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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

'I may leave PDP if Sherrif wins at Supreme court' – Ayo Fayose

Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose, has threatened to leave PDP if the Supreme court rules in favor of factional leader of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, on May 25th. According to Channels TV, Fayose disclosed this to newsmen Tuesday, May 16th when he reacted to media reports that he had removed the name and logo of PDP from his campaign office and mini signposts mounted on Ado and Ikere-Ekiti roads.
Fayose said that he remains a bona fide member of the PDP until the outcome of the court ruling. PDP has been in a leadership crisis since they lost the election in 2015. 

Two of the party members, Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi have laid claim to the chairmanship position of the party. On February 17th, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, ruled that the caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi was illegal and could not act on behalf of the PDP. 

Makarfi approached the Supreme Court to appeal the judgment. The apex court will deliver judgment on May 25th.

Dredging of River Niger to cost N100m – FG

The Federal Government has said that dredging of the River Niger to Baro Port, which had commenced, would gulp the sum of N100million, as against N42billion which it was initially awarded for by the previous administration.

Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Ameachi who made this known in Abuja at the mid-term Town Hall meeting organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture, also described Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as an agency riddled with corrupt activities that demands critical reform.
Speaking further on transportation sectors of the country, Ameachi said that Federal government had paid its counterpart fund of the $1.2 billion Lagos-Ibadan rail line with plans to approve funds for Port Harcourt-Calabar, Warri-Ajaokuta, which he said national Assembly did not approve the budget, while 20 locomotives and 500 wagons were being expected on Lagos-Kano and Portharcourt-Maiduguri lines.
Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who was also present at the town hall meeting, informed that 9,000 direct jobs and 60,000 indirect jobs had been created in the power sector in 2016, while 17,749 jobs were created in the works ministry with 68,000 direct jobs and 41,400 indirect jobs created by the housing industry.

He informed about the plans for the National Building Code, which he said is aimed at catering for people with disability, as well as plans for a new building design in 33 states as part of response to national needs but with a target on civil servants from grade level 10-15.
Aside the completion of 1,800 mortgage houses through the Federal Mortgage Bank and loan access to 2,044 civil servants, the ministry has engaged a private developer to partner the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to build 20,000 housing units for Nigerian workers.
Presenting his own mid-term score card, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma said that the 2017 budget would have enormous impact on the country as it is positioned at getting the country out of recession.
According to him, over 30,000 households benefitted from the N500billion Social Intervention Fund in 2016, with 174,160 beneficiaries, while 1.5million school children were fed under the school feeding programme.
However, Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, noted that with the unacceptable 6% GDP which amounts to one of the least in the world, there are ongoing plans to make citizenry pay commensurate taxes to garner more infrastructure development, while the government will continue to increasing capital vote to deepen infrastructure development.
Similarly, Minister of Agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbe expressed enthusiasm on the local production and marketability of the locally produced rice, which he said, had led to the closure of some mega rice factories in Thailand, due to the ban of rice importation.
According to him rice importation has declined from 158,000 tons to 58 tons in 2016, saving the country about $237.8m in one year, and in other to foster this positive trend, the ministry had acquired 20 giant rice mills with over 100 tons daily capacity spread across the country.
He further informed about the reforms sweeping through the Bank of Agriculture by bringing down lending rate down to single digit, insisting that the 18% lending rate was not conducive, for young people to be encouraged to go into agriculture.

‘‘We have brought back the three agric universities back on track because we need more research. Each university can make N10billion per annum from improved seedlings alone. Part of the plan is to enable Nigeria do agriculture that will earn foreign exchange in exchange for oil”, he said.
He added that, in other to curb the incessant herdsmen attack on villagers and residence of host communities, the ministry has trained about 3,000 agro rangers in conjunction with the ministry of defense and interior affairs.
In addition, the Federal government has concluded plans to engage the African Union and World Bank on how to discourage open grazing among AU member states and encourage them to embrace ranching as the only way to curtail excess movement of cows which has adverse effect on their milk production.
Minister of Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali also informed that his ministry had been successful in boosting the moral of troops, establishment of new military bases, pension reform, procurement of modern fighting equipment, increase in workforce, training of personnel, bilateral agreement with foreign partners and establishment of human rights desk.

On his part, Okechukwu Enelama, Minister of Trade and Investment said that the sum of $2.5million had so far been disbursed to the SMEs by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has helped in creating an enabling environment to enhance ease of doing business.

The host Minister, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, affirmed that the anti-corruption war embarked upon by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been yielding impressive results, contrary to some speculations and opinions in some quarters.

Mohammed took the opportunity to clear the air on insinuations that the government as failed in its anti-graft war, insisting that there had been more prosecutions than loses at trials, and there will be more convictions for public sector corruption “than Nigeria has ever seen”.

According to him, the present administration has successfully addressed the leakages in government spending that has overtime made corruption in public offices possible, as such, the “anti-corruption war is yielding dividends through the zero- based budgeting, the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the government’s efficiency unit and the hugely successful whistle-blower policy’’.

While informing about the government’s commitment to sanctifying the Judicial system which it had overtime complained of being its headache, Mohammed further informed about the commitment towards implementing Economic Recovery and Growth Plan designed to reset the economy.



A total of 335 foreign nationals were on Tuesday in Abuja granted citizenship by the Federal Government after statutory clearance and due diligence by the relevant security agencies.‎

The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau,‎ who presented the certificates of citizenship to the foreigners, charged them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Mrs Lara Oshiomhole, Wife of former Governor of Edo, Adams Oshiomole‎, who is from Cape Verde, is one of the recipients.

