Tag Archives: minister

Italy’s Foreign Minister lands Libya

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Italy’s foreign minister made a lightening trip to Libya on Wednesday amid a flaring conflict between a UN-recognised government in the west and eastern-based forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar.

Luigi Di Maio was due to meet the head of Tripoli’s Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj, as well as the interior minister and his foreign affairs counterpart, Italian agencies Agi and Ansa said.

Rome considers Libya “a priority… our most important issue, which concerns our national security,” according to an unnamed ministry source, cited by the Messaggero daily.

“We can’t afford a partition of the country. That is why we went first to Ankara, a (diplomatic) channel we’ve always kept open,” the source said, referring to Di Maio’s trip to Turkey on June 19.

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He last visited Libya in January.

During his Wednesday visit Di Maio is set to examine an amended “memorandum” of cooperation between the two countries over migration, the Repubblica said.

Libya has been mired in chaos since the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longt-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

The Arab League on Tuesday called for the withdrawal of foreign forces in Libya and urged talks on ending the conflict in the north African country.

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The Turkish-backed GNA has recently made major military gains against Haftar’s forces, who have sought to regain control over the west in an abortive attempt to seize Tripoli.

Egypt, which supports Haftar, has warned that advances by Turkey-backed forces on the strategic Libyan city of Sirte could prompt an Egyptian military intervention.

The GNA denounced Cairo’s statements as a “declaration of war”.

Besides Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia back Haftar’s forces.


#Newsworthy…

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Enugu Minister dies at 49 | Ailment source

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Honorable Chijioke Ugwueze, the lawmaker representing Isi-Uzo Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly, has died.

Ugwueze, 49, died on Friday, June 19 after suffering a heart failure.

According to family sources, the late Ugwueze who was hypertensive, woke up on Friday morning complaining he had malaria symptoms.

He was rushed to a private hospital in Enugu and was later transferred to Enugu state Teaching Hospital Parklane, where he died in the evening.

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Until his death, late Ugwueze was the chairman of the House Committee on Transport.

His death comes three days after the death of the Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Area, Chief Patrick Omeje.

May his soul rest in peace, Amen.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Minister state requirements for School reopening

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Nigeria’s Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has released the conditions for the reopening of schools and tertiary institutions.

He spoke at the 2020 Policy Meeting on Admissions to Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board n Abuja on Tuesday.

Nwajiuba said, “All Institutions must have (1) Hand-washing facilities, (2) Body temperature checks (3) Body disinfectants at all entering points to their major facilities including the gates, hostels, classes, offices, etc. (4) The whole premises of each institution must be decontaminated and (5) All efforts must be geared toward maintenance of the highest level of hygiene (6) Ensure Social and Physical Distancing in class sizes and meeting spaces.”

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The minister, however, warned them against reopening schools without the Federal Government’s authorisation.

“While we Iook forward to easing the lockdown which will ultimately lead to re-opening of our campuses, I urge all the Heads of Institutions not to wait till the announcement on reopening before putting in place all necessary measures in compliance with the protocols and advisories of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control,” he added.


#Newsworthy…

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Why Oil Price could increase – Energy Minister speak up

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UAE Energy Minister Suheil al-Mazrouei said on Monday current low oil and gas prices are unsustainable and warned that if they last longer, it could lead to energy shocks.

Mazrouei said that “very good signs” of rising demand for oil have been seen in China and India, two of the world’s biggest crude consumers, and to some degree in Europe.

“This environment of low oil and gas prices, I don’t think it’s sustainable,” the minister said in a virtual interview hosted by the US-UAE Business Council.

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Mazrouei said that if low oil prices persist for a long period, some of the current high-cost producers will drop out leaving a supply gap, pushing prices higher.

“We need someone to fill in that gap, otherwise we are going to have shocks in… prices and the last thing we want is to have shocks,” he said.

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“We need to have stability and to have a reasonable and fair price.”

Brent crude crashed to multi-year lows under $20 a barrel and WTI (for May delivery) sank into negative territory in April for the first time in history as demand slumped due to coronavirus lockdowns and a global supply glut.

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The two benchmarks have recovered to around $40 a barrel after the OPEC+ producers alliance agreed to record production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day in April, effective for two months starting May.

Earlier this month, the alliance extended the historic cuts through July as governments around the world ease unprecedented lockdowns in many countries.

