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SS3 students may sit for GCE if there is no shift in WAEC timetable – FG says

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The Federal Government has said that SS3 students may have to sit for the General Certificate Examinations (GCE) in November if there is no shift in the timetable of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said this during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, July 23, in Abuja.

He said if Nigeria cannot convince WAEC to shift its examinations, sitting for the GCE may become the only option for Nigerian students.

He added that if Nigeria is able to meet up with the WAEC timetable, there is already a negotiated timeline to move local language subjects such as Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba behind to allow all participating countries the needed time to write the general subjects at the same time.

Nwajiuba also said the ministry will be meeting with relevant stakeholders on July 30 to assess preparations towards safe reopening of schools.

The Minister said: “The Ghanaians will take examinations peculiar to them. But they are all in the first part of the time table so we will work out a domestication module that will take our peculiar subjects behind after we have done generals.

“This will buy us the time we need for all of us to be at par with the rest of West Africa and operating at the same time because the unanimity with which WAEC has always worked is still very important to us.

“Nigeria is not moving away from it, the option would have been to go to November to take the GCE external exams. Nigeria is carefully studying that if in the event everything fails, we may go to that way.”

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Government News

Nigerian students won’t write 2020 WAEC – FG

The Nigerian government has announced that Nigerian students will not be participating in the forthcoming West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu made the announcement after the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday July 8. 

The Minister who also disclosed that there is no date yet for school resumption, added that he will prefer Nigerian students lose an academic year than expose them to danger. 

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Government News

President Buhari reportedly appoints dead Ebonyi lawmaker as member, Board Of Federal Character Commission President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a dead former lawmaker from Ebonyi State, Tobias Chukwuemeka

President Buhari reportedly appoints dead Ebonyi lawmaker as member, Board Of Federal Character Commission
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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a dead former lawmaker from Ebonyi State, Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru, to the board of the Federal Character Commission, SaharaReporters reports.

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The appointment of the late Okwuru alongside 37 others was contained in a letter Buhari sent to the Nigerian Senate for confirmation.

President Buhari reportedly appoints dead Ebonyi lawmaker as member, Board Of Federal Character Commission

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, read out the letter on Tuesday during plenary. 

But findings by SaharaReporters has revealed that Okwuru, who once represented Ikwo/Ezza Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, died in February 2020 at the age of 59. 

During his lifetime, he served as state auditor of Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Whip of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, before moving to represent his constituency at the National Assembly. 

Interestingly, this won’t be the first time President Buhari will be giving appointment to dead people.

In 2017, the list of appointments into the boards of federal agencies and corporations released was enmeshed in controversy after the names of five persons said to be dead appeared on it.

The dead persons alleged to be on that list were Senator Francis Okpozo (Delta), Rev. Father Christopher Utau (Benue), DIG Donald Ugbaja (retd), Garba Attahiru (Kaduna) and Umar Dange (Sokoto).

President Buhari reportedly appoints dead Ebonyi lawmaker as member, Board Of Federal Character Commission

Similar things have happened over the years. In 2017,  this won’t be the first time President Buhari will be giving appointment to dead people.

In 2017, the list of appointments into the boards of federal agencies and corporations released was enmeshed in controversy after the names of five persons said to be dead appeared on it.

The dead persons alleged to be on that list were Senator Francis Okpozo (Delta), Rev. Father Christopher Utau (Benue), DIG Donald Ugbaja (retd), Garba Attahiru (Kaduna) and Umar Dange (Sokoto).

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News

Sinkhole appears in the middle of a road in Ogbor Hill, Aba, following heavy downpour (photos/video)

Sinkhole appears in the middle of a road in Ogbor Hill, Aba, following heavy downpour (photos/video)
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Heavy rainfall in Aba, Abia State, led to a sinkhole appearing in the middle of the road in Ogbor Hill, just after Waterside.

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Residents emerged from their homes to see the shocking sinkhole in the residential area.

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A mini bus had been swallowed by the hole and residents gathered round the hole in shock as they took on the sight before them.

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Below are more photos and a video.

Sinkhole appears in the middle of a road in Ogbor Hill, Aba, following heavy downpour (photos/video)
Sinkhole appears in the middle of a road in Ogbor Hill, Aba, following heavy downpour (photos/video)
Sinkhole appears in the middle of a road in Ogbor Hill, Aba, following heavy downpour (photos/video)
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News

NERC reverses plan to increase electricity tariff

NERC reverses plan to increase electricity tariff

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has reversed plans to effect the transition to a cost-reflective tariff on April 1.

