Nasarawa by-election: INEC urges traditional rulers to ensure peace



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged traditional rulers in the Nasarawa Central State Constituency, to ensure peace in the Aug. 8 by-election.


Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, made the call during a courtesy visit on the Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril on Wednesday in Nasarawa LGA, Nasarawa state.

Yakubu visited the emir shortly after inspecting materials for the by-election.


He advised traditional rulers in the communities where the by-election would hold to ensure that the Saturday election was peaceful.


He expressed optimism that with the support of the traditional rulers, the by-election would be concluded successfully and peacefully.

INEC has high expectation that the election will be peaceful.


“We urged you to continue to play your role of ensuring peace, particularly on conduct of the Saturday’s election as you have always done,” Yakubu said.


The INEC boss said that the by-election was critical to the commission, because it would be the first contest in the country, since the global outbreak of COVID-19.

He noted that INEC would use the exercise as test run for Edo and Ondo governorship election and other by-elections.


Yakubu gave assurance that the commission would ensure free, fair and credible election so that the choice of the people was declared winner.

He added that INEC would continue to serve as neutral body in the conduct of election.


In his remarks, Jibril pledged support of the traditional rulers in ensuring peaceful and orderly exercise even in future elections, saying they would not take the visit for granted.

The emir said that Nasarawa Local Government was a huge land mass,  bigger that three states of the country, hence, was perfect for INEC to use as pilot exercise for elections to be conducted during COVID-19.

“We believe this is significant and truly one of the largest local governments in Nigeria to test-run election in Edo and Ondo state.

“We note the sense of responsibility you have been carrying this national assignment. We believe you have what it takes to conduct credible election.

“I can assure you that the people of Nasarawa and the entire constituency, which constitute seven electoral wards will deliver a perfect example of election that you are looking for,” Jibril said.

He further said that though elections were becoming more contentious globally, with the conduct and success recorded in 2019 general elections, Yakubu had what it takes to conduct credible elections.

Two political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are nominated candidates for the by-election.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Felix Ajide (NAN)




Nasarawa Govt plans 3 star hotel in Lafia



The Nasarawa State Government says it plans to construct a 3 star hotel in Lafia, as part of efforts aimed at exploring the tourism potential of the state.

Mr Dogo Shammah the state’s Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism said this while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria , in Lafia on Monday.

“We intend to build a three star hotel in Lafia, because when investors come to the state, they will need a good environment to stay and in the state capital, we don’t have such type of environment yet.

“So, government has plans ahead for next year to build a three star hotel that will serve as tourists haven in the state,” Shammah said.

He added that the state government also planned to build a film village and resort in Wamba Local Government Area (LGA) of the state to further explore the state’s tourism potential and generate more Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

He said that Wamba was chosen for the project because of the abundant tourism potential of the area.

“This state film village and resort is going to be a place that will give our youths the opportunity to develop their talents and their potential so they will be reckon with and will go places.

“We have the potential in the state, all that is needed is for the youth to be given a push and this very film village and cultural resort will attend to that, it is also going to be an opening for job creation,” he said.

Shammah said that the building when completed will be a first of its kind in the sense that it will have international touch in terms of structure and design, which will be unique in the Northern Nigeria.

“It will meet international standard, a lot of people will be invited including friends of the governor and associates across the globe so that they can come and contribute​ to funding the project. That will be their own contribution to his administration,” he said.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN


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Consumers must get value for money, FG tells service providers



The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has charged users of weighing and measuring instruments to ensure that consumers get correct quantity and value for their goods and services.

The charge was made on Monday in Lokoja by the Ministry’s Department of Weighing and Measurement in a statement.

The statement which was issued at the end of a four-day Post COVID-19 sensitisation exercise in Kogi State also called on the users to meet their obligations to the government.

The leader of the sensitisation team, Mr Okechukwu Ejiofor, an Assistant Director in the Department signed the statement.

He said that the objective of the exercise was to enlighten the stakeholders on their rights and responsibilities in the use of weighing and measuring instruments for trade.

He added that it was also to educate weighing and measuring instruments’ users on the effects of the ministry’s regulatory activities on their businesses.

“The exercise became necessary considering the fact that businesses will face challenges as they emerge from the lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Businesses mostly affected are those that use weighing and measuring instruments for trade.

“Such businesses include, but are not limited to LPG (domestic gas) retail outlets, manufacturers of prepackages like cement, bottled water, soft drinks and bread, and petroleum products retail outlets,” he said.

According to Ejiofor , weighing and measuring instruments’ users must ensure that they have valid certificates of verification and be up-to-date in the payment of necessary statutory fees to government.

