The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has expressed delight over the growth of ICT’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020).
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released ‘Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product Report’ for Q1 2020 on the 25th of May, 2020.
The Report observed that th6e country’s GDP grew by 1.87% (year-on-year) in real terms in Q1 2020.
The non-oil sector contributed 90.50% to the nation’s GDP in Q1 2020 as opposed to the 9.50% contributed to total real GDP by the oil sector.
It is noteworthy that the ICT sector contributed 14.07% to the total real GDP in Q1 2020, higher than its contribution a year earlier (13.32%) and in the preceding quarter, in which it accounted for 13.12%.
The Minister speaking through his Technical Assistant (Information Technology), Dr Femi Adeluyi, notes that the growing contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP is a direct result of the focused and committed effort of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The strategic policy directions of the Federal Government include the inclusion of Digital Economy in the mandate of the Ministry, the unveiling and implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy and the National Broadband Plan, amongst others.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how critical the ICT sector is to the growth of our country’s digital economy and, by extension, the general economy.
“The Honourable Minister calls on all sectors to take advantage of the Federal Government’s new focus on the digital economy to enable and improve their processes through the use of ICTs. This would enhance the output of all the sectors of the economy and boost Nigeria’s GDP”, Dr. Adeluyi added
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, suffered highest single-day COVID-19 infections on Saturday, May 30, with 553 cases reported by the country’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
The new cases were confirmed by the specialist agency, the NCDC) on Twitter on Saturday night.
This takes the country near 10,000 mark. Already it has a total infections of 9,855, out of which 2856 have been discharged with 273 losing their lives.
Data from the NCDC showed that the cases were spread across 14 states and the FCT, with Lagos accounting for the highest number of infections for the day with 378 cases.
553 new cases of #COVID19;
*9855 cases of #COVID19Nigeria
The chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has expressed hope that the recently signed executive order for the autonomy of Houses of Assembly will not be a challenge to governors.
Obasa, who is also the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, said this during a recent edition of Journalists Hangout on Television Continental where the executive order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari granting autonomy to the state legislatures and judiciary was discussed.
Speaking through a phone call, Obasa noted that the governors were carried along in the journey leading to the approval by the President. He added that he was optimistic that the autonomy would be beneficial to the states. Except…
We can move the country forward in the spirit and letter of the constitution, right?
Do we expect all 36 of you to be on the same page?
Exactly, we are already. We got to this stage because we had been in support of this from the beginning. Let me remind you that there was alteration to the constitution and the process to that was after a review of the National Assembly, certain percentage of the Houses of Assembly had to support the review and that was what led to the alteration of the section 121(3) of the constitution as amended which are now talking about.
Thereafter, Mr. President set up an implementation committee, which I happened to be a member. There were representatives of the judiciary, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the SA on Legislative Matters to the President, Senator Ita Enang. We all agreed and came up with a report which was submitted. We all went to the President and submitted the report. Speakers also visited Mr. President recently to appeal to him to speed up the executive order which we finally received as a gift on Sallah day. So we are all in it together.
We also met with the Governors Forum and a committee was set up by the governors which was headed by Governor Waziri Tambuwal. We met once with the committee before the announcement. So I think we are all in it and it is going to be beneficial to the governors, the speakers and the people of this country. So, I don’t think the governors should see this as a kind of challenge because even the constitution has always made provision for the legislature to be independent of the executive. It is just like putting effect to what we have in the constitution already.
Does that mean you don’t expect a fight-back from the governors now?
I don’t think there should be a reason to fight over this. The judiciary, legislature and the executive should just have understanding. The constitution is so clear about all these. The executive, the judiciary and the legislature have their own interests but there is a connection according to the provisions of the constitution in the sense that the chief judge of a state has to be nominated by the executive and sucjh has to be given backing by the legislature and that also has to be proclaimed by the governor. So we must learn to work together with understanding.
There is a child of circumstance in the whole mix and this is the local government chairman. Is he likely going to enjoy this autonomy very soon?
We believe so. But our take on this, since we practice federalism, is that the tiers should remain two – the centre and the states – while the local governments remain under the states. I think we can strengthen our local governments. The observation made earlier that some governors are taking money away from the local governments can be managed through the state laws and supervision at the state level.
