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Gov. Yahaya constitutes committees on power supply, restructuring civil service



Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has constituted a nine-man Taskforce Committee to find ways of improving power supply in all parts of the state.

Mr Ismaila Misilli, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Governor,disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Gombe.

He stated that the committee had Abdullahi Gwarzo and Mohammed Hinna as Chairman and Secretary respectively.

“The committee is to among others, ascertain the current level and capacity of power transmission, determine the adequacy or otherwise of electric feeder pillars in the state.

“Other terms of reference of the Taskforce include; Assessing the performance of all transformers with reference to imposed load and current power ratings.

“Ascertaining causes of frequent transformer failures and proffering solutions for onward transmission to relevant bodies,” he stated.

According to him, the committee is also to determine the root causes of inadequate electricity supply to rural areas and suggest solutions to the situation.

“Recommend ways of ensuring proper state government oversight in billing, quotation and maintenance of low tension transmission lines.

“It is also to come up with ways to strengthen trilateral relations between the State Government, Jos Electricity Distribution Company Plc and Transmission Company of Nigeria.”

Misilli also said the governor had approved the constitution of a committee on the Review and Restructuring of the State Civil Service.

He stated that the committee was mandated to review the structure and functions of the existing Ministries, Departments and Agencies,(MDAs) and harmonise them to avoid overlap of functions and responsibilities.

Edited Dada Ahmed

General news

Delta govt. to put necessary measures in place for schools’ resumption – Commissioner



The Delta Government on Monday said necessary measures would be put in place before academic activities could resume in the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, made this known at a media briefing held in Government House Annexe, Warri.

Aniagwu said that government would among other things fumigate the schools before students resumed.

“Schools might not resume in the next one week. We will put all measures in place before children will be allowed to resume academic activities.

“We will fumigate the schools to ensure safety of our children. So schools might not resume in the next one week,” he said.

The commissioner said that the state government had upscaled its healthcare facilities.

He said that the state now had six isolation centres with two donated by corporate bodies.

“We are not just upscaling our health facilities because of COVID-19, we are looking beyond the pandemic to the benefit of our people,” Aniagwu said.

The commissioner said that amid the challenges of the global pandemic, the state government was still committed to building a stronger Delta through infrastructure development.

He said that the state government was about to float a domestic security outfit codename ‘Operation Delta Hawks’ to complement the existing security apparatus in the state.

According to him, the security outfit would deal with domestic security issues in the state.

The commissioner said that the state government was committed to regional security outfit.

“Regional security outfit will deal with security issues across the region, while state security will deal with security issues within the state,” he said.

Aniagwu, however, urged the people of the state to continue to support the government to enable it deliver on its promises.

The commissioner was accompanied by Mr Olisa Ifeajika, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and some government aides.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Indian gov’t approves 9.33 billion USD relief for small businesses, hikes MSP for farmers




The Indian government Monday cleared a 9.33 billion United States dollars debt scheme to help stressed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and approved a new definition for these units.

“Approval for provisioning of Rs 20,000 crore (2.66 billion United States dollars) as subordinate debt to provide equity support to the stressed MSMEs. This will benefit 2 lakh stressed MSMEs,” reads a statement issued by cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA).

“Approval for equity infusion of Rs. 50,000 crore (6.67 billion United States dollars) for MSMEs through Fund of Funds (FoF). This will establish a framework to help MSMEs in capacity augmentation. This will also provide an opportunity to get listed in stock exchanges.”

Both the decisions were part of the government’s relief package, which was announced by federal finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month to support the battered economy in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday launched the technology platform CHAMPIONS, a one-stop-shop solution of the MSME Ministry that would attempt to make smaller entrepreneurships evolve and grow by solving their grievances. The acronym CHAMPIONS stands for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength.

This information and communications technology-based system has been set up to help the MSMEs in the present difficult situation and also to handhold them to become national and international champions, an official statement said.

Government says MSMEs are the backbone of Indian economy. As per official estimates, MSMEs have a crucial role to play in building a stronger and self-reliant India. “These small economic engines have a huge impact on the country’s GDP-making a contribution of 29 percent. They contribute to almost half of exports from the country. Additionally, more than 110 million people are employed in the MSME sector,” official data reveals.

