Acting President signs 3 Bills into law

Nigerian Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has signed into law, three Bills transmitted by the National Assembly, which are now Acts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Deolu Akande, said this in statement released on Saturday.

The Acts are the Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2018; the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2018; and the Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology (Science) Jos (Establishment) Act, 2018.

Agro-forestry systems
“The Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2018 provides the framework, as envisaged by Section 303 of the Constitution, for the administration of the Civil Service of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Commission established under the Act will, without prejudice to the powers of the President, be responsible for the appointment and disciplinary control of staff in the Civil Service of the FCT. 

It states that the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2018 establishes the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria for forestry research, education and training. The Institute, with its Headquarters in Ibadan, will have outstations and colleges in each of the six geo-political zones of the Federation. The institute will, among others, conduct research into the development of agro-forestry systems for the integration of forest trees of economic importance into farming systems; ecology of pests and diseases and their control; and the control of desertification, soil erosion and deforestation.

The statement added that the Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology (Science) Jos (Establishment) Act, 2018 establishes the School of Medical Laboratory Technology (Science) Jos, a diploma and certificate-awarding Institute, for training and research in Medical Laboratory Science and other related fields.

World Leaders mourn Kofi Annan

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair has led tributes to the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, describing him as a “true statesman.”

During his time as secretary general, Mr Annan clashed with Mr Blair over the 2003 invasion of Iraq by US and British forces, which he denounced as illegal.

However the former prime minister whose time in No 10 coincided closely with Mr Annan’s time in office said their differences had not prevented them remaining good friends.

“I’m shocked and distressed to hear the news about Kofi. He was a good friend whom I saw only weeks ago,” Mr Blair said in a statement.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May said that she was sad to learn of Mr Annan’s death and that her thoughts were with his family.

May tweeted; “A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.”

Indian Ministers tweet
Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted on behalf of the President Ram Nath Kovind, “Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. My condolences to his family and to the UN community.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “We express our profound sorrow at the passing away of Nobel Laureate and former UNSG Mr. Kofi Annan. The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security.

“Kofi Annan’s significant contribution to the MDGs will always be remembered. My thoughts are with his family and admirers in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace.”

Former Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tweeted, “The world has lost a great leader today. Kofi initiated the Millennium Development Goals. He did everything possible to prevent the Iraq War. He spoke for our common humanity. I will miss him too as a dear friend, colleague and source of encouragement.”

Fighting poverty and injustice
Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who is currently the UN special envoy for global education said Mr Annan had fought throughout his life against poverty and injustice.

“Kofi Annan was a leader of leaders, a wonderful humanitarian and the most compassionate and caring of individuals…Personally modest and always softly spoken, he was a titan amongst world statesman who saw wrong and righted it and who witnessed evil and always fought it…Even in his later years he fought against poverty, injustice and war with all the vigour of youth and I had the privilege of working with him in recent times.”

“Deeply shocked to learn of the passing of my friend and mentor Kofi Annan. The last time we spoke he had accepted my invitation to come to Kerala in 2022 to celebrate his “thousand moons…He was so fit I had no doubt he would go on well past that date. I have lost an elder brother,” the Congress leader and former Undersecretary-General Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

He said;Kofi Annan was a proud son of Africa, a great admirer of India, a voice of the developing world, a paragon of internationalism and an exemplar of humanity. The UN was fortunate to have been led by him at a pivotal moment in world history. He remains one of its greatest Secretaries-General.”

Tharoor said; ”Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination. 

”Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.” 

The Elders tributes
The Elders,  an independent group of global leaders working for peace and human rights, say they are “shocked and deeply saddened by the death of their colleague and chair Kofi Annan.”

In a statement, The Elders call the former U.N. secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner “a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private.”

The organisation says Annan’s most recent work was in visits to South Africa and Zimbabwe, where the country was preparing for a historic presidential election.

“His quiet advice on how best to defuse impending crises was in constant demand from all corners of the globe, in particular from Africa,” the Deputy chair Gro Harlem Brundtland said.

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Today we mourn the passing away of Kofi Annan. He was an able diplomat who served as UN Secretary-General. His contribution to peace won him the Nobel Prize in 2001. My heartfelt condolences to his family and his admirers around the world.”

Former Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty tweeted, “At a time when there are very few leaders of global stature and integrity, Kofi’s death is a huge loss to #Africa and the world. And as a friend and mentor to me personally, he is simply irreplaceable.”

Actor George Takei tweeted, “Former U.N. Secretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has passed at age 80. The world needs visionaries of peace more than ever, and his life is an example of the possible. Thank you for your service to us all, sir. Rest now, in peace.”

Kofi Annan passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness, at the age of 80.

He was born into an aristocratic family in Ghana on April 8, 1938.

He attended a number of schools and colleges, studying international relations in the United States and Switzerland, and became an international civil servant working for the United Nations in 1962.

He went on to become the U.N. secretary-general and later a special envoy to Syria.



