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23:53

Zimbabwean Foreign Minister dies after testing positive of COVID-19




Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo died on Wednesday, a day after testing positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), acting chief secretary to the president and cabinet George Charamba said in a statement.

A close family member of Moyo also confirmed the death to Xinhua.

“It’s true my brother. COVID-19. He tested positive yesterday,” the family member said.


He becomes the third government minister to succumb to COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the country in March 2020.

The retired army Lieutenant-General was the face of the military operation that ousted former President Robert Mugabe in Nov. 2019.

He went on to be part of current President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration. (Xinhua/NAN)
23:49

Katsina: Principal Admits Raping, Impregnating 12-year-old Student




The Vice Principal of Community Secondary School Kadandani in Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Mr. Ibrahim Sale, has admitted before police that he had sexual relationship with his 12-year-old student.

Ibrahim, 38, was among suspected rapists paraded on Wednesday by the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, at the command’s headquarters in Katsina, the state capital.

He said: “My name is Ibrahim Sale. I am the vice principal of community secondary school Kadandani in Rimi Local Government and I have three wives. I raped my 12-year-old student and she got pregnant.

“I do pay her N200, N300 and sometimes N500 before she agreed to have sexual intercourse with me. She gave birth to baby boy on Sunday”.


Parading the suspect before newsmen, Isah said the suspect lured the 12-year-old and repeatedly had unlawful carnal knowledge of her in his apartment at the community.

He said: “From the 9th to 14th January, 2021, the Command has arrested eight suspected rapists in six reported cases across the state. Among the suspects is Ibrahim Sale who is the vice principal of a community school in Rimi local government area.

“He lured a young girl of about 12-year-old and serially had unlawful carnal knowledge of her without the knowledge of the parents to the state that he even impregnated her.

“In fact, right now that I am speaking to you, this young girl had delivered a baby after Caesarean Section (CS) at the General Hospital Katsina in which investigation is ongoing and that is why we are calling on parents to be vigilant”.

He added, “Anytime she comes to school, he will take her away to his own house and this man is married with three wives. What is he looking for in a young girl of 12 years? Right now, we don’t know how the girl will feed the baby”.

Isah expressed worries about the recent upsurge in rape cases across the state and called on members of the general public, especially parents to always look after their wards to avert the scenario in the state.

He, however, said the command was collaborating with government, traditional institutions, religious leaders, trade unions, civil society organizations to rid the state of rape. Thisdaylive
23:46

Northern elders ask herders to disregard Gov Akeredolu’s directive




In a statement on Wednesday, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, a spokesman of the forum, asked Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, to rescind the ultimatum given to herders to vacate forest reserves in the state.

He described the governor’s order as provocative and unhelpful.

On Monday, Akeredolu gave herders a seven-day ultimatum to leave the forests, citing the rising insecurity in the state.

The governor said “bad elements” have turned the forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.


But Baba-Ahmed said Fulanis will not accept unfair treatment, challenging the governor to isolate criminals and treat them as such.

“Northern Elders Forum is shocked at reports that Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, is asking a Fulani community to leave its lawful location, in addition to other restrictions on activities of Fulani people who have lived in the State for a long period,” Baba-Ahmed said.

“Governor Akeredolu is a senior lawyer who should know that the constitution does not give him the power to deny any Nigerian the right to live where he chooses if he does not break the law in the process. His duty to protect and improve the security of citizens and all people in Ondo State cannot be challenged.

“No Nigerian has the power to take punitive action against citizens on political grounds. The forum believes that the action of the governor is provocative and unhelpful.

“If there are criminal elements among the Fulani who live in the state, the governor should take appropriate steps to identify them and deal with them. Similarly, the Fulani do not enjoy legal immunity in any part of Nigeria.

“The Fulani are subject to all laws and regulations and must respect the communities with which they live and interact. What is dangerous and unacceptable is to profile and demonize the Fulani and treat him outside the laws of the land like all other Nigerians.

“The Fulani community in Ondo state should stay put where they are and continue to be law-abiding.