Recall that in its December 2019 Minor Review of Multi-Year Tariff Order 2015 and Minimum Remittance Order for the Year 2020, the NERC disclosed its plan of effecting a switch to cost-reflective tariff. The move was expected to lead to an increase in electricity tariff. 

The Minister of Power, Mamman Sale has however disclosed that the Federal Government has agreed to delay the implementation of a new tariff plan in the Nigerian Power sector by 3 months. Sale disclosed that the decision was taken due to the Coronavirus pandemic and current economic reality of the Country.

He tweeted; 

The Federal Government has agreed to delay the implementation of a new tariff plan in the Nigerian Power sector by 3 months. This is in relation to the #COVID19 pandemic and current economic reality of the Country.

NERC reverses plan to increase electricity tariff
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Government News

“Build 95 schools not mosques” Nigerians react to news that Jigawa government is set to build 95 mosques in the state

"Build 95 schools not mosques" Nigerians react to news that Jigawa government is set to build 95 mosques in the state

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Nigerians have vehemently opposed the move by the Jigawa state government to build 95 mosques in the state.

The Jigawa state government announced it will open a bidding process for the construction of 95 mosques across the state.

Nigerians took to Twitter to react to this revelation. They pointed out that Jigawa state has over 800,000 out-of-school children, yet, rather than build schools, the government is making plans to build mosques.

Some asked how the new mosques will empower the people or create employment. Some suggested that factories or schools should be built instead. And some said it wouldn’t be right even if it’s 95 new churches that are being built because that shouldn’t be our priority.

Read a few tweets below.

"Build 95 schools not mosques" Nigerians react to news that Jigawa government is set to build 95 mosques in the state
"Build 95 schools not mosques" Nigerians react to news that Jigawa government is set to build 95 mosques in the state
"Build 95 schools not mosques" Nigerians react to news that Jigawa government is set to build 95 mosques in the state
"Build 95 schools not mosques" Nigerians react to news that Jigawa government is set to build 95 mosques in the state
"Build 95 schools not mosques" Nigerians react to news that Jigawa government is set to build 95 mosques in the state
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Government News

El-Zakzaky has eaten N164.5m worth of food in DSS custody

El-Zakzaky was reportedly fed with N164.5 million in 47 months.

El-Zakzaky was detained after soldiers killed over 345 members of his sect and two of his children, following the accusation that members of his sect attempted to kill the Chief of army staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai. [ihrc]

El-Zakzaky was detained after soldiers killed over 345 members of his sect and two of his children, following the accusation that members of his sect attempted to kill the Chief of army staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai. [ihrc]

The Department of State Services (DSS), spent no less than N164.5 million within a four-year span to feed the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky while in its custody, according to a new report.

Punch reports that since El-Zakzaky has been in DSS custody, the accrued cost of feeding the Shiite leader amounts to N164.5 million.

Reacting to the accrued food cost, human rights lawyer and Zakzaky’s counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), lamented that the cost may continue to rise since he is in prison and is therefore still being taken care of with taxpayers’ money.

Falana stressed that El-Zakzaky was granted bail many times, but the court orders were ignored by the federal government until the Kaduna State government decided to charge the IMN leader to court.

“El-Zakzaky is now in prison but he is still being taken care of by the federal government with tax payers’ money,” Falana was quoted as saying.

Recall that the Islamic cleric was arrested after soldiers clamped down on his supporters, killing at least 347 of them. The army accused them of blocking a public road being used by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.

Following his detention in DSS facility since December 12, 2015, El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat are facing an eight-count charge of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disturbance of public peace at the Kaduna High Court.

On why the Shiites leader remains in the DSS custody, Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, explained that the Federal Government does not interfere with cases that are being prosecuted by a state government.

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Government News

$30bn loan request: Sen. Adeola says money necessary for development

Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Sen Olamilekan Adeola on Thursday said the plan by the Federal Government to borrow about 30 billion dollars was a necessary step to catalyse development.

Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan Yayi. [Twitter]

Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan Yayi. [Twitter]

Adeola made the statement in Lagos while speaking with newsmen at the End-of the-Year-Party he organised for residents of his Lagos West Senatorial constituency.

He said concerns raised in some quarters about the loan were not necessary, as the facility was needed to promote the economy.

Adeola said that the loan was necessary to fund many ambitious on-going projects across the country, which would impact greatly on the economy and lives of Nigerians when completed.

