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COVID-19: Ex-NUJ chairman seeks enforcement of protocols


A former Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) in Oyo State, Mr Solomon Ayoade,  on Thursday appealed to government at all levels to enforce the COVID-19 protocols and use of preventive kits.

Ayoade made the appeal  in a statement in Ibadan.

‘Transporters, religious centres, schools, social gatherings should be made to obey COVID-19 protocols with strict sanctions.

”Transporters,  in particular, should be made to comply with COVID-19 protocols as they transport people of different backgrounds.

”Transportation business needs to be closely monitored to curb the spread of the virus as  the business involves exchange of currencies and seats,” he said.

Ayoade said that all hands must be on deck to curb the spread of COVID-19, adding that this would enhance productivity and economic growth.

He said government, philanthropists and well-to-do Nigerians should expend their resources in curbing the spread of the virus.

Ayoade, who just retired as Director, Public Enlightenment and Mass Mobilisation, Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, said citizens should support  government’s efforts to move the state forward.

The former NUJ chairman also enjoined journalists to support the  Ademola Babalola leadership of Oyo NUJ in promoting the peace, harmony and progress of the union.

He commended the Oyo council for celebrating him on account of his retirement from the   Civil Service, promising to continue in his service to the union in any capacity. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 12:36 GMT

Troops neutralise bandits, arrest informants, recover rustled cattle in N/W


The Nigerian Army troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have recorded another breakthrough in the ongoing operations against banditry in the North Western part of the country.

The Acting Director, Defence Media Operation, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, in a statement on Thursday in Faskari said the troops eliminated a bandit, arrested informants and recovered rustled cattle.

Onyeuko said the troops deployed in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, on Aug. 5, foiled a coordinated bandits attack on residents of Zamfarawa Kagara village in the state.

He explained that the bandits were met with fire power of the troops when they invaded the village and stole several cows leading to killing of one bandit while others escaped with gunshot wounds.

According to him, all the rustled cows have been successfully recovered and handed over to their rightful owners.

The operation spokesperson also disclosed that troops deployed at Forward Operation Base (FOB) Dangulbi arrested a suspected bandit informant named Rabiu Salisu on Aug. 6.

He said that arrest followed credible information on his nefarious activities with bandits operating in the area.

He added that the troops deployed at the FOB Bagega arrested two bandits’ collaborators named Sani Sani and Sani Abubakar who were reported to be specialists in selling of cows and other items stolen by bandits.

The army spokesperson said they were arrested while butchering a cow for sale and had since confessed to collecting it from the bandits during interrogation.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 17 cows from suspected cattle rustlers at Dogon Ruwa village.

“The cows were recovered from suspected bandits who abandoned them and fled as troops stormed the village following information of their activities from reliable sources.

“In another development, troops on patrol arrested a suspected bandit’s informant and logistics supplier named Saifullahi Adamu at Garin Dodo village in Katsina State following credible information about his elicit engagements with suspected bandits.

“His wife Mrs Hauwa Abubakar also alleged that the suspect forcefully married her, whereas bandits whom her husband associates with usually accuse her of reporting their activities to security agencies thereby, subjecting her to several abuses.

“Hauwa was rescued from her husband and has been handed over to the Katsina State Government while the suspect is in custody for further interrogation,” he said.

Onyeuko further disclosed that the troops arrested two suspected bandits’ couriers named Abdulrazi and Ismaila at Malamawa village in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara in connection with butchering and selling of stolen cows.

He added that the troops also arrested three other suspects named Hassan Mallam, Kabiru Ahmadu and Surajo Muhammadu of Sabon Birni and Munhaye villages at Pasawa-Magami Road of Zamfara.

According to him, the troops recovered eight cattle abandoned by bandits while running from troops at Tsafe in Zamfara.

He noted that the cows had been handed over to their rightful owners.

The army official said troops arrested a suspected bandit named Sabiu Sani who was previously arrested by vigilante group but escaped from custody the same day.

“In another operation following a tip-off, troops deployed in Faskari equally arrested five suspected bandits in a blue Hyundai car with registration number Katsina 107 BAK and the suspects are presently undergoing interrogation.

“Furthermore, on Aug. 8, troops arrested one suspected cattle rustler named Sallahu Rabiu at Natsinta Village with three rustled cows.

“The suspect confessed to have been operating with a gang of cattle rustlers and efforts are ongoing to apprehend other members of his gang.

“Also, troops deployed at Wagini arrested a suspected bandit named Usman Suleiman who was apprehended after being sighted by the eagle eyed troops while trying to sneak into the village from the forest in search of food.

“He admitted to be part of a bandit group terrorising Batsari general area,” he said.

Onyeuko also disclosed that troops deployed at Mara arrested two suspected bandits named Jamilu Mani and Aminu Lawal along Danmusa – Runka Road, who were identified to be notorious bandits terrorising the area.

He added that troops deployed at Bingi while on patrol arrested a suspected bandit and impostor named Sani Saidu wearing a police uniform with the name tag  “James Oname”.

The army official revealed that preliminary investigation revealed that James Oname a Police Sergeant was killed in 2015 by bandits at Tunga Rakumi in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara.

“The suspect is undergoing further interrogation.

“Relatedly, same day troops on clearance patrol destroyed eight major bandits camps owned by notorious bandits leader known as Abu-Radde at Lebi Fulani Areas in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina.

“Troops during the operation recovered four dane guns and other items,” he said.

He also said that troops deployed at Yarsanta on Aug.10, intercepted a kidnapped escapee named Auwal Yusuf wandering aimlessly along Yarsanta-Kabuge general area.

The army spokesperson said the victim was promptly rescued by the troops and taken to safety.

He further disclosed that troops on patrol encountered suspected bandits with rustled cows along Bagega – Sabon Birni, bandits opened fire on sighting the troops but fled into the bushe as troops responded with superior

“Troops found traces of blood along bandits escape route while 12 cows were recovered by the troops during exploitation.

“Also, on Aug. 11, troops at FOB Yar Gamji in Batsari while conducting farm patrol arrested a suspected bandit named Ibrahim Musa.

“During preliminary interrogation, the suspect confessed to be on a spy mission and a member of a bandit group led by one criminal named Danladi Dahiru hiding in Dumburum forest.

“Same day, troops arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Haliru along Batsari – Sawara Road following a deligent tracking by the troops.

“He was identified to be a notorious bandit who escaped from vigilante custody during a previous arrest

“Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and their resilience.

“He urges them not to rest on their oars. He further assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone.” (NAN)

Man, 37, in court over alleged breach of peace in Ogun

Court (2)
Court (2)

A 37-year-old man, Abraham Adeoluwa, on Thursday appeared before a Magistrates’ Court in Ota, Ogun, over alleged breach of peace.

