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FCT

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has uncovered a payroll racket at the Federal Ministry of Information and Communication, Abuja, a statement said.

The anti-graft agency said in a statement, signed by its Head of Public Enlightenment, Mr Mike Sowe, in Abuja on Monday that preliminary investigations had revealed that

about N16.7 million had been siphoned by the syndicate.

It stated that ICPC  investigators discovered that the syndicate operated by reinstating names of downsized and retired staff of the ministry in the payroll system.

“The second stage involved using forged documents bearing names of the downsized or retired staff to open bank accounts.

Gombe

A lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Yola Dr Keftin Namal, has advocated a political solution to the current security challenges in the country.

He told newsmen in Gombe on Tuesday that while it was imperative for the security agencies to be proactive in their approach to the issue, other options should not be foreclosed.

“Although there is the need for security agents to be proactive, the issue of Boko Haram for example, is better addressed politically. Each elected politician from the affected constituencies should be deployed to his or her area to parley with and obtain a truce with members of the group.’’

Jigawa

The Jigawa Government says it has distributed 12,459 tonnes of assorted fertiliser worth N997 million to farmers this farming season.

Alhaji Mohammed Danzomo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, disclosed this in Dutse in an interview with newsmen.

He said the fertiliser would be sold to farmers at the rate of N2,000 per bag.

He said NPK and Urea brands cost N4,000 at the open market, adding that the government had subsidised the cost by more than 50 per cent.

Danzomo said that 12,459 tonnes of fertiliser, representing 415 trucks, had been distributed to the 27 local government areas, the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) and research Institutes for onward distribution to farmers.

Kaduna

Former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana has inaugurated a five-man Governing Council of TIMEX School of Communications, Kaduna.

Gana inaugurated the council during the opening of a 3-day National Communication summit, organised by the school.

The school, which was established in 2010 by Kabiru Dangogo, former Head of Union Bank Public Relation Unit, is the first of its kind in the North.

Gana, who commended Dangogo for using his money for the development of people and public relations in the country, urged members of the council to use their vast experience to develop the school.

In his speech, Dangogo, who is the chief executive of the Institution, said the school had made some progress since its establishment a year ago.

Kano

The Kano State Government is to set up a special court to try erring pilgrims from the state as from the next Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, said in Kano on Tuesday that the court would prosecute erring pilgrims after they had returned from the Holy Land.

Ganduje said soon after returning from the Holy Land that “we can not try the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, because we don’t have the powers to do so.

“But all evidence of against them will be brought to Nigeria, and the offenders will be tried here in Kano.”    He said Islam had forbidden pilgrims from misbehaving in the Holy Land, stressing that the state government would not condone any misdeeds.

Katsina

The Katsina State Government has donated three cows and assorted food items worth about N4 million to the state NYSC orientation camp.

Presenting the items to the NYSC Co-ordinator in the state on Tuesday, Alhaji Labiru Musa, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Rural, Social Development, Youth and Spots, said the gesture was to assist the 2011 ‘Batch B’ NYSC members.

He said the donation included N500,000 cash to be spent on the fumigation of the camp and purchase of insecticide and toiletries for the corps members.

Musa said the gesture was part of the state government’s commitment toward ensuring a successful orientation programme for the corps members.

Kebbi

The Kebbi Government has earmarked about N4 billion for the resettlement and compensation of 137,023 victims of the 2010 flooding, which also killed five persons and destroyed seedlings worth N33 million.

Gov Saidu Dakingari disclosed this on Monday in Birnin Kebbi when Alhaji Khalid Yusuf, the Managing Director of the Sokoto River Rima Basin Development Authority, led the new management team on a courtesy visit.

Dakingari said that 50 per cent of the earmarked amount had been released as compensation to the flood victims while the flood relief committee had yet to conclude its report.

The governor said that people residing along flood plains had been relocated to higher ground to avoid future flood.

He said that the measure was in response to the weather forecast by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) predicting possible flooding this year.

Lagos

Suspected armed robbers took advantage of the floods in Lagos metropolis to rob motorists.

Our correspondent reports that most parts of Lagos were flooded following a downpour that occurred throughout Sunday.

The floods submerged houses and vehicles and paralysed traffic.