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Mazrouei said that although oil consumption has dropped to 2013 levels “we think things will go back to normal within one or two years.”

“Unless we have a second wave of Covid-19, I think we will see a demand recovery at a pace that is adequate to the cut we have done as… OPEC+, provided other producers do not rush and over-produce,” Mazrouei said.


#Newsworthy…

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FCT Minister allege that ‘Rapists’ should be castrated not imprisoned.

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Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, has stated that the best punishment for rapists is for them to be castrated.

The Minister stated this while distributing palliatives to the leadership of FCT National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) FCT chapter and Nigeria Football Association of Coaches FCT chapter.

Prescribing the punishment amid an increase in cases of rape and murder in Nigeria, Aliyu stated that such will deter others.

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According to her: “We will involve every member of the community in this battle against rape. Just recently, we are in search of one offender, and definitely we will nip it in the bud. And in conjunction with all the security outfits, NAPTIP, in the Federal Capital Territory, we are in the watch, and for any offender that we get, we will take it to any length to ensure that he is not fit to live.

“We are also pushing for serious institutional framework that will ensure that justice is done. It is not enough to just jail such person, definitely punishment like castration will do. When we kill them, they die and not remembering anything, therefore they should be castrated and roam the streets and remain inactive”.


#Newsworthy…

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Abike Dabiri-Erewa fight with Pantami get Messier. ‘Dirty Game’


After a series of confrontations between Nigeria’s communication and digital economy minister Isa Pantami and chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the fight over an office space took another turn late Sunday.

The disagreement between both government officials became public after NiDCOM published a video in February on its Twitter and accused Pantami of masterminding the eviction of its staff from office space at the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) building in Abuja.

NCC is under the control of the ministry Pantami heads.

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Dabiri-Erewa doubled down on that claim in an interview. The interview was aired on Friday and was later published.

But Pantami said on Twitter on Sunday that he was responsible for the eviction, claiming that the media reports did not tell “a true story.”

He has since deleted the tweet.

Dabiri-Erewa, however, insisted that Pantami was to be blamed for the problem, stopping just short of calling the minister a liar.

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She accused the minister of disrespecting her because she is a woman.

“An Islamic scholar should not lie Hon Minister,” Dabiri-Erewa tweeted, “You did that to me cos I am a woman. Your disrespect for women is legendary.”

“Left the ugly incident behind me since Feb. But pls release all our office equipment. Public office is transient.”

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She asked the minister to “tell us where he locked up our equipment and release them. After the lockdown, we will settle for some options we already have.”

The missing properties, NiDCOM spokesman Abdur-Rahman Balogun said, include two units of single face data ports, 24 port patch panel, Mikrotik RB 750G router, Mikrotik cloud router switch, two Headsets with microphones, two Digital PABX, 4u Server racks, Patch cables, HP desk jet 1012 all in one printer, files and documents.

NCC in a statement by its spokesman Henry Nkemadu dismissed the claims on Sunday and said the report of forceful eviction was not true.

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Pantami in a tweet thereafter accused NiDCOM chairman of telling a “Big fat lie” and did not provide any explanation of events that led to the alleged eviction. He also did not speak on the allegation that NiDCOM’s working equipment was locked up in NCC building

The had since then deleted the tweet where he spoke on the issue, accusing NiDCOM chairman of telling lies.


#Newsworthy…

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Education Minister says Schools will resume on..


The Federal Government has disclosed that there are plans to soon reopen schools nationwide, saying, however, that this will not be done in two weeks as being speculated in some outlets.

Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, made the clarification on Thursday during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 news conference in Abuja following rumors making the round the Federal Government would reopen schools in the next two weeks.

The Federal Government had ordered the indefinite closure of educational institutions nationwide as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

But Nwajiuba while responding to questions from the media on when the government’s plans to reopen to the schools following the easing of the lockdown, said the schools would be reopened when the safety of the school children could be guaranteed.

He said the government was wary not to endanger the lives of the school children and further spread of the coronavirus in the society.

He added that his ministry is working with other relevant stakeholders and agencies of government to put the necessary measures in place that would guarantee the safety of children before the schools are reopened.

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He said: “We all are seriously interested in reopening and I believe we will reopen soon. But I can’t confirm what your children said that we will reopen in two weeks.

