NASS: MP calls for re-presentation of FGM Bill

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights, Miss Beni Lar, has called for the re-presentation of the Female Genital Mutilation Bill to the National Assembly for consideration parliamentary consideration.


Miss Lar made the call in Abuja at a Mock Tribunal on the violation of maternal Health and Rights of Women in Nigeria.

She said that the concept of reproductive Health had not received sufficient attention in the Country, and expressed worry that violators of the Child Rights Act went scot-free.

The chairman of Women in Parliament, Nkiruka Onyejecha, said that about fifty-nine thousand women died in Nigeria every year from Maternal Health issues. She said it was the responsibility of all stakeholders to improve the health sector.

The Executive Director of the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre, organisers of the Mock Tribunal, Mrs. Oby Nwankwo, said the forum would be a platform for women whose rights were violated to  express themselves.

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LG COUNCILS: ALGON advocates direct payment of allocations

The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, has advocated direct payment of allocations to Local Government Councils into their coffers.

 The Secretary General of the Association, Chief Chikwendu Udensi, stated this in Abuja at a News briefing ahead of a conference on how to involve Local Councils in the translating and implementing the seven points agenda and Vision 20-20-20 at the grassroots.

Chief Udensi described as unhealthy a situation whereby allocation of funds to the Councils is made through State and Local Governments Joint Account controlled by the State Governors.

He said the Management of the Association was making efforts to see that Local Councils in the Country function with some measure of autonomy.

The Conference, which is being organised by ALGON and the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, has as its theme, “Repositioning Local Government Administration in meeting the challenges of Vision 20-20-20”.


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MEDIA: SGF enjoins practitioners to support programmes of FG

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, wants the media to support the programmes of the Federal Government.

Alhaji Yayale Ahmed made the call in Abuja when the executive members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors paid him a courtesy visit.
Alhaji Ahmed said he supports regular interactive sessions between the media and government to enable the media appreciate the efforts the Federal Government was making in various sectors.
The SGF advised the guild to also have regular talks with those in the health and education sector, to access their performance. He said this will help those in the sectors know if they are making progress.

Alhaji Yayale Ahmed however, advised the editors to endeavour to exhibit discipline and sincerity of purpose.

The President of the Guild, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye said that the editors were ready to partner with the government and disclosed plans by the Guild to build a secretariat in Abuja.

Mr. Adefaye added that since the inauguration of the present leadership of the Guild of Editors, it had organized seminars and workshops as part of its contribution towards nation building

He had told the Secretary to the Government that the Guild was established in 1962 with the sole aim of ensuring the highest standard of professional practice.

# # #

FRCN: New Transmitter to enhance educational programmes for Enugu

A new Medium Wave Transmitter is to be installed at the Enugu National Station of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.

When installed, the Transmitter will help FRCN Enugu to cover effectively the South East zone and prosecute its educational programmes.
The project is being implemented under the Japan Aid to Nigeria. It is expected to be completed within eight months.

The leader of the Japanese Firm handling the project, Mr. Katsumi Nagatomo, stated this in Abuja when he briefed the Management of FRCN on the schedule of the work.

Mr. Nagatomo, said on completion, the Transmitters would improve reception of the Station.
The Director General of the FRCN, Mallam Yusuf Nuhu acknowledged the prompt execution of the project in Kaduna by the Firm and pledged that the Corporation would ensure maximum utilization of the Transmitter for the benefit of Nigerians.
The Secretary and Legal Adviser to FRCN, Mallam Mustapha Kurama requested the Consultants to the project to ensure regular maintenance of the Transmitters in line with the terms of the agreement.

The installation of the Enugu Transmitters would be the second phase of the project by the Japan Government after the completion of installation of the Medium wave Transmitters at the Kaduna National Station this year.



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POLICE: Academy becomes degree awarding institution from Oct 2010

The Nigeria Police Academy Wudil in Kano State has been upgraded into a degree awarding institution with effect from October next year.

To this effect the Academy will commence an initial admission of three hundred and seventy students for various degree programmes as from next year.

All the degree programmes will run for five years with the exception of law which will last for six years.

The Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Police Academy, Professor Idris Abdulkadir stated this in Abuja while submitting the report of the committee to the Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Lame.

The institution will commence university programmes with faculties of Science, Humanities, Law, and the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences.

Receiving the report, the Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Lame commended the committee for meeting its six weeks deadline. He assured that the report would be carefully studied for implementation.

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DISASTER: CRS Govt inaugurates Grassroots Emergency Volunteer Corps

The Cross River State Government has inaugurated the Grassroots Emergency Volunteer Corps for Ikom Local Government Area of the State to help in managing disasters in the area. Performing the ceremony, Governor Liyel Imoke said the state government will continue to concretize all efforts in managing disasters in the State.
Governor Imoke who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Fidelis Ugbo stated that the inauguration of the Grassroots Volunteer Corps was one of the frontal approaches taken by the government to ensure that victims of disasters were properly attended to.
According to the Governor, the Volunteer Corps will be replicated in all the Local Government Areas of the State.    

The Governor promised to further reposition the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, by formulating policies that would place the Agency in a more vantage position to promptly and effectively respond to disasters.

He appealed to political leaders in the state to take advantage of the establishment of the Volunteer Corps and provide the needed support that would ginger the members to carry out their humanitarian service effectively.

The Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Retired Air Vice Marshal Audu Bida commended the State Government for taking pragmatic steps in managing disasters in the state.

The Chairman, Ikom Local Government Council, Mr. Ogar Ndoma Egodo said that the inauguration of the Grassroots Emergency Management Committee was a practical approach in addressing disasters in the area.


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REFORM: Clergy urges Nigerians to assist in promoting transparency

Nigerians have been urged to assist in promoting electoral credibility, good governance and transparency in public institutions.

The General Overseer of Restoration Life Assembly Reverend Udochi Odikanwa stated this at the launch of the Church Cathedral Building in Abuja.
According to Dr Odikanwa the electoral reform process should be viewed as an opportunity for the Nigerian people to contribute to the building and maintenance of enviable democratic culture in the country.
The Clergyman said the reform of the electoral system would also regain the confidence of the electorate as well as increase citizen’s participation in the electoral process.
Speaking on the Amnesty to the militants in Niger Delta, he said this initiative would definitely sanitize the region for the benefit of the country.

Governor Rotimi Amechi of Rivers State pledged to assist the Church in building a befitting edifice of worship.


# # #

N/ DELTA: Reactions trail Yar’Adua’s amnesty offer
Reaction still trail President Musa Yar’Adua’s offer of amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta. A renowned legal practitioner in Ebonyi State, Mr. Ben Igwenyi who spoke to Radio Nigeria described the President’s gesture as a sincere commitment to realizing peace and security in the region as contained in his Seven Point Agenda.
Mr. Igwenyi who is also a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Ebonyi State University explains the legal implication of the amnesty.
He advised oil companies, the Niger Delta Development Commission, Governors, legislators, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta to ensure judicious use of funds meant for development of the area.

Unemployed youths and militants who have laid down their weapons should be engaged in fruitful ventures and reintegrated in the society to avoid further restiveness.

# # #

AMNESTY: FG enjoins beneficiaries to sign undertaking

The Federal Government says that beneficiaries of its amnesty must sign an undertaking to renounce all forms of militancy.

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who announced the condition in Abuja while endorsing the amnesty proclamation, said all militants are required to voluntarily give up illegal arms in their possession.

President Yar’Adua explained that government’s offer of Amnesty was for a period of sixty days, which expires on the 4th of October 2009.

The President also said that beneficiaries of the amnesty must sign an undertaking to abide by the terms and conditions contained in the proclamation.

He said the proclamation followed the recommendation of the Presidential Panel set up on Amnesty and disarmament of militants in the Niger Delta.

The President said governments’ position remained that restoration of peace in the Region was important for aggressive implementation of all the development plans already put in place.

He therefore appealed to all the militants in the region to take advantage of the amnesty and join the on-going effort to transform the region in particular and the nation in general.



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VISION 2020: Uduaghan enjoins Nigerians to support nation’s aspirations

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has called on Nigerians to support the nation’s aspirations to be one of the twenty largest economies in the world by the year 2020.

