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Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi on Monday  swore-in Alhaji Jaafar Adamu as Commissioner and 23 new permanent secretaries.

The Tide’s source reports that with the swearing-in of the new permanent secretaries, the state now has 52 permanent secretaries.

Speaking during the ceremony, Yuguda enjoined the commissioner and permanent secretaries to ensure transparency, due process and accountability in the discharge of their duties.

He urged the permanent secretaries to show  diligence and accountability in the conduct of government business.

Benue

Members of the Benue House of Assembly in Markudi on Monday held an Executive Session in honour of late Mr. Baver Dzeremo, who died on Friday.

Dzeremo, who represented Tarka State constituency, travelled to Germany in November last year for medical treatment and returned on May 19 after he was discharged.

Announcing the death of  Dzeremo in his office during the session, the Speaker, Mr. Terseer Tsumb  said members of the Assembly were in grief because the deceased  was an astute politician.

He promised that the Assembly would do everything possible to give him a befitting burial.

Panic has gripped residents of Maiduguri over incessant suspected ritual killings in some parts of the state.

Barely two weeks after the body of a teenager was found  in Lagos street in Maiduguri, with his head, arms, private organs and legs removed, another person was on Tuesday found mutilated in Bama town in Borno.

The Tide’s source reports that this is the third incident in the last two months.

The Borno Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Isa Azare, who confirmed the Bama killing to newsmen in Maiduguri on Tuesday, said the victim, 35-year-old Ali Karama, was found slaughtered in an uncompleted building with his throat removed.

He advised parents to monitor the movements of their children and report persons with questionable characters to the nearest security outfit.

The police patrol team had intensified its operations to

all suspected criminals’ hideouts in the state, he stressed.

The Police authorities in Ekiti State have dismissed six policemen attached to the command over alleged misconduct.

The command’s spokesman, Mr Mohammed Jimoh, told newsmen on Tuesday, in Ado-Ekiti, that the six policemen were dismissed two weeks ago.

He added that one officer was also demoted, while 11 others were sanctioned.

The spokesman said that the affected officers, who were between the ranks of constables and corporals, were tried by the disciplinary committee constituted by the command.

Prof Pai Obanya, an educationist, in Abuja, on Monday, urged stakeholders in the education sector to lay emphasis on quality education and not quantity.

Obanya, who was a resource person at the National Examination Summit, said the government should be more concerned with how resources spent on education impacted on children and not how much was spent.

“Invest on education and not spend on it because how much you spend is not an investment unless it produces positive results, only then would one say you have invested on education.”

A downpour, accompanied by strong winds has damaged hundreds of buildings, electrical poles and  other installations in Danja local government area of Katsina State.

The council chairman, Alhaji Balarabe Dabai, newsmen  who visited the area on Tuesday that more than 12 settlements were affected but that Danja town was the worst hit.

Dabai said the incident occurred on Sunday night and that the affected buildings included residential houses, schools, hospitals and government establishments.

A delegation of traditional rulers from Bauchi State arrived in Kebbi, on Monday, to understudy “the Systemic Engagement of Traditional Rulers’’ to immunisation.

 The delegation, led by the Emir of Dass, Alhaji Usman Bilyaminu, will  also study the  revitalisation of Primary Health Care (PHC) in Kebbi.

 The delegation, which includes USAID, WHO and UNICEF representatives, visited Governor Saidu Dakingari in Birnin Kebbi and commended the leading role of  Kebbi in the eradication of the six child killer diseases.

 “We will spend the next three days here to understudy the enviable role being  played by the traditional rulers in this state on the eradication of child killer diseases for implementation in our state,” Bilyaminu  said.

Workers in the steel sector have urged the Federal Government to immediately set machinery in motion to pay the N7.4 billion gratuities and pension arrears of some of their retired colleagues.

The workers, who made the demand in a position paper made available to The Tide’s source in Ajaokuta ,on Tuesday, said the amount had been outstanding since 2005.

In the position paper sent to the government through the Minister of Mine and Steel Development, Mr Musa Sada, the workers said that N5.2 billion of the amount was the outstanding severance benefit of their colleagues disengaged in 2005 by the Delta Steel Company, Warri.

The paper represents the joint position of the two major unions in the industry; Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSAN) and the Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (SEWUN) on the protracted crisis plaguing the steel sector.

Lagos State lawmakers on Monday in a rowdy session disagreed over a bill for the registration of residents of the state for purpose of setting up a data bank.

The Executive bill, which went through its second reading  is entitled the “Lagos State Residents Registration Agency Bill”, and  seeks to establish the state residents’ registration agency.

There was a sharp division among the lawmakers over the provisions of the bill, with some lawmakers who opposed  it claiming that it lacked vital information required by members.

The members said the bill as presented was inadequate and should be sent back to the executive arm for more information.

Members in support of the bill, however, disagreed with their colleagues, arguing that because of the importance and merits of the bill, it should be read and allowed to proceed to the next stage.

The Nasarawa Government has released the sum of N30.4 million being the balance of its 2009 counterpart fund for the implementation of the Fadama III programme, an official said on Tuesday.