“We call on Governor Akeredolu to rescind his order on the Fulani, or clarify his position in the event that he is misunderstood. For the avoidance of doubt, no Fulani anywhere in Nigeria will accept unfair and illegal treatment just for being Fulani.” TheCableng
23:46

Edo 2020: LOC organization to make N165m from athletes’ registration




The Local Organising Committee of the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival is expected to make about N165m from registration of athletes, Punch has learnt.

With about 11,000 athletes expected to participate in the event, the LOC will be N165m richer from athletes’ registration alone.

The festival, tagged ‘Edo 2020’, is set to hold from February 14 to 28, after suffering several postponments since its initial date of  March 22 to April 1 was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Hosts Edo, Delta, Rivers and Lagos states are expected to account for the largest team of contingents to the festival.


In a letter by the LOC dated January 18, and addressed to the Director of Sports of the 36 States Sports Councils and the FCT, states are expected to pay N15,000 for the registration of each athlete taking part in the sports festival.

States are also expected to provide insurance cover for their athletes and officials.

“I am directed to remind you that the date of February 14 – 28, 2021 still stands and in accordance with Rule 15 of the General Rules and Regulations (2020) guiding the organisation of the Festival, each participant (athlete or official) is expected to pay a Participation Fee of N15,000 only.

“Consequent upon the above, I am to further inform you that the participating states are expected to make payment of their participation fees from February 10-12, 2021.

“Similarly, Rule 17 of the General Rules and Regulations (2020) guiding the organisation of the festival stipulates that each participating state must provide appropriate insurance cover for her athletes and accompanying officials, evidence of which will form part of the conditions for admission of the states contingent into the Games Village. You are therefore, by this rule, expected to present evidence of payment of the Insurance,” the statement added.

Punch
23:42

Sports: Aruna, Omotayo, others battle for $.6m at WTT tourneys




Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Olajide Omotayo will battle for $600,000 at the two World Table Tennis events taking place in Qatar between March 3 and 13.

The table tennis stars, who are the top-ranked Nigerian players, will join other global icons for the events at the Lusail Sports Arena in Doha.

According to the International Table Tennis Federation, the Middle East Hub will feature two tiers of the new WTT event structure with WTT Contender Doha kick-starting the tournament before players move onto the first WTT Star Contender event the following week, providing the perfect preparation for some of the world’s leading stars to be challenged by the best up-and-coming athletes in table tennis.


Aruna, who is the highest ranked African in the world – 21— will join Xu Xin (China, ranked 2), Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan, ranked 5), Hugo Calderano (Brazil, ranked 6) and Lin Yun-Ju (Chinese Taipei, WR 7).

Other elite players taking to the table include Mattias Falck (Sweden, ranked 8), Jang Woojin (Korea, ranked 11) and Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany, ranked 12) in the men’s draw.

However, Omotayo and compatriots Taiwo Mati and Nurudeen Hassan have been listed to compete in the qualifiers for WTT Contender Doha from February 28 to March 2, with successful players listed for the main event on March 3 to 6.

Omotayo is expected to fight for a place in the main event from the qualifiers, while Mati and Hassan are among the reserve players, after the list of players was finalised by the organisers.

Aruna will start his campaigns from the main event of both championships. Punch
23:42

Nigeria govt moves to deepen reforms in business environment




To deepen reforms in Nigeria’s business environment, the Federal Government has resolved that chief executive officers (CEOs) and heads of some regulatory agencies in the country be presented with the result of a recent survey that exposed major pitfalls in their organisations.

Specifically, the Cost of Compliance Report presented to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) at its first virtual meeting on Tuesday revealed persistent corruption, duplication of functions, poor service orientation, and several anti-business acts among some regulators.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who presided over the parley, directed that the chief executives be exposed to the outcome of the study conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

He said the report revealed human issues that inhibit seamless business operations.


Osinbajo noted that doing otherwise would only jeopardise the government’s efforts in creating a conducive business environment.

His words: “If the environment on account of regulatory authorities is so difficult or expensive, such that people are discouraged or it doesn’t make sense for people to do business, then we are shooting ourselves in the foot in a manner we can only blame ourselves. These are human issues and we must do something very serious about them.”