Dambazau in his remarks said that 335 applicants were approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in January, out of the over 500 foreigners that applied.
He explained that 245 of the foreigners approved were granted Citizenship by‎ Naturalisation while 90 were by Registration, mainly foreign women married to Nigerians.
“Let me say that application for the Citizenship of Nigeria which can be by Naturalisation or Registration is provided for in Chapter 3, Sections 26 and 27 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ the minister explained.
The minister said that the approval was part of government’s effort on the “Ease of doing business in Nigeria” and boosting Nigeria’s image in line with international best practice.
He tasked the “new Nigerian citizens” to be of good conduct, respect the rights and customs of their communities and contribute to the development of Nigeria.
Damabazau said the last time such ceremony was conducted was in December, 2013 and pledged to ensure its sustenance on an annual basis for proper scrutiny.
Dr Lamabert Shumbusho, from Rwanda, who responded on behalf of the recipients, thanked the Federal Government and pledged their loyalty and commitment to the development of Nigeria.
NAN reports other recipients include nationals from Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, China and some African countries, most of whom are business moguls who have been operating in Nigeria for years.
The Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) are charged with the responsibility of processing applications for Naturalisation from foreign nationals who have stayed/lived in Nigeria for a minimum of 15 years and those by Registration who are mainly married to Nigerians.


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Members of a faction of Boko Haram are regrouping, re-arming and returning to the Sambisa Forest area, a report by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned.
The commission has also expressed worry about the increase in the number of children used as suicide bombers from nine in 2016 to 27 in the first quarter of the year.

The regrouping and returning of insurgents to the Sambisa forest may rubbish the successes recorded so far by the Federal Government in the anti-terrorism fight and worsen the security situation in the affected parts of the country.

UNHCR, in the statement made available to The Guardian through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said the increase in the number of IED attacks around Maiduguri and Southern Borno had raised concern over the safety of the IDPs in the camps.

According to the report, the security situation is also the same with Cameroon, as there has been an increase in the number of incursions with deadly attacks, suicide bombings and kidnappings occurring on a regular basis. It added that the security situation in Niger Republic had deteriorated as Boko Haram insurgents carried out a major attack on Niger Security and Defence Force position near Gueskerou and allegedly stole food stocks, medication and cattle from various locations.

The Nigeria Northeast Humanitarian Emergency situation report reveals that currently, over 4.7 million people are estimated to be faced with insecurity in the most crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, maintaining that the number could rise to 5.2 million between June and August if adequate measures were not put in place to address the situation. It further revealed that additional 2500people had been displaced from Dikwa, Gwoza and Bama Local government areas during the reporting period.
As at April, UNHCR and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) had registered a total of 260,000 people who returned from Cameroon, Niger Republic and Chad, out of who only three per cent were recorded as refugees in the countries of asylum, while 86 per cent were not registered, the report revealed.

According to the UN agency, the main reasons given by the refugee returnees are the need to participate in upcoming local elections, return to stability in areas of origin, resume economic activities as well as lack of food and water in their hosting areas.
There is the fear that recently released Boko Haram suspects may have been regrouping in the forest. Some human rights organisations and indeed Nigerians had criticised the swapping of Boko Haram suspects for abducted Chibok girls.

At the forefront of the criticism is the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA). The group flayed the recent claim of the release by so-called Boko Haram terrorists of 82 hitherto kidnapped Chibok school girls and the constant release from detentions of detained Boko Haram terror suspects by the military authorities without the office of the Federal Attorney General subjecting them to criminal prosecution over the four-year-long bombing campaigns that slaughtered over 30,000 innocent Nigerians.

Emefiele calls for local currency denominated funding for infrastructure

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele on Tuesday urged financing institutions to work out financing structures that allow using local currency denominated funding for infrastructure as foreign funding continuously becomes more expensive.

Emefiele make the call in Abuja during the opening session of the 2017 Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) conference tagged AFC LIVE 2017 and titled, ‘The Infrastructure Revolution-Connect, Engage, Innovate.’- the second in the series on the institution’s annual summit.

“At a time when we have faced commodity price shocks, you will find that taking foreign currency facility to fund obligation domestically created some form of credit risks, you find situations where the obligor is unable to really the facility,” the governor stated.

“That means that in a changing world like we have right now, there is a need for our institutions to think about how to structure domestically denominated facilities where currency shocks do not impact on the repayment and performance of that facility.”

Emefiele also announced that the AFC invested $4bn in various development projects in Africa over the past ten years it was set up,

Those investments centred around 26 projects across 30 African countries in five main sectors , including power, transportation infrastructure, telecommunications, natural resources (oil, gas and mining) and heavy industry.

AFC was founded in 2007 mainly by the Nigerian government as a public-private partnership with a vision to be the leading Africa organisation focused on financing infrastructure development on the continent.

At that time, Africa saw consistent growth rates in excess of 5 per cent annually and investor interest in the continent was strong.

But global economic conditions since 2015, when oil prices began to fall have exposed the vulnerabilities of many African economies, especially those heavily reliant on commodity export for revenues, like Nigeria.

Emefiele said among many other lessons, the commodity crisis of 2015/2016 has thought that dollar denominated financing in emerging markets create risks that make investors very nervous and acts as a major obstacle to financing projects

He said much more needs to be done to develop local currency financing solutions and the conversation resonated that the AFC summit where issues were raised on longer term, cheaper capital.

“We have seen situations where institutions like the IFC have come up to say they want to raise naira bonds of facilities and deploy them into facilities. That should be encouraged.”