The government has also approved to hike the minimum support price of 14 Kharif crops. The hike will increase farmers’ profit by 50 to 83 percent. Kharif crops are the crops that are sown before monsoon in India.


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NCWS calls on Edo Govt. to fish out killers of UNIBEN undergraduate



The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has called on Edo Government to ensure that killers of Vera Omozuwa, a 100-level Microbiology student of University of Benin (UNIBEN) are brought to book.
The President NCWS, Mrs Laraba Shoda, made the call in statement on Monday in Abuja.
The 22-years-old undergraduate was gang-raped and had her head smashed with a fire extinguisher by unidentified assailants inside a Pentecostal church in Ikpoba Hill in Benin, Edo, where she had gone to read.
The victim was attacked on May 13; she died on May 31 at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
Shoda, who condemned the action, said such act should not be condoned in the society.
According to her, the news of death of Omozuwa, a 100-level Microbiology student of UNIBEN is shocking and disheartening.
“This goes a long way to show how bad our society has become. People no longer have the fear of God to have raped a girl in a church and murder her.
“We are facing many social vices on top of the current COVID-19 pandemic which is already hard on everyone, compounding it with inflicting additional pain on any families and the society is simply wicked.
“I am calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands in condemning this act, it can happen to anyone.
“It is high time that government at all levels strengthened our security operatives. Our core values of know your neighbours should also be activated to help curb some of these vices,” she said.
Shoda commiserated with the bereaved family on the loss of their daughter and prayed to God to grant her soul peaceful rest.

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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Edo Gov Poll: INEC set up dedicated portal for form submission 



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has set up a dedicated portal through which political parties contesting for Edo governorship scheduled for Sept 19, will submit the nomination forms of their candidates.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday, during  the first virtual consultative meeting of the commission with leaders of political parties.


Yakubu, however, warned political parties against changes in the date for the conduct of their primaries for the election, as the portal would be automatically shutdown on the scheduled dates.



“Party primaries for the nomination of candidates for the Edo Governorship election begin tomorrow. Already, some political parties have invited the commission to monitor their primaries which must be conducted from 2nd to 27th June 2020.

” This time around, the submission of nomination forms will be done online for which a dedicated portal has been set up.

“Let me therefore warn political parties that intend to field candidates for the election to strictly adhere to these dates as well as the new online procedure for filing of nominations. Any party that operates outside these dates will only have itself to blame.

“The portal will automatically shutdown on the scheduled date and at the fixed hour. The Legal Department and ICT will brief this meeting on the new procedure,” Yakubu said.

The chairman advised parties on the need to conduct rancour-free primaries, and to  avoid acts of thuggery, brigandage, vote-buying and other sundry violations of the Electoral Act.

Yakubu also directed parties that opted for direct primaries to provide the commission with the list of their registered members, while those going for indirect primaries must also provide INEC with the list of their delegates.

“As we monitor the conduct of party primaries, we will pay particular attention to your compliance with the law and to consider sanctions so that the unruly behaviour of some party supporters is not carried forward to the main election.

“At the same time, I wish to appeal to political parties that opt for direct primaries to avail us with the register of members to be used for the election from Ward to Local Government and State levels for the effective discharge of our monitoring responsibilities under the law.

“Those that opt for indirect primaries should similarly make available to the commission,  the list of delegates for the election. Doing otherwise will amount to going into an election without the voters’ register.

“The commission makes available to each political party, the complete register of voters before every major election. We expect political parties to reciprocate for their primaries,” he said.

Yakubu disclosed that the commission had already carried out the first out of the 14 activities it lined up for Edo governorship election, as the notice for the election (Form EC60A) had been pasted in its Edo state office.

The INEC chairman, who stressed the need for a national conversation around the frequency of bye-elections in Nigeria, said in the month of May 2020 alone, five members of State Houses of Assembly passed on.

He added that since December 2019, a period of six months, twelve members of the National and State Houses of Assembly had similarly passed on.

“This is in addition to the resignation of two Senators from Bayelsa who have since been sworn-in as Governor and Deputy Governor of the state.

