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Items filtered by date: November 2018
Sunday, 18 November 2018 18:47

FG declares Tuesday public holiday

The Federal Government has declared Tuesday, 20th November 2018 as public holiday to mark the Eid-El Maulud celebration.

This was made known by the Minister of Interior, Lt Gen (rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.

In a statement signed by the permanent secretary Dr. M.B Umar, he urged all Muslim faithful to align themselves with the prophet’s teachings which border on piety, charity, tolerance and peaceful co-existence, among others.

While calling on all Nigerians to uphold these virtues, with a view to overcoming the current national challenges facing the country, Gen. Dambazau assured that the Federal Government remains committed to the unity of the country and as such, will put adequate structures on ground towards ensuring that the forthcoming general elections are credible, free and fair.

Published in News & Stories

World Bank has selected sixteen (16) Nigerian universities as African Centre of Excellence.

The Centers include ACE in ICT Driven Knowledge Park, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Others are: Centre for Oilfield Chemicals Research (CEFOR), University of Port-Harcourt; ACE for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Redeemer’s University, Ede; and ACE on Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

ACE in Reproductive Health and Innovation went to University of Benin; Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano; and Centre for Food Technology and Research (CEFTER), Benue State University, Makurdi.

ACE in Applied Informatics and Communication was given to Covenant University, Ota; Centre for Public Health and Toxicological Research (PUTOR), University of Port Harcourt; ACE for Sustainable Power and Energy Development, University of Nigeria Nsukka.

ACE on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) was given to National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN); and ACE in Future Energies and Electrochemical Systems (ACE-FUELS), Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

The rest are: ACE on New Pedagogies in Engineering Education (ACENPEE), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; ACE for Drug Research, Herbal Medicine Development and Regulatory Science (ACEDRHMDRS), University of Lagos.

ACE for Mycotoxin and Food Safety was given to Federal University of Technology, Minna;and Center for Population Health and Policy (ACEPHAP), Bayero University, Kano.

NAN also reports the 12 countries participating in the ACE impact project are Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal , Niger, Djibouti, Guinea, Togo and Gambia.

Africa Centres of Excellence for Development Impact (ACE Impact), also known as ACE 3, resulted from the gains and successes recorded with ACE-1 and 2.

ACE-3 aims to work better across sectors, with more industry collaboration.

It aims to simplify flow of funds and support more policy harmonization initiatives in higher education across the region

The broad objective of ACE Impact is to increase quantity, quality and development of relevant postgraduate education in selected universities through regional specialisation.

Published in Business and Economy
Sunday, 18 November 2018 18:36

APC wins Bauchi House of Reps by-election

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Yusuf Nuhu has emerged as the winner of Toro federal constituency by-election held in Bauchi State on Saturday.

The APC candidate, Yusuf Nuhu polled 22,317 against the PDP’s Shehu Buba Umar’s 18,235 votes to win the election.

Nuhu won in eight of the 11 wards in Toro federal constituency while the PDP candidate won in three wards.

The APC candidate won in Wonu, Mara/Palama ,Ribina, Toro, Tama, Zalau/Fishi, Lame and Rahama wards.

PDP however won in Tilden Fulani, Jama’a/Zaranda and Daura/Geji wards.

Declaring the winner, the INEC Returning Officer, Professor Ahmad Tijjani Fagam said that the APC candidate emerged the winner having scored the highest number of votes.

“Yusuf Nuhu of the APC having satisfied all the requirements and scoring the highest number of votes is returned as the winner of the election,” he said.

The election was however marred by widespread voter apathy which led to low number of voters who participated in the by-election despite their presence at the polling booths.

Results in some polling units were also cancelled due to over voting after failure of card readers because the voters voted without proper accreditation.

Published in News & Stories
Sunday, 18 November 2018 18:26

APC wins Kwara bye-election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday night declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Raheem Olawuyi Ajuloopin, as winner of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal constituency bye-election in Kwara state.

Announcing the results, INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the poll, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji, said Ajuloopin scored 21,236 votes as against 18,095 votes scored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Saheed Damilare Alatise.

INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the poll, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji.
INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the poll, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji.

He added that the Labour Party had 150 votes; just as the PPN had 76 votes while UPN had 42 votes.

He said out of the 40,930 total votes cast, the total valid votes were 39,599 while 1,331 votes were rejected.

Results displayed for the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal constituency bye-election conducted by INEC in Kwara state on Saturday. PHOTOS BY: Romoke W. Ahmad.
Results displayed for the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal constituency bye-election conducted by INEC in Kwara state on Saturday. PHOTOS BY: Romoke W. Ahmad.

