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Gov.Yahaya appoints Emir of Gombe Amirul Hajj 2019

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Gov. Yahaya appoints Emir of Gombe Amirul-Hajj 2019

Hajj

Gombe, June 24,2019 Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, has appointed the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu as the state’s 2019 Amirul Hajj.

This was contained in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Ismail Misilli on Monday in Gombe.

Misilli further said that the governor has approved the appointment of Malam Zubeir Muhammad as the Deputy Amirul Hajj, while eight other persons have also been appointed as members of the state’s Amirul Hajj team.

He said the team will work with the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board towards ensuring hitch free 2019 Hajj.

“The team is also expected to work with relevant agencies to ensure proper oversight and smooth operation of the 2019 Hajj,” Misilli said.

Edited by Nick Nicholas

Agriculture

COVID-19: Group urges Bauchi govt. to increase allocation to agric sector

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A group of NGOs under the aegis of Bauchi State Public Financing in Agriculture Budget Committee has urged the state government to increase its allocation to agriculture due to the effects of COVID-19 to boost farming.

Mrs Tabawa Atiku, the chairperson of the committee, made the appeal at a news conference on Monday in Bauchi.

Atiku said in view of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, little allocation to the agricultural sector would not help farmers in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NGOs are: Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative (FAWOYDI), with the support Actionaid Nigeria.

Others are: Rahma Women Development Programme (RAHMA), Media, Women Empowerment Initiative Nigeria (WEIN), Bauchi State Network of Civil Society and Association of Small scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN).

Atiku said the N8.9 billion budgeted for agriculture by the state government, out of the total budget of N167 billion for 2020 was below the 10 per cent recommended by the Malabo Declaration of 2014.

She noted that the allocation for the agricultural sector was just 5.34 per cent, which was far less than the Malabo Declaration of 2014.

“We noticed the downward review of funding of inputs to farmers in the state and we are pleading with the government to reconsider it to assist more farmers in this farming season.

“We are also appealing to the government to make provisions for credit and loan schemes to assist farmers, if we must avert the looming food crisis occasioned by COVID-19,” she said.

Atiku solicited prompt release of the funds and involvement of smallholder women farmers and other key stakeholders in the budgeting process.

She urged the government to establish a local produce buying and transportation network for smallholder farmers to ensure food supply and income generation.

According to her, the partial lockdown has made it difficult for farmers to access markets to sell their produce,” she said.


Edited By: Joe Idika/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

 

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Foreign

Namibia new central bank governor assumes duties

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Namibia’s new central bank governor, Johannes Gawaxab officially started duty on Monday following his appointment by President Hage Geingob on April 21.

The Bank of Namibia in a statement Monday said Gawaxab will also serve as chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Bank.

On assuming duty, Gawaxab said that he believes the central bank’s mandate is more than delivering on traditional roles such as monetary policy, and financial stability, but it is also about delivering on an economy that provides prosperity to Namibia.

“Therefore, I aim to look at how best do we complement the collaborations between the monetary policy and fiscal policy authorities to bring economic prosperity to Namibia,” said Gawaxab.

Gawaxab is the third governor of Bank of Namibia since it was founded on July 16, 1990.

(XINHUA)

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Health

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

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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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General news

Gov Lalong congratulates deputy speaker @56

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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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General news

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

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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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Environment

Osun Govt. warns forest poachers against hunting in government reserves

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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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Agriculture

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

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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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Foreign

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

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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.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

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

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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.

(XINHUA)

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