of the financial management reform to the overall goal of economic prosperity and financial well being of our dear country,” he said.

In his remarks, the Facilitator, Mr James Kayode Naiyeju, urged the Office of the Acxountant-General of the Federation to take stock.

“We need to take honest stock of where we are coming from, where we are, and where we are going,” he advised.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

General news

Indonesia tells Hajj pilgrims to stay home amid COVID-19 uncertainty




More than 200,000 Indonesians hoping to attend the Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year have had their plans cancelled by the government amid lack of certainty because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Saudi authorities have not yet given access to pilgrims from any country,’’ Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi said on Tuesday.

“Because of that, we won’t have enough time to prepare, especially in terms of the protection of the pilgrims,’’ he told an online news conference.

Indonesia has a Hajj quota of 221,000 pilgrims for this year, according to the government.

The Hajj is due in late July this year, but the kingdom has not yet announced whether it will be called it off.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia began the gradual reopening of the prophet Mohammed’s mosque in the city of Medina, one of Islam’s two holiest sites, two months after it was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since late February, Saudi Arabia has suspended the Muslim Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Indonesia recorded 609 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the national tally to 27,549, the country’s COVID-19 task force spokesperson Achmad Yurianto said.

The death toll rose to 1,663, after 22 additional deaths were reported overnight.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Palestine says seeks UN resolution against Israel’s annexation plan




A senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday that Palestine is seeking to approach the UN General Assembly for a resolution against the Israeli plan to annex occupied Palestinian territories.

Speaking to the official Voice of Palestine radio, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki said the annexation plan is “dangerous” and “rejected by the international community.”

“Our attitude is to politically isolate the Israeli government and the United States … in order to exert a huge pressure on Israel not to implement the plan,” he noted.

The Palestinian leadership is explaining to the international community that the Israeli annexation plan will undermine the vision of the two-state solution along the 1967 borders,” Maliki added.

The Israeli government is planning to impose sovereignty on the Jordan Valley, an equivalent of 30 percent of the West Bank, as well as several Jewish settlements in the region starting July.


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Police arrest suspect over threats against Israeli prime minister



Israeli police on Tuesday said it arrested a suspect over alleged threats against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on social media.

The Police’s national cyber unit identified the suspect as a 21-year-old man from northern Israeli.

According to Israeli news outlet ynet, the suspect is an Israeli soldier, and was set to appear before a court in central Israel on Tuesday.

“A few days ago I filed a complaint with the police about a series of threats to kill me and my family,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“Today, to my regret, I was forced to file another complaint against a despicable person who detailed how he plans to kill me and my family,” he added, attaching a screenshot of a threat against him.

The screenshot included a suggestion to behead the Netanyahu family and hang their bodies from the balcony of the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

In May, police said Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s son, had filed complaints over threats and incitement against him.

In recent weeks, Netanyahu has been the subject of protests both for and against him, as his corruption trial began last week, making him the first sitting prime minister in the country’s history to stand trial.

Israel’s longest-serving prime minister was officially indicted on bribery, fraud and breach of trust in January.

Following three general elections in less than a year, Netanyahu was sworn in last month as the head of an emergency unity government including his Likud party and the centrist Blue and White Alliance of his former main rival Benny Gantz.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Accelerating increase of COVID-19 cases seen in South Asian countries as Bangladesh records biggest daily jump




Asia-Pacific countries are still facing a growing outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday as Bangladesh recorded its highest daily increase, while India became the seventh country in the world in terms of infections.

Bangladesh confirmed 2,911 new cases, the highest daily rise since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country on March 8, bringing the total to 52,445.

A total of 37 more people including 33 men and four women died in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 709.

Bangladesh had earlier recorded highest 2,545 cases in a 24-hour period on Sunday.

India’s federal health ministry on Tuesday morning reported 204 new deaths and 8,171 positive cases during the past 24 hours across the country, taking the number of deaths to 5,598 and total cases to 198,706.

In Indonesia, the confirmed cases in Indonesia rose by 609 within one day to 27,549, and the death toll increased by 22 to 1,663.

The number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines climbed to 18,997 after the Department of Health reported 359 more infections on Tuesday.

The number of recoveries further climbed to 4,063 after 84 more patients have recovered, and the death toll also increased to 966 after 6 more deaths were reported.

Malaysia reported 20 new cases, pushing the national total to 7,877, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Of the new cases, 15 are imported cases while the five local transmissions were made up of 3 foreign nationals and two locals.

No new death is reported with the total standing at 115.

South Korea recorded 38 more infections compared to 24 hours ago as of 0:00 a.m. Tuesday local time, raising the total number of infections to 11,541.

The daily caseload stayed above 30 for two straight days due to small cluster infections from religious gatherings in the metropolitan area.

New Zealand announced no new case on Tuesday for 11 consecutive days, with the combined total of confirmed and probable cases staying at 1,504, according to the Ministry of Health.


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General news

Gov. Makinde’s first year achievements impressive, says Oyo CAN



The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Oyo State Chapter, has said that Gov. Seyi Makinde’s achievements in the last one year was impressive.

Pastor Benjamin Akanmu, State Chairman of CAN, made the commendation while addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Makinde had on May 29, rolled out the achievements of his administration in the first year, listing hundreds completed and ongoing projects.

“For our governor in Oyo State, it’s time of praise and commendation. Of course, no parents will bash or condemn a child that returns home with excellent report card, it’s impossible.

“Makinde deserves our praise if we put into consideration how his administration has positively affected lives of the masses in the state.

“To us, his report card is impressive and we congratulate the governor and his team for moving to the second year with enviable report card,” Akanmu said.