Governor Uduaghan made the call in Asaba while declaring open a two-day South South Zonal workshop of stakeholder’s development committee of the Nigeria vision 2020 document.

He said that the country has enormous potentials both in human and natural resources which if harnessed would be to the benefit of the nation.

Governor Uduaghan who was represented by his Deputy, Professor Amos Utuama enjoined participants to take advantage of the workshop to proffer solutions to the problem militating against the development of the country.

Secretary to the National Planning Commission, Professor Sylvester Monye said the workshop was organised to incorporate the inputs and interest of states and local governments into the vision.

# # #


A fourteen-day ultimatum has been given to the Federal government to pay the two-year arrears of monetised benefit to members of the Radio Television, Theatre and Arts

Workers Union of Nigeria, RATTAWU and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ.       

The National President of RATTAWU, Mr. Yemisi Bamgbose stated this in Abuja after an emergency meeting of the two unions.
Mr. Bamgbose said the Unions had waited for too long and urged government to appreciate the sacrifices of the members.
The National President of the NUJ, Mallam Mohammed Garba urged the Federal Government to commence payment of the arrears without further delay.

Mallam Garba also urged managements of affected public media organisations to submit account numbers of their staff to the Federal Government Committee on Monetisation as a matter of urgency.

The National Assembly had appropriated funds in this year’s budget to clear the arrears while government had given an undertaking to pay the arrears before the end of the second quarter of the year.



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JUDICIARY: CJ swears-in new Judges

Eleven new judges of the Federal High Court are to be sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Federation Justice Idris Kutigi.

The judges are Mrs. Ijeoma Ojukwu, Mr Babatunde Quadri, Mrs Folashade Olubanjo, Miss M.A. Onyetenu, Mr Okon Abang and Alhaji Baba-Gana Ashigar.

Others are Mohammed Yunusa, Mr Salihu Tanko, Mrs Dorcas Agishi, Mr Mohammed Abubakar and Bature Gafai.

# # #

SAFETY: FRSC concludes arrangements for clamp down on Motorists

The Federal Road Safety Commission has concluded arrangements for a nationwide clamp down on Motorists that violate speed limits.

The Commission explained that the operation would involve intensive campaign in the six geo-political zones starting from Kwara and Oyo States.

The statement explained that the campaign would preach safety consciousness especially during this rainy season.

The Chairman of the Board of the Commission, Retired Colonel Lawal Gwadabe and other officials of the Commission will lead special patrol during the exercise.


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APPOINTMENT: Yar’Adua appoints Adulugba as ED of NEPC

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has approved the appointment of Mr. Daniel Ibrahim Adulugba as the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

The appointment is for a period of four years with effect from the 17th of this month.
Mr. Adulugba takes over from Mr. Aliyu Lawal who acted in that capacity.

Until his appointment, Mr. Adulugba was the Executive Director, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex Management Board.


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BROADCASTING: House of Reps calls on NBC to hasten licensing of CRB

The House of Representatives has called on the National Broadcasting Commission to hasten the licensing of Community Radio Broadcast.

and providing access to film makers.

The Director-General of the National Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Emeka Mba made the plea in an interview with Radio Nigeria in Markudi.

Mr. Mba said such investment would help the states project the cultures of their people.He spoke on the memo presented to the National Council on Information and Communications on Film Production.
Mr. Mba also spoke on how the Censors Board intended to go about the Re-branding Campaign. He commended Lagos, Cross River, Kano, Sokoto and Zamfara States for their support to the Board.

# # #

BROADCASTING: House of Reps calls on NBC to hasten licensing of CRB

The House of Representatives has called on the National Broadcasting Commission to hasten the licensing of Community Radio Broadcast.

The Chairman, House Committee on Information and National Orientation, Mr Dino Melaye made the remark when the National Coalition for Community Radio visited the Committee in Abuja.

Mr Melaye said many policies and programmes of government would be adequately communicated to the rural populace in various languages if licenses were issued for Community Radio Operations.        
He said that Management of relevant agencies would be invited to brief the Committee on arrangements made so far to license Community Radios.

The Leader of the Coalition for Community Radio, Professor Alfred Opubor told the Committee that Nigeria was the only country in West African yet to adopt the complete circle of public, commercial and community broadcasting.
Professor Opubor observed that Community Radio broadcasting would facilitate rapid rural development through the exchange of ideas at inter-community level.


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REFORM: Senator advises Nigerians to have faith in present administration

The Federal Government has charged the church to foster Nigerians towards attitudinal change required for turn-around of the nation’s polity.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on political matters, Senator Polycarp Nwite gave the charge in a forum organised by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.

According to Senator Nwite the social teaching of the church qualifies it to participate actively and provide the prerequisite social engineering necessary for an attitude of patriotism and commitment to national course.

The Senator advised Nigerians to have faith in the present administration as the Federal Government was working toward reforming the Electoral System of the country.


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ECOWAS:  Mid-year summit opens tomorrow

Leaders of ECOWAS member countries have been arriving Abuja for the mid-year Summit of the organisation which opens in Abuja.

The President of Ghana, Sierra Leone, Bukina Faso, Cote d’voire and Liberia are already in Abuja for the Summit.

Others are Presidents of Togo and Mali, while Gambia is being represented by its Vice President.

As at the time of this report the Presidents Cape Verde and Senegal were being expected to touch down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

President Umar Musa Yar’Adua is to preside over the Summit in his capacity as Chairman.

The mid-year Summit is expected to consider the reports of its various committees on the implementation of ECOWAS monetary policy and the proposal for a common currency.

The Summit will also examine the work of its committee on the implementation of the West African Common Currency and the establishment of one Central Bank for the Sub-region.

Established in 1973, there are fifteen member countries. They include Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Cote d’voire, Niger, Gambia and Togo.

While Mauritania pulled out of ECOWAS recently Guinea is not likely to attend as a result of the recent military coup in that country resulting in its suspension from the organisation.


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ILO: Nigeria to address devastating effects of HIV/AIDS

Nigeria has called for a comprehensive action that will address the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS scourge on Human Resource Development of many nations, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The sand storm forced motorists to put on their head lamps, a situation that complicated traffic situation in the State Capital.

The heavy dust followed by strong wind took over the state about 5pm but cleared at about 6pm.

This is the third time in the month that similar storms had swept through the state destroying valuable cash crops.

The last heavy storm that occurred in Borno resulted in fire outbreaks in forty four houses located in Sagire Village in Ngala Local Government Area of the state.

The sand storm also burnt nine of the villagers and caused the deaths of another eight people and over two hundred domestic animals.

The damaged to lives and property on the latest heavy storm in Borno State is yet to be ascertained.




# # #

APPEAL: Saraki charges handlers of Super Eagle to select right players

Governor Bukola Saraki has charged the handlers of the Super Eagle to always select the right players for matches especially the world cup Qualifier against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia on Saturday.

Governor Saraki made the appeal while receiving the Board and Management of Kwara United Football club of Ilorin in his office.

He appealed to football administrators in the country to always put the nation above other considerations.

The Governor who congratulated the Management and players of Kwara United Football club on their return to the premier league assured that government would continue to support them for improved performance.
The Manager, of the club, Mr. Johnson Oladimeji said they were at the Government House to thank the Governor for his Cooperation so far and solicit for more support in their efforts to take the club to greater height.


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HUMAN RIGHTS: ICCJ recommends review of law establishing NHRC

The International Criminal Court of Justice has recommended a review of the law establishing the National Human Rights Commission.

The review is to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators of human rights abuses in the country.

A judge of the International Court of Justice, Justice Akua Kuenyehia stated this in Abuja during a visit to the commission. He urged individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations to send details complaints on human rights abuses to the court for necessary action.

The Executive secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Roland Ewubare explained that the country was committed to promoting and protecting the human rights of its citizens.

On the death penalty for kidnappers passed by the Rivers State Assembly, Mr. Ewubare urged the government to exercise restraints in implementing the law in order not to infringe on the rights of innocent citizens.
Justice Akua Kuenyahia is in the country to sensitize Nigerian judges on the role of the International Criminal Court of Justice and the need for the country to domesticate international treaties which is signed.


