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Gov. Bello congratulates Dada on appointment as minister



Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has described the appontment of Amb. Zubairu Dada as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs as a well deserved development.

A statement by Mrs Mary Berje, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, also described the appointment as a recognition of hard work and resilience of Dada.

He charged the minister to live above board and be an exemplary representative to the people of the state.

“Following your antecedents and previous accomplishments, we find it necessary to celebrate your appointment because we are optimistic that a square peg is, indeed, in a square hole,” he said.

He extolled the good virtues of Dada, describing him as ”committed disciplinarian, extraordinary administrator and a patriotic Nigerian capable of changing some of the global views and negative narratives of the country”.

He prayed for God’s guardiance, protection and wisdom in  dealing challenges of the appontment for the overall progress and development of the country.


COVID-19: Ondo state records 2 new deaths- Gov. Akeredolu



Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says the state has recorded two new deaths of COVID-19, raising the number of fatalities to four in the state.

Akeredolu confirmed this on Monday on his twitter handle.

According to him, today, we recorded three new cases and unprecedented number of deaths from COVID-19 in Ondo state.

“Two of the new cases passed on at University of Medical Science Teaching Hospital (UNIMED) in Ondo town this morning.

“The 3rd case is currently at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Akure undergoing treatment”Akeredolu said.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the number of cases in the case has increased to 28 in all, as at June 1, 2020.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)


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Gov Lalong congratulates deputy speaker @56



Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau, has congratulated the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase on his 56th birthday.

Lalong, in a congratulatory message by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, on Monday in Jos, described the deputy speaker as a compassionate politician.

He eulogized Wase as one of the dedicated, loyal and patriotic sons of Plateau State, who had  continued to serve the State and the nation with integrity and excellence.

The Rt. Hon. Ahmed Wase is a consummate politician and a reliable ally who puts the interest of his people above personal gains.

” He has used his influence to promote the cause of Plateau State by putting up strong arguments and lobbying for the good of the State at the National Assembly,” he said.

Lalong recalled that Wase, recently, led a delegation of all elected National Assembly members from Plateau State who donated some money to the Plateau State COVID-19 Endowment Fund.

He said the deputy speaker had also personally donated palliatives to the State and many people in his constituency, apart from executing constituency projects which have touched the lives of the people positively.

Lalong appreciated the Deputy Speaker for supporting the programmes and projects of his administration and prayed for more years of peace, good health and progress for him.

He also urged him not to relent in his efforts and continue to remain humble, loyal and selfless, while maintaining the good reputation he had built for himself over the years.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Deputy speaker was born on June 1st, 1964 and is from Wase Local Government Area in Plateau.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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APC primary: Steer clear of Ondo politics, group tells Gov. Fayemi



A group, Ondo State Progressives Network, has urged Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti to steer clear of the July 20 All Progressives Congress (APC) primary in the state.

The Coordinator of the group, Mr Tunde Ajayi, made the call in a statement on Monday in Akure.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there had been calls for  Direct Primary to Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu by opposing camps within the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Ajayi said that there have been pressure on the leadership of the APC to impose indirect mode of primary against the wishes of majority of the party member in the state.

“The attention of the Ondo State Progressives Network has been drawn to series of moves to lure some national leaders of the APC and some governors to mount pressure on the national working committee to announce an indirect primaries for the election.

“The Network, therefore, advise that  leaders of the party in Ondo State and at the national level should be allowed to act appropriately.

“The group also condemn any move which will thwart the unity of the party in the state,” he said.

The coordinator advised Akeredolu to adopt the party’s leadership process rather than seeking to get an indirect primary process.

“We further appeal to the leadership of the party and members of the national working committee not to be intimidated.

“Only a direct primary process in the party’s guber primary can restore the hope of APC faithful in the state and move the party to the next level,” Ajayi said.

Meanwhile, Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, earlier in a statement, said that the governor was not afraid of direct primary.

“First and foremost, we have not come out as a government that we are opposed to direct primary; neither had the governor expressed aversion to  same.

“We’re not afraid of any mode of primary. I will want the public to know that the call for direct primary is to put out narrative that the governor is opposed to direct primary. In fact, we’ll even prefer a direct primary.

“For those who clamour for direct primary, the message to them is that Akeredolu is more prepared for any mode of primary than those who clamour for it,” Ojogo said.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Osun Govt. warns forest poachers against hunting in government reserves



The Osun Government on Monday warned forest poachers in the state to desist from hunting and killing animals in government reserves across the state.

The State Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Mr Sola Oladepo, and Mr Rufus Oyegbile, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment and Sanitation, gave the warning while speaking to newsmen on the activities lined up to commemorate the 2020 World Environment Day.