He said that the perspective for which they rated the governor’s performance defer from that of politicians, contractors or some other groups, saying they were not likely to be on the same page with him.

He said that the basis for which they rated the governor’s achievement as very impressive was the administration’s

direct impact on the masses and by extension, standard of living in general.

The CAN chairman said that the governor would always have the backing of the masses and civil servants, having being able to commit their regular remuneration to the welfare of their children and other associated bills.

According to him, pensioners and civil servants are able to settle outstanding bills, the purchasing power of the common man has been lifted because civil servants and retirees can afford to meet up with their needs.

“And that’s the only thing that has the power to set people free from the boundage of poverty and live better.

”Also, death rate among the pensioners and public servants has reduced drastically because they can afford necessities,” he said.

Akanmu noted that over 75 per cent of the population source for means of livelihood on daily basis, appreciated the governor’s decision not to lockdown the state during the rainy season considering its comparative advantage in agriculture.

“Let me tell you this, our position on his one year in office is also premised on the laid down principles of our Lord Jesus Christ, which mandates us to care more for the survival of people around us, especially the poor,” the cleric said.

The cleric advised the governor to embrace everyone, see criticism as motivating ladder and not to relent on his past achievements.

The CAN chairman further urged him to spread out his tentacles to touch other sectors and improve on those he had already started work on.

“We all know he cannot satisfy everyone, but larger percentage of the population should be able to speak well of his administration. He shall work harder than before, give checks and balances priority in his administration.

“Never embark on anti-people’s policies. Secure at least 75 per cent of their support for every policies to be introduced. There must be regular interaction between the governor and the people,” he said.

Akanmu urged the governor to be more vigilant and conscious of his environment while dissociating himself from sycophants.

He called on him to evolve a system that would ensure his lieutenants who failed to live up to expectations in the last twelve months are re-examined and their stories rewritten.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Nursery schools reopen in Belgium




Belgium’s nursery classes started to gradually reopen on Tuesday after two and a half months of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of the nursery classes will reopen during this week, mainly on Wednesday and Thursday. According to the decision of the Consultation Committee on May 27, the nursery classes could resume starting from June 2, and primary schools could reopen from June 8.

The National Security Council (NSC) will meet on Wednesday to confirm the third phase of the deconfinement set for June 8, with the reopening of cafes and restaurants and permission to take holidays in Belgium, or to organize religious ceremonies.

The reopening of the Belgian borders will also be on the agenda of NSC. The date of June 15 is in line with the positions of neighboring Germany and France.

Belgium has recorded 19 new deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 9,505 since the start of the pandemic, according to figures published Tuesday by the public health institute Sciensano.

In the same 24 hours, 98 new cases of infection with the COVID-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus, have been reported. The total number of confirmed cases thus far is 58,615.

A total of 166 patients are in intensive care, an increase of two patients in the last 24 hours.


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Floyd’s death to inspire change in America: Ghanaian president




Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo expressed his hope here late Monday that the death of George Floyd would inspire a lasting change in how America confronts head on the problems of hate and racism.

Describing Floyd‘s death as “unfortunate and tragic” on social media, Akufo-Addo said black people over the world are shocked and distraught by the killing of the unarmed black man by a white police officer in the United States.

African American Floyd died on May 25 shortly after a white police officer in Minneapolis held him down with a knee on his neck for almost nine minutes despite pleas by Floyd he was struggling to breathe, which ignited violent protests in dozens of U.S. cities.

“It can’t be right that in the 21st century, the U.S., this great bastion of democracy, continues to grapple with the problem of systemic racism,” he said.

“It carried with it an all too painful familiarity and un ugly reminder,” said the president, adding that Ghanaians stand with their kith and kin in America in these difficult and trying times.


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COVID-19: Bauchi State begins testing in new molecular laboratory – Official



Bauchi State Government says that formal testing and reporting of COVID-19 samples will henceforth be conducted in its Reference Molecular Laboratory as directed by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

The state Commissioner of Health, Dr Aliyu Maigoro, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Bauchi.

“I have received an email letter from NCDC directing Bauchi Reference Molecular Laboratory to start formal testing and reporting from Bauchi.

“We are going to do all our testing and reporting from the reference laboratory here in Bauchi as from June 2, 2020.

“Further delay will raise questions regarding the status of the laboratory because it was posted in the NCDC websites as the number 29th of the reference molecular laboratories in the country.

“Henceforth, no sample should be taken to Jos, Plateau State, until otherwise; the laboratory has come to stay.

“As such we must work as a team for the benefit of mankind and the good people of Bauchi state.

“I have forwarded to the Chairman of the state COVID-19 response team, request for payment of weekly allowances of all workers concerned with the laboratory from the professors down to the security men,” he said.

The commissioner said that the state would continue solving minor problems as well as proper maintenance of the laboratory.

NAN recalls that the COVID-19 testing laboratory was built and equipped by the state government with the support of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Philippine gov’t says Hong Kong affairs “purely a Chinese matter”




Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday said Hong Kong affairs are “purely a Chinese matter,” adding that the Philippine government hopes Hong Kong‘s stability and prosperity will continue.

Hong Kong affairs are “purely a Chinese matter,” Roque told Xinhua in a virtual news conference, saying, “We respect the exercise of China‘s sovereignty over

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Roque”> Hong Kong.”


voiced hope that Hong Kong‘s prosperity and stability will remain as hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are living and working there.

“The continued prosperity of Hong Kong will mean continued employment for Filipinos and because of our proximity, we hope that prosperity will continue … so that there will be more opportunities for Filipinos to work and make a livelihood in Hong Kong,” he said.


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