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Neymar gives condition for Real Madrid transfer
April 19, 2018

Neymar gives condition for Real Madrid transfer

Neymar has told Real Madrid to raid Manchester United and Liverpool before a potential move to the Bernabeu, reports say.

Neymar is on Real Madrid’s radar with the PSG star disillusioned with life at the Parc des Princes.

But Spanish outlet Don Balon report that any move to Real Madrid hinges on who else they promise to bring in.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is reportedly one of the players Neymar would like to see sign.

And Don Balon say he also wants Real to sign Manchester United’s David De Gea.

Arsenal to bid €40m for Real Madrid’s Benzema

Arsenal to bid €40m for Real Madrid's Benzema

Arsenal are prepared to offer €40 million for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, claims Diario Gol.

The 30-year-old Frenchman has endured a difficult season in Madrid, and the report states that Sergio Ramos has told club president Florentino Perez to sell the forward.

However, Perez is holding out for €80m in exchange for the striker, which could put the brakes on any potential deal.

Arsenal have been an admirer of the forward for many years and they could finally get their man this time.

New York City coach to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

New York City coach to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal


Patrick Vieira is a serious contender to return to Arsenal as manager.

The London club are looking for candidates to replace Arsene Wenger, who has endured a difficult season.

A Premier League top-four place is out of reach and victory in the Europa League, where Arsenal face favourites Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals, is the only path into the Champions League.

There is growing disaffection among fans and the indications are that Wenger will step down after 22 years at the club.

Legendary former midfielder Vieira, 41, is currently boss at New York City and could potentially have a long-term future with the City Football Group, who also own Manchester City.

His appointment would thrill many Arsenal fans. He won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups before moving to Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City where he won the FA Cup again in 2011.

He went into management and worked for two years at City in charge of the development squad, before taking the step into senior management in 2016 when he took over at New York City in the MLS.

There would be no need for mass changes to the Arsenal coaching staff if he returned to the club. Vieira already knows assistant manager Steve Bould and coaches Gerry Peyton, Neil Banfield and Jens Lehmann.

Wenger, though, will not be sacked even if Arsenal were to lose in the Europa League.

The 68-year-old signed a two-year contract to stay on at the Emirates after last season’s FA Cup win over Chelsea and any decision to leave will be his.

He has an excellent relationship with the club’s majority shareholder, American billionaire Stan Kroenke, and dismissal is out of the question.

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Reps summon Adeosun, Emefiele, others over metrology breach
April 19, 2018

Reps summon Adeosun, Emefiele, others over metrology breach

A House of Representatives panel has summoned the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, over the non-implementation of the Federal Government policy on legal metrology services in the upstream sector.

The Committee on Petroleum Resources (upstream), chaired by Rep Victor Nwokolo (PDP, Delta) also summoned the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mordecai Ladan.

The trio are to provide explanations to the controversies surrounding the collection of weight and measures charges from International Oil Companies (IOCs). They have been given April 24 to appear.

The lawmakers were angry that DPR director, Mordecai, did not deem it fit to appear before the panel, despite the fact that his agency is in the centre of the issues raised.

Thus, the panel turned down two representatives of the DPR from its hearing convened to investigate the matter.

Representative of Speaker Yakubu Dogara at the hearing, Chukwuka Onyeama, who is House Deputy Minority Leader, said: “I want to suggest that the committee shouldn’t take DPR. We always want people in the director’s level so that people won’t come and say they can’t answer certain questions.”

Also, Nwokolo said: “Ladan must be here in person to defend whatever it is. From the documents we have here, it’s not possible for us to conclude this hearing today without Ladan.”

Udoma tells London investors to invest in Nigeria

Udoma tells London investors to invest in Nigeria

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has told investors that the best time to invest in Nigeria is now, given that the economic policy initiatives adopted by the Federal government is yielding positive results.

Senator Udoma stated this at the UK-Nigeria Trade and Investment Forum in London, a statement by the special adviser on media to the minister, Akpandem James said.

