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Jonathan Urges Prayers For Nigerian Troops

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President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday in Abuja called on Nigerians to pray for the nation’s security forces to enable them to contain insecurity in the country.
Jonathan made the call at the inauguration of the “Citadel and Towers”, the new complex of the House on the Rock Church, Abuja.
Represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, Jonathan, who also inaugurated the Churche’s Cathedral in Lagos, said both structures were architectural masterpieces.
“We understand the importance of faith-based organisations in building a strong, peaceful, resilient and prosperous nation; your work in this regard is highly commendable.
“Like the citadel, Nigeria is rising, my government is working hard, supported by your prayers and the results are evident.
“Today, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa; we are producing more food than ever before.
“There are renewal of our rail systems, improvement of petrochemical and gas industries, expansion of construction of roads and other infrastructure.
“Modernisation of our airports, improvement of our educational and health systems are receiving major attention’’, he said.
According to him, together we are building a Nigeria of our dreams; a nation destined for greatness by God, to become a beacon of light to nations.
“Yes, we have our security challenges, but none of these things should discourage us, we are working very hard to address the insecurity in some parts of the nation.
“Our security forces are facing enemies of progress who do not want our nation to prosper; those who maim and destroy.
“We must all arise and pray for our security forces, we must be encouraged everyday and indeed when the enemy shall arise, the Lord will lift a mighty standard against him’’, he said.
He expressed gratitude for the prayers of the church for Nigeria, especially for people in government and for the vision for the new church complex.
Jonathan expressed optimism that great leaders would arise from the Church and other faith-based organisations to move the nation forward.
Pastor Paul Adefarasin of the House on the Rock Church, said true transformation required discipline, integrity, unity, commitment, clarity of purpose and sharpness of vision.
He said the citadel being inaugurated was synonymous with the Biblical nation builder Nehemiah and thus Nigeria must stand guard physically and spiritually.
He harped on the need for social justice and equity in the land.
“Today, we stand in one of such structures built to protect our land and deliver social justice to all; the Citadel and Towers epitomises contemporary 21st century architecture.
“It behoves on us to remember the reason for which the citadel was birthed; this edifice has been prayerfully fashioned as a place of refuge.
“This centre is inspired by a clear understanding of the strategic role of faith based organisations as partners in national development.
“Government alone cannot be left to do the business of building our nation; we must all become veritable vehicles for the actualisation of social justice”, he said.
He said education cannot be overemphasised as a tool for national transformation and the church must play its role.

L-R:General Manager, Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Mr Celestine Ogolo, Head of Technical Services Division, Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency, Mitchell Alamina and General Manager, Human Resources and Administration, RSSDA, Tonye Sukubo, during the 2014 Annual Media Report in Port Harcourt, last Friday. Photo: Egberi Sampson

L-R:General Manager, Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Mr Celestine Ogolo, Head of Technical Services Division, Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency, Mitchell Alamina and General Manager, Human Resources and Administration, RSSDA, Tonye Sukubo, during the 2014 Annual Media Report in Port Harcourt, last Friday. Photo: Egberi Sampson

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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