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Gov. Matawalle signs 1bn USD MoU with Afreximbank



Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, has signed a One billion US dollar Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Afreximbank for the economic revitalisation of the State.

This is contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Yusuf Idris, the Director-General on Press Affairs to the governor and made available to newsmen in Gusau on Sunday.

The signing ceremony was held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The statement said Matawalle signed on behalf of Zamfara State Government while President of Afreximbank, Dr Benedict Orama signed for the bank.

The governor expressed appreciation to the bank for agreeing to support his administration to provide enabling environment to boost trade and industrialisation in the state.

He listed the areas the MoU would cover to include solid minerals, agriculture, textile development, healthcare, airport construction and power generation.

Matawalle assured of his administration’s determination to facilitate all the legal steps to back the agreement.

He further said that the government would ensure diligence, due process and accountability in implementing the agreement.

The noted that improvement in the state economic sectors would translate to more internal revenue and more job opportunities for the youths.

The governor further explained that the bank would invest the one billion US Dollars with no counterpart funding  from the government.

He however said that the Zamfara government would provide enabling environment for investors expected to  tap from the fund.

Matawalle expressed confidence that the agreement would soon change Zamfara state to an enviable economically developed role model in Nigeria and Africa.

In his remarks, President of the Bank, Dr Benedict Oroma, said Afreximbank became interested in investing in Zamfara because of the clear and renewed economic vision of the government.

He added that after series of discussions with the state officials, the bank agreed to sign the MoU of one billion US Dollars for investment in the major economic areas of the state.

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Buhari greets former Gov. Alao Akala at 70



President Muhammadu Buhari has rejoiced with former Oyo State Governor, Christopher Alao-Akala, on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

In a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, the President saluted the Ogbomoso-born grassroots politician.

He lauded him for ability to blend with all classes of society, and touching lives positively.

President Buhari felicitated with the family, friends and political associates of the former governor, wishing him longer life, good health, and greater service to his people and motherland.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Delta govt. urges contractors to speed up projects



The Delta Government has called on contractors handling some road projects in the state to speed up work before the beginning of rainy season.

The State Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, made the call on Wednesday in Agbarho in Ughelli North Local government Area of the state while inspecting the three-kilometre Agbarho-Orherhe-Otokutu road and the bridge Section 1 project.

Augoye noted that the project was earlier awarded to another contractor but the contractor failed to mobilise to the site.

The commissioner commended the contractor handling the project, ”Feborze Global Venture”, for the quality of work and urged them to complete the project within three months.

“You will recall that this project was earlier awarded to another contractor, who failed to mobilise to the site until the governor directed that the project be re-awarded to this present contractor.

“I must commend their pace and quality of work and I urge them to complete the project within the next three months,” he said.

The Project Manager, Mr Ifeanyi Ochuba, said that the project was 75 per cent completed, saying that it would be completed in the next three months.

The commissioner also inspected a three-kilometre road with reinstatement of collapsed bridge at Oduaran road in Ughelli.

According to him, the road was cut-off last September due to flooding in the area, hence the need to commend the contractor for the pace of work.

As at September, last year, this road was cut off and the governor directed that the road should be reconstructed and the bridge reinstated,” Augoye said.

Chief John Oguma, the Chairman of Obakpor Engineering Company Ltd., handling the project, said the project was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Oguma gave an assurance that the project would be completed in July 2020.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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Jigawa govt. to enroll 1,322 repatriated Almajiris into schools



The Jigawa Government said it would enroll into schools 1,322 Almajiris repatriated from various states.

Gov. Muhammad Badaru announced this while updating newsmen on COVID-19 pandemic in the state on Wednesday in Dutse.

“As I mentioned in my previous speech, 1,345 Almajiris were repatriated from various states to Jigawa state. We took good care of them and provided for their social welfare and health needs.

All these Almajiris have been handed back to their parents apart from 23 that have active COVID-19 disease and currently receiving treatment in one of the isolation facilities.

“We have directed the enrollment of those discharged into primary schools to commence western as well as continue  Qur’anic education,” Badaru said.

The governor said that the state was reaching a turning point in the fight against the COVID-19 as numbers of new infections were decreasing.

He said that new cases were mainly derived from contact tracing, rather than freshly imported infections.

He said that the development was clear indication that the government could overcome the pandemic by accelerating and refining its current response strategies.

“Nonetheless, this decreasing trend will be sustained only if all of us continue to support government’s efforts and observe laid down measures put in place to checkmate the spread of the disease.

“As we loosen up and relax lockdowns, we must observe social distancing, personal hygiene and use of face masks while in the midst of the public.

“Anything short of these will soar the pandemic and lead to another wave of infection that can be disastrous and devastating,” Badaru warned.

