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Kyari: Buhari doesn’t seek favour from NNPC

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Kyari: Buhari doesn’t seek favour from NNPC

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari, yesterday,  said since his inauguration in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has never sought any favour from the agency.

This was as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu,  said that the anti-graft agency was battling powerful forces in the polity.

Kyari, who was appointed the NNPc’s GMD a few weeks ago, noted that the corporation was committed to Open Government Partnership.

Kyari stated this at a Roundtable Discussion to mark the Third African Anti-Corruption Day in Abuja.

The event was organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), after a walk to create awareness on Anti-corruption.

“The President has never asked to do anything for him in our transactions and he does not interfere with what we do.

“We will do our best to be transparent and open on whatever we do. We are accountable to this country”, Kyari said.

He further noted: “NNPC is the focal organisation for the Open Government Partnership. Whatever we are doing, we will make sure it is open.

“I urge all of us to be part of the anti-corruption campaign. Corruption can only thrive where there is discretion. We have reduced discretion to the barest minimum in what we do.”

Meanwhile, Magu has said that the commission was contending with powerful forces, in its efforts to rid the polity of corruption.

Nonetheless, the EFCC’s chairman vowed, in his welcome address at the event, to sustain the anti-graft war not minding whose ox is gored.

He said: “The forces we are against are powerful because they have a lot of stolen funds with them and enough resources to frustrate investigation and prosecution.

“But we are determined to lead the fight against corruption. To get these funds and assets back has become a problem.”

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NGO to hold talks on trauma management in Lagos

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A conference that would provide a platform for debate and stimulation of inter-disciplinary discussions in the fields of trauma care and emergency response management in the country will hold in Ikeja, Lagos today. Director of the convening Non governmental organistion (NGO), Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF), Dr. Deola Philips said it had become imperative to find ways to address the menace of trauma which had become a public health burden in Nigeria. The theme of the conference is ‘Trauma Care: The Way Forward’.

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World Toilet Day: WaterAid preaches dignity of sanitation workers

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Anew report on sanitation has raised the alarm on the absence of a framework for faecal management in Nigeria.

To this end, WaterAid has called on the three tiers of government to ensure the health and dignity of sanitation workers by establishing the right policy framework for faecal sludge management as well as back such policies with action.

The call was contained in the new report, which was issued to commemorate the World Toilet Day, marked globally today, November 17.

The report is jointly authored by the International Labour Organisation, WaterAid, World Bank and World Health Organisation to raise awareness on the de-humanising working conditions and to push for change.

The report revealed that millions of sanitation workers in developing countries like Nigeria were forced to work in conditions that endanger their health and lives.

Despite providing an essential public service, sanitation workers were often the most marginalised, poor and discriminated against members of society who carry out their jobs with no equipment, protection or legal rights, often violating their dignity and human rights.

According to the report, rapid urbanisation was also putting further strain on an already inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure.

Sanitation employees are the men and women who work at any part of the long sanitation chain that begins when we go to the toilet and ends when waste is disposed of or reused.

Their jobs can include cleaning toilets, emptying pits and septic tanks, cleaning sewers and manholes and operating pumping stations and treatment plants.

Sanitation workers often come into direct contact with human waste, working with no equipment or protection, which exposes them to a wide variety of health hazards and disease.

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Buhari pledges more investment in education

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Buhari pledges more investment in education

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday promised Nigerians that the current administration would use education to fast track transition of the nation to a modern society capable of favourably competing with other nations. The President, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said this during the 2019 convocation, and 71st Foundation Day ceremony, award of doctorate degrees and conferment of honorary degrees and Fellowship on some prominent Nigerians at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. At the event which took place at the International Conference Centre of the university, Buhari said that his administration would continue to substantially invest in education to make the country a knowledgebased economy. He nevertheless urged the graduating students to contribute to nation building and be good ambassadors of the university.

Buhari said: “I charge you to make meaningful contribution for the development of the nation in particular and humanity in general. It is my belief and prayer that the recognizance of these prominent Nigerians especially Aare Afe Babalola (one of the awardees) will spur the graduating students to cultivate selfless service to humanity. “One of the main purposes of the university education is nation building. “To achieve this noble objective, you have to be good ambassadors of this school by deploying your skills for national growth and development.

