The Kano state house of assembly has approved the amendment of the local government and chieftaincy affairs law, paving way for the decentralisation of the Kano emirate council.
The law will now allow for the creation of four more 1st class emirs in the state, which include Rano, Karaye, Bichi and Gaya emirate.
The Kano assembly on Monday embarked on its earlier plans to amend the law following a petition filled before the house by one Ibrahim Chambers.
The petitioner demanded for the upgrading of some traditional rulers to the status of 1st class emirs.
Annie Idibia, a Nollywood actress, is currently mourning as she lost her father to cancer on Wednesday.
Breaking news of his death on her Instagram handle, Idibia who is the wife of Innocent ‘2Baba’ Idibia said her father had “fought so hard” against the disease.
Annie Idibia had earlier recounted the sour emotional experiences that came with her being raised without one parent while decrying being referred to as Tuface’s wife in place of her name.
“This year started for me quite tough. I spent the first three months of this year in the hospital with my father because he had been sick for a while but God has been great and I am grateful,” she had said.
“Growing up with only my mother really affected my life. I am actually closer to my mother than my father because she raised us single-handedly. My father is still my father and since he was sick we had to rally round him.
“I suffered and I do not ever want my children to face the agony of not having both parents together because it was so hard for us.
“Even right now, the way the world is, children are more enlightened than we were in our days, so the pressure would be harder on the kids from broken homes right now. I do not want my children to ever experience that.”
In 2014, the actress’s husband similarly lost his then 68-year-old father after he had battled unsuccessfully with prostate cancer in an unnamed hospital.
Today, Project Last Mile launched the Cold Chain Equipment Maintenance Project in Lagos State at the Southern Sun.
Project Last Mile – a partnership working to make life-saving medicines available to people who need them most – partnered with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), the Lagos State government, the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and the Coca-Cola Company to improve access to vaccinations by strengthening public sector refrigeration, or “cold chain” capacity in Lagos State. This partnership is working together to create a positive cycle that builds human capital, reduces future healthcare costs, and contributes to national development.
Across Nigeria, the government and donors are investing billions of dollars to strengthen health systems and make affordable vaccines available to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases like polio, measles, and pertussis (whooping cough). Vaccines need to be carefully stored and shipped at specific temperatures to remain effective, which means that improving cold chain capacity helps reduce vaccine waste from malfunctioning cold storage at health facilities and enables lifesaving vaccines to be available where and when they are needed.
As in many parts of Africa, Lagos State faces challenges in last mile delivery of medicines and vaccines due in part to weak cold chain infrastructure. Nigeria requires 10,000 items of working cold chain equipment to cover all its health facilities, but 41% of clinics have no vaccine coolers and 35% of vaccine coolers are non-functional. Only 4,500 vaccine coolers are fully functional. Yet, the NBC, Nigeria’s local Coca-Cola bottler, ensures 24 to 48-hour repairs on all 77,000 of its refrigeration units in Nigeria, which are working more than 99% of the time. For this reason, the Lagos State government and NPHCDA partnered with Project Last Mile to improve the availability of vaccinations and to create a model that could be replicated across Nigeria and in other countries facing the same challenges.
In January 2019, Project Last Mile began the cold chain equipment maintenance pilot in Lagos State. Through the pilot, two teams are currently repairing an average of three items of cold chain equipment per team per day.
Some of the pilot’s key results as of end of April 2019 include:
• Inspecting 348 coolers at health facilities in February and March.
• Of the 348 coolers, 124 (35,63%) were non-functional.
• 76 (61,3%) of those 124 non-functional units have been repaired and are functional again.
• All 124 units to be fully functional by 31 May 2019.
Dr. Lateef Lawal, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Permanent Secretary said, “This partnership is an example of our commitment to carrying out our mandate to provide quality health care delivery in Lagos State. A well-functioning cold chain equipment maintenance program will help us make sure that vaccines are available where and when needed.”
Speaking on the initiative, George Polymenakos, Managing Director, Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) explained that the company’s efforts are in line with the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company’s (CCHBC) 2025 sustainability commitments, which seek to address areas of most material importance for the society as well as for the CCHBC business. “We strive to secure long-term partnerships with non-governmental organisations, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to maximise the impact of our community programmes. We are pleased that by working with our other partners on this initiative, the expertise of our cold equipment technical team can be put to use in improving overall well-being in our communities”, Polymenakos remarked.
Adrian Ristow, Project Director for Project Last Mile says, “We are excited at the potential to develop Project Last Mile’s work in Lagos State in Cold Chain Equipment maintenance into a model that can be replicated in other parts of Nigeria, as well as across Africa.”
