Naira Expected To Rise Next Week

Naira, dollar, Market FX marketThe Naira is expected to appreciate on the street next week, following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s plan to increase dollar sale to retail currency bureaus.

The Central Bank is planning to raise dollar sales to Bureau De Change to $40,000 from the present $20,000, which will improve liquidity and help support the local currency.

The local currency was quoted at 410 to the dollar on the street, compared with 398 to the dollar, last week.

At the inter-bank market the local unit closed at 306.10 to the dollar on Wednesday compared with 306.20 last week.

Goodluck Jonathan Challenges Political Leaders On Accountability

Former president, Goodluck Jonathan and Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt
Former president, Goodluck Jonathan and Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt

The former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has challenged those in political leadership to commit to making a difference in the lives of the people.

Dr. Jonathan was speaking when he visited the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Also present during the visit were the Chief of Staff to the governor, Emeka Woke, the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Kenneth Kobani and the Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih.

The former President commended the governor for his developmental strides in the state, adding that Wike shared some similarities with him in terms of the desire to always make a difference when in office.

Thereafter, he expressed gratitude to Nigerians for accepting his person (Jonathan) even after leaving office.

FG Signs Seventy Million Euro EU Support For Health

Nigerian Government Launches Action Plan Against PneumoniaThe Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union (EU) on 70 million Euro support to Revamp Nigeria’s health sector.

According to the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, the fund will be used to strengthen the nation’s already weak health system and eradicate polio.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Michel Arrion emphasised the need to concentrate on reducing the nation’s burden of maternal child mortality.

Nigeria’s health sector has been grappled with inadequate financing as the National budgetary allocation fluctuates between 4.6 and 5.4 percent since 2011.

However, the Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar spoke on behalf of benefiting states, advocating for the building of internal capacity in the states rather than waste the money on consultants.

Besides strengthening the already weak health care system in the country, 2.7 million children under five years of age and 850 pregnant women are expected to benefit from this funding in Adamawa, Bauchi, and Kebbi states.

Tanker Fire Destroys Buildings, Properties In Onitsha

unijosfire3A petrol tanker laden with diesel on Wednesday night exploded at Upper New Market Road, by DMGS Roundabout, Onitsha, destroying buildings, vehicles and properties worth millions of naira.

Fire fighters and a large dispatch of security personnel ranging from the Police, Army, Civil Defense, Road Safety and the Red Cross were on ground to assist in quenching the inferno.

According to eye witnesses, the tanker driver was negotiating the DMGS roundabout when it s fell with a loud thud, causing explosion immediately and spreading fire to several buildings, offices and shops within the area.

Meanwhile, the Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Tony Nnacheta, decried the enormity of the disaster but remained grateful to God that no death was recorded.

Reacting to the incident, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumu commended the effort of the police in warding off miscreants who wanted to use the opportunity to steal.

The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Sunday Ajayi, on his part informed that “there will be an investigation into what caused the falling of the tanker as the driver should, ordinarily, be able to navigate the roundabout, if truly he is a driver”.


Enugu State House Of Assembly Passes Budget Into Law

Six Arraigned, Robbery, Vanguard PublisherThe Enugu State House of Assembly, has passed the 2017 budget estimate of over 105Billion Naira into law, with the breakdown that shows that over 55Billion Naira represents recurrent expenditure.

Meanwhile, the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation said, although the budget estimate may look high, the state will achieve over 80% of the budget estimate with the ongoing restructuring in the Board of Internal Revenue and Prudent Management of the executive, as well as refund from the Paris and London club.

The passage follows the consideration of the report as presented by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation.

The committee considered the bill followed by third reading of the bill which was subsequently passed into law.

However, the Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi, has commended members of the House for their contributions in the passage of the budget into law.

He urged them to carry out thorough oversight functions to ensure implementation of the budget.

Oyo Govt. Mandates Contractors To Patronize 440,000 Artisans, Tradesmen

Oyo Govt. Mandates Contractors To Patronize 440,000 Artisans, TradesmenThe Oyo state government has said that contractors handling various projects in the state would be mandated to patronize about 440,000 tradesmen and artisans in executing government projects.

