Tag Archives: FG

FG Releases Easier Guidelines For Stolen/Damaged SIM Cards Replacement

The Federal government has released fresh guidelines for the replacement of SIM cards that are damaged, stolen or lost as part of efforts to tidy up the processes of obtaining fresh cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economic, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami approved the new guidelines following the recommendation of a Ministerial Task Force on issues relating to the telecom industry and National Identity Numbers.

A statement signed jointly by the spokesmen of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde and Mr Kayode Adegoke respectively, noted that the new guidelines are to make processes easier for Nigerians.

The statement noted that the drive to ensure all Subscriber registrations are linked with National Identification Numbers (NINs) was moving forward, while all stakeholders in the industry are working together to ensure the process is carried out as seamlessly as possible.

The Government would like to seize this opportunity to sincerely appreciate Nigerians for the understanding and commitment demonstrated towards ensuring the overall success of this exercise, it added.

The statement further said “the Technical Committee charged with the operationalization of the process to ensure an expedited linkage of all SIM Registration Records with NIN” has recommended fresh guidelines for damaged, stolen or lost SIM cards.

The statement reads: “Based on recommendations of the Technical Committee, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has approved a SIM Replacement Policy for subscribers whose SIMs have been lost, stolen, misplaced or damaged subject to the following conditions:

i) That the subscriber present a NIN;

ii) That an effective verification of the NIN is carried out by NIMC; and

iii) That the relevant Guidelines and Regulations of NCC concerning SIM Replacement are fully adhered to.

“This policy is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce the burden on subscribers and simplify the exercise.

“It is aimed at enabling telecommunications service users who need to replace their damaged, stolen or misplaced SIMs to re-establish access to telecom services.”

The Nation

Uproar in Senate as FG Lists Kilishi as Research Breakthrough After Spending Billions of Naira for Research

There was mild drama at the Senate on Monday when the Director-General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, Professor Hussain Ibrahim, identified the development of Kilishi technology as its major breakthrough since the agency’s creation, 33 years ago, despite huge budgetary allocations to the agency.

Ibrahim, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Science and Technology to brief the senators on the activities of his agency, caused a stir when he said the Kilishi technology was the only major breakthrough it had successfully developed for commercial use.

Kilishi is a locally spiced roasted meat made of beef, and it is very popular in the northern part of Nigeria.

The Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Uche Ekwunife, had asked the DG to tell Nigerians what specific raw material the agency had successfully produced in the country in partnership with other research institutes.

Ekwunife said, “Your core mandate is to develop local materials.

“Can you tell us the local raw materials you have developed in the areas of health, brewery, construction, science, and technology, or agriculture?

“Just give us the synopsis of what you have developed or generated for local industries. Tell us about your breakthrough.”

An elated RMRDC Boss, Ibrahim proudly told the panel that despite its lack of laboratory, the 33-year-old agency had succeeded in producing the local meat delicacy for commercial production as part of the agency’s breakthrough.

“In our 30 years of research activities, we are still the largest research Institute. But to be candid with you, we are making progress.

“For now, we have developed technology to optimize Kilishi production. Research activities take time.”

His submission led to prolonged laughter from the audience but drew the anger of the lawmakers.

COVID-19: FG, governors disagree over lockdown

The Federal Government is not disposed to the call by State Governors for the relaxation of the current lockdown in the country on account of the coronavirus pandemic, The Nation gathered last night.

The federal authorities, sources said, are much in favour of partial restrictions in 33 of the 36 states with a view to mitigating the effects of the current lockdown in many parts of the country as against the relaxation being sought by the governors.

Governors Willie Obiano of Anambra State and Seyi Makinde have already relaxed the restrictions in their states.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 which President Muhammadu Buhari relies on principally for advice on the pandemic is not in agreement with the governors that government should soft pedal in the FCT, Lagos, Ogun and Kano States.

Buhari who is billed to address the nation tomorrow is said to be weighing the options before him.

Members of the PTF were locked in a marathon meeting yesterday on the format of the partial restrictions to put in place in 33 states without fueling the spread of the Coronavirus.

The task force considered the status report on COVID-19 spread in each state of the federation, the input of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and local and international technical evaluation of the pandemic in the country.

A top level source said: “We are inching towards partial restrictions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory. There is clamour for the partial lifting of the lockdown. This is why the PTF is meeting.

“The PTF has received many suggestions but we are being careful not to reverse the gains of the last few weeks in the battle against Coronavirus.

“One of the knotty issues is a recommendation by the NGF that there should be internal free movement but with restrictions on large gatherings and assemblies nationwide.

But the PTF took exception to partial lifting of the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos, Ogun and Kano states.”

When contacted, a member of the NGF said the Forum was on the same page with the PTF on the input of the governors except for one recommendation.

The source said: “I don’t think they (the PTF on COVID-19) have serious objection except with internal free movement where they believe that we should not relax the lockdown in the epicentres of Lagos, Kano, FCT and Ogun. They may be right.

“We have done our bit by presenting our input. You can contact the Chairman of PTF on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha for details.”

The NGF in the Friday letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said: “Please refer to the above subject matter and to our Teleconference meeting with the Vice President on Wednesday, 22 April 2020.

“Recall at that meeting it was agreed that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) articulates the issues that it would want to be included in the next Presidential Pronouncement on Covid-19 so as to have a Uniform and Coordinated Policy on Covid-19 at both the national and sub-national levels.