The pilot is expected to run until September 2019. Should the pilot prove successful in Lagos State Project Last Mile will discuss the possibility of scaling the project across Nigeria. Project Last Mile will also be looking to work with Ministries of Health in other African countries facing similar challenges in cold chain capacity.
Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Tunde Fowler, has dismissed reports suggesting that money paid as taxes is missing from the agency’s coffers.
Fowler made the clarification in an interview in his office in Abuja on Wednesday. The clarification came in the wake of media reports alleging that taxpayers’ money in the custody of the agency is missing.
The FIRS Chairman explained that taxes collected by the FIRS are not paid into the coffers of the Service, but directly into the Federation Account, electronically, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The FIRS, he further explained, does not have access to taxpayers’ money, adding that its operations are funded by appropriation of the National Assembly through monthly remittances by the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).
Over the last few weeks, there have been media reports around alleged exploitation of the Service’s accounting system on Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) by some staff to collect claims that they are not due for. This alleged infraction is said to be under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), with some media outlets suggesting that the probe was into missing taxpayers’ money.
Fowler explained that the issue at stake in this inquiry are is related to operational/travel funds within the FIRS’ expenditure budget.
“On the DTA (Duty Tour Allowance), it is claimed that some staff applied for and were granted allowances to travel on official trips. Some are alleged not to have travelled for the number of days for which they were slated. The EFCC is looking into that. Sometimes, it is good to have a third party investigate matters like this instead of having a staff investigate another staff. Investigation by a third party is more objective. FIRS has since taken steps to remediate this. The EFCC will soon complete its investigation. Anybody found guilty will be dealt with through our administrative process,” said the FIRS boss.
Fowler also stated that the agency has a relationship with the EFCC through which it combats tax evasion. “We have a relationship with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). We have a partnership through which we combat evasion of taxes. People don’t want to get into trouble with EFCC. So, they pay on time,” he explained.
Fowler added that FIRS acknowledges the statutory rights and responsibilities of anti-corruption agencies and other government agencies such as the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), State Security Services (SSS) to inquire into the operations of the Service.
He promised that the FIRS will continue to give access to agencies with statutory rights and all those who seek information on its operations. He added that invitation of FIRS officials by the EFCC, Police, SSS and ICPC to shed light on financial transactions and operations of the Service are not uncommon and are continuous. Fowler noted that the FIRS is a public trust operated on behalf of Nigerians and affirmed that no officer of the Service is at large.
The FIRS boss thanked all stakeholders, including the media, for their interest in the operations of the Service. However, he enjoined the media to always go the extra mile to ascertain the truth, particularly on sensitive financial issues where taxpayers and public trust are at stake.
He re-assured the general public of FIRS’ commitment to public accountability and transparency in the sacred mandate of tax collection.
MultiChoice has announced the call to entry for the second edition of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy (MTF) programme.
Launched in May 2018 as part of MultiChoice Africa’s corporate shared value (CSV) initiative aimed at igniting Africa’s creative industry through TV and film-making, today the MTF Academy officially announced the much-anticipated call to entry to all emerging filmmakers from 13 African countries. The programme is open to candidates with industry experience or a relevant post-school qualification in film-making to hone their television and film production skills under the guidance and mentorship of industry experts.
Only 60 students will be selected to be part of the much sought-after year-long and fully-funded programme at three academy hubs located in Southern Africa (Lusaka, Zambia), East Africa (Nairobi, Kenya) and West Africa (Lagos, Nigeria) headed by industry leaders Berry Lwando, NjokiMuhoho and Femi Odugbemi, respectively.
As part of the programme, young film-makers are provided with training and hands-on experience in the film industry, with a focus on storytelling, production, audio and directing and other key areas.The academies also provide students with an opportunity to learn directly from well-known leading industry experts, work on live sets of local TV productions and create original content that will be aired on various local M-Net channels across the MultiChoice platforms– DStv, GOtv and Showmax.
So far, MTF Academies have exposed the Class of 2018 to real-life industry immersions which includes the Kenya Hub students working on productions such as music reality show Coke Studio, Pambio, Turn-Up and the popular Swahili telenovela, Selina. In Nigeria, the students cut their teeth on the thrilling series Battleground, The Johnsons, Tinsel and Flatmates which is a situational comedy, whilst in Zambia, the class worked on the reality show, Date My Family, Top ZED music show and the drama series Chintelelwe. The students also had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience on SuperSport shows and pitch their final-semester film projects to MultiChoice channel executives.
