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President Buhari approves procedure for appointment of new Perm Secs



President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the procedure for the appointment of new permanent secretaries to fill the existing vacancies in 16 states of the federation.

In a statement signed by Mrs Olawunmi Ogunmosunle, Director of Information, office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), on Tuesday in Abuja, the affected states are Kwara, Kebbi, Abia, Anambra and Cross  River.

Others are Kaduna,  Kano, Oyo, Rivers,  Sokoto, Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe  and Jigawa, Zamfara  and  Kogi.

Ogunmosunle said President has also given approval for the commencement of the process for the selection of eligible Directors to fill various vacancies.

According to her, officers from the under listed states in the main stream of the Federal Civil Service, who attained the substantive rank of director, on Salary Grade level 17 on or before Jan. 1, 201 8,  will also participate in the exercise.

She added that they are eligible to participate if they are not retiring  from the service earlier than, or on  Dec. 31,  2021, and who  had  updated  their  records  on  the  IPPIS Verification Portal.

The states are Kwara, Kebbi, Abia, Anambra, Cross  River, Kaduna, Kano, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kogi States.

“Accordingly, Ministries/Offices are requested to forward the list of all eligible directors on SGL 17 in their Ministrys and Offices.

” Their confidential and personal files; twenty (20) copies of their Curriculum Vitae; brief on each of the directors in the attached format, to be produced in microsoft word and submitted in both hard (20) copies and soft copies .

“The soft copies are to be sent in a flash drive and also forwarded to [email protected]

“Evidence of State of origin which, in the case of female directors, is not acquired by marriage is also to be produced, ” she said.

According to her, the documents must reach the office of the Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office (CMO), office of the HOCSF 4th Floor; Block A, Federal Secretariat Phase ll on or before 4 p.m. on Friday,  April 24, 2020.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza


Mozambican president launches national independence celebration




President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi launched Monday the celebrations of the 45th anniversary of national independence, appealing for unity and strengthening efforts to defend territorial sovereignty.

The June 25, which marks the national independence of Mozambique from the Portuguese colonial rule, was the beginning of a new era where Mozambican people became owners of their own destiny, said the head of state from the presidential palace in Maputo.

“Mozambicans will never allow their country to be divided to satisfy the wishes of invaders from whichever origin and nature. They will not tolerate blackmails of cyclical wars promoted by manipulators to feed the ego of internal and external elites,” said Nyusi.

“This date reminds us of the need for us not to give in to the complexity of the challenges that we currently deal with in the construction of our nation. Our cultural mosaic and endless resources are our strength. Only if we value diversity and work as one will we build a resilient and prosperous country,” said the president.

He saluted the young members of armed forces throughout the country especially those who stationed in the central and northern regions where conflicts are reported.


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La Liga president admits match times could change in hot weather



La Liga has taken the unusual step of including temperature predictions in its fixture lists for the remainder of the Spanish football season.

Spanish players union AFE had voiced concern over players playing in extreme heat with the season now extended into the hottest months of the year in Spain.

But La Liga have taken steps to demonstrate that they will not put players’ health at risk from climatic conditions.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “We have worked with the historical (average for time of year) temperatures and with the 15-day forecast.”

Both numbers can be seen alongside each game in the fixture list on La Liga’s web page.

The kick-off time causing most concern is the 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) slot.

Tebas said: “We have seen that on the weekend of June 12 the weather is going to be cool. So, we have programmed games at 1 p.m.

“If the weather changes and the temperature rises, we will move the game to a 5 p.m. slot.

“The 1 p.m. slot is important for our partners (clients) abroad.”

Edited By: Olawale Alabi (NAN)

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Ghanaian president announces gradual easing of COVID-19 measures to restore socio-economic activities




Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced here late Sunday the beginning of a phased easing of the measures instituted in March to combat the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

The president said in his 10th televised address to the nation on the COVID-19 measures that the gradual easing was expected to bring back the country’s social and economic life.

Akufo-Addo ordered schools to start re-opening from June 15 and called for educational authorities to ensure the appropriate enhanced safety protocols and social distancing adherence.

Restaurants could open with the appropriate safety protocols, he added.

The president also assured that the government would continue to repatriate stranded Ghanaians in other countries and quarantine them on arrival.

As of Monday morning, the West African country has recorded a total of 8,070 confirmed cases with 36 deaths.