Ejiofor said that it was unlawful to use a weighing or measuring instrument for trade without a valid certificate of verification issued by the Weights and Measures Department.

Edited By: Peter Dada
Source: NAN

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Lagos releases resumption dates for 2020/2021 school session



The Lagos State Ministry of Education has approved resumption dates for the 2020 to 2021 school session.

According to the time table, both public and private schools below tertiary level will resume First Term academic activities on Monday Sept. 21, 2020.

The term is expected to run until Dec.18, 2020 while the second term will begin Jan. 4, 2021 and run until April 16, 2021.

Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, the Dirsctor, the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA) urged all public and private schools in the state to adhere strictly to the harmonised school calendar.

The director urged school management to have a ”qualitative health and safety plan” that will help protect students, teachers and workers as schools reopen in the state.

“t is not enough to reopen but to keep staying opened since some schools all over the world had to shut down after reopening due to a spike in the pandemic.

“All schools must make efforts to comply with these requirements, not just for the improvement of the overall school operations but for safe reopening for academic activities,” she said.

She also advised schools to have a flexible teaching and learning plans where students and teachers who feel sick can teach or learn from home via available online platforms.

Seriki-Ayeni said schools must strive to avoid any COVID-19 infection in their school.

She further advised that teachers, students and visitors must wear face mask at all time.

She said that the students must observe physical distancing, regularly wash hands with soap under running water and maintain high standard of personal hygiene in the school premises.

She said that schools must have an isolation/holding bay to care for medical emergencies should students come up with symptoms such as cough, headache, catarrh, difficulty in breathing, sneezing and fever.

She also said further measures put in place by the Lagos State Government through the Office of Education Quality Assurance is for public and private schools in Lagos State to register online with the OEQA.

They are to take the School Self-risk Assessment take the online training course to obtain reopening clearance for academic activities on the OEQA website: www.oeqalagos.com.

According to her, this will help the Office of Education Quality Assurance to determine the level of preparedness as well as guide schools on what they need to put in place for a safe reopening.

She implored school leaders to embrace new learning style like outdoor classes, staggered attendance, platooning or alternative attendance among others in collaboration with parents in a safe and secure environment.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN

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Oil & Gas

Group wants NNPC to champion contract transparency in extractive industry



The Contract Transparency Network (CONTRANET) a civil society network, has urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to champion the implementation of contract transparency in the extractive value chain in line with Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standards.

The group disclosed this in a communique on Monday, signed by all members and issued at the end of its virtual meeting on advocacy strategy for the adoption and implementation of contract transparency in the extractive industry in the country.

CONTRANET is a civil society network drawn from the media, rights groups, and community based organizations focused on deepening transparency and accountability across the value chain of the sector by making contracts open for citizens’ engagement.

The members are, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Publish What You Pay Nigeria, Order Paper Advocacy Initiative, Policy Alert, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Global Rights, Koyenum Immallah Foundation, African Network Environment and Economic Justice and Sustainable Environment and Peace Initiative.

Others include Community Outreach For Development and Welfare Advocacy, Institutional and Sustainable Development Foundation, Initiative for Participation Accountability and Inclusive Development, Association of Niger Delta Host Community Leaders, Global Awareness for Development Initiative and Coolfm/Wazobiafm.

Also, there are Youth Forum on EITI, Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights, Women in Extractive, Responsible Citizenship and Human Development Initiative, and Save a Soul Foundation Zamfara.

“We commended NNPC for signing on to EITI as a supporting company and called on them to champion the implementation of contract transparency in the extractive value chain according to EITI standards.

“This will complement the success recorded by the launch of an online register of beneficial owners of mining assets and ensure that Nigeria retains the satisfactory progress status achieved in 2019 as the first Anglophone country to do so,” they said.

The network said that the Federal Government should commence multi-stakeholder consultations on how to proceed with the implementation of contract transparency in the extractive sector in accordance with all her international commitments.

It added that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development , the NNPC and Mining Cadastre Office should collaborate with the NEITI and other stakeholders, to develop and adopt a framework for the implementation of contract transparency in the extractive sector in Nigeria.

“Civil society organisations should engage the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice through the Open Government Partnership Secretariat to commence the review of the necessary legislative and policy frameworks that will make the implementation of contract transparency in the extractive sector a reality in Nigeria,” the members said.

Participants at the meeting agreed to continue to advocate for good standards in the extractive value chain and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that a framework for the implementation of contract transparency in the extractive sector in Nigeria was developed, adopted and implemented.

Edited By: Franca Ofili/Razak Owolabi
Source: NAN

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