The minister who was speaking at the plenary session of the Forum said Nigeria’s outlook for 2018, and over the medium term, is positive as the country had since exited recession and the economy is steadily growing again.

He explained that as part of government efforts to transform the economy and deliver sustained, diversified and inclusive growth, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) was put together and several initiatives in the Plan are being implemented to remove constraints to investments. Some of the initiatives include the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and the Focus Labs.

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Nestlé Nigeria introduces Golden Morn Puffs breakfast cereal
April 19, 2018

Nestlé Nigeria introduces Golden Morn Puffs breakfast cereal

Nestlé Nigeria has introduced into the country’s consumer market its new breakfast cereal, the Golden Morn Puffs.

Made from grains and cereals, Golden Morn Puffs provides families with more choices of tastier, healthier food.

A statement from the Corporate Communications department of Nestle Nigeria explained that Golden Morn Puffs was fortified with vitamins and iron to contribute to efforts to address micronutrient deficiency in Nigeria.

Micronutrient deficiency is the lack of essential vitamins and minerals required in small amounts by the body for proper growth and development.

The statement referred to figures by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that two billion people in the world were affected by iron deficiency, which was described as the most common micronutrient disorder in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nigeria, the statement also mentioned, had been losing over $1.5 billion in gross domestic product directly and indirectly, to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

The Category Manager (Dairy) for Nestle Nigeria, Mr Aboubacar Coulibaly, disclosed that the Nestle Golden Morn Puffs breakfast cereal, made from maize, millet, oats and soya, was fortified with grainsmart, which was described as a unique combination of vitamins and iron.

 “Food fortification is a strategy that Nestlé has adopted to help address the burden of micro-nutrient deficiency. With 50 per cent of our portfolio already fortified with micronutrients, the introduction of Golden Morn Puffs breakfast cereal today is another step towards the fulfilment of our commitment to provide healthier, delicious food choices for all age groups, a journey we have been on for the past 57 years in Nigeria,” Coulibaly said.

He added that 94 percent of the grains and cereals used in the production of Golden Morn Puffs was sourced locally, supplied by Nigerian farmers.

79% of N’East residents are food insecure – Report

Borno, Yobe and some states in the North East of Nigeria have recorded over 100 per cent increase in prices of food in the last two years.

79% of N’East residents are food insecure – ReportData from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that between January, 2016 and January, 2018, and even up to last month, food prices have been skyrocketing, not just because of inflation, but partly due to conflicts in the region.

A report conducted jointly by the World Bank and the NBS reveals that 79 per cent of households in the North East are food insecure largely due to high food inflation rate.

A Damaturu-based businessman, Mr. Bilar Lukar, confirmed to Daily Trust that prices of food items are high in Yobe and Borno and that the situation was even worst in remote or restricted areas where conflicts had made trading difficult.

Mr. Bilar said while prices of vegetables, beef and goats remain relatively stable, prices of imported food items and from other parts of the country had been on the rise in the past three years.

A resident of Maiduguri, Yusuf Tijjani, told Daily Trust that prices of food had been fluctuating in Maiduguri as a reflection of the country’s economy and not just because of conflicts.

“Prices of cash crops like beans, groundnuts and rice are always on the high side due to demand and consumption,” Tijjani said.

Nationwide food inflation rate of 19.29 per cent at April is higher than the headline inflation rate of 15.60 per cent in March, an indication that food prices have remained high despite decline in overall prices of goods across the country.

Data from NBS reveal that the price of 1kg of frozen chicken in Yobe State rose from N1,100 as at January, 2016, to N2, 600 as at January, 2018, and further up to N2, 725 as at March, 2018, translating to 248 per cent increase in two years three months.

Similarly, in Borno, the price of 1kg of frozen fish rose by 165 per cent in two years three months from N930 in January, 2016, to N1, 567 in January, 2018, and further up to N1,538 as at the end March.

In Yobe, the price of a dozen of a medium sized eggs rose from N250 in January, 2016, to N435 by the end of January, 2018, and further climbed to N520 by the end of March; an increase of N270 in exactly two years three months.

