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Ministerial nominee: Gov. Oyetola congratulates Aregbesola



Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun has congratulated his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola, over his nomination as minister by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oyetola in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Adeniyi Adesina, on Thursday in Osogbo described Aregbesola’s nomination as worthwhile.

Oyetola said: “He is a man of ideas who will deliver in any ministry where he is posted.

“It is time for the nation to benefit from his large capacity to perform which he demonstrated as a public servant in Lagos and Osun states.”


COVID-19: Support FCTA, Ministerial committee urges Abuja residents



The FCT Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19 has urged Abuja residents to support the efforts of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in the ongoing fight against the pandemic in the territory.

The Chairman of the committee, Dr Aliyu Modibbo, gave the advice in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.

Modibbo stressed the need for FCT residents to abide by the health regulations issued by healthcare professionals and obey the Federal Government’s order to stay at home.

He assured the residents that nothing would be spared to ensure their safety during “this period of uncertainty.”

Modibbo explained that in a bid to contain and ultimately eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic in Abuja, the FCT administration had embarked on several measures.

He listed some of the measures to include scaling up the capacity as well as ensuring compliance with health advisory and the readiness of various actors to tackle COVID-19.

“Some of the major actions undertaken by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, include ensuring early tracking of suspected carriers and their contacts; adequate provision and equipping of new isolation centres and expanding the capacity of the existing ones.

“Provision of additional bed space and equipping of the primary isolation centre at Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital with a newly- acquired 350KVA generator set.

“Ensuring provision of adequate bed spaces and medical equipment to other hospitals, including Asokoro General Hospital, Garki Hospital as well as Karu and Zuba General Hospitals, to be able to handle COVID-19 cases,” he said.

Aside the ongoing training of 300 nurses, 100 doctors, 15 pharmacists, 137 laboratory scientists and 100 support staff, Modibbo said that plans had also been made for provision of more COVID-19 testing centres, in collaboration with the National Centre for Disease Control.

According to him, the FCT currently has two centers, that is, the NCDC testing centre and the Mogadishu Cantonment testing Centre.

He explained that the aim was to provide five more, which would bring the total number of the testing centres to seven.

Modibbo also said that plans were underway to increase the number of sample collection centers in order to increase the turnaround and response time.

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

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General news

COVID-19: Ministerial task force warns Kuje residents against violating restriction order



The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministerial Task Force Team has warned Kuje residents against violating the 14-day lock down order by the Federal Government to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the FCT.

Mr Ikharo Attah, Chairman of the team, gave the warning on Friday, in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency , after a monitoring the operations carried out to check the level of compliance in the area.

According to him, it is necessary for the residents to adhere strictly to the restriction directive and take precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the FCT.

NAN reports that President Muhammad Buhari had, on Sunday, directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, effective from March 30, to check the spread of the disease.

“The residents should obey the restriction order and be resolute at this period, as the only way to tackle and win the war against the virus.

“They should imbibe best hygiene practices, as directed by medical professionals to avoid contracting the virus.

“They should also endeavour to wash their hands regularly, use hand sanitisers and maintain social distancing.

“They should adhere strictly to safety tips and take proactive measures to help stop the spread of the disease in the FCT,” he counseled.

Attah explained that the team had continued to sensitise and educate the FCT residents on the dangers associated with the virus, saying that it was important to adhere strictly to all the safety protocols.

He warned that any resident, who violated all the warnings and government’s order, would face the wrath of the law, stressing that all hands must be on deck now to fight the virus.

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

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FCT Ministerial monitoring team takes COVID-19 sensitisation campaign to Kuje



The Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Ministerial Monitoring Team, on Tuesday, took its sensitisation campaign on Covid-19 to residents of Kuje Area Council.

The Ministerial Monitoring Team led by Mr Sunday Zaka, said the sensitisation was aimed at educating the residents on preventive measures through frequent hand washing with soap and water and social distancing.

Zaka, in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency urges residents of Kuje to 

to heed the Federal Government’s stay-at-home order.

He encourage residents to be part of the solution, not the problem, in stopping COVID-19

“The Federal Government and FCT Administration is prepared at all levels.

“As you can see today we have embarked on sensitisation programme  on the need to stay at home also adopt the government guidelines in order to control this deadly virus.

“The message is very simple. You must stay at home and keep away from social gatherings and all that.

“We have given a guideline that people should follow, keep a social distance between you and the next person and they should be total move from the road,” he said.

According to him, it is necessary for the residents to adhere strictly to the restriction directive and take precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

He said all hands must be on deck to contain and win the war against COVID-19 pandemic by maintaining social distances and personal hygiene.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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Coronavirus – Ethiopia: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held a virtual meeting with the COVID-19 Ministerial Committee




Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed held a virtual meeting with the COVID-19 Ministerial Committee to discuss progress and provide additional direction and measures in the prevention and containment COVID-19.

Considering that the number of positive cases has increased to a total of 16 as at March 27, 2020 and to ensure that these numbers do not increase exponentially, the Federal government has been taking heightened precautions to ensure that enough preventative measures have been taken.

