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Friday, April 23, 2021/ Ramadan 11, 1442 AH

Vol. 36 No. 053 N200

2553 Days after Malam Wada Maida (1950-2020), founding Chairman, Board of the Peoples Media Limited



. . . putting the people first

The nation awaits rescue of the remaining abducted Chibok schoolgirls

Idriss Deby: Nigeria beefs up security in borders with Chad >>PAGE 5

Male organs exporters to China rake in $1.2bn annually – Reps PG 5

‘7,200 refrigerated penises from Nigeria seized in Chinese Red Market’

First Lady of Kebbi state Dr Zainab Shinkafi- Bagudu (middle) breaking Ramadan fast with the students of Government Girls Day Secondary School, Tudun Wada Birnin kebbi,Kebbi State recently . Third from left is the Head girl of the school Khadija Bala

Why we did not treat motion on Pantami’s removal – Reps pAGE 3

JUSUN tells CJN why it won’t suspend strike pAGE 6

How killings in Nigeria Kano sponsors surgery motivated me to write a of 7 hermaphrodites, to book-Teacher establish center for patients pAGE 6

pAGE 9



News CONTENTS News 6-18 Op.Ed


Politics 15-17 Stock Watch Business Metro

18 19-21 24

World Analysis 22 Africa News


World News


Reps kick out bill to reduce Supreme Court workload By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives, on Thursday, rejected a bill seeking to reduce the workload on the Supreme Court by limiting certain cases to the court of appeals. Sponsored by Hon. Onofiok Luke from Akwa Ibom State, the bill was presented to be read for a second time. Essentially, the bill sought the amendment of the 1999 constitution to make appeal granted by the leave of the court. Giving the background of the bill in the debate at Thursday plenary, Luke said the Supreme Court of Nigeria, established by sections 6 and 230 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, is the apex court in Nigeria with general civil and criminal jurisdiction that spans across all states of the Federation. He said that the jurisdiction of the court was unlimited, expanding to all cases ranging from different areas of law including constitutional, electoral, administrative, tax, entertainment,

copyright and labour laws. According to him, the Constitution pegged membership of the court at 21, and the court has not, since its inception, reached its full membership complement. He recalled at the moment, the court is composed of only just 18 justices, adding that the18 justices that handle all appeals and deliver justice to the population of over 201 million Nigerians. He said: “It is reported that the Supreme Court docket is full for about two years. This means that litigants who file cases at the Court will not have a date for hearing of their cases within two years. It is worthy to note that the date for hearing of cases does not mean the date for determination of the cases. As a matter of fact, the cases may be adjourned for a couple of times before final adjournment for judgment. After adjournment, it takes another couple of months or years before judgment is finally delivered. “The Supreme Court is overburdened. The Constitution grants

unlimited jurisdiction on the court to handle all cases and gives litigants the unfettered right in most cases to approach the court on any issue. Some litigants and lawyers have exploited this loophole and filed all manner of undeserving and unmerited cases and interlocutory applications before the court. “This has bogged down the operations and efficiency of the court and in turn slowed justice administration and delivery in the country. Because of this, germane disputes requiring the serious and expeditious attention of the Court do not receive the same. There are many economic, social and political effects of slow justice delivery in Nigeria as occasioned by the overburdening of the Court. Business entrepreneurs, investors, organisations and governments have their financial or social fate hanged in the balance because of the long duration it takes the Court to render decisions on disputes. “The situation is not supposed to be so; it is not all appeals that should

L-R: Managing Director, NEXIM Bank,Abba Bello,a graduant, Okiyi Queen Nkech and Director general, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, Dikko Umar Radda during the presentation of certificates to the first batch of successful learner’s of the MSME Digital Academy, yesterday in Abuja.

ACCI boss wants private sector to drive agroprocessing zones Page 20



Photo: Mahmud Isa

Feature 26 Sports 29-31 Back Page


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travel to the Court. The Supreme Court is supposed to hand down important decisions on certain cases and the lower courts will follow and apply the decisions in similar cases. It is not for the court to continue attending to similar and not-too-serious cases the court had earlier dealt with and rendered its opinion in the time past. This is what is obtainable in advanced democracies like the United States and the United Kingdom. “It is in this vein that this constitutional alteration is proposed to limit appeals to the Supreme Court. All appeals are to reach the court through leave, that is, the court is to determine by way of application whether a particular case deserves its attention. It needs to be stated that litigants still have the right to approach the court but the court will however review their cases and decide whether to hear them. Mechanisms have been set in place within this constitutional proposal to ensure that the process is not abused or genuine cases are not reviewed down.”

World Earth Day: Restoring natural resource’ll mitigate climate change - Ikeazor By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


s Nigeria joins the rest of the World to mark the 2021 World Earth Day, the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor has called for the use of Natural resources as a panacea for environmental sustainability aimed at scaling up efforts in preservation and restoration of the natural ecosystems to mitigate climate change. The World Earth Day is celebrated every 22 April annually, and this year’s commemoration marks 50 years of the modern environmental movement started in 1970 that gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet. This was contained in a statement signed by the Director

Press, Saghir el Mohammed.. Sharon Ikeazor noted that “it is a day that stimulates worldwide awareness of climate change. “The environment should therefore enhance stronger government political commitment and massive public action to address all environmental issues.” According to her, climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable. The minister disclosed that to mark the event here in Nigeria, the ministry like last year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to focus on issues that enhances sustainable environment. “We will focus on inspiring,

sensitizing and enlightening Nigerians to take action to mitigate on climate change in line with this year’s Earth Day theme - “Restore our Earth.” Against the backdrop that COVID-19 has been reported to be a zoonotic disease that passed from animal to human, Ikeazor opined that this is the time to re-evaluate our interaction with nature and adopt the one world one health approach. She said the Federal Government has scaled up its commitment to taking action to mitigate, adapt and promote the capacity for resilience to the impacts of climate change in the country through the ratification of the Paris Agreement by Mr. President, strengthening existing institutional framework to ensure effective coordination of climate change activities and

other actions. According to her, the Nigerian government, in fulfillment of the Paris Agreement, has developed a draft Sectorial Action Plan (SAP) for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). She said: “We are currently reviewing the National Policy on Climate Change for more effectiveness with readiness for Nigeria’s National Adaptation Plan Framework for Climate Change (NAPs – Framework). “Also, there is a sustained effort to sensitize the citizenry to adopt clean technologies to meet Nigeria’s emission reduction target; even as we have developed the National Forest Reference Emission Factor Level (FREL) and submitted it to the UNFCCC.”

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Kaduna traffic law boss urges motorists to uphold tenets of road safety From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Corps Marshal / Chief Executive Offcer, CEO, of the Kaduna State Traffic Law Enforcement Authority (KASTLEA), Major Garba Musa Rimi (Rtd) has urged motorists to uphold the tenets of road safety by obeying traffic rules , regulations and ensuring their vehicles are fit on the road to prevent avoidable traffic deaths and injuries. He made the call in a paper he presented at a Public lectures Organised by the Automotive and Locomotive Engineers Institute (AUTOEI) in kaduna yesterday. Speaking on the theme “Road Worthiness of Vehicles as veritable means for mitigating Road Traffic in kaduna state” the KASTLEA CEO said vehicles road Worthiness is a measure of fitness of a vehicle to be allowed to use the road. According to him Road worthiness of a vehicle is vital because the vehicle being a combination of different system of different functions working together are liable to unexpected and impromptu malfunctions. Major Rimi said his agency is working round the clock to ensure that vehicles plying kaduna roads meet the standard, saying testing center will be operational in the three Senatorial zone of the state soon. He enjoined motorists to ensure adequate maintenance of vehicles and giving consideration to other road users. In his own remarks, the National Vice Chairman of Automotive and Locomotive Engineers Institute (AUTOEI) Engr Osaze Omorogbe said the WHO report shows that road crashes represent a leading cause of death and injury around the world, killing more than 1.35 million and injuring over 50 million people a year, hence the need for the lecture. He noted that 90 per cent of those casualties occurring in developing countries. Similarly, kaduna State Chairman of the Automotive and Locomotive Engineers Institute (AUTOEI) Engr Mobolaji Olajide said that road traffic crashes remained the leading cause of death around the world for children and young people between 15 and 29 years of age and most of it can be traced to the roads worthiness of the vehicles. He said Kaduna Chapter of the Society decided to hold the public lecture as a way of enlighten the general public or the Road worthiness of vehicles. Traffic Deaths and injuries are preventable and avoidable if motorists will ensure the Road worthiness of their vehicles. ” we appeal to the conscience of all participants present at this lecture to critically include road safety consciousness in their daily living. ”Making our roads safe is a collective responsibility for all of us. ”Let us, like the theme of the lecture, ‘“Road Worthiness of Vehicles as veritable means for mitigating Road Traffic in kaduna state” to Support’ government and all other efforts at addressing the issue of road safety,” he said

News Editor, Tobias Lengnan Dapam

Why we did not treat motion on Pantami’s removal - Reps

By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives, on Thursday, said there was no time at its Wednesday plenary for it to consider a motion on the resignation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, and could not have shut it down. The House at plenary on Thursday, through Rep. Ahmed Jaha from Borno State, said it was appalling that some section of the media reported that Speaker Gbajabiamila had shut down a motion brought by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, on Pantami. Jaha, who came under Order 6, Rule 1 and 2 of the Standing Orders of the House, which border on matters of privilege of the individual lawmakers, the same order cited by Elumelu on Wednesday, said there was a

complete misrepresentation of what happened in the chamber. He explained, “I woke up early in the morning today to have my Sahur and came across media publications that this House took a position and refused or stopped the Minority Leader from bringing a matter for the removal of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. “He said his privilege was breached because as someone that was in the chamber on Wednesday, there was no motion that was blocked by the Speaker, who presided over the day’s plenary. “From what happened, this House did not stop any such move. What I know is that the presiding officer only said the order cited was wrong and that the Minority Leader can come through the right order. “There was no point where

this presiding officer stopped the motion (calling) for removal of the minister.” He said the issue of insecurity was a very serious one, noting that, “The interest of the nation is above any individual interest.” Before ruling on the matter, Speaker Gbajabiamila said as Rep. Jaha rightly observed, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu came under Order 6, which dealt with matters of privilege. “As provided for in our rules, matters that come under privilege are not debated. They are not motions. They are not seconded as a motion should. “I think it behooves on all of us to educate our constituents on such matters. It was not a motion. We noted the privilege. We only followed our rules. It’s important that our constituents get to know. As is the practice, your point of order is noted.”

After Jaha, Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta came under the same matter of privilege. He said the matter at hand suggested that the people outside were mindful of what happened in the House. He then suggested that it should come under motion on notice for the House to take a clear position. The Speaker said as observed, there was no motion on the floor of the House on the matter on Wednesday. The Speaker went ahead to advise the journalists covering the House to always report what transpired in the House accurately. “Abonta, if you have a motion or Hon. Elumelu has a motion, you know the proper thing to do. We have a procedure to follow, and I’m sure members will do justice to it”, Gbajabiamila added. Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya ( 2nd R), Deputy Governor, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau (M), Secretary to the state Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi ( 2nd Left), Chairman Governing Council of the Gombe state College of Education Billiri, Dr. Usman Kallamu(R) and Provost of the college, Dr. Hassan Langa during a courtesy visit to the Governor in Gombe, yesterday

Constitution review: Gbajabiamila advocates level playground for women, men By Christiana Ekpa


he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has advocated the inclusion of provisions in the country’s constitution to guarantee a “more equal” society where both men and women could contribute to development. He noted that doing so was the only way Nigeria could achieve the success it desired, adding that women in particular should be free to “pursue their highest aspirations and achieve their maximum potential.” Gbajabiamila spoke in Abuja on Thursday at the opening of a twoday retreat on ‘Achieving Gender Equity in the Constitution Review Process.’ The event, an initiative of the Office of the Speaker and the House Committee on Women Affairs, was organised in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute.

The speaker stated that there was no better time to push for the protection of the rights of women than now that the National Assembly was reviewing the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act. Gbajabiamila explained that such practical steps must include giving girls and women more access to education, healthcare, commerce and participation in politics. “To achieve such a society, we have to make sure that girls across the country have access to education and healthcare. “We have to create opportunities for women to thrive in politics and commerce, and we must make sure that the laws of our land do not take away the rights of Nigerian women to participate fully in every sector of our national life”, he told the session. The speaker asked participants to use the opportunity of the retreat to dissect the Electoral Act and the constitution to identify for excision, “any discriminatory provisions that

might exist”, so that actions would be taken to “include provisions that guarantee a more equal society for all.” He commended the timing of the retreat, coming at a period of increased awareness in the country that gender equity was no longer a women’s issue, but something that would guarantee peace and justice for all Nigerians. Gbajabiamila assured women that the 9th House under his leadership would act on the recommendations of the retreat, as he told the organisers that he eagerly awaited the report. The Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Rep. Onanuga Adewunmi Oriyomi, in her welcome address, said both the constitution and the Electoral Act needed “reengineering to reflect equity.” She added, “This, among other things, is the crux of this retreat. “It is my hope that this event

inspires ideas and discussions around ways to improve gender integration mechanisms and systems that can be adopted into the amendment of both the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act.” The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, observed that Nigeria, the ‘Giant of Africa’, appeared left behind in recognising and granting equal opportunities to women to participate in governance. She cited the case of the 3.8% representation of women in all the legislative houses in Nigeria, which she said was not good enough. The minister said the demand of women in Nigeria remained 35% representation in elective and appointive positions. The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, and the Country Representative, UN Women, Comfort Lamtey, delivered goodwill messages at the occasion, supporting the call for gender equity in Nigeria.



Pantami’s travails handiwork of enemies of Nigeria’s unity, says Kawu Sumaila

From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


ormer Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Assembly matters, Honourable Abdurrahman Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, OFR, has said that the recent attacks on the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami is the handiwork of enemies of Nigeria’s unity. He said it is high time that Nigerians should not allow few individuals among them to promote disunity under the banner of religion. In a statement he signed and issued to newsmen in Kano yesterday, Kawu Sumaila condemned in strong term the recent attack on Pantami, noting that those behind the purported comments on terrorist groups which were attributed to the minister were detractors, blackmailers and enemies of Nigerian progress. Sumaila said: “I wonder why some people wanted to tarnish the image of a man who devoted his time, vast knowledge both Islamic and western for the overall development of Nigeria. Sheikh Pantami is among the few Islamic scholars that summoned the courage to engage the leader of the dreaded Borough Haram group, late Muhammad Yusuf in a public debate. “The video clip of this debate which went viral is still in circulation on YouTube and other social media platforms.Why people easily forgot this great work done by the Sheikh? If at all the minister has any link to the terrorist groups, can he confront the leader of Boko Haram? The answer is certainly no. “So, this will clearly tell Nigerians that those who concocted the comments and attributed them to Sheikh Pantami do not mean well to him and the country,” Sumaila said. The former lawmaker added that “After all, the minister has publicly denounced the comments and from the method of preaching one can clearly understand that the minister has nothing to do with any terrorist group here in Nigeria or outside the country. I want use this opportunity to condemn in a strong term those who are calling for the minister to step down from his position,” Honourable Sumaila lamented that if the minister has hand in the activities of the terrorist group, the Nigerian security agencies should have known that for a very long time, saying the Islamic scholars had been preaching for decades before his appointment as minister. “Again, if the minister has any link to any terrorist group, he wouldn’t be allowed to study in both United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia respectively. We all know how serious these two countries are taking issues of terrorism and other related security matters. So, for someone to accuse Sheikh Pantami of involvement terrorism, I am sure that person must be joking.


Zulum to UNIMAID’s VC: Do not hide anything from FG’s visitation panel G overnor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has advised the Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, not to hide problems affecting the institution during his engagement with a Presidential visitation panel that is currently in Borno. Zulum gave the advise on Thursday at the Government House in Maiduguri when he received a courtesy call on him by the panel which was sent to UNIMAID to assess financial management, administration, and the overall condition of teaching, learning, and research by looking at the school’s physical infrastructure, laboratories and other academic activities, in line with laws establishing universities in Nigeria which require that panels undertake such visits after every five years. According to a statement by Isa Gusaum media assistant to Zulum, the panel was led by former Deputy Governor of Kano State, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, and

members were accompanied to the Government House by UNIMAID’s governing council which included the Vice Chancellor, Professor Aliyu Shugaba. “Please do not hide anything to them (the panel). It is better to open our wounds, so that our problems can be addressed” Zulum said to the VC. “Some of the deficiencies can be addressed by the State Government, while some by the Federal Government. University of Maiduguri belongs to all of us. Those that are learning in the university are our own children. It is only for those who don’t know that will think the State has no say on what happens at Federal universities located in States” the Governor added. Zulum, a former student of UNIMAID before becoming a lecturer and acting Dean in the Faculty of Engineering, decried poor conditions of equipment, and facilities which include laboratories and workshops. The Governor assured the

panel of Borno’s commitment to fully participate and render all the necessary support during the period of their assignment. He urged the management of the university of Maiduguri to work on a development plan. “As small as my former institution, the Ramat polytechnic, Maiduguri. When I was appointed as the Rector, after taking over the mantle of leadership, the first thing I did was to develop short, medium, and long term strategic plans. I and my team focused on the short term goals. When we left the polytechnic after three and a half years, we were unable to achieve only one item on the short term plan, which was the rehabilitation of the staff quarters. We were able to rehabilitate all the existing classes, and provided additional classes that can accommodate students for the next 10 years before we left,” Zulum said. Speaking earlier, Chairman of the panel, Professor Abubakar commended Governor Zulum for

providing a desired leadership in Borno. “Your Excellency, we are very proud of you. We know you are interested in the development of Borno State. UNIMAID is the pioneer and leading university in the whole of the region and we will do whatever we can, and I will open to you on our findings at a different platform. So far, we have seen progress” Prof. Hafiz said. Hafiz said Nigerian laws guiding the establishment of the universities and inter universities stipulates assessment visits are done every five years but the last exercise was carried out early 2011, covering 2004 to 2010. Professor Hafiz explained that the current exercise will cover a ten-year period and the panel is expected to submit two separate five year reports covering 2011 2015 and 2016 - 2020. The report would aim to identify problems and recommend ways to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the university.

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By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives yesterday resolved to probe alleged reports of seized cargo ship sailed from Nigeria with 7,200 refrigerated penises found in 36 boxes labelled as plantain harboured at the Shanghai port called Red Market in China. The House equally disclosed that, the perpetrators of the illicit trade generate between 600 million to 1.2 billion dollars profit annually, adding that the poor security situation encouraged them to use the third world countries as their major suppliers. Recall that, the Chinese General Administration of Customs had alerted that an increasing large number of armed groups in Africa use organs harvested in unsanitary conditions to finance their nefarious activities. The House underscored a need to curb the menace. The resolution followed the consideration of a motion titled “Need to Investigate the Illicit Trade in Human Organs”, moved by Honourables Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum from Taraba State and Olajide Olatubosun from Oyo State at Thursday plenary. Presenting the motion, Kwewum said “about two weeks ago, acting on the information provided by an anonymous source, Chinese Authorities seized a cargo ship that sailed from Nigeria with 7,200 refrigerated penises which were found in 36 boxes labelled as plantain on the ship that harboured at the Shanghai port called Red Market. “The Chinese General Administration of Customs had alerted that an increasingly large number of armed groups in Africa use organs which are harvested in unsanitary conditions to finance their nefarious activities. “The media was awash a few years ago with horrifying stories of the harvest of organs of Nigerians and other Africans stranded in Libya for sale in Europe, the Middle


Male organs exporters to China rake in $1.2bn annually – Reps ‘7,200 refrigerated penises from Nigeria seized in Chinese Red Market’

East, America and China. “The increasing cases of missing persons, ritual killings and trafficking of persons out of the country may be linked to the Red Market which can be attributed to the trafficking of young men and women who end up being victims of organ harvesting. “The increased banditry, kidnappings and spiraling violence in several parts of the country today make those parts of the country vulnerable and provide safe havens and ready supply channels for the

illicit activities. “Harvest of organs can only be done by medical surgeons with the aid of rogue public officials. “Perpetrators of the illicit trade generate between 600 million to 1.2 billion dollars profit annually and have been encouraged by poor security situations to use the third world as the major suppliers”. The lawmaker recalled that in early 1987, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the illegal trade violates the Universal Declaration of Human

Rights as well as taking unfair advantage of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in the world. The added that the International Community has also made efforts to curb the menace of Red Market, such as the Istanbul Declaration urging professionals to put an end to the unethical actions where organs of unfortunate victims of economic migrants and human trafficking in Europe and the Middle East are ripped off thereby constituting a gross abuse of the rights to life of those Nigerians.

“If nothing is done to curb this criminal act, more criminals will set up shops dealing in human organs in Nigeria, taking advantage of the insecurity in the country”, he said. Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Human Rights and National Security and Intelligence to investigate the gamut of the value chain known as Red Market or illicit market in human organs and report back within 10 weeks for further legislative action.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (middle) and other guests and participants during the opening of a 2-day retreat on ‘Achieving Gender Equity in the Constitution Review Process’ yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Idriss Deby: Nigeria beefs up security in borders with Chad By Egena Sunday Ode

From left, Chairman, Radio Television Theater and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), Lagos State Council, Mr Dare Durosimi; Ex-Officio, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Women Commission, Mrs Helen Usen; Guest Speaker/former Chairperson Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) Lagos State Council, Mrs Olufunke Fadugba and Women Leader Southwest RATTAWU, Mrs Bridget Obieto, during the inauguration of Training on Women Leadership for RATTAWU Women, in Lagos on Thursday (22/4/21).

U.S. CDC gets new Country Director for Nigeria

By Ochiaka Ugwu


he U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has appointed Dr. Mary Adetinuke Boyd, as the new Country Director for its Nigeria’s Office. In a statement released by U.S. Department of State, it noted the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nigeria office will come under a new leadership, with the appointment of Dr. Mary Adetinuke Boyd, as the new Country Director. According to the statement, “In her new role, Dr. Boyd will lead the Nigeria office, which is one of CDC’s

largest country offices, and support CDC’s collective efforts in global HIV and Tuberculosis, global health security, malaria elimination, and immunization. “She joined CDC in the CDC Zambia country office, where she first served as Deputy Associate Director for Programs (2016-2018) and then as Senior Medical Advisor (20182020). While in Zambia, Dr. Boyd’s accomplishments included: leading the Antiretroviral Treatment Surge campaign; establishing the Zambia National HIV Clinical Mentorship program; and directing the first regional COVID-19 response ECHO community of practice in Southern Africa and West Africa.

