By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, July 9, 2020 (NAN) The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says it will engage Vice President and Chairman, National Economic Council, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to facilitate states’ representation in the implementation committee of Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).
The 36 state governors disclosed this in a communiqué issued on Thursday in Abuja by the NGF Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, after its 12th COVID-19 teleconference meeting.
The governors also advocated for the need to revitalise Nigeria’s Mortgage Bank to support the government’s ambitious housing programme, and the importance of the N2 trillion Nigeria Infrastructure Investment Fund to stimulate the economy.
It noted that the forum endorsed the work of Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State-led NGF Sub-Committee on COVID-19, which earlier provided an update on the implementation of the Final Report of the NEC ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19.
The report, according to the communique, contains the “Outbreak and Responding to the Adverse Economic Effects”, which was presented to Osinbajo in March 2020.
It quoted El-Rufai noting that the recommendations of the report have been integrated into the Nigeria ESP.
The governors also resolved to collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to support the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme through a statewide adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
“The forum also resolved to ease gas pipeline right-of-way applications and encouraging the micro stove assembly for small businesses, including facilitating training for gas operators.
“NGF also resolved to collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure the implementation of the five per cent user charge on the pump price of petrol and the international vehicle transit charge to better fund road projects in Nigeria.
The communique noted that Oliver Stolpe, Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nigeria, and Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) at the meeting presented findings of the second Corruption Survey in Nigeria.
“The survey showed that the incidence of bribery had decreased since 2016 when the survey was first conducted, from 32.3 per cent to 30.2 per cent.
“Although the second corruption survey focused on Federal Government agencies, NGF members resolved to collaborate with UNODC to strengthen public complaints mechanisms across State MDAs.
“This is given that state institutions, businesses and households are affected by bribe seeking among public sector officials.”
It disclosed that the governor also endorsed the report of NGF Sub-Committee led by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, interfacing with the PTF on COVID-19 to provide a coordinated strategy between the Federal and State Governments to ease the lockdown and open the economy.
The forum encouraged state governments to ramp up testing to curb the spread of the virus especially amongst those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly, given the rise in the community spread of coronavirus cases with mild or no symptom.
It stated that the meeting deliberated on the COVID-19 pandemic and the new strategy being rolled out by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) to address the spread of the pandemic.
“Local Government Areas with high burden of diseases (Hotspot) have been identified and targeted with interventions.
“They are targeted with interventions such as increased testing and promotion of non-pharmaceutical intervention including hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, mandatory masking in public and partial or total lockdown restricting movement,” it stated. (NAN)
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
Senator calls for deployment of more policemen to areas under bandits attacks
Sen. Ibrahim Gobir, Chairman, Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, has urged the Federal Government to deploy more policemen to areas under bandits attacks in the country.
Gobir made the call when the members of Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Sokoto State chapter paid him a Sallah homage at his resident in Sokoto on Tuesday.
The lawmaker said that deployment of more security personnel would give residents of such areas more courage and confidence to resume normal activities.
“The issues of banditry and kidnapping are challenges that involve the whole society which requires very urgent intervention.
“It is very unfortunate that things are getting out of hand, because some years back if somebody said such things would happen it would be very difficult to agree.
“Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah), so far so good, as security agencies have succeeded a lot toward restoring peace in some affected areas of the country.
“Things are actively becoming under control in most of the areas, as such we appeal for more commitment to enhance the success.
“This could be achieved by ensuring more police personnel are deployed to the effected areas to give more courage to the people in order to return back to their normal activities,” he said.
Gobir further said that there was no reason for any government to consider negotiations with bandits as an alternative to ending banditry in the country.
“I don’t believe in negotiation with bandits. There is no reason to go on negotiation with criminals that killed and destabilised the living standard of innocent citizens in this country.
“So, government should continue to fight such elements to the end. They have made a lot of damage to the society, instigate fear and trauma in the people of the effected areas,” he added.
Earlier, Vice-Chairman of the Chapel, Malam Ismail Umar, expressed appreciation to the senator for granting them audience, assuring him of their commitment towards restoring peace and unity among the people of the state.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Court remands “spiritualist” for allegedly obtaining N2m from woman
A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Geagwalada, FCT, on Tuesday ordered that a 43-year-old man, Friday George be remanded in police custody for allegedly cheating and fraudulently obtaining N2 million from a woman.
The police charged the defendant, who resides in Banode Estate, Bida Niger State, with three obtaining, cheating and extortion.
He pleaded not guilty.
Magistrate Yusuf Ibrahim adjourned the case until Aug. 26 for hearing.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Abudullahi Tanko, told the court that one Bode Adebayo of Blantyre street Wuse II, Abuja and two reported the matter on July 15, 2020.
Tanko alleged that the accused sometime in 2009 approached Adebayo’s sister, Alice, with the intention to defraud her.
He further alleged that the defendant, dishonestly “hypnotized” her into thinking that he was a “spiritual man of God”.
He alleged that the defendant told Alice that God instructed him to avert her problems and bring her vision to reality.
The prosecution counsel added that the defendant also promised to revive her dead father which he claimed to have restored him back to life.
He alleged that the defendant intentionally cheated them by extorting about N2 million from them for sacrifice, cleansing, feeding and treatment for the revived father.
The prosecution counsel added that the said money was also meant to secure a job for one Rebecca Adebayo and Tony Adams with the Nigeria Immigration Service.
He said that during police investigation the defendant confessed to have brainwashed and collected huge amount of money from them.
The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 176, 320 and 292 of the Penal Code.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
China’s Qingdao appoint Wu as head coach to replace Machin
Promoted Qingdao had terminated the contract of former Sevilla and Espanyol boss Machin last month after one of his relatives had tested positive for COVID-19, preventing the Spaniard from travelling to China to take up the job.
The club confirmed the appointment of Wu in a post.
Wu, who has had multiple spells as Shanghai boss, guided the team to the Chinese FA Cup title in 2017 and was appointed their technical director the following year.
The 59-year-old has also managed Zhejiang Greentown and had a brief stint as Shandong Luneng caretaker boss in 2012.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Police begin investigation into alleged killing of youth in Delta
The Police in Delta has begun investigation into the alleged murder of a youth in Ozoro, headquarters of Isoko North Local Government Area of the state.
NAN recalls that some youths in Ozoro took to the street on Monday in protest over alleged extortion and intimidation by the police in the community.
The man whose identity is yet to be known was allegedly shot to death during the protest.
Onovwakpoyeya said the essence of the investigation was to uncover the identity of the deceased and the circumstances that led to his death.
“It was a violent protest, investigation has started to find out who actually shot him, we do not want to be hasty to issue a statement, we will speak at the appropriate time.
“The video I saw on the internet on Monday did not show any policeman, I know that if this kind of thing happened, the crowd will hold the person hostage,” he said.
Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)