The situation is not different from the one in Borno where a dozen of eggs was sold for N248 in January, 2016, but rose to N442 in January, 2018, and further up to N485 in March.

In Borno, the price of 1 kilogram of broken rice (ofada rice) skyrocketed from N168 in January, 2016 to N370 by January, 2018 and N372 by March, 2018 while in Yobe, the price rose from N186 in January, 2016, to N355, and declined to N330 in March, 2018.

A recent report on conflict and food security in conflict areas in Nigeria conducted by the NBS in collaboration with the World Bank shows that 88 per cent of households in the North East, rely on the market as the main source of food amid high food inflation rate.

While 97 per cent of households in the North East consider there is “plenty of food available in the market”, 63 per cent of households in the region reported that price increases were the largest challenge in getting food from the market.

Twenty two per cent of households in the region blame lower agricultural production for the problem as they reported less production than last season as inputs’ prices remained high.

Giving more insight on the looming food insecurity in Borno and Yobe due to high prices, Mr. Bilar said high food price rise had been recorded in food items like rice, beans, maize, millet and yam.

“Their prices have either doubled or are getting to double in the last three years. More price increases have been recorded on imported products unlike the locally sourced food items,” he said.

He said hard hit places were restricted areas like Pulka, Gwoza, Banki, Mongono, Baga, Kala Balge, Damboa and other areas that traders found difficult to access, and that the impact of conflicts on food prices in urban cities like Damaturu, Potiskum and Maiduguri were minimal unlike restricted zones.

The report from World Bank and NBS notes that the future concern in the North East “is seeing an influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) moving back from refugee camps and this will increase demand for food.”

The report called on government to focus on understanding the sources of high food prices in the local markets and then use appropriate policies to tackle the problems.


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Reps uphold Gwarzo suspension as SEC DG
April 19, 2018

Reps uphold Gwarzo suspension as SEC DG

The House of Representatives yesterday said the suspension of the former Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo stands.

The House, while adopting the report of its Committee on Capital Market and Institutions headed by Rep Tajuddeen Ayo Yusuf (PDP, Kogi) said Gwarzo indeed has a case to answer and that the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun was right to have suspended him.

Based on petitions by various stakeholders, the House said, the committee has been mandated to conduct an investigation into Oando Plc.

Also, the lawmakers said the two staff of SEC, Mrs Anastacia Braimoh and Naif Abdulsalam should be recalled from suspension and should report to their duty posts immediately.

Their recall, the House said, is based on the Public Service Rules and the SEC Staff Manual.

However, the House said the case of the two staff should be referred to the SEC management for disciplinary action in accordance with the commission’s staff manual.

The chairman of the committee, Yusuf, while briefing his colleagues on the panel’s findings, said there were allegations that Gwarzo was a director in a private company despite his being the head of SEC.

He said although Gwarzo said he had resigned his position in the said company long ago, documents the panel obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that he remained a director of the company. He said there were other discoveries that the panel made in the course of its investigation into the matter.

Gwarzo was suspended by the minister in November last year, citing petitions of corrupt practices and breaches of the public service rules. Suspended alongside the DG were two staff of the commission, Braimo and Abdulsalam.

There had been disagreements between Adeosun and Gwarzo, who accused the minister of interfering in the commission’s functions by directing him to stop a planned forensic audit of Oando Nigeria Plc, following allegations of malfeasance against the oil company.

The minister had in January told the House panel that she recommended Gwarzo’s sack to President Muhammadu Buhari over conflicts of interests and breach of the public service rules.

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Olanipekun backs NLC over N56,000 workers’ minimum wage
April 19, 2018

Olanipekun backs NLC over N56,000 workers’ minimum wage

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), on Thursday backed the N56,000 minimum wage being demanded by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).

While urging the Federal Government to grant the request, he said no responsible government should pay less than what the organized labour is demanding.

Olanipekun, who lamented high level of unemployment in the country, described unemployment as a scourge that is more painful than corruption adding “in fact, it is more painful because unemployment festers corruption.”