As part of MultiChoice Africa’s investment in growing Africa’s creative industries into vibrant economies, MTF in 2019 extended its commitment by introducing the MTF Masterclass series, aimed at upskilling industry professionals by offering exclusive access to practical, expert-led industry skills workshops in various counties. And in March, the initiative rolled out the MTF Portal, www.multichoicetalentfactory.com, an interactive online destination which brings talent and opportunities together under one platform for Africa’s creatives to connect and network with each other.
- Approves two model customary courts each for 17 LGAs
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Tuesday swore in three High Court Judges and a Customary Court of Appeal Judge following their recommendations by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The new High Court Judges who were sworn in at a colourful event held at the EXCO Chambers of the Government House, Enugu, include Justices Chinedu Vincent Ezeugwu, Chukwunweike Anukenyi Ogbuabor and Mathew Chukwujiofo Onyejife Eluke, while Justice Nnenna Celia Madu was also sworn in as a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal.
Hon. Justices Ezeugwu and Eluke until their elevation were private legal practitioners. Hon. Justice Ogbuabor was a senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, while Hon. Justice Madu until her appointment was the Secretary, Magistrate Association of Nigeria, Enugu branch.
Swearing in the new Judges, Gov. Ugwuanyi said that the action was in compliance with section 271 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, which provided that “the appointment of a Judge of the High Court of a State, shall be made by the governor acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC)”.
The governor added that section 281 sub-section (2) of the said Constitution also provided that the appointment of a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal of a State shall be made by the governor acting on the recommendation of the NJC.
He disclosed that the appointment of the new judges and their swearing in came as “a welcome relief to the Enugu State Judiciary and the people of the state who had for long endured the difficulties occasioned by the dearth of judges in the state”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi who stated that approval has been given for the construction of two model customary courts for each of the 17 local government areas, pointed out that his administration has reached many milestones in its continual efforts to reposition the State Judiciary for more efficient service “especially through the provision of suitable infrastructure and essential tools and equipment”.
The governor also disclosed that renovation work has commenced at the State Judiciary Headquarters, among other interventions, expressing optimism that “these measures coupled with the appointment of new judges would help in no small measure to further enhance the efficient administration and speedy dispensation of Justice in Enugu State”.
He, therefore, congratulated the new judges on their deserved appointments and expressed confidence that they will conduct their new responsibilities with due dignity, integrity and commitment, “having been found suitable for elevation to this hallowed pedestal”.
Earlier in her introductory remark, the Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu, while narrating the procedures observed in line with the provisions of Rules 3 and 4 of the NJC guidelines, stated that the commission considered sound knowledge of the Law, seniority at the Bar and Bench, geographical spread, good character, reputation, consistent adherence to professional ethics and satisfactory and consistent display of mature judgment in the office as a Chief Registrar or Chief Magistrate, in the appointment of the new judges.
Hon. Justice Emehelu on behalf of the State Judicial Service Commission, acknowledged and commended the remarkable contributions of Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration in providing facilities for the Judiciary, stressing that “this gesture attests to His Excellency’s resolve to reposition the State Judiciary for effective, efficient and speedy dispensation of justice in spite of paucity of funds and the competing needs of other sectors”.
Responding on behalf of others, Hon. Justice Ezeugwu, thanked God for making the event a reality and went further to appreciate Gov. Ugwuanyi, the Chief Judge, the State Customary Court of Appeal President, their mentor, Hon. Justice Centus Nweze of the Supreme Court, among others, for their contributions towards the career growth.
He, therefore,promised that they will discharge their duties with the fear of God, fairness and to the best of their ability.
The Chief Priest of Okhuaihe shrine, Osarodion Usuanlele, the Ohen N’ Ukoni Neyedo, has been arrested and detained at the Edo Police headquarters in Benin City, The Nation reports.
With the priest’s detention, an age-long tradition which says the Ohen N’ UKoni does not enter Benin, the abode of the Oba, had been desecrated. Consequently, three dogs were slaughtered as sacrifices were carried out near the police headquarters before the chief priest was released.
Additionally, a list of other items has been given to the police for cleansing sacrifice the land. The items include 14 native cows, tortoise, sheep, goats, cocks, among others. It was also gathered that the tradition was started in the 15th century by Oba Ewuare the great.
The chief priest’s shrine is located at Evbiekoi, in Uhunwode Local Government Area, and as part of coronation rites, he would have a symbolic wrestle with the Crown Prince. Both of them would go opposite ways, never to see each other again, once the Crown Prince becomes the Oba.
Trouble started last week when operatives of the anti-cultism unit stormed Evbiekoi community following on a petition by John Elvis (aka Atekha), an ex-official of the banned Community Development Association (CDA).