Speaking further about holding those responsible for the major lapses to account, the Vice President stated: “I am in full support of holding our CEOs to account because they, in turn, must hold their staff to account. If there is systemic corruption, bribery, and extortion, and nobody is held to account, there is a problem.”

According to Osinbajo, the plans of the Federal Government in growing the economy and changing the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians for the better are largely dependent on the business environment in which they operate. Theguardianng
23:37

VP Osinbajo demands sanctions for fraud, bribery in govt agencies



Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed worry over a survey report that highlights persistent corruption, duplicity of functions, poor service orientation and other anti-business disposition in some of the Federal Government’s regulatory agencies.

Osinbajo and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council therefore resolved to make the report available to the heads of the affected agencies.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday titled,  ‘Osinbajo to regulatory agencies: Everything we do to grow the economy, change lives of Nigerians depends on conducive business environment.’


According to the statement, the survey that returned damning verdicts on the unnamed agencies was conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

The statement read, “The Cost of Compliance Report which was presented to the council at its first virtual meeting of the year on Tuesday revealed persistent corruption, duplicity of functions, poor service orientation, and several anti-business disposition in some of the regulatory agencies.

“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, who presided over the meeting directed that CEOs and heads of such government regulatory agencies involved should be presented with the outcomes and interaction should take place regarding some of the worrying disclosures in the report of the survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, PwC.”

Akande also quoted the vice president as saying that if the environment, on account of regulatory authorities, was difficult or expensive, such that people werediscouraged to do business, then the nation was shooting itself in the foot.

Describing them as human issues, Osinbajo said something serious must be done to address the issues.

Speaking further about holding those responsible for the major lapses to account, the Vice President said, “I am in full support of holding our CEOs to account because they, in turn, must hold their staff to account. If there is systemic corruption, bribery and extortion, and nobody is held to account, there is a problem.”

Others present at the PEBEC meeting on Tuesday include the Ministers of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the Vice Chairman of PEBEC; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi; Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Budget and National Planning (State), Clem Abga; Special Adviser on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, and Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, representing the National Assembly among other top government officials and representatives from PwC. Punch
23:37

Africa: FEC approves new retirement age for teachers




The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a bill extending the retirement age for teachers in the country from 60 years to 65 years.

The FEC, during its first meeting of the year 2021, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, approved the bill; Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers Bill, 2021, to be sent to the National Assembly for its consideration and possible approval.

The bill also seeks to give legal backing to new measures by the current administration to enhance the teaching profession in the country.


If approved by the lawmakers, the retirement age of teachers will move from 60 years to 65 while the years of service will also move from 35 to 40.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who disclosed this to correspondents at the end of the council meeting, said some highlights of the bill include the introduction of bursary award, special rural posting allowances and other measures to attract the best brains to the profession.

Thenationonlineng
23:34

Abuja: Police nab 20-year-old for kidnapping father, collecting N2m




A 20-year-old man, Abubakar Amodu, has been arrested for conniving with a gang to kidnap his father and collect N2 m ransom.

Amodu was one of 25 suspects paraded by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, for various offences in Abuja on Wednesday.

The suspect, who was arrested with other members of the gang, told journalists that his father was a herdsman, adding that he gave him 15 cows.

He said, “I became friends with the members of the gang, who told me that my father was rich, and he should be kidnapped for money.


“After we kidnapped my father, he paid N2m and I was given N200,000 as my share.”

Also paraded was one Abubakar Liyu, a security guard at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who worked with kidnappers to abduct lecturers in the university community.

Liyu, who confessed to the crime, said he participated in the kidnapping of three lecturers.

He said he got N30,000 for the abductions of two lecturers but got nothing for the last operation.

One Friday Domozu from Kogi State was also paraded for leading a gang that kidnapped and cruelly murdered a five-year-old girl, Farida Ibrahim, in Dekina, Kogi State.

They had demanded a ransom of N8m from the victim’s family, who could not afford it.

Ibrahim was killed and buried  in a shallow grave before the police apprehended the suspects.

The police also paraded members of a gang who killed an Immigration officer, his sister and  wife last June. Punch

23:32

We paid for Ilorin nude party, arrested mastermind in bank, Police says




The Kwara State Police Command has arrested a member of a gang planning to organise nude party in selected places in Ilorin, the state capital.

