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LEAH SHARIBU TURNS 16 TODAY, IN CAPTIVITY!!!

Leah Sharibu was among the abducted 109 girls of the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe State. The girls were abducted by the terrorist group, Boko Haram on February 19, 2018. Leah Sharibu who was aged fifteen at the time of the abduction in March 2018 turn 16 today, Monday. While 104 abducted girls were released to their parents, Leah Sharibu was held back by the captives because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
“Monday, May 14 , 2018, our daughter, Miss Leah Sharibu , will be 16 years . If she were here with us , we would have been celebrating her 16 th birthday with her . “She is not with us and all we can do is fast and pray for her as a family and I want to appeal to all Nigerians and other concerned people around the world to help us pray for her safety wherever she is and for her return as well. “President Buhari seemed to have forgotten about Leah but we know God who brought her forth will not forget her . We believe that God is keeping watc…

YOUNG AFRICAN LEADERS INITIATIVE

Through the United States’ supported Young African Leaders Initiative ( YALI ) which has a vision to build leadership skills among African youths, the African Youth Academy last week trained 150 youths from across the country on entrepreneurial and leadership skills, thus enabling the growth of a new crop of leaders in the country. The training took place in Kaduna State, Nigeria. 
Speaking at the closing ceremony on Saturday was the Director General of the academy, Mr Daniels Akpan, "One out of every three persons in Africa is an adolescent between ages 10 to 24 years, and one out of every two persons in Africa is below 35 years," he said. He further added that, "The population of adolescence and young persons in Africa is on the increase, creating the need to identify and mentor the next generation of African leaders. Our desire is to transform our youth into honorable leaders and agents of change."
Some of the beneficiaries of the programme had something to say aft…

MSME CLINIC IN ONDO

This Thursday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will visit Ondo State for the inauguration of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME, clinic in Akure, the state capital.
According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Mrs. Olubunmi Ademosu, "The Akeredolu administration has always prioritised the people as a key point of his administration as all programmes that we have carried out have been evenly implemented. "We have also ensured that political influence is avoided with the commitment to facilitate a sense of belonging to residents. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic will never be an exemption."  Ademosu said the required structures and processes that would ensure the success of the programme have already been put in place. According to her, that the state is targeting about 10,000 beneficiaries. She reinstated that, “owners of micro, small and medium enterprises are expected to focus on capacity building before accessing…

DAVIDO ON A ROLL!

Yay Monday! Are you excited about the new week? I'll tell you who is more thrilled - Davido and his fans.


Davido spread a fever on Twitter when he said he would release a new song on 30th April, 2018 and its been a countdown... Literally. At this point, it's best for me to come in and tell you it's for "someone special"  - if you know, you know. I can't even keep it in so fine! I'll tell you : the next song from Davido that will dominate our airwaves is for Chioma, Davido's girlfriend.
Happy Birthday Chioma! More joy!

SIMI, MAKING NIGERIA PROUD

Do you know Simisola Bolatito Ogunlewe, simply known as Simi? Sure you do, she is one of the stars in the music industry, particularly in the X3M Music record label and the Nigerian singer is making us proud.
On the international stage, Simi was made a Human Rights Ambassadors at the US Consulate. 
She shared this information with the public on her Instagram account, symplysimi. She said, “A few days ago, I was decorated at the U.S. Consulate, by the U.S. Consul General, as one of the Human Rights Ambassadors from Nigeria, in conjunction with CRALI. It was, and is, an incredible honour to get a platform that enables me to use my voice – to the best of my ability – for this cause. “This initiative has also kick-started another – @knowyourrightsng – which I will, at a later time, shed more light on. Thank you. ” 
Simi graduated from Covenant University with a degree in Mass Communication. She started her music career as a Gospel singer in 2008 when she released her debut album, Ogaju. …

NIGERIANS WILL GO FOR HAJJ

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, through its Head of Media, Hajiya Fatima Mustapha, has denied that Nigerian pilgrims will be prohibited from going for Hajj this season. According to Hajiya Mustapha, "The attention of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has been drawn to the publication on some social media platforms and some online platforms that the Saudi Arabian authorities are threatening to block Nigerian pilgrims from attending the 2018 Hajj. We read with dismay the story and we want to allay the fear of Nigerians especially the intending pilgrims that no such decision has been taken nor was there any plan of such. We therefore assure Nigerians and intending pilgrims of our commitment to the continuous improvement of services to the Nigerian pilgrims. Nigeria has one of the largest contingents in the annual religious exercise with about 95,000 pilgrims." According to NAHCON, a national team will be inaguarated to thoroughly screen pilgrims. 
On his…