“The issue around reopening has nothing to do with the availability of the schools or not. It has to do with national governance. The idea of shutting down the schools has nothing to do with the schools per se.

“You heard the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the SGF, keep saying it is a national response. It is a single national response and everything we do flows from that.

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“When they determine, I’m sure you have seen all the experts here, that there is the measure of safety to which we can expose our children, we will gladly do that. We are watching and we are working with all bodies within and outside the country.

“The five countries of West African Examination Council (WAEC) are meeting and I just came out of a meeting with African Union (AU) Ministers of Education, everybody is concerned as you are. We hope to reopen very soon.


#Newsworthy…

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Reps tackle health minister on Chinese doctors’ disappearance.


Lawmakers at the House of Representatives have questioned the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, demanding full details of the activities and whereabouts of the Chinese doctors.

The lawmakers at their plenary on Tuesday said they are not satisfied with the statement of the Minister that the Chinese doctors are not guests of the Federal Ministry of Health but that of a Chinese firm in Abuja.

The resolution of the House stems from a motion of urgent public importance raised by Representative Dachung Bagos.

The House, in a separate motion, also resolved to investigate the status of medical and pharmaceutical research in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

They expressed worry that Nigerian scientists and researchers have not been given the necessary support and funding for medical research.

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The Minister of Health las week Thursday told reporters not to question him over the whereabouts of Chinese medical experts who came into Nigeria to support the fight against COVID-19.

Ehanire, while responding to questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing said the medical personnel “are not guests of the Federal Government but CCECC, a construction company.”


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Gbajabiamila plead with Abuja health workers to extend strike ultimatum. [Nigeria]


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Union and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (JOHESU), FCT Chapter, to extend the strike ultimatum they gave to the FCT Administration.

The JOHESU had on May 7, given the government up to May 28 to address the irregularities in salary payment since January, non-payment of arrears of promotion from 2016, 2017 and 2018, delay in the release of conversion and proper placement of some of the workers, in order to avert workers’ strike.

But Gbajabiamila, at a meeting with the officials of the union at the National Assembly, Abuja, yesterday, pleaded with the health workers to tarry a while on the issue and assured them that the House would deliberate on the matter at plenary on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, (today) and come up with a strong resolution.

Read Also;

Infectious diseases bill: Gbajabiamila faces impeachment threat. [Nigeria]

He also hinted that the House would meet with the officials from the FCTA, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Budget Office and IPPIS officials to ensure that all issues were resolved with immediate effect.

Responding, the Chairman of JOHESU, FCT Chapter, Ms. Deborah Yusufu, commended the Speaker for his intervention, which showed that he recognised the sacrifices health workers are making in the fight against COVID-19.

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Yusufu said she would take the Speaker’s position back to her union.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu; Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu; Chairman House Committee on Healthcare Services, Hon. Tanko Sununu and the JOHESU officials.


#Newsworthy…

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Infectious diseases bill: Gbajabiamila faces impeachment threat. [Nigeria]



As controversy continues to trail the Infectious Disease Control Bill before the House of Representatives, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s seat seems to be hanging in the balance as forces not comfortable with his recent style of leadership are said to be moving against him.

NobleReporters gathered that the recent face-off between the leadership of the House led by Gbajabiamila, the state governors and former Speaker of the House and now governor of Sokoto state, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal may cause Gbajabiamila his seat if not properly handled.

According to the source, the governors who are allegedly not happy with the way the House of Representatives responded to their advice that the Infectious Disease Control Bill be “stepped down” until proper consultations are made, are mobilising against the Speaker who is the lead sponsor of the Bill.

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The source further disclosed that the governors at a recent meeting in Abuja had “secretly” agreed to push for the Speaker’s impeachment through their various representatives at the green chamber.

He said some of the governors openly accused the Speaker of being “arrogant” in his approach to “national issues” a development they said should be checked to maintain the cordial relationship between the Legislature and the Executive.

Speaking further, the source stated the governor of Sokoto state, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal’s loyalists who felt slighted that the governor was accused of misleading and misguiding other members of the Governors Forum are also “spoiling for war”.

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He said some members of the House already have grudges against the Speaker over allegation of overbearing especially in handling the donation to the fight against the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

It was also alleged that the Speaker has been making frantic efforts to get his political godfather to rally the governors to shelve their plans and create an avenue for dialogue.