The Project Coordinator, Alhaji Abdullahi Alkali, disclosed this  in an interview with newsmen in Lafia.

Alkali, however, said the counterpart fund for 2010 amounting to N56.3 million was still outstanding.

He said the programme was working to ensure the attainment of  food security and sustainable income generation through the farmers.

He appealed to the state government to continue to meet its obligations in regard to the payment of counterpart funds to ensure immediate access to the World Bank contribution.

Health workers or institutions who fail to report the death of a mother during childbirth in Ondo State risk a three-month jail term or closure, a new law states.

According to the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths law, signed by Governor Olusegun Mimiko in Akure on Monday, an individual offender will be jailed three months or fined  N30,000.

Similarly, an organisation will be closed or pay a fine of N100,000 or both, Mimiko who also signed into law the Ondo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ODSACA) bill, said.

The governor said the Confidential Enquiry Law would assist in checking  professional negligence that could lead to the death of pregnant women, “thereby providing a strategic information base for meaningful preventive interventions”.

As part of efforts to strengthen the peace-building process in Plateau, stakeholders have recommended the establishment of grazing reserves for Fulani herdsmen.

This was part of the resolutions reached at the stakeholders meeting convened by Governor Jonah Jang on Monday, in Jos to find solution to the incessant crises in the state.

A communiqué read by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Samson Dimka, at the end of the meeting, identified indiscriminate grazing by Fulani herdsmen and other cattle rearers as a threat to farmlands and security.

The communique therefore, recommended that there was the need to demarcate cattle routes and published in the Gazette by both the Federal and Plateau governments.

Government and commercial activities in Gusau, the Zamfara capital, on Tuesday, came to a stand still in honour of visiting President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Tide’s source reports that Jonathan was in Zamfara for a one day visit to the state.

On arrival, Jonathan was expected to pay a courtesy call on the Emir of Gusau, Alhaji Muhammadu Danbaba as well as inspect and inaugurate some projects executed by the state government.

The Tide’s source in Gusau reports that most commercial centres and shops around the Gen. Sani Abacha Way, Umaru Yar’Adua road and the Ahmadu Bello Way, remained closed, while awaiting the arrival of the president.

Government offices and some schools also remained closed, while thousands of people lined up on both sides of the roads to have a glimpse of the president.

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NHRC Seeks Prioritisation Of Children’s Rights In National, State Budgets

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The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, has called for the prioritisation of child rights issues in both the national and state budgets.
Ojukwu, represented by Abdulrahman Yakubu,  director, political and civil education rights in the commission made the call in Abuja at an event organised by the commission to commemorate the 2021 International Day for the African Child  (DAC), celebrated every June 16.
He also called for alignment of national implementation plans of the Child’s Rights Act with international action plans like the Agenda 2040 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda to ensure a more holistic and measurable implementation outcome
“While progress has been made on the implementation of the Child’s Rights Act and Laws across the   states that have adopted it, challenges bordering on non-prioritisation of child rights in the budget, poverty.
“Harmful traditional practices, inadequate access to educational and health services, armed conflicts and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to slow down process across all sectors.
“I call on all concerned Ministry , Departments and Agencies and child-focused organisations to explore  new tools and innovations like technology and social media to accelerate the implementation of child-based laws and policies in the country,” he said.
He also called for the adoption and implementation of measures to ensure universal health coverage, access to quality health-care services for all while closing all gender and vulnerability gaps.
Ojukwu also called for equal access to compulsory and quality education to all children, including children in rural communities, the girl child, children living with disabilities, children in conflict and humanity settings.
“We must address the root cause of conflict and engage early warning mechanisms to eliminate the impact of armed conflicts on children” he said.
The executive secretary said the DAC serves as a strong advocacy and sensitization tool for implementation of children’s rights.
“Beyond honouring the memory of the fallen heroes, the DAC celebration calls for introspection and self-assessment by the AU member states on the level of child rights implementation in respective countries.
The theme for the 2021 DAC celebration as selected by the African committee of Experts on the Rights and welfare of the child, he said, 30 years after the adoption of the charter: accelerate the implementation of the Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children.
In a goodwill message, the Country Representative of UN  Women Nigeria, Ms Comfort Lamptey called for education-in-emergencies in Borno,  Yobe and Adamawa.
The country representative, represented by Patience Ekeoba,  National Programme Officer,  UN Women Nigeria,  Lamptey said that children of these three conflict affected states need education -in-emergencies.
“ In the north east of Nigeria, 2. 8 million children need education -in-emergencies support. No fewer than 802 schools remained closed and 497 classrooms are listed as destroyed with another 1, 392 damaged but repairable in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
“In addition to this,  the COVID-19,  insecurity and humanitarian crisis and other prevailing challenges have presented new and additional challenges,” she said
“A lot of countries in Africa have robust legal frameworks policies,  conventions and other frameworks that guarantee the rights of the child,” she added.

