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Benue

Two persons, Kparev Kamnan and Aondofa Nor, were yesterday remanded at the Federal Prisons, Makurdi, for allegedly robbing one Dominic Pila of the sum of N5,000.

The Police Prosecutor, Mr Godwin Ebonyi, told the court that the victim reported the matter to the Ayati police station on January 12.

According to him, Pila said, on the same date, while he was sleeping in his house, three men armed with axes and cutlasses attacked him, stating that he raised an alarm as the robbers tried dispossessing him of N5,000.

The prosecutor said that the arrested suspects confessed to committing the offence while the third suspect was still at large. Ebonyi said that the offences were contrary to Sections 6(B) 1(2) of the Armed Robbery and Fire Arms Act.

Borno

 

The Joint Task Force (JTF) on Operation Restore Order (ORO) in Borno State said it welcomed the ceasefire announcement by one Sheikh Mohammed Abdulaziz Ibn Idris, who said he represented the Boko Haram sect.

Ibn Idris had told a news conference on Monday in Maiduguri that the sect had directed all its members to lay down their arms and end hostilities forthwith. He said the ceasefire took effect from Monday, January 28.

Ibn Idris had also told journalists that the ceasefire order emanated from Sheikh Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the sect after series of discussions between the group and the government.

“Actually, the ceasefire message came through Sheikh Abubakar Idris from Bauchi,” he said.

 

Jigawa

The Chairman, Kiyawa Local Government in Jigawa State, Alhaji Dahiru Madaki, says he is determined to execute projects which have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the area.

Dahiru who said this when he received representatives of other political parties in the area on a courtesy visit to him in his office in Kiyawa, Monday however called for tolerance among the political parties to ensure a sustainable democracy.

The LG chairman assured of his determination to be just and fair in the provision of social amenities to the people.

“No meaningful development will take place without the support and co-operation of all and sundry,’’ he said.

Earlier, in an address, the political parties’ spokesman, Alhaji Garba Mohammed, expressed the readiness of the parties to support the present administration in the council and the state in general.

 

Kaduna

The Kaduna State Primary Health Care Agency has blamed some pregnant women, for the increase in maternal mortality rate in the state.

Its Executive Secretary, Dr Sufiyan Babale, said in an interview in Kaduna that the women were mostly ignorant on ways to access health care services, adding that this had resulted in their inability to recognise the danger signs in pregnancies.

Babale urged women to identify their strengths and weaknesses during pregnancy, so as to curb complications, which could lead to death, and lamented that most pregnant women skip ante-natal clinics, which was important to their safe delivery.

Babale blamed the increase in maternal mortality to lack of required manpower for effective medical services stating that most of the personnel working in the primary health centres were community health extension workers.

 

Kano

Kano State Government on Monday said it would give titles to at least 100,000 plots before the end of the administration in 2015.

The Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning, Dr Nadu Yahya, said this while receiving the Presidential Task Force on Land Reform in Kano.

Yahya said it was an honour that Kano was selected by the Federal Government as a pioneer state for the systematic registration of lands.

“Kano has begun systematic land registration about a year ago and it has registered at least 5,000 plots till date.”

 

Kebbi

Birnin Kebbi Local Government in Kebbi State said it would sanction parents who refused to avail their children of routine polio immunisation.

Chairman of the council, Alhaji Musa Dan-Illela,  in Birnin Kebbi said that a taskforce on polio had been inaugurated to ensure strict compliance by parents.

He said that 34 districts and village heads in the area had been directed to embark on intensive sensitisation campaign against polio in remote areas. They were also to report parents who prevented their children from being immunised, he added.

Dan-Illela said the taskforce was also directed to monitor the performance of vaccinators and warned that “deviants would not be spared.”

 

Kwara

The General Secretary of the Kwara Council of the NUJ, Mr Bisi Adedayo, has advocated a review of the Official Secrets Act to ensure the workability of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

Adedayo said yesterday in Ilorin that the two Acts were antithetical to each other.

He said that the Official Secrets Act was no longer necessary as “we cannot say as a civil servant you cannot divulge official information about government, whereas the FOI Act has empowered every Nigerian access to information.’’

Adedayo noted that the National Assembly needed to review the Official Secrets Act to ensure a workable FOI Act. He, however, said aspects bordering on national security should not be amended.

 

Nasarawa

A Mararaba Upper Area Court in Nasarawa State on Tuesday sentenced Sanusi Haruna, 23, of Sabon Gari, Mararaba, to five years imprisonment for theft and possession of deadly weapon.

The Presiding Judge, Mr Vincent Gwahemba, sentenced Haruna to three years imprisonment for the offence of theft and two years imprisonment for possessing deadly weapons. He said that the sentences would run concurrently.

Gwahemba, however, gave the convict an option to pay N6,000 fine for the offence of theft and N4,000 fine for possessing deadly weapons.

 

Ogun

The Ogun Police Command has asked owners of recovered vehicles and motorcycles to report at its Isara division within two weeks to claim them.

The command’s spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, said that vehicles and motorcycles not claimed within two weeks would be sold by public auction.

The vehicles, according to him, included a Volkswagen bus marked XE 308 BOJ, a Volvo car marked DE 45SMK, and a Mitsubishi Space bus with registration number DD 02 APP. Others were a Mercedes Benz marked AH 359 AGG and a Mazda car with registration number AV 684 KJA.

Adejobi also said that two Boxer motorcycles marked QU 576 BDG and Q 300 LSR as well as a Jincheng motorcycle marked LA 8099 SM and unmarked Qlink motorcycle were also up for retrieval.

 

Plateau

The security agencies in Plateau and Taraba States have formed a partnership to forestall the escalation of last week’s violence that hit Wadata, a border village between the two states.

Capt. Salisu Mustapha, Media Officer of the Special Military Task Force maintaining security in Plateau, had confirmed that nine people were killed in the Wednesday’s attack on the village located in Wase Local Government of Plateau.

He also said that investigation had commenced to unravel the attackers.

Yiljap, who reviewed the security situation in the affected area, said that the synergy between security agencies in the two states was a proactive step to ensure that the violence was contained.

 

Sokoto

A Sokoto-based Islamic scholar, Sheik Yusuf Alibawa, on Monday urged the Muslim community to practically demonstrate the teachings of the religion on good neighbourliness.

Alibawa said in Sokoto that ,” Nigeria will be a better place for all of us if we totally practise in our lives what Islam really says about being a good neighbour.

The cleric said, “your neighbour will be the one to be your witness before the creator in the hereafter. Therefore, the need for the Muslim community to show love and care among their neighbours irrespective of religious differences becomes a task that must be accomplished.”

He also called for religious tolerance and understanding among Nigerians in confronting the current security challenges facing the country.

 

Zamfara

The Zamfara Government yesterday said it would save N2.34 billion annually from the ghost workers discovered on its payroll after staff verification.

Chairman of the Workers Assessment and Rationalisation Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Gusau,  revealed this while presenting the committee’s report to Gov. Abdulaziz Yari in Gusau.

According to him, the state government is saving N195 million monthly, translating to N2.34billion yearly, adding that the government would save about N360million from the health sector alone, being the ministry with the highest number of ghost workers in the state.

Responding, Yari commended the committee for a job well-done, and pledged to implement the recommendations without delay.

The governor announced a seven- man committee to be headed by the Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Abdulkarim Tsafe, to fine tune the report.

According to him, the committe will also recommend ways of implementing the report.

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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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