COVID-19: Muslim students seek govt’s palliatives for private schools



The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit, has called on the government to assist private schools with palliatives to cushion the effect of COVID-19.

The Amir (President) of MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, Miftahudeen Thanni, made the call during a news Conference on Tuesday in Ikeja.

Thanni said that such palliative had been done in other sectors, hence, the education sector should not be exempted.

”We also appeal to the government across all levels to assist private schools with palliatives. This will help to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the schools and their teachers.

”This has been done in other sectors and education should not be left out. We are scared that there may be a massive job loss in many private schools with COVID-19 not likely to go away anytime soon.

”We also appeal to both teachers and schools management to show common understanding and be compassionate,” he said.

According to him, the education sector, which is the primary constituency of MSSN, needs more funding.

”While we acknowledge the government’s efforts in ensuring development in the education sector, there are obvious and unpardonable lapses.

”This gangrene speaks for itself and affects the entire educational chain – primary, secondary and tertiary.

”The poor funding of education in the country is having a negative effect on output across all levels,” Thanni said.

He said that the government must understand that massive investment in education was a guarantee for achievements in economic development and the well-being of the citizens.

The president appealed to the private sector and philanthropists to complement public spending on education.

He said that Nigeria needed to learn correctly from other nations that had got it right in their education sector and be consistent with its educational policies.

Thanni also said that the controversy surrounding the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) was saddening and weakens hope in the reformation of the education sector.

According to him, if not for the coronavirus pandemic, universities in the country will currently be on strike.

”The IPPIS in our view would help to fight ghost workers and reduce personnel cost, which is laudable. But ASUU opposed it vehemently, arguing that it would affect university autonomy.

”We will not like to join the blame game. We implore both ASUU and the FG to reach a consensus on this. It will be unfair for this resolvable difference to affect the resumption of millions of Nigerian students,” he said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

General news

Olowu condoles with COAS, says Col. Bako’s death a national tragedy



Oba Adekunle Oyelude, the Olowu of Kuta in Ayedire Local Government area of Osun, has described the death of Col. Dahiru Bako as a national tragedy.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bako, one of the Commanders of Operation LAFIYA DOLE of the Nigerian Army in Borno State, was killed on Sunday by Boko Haram during an ambush.

The Olowu, in a statement on Tuesday, said he received the news with shock and deep sorrow.

The monarch, therefore, condoled with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.- Gen. Tukur Buratai, and the entire Nigerian Army on the loss.

He stated: “The fact that the Colonel was said to have died in an ambush called for concern because an ambush suggested that the enemy knew of the movement by the officers and men.”

Oyelude prayed for the repose of the soul of the dead and called on Borno elders and Nigerians in general to actively support the efforts of the military in order to put an end to insurgency

According to the monarch, enough is enough.

The Olowu Kuta suggested the use of locals for credible intelligence, adding that anyone caught spying on troops should be treated like mutineers.

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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9 energy firms get $2.6m USAID grant to power rural clinics in Africa



United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through Power Africa, on Tuesday awarded $2.6 million (N1.2 billion) grant to nine energy companies to electrify 288 rural health facilities without reliable access to power.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Power Africa is a United States Government-led initiative that brings together 12 government agencies, development partners and private sector companies, with the goal of doubling access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The grant, totaling  $2.6 million (1.2 billion) was launched in a virtual event which highlighted the importance of healthcare electrification for COVID-19 response and recovery.

NAN reports that the awardees include Havenhill Synergy Ltd (Nigeria), KYA-Energy Group (Togo), Zuwa Energy (Malawi), OffGridBox (Rwanda) Nanoé (Madagascar) as well as PEG, Solarworks, Power and Muhanya Solar Limited for other parts of Africa.

Mark Carrato, Acting Coordinator, Power Africa, said that USAID was doing everything possible to help keep the sector afloat because “these are challenging times for companies operating in emerging markets.”

According to him, when it comes to universal energy access and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal seven, the world can’t afford to go backwards.

“Since the start of the pandemic, Power Africa has successfully worked with local industry associations to compel governments to declare off grid energy as an essential service.

“Despite the economic downturn in the last quarter, we managed to raise $65 million for the energy sector in forms of grants, loans and equity, providing much needed liquidity for a range of companies.

“We know that as a result of the economic downturn, brought by COVID-19, many energy access companies are struggling right now.

