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Benue

The price of Dangote Portland Cement in Benue has gone down from N2,600 to N2,250 while Bua Cement has also gone down from N2,700 to N2,250.

The drop in the prices of the product became necessary as a result of the Federal Government’s ultimatum to cement companies to cut down their prices.  Mr Ejike Okafor, a dealer told newsmen that the cost of manufacturing the product was still very high but that companies had opted to cut down their prices in line with government’s order. Okafor said that the cost of transporting the product from the factories to warehouses was still high. Another dealer, Mrs Veronica Nwabueze, blamed the high prices of cement on the high cost of diesel.

“Cement companies use diesel in their production machines and it is also used by the articulated vehicles that transport the product to dealers,” Nwabueze said.  Mr Timothy Gbin, a trader, urged the Federal Government to prevail on the oil companies to cut down the prices of their products.  “If that is done, the cost of producing and transporting the product would be drastically reduced.

FCT

The Muslim Media Watch Group (MMWG), has called on the Federal Government to declare Friday, June 23 and Sunday, June 25 as work-free days for special prayers and fasting. The call was contained in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja and signed by Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Co-ordinator of the group. The statement described Thursday’s bomb blast at the Force Headquarters as unacceptable, saying the work-free days would enable Muslims and Christians to pray, to avert such incident in the country in future.

It said that the security challenges of the nation were beyond what government and security agencies alone could cope with and that there was a need for prayers to deliver the country from evil doers.

The statement urged the government to go beyond its security agencies and seek assistance from foreign security experts who could provide clues in addressing the challenges. “Since it is now clear that the security challenges of this nation are beyond what the government and the security agencies can cope with, let us go back to our creator to deliver us from evil-doers by changing their minds. “Government needs to go deeper into our security problems by not only replying on our nation’s security agencies but conduct its own investigation by the help of foreign-based experts,’’ it said.

Kano

Some women in Kano have called on Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso to appoint more women into his cabinet.

Hajiya Uwani Bako, a politician in Kano noted that only one woman made the list of 12 commissioners the Governor submitted to the State House of Assembly for approval.

She said that the appointment of one woman was against the governor’s promise to women during his campaign.

Malama Hauwa Usman, a housewife, also expressed concern over the appointment. She urged the Governor to appoint more women for gender balance. PDP’s women leader, Hajiya Umma Garba, who commended the Governor for appointing a worthy woman into the cabinet, urged him to appoint more.

Speaking with newsmen in Kano, Garba reminded the Governor about his promise to take the issue of women empowerment seriously.

Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government on Friday said it would soon commence the payment of the N18,000 minimum wage to its workers. Briefing newsmen to mark the beginning of this year’s Civil Service Week in the state, the Head of Service, Mrs Hannatu Ugah, said the State Government was waiting for the release of guidelines for the implementation of the new salary. Ugah said the State Government had taken proactive measures to boost its internal revenue base. She said the government had also taken measures to improve the living condition of its workers, adding, “we have given workers welfare a top priority.

“The State Government did not shy away from implementing the previous salary structures and will still not shy away from implementing the minimum wage once the guideline is available to government,” she added.

The Head of Service said the State Government had so far invested N900 million into the staff micro-credit loan scheme, which would be available to all categories of workers.  “The scheme has disbursed loans to 4, 570 workers to the tune of N1.430 billion as well as distributed 400 units of laptops to workers at a subsidised rate.’’

To enable workers own houses, Ugah said the State Government had in collaboration with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, built and allocated 165 housing units to serving civil servants on ownership basis.

She disclosed that an additional batch of 1,500 housing units were under construction at Kaduna New City Layout, Zaria and Kafanchan.

Kwara

The Code of Conduct Bureau has directed new political office holders in Kwara to submit their assets declaration forms within 30 days to avoid prosecution.

The state Director of the Bureau, Mr Joseph Olajide Adeoye, told newsmen in Ilorin on Saturday that political office holders must respect the law on asset declaration in their own interest.

According to him, a special committee from the bureau’s headquarters in Abuja is expected in Ilorin between July 5 and July 8 to verify assets declared by such persons.

The director said the committee would screen every asset declared to ascertain the authenticity of the documents.

He stated that many defaulters in Kwara were currently being tried by the agency and more than150 staff of Kwara State Polytechnic had been prosecuted at the tribunal.

“Political office holders and other public officers are cooperating with us. It was only Kwara State Polytechnic lecturers that were dragged before the tribunal three years ago for failing to declare their assets.

“They were subsequently fined N4.8 million after being found guilty with each of them paying the sum of N30, 000,” he said.

Lagos

The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Zone of PHCN says more than N120 million has been spent to repair the burnt injector sub-station at Maryland, Lagos.

Mr Chris Akamnonu, Chief Executive Officer of the zone, disclosed this to newsmen after the inspection of the burnt transmission sub-station in Maryland. The sub-station was on Tuesday gutted by fire.