“Dr. Boyd is a trained vaccinologist and conducted vaccine trials for influenza A (H1N1), live oral Shigella, Vibrio cholera, and Salmonella vaccine candidates from 2009-2013 at the University of Maryland’s Center for Vaccine Development. She subsequently joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she led global health vaccine efforts, including for Ebola, from 2013-2016. “Commander Dr. Boyd is an active duty physician in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, and currently performs clinical practice in the U.S. Embassy Abuja Health Unit. “She received her undergraduate

degree in neurobiology and physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and completed her medical degree, residency, and fellowship in pediatrics and infectious diseases at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “Since October 2020, Dr. Boyd has served as Senior Advisor for HIV and TB Prevention for CDC Nigeria as a regional and international expert on HIV and TB prevention. She takes over from Dr. Omotayo Bolu who acted as Country Director since the end of the tenure of the former Director, Dr. Mahesh Swaminathan” the statement concluded.


he Federal Government has beefed up security around its borders with Chad to forestall an influx of refugees, arms and gunmen into the country following the death of Idris Deby. Minister of Defence Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi(rted) who disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the special Weekly briefing organised by the Presidential communication team said the death of the Chadian leader may escalate insecurity in the country. He said “When we heard of this unfortunate killing of the Chadian President, we know that problem is bound to be created among neighbouring countries and Nigeria will be most hit by his absence. If there is insecurity in Chad, there will be problem. “But thank God, a lot of military activities with the Chadian, Niger, Cameroon, were all that concerned. So, in the name of multinational joint taskforce, all these countries including Chad are contributing countries for the operation. What

we hope is that very soon, we will find a secure for the continuation of this thing. “We are beefing up security in our borders to ensure that no bandits come into Nigeria after the killing of Chad President All we have prayed is that African countries will find a solution to the problem of Chad. “The problem of Chad is now going to be aggravated because we are not sure the direction in which that country is going to face but I assure you that we are mindful of borders, and we are mindful of the development, and politically, the government is putting its heads together to see how best they can restore the peace in that country. “So, security wise, we are beefing up all our borders to ensure that refugees do not flow into our country, even Nigerians, I am sure they would to come bac, we must prepare for them and allow them to come in and refuse others to come because of the problems it will create. “The issues of weapons and arms, chad is the buffer stopping

all these infiltration of weapons and the rest of it. Now, there is right from Libya down to Nigeria, is very easy now because of the absence of the influence of Chad in that root. “We also have to take care of that and prepare our minds to it. I think we are on top of the situation, all we are praying is that all African countries will find a solution to the problem of Chad, and get on moving as a democratic society as expected by international organisation in the world over. He also said the current attacks on police formation in the southeast is an affront on Nigeria’s security architecture and warned that such would no longer be tolerated. He also said the killers of 12 soldiers in Benue State will be brought to book saying: “Whoever touches the military has no regard for this country.” It added nine of 12 weapons belonging to the murdered soldiers have been recovered, and arrests are being made. He also lamented the state of

insecurity in the country, adding that the nation is bleeding. He said: “Make no mistakes that our nation is bleeding now. It is bleeding because of the selfinterest and other primordial considerations underlying decisions, which quite a number of our elite; political, ethnic and religious, make it so. Such elites are quick to attribute blames to groups other than theirs. “The whole idea is to exploit the social division for their political gains and it is because of this divisiveness that Nigeria lacks a national consensus or common comprehensive understanding and the interpretation of what national security is. e.g Boko Haram, farmers/herders clashes, IPOB and other political associations that are coming up with different mandates and different concerns. “All these can encourage groups to seek violence as a legitimate alternative. “From here emerges a narrow vision of national identity and vision which threatens our country’s prospect of social

cohesion and stability. “This is why we’re seeing the rise of self help syndrome, often endorsed by states and local elites seeking violence as a legitimate alternative. “The rise in vigilantalism and identity-based militia, who claim to be working for the political and ethno-religious emancipation of their people, A.K.A resource control, secession and regionals self-determination, define the potent threats to the national security in our country.” According to him, government has come up with a comprehensive report on the identified enemies and taken a position, which he said he did not want to preempt. The Minister further argued that he does not agree with the position that all bandits be killed. He explains that every person is innocent according to the provision of the law until found guilty. He however said that any bandit found in the forests with an Ak-47 rifle will be immediately gunned down in compliance with the presidential directive.



News JUSUN tells CJN why it won’t suspend strike By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja


he national officials of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), yesterday informed the Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN) Ibrahim Tanko, why it will not call off the strike yet. The JUSUN officials, led by its Deputy National President, Emmanuel Abioye and Jimoh Musa Alonge (Treasurer) told the CJN that the state governors must begin to demonstrate some level of seriousness by putting in place some measures precedent to the implementation of financial autonomy for judiciary in their respective states. A statement signed by the Senior Special Assistance to the CJN, Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, said

JUSUN officials met with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad on Wednesday ostensibly to give him a feedback on his recent demand on the union to call-off the ongoing strike. This feedback is following the April 6, meeting the CJN had with JUSUN leaders where he asked the union to call-off the strike in view of its adverse effect on the justice system in the country. However, at the meeting, yesterday, the JUSUN officials explained why the union found it difficult to heed the CJN’s demand to call off the strike. Addressing Tanko, Abioye said, ‘’Though there’s financial autonomy for the judiciary already in some states while some are assuring that they would comply,

but others have to take steps in readiness for compliance.’’ In his view, the union expects each state to start implementing its self-accounting law to deal with the Internally Generated Revenue in line with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and that states without such law should put it in place. He stressed that, it is his union’s position that there must be some level of seriousness from all quarters and as such, the amount standing to the credit of the judiciary from the monthly federal allocation should be deducted directly from the source by the Accountant General of the Federation and remit same to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for onward transmission to heads of courts.

He said, for the Federation Consolidated Account also known as Federal Allocation, the budget of each state judiciary submitted to the implementation committee (received) on October 2, 2020) should be implemented by deducting the amount due to the state judiciary directly from source by Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) in line with Sections 81(3) and 162(9) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) for the states. Explaining further, he posited that the AGF should deduct from the monthly Federal Allocation and remit it to NJC for onward transmission of the fund to the Heads of Courts at the State Judiciary. ‘’Until this is done, there is no going back, the strike would go

Group calls for release of kidnapped Kaduna nurses From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


Group under the auspices of Health4All Media Initiative (HAMI)has calls for the immediate release of the two kidnapped Nurses while on Night duty at General Hospital, Idon in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna State The Secretary of the Group Shola Ojo stated this in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterday. The Statement stated that HAMI is worried about this development because it was coming at a time the media, civil society and development partners are working hard with the Kaduna State Government to ensure the availability and affordability of medical services across the state Unpleasant statistics by NURHI (Impact Now) and other researchers that Kaduna State loses 1,025 reproductive age women out of every 100,000 live births around pregnancy complications some of which occur as a result of nonavailability of health workers at some primary health care centres after sunsets, call for a sober reflection. We call on individuals, corporate entities and other prime movers, to reason with us and support the state government with technological devices that can improve security in our hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure as a deliberate sustainable development. We call on the persons responsible for these attacks and their promoters to shift ground and allow innocent armless Nigerians who are struggling daily to earn a legitimate living to survive. We call on the Kaduna state government and security apparatuses to be more proactive by way of encouraging safe local intelligence gathering so they can step up their games ahead of sophisticated crimes in their areas of jurisdiction. Failure to take steps in protecting our health facilities in good time will further hinder availability and accessibility to health care services during armed conflict and civil disturbances thereby skyrocket the already worsening health statistics in Sub-Sahara Africa. HAMI is a group of seasoned health journalists who cut across electronic, print and new media working in collaboration with civil

on,’’ he maintained. However, the CJN said it has become difficult to fault the idea of the strike since the rights of the union and its members which are clearly defined in the Constitution are being denied especially at state level. ‘’I can’t fault your reasons for embarking on this protest because the union wants its rights restored in line with the provisions of the Constitution. I commend you for following due process so far to protest against the injustice,’’ the CJN said. The Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadjia Hadiza Uwani Mustapha also attended the meeting held in the CJN chambers at the Supreme Court.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari (R) and Chairman of Energy and Exploration Production Limited (SEEPCO), Mr Tony Chukwueke, sign a Gas Development Agreement (GDA), as partners in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143, at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Thursday

society and non-governmental organisations on improved healthcare service delivery in Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole. According to the Medical Director of the facility, Doctor Shingyu Shamnom, the two nurses, whose details were yet to be announced as at the time of making this statement, were on the night shift at the General Hospital, Idon in Kajuru local government area of Kaduna State when gunmen suspected to be bandits stormed the facility in a commando manner and whisked them to yet to be identified destination.

How killings in Nigeria motivated me to write a book-Teacher From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


Kaduna based teacher and Founder of a Nongovernmental Organisation, Diamond-Crest for Youth Education Foundation, Mr. Gideon Onyedi has said that bloodletting arising from ethnoreligious, banditry and insurgency in Nigeria actually motivated him to write a book. The author stated this at the during the virtual launch of his book entitled, “Who Will Save Nigeria from Ethno-Religious Strangulation?” yesterday. Onyedi said killing and agitation for secession were not the best way to go, and called on Nigerian leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue with various sections of the country in order to find lasting solutions to insecurity bedeviling the nation. “My love for mankind, my love and value for life, for the greater good and the dignity of humanity motivated me. Reality motivated me. Truth motivated me. Imminent but avoidable danger motivated. ‘For the purposes of the records’ and posterity motivated me. To cease the flow of blood and freeze the growth of hell in Nigeria motivated me to write this book. “Nigeria, its leadership and its various diplomatic relations since 1914 and 1960 in particular have By Usman Shuaibu failed to embrace the truth about reality of coexistence, and the head of the leadership 2022 need for transformative and Chairmanship global citizenshipelection ideals. in Gwagwalada Area The burning zeal and passion to project the issueFederal of transformative Council of the Capital leadership (FCT), and global Territory the citizenship former ideals which run Chairman of thethematically Area Council,

through the entire chapters of the book, as the unmistakable panacea to the political and ethno-religious cataclysm engulfing this nation motivated me. “There is no problem in the world without a solution. What we lack is the leadership abilities and skills of critical thinking and creativity expressed through discernment, awareness and metaawareness, discovery, design, devolution, courage and discipline to fix the broken subsystems or the supra-system. To offer these, was what motivated me. Nigeria can be salvaged if we all, beginning with the leadership, are willing to pay the price. “The book seek to achieve healing, transformative leadership and global Citizenship ideals. Nigeria is more ideologically and ethno-religiously balkanised today than it has ever been since amalgamation and since independence. Everyone knows. The book is throwing the question that is in search of a true, once-in-alifetime generational transformative leader who has acquired an unmistakable transformative education not merely defined by literacy and numeracy, but one who understands and has imbibed the desirable global citizenship ideals with courage and discernment to be able to save and fix the nation. Hon.“The Abubakar Giri has questionsJibrin are: Can we find picked the nomination form of such a one? Can we overcome the All Progressives Congresspolitics? (APC) pressure of ethno-religious to contest the only Chairmanship Because it for is not deep, it is position the area. mortally in fossilised. Chapter 1 and theGiri letterwas I wrote to Atiku Abubakar accompanied by the in chapter 11, which expositorily APC supporters/members to the capturessecretariat what I callinthe 11 D’s of party’s Abuja.

transformative leadership, and again the chapter on 2019 electoral litigations, including chapter 22, the chapter on education and unfulfilled promises to the African child, underscoring the failure of our education system explain this very well. “The present ethno-religious crises in Nigeria is an accumulation of years of three ‘N’s’ neglect, nurture, and negative notion.. Neglect of genuine transformative leadership ideals that promote equity, fairness and inclusiveness. On the other hand, it is a consequence of years of nurturing of this ethno-religious monster in our political life. Third, it is a consequence of having the wrong notion or understanding of the concept of nation state. “Again, the present problem is a direct consequence of fear and distrust. Total fear and lack of trust. The South does not trust the North. The North does not trust the South. The North does not and may never believe that a Southern Christian leader can protect her interest. The South does not and may never believe that a Northern Muslim leader can protect her interest. With a few exceptions who tried to maintain some kind of balance. “Each section that gets there fights to create an everlasting favourable situation for her own people that no one can undo even in It would be recalled that Giri a thousand generations. had“This metiswith the executives the cause of the presentof APC in the crises. ButGwagwalada with a genuine before leader who purchase global of the nomination possesses citizenship ideals, form. we can overcome the problem. It mayItnotwas be easy, trust me, itthat is alsobutgathered achievable. Since Chairman we are already the former had citizens of onemeetings country, with we can consultative the

always find a way in the midst of our seeming incompatibilities to coexist peacefully. “The leaders from the North, even Governor Nasir elRufai of Kaduna have accepted restructuring. This is a great step.. With this and other transformative steps, agitations for secession could be handled. But it will require some serious effort, building and rebuilding of trust. It may not seem easy but it will not be impossible to achieve. We can achieve it together. “We have good people everywhere as well as bad people. I have come to know very wonderful, good, globally-minded leaders from the North who have the leadership capacity to address this issue of marginalisation. We still have more Shagari’s and more Yaradua’s presently in the political and royal classes in the North. “I call on the present Nigerian leadership to bring these agitators together, no matter which section of the country they are from, and give them a listening ear. Even wild animals like lions can be domesticated and tamed. Snakes are tamed. Hyenas are tamed. And the best way to domesticate even the most ferocious wild animal is to show love and understanding. With love, understanding, dialogue, concessions, sacrifice, every agitation and counter-agitation can traditional rulers across the ten be arrested. political wards in Gwagwalada “The formula is love, the method his ambition to contest for isfor genuine transformative leadership the expresses chairmanship election. that unmistakable global It was observed the citizenship ideals. We havethat leaders who can do itof ifGiri theywere want happy and supporters choose to”.necessary Onyedi stated. for the action taken by the aspirant.

Gwagwalada Chairmanship election: Ex- Council Chair picks APC nomination form




Gunmen kill UNIBEN bursar’s security detail, snatch riffle By Osaigbovo Iguobaro


security detail attached to the University of Benin (UNIBEN) Bursar, Mr. Victor Imagbe, was on Wednesday shot dead by gunmen. A source familiar with the incident said the security personnel was killed by a robbery gang who fled a crime scene at the neighborhood at about 2:45 a.m in Ogheghe Community on Benin Sapele in Benin City, the Edo State Capital. The source revealed that the gunmen, jumped into the Bursar’s residence and shot Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCDC) operative, identified as Alex Osaghae and snatched his rifle during the crossfire. The source further said the NCDC officer died immediately while the rubbers made away with his riffle. But Bursar who was caught in the web of confusion, was not hurt in the incident which sent jitters down the spines of residents in the area. The Public Relations Offer (PRO) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSDC), Edo State Command, Mr. Ogbebor Efosa confirmed the incident, but gave no further details. The spokesmen of the Nigeria police, Edo State Command, SP. Bello Kotongs, take his calls, but police sources, confirmed the incident. Neither Mr. Victor Imagbe, the UNIBEN Bursar nor the Public Relations Officer of the institution Dr. (Mrs.) responded to inquiries by our Correspondent as at the time of filing this report. The corpse of the deceased has been evacuated to the Central hospital morgue in Benin City.


Police arrest Suspected Kidnappers, armed robbers, recover stolen items in Delta By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


he Delta State Police Command on Thursday confirmed the arrest of suspected Kidnappers and armed robbers in Ozoro community among others, disclosing that the police recovered stolen items from the Suspects . DSP Edafe Bright, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state in a statement signed a copy made available to our correspondent said that the police through the Divisional Police Officer ( DPO) Ozoro Police Division, CSP Ogedegbe Areguamen led Polic Officers with the assistance of some Vigilante members into

the hideouts of the Suspects at Aradhe Community and arrested one Ogheghenefegor Francis, 28years of Aradhe Community, adding that the Suspect as the leader of the Six man gang who allegedly Kidnapped one Williams Aduewomah in Ozoro community Including four other gang members were arrested. Saying that Investigation was ongoing, DSP Edafe Bright said that on the 20/4/ 2021 following intelligence gatherings, the Divisional Police Officer ( DPO) Warri, CSP TY Mahmud mobilized quick response team who trailed and arrested one Nnachi Cypriam one of the prime Suspects mentioned in

a confessional statement of the gang leader of an armed robbery syndicate Including one Gift Famous, popularly known as Bubune earlier arrested by the police,was rearrested, adding that the Suspect Nnachi Cypriam hails from Afikpo In Ebony State as he was arrested at ShopRite in Warri in connection with series of car snaching at gunpoint. DSP Edafe Bright said that the Suspect confessed to the crime which he was arrested and also identified Bubune as being his friend and inmate in Oko prison in Benin City, adding that the Suspect further led the team of the police to Otokutu in the recovery of the snached vehicle with registration

number FKJ 86 ET gold in colour which was fraudulently changed to black colour Including other items recovered from the Suspects The statement also disclosed that the police at A Division in Asaba while on stop and search intercepted one Lezus 330 with number GWA 303 BF , adding that the Suspect on sighting the police, quickly turned the vehicle and tried to escape but was caught through the help of the police ASP Awosika Olabode and he was arrested as the Suspect was identified as Kenneth Edemba 52 years old, saying that one sactch of tramadol, among others were recovered from the Suspect in the vehicle.




Gas Flaring: Reps to investigate revenue loss, unpaid penalties to FG By Christiana Ekpa


he House of Representatives at yesterday mandated its Committee on Gas Resources to investigate the gas flare volume reported by the government and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Tracker to ascertain the amount of gas flared, extent of discrepancies and the amount of revenue due to the government from gas flare penalties. The move by the House followed the adoption of a motion, titled ‘Need to Check the Activities of Oil Companies Flaring Gas in Nigeria,’ sponsored by Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims. Presenting the motion, Halims

noted that Nigeria gazetted the Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018 to reduce and eliminate gas flare in Nigeria through monetization and investment in the gas flare ecosystem. The Lawmaker disclosed that, paragraph 12 of the Policy, increased penalties from $0.30 to $2.00 IMSCF (one thousand standard cubic feet) on flared/ vented gas volumes, while paragraph 21 stipulated a penalty of USD2.S0 IMSCF (per thousand standard cubic feet) against a producer, who fails to provide flare gas data or supply accurate and complete flare gas data. The lawmaker expressed concerns that after the penalty

regime started, the gas flare volumes reported by Nigeria was drastically reduced for 2018 and 2019 and created a huge discrepancy between the gas flared volumes reported by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Gas Flare Tracker (GFT) which is satellitebased and the volumes declared by the federal government for the period. He is worried that the discrepancy will cost the government huge revenue loss from penalties estimated at $680 million & 98GWh for 2018 and 2019 and present a planning challenge in terms of inaccuracies in figures that may be presented for gas flare investments.

He said: ”Aware that FOSTER (DFID Sponsored -Facility for Oil Sector Transformation) informed the Gas Resources Committee that the discrepancy as currently determined is 190bcf and IS0bcf in 2018 and 2019 respectively which potentially represents an aggregate revenue loss of $680 million in unpaid penalties to the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2018 and 2019. ”Alarmed that the loss to Nigeria may be higher when the penalties accrue from venting are determined and added to the money ‘accruable’ from flared gas discrepancies and other losses in terms of power generation which is now estimated at 98 GWH for 2018 and 2019 respectively.”

Speaker, House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila (middle), Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen (R) and Deputy Whip, House of Representatives, Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (L) during the opening of a 2-day retreat on ‘Achieving Gender Equity in the Constitution Review Process’ yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

2023 Presidency: Allow South South complete her second term -Zonal Officer By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba


he South South Zonal Officer of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) Mr Chux Nwaebuni on Thursday said that the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be ceded to the South South Geopolitical zone in 2023, stressing that it would be the only way the party will win the presidency among others Nweabuni who spoke to Journalists in Asaba averred that all the presidents since 1999 had not given the opportunity for the South South president as expected apart from Dr Goodluck

Johnathan who hailed from the South South region but only did a single tenure and warned that failure by the party, PDP to recognize this facts might spell doom where All Progressive Congress ( APC) might continued to rule the country in abysmal failure Nweabuni stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari with APC failed Nigerians adding that it would be better opportunity for PDP to ensure that South South president was possible saying” President Good luck Johnathan was frustrated through high powered conspiracy thereby shortchanging the South

South Geopolitical zone” He revealed that having Johnathan from the South South preside over the affairs of the country as president under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) was the greatest blessings which most Nigerians never appreciated until they tasted the All Progressive Congress ( APC) version of governance hitherto doomsday Nwaebuni noted that the South South people were liberal minded adding that the PDP as acceptable party in Nigeria at moment should work harder to get it right for the freedom of Nigerians who had been under siege of terrible

learnership He said”What we see today in the administration is the exact opposite of what democracy is all about.It is such a terrible learnership and situation for Nigerians and it’s time for the South South Geopolitical zone to capture the Presidency come 2023 and ensure we push out the All Progressive Congress ( APC) for us to move forward in Nigeria” Nwaebuni however called on other Geopolitical zones in the country to join hands in the quest for an elected president from the South South to complete the zone’s second term for equity sake and good dividend of democracy

Coalition advocates tax on sugary drinks consumption in Nigeria By Mashe Umaru Gwamna


coalition of nongovernmental organisations under the National Action on Sugar Reduction(NASR), said it is advocating for government to tax sugary drinks in Nigeria and subsidize high cost of diabetes treatment. The group made the disclosure during its inaugural meeting held in Abuja recently, saying that, there is a need for policy measures to tackle the health risks of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages in the country . This was contained in statement signed by the Coalition representative, Omei BongosIkwue said “if Nigeria government will taxed sugary drinks this will go a long way in saving public health and create economic value. “Sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks) contribute significantly to the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria, including type II diabetes, stroke and heart disease. A single soft drink bottle contains staggering amounts of sugar -up to 12 cubes. “Soft drinks are also a major contributing factor to tooth decay and obesity, a risk factor for a host of chronic diseases. A Euromonitor report lists Nigeria as the 4th highest consumer of soft drinks in the world,”Bongos-Ikwue stated. The statement mentioned that ,”there is a growing evidence to suggest that suitable health policies, such as tax, can discourage the consumption of sugary drinks and potentially prevent their poor health effects. The coalition recognizes that a tax would not be a complete solution itself but rather one component of a comprehensive approach to preventing NCDs.”. The statement stated that the coalition’s recommended that that Federal Ministry of Health should initiate a public awareness and education campaign on the health risks associated with excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and the cost of diabetes care and the management of other NCDs. Also,the Coalition specifically called on the Minister of Finance to introduce an excise duty of 20% on sugar-sweetened beverages such as carbonated sugary drinks and energy drinks. The NGOs ‘believes that, the National Assembly should introduce a tax on sugary drinks to provide a more lasting solution. The coalition was drawn from Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Nigeria Cancer Society ,Breast Without Spot,Lafiya Wealth Initiative. Others are :TalkHealth9ja,Nigeria Health Watch,Project PINK BLUE, Sustainable Development Initiative and African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD).