He said there is need to continue to encourage such ideas and that the CBN will give every support to ensure that such processes are successful.

Joseph Nnanna, CBN Deputy governor, Financial Sector Stability regretted that most African currencies are not tradable except the South African rand, saying that it now behoves on the continent to develop policies that encourage foreignPortfolio and Foreign Direct Investments.

“The shortage of tradable currencies to finance infrastructure is a challenge,”

He however assuredNigeria is tackling the problems squarely especially through CBN’s recent foreign exchange policy.

But he said what Africa needs most is peace and stability.

Andrew Alli, Chief Executive Officer and President of AFC noted at the event that one of the huge challenges facing the continent was lack of infrastructure.

“There was a clear recognition that if Africa did not adress this infrastructure deficit, then growth would not be optimal, and in some cases, would not be sustainable,” Alli told the audience.

Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Trump: I Have Absolute Right To Share Intelligence With Russia

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As European nation threatens to cut off Intel corporation with US
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he had an “absolute right” to share intelligence information with Russia.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining … to terrorism and airline flight safety,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,” he continued.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump revealed highly classified information about the Islamic State extremist group during a meeting last week with Russian envoys in the Oval Office.
White House officials denied the allegations and called the story “false”.
The Russian foreign ministry also denied the reports, calling them “yet another fake news” by the US media.
NAN reports that a Russian foreign ministry spokesperson on Tuesday advised that people don’t read American newspapers, in response to US media reports that Trump had disclosed classified intelligence at a meeting with Russian officials.
The spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said she had received dozens of messages asking about the reports, which have been denied by the White House.
“Guys, have you been reading American newspapers again?” she wrote on her Facebook page. “You shouldn’t read them.”
“You can put them to various uses, but you shouldn’t read them. Lately it’s become not only harmful, but dangerous too.”
Meanwhile, an unnamed European official has told The Associated Press, that his country might stop sharing intel with US if Trump gave classified info to Russian diplomats.

Finally, Ambode bans VIOs, FRSC from Lagos roads

To adopt technology–driven enforcement

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has finally banned the State Vehicles Inspection Officers (VIOs) and the Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC) from operating on all Lagos roads.

The governor specifically advised the FRSC to restrict their operations to highways and stay off streets in the Lagos metropolis, while the VIS is completely banned.

Governor Ambode declared this while commissioning the pedestrian bridge, lay-by and slip road at Ojodu-Berger Bus Stop, saying that it had been observed that VIOs and FRSC contributed significantly to traffic gridlock in the Lagos metropolis.

The governor said that rather than worsening the traffic gridlock in the state’s roads and rubbished the achievement recorded by his administration in the name of enforcing road traffic laws, his administration would go the way technology-driven law enforcement strategy to track and monitor vehicle registration and MOT certification.

Ambode said: “Let me use this opportunity to reiterate that Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) have been asked to stay off our roads permanently. We also advice the Federal Road Safety Corps to stay on the fringes and highways and not on the main streets of Lagos.

“It has become evident that these agencies contribute to the traffic challenges on our roads. We will employ technology to track and monitor vehicle registration and MOT certification.”

More details later…

Source: newtelegraphonline

Ambode is working! The new look of Berger

The newly built Pedestrian Bridge at Berger along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. It has been been commissioned today by the Lagos state government. The commissioning is part of the achievements to be displayed at the Lagos at 50 celebrations.

#Justiceforchisom: Family demands justice after young pregnant woman dies under questionable circumstances at Lagos hospital

The family of late Chisom Jane Anekwe (nee Okereke) and LEAP Africa Alumni are demanding for justice following her painful death at the Magodo Specialist Hospital. 

The young mother of two daughters died on April 30th, 2017, while giving birth to her third child, a boy after a prolonged labour.  Sadly, the baby also died. According to her family members and friends, Chisom was abandoned and left unattended to deal with labour pains and other pregnancy complications.
Read the full story as told by Ahmed Alaga, a member of LEAP Africa. Meanwhile, she will be laid to rest in Awka, Anambra State today, May 16.
"Today we (LEAP Africa Alumni) bury one of our finest member and we can't help but to push out the story of how she died so individuals, families, and our society at large will perhaps take nothing for granted when it comes to women giving birth. Life is sacred and those who treat it with recklessness should be called to order.
So, this is Chisom Anekwe (nee Okereke), a young, vivacious, graceful, kind-hearted and intelligent woman who had devoted her life to helping indigent kids and giving their lives a meaning. She’s an alumna of LEAP Africa.
Two weeks ago, precisely April 30th 2017, Chisom died under questionable circumstances at Magodo Specialist Hospital in Lagos while trying to birth her third offspring. We believe strongly that the authorities need to ensure that lives are taken sacred in hospitals like Magodo Specialist Hospital where such avoidable deaths are recorded.
Chisom was admitted in the hospital four days before she got into labour. She already had two daughters birthed in the same hospital and was there to birth her third child, a son. While at the hospital, no one attended to her when she needed help to be delivered of the long awaited baby. She was left for hours in labour. This happened until her husband created a scene, which eventually caused the doctors to go to her ward and on inspection they found out that the baby had struggled and died.
The husband at this point requested for a CS which he paid for and even signed the consent form presented by the hospital. He was then tricked out of the room to go prepare for blood transfusion and on getting back, he found out that the doctors had induced the wife and delivered the dead baby without operation not minding that the CS procedure had been paid for. This was without his consent.
During the process of delivering the baby, the placenta got ruptured and the doctors left her like that, no further attendance still. Shortly after, the husband noticed she was swelling up in her stomach area and called the attention of the doctors who said they were getting ready for a surgery, a preparation that took longer than usual.
After waiting in vain for the surgical team, the frustrated husband went furiously to the reception to demand why they were wasting time only to discover the doctor had sneaked out of the hospital under funny pretences. At this point he got other hospital staff to wheel her out of the hospital and in that process Chisom died!
This is the story of most young women who die while giving birth as a result of the callousness, ignorance and carelessness of inexperienced doctors. In this era, we shouldn't be talking about Child and Maternal Mortality especially when it can be avoided. This could have been avoided but it wasn't and now Chisom Jane Anekwe is a victim and has been added to the statistics.