So, there are all kinds of elections in this country and we do not want a situation where the centre would influence the local governments when it comes to elections like it happened during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, when he withheld Lagos state’s allocations. We don’t want situations where local governments would be set against states. We can manage it on the state levels.
Dino Melaye, former senator representing Kogi west, says the report of COVID-19 in Kogi state is “real and authentic”.
On Wednesday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 389 new COVID-19 cases in the country and two were in Kogi.
But the state rejected the results, insisting it is COVID-19 free.
Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi commissioner for information, in an interview on Channel Television’s Politics Today, described the cases reported in the state as “beautiful fraud”.
But in a statement, Tai Ejibunu, obatebise of Oweland, had said the index patient identified as Ahmad Ejibunu, chief imam of Kabba, may have been infected from within the state.
Melaye in a statement on Saturday said he knows one of the COVID-19 patients from Kabba.
“I want to announce that the Covid-19 case in Kogi is real and authentic and cannot understand why any responsible government will want to deny and invariably kill her citizens,” he said.
“One of the cases is from Kabba and the victim is personally known to me. I cannot be part of those who will play politics with the lives of my people.
“COVID-19 is real but not a death sentence, if handled early enough. Family members of the Kabba victim who got a referral to Abuja from federal medical centre in Lokoja and all those who had contact with him should please surrender themselves for a test so as to curtail the spread.
“Kogi State government must come down from her imaginary high horse and start contact tracing to help curtail the spread. It is illogical to think we will be free with our proximity to affected states.
“God will hear our cry and heal our land. God bless Okun land! God bless Kogi west! God bless Kogi State.”
Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has reportedly sacked members of staff of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
This was contained in a letter issued to the workers by its Head of Human Resources, Administration and Procurement, Olanike Ogunleye.
Ogunleye said the organisation was overwhelmed by the adverse effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and had found it hard to sustain its workforce.
The letter reads in part, “As you are aware, the current COVID-19 pandemic has had a toll on all our business significantly. This has resulted in making some difficult business decisions.
“Due to this situation, we regret to inform you that your employment will be put on hold until further notice.
“You are to hand over all company properties in your possession to the human resource department; who shall do a confirmation of the exit clearance process before your final entitlements (if any) would be paid.”
Before laying the workers off on Friday, the establishment had been allegedly owing several months of salaries.
A worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “They have been owing salaries since last year. They will pay one and it’s going to be after 3-4 months that they will pay another one.
“We have workers collecting less than N30,000 and they refer to those collecting N50, 000 as senior staff; and they are still owing.
“This year, they have paid just January salary and half of April salary; which was paid on the 20th of April.”
Meanwhile, former Presidents of Nigeria; Olusegun Obasanjo, and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan have joined thirteen other former African leaders in throwing their weights behind the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
This follows a call for private investigations into his running of AfDB.
In a press statement made available to newsmen by the media aide to Obasanjo; the past leaders extolled the works of the AfDB President – Akinwunmi Adesina and called for caution; with regards to the allegations leveled against him.
The elder-statesmen while affirming the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said the continent is facing an unprecedented challenge; stressing that at this time, all hands must be on deck to tackle the common foe.
The Spiritual Leader of NRI Evangelical Church, Primate Elijah Babatunde Ayodele, has berated the Federal Government and the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over continued lockdown of churches.
The servant of God expressed displeasure that government has, by its action played down the unique moral and spiritual roles the church plays in society but gave market places, eateries, corporate offices even bear parlors preeminence as providers of essential service.
He, however, said: “I hail President Donald Trump of America for his courage and recognition essential services church also provides; and for declaring churches open in his country. Unfortunately African governments don’t even get that. Our own President Muhammadu Buhari failed woefully in his handling of the Covid-19 situation.”
The Primate further observed that it is more deadly to reopen market places, eateries, others than churches and schools; pointing out that crowd control in churches is much more easier than in a market environment.
He said: “Closing churches will even cause more havoc because the churches are in a better situation to guide their members on how to stay safe and the members will listen to their church leaders than government. That is the truth. All government needs to do is spell out the guidelines or conditions for reopening of churches and church leaders will comply.
“For instance, government can prescribe a gathering not more than 50 congregants, fumigation of worship arenas before service, hand washing and sanitiser points in church entry points; and church leaders will ensure compliance.”