Parading the suspect, Akinsola Babatunde, aka Mr White, in Ilorin on Wednesday, the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Bagega, said credible intelligence on the activities of the gang led to the arrest of the suspect at No. 16 Achimugu Street, Ilorin.

The police boss, who said organisers of the party advertised the show on social media for prospective attendees for N20,000 per person, added that they planned to hold it in lounges, club houses and service apartments.

Bagega stated, “The immoral and illegal action of Mr White and his accomplices clearly contradict the COVID-19 protocols and promote crime and criminality.


“Operatives of the State Intelligence Bureau attached to the command carried out a string operation involving tactical undercover and manoeuvre. We actually played along with them by posing as interested persons. We paid the advertised sum of N20,000 to a given bank account. With the cooperation of the other stakeholders, we nabbed the suspect while going to withdraw the money in the bank.

“Efforts are ongoing to arrest the fleeing members of the gang; the one in custody will be charged as soon as investigation is completed”.

Also paraded were two suspected kidnappers of four Turkish nationals, who were rescued by the police in July 2019 at Gbugbu village in the Edu Local Government Area of the state.

The CP stated, “In a concerted effort by the men of the command and members of the community, four of the six gang members were arrested with an AK-47 rifle and the victims were rescued without the payment of ransom. Punch
00:55

Gov Abiodun Bans Tankers, Trailers from Ogun Flyovers after Fuel Truck Explosion




Ogun State Government has banned tankers and other articulated vehicles from plying overhead bridges in the State and warned that those who flout the order would pay stiff penalty.

The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun who gave the order after inspecting an accident scene caused by a petrol tanker at Kuto, Abeokuta, said henceforth, tanker drivers would no longer be allowed to use the bridges.

“Tanker drivers will no longer be allowed to use the bridges. Anything that has trailer behind it, be it trailers, flatbeds and other articulated vehicles of either 33 or 66 tons, are henceforth ban from using the bridges”, he ordered.

The governor who recalled similar accident at Ota in 2019, also stated that the State would enforce road worthiness to ensure that articulated vehicles plying the State’s roads are worthy to avoid such future occurrences.

“We are going to enforce strict road worthiness on tankers and other articulated vehicles to ensure that they are mechanically good to use our roads”, the governor said.

On what caused the accident, the Governor said, “as at 8am, it was reported that a tanker coming from Sagamu and heading towards Abeokuta with full load of 33,000 litres of PMS, suffered break failure as it was descending the Kuto flyover”.

“The driver tried to warn people and in the process of trying to control the vehicle, it swerve to across the median and collided with other vehicles and motorcycles and tumbled. Three instant fatalities were recorded, while six people suffered various degree of burnt”, the governor recalled.

He described the accident as an unfortunate event, saying that six of the injured, three each, have been admitted at the State Hospital Ijaye and Federal Medical Centre, Idi Aba, just as government has invited Burnt Specialists from Lagos to attend to those with severe burnt.

Prince Abiodun regretted that a bridge that was constructed to solve one problem, as ended up creating another, adding that the State government would carry out a comprehensive and well thought out plan aimed at tackling the menace.

While commiserating with the families of those who lost their loved ones, Governor Abiodun pledged that his administration would ensure that those who sustained injuries were well taken care off and those whose properties were affected were assisted to ameliorate their losses.

The Governor also visited the injured at the State Hospital Ijaye and the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta. Thisdaylive
00:53

In Lagos: Two cultists nabbed during gun battle with police




Two suspected cultists, Timileyin Omobolaji and another identified simply as Waliyu, have been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly terrorising residents of Igbelara in the Ikorodu area of the state.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement on Tuesday that the suspects were arrested during a gun battle with the cops and that others escaped with bullet wounds.

Adejobi said, “Police operatives attached to the Ikorodu Division, on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, around 12.30pm, engaged some suspected members of the Aiye Confraternity in a gun duel in the Igbelara area of Ikorodu, Lagos State.