Adeoluwa, whose address was not provided, is facing a two-count charge of breach of peace and conspiracy.

The Prosecutor, Cpl. Titi Olatoye, told the court that the defendant and others still at large, committed the offences on May 31, at about 12.40 p.m. in Owotolu area, Aiyetoro, Itele, Ota.

Olatoye said the defendant conducted himself in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by preventing one Mr Lukman Olushi from entering his farmland located at Owotolu area, Ayetoro, Itele, Ota.

She alleged that the defendant chased away the complainant from his farmland with dangerous weapons.

The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 249(d) and 516 of the Criminal Code Revised Laws of Ogun, 2006.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Magistrate, Mrs Sam Obaleye, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N10,000 with one surety in like sum.

Obaleye said that the surety must resides within the court’s jurisdiction and his/her address should be verified by the court.

She added that the surety should provide means of identification as part of the bail conditions.

The case was adjourned until Aug. 31 for trial. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 12:25 GMT

Ogun LG pledges to boost sports


Alhaji Rahmon Olabode, the Transition Committee Chairman of Yewa South Local Government Council, has pledged to implement policies that would aid sports development in the area.

Olabode said this in Ilaro on Thursday while playing host to the council’s team which represented the local government at the 2020 Governor’s Cup Sporting Competition organised early this year in Abeokuta.

He said his administration would make sports more attractive, especially to the youths, which accordingly would enable them develop their talents and make a livelihood from it.

Represented by his deputy, Hon. Samson Salako, the council boss charged youths to channel their energy on positive endeavours that would guarantee them a rewarding future while shunning acts capable of jeopardising their future.

“I am very happy that you represented our local government very well. You gave a good account of yourselves and at the end, came back with some medals. I am very proud of you all.

“Let me use this opportunity to assure you that we will not relent in developing sports in Yewa South Local Government and we will also continue to encourage and reward talents,’’ he said.

The council’s Head of Local Government Administration, Ms Olasubomi Ayorinde, also congratulated the team members and urged them to remain focused.

She stated that with dedication, they could become world renowned and earn good living from sports.

Ayorinde paid tributes to the team’s coach for his efforts at fishing out young athletes and footballers across primary schools in the area, imploring him and his crew to nurture them to stardom.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the contingent and Sports Desk Officer at the Local Government Education Authority, Mr Bolaji Olusanya, appreciated the council for its unwavering support during and after the competition.

He said the team won gold in the female 100 metres race and a bronze medals in both the football competition and female 100 metres relay race. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 12:22 GMT

How stranded couple on honeymoon became ambassadors

Cape Verde Olympic Symbol

RIKIYA and Ayumi Kataoka, Japanese couple,  had their honeymoon wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde had won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team.

The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa.

Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to earn funds in the absence of work visas.

But Cape Verde’s Olympics officials were so intrigued by the ties the couple had built with locals that they decided to include the Kataokas in their team heading to the rearranged games in Tokyo next July.

“They want me to be an ambassador of the Olympic team,” Rikiya, 30, told Reuters via Zoom, speaking from the island of Sal. “When I go back to Tokyo, I will do a job for them.”

Cape Verde, who have never won an Olympic medal in spite of participating in every summer Games since 1996, hope to take three or four athletes to Tokyo.

Not only will the Kataokas be useful for their local knowledge but the islands’ officials hope the recognition helps repay the couple for their work in promoting the islands, where their plight turned them into minor celebrities.

“We felt the urge of giving back,” said Leonardo Cunha, the islands’ chef de mission for Tokyo.

“The guys are Japanese citizens and they deserve, in the name of the friendship we have with Japan, just to be well-treated,” he added.

“It was our interest to accompany them on their journey as well (and) making them part of our adventure in Japan.”

Miles from home with dwindling funds, the Kataokas could easily have panicked, but Rikiya, who occasionally works as a videographer back home, made social media videos here, tagging hotels and restaurants, in exchange for lodging and food.

“I shot many things in restaurants and hotels, as a volunteer,” he said, adding that had prompted job offers.

“For example, the restaurant owner offered me a job… and then they gave me food for free.”

Wife Ayumi modelled for the shoots when not doubling as a reviewer.

That kind of enterprise could pay off in Japan for the Cape Verde Olympic Committee, which learnt of the couple when they moved into a hotel owned by American former windsurfing world champion Josh Angulo.

“You go to another planet, Planet Olympics,” said Cunha, describing the benefits for the Kataokas.

“When they will arrive there, they will be in shock, because it is so big and so emotional, they really will understand where our invitation comes from and what it will mean for them.” – Reuters/NAN

– Aug. 13, 2020 @ 12:16 GMT |

Manchester United target Sancho says ‘happy’ at Dortmund


In-demand winger Jadon Sancho says he is happy at Borussia Dortmund and is enjoying helping some of the younger players develop at the Bundesliga club.


Sancho has been linked with a move to a host of top clubs including Manchester United, but Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc says the England international is going nowhere.


The 20-year-old left with his team for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland this week and on Wednesday played the first 45 minutes of Dortmund’s 6-0 victory over Austrian side SCR Altach.


“I love playing with this lot. It’s a special bunch. We’ve got some special young players coming up,” said Sancho, who scored 17 league goals and set up another 16 last season


“I’m really happy to share the pitch with them and guide them.


“I joined when I was 17, some of the lads are the same age. I’ve been there and done that. I can guide them in what’s good and what isn’t. I can hopefully motivate them as well.” (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 12:12 GMT

Bangladesh opens trial of former chief justice

Surendra Kumar Sinha
Surendra Kumar Sinha

Bangladesh says it has began the trial of a former chief justice on money laundering and embezzlement charges, a prosecution lawyer said on Thursday.

A Dhaka court ordered the start of the trial of Surendra Kumar Sinha and 10 others after they were indicted in relation to a bank transaction of 40 million takas (470,000 dollars) in 2016, lawyer Ruhul Islam Khan said.

The court also issued an arrest warrant for Sinha currently living in Canada, and seven other fugitives, and it  fixed  Aug. 18 as the date  to cross-examine the witnesses.

The accused include two of Sinha’s personal aides and six officials from the private Farmers’ Bank, later renamed Padma Bank Limited.

The bank employees were accused of helping Sinha and his aides launder the money through the bank’s channels, eventually moving the funds into Sinha’s personal account, investigator Syed Iqbal Hossain said.

The transaction took place when Sinha headed the judiciary and a sum was sent to buy a home in the U.S. in his brother’s name, he added.

Sinha denies the allegations, saying the government’s prosecution was politically motivated.

He left the country for Australia in October 2017 amid a souring relationship with the ruling Awami League party leaders.