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COUNTERFEITING: Court convicts former staff of CAC

The Federal High Court sitting in Lafia has convicted a thirty-three year old former staff of Corporate Affairs Commission, Wilson Ageria on five count charge of counterfeiting receipts.

Justice Ibrahim Buba, who presided over the case filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, noted that it was clear to the court that the accused was aware of the illegality of what he was doing when he issued the tax clearance certificate to a businessman.

The Judge stated that on each of the five count charge of counterfeiting, conspiracy and illegal possession of Federal government’s documents, the accused would serve two years imprisonment to run concurrently.

He however gave an option of fine of N20, 000 on each of the charges following a plea by the defence counsel Mr. Moses Ediru that his client had many dependants.

The prosecuting counsel who is also the Head of the Public prosecution of the FIRS, Musa Shehu alleged that some banks were also involved in the crime expressing that his organisation would bring all culprits to book.

The accused was apprehended in January after issuing an Inland Revenue Tax Clearance to a company in Lafia for Twelve thousand Naira to cover its 2008 tax.


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SERVICE: Yar’Adua commends outgoing AG of the Federation

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has commended the outgoing Auditor General of the Federation, Mr Onoriode Robert Ejenavi for his service to the Nation.

The President described Mr Ejenavi as a patriotic and exceptional officer who worked selflessly to meet the challenges of his office.

The President wished Mr Ejenavi God’s guidance in his future endeavour. He retired at the mandatory age of sixty after putting in over thirty years in service.


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DRUG TRAFFICKING: NDLEA to ensure stiffer sanctions for offenders

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, has called on the judiciary to ensure a minimum of fifteen year jail term for drug offenders.

The Bauchi State Commander of NDLEA, Mr. Sule Momodu made the call in Bauchi.

He called for stringent penalties on drug offenders to discourage people from engaging in the illicit business.

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Bayelsa Govt to collaborate with FRCN for construction of Zonal HQ

The Bayelsa State Government is to collaborate with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, for the construction

of the South-South Zonal Headquarters of the Corporation in Yenagoa, the State Capital.

Governor Timipre Sylva gave the assurance at Gbarantoru, in Yenagoa Local Government Area, during the official handover of the site for the station to the Chairman, Board of Directors of the Corporation, Chief Boyelaiyefa Debekeme.

Construction work has since commenced at the site donated by the State Government.

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FOOD SECURITY: FAMAS introduces Indicators to monitor agriculture

Some indicators have been developed for proper planning of the nation’s agricultural system and policy formulation under the Farm Management Advisory Services, FAMAS.

The objective of the indicators is to monitor the implementation of government’s agricultural policies.

The National Coordinator of FAMAS, Dr. Oluwole Okelola who stated this in Abuja explained the impact of the project on the National Programme on Food Security.He spoke further on the main objectives of the project.

The project which is a collaboration between the Federal Government and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO is expected to last for twenty-five months.

The pilot phase of the programme will cost Two Hundred and fifty-nine Thousand US Dollars.


# # #

ENERGY: C’ttee works out strategies to check scarcity of gas

The Senate Committee on Gas says it has worked out strategies to check scarcity of gas in the country.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Izunaso said the first strategy was a National Summit on liquefied Natural Gas to be organised by the committee.
He said the Summit would ensure that Nigerians consumed at least one million metric tones of cooking gas by 2010. He also stressed the need to expose Nigerians to the dangers of using expired cylinders.


# # #

JUDICIARY: Supreme Court throws away Andy Uba’s suit

Governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the April 2007 election in Anambra State, Chief Andy Uba’s move to remove Governor Peter Obi

has been finally rested by the Supreme Court.

The apex court threw out his appeal which it described as a thorough abuse of the court process.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi who delivered the unanimous ruling of the court blamed Chief Uba for attempting to drag the integrity of the judiciary into the mud to satisfy his political ambition.

The apex court was not satisfied with the conduct of the appellant who had been to different courts in a bid to have his way.

Justice Kutigi who condemned the desperate moves by politicians to get into power lamented that very senior members of the legal profession allowed themselves to be used by these politicians.


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CRIME FIGHTING: Abia Govt takes steps to curb crimes

Abia state government has taken delivery of a modern Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC, to combat the menace of kidnapping and other crimes in the State.

The Machine was donated by the Federal Government. While receiving the Vehicle in Umuahia, Governor Theodore Orji, said the APC would be stationed in the Ngwa area of the state, identified as the haven for kidnappers and armed robbers.

Governor Orji said that with the delivery of the Machine and the impending take over of the anti-kidnapping and anti-robbery campaign in the State by Soldiers, crime rate in the area would reduce soon.

He thanked the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro for responding to the call for assistance by the State Government.
The commander of MOPOL fifty five, Aba, Mr. Aliyu Haliru, while presenting the vehicle, explained that the fully equipped carrier, was made to run on a high speed, and had the capacity to run on water.    

Governor Orji had threatened to dethrone any traditional ruler who failed to support the ongoing fight against crime in the State by giving information about criminals in his area.

Responding on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Chairman of the council of Ndieze in the State, Eze Hope Onuigbo, asked for more ammunition and training for the state vigilante group to make them perform better.

Over one thousand traditional rulers from the seventeen local government areas of the state attended the meeting.



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ACCOLADE: FRCN receives award from VOBLODOCON

The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, has been honoured with life safety award.

The Award was presented in Abuja by the Voluntary Blood Donors Club of Nigeria, VOBLODOCON at a seminar to mark this year’s world blood donor day.

The Chairman of the club, Mr Uchejeso Obeta said Radio Nigeria was given the award for its efforts in creating awareness on the need for Nigerians to donate blood to save lives.

While presenting a paper entitled, the role of blood donation in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, Mr Obeta urged Nigerians to see blood donation as a service to humanity.
Mr Obeta remarked that blood donations could assist in reducing the rate of infant and maternal mortality, as well as death from road accident.

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MDGS: Appeal for collaboration B/w Govt & NGO to improve health sector

An International Non-Governmental Organisation, Save the Children, has appealed to the three tiers of government and other International Organisations to invest more in the nation’s health sector.

At a roundtable with journalists and other stakeholders in Abuja, the Advocacy Advisor of the organisation in Nigeria, Mrs Charity Ibeawuchi said without adequate investment in the sector, it would be difficult for Nigeria to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on health by the year 2015. According to her, government expenditure on Health Services was below the Abuja declaration of 2001.
A representative from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Christiana Oliko attributed the high rate of infant mortality in Nigeria to early marriages, illiteracy and unsafe abortion.

Dr. Moji Odeku of the Federal Ministry of Health, called for intensive health messages at the grassroots by all stakeholders. On her part, the speaker of FCT Children’s Parliament, Hafsat Kaigama advocated free Health Care Services for Children from zero to five years.
The roundtable discussion was organised to mark the Day of African Child which comes up on the fourteenth of this month.



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Nigeria calls for IMF assistance on employment generation policies

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has been called upon to assist Nigeria with policies that can generate employment in the country.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode made the call in Abuja when the Resident Representative of the Fund, Mr. David Nellor paid him a courtesy visit. He urged the fund to support the country with programmes that would ease the effects of global economic meltdown on its people.
Prince Kayode expressed optimism that the existing relations between Nigeria and the fund would be sustained.

The country representative of the fund Mr. David Nellor said IMF is offering interest rate to countries that borrow from it. He also said about two and a half billion dollars had been set aside for African countries to help cushion the global meltdown.

Mr. Nellor said that Nigeria had benefited from the economic policies of the fund. He commended the fiscal policy of the Federal Government.


# #

KIDNAPPING: Abia Govt advocates military intervention

The Abia State Government has advocated military intervention in the fight against kidnapping in the State.

Governor Theodore Orji made the suggestion when the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Enugu, Major General Mohammed Isah, paid him a courtesy visit in Umuahia.

He observed that though the level of armed robbery had reduced in the area, the issue of kidnapping still posed a great challenge to the State. According to him, the weapons used by the kidnappers were superior to those used by the Police.