Oladepo said poachers whom were fond of gaining unpermitted access into government reserves across the state to hunt and kill animals had been severely warned to desist from the illegal act.

“Forest reserves serve as natural habitats for animals. And going by this year’s theme, “Biodiversity”, killing of animals in the reserved areas is illegal as such places are eco-tourist centres for the government.

“Henceforth, anybody caught hunting in the government reserves without permission will be dealt with according to the law,’’ he said.

The commissioner highlighted the efforts of the state government in preventing flooding in the state such as dredging of rivers and the roles played by the state Waste Management Agency (OWMA) to ensure that the state was kept clean.

He disclosed that other environment-related programmes were also being carried out by the state government with the aim of making lives safe and meaningful for the people of the state.

He said that as part of the programmes lined up for the environment day celebration, there would be environmental sanitation throughout the state on Thursday.

“I call on all market men and women to come out and clean their environment in commemoration of the day,’’ Oladepo said.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 of every year.

It is a day set aside by the United Nations for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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COVID-19: Maize farmers urge govts to address challenges of 2020 farming season



Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) has urged government at all levels to look into ways of mitigating issue of food insecurity as one of the measures to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the agricultural sector.

The MAAN Chairman, Oyo State Chapter, Alhaji Raji Ayandele, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Monday.

Ayandele said since COVID-19 was a global issue, farmers were also exposed; and this in itself was a threat to food security.

He noted that the government’s policy on agriculture and subsidy most times did not reach the targeted farmers.

The MAAN chairman appealed to the government to assist farmers financially, especially those in the rural areas, in good time so as to enable them utilise the planting season.

He urged the government to assist the farmers facing hardship with high cost of inputs such as quality seeds, chemicals, fertiliser, inadequate farm mechanisation equipment and lack of access to low interest loan facilities.

“We also need assistance in tackling lateness in delivering facilities for the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and unregulated market prices that result in shortage of farm produce.

“We also need assistance in periodic human capacity building on modern trends in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and subsidy where applicable.

“Whereas maize farmers are urged to go to the farm to produce enough so as to prevent hunger in the nation, we call on government to give proper support to farmers.

“This will ensure that farmers return to their farms fast enough to save the situation at hand,” he said.

Ayandele remarked that COVID-19 had affected all sectors of the economy, especially the agricultural sector which was the backbone of the country’s economy.

He said the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 would certainly result in scarcity of every human need, including farm inputs and mechanisation.

He added that goods would be in short supply thus making them more expensive than ever, pointing out that seasonal labour movement would as well be affected with its attendant results.

“Farmers are finding this coronavirus information very confusing to comprehend. Farming season is threatened as the lockdown led to short flow of farming inputs and mechanisation is slowed down as well.

“This certainly is a threat to maize production. Many smallholder farmers are far in the hard-to reach areas where little or no information about the pandemic had gotten to them.

“They will go to farm but the necessary farm inputs are not adequate. This can adversely affect farm operations leading to low yield and food insecurity (hunger),” Ayandele said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)




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Feature: Egyptians abide by gov’t order to wear masks in public places to curb coronavirus spread




Mohammed Abdel-Latif carefully put on his surgical mask before he left his workplace in the capital Cairo.

The 65-year-old man said he had to wear a mask outdoors after the government made it obligatory in public places since Saturday to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“I used to wear a mask even before the government made this decision,” Abdel-Latif, who works for a clothes company in downtown Cairo, told Xinhua.

The Egyptian government announced earlier in May that wearing masks is compulsory at governmental and private institutions, malls, markets, shops and public transportations.

The cabinet later announced that citizens are obliged to wear masks in public places for two weeks starting from May 30, adding that those who are found without a mask in public will face a fine of up to 4,000 Egyptian pounds (252 United States dollars).

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 infection on Feb. 14 and the first death from the pandemic on March 8, both of whom were foreigners.

Until Sunday night, Egypt’s total confirmed cases have reached 24,985, including 959 deaths and 6,037 recoveries.

The north African country has been implementing a partial nighttime curfew for more than two months, with obligatory closure of malls and stores, restaurants and public transportation during curfew hours.

“It is necessary to the wear face masks now to stop the quick spread of the virus…the government’s decision is vital and I can tell that that people are cooperating and responding to the new procedure,” Abdel-Latif added as he sprayed his hands with alcohol after wearing the mask.

For Mostafa Atwa, an electrical engineer, the new decision is an important step towards fighting the coronavirus. However, he believes this move should have been done earlier.

“The company I work for has been providing me with face masks on a daily basis since the crisis started in February,” the young man told Xinhua as he waited for a train in Cairo’s main train station.