It would be recalled that the governors operating under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF had recently urged the National Assembly to step down the proposed Infectious Disease Control Bill, 2020 introduced by the House of Representatives until an appropriate consultative process is held.

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Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who is also the Governor of Ekiti state had in Communiqué at the end of the Forum’s eight teleconference meeting added that the consultation must include a public hearing to gather public opinion and concerns on the proposed Bill.

However, responding to the advice by the Governor’s Forum, the House of Representatives said it does not legislate for the states and therefore should not be “cowed” from doing its Constitutional responsibility.

The spokesman of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu in a statement regretted that Hon. Aminu Tambuwal who is a former Speaker of the House stood a better position to rightly inform the Governors Forum but failed to do so.

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Hon. Kalu went ahead to call for the disqualification of Tambuwal who is also the Governor of Sokoto state from a proposed consultative meeting with the Nigeria Governors Forum accusing him of being biased towards the Infectious Disease Control Bill insisting that Tambuwal misled and misguided the Forum into asking the House to step down the Bill.

“We assume that his position was informed by his well-known personal and partisan opposition to the emergence of the current leadership of House led by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila considering his obvious stance in 2015 and 2019,” he stated.

He said that the House of Representatives would proceed with the legislative work on the controversial Infectious Disease Control Bill because according to him, the House of Representatives and National Assembly in general are not under the control of any state governor.

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Also the House of Representatives has insisted on the consideration of the contentious Control of Infectious Diseases Bill explaining that it has not been stopped by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

In a statement yesterday, he House regretted that a section of the media had erroneously reported that the Federal High Court in its ruling on suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020 last week had stopped the further consideration of the bill.

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The House spokesman explained that though the applicant, through a motion ex parts, had sought an order of the court suspending the consideration of the bill, the court declined to grant the reliefs sought by the applicant so as to allow the respondent to appear before it and enter a defence.

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Lanre Lasisi asked for time to comment on the matter but never did at the time of going to press. Also the spokesperson of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Abdulrazaq Barkindo could not be reached.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Former Health Minister Dies At 66 – Jonathan Mourn.

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Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has condoled with the Government and people of Sokoto State over the exit of Dr. Haliru Alhassan who passed on at the age of 66 years.

The late Alhassan served in the administration of Jonathan as minister of state for health and later minister of health.

In a condolence message to the family of the deceased, the former President described Dr. Alhassan as a committed patriot who made his mark in public service, adding that he “served the nation to the best of his abilities.”

Jonathan noted that the late minister contributed so much to the efforts towards reforming the health sector and the overall improvement recorded in the sector under his administration.

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He further recalled that late Dr. Alhassan played a key role in the nation’s success in combating and containing Ebola during the 2014 outbreak.

The former President prayed to God to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.


#Newsworthy…

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[Russia] Minister of culture test positive for COVID-19

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Russia’s Minister of Culture, Olga Lyubimova has tested positive for Coronavirus just after the country’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Construction Minister Vladimir Yakushev landed in hospital because of the deadly virus.

Lyubimova’s spokesperson, Anna Usacheva said on Wednesday May 6, that she has mild symptoms and is now working from home after being diagnosed with the disease.

The statement reads in part;

“The head of the Ministry of Culture, Olga Lyubimova, is working from home. She has tested positive for COVID-19.

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“The minister is at home, she holds working meetings in the format of video conferences, she takes parts in online meetings and negotiations.

“She has mild symptoms. Hospitalisation is out of the question.”


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Minister of Health reveal drug used to treat patients in Nigeria.

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Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has revealed the drug used in treating coronavirus patients in Nigeria.

Addressing members of the House of Representatives today Tuesday May 5, Ehanire said Remdesivir is being used to treat patients with the virus.

“We have been using that (Remdesivir); we have tried that in Lagos too. So, we have tried the antiretroviral drug to see what effect it has” he said

The Minister said the drug which was originally developed as a potential treatment for Ebola, is one of the options which Nigeria has adopted for in treating COVID-19 patients.

Remdesivir was tested in 1,063 hospitalized Coronavirus patients around the world and has proven to reduce the time it takes patients to recover by 31%. 11 days on average versus 15 days for those just given usual care.


#Newsworthy…

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Nigerians should stay indoors to curb COVID-19 spread – Rauf Aregbesola warns

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The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola has cautioned Nigerians to remain indoors, saying gradual easing of lockdown does not mean the pandemic is over.