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Court Rejects EFCC’s Request To Amend Charge In Ex-NNPC GMD’s Trial

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to amend its charge in the $9.8million, £74,000 fraud trial of an ex-Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling, yesterday, held that granting the application by the EFCC would amount to varying a subsisting judgment given by the Court of Appeal, Abuja on April 24, 2020, where it, among others, ordered Yakubu to enter defence in relation to counts three and four of the six counts originally contained in the charge on which he was arraigned.
Justice Mohammed was emphatic that allowing the prosecution (the EFCC) to amend the charge was tantamount to disobeying the subsisting order made by the Court of Appeal in its judgment of April 24, 2020.
The EFCC claimed that its operatives, acting on a tip-off, raided Yakubu’s house located on Chikun Road, Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State on February 3, 2017, and recovered the $9,772,800 and £74,000 cash kept in a fire proof safe.
It arraigned Yakubu on March 16, 2017, on a six-count charge relating to money laundering offences.
He was among others, accused of failing to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution, which borders on money laundering and intent to avoid a lawful transaction under law, transported at various times to Kaduna, the aggregate sum of $9,772,800 and £74,000.
The prosecution closed its case on October 17, 2018, after calling seven witnesses.
The seventh prosecution witness, an operative of the EFCC, Suleiman Mohammed, spoke about how his team recovered the $9,772,000 and £74,000 cash in Yabubu’s house in Kaduna, which was later deposited in CBN in Kano.
At the closure of the prosecution’s case, Yakubu made a no-case submission, which Justice Mohammed, in a ruling on May 16, 2019, partially upheld by striking out two of the six counts contained in the charge and ordered Yakubu to enter defence in relation to the remaining four counts.
The judge was of the view that the prosecution failed to prove counts five and six of the charge, which related to allegation of unlawful transportation of the money.
“Even though I am tempted to discharge the defendant on counts one to four, I am, however, constrained to ask the defendant to explain how he came about the monies recovered from his house.
“Fortified with my position, the defendant is hereby ordered to enter his defence in respect of counts one to four,” Justice Mohammed said in the May 16, 2019, ruling.
Dissatisfied, Yakubu challenged the decision at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which, in a ruling on April 24, 2020, upheld Justice Mohammed’s ruling and proceeded to strike out two more counts – one and two – in the charge.
The Court of Appeal, then, ordered Yakubu to enter his defence in respect of the remaining two counts – three and four.
Proceedings later resumed at the Federal High Court, with the defendant commencing his defence as ordered by the Court of Appeal.
But, on March 10 this year, the prosecution applied for leave to amend its charge, arguing among others, that the law allows the prosecution to amend charge at any stage of the proceedings before judgment.
The defence countered, arguing that the Court of Appeal, in its judgment of April 24, 2020, made an order to guide further proceedings in the trial.
It noted that the Court of Appeal ordered that the defendant was only to enter defence in relation to counts three and four in respect of which a prima facie case was established.
The defence urged the court to refuse the prosecution’s application for amendment and allow the defendant to continue with his defence, a prayer Justice Mohammed granted in his ruling, yesterday.
When the judge ended the ruling, yesterday, the defence indicated its intention to proceed with its case, but the court elected to adjourn till June 30 following plea by the prosecution for an adjournment on the grounds that the lead prosecuting lawyer was not immediately available.

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Economist Challenges W’Bank’s Prediction On Nigeria’s Inflation Rate

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An economist, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, has queried World Bank’s prediction that Nigeria’s inflation rate is expected to rise to fifth highest in Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2021.
Ekpo, a professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, questioned the prediction in an interview with The Tide source yesterday in Lagos.
Recall the bank’s Lead Economist for Nigeria, Macro Hernandez while presenting its six-monthly update on development in Nigeria on Tuesday, said Nigeria was lagging the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, with food inflation.
Hernandez included heightened insecurity and stalled reforms as slowing growth and increasing poverty.
The professor said: “First of all, we need to examine the methodology the World Bank used to arrive at the conclusion because we know that inflation has declined slightly.”
Ekpo, also Chairman, Foundation for Economic Research and Training in Lagos, said, however, that if government could solve the insecurity problems limiting economic growth and increase Agricultural production, the prediction might not hold.
According to him, there are countries with double digits inflation and still doing well.
“This means you can have inflation and yet your GDP is growing, so, it’s when you have what we call run-away or hyper inflation that is when you get worried.
“Run-away inflation means that prices are increasing everyday or every month without control,” he said.
On predictions that the inflation would push seven million more Nigerians into poverty due to falling purchasing power, Ekpo gave a suggestion to the federal government to stem it.
He urged the Federal Government to seriously implement the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Programme and the Economic Sustainability Plan documents.
“I cannot fault them on this one because already, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said about 85 million Nigerians are living in poverty.
“So, World Bank just saying that confirms what our own NBS has already said.
“Now, if the government implements the National Poverty Reduction initiative document as well as the Economic Sustainability plan seriously, then we can begin to reduce the poverty rate.

“Then the economy must grow double digits, that is, 10 per cent and above for us to see reduction in poverty and more jobs creation as well, because poverty is linked to unemployment,” he added.

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