NLC, TUC PROPOSE N66,500 AS MINIMUM WAGE

At the ‘Public Hearing on National Minimum Wage for Nigerian Workers’, organised by the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage for the South-West zone in Alausa, Ikeja, yesterday, the organised Labour asked for a new minimum wage of N66,500.
Speaking was Agnes Sessi, the chairman, Political Committee , NLC , Lagos State, who presented the memoranda of the Nigerian Labour Congress, and the Trade Union Congress, she explained that, “Based on the current realities, the two labour unions want a new monthly national minimum wage of N66,500, which is approximately the average of the implied minimum wages derived under three approaches .” “The approaches are: Comparative analysis based on minimum wages in some African countries, an estimate of the monthly minimum cost of providing basic needs to a family of six and two dependants , as well as an analysis based on rising cost of living over time .”
Responding to the proposed minimum wage was Governor Ambode Akinwunni who was represent…

BAYELSA'S PLANNED ULTRA-MODERN WRESTLING GYM

With the need to institutionalise wrestling, the Bayelsa state government will build an ultra-modern wrestling gym in the state capital, Yenagoa.
Henry Seriake Dickson, Bayelsa state governor shared this information during a reception in Yenagoa in honour of Team Nigeria wrestlers from the just concluded 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, on Tuesday.
Governor Dickson: “I have told Daniel Igali (President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation) that before the end of this year, we would have finished the construction of a modern wrestling gym in Yenagoa. ” “We have already awarded the contract. Let me direct the finance team by next week, to release 50% of the cost to the contractor. I believe before the end of this year, a number of you will be invited so that we can commission it, and put that to use. According to him, “All that is to underscore the fact that this State (Bayelsa) is the headquarters of wrestling in our continent.”

A wrestling gym is necessary! And why not? It&…

LAWMAKERS SUMMON BUHARI, SUSPEND PLENARY

- LAWMAKERS SUMMON BUHARI  - LET THE SECURITY CHIEFS GO - SUSPEND PLENARY FOR THREE DAYS  - FOOD BASKET TURNS BLOOD BASKET
The consistent threat to the unstable peace and never ending loss of properties and brutal killings across the country, particularly in the Middle Belt by suspected herdsmen propelled the House of Representatives to arrive at some severe resolutions on Wednesday.  The lawmakers passed a motion summoning President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before it in plenary and address the House on efforts being taken to arrest the worrisome killing sprees. The lawmakers also decided to suspend plenary for three legislative days as a mark of solidarity with Nigerians over the continuing bloodshed in the country.
Along with the above, the lawmakers  passed a vote of no confidence on all the service chiefs and security advisers of the president, calling for their immediate replacement so that better ideas targeted at tackling the lingering state of insecurity will be brought to the tab…

FEC APPROVES ESTABLISHMENT OF RICE MILLS, BAUCHI-KANO ROAD, TRADITIONAL CENTRES FOR CURBING MALARIA

- FEC APPROVES "10 VERY LARGE RICE MILLS" AT TOTAL COST N10.7 BILLION  - NO AGREEMENT BETWEEN JOHESU AND GOVERNMENT  - WITH THE SUM OF N4.578 BILLION, WE'LL CONSTRUCT ROAD LINKING KANO TO BAUCHI
After the Federal Executive Council meeting came to a close for yesterday, some of the ministers got talking with journalists.
Speaking to journalists was the Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lekpobri, who said, “Today the Federal Executive Council approved the establishment of ten very large rice mills to enhance the milling capacity of rice value chain in the country. “Few years ago, it was reported that this country needs a minimum of 100 large mills. As at today we have about 21 but the Federal Government in its wisdom decided that today we should approve the establishment of ten new rice mills at the total cost of N10.7 billion. “This will be given to the private sector to manage which will be paid back within a given time frame as will be agreed between the Ban…

NAIRA AGAINST DOLLAR

On Wednesday, Nigeria's naira lost 51kobo to exchange at N360.51, weaker than N360 traded on Tuesday, while the naira closed at N305.56 at the CBN window. While At the the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N505 and N445, respectively, the naira closed at N362 to the dollar at the Bureau De Change (BDC) window.
Already, the CBN has injected $210 million to boost liquidity at the foreign exchange market. The CBN has maintained commitment in its aggressive interventions at the foreign exchange market. The apex bank had injected over $16 billion to the foreign exchange market since February 2017, while the investors’ window has attracted over $20 billion since inception.
The liquidity boost by the CBN curtailed volatility at the Forex market and also checkmated activities of speculators at the market.

