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Borno
Residents of Maiduguri on Saturday celebrated the first rainfall of the year recorded in the town, expressing relief that the excruciating hot weather would subside.
Report has it  that, some areas like Bulumkutu and  Baga road recorded heavy downpour, while Custom and Tashan Bama axis in the state capital recorded drizzles with heavy storm.
The rain, which started around 4:30 p.m and lasted for about 45 minutes, followed days of hot weather that hit over 45 degree Celsius.
Malam Nafiu Dansabo, a resident, said the rainfall took everybody by surprise.
“I was never anticipating seeing rainfall at this moment. I guess it was because of the unbearable heat.
“The weather was very hot; even the water in the tap is very hot. I have been sleeping outside for the past one week because of heat,” he said.

FCT
The Women Advocates for Vaccine Access (WAVA) on Wednesday, commended the quick response and synergy among the various government agencies in dealing with the outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in the country.
Dr Chizoba Wonodi, National Convener, WAVA, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja last Wednesday.
She said, there are coalition of over 40 civil society organisations (CSOs), working to ensure equitable access to vaccines for all Nigerians.
Wonodi also said, WAVA was gratified at the motion by the Senate that called for free Meningitis C vaccination and support to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) through appropriation of a supplementary budget.
“WAVA members have expressed their delight with the manner in which the FMoH, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners responded to the epidemic by ensuring adequate coordination, awareness creation and social mobilisation.
“We are also happy with case management, infection prevention and control, active surveillance and reactive vaccination in the affected states,” the WAVA National Convener said.

Jigawa
The Jigawa State Pilgrims Welfare Board (JSPWB), said it has screened no fewer than 1,300 intending pilgrims in preparation for the 2017 Hajj exercise.
The Public Relations Officer of the board, Alhaji Ibrahim Hashim, disclosed this on Thursday in an interview with  Journalists  in Dutse.
Hashim said about 1,000 of the pilgrims have paid their N1 million deposit for the exercise, adding that the money had been remitted to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCO).
He called on other intending pilgrims to pay their deposits in order to enable the board process their visa on time.
The Tide  recalls that NAHCON allocated 2,677 seats to the state for 2017 Hajj exercise.
The board has so far distributed 1,699 of the seats to the 27 Local Government Councils of the state.

Kaduna
Drivers in Kaduna yesterday  manhandled an officer of Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency (KASTELEA) over alleged unprofessional conduct.
The drivers alleged that, the official’s action caused an accident which involved two motorists on Yakowa Road,  Kaduna.
The accident, which  involved a Volkswagen Golf Station Wagon car and a Toyata Camry Salon car, occurred at 8 a.m. around NNPC Junction and ignited a protest by the drivers which caused a traffic jam more than an hour.
The driver of the Golf car, Mr Isiaku Zubairu told newsmen that, the KASTELEA official had ordered him to park and that in an attempt to obey, the official  held onto the car steering.
Zubairu said, while he was reversing to park properly, the official, who thought that he wanted to flee, held the steering and the vehicle swerved onto the road and hit the Camry  coming behind.

Kwara
Governor  Abudulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, said on Sunday that economic situation in the country was the reason Local Government election was postponed and tenure of the Transition Implementation Committee (TIC), extended.
The governor made this known at the monthly meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ilorin.
According to him, local governments in the state were just getting stabilised in meeting basic requirement of their workers.
“To attempt any election at that level of governance now will mean an additional pressure on their meagre resources of the state,” he added.
The governor, therefore, promised to use the expected 25 per cent of the Paris-London loan refund to assist the local government offset part of their outstanding salary arrears.

Lagos
The Vice-Chancellor of the Covenant University, Prof. Aderemi Atayero, on Tuesday said that, the University’s Board had instituted an endowment fund of N1billion to promote its  newly-introduced globalisation programme.
Atayero told newsmen in Lagos that globalisation was a concept coined by the institution as part of its vision of becoming one of the top ten universities in the world.
“The Board of Covenant University recently endowed N1 billion to any project from either Faculty or  Students of the University that meets the criteria of globalisation.
“The concept of globalisation came about after we have looked at our immediate environment, looked at the present problems in Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa and Africa in general.
“We then started thinking of how we can provide solutions to these problems, through scientific approach, to proffering solutions to these problems, and by so doing getting global relevance.

Nasarawa
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Tuesday summoned the Special Adviser to Governor Tanko Al-Makura on Gender and Disability Matters, Hajiya Hajara Danyaro, over alleged payment of constituency allowances to the members of the state legislature.
Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, Speaker of the House, gave the directive on Tuesday, for the appearance of the aide before the house.
The summon followed Mr. James Dangana (APC-Doma) motion on an allegation under a Matter of Public Interest during the house proceeding in Lafia.
Balarabe-Abdullahi directed the Clerk of the house to communicate the resolution to Danyaro to appear on April 11 by 8.30 a.m., adding that, her alleged statement was capable of inciting the public against the house.
“By this invitation, we want to give the Special Adviser to Governor  Al-Makura on Gender and Disability Matters, fair hearing over her allegation that the house has been receiving constituency allowances and because of that, members have been marrying more wives.

Ondo
Governor  Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State last Tuesday, said his predecessor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, should be appreciated for leaving behind immense achievements to be built upon.
Akeredolu, made the assertion during his courtesy visit to Oba Victor Kiladejo, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom in Ondo town.
The governor said that, people of the state had good reasons to be proud of Mimiko due to his monumental achievements, including the medical village in Ondo.
“The medical village is one of the best in Nigeria. Government is a continuum and we will continue where he stopped,” he said.
Akeredolu solicited the cooperation of Ondo indigenes toward the success of his administration.
He also promised to look into the issue of land grabbers with a view to resolving the problem.

Plateau
Rep. Simon Arabo (PDP, Kd), has urged security agencies to adopt stringent measurses to flush out bandits hiding in bushes, hills and mountains in different parts of southern Kaduna.
“Victims of attacks on southern Kaduna have always said that the bandits usually run into surrounding bushes, hills and mountains. Security agencies should comb these areas and flush them out,” Arabo told newsmen, on Tuesday in Jos.
He advised the security agencies to work with local vigilante teams, saying that, their knowledge of the terrain would be useful in the search for the attackers.
Arabo, whose village, Kikoba in Kauru Local Government, came under heavy attack on November 13, 2016, advised security agencies to be proactive by taking the fight to the bandits.

Sokoto
A member of the House of Representatives from Sokoto State (APC-Sokoto), Alhaji Abdussamad Dasuki, last  Sunday distributed empowerment materials to no fewer than 1,000 women and youths.
The materials were distributed to one hundred groups, each with ten members include, sewing and grinding machines, as well as generators.
Similarly, the lawmaker donated N 30,000 to each of the groups, amounting to N3million.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dasuki, who is representing  Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency at the Green Chamber of the National Assembly, said that, the gesture was aimed at alleviating the sufferings of some of the members of his constituency.
He said, “The gesture is part of efforts to fulfill our promises to the electorate.

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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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