Briefing reporters on the incident, Secretary of Evbiekoi community, Chief Paul Ajayi said: “The policemen shot sporadically and insisted on taking Chief Priest Usunalele to Benin City, despite pleas that the man does not enter Benin or he would die.
“A strange and mysterious downpour, accompanied by violent wind, thunder and lightning, were part of the signs of desecration. “The Oba got the signs of desecration and presence of Ohen N’ UKoni, and sent emissaries to the Police Commissioner, Danmallam Abubakar, after confirming that the Chief Priest was in Benin.”
Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner, Dan has ordered policemen involved in the arrest of Ohen N’ Ukoni to be detained to allay rising tensions in Benin as various youth groups are reportedly preparing to cause mayhem over the alleged desecration of the Benin culture.
Police spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, declined speaking on the matter, stating that he was waiting for the Commissioner of Police to address a news conference before making comment
The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has said it was prepared to draw a battle line with the Ondo state government if the tuition fee of the four state-owned higher institution increase astronomically, are not reverse.
Mr. Bamidele Danielson-Akpan, the President of NANS, who stated this in Akure, the Ondo state capital said the students body will give governor Rotimi Akeredolu a 24 hours ultimatum to do the needful.
The four higher institutions are Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba (AAUA), Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa (OSUSTECH); Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and Ondo State School of Nursing, Akure.
Bamidele, who berated the governor for his hash policies on education in the state, added that the burdens of paying higher fund as forced some students to drop out of school while other resorted into untowards jobs.
“Since the return of democracy in 1999, Ondo State Government made free education available for all from primary to secondary level.
“Adefarati came and initiated that policy, Agagu came to sustain it, Mimiko spent two terms he consolidated it, so Akeredolu should not only sustain it but improve on it.
“AAUA school fees was N63,000 initially but the state government increased it to N200,000 before it was later reduced to N180,000 with a promise to revise it to normal in the next session.
“Also OSUSTECH was N70,000 and increased to N200,000, School of Nursing, Akure and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic fees were increased too.
“WAEC, which used to be paid for by the state government, has been stopped without apology to anyone.
“Gov. Akeredolu should please help our students, who do not have hope to be educated as a matter of urgency, he should revise all the school fees of the state’s higher institutions to the initial fees.
“We are giving him 24 hours ultimatum to do that because we are not ready to fight him but to yield to the yearnings of the students and their parents.”
According to the NANS President, the students body has used all the available channels within its reach to ensure the Governor comply with their demands of reducung tuition at the four state owned institutions.
He also explained how Governor Akeredolu walked the students leaders out of his office in Akure, the state capial during a dialogue meeting with him on Monday.
“We have used all channels to address this matter but it has proven abortive. The governor has been showing carelessness and insensitivity.
“After meeting with the governor on the need to address the issue, he displayed the highest level of arrogance by telling us to go to hell, that his decision is final and that he is not going to reduce the school fees.
“He (the governor said) said who ever cannot pay should go to hell that schooling is not by force. And this is somebody who benefitted from free education.
“The governor threatened us that he is ready to order the security men to flush us out if we dare protest. Whereas peaceful protest is our right. It is the last resort in negotiations.
“I saw arrogance at its peak in Gov. Akeredolu when we met we him. It looks as if I was sitting with Adolf Hitler. It seems as if I was sitting in the presence of Pharaoh.
“Even when we met with President Buhari, he did not address us in such manner.
“But it is surprising that a governor whose power is limited within a state could put up that show of arrogance.
“Two years is too long to chase him, it is now upon us, parents, students, artisans and entire people of Ondo State to stop this.”
But reacting, Olarewaju Akeredolu, the National President of National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS), said that NANS president was only in the state for “personal glorification” and not in the interest of the students.
“When he got to the meeting, he accused the governor of not supporting his ambition as NANS president, that governor Akeredolu should donate bus to him,” he said. (SaharaReporters)
A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, arraigned the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, and four others for alleged mismanagement of $8,400 belonging to FIFA.
According to a report by The Nation, the five officials were charged on a 17-count charge, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, for misappropriation of funds remitted by the world governing body FIFA as fees for appearing at the last Russia 2018 World Cup.
They were accused of moving N4 billion belonging to the NFF without the consent of the football federation. According to the report, persons charged with Mr Pinnick include NFF Secretary, Sunusi Mohammed; the 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi; the 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko and an Executive member, Yusuff Fresh.
The five were also accused, in the charge filed by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), led by Okoi Obono-Obla, of failing and neglecting to declare their asset.