Witnesses told our correspondent that hoodlums exploited the chaotic traffic situation which continued on Monday to rob motorists and commuters.

The route on which some of the robberies occurred included the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

Dr Paul Adesanya, who witnessed a robbery on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, told  our correspondent that the perpetrators were within the ages of 20 and 22.

A Minna Chief Magistrates’ Court has ordered Sen. Ibrahim Musa (CPC-Niger North) ,charged for alleged falsification and forgery, to be remanded in prison custody.

Sen. Nuhu Aliyu of the PDP had approached the elections petition tribunal to challenge Musa’s victory in the April senatorial election.

Musa, who was said to have been invited to the state police headquarters, Dutsen Kura, early on Monday was arraigned before the court around 5:42p.m.

The First Information Report (FIR) read by the prosecution counsel, M.A Igwe, stated that the senator was being charged for criminal conspiracy, forgery as well as using fake tax clearance receipt to mislead public officers.

He further stated that the offence was contrary to section 97, 364, 366 and 322 of the penal code.

Osun

The Osun State Government has agreed to pay the

N18,000 minimum wage to its workers.

Mr Sunday Akere, the Director of Research and Strategy, Osun State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), made the announcement in Osogbo in an  interview with newsmen.

“We will pay the N18,000. We will not beg labour for any reduction, because it is already a constitutional issue. It is also the right of Nigerian workers.’’

He said that once Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, who is currently on official trip to China returns home, the effective date when government would commence paying the wage would be announced.

Oyo

The  Chief  of  Army Staff,  Lt.- Gen. Azubuike  Ihejirika, has said  the military was facing the challenges of  rebuilding itself and  subordinating  to civil authority.

Ihejirika said this  at the opening ceremony of the workshop on civil-military relations held for officers and men at the 2 Division, Adekunle Fajuyi  Cantonment, Ibadan.

To tackle the  new challenges,  the army  chief   said the military needed  a complete re-orientation.

Ihejirika, who noted that there had been frictions  in  civil-military interactions in the past, said the trend globally  was to establish a  Department of  Civil Military Affairs  as was conceived by the army headquarters.

“The establishment of this department is to ensure that the personnel of the Nigerian Army are fully sensitised on this concept.

Plateau

The Plateau Government has spent about N10 billion on the three Agricultural Services Training Centres in the last four years, Gov. Jonah Jang has disclosed.

Jang disclosed this when he received  Mr Goerge Deek, the Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Israel, in Jos.

“The centres are costing Plateau N10 billion and the Israeli government is committing N2 billion into the project. The centres are being replicated in the three senatorial districts.

“Kassa (Plateau-North) and Mangu (Plateau-Central) centres were commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010. Shendam (Plateau-South) will soon be completed.

Zamfara

Following allegation of diversion by some members of the Fertiliser Distribution Committee, Gov Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara has instituted a probe into the activities of the committee.

Yari announced this while fielding questions from newsmen in Gusau.

He said he had received reports that some persons entrusted with the distribution of the commodity to farmers had allegedly diverted them for their personal gains.

“Right now, the issue is under investigation and as soon as the report comes to me, I will take appropriate action on all those found wanting in this important state assignment.“

“My administration will not fold its arms and watch some unpatriotic persons diverting fertiliser that is meant to assist the farmers in enhancing their agricultural productivity.”

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Senate Urges NDDC To Complete Okitipupa Power Sub-Station

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The Senate yesterday in Abuja urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete the installation of a transmission power sub-station in Okitipupa council  of Ondo State.
According to the Senate, completing the installation of the transmission power sub-station is  urgent in order to restore electricity to Ondo South Senatorial District comprising Okitipupa, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Irele and Odigbo Local Government Areas (LGAs).
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Olumide Akinrinlola, the media aide of Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, representing Ondo South at the senate.
He said that the senate acted on the motion filed by Tofowomo on, the urgent need to restore power back to the affected area before the end of the year.
The  Senator, who is of  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lamented that the Southern Senatorial District was hosting the Omotosho Power Plant in Okitipupa LGA with a capacity of 512.8MW and 451MW Net since 2005 without residents benefitting from power supply.
“The situation is embarrassing  because I continue to wonder if Ondo South is part of Nigeria because suffering from electricity blackout for about 14 years has grounded many economic activities.
“Almost 90 per cent of my people have been deprived of electricity since 2007 and since put them uninterrupted darkness.
“The district is hosting the Omotosho Power Plant in Okitipupa LGA with a capacity of 512.8MW and 451MW Net  since 2005 without the people benefiting from the distribution of electricity.
“The intervention came in 2012 by NDDC in a contract; 132KV transmission and 132KV/33KV sub-station and line were  awarded in Okitipupa LGA.
“As at today, 85 per cent of the job has been completed and all the 145 Transmission Line Towers from Omotosho Power Station to the Sub Station has been completed.
“The sub-station’s outstanding works remain 15 per cent of which can be accomplished without delay if all the necessary machinery are put in place.
“The substation can be ready for transmission to the federal feeders in Irele, Odigbo, Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Okitipupa LGA within the shortest possible time,” Tofowomo told the senate.