“The university and government at all levels have invested for you graduates to be useful for yourself, your parents, community and to the larger society. Here today we are celebrating an important milestone in your life. “I therefore urge you all to justify the investment in you. We will continue to invest substantially in education and government has not relented in its efforts to ensure that education is used to fast track Nigeria’s transition to a modern society.” A total of 343 candidates from various disciplines were awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

The Faculty of Education led the pack with a total of 70, followed by the Faculty of Science with 60 PhDs and the Faculty of Agriculture with 44. Five distinguished Nigerians were given honorary doctoral degrees and Fellowship awards. Among them was the Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti who received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Three of former teachers of the university made the prestigious list. They included the ninth Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayodele Falase, who received an honorary Fellowship; the foundation Dean of Technology, Prof. Fola Aboaba and the former Dean of the Social Sciences, Professor Emmanuel Edozien. Similarly, Prof. Alex Chika Eze, an alumnus received an honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc.). Speaking on behalf of other awardees, Aare Babalola (SAN) called for autonomy of public universities in Nigeria to attain a world-class standard. Babalola said: “I wish to utilize this auspicious occasion to address an issue that worries me day and night which is the autonomy of public universities in Nigeria

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EU-UN blames child marriage for obstetric fistula

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EU-UN blames child marriage for obstetric fistula

The European Union United Nations (EU-UN) Spotlight Initiative has blamed child marriage in the country for an increased in obstetric fistula as 43% of girls marry before the age of 18 and 17 % of them were married off before age 15.

This, it said had given rise to 20,000 new cases of obstetric fistula which occurred every year as a result of child marriages in the country.

This was disclosed by EU-UN Spotlight Initiative during a two-day media engagement on violence against women and girls for southern journalists in the country.

According to the Initiative, violence and other forms of harmful practices against women and girls were on the rise in the country despite the war against the menace.

UNICEF child protection specialist, Mrs. Olasunbo Odebode described violence against women and girls as a silent killer that had taken the lives of scores of victims which the health outcome had gone beyond direct result of physical, psychological or mental health issues.

She said: “The social context of violence against women and girls is based on the traditional patriarchal structure that defines gender. It is the belief in Nigeria being a patriarchal society that women are subordinate to men and when married, they surrender to their husbands

“Women do not have a say in decision making, issues concerning their lives are decided upon and determined by others usually men and older women in the family, and violence is prevalent in the society.”

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Okigwe Constituency deserves better representation, says APC candidate

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Okigwe Constituency deserves better representation, says APC candidate

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming rerun election in Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe Federal Constituency of Imo State, Princess Miriam Onuoha, has urged the people of the constituency to come out en masse and vote for the APC on an election day.

Speaking in a reaction to the Appeal Court’s nullification of the election of Kingsley Onwubuariri, in Owerri, the APC candidate said she dedicated the victory to God, her supporters and the judiciary, which she said remained the last hope of the common man.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri had at the weekend upheld the judgment of the electoral tribunal that sacked Onwubuariri and also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the entire federal constituency within 90 days.

While dedicating her victory to God and the people of the constituents, the APC candidate enjoined all to capitalize on the golden opportunity to vote her again in the rerun election, so as to enjoy the remarkable dividends of democracy like never before in the history of Okigwe North Federal constituency.

Frowning at the state of total neglect and  current poor representation of Okigwe North at the Green Chambers, Onuoha pledged to effect  sound and productive  representation to the people of Okigwe North when elected.

The APC candidate also added that her performance as SURE-P representative which earned her the title “Mama SURE-P” in the last administration is proof of serving the people judiciously.

She urged all registered voters in the zone to come out en masse in the soon to be scheduled rerun election and vote her again.

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Court restrains NAFDAC from deploying banned chemical for public use 

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Court restrains NAFDAC from deploying banned chemical for public use 

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of a Federal High Court in Lagos has  restrained the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from deploying a banned chemical, methyl bromide, allegedly imported into the country by a firm, Toon Consolidated Company Limited, for public use.
Other defendants affected by the order are: the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Justice.
NAFDAC and the other defendants were dragged to court by a retired judge of the Osun State High Court, Justice Olamide Oloyede and an NGO, Virtues Unlimited Restorative Justice Initiative (VURJI), over alleged illegal importation of the banned chemical.
The restraining order, which was made Monday by the judge, was sequel to a request by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Olukayode Enitan (SAN).
In his submissions, the silk drew the court’s attention to a motion for interlocutary injunction seeking to stop the defendants from deploying the chemical for public use pending the determination of the suit.
However, his motion could not be moved because all the defendants’ lawyers present in court asked for time to respond to it.
Following the development, Enitan urged Justice Oguntoyinbo to issue an interim order to preserve the ‘res’ of the suit.