15-yr-old college student electrocuted in Benue

From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


15 year old Emmanuel, student of Benue State University Technical College has been electrocuted to death in Makurdi, Benue State capital. The incident happened in Achussa, a suburb in the State capital. Narrating how the incident happened, uncle to the deceased Samuel Olokpo said on the morning of 19th April, 2021, officals of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN came to the house when everyone had gone to work and disconnected electric lines belonging to four households. He said two(2) of the neighbors quickly brought out their bills and were immediately reconnected. “In the afternoon, one Emeka, a boy of 5 years was playing and mistakenly stepped on the wire and it shocked him. So, my niece decided to roll up the wires to avert any further danger and in the process, he was electrocuted. Hitherto, one of our neighbors Mr. Jonathan Adi said his wife told him that electrical appliances in the house were still functioning despite the disconnection. We rushed him to Ushakaa hospital where he was pronounced dead and later deposited his body at Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH. “PHCN staff came to the house to condole us. Meanwhile, we have notified our lawyers. He was a cool, quiet headed boy who was gifted in the art of handcraft (he used to make shoes)that is why we enrolled in a technical college Grand mother of the deceased who raised him from.infancy Mrs. Veronica Odo, a staff of Benue State Hospital Management Board wept uncontrollably, lamenting that the negligence of PHCN has cut short the life of his grandson. “Can his memory ever wipe up from my mind. He promised to buy me a car. My only grandson”, she said amidst sobs. Meanwhile, another resident of Achussa Mr. Ejembi Oloja complained bitterly the illegal and obnoxious practice by the Jos Electricity distribution company. He narated how on several occasions the company will negligently leave live wire after disconnecting it. “I was very lucky on getting home to discover my kids playing very close to a live wire disconnected by JED in my compound. I called them to remove it but they refuse to come for several hours and eventually when they did it was discovered it had power on it He also disclosed that JED has been cheating the people of Achussa over bills, maintaining that in a situation where power supply is absent for three weeks yet JED will send a full month estimated bill amounts to cheating.

Page 9


Kano sponsors surgery of 7 hermaphrodites, to establish center for patients From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


he Kano State Government has said that it has sponsored the surgery of seven hermaphrodite patients at Tetfund Centre of Excellence in Urology and Nephrology, Usman Danfodio University Sokoto. The state governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje disclosed this while receiving six patients recently sponsored for the surgery during the state’s executive council meeting on Wednesday in Kano. “Kano state government was worried when we got information that there was one person with that intersex problem. We also learned that the person needed assistance for surgical operation. We quickly

intervened and took the patient to Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto,” he hinted. “We then ordered for search for other similar cases in the state. We got other 6 cases, whom we also sent to UDUS, Centre of Excellence. Alhamdulillah all of them were successfully operated. “All the seven patients were operated free of charge. The state paid all the bills. So, anybody with a similar case should please come forward and get our attention. We have already ordered for more search, as stated earlier,” he said. The governor further revealed that the state government had ordered for the search of more similar cases in the state, assuring that, the state would sponsor their

operations in the same centre in Sokoto. He however disclosed that the state government has to institutionalise such gestures, while embarking on a plan to establish such centre in the state. “We are now starting to establish a similar Centre in Kano, in partnership with the Centre of Excellence, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. We are institutionalising the process and intervention. Our concern is always the health and happiness of our people.” He noted that places with higher population may likely be more prone to such health issue, adding that Kano state as the most populated state in the country has

every tendency to have more of such people. “That is part of the reason why we must institutionalize the process and our determined intervention,” he stated. During his presentation remarks, Professor Nasiru Yawuri, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university, commended the state government and the foresight of the governor for sponsoring 7 people for that surgical operation. He said “On behalf of the University and the Centre of Excellence, we are very much grateful for the people-oriented leadership of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, for making it necessary by the state government to support these people.”

From left: Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; First Lecturer, Prof. Abdulafees Oladosu; Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States, Alhaji Daud Akinola; and Chairman of Ibadan Muslim Community, Chief Bayo Oyero, at the 7th Annual Omituntun Ramadan Lecture in Ibadan on Wednesday (21/4/21).

Malaria still life threatening disease - PSN

From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) kaduna State Branch has said malaria is still a life-threatening disease especially in pregnant women and children under 5 years of age. The PSN Chairman Pharm Talatu Uwa Ebune stated this in a statement made available to media in kaduna yesterda Pharm Talatu Uwa Ebune disclosed that about 3.3 billion people - half of the world population still live at risk of this

preventable and treatable disease. “Africa carries the highest share of the global malaria burden and Nigeria accounted for the 25% out of the 219 million global cases of malaria in 2017, it accounts for 60% of outpatient visits and 30% hospitalization in Nigeria. “ Malaria is associated with a significant burden on public health and economic stability, and has a direct impact on households’ income, wealth and productivity of both the sick and the caregivers. “ she said Speaking on the forthcoming

World Malaria Day on 25th April, she said it is a day to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention, control, and drive down the incidence to zero. As part of the activities to commemorate this day, she said PSN Kaduna State Chapter is organizing public enlightenment campaigns on malaria prevention, malaria testing and distribution of malaria prevention materials on 26th April, 2021 by 10:00 am at the PSN Kaduna secretariat,

No.2 Ali Akilu road Kaduna. The PSN Chairman added that the theme of the World Malaria Day 2021 is “Zero Malaria starts with me” and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Sub Theme is “Pharmacists stand against Malaria.” “ we would like to commend the efforts of all stakeholders (governments, health care team, international partners led by W.H.O, donor agencies, etc.) for the successes achieved in the fight against malaria so far.

of Agriculture and Rural Development, Pharmacist Samaila Adamu Burga stated this in Bauchi whien he declared opened a 5 days training workshop for staff of the BASAC organized in conjunction with Namus Agric Consult Nigeria Ltd ,He said that the government in order to provide succor to plight of farmers every year. Burga said that the scheme is aimed at eliminating all hindrances

to availability of the commodity to peasant farmers across the state through the provision of fertilizer ,good seeds and other genuine farming implements to farmers . He said that, “it’s the responsibility of the company BASAC to ensure that the farmers got quality farm inputs in order to boost food production. Over the years, the company has done well as can be seen in the produce of our

farmers yearly”. Commissioner said that, “in order to ensure that the farmers got fertilizer without hitches, the government has released the sum of N300m to BASAC as a revolving scheme to procure the commodity from the blending company, sell it to the farmers and go for another round of supply, with that, there will be no break in supply of the commodity “.

Bauchi releases N300m fertilizer revolving scheme to boost agric production From Mohammed,Bauchi



auchi State Government has released the sum of N300m to the State Agricultural Supply Company (BASAC)to procure a fertilizer under a revolving scheme program to procure the fertilizer commodity and distributes it to farmers in the state. The State Commissioner



News From Yakubu Minna



ulti Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has been identified as the engine for the development and growth of Nigerian economy and should be given the required priority. The Director General of Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Professor Mohammad Baba Ndaliman made this known to mark the Institute day at the ongoing 18th Niger National Trade Fair in Minna. He disclosed that the current survey by SMEDAN/ NBS,

MSMEs identified as key for Nigeria’s economic growth

MSMEs indicated that SMEs contributed about 50% to the country’s GDP and account for 80% of employment in Nigeria as well 50% employment worldwide, therefore, the sector remains vital in reducing poverty. Ndaliman hinted that the

Institute has the capacity to undertake the production of various educational, teaching and laboratory items to promote teaching and learning of all science subjects hence its partnership with universities and other higher institutions to expand research and development for the

benefit of the society. The Director General however called on investors and entrepreneurs to explore the available resources of the institute to scale up the mass production of some of its developed products for commercial purposes. The President of Nigerian

Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr Abdulkadir Hassan has charged for prioritizing manufacturing and technology sectors of the economy and certify their products for exportation to enhanced growth.

CBN N60b print: Group blasts Edo state governor for misleading Nigerians




Strike pays sometimes

tate governors have agreed to grant financial autonomy to their judiciaries and houses of assemblies. By accepting to do so they have acceded to the main demand of striking judiciary workers nationwide. The strike has crippled courts across the country. The position of the state governors was conveyed by Ekiti State governor Kayode Fayemi as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum. Speaking Monday in Abuja, he said the governors and other stakeholders “have reached an agreement on the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and the judiciary.” Fayemi claimed that state governors were never opposed to legislative and judicial autonomy, saying the governors, the speakers of houses of assembly and the judges “are on the same page on the issue.” He added, “We just emerged from a meeting with the Solicitor-General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary, the representatives of the Conference of Speakers, and House of Representatives and we are on all fours. An agreement has been reached.

of May 2021.” The governor then appealed to the striking judiciary workers to return to work in the interest of the nation. He said calling off their action was important because “as far as this has gone, we have met with all the parties concerned; the President, through the Chief of Staff, has also been briefed on this matter and has been monitoring what has been happening. I think we are basically in a position where whether you speak to the Conference of Speakers’ chairperson or you speak to me or you speak to the representative of the judiciary or you speak to the SolicitorGeneral of the Federation, you will hear that we are speaking with one voice on the implementation and not later than May, you will start seeing the implementation of the agreement that we have reached.” It is regrettable that it has had to take a strike by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to get state governors to implement the Financial Autonomy for State Legislature and Judiciary Executive Order 10 that President Muhammadu Buhari issued in June 2020. It makes the budgets of these two arms of government a first line charge. This means that they no longer have to go cup in hand to state governors to literally beg for funds.

However, the governors have been unwilling to cut this apron string to release the legislature and judiciary. They have also refused to let go of local government administration which the Constitution qualifies as the third tier of government

By Albert Akota


he zonal and national executives of the Coalition of Civil Society Group have frowned at Governor of Edo State Godwin Obaseki for misleading Nigerians over the alleged print of 60 billion Naria. Disclosing this at press conference yesterday in Abuja to correct the falsehood regarding the printing of Sixty Billion Naira, President of the group, Bassey Etuk Williams said Obasek should be in better position to understand economy and governance. According to Etuk, the group have watched with keen interest overtime and won’t be doing justice to the entire nation should they not make effort to disabuse the minds of citizens on the falsehood been peddled around by some individuals for political gains. “The issues raised by Gov. Obaseki and others; alleging that N60 Billion was printed by CBN and the Federal Government was to augment the March, 2021 FAAC allocation but orchestrated by enemies of Government just to whittle down the confidence Nigerians have in the government and her effort to invigorate the economy”, “Reports made available to us reveals that going by the money FAAC share, the funds are monies generated and domiciled in the federation account, and is usually shared to the states every month. There was no evidence that the March allocation was borrowed which contradicts the claims of those saying March allocation money was printed, “ he noted.


President Muhammadu Buhari (M) flanked by Chief of Staff Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Kaduna State Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Others are Kebbi State Governor, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, Niger Abubakar Sani Bello and Sokoto State Governor RT Hon Aminu Tambuwal and Plateau State Governor Mr Simon Lalong after a meeting at the State, Abuja. PHOTO; STATE HOUSE

Nuclear energy key to stable power supply - Onu T he Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said that Nigeria should exploit to the maximum, the full benefits of peaceful nuclear energy. Dr. Onu made the call, when he declared open the Nigeria Energy Calculator 2050 (NECAL2050) stakeholders engagement, in Abuja on Thursday. According to Dr. Onu, when Nigeria peacefully maximises Nuclear energy, it would help build a stable power supply base and would benefit many socio-economic areas such as medicine, agriculture, education, manufacturing and overall

national economic growth. The Nigeria Energy calculator 2050, is an energy planning model which will offer choices in the energy development to be examined alongside its environmental consequences. On safety concerns on the use of nuclear energy, the Minister called on the active participation of the organised private sector (OPS), to research and develop nuclear technology for the overall benefit of Nigeria. He called on Nigeria, to partner with other countries willing to help in the development of necessary expertise in nuclear technology.

The Minister called for efficient and effective use of energy resources, to guarantee rapid national industrialisation. In his words, “Nigeria has enormous energy resources, therefore the task facing us is to efficiently and effectively utilise these resources to guarantee rapid industrialisation of the nation”. The Minister further emphasised that the nation needs a development pathway that can help the country achieve sustainable national development, adding that the nation’s factories, offices, laboratories, business and homes must have sufficient power

to run them. According to Dr. Onu, “I am optimistic that our dear nation will pursue the right combination of different sources of energy including renewable, fossil fuel as well as nuclear energy”. Earlier, the Director General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, said the United Kingdom partnered with the commission to develop the Nigeria Energy Calculator 2050 (NECAL2050), which is a key energy planning tool. He further added, that the Nigeria Energy Calculator 2050 (NECAL2050), will help promote global warming mitigation.

“First, the issue is about implementation. There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomies. As a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support, in the first instance, in the state assemblies. So, that issue has been fully and holistically addressed, but we don’t just want to agree to something on paper without working out the modalities for implementation. Thankfully, the meeting we have just emerged from, with the Chief of Staff to the President chairing, has worked out the modalities to the satisfaction of all parties.” On when the implementation would begin, Fayemi said, “As soon as the final document that is being cleaned up emerges, that is preparatory to implementation. We are not going to put a timeframe in the air, but it will be implemented as soon as possible, definitely not later than the end


However, the governors have been unwilling to cut this apron string to release the legislature and judiciary. They have also refused to let go of local government administration which the Constitution qualifies as the third tier of government. These abnormalities have been responsible for our democracy not maturing. Things must not go on the way they do any longer. It is good news that governors have accepted to give the legislature and judiciary financial autonomy. They must do the same for their local governments.


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Letter to the Editor

Has NLC become a toothless bulldog?


he Nigerian Labor Congress, NLC has slowed down its activities and become sedative in its pressure of protecting Nigerian workers’ and pensioners’ interests. For many times NLC has become less active like what Nigerians know it in its responsibility of protecting the welfare and the conditions of workers and pensioners. It happened in many cases where the Union made promises for Nigerians but become sluggish and inactive to fulfill its mandates for Nigerian workers and the promise will be in a record of archives. I could remember, during the reign of PDP, NLC strike was very common, very vibrant and NLC was very committed to its responsibilities of protecting the interest of Nigerian workers and pensioners, because for every fuel increment NLC bite fingers. Unlike before, so much water has passed under the bridge but nothing was done to save it for the dry season. In the past six years, NLC has performed below expectations of Nigerian workers and at many times stand as mediator between government and its workers to settle strike in the room. In this time of inflation and economic hardship NLC only barks when its people are touched but afraid to bite. Some of the aims and objectives of the Nigerian Labor Congress include:’To promote, defend and advance the economic, political and social rights and wellbeing of Nigerian workers and pensioners; To continually enhance the quality of life and improve the income and other working conditions of workers; To promote and sustain the unity of Nigerian Trade Unions, ensure total unionization of all workers irrespective of their creed, state of origin, gender and political beliefs; To work for the industrialization and prosperity of the Nigerian nation and ensure protection of jobs, full employment and a humane working environment; To establish relationship and cooperation with Labour Movements the world over; and in particular the African region, and play cardinal roles in the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), and Organization of Trade Unions in West Africa (OTUWA); To print and publish literature for the purpose of enhancing and achieving the aims and objectives of Congress and its affiliates. But, looking at the above aims of the Labor Union one will ask what happened to the 20,000 Kaduna state primary school teachers that were ejected from the civil service payroll? Though, the state chapter of the NLC and the National body joined forces to give remedy to the entrenched workers but I must tell NLC that the ejected workers are still in the woods and another round of workers were entrenched. Till date there are 16 states that are yet to commence the payment of the new minimum wage, states like Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun face huge remittance on deductions, while Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Kano, and Zamfara are are on huge remittance of deductions and Benue, Cross River, Ekiti only implemented levels one to six with backlogs of arrears on promotion. Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) had barred governors from interfering with statutory allocation

account of their local government but nothing has change in this regard. States governors have continue to tap and empty the treasuries of local government and making them idle and stranded financially, and NLC has a key role to play in this law to protects its workers. In 2015, 23 Nigerian states owed local government workers’ salaries of up to 14 months, the states were given bail-out by President Muhammadu Buhari but many of the states diverted the Paris Loan Refund money given to them on lavish projects and up to date some of the staff are still the victims of that misappropriation. Pump price has been increased three times in Nigeria since 2015 and NLC has been Planning protest against the pump price. On the May 12, 2016 Nigerian government had increased the fuel pump price from N86 and N86.50k to N145 per litre and it went along despite the rage of NLC. In 2020 another increment in the pump price was made from from N148 to N161 per litre and NLC as usual promised to find ways to reduce the hike to a minimum level but it also went ahead like the first increment. And another increment is coming on May, 2021 and NLC has lock horns with the authorities to stop the increment as they said it is not the right time to increase the price because the economy is harsh and Nigerians cannot bear the burden but only time will reveal the messiah. According to Trading Economic, “Nigeria inflation rate had jumped to 17.33 percent in February of 2021, the highest reading since February of 2017, from 16.47 in January and compared to market forecasts of 17.27 percent. It marks the 18th consecutive month of rising inflation as the coronavirus crisis led to a plunge in oil price and a weaker naira, raising food and transportation costs. Food inflation topped 21.79 percent, the highest since October of 2005 and transportation surged 14.1 percent, namely air transport.” These are some of the reasons given by NLC to stop the pump price of 230 to take effect in May. Another problem that NLC should look into and provide panacea to is early compulsory retirement of staff. This has done more damage to our progress than good. Many Nigerian governments do this in their favor to satisfy their objectives of governance while sabotaging the civil service rules. Meanwhile, those entitled for pension suffer before payment. NLC as a constitutional body saddled with the responsibilities to protect workers and pensioners in the country should do it for all and sundry without compromise of its obligations. Nigerians workers should enjoy all privileges and rights given by their work and NLC should support the course of the two parties it serve; the government and the workers. Now that two strong unions are on strike; the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria [JUSUN] is still embattling with government and NLC can play important role in this disparity, and Nigerian workers will hope so. Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim Goronyo writes from Kaduna Goronyo can be reached on auwalgoronyo@gmail.com




The Nigeria’s incessant strike actions (Part1) By Jerome-Mario Utomi


here was a report by ONE Campaign, an International organization which keeps track of progress on Millennium Development Goals and development financing in Africa, submitted May 29, 2013, to the African Development bank, during the Bank’s annual General meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. The report, it was noted, among other concerns accused Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, DR, of dragging the continent backward, as a result of the two countries inability to spend 15 percent of their budget as agreed by African Union, for the health and education sectors, unlike countries which have made progress. A key aspect of the report, going by commentaries, finds a clear link between African country investments in health, education, agriculture and improved MDG progress in those areas. In the Dakar framework on Education, African governments were to ensure that, at least, seven percent of their GDP is allocated to education within five years and nine percent within 10 years. On health, according to Abuja Declaration in 2000, heads of state of the African Union pledged to set a minimum allocation target of 15 percent of their annual budgets to the improvement Essentially, like every other across the world, the report in focus was in the views of this piece meant not to condemn but to act as a pointer to what is to come if urgent action is not taken by the two countries. But as a result of what analysts call ‘Nigeria factor’ such a useful warning was ignored. While the then Federal Government tagged the organization’s effort as not only inaccurate but a prank, the present administration failed to draw a lesson from or heed to the ingrained warning. After about a decade the report was discredited, the chicken has come home to roost. Appreciable, this non adherence to issues such as this may have in the opinion of this piece, contributed meaningfully to why Nigeria and some

other African countries performed below average in the United Nations pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, which lasted between the year 2000 and 2015. And was among other intentions aimed at eradicating extreme poverty and hunger as well as achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health among others. And, It was this reality and other related concerns that conjoined to bring about 2030 sustainable agenda- a United Nation initiative and successor programme to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)- with a collection of 17 global goals formulated among other aims to promote and cater for people, peace, planet, and poverty. And has at its centre; partnership and collaboration, ecosystem thinking, co-creation and alignment of various intervention efforts by the public and private sectors and civil society. Today, the entire sectors of the nation are not only on strike, rather, the nation as a whole has become a shadow of itself. While the two sectors (education and health) captured by the report have overtly become characterized by incessant strike actions, other sectors such as the economy, security, are covertly experiencing situations stakeholders believe are worse than strike action. Looking at these spiraling occurrences in the country, it will again necessitate the questions as to; what actually fuels strike actions in Nigeria? Was the One Campaign Organization right in their report? Why has the nation Nigeria recently become reputed for joining international Organizations/Bodies even when it is obvious that it neither obeys nor abide by the rules/dictates of such organizations? In trying to provide answers to the above questions, the piece will be education and health sectors specific. But before, there are again some distinctions to make. Every successful nation/leadership owes its success to certain causative factors. If it loses sight of these, the success of such nation/leadership or survival may

soon be in jeopardy. Foresighted leader and nation don’t forget for one moment that education sector holds the keys to the success and development of any nation both socioeconomically and scientifically. And I hold the opinion that It ‘will definitely be tough to make progress as a nation with the way education sector is presently handled here in the country. Second, globally; ‘the relationship between employers/employees is always strained, always headed toward conflict. It is a natural conflict built into the system. Unions do not strike on a whim or use the strike to show off their strength. They look at strikes as costly and disturbing, especially for workers and their families. Strikes are called as last resort. And any government that fails to manage this delicate relationship profitably or fails to develop a cordial relationship with the workers becomes an enemy of not just the workers but that of the open society and, such society will sooner than later find itself degenerate into chaos. Now to the education sector, the Nigerian Polytechnics, which happens to be a major player in the nation’s education sector, is at the very moment on strike. Promoting the present strike action as disturbing development is that it came just before the dust raised by a similar protracted one- from their University counterpart recently called could settle. Also qualify the ongoing strike as a crisis is that it is happening at a time stakeholders and of course the world are in agreement that for Nigeria to solve its unemployment/industrial challenges, Nigeria, has to increase drastically the number of her current Polytechnics, Colleges of Technology and Technical Colleges in relation to the in-explicable very large number of Universities and related Academies in Nigeria’s economy in order to clearly address the training and development of professional and technical skills for Technologies and Industrial goods production in Nigeria’s Economy. Away from education to the health, the story and experience is not different. Without wasting words, while it is no longer news that strike actions has

become the second nature of the the Joint Health Sectors Union (JOHESU), the Association of Nigerian Resident Doctors and of course the Nigerian Medical Association(NMA), it is important to underline that every occurrence in Nigeria has its in-built crisis component. Yes, it’s certain that as humans/ mortals, we are bound to fall sick, leaders and the masses alike. What in the views of this piece is worrying, looking at commentaries is the degree of distinctiveness and separateness of the solution destinations between the government officials and the masses. Comparatively, While the leader’s have demonstrated incapacity to revive/ manage the health sector despite having it as a campaign promise and huge annual budgetary allocation, opt for medical tourism, the masses in their affliction, and grinding poverty are made to seek solution from a sector that is visibly sick, ill-equipped, and governed by ignorance and backwardness occasioned by neglect. A state of affairs that has sent many innocent Nigerians down the’ valleys of the shadow of death. Again, though not limited to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, but the recent trip by Mr. President to keep appointment with his doctor in the United Kingdom while his nation’s education, health and judicial sector were in disarray, remains a vivid example of a leadership that listens without being attentive and has in turn, become an albatross. The trip without a doubt has but, appreciably supported the belief by the vast majority of Nigerians that this administration though eloquent in analyzing the nation’s hydra-headed challenge is grossly inept in turning the analysis to final result. To Be Continued. Utomi, is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He could be reached via;jeromeutomi@ yahoo.com