Daily Trust reports that the APC candidate won in three out of the four local governments in the constituency and led with 3,142 votes.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on the queue to vote during the bye-election at the Ile baale Unit PU006 in Oro, Irepodun local government area of Kwara state.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on the queue to vote during the bye-election at the Ile baale Unit PU006 in Oro, Irepodun local government area of Kwara state.
Published in Politics
Sunday, 18 November 2018 18:14

Nigeria qualify for 2019 AFCON

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have qualified for next year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals following their 1-1 draw against South Africa on Saturday afternoon.

The Eagles earned the ticket with one match to spare.

The Eagles went ahead in the 9th minute but the hosts rallied back before the interval to level proceedings.

The two sides could not get the winning goal in the second half, though Nigeria had their goal controversially ruled out after the scorer was adjudged to be in an off side position.

Nigeria remain top of Group E with 10 points while South Africa stay second with 9 points.

The Eagles will take on Seychelles in the final match of the qualifiers.

Published in Headliners
Dawanau international grain market in Kano state has been a market that deals purely with grains for ages.
The market was originally established to serve as major source of grains for the state and a storage centre for all types of farm produce.
However, the market has grown to international status supplying all types of grains and other cash crops not only to other parts of Nigeria, but also to several West Africa countries.
It was also observed that Dawanau was initially started as a market meant for the supply of food crops before it metamorphosed to a major supplier of various cash crops for export, a corn dealer in the market, Alhaji Habibu Auwal Gezawa, said.
Kano Chronicle observed that all types of grains including millet, corn, maize, beans, soya beans, wheat and rice as well as cash crops such as pigeon beans, sesame, tamarin, ginger and hibiscus popularly known as zobo among others are being sold in the market.
One interesting issue with Dawanau market is that traders from various parts of Nigeria and West African countries patronise the market on daily basis. It was gathered that a larger quantity of the beans sold in the market came from the neighbouring Niger republic.
Traders, from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin republic do come to Dawanau for the business of grains. In the recent times, traders from India and China have also joined the trend by sourcing cash crops from the market and exporting same to their respective countries.
Acting Chairman of the market’s Association, Alhaji Murtala Muhammed Labaran, popularly known as Murtala Danmutum, said the market was established over 46 years ago and it had a historic business ties with Niger, Chad, Cameroon and many other African countries for a very long time.
“Initially this market has been a centre for obtaining grains particularly sorghum and millet for local consumption and mini export.
“However, with the recent ban on grain export the market has over the last three years become a centre for cash crop exportation. Initially, West African countries takes about 45% of our daily sales but with the recent ban on exportation of grain many of our business associates changed to exportation of cash crops such as pigeon beans, sesame, tamarin, ginger and hibiscus popularly known as zobo among others,” the acting chairman said.
He added that export of these commodities had expanded presently to America, Asia and some European countries, saying no fewer than 50 to 70 trucks of assorted grain were leaving the market on daily basis for local consumption and about 100 to 150 trucks export different types of crops to various African countries every day.
He said most of the commodities were being sourced within Nigeria and its neighbouring countries especially Niger republic.
“Though, the market lacks modern facilities, exportation has gained a strong ground in the market. There are over 200 internationally registered companies conducting their business in this market. Our business outlets have grown tremendously and business in the market is now more lucrative than it was before. There are over 4000 people earning a living daily in this market and you can imagine the revenue accruing to the local government and the state,” he revealed.
The chairman further stated that, for the sustainability and improvement on the success so far recorded, there was a need for the state government to modernise the market through provision of modern facilities and fencing for effective security, adding that there was also the need for good road network in the market to ease commuting.
Malam Hamisu Dan Wawu a grain businessman, who has been conducting business in Dawanau for over 34 years, said the market had produced a lot of indigenous wealthy businessmen since its inception.
Dan Wawu added that the market was initially owned and managed purely by Nigerians, regretting that “Now Indians and Chinese people have flooded the market and are gradually taking over businesses. People may not get to understand what is happening in this market, initially the market is being run and controlled by indigenous businessmen, but now the market is more or less being indirectly run by expatriates and our businessmen are working for them.
“If a survey can be conducted on the companies that are currently operating in the market, the result will indicate that the entire business taking place in Dawanau market has been taken away from indigenous businessmen.”
Similarly, Alhaji Umaru Ado a seasoned farmer in Kano state stated that, there was need for effective policies on exportation of cash crops as massive scoop of grain from Nigeria through the Dawanau market could spell doom for the country and may lead to food shortage if care has not been taken.
Ado added that, though this year’s harvest seems to be good, the only way Nigerian government would address massive scoop of grain from the market was by re-introducing marketing boards in all the states in order to have total control of business activities in the market and the country at large.
“It is good to have such board in the country. As a farmer and a businessman that deals in grains, I suggest that there should be an established government marketing board that will ensure conformity to set policies on importations and exportations of crops,” he suggested.
Published in News & Stories

Nigeria’s Vice President. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Friday rubbished the report of the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, which indicted the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and himself on the illegal approval of N5.8 billion for emergency intervention of food security to the Northeast in June 2017.