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Ogbeh drums support for Adesina’s 2nd term as AfDB President



Chief Audu Ogbeh, the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has drummed support for the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

Ogbeh, who succeeded Adesina as minister, told News Agency of Nigeria , that the AfDB president had demonstrated deep concern and understanding of the economic challenges facing the continent.

He said the president had also proven to know the desperate need to find investment capital to stimulate economic growth, especially in the areas of agriculture and infrastructure.

“I speak out in support of Dr Adesina and his continued management of the AfDB.

“I also congratulate African leaders, past and present, who have declared their support for Adesina’s second term in office.

“The truth is that he has demonstrated deep concern and understanding of the economic challenges facing the continent,’’ he said.

Ogbeh described the insistence by the United States for a probe other than the one done by the ethics committee of the Bank as ‘a needle in haystack’ to justify his removal.

According to him, prejudice and scorn for Africa have all combined to keep us down for too long, inflicting pain and penury upon us with no sign of relief in sight.

NAN recalls that Adesina had been accused in a 20-point allegation of non-respect for internal rules and regulations in recruitment, unethical conduct and impediment to efficiency by unnamed employees.

Other allegations are preferential treatment, adversely affecting confidence in integrity, among others.

United States Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had signed a letter to the board rejecting an internal investigation that cleared Adesina.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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COVID-19 hotspots in South Africa may be placed on higher alert level: president




Some COVID-19 hotspots in South Africa may be placed on a higher alert if special interventions fail to contain the pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

Different approaches have been introduced to deal with high-infection areas, known as hotspots, and low-infection areas, which require vigilance and surveillance, Ramaphosa said during a virtual engagement with the South African National Editors Forum.

The remarks came a day before the country is set to lower the alert level from four to three, under which 8 million people will be allowed to return to work as most economic sectors in the country reopen.

“We are re-opening most areas of the economy so that people can earn a living, and so that this immediate health crisis does not result in a permanent economic crisis,” Ramaphosa said.

But hotspots where confirmed cases rise at a fast rate remain a concern, particularly after the further easing of restrictions, the president said.

Special interventions will be made in hotspot areas by deploying dedicated, multidisciplinary teams to contain the outbreak, including epidemiologists, doctors, nurses and community health workers, he added.

As of Sunday, the country reported 32,683 cases of COVID-19 with 683 deaths. The Western Cape, the hardest-hit province, recorded 21,382 cases with 503 deaths.

“It is of utmost importance that we reduce the rate of spread in the Western Cape and we do everything possible to prevent other parts of the country from following a similar trajectory,” Ramaphosa said.

Each hotspot will be linked to testing and quarantine facilities, and additional hospital beds when necessary, with a close focus on tracing contacts and isolating them so as to prevent further transmission, Ramaphosa said.


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AfDB: Sierra Leone president assures Adesina of country’s support



President Julius Maad Bio of Sierra Leone has assured President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, of his support and that of his country for his quality leadership.

Bio joined other African leaders to rally support for embattled Adesina in his verified Twitter Handle accessed by the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday.

NAN recalls that United States Department of Treasury had called for an independent probe corruption allegations levelled against the AfDB president after being cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.

“Be assured of my and country’s staunch, conference and unflinching support for your bold and progressive leadership of AfDB,” the president stated.

NAN reports this was coming less than 48 hours after about 15 former presidents of African countries rallied support for Adesina.

Similarly, Ambassador Harold Doley, the United States (U.S) first ever Representative to the AfDB, also urged President Donald Trump’s administration to support Adesina.

Doley, who said supporting AfDB was a good business for America, noted that since taking office in 2015, the current president of the bank had rapidly restructured the bank and refined its focus through a high5 strategy.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Military units respond firmly to terrorist attacks in Mozambique: president




Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said Sunday that the country’s military units are responding firmly and bravely to the terrorist attacks in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Speaking to the national radio station while on a work visit in that province over the weekend, Nyusi said the results of military operations are encouraging.

“We have information that superior members of the enemy force have been shot down. Morale is good,” said Nyusi, adding that “the last battles fought by the Defense and Security Forces were huge, they were very productive.”

Nyusi said works are effective by authorities based in Cabo Delgado on the ground, in the districts of Mocimboa, Quissanga, Muidumbe and Macomia, where the armed terrorists have perpetrated attacks.

President Nyusi met with senior figures of the Defense and Security Forces in Cabo Delgado accompanied by the ministers of defense and interior.