The Governor urged the GOC to deploy his men to occupy the Army Post at Ohafia. He pledged the readiness of the State Government to provide more posts in Umuahia.

The GOC, Major General Muhammad Isah observed that there were many unsettled security issues in the region. He said the position of the State in the region attracts the influx of people. He commended the support and cordial relationship existing between his men and the people of the State.


# # #

MILITANCY - NGO calls on N/Delta to shun violence

The Co-ordinator of Rights Monitoring Group, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Mr. Olufemi Aduwo has called on leaders of thought in the Niger Delta to be more committed in the effort to abolish militancy in the area.

Mr. Aduwo expressed the belief that elders in the region had not given adequate support to the government in solving the problem. He said without an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity development in the Niger Delta would remain a mirage.
He stressed the need for increased welfare and security of election observers and journalists on duty during elections. He also argued that observers and journalists were as prone to danger as the electoral officers during elections.

Mr. Aduwo called for a change of attitude among the politicians in the interest of the nation’s democracy.

# # #

PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION - Abia Govt signs agreement with UNICEF

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has signed the 2009 four-year-programme implementation agreement between the State Government and UNICEF.

The Programme is to among other things tackle emergencies, sanitation, nutrition, maternal and child health care as well as education and protection needs of children.

At the ceremony in Umuahia, Governor Orji said government had paid its counterpart funds for all UNICEF projects this year.

The Governor said UNICEF had done well and commended it for the assistance to the State Government. He said his government had also taken delivery of two modern refuse disposal vans to tackle the perennial refuse problem in Aba and Umuahia.

The Chief Field Officer, UNICEF, Enugu, Mrs Pelucy Ntambirweki said with the signing of the agreement, concerted efforts would be made by UNICEF and the State Government to respond adequately to the problems of women and children.

Mrs Ntambirweki commended the Governor for making Abia State polio-free and tackling waste disposal problem in the major cities of the state.



# # #

Commendation!  Yar’Adua expresses satisfaction with NPC

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has stressed the importance of using accurate data for planning in the country.

Receiving the 2006 Census Priority tables from the National Population Commission (NPC) in Abuja, President Yar’Adua said one of the greatest constraints facing development in Nigeria was lack of planning as a result of inaccurate data.

The President expressed delight that the 2006 National Census had provided data in almost all segments of the population that would guide planners and policy makers at all levels. He further expressed satisfaction with the tables, describing the census as one of the greatest exercises undertaken in the country.

The President who commended the NPC for a great job, enjoined policy maker and other stakeholders to take these accurate and well-analysed data seriously.

Presenting the seventy five thousand, three hundred and ninety-seven set of priority tables on the age, sex, literacy, disability, marital status and school attendance of the country’s population, the NPC Chairman, Chief Samu’ila Makama, described the 2006 census data processing and tabulation as possibly the biggest statistical and administrative exercises undertaken on the continent of Africa and the 8th biggest in the world.


# # #

Succour – Turkish doctors commence free plastic surgery

At Garki Hospital Abuja, a team of doctors from turkey will commence free plastic surgery on sixty-one indigent patients.

The medical team which arrived Nigeria last Sunday is led by a Professor of Plastic surgery at the Gazi University, Ankara Turkey, Dr Reha Yavuzer.

The free medical mission is made possible through collaboration between an Abuja based Non-Governmental Organisation - Women United for Vulnerable Children and the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria.

One of the beneficiaries is Mr Johnson Okeke from Anambra State who has been battling with skin tumour on the chin and neck since 1993.

Mr Okeke said he only got to know about the free surgery through a friend.
One of the surgeons and daughter of the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Bilon Sezgin told newsmen that the free operation was a way to assist poor people with cleft-lip and palate deformities.

According to the medical experts, some Nigerian doctors will be invited for training in Turkey to enable them sustain the treatment after the exercise in Abuja, expected to last seventeen days.

Arrangements were being made to facilitate the treatment of another set of children whose operation required longer period to handle.


# # #

FG approves Technical Board of Management for MTEL/NITEL

The Federal Government has approved Technical Board of Management for MTEL/NITEL following the revocation of the sale of these Companies to Transcorp Plc.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Mr Ima Niboro explained that the Board would be responsible for the administration of the companies pending the completion of the core investor sales process.

The Board is made up of seven members, with the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Communications as chairman.


# # #

Senate considers Sanusi as Governor

Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has been nominated as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said that President Yar’Adua had already sent a letter to that effect to the Senate President, Senator David Mark.

In the letter, President Yar’Adua requested for a speedy consideration of the nomination by the Senate.

The President has requested the Senate to confirm the renewal, for a second term, the appointment of Mr. Babatunde Lemo as a Deputy Governor of the CBN.

President Yar’Adua has commended the out-going CBN Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo. The President wished him success in his future endeavours.



# # #

World Bank works with NAIC to promote CADP

The World Bank is working with the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation to promote the Commercial Agricultural Development Project of the Bank in Nigeria

The Managing Director of the Corporation, Mr. Kwatri Yusuf appealed to large scale farmers to take advantage of the insurance services to protect their businesses against risks inherent in the sector. He urged large scale farmers to engage in mechanised farming to improve productivity.

He said that all loans to farmers from the Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank will henceforth be insured with the Corporation to ensure accountability.


# # #

FG approves Road Map & Guide for Nigeria’s Education sector

The Federal Government has approved a Road Map and Guide for Nigeria’s Education sector. Also approved was the launch of the campaign

for made in Nigeria Goods to be conducted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

These approvals were given by the Federal Executive Council at its meeting held in Abuja.

Twenty million pounds grant has been made available by Department for International Developments, DFID, to each state that is able to implement the new road map to enhance Education.

# # #

MP urges youths to shun Militancy & embrace govt’s efforts

A member of the House of Representatives from Ikot Ekpene Federal constituency of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Patty Etete-Ineme urges youths in the region to shun Militancy and embrace government’s efforts to develop the area.

Chief Etete Ineme said that the current trend of Kidnapping and blowing up of pipelines by some youths in the Niger Delta Region was not in the best interest of economic and social growth of the area
He stressed the need for the youths to cooperate with government at all levels in the task of bringing about meaningful development to the area. He also appealed to parents to keep close watch on their children and wards with a view to building a strong democratic nation based on equity, justice and fair play.


# # #

Minister stresses the need for skilled birth attendants

The Minister of Health, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin has stressed the need for skilled birth attendants at delivery points in the country.

He was speaking in Abuja at the end of a walk to mark this year’s Motherhood Day celebration.

The Minister said necessary skill and enabling environment at various levels of healthcare were key to the improvement of maternal health in Nigeria.

Professor Osotimehin blamed poor family planning practices, antenatal care, post abortion and emergency obstetric care, on the high maternal mortality rate in the country.

He said government was developing integrated maternal, new born and child health strategy as part of measure to address what he calls the unacceptable maternal and infants mortality rate in the country.

The Minister said government had made fund available for the implementation of a project on improving functional linkage between primary healthcare centres on comprehensive emergency obstetric care facilities in twelve states.



# # #

FRCN sympathises with Daar Communications over Ladi Lawal’s death

The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria says it will be at the forefront of immortalising the late Group Managing Director of Daar Communications, Alhaji Ladi Lawal.

During a condolence visit by the Board and Management of the FRCN to the Headquarters of Daar Communications in Abuja. Chief Debekeme, who was accompanied by the Director General, Mallam Yusuf Nuhu and the Secretary to the Corporation, Alhaji Mustapha Kurama said the FRCN would remain proud of late Ladi Lawal.

Also, Governor Timipre Sylvia of Bayelsa State said Alhaji Ladi Lawal contributed immensely to the development of journalism in the country.

He expressed the readiness of the State Government to support the late Journalist’s family and the ideals he stood for.

The National President of NUJ, Mallam Mohammed Garba, in his remark, said the Union would institute an annual lecture in honour of Alhaji Ladi Lawal.

Also, a former President of NUJ, Senator Smart Adeyemi described Alhaji Lawal as a thorough-bred professional whose skills would be missed in the media circle.

Senator Adeyemi said the late Chief Executive of Daar Communications remained a role model in contemporary journalism.