Osinbajo lauds Nigerian girls’ victory at World Technovation Pitch

Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has congratulated the young Nigerian ladies, who won the 2018 Technovation World Pitch in California, USA.

Osinbajo’s posted this on his Twitter handle @ProfOsinbajo on Friday.

He tweeted: “These young ladies in Junior Secondary School developed a mobile application called ‘FD Detector’ to tackle the problems of fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.

“Yesterday, they won the 2018 Technovation World Pitch in California. Congratulations.  We are proud of you.”

The five girls from Regina Pacies Secondary School Onitsha, Anambra State, South East Nigeria, represented Nigeria and Africa, at the World Technovation Challenge in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco, US, and won the contest.

The team, led by Uchenna Onwuamaegbu Ugwu defeated representatives of other countries to win the pitch.

The young ladies from Nigeria also included Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye.


Pervasive Broadband Access Will Boost GDP, Says NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the growth in the telecommunications in can be sustained through the provision of pervasive broadband access that will further boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Currently there are about 162 million active mobile connections and over 100 million internet users, with teledensity standing at over 116 per cent, as at May this year, a development that NCC has described as impressive.
Speaking at the 2018 ICTEL Expo organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the next frontier to deepen digitisation globally is through the development of broadband, otherwise known as high-speed internet access.
According to him, the NCC will continue to promote the development of broadband in Nigeria in order to sustain the growth and gains of telecommunications in today’s digital era.
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Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Consumer Affairs at NCC, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said: “Nigeria has an auspicious target to achieve 30 per cent broadband penetration by the end of the year in line with the National Broadband Plan (2013-2018), and I am happy to inform the public that despite teething challenges, we have so far hit 22 per cent threshold of the 30 per cent broadband target.”
“With telecoms’ contribution to Nigeria’s GDP currently standing at over nine per cent, it is expected that ubiquitous broadband access will further deepen the contribution to GDP. More access to telecoms/broadband access means more contribution to GDP, but less access means lower contribution to GDP. With better and wider access coverage, the contributions of telecoms to GDP will move from 9 per cent to a little over 10 per cent,” Danbatta said.
He explained that the realisation on the centrality of broadband to enhancing digital life, which comes with a lot of benefits for individuals and corporate organisations, has informed the decision by the current leadership of the NCC to put broadband penetration topmost on the ladder of its 8-Point agenda.
Danbatta said the ongoing licencing of wholesale Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) in geopolitical zones to complement existing infrastructure on an Open Access Model (OAM) basis, the development of framework on spectrum trading, formulation of policy on national roaming and active engagement of stakeholders and state governments to remove impediments to telecoms infrastructure deployment by operating companies in their states, are among regulatory interventions, aimed at accelerating the digital ecosystem.

756,000 PVCs unclaimed in Oyo — REC

THE Resident Electoral Commissioner, in Oyo State, Mr. Mutiu Agboke, has appealed to owners of the 756,000 unclaimed Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, to visit the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, offices across the state to collect them before the August 17 deadline.
He made the appeal during an advocacy visit, in company with senior officials of the commission, to the Governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in his office, Ibadan in Oyo State.
The REC said: “We have been reaching out to major stakeholders in the state, such as traditional rulers and the House of Assembly, among others, in our bid to ensure a successful general election next year.
“We are not pleased that we still have 756,000 PVCs yet to be claimed by their owners. This is why we are appealing to the owners of these cards to visit our offices across the state to collect their PVC.
“We express deep appreciation to Your Excellency for your decision to grant civil servants work-free hours to enable them to collect their PVCs before the August 17 deadline.”
Responding, Governor Ajimobi said the state government would declare work-free hours for workers across the state to collect their PVCs in the last week of the registration exercise.
Ajimobi said: “We will do everything humanly possible to encourage our people to collect their PVCs before the general election, including declaring work-free hours for civil servants in the last week of the voter registration exercise.”
“When you say our people are not collecting their PVCs and they are also complaining of not meeting INEC staff at the designated centres or that the machines are not working properly, then you need to look into this.”
“We have to look into ways of addressing these issues. Please educate your people to do their work as expected, even if it requires recruiting ad hoc officials. And, if you require our support in whatever form, let us know.
“We have told our local government chairmen to mobilise and make the exercise easy for the people. But this must necessarily be done in conjunction with INEC officials.”

Gunmen kidnap 15 in Zamfara

The Speaker , Zamfara House of Assembly , Alhaji Sanusi Rikiji , has said that 15 persons have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Saturday in Maradun Local Government Area of the state .
Rikiji told newsmen in Gusau on Sunday in Gusau that the security situation in the state called for serious review .
He recalled the ugly incidences recorded in the last two days in Zurmi Local Government Area where bandits took over three districts comprising over 18 villages and towns .
“ As I said yesterday in Zurmi the issue of insecurity in this state require general study system review to tackle the prolonged security challenges facing the state .
“ Security agencies should do more and more to deploy enough security personnel in Zamfara; we need permanent security stations in the affected area .
“ We thank the immediate intervention of the Federal Government to this issue .
As I am speaking now the troops , security personnel , have been deployed to the affected areas in Zurmi.
“ They have started restoring normalcy in the area . We appeal to the people of the area to remain calm as government in collaboration with security agencies is working to maintain peace and stability in the areas , ’’ he said .
The speaker also thanked the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, over his concern and commitment to the protection of his people .