Speaking with journalists in Ikere-Ekiti, his home-country, the senior legal practitioner noted that Nigerian leaders had not shown enough concerns and empathy with Nigerian workers and the unemployed in the society.

He said, “I agree with the NLC on its demand for the new minimum wage. No government in this country should pay less than that. NLC is even being benevolent. Why is government running away from paying that minimum wage? Why is government not creating employment opportunities?”

Olanipekun demanded pragmatic policies from the federal government towards creating jobs for the nation’s teeming youths.

He described Nigerian leaders and wealthy individuals in the country as self-centred, self-opinionated, narrow-minded, and so restrictive in reasoning.

“We want our own children to survive but we don’t want an army of other Nigerian children to succeed. This is why poverty thrives here. You alleviate poverty by giving good governance, by stopping stealing, by giving employment, by not snatching ballot boxes.

“The ballot boxes should be seen as a sacred box, don’t touch – you must respect it. It is a collective conscience of all of us. It is a corporate surrender of all of us and it is sacred.  Don’t buy election or give money to buy voters to your side.

“Woe betides those who loot the treasury but looting can be prevented with adequate government policies and good governance. By bad governance we are encouraging looting.

“Government must enact fundamental policies. There must be a synergy among the three tiers of government. Government at all level must take the issue of unemployment very seriously.

“Thousands are graduating every year, when we are churning out these graduates, as a pro chancellor of a university, I am saddened that years back during our own time, jobs were waiting for us as we leave school.

“But today, you don’t find such job many years after graduation. If Nigeria was not good when we were growing up, we won’t be what we are,” he said.

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Buhari’s UK treatment:Court to deliver judgment on June 5 in suit seeking to know amount spent
April 17, 2018
Buhari’s UK treatment:Court to deliver judgment on June 5 in suit seeking to know amount spent

Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court Abuja on Tuesday fixed June 5 to deliver judgment in the suit seeking information on the amount spent on President Muhammadu Buhari’s treatment in London.

Tsoho fixed the date for judgment after listening to arguments of counsel and adopted

The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1142/2017, was instituted by the Incorporated Trustees of Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative (ASRADI), led by its Executive Director, Adeolu Oyinlola.

In the suit, Mr Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) was requested to disclose how much it cost tax payers money to pay for Buhari’s London medical bills.

The suit also sought to know how much it cost the country to keep the presidential and crew for 103 days at the Stansted Airport in the UK while President Buhari’s treatment lasted.

On the last adjourned date of Feb.16, the CBN and its governor had opposed the suit, arguing that it was not within their immediate responsibilities to disclose such information.

ASRADI had said in the suit that the CBN and its governor refused to honour its Freedom of Information request contained in its letter of Oct. 19, 2017.

But, in their counter affidavit filed on Feb. 13, the CBN and its governor urged the court to reject the applicant’s prayers and dismiss the suit.

They also urged the court to vacate an earlier ex parte order granting leave to the applicant to apply for “a prerogative order of mandamus” compelling them to provide the information requested.

However, they had admitted receiving the Oct. 19, 2017 letter from ASRADI, but forwarded it to the President’s Chief of Staff.

Among other things, ASRAD is seeking an order compelling the respondent to furnish it with information sought in the letter of Oct. 19, 2017.

It also seeks a further order, mandating the CBN and its Governor to pay the plaintiff N10 million in damages for refusal to release information in respect of the letter dated Oct. 19, 2017.(NAN)

Man lured two teenage girls with N100 for sex

Man lured two teenage girls with N100 for sex

The Police in Lagos on Tuesday arraigned a 62-year-old man, Sikiru Gbadamosi in an Ikorodu Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly enticing two teenage girls with money in exchange for sex.

The accused, a resident of 8 Araromi St., Beach Area in Ikorodu community is standing trial on a count charge of sexual assault.

The two teenage girls, aged 11 years and 13 years old respectively also resided in the accused neighbourhood.

The prosecutor, Sgt. John Iberedem, told the court that the defendant committed the offence in March at about 2 p.m. in his apartment.