Sinha travelled briefly to the U.S., but he eventually left for Canada and reportedly applied for political asylum there in 2019. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 12:08 GMT

China finds coronavirus traces on imported chicken wings from Brazil


Authorities in southern China said on Thursday that they had found traces of the coronavirus on frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil.

The surface of a sample of the imported chicken wings tested positive for the virus, the city of Shenzhen said in a statement on WeChat.

The city’s Epidemic Prevention and Control Office organised nucleic acid testing for everyone who may have been exposed to the products, authorities said, adding that the results came back negative.

China in recent months started screening all meat and seafood containers coming into major ports.

Screening efforts intensified after a coronavirus outbreak in Beijing in June was linked to the city’s Xinfadi wholesale food market.

The first coronavirus outbreak in December was linked to the Huanan seafood market in the central city of Wuhan. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 11:56 GMT

Argentina says it reached a deal to produce Oxford COVID-19 vaccine


Argentina and Mexico on Thursday said they would co-produce millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Britain’s University of Oxford with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for Latin America.
According to the Argentinian President, Alberto Fernandez, Argentina and Mexico will be in charge of the Latin American production of the vaccine developed by the university and the Swedish-British pharmaceutical group once it receives regulatory approval.
“This will allow timely and sufficient access to the potential vaccine for all countries in the region,” Fernandez said.
He said AstraZeneca signed a deal to produce between 150 to 250 million doses for all Latin America, with the exception of Brazil, to be available in the first half of 2021.
Fernandez said that the deal puts Argentina in a position of ease since the country would be able to get the vaccine when accessible and at a reasonable price.
“I expect the drug to cost between 3-4 dollars per dose.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said his government would announce the deal on Thursday, adding that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his Argentinian counterpart supported the deal.
Both Fernandez and Ebrard said that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s foundation was helping finance the plan.
Mexico has so far confirmed almost 56,600 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new virus, the third-largest number after the U.S. and Brazil. More than 500,000 people have so far tested positive for the disease.
Meanwhile, Argentina had so far reported 268,574 infections and over 5,200 deaths.
Trials involving more than 1,000 people have found the vaccine to be safe and produce immunity, and Britain has already reserved 100,000 doses of the vaccine. It is currently undergoing the phase 3 trial.
Vaccines can take years to develop and test but many countries have accelerated efforts in a bid to slow the coronavirus pandemic.(NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 11:51 GMT

Childbirth spacing: Some Bauchi women access services at night – official


Hajiya Aisha Abdulkarim, a Child Birth Spacing (CBS) Coordinator in Bauchi, says some women in the state access the CBS services in the night to outsmart their un-cooperating husbands.

Abdulkarim, the CBS coordinator at Gumau Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Toro Local Government Area of the state, on Thursday.

She, however, said that others comply and visit CBS unit with their wives to access the commodities.

Abdulkarim said that the PHC centre recorded no fewer than 100 clients monthly in 72 makeover clinic.

NAN reports that the 72 makeovers are PHC that provided CBS among other services 24 hours.

“Women having issues with their husbands, not allowing them to access CBS services, prefer to come in the evening between 7.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m.

“Their reasons are that it is dark and their spouses are in a particular place unlike in morning or afternoon when they (women) may be engaged in other activities.

“High number of our reproductive-age women access CBS because people are becoming aware of issues of maternal and infant health.

“Women in Gumau and villages around access CBS.

“There was a month that we had over 200 women for CBS services,’’ she said.

The coordinator said that CBS commodities were made available to the PHC as at when due.

Abdulkareem said that other health personnel in the PHC had been sensitised and better equipped with information from CBS to ensure that public awareness was created.

“Although some husbands deny their wives of the services, others allow and even come along with them.

“Our staffers are also educated on various methods because some couples come through them,’’ she said.

The coordinator commended the Ward Development Committee (WDC) and women leaders in the community for continuous public enlightenment campaigns on CBS. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 11:45 GMT

COVID-19 speeds up energy transition

Yuan-Sheng Yu, senior analyst at Lux Research

Rotary Club Festac Central offers free surgery for women


Rotary Club of Festac Central, under District 9110, has sponsored free Fibroid surgery and treatment for five women who are unable to afford it.

This, it said, was part of commitment to providing quality humanitarian services.

Rotary President presenting cheque to some nominated fibroid patients

The club’s President, Rotarian Benjamin Sawyerr, made this known on Thursday in Festac, Lagos, during the presentation of funds required for the surgeries of the nominated women.

Sawyerr said that the free surgeries was part of the club’s core project of the year that was meant to give those diagnosed with fibroid the chance to live normal lives.

“The fibroid empowerment initiative was picked up a few years ago; we found out that we needed to help some ladies with fibroid, that don’t have funds to undergo the operation.

“We know that it is not easy for women in that situation, so we came about the health empowerment. This brought about the five nominees that we picked for the surgery, “ he said.

Sawyerr also said that the club planned to do another five fibroid operations before the end of the year, as a way of extending love to the community.

“Not just the president alone, the individual club members were also able to contribute money for this health project and I want to use this opportunity to appreciate my club members for a job well done , “ he said.

Also, the Charter President of Rotary Club Festac Central District, Tonia Aguguesi said that free fibroid treatment and operation was part of the commitment to improve society and social development.

“We came about this initiative about four years ago in our regular meeting, we were looking for a project we would do that will really impact on the people.

“You know what Rotary does is we try to reach out to our community and environment on their needs and you can’t but give something pertaining to health.

“And the woman that has fibroid was what we discussed at the meeting and arrived at the decision that we should be able to at least assist with the  fibroid operation for at least 4-5 women.

“So, we identify five of such people, and we invite the hospital, Maternal and Child Hospital at First Avenue in Festac, and we hand over the cheque to them to carry out the surgery for the five women.

“So far,  it has been overwhelming, the success story that comes from it has been encouraging. For every surgery that was conducted, some women do come back to appreciate, “ she said. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 11:37 GMT

Court sentences man to 2 years imprisonment for mischief, theft


A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Gwagwalada, FCT, on Thursday sentenced one Dayesa Ayuba to two years imprisonment for mischief and theft.

Ayuba, who lives in  Ijah, Kwali, FCT, pleaded guilty to two counts of mischief and theft out of the five- count charge of criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass, mischief, theft and intimidation preferred against him.

The Magistrate, Yusuf Ibrahim, however sentenced Ayuba to two years imprisonment for both offences without option of fine, stressing on the prevelance of such crime in the society.
Ibrahim also ordered that the convict pay N50,000 as compensation to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for vandalising electricity cable wire.

He said the punishment would send a message and also serve as a deterrent to anyone planning to trail that part in the future.

