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Foundation trains police on implementation of VAPP law in Kaduna

From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

The Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) has trained officers and men of the gender and family unit of the Kaduna State Command of the Nigerian Police on the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2018.

The law, which was passed by Kaduna State House of Assembly and subsequently assented to Governor Nasir El-Rufai in 2018, was domesticated to replace Kaduna penal code in addressing gender-based violence with stiffer penalties of offenders.

The one-day capacity building for gender and family unit of Kaduna State Police Command was designed to strengthen the capacity of officers and men of the gender and family unit of command on Violence Against Person Prohibition law (2018) and its implementation in Kaduna State.

Taking the participating stakeholders through the nitty-gritty of the law, Chairperson, Observatory Steering Committee (OBSEC), Barrister Amina Audi Mohammed, stated that the police now have the enabling law to charge people who are involved in violence in the private or public sphere.

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‘It is important this law is publicised and implemented because it came up to replace the law of yesteryears which has become obsolete. For example, this VAPP law provides clear definitions and penalties and clear definitions of the offences,’ she stated.

‘The training of police is very important because they are the prosecutor. All the offences have to come to the police first before it can be proven in a court of competent jurisdiction and this is why this training is important.’

In a media interview shortly after the training session on Thursday, the Project Officer, Prevention of Gender-based Violence project, Joy Gadani, said the implementing partners saw the need to bring all the stakeholders including the police on board to see a possibility drastically reduce gender-based violence.

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‘We found out that there is a little awareness about this important law on the ground. We visited the Kaduna State Police Command earlier and during our interaction, we discovered that the gender and monitoring support unit if the command has little awareness of the VAPP law and that informed this sensitisation meeting.

‘This became necessary because the law cannot be well implemented without the Police. So, we are here to rub minds on how to replace the penal code with this law which has been in place since 2018,’ she said.

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Buhari presides over FEC meeting

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The virtual meeting, holding at the conference room of the First Lady’s office has in attendance Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

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Others physically attending the meeting, which started at 10am are Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, Interior, Rauf Aregbeshola, Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, and Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan and other Ministers are attending virtually from their various offices in Abuja.
Wednesday’s meeting was preceded by the swearing of two Commissioners of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

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Details Later…

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Nigeria is set for 5th generation mobile network roll out, says dambatta , NCC boss

From Desmond Mgboh, Kanio

Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Communications Commission, Prof Umar Garba Dambatta yesterday declared that that the stage was set for the roll out of the 5th Generation Mobile Network (5G) in Nigeria.

He dropped this hint at a capacity building workshop for media practitioners in Kano State, explaining that a mock auction would take place on Friday while the real auction would be held on Monday, December 13, 2021.

According to him, three companies among them MTN Nigeria  and Airtel Network Limited have successfully submitted their bids for the auction as at 29th, November, 2021 while adding that it is expected that the two slots to be auctioned will be picked up at the end of the exercise.

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He observed that Nigeria’s 5G plan has the objectives of ensuring an efficient assignment of spectrum, creating an enabling environment for investment in the telecom industry and ensuring effective deployment of 5G to cover major urban cities by 2025.

He added that its successful and timely deployment was crucial for national development given that it would result in enhanced broadband, ultra reliable low latency and greater speed even as he stressed that the new mobile network would facilitate several emerging technologies, including Internet Obtains and machine to machine communications, among others

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The media, he held therefore, has a critical role to play in the entire deployment exercise by ensuring proper and adequate reportage of the programs and activities of the Commission as it rolls out the 5th Generation Mobile Network.

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SANship:  Kinsmen, well-wishers storm Abuja to celebrate Abacha family lawyer, Reuben Atabo

From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

When on October 21, 2021 the Supreme Court of Nigeria unveiled 72 new set of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), the name of Dr. Reuben Atabo, the lawyer to the family of late Head of State, General Sani Abacha was glaring among the list of the new SANs.

The 72 lawyers, who are successful applicants for the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) this year, would be formally conferred with the title at a ceremony scheduled for today, December 8 at the Supreme Court, Abuja.

 

For Reuben Atabo (SAN), it is an opportunity for him to host his kinsmen, business associates, colleagues in the legal profession as well as other well-wishers across the country to grand reception for their prayers and support for the national honour bestowed on him.