Crop Seed Company in E China’s Shandong province devoted to breeding high-quality seeds to benefit farmers By Wang Pei


ou Yuanjiang, general manager of a crop seed company in east China’s Shandong province, still feels an upsurge of emotion when he recalls that Qingfeng No.1, a wheat seed jointly bred by his company and the Agronomy College of Shandong Agricultural University after 11 years’ efforts, set off to the outer space with China’s manned spacecraft Shenzhou-7 on Sept. 25, 2008. According to Hou, he watched on TV at home the successful launch of Shenzhou-7 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gansu province. Qingfeng No. 1 was one of the seeds that were selected to travel in space with the spacecraft. “Wheat breeding is extraordinarily arduous. It’s time-consuming and only has a very small chance of success,” said Sun Xuliang, a senior agronomist of the bureau of agriculture and rural affairs of Qingdao, Shandong province. Since wheat breeding includes such procedures as parental combination, comparative experiment, regional trial, and pilot production, it usually takes more than a decade to eventually select a new variety from tens of thousands of strains, Sun explained, adding that some wheat breeding experts couldn’t even develop one

new variety during their whole lifetime. Hou is particularly rigorous in scientific research and seed breeding. Hou’s team starts the hybridization for wheat breeding every April, which is followed by investigations and observations. During the harvest season of wheat, Hou would go to wheat field around 5 a.m. almost every morning to check the performance of wheat varieties in such aspects as disease resistance, lodging resistance, and yielding ability. Thanks to Hou’s tenacity, the wheat seed Qingfeng No.1 was proven successful in 2006, marking a historic zero-toone breakthrough for Hou’s company in breeding new varieties. With the help of agricultural departments in Qingdao, Hou’s company has established long-term technical partnership with higher education institutions and scientific research institutes such as Shandong Agricultural University and Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In 2016, Liaolan township, Pingdu city of Shandong, where Hou’s company is based, set up Qingfeng work station of academicians and experts to provide guidance on the breeding of new varieties of wheat and peanut and point the direction for breeding on site. The station now has one academician and six experts. So far, eight of the new wheat varieties

of the Qingfeng and Qingnong series developed by Hou’s company have been examined and approved by provincial-level authorities, and six new peanut varieties bred by the company have been registered at relevant national authorities. Hou has combined breeding of superior varieties with demonstration of crop varieties in Qingdao and its surrounding areas, namely promoting the growing of new varieties in breeding bases of superior varieties first, and then further expanding the planting area of these varieties in surrounding areas. In an effort to breed high-quality seeds, Hou has also established a specialized cooperative for the production and marketing of crop seeds. More than 5,000 local households have become members of the cooperative and joined in the breeding and production of superior varieties. The cooperative purchases wheat seeds from local farmers and offers them a price which is 0.2 yuan (about $0.03) higher than that of commercial wheat per kilogram, attracting households in more than 30 villages in the locality to the production of wheat seeds. As a result, the cooperative sees the planting area of the seeds of improved wheat and peanut varieties and other crops reach nearly 50,000 mu (about 3333.33 hectares) and their output exceed 20

million kilograms per year. Hou’s company invites farmers and companies to the fields to choose seeds, and provides them with all-round services for the planting of new varieties. “After farmers choose our seeds, it’s our responsibility to teach them how to grow the new varieties until they have mastered all the procedures. We explain new techniques to them and often offer them products in trial period for free. We also sign contracts for economic risks with farmers to make sure they can get as much profit as possible,” Hou said. In order to expand business to other provinces, like Anhui province and Jiangsu province in east China, the company has carried out comprehensive cooperation with local seed companies in various links during the production and promotion of new varieties, including trial planting, examination, and promotion. New wheat varieties bred by the seed company have been grown in large areas in Chinese provinces including Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu. The company has so far seen the acreage of its seeds of new crop varieties surpassing 20 million mu, increasing social and economic benefits by more than 1.8 billion yuan. Wang Pei writes for People’s Daily

Comment PAGE 13


NLC, a toothless bulldog? By Auwal Goronyo




he Nigerian Labor Congress, NLC has slowed in its activities and become sedative in its pressure of protecting Nigerian workers’ and pensioners’ interests. For many times NLC has become less active like what Nigerians know it in its responsibility of protecting the welfare and the conditions of workers and pensioners. It happened in many cases where the Union made promises for Nigerians but become sluggish and inactive to fulfill its mandates for Nigerian workers and the promise will be in a record of archives. I could remember, during the reign of PDP, NLC strike was very common, very vibrant and NLC was very committed to its responsibilities of protecting the interest of Nigerian workers and pensioners, because for every fuel increment NLC bite fingers. Unlike before, so much water has passed under the bridge but nothing was done to save it for the dry season. In the past six years, NLC has performed below expectations of Nigerian workers and at many times stand as mediator between government and its workers to settle strike in the room. In this time of inflation and economic hardship NLC only barks when its people are touched but afraid to bite. Some of the aims and objectives of the Nigerian Labor Congress include: ‘To promote, defend and advance the economic, political and social rights and wellbeing of Nigerian workers and pensioners; To continually enhance the quality of life and improve the income and

other working conditions of workers; To promote and sustain the unity of Nigerian Trade Unions, ensure total unionization of all workers irrespective of their creed, state of origin, gender and political beliefs; To work for the industrialization and prosperity of the Nigerian nation and ensure protection of jobs, full employment and a humane working environment; To establish relationship and cooperation with Labour Movements the world over; and in particular the African region, and play cardinal roles in the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), and Organization of Trade Unions in West Africa (OTUWA); To print and publish literature for the purpose of enhancing and achieving the aims and objectives of Congress and its affiliates. But, looking at the above aims of the Labor Union one will ask what happened to the 20,000 Kaduna state primary school teachers that were ejected from the civil service payroll? Though, the state chapter of the NLC and the National body joined forces to give remedy to the entrenched workers but I must tell NLC that the ejected workers are still in the woods and another round of workers were entrenched. Till date there are 16 states that are yet to commence the payment of the new minimum wage, states like Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun face huge remittance on deductions, while Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Kano, and Zamfara are are on huge remittance of deductions and Benue, Cross River, Ekiti only implemented levels one to six with backlogs of arrears on promotion. Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit

(NFIU) had barred governors from interfering with statutory allocation account of their local government but nothing has change in this regard. States governors have continue to tap and empty the treasuries of local government and making them idle and stranded financially, and NLC has a key role to play in this law to protects its workers. In 2015, 23 Nigerian states owed local government workers’ salaries of up to 14 months, the states were given bail-out by President Muhammadu Buhari but many of the states diverted the Paris Loan Refund money given to them on lavish projects and up to date some of the staff are still the victims of that misappropriation. Pump price has been increased three times in Nigeria since 2015 and NLC has been planning protest against the pump price increase. On May 12, 2016 Nigerian government had increased pump price from N86 and N86.50k to N145 per litre and it went along despite the rage of NLC. In 2020 another increment in the pump price was made from from N148 to N161 per litre and NLC as usual promised to find ways to reduce the hike to a minimum level but it also went ahead like the first increment. And another increment is coming on May, 2021 and NLC has lock horns with the authorities to stop the increment as they said it is not the right time to increase the price because the economy is harsh and Nigerians cannot bear the burden but only time will reveal the messiah. According to Trading Economic, “Nigeria inflation rate had jumped to 17.33 percent in February of 2021, the highest reading since February of 2017,

from 16.47 in January and compared to market forecasts of 17.27 percent. It marks the 18th consecutive month of rising inflation as the coronavirus crisis led to a plunge in oil price and a weaker naira, raising food and transportation costs. Food inflation topped 21.79 percent, the highest since October of 2005 and transportation surged 14.1 percent, namely air transport.” These are the some of the reasons given by NLC to stop the pump price of 230 to take effect in May. Another problem that NLC should look into and provide panacea to is early compulsory retirement of staff. This has done many damages to our progress than good. Many Nigerian government do this on their favor to satisfy their objectives of governance while sabotaging the civil service rules. Meanwhile, those entitled for pension suffer before payment. NLC as a constitutional body saddled with the responsibilities to protect workers and pensioners in the country should do it for all and sundry without compromise of its obligations. Nigerians workers should enjoy all privileges and rights given by their work and NLC should support the course of the two parties it serve; the government and the workers. Now that two strong unions are on strike; the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria [JUSUN] is still embattling with government and NLC can play important role in this disparity, and Nigerian workers will hope so. Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim Goronyo writes from Kaduna and can be reached on auwalgoronyo@gmail.com

Accelerating growth in Africa: The role of technology and innovation By Hassan Idris


ithout innovation, they would have not been technology. Innovation and technology are some how intertwined. Innovation leads to technological development. Innovation and technology have made things easy for man in the global world. There’s no development without technology and innovation and there is no society hitherto, deemed as developed or developing without technological advancement and innovations. W. Brian Arthur in his 2009 book, The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves, sketched out three conceptions of technology. (1) “The first and most basic one is a technology is a means to fulfill a human purpose. … As a means, a technology may be a method or process or device… Or it may be complicated… Or it may be material… Or it may be nonmaterial. Whichever it is, it is always a means to carry out a human purpose.” (2) “The second definition is a plural one: technology as an assemblage of practices and components.” (3) “I will also allow a third meaning. This technology as the entire collection of devices and engineering practices available

to a culture.” The new global networks have created connections between people, organisations and nations, unleashing dramatic opportunities for development. But unless developing nations create the right conditions for progress, investing in industry and innovation, while building state capacity and skills, there is a risk that a further digital divide opens up between developed and developing countries. And rather than try to apply patches later, we need to focus efforts on making it run at the same speed across the board today. Innovation is the multi-stage process whereby organizations transform ideas into new/improved products, service or processes, in order to advance, compete and differentiate themselves successfully in their marketplace.” (Baregheh, Rowley, & Sambrook, 2009). Innovation represents the core renewal process in any organization. Unless it changes what it offers the world (product/ service innovation) and the ways in which it creates and delivers those offerings (process innovation) it risks its survival and growth prospects.” (Bessant, Lamming, Noke, & Phillips, 2005). There’s no country that will develop if it lacks technology. Technology will accelerate Africa’s growth

in the sense that Africa can compete with the global world. Accelerating and change of the health care sectors in Africa will be as a result of technology and innovation. India, China, U.S.A that were deemed to have good and better health care facilities were as a result of technology and innovation. The growth of these countries were accelerated by technology and innovation. China battling with COVID-19 pandemic was able to build a very big hospital and with testing instruments, incubator and many more within a short period of time. This was with the help of technology and innovation. In battling many dreadful diseases and advancement in health sectors, technology and innovation are the only ways Africa could achieve that via accelerative and avid growth in technology and innovation will pave away for avid growth and development in Africa. In terms of industrialization, countries termed as industrialized have met the requisites and accelerative standard of technology and innovation. Technology brings about Job opportunities and betterment of lives in every developed countries. Industrialization can not be achieved without the growth and advancement of

technology and innovation. Technological advancement creates chance for industrialization and development and creating chance for innovation. Africa too can achieve what other countries have achieved via technological advancement. Technological mindset and innovative mindset put into practice will surely accelerate Africa’s growth, boast it’s economy, political sphere and even legal sphere. The only role of technology and innovation will surely accelerate Africa’s growth and reduce the rate of poverty and beclouding Africa. Technology and innovation will surely create a better way to reduce Africa’s population of poor people bedeviled by poverty. Technology and innovation will surely protect Africa from internal and external attack. It will surely boast the military force and reduce criminalities. Technology is the fire for development and innovation. And in conclusion, there is no country that has reached stage of development without technology and innovation. Hassan Idris can be reached at idrishassan035@gmail.com.




INEC creates additional departments ahead major off cycle guber elections By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja


he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Thursday reviewed and realigned some of its departments for improved effectiveness and efficient management of its human resources and assets. The review and realignment of departments is coming on the heel of the Commission’s preparation for major off cycle governorship elections and the 2023 general election. A statement yesterday by the INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye explained that the Commission created the two (2) departments out of the present Department of Legal Services, Clearance and Complaints (LSC

and C). In the new arrangement, a Department of Litigation and Prosecution (DL&P) and a Department of Legal Drafting and Clearance (LDCD) have been established. Similarly, the Commission has approved the de-establishment of the Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison Department (VEP) and in its place established the Voter Education and Publicity Department (VEP), as well as the Gender and Inclusivity Department (GID). The changes in the Department of Legal Services, Clearance and Complaints (LSC&CC), the statement pointed out, were urgent and imperative as the Commission is determined to strengthen its statutory powers of prosecuting electoral offenders. Also, the Commission said it is determined to proactively

communicate its policies and programmes to the Nigerian people and effectively engage and mainstream women’s groups, persons living with disability and other marginalized individuals in the electoral process. The statement by Okoye reads, “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today (yesterday) 22nd April 2021 and among other issues, deliberated on the reorganization of its Department of Legal Services, Clearance and Complaints (LSC&CC) and that of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP). “As the Commission prepares for major off cycle Governorship elections and the 2023 general election, it has become imperative to review and realign some of its departments for improved effectiveness and efficient

management of its human resources and assets. “Based on this, the Commission has created two (2) departments out of the present Department of Legal Services, Clearance and Complaints (LSC&CC). In the new arrangement, a Department of Litigation and Prosecution (DL&P) and a Department of Legal Drafting and Clearance (LDCD) have been established. “In the same vein, the Commission approved the deestablishment of the Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison Department (VEP) and in its place established the Voter Education and Publicity Department (VEP), as well as the Gender and Inclusivity Department (GID). “The changes in the Department of Legal Services, Clearance and Complaints (LSC&CC) are urgent

and imperative as the Commission is determined to strengthen its statutory powers of prosecuting electoral offenders. “Similarly, the Commission is also determined to proactively communicate its policies and programmes to the Nigerian people and effectively engage and mainstream women’s groups, persons living with disability and other marginalized individuals in the electoral process. “These reorganizations and realignments would not affect the structure and functions of the State Offices of the Commission. Legal Services and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Desks at the state level will still function under the Head of Department of Legal Services, while that of Gender and Inclusivity will remain under the Head of Department of Voter Education and Publicity.

BMO to PDP: “No terrorist sympathiser in Buhari’s administration” By Ikechukwu Okadoradi


he Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has dismissed claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that President Muhammadu Buhari harbours a terrorist sympathiser in his administration. In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that the opposition party is lashing on fake news to further its agenda. The group noted that it was not surprised that PDP and its leaders were seeking to make political capital of an issue that began with false claims about the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami being on a US terror watch list. It added that it was however surprised that the opposition party and its sympathisers did not have substantial fresh facts on the matter. The group also noted that the minister had admitted making comments in the past which were in line with the general views of many Islamic clerics and scholars at the time, but added that it is also true that he had changed his outlook based on new evidence. This, according to BMO, had seen him leading the public charge against fundamentalist groups including Boko Haram as a preacher across Northern Nigeria for which a fatwa (death sentence) was passed on him in 2020. The group urged Nigerians not to be carried away by the antics of individuals and groups who are not comfortable with President Buhari’s effort at leaving the country better than he met it.

Chairman, of the Stakeholders Engagement Meeting for Nigeria Energy Calculator 2050, and Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (2nd right), Director-General/Chief Executive Energy Commission of Nigeria Prof. Eli Jidere Bala right), representative of British High Commission to Nigeria Mr. Emmanuel Taiwo (2nd left), and the representative of the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Iniobong Abiola-Awe (left), during the Stakeholders’ Engagement Meeting for Nigeria Energy Calculator 2050 (NECAL2050) Held yesterday in Abuja.. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Ekiti agog as abducted Monarch freed


t was all joy in Ekiti yesterday when the kidnapped traditional ruler of IlemesoEkiti in Oye Council Area Oba David Oyewumi regained his freedom. Reports said Oyewumi was abducted by gunmen last Thursday around 8:30pm when they forcefully gained entrance to his palace through the fence.

The kidnappers contacted the family last Saturday and

demanded a N20 million ransom for his release. Confirming his release, Ekiti Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Sunday Abutu, said the monarch had been left off the hook and reunited with his family. “I can confirm to you that the monarch had been released from captivity. He had also reunited with his family. “However, he is presently receiving medical care in one of the facilities in the state as a result

of the trauma he passed through”. Abutu added the Command was not aware of any ransom paid to secure the monarch’s release, saying his freedom was necessitated by the concerted actions taken by the police and other security agencies. Ekiti Amotekun Corps Commander, Brig Gen. Joe Komolafe, said the traditional ruler was rescued at Obbo Ayegunle, Ekiti Local Government area of Kwara State with the

support of the Vigilante members in Kwara State for the Amotekun operatives. Komolafe said: “When we went into the bush, we tracked the traditional ruler to the area, the Vigilante from Kwara State joined our team and we were able to rescue him in the forest at ObboIle, Kwara State. “No ransom was paid. We have brought him home and he is currently receiving medical attention”.



Deal with secessionists before presidency in 2023 – Arewa youths tell Ohanaeze By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that the leaders of the Southeast must ensure sanity within their region before negotiating for presidency in 2023. AYCF National President, Yerima Shettima, made the remark in response to comments by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, apex Igbo socio-political Organisation, that they would reach out to other regions to allow the Southeast produce Nigeria’s President in 2023. Speaking with journalists, Shettima said it would be difficult to trust the Southeast with power amid the call for Nigeria’s breakup by groups and individuals from the region. Recall that the PresidentGeneral of Ohanaeze, George Obiozor, had said 2023 was the turn of the Southeast to produce Nigeria’s president. Obiozor had disclosed that the South-East would negotiate with other regions to allow for an Igbo presidency in 2023. But Shettima said Nigerians would not deprive them such an opportunity if Southeast leaders deal with Igbo descents calling for Nigeria’s breakup. He said: “If Ohanaeze says they will negotiate, then that is a bit of politics but unfortunately for them, they need to ensure sanity in their region first. “Nobody will deprive them the opportunity to produce the president being a Nigerian but not when they have one of their own threatening the corporate existence of our nation, Nigeria. “They have not taken any decisive step to condemn the action and inactions of those criminally minded people, but expect Nigerians to entrust them with power. “It will be difficult to entrust them with power, it’s better for them to ensure sanity in their home before coming to the table to discuss with those on top so people can say they have shown commitment and not by threats and intimidations, those days are over.

Ekiti PDP accuses Gov Fayemi of plotting seizure of lands for ranching

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ekiti State chapter, has accused the State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, of planning to seize lands belonging to Ekiti State to build ranches for herders, warning him to desist from such secret plot. The party said going on with such plans will be counter productive for the Ekiti people who believe that their lands are ancestral and as such precious to them and should not be forcefully hijacked to please the herdsmen. According to the statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Thursday by the Party’s State Publicity Secretary, Raphael Adeyanju, accused governor Fayemi of secretly plotting to acquire lands in six locations across the state to satisfy the yearnings of the herdsmen.

Adeyanju said the action, which he described as devilish and self-serving would be resisted by all well-meaning and progressive Ekiti people across party, religious and traditional divides. The PDP spokesperson revealed that in no distant time, the government would initiate a policy under the guise of acquiring lands to boost agriculture and promote food security, which it believes would be a smokescreen to hijack lands to please the herdsmen. The PDP said “It is no longer news that Governor Fayemi has been hobnobbing with some political interests to advance his presidential ambition not minding what happens to his people at home. But charity they say begins at home. “We reliably gathered from those in his government that the present APC government in Ekiti was planning to hijack lands in

six towns of Omuo Ekiti, Emure, Oke Ako, Otun, Okemesi and Ipole Iloro. “The idea was that there would be two ranches in each of the three Senatorial districts and these lands would be acquired by deceiving landowners that the state wants to embark on aggressive food production through a policy that will be introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture. “We heard from the grapevine that the Registration the government undertook for herdsmen just recently was meant to ascertain the number of lands that will be required to settle them into the proposed ranches, even when they lied to the people that it was for identification. This became doubtful because a lot of our people are still being attacked on their farms and no one has been arrested as of now. “Some traditional rulers who

got wind of this evil plot recently raised an alarm. But impeccable sources revealed to us that the government was planning to reintroduce the unpopular ranching policy through another policy. “We want our traditional rulers, Chiefs and every lover of Ekiti to be on alert and join progressive forces to stop this evil plot. “Politics apart, no one is happy with the increasing rate of kidnapping in Ekiti at present. The suspected herders were kidnapping our citizens and even desecrating the traditional institutions with the shooting of Elewu of Ewu Ekiti, Oba Adetutu Ajayi and the kidnapping of Obadu of Ilemeso Ekiti, Oba David Oyewumi. “So, all lovers of peace should beg Governor Fayemi not to sacrifice the Ekiti people’s souls on the altar of politics”, he stated. Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State (M); Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Seun Fakorede (R) and Oyo State medalists at the just concluded 20th National Sports Festival, EDO 2020, during a reception for them by Oyo State Government in Ibadan on Wednesday (21/4/21).

Umahi orders vigilantes to enforce ban on open grazing in Ebonyi


overnor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has ordered vigilantes and the local government areas leadership to immediately enforce the ban on open grazing across the state. Mr Umahi gave the order in Abakaliki while briefing reporters at the end of the state security council meeting attended by

heads of security agencies and council chairmen. The governor said that though there was no herder presently in the state, the ban on open grazing should be seriously enforced. “The natives should not blame security agencies who cannot be everywhere as we will fully fund vigilante operations in the state.

“Individuals who make inciting statements on social media should desist because such increases tension in the land,” he said. He urged residents of the South-east zone, especially its leaders, to totally condemn the incessant attacks on police facilities, among other security threats.

“The attacks are not perpetrated by herders but by criminals and bandits in the zone. “How would we feel if the federal government withdraws policemen from the zone as a result of this development? “The people claiming to protect us are not doing so and we should avoid creating another monster in the zone,” he said.

By Musa Baba Adamu

According to Ogundele, the PDP remained the only political party in Nigeria, stressing that it was why many members of the APC were willing to join the party. He said “Many people want to join the APC. Those who have defected to the APC are ready to come back. They have told us. We know what they are facing there. In fact, the real APC members are ready to decamp.