The prosecutor counsel, Abudullahi Tanko told the court that one Ayuba Yusuf of Ijah Kwali, FCT, Abuja reported the matter in Kwali police station on July 7.

Tanko said that the defendant criminally conspired with one Abudul a scavenger, now at large and trespassed to upper Ijah fada road and cut off a roll of aluminum cable wire from pole to pole with the intent to sale it.

He said that the convict also threatened to kill Yusuf (complainant) for exposing his criminal act.

The prosecutor said that during investigation the convict confessed to theft of cable and the cable was recovered from his possession.

He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections  97, 342, 327, 287 and 397 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 11:28 GMT

Why we suspended 20 Education Secretaries, says Bauchi Commissioner


The Bauchi Government says it has suspended all the Education Secretaries and some principal officers of the Local Education Authorities (LEAs) in the state.

Malam Nuhu Zaki, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, made the disclosure at a news conference in Bauchi on Thursday.

Zaki said the suspension was due to alleged sharp practices uncovered during a recent verification exercise carried out within the local education authorities across the state.

According to him, 876 primary school teachers retired from service between April 2009 and April 2020 yet the monthly wage bill of the 20 Local Education Athourities (LEAs) had kept increasing.

The commissioner said there was no justification for such wage increase.

He said when a verification committee detected the anomalies and discrepancies, the education secretaries told the committee that they had converted the salaries of the retired teachers to running costs.

“This was a clear case of financial crime and it must be investigated,” he said.

He said that investigation was still ongoing and justice and fairness would be ensured as those found guilty would definitely be sanctioned.

`We will spare no one found to be in conflict with the law,” the commissioner said.

He described as “selfish and misguided,” the recent allegation made by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC )that he was instrumental to the unjust suspension of the education secretaries.

He said the suspension and subsequent investigation of the education secretaries was not an individual decision.

“I and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) acted on the directive from the governor”.

He restated the commitment of the state government to a robust, mature and clear industrial harmony between government and labour, saying “we are partners in progress.”

Zaki said all local government and LEA personnel received their salaries as and when due, except those with irregularities in their records.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Bauchi chapter of the NLC recently blamed the commissioner for local government for allegedly masterminding the suspension of the education secretaries. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 11:25 GMT

Young farmers network urges CBN to include regional crops in Anchor Borrowers Programme


Mr Promise Amahah, the President Nigerian Young Farmers Network (NYFN) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include more regional and agro-ecological crops in its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).

Amahah gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.

He explained that it was necessary to consider certain crops that predominantly grow and do well only in certain regions with certain ecological features aiming at creating wealth in those areas.

The NYFN president said that some crops grow and do well in some specific places because of certain factors.

He, however, said it was important to note that the defining factor in the ABP was the “Anchor”, hence the need to ensure that any crop or product suggested for the programme should also have good off-take capacity.

“An Anchor here refers to companies/organisations involved in the processing of various crops and agricultural products. The ABP simply connects or creates the linkage between small holder farmers and the processors.

“And this is programmed to achieve two key objectives to boost food production by small holder farmers by providing support through farm inputs and labour cost and to stabilise input supply to processors,” he said.

The president said innovative thinking and collaborative gap analysis were required to reinforce and optimise the Anchor Borrowers Programme.

According to him, sustainable strategies for engagement should also be considered, especially on risk assessment, loan recovery, monitoring and evaluation.

Meanwhile, Amahah also stressed the need to ramp up the process of Food Safety and Quality Control for Nigerian agricultural products to measure up in the international markets.

He added that to achieve this, Public Private Partnership was key and significant.

Amahah also emphasised the need for Nigerians to embrace good agricultural practices that required strategic sensitisation and awareness on best practices.

He said equipping extension workers to guide and train farmers through a train-the-trainer programmes was importantas as well as investing in innovation and technology for food safety, quality control and general post harvest management.

Accorcing to the president, there must be deliberate policies and proactive initiatives to identify the gaps and inefficiencies with a view to developing a sustainable action plan to address the challenges. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 11:21 GMT

Israel responds to continued incendiary balloon attacks from Gaza


Israel on Thursday struck Hamas targets overnight in Gaza1 in response to incendiary balloons launched into Southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, the army said.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said explosive balloons continued to be launched from Gaza into Israel, causing fires on land across Southern Israel.

“In response, we just struck Hamas targets in Gaza, including a military compound, underground infrastructure and observation posts,” the forces said.

Meanwhile, there had been a lull in what Israel described as “balloon terrorism” since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but incidents recently started up again.

The attacks in recent days have seen swathes of land burned in Southern Israel.

The latest retaliation from the IDF targeted a military compound, underground infrastructure and observation posts belonging to the radical Islamist Hamas movement, which it holds responsible for the attacks.

Earlier, Israel’s Chief liaison office with the Palestinians, COGAT, said that following security consultations during the night, Defence Minister Benny Gantz ordered to halt the import of fuel into the Gaza Strip.

“This is in light of the continued launching of incendiary balloons from the Strip toward the territory of the State of Israel and of the undermining of security stability,” it said.

However, only essential humanitarian goods are now allowed to enter Gaza from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

On Wednesday, Israel already reduced the fishing zone of the Gaza Strip from 15 nautical miles (some 28 kilometres) to 8 (some 15 kilometres), immediately until further notice.

Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, the U.S. and the EU.

Israel captured Gaza from Egypt in the 1967 Six-Day War, but unilaterally pulled out its army and evacuated its settlements in the Strip in 2005.

Israel, however, continued to control Gaza’s borders, along with Egypt. Israel frequently closes crossings in response to rocket fire and violence along the border. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 11:12 GMT

FG seeks continued motorists’ cooperation as Third Mainland Bridge repairs progress


The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, on Thursday appealed for patience of road users as the Third Mainland Bridge repairs progressed.

Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while inspecting the site that asphalt surrounding the expansion joints within the 3.5 kilometers where the contractor was working had been removed.

He said that this was to pave way for the removal of the worn out expansion joints.

The controller said that eight expansion joints were already being replaced on the alignment between the Adeniji Adele and Ebute Meta area.

He said that a total of 14 expansion joints would be replaced on the Third Mainland Bridge and the Adeniji Adele Ramp.

Popoola said that hydro-blasting, also called hydro-demolition method, was being used to carefully remove the worn out expansion joints using an automated specialized machine.

“Third Mainland Bridge repair works is progressing and so far the contractor has been able to cut the asphalt holding the six expansion joints on this Oworonshoki lane.

“We are removing the expansion joints one by one.

“We are changing 12 expansion joints on Third Mainland Bridge, that is, six on Oworonshoki lane where we are working now and six on the Lagos Island Bound Carriageway after we complete work here.