The State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who made the annoucement at the flag – off of the tradesmen and artisans bio-metrics data capture and identification card project in Ibadan, explained that the bio-metrics and data capturing will serve as the database for providing commercial incentives and welfare packages for the various groups of artisans and tradesmen in the state.

“This is a project that has been on the front burner of government attention. We commend the tradesmen and artisans for recognising as well as appreciating continuous government’s efforts to better the lot of all and sundry. We want you to do more in adding to the socio-economic development of our State.

“The government will patronize you and we will mandate contractors handling various projects in the state to make use of your members in executing the government projects.

“We will not relent in doing more to encourage creativity and social empowerment by giving timely and frequent inputs in the form of financial power like revolving loans and other incentives to artisans and tradesmen in the state,” Ajimobi stressed.

He also added that the bio-metrics and identification card project would eradicate impersonation of members, provide opportunities to benefit from government social services and encourage special recognition to outstanding artisans and traders.

“It is important we enumerate the advantages inherent in this project for our people to know its values which include: easy access to government loans, recognition and identification of members of various artisans and tradesmen’s union as well as special rewards for outstanding artisans and tradesmen among others, because we will be able to ascertain true members,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, the President, Oyo State Tradesmen and Artisans, Mr Yisau Kolayode, has praised the Ajimobi-led administration for always coming up with novel ideas to bring succor to the teeming masses of the state.

He said the bio-metric registration would reduce the rate at which his members were impersonated while the data gathered, would be useful for future engagements and programmes.

“Our figure of 440,000 tradesmen and artisans is a projection which may likely be more, but with the data collected in a standard form by government, it will show clearly, the number of tradesmen and artisans in Oyo State.”

“This data capturing would help flush out some bad eggs among artisans who engage in negative activities and we will surely know how many are true members as well as positioning legitimate members for benefits from government and corporate bodies,” Kolayode noted.

Also speaking of its benefits, Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment and Co-operatives, Princess Taibat Adeyemi-Agaba, said that the project will enhance the local content initiative of the present administration in the state.

She added that it will also bridge the gap between the government and governed as the initiative is capable of opening seamless opportunities within the informal sector.

Government Takes Over Arik Airline

Arik Air Operations Grounded Over Union Protest The Federal Government has taken over Arik Airline, which has been experiencing difficulties in recent times.

According to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the decision to intervene “clearly underscores the government’s commitment to instilling sanity in the country’s aviation sector and prevent a major catastrophe.

The airline will now be managed by Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, an aviation expert, under Mr Oluseye Opasanya, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika expressed the belief that the development will bring about stability in the airline.

“We believe that this appointment is timely and will stabilize the operations of the airline. This will enhance the long term economic value of Arik Air and revitalize the airline’s ailing operations as well as sustain safety standards, in view of Arik Air’s pivotal role in the Nigerian aviation sector.”

The Minister further pledged that the Federal Ministry of Aviation would support the new management of the strategic carrier adding that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that there would be no undue disruption on Arik’s regular business operations or activities of other stakeholders, on account of the recent changes its leadership and management.

In the same vein, Capt. Ilegbodu, under the receivership of Opasanya, has also assured both staff of the troubled airline and all other stakeholders that his appointment at Arik would among other objectives enhance the value of Arik, improve customer experience, and sustain the safety, reliable and secure operational history of the airline before all those were eroded.

Governor Wike Charges Rivers IRS On Revenue Generation

 Governor Wike Charges Rivers IRS On Revenue GenerationRivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has inaugurated the reconstituted Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue Service (IRS), charging the board to create a tax friendly environment in the state, while improving internally generated revenue for development purposes.

The governor urged the chairman and members of the state Board of IRS to ensure that they weather the storm of political blackmail and other forms of pressure in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Inaugurating the Board at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, the governor stated that the renewed revenue drive in the state is because of the dwindling revenue from the Federation Account.

According to him, the new board was selected because of their professional competence. He therefore warned members against getting themselves involved in unproductive politics.

The governor said: “It took us time to appoint members of this all-important Board because of our search for persons who are professionally competent to achieve improved revenue.

“Members of the board were chosen strictly on their professional track record.

