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Adamawa

The Bank of Agriculture has dragged more than 200 farmers in Adamawa to court for allegedly defaulting in the repayment of loan given to them by the bank.

The Branch Manager of the bank, Hajiya Asabe Gurama, made this known in Yola on Thursday.

“It is true that we have taken some of our customers numbering over 200 to court for defaulting in the repayment of loan disbursed to them since 2004”, Asabe said.

Asabe explained that the outstanding loan was about N100 million, adding that the bank had no option than to take all necessary legal action to recover the loan.

She decried the lukewarm attitude of some farmers in repaying loan.

Bauchi

The Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Aminu Saleh, has warned border communities in the state against any act of upheaval that will cause a breach of the peace.

Saleh issued the warning Thursday in Bauchi during a meeting with traditional rulers living along borders of Bauchi and Jigawa states.

He announced that the meeting was to enable them review resolutions earlier arrived at between the two states presided over by officials of the National Boundary Commission (NBC).

Saleh urged the rulers to embrace peace and dialogue for peaceful co-existence among the communities living along the border.

According to the deputy governor, doing so will pave way for the development of the areas.

FCT

A 43-year old trader, Felix Okafor, of Dagbanna village, has been sentenced to three weeks imprisonment by an Abuja Upper Area Court for causing grievous harm to his co-tenant.

The Police Prosecutor, Cpl. Pascal Ujoko, told the court that the matter was reported on July 20 at the Jikwoyi Police Station by one Mrs Oteeto Ngozi of the same address.

Ujoko said that the convict sent his child on an errand but the child refused to go because his mother supported him. This action annoyed the convict, the prosecutor said.

He said the convict brought out a stick from the burning firewood to beat the child, but as he was chasing him, the convict unfortunately hit the complainant on her face, injuring her on the left eye.

Kaduna

A university teacher, Prof. Yahaya Bambale says the appointment of Local Government Interim Management Committees by some state governors in the country is a clear violation of the nation’s constitution.

Bambale, a Professor of Law at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, told journalists  in Zaria last  Thursday that there was no such provision in the Nigerian Constitution.

“What is enshrined in the constitution is an elected chairman and a particular time is being specified for him after which another election is supposed to be conducted.

“But I think what some of the state governors are doing is that the same constitution gave them a leeway that where a leadership vacuum exists it could be filled before election is conducted.

Kano

Niger Republic Nationals resident in Kano, have  donated assorted relief materials and money to the victims of the recent flood disaster at Fage in Kano Municipal Area Council.

The materials included 40 bags of rice, 20 bags of maize, 10 bags of salt, 30 mattresses, 30 bundles of roofing sheets, and N200,000 cash.

Presenting the items, the country’s consul in Kano,Hajiya Rabi Dodo, said that the gesture was aimed at assisting the victims, who, she described, as “our brothers and sisters”, to cushion the effects of the flood.

She said it was also aimed at sympathising with the victims, because “whatever affects the people of Nigeria affects us also, as we are from the same roots’’.

Kebbi

The Kebbi government has called on NAPEP to partner with the state for the expansion of its poverty reduction investment programme in rural areas.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, made the call in Birnin Kebbi last Wednesday when the NAPEP Director of Coordination and Programme, Mrs Godiya Yohanna, led a delegation of officials to visit him.

“We will fulfil any conditionalities with NAPEP for the expansion of the programme that will enhance the living conditions of our rural dwellers,” Aliyu said.

He said the first phase of the programme reduced the poverty level of many households in 2009, stressing that expansion of the programme would assist in the rapid development of the state.

Yohanna, on her part, said the launch of the second phase of the poverty reduction investment would benefit 1,000 households and that 60 per cent of the beneficiaries would be women.

Nasarawa

Nasarawa  State Government says it has so far evacuated a total of 150 of its citizens from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, following increasing threat posed by the Boko Haram.

Malam Mahmud Zubairu, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on efforts the government was making to evacuate its citizens from Borno.

He said that there had been growing concerns by many people in the state “who are worried about the safety of their relations and friends in Maiduguri since the crisis in the state began’’.

Zubairu said the state governor had directed that all indigenes of the state still trapped in Maiduguri should be evacuated without further delay.

He said this was part of the government’s efforts to protect the lives and property of its citizens wherever they might be.

Ogun

Goveronor  Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun has  set up a six-member committee to review the cases of 2,000 workers whose appointments were recently terminated by the state government. The workers, employed at the twilight of the Gbenga Daniel administration, were sacked because the government claimed that their appointments did not follow due process.

The affected workers had staged a protest march to the Governor’s Office, the House of Assembly, the NUJ Secretariat and major streets in Abeokuta.

The state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had also intervened on their behalf, by appealing to the state government to reinstate them.

Plateau

The Special Task Force (STF) maintaining security in Plateau has debunked claims that members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect had invaded Jos.

“No Boko Haram member has invaded Jos or anywhere in Plateau; the rumours are simply baseless,” STF spokesman Charles Ekeocha said in Jos.

The STF was reacting to rumours that members of the sect were in Jos and could attack anytime.

Ekeocha, in a statement, advised the people to go about their normal activities as the STF and other security agencies were fully prepared to keep the peace.

Taraba

The Taraba Government has released N200 million for the payment of pensions and gratuities of retired civil servants in the 16 local government areas of the state.

Alhaji Marafa Bashir, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said 76 pensioners and relations of 136 dead pensioners would benefit.

Bashir explained that the money would be paid to all retired local government staff while the entitlements of the deceased pensioners would be paid to their next of kin on presentation of relevant documents.

He told newsmen that a list of another batch of beneficiaries was being compiled as government intended to set aside funds for the settlement of pension and gratuity of pensioners based on a time table.

Bashir described pension and gratuities as a social security that should not be denied the retirees, pointing out that the state government would continue to work round the clock to ensure immediate payment of such funds to pensioners.

Yobe

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said last Thursday it would create five zonal distribution centres in Yobe for easy distribution of relief materials to persons displaced by the Boko Haram crisis in Maiduguri.  The North-East Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alhaji Aliyu Sambo, made the announcement in Damaturu while answering questions from newsmen.

According to him, the centres will be established in the Potiskum, Jakusko, Nangere Fika, Gashua and Nguru Local Government Areas.

“We learnt there are not less than 200 fleeing persons in each of these areas,” he said.

Sambo said that materials had been distributed to more than 250 displaced persons in Potiskum under the supervision of security personnel while the remaining four centres would soon receive materials for distribution.

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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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