“The police responded to a distress call from members of the public that some suspected cultists were seen in the Igbelara area with weapons to foment trouble and the police, with the help of some community members, raced to the scene and the gang opened fire on them.

“The police operatives responded and engaged the men, leaving some of them injured and they fled with bullet wounds. Two of them, Waliyu and Timileyin Omobolaji, were eventually arrested with wounds, while one cut-to-size pistol, 10 expended cartridges and six life cartridges were recovered from them. The injured ones have been taken to hospital for medical attention.”

Adejobi stated that the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, appealed to the general public, especially medical practitioners, to alert the police whenever they come across any of the fleeing suspected cultists with bullet wounds.

“The CP has ordered that the matter be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba for discreet investigation. He further vowed to rid Lagos State of cultism and other vices,” Adejobi added. Punch
00:51

Gov Wike orders Rivers civil servants to stay at home




Rivers State Government has directed Civil Servants on Grade Levels 1-13 to stay at home following the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.

A late night statement by the Head of Service,, Rufus Godwins, said the decision followed a directive from the Governor Nyesom Wike.

The statement said the directive takes effect from January 20, 2021, adding workers from grade level 14 should take over the responsibilities of the affected officers.

It urged all Permanent Secretaries of Ministries and Heads of Parastatals and agencies to ensure full compliance.

The statement reads: “Following the current increase in the number of COVID 19 cases, in the second wave of the pandemic, his Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has directed all civil servants on salary scale 01-13 except those on essential duty to stay away from duty forthwith.

“While officers from Grade levels 14 and above, should be on duty and assume full responsibilities for their offices till further notice.

“Accordingly, all Permanent Secretaries and Heads of extra ministerial offices should ensure compliance with this directive and observe strictly all COVID19 protocols.

“This directive which takes effect from Wednesday 20th January 2021, shall remain in force until his excellency directs otherwise.” Thenationonlineng
00:49

Kano: Jealous wife held for alleged murder of 17-year-old girl




A 20-year old woman, Mrs. Suwaiba Shuaibu, of Gimawa Village, Doguwa local government area of Kano is being detained by the police for allegedly killing a 17-year old girl, Miss Aisha Kabir.

On January 1, while people across the world were celebrating the New Year, the suspect called the victim on the telephone, deceived and lured her to an uncompleted building in their neighborhood.

She reportedly used a sharp knife to stab her in the neck, chest and other parts of her body, police said.

The deceased father, one Kabiru Jafaru, declared her missing.

The following day, January 2, Aisha’s body was discovered in an uncompleted building in the neighborhood. The deceased’s father updated the police, who visited the crime area.

Police spokesman, Abdullahi Haruna, said the body was taken to Tudun Wada General Hospital for examination.

A team of police detectives, raised by Kano State Commissioner of Police, Habu Sani, Tuesday arrested the culprit.

During interrogation, the suspect confessed the crime. The suspect, who is a second wife to one Sharehu Alhaji Ali, said she killed the victim because her husband had proposed to marry her as a third wife.

The Nation gathered the suspect’s husband had proposed to the deceased, and they were in courtship for six years and their wedding was scheduled to hold on January 9.

Haruna, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) said the case has been transferred to the Police Command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for discrete investigation.

He said, upon completion of investigation, the suspect will be charged to court for alleged homicide. Thenationonlineng
00:38

Gov Fayemi wants qualified female lawyers appointed as judges




Governor Kayode Fayemi has canvassed elevation of qualified female lawyers as well as young lawyers as judges in Ekiti State High Court. He made the call in Ado-Ekiti yesterday during inauguration of the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Chieftaincy Affairs, Barrister Adeniyi Familoni, as a judge of the State High Court, following his recommendation by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The governor, while giving his perspective on the future of the state judiciary, said it was important to encourage and provide space for competent female lawyers to become High Court judges.

“My administration is committed to supporting the elevation of judges in our State High Court. Directly related to this must now be the conversation on the desirability of ensuring that qualified young lawyers are given the opportunity to be appointed to the Bench.

“History revealed that the late Justice Olatawura became a judge of the Western State Court at the age of 38. So, it was not surprise that he eventually ended up in the Supreme Court of Nigeria. It may now be desirable to revisit the age of the appointment to the Bench. I am aware that in a number of states, efforts were made to target suitable candidate under the age of 40.

