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Ikoyi Passport Office Moves To Clear Backlog Of Applications

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The Ikoyi  Office  of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Lagos, says that it  has extended its working days to include Saturdays and Sundays to meet the demands of its applicants.
The Passport Control Officer (PCO), Mr  Ibrahim Liman,  stated this in an interview with The Tide source yesterday in Lagos.
 Liman, a Deputy Controller of Immigration (DCI), added that the office also had issued no less than 15,000 passports to qualified applicants since his assumption of office  in June 2021
The official said these while  reacting to a series of complaints regarding  passport racketeering and cases of uncleared backlogs of passports among others.
He said that his office  would fishout and sanction offenders appropriately.
According to him,  the office has extended its operational  days  to include Saturdays  and Sundays in order  to meet the demands of thousands of applicants who trooped in , into the office to obtain  the documents
He urged Nigerians to see beyond the fact that the passport is just a travelling document ,saying it should be seen as a security document that would help them in many ways.
He stressed that his office was fully  committed to efficient service delivery and it would not relent in justifying its operational mandate.
Liman also  warned those who were always indulging in passport racketeering to desist from the act or face severe  consequences.
The PCO emphasised that  his  department  had been working unrelentingly to meet the demands of applicants and adhering  to due process required in obtaining it.
He explained  that some challenges might hinder the timely release  of some international passports to prospective applicants.
He said that this would be  due to the need for discreet investigation to be conducted by the department on  such  applicants to determine their elligibility.
Liman , however, stressed that NIS would not hesitate to discipline anyone found to be involved in  defrauding or shortchanging any  applicants found to be engaging  either  in sharp practices or any illicit acts capable of spoiling  the name of the department.
He said that  the Nigeria Immigration Service would continue to remain one of the best passport issuers globally.
“ The service  has recently introduced additional sophiscticated measures  toward  checking  attitudes  inimical to the conduct of its official duties, especially, issues to do with corruption” he added.
He appealed to applicants to always endeavour to visit the NIS Servicom department in all passport offices to make enquiries.
“NIS has  reiterated that all qualified prospective seekers of the travel document should apply online,” he added.
He lamented that some applicants  used to be  impatient and  were always in a hurry to push their ways to get the document in few hours and finally get things messed up.
“Can this be done in advanced countries?
“I specially appeal to prospective applicants to visit : immigration.gov.ng, which serves as the service website to apply and make payments for their passports,” he added.

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FG Empowers 678 Farmers In Ogun, Taraba, Nasarawa

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The Federal Government, in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has empowered about 678 farmers through the IFAD COVID-19 Pandemic Rural Poor Stimulus Facility Grant in Ogun, Taraba and Nasarawa states.
The Acting National Programme Coordinator, FGN/IFAD Value Chain Development Programme, Dr. Fatima Aliyu, disclosed this at the flag-off ceremony of rice production inputs in Kogi State.
She said the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) was a joint programme by IFAD and the Federal Government and was implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Giving the breakdown of the beneficiaries in the three states, Aliyu explained that 37 men and 72 women totalling 109 farmers were empowered in Ogun, 234 men and 215 women totalling 449 farmers were empowered in Taraba, while 43 men and 77 women totalling 120 were empowered in Nasarawa State bringing the grand total to 678 farmers.
She stated that the programme was aimed at boosting and improving farmers’ wealth, employment generation for youths, and fortifying Nigeria’s food security.
Aliyu said that the VCDP would also provide extension services to targeted farmers who will receive training on good practices in the application of fertilisers and agro-chemicals as well as farm management and climate-smart agriculture.
According to her, “This is a special occasion of the flag-off of agro-inputs distribution to our great farmers which has been made possible through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility grant”
“In early 2020, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic which affected the world and disrupted farming activities and food systems.  To cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on farmers, IFAD gave a grant tagged Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) to VCDP through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“Through the RPSF, 2,793 vulnerable farmers will receive agro inputs to support their farming activities.
“A total of 678 farmers in Ogun, Taraba and Nasarawa states will receive these inputs free consisting of 40kg certified rice seeds, 2 litres of herbicides, 2 bags of NPK and one bag of Urea fertilizers.
“To enhance transparency in the process, the programme engaged the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) for the effective management of the input – supply, redemption and delivery in all the nine states through the voucher input redemption system.
“We recognise and appreciate the support of IFAD in our quest to improve the livelihoods of our smallholder farmers and specifically to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agricultural sector, particularly for VCDP farmers.
“To our respected farmers, we implore you to make judicious use of the inputs. The inputs are not meant to be sold out but for you to use them on your farms”.

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Anambra House Of Assembly Expresses Shock Over Member’s Murder

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The Anambra State House of Assembly has expressed deep shock over the news of the gruesome murder of one of its member, Mr  Okechukwu Okoye, by alleged gunmen.
Mr Uche Okafor,Speaker of the House,in  a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary,Chief  Emma Madu, yesterday in Akwa,  described the act as heart piercing and unfortunate.
According to him,  Okoye was one of the outspoken and articulate  lawmakers, adding that the legislative institution in the state has lost a quality member, in the person of  the fallen law maker.
Okafor  said the late lawmaker had a great sense of humour and was deeply  committed to duty, adding  that his demise would be felt in the House for a long time to come.
He urged Gov. Chukwuma Soludo, not to relent in his efforts toward achieving maximum security of lives and property of residents.
Okafor further called on all well-meaning citizens to join hands with the governor in the direction of the fight against social ills and all forms of criminality in Anambra.
The Speaker, on behalf of other state lawmakers, then  commiserated with the immediate family of late Okoye, his kinsmen, Gov. Soludo, the entire Isuofia community and Anambra State at large on the death of the politician.
Okafor enjoined all to take solace in the fact that the short but eventful life of the the late Okoye was full of quality service to God and humanity and would remain ever green in the hearts of the people.
He prayed God to grant him eternal rest.
The Tide source reports  that Okoye  was a member of the state legislature, who represented Aguata 2 Constituency.
He was kidnapped on May 15 and his lifeless body found on May 21, at Nnobi in Idemili South  Local Government Area of the state.

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Police Arrest Primary School Teacher For Rape In Ogun

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A 25-year-old teacher at a nursery and primary school in Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Ayobami Runsewe, has been arrested by the police for an alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl.
This was contained in a statement signed by the state police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, and made available to journalists in Abeokuta at the weekend.
In the statement, Mr Oyeyemi said the mother had gone to the station with the victim to report how the teacher reportedly lured her to his house.
The teacher was alleged to have had “unlawful carnal knowledge” after an evening class, at about 4:30pm.
Mr Oyeyemi, a Deputy Supretendent of Police, said “the blood soaked pants of the victim was brought to the station as an evidence”.
Mr Oyeyemi added that upon the report, “the DPO of Ago Iwoye, SP Noah Adekanye, had detailed detectives to the scene where the randy teacher was promptly arrested.
“On interrogation, he initially denied having anything with the victim, but when the victim confronted him, he was unable to say anything further”.
The statement said the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, has directed that the teacher be moved to the anti-human trafficking and child labour unit for further investigation.

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