The governor further stated that work was ongoing to scale up isolation bed capacity to 450.

According to him, if the decreasing trend continues, the state may not hit the projected target of 800 cases as predicted in the best case scenario projection of modeling experts.

“I promised scaling up isolation bed capacity to 450. Work is currently ongoing to achieve this target.

“However, if the trend continues, we may not hit the projected target of 800 cases as predicted in the best case scenario projection of modeling experts.

“Nonetheless, we will fulfill our promise as earlier pledged,” Badaru assured.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)


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Plateau Govt. releases N700m for SDGs counterpart funding



Plateau Government on Wednesday approved and released the sum of N700 million as its counterpart funding for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programmes.

Mr Dan Manjang, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, disclosed this at the Government House,Jos, at the end of the weekly State Executive council, SEC meeting.

Manjang said that in spite of the state’s dwindling resources and expenses in combating Coronavirus (COVID-19), the State Government was still determined to improve the well being of the people of the state by ensuring it benefitted from all SDG programmes .

He said that the state government had also paid N1 billion out of the N1.5 billion needed to re-acquire the Breweries Agro Research Company (BARC) farms it had promised the people, saying the total payment to reacquire the farm including tax was N1.7 billion.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that BARC, a subsidiary of the state owned Jos International Breweries was more than 20 years ago sold to a private farmer, to the disappointment of the people.

BARC farms is going to be engaged in such a way that civil and public servants, pensioners and host communities are going to be given land to cultivate pending when an investment is going to be sorted, instead of leaving it fallow or allowing people to cultivate it illegally,”he said.

The commissioner said the home grown security outfit of the state, Operation Rainbow had been able to harmonise the operations of community security groups in the state , to regulate their activities, saying the gesture would help in implementing community policing in the state.

He debunked allegations that Gov. Simon Lalong was stigmatising specific areas with high record of COVID-19, saying it was a ploy to instigate disunity in the state.

He said that Lalong had always preached against stigmatisation of the disease that it was not a death sentence.

Manjang said that the State would celebrate Democracy  Day on June 12, where the governor would inaugurate many projects across the state.

“The itinerary of the programme to celebrate the day would be forwarded to media houses.”

Also briefing newsmen, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, said the the State currently had 108 confirmed cases of COVID- 19 including five health workers, out of the 1,638 samples it tested.

The commissioner said it had discharged 71 patients and had recorded two deaths, but currently had 34 patients receiving treatment at its four isolation centres, while 98 persons were in its quarantine centers.

NAN reports that SEC also approved the bill for a law to amend the provision of the Plateau Department of Debt Management law office 2007, saying the gesture would enable it to access more funds for developmental projects.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Association calls on Edo govt. to protect lives of women, children



The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Edo branch has called on the Federal Government and relevant security agencies to protect the lives of women and children in the state.

Dr Adesuwa Urhoghide-Edigin, the President of MWAN made the call during a press conference on Wednesday in Benin.

“MWAN calls on the government and all relevant security agencies to ensure justice is carried out for Vera Omozuwa, who was attacked and raped on May 27.

“We stand in solidarity with the family of the deceased in fighting for justice. We thank the Edo government for the prompt intervention as we await the result of the inquiry.

“We call on government at all levels to partner with forensic scientists and pathologists to create a national DNA database of convicted criminal and place CCTV cameras in public places,’” she said.

The association president urged parents to put in more effort in training the boy-child to know that “violence and rape are unacceptable in the society’’.

“The worst pain you can inflict on a girl-child or a woman is rape. It’s five minutes for the perpetrator but life time for victim.

MWAN Edo as doctors, mothers, women, girls and females say no to rape. Save-a-girl child; save-a-woman and save-the world: No consent to rape”, Urhoghide-Edigin said.

She advised ladies not to stay on lonely places at odd times.

Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin, died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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Oyo govt. to establish agency for PLWDs



Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State says his administration will soon establish an agency that will cater for the needs and wellbeing of people living with disabilities (PLWDs).
stated this on Wednesday in Ibadan, while flagging off the distribution of palliatives to selected 200 people living with one form of disability or the other.
He said that the plan to establish the agency was to fulfill the promises made during his electioneering that such an agency would be set up.
During electioneering, I made a promise to the people living with disabilities that when I become the governor of the state, I would set up an agency for PLWDs.
want to assure you that before the second anniversary of this government, it will be done,” he stated.
The governor said that the era of impostors taking the benefits of what belonged to the people with disabilities had become a thing of the past, stressing that his administration would continue to identify with the vulnerable in the state.
Earlier, Mr Bimbo Adekanbi, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Persons with Disabilities, appreciated Makinde for identifying with people having various forms of disabilities and making them beneficiaries of palliatives in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the Association of PWDs in the state, Mr James Olukayode expressed gratitude to the state government for the palliatives, describing the gesture as “another feather to the cap of the Oyo State government.”
Olukayode noted that the policies and programmes of the present administration in the state were friendly to people with disabilities.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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COVID-19: Jigawa govt. extends work-from-home order by 2 weeks