He also blame the leadership of CAN for the suspension of church activities, alleging that the CAN President, Rev Samson Ayokunle, has not be proactive enough. According to the Primate, CAN needs a vibrant, vocal and proactive President like the General Overseer of Faith Tabernacle (Canaanland), Bishop David Oyedepo.
He added: “The point is that the association of men of God failed woefully in this regard, It doesn’t take them anything to gather all servants of God to pray fervently; this whole thing will be over. This pandemic is all about God; it is not about China, it’s not about scientist or medicals. Doctors gave even goofed, they don’t even get it.”
The Primate also harped on the danger of not lifting the lockdown on church fellowships saying: “Continued closure of churches is like fighting God. Government is calling for the wrath of God; instead of appealing for his intervention, we are now chanting lockdown, lockdown.
“Who are you to lockdown the kingdom of God? Who gave you that power? Who gave you that authority? Who is that President? Who is that Minister? Who is that Governor who has the power to lockdown the kingdom of God? It’s never down, we should rather run to God in times like this.”
Ayodele commended the courage of some governors who, he said, have reopened the church noting that if God is shut out of the nation’s economy, it will paralyse because God is not in the economy.
He urged government to apply spiritual remedy to the situation at hand “This is not about human philosophies, it will fail us. But the spiritual remedy is the answer to Covid-19 pandemic. Let it be known that God’s people in Nigeria are hungry for God and the manifestation of Gid’s in our circumstances. We are hungry because we are not doing what we should be doing,” he further observed.
He stressed that many Christian faithful have deviated, lost focus and hope. “These are some of the dangers of government imposed lockdown and after the pandemic everything will change,” Primate Ayodele said.
In fulfilment of its promise to continually support communities where it currently operates, Fidelity Bank Plc has donated the sum of N10 million to Eunice Spring of Life Foundation (ESLF), a pet project of the Benue First Lady.
The donation would enable the organisation, in no small measure implement its many humanitarian projects designed specifically for the people of Benue State. It would also cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the less privileged in the state.
Speaking during the presentation of the cheque, Fidelity Bank’s Executive Director, North, Hassan Imam, stated the bank was delighted with ESLF’s interventions in its four strategic areas of Education, Health, Governance and Economic Empowerment.
According to Imam, ESLF boasts of unique and sustainable initiatives that would be most impactful in the lives of the vulnerable people in the society. Whilst disclosing that the Foundation’s laudable initiatives prompted the donation from the bank, he assured that the donation would not be a one-off support.
Receiving the cheque on behalf of ESLF, the Founder of the organisation and First Lady of Benue State, Dr. Eunice Ortom, expressed gratitude to the bank for the gesture and promised that the foundation would make judicious use of the financial support.
Earlier, the ESLF Programme Manager, Tine Agernor, pointed out that the Foundation had intervened in the areas of skills acquisition, economic empowerment for women and youths. Agernor said the Foundation was eager to partner with well-meaning individuals and organisations to carry out these humanitarian efforts.
Also present at the event were Fidelity Bank’s Regional Bank Head, North Central, Sadi Zawayi; Branch Managing Director, Makurdi, Emmanuel Adukwu the bank’s Branch Head in Benue State University, Makurdi, Annet Olije Gyen
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Board on 29th May, 2020 approved the promotion of 10 Corps Commanders (CC) to the rank of Assistant Corps Marshal(ACM) and 32 Deputy Corps Commanders (DCC) to the rank of Corps Commander.
The approval was subsequent to the virtual meeting of the FRSC Board on promotion of Senior Officers, where the promotion exercise was diligently deliberated upon.
According to the Deputy Corps Public Education Officer, Mccharm Sambo, the promotion takes effect from 29th May, 2020.
He gave the list of the Officers promoted to Assistant Corps Marshal ( ACM) as follows; Corps Commander Bisi Kazeem fsi, who is presently, the Corps Public Education Officer at the National Headquarters (RSHQ) Abuja, Corps Commander Hyginus Omeje, the Sector Commander, Lagos State, Corps Commander Clement Oladele, Sector Commander, Ogun State, Corps Commander Francis Udoma, Sector Commander, Imo State, Corps Commander Shehu Iliyasu, the Corps Procurement Officer RSHQ, Corps Commander Benjamin D Anafa, Corps Commander in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Operations Department, RSHQ and four others.