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Delta Assembly Passes Anti-Grazing Bill

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The Delta State House of Assembly yesterday passed a Bill for a Law Prohibiting Open Grazing, Indiscriminate Breeding, Rearing and Marketing of Livestock in Delta also known as “Anti Grazing Bill”.
The passage of the bill followed a motion for the third reading moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr  Ferguson Onwo, during the plenary of the Assembly in Asaba.
The motion which was unanimously adopted by the house, was seconded by the Minority Leader of the Assembly, Mr Innocent Anidi.
Earlier, the Chairman of House Committee on Special Bills,  Mrs Pat Ajudua, had presented the report on the bill on the floor of the House, which was received and adopted.
Ajudua, while presenting the bill,  said that inputs of stakeholders formed part of the proposed law.
She noted that the bill when signed into law would  prohibit the carrying of firearms, either licensed or otherwise, by residents or individuals in the state,  just as it seeks to address the arbitrary rearing and movement of livestock.
In his reaction, the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, expressed happiness over the development, saying that the people and residents of the state would be very happy that the bill was passed.
“Dear colleagues, I congratulate all of us on the passage of this very important bill.
“Today, the house has fulfilled the commitment of our dear state to the agreement reached at the South-South Governors’ meeting held here in our state capital, Asaba.
“By virtue of this bill, this house has demonstrated its resolve to protect the people of the state from the menace of clashes between herders and farmers.
“I must therefore, commend all the sponsors of this bill, for recognising that the security of lives and property of the people of the state as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) are sacrosanct,” Oborevwori said.
Oborevwori said that with the passage of the bill, well-meaning persons who seek to carry on the business of breeding, rearing and marketing of livestock should do so within the boundaries of the law.
“Also, farmers can now go about their businesses without fear of anyone grazing on their crops.
“This for sure will boost food production in the state; dear colleagues, this Bill is a right step in the right direction as our women can now go to their farmlands without fear of molestation.
“Once again, I thank you all for your untiring support as always and for your resolute commitment in the passage of people oriented bills, such as this.”

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FG Tasks Media On Fight Against Fake News, Misinformation

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The Federal Government has urged the media to complement the government’s efforts in the fight against fake news and misinformation in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha gave the advice yesterday at a training of “Communication Managers on Fake News and Hate Speech’’ in Abuja.
The training was organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms.
Mustapha, represented by Mrs Veronica Agugu, the Director, Public Affairs Department in the office of SGF, described fake news as false and misleading information presented as news.
He urged media practitioners and managers to assist in bridging the divide between governments and citizens in terms of implementation of government reform policies and programmes.
“Strengthening transparency in governance will require public sector to public communication as a tool to systematically raise citizens awareness which in turn would reduce the potency of hate speech in the country,’’ Mustapha said.
Dr Bala Muhammad, a lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano State, described media managers as media literates.
He urged them to unite against fake news and misinformation to promote peaceful co-existence in the country.
Muhammad said that most of the users of social media were not media literate, hence they easily fall for fake news and misinformation in the country.
Mr Yushau Shuaib, one of the resource persons, expressed concern over the huge number of social media users who were not media literate.
Shuaib stressed the need for relevant stakeholders to redouble their efforts in regulating the activities of social media in the country.
Mr Dasuki Arabi, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, said the training was to tackle the growing incidences of fake news, and hate speech occasioned by internet technology in the country.

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