“Then we are changing two expansion joints on the Adeniji Ramp, bringing the total to 14.

“The work is progressing steadily. Removing the asphalt involves using machine so that they do not fall into the lagoon,’’ he told NAN.

The controller said that the bearings of the bridge would be changed upon completion of replacement of the expansion joints.

“The bearings are under, that is, where the bridge deck is resting,’’ he said.

Popoola appealed for patience of motorists around the construction zones.

He lamented that most of the motorists were impatient around the diversion points but lauded the efforts of the traffic and law enforcement agencies for seamless traffic flow.

The official said that no accidents had been recorded because of the dedication of the agencies, adding that the Police were on ground to ensure safety of road users on the bridge.

“My advice to road users is to be patient, motorists should drive with care as the work progresses.

“The contractor is making efforts to ensure that the project is completed and the Third Mainland Bridge is opened possibly before the expiration of six months.

“So, they (motorists) should allow the contractor to work by being patient,’’ he said.

Speaking on the Alaka linking Eko Bridge shut for repairs in March, 2020, Popoola said the contractor was speeding up rehabilitation to further ease gridlock on the Third Mainland Bridge.

The controller said that the contractor on the project was targeting September or early October completion date.

Recall that the Third Mainland Bridge which has gone through series of repairs was partially shut on July 24, 2020 for another round of rehabilitation works.

The repair is expected to last for six months with the construction divided into two phases of three months on each carriageway starting with the Oworonshoki bound lane.

The 11.8km Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland.

Constructed in 1989, it was commissioned in 1990 and was the longest in Africa until 1996 when the 6th October Bridge in Cairo, Egypt was completed. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:58 GMT

Obiano suspends 12 monarchs for alleged misconduct


Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra has approved the suspension of 12 traditional rulers in the state for an initial period of one year with effect from Aug. 11, over alleged misconduct.

Mr Greg Obi, the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, who made this known in a statement on Thursday said the suspended monarchs travelled out of Anambra without government approval.

Obi said the governor invoked the Anambra Traditional Rulers Law of 1981 to justify the suspension.

According to him, the suspended monarchs include Igwe Alex Edozieuno of Mkpunando; Igwe Mark-Anthony Okonkwo of Alor; Igwe Chukuwma Orji of Ezinifite; Igwe G.B.C Mbakwe of Abacha; Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo of Nawfa and Igwe Nkeli Nelly of Igbarim.

Others are Igwe Anthony Onyekwere of Owelle; Igwe A. N. Onwuneme of Ikenga; Igwe Ikechukwu Chidubem of Umumbo; Igwe S. O. Uche of Ezira; Igwe Emeka Ilouno of Ifitedunu and Igwe Peter Ikegbunem Udoji of Eziagulu.

“During the sanction period, you are required to stop holding yourselves out as traditional rulers and to cease from discharging traditional rulers’ functions in your communities or elsewhere in the state and beyond.

“This sanction may be lifted at the end of one year or renewed or upgraded in the intervening period depending on government’s review of your conduct.

“By this sanction, membership of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council is revoked, furthermore any appointment in other government committee is hereby rescinded,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this brings to 13 the number of traditional rulers suspended in the state in the last one month.

Igwe Peter Uyanwa of Ukwulu had been suspended in July over alleged misconduct by the governor for the same period. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:54 GMT

55 confirmed dead after south India landslide


Fifty-five bodies were, on Thursday, recovered by rescuers in Southern India’s Kerala state as efforts continued to find 15 people, who were unaccounted for after last week’s landslide, a local official said.

Heavy monsoon rains in the Pettamudi hills in Kerala’s Idukki region triggered a massive landslide, on Friday, burying a settlement of tea plantation workers in mud and debris.

According to a senior administrative official in Idukki district, Antony Scaria, around 82 people were living in the quarters.

Twelve people have been rescued and 55 bodies found.

Meanwhile, search operations led by the National Disaster Response Force were ongoing to trace the 15 people still missing.

However, intermittent heavy rains made search operations difficult.

Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan and Gov. Arif Khan, promised to visit the area on Thursday.

Landslides and floods are common during India’s monsoon season.

The rains are vital for agriculture, but often cause immense destruction of property and crops, and lead to loss of lives.

According to the Home Ministry, across the country, at least 884 people died in incidents related to monsoons between the end of May and up until Wednesday. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:50 GMT


Edo 2020: Ize-iyamu promises to revive rice production in Ekpoma

 Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu,
 Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu,

Pastor Osage Ize-Iyamu, the All Progressive Congress (APC), governorship candidate in the Edo 2020 election has promised to revive rice production in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Council of the state.

Ize-iyamu lamented that Ekpoma, which used to be the hub of local rice production in the country was now struggling to produce the crop.

Ize-Iyamu, who was speaking during his campaign rally at Ekpoma on Wednesday ahead of the Sept. 19, election, assured to revive the agricultural potentials in the council.

“The present administration collected a lot of billions under the Central Bank of Nigeria credit scheme for farmers but could not invest the money wisely.

“Many farmers in this local government council applied for the loan scheme but they did not benefit from the scheme.

“But my administration, if voted for would revive the agricultural potentials in this community, especially rice production.

“Growing up as a child, Ekpoma rice was a delicacy in almost every household in the state and a major source of income for farmers in Ekpoma.”

The campaign team also visited Owan West local government of the state where Ize-Iyamu assured of development of the council through his SIMPLE agenda manifesto.

He urged the people of the council to exercise their franchise for APC in the Sept. 19 governorship election. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:43 GMT

Nice to play first match of season without fans

Nice to play first match of season without fans
Nice to play first match of season without fans

Nice will play their opening match of the new Ligue 1 season without spectators, in spite of government rules allowing up to 5,000 spectators in their stadium, club president Jean-Pierre Rivere said.

Rivere said the decision for the match against Lens on Aug. 23 was made for health reasons and due to the difficulties of deciding which fans would be able to attend.

“We are facing a health problem. We are in a very tourist-orientated region, and there is an acceleration in the spread of COVID-19,” the club’s website quoted him as saying.

“This is increasing day by day. We cannot ignore it. At a time when everyone is being asked to take more precautions, we are making the responsible choice to play behind closed doors.”

Rivere said the club had tried to create a selection process to decide who could attend the match but had decided to “reverse that process. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:36 GMT

Man City must be at its best to win, says Silva


Manchester City will need to be at their best level to win the games and try to reach the final, midfielder Bernardo Silva has said.


Silva said Manchester City’s task in the Champions League has not been made any easier by the exits of Real Madrid and Liverpool as every team is capable of winning.


Pep Guardiola’s City eliminated Real in the last 16 while defending champions Liverpool were knocked out by Atletico Madrid.


