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 Mmembers of the Bring Back Our  Girls leading the parents and relations of the  abducted Chibok girls to Presidential Villa in Abuja, during a protest march, yesterday.

Mmembers of the Bring Back Our Girls leading the parents and relations of the abducted Chibok girls to Presidential Villa in Abuja, during a protest march, yesterday.

Bauchi
Education sector topped Bauchi State’s 2016 Budget with
an allocation of N26.73 billion out of N135.30 billion budgeted for the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Planning Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim, stated this in Bauchi while giving a breakdown of the budget.
Ibrahim said that health, roads and infrastructure development were accorded second and third priority with N19.68 billion and N14.49 billion respectively.
He said that agriculture and water were also accorded priority with the sum of N9.54 billion and N7.31 billion respectively.
Ibrahim said that rural development; and commerce and industry got the least allocations with N3.40 billion and N1.83 billion respectively.

Benue
The Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Cen
tre (FMC), Makurdi, Dr Peteru Inunduh, said that there was no case of Lassa fever in the hospital.
In the same vein, his counterpart at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Prof. Abraham Malu, said the hospital had yet to record any case of Lassa fever.
The directors, who spoke in separate interviews with in Makurdi, said that they were on the watch out, following the recent outbreak of the disease in the country.
Malu said that although the hospital had received a case suspected to be Lassa fever, the hospital authority had yet to confirm it.

FCT
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment
to promote decent employment and enhanced welfare for Nigerian workers, a statement has said.
The statement was issued by Mr Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director of Press in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, in Abuja recently.
It said Mr James Ocholi, the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, made the pledge when the Association of Resident Doctors, FCT chapter, paid him a courtesy visit.
Ocholi said such step was the only way that the country would record economic growth and stability and called on the doctors to support the government’s efforts to ensure industrial peace and harmony in the health sector.

Gombe
Gombe Local Government Council in Gombe State says
it has distributed JAMB forms to 50 less privilege youths in the area to rekindle their interest in education.
The Acting Caretaker Chairman of the council, Alhaji Suleiman Ibrahim, told newsmen in Gombe that the gesture was aimed at assisting the beneficiaries to further their education.
“The beneficiaries were carefully selected based on merit with 18 females and 32 males benefiting.
“This gesture is in line with the priority given to education by the state government and the concern for the youths to develop academically, among other assistance.
“I want youths in this council area to change their attitude positively to further their education for a better tomorrow for themselves, their families and the state at large,’’ said Ibrahim.
He said if they imbibe positive attitudinal change, they would contribute to the development of the state and the country at large.

Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government has solicited the support
of parents and administrators to sustain its school feeding programme.
Addressing newsmen in Kaduna, Dr Shehu Adamu, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, said the programme would ease the suffering of pupils and students in the state.
He said the support of parents in particular, would enhance the implementation of the programme for primary and secondary schools.
“The school feeding programme will be formally launched when pupils in government-owned schools resume on January 17.
“Preparation for the take-off of the programme is in top gear as contractors and vendors have been engaged.
“Individual schools will meet with their respective vendors to review the procedures and modalities for effective service delivery.’’
Kwara
The Tsaragi community in Kwara State has rejected the
commission of inquiry set up by the state government to look into the bloody clash between it and the Share community.
The spokesman of the community, Dr Abdullahi Idris, made this known in Ilorin at a news conference.
He said the community has no confidence in the judicial commission of inquiry set up by the state government to find lasting solution to incessant clashes between the two communities.
“We wish to reiterate that the Nupes of Tsaragi community have no confidence and trust in the institution of Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed
“We have therefore instituted an action in court to challenge the governor’s action.
“The Nupes in Tsaragi community and in general are law abiding and committed to peaceful co-existence with their Share Igbomina speaking neighbours,” Idris added.

Lagos
The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of
Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Saleh Dunoma, has given assurance that the Katsina Airport terminal would be ready for commissioning soon.
Dunoma gave the assurance in a statement issued by FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mr Yakubu Dati, in Lagos recently.
The statement quoted Dunoma as saying that the authority was putting finishing touches for final takeover of the terminal.
He said in the statement that the airport was strategic to key airports in the northern part of the country.
He noted that the terminal would add substantial value to the revenue generation drive of the organisation through the annual Hajj operations.

Nasarawa
Rev. Fr. Lawrence Soja-Anyembugu of St. Sylvester
Catholic Church, New Nyanya, Karu, Nasarawa State, has inaugurated a computer training centre to enable youths to acquire computer knowledge.
Soja-Anyembugu , who inaugurated the centre in Akun Development Area of the state, urged the youths to take advantage of the free computer training to acquire computer knowledge.
He said the computer centre would enable the children of poor to acquire computer knowledge so as to be able to take computer-based examinations.
“ICT knowledge is needed by all, especially the students because one cannot sit for JAMB, post UTME without having computer knowledge.
“That is why it has become imperative for the youths and other Nigerians to acquire computer knowledge in order to be self-reliant and to contribute their quota to national development.
Niger
Sheikh Muhammadu Isah-Kutigi, has urged political
leaders to abide by oath of office and remember the day of judgment in the discharge of their duties.
Isah-Kutigi, proprietor, Madarasatul Faitul Islam in Dutsen Kura Gwari, made the call during Qura’nic Graduation (Wolimat) of 114 students in Minna recently.
He said the society would experience the much desired dividends of democracy when elected and appointed leaders lived above board.
“They should always remember that they have either sworn with Holy Qur’an or Holy Bible, and as such, should not renege on such oaths”, he said.
The cleric also advised leaders to shun materialism, adding that they should fear God in the discharge of their duties to the people.

Plateau
The Plateau State Ministry of Health has confirmed the
death of one person in Mangu Local Government Area of the state from Lassa fever infection.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Kudun Deyin, said at a press briefing in Jos that the victim, a woman, was on transit from Abuja.
He said a specimen from the deceased was sent to Irrua in Edo for confirmation.
He said that the ministry’s Disease and Surveillance Notification Officer had been sent to the private hospital where the lady was admitted to carry out further investigation and to forestall the spread of the disease.
Deyin, however, said that there were other cases in Shendam, Langtang South, Jos North and Pankshin local government areas, which had yet to be confirmed.
He described Lassa fever as an acute haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the arena- virus.

Sokoto
The Sokoto State Government says it has concluded
plans to recruit 500 additional teachers for secondary schools across the state.
The Head of the Civil Service (HOS) of the state, Alhaji Bature Shinkafi, made this known in Sokoto when he addressed newsmen on efforts to transform the sector.
Our correspondent reports that the move is coming barely one month after the state government declared a “state of emergency’’ in the education sector.
Shinkafi said that the teachers to be recruited would be graduates and holders of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE).
He said: “The committee set up to conduct the recruitment had submitted its report to my office on January 6.”

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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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