Atwa noted that it is important that everyone wears a mask because he did not feel safe before the government’s decision was implemented.

He added that obtaining face masks from pharmacies was not easy weeks ago as masks were scarce in the market.

“But masks of different types and prices are available almost at all pharmacies now,” he said. “The prices start from 2 pounds and may go up to 150 Egyptian pounds.”

Atwa stressed that the government has been doing a great work to control the prices of medical preventives supplies that have been largely used since the outbreak of the virus such as masks, alcohol, gloves and sanitizers.

In March, Egypt halted exporting face masks and all types of alcohol and alcoholic disinfectants to meet the needs of Egyptian citizens amid the spread of the virus.

As Egypt’s factories of disposable medical products have more than doubled their production of medical masks recently.

A Chinese-Egyptian joint venture has been established in April in Egypt, which can produce up to 750,000 medical face masks per day.

The venture, formed by Egypt’s Euromed for Medical Industries and China’s Ningbo A Plus Import and Export Co., Ltd, targets a daily production capacity of 1.5 million high quality surgical face masks soon.

The Egypt-China venture is expected to more than double Egypt’s production capacity of disposable face masks.


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S.Korean gov’t revises down 2020 growth outlook to 0.1 pct




South Korea’s government revised down its 2020 economic growth outlook to 0.1 percent Monday owing to an expected economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak across the world.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance said that real gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, is forecast to grow 0.1 percent this year. It was sharply down from the ministry’s previous expectation of 2.4 percent expansion unveiled six months earlier.

The real GDP increased 2.0 percent in 2019, after expanding 2.7 percent in 2018.

The ministry’s outlook is higher than the Bank of Korea (BOK)’s forecast. The BOK expected the economy to contract 0.2 percent this year, much lower than the bank’s previous expectation of 2.1 percent growth.

With the gloomier outlook, the BOK slashed its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to a new all-time low of 0.50 percent last week. The central bank lowered the key rate by 50 basis points in March.

The country’s real GDP dived 1.4 percent in the January-March quarter from the prior quarter, marking the biggest quarterly fall in over 11 years since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected the South Korean economy to plummet 1.2 percent in 2020, while the state-run Korea Development Institute (KDI) projected a 0.2-percent increase this year.

Since the BOK began compiling the GDP data in 1953, South Korea recorded a negative growth only twice in 1980 and 1998.


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U.S. Texas governor declares state of disaster following violent protests




U.S. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday declared state of disaster following violent protests in cities throughout the state over the death of George Floyd.

The move allows Abbott to designate federal law enforcement officers to respond to the ongoing threats, according to a statement released by the governor’s office.

In a separate release on Sunday, Abbott said he has ordered thousands more troopers to these cities and more than 1,000 National Guard soldiers to assist the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and local law enforcement in their efforts.

Texans First Amendment rights are absolute and will always be protected,” said Governor Abbott. “But violence, vandalism, and looting will not be tolerated in this state and those found in violation of the law will be arrested and prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also deployed tactical teams to assist state and local law enforcement.

During the weekend, protest and violence throughout Texas continued as hundreds of protestors were arrested in the past two days.

In Dallas, Police Chief Renee Hall on Sunday instituted curfew from 7 p.m. Sunday night till 6 a.m. for the next several days in response to the weekend violent protest.

In the state capital of Austin, protesters gathered in downtown area Sunday afternoon. According to local media, protesters marched toward the state Capitol and Austin City Hall, chanting, “No justice, no peace.”

Demonstrations and riots have spread to cities across the United States after a video went viral of African American George Floyd being kneeled on by a white police officer before he died in the mid-western U.S. state of Minnesota on Monday.


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Gov Masari mourns Katsina NUJ scribe



Gov Aminu Masari of Katsina State has expressed sorrow over the death of the Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Katsina State Council, Alhaji Aliyu Yunusa Kofarsoro.

In a statement on Sunday in Katsina by Adbu Labaran, his Director-General on Media, Mr Abdu Labaran, Masari said that the state has lost “a very vibrant, dynamic and up-and-coming journalist in the prime of his life and profession”.

The governor described the deceased as having endearing attributes that should form part of the character traits of professional communicators.

He urged journalists in the state to borrow a leaf from the late NUJ scribe, by showing total love and commitment to their professional calling.

Masari condoled the Katsina State NUJ Council, the management and the staff of the Katsina State Television (KTTV) and the immediate family of the deceased.

He prayed Almighty Allah to forgive the deceased his sins and rest him in paradise as well as give the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Yunusa-Kofarsoro died on Saturday in Katsina after a brief illness, at the age of 48.

He was survived by a wife and six children.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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