We demand;
1. That Magodo Specialist Hospital, Shangisha, Lagos, be investigated for their actions and the subsequent death of Chisom.
2. That both the Nigerian Medical Association NMA and the Medical and Dentist Council of Nigeria, MDCN ensure that supposed Specialist Hospitals who claim to have a resident Gynecologist are verified.
3. That there be justice for Chisom!
Goodnight my friend.
Her friends are demanding for an investigation into the Chisom's death. See what some of her friends wrote on Facebook, below...

Source: Linda Ikeji

CAN accuses Buhari of running Nigeria like a Muslim organisation

Yesterday in Abuja, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Youth Wing and four other affiliated Christian unions including Youth Wing of CAN, YOWICAN, Arewa Christians Association, Concerned Professional Christians, All Para-Church Organizations, Nigerian Christians in Diaspora all accused President Buhari’s administration of running Nigeria as a Muslim organization and neglecting the entire Christian faith.

In a joint statement issued by the five Christians associations and signed by the National President of YOWICAN, Mr. Daniel Kadzai, the groupsaid, 'the worse form of social injustice, terrorism and religious bias is to deny Christian children their right to practise their religion despite the role of Christian Religious Studies in helping to shape the moral character and integrity of our children as future leaders'. 

The statement also reads, 'perhaps, it is in furtherance to its Islamic agenda that the APC government appointed the likes of Prof. Ishaq Oluyede, a known Islamist, who has never hidden his bias and prejudice against Christians, to head a most relevant educational institution like the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB. Despite the denial that the government is not slipping Nigeria into an Islamic country as evident from previous antecedents, Nigeria’s participation at the Islamic solidarity sports federation speaks volumes and confirms the obvious”.

'We can no longer also accept the perpetuation of denial of placements for qualified Christians to ascend a position even when they are qualified. Since 1999 no Christian has been appointed minister of FCT, it is not by error it is a religious agenda. “The Holy Bible says “…then you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 3:38) Where the conscience of the nation is hinged on packs of lies, only the truth can set Nigeria free. Not only saying the truth, but doing that which is truthful! We cannot tolerate any further lies and manipulations”.

Don’t Be Deceived, Buhari Will Never Appoint Ndigbo As SGF – UPP Warns South-East Politicians

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Politicians from south eastern part of the country have been told to stop hoping that President Muhammadu Buhari might appoint an Igbo person as the next Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The United Progressive Party, which gave this advice, asked Ndigbo to stop flooding Abuja for the job.
The publicity secretary of the party in Anambra State, Mr Uche Amaku, stated this in a press conference in Awka.
According to him, the APC would never accept an SGF of southeast extraction, describing the party as a wrong association for Ndigbo.
Amaku said, “It sparks of political gullibility for southeast politicians to believe that one of them would step into the position of Secretary to Government of Federation from which David Babachir Lawal was suspended.
“It is also self-delusion for politicians from Southeast to flock APC, with the erroneous belief that the exit of Lawal would pave the way for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to correct the lopsided appointments it sustained in the past two years by appointing any of them.
“If our brothers and sisters that rushed into APC had good sense of history or genuine political orientation, they should know that all through the tenure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the position of SGF was occupied by persons from the South.
“Therefore expecting that a northern President who has shown defined aversion for Ndigbo and Southeast would bend backward in a show of political repentance to consider any person from the zone, no matter how highly endowed, amounts to political daydreaming and historical blindness.”
Source: dailypost.ng

APC Can’t Fix Nigeria’s Problem In 8 Years -Oyegun

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National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has warned that the APC-led Federal Government cannot fix the current economic and other challenges confronting Nigerians in eight years.
Speaking recently at the headquarters of the party, in Abuja, he said it would be extremely difficult to fix the level of rot in the country.
He said: “We are in very difficult and troubling times. President Mohammadu Buhari is trying strenuously to rebuild the shattered economy, to diversify our economic potential, which up till now most unfortunately rested solely and unintelligently on crude oil.
“The result of the collapsed economy in addition to the collapse in the crude oil market has disrupted our economy, which has manifested in the individual deprivations of Nigerians all over the country.
“I have been severally criticised for saying that the change we stand for is something that can be accomplished and completed in the life of our present four-year tenure. It will not be completed even in eight years.

“The task is enormous, challenging and worth fighting for. We stand on the threshold of history. God put this nation called Nigeria together for a purpose and he does not make mistake. We have a manifest destiny.”

In another development, Oyegun warned corrupt defectors to the party that they would not be offered any special protection from the long arms of the law.
“I know that those who don’t wish us well often tend to misinterpret some of these happenings as running away thinking that they would have protection from the EFCC.
“Of course, I am not aware that anybody is harassing the defectors with the EFCC. In any case, it is obvious and played out today that we do not offer sanctuary to anybody running from the arms of the law.”

