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FG invites Gumi for questioning on bandits’ activities

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The Federal Government says it has invited Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, over his comments on the activities of bandits in the country.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Orientation, Mohammed Idris, on Monday while addressing journalists at the State House, Abuja.

Idris said Gumi is not above the law, noting that the government has deemed it necessary to invite him for questioning.

The PAPERS reports that the cleric offered to dialogue with bandits who abducted about 287 schoolchildren (137 as claimed by the Kaduna State Government) from Kuriga Government Secondary and LEA Primary Schools in the Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, Tinubu must not repeat the mistake made by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to dialogue with bandits.

Gumi had previously negotiated on behalf of state governments to free abducted persons.

The abducted Kaduna children were released on Sunday, while the FG claimed that no ransom was paid for their release.

“In keeping with the commitment of Mr President, no ransom was paid,” said Idris after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to Idris, the President appreciated the role of the security services in the safe return of the abductees, vowing that all those involved in the abduction would be fished out and punished.

Speaking on the development, the information minister said the security agencies will do their work if they feel that the statements made by Gumi are “reckless”.

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“The government will stop at nothing to get any kind of information that is required to solve our problems. The security agencies are up and doing.

“Sheikh Gumi and any other individual are not above the law; if he has suggestions that are good enough and that are constructive enough for the security agencies to take, they will take.

“But if they think that he is also making some statements that appear to be reckless, he will also be reprimanded.

“There is nobody above the law. Let me put it here. And I’m aware that he has also been a guest of security agencies to answer questions.

“When you make remarks, especially those that border on our national security it is incumbent on our national security to think further, and they are doing just that, no one is above the law,” he added.

 

 

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Ogun community protests bad road, appeals for help

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The people of Idomila community in Ijebu North-East Local Government Area of Ogun State staged a protest on Saturday over the deplorable condition

The people of Idomila community in Ijebu North-East Local Government Area of Ogun State staged a protest on Saturday over the deplorable condition of their major road.

Community members from not less than 938 houses during the protest lamented that the bad road has caused immense hardship and suffering for them.

Bearing placards with various appeals such as “Bike man, Motorist are avoiding this road,” and “Gov. Dapo Abiodun, we appeal to you to fix Idomila road,” the protesters decried the state of the road, which they said claimed a life and left others hospitalised.

The chairman of the Idomila Elders Council, Kunle Sanni, said the road connected the community to the Army Barracks of Ilese and urged the government to intervene.

He said: “Landlords and tenants within Idomila communities are now on sick beds because of the bad road.

“We want the governor to assist us in repairing this road for us. Let them check their records. In Idomila, we voted wholeheartedly for the emergence of the governor. We have 938 houses in Idomila community. We have about a million people in this community.

“This road is a major road connecting the Army Barracks in Ilese. The major occupations in this community are marketing and farming. We lost one of our elderly persons due to this bad road.”

Also speaking, Mrs Dahunsi Oderinde, a community member, noted that the community had voted for the governor’s emergence and had high hopes that he would address their long-standing request.

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She noted that the community had attempted to fill the potholes with bags and broken blocks. The road, however, remains in a terrible state, hindering access to the market, schools and other essential amenities.

It was observed that the road construction from the market, through Dipo Dina Stadium, was stopped at the residence of the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona.

 

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Coalition lauds NCC’s commitment to increase nation’s GDP

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The Coalition on Transparency and Rule of Law (CTRL) has commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its commitmen

The Coalition on Transparency and Rule of Law (CTRL) has commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its commitment to the nation’s telecoms sector which has led to an increase in its contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The coalition said that the commission’s target of achieving a 25% increase in the telecoms sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP was commendable.

It said it showcased the commission’s proactive stance in harnessing the potential of the telecommunications industry.

Convener of the coalition Sunday Thomas also praised the leadership of the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida for his vision and strategic goal alignment.

The statement said: “We are thrilled to acknowledge the recent remarks made by Dr. Aminu Maida, reaffirming the commission’s commitment to significantly enhancing the telecoms sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP.

“Dr. Maida’s leadership and creative vision are commendable, demonstrating the NCC’s dedication to driving economic growth and development.”

The group acknowledged Dr. Maida’s leadership style, which it said has fostered an open-door policy and encouraged industry stakeholders to engage in constructive dialogue with the commission.

The statement added: “We extend our heartfelt commendation to Dr. Maida and the NCC for their dedication to driving sustainable economic growth and development in the telecoms sector.

“Their commitment is aligned with our mission to champion policies and practices that uphold transparency, accountability, and sustainable economic growth.”

The coalition said NCC’s commitment will catalyse other sectors to strive for similar growth and contribution to Nigeria’s GDP.

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“We believe that Dr. Maida’s 25% target is feasible, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of this initiative on our economy and the lives of Nigerians,” the statement added.

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Tinubu appoints Adeyanju as National Lottery Trust Fund boss

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President Bola Tinubu has appointed Mr. Tosin Adeyanju as the new Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), according

President Bola Tinubu has appointed Mr. Tosin Adeyanju as the new Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), according to a statement from the State House.

Mr. Adeyanju, a seasoned administrator and good governance advocate, is expected to bring transparency and efficiency to the agency’s operations.

According to a statement issued on Saturday by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, Adeyanju’s appointment aims to drive the NLTF’s objective of supporting good causes in Nigeria.

“President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Tosin Adeyanju as the new Executive Secretary of the National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF).

“Mr. Adeyanju is an accomplished administrator, and good governance advocate.

“The President expects the new Chief Executive Officer to ensure transparency and efficiency in the operations of the agency to actualize the objective of the NLTF as a driver of good causes in Nigeria”, the statement said.