Aregbeshola said this at the public presentation of the fourth edition of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) annual report since the commencement of the administration in 2016 on Tuesday in Abuja.

Newsmen report that Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday reported 245 new cases of Coronavirus bringing to the total number of infections in Nigeria to 2802.

The Minister, however, urged people to remain indoors and avoid crowded places to help fight collectively the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“Don’t visit, stay in your house, don’t attend parties so as to curtail the deadly virus affecting Nigeria and the world at large.

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“The issue of COVID-19 is beyond ourselves. I want to appeal to Nigerians to exhibit a sense of responsibility in the fight against COVID-19.

“We must all survive this pandemic. Let us ensure physical and social distancing with all our strength. It is also with the strength of our economy that we all can survive.

“Let us collectively confront through responsible ways to ban COVID-19 totally from Nigeria,” he said.

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The Minister commended NIS for impressive achievements recorded in 2019 and urged them to do more to surpass the record in 2020.

He also encouraged the service to take advantage of the opportunities of new discoveries, creative ideas and adaptability presented by COVID-19 pandemic.


#Newsworthy

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[Nigeria] EFCC Arraign Former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Monday, arraigned former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, for alleged N714, 670, 014.87 fraud.

Turaki was arraigned before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Turaki was docked alongside his Special Assistant, Sampson Okpetu and two companies: Samtee Essentials Limited and Pasco Investment Limited were separately arraigned.

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NobleReporters recalls that Turaki, SAN, was the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs from 2013 to 2015. He also served as the Minister of Labour from 2014 to 2015 under the then President Goodluck Jonathan.

EFCC acting spokesman, Tony Orilade disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (whilst serving as Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs) sometime in January 2015 within the jurisdiction of this honorable court did use the sum of N159,104,000 (One Hundred and Fifty-Nine Million, One Hundred and Four Thousand only) out of the sum of N359, 104,000 (Three Hundred and Fifty-Nine Million, One Hundred and Four Thousand Naira only) released to the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs for the purpose of sensitization and enlightenment of Muslim Youths, knowing that the said sum is proceed of unlawful activity to wit: criminal misappropriation and you thereby committed an offense contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section (15(3) bf the same Act.”

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But the defendant pleaded not guilty to all 16-counts brought against him, while Okpetu, his special assistant pleaded not guilty to counts 10 to 12. A not guilty plea was also entered for the two companies.

On this basis, prosecution counsel, Halifax Shehu asked for a commencement date of trial, stating that the prosecution has lined up nine witnesses for presentation in court on the matter.

However, Turaki’s defence team, led by Joe Kyari Gadzama, SAN, alongside four other senior learned silks, applied for his bail, urging the court to grant him bail on self-recognition.

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Further, Counsel to the second defendant O.M. Atoyebi, SAN, also prayed the court to grant the defendant bail based on self-recognition or on liberal terms in line with the administrative bail granted the defendants by the EFCC.

While not opposing the bail applications, the prosecution urged the court to grant bail conditions that will ensure the court attendance of the defendants all through the trial.

Granting the bail applications, Justice Ekwo stated that the terms of the administrative bail granted the defendants by the EFCC were reasonable and adoptable and therefore, adopted them.

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He, therefore, ordered that the defendants continued to enjoy the administrative bail condition granted them by the EFCC.

The court also ordered that the particulars of the EFCC administrative bail be transferred to the Registrar of the court, which included the international passports of the defendants, which are in the custody of the EFCC.

It was also affirmed that the defendants shall not travel out of the court’s jurisdiction without the leave of the court.

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Besides, it was added that the transfer of his international passport to the court, the second defendant is to produce one surety who must be a Deputy Director on Grade Level 16.

But the case was adjourned to June 22, 23, 24 and 25 this year.


#Newsworthy…

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Niger Minister of Labour dies at tender age.

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Niger’s minister of employment and labour, Mohamed Ben Omar, died on Sunday, his party said, without stating the cause of death.

He died Sunday afternoon at the main hospital of the capital Niamey, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) said on Whatsapp.

President Mahamadou Issoufou said he learned the news with a “heavy heart”.

Ben Omar, born January 1, 1965, in the south-central town of Tesker, had led the PSD, which is allied with Issoufou’s Party for Democracy and Socialism.