Vio Permanently Banned From Lagos Roads- Ambode

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…Urges FRSC To Restrict Operations To Highways
…Commissions Pedestrian Bridges, Lay Bys, Slip Road in Ojodu Berger
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday put the uncertainty concerning the absence of Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) on Lagos roads to rest once and for all, stating categorically that he has asked them to stay off the roads permanently.
Governor Ambode, who said this at the commissioning of Pedestrian Bridges, Laybys and Slip Road at Ojodu Berger, also urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to limit its operations to the fringes and highways and stay clear from the main streets of the State.
He said the decisions were in line with his administration’s resolve to ensure free flow of traffic across the State, noting that their activities were contributing to traffic congestion on Lagos roads.
The Governor said, “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to reiterate that Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) have been asked to stay off our roads permanently.
“We also advice the Federal Road Safety Corps to stay on the fringes and highways and not on the main streets of Lagos. It has become evident that these agencies contribute to the traffic challenges on our roads.”
He said as an alternative, the State Government would employ technology to track and monitor vehicle registration and MOT certifications and de-emphasise impoundment of vehicles on the roads.
Speaking on the interventions in Ojodu Berger, Governor Ambode said his administration at inception, identified the axis as one of the major traffic flashpoints that required urgent attention, adding that the decision was informed by the strategic importance of this axis being a major gateway into the State.
“What we set out to achieve with this project was to ensure smooth flow of traffic along the express, safeguard the lives of our people who had to run across the express and project the image of a truly global city to our visitors. Today, we are delighted that we have not only succeeded in transforming the landscape of this axis but with the slip road, lay bys and pedestrian bridge, we have given a new and pleasant experience to all entering and exiting our State.
“This project is the product of our innovative team of engineers, architects and town planners who have worked hard to create an innovative solution to tackle the challenges of this axis. I say a big thank you to the staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Works and the contractors – CCECC Nigeria Limited for a job well done,” he said.
To improve on the project, Governor Ambode said a food court would be built where people can relax before climbing the pedestrian bridge, as well as an interstate bus terminal within the Ojodu Berger axis for buses coming from outside Lagos to drop and load passengers, while intercity transportation system would move commuters within the city.
Besides, the Governor assured that his traffic interventions would not only stop at the Ojodu Berger axis, but would be an ongoing process to create solutions to traffic congestion in every part of the State.
“If your neighbourhood or community is experiencing traffic challenges, be rest assured that we will soon be there. We will always ensure that promises made are promises kept. We will continue to rely on the support of all segments of the population for regular tax payments, obeying the rule of law and protection of public infrastructure. That is the only way we can progress and achieve our goal of being one of the world’s top centres for business, entertainment and leisure,” he said.
While alluding to the fact that the State has lived up to its reputation as a land of possibilities, Governor Ambode also expressed confidence that the future prospects of the State was promising and that the journey of the next fifty years has commenced on a very sound and solid footing.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the State’s Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Adebowale Akinsanya said the project was conceived by the State Government as a response to the yearnings of the people of Ojodu Berger Community for an improved, efficient and grid lock free road network, as well as the need to preserve the sanctity of life of Lagosians who hitherto were endangered by the need to cross the ever-busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Akinsanya, who is also overseeing the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, gave the scope of the project to include 98m pedestrian bridges with illumination, 150m length lay-bys on both sides of the expressway, 500m length of retaining wall with varying height from 3.5m to 7m and two multi-by bus park/bus lay-bys on Ogunnusi road with public convenience.
Other scope of the project included 650m slip road connecting traffic outward the expressway to Omole/Olowora Junction, 700m Ogunnusi/Wakatiadura dual road from Kosoko road junction to the expressway, 250m PWC Road to the expressway, street lighting on all the roads and multi-bay bus parks, signalization of all junctions, pedestrian walkway and drainage infrastructure, among others.

"Friendship & respect" - Olu Jacobs & Joke Silva on why they've remained scandal free as a celebrity couple

In a red carpet interview with veteran entertainers, Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva spoke to HipTV about why they've remained scandal free as a celebrity couple. According to Joke Silva;

"Apart from being lovers, we are very good friends. We've learnt over the years to respect each other, and the respect keeps growing."
"Quite frankly, that's it", Olu Jacobs echoed, saying; "Friendship - that's the strongest and respect. You care about each other. We are lucky, and again we worked at it. You have to work"

Senator Isiaka Adeleke was given an overdose of banned injection, Analgin – LAUTECH Chief Medical Doctor says

The Chief Medical Director, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Prof Akeem Lasisi, yesterday disclosed that Senator Isiaka Adeleke who died suddenly on April 23rd, was given an overdose of banned injection, Analgin, by someone who isn't a certified medical personnel. 
Lasisi made the disclosure when he appeared before a coroner, Olusegun Ayilara, investigating the death of Senator Adeleke, in Osogbo yesterday May 15th.

According to the Chief Medical Director, the injections given to Adeleke when he complained of leg pain, was Analgin which had been banned during the tenure of former NAFDAC boss, late Prof Dora Akunyili. 