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FG starts free CNG conversion for commercial vehicles

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FG starts free CNG conversion for commercial vehicles

The Federal Government has commenced the free conversion of petrol and diesel-powered commercial vehicles to compressed natural gas in a bid to cut the cost of transportation nationwide.

It started the exercise in Abuja and Lagos, urging commercial transport owners to key into the scheme by bringing their vehicles to be converted, stressing that the use of CNG would reduce the cost of transportation by over 40 per cent.

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, along with those from the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative, monitored the commencement of the exercise at the Federal Capital Territory, as transporters brought in their vehicles to be converted.

The Federal Government had earlier declared on Thursday that the conversion of petrol and diesel-powered commercial vehicles to run on compressed natural gas was going to be free of charge.

It made this public in Abujall after signing agreements with various companies involved in the conversion of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles to operate on CNG.

It said commercial transporters under their different unions, including the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, and the and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, among others, would benefit from this.

The Programme Director/Chief Executive, Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative, Michael Oluwagbemi, had disclosed this to journalists after the government agency signed agreements with various companies in Abuja.

Speaking at one of the conversion centres during the commencement of the exercise on Friday, the Sales and Business Development Manager, P-CNGI, Lara Ogunleye, said, “Today (Friday), we are at the NASENI Portland Conversion Centre where we have started the conversion for commercial vehicles. The first one that we have seen is from the e-hailing cabs that are part of the conversion scheme.

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“The e-hailing cabs are supposed to pay a fraction of the cost of the conversion, while the transport associations have 100 per cent conversion free charge, and the cost of the kits is also 100 per cent free. Today we have started with the e-hailing cabs and the scheme is going to be done across the federation.

“We are starting with Abuja and Lagos. We will keep rolling it out and the announcements will be made as we keep moving to each of the states.”

On the number of cars to be converted nationwide, she said, “We intend to convert over a million cars within the first 12 months. So the conversion cost is free for transport associations, as well as the cost of kits.

“For e-hailing cabs, they are paying a fraction of the cost of the kits, and they are paying 100 per cent of the cost of conversion.”

She added that, “The fraction depends on the location. Right now, we are in Abuja, and they have their own fraction. For private individuals, the cost of conversion differs. It depends on the type of car and the size of the cylinder that goes into your vehicle. But it ranges from N700,000 to about N1.8m.”

Ogunleye urged transporters to take advantage of the offer, as this would help in crashing the cost of transportation across the country.

“So for transport owners across the federation, the cost of conversion is 100 per cent free for you.

“Please go to your transport associations, key in, and as we go to your locations, we will register you, take all your details, advise on the conversion centres that you can go to, present your vehicle, and get a free conversion. All of this is courtesy of the President,” she explained.

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Speaking at another conversion centre in Abuja, Udechukwu Ejike, a Bolt driver, explained why he decided to convert his car from the use of petrol to CNG.

“I’m doing this because petrol is far higher in cost than CNG. For instance, in a day I buy petrol of about N25,000 to N30,000, but with CNG I’m to spend between N3,500 and N7,000. I’m happy with this initiative, and I advise everyone to consider converting their vehicles from petrol usage to CNG. It is very cheap and good,” he stated.

Other commercial transporters at the centres alluded to the position of Ejike as they expressed optimism that more of their colleagues would convert their vehicles and help reduce the cost of transportation across the country.

Source: Punch

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 Scores trapped as two-storey building collapses in Abuja

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A section of a two-storey residential building on Saturday morning collapsed in Abuja with several people trapped in the rubble.

A section of a two-storey residential building on Saturday morning collapsed in Abuja with several people trapped in the rubble.

It was gathered the building located beside the popular Cupid Hotel on Cupid Road (Sultan Dasuki Way) in Kubwa was formerly a hotel, Al-Hilal.

It later became a hospital and a residential apartment when the hospital owners left.

While emergency responders and security personnel were on ground, rescue efforts were however hampered as the cranes needed for the rescue were yet to arrive as of 8:45am, nearly two hours after the incident.

It was gathered that two persons had been rushed to a nearby hospital while a few others escaped on their own.

One of the escapees said when she woke up around 7am and came out of the house when she began hearing some cracks and ran out.

Security operatives have moved to the scene to avert further breakdown of law and order.

They were seen assisting other medical workers in the rescue mission

 

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NCC commissions Centre of Excellence Hub

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has launched its Centre of Excellence in Abuja, to enhance the technical and vocational skills

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has launched its Centre of Excellence in Abuja, to enhance the technical and vocational skills of Nigerians needed to bolster the digital economy.

During the launch, Dr. Bosun Tijani, the minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, reiterated the importance of collaboration in making this initiative a continental achievement.

“My expectation is that NCC will collaborate with more stakeholders to make this initiative a true centre of excellence for Africa. There is no society in the world that can prosper without connectivity. The connectivity requires humans for its proper functioning,” he stated.

Dr. Aminu Maida, the executive vice chairman of the NCC, highlighted the commendable nature of this center for Nigerian radio engineers. “This is the first time in Nigeria when our radio engineers will have the opportunity to come and touch and feel what a radio looks like,” he said.

He further spoke on the innovations that the 5G era and the newly acquired skills would bring through the Centre. “We would actually see a lot of innovations through this Centre,” Maida added.

The Centre of Excellence is designed to provide hands-on experience and advanced training, particularly focusing on the skills required for the digital economy.

The launch will help bridge the skills gap and enhance capabilities of Nigeria’s workforce in the tech sector. The Centre is expected to be a stimulus for innovation and development, particularly in the context of 5G technology, which promises to boost various industries.

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In driving local talent, the Centre also aims to ensure that Nigeria remains competitive in the global digital space, by providing state-of-the-art training facilities and opportunities for practical experience.

The initiative has received widespread support, with stakeholders confident in its potential to drive huge advancements in Nigeria’s tech industry.

 

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