 

Traditional musicians, drummers and dancers from Omala local government area of Kogi State, where the new SAN hails from, are already on ground to grace the occasion with a lot of entertainment.

 

Other well-wishers from far and near are already in Abuja for the big event.

 

However, it is expected that, earlier before the reception, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Dr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR, will confer the highly coveted rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on 72 senior lawyers at the main Courtroom of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The Director of Press and Information, the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Dr. Festus Akande said, in a statement, that the event was part of activities to formally herald the court’s new legal year.

“The prevailing third wave of COVID-19 and the protracted strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) early in the year, which largely slowed down the work of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, informed the late conferment of the SAN rank for 2021.

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“It will be recalled that out of the 159 legal practitioners that applied for the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the course of this year, 72 were successful at the end of the rigorous exercise. Out of this number, ten are academics while 62 are advocates”.

 

Meanwhile, the former caretaker Chairman of Omala local government area, Mr. Jerome Agi has sent congratulations to Atabo and one other new SAN, Johnson Usman from the same local government area.

Agi said, The entire Omala LGA Sons and Daughters rejoice and Celebrate   the appointment of our Illustrious Sons into the Prestigious and Enviable Legal League of SENIOR ADVOCATES OF NIGERIA (SAN) as our first legal practitioners to be inducted from Omala local government.

“God gave us two at once to become the first set of SANs from Omala LGA in the Persons of  Dr. REUBEN ATABOR (SAN) from Okpotala in Omala North (Udaba Omala) Zone  and JOHNSON USMAN (SAN) of Oti  in Olaedihi Zone .

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“As we Pray  and  look forward to more SANs from Omala LGA, let us Proudly  and  loudly celebrate this first Set of SANs from Omala LGA remarkably and memorably today and always”.

For the Chairman of Ife Development Association, Kaduna State chapter, Mr. Sunday Idakwoji, it was a moment of joy when the news of the elevation to SAN of their sons came.

Ife is a district in Omala local government with Abejukolo-Ife as its headquarters as well as the headquarters of the local government.

According to Idakwoji, “We, the entire members of Ife Development Association (IDA), Kaduna State Branch wish to formally congratulate you on your recent elevation to the position of Senior Advocate of Nigeria( SAN).

“We received the news with topmost excitement the very day you were elevated.

“Our joy, indeed, knew no bound for the fact that what we used to hear and see in far away lands of fellow Nigerians, has eventually reached the turn of our own sons.

“You have indeed made Omala Local Government Area proud among the people of Nigeria.

“It is our belief that your elevation will impact positively on the entire Local Government Area and Ife District in particular”.

“We pray that God Almighty gives

you the wisdom and strength to justify the national honour bestowed on you for the betterment of our dear country and your family”.

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Nigerian Army, Californian National Guard  to strengthen partnership on Army aviation,cyber defence capability, others

From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The Nigerian Army is set to strengthen the relationship that has existed between it and the California National Guard on Army Aviation, logistic support with expertise,  the improvised explosives Devices IEDs defeat training, Cyber Defence Capability, night fighting skills to help in tackling security challenges in the Country.

Adjuant General of the California National Guard to Nigeria, Major General David Baldwin stated this, yesterday, when he led his team on a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff,  Lt General Farouk Yahaya at the Nigerian Army Headquarters in Abuja

Baldwin said, the visit is made  to  strengthen the partnership between Nigerian Army and the California National Guard for mutual benefits within the partnership arrangement with the Armed Forces of Nigeria and Ministry of Interior, and its agencies.

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“We have been in partnership with Nigerian Army since 2008 and everyday it is growing stronger. The purpose of the visit is to work together to continue to make sure that we provide support to Nigerian army priorities and staff recommendations, and also what could be beneficial for California soldiers in trainings and requirements.”

He added that the California National Guard will develop an Army Aviation programme and go through the process of selecting Nigerian Army Warfare Aircraft and inducting the aircraft successfully to provide security for the country.

He further added that the California National Guard will develop an Army Aviation programme and go through the process of selecting Nigerian Army Warfare Aircraft and inducting the aircraft successfully to provide security for the Country.

“We have a very large army aviation component in California. We have California aviation brigade, aviation battalions with almost 100 Aircraft in the California Engineering Department, over half of which are in our Army”, he noted.