“I saw the corpse. Before any process of examination of any diagnosis in medicine, there is what we call history before examination. So, we asked for the person who knew the conditions surrounding the death of the senator. So, the family pointed to one of the aides and the aide said he was active the previous day and he came at midnight and started complaining of leg pain. So, they sent for somebody who came to give him injections. I asked clearly the medical status of the person that administered the injections. I asked, ‘Is the person a doctor?’ but he said no. ‘Is he a nurse’?, he said he didn’t know but the person was a face they were used to. He mentioned various injections, so at that point I asked him if could lay his hands on the empty ampoules of the injections. The family members went home to get them. The injections were five per cent dextrose. We saw empty sachets; it was like a fluid and with it, we saw an intravenous fluid-giving set and scalp vein needle. We saw that empty. We saw two ampoules of Analgin, four ampoules of valium (diazepam) – 10ml each making 40 milligrammes, one ampoule of pentazocine, one ampoule of gentamicin and two ampoules of hydrocortisone. All of these were empty and his aide said these were what he was given. He also added that after he had been given, he (Adeleke) called him that he doesn’t want to entertain any visitor and he went to sleep. He said he later went back to check him and saw that the senator’s eyes were wide open but he wasn’t breathing. Analgin has been outlawed since the days of Dora Akunyili in NAFDAC. So, I don’t know where they got it from. They were given in excess dosage” Lasasis said

Fayose Removes PDP Logo From Campaign Office, Billboards

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Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has adjusted his campaign strategies ahead of next year’s governorship election.

The Nation learnt yesterday Fayose removed the logo and name of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from his campaign office at Olora junction, Adebayo, Ado- Ekiti.

It was gathered the one storey building was repainted white, with every insignia of PDP removed.

Before repainting, the building had Fayose’s picture embossed on PDP logo with the inscription: “Fayose Our Leader, Architect of Modern Ekiti.”

The governor installed a billboard close to the gate of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), without the PDP name and logo.

The billboard, with Fayose’s portrait, reads: “Ekiti 2018: Support Continuity, Fayose Leads, We Follow. Again, It’s Going To Be 16-0.”

The Nation observed that the mini signposts mounted on Ado-Ikere Road, bearing the logo and name of PDP alongside Fayose’s name, have been removed.

They were replaced with ones without PDP name and logo, but with Fayose’s pictures, and the statement: “Ni 2018, E Standby”, meaning “My People Be on Standby in 2018.”

Posters with the above inscription, which have no PDP logo, were pasted in Ado-Ekiti.

A source said the uncertainty hanging over PDP was responsible for the governor’s action.

“Fayose does not want to be caught unawares. Nobody knows how the PDP factional crisis will end. It will be suicidal for him to wait till the end of litigation at the Supreme Court,” the source said.

Fayose is believed to be heading for the Alliance for Democracy (AD), the platform on which he is expected to anoint a successor for the 2018 governorship election.

His tenure will end on October 15, 2018, while the governorship poll will hold in about a year from now.

The battle for the soul of the PDP at the national level has shifted to the Supreme Court, which adjourned the case till May 25.

National Chairman Ali Modu Sheriff heads one faction, while the other, which Fayose belongs, is led by the National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi.

The suit between the William Ajayi faction recognised by an Ado-Ekiti Federal High Court and the Gboyega Oguntuase-led faction loyal to Fayose is before the Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti.

Budget Faces Fresh Hurdle at N/Assembly

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Legislators have delayed forwarding the 2017 budget to the presidency for assent after allegations of illegal alterations were raised by some members yesterday, Daily Trust has learnt.

The two chambers of National Assembly passed the budget Thursday after several months of delay.
However, it was gathered that the allegations are already creating ripples among some senators.
Many of them are said to be calling for the document to be properly scrutinised and the illegal insertions weeded out before it is presented to the presidency for assent.

Accusing fingers are being pointed at the Senate works committee as being responsible for the alterations lately discovered in the budget.

The committee is headed by Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano) who is said to be outside the country at the moment and therefore could not be reached for comment.
Some senators claim projects approved for their constituencies are now missing in the budget just passed by the National Assembly.

Senators are also piqued that the works committee inserted into the budget projects for Trunk B and Trunk C roads which are entirely the responsibilities of the states and local governments.
“I know of some senators that have complained bitterly about it. He (Gaya) inserted even local governments’ roads in the budget. There are instances that state roads were also inserted. How can one do that? Those roads are the exclusive rights of states and local governments.
“Again, some senators complained that he tempered with their proposals for federal road projects domiciled in their senatorial districts. This is something that they’re already looking at even at the Senate level before forwarding the document to the Executive for assent,” a source familiar with the matter told Daily Trust yesterday. 
“This is what is delaying the budget submission. But besides that, the National Assembly needs to have a clean copy without mistakes before sending it to the Executive,” the source added.
When our correspondents sought to know if the same challenge obtains in the House of Representatives, the source said no. 

 Another source said hopefully, all issues would be resolved within this week and a clean copy transmitted to the acting president for assent.
One lawmaker said House members were currently discussing a new sharing formula for constituency projects adopted by the leadership of the House of Reps, which surrendered N5 billion, out of its traditional N20bn, to the rest of members.
This, he said, could bring about further delays.

“You know they (leadership) used to take N20bn, but this time around they took only N15bn and left N5bn for members. So, the sharing formula is still being handled to avoid any rancour among members,” the lawmaker said. 
The spokesperson of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger) was unavailable for comments as he was said to be attending a meeting last night when our correspondent called him. 
Attempts to get reaction of the House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa), were not successful as he was said to be away in South Africa for a Pan-African Parliament assignment.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, also confirmed the budget had not been transmitted to the executive. 
 “It is not yet transmitted but I’m in contact with the National Assembly authorities and management. They have confirmed that they are certifying page by page of the document. It will be ready within a very short period, “he said in a phone interview. 