“The fact that Liverpool are out, Real Madrid are out: it’s not going to make our path easier.

“All the teams in Lisbon are here because they deserve it. We need to be at our best level to win the games and try to reach the final.”


City are firm favourites heading into Saturday’s quarter-final against Olympique Lyonnais but Silva said they would not get complacent.


“Anything can happen, Juventus were knocked out by Lyon, we lost against Tottenham Hotspur last year in the quarter-finals,” Silva told the City website.


“We have seen lots of surprises. It’s very difficult to predict the results in this competition,“he said.


Silva, who was born in Lisbon and began his career at Benfica, said the prospect of lifting the trophy on home soil gave him extra motivation.


“Winning this competition has always been a target for the players and the club. It will be very special to win it. For me, even more so because it’s my city,” he added. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:28 GMT

Edo Election: Ize-Iyamu honoured with title in Auchi

 Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu,
 Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu,

Pastor Osagie Ize-iyamu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Edo governorship election has been honoured with the traditional title of `Itsemakhona’ of the Sacred Auchi Kingdom in Edo.

The Otaru of Auchi, HRH Haliru Momoh Ikelebe the 111, conferred the title on Ize-Iyamu, who was on a visit to his palace on Wednesday night, after selling his manifesto to the people of Auchi, in the Etsako-West Council of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the title `Itsemakhona’ of the Auchi Sacred kingdom, means “This is our own”.

The Otaru, who is also the vice chairman of the Edo Council of traditional rulers, said the kingdom was proud of Ize-Iyamu.

He said the conferment was hinged on the recipient’s love for the people, his high level of respect for the traditional institution and his track record of performance when he served in different capacities in government.

Speaking about his new title, Ize-Iyamu appreciated the Otaru for the honour bestowed on him.

Ize-iyamu, who was elated by his new title, said the act had added a boost to his campaign.

He described the Otaru as a forward-thinking ruler whose love for his people could not be measured.

Ize-Iyamu, however, said that the state government had not really tapped into the solid minerals deposit in the area and had failed to tackle the erosion problem ravaging the community.

“My promise to you is that if elected as governor I will fight insecurity, halt and reverse the dwindling fortunes of the youths and women by setting them in the right direction.”

The APC deputy governorship candidate, Mr Gani Audu and the immediate-past National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, were among top party faithful who witnessed the occasion. (NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:22 GMT

Moody’s acquires stake in MARC, strengthening presence in key ASEAN Market


MOODY’S Corporation has announced that it has acquired a minority stake in Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad, MARC, a credit rating agency serving the Malaysian domestic bond and sukuk markets. The investment strengthens Moody’s presence in Southeast Asia and across domestic bond markets globally, and advances its position as a leader in Islamic finance.

Based in Kuala Lumpur, MARC covers corporates and financial institutions, with key strengths in infrastructure and project finance. In addition to its rating services, MARC provides economic and fixed-income research, credit risk solutions, sustainability-linked offerings and finance-related online training programs.

“Malaysia’s robust domestic bond market presents an attractive opportunity for Moody’s, and we are excited to build upon our partnership with MARC and its growing portfolio of ratings and services,” said Wendy Cheong, Managing Director and Head of Moody’s Investors Service Asia Pacific.

The investment strengthens Moody’s presence in Malaysia, a key market within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN. Malaysia has the region’s largest domestic corporate bond market and has established itself as a global hub for Islamic finance, with the world’s largest sukuk market.

“MARC is a leader in the sukuk rating space, having rated the single largest corporate sukuk issuance and other noteworthy sukuk,” said Datuk Jamaludin Nasir, MARC’s Group Chief Executive Officer. “This strategic partnership with Moody’s deepens MARC’s commitment to the sustainable development of Malaysia’s capital markets.”

MARC was named the Best Islamic Rating Agency in the Global Islamic Finance Awards in six of the past seven years – in 2014, and each year from 2016 to 2020.

The investment complements Moody’s existing cross-border ratings and research coverage in Malaysia as well as its market outreach activities, including its annual Inside ASEAN conference and Islamic Finance Briefing held in Kuala Lumpur.

MARC will continue to operate as an independent entity and will remain separate from Moody’s Investors Service and its credit rating processes and activities.

The investment was funded with cash on hand and is not expected to have a material effect on Moody’s 2020 financial results.

Aug. 13, 2020 | 09:50

OPEC daily basket price stood at $45.08 per barrel Wednesday


THE price of OPEC basket of 13 crudes stood at $45.08 a barrel on Wednesday, August 12, compared with $45.21 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.


The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes, ORB, is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).

Aug. 13, 2020 | 09:50


BPE denies involvement in sale of landed property of FG


THE Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, is not responsible for the sale of federal government’s landed property in the country, the Director General of the nation’s privatisation agency; Alex A. Okoh. has clarified.

Appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Oluwole Oke, on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Okoh said in line with the core mandate of the Bureau, it was only responsible for reforms, privatisation, commercialization/concessioning.

He said so far, 149 enterprises had been reformed, privatised or commercialised/concessioned by the agency and the proceeds of such reform projects were deposited in the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, of the federal government.

A statement by Amina Tukur Othman, Head, Public Communications of the BPE, said that the Director General’s appearance before the Committee was sequel to the summons for the DG to appear and respond to a petition by the Transparent Extractive Sector Operators Initiative concerning the activities of the Implementation Committee of the White paper on the Commission on Inquiry into the Alienation and sale of Federal Government Landed Property which is not the purview of the BPE.

It added that the director general informed the committee that the method of sale of the federal government assets undertaken by the Bureau included core investor sale, share floatation, liquidation, public offers, asset sale, Debt/Equity Swap and Guided Liquidation amongst others.

According to the statement, when the committee realized that the Bureau was invited in error, it unanimously resolved that the Bureau should submit to the Committee, a list of the proceeds of its privatization/enterprise reform activities, its audited account from 2014-2018. The Director General said that the schedule of proceeds of privatisation would be tendered latest, Thursday, August 13, 2020.

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:10


Sen Umeh builds vocational training centre for Obeledu community


A former Senator, who represented Anambra Central Senatorial District, Victor Umeh, has handed over a Vocational Training Centre that he built for the Obeledu community in Anaocha Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

A former Chairman, Anaocha LGA, Ikeobi Ejiofor, said that Sen. Umeh had earlier sponsored the construction of a borehole and now a Vocational Centre for the town.

“We are grateful to him for attracting this project for the sake of training youths in this community,’’ Ejiofor said.

The project, according to him, will help in the training and building of the future of Obeledu youths.

“The youths will acquire skills in vocations like shoemaking, tailoring, perfume and furniture making,” he said.

According to Ejiofor, the centre is among the 28 projects attracted by Sen. Umeh in 2019 for communities in Anambra Central during his 17 months as their representative.