NIGERIA, LASSA FEVER AND THE HAJJ

Nigerian pilgrims might be prevented from going for Hajj this year. According to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Saudi Arabian authorities are thinking along this line because of the numerous cases of Lassa Fever outbreak since January, 2018.
So yes, it is quite possible that a ban might be placed on Nigerian pilgrims. However, Nigeria has one of the largest pilgrims annually hitting about 95,000 pilgrims so maybe there will be a way around this obstacle. Indeed, as of February 18 to April 15, there has been a steady decline in reported cases of Lassa Fever. 
According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1081 suspected cases and 90 deaths have been reported from 18 states (Anambra, Bauchi, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Federal Capital Territory, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Benue, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba) between January 1 through February 25 this year, while 317 cases have been classified as confirmed and eight as probable, including …

INCREASED MONTHLY ALLOWANCE FOR CORP MEMBERS?

The thought of increasing the monthly allowance of the Corps members is being considered, however, until there is an agreed fee for minimum wage at the national level, this will not be.
Addressing journalists was Sulaiman Kazaure, the Director General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who actually feels the allowance of N18, 800 paid to Corps members is not enough. In his words, Kazaure said, “our efforts to ensure that the monthly allowance of the corps members is increased have yielded a very good result following series of discussion with the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige.” According to him, “We have been assured that when the new minimum wage takes effect, also the corps members allowance will be reviewed upward,” Mr Kazaure said.

82,000 corps members were deployed nationwide for the 2018 Batch ‘A’ orientation course across various states except those with security challenges.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THE COMMITTEE AND NIGERIA'S CRIPPLED HEALTH SECTOR

Indeed the time has come! Less than a week after the Joint Health Sector Union embarked on an industrial action, the Federal Government has set up a committee to review the technical and financial aspects of the demands by the Union. 
Last night, the Director of Press, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation , Lawrence Ojabo, released a statement, “In a bid to restore normalcy to the health sector and ameliorate the sufferings of patients , high level Federal Government Officials met on Sunday, April 22 , 2018, to find ways of ending the ongoing strike by Joint Health Sector Unions and finding lasting solutions to the issues . “A committee was mandated to review the technical and financial related aspects involved in the demands of JOHESU. “The high level Federal Government team will continue its meeting on Monday and Tuesday . “Government continues to reassure members of the public that FG health facilities nationwide shall provide normal services and urges all e…

TOGETHER WE MUST COMBAT MALARIA

Standing as one with the world on 25th April 2018 to mark this year’s World Malaria Day, Nigeria has decided to place malaria at the top of the national priority list, this involves securing $300 million in new financing from the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank and African Development Bank to help finance its national malaria strategy.
While Nigeria has pledged an additional $18.7 million to leverage $37million from the Global Fund to distribute 15 million mosquito nets, the UK government has pledged £50 million to the malaria programme in Nigeria. 350 million malaria cases will be avoided and 650,000 lives will be saved, particularly the children and pregnant women who are most at risk annually. This analysis is from the World Health Organisation, WHO.
According to the 2017 World Malaria Report, a publication by the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria faces a financial gap of N504 billion ($1.4 billion) to implement its national malaria strategy by 2020.
Let the fight against m…

THE HEADIES: DAVIDO TO WIZKID, SEYI SHAY TO BOVI, BANKY W TO NINIOLA

The Big Brother Naija 2018 has finally come to an end but there's no slowing down on the entertainment scene as we are all barrelling towards May 5 - the day for the Headies. The organisers of the event have announced comedian Bovi Ugboma and singer Seyi Shay as hosts of the evening. Seyi Shay who recently released a new single, ‘Alele.’ In 2015, Bovi hosted the event with dancer Kaffy.
There will be a nominee party on April 28 in Abuja while the main event will hold at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Leading the nomination for the Headies is Davido with six nominations, followed by Wizkid, Olamide and Adekunle Gold with five nominations each;  Tiwa Savage, Kiss Daniel and Johnny Drille bagged four nominations each while Flavour, Nonso Amadi, Banky W, Niniola, Runtown, Phyno and Reminisce eachhave three nominations. 

The period under review for the award is from July 2016 to December 2017. This year, organisers also introduced new categories – Viewer’s Choice Award, Best …

THE OIL PRICE AND THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY

For the first time in three years, oil price escalates to $75 for a barrel. This raise is the first since November 2014, while London Brent struck $74.44 per barrel and New York crude touched $69.27.