The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness had on Thursday indicted the governing board of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo allegedly fingered in the scam.

The board, chaired by Osinbajo, was accused of illegal approval of N5.8 billion north-east intervention fund.

Reacting to this development, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said Osinbajo’s attention had been drawn to a report of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness issued on Thursday,Nov 8, 2018, particularly in respect of funds released for “emergency intervention of food security to the Northeast” in June 2017, when the Vice Preident was Ag President.

“In its report, the Committee alleged that a sum of N5,865,671,939.26 was approved and released in June 2017 vide a Memo raised from the Office of the Acting President, directing the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation to so act.

“The House Committee also concluded that the payment made was in contravention of approval of the National Assembly. This conclusion is both false and misleading. To start with, it is important to understand the context of the transaction.

“This was at a time when internally displaced persons and their host communities faced very severe food shortages throughout the North East, as a result of successive poor harvests and abandoned farmlands, minimal cross-border cash crop trade and lost economic opportunities,” he said.

Akande explained that on 15 April, 2017, the UN World Food Programme, a major aid organisation and food supplier to the region, had issued a warning that it would be reducing its vital support to about 1.8 million IDPs by as much as 85%, due to corresponding reduction in funding by the donor countries.

He said around the same time, the United Nations Commission for Refugees in Geneva also warned of the growing risk of mass deaths from starvation among people living in the conflict areas, saying that the Federal Government of Nigeria moved urgently to prevent the looming disaster by establishing a strategic food intervention plan for the affected States.

According to him, a Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Delivery to the North East was convened and tha the Committee met on the 13th of May, 2017 to kick off the process, with the then Acting President as Chairman.

Other members of the Committee included: Minister of Finance; Minister of Budget and National Planning; Minister of State for Budget and National Planning; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Governor of Central Bank; Deputy Chief of Staff to the President and the Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.

“Resulting from the deliberations of this and subsequent meetings, the approval referred to in the House Committee’s Report was, in fact, based on a request raised by the Central Bank Governor as facilitator of the National Food Security Programme, vide a letter dated May 25, 2017.

“As explained in the said letter, there was an immediate need to distribute grains, including rice, maize, soya beans and sorghum, to Internally Displaced Persons through the National Emergency Management Agency. The only way to obtain the quantity of grains required was to resort to the National Food Security Progamme (NFSP) earlier established by the Federal Government as a means of shoring up its strategic grain reserves,” he stated.

Akande added that it was in consequence of the Federal Government’s decision to urgently purchase the stored grains for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons that the CBN made the proposal for approval of 30,905.08 Metric Tonnes at N5,229,685,333.26, saying that of that amount, the then Acting President eventually approved N5,036,644,933.26, after excluding bagging costs, as this was pursuant to the recommendation that bagging, transportation and other logistics were best handled by NEMA.

He explained that NEMA also originated a request to the Acting President, dated May 25, 2017, requesting the sum of N829,026,456.00 for general logistics, branding and packaging, tracking, security, personnel, media & publicity and contingency costs of taking the grains from their respective locations in Kano, Kaduna, Funtua, Ibadan and Gombe to Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Jigawa States.

“These presidential approvals were well within the clear constitutional authority of the Acting President, who needed to take emergency steps to forestall acute food shortages in the affected States and there was nothing illegal or unconstitutional about them. The approvals were duly communicated by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Central Bank, Director General of NEMA and the Minister of Finance for implementation.

“On account of the emergency nature of the procurement, the House Committee’s assumption that the ordinary rules of procurement would apply was wrong. Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act makes provision for emergency procurement, in which case the procuring entity is allowed to engage in direct contracting for goods and file a report thereafter with the Bureau of Public Procurement.

“It is also wrong to assume that taxes and interests accruable to government from these transactions in food items were deliberately ignored or waived by neglect. Of course, we expect that any loans advanced to any of the companies would be recovered with the agreed interests, and that any profits made by such companies would be liable to tax in the usual manner,” he explained.