Osinbajo meets ministers, Emefiele over budget funding
Meanwhile, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday convened a meeting of the National Economic Management Team (NEMT) to review the 2017 budget.
This is even as the details of the budget, passed by the National Assembly on Thursday, are yet to be transmitted to the executive.
The lifespan of the 2016 budget has since May 5 come to an end.
Our correspondent learnt that the meeting, which was held at the Vice President’s wing of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, discussed the funding of the passed 2017 budget.
The National Economic Management Team, headed by Osinbajo, is the Federal Government’s think-thank responsible for the formulation of the nation’s economic policy direction.
The National Assembly had jerked up the 2017 budget from N7.298 trillion earlier proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari last December to N7.441 trillion. They also raised the proposed oil benchmark from $42.5 to $44.5 per barrels.
Yesterday’s meeting was attended by Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, Budget and National Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma, Trade Industry and Investment Minister Okechukwu Enalemah, Water Resources Minister Suleiman Adamu and Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin.
Also in attendance were the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele as well as the directors-general of the Debt Management Office, the Budget Office of the Federation, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council and the National Bureau of Statistics, among others.
A government official, who was at the meeting that lasted over three hours, told our correspondent that the session brainstormed on how to make funds available for the budget after the presidential assent.
The official, however, stressed that the Presidency was still awaiting official transmission of the budget from the National Assembly.
“The meeting discussed the funding of the 2017 budget. It is on how to make sure that once the budget is signed, the resources that will be utilised to fund it are available. The meeting also discussed how funds will be released.
“The budget is still in the National Assembly. We are still waiting for the formal transmission of the budget document that was passed last week,” the official said.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, also confirmed via Twitter that the meeting reviewed major issues including the 2017 budget.
-Daily Trust

3,000 People Flee Central African Republic

FILE PHOTO: People fleeing from violence in Central African Republic.

Thousands of people have fled their homes as violence continues to engulf the south-eastern city of Bangassou in the Central African Republic (CAR), the UN on Monday said.

More than 3,000 people had fled within hours of violence erupting late Friday when members of the mainly-Christian anti-Balaka militia attacked civilians and a UN field office.

UN peacekeepers exchanged fire with anti-Balaka Monday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Dujarric did not comment on reports that militiamen had agreed to leave the city on condition that UN troops stop firing at them.

One thousand people are confined in a mosque compound, and around 1500 have sought refuge in a cathedral.

Another 500 are hiding out in a hospital in Bangassou, 47 kilometres east of the capital city of Bangui, Dujarric said.

An unknown number of people have also crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The number of fatalities is unknown, but a Moroccan UN peacekeeper was killed in a firefight with the unidentified gunmen, the UN mission to the country confirmed on Saturday.

UN peacekeepers and an attack helicopter have been deployed as the mission continue to try to secure some of the strategic areas of Bangassou, Dujarric said.

The outbreak of violence follows an ambush last week which killed four Cambodian peacekeepers and one Moroccan peacekeeper.

The diamond-rich but poverty-stricken nation has been in crisis since late 2012 when violence broke out between two rebel groups.

Watch Out: Ebola Virus On The Rampage, Kills 3

Health personnel well kitted against the Ebola virus

Three people have died from an Ebola outbreak in a remote northern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as health officials travel to the central African country in response to a rising number of suspected cases, the World Health Organization says.

Last week, WHO reported one Ebola-related death and the possibility of two others. On Saturday, the organization confirmed the other two deaths were also Ebola-related.

The first case, which came April 22, involved a 45-year-old man. The taxi driver who took the man to the hospital and a person who cared for the man both became sick and later died, WHO said.

All three deaths came in the Likati health district of Bas-Uele province, which borders the Central African Republic.

Bas-Uele province, with a population of 900,000 in 2007, is mostly inhabited by the Boa tribe, which subsists through farming and hunting and conducts some trade by way of the Uele River.

Health officials are investigating 17 other suspected cases, Dr. Ernest Dabire, WHO’s health cluster coordinator, said Sunday in Kinshasa. He further estimated that 125 people had been linked to the confirmed Ebola cases and urged the public to be vigilant and visit their doctor if they experience fever or other symptoms.

Symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and hemorrhaging can begin two to 21 days after exposure.

Though the scope of the outbreak is not yet known, WHO is not recommending any restrictions on trade with or travel to DRC.

Ebola is a highly infectious virus spread through contact with bodily fluids, and testing shows the latest outbreak involves the Zaire strain, the most dangerous of the viruses known to cause the disease.

Background on the virus

A 2007 outbreak of this strain in Congo had a fatality rate of 74%, claiming 200 lives.

On Saturday, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, met with national authorities in Kinshasa to discuss ways to mount a response to the outbreak.

“WHO has already mobilized technical experts to be deployed on the ground and is ready to provide the leadership and technical expertise required to mount a coordinated and effective response,” Moeti said.

Three days prior, a team led by the DRC’s Health Ministry began the trek to the Likati health zone to begin an investigation. The 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) route from Kinshasa to Likati is remote and isolated with limited transportation networks, requiring two to three days of travel.

The team included epidemiologists, biologists and specialists in the areas of social mobilization, risk communication, community engagement and water, hygiene and sanitation, said Dr. Allarangar Yokouidé, a WHO representative.

There is no approved vaccine to prevent the virus, and there is no approved treatment or cure. Clinical trials of an experimental vaccine are ongoing in West Africa.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been briefed on the outbreak and stands ready to provide epidemiological or laboratory support, if necessary, said spokeswoman Amy Rowland. The CDC has a team in the country working on a monkeypox vaccine trial, she said.

Médecins Sans Frontières, the United Nations Children’s Fund and other international organizations are standing by as well, WHO said last week.