He said the accused usually invited the girls into his apartment when returning from school to have sex with them and paid them between N100 and N1,000 each.

Iberedem said that the defendant had been sleeping with them for a long time and threatened them not to tell anybody or be dealt with.

The prosecutor said some neighbors confronted the girls on what they were always coming to do with the man, they confessed and the matter was reported to the police.

Iberedem said the girls were taken to the hospital adding that reports conducted on the girls’ vagina confirmed defilement.

The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 263 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that section 263 stipulates a life imprisonment on conviction.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs F. A. Azeez, granted the accused bail of N1 million with two sureties in like sum.

She ruled that the sureties must be of grade level 12 and above and has a land that has Certificate of Occupancy.

Azeez also said that one of the sureties must be his family member who paid tax to the Lagos State Government.

She adjourned the case until May 9 for mention. (NAN)

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2019 polls: Buhari appoints Keyamo campaign spokesman
April 17, 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a lawyer, Festus Keyamo, as Director General, Strategic Communications, of his 2019 re-election campaign.

The Director of General of Buhari Campaign Organisation and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, released Keyamo’s letter of appointment to State House reporters on Tuesday.

The letter, dated April 16, was signed by Amaechi.

Amaechi explained that Keyamo’s appointment was to aid Buhari’s nomination process for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the subsequent campaign for the presidential election.

According to the minister,  Keyamo is expected to be the spokesman for the campaigns during the nomination process and at the subsequent campaigns for the 2019 presidential election.

Presidency: How Sani Sidi, 7 NEMA directors looted billions

Presidency: How Sani Sidi, 7 NEMA directors looted billions

The Presidency last night released what it called an authoritative report on how seven suspended directors of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) allegedly stole over a billion naira, $284,000 and £95,000.

A Presidency official, in a statement, said the report indicated that the immediate past NEMA Director General, Mohammed Sani Sidi, maintained 20 different accounts in various banks despite his public servant status.

The official alleged that the suspended staff had hurriedly and illegally taken the matter to the House of Representatives in a pre-emptive move to stonewall the ongoing investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) hoping for a cover-up.

He said an authoritative report submitted to the Presidency by agencies involved in the investigations and activities of the suspended directors, revealed clear cases of abuse of office, graft and collusion on the part of the NEMA directors.

He stated: “This is in direct contradiction to the impressions of innocence created last week regarding the seven suspended staff of the agency by the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

“The indicted officials indeed have genuine cases to answer; actually some of the officers have made confessional statements, while others could simply not explain the money and properties already traced to them.”

“Based on the facts contained in the report, their claim of innocence cannot be substantiated and the presumed understanding they are getting from the House of Representatives is indeed a true reflection of the current state of affairs in Nigeria, where the most corrupt often seek to cover their misdeed by pointing accusing fingers at others.”

The House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management had recently called for the immediate reinstatement of the directors, saying they we’re suspended without due process by the NEMA governing council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

But the Presidency official said Monday that details of the report “revealed that the affected persons, in league with the former Director General of NEMA may have formed an alliance with certain already identified House Committee members and illegally procured and stole various papers from NEMA files in their bid to exonerate themselves and challenge their suspension, claiming they were innocent whistleblowers being victimized by the board.

“While the impression at the House last week presents the indicted officials as victims of circumstance, “the reality is rather different and there is evidence now accruing to government that the action of the some in the House may be an attempt to protect the suspended directors in an unwholesome deal, which is already causing ripples even in the National Assembly.”

He said a query being raised in the Presidency was about the need for some in the House of Representatives to be involved “in what is certainly an illegal removal of official documents through the staff and their acceptance by some in the House, when the House had the constitutional powers to access the document but resort otherwise.

“The report submitted to the Presidency shows the enormity of the crimes committed by the officials which comprised misappropriation of public funds, frivolous claims of personal emoluments and conspiracy with the other officials to short-change the Federal Government of due revenues, among others.

“Regarding the former NEMA DG, Mr. Sani Sidi, for instance, it was indicated that he maintained 20 different accounts in various banks, despite his public servant status.  “EFCC found suspicious deposits amounting to 164,000 US Dollars in his domiciliary account at Standard Chartered Bank alone, all within 18 months, i.e., between January 2014 and June 2015.