The Centre, which has been handed over to Obeledu Community, comprised four training halls, two offices, mini library, a hall, toilets and a reception room.

On the value of the project to Obeledu Community, the President-General, Obeledu, Polycarp Anochie, said the community had been training their youths on vocations at the Obosi Centre.

“Now with the new centre, Obeledu youths will now be trained in their home centre; more youths will willingly acquire the vocational skills since the facility is here in their town,” he said.

A youth from the town, Kenneth Obelenwa, while reacting to the project, said he would avail himself of the opportunity to get trained since his parents could not afford to fund his university education.

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:10


Sealed Air invests in Advanced Recycling Company Plastic Energy


SEALED Air Corporation has announced it has signed a collaboration agreement with Plastic Energy, an industry-leading company in advanced recycling technology. Additionally, Sealed Air has made an equity investment in Plastic Energy Global, the parent company of Plastic Energy.

Plastic Energy Global was established in 2012 with the goal of creating a circular economy for plastics by diverting plastic waste away from landfills and oceans. Headquartered in London, the company has two operations in Spain and projects developing in Western Europe and Asia, with a vision for 50 new facilities over the next 10 years.

“We’re excited to join forces with Plastic Energy to innovate faster and accelerate the development of new technology that eliminates waste and ensures a circular economy for plastics,” said Ted Doheny, Sealed Air President & CEO. “This collaboration will help us meet our 2025 sustainability pledge and lead the way in transforming our industry.”

“We are delighted to start this new strategic collaboration with Sealed Air, which will lead to the acceleration of development of the advanced recycling industry as well as provide a circular solution for more and more plastics,” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy.

The Challenge: Combating Waste

Waste is a global issue. The majority of plastic waste ends up either in a landfill, incinerated or disposed of in the environment because it is either never recovered or considered unable to be recycled. From a societal perspective, it is critical that we expand the options available for recycling plastics.

The Opportunity

Plastic Energy has a technology platform that enables the diversion of waste plastic away from landfills, with the goal of processing 300,000 tonnes of plastic by 2025. Plastic Energy transforms post-consumer plastic waste into new recycled oil that can be used to create essential packaging solutions, including protective packaging for food, thereby enabling plastic to becomea new resource. Through this collaboration with Plastic Energy, Sealed Air is helping to eliminate plastic waste, support complementary approaches to recycling and enable its customers to incorporate recycled plastics back into their packaging.

Bold Commitment and Collaboration

Sealed Air is determined to play a key role in the drive towards a circular economy for plastics through collaboration, research, development and implementation of new technologies.

In 2018, Sealed Air announced a bold sustainability and plastics commitment, pledging to design and advance packaging solutions that are 100 percent recyclable or reusable by 2025. As part of the pledge, the company has an ambitious target of 50 percent average recycled content across all packaging solutions with 60 percent of that coming from post-consumer recycled content.

The pledge also includes a commitment to lead collaborations with global partners to increase recycling and reuse rates, which aligns with the investment in Plastic Energy. In 2019, Sealed Air also announced it had joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a global nonprofit committed to investing in solutions to help eliminate plastic waste in the environment.

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:10


Anambra Govt vows to fight Asthma, other non-communicable diseases


THE Anambra State Government has vowed to fight Asthma and other Non-Communicable Diseases in the state so as to reduce the high mortality rate in the state.

Vincent Okpala, the Anambra state commissioner for health, said this during a news conference on Public Enlightenment on Asthma and other Non-Communicable Diseases in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.

“The state government has encouraged STEPS Survey on Non-Communicable Diseases, including Asthma carried out by the federal government.

“The support was to train workers and carry out the survey in Anambra state, which was on the verge of taking off before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He said that he introduced the non-communicable diseases card ‘Akwukwo Ndu’ to all health facilities in the state for care and treatment of the diseases.

He was optimistic that it would help in caring for patients as well as for data collection.

The commissioner noted that there were currently 21 non-communicable disease focal persons in the 21 LGAs yet to be inaugurated.

“Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the air-ways of the lungs, characterised by variable and recurrent symptoms, reversible air-ways obstruction and broncho-spasm.

“It is a silent killer, posing serious public health challenges as well as one of the four non-communicable diseases that affect people of all ages and often starts during childhood.

“There was currently no cure for Asthma as affected persons are managed so that the symptoms will be subdued, though a lifetime condition, some people can overgrow it,’’ he said.

He listed some Asthma symptoms to include wheezing, breathlessness, and tightness of the chest; coughing, tiredness, and restlessness.

“When complicated, it leads to persistent tiredness, underperformance, psychological problems, lung infections, and even death,’’ he added.

While listing the types of Asthma, he said that allergens such as house dust, mites, animal fur, pollens, cigarette smoke, and strong odour trigger it.

“Others include cold air, cold drinks, cold baths, chest infections, mold spores, intense emotions, and other air pollutants.

“I recommend bronchodilators, modification of lifestyle, identification and avoiding triggers as ways to manage Asthma.

“Although Asthma is incurable, it can be prevented by decreasing risk factors; use of preventer inhaler, reliever inhalers, prompt treatment of chest infections, and regular hospital checkups,’’ he said.

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:10


Agency in Kwara to help revitalise mining sector – Commissioner


The Kwara Commissioner for Enterprise, Alhaji Abdulwahab Agbaje, says the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) team comprising 36 personnel is in the state to help revitalise its mining sector.

Agbaje said this in a statement he signed and issued to newsmen in Ilorin on Thursday.

He said the team’s visit was to ascertain possible siting of some Federal Government mining-related projects in the state.

Agbaje said he visited the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development recently in Abuja to create synergy between the two ministries.

According to him, the team’s mission is to embark on Geological and Geo-chemical Mapping of Share 202 in Kwara, which will be completed within 15 days.

“The team is expected within the two weeks exercise to design and generate geo-scientific data of mineral resources with a view to attracting investment into the mining sector in the state and Nigeria in general,” he said.

Agbaji said that other envisaged economic benefits of the project included facilitation of investment in the state’s Solid Minerals Sector and recognition of Kwara as mineral producing state among others.(NAN)

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:15 GMT

Western Naval Command decorates 50 promoted officers


THE Western Naval Command on Wednesday decorated 50 newly promoted officers through the approval of the Naval Headquarters, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command at the Shipping of Stripes ceremony in Lagos, urged the officers on more dedication to duty and loyalty to the service.

“We expect more dedication to duty, more loyalty to the service, we expect that now that you are a rank ahead, you are going to be mentoring other people coming behind you.

“We expect that now you know better, all those misdemeanor will no longer be condoned, nothing like forgiveness or a pat on the wrist any longer,” he said.