This is because they know we are the only ones running a political party. “What they do in APC is cult. They operate a cult group in APC. If you don’t belong, you cannot belong. They are running a cult group there. That’s why they have given democracy another definition – ‘Government of a few set of people for a few set of people’. With everything they think they are doing, there’s

no effect on the people of Ogun State. We are the only one who can run a good government,” Ogundele boasted. Recall that the factions in the party on Wednesday put their differences behind, while agreeing to work together for a successful outing in 2023. The State Chairman assured members of the party that nobody would be discriminated against in the scheme of things.

APC members are ‘cultists’ – Ogun PDP


he Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as cult members. The PDP Chairman in Ogun State, Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele, said this while addressing newsmen at the party’s secretariat on Wednesday.




Senate seeks upgrade of Yaba Tech, Ilaro Poly to Universities By Musa Adamu


he Senate through its Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund , intensified the move to upgrade the Yaba College of Technology and Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, to Universities of Technology. It also made a similar move for upgrade of the Nigeria French Language Village in Ajara Badagry , Lagos State to an Inter - University Centre for French Language Studies. Planned legislations of the Upper Legislative Chamber to these effect, came to the fore Thursday, when the Committee led by Senator Ahmad Baba - Kaita (APC Katsina North) held a public hearing on the three bills proposing the legislations. In his presentation on the bills at the Public Hearing , the Sponsor, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola said the need to expand opportunities for the teeming youths in the country in gaining admission admission into Universities for good education , particularly technology - based one , informed his sponsorship of the bills. He said: “Permit me to state clearly that these three bills namely: (1) “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Yaba ; and for other matters Connected therewith” (SB. 85) 2021; (2) “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Ilaro; to Make Comprehensive Provisions for its due Management and Administration and for Other Matters Connected therewith” (SB. 84) 2021 and (3) “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Nigerian French Language Village as an interuniversity Centre for French Studies and for Other Matters Connected therewith (58.483), are all pursuant of one of my legislative agenda to enhance and develop educational institutions as well as human resources development in Nigeria. “It is elementary to state that all aspects of development in modern world are premised on the level of education obtainable in the society. “With the massive explosion in our population estimated at over 200 million and the youthful segment consisting of over half of that figure, there is no doubt that the number and available admission spaces in our existing universities are quite limited in absorbing the number of our people desiring higher education at the university level. “With about 170 public and private universities in Nigeria with a capacity for about 700,000 students at any point in time, it is clear that in Nigeria we are yet to get to the point where we have enough admission spaces in universities for our youths in Nigeria. “The need to expand opportunities for our teeming youth in gaining admission into universities for good education, particularly technology-based education, informed my sponsorship of the bills to upgrade two major existing polytechnics to full-blown universities of technology”.

SAN campaigns for six political parties ahead of 2023 general election

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


legal luminary, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), has canvassed for a new law that will outrightly prune political parties to a maximum of six, as a way of ensuring sanity in the body politics of the country before the 2023 general elections. Fagbemi claimed that the present number of political parties is too many for Nigerians especially the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cope with, along with other election challenges. The senior lawyer spoke in Abuja at the ongoing National Workshop on Election Petition Review organized by the Court of Appeal, in collaboration with the International Foundation on Electoral System (IFES). In his paper titled, “Reform of Election Litigation Process -The Constitution, Electoral Act and the Practice Directions,” Fagbemi

argued that a situation where INEC and Nigerians will have to contend with over 86 political parties in an election cannot augur well for any electoral process. He disclosed that the trend had led to confusion in the electoral body and among the electorates, especially exclusions that were not deliberate on the part of INEC. “I know that my position will generate reactions but the truth and the reality is that political parties must be scaled down from the present 86 to a maximum of six parties to sanitize the party system. “Having as much as 86 political parties is leading to confusion and exclusion that may not be deliberate on the part of our electoral body”, he said. He pleaded that electoral reform must not be left alone for politicians because nothing good may come out of it, adding that in some cases, politicians are clever and will not enact laws they may affect their

ambitions. “Let nobody be taken off guard. Our electoral system needs some drastic rejigging and amendments to the law. The sui generis nature of the electoral laws also dictates that reforms to them cannot but be unprecedented if they are to be effective”. Fagbemi further argued that it may be better for the nation to have bad laws to be administered by good people than the other way round and canvassed that credible experts must be given chance in the new efforts to reform the country’s electoral process. “We cannot overemphasize the need to ensure that our electoral laws are designed in such a way to allow for the election of credible, competent and responsible leaders at all levels. “The influence that leaders have on the generality of the populace is so grave that where a country fails to get its leadership right, it is almost

certain that the followers too would suffer the same fate. “Our current situation where elections are characterized by rigging and violence leaves very much to be desired on the quality of both the leadership and the followership. “As a matter of fact, our history of electoral violence is linkable to the current security challenges that the country has been battling with for some years now. “It is unfortunate that some of our leaders through their acts of irresponsibility have succeeded in corrupting the psyche of the people and made violence an endearing enterprise of kidnapping, cattle rustling and outright armed banditry as a way of life. Besides, the senior lawyer canvassed for another reform in the service of election petitions and other processes on the winner of any election especially at the governorship and presidential levels.

From left: Head of Consultancy and Extension Services Department, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Mr Daniel Makava; Director-General, NBRRI, Prof. Samson Duna; Director of Administration and Personnel, NBRRI, Mrs Ify Jude-Iloma; and Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr Ignatius Onwusiri, after a World news conference on the forthcoming 10th NBRRI International Conference Series, in Abuja on Thursday (22/4/21).

Yoruba group commends UK for granting asylum to IPOB, MASSOB members By Christiana Ekpa


diasporan group, Yoruba One Voice (YOV) has applauded the United Kingdom for granting asylum to persecuted members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). The publicity secretary of the group, Omoladun Orolugbagbe, said the UK demonstrated a great interest in Nigeria amid the spate

of insecurity. YOV, however, urged Britain to work on modalities for an allinclusive referendum that will lead to the actualisation of the O’odua Republic. The organisation said Nigeria cannot continue to deceive itself that it is one and indivisible. It stressed that agitations for secession were a result of insecurity, political and economic instability, social crisis, injustice, nepotism, among others. “A section of the country lords

it over others, creating a feeling of mischief and distrust between the leaders and the followers. It is as bad as that”. The statement said the situation in Nigeria is worse than what was happening in the Chad Republic. “The chaos in Chad is a signal to Nigeria and it is sad that the Federal Government is shying away from the reality of the present situation. “Nigeria’s situation is even worse than what is playing out

now in Chad where rebels are threatening the peace of about 16 million people as well as the sovereignty of the country”. “The Federal Government must be wise enough to know that those agitating for self-determination are doing so legitimately. “From the reports reaching us abroad, our people back home in Nigeria are tired of the situation where lives are of no value, following the activities of Boko Haram, Bandits and killer herdsmen”, it added.

Olufon’s demise: Osun PDP condoles Ifon-Orolu kingdom

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the late Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Kingdom, Oba Al-Maroof Adekunle Magbagbeola Olumoyero II as a true father who devoted his reign to building a modern Ifon-Orolu with a heart of service to his subjects irrespective of religious beliefs, ethnicity and gender.

The PDP said the late monarch was a man who sacrificed and preached love to the generality of the inhabitants of his kingdom. The party made this known in a press release Thursday, signed by the state Chairman, Sunday Bisi and made available to journalists. While condoling with members of his immediate family, the palace and kingdom, the Chairman noted that Oba Magbagbeola before

his Denise was accommodating and never discriminated against anybody, a trait which translates into making Ifon-Orolu one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the state. He added that his reign brought peace and people of diverse cultural and religious leanings from all parts of the country resided comfortably in the town. “He will be remembered as a

progenitor of modern Ifon-Orolu, an ancient kingdom of undisputable historical heritage in Yoruba land”, he said. Recall that Oba Al-Maroof Adekunle Magbagbeola Olumoyero II joined his ancestors on Monday 19th, April 2021. The Olufon was installed in 2007 during the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and reigned till 2021, a period of fourteen years.



Buhari yet to act on tripartite Committee recommendations - Omo-Agege says By Musa Baba Adamu


he Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie OmoAgege, yesterday revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to sit and act on the recommendations of the tripartite Committee comprising of party, legislature and the executive which was recently set up to deepen harmony in the polity. Fielding questions from journalists yesterday in Abuja, Omo-Agege, who is a member of the committee, said a lot of recommendations has been made by the tripartite committee, but are not in the public domain and cannot be discussed. Explaining how far the Committee has gone in its assignment, the Deputy President of the Senate said “That meeting is continuous. The bulk of the issues we discussed there and decisions taken are basically recommendations to Mr President, until he sits and acts on them, I am not at liberty to discuss those recommendations. “Be that as it may, the Committee was put in place to bring cohesion between the executive arm, the legislative arm and the party. We had a couple of meetings so far so good.” Also responding to questions from journalists, the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, said many governors and Nigerians are willing to join APC because it is a party where things are happening, adding that the party is moving Nigeria forward and waxing strong. He said “I have a Committee that is called Mobilization of Youths, Women and People Living with Disabilities, mobilizing them to join our party. As much as we are mobilizing youths, women and people living with disabilities, we are equally mobilizing members of other political parties, including Governors. “Remember, there are others that are youthful in body and those that are youthful in hearts, so we are bringing them into the party. You will see them in numbers. I told you that it is only one last Governor will be the last one to join our party and you can see that everybody is coming into the party because this is where things are happening. “This is the party that is moving the country forward. That is why you see us strong and we are waxing stronger and moving forward in unison”, he said.


Why PDP must zone 2023 presidential tickets to South - Okupe By Christiana Ekpa


former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, has warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDD) against choosing a Northern candidate for the 2023 presidential election. Okupe in a Twitter thread on Thursday said if a Northern president emerges as President after Buhari’s tenure, then it is possible for the north to rule Nigeria forever. His tweets read: “If PDP picks a Northern candidate for the 2023 elections and because the Nigerian

electorates are still largely parochial, that candidate wins at the general elections, then the north will rule for another 8 years, making it 16 years at a stretch. “If this type of “clever political manoeuvering,” is employed to alternate northern candidates between political parties, then it is possible for the north to rule the country in perpetuity.” Okupe further proposed the adoption of a policy concession in order to satisfy the South West region for a South West president to emerge. He said “There is no doubt that what I am proposing is a form of

political concession. But this is not strange in our political system and history. “To assuage the SW in 1999 after Abiola’s unfortunate death, a national consensus was adopted to ensure the emergence of a southwest President.” He urged the PDP to adopt zoning the presidency to the South and not be insensitive to the plight of the Southerners who are yet to produce an elected President. Okupe stressed that the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria can only be achieved on fairness and equity. “Therefore for the purpose of

equity, fairness and continued unity of the country, our party the PDP must categorically zone the presidency to the south. “To do otherwise is to exploit political crass opportunism which will be insensitive to the current feeling among most self respecting southerners in the country. “It is an undeniable fact that cannot be ignored that a zone in the south is yet to produce an elected president. “The unity and continued peaceful coexistence of our nation can only be predicated on the time tested principle of equity, fairness and justice,” Okupe tweeted.

Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (3rd right), Vice Chancellor University of Nigeria, Nsukka Prof. Charles Igwe (2nd right), Director-General Sheda Science and Technology Complex Abuja Prof. Paul Onyenekwe (right), Principal Investigator Laboratory of Industrial Electronics Power Devices and New Energy Systems University of Nigeria Nsukka Engr. Prof. Emenike Ejiogu (2nd left), Acting Director Energy Research Centre, University of Nigeria Nsukka Dr. Izuchukwu Francis (left), during the Hon. Minister Facility Tour to the Refuse Derived Fuel Powered 100KVA Electricity Generating Plant At the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Enugu State.

PDP hiring crowd to stage manage defection from APC - Akwa Ibom chapter By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he All Progressives Congress (APC), Akwa Ibom State chapter, has alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has concluded plans to hire mammoth crowd to feign defection from the APC to the PDP, thereby giving the impression that the APC in the State has imploded. In a statement issued yesterday by the Publicity Secretary of APC Caretaker Committee in Akwa Ibom State, Nkereuwem Enyongekere, the state Chapter of the party said a truckload of fresh brooms have been procured by the agents of PDP in the state to be burnt at a

charade ceremony to misinform the party faithful. He said “Information from highly credible sources has revealed that any moment from now a conspiracy may be hatched by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State to stage a charade of a mammoth crowd of persons supposedly members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defecting from the party to the PDP. “Organizers of the planned charade are still searching for a suitable venue intended to be a state-wide event and aimed at deceiving the ignorant and gullible public that Akwa Ibom APC has imploded sequel to the alleged leadership tussle and

rumoured division of the party in the state.” The statement claimed that a tipper load of freshlymade brooms arrived from Ikot Ekpene to the residence of a PDP Chieftain in Akpa Ube, Aka Offot community in Uyo Local Government, saying that a mountain-like heap of the broom is to be set on fire to illustrate the “demise” of APC in the state. He said the source further revealed that a former member of the National Assembly, hitherto a member of APC and now a Chieftain of the political pressure group that goes by the name; Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF) is linked and closely associated with the planned

charade. “APC hereby wishes to put its members and the general public on NOTICE of this acts of desperation by a party/ government that has failed in all ramifications to deliver on its promises and expectations of the people. “We advise our party men and women sympathetic to the misdirection offered by the leadership of ADF not to allow themselves to be led astray but to remain resolute with the party, unwavering in their support and believe in the leadership of the party and the prospects it offers to deliver Akwa Ibom from the current misgovernance of the PDP”, he said.



UNN to hold maiden edition cultural carnival


he University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) has announced a two-day Cultural Carnival aimed at unifying the various cultural associations in the institution. The Director, Institute of Africa Studies, Prof. Florence Orabueze disclosed this on Thursday in Nsukka while briefing newsmen on the event. Orabueze described the event as a unifying programme aimed at reawakening the consciousness of the various peoples of Nigeria on their rich cultural heritage. She said that the carnival which was the first of its kind in the institution would hold on April 23. She said that the carnival would promote the use of native languages in the country. The director said that most Nigerians, especially, the younger generation were ignorant of their culture and traditions. The don said that violent crimes, armed robbery and other social vices were abhorrent in every culture and tradition. According to her, lack of awareness in one’s cultural heritage and traditions could lead to some societal vices including insecurity, suicide, cybercrime, kidnap, killing and others. “One of the objectives of this carnival is to promote Nigerian languages and traditions for our children to know that we have rich cultural heritage,” she said. Orabueze mentioned the official partners of the organisers of the carnival to include UNN Business School, Enugu Campus and Nigerian Breweries Plc. She said that the opening ceremony of the event slated for April 22, would feature a debate in native languages by students. The director said that the carnival would also feature cultural caravan, cultural dance competition and traditional wrestling. Others are cultural fashion parade and masquerades entertainment from different states of the federation. “Students’ associations in UNN from different states of the federation have been mobilised to showcase the culture of their various states. This event will help to reconnect them to their roots and cultural backgrounds,” she said. Orabueze said that former First Lady of Enugu State, Mrs Clara Chime and the Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma would grace the occasion. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the event is ‘Cultural Revival in a Multi-ethnic Society’. (NAN)


Scores of inmates, guards injured in Edo Custodial Centre riot By Osaigbovomwan Iguobaro


he Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) says some inmates and prisons guards were injured during a riot by inmates at Custodial Centre of the Service in Ubiaja, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State. Spokesman of the NCS, Edo State Command, Mr. Aminu Suleman in a statement, said the attempted jail break foiled by a joint, was caused by some hardened criminals in the facility on Wednesday. He said that there was no death of escape of any inmate from custody. Suleiman who issued the

statement on behalf of the Controller of Corrections Edo State Command, Mr. Felix Lawrence, said some hardened criminals among the inmates instigated others by refusing to return to their cells on been opened out as it is the routine practice, having heard of what happened at Oko, Benin, Edo State and Owerri, Delta State to effect jail break for possible escape, amid gunfire. The NCS spokesman, explained that the development, led to violence, damaging of cells, the admin blocks, medical office and boring of holes on the perimeter fence in a bid to facilitate their escape from custody. He said the inmates

were eventually repelled and overpowered due to reenforcement of armed personnel of the Nigerian Correctional Service, the Police Force, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Department of State Security Service (DSS) who were deployed to the Custodial center to ensure calm and full control of the situation. Part of the statement reads: “Investigation later revealed that some hardened criminals among the inmates instigated others to riot having heard of what happened at Oko, Benin and Owerri to effect jail break for possible escape. This led to violence, damaging of cells, the administrative blocks, medical

office and boring of holes on the perimeter fence in a bid to facilitate their escape from custody. They were eventually repelled and overpowered”. He also said “the situation is fully under control with the inmates returned to their cells. No life was lost but some Staff and inmates sustained various degrees of injuries and no inmate escaped from custody”. The statement stated that the Controller who was at the Custodial Centre on Thursday, thanked the various sister security agencies for the effective synergy and prompt response and assures the public of peace and calm of the various Custodial centers in Edo State Command.

The Acting Head of Imo-Abia Operations of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Chidi Ogundu (R) and another official of the agency inspect a business premise recently damaged by windstorm at Umuejem community in Owerri West Council Area of Imo on Thursday (15/4/21).

UniAbuja Governing Council appoints Prof Anyaoku as varsity Librarian By Usman Shaibu


he Governing Council of the University of Abuja has approved the appointment of Professor Ebele Nkiru Anyaoku as the Librarian of the University. A statement signed by the University Registrar, Mal. Yahya I. Mohammed, stated that the approval was given at the 59th Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the University Governing Council, held on Monday 12th April 2021 following the recommendation of the Council Selection Board for the appointment of University Librarian. The appointment which took

effect from 12th April 2021, is for a single term of five (5) years. Professor Ebele Nkiru Anyaoku was born on 2nd September 1968 in Ojoto, Idemili South LGA of Anambra state. She attended Queen’s School Enugu between 1980 and 1985. Anyaoku holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Library Science/English from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in 1991, Master’s degree in Library, Archival and Information Studies from University of Ibadan in 1998, and a PhD in Library and Information Science from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in 2013. She started her academic career as an Assistant Librarian

in Nnamdi Azikiwe University in 1993 and rose through the ranks to become a professor in 2019. Professor Anyaoku was the pioneer Librarian of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt between 2018-2019, while on sabbatical leave. Professor Anyaoku is a member of many professional bodies, including the Nigerian Library Association (NLA). She also participated in electronic library resource training Research in Health programme offered under the leadership of United Nations World Health Organisation in partnership with MLA/Librarians Without Borders (USA), ITOCA

(Italy) She has several publications in both national and international journals, chapters in books, technical reports in addition to several paper presented at conferences both home and abroad. The new University Librarian is a Grant Recipient of 2019MLA Librarians without Boarders Elsevier Foundation/ Research4Life International Award. She is the Institutional Representative for Nnamdi Azikiwe University for the Research4Life/ HINARI programme. Professor Anyaoku is married with children.

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AGPC To Invest $10m On Capacity Development Initiatives By Etuka Sunday


NOH Gas Processing Company (AGPC) has reiterated its commitment to spending up to $10million on capacity development initiatives in the oil and gas sector. The Managing Director of AGPC, Okechukwu Mba said this on the sidelines of the kickoff meeting and tour of the Centre for Skills Development and Training in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. This is a project AGPC is partnering with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to complete as part of its capacity development initiatives for the ANOH Gas Plant Project. Mba identified technology and safety skills as critical to the oil and gas sector, saying that AGPC was delighted to be playing a key role in completing the Centre for Skills Development and Training. The AGPC MD, therefore, charged the Contractor in charge to ensure that the project is completed on time and safely. Mba further explained that future graduates from the Centre will be equipped with the right skills to make them relevant in the oil and gas sector. According to him, AGPC has plans to execute human capacity development initiatives for the host communities of its ongoing ANOH gas plant project as it continues to foster stronger ties with critical stakeholders. Commenting, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote, commended AGPC for being a partner of choice in the push to complete the Centre for Skills Development and Training. The project commenced in 2011 with the motive to develop human and institutional capacities in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector but was later stalled due to lack of funding. The Centre comprises of a Tower Block, Heavy Duty and Light Scale Training Centre, Library and Auditorium.

AEDC’s monthly revenue collection hits N9bn By Etuka Sunday


buja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has recorded great improvement in its monthly revenue collection from N6 billion recorded in 2019 to over N9bn in late 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Engr. Emmanuel Katepa, a shareholder in AEDC and CEO of KANN Utility Ltd, the investment firm of the

Distribution Company (DisCo), yesterday in Abuja, commended the AEDC management team for the strategic improvement in the operations. “In the last six months, AEDC had tried to stabilize with the COVID-19 issue. I will very much commend the team at AEDC because through this difficult time, they have managed to increase monthly collections from the average of N6 billion per month in 2019 to consistently

about N9bn, even up to N10bn a month in the beginning of this year.” He said although there was a revenue collection improvement, the shareholders are working to put in more investments that will improve the operations. “We have certainly seen lots of improvement in that area, and I think a lot of areas where the investment environment is needed is still challenging. So as we report this increase

in revenue, we are probably still not able to put in the sort of investment that will enable that we as shareholders ought to put in the company. But we will see an improvement in that environment as well”, he said. AEDC is one of the 11 DisCos in Nigeria; its franchise area covers Kogi, Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger, supplying electricity to over one million registered customers.

(From Left) Group Managing Director of SEEPCO, Mr. Tony Chukwueke with Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mallam Mele Kyari at the signing ceremony.

NNPC, SEEPCO Sign OML 143 Gas Development Deal, Targets 1.2trn CF By Etuka Sunday


he gas development and commercialization programme of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) received a boost Thursday with the execution of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143 Gas Development Agreement (GDA) by the NNPC and its partner, Sterling Oil Exploration and Production Company (SEEPCO). A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, disclosed that the project would boost the nation’s gas production by 1.2trillion cubic feet (tcf). Speaking at the GDA

signing ceremony which held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said the gas commercialization strategy of the Corporation was in sync with the Federal Government’s National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), adding that the gas from the project would be processed at the Ashtavinayak Hydrocarbon Limited (AHL) 125million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of gas per day gas plant located in Kwale, Delta State. “This opens a gateway for other opportunities in the Oil and Gas Industry, not just SEEPCO Group but for other companies too. We are happy that this will unlock significant

volumes of gas which will deliver 125mmscfd to the Midstream plant that you have built. Of course, this is a great milestone for us and we are happy to do business with you. You are a very reliable partner because when you say things, you get them done,” Mallam Kyari stated. He said the development of OML 143 would bring value for the Federal Government, NNPC and SEEPCO Group which would in turn boost the nation’s economy. On his part, the Group Managing Director of SEEPCO, Mr. Tony Chukwueke, said the OML 143 GDA is a major milestone for the country because it was the first Agreement in Nigeria that fully

separates gas development from oil production, noting that the arrangement would enable wholistic development of the gas potential in the block. He further explained that the GDA was a significant step as it was the first of its kind to expressly include terms that encourage the contractor to be effective in its cost management thereby passing on significant revenue to the Federal Government, NNPC and other stakeholders. “I will like to take this opportunity to thank the GMD, NNPC for his contribution to Nigeria and also recommit that SEEPCO is determined to play its role in the energy industry in Nigeria,” Tony Chukwueke

reassured. The Gas Development Agreement is required, pursuant to the Production Sharing Contract obligations, to set out the terms for the development of the 1.2tcf Non-Associated Gas oil block by SEEPCO which is the Contractor with the NNPC is the Concessionaire. The additional gas supply from the project would raise the nation’s gas production profile, make dry gas available for the proposed 650 megawatts NNPC/SEEPCO Independent Power Plant, boost in-country supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and general domestic gas utilization, increase energy security, and create job opportunities for Nigerians.