Following discussions held, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the following additional key measures and calls for action:

  1. As of this afternoon, recent arrivals to Addis Ababa who cannot afford tob quarantined in the various hotels identified, will b transferred to Adarna Science and Technology University (ASTU) for the 15 days mandatory quarantine period upon arrival.
  2. Two-week extension of school closures as of today, including higher learning institutions.
  3. Strict adherence to social distancing protocols is expected within market areas and religious establishments. The Federal Government has been granted a constitutional mandate to halt religious gatherings in titles of grave national emergencies. But before enacting these constitutional measures, it once again appeals to all citizens that they are practicing social distancing protocols.
  4. Calls upon all retired and in-training medical professionals to prepare for national duty if the situation warrants such extra support.
  5. More than 134 facilities have been identified for quarantine, isolation and treatment but with varying levels of equipment. Therefore, the governrnent calls upon all citizens to strengthen the efforts of the national resource mobilization committee which is in the process of finding materials like beds, mattresses, bed sheets, ventilators and other medical and non-medical supplies. Ethiopia: A New Horizon of Hope” height=”9″ src=”file:///C:/Users/DELL/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif” width=”213″ />6. The macro-economic sub-committee has been undertaking dialogue with key industry stakeholders in various sectors to craft a way forward in safeguarding the economy. As a result, the following measures will also be undertaken to stabilize the economy:
  6. The macro-economic sub-committee has been undertaking dialogue with key industry stakeholders in various sectors to craft a way forward in safeguarding the economy. As a result, the following measures will also be undertaken to stabilize the economy:
    a. Tax exemption for the import of materials and equipment to be used in the prevention and containment of #COVI D-19.
    b. National Bank of Ethiopia to avail Birr 15 billion liquidity for private banks to enable them to provide debt relief and additional loans to their customers in need.
    c. Banks to avail foreign currency for importers primarily importing goods and input materials for the prevention of KOVID-19.
    d. Commercial Bank of Ethiopia to Increase the amount of money individuals can transfer through mobile banking, to limit in-person cash handling
    e. Removal of the minimum price set by the National Bank of Ethiopia on the horticulture sector for flower exports
    f. The Ministry of Revenue to expedite VAT returns to support companies with cash flows
    g. The Ministry of Trade and Industry to continue strengthening the measures it is undertaking to control price increments and supply shortages of consumer goods

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Ondo govt. sets up ministerial committee to tackle coronavirus



The Ondo State Government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to ensure proactive measures to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus and stem  possible outbreak in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahaab Adegbenro said this on Tuesday at the maiden meeting of the committee.

Adegbenro said it could be assumed that COVID 19, which was capable of wiping out humanity, was in the state since neighbouring states already had confirmed cases.

He said the fact that the state did not have a confirmed case did not mean that the state was free as there might be cases that were not yet manifesting symptoms.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the terms of reference of the committee included activation, coordination and driving of response protocols, and coordination response to COVID 19 challenges.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye lamented the intermingling of Nigerians based abroad with residents of the state at social functions unchecked.

Adeyeye said the trend was dangerous and must be checked urgently as it was putting the state at risk.

The Director, Orientation and Mobilisation of the Ministry of Information, Mr Bodunde Aladejimokun harped on the need for intensive sensitisation of residents even at the grassroots.

Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Grace Yussuf









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General news

Engineering Day: Engineers sensitise students, seek ministerial appointment



Some members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Oluyole Branch, Ibadan, have underscored the importance of engineering to national development.

Oluyemi Morakinyo and Abiodun Alli, both members of the branch, spoke in Ibadan on Wednesday during a sensitisation exercise at the Methodist High School, Ibadan.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the exercise was held to commemorate the first celebrated World Engineering Day declared by UNESCO in September 2019.

Morakinyo, a structural engineer, said the importance of engineering could not be over emphasised in the development of any society.

“We are creating the awareness that engineers have a great part to play in the development of the society.

“We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law Executive Orders Five, Seven and so on which seek to project the discipline of engineering.

“The latest was made in December  2019 whereby engineering graduates must now be posted to engineering concerns during their service year and not to schools again,” he said.

Morakinyo said the present administration had also done well by empowering the Council of Regulatory Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to identify building defects and prosecute where necessary.

He noted that this was not the case before now, adding that engineers now have a larger role to play in the development of the country.

Alli, on his part, stated that the Engineering Day was about inspiring people to become engineers.

He, however, said the government could do more by engaging engineers in the country, especially in ministerial appointments.

“The government can further engage engineers, for instance, in appointing them as ministers, particularly as the Minster of Works and Housing.

“It would be better to pick the best brain among engineers who knows the nitty gritty about the job so that whatever convention that would be given to the government would suit Nigeria’s context.

“I recall that it was only during the regime of Buhari/Idiagbon that an engineer was made the Minister of Works and Housing,” he said.

Alli said sustaining this situation would undermine the competence of engineers and could mislead whoever was appointed as the Minister of Works and Housing.

“It means he will first go and hold a meeting with some engineers and if they are not the best, they will never give the best advice,” he said.

Edited By: Moses Solanke/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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FG inaugurates Inter-Ministerial Committee on 25 million trees




The Federal Government has inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to implement President Muhammadu Buhari‘s plans for 25 million trees in the country.