In 2017, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) together with major producers such as Russia started to withhold output in order to rein in oversupply that had depressed prices since 2014. Today, OPEC and its partners will meet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, OPEC will then meet on June 22 to review its oil production policy.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude oil price hit $72pb, its highest peak since 2014. Nigeria’s crude oil production also increased from 1.792mbpd in February to 1.810mbpd in March. On the other hand, in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) Report launched in Washington DC on Tuesday, it has been projected that Nigeria will grow by 1.9 per cent in 2019. Despite this, IMF has cautioned oil-dependent economies, including Nigeria, to intensify econo…

NIGERIA'S POWER GRID

In the first eight days of 2018, Nigeria's power grid collapsed six times. The national electricity grid was moved from 4 ,699.9MW on January 31 to 219 MW on February 1.
On February 1, the power grid collapsed once more. For the next two months, Nigeria’s power generation stayed above 3 ,900 MW. Electricity generation figures obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power , Works and Housing in Abuja revealed that the grid recorded partial collapses on April 12 and 14 this year. Power on the grid dropped from a high of 3,946.5 megawatts on April 11 to as low as 351.3 MW on April 12. This happened to be the lowest quantum of grid electricity recorded in past two months. 
The Chief Executive Officer, TCN, Usman Mohammed opined that, “There are certain things that need to be put in place for us to have grid stability and one of them is that we need to put in adequate investments.”  
Countering this statement was the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who said, “If there …

ANTHONY JOSHUA VS DEONTAY WILDER

Unified world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn will hold a meeting with Deontay Wilder’s team in New York next week. This is to enable negotiations for a fight against Anthony Joshua for all the heavyweight world titles.

WBC king Wilder, is yet to accept a flat fee of $12.5m for a massive showdown with the British star, the IBF, WBA and WBO belt holder.
Hearn speaking said, “I’m going to look to meet up with them in New York, get face to face with them, look into the whites of their eyes, and just see if we can make a deal. “We made an offer last week. We haven’t heard from them yet. “There’s been a bit of talking behind the scenes. “We are in New York next week for the Danny Jacobs fight and Katie Taylor unification live on Sky Sports."
Ambassador Peters Emuze of Nigeria has been elected to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). Emuze joined the very competitive race, beating 6 candidates who came before him. Candidates from Algeria, Sudan, Niger, Uganda, Cameroon and Mauritius had been campaigning a  year before the elections but Nigeria’s candidate, Emuze entered the race barely two months to the election.  In the end, Cameroon withdrew at the last minute while Mauritius’ candidate defeated Algeria’s in a run-off to clinch the second seat for Africa.
He will now represent the African continent on the panel for the next four years, from 2019 to 2022.
Speaking was Nigeria’s Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Samson Itegboje, who said “The victory has raised our profile on the international stage. I don’t think there are many countries that can pull such outing, two months to the election. “We can call it a miracle but it was a result of hard work, strategy and good…

NIGERIAN HEALTH SECTOR ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE

Federal health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, will begin an indefinite strike today.  This is due to failure on the part of the Federal Government to implement the agreement it reached with health workers last year, 2017.
In a statement signed by its National Chairman, Biobelemoye Josiah; and its National Secretary, Florence Ekpebor, the union decided it was best to embark on the strike because the Federal Government refused to take health workers seriously. The statement said the health workers had no other option.
According to JOHESU, before the strike was embarked upon, a 30 -day ultimatum was given to the Federal Government, that expired today, Tuesday.
Top on its list of demands are : An upward review of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure;Employment of additional health workers;Implementation of court judgments;Upward review of the retirement age from 60 to 65. 
The government cannot afford to ignore some facets of society, as pillars that hold…

OVER 8 MILLION PVCS LYING IN OUR OFFICES - INEC

According to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, 8 million Permanent Voters' Cards are awaiting collection. 
Director in-charge of Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison, Mr Oluwole Osaze Uzi, while speaking said, “You know we do not distribute PVCs. They are collected. The onus is on those collecting. There are quite a few cases where the cards have not been printed but that is not the main issue. The issue is the collection. We have over eight million cards lying down in our offices, uncollected, and we have distributed them to our distribution points. It is now an issue of the collection. ‘’So, we are putting in place measures to assist those that are willing to collect their cards. We are simplifying the process, ensuring maximum publicity so that people will know the importance because, automatically, they are disenfranchising themselves when they do not pick up their cards. We are trying to persuade people. Some are not interested. Ozi added …