“No less important is the need for female judges in the High Court of Ekiti State. My administration firmly believes in the desirability of enabling appropriate environment for the appointment of women to decision-making positions.

Our current situation cannot be said to be satisfactory. I hope my Lord, the chief judge, will agree with me on the need to ensure that qualified female lawyers are given space to aspire for the Bench of High Court of Ekiti State,” Fayemi said.

The governor, while swearing in the new judge at the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, pledged to provide necessary support that would enhance dispensation and administration of justice in the state.

He described the appointment of Familoni as a practical demonstration of his administration’s commitment to restoring the values of hard work, decency, integrity and competent above mediocrity in the public service. Theguardianng
00:38

Africa: AfCFTA to boost jobs




The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create jobs in Africa, President of the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, and the Chief Executive, East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Charles Kahuthu,  have said.

They  spoke in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where the President, African Development Bank(AfDB), Akinwumi. Adesina and 10 African Heads of State and Government were honoured  for their leadership in the AfCFTA.

“Jobs have to be restored and livelihoods and economies revived,” Kahuthu said, adding: “We also need to come together to promote products made in Africa to effectively implement the AfCFTA.”

The AfCFTA, the largest free trade area in the world, began trading on January  1, 2021 and is expected to speed up the recovery of the continent and enhance its resilience by increasing the level of intra-African trade in goods and services.

The awardees, according to a statement  included  the President , Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi,  and incoming Chairperson of the African Union; Egyptian President Ahmed Fattah Al-Sisi; King Mswati III, Ngwenyama of Eswatini; Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed; President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo; President of Guinea, Alpha Conde; President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou; President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and President of South Africa/Chairperson of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe and former President Olusegun Obasanjo were also honoured.

African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Ambassador Albert Muchanga,  noted that the AfCFTA had generated strong support in Africa and the Diaspora, “and we are proud to acknowledge our champions who have been at the forefront of this process.

The award was organised by AeTrade Group in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Business Council, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

“As Africans, we are proud of the extraordinary effort made by our leaders towards the success of the AfCFTA,” said former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Boshe at an event held at the Addis Ababa headquarters of the African Union and joined virtually  by many participants.

A patron of the AeTrade Group, Boshe, thanked the awardees for their strong leadership in the process that led to the AfCFTA coming into force.

The Chairman of the AeTrade Group, Mulualem Syoum, thanked the AfDB, under the leadership of Dr. Adesina, for its outstanding technical guidance and financial support to the process.

“Moving forward, we want the private sector to speak with one voice.  The AfCFTA has shown the way. To ensure effective implementation, it is time for the private sector to play its role. The Africa that we want can only be achieved through working together,” Syoum said. Thenationonlineng

00:36

APC: Newly elected Kano council chair dies




A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and newly elected chairman of Bebeji local government council of Kano state, Ali Namadi, had died on Tuesday.

He was 57.

APC Publicity Committee Chairman of Bebeji local government area, Ibrahim Adamu Tiga, who announced Namadi’s demise to newsmen, said the chairman died at 1.am on Tuesday.

Tiga said the deceased drove himself to an hospital in the local government area for medical but later died of suspected high blood pressure.

Kano state spokesman for APC, Dahiru, also confirmed Namadi’s death to The Nation, while on his way to the deceased’s home to pay condolences. “He (deceased) was a very close friend. We schooled together,” he told The Nation.

Namadi and 43 other candidates fielded by the ruling APC won all the 44 chairmanship seats in Kano at the council poll held on Saturday.

The 44 elected chairmen and 484 councilors were to receive Certificate of Return from the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC) on Tuesday when Namadi who won Bebeji died.

He will be buried on Tuesday in his Bebeji residence, according to Islamic rites. Thenationonlineng

00:35

Ondo govt orders herdsmen to vacate forest reserves, bans night grazing




For better security, chairman of South West Governors’ Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has directed herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves within the region. He also banned night grazing and movement of cattle within cities and highways.