‘This almost averages out at $10,000 per month. At the same time, he had up to £58,000 in his Pound Sterling Account. He faces allegations of misappropriation of public funds, frivolous claims of personal emoluments and conspiracy with the other officials to short-change the Federal Government of due revenues.”

He said the suspended Director of Finance and Accounts, Akinbola Hakeem Gbolahan, was also indicted for maintaining many bank accounts with questionable transactionsz adding that “EFCC, the report indicated, has noted in particular his account in GTBank where suspicious deposits were found, totaling N27, 650,000 which is, in addition, the over £37,000 and $120,000 found in his domiciliary accounts, and his Naira account which has several suspicious deposits in excess of N50 million, much of which flowed directly from NEMA.

“For the Ag. Director of Special Duties, Mr Umesi Emenike, findings from the report revealed that funds meant for programmes and maintenance of the South-South Zone operations of NEMA under his supervision were paid directly into his personal accounts (14 of them have been discovered by EFCC in various banks), instead of the Zonal Office Account. And he was found to have withdrawn freely in cash, by electronic transfers or through ATM Machines, without any evidence of the money being used for NEMA activities.

“Also according to the report, his subordinate, the Zonal Accountant, also made several cash lodgements into the personal account of Mr. Emenike. About N238, 000,000 has so far been traced from NEMA directly to Mr. Emenike’s personal accounts which were placed in fixed deposits and used freely by the Ag. Director.

“The report also revealed that the Director of Risk Reduction, Mr Alhassan Nuhu, also maintained 5 bank accounts which were apparently used as conduits to receive and distribute money from NEMA coffers.

“According to the report, so far, Mr. Nuhu has not been able to give satisfactory account of the transactions, including NEMA Funds moving through him to a company called Dambo Farms Limited.

“The case of the pilot in charge of NEMA’s Air Ambulance is especially interesting. His name is Mamman Ali Ibrahim. On his own, he commercialized both the NEMA Air Ambulance and Helicopter. The report further indicates that EFCC traced at least N285 million to him, of which only N63 million was paid to the Accountant General’s Office and another N11 million was paid to NEMA, but the rest cannot be accounted for.

“According to the report, some of the money was however channeled to his family members through his company, Aerocare West Africa Limited, while others in foreign exchange were directly traced to the former DG’s accounts.

“The report also indicted the Chief Maintenance Officer; Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa Deji who was in charge of fuel supplies to NEMA Generators and was found to have been receiving regular returns into his personal account from the supplier, Rekimat Global Resource Limited. It was also noted in the report that since Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa was suspended; the fuel that used to last for one week now lasts for more than a month.

“There is also the case of M. Kanar Mohammed, the Director of Welfare. His six bank accounts were found to be replete with NEMA funds, including a N214 million meant for displaced traditional rulers in the North East, N184 million paid by him to one Crystal Chambers and N29.5 million paid by him to a former Minister, Abdul Bulama.

“The report, however, indicated that all the indicted officers are still under investigation mainly by EFCC and their suspension was obviously to ensure they don’t remain in office to tamper with evidence in the process of due investigation.”

The presidency official said it was therefore expected that the final report of investigation would soon be ready after which the seven NEMA suspended directors would face “for sure criminal prosecution.”

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Health workers to begin indefinite strike today
April 17, 2018
Health workers to begin indefinite strike today

The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has directed its members in all Federal Health institutions nationwide to commence indefinite strike from Tuesday midnight April 17, 2018.

This followed the Federal Government’s failure to implement agreement signed with the unions

The five health sector unions that make up JOHESU are, Medical and Health Workers Unions of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated institutions (SSAUTHRIAM), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes (NASU).

The unions also placed on red alert ýstates and local government health institutions to continue sensitisation and mobilisation of members for possible entry, should government foot-drag in attending to demand by members.