The Acting Group Managing Director of the Organisation, Mr Toni Akiotu thanked the sympathisers and announced that the Fidau prayers for Alhaji Ladi Lawal would take place in Lagos.


# # #

Kano Court adjourns State Govt’s case against Pfizer

A Kano High Court has again adjourned hearing on the case filed before it by the Kano State Government against Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company to the 27 of July, this year.

The adjournment was to give both parties involved in the case enough time to agree on out of court settlement of the case.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Alhaji Aliyu Umar represented by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Mallam Mustafa, Mohammed has requested for more time to conclude the final out of court settlement.

On his part, Counsel to Pfizer, Anthony Idegbe, SAN, represented by Nelson Ezeagwu said they have no objection to the adjournment.

After hearing from both sides the presiding judge, Justice Shehu Atiku expressed the hope that something positive would come-out of the agreement.


# # #

Nigerian Gov’s sign MOU with Harvard University

A Memorandum Of Understanding, M.O.U, has been signed between the Nigerian Governors and the Harvard University in the United States for periodic training programmes for the States Governors.

Also to benefit from the training which will focus on governance and leadership are key secretariat staff of the Nigeria Governors Forum and political leaders.

In a statement, the Director General of the Governors Forum, Mr. Asishana Okauru said that the M.O.U was signed when the Kwara State Governor and Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Dr Bukola Saraki led three other Governors on a visit to the University.

Under the arrangement, the University would conduct a series of training programmes for the State Governors between October this year and the year 2011.

The statement explained that the programmes would enhance governance and instill global best practices in the nation’s leadership.



# # #

Nigeria’s agricultural sector is fast growing - IFPRI

A recent survey by the International Food Policy Research Institute has revealed that Nigeria’s Agricultural sector is the fastest growing sector in Africa. 

Senior Research fellow of the Institute, Mr. Ephraim Nkonya said that the sector has a growth rate of six point five percent.

He explained that the development was due to  investment by the private sector with encouragement from the government.

Mr. Nkonya said researches carried out by the institute revealed that farm produce such as pepper, tomatoes, yam and cassava were some of the commodities that could generate better income for farmers if properly harnessed.

He advised investors in the agricultural sector to adopt labour saving measures such as the use of tractors and other modern agricultural inputs to reduce cost of production.

The International Food Policy Research Institute based in the United States is involved in research and policy that could help to reduce poverty and enhance good governance.


PDP calls on stakeholders to re-position the country

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on all stakeholders in the political system to address the challenges of re-positioning the country.

The party’s spokesman, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali made the call in Abuja while speaking on ‘Ten Years of stable democracy in the nation’.
Professor Alkali who argued that democracy should not be reduced to only the electoral process, canvassed for the sharing of values by all political leaders.

On whether democracy has come to stay in the country, the PDP spokesman said that democratic institutions were already fully established.

Professor Alkali sees the demands in parts of the country as normal, given the freedom the people now enjoy.

In the same vein, the National Chairman of the Citizens popular Party, Chief Maxi Okwu, agreed that the level of tolerance in the system had increased.

He however insisted that for democracy to take root there must be alternative political platforms in the country.
Chief Okwu, who is also the Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, concluded that the opposition had not helped the growth of democracy in the past ten years.


N200b Agric loan to be disbursed -NEC

Arrangements have reached an advanced stage for the distribution of the two hundred billion Naira loan for agricultural development.

Briefing the National Economic Council Meeting yesterday in Abuja, the Governor of Central Bank, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, said going by the number of people that had shown interest in the loan, more funds might be required for the programme.

The meeting also deliberated on the issue of recapitalisation of all Development Banks.

It was agreed that the status quo be maintained until the committee set up by the Federal Government comes out with its report.

The council revisited the ban on the use of siren by some categories of people, and advised State Governors themselves to obey the law.


We have strengthened the Rule of Law - NIALS

The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies says it has impacted positively on the sustenance of Democratic Values through research works, publications and public lectures.

The Director-General, Professor Amenze Guobadia argued that the Institute has strengthened the Rule of law which is central to the 7 Point Agenda through intellectual discourse.

Professor Guobadia said as the Nation celebrates ten years of uninterrupted democratic rule, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies has decided to chronicle National achievements in Arts and other fields of Human Endeavour as parts of Programmes to highlight the Institutes thirty years of service to Nigeria and Africa.


NAQS promises to prevent spread of swine flu 

The National Agricultural Quarantine Service says it has put modalities in place to prevent the spread of swine flu into the country.

The Executive director of the Service, Dr. Mamman Magaji who stated this in an interview in Abuja said all entry points into the country had been manned by officer of the Quarantine service.

Dr. Mamman Magaji also explained that staffs of the service in collaboration with the Nigerian Army School of infantry were to undergo paramilitary training on the matter.

The National Agricultural Quarantine Services was recently established by the Ministry of Agriculture and water resources, to further strengthen the capacity of Quarantine services in the country.


NAN solicits FRCN support in the area capacity building

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, has solicited the support of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria in the area of capacity building.

The Managing Director of NAN, Mrs Remi Oyo stated this when the Director General of the FRCN, Mallam Yusuf Nuhu paid her a visit in Abuja.

Mrs Oyo said since the two Organisations were the biggest in their field, it would be important to collaborate to enhance their effectiveness.

She explained that the success NAN achieved was largely due to the support it received from FRCN.

The Director General of FRCN, Mallam Nuhu Yusuf, described NAN as a reference point in the broadcasting industry. He explained that FRCN would soon start transmitting in other languages.

Mallam Yusuf Nuhu also urged the management of NAN to build on the foundation of their predecessors adding that FRCN strongly relied on News from NAN.

The Director General who was accompanied by Director News, Mr Ademola Afolabi and Director Programmes, Alhaji Ibrahim Bako were taken round the various operations of NAN.

# # #

Senate to approve soft loan to Sao Tome and Principe

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has urged the Senate to approve a soft loan of ten million dollars to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.

He said the loan was to assist that country address some of its socio-economic difficulties.

President Yar’adua stated that Nigeria’s assistance would strengthen and consolidate security in the Gulf region, taking into account the geopolitics of international oil crises and the economic interest of Nigeria.

The loan which is interest-free is repayable within four to six years.
The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe had requested for thirty million dollars loan but the Federal Government decided to first release the ten million dollars loan in the first instance, while the remaining balance would be released at the appropriate time, based on separate considerations.

They had in 2007 fully repaid a similar loan of fifteen million dollars which Nigeria granted her between 2002 and 2004.


FG provides N3b for poverty alleviation

The Federal government has provided three billion naira for the implementation of the Village Economic Development Solution.

The project is part of government’s poverty reduction programme.
The National Co-ordinator, National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP, Dr. Magnus Kpakol, announced this in Birnin Kebbi during a visit to Governor Sa’id Dakingari.

Dr. Kpakol explained that NAPEP was giving financial support to people to engage in agriculture because it offered the best employment opportunity and empowerment.

Governor Dakingari said that his administration was establishing micro finance banks in all local government areas to alleviate poverty.


BAUCHI: ADB disburses over N900m to communities

Over nine hundred million naira has so far been disbursed to some communities by the African Development bank.

The funding comes under the community based Agriculture and Rural Development Project of the Bank.

The National Coordinator of the project, Dr Muhammad Arabi stated this in Bauchi at a training workshop for members of the implementation team for the project.

One hundred and thirty-five communities are benefiting under the programme in the five participating States.


FG commences training on ozone depletion

The Federal Government has commenced the training of relevant personnel, on the control of Ozone depleting substances.

The national coordinator of the ozone programme Implementation Management Programme, Dr. David Omotosho said that the development was part of Nigeria’s preparations for climate change.

Dr Omotoso said the training would take place in Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt.

In 1987 Nigeria became a signatory to the Montreal Protocol where various countries agreed to phase out the use of ozone depleting substances by the end of this year.

# # #

FG approves draft Immigration Bill of 2008

The Federal Executive Council yesterday approved a draft Immigration Bill of 2008 to replace the Immigration Act of 1963.

The Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, who briefed Newsmen after the Council’s meeting at the State House, mentioned some of the objectives of the proposed bill.

Professor Akunyili said the review of the Immigration Bill was an attempt to remove an outdated legislation from the Nigerian statutes book.

The Minister also reacted to the just concluded governorship re-run election in Ekiti State in which the PDP candidate was declared the winner. 

Professor Akunyili expressed sympathy with the families of those who lost their lives and property during the crisis which arose from the re-run election.



Yar’ Adua commends Nigeria-Cuba relations

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has commended the role Cuba played during the liberation and independence struggles of several African countries.

President Yar’Adua told the visiting Vice President of Cuba, Mr. Esteban Lazo that Cuba had always stood by Nigeria on international matters especially global peace, stability, justice, and new International World Order.

The President said Cuban doctors had played a critical role in providing healthcare in many African countries, and pledged Nigeria’s readiness to deepen relations with Cuba.

President Yar’Adua traced the history of Cuba’s relations with Nigeria and Africa to the era of slave trade.

The Cuban Vice President Esteban Lazo said his visit would not only open avenues for enhanced bilateral cooperation on Agriculture, solar energy, oil and eradicating malaria, but also boost the South-South Cooperation.

Vice President Lazo commended Nigeria for its leadership role in Africa through active participation in peace keeping and conflict resolution around the world.


Yar’ Adua attributes Cyber-Crime to inadequate legislation

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua says the menace of Cyber-crime is not peculiar to the country, but a global problem that needs global solution.

The President said this in a message to the first National Conference on Cyber Security organised by the National Assembly Anti-money Laundering and Cyber Security Coalition.

He observed that Cyber threats have continued unabated due to inadequate legislation.

Senate President David Mark expressed concern over the absence of a legal and institutional framework to check the upsurge in Cyber crime in the country.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole said the National Assembly would appreciate debates on the resolution reached at the conference.

He promised that the National Assembly would adopt the appropriate legislative response by initiating bills that would address security lapses in the Information and Communications Technology industry.
He was represented by the Chief Whip Mr Emeka Ihedioha.

# # #

Inauguration of Boards of Parastatals in FMIC

The inauguration of the new boards of the Parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications holds on Tuesday, 5th May 2009 at the National Press Centre, Radio House, Garki, Abuja by 11:00 am

The Board of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria has the following members.

  1. Hon. Babolayefa Dakekeme- Chairman
  2. Abubakar M. Rimi (Jnr) – Member
  3. Idris Abdullahi Kwami – Member
  4. Dr. Doyin Okupe – Member
  5. Dupe Ajayi Gbadebo – Member
  6. Mohammed Buba Mohammed – Member
  7. Alhaji Goni – Member
  8. Kingsley Kuku – Member
  9. Barr. Yusuf Nuhu –DG FRCN –Member
  10. One Representative of FMIC  

Other Parastatals whose Boards are to be inaugurated are:

  1. Nigeria Television Authority (NTA)
  2. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
  3. Nigeria Press Council (NPC)
  4. Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC) Jos

The inauguration will be performed by the Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora N. Akunyili.


NBC warns broadcasting stations

Broadcast stations in the country have been enjoined to create and promote equity and political harmony among the citizens.

The Director General of the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Yomi Bolarinwa stressed  the need for broadcasting stations to play by the rules and regulation contained in the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.

The statement added that a station or its staff should not at electioneering time; broadcast the collated number of votes obtained at different polling station.

Mr. Bolarinwa said that a station would be allowed to broadcast election results or declare the winner of an election only as announced by the authorized electoral officers.

He reiterated that a fine of five hundred thousand naira would be imposed on any erring station.  He added that such station might also have its operational license suspended.


Abuja: DPR seals a petrol station

The Department of Petroleum Resources has sealed a Filling Station for its inability to account for the delivery of three Trucks of Petroleum.

This was during a tour of Fillings Stations in Abuja Metropolis to check the diversion of Petrol.

Placing the seal at the Filling Station along Airport road, the Assistant Director Upstream, Mr. Anthony Nwaokogbara, said the exercise was necessary to reduce the hardship experienced by motorists.

He explained that the record provided by the Pipeline Petroleum Product Marketing Company showed that ninety-eight trucks of Petrol were allocated to Abuja metropolis and its environs.

Mr. Nwaokogbara, said the Department would sanction any Filling Station or Marketer found diverting or hoarding Petroleum Products.


NCCE advocates quality programmes for teachers

The National Commission for Colleges of Education has called for deliberate programmes to improve the quality of Teachers for the educational system.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Mohammed Junaid, made the call at a facility visit to Kwara State College of Education, Oro.
He observed that quality Teachers were crucial to the attainment of the Seven Point Agenda of the Present administration.

Professor Junaid commended the Kwara State Government on its education reform agenda.

Facilities inspected by the Commission include, Information Communication Technology, Library and Lecture Theatres.

# # #

EKITI: Re-run governorship election ends inconclusively

The re-run governorship election in Ekiti State has ended inconclusively.

This followed alleged fears by AC that the Opposition parties were threatening violence if INEC insisted on conducting the election in Oye Local Government Area where the election was deferred due to activities of miscreants.

The Action Congress  through a lawyer, Mr Femi Falana had drawn INEC’s attention to section thirty of the Electoral Act, saying that a notice of fourteen days be given before election could be conducted in Oye local government.

In a swift reaction, INEC said section thirty one could only be applied to a bye-election not a segmented election like that of Oye.

Supervising Commissioner Adedeji Shoyebi promised to consult INEC management for a decision on the matter.

INEC decided to withhold the results of other four local governments till further notice.


NASS summons Tafa Balogun and others

The former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. TAfa Balogun, is to appear before the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs on Tuesday next week, to answer questions on the location of monies and properties recovered from him by the EFCC.

Chairman House Committee on Police Reform, Alhaji Abdul Ningi, said that the present Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro and the EFCC were also expected to give their reports on the issue. He said that Nigerians deserved to know where the monies and properties were.
Alhaji Ningi said that the Committee would continue to explore the possibility of getting to the roots of the matter.

# # #

EFCC arraigns Owan and others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian

Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr Ransome Owan and six of his Commissioners before an Abuja High Court on a one hundred and ninety-six count charges of alleged criminal breach of trust and stealing more than 5 billion naira.

The Commissioners include Abdulrahaman Ado, Owuamaze Noje and Abdulrazak Alimi. Others are Mohammed Bunu, Abimbola Odubiyi and Grace Eyoma. The proceeding lasted more than six hours.


Lagos Govt and tanker drivers’ face-off resolved

The face-off between the Lagos State Government and tanker drivers has been resolved.

The Group-General Manager Public Affairs of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Levi Ajuonuma, said the Corporation had paid the fine imposed on the fifty fuel tankers for traffic offence.

Dr Ajuonuma remarked that NNPC acted to complement President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s concern to resolve the crisis within a reasonable time.

While commending the Lagos State government for insisting on free-flow of traffic, Dr Ajuonuma appealed to the tanker drivers to abide by the laws of the country. He also assured members of the public that the fuel scarcity caused by the disagreement would soon end.


Govt would not spare law breakers – AG

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mike Aondoakaa says the government has never

spared any individual or corporate body that contravened the laws of the land.

Mr. Aondoakaa who was speaking at Eagle Square, said that there was no cover-up for those allegedly involved in an international bribery scandal by some foreign companies.

On the controversy surrounding the Multi-Billion Naira Ajaokuta Project, the Justice Minister disclosed that the matter was not yet closed.
Mr. Aondoakaa also spoke on new measures adopted by his office to avoid mistakes in contractual agreements signed by government. He said that this administration had enhanced the capacity of all anti-graft agencies as part of its determination to fight corruption.


PDP holds national convention

A National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP  holds at the Eagle Square, Abuja. According to the National

Publicity Secretary of the Party, and Chairman of the Convention’s Publicity Sub-Committee, Professor Rufai Alkali, necessary arrangements had been concluded for the event.
He says representatives of INEC, observers, the media and other stakeholders in the democratic process have been invited to witness the special convention, meant to consolidate the party for the challenges ahead.