The Jigawa State government has extended its earlier order for workers to work from home by another two weeks.
Gov. Muhammad Badaru announced this, while updating newsmen on the level of containment of coronavirus on Wednesday in Dutse.
The News Agency of Nigeria
, recalls that the state government had, on March 24, directed civil servants to work from home for two weeks, as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus in the state.
Badaru, however, said that the policy would soon be lifted, as government would continue to observe, notice and sustain improvement in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that government was informed by medical experts that it needed to spend two consecutive incubation periods performing active case-search and testing.
“As we continue to notice and sustain improvements, we will open up government offices and lift the policy on working from home soon.
However, I was informed by medical experts that we need to spend two consecutive incubation periods performing active-case search and testing.
“Where no cases are confirmed, we pop our chests in pride and say we are out of the woods; but for now, we are not yet there.
“Nonetheless, we may not have to reach this milestone before lifting this policy.
“Consequently, we are extending this policy for another two weeks. By June 15, it will be subjected to another review,” he said.
The governor further announced that the state’s molecular laboratory, which was currently on a test run, had given the government confidence to tackle the disease headlong.
According to him, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is expected to accredit the laboratory soon.
“The accreditation of our molecular laboratory will come on stream soon, as NCDC has assured us that it will embark on an accreditation visit in the coming days,” he said.
Badaru further stated that all tests being conducted in the laboratory were retested in the accredited laboratory in Bayero University, Kano (BUK), adding that the results showed over 90 percent concordance.
The governor, who described the development as “excellent scientific procedure”, said it gave the government a course for celebration.
Badaru also announced a donation of N3 million by Unity Bank to the state as its contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So let me use this opportunity to thank individuals and corporate organisations that are supporting the state with donations, both in cash and in kind,” Badaru said.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Ondo 2020: Okunomo, PDP governorship aspirant, picks party’s nomination form



Mr Banji Okunomo, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial aspirant in Ondo State, has picked a nomination form ahead of the party’s primaries scheduled for July.
made the disclosure in a statement issued made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Okitipupa.
The News Agency of Nigeria
reports that the nomination form was also in preparation for the governorship election slated for Oct. 10 in the state.
NAN also reports that Okunomo, who picked his form at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, was the first among the array of the PDP governorship aspirants in the state to do so.
Okunomo, a former PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, said that he dedicated the form to God and the people of the state, who, he said, he intended to serve as governor.
“I picked the nomination form of N21m at Wadata House in Abuja today and this has made me the first among the PDP aspirants to purchase the form.
“I also dedicate the form to God and the good people of the state, whom I intend to serve meritoriously, if I am elected the party’s flag bearer.
“I also promise to eradicate poverty, generate employment, create wealth and enhance the livelihood of the several millions of Ondo State residents, if elected governor,” he said.
NAN recalls that Okunomo was also the first aspirant, who collected the expression of interest form at the PDP secretariat in Akure last week.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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PDP scores Gov Tambuwal high, calls for support against insecurity



The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Sokoto State Chapter, has called on the residents to join hands with Gov. Aminu Tambuwal in the protection of lives and property across the state.
Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma, the state Chairman, made the appeal on Wednesday in Sokoto.
, who rated Tambuwal high in terms of the provision of development projects, said that the recent attacks by bandits in Sabin Birni Local Government Area should not be used by critics to rate Tambuwal’s stewardship.
He urged people to support him against security challenges because adequate security was the responsibility of all.
The party leader said that it might be inhuman to ignore the loss of lives and property occasioned by the attacks, which coincided with the May 29 celebration, but his achievement should not be downplayed by critics.

”Being a responsible person and astute leader, Gov Tambuwal remained calm and sober rather than spending time, resources and energy reeling out projects he had accomplished.

“Who would go to new schools built by government when marauders have routed his brethren; we will not be happy if hospitals are overwhelmed by dead bodies.

Gov Tambuwal has been steadfast on his obligations in spite of all challenges that comprised legal battles over his election victory, financial decline and the current COVID-19 pandemic,” the party chairman said.

He said Tambuwal’s administration had uncovered many ghost workers and saved the state billions of naira going into the pockets of few in the past.

Milgoma said that Tambuwal disbursed N4 billion to empower small businesses, established state’s microfinance bank as well as partnered with the Moroccan government on agriculture, water resources, healthcare and others.

According to him, based on his experience across the globe, Gov Tambuwal understudied the Indonesian Pondok model of education and incorporated it in the state for the Almajiris.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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