JOHESU had on September 30, 2017 suspended ýa nationwide strike after signing a memorandum of terms of settlement, which was to be implemented within five weeks.

Speaking with journalists on the development, chairman of JOHESU, Biobelemoye Josiah said the issues were upward adjustment of CONHESS salary scale, arrears of skipping CONHESS 10, employment of additional health professionals, implementation of court judgement and upward review of retirement age from 60-65.

He said it was disheartening that six months after suspending the action, the Federal Government had failed to implement terms of agreements.

“JOHESU, as a mature and responsible organisation, gave 21 days notice on 5th February, 2018, in the first instance, to enable the Federal Government do the needful. At the expiration of the 21 days notice, the leadership of JOHESU reconvened to re-appraise the situation on ground and noted the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government towards the implementation of the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement signed on 30th September, 2017.

“Furtherance with our mantra as peace lovers, who have the interest of the masses at heart, another 30 working days ultimatum was issued to the Federal Government on 5th of March, 2018, to alert the government of the impending nationwide strike.

“Consequent upon this, JOHESU has no other choice than to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike as from midnight of Tuesday 17th April,   ý2018; when the 30 working days is expected to expire”.

Josiah appealed to well meaning Nigerians to prevail on government to meet the demand of the unions.

Research Institute Trains Farmers On Horticultural Practices In Ebonyi

The National Horticulture Research Institute (NAHORT) has trained farmers drawn from various communities in Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on three key areas of food crop production based on horticulture value chain.

The training programme, which lasted for three days, was held at Osborne La Palm Hotels, Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state and was facilitated by the representative of the council areas in the House of Representatives, Hon. Linus Okorie.

Acting Executive Director of the institute, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, in his speech, said that the aim of the training was to revamp the economy through agriculture which he said that the President Muhammadu Buhari was passionate about.Anchor Borrowers Programme

He disclosed that the federal government through its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has set up an initiative called Green Alternative, as a machinery to drive the course.

“After the training, the farmers will be empowered with farming materials such as the seeds; teach them preservative methods, and provide them with some amount of money so that they can take off. We carefully selected three horticultural courses for this training. They are: Telfaria (Ugu), Irvingia (Ogbono), and Occimum Graticinum (Scent Leaves).

“All these crops have domestic and international market value. We also want to train them on how they can generate money from engaging in that area of farming and possibly graduate to exporting their produce”, he explained.

Meanwhile, the beneficiaries where also given some seedlings and other agric chemicals to assist them their farming activities and boost productivity.

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How intercropping benefits farmers in Nigeria
April 16, 2018
How intercropping benefits farmers

Experts have advised farmers on ideal situation for intercropping leguminous with non-leguminous crops so as to enhance the fertility of the soil and get maximum yield on the farm.

An agronomist, Alhaji Kabir R. Charanchi who has decades of experience in the field said that some farmers plant legumes in between the stems of the cereal crops on the same ridge leaving a space of 4m in between stands of cereal crop

elative advantage sets in when the financial status of the farmer was considered, “Not every farmer at a certain period can boast of even N80, 000 not to talk more of N130, 000, they have no option,

“So that’s why they can’t go into that production because they don’t have the money. Even though government is subsidising fertiliser not every farmer can afford to buy,” he said.

Although more yield is obtained in mono-cropping whether in the northern or southern part of the country because of the higher planting density as you can get up to 53,000 to 55,000 stands per hectare in maize.

He said that in extreme parts of the north, the yield of maize due to rainfall limitation is 2 tonnes to 2.5 tonnes per hectare. But in areas like Musawa and Funtua axis where is a bit wetter, at farmer level you could get up to 3.5 tonnes per hectare.

He noted that the decline in yield per hectare was a direct effect of climate change with the constant dry spells, shortage of rainfall and fluctuations in rainfall pattern.

He gave an example with farmers in Batsari area of Katsina state, who intercrop millet and sweet potato cuttings noting that per hectare, a farmer could harvest up to 100 bundles of grains which is approximately 2.5 tonnes of millet per hectare and about hundred bags of sweet potato.