Wike Charges Rivers IRS On Revenue Generation
members of reconstituted board

“We have made commitment to the Rivers people and we are determined to continue to deliver on quality projects. We can only do this with sustained revenue flow. Therefore, you must work towards blocking revenue leakages, increasing our revenue and providing more funds for development”.

Wike went on to say that if the state is able to generate up to 50 per cent of her potentials, it would easily fasten the development process.

He told the reconstituted Board that this is their opportunity to serve the state and make a positive impact on the lives of the people.

In response, Chairman of the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue Service, Mr Thank God Adoage Norteh, said members of the Board are committed to delivering on the assignment of improving the revenue of the state.

He then gave an assurance that they would create a tax friendly environment and professionalise the revenue service of the state.

Furthermore, he solicited the cooperation of the leaders and people of the state as the board discharges its responsibility of generating the needed funds for development.

Wike Lauds Nigerian Navy’s Professionalism

nyesom-wike-governor-of-rivers-state-on-panel-probeThe Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has lauded the Nigerian Navy for being professional while performing their duties.

The governor commended the Naval High Command for tracking down Rivers State Fishing Commercial Fishing Trawler, which he said would boost the revenue base of the state.

He made this known when he received the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole and the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Commodore I.N Kayoda.

He said unlike other security agencies, the Nigerian Navy has concentrated on the promotion of security, rather than promotion of political interests.

“The Nigerian Navy has lived above board. They have refused to be dragged into politics. We have had rerun elections in the state, but I have had no reason to complain about the conduct of naval personnel”.

He assured the Naval High Command of the support of his administration in terms of the provision of logistics to fight crime.

The governor said that the gunboats being purchased for the Nigerian Navy by the Rivers State Government will be released to the security agency.

He charged the Nigerian Navy to ensure that the gunboats when delivered, should be used strictly for the protection of Rivers waters.

“We are always willing to support security agencies. Nobody will tolerate crime as it hinders development “.

Earlier, the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole announced that the Navy has tracked down the fishing Trawler of the Rivers State, and would soon be handed over to the state government.

He also commended the governor for his commitment to Naval Operations, adding that the 120 Housing Units completed by the administration for the NNS Pathfinder would help solve the accommodation challenges of the personnel at the facility.

Rear Admiral James Oluwole noted that the Nigerian Navy would judiciously use the gunboats when delivered by the Rivers State Government.

Political Appointments Are Based On Merit, Not God-Fatherism- Al-Makura

almakuraThe Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-makura says there is no God-fatherism in Nasarawa state as political appointments are strictly based on merit.

He said this while swearing-in the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government and Head of Civil Service.

Governor Al-Makura who had sacked his former SSG, Suleiman Azores, as well as the Head of Service, Joseph Isa Ancho, stated that: “This is an administration that has no God-father and does not concern itself with God-fatherism”

“Your God-father as far as you are concerned in Nasarawa state, is to do your job diligently, sincerely and patriotically, and once you do that God will beam his light on you and you will come to the notice of people that matter.”

According to him, he is taking bold steps to ensure that committed civil servants are rewarded accordingly.

“This is the kind of focus am giving to service to ensure that those that have been working relentlessly and whose records of service are without blemish, are compensated, so that those that are staying out there will see the necessity of doing what is right for a better day”.

Furthermore, he stressed the fact that the state belongs to all, while he called on the people to be committed in all their dealings.

“Nasarawa State is for all of us, let’s commit ourselves, lets sacrifice for the state.

“If one person does not see the efforts you are making, another person will see the efforts you are making. If nobody sees, the Almighty God sees and He will reward you”, he said.

The governor also reiterated his efforts in protecting the efficiency of the State Civil Service.

“We are trying to see what we can do to protect the sanctity of service to ensure that it is not adulterated, and I am calling on the SSG and HoS to join hands with me and members of my council to inject new impetus in the system and be the guiding light towards making Nasarawa great again”

On their part, the new appointees assured him of their loyalty to key into the policies of the governor in order to achieve desired results.

“We assure you that we will do the best we can to ensure that service to the people, which is anchored on your belief in transparency and accountability will be protected”

The new SSG, was a two-time commissioner for Justice in Nasarawa State Attorney General and Special Adviser to Governor Al-Makura on Special Duties, he has also contested for a set in the House of Representative, also a think-tank of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress.