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Court hears army’s objection to Falana’s suit on OPI

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Court hears army’s objection to Falana’s suit on OPI

Justice Mohammed Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos will next week Thursday hear the preliminary objection filed by the Nigerian Army against the suit filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, to challenge the controversial Operation Positive Identification (OPI).
The judge had at the last hearing of the matter on November 5, ordered the army to suspend the operation pending the final determination of the suit.
At Monday’s proceedings, the lawyer representing the Army and the Chief of Army Staff (1st and 2nd respondents), Mrs. Olayemi Badewole, drew the court’s attention to a motion dated November 14, 2019, seeking to regularize her clients’ notice of preliminary objection.
In the absence of any opposition from other parties in the matter, she moved the motion and her request was granted by the court.
The Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata (SAN), who represented the Attorney General of the Federation (3rd respondent) had earlier informed the court that necessary processes in respect of the suit has been filed and served on the plaintiff.
Responding, a lawyer from Falana’s chambers, E. E. Olawale, while acknowledging the receipt of the processes, sought for an adjournment to enable him respond appropriately.
Justice Aikawa subsequently adjourned the matter to November 28 for the hearing of all preliminary objections to the suit.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen.Tukur Buratai, the Army and the Attorney-General of the Federation were joined as co-respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1939/2019.
In the suit, Falana argued that the planned nationwide operation which was scheduled to run from November 1 to December 23, 2019, by which Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with means of identification is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

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NDDC’s debt: National Assembly to probe NLNG, Shell, 15 other IOCs

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NDDC’s debt: National Assembly to probe NLNG, Shell, 15 other IOCs

…Finance minister, CBN Gov to testify

A joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has concluded arrangements to investigate 17 international oil companies (IOCs) including the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Shell Petroleum and Conoil for alleged indebtedness to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).
Other oil firms, which are to be quizzed by the joint committee, are Shebah Express Petroleum, Atlas Petroleum, Allied Energy, Frontier Oil, Seven Energy Limited, Belma Oil Producing Limited, AITECO Exploration and Production, Dubrin Oil and Continental Oil and Gas.
Also to be investigated is Enageed Resources Limited, New Cross exploration and Production, Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Development Company and Prime Exploration and Production Company.
Co-chairman of the joint committee and House of Representatives committee chairman on NDDC, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (APC, Ondo), who disclosed this Monday in a chat with the media in Abuja, explained that as part of the investigation, the Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris and Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Anthony Ayine will also testify before the joint committee.
According to Tunji-Ojo, records have shown that the affected oil companies jointly owning the NDDC N72 billion and $73 million respectively adding that the federal government is also owning the agency a whopping N1.2 trillion.

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Senate disowns Hate Speech Bill, says it’s Abdullahi’s idea

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Senate disowns Hate Speech Bill, says it’s Abdullahi’s idea

Worried by the spate of criticisms that have greeted the Hate Speech Bill which passed first reading last week, the Senate has distanced itself from the proposed legislation

The acting spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, told journalists in Abuja on Monday that contrary to widespread impression, the bill was not the idea of the ninth Senate

He said it was solely being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, based on his conviction.

Akwashiki described as unfortunate, the statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which insinuated that the bill was a Senate bill, skewed to make the alleged third term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari possible.

He maintained that the fate of the bill would be determined on the floor of the Senate after a robust debate by senators.

Meanwhile, the ex-spokesperson for the Senate, who sponsored the bill, insisted at a news briefing on Monday that his proposed legislation is aimed at achieving peace in the country.

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Buhari congratulates Lyon, condemns violence in Bayelsa

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Buhari congratulates Lyon, condemns violence in Bayelsa

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, David Lyon, on his “impressive victory”.

He felicitated with the governor-elect in a statement on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The President also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in Bayelsa who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, despite the pockets of unrest recorded in some parts of the state.

He, however, condemned the loss of lives in the state, particularly prior to the election and, commiserated with the families of the victims.

“Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement.

He noted that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

According to the President, it is unfortunate that pockets of unrest, mostly sponsored by desperate politicians were recorded during the poll.

He promised to work with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.

Buhari also urged the governor-elect to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance.

He appealed to those aggrieved by the outcome of the election to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.

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