Delegates to the convention include members of the National Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and Governors of the PDP controlled states.


Roadmap on Education approved - NCE

A roadmap for the Nigerian education sector has been officially approved by the National Council on Education, NCE.

Presenting a memorandum on the roadmap in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Egwu said the purpose was to ensure effective implementation of the reforms at the basic, post-basic and tertiary education sub-sectors.

The roadmap is an intervention designed to expedite actions on the attainment of the seven point agenda of the present administration, vision 20: 20: 20 the Education for All, EFA and MDGs.

According to the Minister, the document also contains the proposed turn-around interventions in the areas of Access and equity, Standards, Quality assurance, vocational education and funding.

Some of the participants, Mary Theresa the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Cross Rivers State and Mr. Edwin Udeonwu, Director in charge of Science technical and higher education in Abia State Ministry of education spoke on the roadmap.

The roadmap is expected to address planning, policy implementation, management information system and strengthen stakeholders’ participation.


NSC, FRSC to ensure safe delivery of cargoes

The Nigerian Shippers Council wants to collaborate with the Federal Road Safety Commission to ensure the safe delivery of cargoes.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Captain Adamu Biu said this during a courtesy visit on the Corps marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Osita Chidoka.

Representing, the Executive Secretary, the Director, Inland Transport Service, Chief Chris Orode said the Road Transport Safety Standardization scheme of the FRSC will enable them to regulate trucks used in the transportation of cargoes.

The Director appealed to all private sectors to assist in the provision for truck Transit Park.

Responding, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Osita Chidoka said the Commission would collaborate with the Nigerian Shippers Council to ensure the effective use of the RTSS scheme.

Mr. Chidoka said about one thousand one hundred and forty transport companies have registered under the RTSS scheme.

# # #

Yar’Adua calls for partnership with other tiers of Govt
President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has stressed the need for the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to form strategic partnerships with other tiers of government.

The President told the commission that the partnership was necessary because the Federal Government control less than fifty percent of all federally collectable revenues.

He said there were internally generated revenues, outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.

President Yar’ Adua explained that the current global economic recession has diminished trade opportunities, access to finance, migrant remittances as well as Foreign Direct Investment into the country, which meant the country’s economic future was directly linked to fiscal responsibility.

Yar’Adua said fiscal responsibility and financial prudence were necessary to enable the country tackle both the short and long-term challenges.
He urged the Commission to ensure a harmonious relationship between it and all organs of government, while discharging the Commission mandate as provided by the law.


NESREA warns against discharge of waste water
The National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency, NESREA, has warned private industries and companies against the indiscriminate discharge of waste water without treatment.

The Director General of NESREA, Mrs Ngeri Benebo gave the warning while speaking in Abuja.  She said the Agency had last week discovered that some tanneries in Kano State discharged their waste water without treatment.

She observed that some companies were yet to install efficient treatment plants as required by law, while others failed to use their existing plant effectively.

Mrs Benebo said the Agency would sanction companies engaged in the indiscriminate discharge of effluents without treatment.

According to the Director General, NESREA, had in 2008 given tanneries one year to acquire the necessary facilities for the treatment of waste water.


Christians celebrate Holy Thursday

Christians in the Country will today join the rest of the faithful all over the world to celebrate the Holy Thursday.

It is a day when Christians mark the last super of Jesus Christ with his Apostle before his Death and Resurrection.

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, the Most Reverend John Onayikan says that the Holy Thursday was also a day for blessing the Holy Oil.

That was the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria and Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, the most Reverend John Onayikan, speaking on the significance of Holy Thursday.


NEC Approves 200b for Large Scale Commercial Farming

The National Economic Council has approved two hundred billion naira to boost Large Scale Commercial Farming in the country.

The money, known as “Commercial Agricultural Fund” will be accessed by large scale commercial farmers as part of efforts to increase food production and mitigate the effects of the current economic recession.

The Governor of the Central Bank, Professor Chukwumah Soludo, said guidelines for the disbursement of the fund would soon be made public.

On Vision 2020, the Council advised States and Local Governments to complement Federal Government’s efforts by setting up their committees for the rapid actualization of the project.


Jos: Court annuls election of former Speaker

The Court of Appeal sitting in Jos has annulled the election of former Speaker of the Plateau House of Assembly, Mr. Emmanuel Goar representing Pankshin North constituency.

Delivering judgment, Justice Abubakar Yahaya said, the appeal of Mr. Goar was dismissed because it lacked merit.
He said that, since names of candidates contesting elections were submitted 120 days before a given election, the nomination of Kevin Dasu of the Democratic Peoples Party, DDP was valid.

 The election of Mr.  Goar of the PDP was challenged by the DPP candidate following the omission of his party’s name and logo from the ballot papers.

 The judge declared that fresh election should hold within 30 days.

# # #

NNPC expresses concern over queues in Filling Stations

Authorities of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation have expressed concern over the build up of queues in Filling Stations around Abuja Metropolis.

In a statement in Abuja last night, the NNPC accused Marketers of deliberately hoarding or diverting Petroleum Products to cripple the Market.
It warned that those found culpable would be sanctioned appropriately.

The statement advised the public to desist from panic buying as adequate measures had been put in place to ensure that normalcy is restored.

In the meantime, investigation by Radio Nigeria Correspondent revealed that many Filling Stations had adequate supply of Fuel while some Tankers were also off-loading in some Stations.

# # #

Excess crude account to be expended for power sector

The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission has disbursed more than seven hundred billion Naira from the excess crude account to revamp the power sector.

Report says that the commission had disbursed six hundred and forty seven billion Naira to the three tiers of government for their contribution to the power project.

According to the report, the Federal Government will contribute three hundred and twenty billion Naira while the thirty six states and the seven hundred and seventy four local governments will contribute one hundred and eighty billion Naira and one hundred and thirty nine billion Naira respectively.

The FCT and Ecology fund, according to the commission, would contribute seven billion Naira each.

It said the pattern of disbursement was based on the constitutionally laid down procedure for disbursing funds across the three tiers of government, the FCT and the thirteen per cent derivation.

Other criteria are Ecology, Stabilization Fund and the Development of natural resources.

The amount in the excess crude account was about twenty billion dollars and, with the deduction for the power project, the balance in the account would be about fifteen billion dollars.


# # #

UN Security Council holds emergency session in New York

An emergency session of the United Nations Security Council has met in New York on the implications of North Korea Nuclear Test.

The emergency meeting was to consider the implications of the Nuclear Test to World Peace and Security.

The meeting has also in view of the earlier UN Council Resolution in October 2006 which banned North Korea from Nuclear proliferation.

Meanwhile, President Barrack Obama of the United States has called on the International Community to prevail on North Korea to desist from what he called provocative actions.

Addressing a large crowd in Prague, Czech Republic, President Obama called for coordinated international sanctions against North Korea.

There are conflicting reports on the success of the Nuclear Test by North Korea, while North Korea claimed the test was peaceful and successful, agency reports say the Nuclear Test failed to reach the orbit.

# # #

Gov. advocates attitudinal change as a re-branding tool

The Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili says the National Re-branding campaign goes beyond government or party politics.

She stated this in Abuja when the Kano State Governor, Dr. Ibrahim Shekarau paid her a courtesy visit.

According to the Minister, governments come and go, but making Nigerians believe in themselves and the country would make the Country better appreciated in the International community.

Earlier Governor Shekarau explained that in a bid to re-brand Kano and check insecurity, the State Government had started negotiation with security Agencies to install monitoring circuit in and around the city.

The Governor attributed peace enjoyed by Kano residents to the launch of a campaign to re-orientate the mind set of the people.

The Governor said the only way Nigeria would meet the targets of the seven point agenda, the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2020 was to instill positive attitudinal change in the populace.


Minister to develop indigenous technology

The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is planning to develop and promote indigenous

Technology based on grassroot concept for employment generation.
The Minister in charge of the Ministry, Dr. Alhassan Bako Zaku announced this when he received a delegation of the National Association of Nigerian student’s in Abuja.

He said the responsibilities of the Ministry were to ensure that employment and wealth were created through relevant Parastatals.
Dr. Alhassan Zaku commended the leadership qualities of the students saying they were the leaders of tomorrow.