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Business ACCI boss wants private sector to drive agro-processing zones


he President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar has commended the initiative of the Federal Government to set up agro-processing zones across the country with seven billed to take off very soon. Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar in a statement said, the policy action was a timely response to the push for the diversification of the economy to bridge dwindling fortune of the oil sector and to meet the challenges of African continental free trade zone. He said, “we are also excited by the coverage of the planned agro-proceesing zones. The nationwide reach of the projects confirms the seriousness of the Federal and state governments to address the urgency of agricultural value addition to increase export earnings and compete favourably locally and internationally. The expected massive output will make up for the late action to upgrade the national agricultural exporting capacity. “We are however urging the Federal Government to ensure that the programme is driven by the private sector. Agroprocessing zones should be the turf of the organised private sector while the government provides the enabling framework, support and the environments to make the project thrive. The OPS has the skills and the experience to transform the dream of the government into reality in term of a diversified economy with maximum efficiency”, he said. The ACCI President noted that the private sector has the qualities of less waste, transparent business model and value for money, adding that the programme would also gain from the time tested Industry experience in the processing sub-sector while also leveraging on the extensive capacity of the private sector to drive such business model. “We particularly commend the Ministers of Agriculture as well as that of Trade and Investment for their collaboration and foresight. We however submit that fully integrating the private sector into the design and implementation process will make a huge difference in the attainment of the project goals and agenda”, he added.

NDPHC, BEDC sign pact to deliver 250MW stranded power By Etuka Sunday


he Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) yesterday signed a framework agreement with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to deliver additional 250MW from stranded power to the customer within the franchise area. Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos, the NDPHC Managing Director, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, said the agreement took immediate effect. The Head, Communication & Public Relations, NDPHC, Olufunke Nwankwo in a statement said, some of the initial project areas are: Benin Bypass (industrial cluster near NDPHC’s power plant at Ihovbor, BeninCity, Edo State; Asaba, Delta State, Ondo South Senatorial District, Ondo State and interventions in Ekiti State. In the statement, the MD recalled that the two companies had in 2020, commenced exploring options to collaborate to deliver safe and reliable power to customers of the BEDC’s

franchise area. “Today, we are glad that we gather here for the purpose of signing a framework agreement for this collaboration.” “For NDPHC, the project will enable us to deliver more 250mw of power to customers of BEDC’s franchise areas in Edo, Delta, Ondo, and neighbouring states”. “For BEDC, the project will help BEDC to satisfy its customers with reliable power and achieve an enhancement of its network and infrastructure”, he said. He added that for BEDC’s customers, their homes and industries can now enjoy 24 hours power supply. Ugbo said for BEDC’s investors and NDPHC shareholders trustees of Nigerian people- this project will deliver significant value. He noted that the NDPHC has been concerned about the “insufficient dispatch of its power generation capacity, as well as liquidity challenges which means that only a small proportion of the power dispatched gets paid for. Meanwhile, many consumers remain unserved or

underserved”. Earlier, the NDPHC boss explained that the journey to the agreement started with initiation of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2004 as a government funded initiative to stabilize the country’s power sector. He said as a result of this, the government incorporated NDPHC as a limited liability company to serve as a legal vehicle to hold the NIPP for its states and local governments. Since then, said Ugbo, Nigeria electricity supply Industry has evolved significantly from the construction of NDPHC’s 10 power plants with combined capacity of over 5,000mw, of which more than 4,000Mw has been completed, to the privatization transactions from which BEDC emerged as one of the 11 distribution companies in Nigeria. The evolution, according to him, has presented the industry players, including NDPHC and BEDC, with unique challenges. He said for the distribution

firms, the significant capital investments required to upgrade their respective networks has been difficult to raise due to industry challenges. Meanwhile, the BEDC, Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Funke Osibodu, said her company aims at delivering incremental power from the NDPHC underutilized or stranded capacity to several industrial and commercial hubs through multiple solutions across the certain locations in Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ekiti for electricity value chain. She said under the agreement, BEDC and NDPHC will provide end-to-end power solutions across the value chain to deliver minimum of 250mw of additional power. Osibodu said the collaboration will see the BEDC partner with NDPHC and others to identify and prioritize critical projects to increase power supply whilst improving on technical and commercial environment. She noted that the “focus will be power supply to certain areas as well as upgrading of all critical distribution infrastructure”.

MD, NDPHC, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo (Middle) with BEDC, Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Funke Osibodu, at the signing ceremony in Lagos.

NCC Arrests Five Suspects Over Fraudulently-registered SIM Cards By Etuka Sunday


s part of its routine enforcement activities to sanitise the industry of criminal elements, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has arrested no fewer than five suspected individuals for allegedly engaging in fraudulently registering and selling Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards. The hitch-free operation was carried out by a joint team from the Compliance Monitoring and

Enforcement Department of the Commission, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in the Wuse area of Abuja. The Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde in a statement said, the arrested suspects were subsequently handed over to the NSCDC Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Wuse, Abuja for further investigation with respect

to the allegations leveled against them. Commenting on the enforcement operation, NCC’s Head of Enforcement, Salisu Abdu, who led the joint enforcement exercise, said the exercise was part of the routine activities embarked upon by the Commission to rid the industry of criminal elements engaging in fraudulent registration of SIM cards. He said pre-registering a SIM card is an offence punishable

under relevant regulations in the telecom sector and constitutes a breach of national security. “It is criminal and fraudulent to pre-register a SIM card in Nigeria and it is an offence punishable under the law. Though the Federal Government recently lifted the ban on sale of new SIM cards, it should be noted that proper registration of SIM cards and linking them to National Identity Number (NIN) before activation has now become a prerequisite,” he said. Abdu warned those who

are engaged in the unlawful registration of SIM cards to desist from the illegal act, noting that the Commission will continue to collaborate with relevant law enforcement agencies in its routine enforcement activities in order to rid the industry of individuals, who have resolved to contravene SIM registration regulations. The enforcement activities will continue in other locations across the FCT and other states of the country.


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FCTA raids illegal parks, impounds 51 automobiles By Stanley Onyekwere


n continuation of efforts to ensure free flow of traffic on Abuja roads, the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DTRS) yesterday raided illegal motor parks and garages along corridors of both sides of Area 1 roundabout through Area 3 junction and Apo roundabout, in the nation’s capital city. Officials of DRTS in collaboration with FCTA Command and Control Taskteam on city Sanitation led by Shehu Adams stormed the area at about 8:30 o’clock in

the morning for the enforcement exercise, which resulted in confiscation of the forty-six vehicles, one tricycle and four motorcycles. It was observed the Taskteam repeatedly went round the area, as the motorists kept returning to the cleared spots to continue their business. Our correspondent reports confiscated vehicles will be released to their owners upon payment of fines ranging from N25,000 to N40,000 respectively, in order to serve as deterrent to others. Explaining the exercise,

Head of public relations and enlightenment, DTRS, Mr. Kalu Emetu said the parks were raided, to rid them of all the activities that obstruct traffic on roads in the city. Emetu explained that the penalty for the offence depends on the kind of vehicle involved and offence committed. So they are N25,000 and some are up to N40, 000, adding that the main thing is for it to serve as deterrent. “We have been at Area 1 &3, Apo Legislative bridge, Apo Roundabout; but we will stillgo to Berger. We don’t stop, because we have a Taskforce, whose primary

function is to move round the city daily, to make sure that we clear these kind of obstructions. “The DTRS is responsible for this activity, so every day we go to the streets to make sure that all those illegal activities on the roads are cleared. That was exactly what we did this morning (yesterday). “And so far, forty-six (46) vehicles, one tricycle and four motorcycles have been impounded. It’s not right for you to stop in the middle of the road to pick passengers, because when Abuja is clean, is for all of us. “We want every residents of Abuja to know there are

alternatives- let them go to the approved garages to board vehicles, and refrain from boarding vehicles loading on the road corridors. “ It’s part of the effort been made to ensure that there is free flow of traffic, which affects aspects of life. For instance if the roads are not free, it affects the economy adversely, so every government makes concerted efforts to ensure that there is always free flow of traffic. “The other effort we are making is to intensive sensitisation campaign to ensure that people must obey traffic laws”, he stated.

Representative of the CNS, Rear Admiral Perry Onwuzulike(Seated 3rd left ) in a group photograph with officers of the Nigerian Navy’s newest Offshore Survey Vessel NNS LANA to mark the vessel’s port call at Lisbon Portugal yesterday Photo: DINFO NHQ

Gov’t assures speedy completion of 220-bed space hospital in Gwarimpa By Stanley Onyekwere


he ongoing construction of a 220-bed space Hospital in Gwarimpa District by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is receiving attention that will ensure its speedy completion, according to the Acting Director of Department Of Monitoring And Inspection, Engineer Omotayo Gabriel Ogunkuade. A statement from Assistant

Director, Information, Josie Mudasiru yesterday disclosed Ogunkuade, who made the assertion when he led a team of inspectors to the construction site, observed that quality of work done was satisfactory. It added that the team advised that procurement for access road to the Hospital should commence immediately to avoid lack of access at the completion of the project. Also, the Director noted the

project will greatly benefit the residents, and urged stakeholders in the building industry to put up a position paper, with the approval of the FCT authority, for publication in a journal, so that others who want to embark on such projects in the future. Similarly, the Representative of the Project Division of the Department of Monitoring and Inspection, Engr Ijirotimi Olanrewaju said the Inspection was carried out to ascertain the

level of work done before payment of Certificate Of Valuation ( CV6), noted that the contractor has achieved more work since the last inspection. Olanrewaju said: “You can see that the Staff Quarters has reached the roofing Stage,the Mortuary has been roofed , and the substructure works of the Hospital Building has commenced “. Responding, representative of the contractor handling the project, M/S Mabelt Construction

Company Limited, Engr Chuka Odigbo commended the inspectorate team for the professional counsel, assuring said that his Company is committed to delivering a quality job that will stand the test of time. The inspection was jointly conducted by the Health and Human Services Secretariat, Department of Public Building,FCDA, Department of Monitoring and Inspection, and representatives of the contractor.

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world news



Biden: This will be ‘decisive decade’ for tackling climate change


S President Joe Biden has told a major summit that we are in a “decisive decade” for tackling climate change. The US has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the end of this decade. This new target, which was unveiled at a virtual summit of 40 global leaders, essentially doubles their previous promise. The Americans hope that their ambitious new plan will encourage China, India and others to go further before the crucial COP26 meeting, in Glasgow in November. But there will be some scepticism about the ability of the US to deliver on its new target, given the divided nature of American politics. “Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade - this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” President Biden said at the summit’s opening address. “We must try to keep the Earth’s temperature to an increase of 1.5C. The world beyond 1.5 degrees means more frequent and intense fires, floods, droughts, heatwaves and hurricanes - tearing through communities, ripping away lives and livelihoods.” Vice-President Kamala Harris added: “As a global community, it is imperative that we act quickly and together to confront this crisis.” “This will require innovation and collaboration around the world.” The UK is among the countries that have been keen to show their ambition ahead of the meeting. Earlier in the week, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced a “world-leading” target for the UK to cut emissions by 78% on 1990 levels by 2035. The country is playing a critical role this year as president of COP26, and is tasked with achieving agreement in Glasgow when world leaders meet there in November.

At the summit, Mr Johnson called President Biden’s announcement about cutting US greenhouse gas emissions “game-changing”. “We can do this together across the world. It’s going to mean the richest nations coming together and exceeding the $100bn commitment they already made in 2009,” he said. Johnson ended his speech by saying “we can build back better, by building back greener”, referring to the job creation that can come with combatting climate change. Biden’s ambition will be challenged Climate has been the central focus of the Biden administration’s first few months in office. As well as rejoining the Paris climate pact and organising Thursday’s summit, the Biden team have been working on a strong pledge to convince the world that they mean business. Many commentators had pushed the US to go for a 50% cut in emissions as a clear signal of intent.

The fact that President Biden is prepared to go beyond this level will be a welcome surprise to many scientists and campaigners. “By announcing a bold target of cutting emissions 50-52% below 2005 by the end of the decade, President Biden has met the moment and the urgency that the climate crisis demands,” said Nathaniel Keohane from the US Environmental Defense Fund. “This target aligns with what the science says is necessary to put the world on the path to a safer climate, and vaults the US into the top tier of world leaders on climate ambition.” The new pledge will mean huge changes to the American way of life. Coal will have to disappear from the electricity mix, while gas guzzling cars and trucks will have to go electric. But announcing an ambitious target is one thing - turning it into reality is another. While the Democrats have a majority in the

House of Representatives, the Senate is essentially deadlocked, making the passage of new climate legislation rather tricky. “It seems to me that President Biden is in a bit of a bind, and he has to deal with the Congress that he has,” said Samantha Gross from the Brookings Institution. “But I believe that Congress, particularly the Republicans, haven’t really kept up with increasing concern among the American public about climate.” US and China keen to co-operate Among the 40 leaders attending the summit was China’s President Xi Jinping. Despite serious tensions between the US and China on a host of issues, both sides seem keen to keep climate change separate from these disputes. “We must be committed to harmony between man and nature,” President Xi told the meeting, during its opening session. He re-stated China’s climate promises, including moving to sustainable energy sources and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. “China looks forward to working with the international community, including the United States,” said President Xi. Speaking ahead of the meeting, a senior administration official had spoken warmly about the co-operative approach. “It’s quite clear that there is a distinctly shared level of ambition. Both countries see this as a crisis. Both countries see the need for action in the 2020s. Both countries see the need to work towards holding the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees,” he said. But for other countries who have been slow to embrace action on climate change, the Biden team were less effusive. Both Brazil and Australia’s sceptical approach to the issue had found favour in the Trump White House. That’s no longer the case.

Xi says countries should bear in mind shared interests of mankind and make responsible, wise choices

By He Yin


hina calls on all countries in Asia and beyond to answer the call of the times, defeat the COVID-19 pandemic through solidarity, strengthen global governance, and keep pursuing a community with a shared future for mankind,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a keynote speech delivered via video link at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 on April 20. In the speech entitled “Pulling Together Through Adversity and Toward a Shared Future for All”, the Chinese leader also elaborated upon Chinese proposals for advancing high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, pointing out the direction for surmounting the current crisis and achieving development and prosperity for Asia and the entire world. “While we live in an age rife with challenges, it is also an age full of hope,” Xi said, noting that the combined forces of changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century have brought the world into a phase of fluidity and transformation and that instability and uncertainty are clearly on the rise. As global challenges require responses from all countries, the call for upholding multilateralism and enhancing communication and coordination has grown stronger. However, mounting unilateralism and protectionism are threatening world multipolarization and economic globalization. “Where should humanity go from here? What kind of future should we create for future

generations,” Xi asked, considering these important questions a test of humankind’s wisdom. China’s solution to these questions is building a community with a shared future for mankind. Countries need consultation on an equal footing to create a future of shared benefits, openness and innovation to create a future of development and prosperity, solidarity and cooperation to create a future of health and security, as well as commitment to justice to create a future of mutual respect and mutual learning, Xi stressed. It is generally acknowledged by the international community that China’s proposals bear great significance for guiding people through the fog blanketing humankind and helping them find the right way forward. In response to the countercurrent of unilateralism, China proposed following the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, upholding true multilateralism, and making the global governance system fairer and more equitable. In this age of economic globalization, openness and integration is an unstoppable historical trend. Attempts to “erect walls” or “decouple” run counter to the law of economics and market principles. They would hurt others’ interests without benefiting oneself. To combat vaccine nationalism, China believes it important to bolster international cooperation on the R&D, production and distribution of vaccines and increase their accessibility and affordability in developing

countries so that everyone in the world can access and afford the vaccines they need. As regards the rise of a new “Cold War” and ideological confrontation, China pointed out that countries must advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are common values of humanity, and encourages exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations to promote the progress of human civilization. China’s proposals and practices have been echoed and highly praised by politicians and officials from foreign countries during the conference. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera expressed admiration for China’s efforts to increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines so that they can benefit people in other countries while serving the Chinese people. As long as countries adhere to the path of globalization, uphold the principles of openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit and win-win result, and strengthen mutual trust and support, they can absolutely create a better world and a closer community with a shared future for mankind, said Thongloun Sisoulith, President of Laos. By promoting joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has put the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind into practice. Amid the unstable and unbalanced world economic recovery, various parties have shown greater expectations of highquality Belt and Road cooperation. Xi said China will continue to work with

countries participating in the Belt and Road construction in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and build with them a closer partnership for health cooperation, connectivity, green development, as well as openness and inclusiveness, in a bid to contribute positively to the common prosperity of humankind. Nursultan Nazarbayev, first President of Kazakhstan, noted that the BRI has repeatedly demonstrated its viability and significance for promoting advanced cooperation concepts and globalization over the past years. Cambodia greatly values China’s attentiveness and commitment in the implementation of the Health Silk Road under the BRI, said Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, who believes that China’s humanitarian assistance for other countries amid the pandemic bears vivid testimony of China’s global leadership. It is crucial that countries bear in mind the shared interests of mankind and make responsible and wise choices when deciding future paths, according to Xi, noting that China will stay committed to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and continue to play its part in building world peace, promoting global development, and defending international order. The country will join hands with other countries, pool efforts together and keep to the right direction so that the giant vessel of human development will stay on an even keel and sail toward a brighter future, Xi said. Source: People’s Daily



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Gerd: Sudan talks tough with Ethiopia over River Nile dam


udan is caught in the middle of a decade-long row between Ethiopia and Egypt over the dam Ethiopia is building on the River Nile and in recent months it has undergone a major shift in attitude, as Zeinab Mohammed Salih reports from Khartoum. When discussing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd), Sudan’s rhetoric has moved from being broadly welcoming to being suspicious and belligerent. This change, in large part, reflects the increasing influence of the military in the transitional government that is supposed to pave the way to a democratic system after the overthrow of long-serving leader Omar al-Bashir. The diplomatic temperature has increased as Ethiopia’s rainy season approaches and the reservoir behind the dam will fill up for a second year without any agreement on how it should be done. Africa’s biggest hydropower project • Construction beganon the Blue Nile in 2011 • The $4bn costhas been partly met by citizens buying bonds • The power generatedwill transform the lives of millions of Ethiopians • Egypt is worriedas it almost entirely relies on the water from the Nile • Sudan and Egypt want a guaranteed flow of water Source: Reuters/BBC Both Ethiopia and Egypt have spoken about the project in existential terms. Ethiopia says the Gerd is vital for its development as it could bring power to 60% of the population. Egypt says it threatens the flow of the Nile which sustains life there. Sudan, which sits on the river between the two countries, has now taken to issuing dark warnings itself. An advisor to the head of Sudan’s sovereign council, Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah alBurhan, spoke of a water war “that would be more horrible than one could imagine” unless the international community helped find a solution. Shift in the balance of power Rewind 14 months and very different noises were coming from the capital, Khartoum. In February 2020, Water Resources Minister Yasir Abbas talked about how the dam, Africa’s biggest hydroelectric plant, would benefit Sudan. While acknowledging a small number of issues to be ironed out, he said the Gerd would make the flow of the Nile more

A satellite image taken last November shows part of the reservoir created by the dam predictable and could introduce a third for agriculture in an effort to complicate the negotiations farming season. “Without an agreement, the Gerd is The dam could also mean cheaper and more reliable electricity for Sudan, which really a threat to the people downstream… recently suffered power cuts for 12 hours a both the environment and the livelihoods of the people,” he added. day. He argued that Sudan would suffer But earlier this month, following the failed African Union-brokered talks between, more than Egypt if filling the dam reduced Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in Kinshasa, Mr the amount of water flowing into Sudan, as Abbas told journalists that it would threaten Egypt has a large reserve of water sitting national security if Ethiopia filled the dam behind its own Aswan dam. ‘Raising a stick to Ethiopia’ without solving the outstanding issues. This has all been known for a long time. Sudan wants Ethiopia to commit to a legally binding agreement, rather than What has changed is a shift in who holds guidelines, on the amount of water retained the balance of power between the military and the timetable for filling the reservoir. It and civilians in the post-Bashir transitional also wants clarity on how disputes will be administration. Any potential threat to national security resolved in the future. Mr Abbas also told the BBC that Ethiopia now trumps other considerations. In was making demands about using the water addition, growing tension between Sudan

and Ethiopia over a border dispute in an area known as al-Fashaga has made Sudan less inclined to favour Ethiopia. The exact boundary in the area between the two countries had not been demarcated and despite colonial-era treaties suggesting that al-Fashaga was part of Sudan, Ethiopians had been living there and paying taxes to the Ethiopian authorities. In 2008, a compromise was reached in which Ethiopia acknowledged it was part of Sudan, but Ethiopians continued to live there. Sudan, however, took advantage of Ethiopia being distracted by the conflict in Tigray last year and moved troops into alFashaga. The government launched a big campaign to get people to support military action in the area. This included taking influential people to the border and pop stars in military uniform performing in Khartoum. In the north of Sudan, the air force has been carrying out joint training operations with Egypt. “It’s very clear that they are trying to raise the stick to Ethiopia,” retired brigadier Mahmoud Galender told the BBC. For its part, Ethiopia continues to try and reassure Sudan that the Gerd will not damage the country. On Sunday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted that Ethiopia “has no intention of causing harm” to the countries downstream, adding that last year’s filling “undoubtedly prevented severe flooding in neighbouring Sudan”. He also talked about sharing information about what is happening ahead of this year’s rainy season. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter These words though may not be enough to placate Sudan or Egypt as a push for further negotiations continues. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is currently on a tour of the continent to win allies in Egypt’s bid to find a legal solution “on the operation and filling of the dam in a manner that takes into consideration the interests of the three countries”, a statement from the Egyptian government said. Sudan’s Gen Burhan had a similar message in a TV interview last week. As the diplomatic pressure increases, time is inevitably ticking and once the rains begin later this year the reservoir could fill up whether there is an agreement or not.