“The cost of conducting these bye-elections to the commission, the security agencies, political parties and candidates, election observers, the media, litigations (both pre-election and post-election) and disruption of activities as a result of the restriction of movement on election day is enormous.

“There is no election season in Nigeria any longer. The commission is busy conducting elections all-year round between one general election and another.

“This often diverts our attention away from reform, innovation, peer learning and planning for the consolidation of our electoral process.

“The commission is going to open a discussion with stakeholders and the National Assembly for necessary reforms toward more cost-effective and democratic options,” he said.

Yakubu welcomed the input of party leaders to the new policy for conducting elections under the COVID-19 pandemic recently released by the commission.

In his response, Interim National Chairman, Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), Dr Leonard Nzenwa, commended INEC for its policy for conducting elections under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nzenwa, who is also the National Chairman, African Action Congress (AAC), said organising elections in a pandemic era and in an national emergency period would no doubt be an uphill task.

” For undertaking elections in normal period has never been easy, and definitely will not be less daunting this season.

“It is in the light of this, we, the political parties will  want to commend INEC for the bold step it has taken to come up early with a well-heeled policy on conducting elections in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

” Indeed, the measures outlined to tame the scourge in the document is realistic, exhaustive, health-sensitive, safety-induced and in tune with reality of the times.

“Our checks so far show that globally,   INEC is the first national election organising body to have done this, not even USA, India, Pakistan has codified effort to respond maximally, politics-wise to the pandemic in an enclosed one-all document as it did. And this was done swiftly!

“It is also gratifying to note that the document received  wide commendation across board and is now being  referenced. And last week we commended the commission via a plethora of media for its effort.

“From high-end issues as health and safety concerns, legal matters, election planning and implementation to elections operations to materials handling, staff management and ad hoc recruitment

” Placement to logistic, transportation and passenger management to queuing arrangement in polling units, crucial areas in pre and post election preparation and management were properly captured,” he said.

Nzenwa,  however, called on INEC to be ready, and willing to review some aspects of the policy document regarding  concerned misgivings by stakeholders who strongly felt that some of its provisions might not be feasible when it was lifted from paper for implementation.

He expressed the resolve of IPAC to work with INEC in deepening engagement with all stakeholders, especially the electorate by properly informing them about their roles and responsibilities during election in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

He urged INEC to ensure that minimal discomfort was imposed on voters and other stakeholders in its quest to ensure that the nation had credible and acceptable polls during the Edo, Ondo and other by-elections.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Court bars Edo Govt, Gov. Obaseki from prosecuting Oshiomhole 



A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has restrained  the Edo Government and Gov Godwin Obaseki from arresting and prosecuting the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole.

NAN reports that a panel of inquiry set up by the state government headed by Justice J.U Oyomire, had in a white paper indicted Oshiomhole and recommended that criminal proceedings be commenced against him.

Oshiomhole, in an Ex parte motion, through his counsel, Mr Ehiogie West- Idahosa, asked the court to stop his arrest and prosecution on account of the report.

The Edo government, however through its counsel Mr Alex Ejeiseme, SAN, went to the court with a preliminary objection to stop the ex parte order from being heard.

Ejeiseme argued that since he was challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter, the court must determine the issue of jurisdiction before entertaining any other application.

He agreed that he had not been served the applicant’s processes, but that he responded based on an online version he had printed.

Following listening to arguments by parties, Justice Ahmed Mohammed ordered respondents in the matter not to take any decision on the matter pending the determination of the issue of jurisdiction.

”An interim order is hereby made restraining the prosecution of the applicant pursuant to the report submitted to the 1st to 3rd respondents or any white paper, pending the determination of the issue of jurisdiction raised in the 1st to 4th respondents’ notice of preliminary objection, the judge said.

The court also directed Oshiomhole’s counsel to serve all the respondents his processes within 48 hours.

Also named as respondents in the suit are the Attorney- General and Commissioner of Justice for Edo, Justice J.U Oyomire, Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services.

Justice Mohammed later adjourned the matter until June 17.

Edited to Abiodun Esan/Sadiya Hamza



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



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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Namibia new central bank governor assumes duties




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.


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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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General news

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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