While the newly promoted Corps Commanders are; Deputy Corps Commander (DCC) Segun Ogungbemide, Sector Head of Operations, Ondo State Sector Command , DCC Godwin Ntukidem fsi, who is the Principal Staff Officer II to the Corps Marshal, DCC Kukbol Gonji, the Deputy Corps Legal Adviser, DCC LD Shehu fsi, DCC CM Onukwubiri, DCC IG Ibrahim, and 26 others.
The Board Chairman, Mallam Bukhari Bello, expressed his satisfaction with the high level of transparency and objectivity that heralded the whole process and urged the promoted Officers to show more commitment and rededicate themselves to achieving the Corporate mission of the Corps which is to eradicate road traffic crashes and create a safer motoring environment in the country.
He stated that the promotion exercise is part of the Commission’s drive towards rewarding excellence, and hard work in line with the administrative philosophy of the present leadership of the Corps.
Sambo added that the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, equally congratulated the newly elevated Officers for their excellent performances during the exercise.
While noting that every promotion comes with greater responsibilities, Oyeyemi charged them to put in their best in the course of their duties as their new ranks call for more focus and dedication.
Oyeyemi admonished those who were not fortunate this promotion year to keep hope alive for the best as opportunities still abound for promotion in the future.
Speaking further, the Corps Marshal promised to improve the general welfare of the personnel of the Corps to the satisfaction of all. As such, he beckoned on all personnel to be of good cheer and put in greater efforts towards the realisation of the Corporate mandate of the Corps.
The Deputy Corps Public Education Officer Sambo disclosed that the promotion exercise began with medical examination, physical fitness test, computer based examination, and virtual oral interview.
On decorating the newly promoted Officers, the Corps Marshal immediately directed that all affected Officers are to be decorated in their respective Zonal Commands and the decoration is to be conducted in strict compliance with Presidential directives and NCDC guidelines on physical distancing and other preventive measures against the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has explained why road construction was suspended during the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the country.
Speaking with Funmi Iyanda on a Public Live interview on Friday, Fashola said the lockdown made production and transportation of materials needed for construction impossible.
“Most of the materials used to construct the road like rocks and laterites in Lagos for example come from Ogun State. So, if there is a lockdown at the boundaries, how do you move them?
“This is apart from the process of mining and blasting rocks in an environment that requires people to work and lift things together while complying with current rules and guidelines of social distancing.
“These were why work stopped,” the former governor of Lagos said.
With the government implementing a gradual and phased easing of lockdown, Fashola said the Federal Government and state governments have approved that 11 contractors who are executing 53 projects, across 26 states should start work.
“They are all remobilising back to site, but we are doing it under very stringent guidelines about how they would work and feed at the site because they cannot share utensils anymore.
“This a logistic challenge that nobody has a rulebook for, nobody prepared for this, so, we are adapting and moving as we go on.”
Before the lockdown, Fashola said his ministry had inspected all federal road projects across the country.
“We have over 600 road projects nationwide. There is no state in Nigeria where we are not executing a road project,” the minister added.
Recognising inadequate accommodation as a prevalent across the world, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to providing affordable housing for Nigerians.
Also speaking with Ms. Iyanda, chairman of the Federal Government advisory committee on the impact of coronavirus on the creative industry, Ali Baba, said it “a fact-finding committee.”
He urged the public to not assume it is a palliative distribution committee for the creative sector.
“Maybe there will be a committee set up to hand out palliatives, but we are just a data collection committee,” he said.
In an era where youths are either dependents, restive, or trying to make a headway with their lives, Bright Izuwa, an Abia State-born Photographer and an under thirty (30) serial entrepreneur who horned his photography skills from a renowned studio have set the pace in his time.
Bright is set to celebrate his 30th birthday with his new photography studio valued at thirty million naira (N30Million) and situated in the heart of Ikeja, Lagos.
According to Bright, June 4th Studios which is coined from his month and date of birth, located at 13B, Ladipo Kuku Street Allen-Avenue Ikeja Lagos Nigeria will definitely become the client’s favourite after a first-time experience, he assures.
The state-of-the-art studio comprises a Makeup Section, Photo Book Section, a Photography Studio section, a passport section, a dedicated dressing room section, and a section for his photography academy.
He further reiterated his readiness for the studio’s grand opening on the 4th of June, 2020 where individuals born on the month of June will be giving free shoots while others not born on the month of June will pay an affordable fee alongside loads of complimentary shoots.