“We’re working with a group of investors and development partners so that more companies can receive low interest concessional loans in order to maintain staff and service existing customers.

“We are also helping African governments put in place the legal and regulatory frameworks needed to attract off-grid energy and base investments,”Carrato said.

Chris Milligan, Counselor to USAID, said that the agency was highlighting its mode of operation through partnerships with governments and the private sector that empower communities to solve their own challenges.

According to him, the agency values its partnership with African governments which improve the well being of millions on the continent.

“As Americans, we stand together not only with the people in Africa, but with countless others across the globe to help countries and their people address their development challenges.

“We know the impact of COVID-19 goes far beyond just the health impacts, but also on the social and economic well being of many vulnerable households.

“Without reliable and affordable electricity, it is even more difficult for these communities to recover from the wide ranging impacts of COVID-19.

“Functioning healthcare facilities are essential, not only for individuals health, but also for their economic and overall wellbeing,”he said.

The counselor said that without electricity, health systems struggle to meet the needs of their communities, no matter the dedication of healthcare workers.

“Healthcare facilities need electricity for almost all of their activities as we already know.

“And because most of them are in rural areas, it is important to harness the cutting edge and sustainable off grid solutions that the private sector can bring.

“We cannot solve the problems by working alone and that’s why we’ve awarded grants to demonstrate what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors join forces and find new solutions to this challenge.

“Because of these partnerships, doctors and nurses will have access to better equipment, procedures and surgeries will be safer, and people will live longer, more productive and healthier lives,”he said.

In a recorded message, the beneficiary firms highlighted the importance of health care electrification and summarized the activities their companies would undertake.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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Sanwo-Olu charges cabinet, officials to brace up for optimum performance



Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday charged members of his cabinet and Lagos State Government officials to brace up for optimum performance.

Sanwo-Olu gave the charge during the closing of the two-day Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organised by the executive arm of the Lagos State Government.

He urged them to deploy their physical and mental resources to bringing the administration’s development vision to reality.

According to him, Lagos possesses all that is required to attain Dubai development model.

He then urged the drivers of his administration’s vision of Greater Lagos to be articulate and purposeful in the discharge of the tasks assigned to them.

Sanwo-Olu commended the cabinet members and heads of the state government’s agencies for the progress recorded in the last one year.

He, however, said that people’s expectations of the administration’s efforts were more than what had been achieved so far, hence, the need to brace for more work.

The governor urged the cabinet members and executives of the parastatals to deploy more resourcefulness to the implementation of policies and programmes designed to transform the lives of the residents and the state’s economy.

”There are many takeaways from this two-day retreat which must energise us further to deliver on our goals and promises to the people.

”But, one key thing we must take away from this exercise is the fact that we have sustained our attempts to transform Lagos and these efforts are being acknowledged by those who understand what development is all about.

”We have many great actions and ideas we have implemented, which probably have not been properly communicated. Now we need to be smarter, more organised and articulate in the way we go about our programmes, so that our efforts can be more visible.

”The Ministry of Information and Strategy and everyone that has strength in communication should begin to magnify these efforts and show the world how Lagos is changing,” he said.

The governor said that in spite the slow pace of socio-economic activities across all sectors, which was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, his administration would not give excuses to residents.

According to him, the virus would not derail his government’s development agenda.

Sanwo-Olu charged all commissioners and special advisers to work together and exchange information for better service delivery.

“We need to work together and share information with one another. This way, we articulate our successes and progress better,” he said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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General news

I never accused NAN staff of fraud, says Lagos NUJ Chairman



Dr Qasim Akinreti, the outgoing Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, says he never accused any member of staff of the News Agency of Nigeria of fraudulent practices.

Akinreti, also declared that there was no iota of truth in the allegations making the round that he accused members of his outgoing executive of fighting him because he refused to share the N25 million building money with them.

He made the clarifications on Tuesday, while responding to questions during his campaign visit to the NAN Lagos Chapel of the NUJ.

According to him, journalists in the agency have integrity and pedigree.

Mr Debo Oshundun, the Chairman, Lagos State chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), had demanded clarifications from Akinreti on the allegations of in fighting with his executive members over alleged non sharing of the said money.

Responding to the allegation, Akinreti simply said: “l did not say so”.