Issoufou’s labour minister since 2017, Ben Omar began his political life in 1999 under president Mamadou Tandja, serving in parliament or in various ministerial roles in the poor Sahel nation.

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Ben Omar strongly supported a constitutional amendment that allowed Tandja to prolong his second term by three years in 2009, but a military junta overthrew Tandja the following February.

Before he created the PSD, Ben Omar was part of the Rally for Democracy and Progress, the party of Tandja’s predecessor Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, who was assassinated in 1999 by members of his own bodyguard.


#Newsworthy…

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FCT issue fresh directives to Schools, Worship Centres amid lockdown ease.

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The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello Musa has announced new guidelines for easing the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Minister in a statement released on Saturday by his Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, said that all schools in the FCT are to remain closed until further notice.

The rules take effect from Monday, May 4, 2020.

Part of the guidelines mandates all places of worship to remain closed until further notice; while eateries and restaurants are to open between 9am and 3pm on mostly take out services.

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The guidelines say ”Schools are not permitted to commence third term operations in any form until directed otherwise.

”Schools are however encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teachings.

”The extant directive on places of worship still subsists and they remain closed.

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” All clubs, bars, gardens, beer parlors, recreational parks, communal sports facilities, movie theatres, etc in the FCT are to remain closed.

”Ban on social congregations such as parties, weddings, etc also remain in force.

It said ‘Residents are once more reminded that COVID-19 can be fatal and all are advised to take all prescribed measures to avoid contracting it.

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Persons with underlying medical conditions especially hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and low immunity are advised to remain at home. Equally, Persons 65 years and older are also advised to remain at home.

Bello also vowed to rigorously enforce the guidelines regulating the ease of the lockdown order in the FCT

He said security agencies have been mandated to arrest and prosecute anyone found to be contravening any of the guidelines through the mobile courts.

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The Minister thanked public-spirited individuals, associations and corporate organisations for the palliatives donations.

He also commended volunteers who devoted their time and resources in fighting the pandemic especially the journalists who made appearances on the various radio and television stations to educate residents of the FCT on their personal and collective responsibilities in the fight against COVID-19.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] More Reasons Schools Won’t Reopen Despite Lockdown Ease – Education Minister.

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The Federal Government has reiterated that schools will not open soon.

Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, made this known while responding to a question during the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic.

He stated that no date has been picked because children could be endangered.

Nwajiuba said, “The president actually addressed the issue of the opening of the economy gradually. Until that is done, we can’t foresee or immediately tell you when all the schools will be reopened.

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“It will not be proper for us to simply give you a date. It has to be in tandem with these opening terms. We don’t want to put our children at risk. None of these schools can function on their own without the society.”

The Minister also explained that the West African Examinations Council has not cancelled examination as speculated.

According to him, students will sit for their exams when the government was sure to have taken good care of the pupils.

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He noted that the exams was postponed indefinitely so that a definite date would be picked.

Recall with NobleReporters that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday announced a gradual lockdown relaxation in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States.


#Newsworthy…

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FG’s Rice sent to States not ‘Expired’ – NAFDAC counters. [Nigeria]


Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, says the agency does not know the status of the controversial 1,800 bags of rice sent to Oyo State.

The consignment was delivered to the State by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the orders of the Federal Government.

However, the Oyo government returned the rice after discovering that it was weevils-infested.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, had claimed that the rice distributed to States was inspected and certified fit for human consumption by NAFDAC.

But Adeyeye stated that NAFDAC was not invited to take samples and conduct consumption fitness test.

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She made the clarification in a TVC programme, Journalists’ Hangout.

In her explanation, Adeyeye explained that only the consignments to Lagos and Ogun States were tested by NAFDAC and certified fit for consumption.

“The one for Oyo State, I cannot say anything because NAFDAC was not called by the Ibadan or South-West Command of the (Nigeria) Customs, to test samples in Ibadan. I cannot speak about the Ibadan command rice that went to Oyo and possibly to Osun.

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“I don’t know why NAFDAC was not called to take samples from the Oyo State Command to test. We were not invited to come and take samples and we cannot do that.

“The ones that we tested (in Lagos and Ogun) were good enough and the rest of the samples are still in the lab in Oshodi”, she said.


#Newsworthy….

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[Nigeria] Lockdown necessary to curb COVID-19 spread.