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He added that the Californian National Guard will continue to partner with the Nigerian Army on Military Intelligence to improve personnel on tracking processes in fighting insurgency, having enjoyed historical relationship with Intelligence soldiers from California at Nigerian Army Intelligence School in Lagos.

 Army Chief, Lt General Farouk Yahaya, while responding, appreciated the California National Guard,said he is looking forward to expand of the relationship between Nigerian Army and California National Guard for the mutual benefits.

General Yahaya said he believe the California Army has what it takes to support Nigerian Army to develop and enhance competence in concern areas.

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$15.668bn offshore borrowing strengthened naira at forex market, says DMO

From Uche Usim, Abuja

The Debt Management Office (DMO), on Monday, informed critics of the federal government’s borrowing that the $15.668 billion offshore loans provided remarkable traction for the naira at the exchange rate market and saved it from further erosion.

The Director General of the DMO, Ms. Patience Oniha, made the disclosure in Abuja at a Workshop on Understanding Nigeria’s Public Debt Management organised for The Secretariats of the Senate Committee on Local & Foreign Debts and House Committee on Aids, Loans & Debt Management.

The DMO boss explained that the $15.668 billion raised from offshore loans secured between January 2011 and September 2021 was a strategic booster to Nigeria’s foreign reserves contrary to toxic opinions from some quarters that described it as a wrong move.

Oniha explained that there was more to external borrowings than just raising funds to finance budget deficits.

She said: “The DMO’s activities are not limited to domestic financial markets. It may please you to note that the DMO has raised over USD15.368 billion through Eurobonds and a USD300 million Diaspora Bond to finance budget deficits and various projects.

“Through these securities issuance in the international capital markets, the sources of funding for the Federal Government has expanded while, it created opportunities for Nigerian corporates including banks to raise capital abroad. Perhaps, even more important, the proceeds of Eurobonds issued, increased Nigeria’s External Reserves thereby supporting the Naira Exchange Rate.

“The new borrowings are undertaken in compliance with legislations and public debt is managed in accordance with international best practice and that Debt is serviced in a timely manner. In the case of the latter, the DMO undertakes an annual Debt Sustainability Analysis and is guided by a Medium Term Debt Management Strategy which is prepared every four years”, she explained.

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On the 2021 domestic borrowing, the Oniha pointed out that about 90 percent of it had been achieved through various securities.

She added: “As you know, for the domestic borrowing for this year, we have about N3.145 trillion from both the Appropriation Act and the supplementary.

“As you probably know already, we will raise between N200 billion and N250 billion Sukuk, so what is outstanding is about N345 billion

“So we have raised about N2.8 trillion, what is remaining is about N350 billion. We’ll do a sukuk, possibly within two weeks, the remaining we would raise form an FGN bond auction in December, we still have one more month to go. So we are almost there.”

Oniha added that $4 billion out of the $6.18 billion approved external borrowing in the 2021 budget has since been realized.

According to her, “For the external, which is about $6.18bn, we raised $4bn in September. We did have what you will call demand, which is the same thing as an order book or subscription of over $12bn, but the advisers said to us, let’s drop the interest rate a bit and see how much we get and also $6bn at once is huge.

“You know after you issue, then there’s a secondary market where they are traded, so we dropped the rate a bit and we still had demand of over $9 billion, but $4bn was a good size to issue at once so that it doesn’t become such a surplus in the market that the price will not be very good both for the sovereign and for other borrowers.

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“So for the remaining $2.18bn, we are working with the transaction advisers and monitoring the market.  If we think the market is good and our supervisors say we should raise that money, we will. But our options are on the table for the borrowing sources. We’ve done quite a lot to fund the 2020 budget.”

The DMO boss noted that the nation’s debt latest sustainability analysis showed a 21.61 percent Debt-to-GDP ratio, much less than the 40 percent limit set by the nation for itself and the 55 percent recommended by the World bank..

She said, however, that the nation has to pay more attention to the revenue, as according to her, “we use revenue to service debt.”

“Our Debt-to-GDP is low, about 21.61 percent now. The limit we put for Nigeria is 40 percent, as a country, but the World Bank recommends up to 55 percent.

“So if you look at it from that narrow perspective, you’ll say it’s sustainable. But really, it’s revenue that you use to service Debt, so we need to generate more revenues to ensure that the Debt is sustainable going forward. We just concluded one for 2021, the report will be out soon. But it did show that our Debt is very sensitive to revenues, implying Debt service, so we need to move in that area.”