The leader of the delegation and secretary General of NANS, Comrade Muritala Garba said they were in the Ministry to present an award to the Minister as the most outstanding leader and as a role model to youths in the country.

# # #

Editors conference holds in Kaduna

Editors from all Media organisations in the country are converging on Kaduna today for the 5th all Nigeria Editors Conference.

The Four Day Programme with the theme: “The Role of the Editor in the realization of vision 2020” will be declared open by President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.

In a statement by the General Secretary of Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. John Nwukauba, the Conference will feature an interactive session among some State Governors and the guild.

The forum will provide Editors a platform to examine professional as well as national issues.

# # #

Nigeria & Ghana to collaborate in areas of trade & commerce

Nigeria and Ghana are to collaborate in the areas of trade and commerce with a view to improving standards.

The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Humphrey Abah, stated this in Abuja, when he received the Ghanaian Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Miss Anah Tete.

Mr. Abah said that the non-oil sector would be effectively harnessed to export products to the West Coast.
The Ghanaian Minister said her visit was to discuss ways of increasing bilateral trade between the countries.
Miss Tete expressed optimism that the collaboration would chart a new course for the two countries.



# # #

Lokoja: Court remands suspected syndicates in Police custody

In Kogi State, a Lokoja Magistrate Court has remanded in Police custody until 24th of next month, five suspected members of a syndicate that specialized in defrauding the State Government through the printing and sale of fake employment and promotion letters to increase the monthly wage bill.

Among them is the Director of a cyber café and purported wife of the State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Aishat Abdulsalam Ojanaun.
Others are Yinusa Zakari, Benjamin Audu, Shuaibu Salihu (54) and Sunday Aboh.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr. Alfred Joel gave the order following the arraignment of the accused persons before the court to enable the Police to continue investigations into the case.

In a separate Police report to the court, three of the suspects Aishat Abdulsalam Ojanaun, Yinusa Zakari and Benjamin Audu were said to have been caught at a cyber café in Lokoja with fake appointment letters of the State Health Management Board and Staff enrolment forms of the State Civil Service Commission.

The two others, Shuaibu Salihu, who is a fifty four old staff of the Health Management Board and Sunda Aboh of the Civil Service Commission, were separately charged for illegal reposting of staff during the staff auditing exercise.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty of the offences and that the Chief Magistrate dismissed all legal agreements by their lawyers to release them on bail.



# # #

TUC condemns debts owed by various Agencies in Aviation Sector

The President of Trade Union Congress, Comrade Peter Esele has condemned the huge debts owed by various Agencies in the Aviation Sector by airlines and concessionaires.

Comrade Esele warned that action would be taken against debtors in the sector by labour.

The TUC President disclosed that PAN Express owed FAAN over six hundred million Naira and instead of paying sixty million Naira monthly to FAAN as agreed, it pays only five million Naira monthly.
The TUC President called on the Federal Government to discontinue with such concessionaires contract, as it was not in the interest of the Country.

TUC President disclosed that the Union would soon embark on workers census in the Aviation Sector with a view to determining the number of casual workers in Airlines and Parastatals.

Comrade Esele called on management of airlines where Unionism was not allowed to embark on Union activities as according to him it was the right of workers to belong to Unions.



# # #

Spain to intensify bilateral relations with Nigeria

The Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr.  Angel Torres-Quevedo says his country is committed to intensifying bilateral relations with Nigeria.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Mr. Quevedo mentioned areas of collaboration with Nigeria.

Mr. Queredo who is in the country on an official visit said such collaboration would be extended to five ECOWAS member states where Spanish Embassies were to be established. 

In a remark, the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Angel Losada expressed gratitude to the Nigerian government for the support Spanish mission had enjoyed in the country over the year. Spain intensified its bilateral relation with ECOWAS four years ago.

# # #

FIDA wants Govt to make child the centre of all legislation

The country Vice President International Federation of Women Lawyers FIDA, Mrs. Ezinwa Okoroafor wants government at all levels to make the child the centre of all legislation.

Mrs. Okoroafor made the call in Umuahia at a conference organized by FIDA Abia State chapter to mark the end of one week enlightenment programme.
She noted that there can not be a future for any country that failed to put measures on ground to protect the child from molestation and abuse.

Mrs. Okofoafor said the theme of the event, “This Chief, the future” was apt, but maintained that though  some states had passed the Child Rights Law in Nigeria, the challenge lies on the implementation.

In her speech, the chairperson FIDA Abia State Mrs. Uzoamaka Ikonne explained that the event was meant to draw attention of everyone on the need to focus their resources towards securing the future of the family and society through proper care and training of the child.

The association had in the past year treated thirty two cases which involved family disputes and provision of free legal services to the people.

# # #

FG approves list of public office holders eligible to Police escort

The Federal Government has approved a list of political and public office holders in the three arms of government eligible to have Police escort.

By the list, Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants to the President and Vice President who have Policemen attached to them are to have them withdrawn.

A circular released by the Minister of Information and Communication Professor Dora Akunyili, shows that Secretaries to State Governments, State Heads of Service, Heads of Parastatals and Extra- Ministerial Departments fall within the category of officers not entitled to have Policemen attached to them.

Those not eligible to Police escort include Judges of Federal High Court, State High Courts and State Commissioners.

# # #

NUPENG & PENGASSAN suspend proposed strike

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers NUPENG and PENGASSAN have suspended the proposed three-day warning strike scheduled to commence on Thursday.

The suspension was contained in a communiqué issued by the two unions and read by PENGASSAN President, Comrade Babatunde Ogun.
The Minister of Labour, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode had earlier in a remark commended the effort of the unions to suspend the strike.

Prince Kayode assured the unions of Federal Government’s commitment towards having an enduring relationship with labour unions.

At a stakeholders meeting in Abuja on Monday between the two unions presided over by the National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Sarki Mukhtar, four committees were set up to review the demands of the unions in three months.

PENGASSAN and NUPENG have demanded that the Federal Government should shelve the deregulation of the downstream oil sector and address the problem of insecurity in the Niger Delta area.

# # #

Akunyili advises foreign investors to invest in solar energy sector

Foreign investors have been urged to establish ventures in the solar energy sector for industrial and domestic use instead of investing more in oil and gas.

The Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili gave the advice in Abuja when an economic delegation from Ireland paid her a courtesy visit.

According to the Minister, Oil and Gas was depleting resources unlike the solar energy.

Professor Dora Akunyili said by engaging in the production of goods and services in the country foreign investors would gain entrance to African markets.
She expressed the need to correct the trade imbalance between Nigeria and Ireland through a collaborative effort between the businessmen and women of both countries.

The Irish Minister of Integration, Mr. Conroe Lenihan said about forty thousand Nigerians working in the Irish country and that contributed to her economic development.

The Irish economic delegation was led on the visit by the Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ireland, Dr. Kema Chikwe.

Professor Dora Akunyili also received in audience a popular Nigerian Musicians, Mr. Innocent Idibia who had been chosen as a brand Ambassador for the youths.

Mr. Innocent Idibia otherwise known as 2 face who came to invite the Minister to his 10th Anniversary in the music profession said the re-branding campaign would create a healthy economic environment by attracting foreign investment to the country.


# # #

Breaking News

Appeal Court upholds Ohakim as Governor

The Appeal court sitting in Port Harcourt Rivers State has upheld the election of Chief Ikedi Ohakim as Governor of Imo State in April  28, 2007 Governorship election.

In a unanimous judgment read by Justice Saka Ibiyeye, the five judges agreed with the earlier ruling delivered by the election petition tribunal that Chief Ohakim was duly elected.
The Appeal court declared as lacking in merit the submissions made by Senator Ifeanyi Ararume.


VP wants constitutional review to tackle border/boundary issues

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan has stressed the need for a constitutional review that will re-enforce the protection of the nation’s borders.

commitment to addressing the water scarcity in parts of the State.
The State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Jijani Gwarzo, gave this assurance at an event held at the Wudil Regional Water Scheme.
The Deputy Governor who is also the State Commissioner for Water Resources said that Governme



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