More so, Akande said the suggestion that the grains were never delivered to the target States was also blatant falsehood, saying that in actual fact, in order to ensure effective distribution of the grains, an Emergency Food Intervention Project Team was established, consisting of the Director General of NEMA and representatives of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Department of State Security, Nigeria Police and the Presidency.

He explained that the Committee also worked with respective State Emergency Management Agencies, as well as humanitarian agencies such as World Food Programme, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as deliveries were publicly made directly to the intended beneficiaries.

“In fact, the then Acting President personally inspected the electronic truck-tracking unit established in Maiduguri for the purpose of monitoring the transportation, and flagged off the food distribution on the 8th of June, 2017. Besides, there was the integration of a robust monitoring and evaluation system into the operation in order to facilitate a transparent and accountable process.

“Therefore, all insinuations on this matter regarding purported indictments and perceived violations of due process or the constitution are baseless and totally false. Such interpretations are flawed and should be utterly ignored,” he stated.

Published in Business and Economy

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Zamfara has displayed lists of Governorship and State Assembly candidates in the state for the upcoming 2019 general elections without the APC candidates.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that names of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates were missing in the list displayed at the INEC Secretariat in Gusau on Friday.

The political parties whose candidates were on the list were APGA, PDP, NRM, SDP, PRP, GPN and NCP among others.

Speaking to newsmen in Gusau, the National Commissioner in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara, Hajiya Amina Zakari who was in the state for official visit, said the commission had not received a list of APC candidates.

“I think, it has been said several times that the APC didn’t have candidates in the state, so we have not received their candidates.

“This issue is in court and if court asks us to go ahead and receive their list, we will certainly receive their names.

“Therefore, since date for the submission of candidates has been passed, we shouldn’t go on that now; we should concentrate on what will be beneficial to the communities which is voter register, claims, objections and verification,” she said.

Zakari said she was in Zamfara to see how the state INEC office was doing and to observe and monitor the ongoing display of voters’ register, claims and objection.

“The reason for the exercise is for eligible persons to check their names and confirm if they are on the list or if there is any mistake in the names or misspelled.

“It is important for the politicians to look at the register critically and confirm to have credible list for the election.”

She decried low turnout for collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards at the centers across the three states, urging stakeholders to assist in enlightening the public on the importance of PVC collection

Published in Headliners
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 14:26

Deputy Senate President escapes assassination

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu in the early hours of Tuesday escaped assassination attempt alongside his wife and one of his sons.

But one of the assassins was overpowered and arrested.

The suspect has been handed over to Apo Police Station for investigation.

The incident was confirmed in a statement by Uche Anichukwu, who is the Special Adviser on Media to Ekweremadu.

The statement said: “The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, and son escaped an assassination attempt at about 4am on Tuesday.

“The armed men discreetly evaded the security at Ekweremadu’s Apo Quarters residence, to gain entry into his house.

” The attackers, who could not immediately shoot in order not to attract the attention of the security personnel on duty, took hold of his son, and commanded him to lead them to the Senator’s bedroom.

” It was in the ensuing struggle in the Senator’s bedroom that security was alerted, leading to the arrest of one of the assailants with dangerous weapons and housebreaking devices, while the rest managed to escape.

“The arrested member of the gang has, however, refused to divulge any information on the operation and has been handed over to the police.

“Ekweremadu, his wife, and one of his sons were in the house at the time of the attack.

“It could be recalled that the lawmaker narrowly escaped an attempt on his life in Abuja on November 17, 2015.

“Although the 2015 incident was reported to the security agencies, nothing has been heard about the matter till date.”

Published in Headliners

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday set up a committee to investigate the alleged unauthorized withdrawal of $1.05 billion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, from the account of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas company, NLNG.

Senator Bassey Akpan had raised the issue on the floor of the Senate during Plenary session after citing Orders 43 and 95 of the Upper Chamber’s rule.

Akpan brought the attention of the Senate to various emails and complaints from the general public on the unauthorized withdrawal of $1.05 billion by NNPC from the NLNG Account.

“I ask that the Senate Committee on Gas immediately investigate this matter,” he said.

Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, in his contribution said an ad-hoc committee had earlier been set up to investigate the $3.5 billion NNPC Subsidy use and that the matter should be committed to the same committee to investigate instead of handing over the matter to the Gas committee.

“An adhoc committee was set up to investigate the $3.5 billion NNPC Subsidy use. The particular issue of $1.05 that Nigeria took from NLNG came up. I don’t think the Senate committee on Gas should investigate this; we are doing that,” he said.

Senator Emmanuel Paulker submitted that “The Ad- Hoc Committee that was set up should carry on with their work, while the Committee on Gas should also investigate the matter.”

Published in Business and Economy
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