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The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs Ramatu Aliyu, says the lockdown imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

She stated this on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

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“No nation prays for that and I will not speak for Mr President. But from what we have seen in other developed climes, lockdown seems to be one of the best ways out of the pandemic ravaging and spreading.

“So to curb this spread and to reduce it to the barest minimum, the lockdown is better. So many parameters have to come to play here. That is why it is the decision of the leadership,” she said.

The Minister also asked residents of the FCT and indeed all Nigerians to avoid unnecessary movements around their environment.

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While asking the masses to wear face masks and maintain the social distancing measures, she wants the citizens to follow the directives set out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Aliyu’s remarks come few hours before President Muhammadu Buhari is to address the nation on the next step taken by his administration to curb COVID-19 in the country.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina confirmed this development in a statement today.

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President Buhari is expected to address Nigerians on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as some residents in Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory expect to know whether the lockdown would be extended or not.

There are way over a million positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed across the world, with thousands of deaths recorded in many countries.


#Newsworthy...

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[Nigeria] Minister of Education may replace Abba Kyari as ‘Chief of Staff’.


If appointed, Adamu will replace Abba Kyari, who was announced dead on Friday.

Kyari, who had a history of diabetes and was in his 70s, died at a private hospital in Lagos on owing to complications from Coronavirus.

A top government source, who spoke with media, said the President would have wanted Babagana Kingibe but was prevailed upon to drop him.

Recall that NobleReporters had few hours after Kyari’s death, disclosed that Kingibe was scheming to become Buhari’s Chief of Staff.

The source however, said, “The President actually wanted Kingibe but a lot of people prevailed upon him to drop the idea as Kingibe was not trustworthy as he betrayed and abandoned both his previous principals Abiola and Yaradua in their hours of need.”

The announcement of Adamu’s appointment as new COS is expected to happen soon.


#Newsworthy…

IMF MD name former finance minister of Nigeria her new external advisory group.


IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, on Friday, named a former Nigerian finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, among a group of prominent individuals appointed to serve as her new External Advisory Group.A statement posted on the IMF website said the group, comprising individuals with high-level policy, market, and private sector experience, would provide insights to enhance the Fund’s ability to serve its membership.


Other members of the group are Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of Singapore and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; Ms. Kristin Forbes, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Mr. Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia.Also in the team are Lord Mark Malloch Brown, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General; Mr. Feike Sijbesima, Honorary Chair, DSM; Former CEO, Royal DSM, Mr. Raghuram Rajan, Professor, University of Chicago, and Ms. Ana Botín, Group Executive Chairman, Santander.


The group also include Ms. Carmen Reinhart, Professor, Harvard University; Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser, Allianz; Mr. Scott Minerd, Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Investments, and Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Chair of ActionAid International.The group is expected to provide perspectives from around the globe on key developments and policy issues, including policy responses to the exceptional challenges the world now faces due to COVID-19 and its economic impact.


Announcing the establishment of the group, Georgieva said, “Even before the spread of COVID-19 and the dramatic health, economic, and financial disruptions it has brought, IMF members confronted a rapidly evolving world and complex policy issues.“To serve our membership well in this context, we need top-notch input and expertise from the widest range of sources, inside and outside the Fund.


“Toward this end, I am proud that an exceptional and diverse group of eminent individuals with high-level policy, market, and private sector experience has agreed to serve on my External Advisory Group.

“Today we had a dynamic discussion to gain their insights, and to receive informal reactions to our ideas and approaches.”The External Advisory Group will meet a few times a year with the IMF’s Managing Director, Deputy Managing Directors, and a sub-set of IMF department Directors.


#Newsworthy…

Minister of state for mines and steels deny receiving grafication for job seekers.


Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah has dispelled claims of receiving gratification before offering assistance to job seekers.

In a statement released by his media aide Chijioke Udeogu, the Minister described the allegation as a propaganda hatched by disgruntled elements aimed at discrediting his hard-earned integrity to score cheap political points.


The statement reads in part;

“The general public is hereby notified that the Hon Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, OON, FCA, does not, directly or by proxy, ask for money or any gratification whatsoever before he offers assistance to job seekers to secure employment or appointment.

“Hence, anybody who collects or collected money from unsuspecting members of the public for that purpose or any other reason does not have the mandate of the Hon. Minister and should be apprehended immediately for criminal prosecution”


#Newsworthy…