Oniha further disclosed that the federal government had issued about N1.5 trillion Promissory Notes to various categories of its debtors including contractors, oil marketers

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Katsina govt. exempts sale of small ruminants from containment order – Police

The Katsina State Government has directed that small ruminants such as goats and sheep should not be affected by the recent security containment order in the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Gambo Isah, announced this in a statement issued to newsmen on Tuesday in Katsina.

“His Excellency has directed that small animals such as goats and sheep should not be affected by the containment order as earlier envisaged.

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“Therefore, the Chairman of the Committee, Commissioner of Police, Katsina State Command, CP Sanusi Buba, has also directed all DPOs (Divisional Police Officers) to allow the sale of that category of animals in markets all over the state.

“This is for the information and guidance of the enforcement committee and all stakeholders,” according to the police’s spokesperson.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Gov. Aminu Masari recently signed a Security Containment order that banned the sale of cattle in markets in the state. (NAN)

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FCT education reads riot act to private school owners

Alhaji Sani El-katuzu, the Secretary for Federal Capital Territory Education Secretariat, has vowed to sanction proprietors of private schools abusing the nationally approved curriculum for schools.

El-katuzu issue the warning shortly after receiving the official handover briefs of the secretariat, from the Director of Administration and Finance, Mr Leramoh Abdulrazaq, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The secretary said that the secretariat would no longer tolerate situations where strange elements were introduced in schools in the name of branding.

El-katuzu also decried the outright violation of laws put in place by regulatory agencies.

” There are some other challenges I also need to point out like private proprietors of schools within the FCT operating outside the laws. They are not supposed to follow teaching outside the nationally accepted curriculum.

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” No school in Nigeria will be allow to teach any child outside the approved curriculum. There are schools that adopt curriculum from elsewhere to come and teach in our schools and we will not tolerate that,” he said.

The secretary warned that the secretariat under his watch would not recognise or shield highly placed individuals.

He stressed the need for all private schools to collaborate with the regulatory agencies with a view to avoid flaunting the law, saying ” we will not tolerate that.

” My findings revealed that some private schools in the Federal Capital Territory are own by the who is who of this country.

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” We will not make any distinction between highly placed or commoners. All Nigerians are equal and we should operate within the law,” he warned.

El-katuzu advised members of staff of the secretariat to brace up for the task ahead as he intends to push them, to make his mark in the education sector in the FCT.

Earlier, the Director of Administration and Finance of the secretariat, Abdulrazaq, thanked the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello and staff of the department for the opportunity to served. (NAN)(

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It’s worrying wealthy nations are restricting investment in fossil fuels — Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says it is worrying that a growing number of wealthy nations have banned or restricted public investment in fossil fuels, including natural gas.

The vice president expressed his concern on Tuesday in his keynote address at the World Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (WLPGA) week-long forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Osinbajo spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said the theme of forum being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, is “Energising Tomorrow.”

Osinbajo said that the world should not have to choose between energy poverty and climate change as the challenge could be addressed with both natural gas and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) as transition fuels alongside other renewable sources.

“It is worrying that a growing number of wealthy nations have banned or restricted public investment in fossil fuels, including natural gas.

“Such policies often do not distinguish between different kinds of fossil fuels, nor do they consider the vital role some of these fuels play in powering the growth of developing economies, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

“As development finance institutions try to balance climate concerns against the need to spur equitable development and increase energy security, the UK, the US, the EU have all taken aggressive steps to limit fossil fuel investments in developing and emerging economies.

“The World Bank and other multilateral development banks are being urged by some shareholders to do the same.

“The African Development Bank, for instance, is increasingly unable to support large natural gas projects in the face of European shareholder pressure.”

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The vice president acknowledged that all countries had a part to play in the fight against climate change.

According to him, a global transition away from carbon- based fuels must account for the economic differences between countries and allow for multiple pathways to net-zero emissions.

He said that it should not be necessary to have to choose between energy-poverty nexus and climate change since both could be properly addressed simultaneously.

Osinbajo said that were still close to 600 million Africans without access to electricity.

“For developing countries, unlike the rest of the world, the transition to net zero emissions poses two existential problems.

“Aside from the climate crisis, we have the problem of lifting millions out of extreme poverty and access to energy is a huge part of that.