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Environment, inaugurated the committee on Thursday in Abuja.

Abubakar said that the move was imperative to mitigate the effects of climate change and enhance the country’s carbon sink and in furtherance to its commitment to address effect of climate change.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that Buhari had promised at the 74th United Nations General Assembly that Nigeria would plant 25 million trees to address deforestation, climate change and increase carbon sink among others.

Membership of the committee include -Office of the Minister of Environment, State Minister’s office, office of the Permanent Secretary, Department of Forestry, Climate Change Unit, Drought and Desertification Amelioration as well National Park Services.

Others are National Agency for the Great Green Wall, Representatives of Governors Forum, Civil Society Organisations, the private sector, Wood Export Association, Dangote Foundation and Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Women Affairs.

The Minister added that the action was also part of Nigeria’s commitment to restore 4million hectares of degraded land to fulfill its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and adhere to the Paris Agreement.

“These collective efforts are further strengthened by successes recorded in the Green Bonds and on-going afforestation and reforestation efforts by various departments and agencies to ensure a resilient future that mainstreams climate risks in our decision making.

“Nigeria will continue to provide the leadership toward ecological restoration and recharge of Lake Chad which is expected to improve the livelihoods of inhabitants of the areas, promote inter-state cooperation among others,” he said.

He said towards acualising the plan, the ministry would collaborate with the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sport,Women Affairs, Humanitarian affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to provide the required leadership role.

He also urged the committee to look at possibilities of accessing the 2019 budget regarding afforestation for the purpose of raising seedlings across the country.

Prof. Adeshola Adepoju, the Director General, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) said Nigeria had made giant stride towards actualising the 25 million trees by inaugurating the committee.

Adepoju, Chairman of the committee said the last time Nigeria had massive afforestation was in 1986 during the regime of retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

He said agencies like forestry department, the green great wall among had collected almost 20 million seedlings that would be used for the afforestation programme.

Edited by: Hawa Lawal/Ali Baba-Inuwa


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Oil & Gas

DPR aligns with ministerial mandate for oil, gas sector – Shakur



The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has aligned its deliverables with the ministerial mandate for the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

Mr Paul Osu, Head, Public Affairs, DPR in a statement issued on Friday in Lagos said the agency’s Director, Mr Rufai Shakur, made this known at the DPR Strategic Management Retreat in Abuja.

Shakur said the objective of the retreat was to cascade down the ministerial mandate to all staffers of the agency.

He said it was also to enable DPR provide the necessary regulatory oversight for the oil and gas sector and achieve the next level agenda of the government.

Shakur said the ministerial deliverables include eradication of smuggling of petrol across Nigerian borders and complete gas flare commercialisation programme.

According to him, they also include increase in crude oil production to three million barrels, reduction in the cost of oil extraction, promoting the passage of the petroleum industry bill, increasing domestic refining capacity and creating jobs for Nigerian youths.

He said that the strategic management retreat would further assist the DPR to sustain the tempo of ongoing reforms in the agency, which was geared toward aligning with the agency’s vision of being a world class regulatory agency.

Shakur tasked the top management of the agency to ensure total alignment of their divisions and zones to the ministerial deliverables as it had been embedded into the DPR’s corporate strategy.

Also, Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, who was the special guest commended DPR for the retreat.

Sylva noted that there must be a shared vision by all players in the industry for progress to be achieved.

He emphasised that the ministerial deliverables must cascade down to all staff as it was the duty of everyone to ensure the success of the mandate.

The minister recalled that the deliverables was a product of the ministerial retreat he had earlier in the year, and reiterated that DPR, being the core of the oil and gas sector of Nigeria, must ensure the successful delivery of the mandate.

He enjoined the department to swing into action as he had dubbed 2020 the year to deliver and begin the actualisation of the oil and gas industry roadmap.

Edited by: Emmanuel Okara/Oluwole Sogunle


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Netanyahu to give up ministerial portfolios by Jan. 1



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the Justice Ministry on Thursday that he would give up his ministerial portfolios by Jan. 1, in light of corruption charges against him.

In addition to the post of Prime Minister, which he would retain, Netanyahu currently acts as Minister for welfare, Diaspora Affairs, Agriculture and Health.

The Justice Ministry said in a statement that Netanyahu would also appoint his replacements by Jan. 1.

Netanyahu’s move comes in response to a petition filed by the good-governance group Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel to the Supreme Court to have him removed from office.

The country will hold an unprecedented third election within a year on March 2, after the Knesset voted to dissolve itself Thursday amid a political stalemate that had grasped Israel since September elections.

Under Israeli law, Netanyahu does not have to step down as Prime Minister if indicted and vowed not to give up the position.

However, legal precedent stipulates that ministers cannot hold on to their position when they are on trial.

In November, Israel’s Attorney-General announced that Netanyahu would be charged with fraud, breach of trust and bribery in three separate cases, making him Israel’s first sitting premier to face indictment.

Netanyahu recently spoke of a “witch hunt” and “coup attempt” against him, and has repeatedly hurled attacks at Israel’s Justice Ministry.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim

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