Brahim Bouhlel and Zbarbooking jailed in Morocco over video


comedian and an online influencer have been jailed after filming a viral video that “insulted Moroccans”. In it they are seen posing with local children at a Marrakesh restaurant and apparently swearing at them. French national Brahim Bouhlel, and the French-Moroccan personality known as Zbarbooking, were tried for “filming people without their consent” and the “corruption

of minors”. They will now spend eight months and a year in jail respectively. “This judgement is very harsh! This was all over a bad joke,” said Bouhlel’s lawyer Marouane Rghioui, who vowed to appeal against the Marrakesh court’s verdict. A third man - French actor Hedi Bouchenafa - is seen in the video with them at the restaurant that day but he reportedly

left the country before investigations began. The video prompted a backlash when it was shared to social media. The men are heard using insulting language about Moroccan women and Zbarbooking is seen talking to local children in an upbeat tone while swearing at them, pretending to be their errant father. All three men later apologised, with Bouhlel calling the video a “parody” and

saying he felt “completely crushed” when he realised the damage he had done. Zbarbooking said that as “a Moroccan myself I love my people and the country’s traditions”, while Bouchenafa apologised to people who had been offended by them “making a joke about giving money to the kids... I was welcomed like a king in Morocco”.

Ethiopian parties seek voter registration extension


thiopian opposition parties have called for an extension of the voter registration exercise that is due to end on Friday. The parties said only a few people had so far registered to take part in the

elections scheduled for 5 June. Last week, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia met political parties over the matter when Birtukan Mideksa, who heads the body, said only 25,150 of the 50,000 polling stations were

operational - the rest were shut because of insecurity. Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy has himself made several appeals to people to sign up, saying it would help determine the future of the country’s democracy.

The polls were originally scheduled for May 2020, but were pushed to August the same year and then to 5 June 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Source: BBC



e w s


China works to ensure everyone benefits from its rapid development By Li Haoran


hile Fuxing bullet trains, the stateof-the-art high-speed trains of China, are running on the country’s continuously expanding high-speed railway network that might reach 40,000 kilometers in the near future, 81 pairs of no-frills slow trains are carrying 12 million people each year to and from a number of obscure stations at fixed and low prices. These slow trains normally run less than 40 kilometers per hour and offer cheap tickets throughout the year. What they transport are not only passengers from underdeveloped areas, but also these passengers’ livelihood and dreams. The galloping bullet trains and unhurried no-frills carriages pose a sharp contrast that presents the “tenderness” of China’s rapid railway development. Apart from the slow trains, China has launched massive other public service projects in multiple fields tailored for special groups, from the communication base stations set up in deep mountains to the stable supply of orphan drugs, and from the efforts made to redesign internet applications for the aged to improving the security system for children living in difficulty These pragmatic measures, aiming at tackling livelihood problems in a targeted manner, have enhanced people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security. It mirrors a fact that China in the new era, is attaching huge importance to leaving no one behind the speed of development, but also the warmth of it. The warmth of development means that no one shall be left behind during the country’s development. Amid COVID-19, China has always put people and their lives above everything else and done everything to save the patients. In the country’s fight against poverty, the Chinese government tailored targeted measures that covered all impoverished population. Besides, when building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, China also made sure that everyone would benefit from the process and results. To improve livelihood, enhance people’s wellbeing and pursue common prosperity is a remarkable advantage of the socialism with Chinese characteristics. The warmth of development comes from the country’s concrete actions to solve problems for its people. China believes that livelihood issues are never trivial. During COVID-19, health QR code was widely applied to identify residents’ health conditions in public places. In the meantime, channels that didn’t require QR code credentials were also established to serve those who were unfamiliar with smart phones. The country’s 14th Five-Year Plan also proposed to make public facilities accessible to senior citizens. Today, more and more local authorities in China are issuing specific and targeted measures to service special groups and those in difficulty. The warmth of development demonstrates that China never overemphasizes immediate benefits. Obviously the country is losing money in running the no-frills slow trains, but these rail lines can lead the people along the tracks toward prosperity. Remote villages don’t have a large population, but communication base stations are still erected there, as the country believes that the wellbeing of the people shall not be calculated by economic numbers. Development not only is a grand vision of a country, but also concerns the practical interests of individuals. “The mission of my life is to drive the train well. It has nothing to do with the speed of the locomotive,” said a conductor of a slow train. Source: BBC

r o m





Technologies arm professional farmers in China

By Yang Wenming, Qiao Dong, People’s Daily uman resources are of huge importance for China’s rural vitalization. At present, there are over 17 million high-caliber farmers working in the countryside to prosper the rural regions. The improved scientific literacy of Chinese farmers has laid a solid foundation for their overall development, and is offering stronger support for the country’s rural economy. Bao Yuan is a young man running an aquatic product company in Qujing, southwest China’s Yunnan province that he established in 2014 after graduating from Yunnan Normal University in 2014. “Artificial breeding not only diversifies people’s choices, but also helps protect endangered local fish species,” he said. Song Xueqin is a Gen Y female who has made her name in the Lvliang Mountains, north China’s Shanxi province by flat peach grafting techniques. After graduation from college, Song was successively engaged in catering business, gypsum processing and sheep husbandry, but didn’t succeed in any of those. In 2009, she heard that Chinese wild peaches can be turned into flat peaches through grafting techniques, so she asked one of her friends to bring her scions of flat peaches from northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and invited an expert to impart relevant skills to her. A year later, Song and her husband grafted flat peach scions onto over 4,000 wild peaches on a hillside near Hetaozhang village, Fenxi County, Shanxi province, but the fruiting wasn’t good. “After consulting relevant materials and experts, we finally realized what crosspollination was. The yield goes high only when varieties grafted match,” she said. Last year, the woman received her first certification of her life - a certificate for new professional farmers. “The countryside is never short of resources. In recent years, as people’s


Speedy passage of Climate Change Bill will address challenges - Ikeazor By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

T A teacher of agricultural techniques (third from left) from a vocational high school in Linquan Township, Qianxi County, southwest China’s Guizhou province teaches students how to prune orchards, March 31, 2021. (Photo by Zhou Xunchao/People’s Daily Online) living standards have been raised, they periods of the cattle. Mi, always attending training programs are developing a larger demand for green and high-quality agricultural products. held by the county government, has become This trend is mobilizing more and more a specialist in cattle husbandry. “I made many detours as a layman, but well-educated entrepreneurs who are technically skilled and know how to operate now I’m often consulted by fellow villagers,” and manage businesses to go back to the she said, adding that only by continuous countryside,” said Zuo Chenming, a senior learning can she solve more problems. Today, local authorities across China researcher with AliResearch, a research are issuing new policies and measures to arm of Alibaba Group. Early in the morning, Mi Xiaohong encourage farmers to study technologies. from Yuzhong County, Lanzhou, northwest Shandong province has launched a China’s Gansu province started working professional title evaluation system in a cowshed, serving the cattle with new for professional farmers, and Jiangsu fodder and water and cleaning the cowshed. province’s Kunshan is offering free college “The making of cattle fodder is education for professional farmers. complicated, as we must calculate how In Gansu Province, training sessions much grass and other materials we add are launched for heads of professional and animal epidemic in it and fairly decide the ratios of bran, cooperatives glacial flour and salt,” she told People’s prevention coordinators, in an effort to Daily, adding that the ingredients have to bring technologies to the farmland and find be adjusted according to different growth solutions to agricultural problems.

Better cold chain logistics facilities bring benefits to consumers and sellers of fresh food in China By Qi Zhiming, People’s Daily


hanks to the introduction of cold stores into a farmers’ market in Yugan county, east China’s Jiangxi province, Ju Dejin, a fish farmer who raises soft-shelled turtle at a modern agricultural demonstration park in Yugan county, now only needs to deliver products to the farmers’ market twice a week. In the past when there was no cold storage in the market, Ju had to take the first batch of soft-shelled turtles to the market very early in the morning, and deliver the rest of the goods for the day to the market in small batches for many times, according to Ju. Recently, a batch of facilities for cold chain logistics backbone network worth 2 billion yuan ($310 million) have been officially put into operation in Jiangxi. Such facilities deployed in cities, counties, and villages guarantee instant transportation and delivery of fresh food and have offered easier access to fresh food for urban and rural residents. The farmers’ market in Yugan county is the largest fair of aquatic products in Jiangxi. Tens of thousands of tons of aquatic products are sent from the fair to various areas of China every day. “As cold stores were not available in the past, we could only purchase 100 to 150 kg of aquatic products at a time. Even so, there were usually losses before we could sell them all,” said Zhang Jianfu, a seller at the farmers’ market in Yugan county,


who disclosed that they can now purchase ten times the aquatic products they used to buy at a time without worrying about food spoiling easily as cold stores have been built. Merely about two hours after Jiangxi Supply and Storage Logistics Co., Ltd., a logistics services provider based in Nanchang city, capital of Jiangxi province, loaded fresh food onto cold chain trucks, the batch of fresh food was seen on the shelves of supermarkets in Nanchang and other cities. The company has so far established cold stores covering a total area of about 2,500 square meters, each of which can store as much as 5,000 tons of products. Fresh agricultural products distribution and cold chain logistics system construction represent an important part of rural vitalization as well as an effective solution to bringing fresh agricultural products to consumers. In recent years, various parts of China have vigorously built modern agricultural products circulation networks that are centered on cold chain logistics and feature joint development of multiple forms of logistics through establishing specialized cold chain logistics companies and strengthening the construction of cold chain logistics infrastructure. Yengisar county located in Kashgar prefecture, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, one of the last counties that shook off poverty in Xinjiang, has more than 400 years of history of apricot cultivation. Almost

every household in the county grows apricot trees. However, the county’s fresh apricots ran into difficulty reaching more consumers due to short shelf life and long transportation distance. To address the issue, Xinjiangguoye, a forestry and fruit company in Xinjiang, built in the county an automatic sorting production line and nine nitrogen filling packaging lines in 2019. After being automatically sorted out, fresh apricots are packaged up in eggcarton boxes filled with nitrogen, which can prolong the lifetime of apricots on shelves from 7 days to 25 days. Meanwhile, the company uses ice packs, absorbent cotton wool, and shockproof cotton to protect apricots during transportation and guarantee the products are still fresh even after long distance transport. According to an executive of the company, it has introduced a new type of intelligent and multifunctional reefer truck that is equipped with technologies enabling comprehensive preservation, intelligent network connection and cloud platform management to bring Xinjiang’s fruits to other areas of China. In July 2019, the new-type reefer truck brought 30 tons of apricots from Yengisar county all the way to Beijing for sale. “We are no longer worried about the sale of apricots. Last year, the apricots we planted brought us an income of nearly 20, 000 yuan,” said an apricot grower in Yengisar county confidently.

he Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, has appealed to the National Assembly to speed up action on passing the Bill on Climate Change into law will go a long way in addressing climate change challenges in the country. Ikeazor made the disclosure yesterday at the opening of the National Council on Environment (NCE) yesterday in Abuja . She said,already the bill has passed second reading on the floor of the House. Ikeazor said this has become necessary to have a legal instrument that would address the myriads of climate change actions and challenges in the

country. Declaring the three-day Council open, the Minister applauded the resilience of the critical stakeholders during this trying period of Covid-19 pandemic. “Your participation in this event is a testimony to your unwavering faith in our collective resolve to reverse all adversities in the sector and sustainably manage our environment in the face of the multiple concerns exacerbated by the novel Covid-19 pandemic.” She said the theme of the meeting, “Managing Emerging Environmental challenges: Need for Strategic Approach to Sustainable Development in Covid-19 era and beyond”, was strategically chosen to underscore the realities of global

health challenges occasioned by the pandemic and the need to tackle the attendant issues to ameliorate the environmental and developmental consequences that may confront the nation if we fail to act now. “This, therefore, underscores the crucial nature of this meeting. As a sector, the need for us to deliberate on the increasing concerns with a view to generating actionable policy framework and measures to guide our actions towards addressing these emerging concerns is uppermost. This is why we are here.” She charged the participants to engage their various experiences, expertise and ingenuity during the three-day event towards finding lasting solutions to the

multifaceted environmental challenges confronting the nation that include biodiversity loss, climate change and Covid-19 pandemic. In his welcoming address,the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Abel Enitan, stated that the meeting was previously scheduled to hold in Kano towards the end of last year, but could not be due to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Enitan said that was why the Council had to be postponed and subsequently repackaged to accommodate the virtual option in a bid to ensure strict compliance with Covid-19 public health and safety protocols. “As a result of the inability of this meeting to accommodate

the various memoranda from all stakeholders, the ministry has carefully selected 45 memoranda with broad relevance to specific situations and circumstances of members. In his goodwill message on behalf of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Michael Nnachi called for the involvement of more non-governmental organisations in the ministry’s activities as most of its activities are grassroots oriented that require a lot of mobilisation and enlightenment. He said the Senate is very much aware of the lean envelope of the Ministry despite its enormous responsibilities, and therefore assured that positive reviews are being made to facilitate and boost its funding windows.

Oyo closes dumpsites, bans waste collectors from collecting money from clients


he Oyo State Government yesterday prohibited private sector operators (PSP) on waste collection from collecting fees from their clients. Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Dr Lateef Oyeleke, who announced this in a statement in Ibadan, the state capital, also said that all the dump sites in Ibadan, such as Lapite, Aba-Eku and Ajakanga, had been closed with immediate effect. Oyeleke said that this was part of the new solid waste management policy introduced by the state government to ensure safer environment. According to him, the new solid waste architecture is aimed at focusing on attaining an all-round sustainable environment that will improve the social wellbeing of the people of the state. Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Dr Lateef Oyeleke, who announced this in a statement in Ibadan, the state capital, also said that all the dump sites in Ibadan, such as Lapite, Aba-Eku and Ajakanga, had been closed with immediate effect. Oyeleke said that this was part of the new solid waste management policy introduced by the state government to ensure safer environment. According to him, the new solid waste architecture is aimed at focusing on attaining an all-round sustainable environment that will improve the social wellbeing of the people of the state. All households, facility owners, private, commercial industries, religious houses and other institutions have been advised not to make any form of payment to their PSP operators,” he stated. The commissioner said that government had appointed revenue consultants who would be serving bills to all clients, while payments would be made through designated banks, either manually or electronically. He warned that any payment made

to any PSP was at payers’ risk. Oyeleke also warned that anyone caught dumping refuse in the above-named dump sites would be prosecuted. He directed all PSP operators to make use of only Awotan landfill, Apete in Ido Local Government Area, which had been provided by government. The commissioner implored residents of the state, particularly those in Ibadan, to desist from dumping wastes on the road median, drainages, rivers and other open spaces so as to avert outbreak of diseases and flooding.

R-L: Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Comrade Anderson Eziebe, Vice President ASUP, Mohammed Gbate, Secretary General , Comrade Sunday Shawmah and the Union’s publicity Secretary, Comrade Abdullahi Yahwa, during the Union’s meeting with the Minister on the ASUP ongoing strike action, on tuesday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

African presidents, global leaders support climate change adaptation action for continent


hat looks like a historic and united show of solidarity for a continent that contributes only 5% to global emissions, more than 30 heads of state and global leaders committed to prioritise actions that help African countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and “build forward better.” Africa now faces the dual onslaught of climate change – currently estimated at between $7 billion and $15 billion each year – and Covid-19, which has claimed 114,000 lives. The African Development Bank (AfDB) expects that the impact of climate change on the continent could rise to $50 billion each year by 2040, with a further 3% decline each year in GDP by 2050. Speaking on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 during a virtual Leaders’ Dialogue convened by the AfDB, the Global Centre on Adaptation and the Africa Adaptation Initiative, more than 30 heads of state and global leaders rallied behind the bold new Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme. The programme’s objective is to mobilise $25 billion to accelerate climate change adaptation actions across Africa.

President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and African Union Chairperson, invited his fellow leaders to “revisit our climate ambitions and accelerate the implementation of our actions planned under our national priorities. To do this we will need to focus on actions to adapt to the impacts of climate change, these include naturebased solutions, energy transition, enhanced transparency framework, technology transfer and climate finance.” The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme is built to address the impacts of Covid-19, climate change, and the continent’s worst recession in 25 years. Therefore, Tuesday’s unprecedented show of support for the financing of African adaptation is so significant. According to Ban Ki-moon, the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, “The Covid-19 pandemic is eroding recent progress in building climate resilience and leaving countries and communities more vulnerable to future shocks. Africa must

make up for lost ground and lost time. Climate change did not stop because of Covid-19, and neither should the urgent task of preparing humanity to live with the multiple effects of a warming planet.” President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, and Chair of the African Union-led Africa Adaptation Initiative, spoke of Gabon’s record in emission reductions. He said that Gabon is one of the few countries in the world that is carbon positive. “We have to insist that equal attention be paid to climate adaptation and mitigation in climate finance. Africa calls on the developed nations to shoulder the historic responsibility and to join the program to accelerate the adaptation in Africa,” President Bongo said. AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, said: “With our partners, we intend to mobilise $25 billion in financing for the success of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme. It is time for developed countries to meet their promise of providing $100 billion annually for climate finance. And a greater share of this should go to

climate adaptation. So far, more than $20 trillion have gone into Covid-19 stimulus packages in developed countries. The International Monetary Fund’s plan to issue $650 billion of new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to boost global reserves and liquidity will be enormously helpful to support green growth and climate financing for economic recovery. I applaud the leadership of the US government and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, especially, on this big push.” UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, said: “African nations are showing leadership. The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme, and many other ambitious African initiatives, must be empowered to fully deliver on their goals. “ Guterres added: “Universal access tome energy in Africa, a priority in the coming years, could be provided primarily through renewable energy. I call for a comprehensive package of support to meet these dual objectives by COP 26. It is achievable, it is necessary, it is overdue, and it is smart.” Source : environewsNigeria



F E A T U R E Afghanistan: ‘We have won the war, America has lost’, say Taliban


riving to Taliban-controlled territory doesn’t take long. Around 30 minutes from the northern city of Mazar-eSharif, passing large craters left by roadside bombs, we meet our host: Haji Hekmat, the Taliban’s shadow mayor in Balkh district. Perfumed and in a black turban, he’s a veteran member of the group, having first joined the militants in the 1990s when they ruled over the majority of the country. The Taliban have arranged a display of force for us. Lined up on either side of the street are heavily armed men, one carrying a rocket propelled grenade launcher, another an M4 assault rifle captured from US forces. Balkh was once one of the more stable parts of the country; now it’s become one of the most violent. Baryalai, a local military commander with a ferocious reputation, points down the road, “the government forces are just there by the main market, but they can’t leave their bases. This territory belongs to the mujahideen”. It’s a similar picture across much of Afghanistan: the government controls the cities and bigger towns, but the Taliban are encircling them, with a presence in large parts of the countryside. The militants assert their authority through sporadic checkpoints along key roads. As Taliban members stop and question passing cars, Aamir Sahib Ajmal, the local head of the Taliban’s intelligence service, tells us they’re searching for people linked to the government. “We will arrest them, and take them prisoner,” he says. “Then we hand them over to our courts and they decide what will happen next.” The Taliban believe victory is theirs. Sitting over a cup of green tea, Haji Hekmat proclaims, “we have won the war and America has lost”. The decision by US President Joe Biden to delay the withdrawal of remaining US forces to September, meaning they will remain in the country past the 1 May deadline agreed last year, has sparked a sharp reaction from the Taliban’s political leadership. Nonetheless, momentum seems to be with the militants. “We are ready for anything,” says Haji Hekmat. “We are totally prepared for peace, and we are fully prepared for jihad.” Sitting next to him, a military commander adds: “Jihad is an act of worship. Worship is something that, however much of it you do, you don’t get tired.” For the past year, there has been an apparent contradiction in the Taliban’s “jihad”. They stopped attacks on international forces following the signing of an agreement with the US, but continued to fight with the Afghan government. Haji Hekmat, though, insists there is no contradiction. “We want an Islamic government ruled by the Sharia. We will continue our jihad until they accept our demands.” On whether or not the Taliban

Haji Hekmat, the Taliban’s shadow mayor in Balkh district, joined the group in the 1990s

Some fear girls will be denied access to education if the Taliban take power again would be willing to share power with other Afghan political factions, Haji Hekmat defers to the group’s political leadership in Qatar. “Whatever they decide we will accept,” he repeatedly says. The Taliban don’t see themselves as a mere rebel group, but as a government-in-waiting. They refer to themselves as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the name they used when in power from 1996 until being overthrown in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Now, they have a sophisticated

“shadow” structure, with officials in charge of overseeing everyday services in the areas they control. Haji Hekmat, the Taliban mayor, takes us on a tour. We’re shown a primary school, filled with young boys and girls scribbling in UN-donated textbooks. While in power in the 1990s, the Taliban banned female education, though they often deny that. Even now, there are reports that in other areas older girls are not allowed to attend classes. But here at least the Taliban say they’re actively encouraging it.

“As long as they wear hijab, it’s important for them to study,” says Mawlawi Salahuddin, in charge of the Taliban’s local education commission. In secondary schools, he says, only female teachers are allowed, and the veil is mandatory. “If they follow the Sharia, there is no problem.” Local sources told us the Taliban removed art and citizenship classes from the curriculum, replacing them with Islamic subjects, but otherwise follow the national syllabus. So do the Taliban send their

The Taliban believe victory is theirs. Sitting over a cup of green tea, Haji Hekmat proclaims, “we have won the war and America has lost”. The decision by US President Joe Biden to delay the withdrawal of remaining US forces to September, meaning they will remain in the country past the 1 May deadline agreed last year, has sparked a sharp reaction from the Taliban’s political leadership. Nonetheless, momentum seems to be with the militants.

own daughters to school? “My daughter’s very young, but when she grows up, I will send her to school and the madrassa, as long as it’s implementing the hijab and Sharia,” says Salahuddin. The government pays the salaries of staff, but the Taliban are in charge. It’s a hybrid system in place across the country. At a nearby health clinic, run by an aid organisation, it’s a similar story. The Taliban allow female staff to work, but they must have a male chaperone at night, and the male and female patients have been segregated. Contraception and information about family planning is readily available. The Taliban clearly want us to see them in a more positive light. When we drive past a crowd of schoolgirls making their way home, Haji Hekmat gestures excitedly, proud to be contradicting our expectations. Concerns over the Taliban’s views on women’s rights remain, however. The group has no female representation at all, and in the 1990s prevented women from working outside the home. Driving through the villages in Balkh district, we do see plenty of women, not all of whom are wearing the all-encompassing burqa, walking around freely. At the local bazaar, however, there are none. Haji Hekmat insists there is no ban on them, though in a conservative society he says they generally wouldn’t attend in any case. We are accompanied by the Taliban at all times, and the few local residents we speak to all profess their support for the group, and gratitude to them for improving security and decreasing crime. “When the government were in control, they used to jail our people and demand bribes to free them,” says one elderly man. “Our people suffered a lot, now we are happy with the situation.” The Taliban’s ultraconservative values do clash less with those in more rural areas, but many, particularly in the cities, fear they want to resurrect the brutal Islamic Emirate of the 1990s, undercutting freedoms that many young people have grown up with over the past two decades. One local resident spoke to us later, on condition of anonymity, and told us the Taliban were far stricter than they admitted in our interviews. He described villagers being slapped or beaten for shaving their beards, or having stereos smashed for listening to music. “People have no choice but to do what they say,” he told the BBC, “even over minor issues they get physical. People are scared.” Haji Hekmat was part of the Taliban in the 1990s. While the younger fighters milling around us are happy snapping photos and selfies, he initially moves to cover his face with his turban when he sees our camera. “Old habits,” he says with a grin, before later allowing us to film his face. Under the Taliban’s old regime, photography was banned. Source: BBC




















This is to notify the general public that above named TRUST has applied for the Amendment of Constitution with the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja under Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 part ‘’C’’. FRONT PAGE - (1442 A. H/2021) ARTICLE VIII - B) Executive Committee. C) Department/Standing Committees. ARTICLE IX - Shall not be less than two (2) and not more than fifteen (15) - If he denounce islam. ARTICLE X - Committee. (I) The chairman (II) Ameer Da’awah (III) Deputy Chairman (IV) Director/Head of Departments/Standing Committees of the Trust. ARTICLE XII - Chairman, Deputy ARTICLE XIV - When he denounces islam ARTICLE XVI - Departments 1 to 10 DEPARTMENTS AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES - 1 to 10. ARTICLE XVII - Departments. ARTICLE XXII - 1442/2021 ARTICLE XXIII - February, 2021. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES REMAIN THE SAME. Any objection to theabove should be forwarded to the Registar general Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja within 28 days of the publication. SIGNED - SECRETARY.