“For the few with access to electricity, it is either unreliable due to lack of generating capacity and infrastructure, or unaffordable due to high prices.

“But a more important aspect of that problem is the 2.6 billion people globally without access to clean cooking solutions, including over 900 million in Africa.

“In fact, this energy-poverty nexus has distinct gender characteristics.

“ A report from the World Health Organisation revealed that about 4.3 million people die annually from inefficient cooking practices using polluting stoves paired with solid fuels like charcoal and kerosene…so, clearly there is an urgent need to transition from these fatally hazardous fuels to cleaner energy.’’

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He said that the Federal Government had developed an Energy Transition Plan which showed that achieving net-zero by 2060 would require investments of about 410 billion dollars

Osinbajo spoke on the implementation of Nigeria’s Domestic LPG expansion initiatives, including the LPG policy as part of its National Gas Policy and the National Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme.

He said there were specific provisions in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 that elevated LPG as the fuel of choice compared to other competing fuels.

“And we have established a 20 million Cylinder Injection Scheme; 5 -10 million of these are to be introduced in pilot states next year.

“We have also established an LPG Energy Fund in the order of 50 million dollars in its first phase, in partnership with AFREXIMBANK.’’

He also listed the mandated conversion of 58,000 Telecommunications cell sites from diesel to LPG due to identified emissions from the industry and an autogas conversion scheme and capacity building in the 12 pilot states.

WLPGA’s 2021 LPG Week brings together 2,000 delegates from 72 countries, including major LPG companies, senior public sector officials, industry experts and other relevant stakeholders.

Osinbajo was accompanied to the event by Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, the Nigerian Ambassador to the UAE, Mohammed Rimi, among others.(NAN)

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African Union calls for end to Omicron travel curbs on some African nations

The African Union on Tuesday called for an urgent end to travel restrictions imposed on some of its member states, saying the measures effectively penalize governments for timely data sharing in line with international health regulations.

The measures act “as a disincentive for information sharing in the future, potentially posing a threat to health security on the continent and globally,” the AU said in a statement.

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Late last month, European Union states, the United States, and Britain, among other nations such as Israel, imposed travel curbs on seven southern African countries after they reported several cases of the Omicron variant, which is considered highly infectious. (Reuters/NAN)

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UNIZIK to mount 1,000 CCTV cameras in 4 campuses

From Obinna Odogwu, Awka

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bionomics Nigeria Limited for the provision and installation of 1,000 CCTV cameras in its four campuses in Anambra State.

This was to improve and enhance security in its Awka, Agulu, Okofia and Ifite Ogwari campuses in Awka South, Anaocha, Nnewi and Ayamelum Local Government Areas of the state respectively.

Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Charles Esimone, in a remark during the brief ceremony in his conference room, described security as a very essential component of the university’s progress and development.

He said that the move was in line with his vision of ‘Project 200’ with the mandate of very radical and administrative reform that would bring the town and gown together to meet the basic necessities of the varsity.

Esimone said that the project was highly innovative as it comes with no cost to the university; first of its kind and a testimony of the quality of graduates of UNIZIK as the Managing Director/CEO of the company, Mr Onyedika Ugochukwu, is an alumnus of the university.

The VC thanked Ugochukwu for his magnanimity while also stating that in the course of the project, they would not experience any form of bottlenecks and bureaucratic rigours.

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On his part, Ugochukwu said that it has been his passion to solve societal problems using technology. He said that the signing of the MoU would herald the kick-starting of the project with the first stage being to mark out points where the CCTV cameras would be fixed in the institution.

“What we entered today is a symbiotic relationship that will yield fruits to the university and us as a business venture. We will mount a digital board that will be used to advertise brands, and the university can utilize such means to disseminate information to staff and students.

“It will also serve as a credible source for dispelling rumours and fake news across the campuses.

“It will even serve as an information carrier for the Chief Safety Officer of the university, as well as be a deterrent for any sort of crime and threat in the university.

“We will be employing a best grade camera 8 Mega Pixels and bullet cameras, capable of recognizing faces even at night. This is a reality check, and not rocket science, and that’s why we have chosen the right materials that can last for over 60 years to execute this project”, he said.

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Ugochukwu explained that Fibre Optics, the most modern international standard way of connectivity would be used to ensure longevity of the infrastructure even for the next 50 years.