Rowland pointed out that DRC has extensive experience with Ebola, this being the country’s eighth outbreak since the virus was discovered near the Ebola River in 1976.

The last outbreak in 2014 in DRC’s Boende region — an event unrelated to the 2014 West Africa outbreak that killed thousands — was short-lived, as a team of field epidemiologists quickly stopped the spread of the disease, limiting it to 66 cases, 49 of them fatal.

These “disease detectives” are in a good position to help with the current outbreak, Rowland said.

Aside from the 1976 outbreak in DRC, which killed 280 people in Yambuku, the deadliest outbreak came in 1995, when Ebola killed 250 people in Kikwit.

Are concerns of a global pandemic founded?

In 2014, more than 11,300 people were killed in the worst-ever outbreak of the virus in West Africa, most of them in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. During that outbreak, which WHO declared a “public health emergency of international concern,” the Western Hemisphere also saw its first Ebola patients.

Seven Americans who had been working in Africa became infected and were transported to the United States for treatment. In addition, two American nurses were infected after caring for a Liberian man who died from the virus in the hospital where they worked in Texas.



‘No funds till EFCC completes probe’

STATES eager to have the $3.45 billion second tranche of the London-Paris Club loan refund may have to wait longer than planned, it was learnt yesterday.
The Federal Government is withholding the cash – no thanks to what is believed to be the mismanagement of the first tranche.
The delay follows the ongoing probe of N19billion and $86.5million deducted by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) from the first tranche of N522.74billion.
The Presidency is awaiting the outcome of the investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the first release.
The government is believed to have tactically attributed the delay in remitting the second tranche to the “cash squeeze” the country has been undergoing.
But the governors are angry that some Presidency forces have influenced President Muhammadu Buhari to have a “rethink” on the second tranche.
The President had on April 2, May 24 and May 31, 2016 met with the leadership of the NGF on the financial crisis affecting most of the states, especially non-payment of salaries and pensions.
The governors demanded $6.9billion refund from the Federal Government to states and local governments for alleged over deduction for loans servicing.
They also asked for refund of the money spent by the states on Federal Government projects.
The President conceded to the governors on five conditions:
• A thorough reconciliation be carried out between the Federal Government and the states;
• 50% of the claims submitted by the states be released, prior to completion of the reconciliation, to support states;
• 25-50% of the cash released will be used to settle outstanding salaries and pension arrears in most states;
• There will be judicious use of the remaining 50% on development projects; and that
• Local governments will have access to their share of the refund.
The presidency is said to have realised that most of the governors have defaulted in the conditions attached to the release of the refund.
The government is worried about the diversion of N19billion and $86million deducted for payment to consultants and legal advisers engaged by the NGF and some states.
A government source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The Buhari administration meant well. To show its commitment, it raised a Refund Committee comprising the Acting President, who is also Chairman of the Board of DMO and the Economic Council; Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari(the chief driver of the Refund Movement; The NGF chairman, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari (Co-Chief Driver of the Refund Movement); the DG of NGF, Mr. Asishana Okaru (Co-odinator of states); Suraj Yakubu (GSCL Consulting Limited) as consultant-in-Chief; Bizplus Consulting Limited, another Consultant, and Alhaji Sani Anani, the refund marketer.
“The committee came up with a template for the release of the first tranche of N522.74billion.
But the security reports on how some governors misapplied the money have shocked the Presidency.
“Many states still owe workers unpaid salaries for as many as 10 months. In some states, pensions have accumulated for about 12 to 15 months. Instead, some governors have diverted the refunds to private use.
“The discovery of EFCC on how some of the loan refunds got into private hands made the government uncomfortable.”
According to the source, “this is why the Federal Government has withheld the second tranche to the states”.
At a meeting with Minister of Finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the governors were said to have been angry that the second tranche was yet to be released.”
Asked why the government was keeping the governors in suspense on the second tranche of $3.45billion, the source said: “most of the states did not meet the conditions for the release of the first tranche as they still owe some salary arrears.
“As I am talking to you, the reconciliation of claims by the Federal Government and the states is yet to be concluded. The government is being cautious to avoid overpayment to states, the source said, adding:
“More importantly, the EFCC is currently looking into some allegations on the mismanagement of N19billion and $86.5million paid into the accounts of the NGF for payment to consultants and legal advisers. Some consultants who were not hired have been paid while those who did the reconciliation jobs are denied their rights.
“The NGF said it will cooperate with the EFCC. We are awaiting the outcome of the investigation before remitting more refunds.
“We are delaying in effecting more refunds because we need to be circumspect. The governors are angry no doubt but there is no point allowing public funds to go into wrong hands.”
Some of the infractions noticeable in the management of the first tranche of the London-Paris Club loan refunds are as follows:
• Computation of state records done at a private home in Maitama belonging to a governor;
• Accounts initially opened in the names of two lead consultants but the details of who to be paid were later changed;
• N19b remitted into two accounts of NGF;
• Commission to consultants cut from 10% to 2% but 5% was on paper as paid;
• CBN paid directly to each state without the knowledge of the Accountant-General of the Federation;
• Part of the N19b commission traced to a governor’s account and some individuals, including some members of National Assembly;
• Apart from central consultants, governors hire separate consultants;
• Some governors conceded about 10-20% commission to their consultants;
• In some states, governors served as consultants through proxies;
• Consultants yet to be paid because the NGF changed commission formula as soon as the first tranche was remitted;
• Some governors deviated from using 25% to 50% for payment of outstanding salaries and pensions as agreed with President Muhammadu Buhari.
-The Nation




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