On the issue of substituting NAN nominee for the Ex-Officio position in the council’s executive, Akinreti also denied ever receiving name of any candidate from NAN for such position after his election in 2017.

However, Mr Moses Omorogieva, the Secretary of NAN Chapel, had accused Akinreti of substituted the name of NAN nominee as an ex-officio member with the name of somebody else from another chapter.

Commenting, Mr Tayo Ikujuni, a former Chairman of NAN NUJ  chapel, corroborated the secretary’s allegation against Akinreti.

Ikujuni said, “Mr Chairman, l could remember that at the burial of one of my colleagues, you told me in the presence of Mrs Bola Akingbeyin and Mr Moses Omorogevia that you can not work with the NAN nominee for the ex-officio position.”

Denying the allegation, Akinreti appealed to NAN members of NUJ that there was need to continue friendship after the elections by all contestants.

He then called for issue-based campaign.

Raymond Tedunjaiye, an aspirant for the position of Secretary and Iyabo Wale-Eri, an aspirant for the position of Financial Secretary were on the campaign.

Meanwhile, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, a Deputy Editor-in-Chief with the News Agency, and also former President, Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN), is contesting against Akinreti at the Sept. 29 Lagos NUJ Chairmanship position.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye
Source: NAN
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Olowu condoles with COAS, says Col. Bako’s death a national tragedy 9 energy firms get $2.6m USAID grant to power rural clinics in Africa FCTA reiterates commitment to job creation through agriculture value chain Sanwo-Olu charges cabinet, officials to brace up for optimum performance I never accused NAN staff of fraud, says Lagos NUJ Chairman Navy deploys 6 warships for special military operation in 4 states Obiano inaugurates 18-member task force on human trafficking, irregular migrationar migration Buhari congratulates Plateau Dep. Gov. Tyoden at 70 Barbados tourism expert advises African operators on innovation Ramaphosa urges UN to take decisive action against racism Ex-governor Yari administration diverted N10.8bn for university project – Commissioner  Buhari consoles with Borno on loss of two Emirs Suspect wanted by FBI for $6m scam surrenders to EFCC — Official Lagos govt to train medical records personnel for effective service delivery AbdulRazaq updates Buhari on Kwara flood disaster, seeks FG support   Flood: NASG distributes relief materials to victims in 45 communities UN commends FG on improvement of humanitarian access in North-East Gov. Ganduje inaugurates NYSC governing board 8 states yet to implement new minimum wage – TUC COVID-19: We’ve flattened the curve, says Gov. Ganduje Silverbird Group to establish cinema outlets in Ebonyi FG alleges that multinationals companies drill for water without approval Electricity/Fuel pump hike: NLC insists on nationwide protest LASG receives 107,546 CA-COVID food palliative packs At UNGA, AU chairman solicits ‘comprehensive stimulus package’ for Africa Sanusi calls for diversification of economy to address poverty, inequality Food Council to ensure reduction in fertiliser price – Gov. Bagudu Kwara Assembly urges Gov AbdulRasaq to assist rainstorm victims I’m loyal to APC, not factions, says chieftain in Ibadan Oyo govt re-awards 9.7km Saki township road for N4.7bn Suarez language exam for Italian citizenship rigged, prosecutors insist Runsewe urges youths to uphold cultural values Late Emir of Zazzau was a father to all – NDA Spurs’ League Cup match called off due to COVID-19 cases at Orient Mixed reactions trail CBN‘s MPR cut 40 coys bid for NEPZA constituency projects Bale may extend Spurs’ stay beyond loan spell, agent says Minister urges fertilizer dealers to work in line with Fertilizer Act IBEDC apologises to customers over poor electricity supply NAICOM urges state govts to domesticate compulsory life insurance, others for citizens Minister advocates return of state sports festivals to enhance athletes’ competitiveness PMAN congratulates King Sunny Ade at 74 FRC partners agencies on monitoring, evaluation, project verification TETFUND pledges support to Kogi confluence university King of Jordan, Abdullah seeks end to Palestinian-Israeli conflict Economic recovery: CBN reduces Monetary Policy Rate LASWA, Ibile Oil & Gas collaborate to enhance ferry services in Lagos  IBEDC appeals to Mowe, Ibafo, Magboro customers over poor electricity supply NAF immortalises Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combatant helicopter pilot 16 ships discharge petroleum products, food stuff at Lagos ports