Akamnonu, however, assured affected customers that power would be restored back fully on Monday with the replacement of the burnt equipment.

He also said the zone would commence test run on Saturday and Sunday to confirm the effectiveness of the equipment. To guard against a recurrence, he said PHCN management had constituted a six-man panel to look into the incessant burning of the sub-station.

Oyo

The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has condemned the spate of bombings in the country, describing it as “a great tsunami capable of threatening the foundation of the country.’’ A statement signed by the National Chairman, Mr Moshood Erubami, in Ibadan on Sunday stated that the bombings were gradually becoming the official means of expressing dissent “which is dangerously assuming an intolerable dimension’’.

It noted that the act must be condemned by all peace-loving Nigerians, pleading with law abiding citizens to resist the temptation of using bombs to ventilate their grievances on innocent co-Nigerians.

The statement added that “the bombings in Abuja and Maiduguri, which claimed innocent lives, is a big challenge to the intelligence gathering capacity of the country’s security agencies’’.

The group expressed regret over the ease with which crimes of bombing and kidnapping were committed in the face of unwholesome excuses from agencies saddled with the responsibility to safeguard the citizenry.

Plateau

Monsignor Cletus Gotan, the Parish Priest of Church of Immaculate Conception, Zaramangada, Jos, has advised parishioners to be the policemen and women  of their lives by being security conscious.

Gotan told the congregation during Sunday mass that “security is the collective responsibility  of all and everybody must play his or her part.

“Don’t leave your lives in the hands of accredited security agents alone; do what you can  do on your own to remain alive. “If you see somebody you don’t know around you, feel free to ask who that person is.

If you are not comfortable with the person’s response, raise an alarm.’’ The priest also told the parishioners to always be conscious of cars parked around their vicinities,  as well as bags dropped around them, saying such were the things used by people who  planted bombs.

The church had acquired security gadgets which it uses to screen members before  letting them in.

Sokoto

The Federal Ministry of Environment has commenced a training programme for 240 refrigeration and air conditioning practitioners in Sokoto State.

The workshop is being sponsored by the United Nation Development Programme. A UNDP consultant, Alhaji Sikiru Rufaí, told newsmen in Sokoto on Saturday that the workshop was to sensitise participants on the need to protect the ozone layer. “ This is to reduce the emission of ultra violet rays which negatively affects the environment and leads to an array of consequences,’’ Rufaí added. “The environment needed to be protected from danger and by so doing, protecting the living organisms against danger,’’ Rufaí, said.

He said some of the negative consequences of ozone layer depletion included desertification, flooding, as well as ailments like trachoma.

Taraba

Alhaji Abdullahi Gambo, a reporter with Taraba State Broadcasting Service (TSBS), has emerged the winner of the chairmanship election of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Taraba State Council. Declaring the results on Saturday in Jalingo, the NUJ Deputy National Secretary, Mr Gbenga Bamidele, said Gambo polled 80 votes to defeat his only challenger, Mr Kefas Sule of the NTA, who polled 72 votes.

In his acceptance speech, Gambo, who said his victory was from God, added that he could even lay down his life to ensure that the past glory of NUJ in Taraba was restored.

He said “I am ready to do anything humanly possibly even if it means laying down my life to ensure that the past glory of the NUJ in Taraba is restored.’’

He urged Sule and his supporters to join hands with him to take Taraba NUJ to greater hights.

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NUT Tasks NASS On Teachers’ 65 Years Retirement Age Bill Passage