”’The 30 billion dollar loan the Federal Government is sourcing for is not one of those frivolous loans; this is a loan that is tied to projects.

”This loan is needed to fund landmark and ambitious projects such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the East West Road, the Second Niger Bridge, among others.

”We need a large chunk of money to get all these projects completed . So, it is only if government access this loan that we can give all these great projects the right direction.

”Again, the government needs this loan to execute those projects that would impact and transform the economy and put the country on the path of progress. So, the loan is necessary,” he said.

The senator said the country was faced with serious infrastructural deficit that would be substantially reduced with government accessing the loan.

He said the 9th National Assembly was working in tandem with the executive to deliver on all on-going projects across the country .

Adeola said the country’s economy was on the course of progress and it would even get better with the policies of the executive and the interventions of the National Assembly.

He said the return of the budget cycle to January to December would significantly promote the development of the country.

The economy is moving in the right direction; the economy is blossoming.

”We in the ninth assembly just succeeded in returning the budget cycle to January to December, and with this, we have ensured all that needs to be done in a calendar year can be achieved.

”There is no more haphazard budget implementation; we now have a full year budget implementation which runs from January to December,” he said.

He said the National Assembly had amended the Public Procurement Act to increase the mobilisation for contracts from 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

Adeola explained that the aim of the amendment was to ensure that contractors were well mobilised to address the problem of abandoned projects .

The Senator said that the Finance Bill, recently passed into law, was to address all the issues with taxation with a view to promoting development.

He said the Senate Committee, headed by him, would continue to discharge its duties in line with the progress of the country.

Adeola said the belief in some quarters that the 9th National Assembly was a rubber stamp to the executive was unfair.

He said the legislature would always act independently of the executive.

Adeola said that the legislature was collaborating with the executive for progress and it should not be misnterpreted that the National Assembly was a rubber stamp.

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Government News

Oshiomhole says he doesn’t want to be Obaseki’s god-father

Obaseki and Oshiomhole have been at loggerheads for a while over political differences, which has split the ruling party in the state.

Godwin Obaseki and Adams Oshiomhole have been at loggerheads for a while over political differences which has split the ruling party in the state. (Vanguard)

Godwin Obaseki and Adams Oshiomhole have been at loggerheads for a while over political differences which has split the ruling party in the state. (Vanguard)

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has said he is not interested in being a god-father to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

He said he feels embarrassed when people say he seeks to be the godfather of politics in Edo state.

Oshiomhole said this in an interview on Friday, December 20, 2019.

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Recall that Obaseki and Oshiomhole have been at loggerheads for a while over political differences which has split the ruling party in the state.

He said, “I think as a brother and to be honest, I regard the governor as my brother and a very close friend, what I owe him is to assist where he wants me to. To help him make peace with anyone whom he has issues with.

“As part of my efforts to resolve the problems in Edo state, there was a time the governor told me he would not have anything to do with Charles Idahosa because he lost his booth during his own governorship election; but it was here in this my living room that I invited Idahosa and he did not know the governor was coming, I invited the governor he did not know Idahosa was coming.

“When the governor entered the room, Idahosa sat and said he was not going to have a handshake with him and used a language for me that was derogatory. I said ‘No, Charles. You cannot talk like that. This is the governor and you must respect him.’ And I said, ‘Governor, please whatever Charles has done that you are not happy about, we have won, put them behind you.’ I said in this business, if you didn’t work with people because of their electoral value, sometimes you would work with them because of their nuisance value. So you would not gain by saying you wouldn’t work with this one or this one.

“My own embarrassment is when they say Oshiomhole wants to be like a godfather. If I wanted to be, I will be nominating commissioners. I only persuaded him to accept one commissioner from me, only one and I gave my reasons. He was a founding member of my campaign organisation in 2006, Mika. Other than Mika, I did not nominate any commissioner; I did not nominate any special adviser, special assistant because for me these are governance issues. So where is the godfather from?

Oshiomole was recently suspendedby a faction of the APC in Edo State.

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Government News

Buhari meets Lyon, Oshiomhole, APC govs behind closed doors

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with Bayelsa Governor-elect, Mr. David Lyon, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor-elect was accompanied on the visit by National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiohmole, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Gov. Badaru Abubakar Jigawa as well as Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva.

Lyon, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the Nov. 16 election in Bayelsa was declared winner after polling 352,552 votes.

Lyon defeated his closest rival, Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 143,172 votes.