Signed secretary








I, formerly known as Sunday John John, Now Wish to known and addressed as Sunday John, All former documents remain valid, Authority Concerned and general public should please take note.

I, formerly known as YAKUBU ABDURAMAN, Now Wish to known and addressed as YAKUBU ABDULRAHMAN, All former documents remain valid, Authority Concerned and general public should please take note.

I, formerly known as MU’AZU SULEIMAN, Now Wish to known and addressed as MU’AZU SULAIMAN, All former documents remain valid, Authority Concerned and general public should please take note.




I, formerly known as ASMA’U SULAIMAN MOHAMMMED, Now Wish to known and addressed as ASMA’U SULAIMAN. All former documents remain valid, Authority Concerned and general public should please take note.

I, formerly known as PHILEMON GEORGE, Now Wish to known and addressed as PHILEMON GEORGE ENOCH, DATE OF BIRTH 2001-9-12, All former documents remain valid, Authority Concerned and general public should please take note.

I, formerly known as JOSHUA KEHINDE MUSA, Now Wish to known and addressed as AFOLAYAN KEHINDE MUSA, All former documents remain valid, Authority Concerned and general public should please take note.




I, formerly known as CHUKWUZOBA AMACHUKWU, Now Wish to known and addressed as AMACHUKWU CHIZOBA STEPHEN. All former documents remain valid, Authority Concerned and general public should please take note.

I, Formerly known as SAMEERA BABANKANO now wish to be known and addressed as SAMIRA BABANKANO my DATE OF BIRTH IS 20/06/1984. All former documents remain valid. Authorities concerned and the general public should please take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS VICTORIA KASARACHI OHUCHE, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. VICTORIA KASARACHI ONOJETA. All former documents remain valid. Concerned authorities and the general public to please take note.






Triple Z development initiative

















THE TRUSTEES ARE : 1.OKEKE (BAR) OBINNA .E. 2.Chizoba Amara ojukwu Okeke 3. ZIMAKO OJUKWU CHUDI THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE : 1. To defend and uphold human rights particularly in support of the less privileged and vulnerable groups in the society through every reasonable avenue. 2. To promote education, sustainable environments, health, healthy practices, health seeking behaviors and global health security in and around communities 3. To promote the attainment of gender equalityand equity in the Nigerian society. 4.To mitigate against gender-based violence and all forms of discrimination against women/girls and person’s living with disabilities in the society. 5.To drive social change across pertinent policy areas to bring about social, economic and financial inclusion for all which will ultimately advance the attainment of peace and prosperity to communities. ANY OBJECTION TO THIS REGISTRATION SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE REGISTRAR_ GENERAL, CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION, PLOT 420, TIGRIS CRESCENT , OFF AGUIYI IRONSI STREET , MAITAMA , ABUJA WITHIN 28DAYS OF THIS PUBLICATION. SIGNED : SECRETARY.

I Lawal Usman Funtua wish to inform the general public of the loss of my offer latter of right of of occupancy (R of O) in respect of Plot No. 930, old file No. KT 539 Jahi District, FCT Abuja. All efforts made to trace the said missing document proved abortive,


please if found kindly return to the nearest police station. All authorities concerned and the general public should take note.












THE TRUSTEES ARE : 1. Ibrahim Yakubu 2. Mohammed Abdulkadir 3. Isiaka Amade Muhammed 4. Sani Abdul Edu 5. Johnson Nuhu Attah 6. Muhammad Yahaya Bashir


THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE : a. To maintain the quality of the estate by the residents jointly and collectively. b. To guide against arbitral decisions that will affect the structural face/formand the collectiveassets of the estate. c. To guide against mismanagement of the estate facilities. ANY OBJECTION TO THIS REGISTRATION SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE REGISTRAR_GENERAL, CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION, PLOT 420, TIGRIS CRESCENT , OFF AGUIYI IRONSI STREET , MAITAMA , ABUJA WITHIN 28DAYS OF THIS PUBLICATION. SIGNED : SECRETARY.

– Chairman – Secretary

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE : 1. To promote unity and patriotism among members of the Association. 2. To encourage and promote Igala culture, traditions and customs that are reasonable and not repugnant to natural justice. ANY OBJECTION TO THIS REGISTRATION SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE REGISTRAR_GENERAL, CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION, PLOT 420, TIGRIS CRESCENT , OFF AGUIYI IRONSI STREET , MAITAMA , ABUJA WITHIN 28DAYS OF THIS PUBLICATION. SIGNED : Hauwa Abdullahi (08030704533)





FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2021 By Amaechi Agbo


etermined to help fight climate change and create a healthy environment for all, the Nigeria Teqball Federation NIGTEQ Tuesday embarked on tree planting The exercise which took place at the River Park, Business District, Abuja was coordinated by the President of NIGTEQ, Egnr Habu Gumel. Engr. Gumel who personally planed one if the step tress during the exercise said that the move was part of NIGTEQ’s in her fourday training programme and initiatives to help in securing the environment and beautifying it. He called on the general public particularly Nigerians to see the need to plant a tree as a national and personal assignment. “We all know the importance of trees around us. They provide fresh air, add beauty to our surrounding and most importantly, help protect us from climatic change. “We will continue to do this annually because as a federation, we believe that for us to do well in sports, our environment must be healthy and protected.” On his part, the General Secretary of NIGTEQ, Mr Ndudi Edede noted that tree planting as well as general sanitation were part of the federation’s Corporate. Social Responsibility, CRS. He noted that the federation would continue to do her best in preserving the environment and



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Nigeria Teqball Federation embarks on tree planting in Abuja

ensuing that Nigerians and indeed the global community imbibes the general message as importance of tree planting. Chairman of Federal Capital Territory Teqball Association, Mr Ibrahim Galadima also participated in the tree planting. The tree planting was part of the 4-day capacity programme organised by the NIGTEQ in collaboration with International Federation of Teqball FITEQ. Similarly, the President, Nigeria Teqball Federation, NIGTEQ, Engr Habu Gumel has charged the coaches and Referees of the beautiful game on professionalism. Engr. Gumel who gave the charge in Abuja while addressing the coaches and referees who underwent a four-day capacity training workshop commended the Coaches and Referees for turning up for the programme. Describing them as the pioneers of teqball in Nigeria, the President encouraged them to put in their best and be good ambassadors of the curved game. “We all know that our own Olympic, the sports festival is going on in in Edo state but I decided to cut short my programme there to

NIGTEQ President, Engr Habu Gumel planting a tree in Abuja Monday be here with you. “This obviously is because if the importance we all attached to this great training programme. I therefore encourage you that as you finish this training to

be professional in your duties. Whether as a coach or referee, you should be able to understand your professional duties and be able to uphold them always. “You are the pioneers of the

teqball in Nigeria and much is expected of you. You should be good ambassadors of the game. The training which commenced on Saturday, April 10 was rounded up on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Ahemd Musa rejoins Kano Pillars on short deal By Amaechi Agbo


fter 6 months without a club, Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, has returned to Kano Pillars FC for the remainder of the 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League season (NPFL), the club Confirmed Musa previously played for the Pride of Kano in 2009 were he ended the season as the top scorer in the NPFL with 18 goals before moving to VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands. In a statement from the office of the chairman of the club, Alhaji Surajo Shuaibu Jambul and signed by the media officer, Rilwanu Malikawa revealed that the Sai Masu Gida have agreed to signed Musa until the end of the

2020/21 football season. According to Malikawa, the club have agreed to the deal after due consultations with the player and the League Management Company of Nigeria (LMC) whom stood as a mediator to the deal. Malikawa further stated that the club have received a letter from the LMC that was signed by the Chief Operating Officer, Malam Salihu Abubakar, that Kano Pillars will sign Ahmed Musa as an Elite player of the league to the end of the season. The seasoned journalist said Kano Pillars FC family are happy to welcome back one of their own and have wished him Allah’s guidance. “Ahmad Musa is our own and Pillars FC will continue to support

him anytime and anywhere he found himself,” Malikawa said. Amongst the contractual agreement reached and would be documented between Musa and Kano Pillars is……, anytime the player got an offer, he would be released by the club. Malikawa concluded that after completing all the necessary documentations, Ahmed Musa would be unveil by His Excellency, the executive Governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje before the commencement of the second stanza of the league. The four-time NPFL Champions are joint leaders of the log alongside Kwara Utd with 36 points each from 19 matches though Pillars are second due to lesser goal difference.

Women’s Ballon d’Or holder makes plea to Messi, Ronaldo

>>PG 31


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U-15 La Liga/ NPFL Tournament: Enugu Sports Commissioners Assures of readiness




Rangers players embark on one-week break


nugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Manfred Nzekwe has assured Nigeria Football Federation/ League Management Company delegation in Enugu State of California the readiness of the State to host a hitch- free under 15 LaLiga NPFL , football tournament in Enugu State. Speaking while receiving officials of NFF/LMC with Enugu State Football Association Officials and the Local Organizing Committee members, in his office, Tuesday, Commissioner Manfred Nzekwe , commended the NFF for deeming Enugu State capable of hosting such important football tournament. He assured that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, by accepting to host the tournament, the state government will put everything in place to guarantee the success of the tournament adding that the tournament will be the best organized tournament in Nigeria. He further assured that every relevant stakeholder will be brought on board to ensure a successful tournament. In his speech, the leader of the delegation and General Coordinator Youth League, of the Nigeria Football Federation/ League Management Company, Dr Johnson Obaseki, informed the Commissioner that Under 15 LaLiga/ Nigeria Football Federation tournament will commence from Monday 12 the April, as arrival date, while kick- off will commence on Thursday15th April, with the final coming up on May 2nd 2021. He requested for accommodation of visiting teams and vehicle for the visiting Local Organizing Committee members, adding that the team will work in synergy with other stakeholders to ensure the success of the Championship. In his statement, the Chairman Enugu State Football Association Barr.Tony Ugwu, assured that all the necessary logistics required for the Championship will be provided by the state Football Association and the organizing committee.

Rangers players celebrating


anagement of Rangers International F.C, the ‘Flying Antelopes’, ably led by Prince Davidson Owumi has approved a one-week break for players of the club with effect from Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Addressing the players at the club’ ultramodern players’ camp, Nkponkiti road, Independence Layout, Enugu, Tuesday, G.M/ CEO of the side, Prince Owumi Davidson, charged the players to be professional in all their conducts during the break stressing that the period was for each player to relax, refresh and refocus their minds for the task ahead in the second round of the 2020/21 NPFL season.

“This break is coming at the instance of the technical crew led by coach Salisu Yusuf as we now have a date for the start of the second round and I charge you all to be true professionals in this break period. I believe it is a period for you to take your mind off anything football. Just relax, refresh and refocus your minds on what you will do for us to achieve our set target in the second round of the league,” stated the astute football management guru while addressing the players. Also speaking, technical adviser, Coach Salisu Yusuf advised the players to maintain the level of fitness they have attained while on break warning that there will be penalties for any player that acts unprofessionally during

the period. “I know the level we are leaving you people and I expect to see it on your return in a week’s time. Please, be professional in all your conducts as there will be penalties for any reported unprofessional conduct during the break,” stated the vastly experienced gaffer. The players are expected back in Enugu on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 with training sessions commencing Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The ‘Flying Antelopes’ are currently placed 4th on the twenty-team log with 30 points from 18 matches played as the rescheduled match day 19 fixture with oriental neighbours, Enyimba International F.C is yet to get a date from organizers of the league, L.M.C.

Akure to host NLO division 3


he Nigeria Nationwide League One, NLO has confirmed that Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure will be one of the centres for the division three of its matches. The Chairman of the NLO, who also doubles as a board member of the NFF, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali stated this at the inauguration of standing committees by the Ondo State Football Association “My colleagues sent me to welcome him back as the Chairman back after his election. Am assuring the people of Ondo state that right from today, you will see changes. “The entire Congress of the NFF are happy with the election of Otunba Dele Ajayi. In the next edition of our NLO division 3, a big centre will be awarded to Ondo State. Inaugurating the committee, Board member of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh said,the constitution of the standing-committees, was in tune with the statutes of the NFF. Fresh said he was happy that the State FA Chairman,Otunba Dele Ajayi, had brought everyone on board from the last election and would be successful, saying,” A divided house will not last “ Fresh urged the members of Sports Writers in the state to also, always put the FA in the state in the right direction whenever they were astray. Earlier, the Chairman of the Ondo FA, Otunba Dele Ajayi said the state

NLO players in action would be full of football activities with the committees in place. Ajayi said Ondo State FA has the solution to the problem of Sunshine Stars and Sunshine Queens, urging the state government to carry the association along. “We are ready to collaborate with people with ideas and personnel from people that can make Ondo state enviable heights. “We thank the governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for the huge amount he has released for the state owned

teams so far. “We know what to help both teams. It is too bad to owe for seven months for the male team and 13 months for the female team,” he said. Ajayi later thanked both Board members Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh and Alhaji Mohammed Alkali for gracing the occasion. Alkali, who is the Chairman of the Nassarawa FA, said the whole of NFF were happy with the election of Dele Ajayi as the chairman of the FA in the state.



. . . putting the people first

FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2021

SPORTS latest

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” m- Vince Lombardi



helsea has reportedly emerged as surprise contenders for the signing of Liverpool Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum this summer. The 30-year-old Dutch midfielder’s future has been the subject of fierce debate over recent months, with his contract with the Reds due to expire in June. A move to Chelsea would certainly not go down well with Liverpool fans, who would no doubt rather he move abroad rather than become a direct domestic rival.

Carragher recommends Lampard for England U-21 coaching Job


egendary Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes the England U-21 job could be the ‘perfect’ next step for Frank Lampard. The young Lions were knocked out of the European Championships on goal difference despite beating Croatia 2-1 having conceded a late, pivotal strike in injury time. Having lost their opening two group games against Portugal and Switzerland, Aidy Boothroyd’s position as manager has come under intense scrutiny and he himself said this week:“The England senior men’s job was called impossible job. Taye the Taiwo and Oduamadi

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Felux Adenaike: A musketeer at 80

By Remi Oyeyemi

Chelsea enter race for Liverpool’s Wijnaldum


hirty one years ago, at the premises of the Tribune Group of Newspapers, Imalefalafia, Ibadan, I was privileged to listen to a seminal lecture on and about Journalism as well as the business of newspapering. It was a very captivating lecture that was blissful. Equally instructive and illuminating. Detailed, scholarly, rich in research and intellectually ornamenting. The kernel of the lecture was why newspapers failed in Nigeria and the isolated answer given by the lecturer was that every newspaper in Nigeria wanted to be a “national newspaper”, especially when they did not have the resources. As a result of this, they were often stretched thin and thus stressed out of viability. In this lecture, he posited that it was better for newspapers to have catchment areas. It was important for a newspaper to have a base. This catchment area could be consolidated and dominated. In addition, such a newspaper would cultivate loyal and dedicated readers and customers that would consistently look forward to seeing it on the street every blessed day. This would create a sustainable relationship, a sustainable economic base and a priced longevity as well as survival of the newspaper. To elucidate his theory, he reeled out the names of newspapers in the United States for example and noted that the most influential of them and globally acclaimed ones like the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal among many others were and are still regional papers. He mentioned USA Today newspaper as the only national newspaper in the United States. This was in 1989 at the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Nigeria Tribune by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The celebration was christened “Voice of The Voiceless” to denote, define and describe as well as celebrate, consecrate and commemorate the roles of the Tribune Group of Newspapers in the annals of economic, social and political emancipation of the people. The lecturer was none other person than the one and only authentic General Officer Commanding (GOC) in the profession of Journalism in Nigeria, Prince, he has always insisted on being referred to as Mr., Felix Adedapo Adenaike. Before that time, Mr Peter Ajayi, (may his blessed soul continue to rest in peace) had adopted me as a protégé. He had me under his wings, teaching, guiding and encouraging me. He made me to read and read, and he provided some of the books. Through him, I had encountered the intimidating brilliance of Mr.

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By Fredrick Nwabufo Adenaike and the exhilarating excellence of Chief Olusegun Osoba, who later became the Governor of Ogun State, at close quarters. The three of them were the Three Musketeers. It was Chief Obafemi Awolowo who gave the trio that cognomen, and it fitted and still fits excellently. During their time, they were the powerhouse of Journalism in Nigeria. Without let or hindrance, they bestrode the journalistic firmament like comets. They were brilliant, courageous, principled, adventurous with permeation of integrity and dignity. Deeply educated in the real sense of it, they were thorough professionals. They were genial but very firm and tough. It is indeed difficult to write about one of them without touching on the other two. But this is a celebration of our own GOC, the one and only Felix Adenaike. He was an efficaciously efficient administrator. A no - nonsense executive. He was congenitally driven and compulsively motivated. A go - getter. He drove others the way he drove himself. He did not take excuses, because he would never give one. He abhored incompetence and laziness, both Intellectual and physical. He suffered fools very gladly. All he wanted at all times was result: concrete, measurable and identifiable result. If you ccouldn’t get result, you didn’t have too many chances before you’re sidelined or let go. When he gave instruction, it always ended with “with immediate effect.” One would be in great peril not to execute such instructions immediately. The peril could include demotion or sack after a couple of chances. No excuses. He celebrated excellence in younger ones. He cultivated excellence, at all times. He was helplessly attracted to excellence. He looked for it relentlessly, tirelessly, everywhere in everyone. He was and is still hooked on it. Excellence is his opium. It makes him delirious. Excellence is his passion. It makes him ecstatic. When he recognizes excellence in others, he acts as if forcefully propelled by a special angel as he dissects in celebration, adulation, validation and edification. Adenaike is a Lombardian. He belongs to the Vince Lombardi School of Thought. A School of Thought that believes intrinsically that excellence must be pursued, that it must be wooed with all of

one’s might and every bit of effort. The Lombardians believe that you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all of the time. Excellence is not a “sometime thing.” It is an “all of the time thing.” A professional journalist of highest order that is uncompromisingly thorough and meticulous, through and through. Having gone through the mill, mastered the moxie, he would insist on compliance with the basic journalistic tenets in all the branches for a complete, wholesome, beautiful, alluring and pulsating package. He is one of a kind. Born 22 April 1940, at Osi Arawa, in Ijebu Ode Local Government of Ogun State (then Western Region), Felix Adedapo Adenaike was educated at St Mark’s Teachers College, Iperu, and St Leo’s Teachers College, Abeokuta; the University of Lagos, Lagos, bagging a Diploma with didctinction and an honours degree both in Mass Communication. Felix Adenaike started out as a teacher, rising to become a headmaster before crossing over to the civil service as an information officer at the Western Region Ministry of Information and Home Affairs. But he would rather like to be referred to as a “News Reporter” as opposed to “Information Officer.” From here, he crossed to the Daily Times as a journalist. He made his mark there as a compelling features and Leader writer. His “clearheaded analyses” soon earned him posting to West Africa magazine in London as senior correspondent. He was also Europe Correspondent of the Daily Times, with operational base in London. From London he came home to be the Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Sketch Group, Ibadan. He became the District Manager, Daily Times, for Oyo, Ondo, Ogun and Kwara States from thence and operated from Ibadan. He moved to African Newspapers of Nigeria, publisher of the Tribune Titles as the Editorin-Chief and Executive Director at Imalefalafia, Ibadan. That was where he was invested with the GOC cognomen. His journalistic skill set continues to be in high demand locally and across the oceans. He has been a member of many editorial boards of national and international media such as The Guardian; The Comet, The Nation; Leader writer for

West Africa, The Times of London; commentator/analyst, BBC African Service. He was conferred with the fellowship of the Nigerian Guild of Editors in 2003 and has received numerous honours from the Nigeria Union of Journalists. For his “lifelong devotion to advancing the frontiers of knowledge and strengthening the media as a pillar of democracy and prodigious contributions to nation building”, Mr. Adenaike was conferred with the FAME Lifetime Achievement Award. After his retirement he became book publisher/editorial consultant and has served on federal, state and private boards of corporations. A surprisingly very religious person. A man of deep faith who believes that God has the ultimate say in the destiny of any man. This is an aspect of him that is not widely known. A practicing Catholic, he does not joke or toy with mass sessions. A quiet philanthropist who operates under the radar to lift others up and out of poverty. Unknown to many, Mr. Adenaike is an angel of hope and consolation to several indigent souls. He has given and is still giving his shoulders to those who needed them to lean on. To the dark existence of some, he has brought klieg lights of joy and happiness. He doesn’t talk about it. He doesn’t make a show of it. In the words of that great African American poet, Maya Angelou, Felix Adenaike has not just lived and survived, he has thrived. He has done so, so far, with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style. A very consummate family man, Mr. Adenaike, is married with six children - three boys and three girls, all professionals. On behalf of many of his foot soldiers, this is wishing our General Officer Commanding (GOC), Felix Adedapo Adenaike, a very happy birthday and many happy returns of this beautiful day. ©Remi Oyeyemi April 22, 2020


Economic council says another lockdown will be last resort - News

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