Meanwhile the new Head of Service, Ari Ogiri, was recently sworn-in as a Permanent Secretary.

Army Says Mop-Up Operations Are Yielding Positive Results

Army Says Mop-Up Operations Are Yielding Positive Results The Nigerian Army under the Operation Lafiya Dole, has said that the cleaning up of remnants of the Boko Haram Terrorists in the northeast, has continued to yield positive results.

Theatre Commander of the Operation, Major General Lucky Irabor, stated this at the Army’s weekly briefing which took place on Thursday in Maiduguri.

He said, the Army has intercepted a letter written by the terrorist group seeking support in arms and ammunition.

Recalling an unfortunate incident that recently occurred, Irabor said: “Inspite of the regrettable occurrence of 7th January 2017 at Rann, our gallant troops have continued to gain traction by recording success in our operational engagements.”

With respect to the Rann incident, Irabor further stated that an emergency response team was established afterwards.

“A well co-ordinated response, involving the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, United Nations Office Of the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the ICRC, MSF and Borno state government was initiated.

“A surgical centre was established in Rann to help stabilise the wounded before being evacuated to Maiduguri.”

Also according to him, “On the 19th of January, a Federal Government delegation, led by the Chief Of Staff to the President, which also included the Ministers of Defence and Information, the Chief of Defence staff, and the service chiefs, paid condolence visits to the Governor of Borno state, and Humanitarian agencies at the UN OCHA office in Maiduguri, where on behalf of Mr President, the message of condolences were delivered.

He then used the opportunity to appreciate the government as well as people of Borno state for their understanding over the mistaken air strike that led to the death of about 112 persons as stated by him.

Stating some of their achievements, the Army boss said: “On the 14th of January, troops recovered several items such as a General Purpose Machine gun, AK 47 rifles, 2,269 rounds of 7.62 meter ammunition, RPG bombs, among other equipment.

Five Boko Haram members were killed including two who were suicide bombers.

Also on January 23, troops were said to have attacked Borko Haram terrorists and nine of them were eventually killed.

Clowning For A Living: Klinton Cod Talks Comedy

Clowning For A Living: Klinton Cod Talks ComedyStunning Nigerian Instagram sensation, Klinton Cod, has narrated his journey from the medical sciences and how he made the switch into online comedy.

Speaking to Channels Television, Klinton, who became an internet comedy sensation in less than two years, revealed that his parents do not believe in his comedy.

Narrating his educational background, he said he initially had a dream of becoming a medical doctor but he instead chose Biomedical Sciences in which he bagged a BSc Degree.

Afterwards, he went on to gain a Master degree in Public Health because according to him, he has a passion for health.

He even wanted to go ahead and bag another Masters degree in nursing in the UK but he rather decided to focus on comedy.

Explaining his parents reaction to the switch, Klinton stated: “My parents don’t believe in my comedy career but my dad watches my videos and he laughs, but they wanted me to focus on my studies”.

Although he admitted the importance of education, he however placed priority on his comedy.

If I hadn’t been doing comedy, I probably would have been in the hospital, so you could call me either a Senior Nurse, Biomedical scientist or a public health professional,” he said.

According to him, while still working in the hospital as a training nurse, he preferred talking to the patients to make them feel better.

“At some point, they were complaining that I was here as a training nurse why do I keep going into the ward and keep talking to patients, I told them this is what I love doing, I walk into the ward and make patients laugh.

“Sometime they could be looking for me and they would just hear laughter coming out from somewhere, and they’ll realise that Klinton is definitely there.

It was afterwards that he realised that comedy was what he really wanted to do and according to him, he took the bold step and left the UK for Nigeria.

Speaking of the journey so far, he highlighted the importance of social media in his craft.

He believes that social media comedy is very important because, it reaches more people compared to the real life stand up comedy.

“An online social media comedian can easily get access 50,000 people from the comfort of their bedroom and from different vicinities but the stand up comedian has to plan towards an event and then the number of people to come for the event may probably be like two thousand,” he stated.