Windstorm displaces 500, destroys property in Kogi

Windstorm has displaced over 500 people and destroyed properties worth millions of Naira in Ife- Ijumu in Ijumu Local Government of Kogi State.

The member representing Ijumu State Constituency at the Kogi state House of Assembly, Victor Omofaiye, who raised the issue on the floor of the house on Wednesday, noted that the natural disaster caused untold trauma and pains on the affected community

According to him, public and private institutions such as churches, business centres, electricity poles and wires were not spared by the windstorms that lasted for about thirty minutes and properties worth millions of naira were also destroyed.

“It is an open fact that this ugly incident has made the affected victims who were formerly landlords temporary tenants on the mercy of good Samaritans who are scouting them in their compounds”, Omofaiye lamented.

The lawmaker however called on the State Government to direct the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials as palliative measure to the affected victims so as to enable them keep their bodies and soul together.

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Reordered election battle: We can’t be disbanded – Pro-Buhari senators
April 16, 2018
Reordered election battle: We can't be disbanded – Pro-Buhari senators

Members of the Parliamentary Support Group (PSG) for President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday faulted the Senate’s resolution disbanding their association, saying they cannot be intimidated.

PSG was formed as a result of the passage of the amendment made to the 2010 Electoral Act on February 14 this year.  The group was against the reordered election sequence said to be targeted at President Buhari.

The Senate on Thursday suspended the secretary of the PSG, Senator Ovie Oma-Agege (APC, Delta) over his remarks that the public perception was that the reordered election sequence was targeted at Buhari. Aside the suspension, the PSG was also proscribed.

Daily Trust gathered that immediately after Oma-Agege was suspended, members of the group met at the National Assembly where they reviewed the proscription of PSG among others.

It was gathered that at the meeting which lasted for about an hour with key members in attendance, they resolved to ignore the proscription and continue with the association. In a phone interview, one of the leaders of the PSG, said their group could not be disbanded.

The senator, who did not want to be named, said five other groups were in existence in the Senate.

“We have five other groups in the Senate. So, why are they saying they have disbanded ours?  We have Southern senators’ forum, Northern  senators forum, APC caucus,  PDP caucus and even Northeast caucus. They are all interest groups like ours.

“Ask Saraki, how did he emerge as the Senate President ? Was it not through the like minds group? Why are they after the PSG? Freedom of association is guaranteed by the constitution,” he said.

Describing the proscription as unconstitutional, he said they had resolved to go ahead with the group, adding “We are going to meet this week. No going back on this.”

Even though Oma-Agege’s suspension was hinged on a court case he instituted, it was gathered that his main offence was the collation of signatures against the reordered election. Senators told our correspondent that weeks ago, Oma-Agege moved from one office to another collating signatures for the support of President Buhari’s decision.

Buhari had in a letter read on March 13, this year at both chambers of the National Assembly, rejected the amendment made to the Electoral Act, citing constitutional matters.

Weeks ago, the Senate began the move to override the President’s  action. A bill to that effect sponsored by Senator Nazif Suleiman (APC, Bauchi) has scaled first reading. It is expected to be listed for second reading any time from now.

Wait for 2023 presidency, ex-MILAD tells Atiku, others

Wait for 2023 presidency, ex-MILAD tells Atiku, others

A former military governor of Plateau State during the regime of former military President Ibrahim Babangida, retired Major-General Aliyu Adu Umar Kama, has urged those trying to contest against President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 to wait till 2023.

Apparently referring to a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, former Jigawa State governor Sule Lamido and a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Kingsley Moghalu among others, Kama said it would be unwise for anyone irrespective of their inclinations to want to contest against President Buhari next yea

He was speaking Saturday in Abuja at the Hoba community grand reception for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Gida Mustapha, by the Hoba elders council.

According to the former Milad, the Hoba people of Adamawa State are grateful to President Buhari for appointing two sons of the community as SGF successively and pledged continuous support for the Buhari administration.

Responding, SGF Mustapha pledged to conduct himself creditably in office and that he would work hard to ensure that at the end of service, his people would be proud of him.

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