He also stated that the project would also generate revenue for the institution via advertising as digital advertising boards would be installed on the poles.

He further disclosed that the first phase of the project is expected to be completed within a space of four to six months.

Also present during the signing of the MoU were the University Registrar, Philomena Okoye, a lawyer; Director, Public Private Partnership and also Director, UNIZIK Business School, Prof. Emmanuel Okoye; Director, UNIZIK Business Ventures and Consultancy Services, Dr Uche Ngenegbo and the Director, University Production Process, Prof. Christopher Ihueze.

Members of the delegation from Bionomics include Margaret Effiom, the E.D Business Development and Obinna Ahaneku, Project Engineer, South East.

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Gunmen kidnap Catholic priest in Ondo

From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

Unknown gunmen have abducted Rev. Fr. Joseph Ajayi, the parish priest of St. Peter Clavar, Ilara Mokin, in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State.

The priest was kidnapped along Akure-Ikere expressway while on a trip.

The abduction of the clergyman was confirmed on  by the Catholic Diocese of Ondo.

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Rev. Fr. Victor Ibiyemi who confirmed the abduction of Rev. Fr. Ajayi, said he was kidnapped by some unknown gunmen.

It was further learnt that the incident happened while the priest was travelling in his Toyota Corolla car.

A source revealed that the cleric was traveling to Akure, the Ondo State capital from Ikere, Ekiti State, when the hoodlums struck and whisked him away.

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The Secretary to the Bishop of Ondo Catholic Diocese, Jude Arogundade, Rev. Fr. Victor Ibiyemi, who confirmed the incident said the abductors had contacted the church, demanding a sum of N20million ransom.

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Nembe oil Spill: Yoruba youths raise alarm

From Fred Itua, Abuja

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Yoruba youths, under the umbrella of the Oduduwa Youths Movement (OYM), have said that the oil spill recorded in Nembe, Bayelsa State, has been turned into a political tool by the State Government.

In a statement made available to newsmen by Ade Balogun, OYM leader, he said they were surprised that reckless and unfounded statements on the spill could be coming from leaders such as Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

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The statement read: “We, members of the Oduduwa Youths Movement (OYM), have been closely observing events as they unfold since the Nembe oil spill episode started.

“We have been monitoring developments in the affected community independently and we make bold to say that we are impressed by the remedial efforts put in place by the relevant Federal Government agencies and Aiteo.

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“We are therefore not only shocked but also embarrassed that leaders of Governor Diri’s status can jump into the fray in an uncharitable manner and turn the development into a political tool.

“The governor’s comment is, to say the least, wild and suspicious. Leaders, including Governor Diri, should always resist the temptation of dancing naked in the market place just for political gains.”

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FG, IOM repatriate another 180 stranded Nigerians from Libya

The Federal Government in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday repatriated another 180 stranded Nigerians in Libya.

Mr Kabiru Musa, Charge d’ Affairs of the Nigerian Mission in Libya, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

Musa said that the 180 stranded Nigerians, who departed from Mitiga Airport, Tripol, were expected to arrive the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at midnight.

He said those repatriated would be rehabilitated and re-integrated to society in Nigeria.

Musa said the evacuation was in line with the Federal Government’s promise not to leave any Nigerian stranded in Libya.

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“Today again, we successfully evacuated another 180 stranded Nigerians from Tripoli, Libya, and they will be reunited with their families and reintegrated into society upon arriving Nigeria.

“The repatriated Nigerians include women, children and men who are victims of human trafficking and irregular migrants on voluntary return who took Libya as a transit country.

“Libya has been a transit country for irregular migrants going to Europe hence, a lot of Nigerian have been left stranded here by their traffickers after which they face a lot of difficulties.

“The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has however, pledged to ensure that no Nigerian citizen will be left stranded, maltreated or left to suffer in the country.

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“The process is being carried out under the IOM’s Voluntary repatriation process and the Nigerian government is committed to ensuring that none of its citizens remain stranded in this country.

“This will also be a continuous process,” Musa said.

Musa also thanked the Libyan government and relevant Authorities for the support in evacuating the stranded Nigerians. (NAN)

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NiMet predicts 3-day haziness, sunshine

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted haziness and sunshine across the nation from Wednesday to Friday.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Tuesday, in Abuja predicted thick dust haze in the Northern region on Wednesday with horizontal visibility values of equal to or less than 1000m during the forecast period.