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The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has urged the national assembly to expedite action on passage of the Harmonised Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2021.
The Secretary-General of NUT, Dr Mike Ike-Ene, made the appeal in an interview with The Tide yesterday in Abuja.
He said the passage of the bill and its eventual signing into law by the President would go a long way in giving teachers the hope that their profession was being given the needed attention.
Ike-Ene said the hope of passage of the bill on June 30, having been mentioned on the Order Paper, was dashed because of the controversy that followed the debate on the Petroleum Industry Bill, now an Act.
“We are expecting that as the national assembly has resumed, the bill will be one of the first few bills to be passed.
“We expected the bill to be passed on June 30 concurrently by the two houses having been mentioned on the Order Paper but the debate of the Petroleum Industry Act and debate of the Electoral Reform Bill took the day.’’
The Secretary-General commended the National Assembly for its commitment to ensuring conclusion of work on the bill.
He expressed optimism that when passed, President Buhari would not hesitate in signing it into law.
He thanked the President for the effort to reposition the teaching profession, saying the union had been in the forefront in the struggle for elongation of tenure for teachers, among other things.
According to him, we have actually been fighting for some of the things the President promised to do for teachers, for instance, the elongation of years.
“We have been agitating for 65 years retirement age or 40 years by service and one of the reasons for the agitation is that we discovered that about 26 states did not recruit a single teacher for over 20 years.
“Yet teachers were retiring in their dozens, in hundreds and more deaths were being recorded as a result of the growing insecurity, particularly in schools.
“Some died naturally, others were resigning, yet teachers were not being employed.”
He further said, “We have also been agitating for Teachers Special Salary Structure (TSS) but hazard allowance was granted instead.
“The hazard allowance accumulated to 27.5 per cent of the basic of teachers’ salaries which were not what we were agitating for.
“We thank God that the Buhari’s administration has promised to implement the TSS and since that pronouncement, NUT, government and other stakeholders have been working to ensure implementation.’’
Ike-Ene disclosed that the promise made to teachers by the president would be implemented at different levels, stressing that while some would be passed into law, others would be implemented as policies.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in June, transmitted a letter on a Bill to increase the retirement age for teachers from 60 years to 65 years.
The Bill also seeks to extend the years of service for teachers from 35years to 40 years.
Meanwhile, the president at the commemoration of the World Teachers Day on October 5, 2020, approved a special salary scale for teachers and special pension scheme.
He also said the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) will begin to fund teaching practice in universities and colleges of education.
He further promised to ensure provisions for rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance.
The president also promised sponsorship of at least one refresher training, construction of low-cost housing for teachers in rural areas and reintroduction of bursary award.
Other promises are, expansion of the annual Presidential Teachers and Schools Awards and payment of stipends to Bachelor of Education students and automatic employment after graduation.

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Traffic Congestion: FG Builds Three Flyovers, Interchange

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The Federal Government is collaborating with Ogun State Government to secure the Right of Way (RoW) for the construction of three bridges and an interchange on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said this during an inspection of the highway last Wednesday.
Fashola, who was joined by Gov. Dapo Abiodun at the Lotto Bridge under construction, said the highway accommodated over 40,000 vehicles daily, hence the urgent need for additional flyovers and interchanges for decongestion.
The bridges are under construction at Makun, MFM and Lotto (Mowe) areas on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
“We are trying to execute an interchange that will separate the main carriageway and give commuters choice, especially those going to religious places to worship, those going to universities and so on and so forth.
“So that what used to cause the congestion is limited to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated when the road is finished.
“So, we now require additional land to build the interchange, that is why I called the governor (Dapo Abiodun),” he said.
He said that the Buhari administration inherited several stalled projects which he was committed to completing by adequately funding the projects
Fashola expressed satisfaction with progress of work on the ongoing reconstruction/rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
On his part, Gov. Abiodun assured that the state government would give all the land and support needed.
Earlier, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, gave the measurements and dimensions needed for the bridges and interchange.
Popoola also gave details on the number of buildings and services on the Right of Way of the bridges which, without paying compensations, would stall the project.
He said that section one of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project, which spans from Ojota in Lagos to Sagamu Interchange, “has achieved 56 per cent completion”.
Also, during inspection of section two of the project, which spans from the Sagamu Interchange to Ojoo in Ibadan, the Federal Controller of Works in Ogun, Mr Umar Bakare, said that the section was 63 per cent completed.

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NEDC Flags Off Construction Of 500 Housing Units In Bauchi

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North-East Development Commission (NEDC) in collaboration with the Bauchi State Government has commenced the construction of 500 mass housing units in Bauchi, to address housing deficit in the state.
NEDC’s Managing Director, Alhaji Mohammed Goni-Alkali, stated this at the ground breaking ceremony of the project yesterday in Bauchi.
Goni-Alkali said that 300 houses would be built in Bauchi metropolis while 200 others would be spread across the 20 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the project is to ease the accommodation problems as well as fast track the rapid social and economic development of the state, to mitigate the devastation caused by the insurgency.
Goni-Alkali said that the commission had so far constructed 1,000 housing units in Marte LGA of Borno, adding that the houses had been handed over to the state government.
He said that the commission would also construct one primary school in each of the senatorial districts across the six states in the region, to promote educational development.
The managing director said that the commission had presented food and non-food items to the Bauchi State Government for distribution to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He listed the items to include 10,000 bags of rice; 2,000 bags of sugar; 10,000 gallons of palm oil; 3,000 cartons of pasta; 2,000 blankets; 2,000 plastic mats and 1,000 mosquito nets.
In his remarks, Gov. Bala Mohammed, lauded the impact of the commission in the North-East with regard to the construction of schools and roads.
Mohammed also commended NEDC for the provision of other essential services since inception in 2019.
He said that the commission had constructed one block of six classrooms each across the 20 local government areas of the state.
“We have recieved the intervention of the commission in health and agriculture,” he said.
Mohammed promised to distribute the donated items judiciously to the deserving families.
The Goni-Alkali and other officials of the commission would inspect road projects in Alkaleri and Kirfi, and  Visco Vaginal Fistula (VVF) Centre in Ningi

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