The Ondo State chief executive, who gave the order yesterday, during a meeting with the leadership of the Hausa/Fulani and Ebira communities in Akure, said the seven-day quit notice took immediate effect.

His words: “In its usual magnanimity, our administration will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities.

“Our resolution to guarantee the safety of life and property within the state shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban.”

He warned that his administration would not fold its arms and allow a few individuals turn the state into a haven for criminals.

The governor noted that security reports and debriefings from captives pointed to some bad elements masquerading as nomads.

During the parley, which was also attended by the Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Salami and state commandant of the Amotekun Corps, Tunji Adeleye, Akeredolu decried activities of the hoodlums, adding that they had turned the forest reserves in Ondo and the entire South West region into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating ransoms and carrying out other evil deeds.

He stated: “As the chief law and security officer of the state, it is my constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect life and property. This meeting, therefore, is convened to address the issues of insecurity with the ultimate aim of attaining the goal of a safer environment.”

“Recent security trends attest that these times require all hands on deck, as the difficulties we face are dire. The challenges are quite enormous, but we are determined to confront them head-on.

“We decided that all criminal elements, who hide under various guises to aid destruction of farmlands and perpetrate other violent crimes such as kidnapping, drug peddling and other nefarious activities, must be stamped out of our dear state.”

The governor added: “I wish to reassure the residents that the State Security Council, under my leadership, shall not relent in tackling these challenges as pragmatically possible. We shall remove all threats in no distant future.

“We have cases of several attacks on our people by these mindless elements. You will recall the gruesome murder of one of the members of the Ondo State Traditional Council, who was caught in the web of the devious plans of these workers of evil on his way back to his domain.”

“While we were still grieving, other kidnap attempts were made on the lives of road users across the state, especially along our boundaries and hinterland.” Theguardianng
00:34

Woman attacked on Lagos Lekki/Ikoyi link bridge




A woman was attacked, yesterday, along Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge in Lagos while passersby watched. She was left with bruised face, a broken finger and a gash on her thigh.

Her sister, whose name appeared on Twitter as Lisa Folawiyo, said: “It was my sister screaming. She was mugged and really roughed up. Traumatic. She screamed but no one helped. Everyone walked by like nothing was happening. I love humans.

“Other than the broken finger, bruised up face and hands and a gash in her thigh, she’s doing okay. Thank God. It could have been worse. But it has left her quite shaken and traumatised.”

People have been advised to be careful when jogging on the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge as joggers are now getting attacked while streetlights are off.

“Please, if you know anyone living in Lekki Phase 1/Ikoyi and they love running or walking on the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge, tell them to do their cardio when the day is bright. Today, by 5:40 am, we heard a lady screaming for help on the bridge.” Theguardianng
00:33

Oyo to partner Korea on education as Gov Makinde pledges digitisation of system




Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has said his administration remains committed to digitisation of the state’s educational system with a view to enhancing quality teaching and learning.
A statement issued yesterday in Ibadan by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying his administration was ready to partner with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) on quality education service delivery.

Makinde stated this when he received a delegation of KOICA and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) led by the KOICA Country Director, Woochan Chang, at Government House, Ibadan.

The statement added that the KOICA delegation was in Ibadan to inspect construction of a Smart (Model) School Project being constructed by UBEC at Sogunro Village on the Moniya-Oyo Road in Akinyele Council of the state.

While welcoming the delegation, Governor Makinde explained that as part of his administration’s determination to improve the standard of education in the state, the government appropriated 21 for 22 per cent for education in the 2021 budget.

The governor, who maintained that the on-going construction work on the Smart (Model) School project in Ibadan will be ready for commissioning in the next eight to 10 weeks, said his administration has always put its money where its mouth was.

Earlier, Chang said the agency was partnering with UBEC on the provision of multi-media equipment and facilities in the model school.

“We are here on assessment. We have met the governor, SUBEB Chairman and other education officials in the state. We are here on a visit to the school construction area. We need to see how much the government and SUBEB are eager to utilise the investment for the future education in the state.

“KOICA is supporting many countries in socio-economic development, promote digital performance and digital education in Nigeria. We also have interest in promoting ICT and digital education in Nigeria,” he added. Theguardianng
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