Al-Makura reshuffles cabinet, drops 9 Commissioners, 2 aides

Gov . Tanko Al – Makura of Nasarawa State has announced a major cabinet shakeup in which nine Commissioners and two Special Advisers lost their jobs .
This is contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi , the Secretary to the State Government , and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) on Sunday in Lafia .
Abdullahi said the cabinet reshuffle took immediate effect .
However , he explained that the decision was to enable the affected persons focus on their political aspirations in the 2019 general elections and for others to pursue their professional / career goals .
The statement listed the affected commissioners as Abdulhamid Kwarra of Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals ; Gabriel Aka’ Ka , Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development , and Mary Enwongulu of Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development .
Also affected were Bamaiyi Anagba , Ministry of Youth and Sports Development ; Dr Daniel Iya , Health ; Yusuf Shehu Usman of Information , Culture and Tourism , as well as Sonny Agassi of Lands and Physical Planning .
Others include Mr Mohammed Yahaya of Ministry of Works , Housing and Transport ; and Tanko Zubair of Ministry of Commerce , Industry and Cooperatives .
The statement also said that six commissioners were retained.
It added that Mr Jamil Zakari of Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources was redeployed to the Ministry of Information , Culture and Tourism .
The Special Advisers to the governor affected by the exercise were Hajarat Ibrahim Danyaro on Gender Relations, Rehabilitation and Disabilities; and Ado Dauda Mohammed on Community Based Relations/Conflict Resolution and Management.
The statement further revealed that the erstwhile Special Adviser to the governor on Security, retired Lt . – Gen. Mohammed Adeka , would henceforth handle Community Based Relations/Conflict Resolution and Management.
“ Meanwhile , Governor Umaru Al – Makura, on behalf of all the people of Nasarawa State profoundly thank the outgoing commissioners and special advisers for their services and wishes them success in their future endeavours , ” the government said .

Governor Yari condemns latest bandits attacks in Zamfara

Zamfara State Governor Alhaji Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar has condemned the recent bandits attacks in some parts of the state describing it as callous and inhuman.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser, Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, said the governor was saddened by the attacks in some communities in Zurmi, Maradun and Bungudu Local Government Areas and other parts of the state.
Yari added that the attacks on innocent people in Kalage, Birane and Kwaddi villages of Zurmi council as well as Karakai and Gamagiwa towns in Bungudu and Maradun Local Government Areas was not only ungodly and devastating but reflect the insanity level of the bandits.
“Attacks on innocent people who were undergoing their lawful businesses, particularly farming activities is devastating and have crippled the economic growth of the state”, he said.
Yari assured that the current successes being recorded by his administration in the fight against the bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and other criminals will not be derailed.
He reiterated his government commitments to further re-strategize and join more hands with security operatives in the state with a view to achieving determined goals in the fight against the criminals.
Yari commended President Muhammadu Buhari for deploying more troops to deal squarely with the bandits and urged security agencies to be more proactive in bringing the activities of the hoodlums to an end.
“If the security agencies intensified efforts in their constitutional responsibilities of protecting lives and property of the citizenry, the insecurity being faced all over the country would be over”, he said.
The governor called on the people of the state to continue to be law abiding and assist security agents with relevant information in dealing with the bandits.
Meanwhile, the state government has sought for more support from the Nigerian Air force (NAF) in the fight against banditry and other forms of criminalty in the state.
Deputy Governor, Malam Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammade the call when he received the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar, who was on a working visit to the state.
He commended the Air Force for playing active roles in the current fight against bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and other criminals in the state.
“We recognise your efforts especially in protection of lives and property through the air operations against the criminals, but we are calling on you to do more to finally eliminate crimes out of our state”, he pleaded.
Wakkala reiterated the state government’s readiness in supporting security agencies in the state to ensure effective protection of lives and properties in the state.
Earlier, Air Marshal Abubakar said that the federal government in the last three years has procured 18 new brand of aircrafts and reactivated 13 old ones for the Nigerian Air Force for effective air operations.
The CAS said he is in Zamfara to check the NAF operations activities in the state with a view of improving their capacity in order to make the operations effectively.
“Apart from our personnel on special forces in line with the Defence Headquarters Operations, I have directed the posting of additional NAF personnel to Zamfara. I have also directed the immediate movement of Air force assets from some complicit zones areas to Zamfara”, he said.
Saddique assured that with all measures put in place by the Nigerian Air Force, it operations would improve and the fight against banditry and other crimes will be eliminated.