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FG, States, LGAs Earmark N420bn To Revamp Police

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Agreement have been reached by the federal, states and local governments in Nigeria to contribute jointly the sum of N420 billion for the next five years to reposition the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Deputy Inspector – General of Police, DIG, (Retired) Mr. Parry Osayande, who made this public while addressing newsmen in Enugu at the weekend, explained that the money would be used in building modern police barracks, expand and  modernize the existing ones, buying new equipments, train and re-train members of the NPF, expand and modernize the existing Police Colleges , as well as build one police college in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.

Mr. Osayande, who was in Enugu with other members of the commission in continuation of their nationwide visit of Police formations, further stated that the commission, also responsible for promotion and  disciplinary matters in the NPF from the rank of constable to Deputy Inspector –General of  Police (DIG), is committed to improving the NPF, in order to restore its lost glory.

 While stating that the chairman of the proposed funds  would be the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Mr  Osayande  also gave the hint that the eight-member commission was also mandated to revamp the force.

According to him, promotions in the  NPF would no longer be based on Federal Character arrangement as it was in the past, saying that all promotions would henceforth be based purely on merit.  He said this will serve as encouragement to policemen to work harder, expressing optimism that the transformation of the NPF would yield fruitful dividend at the end of the exercise.

 “The Police Service Commission will no longer allow Federal Character to affect promotion exercises in the police. You don’t need to pay money to get promoted. “At the same time, you don’t need to pay money to be posted from point  A to point B”, he said.

He, therefore, used the forum to warn  members of the force on corruption , especially as it concerns extortion of money from motorists and  innocent citizens,  as well as human rights abuses, advising them to desist from such misconduct or be ready to face the music if apprehended.

 The Edo state-born retired police officer, expressed regret that prior to the appointment of the present police service commission, men and officers of the police force, who were due for promotion were stagnated in their old ranks for years, assuring that the present commission under his leadership was poised to address the trend.

 According to him, the commission is committed towards ensuring that the NPF is completely repositioned with a view to engaging its personnel in more    proactive policing,  adding the that welfare of the men and officers would continue to remain one of its top priority at all times.

Arrangements, he went on,  are equally on for the establishment of some forensic laboratories in various parts of the nation, stressing that training and re- training  of officers and men of the security outfit would also be given serious attention. He stated that the commission wants to put in place a police that is always battle ready to face the 21st century security challenges.

 Admitting the alarming rate of corruption in the NPF, the PSC chairman  also blamed some of the problems on under funding of the establishment by successive administrations in the country.

He, thus called on all and sundry to join hands with the commission and government in repositioning the force , saying that security remains the business of every “Dick and Harry”.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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