According to it, north central region should expect moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility values generally between 1000m and 3000m, and localised visibility of equal to or less than 1000m throughout the forecast period.

“Moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility range between 2000m and 5000m is envisaged over the inland cities of the south along with the south western coast.

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“However, hazy skies with few clouds are anticipated over the south eastern coast of the country, ” it said.

The agency forecast thick dust haze on Thursday with visibility values of less than or equal to 1000m over the northern region during the forecast period.

NiMet envisaged the north central region should expect moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility range between 1000m and 3000m and localised visibility of equal to or less than 1000m throughout the forecast period.

“Moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility range between 2000m and 5000m is envisaged over the inland cities of the South.

“The coastal cities should be under hazy skies during the forecast period, ” it said.

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The agency anticipated thick dust haze on Friday with visibility of less than or equal to 1000m over the northern region during the forecast period.

According to it, the north central region should expect moderate dust haze throughout the forecast period.

“Moderate dust haze should prevail over the inland cities of the south throughout the forecast period.

“Coastal cities should be under cloudy skies with intervals of sunshine throughout forecast period with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Delta State during morning hours,” it said. (NAN)

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FG implements NLTP to stem diary importation gaps

 The Federal Government says the implementation of the National livestock transformation Plan (NLTP), will close the dairy importation gaps and address other challenges to livestock development in Nigeria.

A statement  by Juliet Okeh, an Information Officer, in the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said this at a virtual meeting on Tuesday, with Commissioners of Agriculture across the 36 states of the federation.

The meeting included the FCT and other stakeholders on the State Level Project Socialisation on Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES).

The minister, represented by Mrs. Winnie Lai-Solarin, the Director, Animal Husbandry Services Department in the Ministry, said that the L-PRES program,was a project to support the actualization of the NLTP.

” The L-PRES programme is a project is targeted at addressing the age-long low investment profile in the sub-sector to improve livestock productivity, resilience, and commercialization of selected value chains, as well as strengthen the country’s capacity to respond to crisis or emergency”.

He said that the L-PRES project would facilitate the achievement of food security, reduce incessant conflict between farmers and herdsmen and cushion the effect of a COVID-19 Pandemic on the livestock industry in alignment with Government strategies and policies.

“It is glaring with the current priorities in the World’s food supply systems, that the next issues of focus will be animal protein supply chains and its nexus with global welfare and security.

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” Nations’ ability to provide good quality and affordable animal proteins has not only been linked with their pecuniary status, it has been confirmed to have direct relationship with human capital development and intellectual quotient.

“Although Nigeria Livestock subsector provides about 36.5 per cent of the total protein intake of Nigerians.

“It also contributes about 8-10 per cent of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 5 per cent of the National Gross Domestic Product and has been a key contributor to poverty reduction, especially in rural areas.

“We are yet to take full advantage of the regional markets under our influence and have in recent times spent huge amounts of forex on importation of products that can be produced effortlessly in the country.

” Importation of dairy products where we spend about US$1.3 Billion annually according to the CBN (2019) is a prominent example of the above narrative.

” The successful implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan will close importation gaps and address other challenges to livestock development in Nigeria,” he said.

Country Director of the World Bank, Dr Shubham Chadhri, said that the programme was designed to realise the full potential in the livestock sector in Nigeria and urged state governments to key into it.

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Chadhri said that implementing the programme across the nation would go a long way in the reduction of poverty, providing job opportunities, and grow the nation’s  GDP.

He reaffirmed the World Bank’s commitment to partner with the Federal and State Governments for the realization of the L-PRES project in Nigeria.

Chadhri commended President Muhammadu Buhari for promoting the implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan(NLTP) as national priority and encouraged the state governments to embrace the program.

In her presentation on the update on L-PRES Project Preparatio, Lai- Solarin, said that the State Commissioners and participants that the Federal government and the World Bank were ready to have the project take-off in 2022.

She appealed to the state governments to facilitate the project implementation by increasing their budgetary allocation for livestock development, giving adequate state counterpart financing and providing office spaces, vehicles, and other basic facilities.

She said these would demonstrate their commitment and readiness to implement the project in their states.

The director, who also disclosed that so far,  28 states and the FCT had expressed interest in the project, appealed to others to take advantage and identify with the project.(NAN)

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