The FOC said that the promotion was a product of hardwork, discipline, urging those that did not make the promotion to look ahead and be better.

“What else can I say, other than congratulations to the newly promoted officers?

“Going through the brief citation on each of them, there is no doubt that they all deserved and merited the promotion that Nigerian Navy has given them.

“I want to congratulate you because this promotion is a product of hardwork, discipline, dedication and loyalty to the service. I know that it was not all that were presented for promotion that made it.

“And for those who missed out this time, I will urge you to search your conscience and look ahead to be better in what you do so that you will be decorated and promoted next time,” he said.

He urged the officer ratings and civilian staff of the command to keep putting in their best to support the operations of the command.

He assured them that their welfare would equally be taken up by the command.

The FOC thanked the Chief of Naval Staff for the special interest shown to the Western Naval Command.

“Going through the list, we can’t but thank him for giving a large chunk of the promotion to officers in the Western Naval Command.

“As a command, we will continue to be loyal, up and doing and implement the strategic directive of the CNS, in order to ensure that our maritime expanse is secured and safe for legitimate activities and businesses.

“We shall not disappoint Nigerians and that is why operation OKUN ALAFIA 2 is still ongoing,” he said.


Aug. 13, 2020 | 09:20

Boko Haram terrorist now recruiting child soldiers – MNJTF

Boko Haram
Boko Haram

THE Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) says the Boko Haram terrorist group has introduced the use of child soldiers to resuscitate its declining influence in the Lake Chad Basin.

The Chief of Military Public Information for MNJTF, Col. Timothy Antigha, disclosed this in a statement issued from N’Djamena – Chad on Thursday.

Antigha said the recruitment of child soldiers by the sect was part of their new strategies following the recent mass surrender by their fighters to the military.

He said information on this disturbing development was brought in by intelligence sources and corroborated by concerned individuals and groups a couple of days ago.

He added that the Boko-Haram terrorists further confirmed the development when they posted pictures of children dressed in military fatigue and holding assault rifles in a video released during the Sallah celebrations.

According to him, the recruitment of child soldiers is the latest in a retinue of brutal and inhuman tactics deployed by Boko Haram since it began the futile attempt to cause mayhem and overthrow constitutional and social order.

“Earlier, Boko Haram have engaged in the mass abduction of school girls, sexual enslavement of women and mass murder of innocent civilians.

“This recent employment of child soldiers is as a result of frustration caused by several operational losses, leadership crises, as well as disillusionment among fighters and their subsequent surrender in hundreds to the MNJTF.

“The focus on children is because they are easier to manipulate and indoctrinate than the adults within the region who can now see through the veil of deceit.

“Arising from this latest atrocity by Boko Haram, the MNJTF urges parents, local authorities, religious and traditional institutions to be vigilant and promptly alert security agencies of any overt or covert attempts to recruit their children and wards,” he said.

Antigha advised youths to be mindful of promises of power and influence, economic prosperity and spiritual growth by the sect owing to the disillusionment and surrender that had depleted their ranks.

“The stories of hardship and evil within the terrorist organisations as revealed by all surrendered Boko Haram fighters should be sufficient notice that Boko Haram and ISWAP have nothing good to offer anyone.

“It would be recalled that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict forbids the recruitment and use of children in Armed Conflicts.

“The Protocol states among others that; “Armed groups distinct from armed forces of a country should not, under any circumstances, recruit or use in hostilities anyone under 18”.

“It is against this background that the MNJTF is drawing the attention of the United Nations, its relevant agencies and other stake holders to the latest acts of inhumanity and desperation by Boko Haram, and urges severe condemnation and other necessary action.

“On our part, the MNJTF will continue with activities that are focused on the protection of children and other vulnerable groups within its area of operation,” he added.


Aug. 13, 2020 | 09:20


Zulum releases N148.8m for corpers allowance


NYCN tasks youths on national development

Solomon Adodo
Solomon Adodo

THE National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), has urged Nigerian youths to look beyond the problems and challenges facing the country and contribute their quota.

Mr Solomon Adodo, the National President of NYCN made the call at an occasion to mark this year’s International Youth Day (IYD) on Wednesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of this year’s celebration was “Youth Engagement for Global Action”.

The theme seeks to highlight how young people could be engaged at the local, national and global levels by national and multilateral institutions.

The IYD was also to shed light on the need to enable the engagement of youths by making local, national and global institutions more inclusive for the purpose of strengthening their capacity to achieve global action.

Adodo admonished the youth to avoid being used as tools by politicians whose only mission was to bring the government down.

“If the youth allow themselves to be used as tools to bring the government down, they will bring the nation down as well.

“Let us see how we can contribute our quota to national development. Let us put aside our ethnic, political, religious differences and have one culture and one political party which is the development of Nigeria.

” Let us unite to build the Nigerian economy.

“The developed nations like China and the U.S.that we run to for loans and other assistance did not fall from the sky, rather they are harnessing their potential and utilising them.

He used the occasion to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent approval of N75 billion for the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.

Adodo noted that the NYCN would continue to support the government in its bid to find lasting solutions to the problems bedeviling the country.

“We are grateful that the government is giving the youth new vistas  of opportunities through its policies and programmes.

“The recent approval of the N75 billion for the establishment of the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund is one of those programmes of government through which the Nigerian youth can harness their potential and translate it into productivity.”


Aug. 13, 2020 | 09:20

Nigeria reports zero death, 453 new cases of COVID-19


THE Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has reported zero death and 453 new cases from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak in the country.

The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Wednesday.

The health agency said that the new cases pushed the nations infection total to 47,743 in the country.

According to it, as of Aug. 12, 2020, 453 new confirmed cases and no death were recorded in the country.

The NCDC said that, till date, 47,743 cases have been confirmed, 33,943 cases have been discharged and 956 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

It stated that the 453 new cases were reported from 16 states- Lagos (113), FCT (72), Plateau (59), Enugu (55), Kaduna (38), Ondo (32), Osun (26), Ebonyi (20), Ogun (9), Delta (8), Borno (7), Akwa Ibom (6), Oyo (5), Bauchi (1), Kano (1) and Ekiti (1).

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that  from the NCDC  statistics, eight states including Lagos, FCT, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Kano, Rivers and Ogun are majorly responsible for over 70 per cent of the cases recorded in Nigeria.

Nigerians are advised  not to be tired in complying with the COVID-19 preventive guidelines from the NCDC.

“Wearing face masks could prevent nearly 75,000 COVID-19 deaths in Africa.

“Over 600 coronavirus deaths could be prevented in Nigeria if people adhere to non-pharmaceutical preventive measures,” it stated.


Aug. 13, 2020 | 09:20

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