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Adesina: HURIWA asks President Trump to call America’s representative at AfDB to order



Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a Civil Rights Advocacy group has urged President Donald Trump to call its Executive Director at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Stephen Dowd to order.

Mr Emma Onwubiko, the National Coordinator of HURIWA gave the advice in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday.

NAN recalls that the United States Department of Treasury had called for an independent probe of allegations levelled against Dr Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president on alleged corruption after being cleared by the bank’s ethics committee.

Onwubiko said he didn’t believe the United States could be directly involved in this crisis but alleged that it was from individuals with clandestine agenda that was unfavourable to Africa.

He explained that if U.S didn’t call its representative to order, it would expose the country to public ridicule and as well hurt American’s interest in Africa.

According to him, the mission for probe of Adesina is to discredit the candidacy of the AfDB boss, thereby, stopping his re-election slated for August.

The coordinator said that these futile attempts to discredit Adesina with frivolous allegations about his style of governance had already been put to bed by the Ethics Committee of the Bank.

He added that the Ethics Committee comprised the Executive Directors from all 81 shareholding countries, adding that it was surprising that in spite of this, the United States executive director at the bank was calling for an independent probe, which he said was unheard of in the history of multilateral banks.

“This is a distraction from the strong corporate governance structure that African Heads of State established at the bank.

“We vehemently frown upon attempts to mislead and arm-twist the Treasury Secretary of the United States to discredit the internal governance system put in place by the founders of the Bank.

“By misleading the Treasury into his personal battle, the United States executive director has displayed desperation and confirmed the popular belief that he was indeed the unseen hand in the petitions against President Adesina.

HURIWA affirmed that there are empirical data that have shown that the bank has done tremendously well under President Adesina since he assumed office in 2015.

“It must be restated that it was in recognition of this sterling stewardship that the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States have unanimously endorsed Adesina for a second term in office.

HURIWA believes that as COVID-19 ravages economies, the U.S government has many countries looking up to it to provide leadership in finding a cure, and remain a global power.

“This is not the time for America to allow its name to be dragged in the mud by its seemingly overzealous representative on the board of a critical institution as the AfDB,’’ he stated.

Edited By: Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

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General news

President Buhari receives 4th Interim Report on COVID-19 from PTF



President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday received the fourth reports of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19  at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, applauding the team for a job well done.

Speaking to State Correspondents at the end of the closed-door meeting, PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, said he presented the progress and challenges recorded by the PTF to the President.

According to him, the team also offered suggestions on ways forward in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, quoted the President as applauding the achievements of the PTF and other frontline workers and stakeholders.

“What we basically did was to submit the fourth interim report to him and to appraise him of the progress that has been achieved in the course of the last two weeks of the extension of the eased phase one of the lockdown.

“We also discussed some of the challenges that we’ve had and suggested what we need to put in place, going forward.

“As far as the work of the PTF is concerned, he was upfront with commendations.

He (Buhari) assured us that the nation is fully behind us in the work that he has charged us to do and that he’s also appreciative of the work of the frontline workers, particularly the medical personnel, the security personnel and the people who come in contact with the patients in the time of collection of samples, the testing and the care that they are giving,’’ Mustapha said.

According to him, PTF also discussed the issue of compliance and the President said “we should continue to appeal to Nigerians and drive home the point that it’s a personal responsibility for each and every Nigerian to undertake to ensure that he keeps himself safe and by extension keeping his family, loved ones and community safe’’.

He assured that the PTF would continue to drive the message.

“It’s a message of persuasion; it’s a message that should make people take personal responsibility for their own protection and health and we will not relent on that’’.

On the deliberate refusal of Kogi and Cross River states to be in tune with the present reality in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, Mustapha said that the issue was discussed during the PTF meeting with the president.

“We discussed challenges generally and I believe that in the context of those discussions, certain steps will be taken.

“We are doing everything to ensure that the entire nation is on the same page with one response.

“It is very important that we realise that no state is an island unto itself, when you deal with public health matters.

“Whatever happens in a particular locality has the consequences of spilling off to other constituencies.

“That is the message that we’ll continue to drive in our pursuit of getting everybody to be on board.

“I can assure you that there’s no island that exists as far as COVID-19 is concerned in this country.

“We must integrate all the responses from the different segments of the community and the state and have everybody to be on the same page.

“We will continue to pursue that and we must also ensure that it happens.’’

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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