“Subject to Mr. President’s approval, the NGF would want the following incorporated into Mr. President’s Pronouncements:

*Inter-State lockdown excluding movement of essential supplies foods, beverages, medical and pharmaceuticals, petroleum supplies and agricultural products:

*Internal free movement but with restrictions on large gatherings and assemblies;

*Overnight curfews;

*Lockdown of flights, and

*Compulsory use of face masks/ coverings in the public.

Another top source said last night that the NGF’s letter was “inexplicit on what qualified as internal movement.”

The source said: “We may end up with tough advisory on partial restrictions. We cannot allow the governors to reopen schools; there will be no wedding, funeral outings; churches and mosques cannot operate and we will only allow access to markets in the neighbourhood.

“Don’t forget that the Federal Government and the PTF only locked down the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States. We did not lockdown the remaining 34 states. But we cannot close our eyes when Coronavirus infections get out of control in any state.

“This is why we believe the governors must be cautious in putting in place partial restrictions. We should avoid creating a situation where the pandemic will get out of control in any state.

“For instance, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State did not consult with the PTF or Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) before directing that churches should resume normal activities. No technical or empirical basis for his decision. Does the state have the where withal to manage the consequences of exposing its citizens to Coronavirus spread?

Responding to a question, the source added: “The PTF members will still meet on Sunday. We may come up with tough advisory if there will be internal movement in any state as part of the conditions of partial restrictions.”

South West Governors Return FG Rice Donation to Over Contamination

By Sola Charles

More facts have emerged on why the Oyo State Government decided to return the 1, 800 bags of rice donated to the state by the federal government to cushion the effect of covid-19 pandemic currently ravaging the World.

The Oyo State Government, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the State Governor on AgricBusiness, Dr. Debo Akande disclosed that the rice have been infected by weevil and other pests making them unhealthy for human consumption.

The statement however generated instant criticisms from some section of the public who alleged that the State Governor, Seyi Makinde, being an opposition PDP member, was senselessly playing politics with the matter without considering the suffering of his people who are currently wallowing in the euphoria of hunger and starvation.

However, The Elite Times can confirm that the decision to reject the rice was taken yesterday during a virtual meeting held by the Nigerian Governors Forum presided over by their Chairman and Governor of Ekiti- State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi with the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osibajo, SAN.

Speaking to The Elite Times on Saturday, a close aide of Akeredolu who preferred anonymity said the Ondo State Government has rejected her own portion of the rice because 85% of it have been infected by pests and now green in colour.

“85% of the rice has changed to colour green. We dare not share it to animals talk less of human beings, not even prisoners on death roll,” the aide said.

Asked why the state government chose to keep the story secret unlike her Oyo State counterpart, the aide said “we are in APC like Abuja people, we cannot address the public like Makinde who is a PDP Governor.

“The Fact is the governors unanimously pleaded with Makinde to fly the news and that’s why i am calling you to help us fly it that it is not only Oyo rice that is not good but all the six states. Osibajo has been briefed since yesterday. The rice is not good for human consumption.

“Lagos is not returning their own, they are dumping everything inside Lagoon; Osun, Ogun and Ekiti are returning their portions to Lagos where it was disbursed,” the aide concluded.

COVID-19: FG, NCDC haven’t contributed 1 kobo or 1 grain of rice to Abia- Commisioner JOK

The Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu (JOK) has dismissed insinuations from some quarters that Abia State has received financial and material assistance from the Federal Government, and the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

Kalu said that, apart from donation of essential items and monies by good-spirited individuals and organisations to the State, everything distributed by the state has come from the state coffers.

He also explained that a new isolation center being built in Ogbor Hill, Aba was not an NCDC project, but 100% sponsored by the state government.

These were contained in a Press Statement signed by the Commissioner, and made available to Jungle Journalist Media Limited.

His words “All the palliative food distribution done in Abia State as well as the construction of new isolation centers are projects of Abia State Government led by Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.

“Please ignore the sponsored lies and propaganda from those who live by propaganda.

“Our state has also not received any money from the social investment fund as we are among the four states yet to benefit.

“It is also not true that NCDC is constructing the new isolation center in Ogbor Hill, Aba. That project is 100% funded by Abia State Government and we hope to hand over the facility to Abia State University Teaching Hospital afterwards. No single living Abian is contributing one kobo to the construction and equipping of the new isolation center. It is the same for the others previously readied by the administration.

“Abia State Government led by Dr Okezie Ikpeazu is investing all the resources required in preparing our isolation centers, provision of PPEs, ventilators etc for the safety and protection of our people against coronavirus.

“No single grain of rice or any other food stuff has been received by the state from the federal government as rumored by same propagandists. Abia State Government procured the rice and other foodstuff distributed to the needy through the churches and added the 850 bags of rice donated by Prof Greg Ibe. So far, we have procured more than 8,000 bags of 50kg rice and other items such as beans, yam, face masks, hand sanitizers etc. We have also distributed the 2,000 cartons of Indomie donated by our brother Chrisnak.

“Distribution of palliatives to our people will continue today and run throughout the lockdown period. Aside from Churches, we are also distributing through the state’s geriatric services agency, traditional rulers and presidents general of communities in our state”, Kalu stated.

COVID-19: FG says they have started immediate cash transfer to poorest households

Sadiya Farouk, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, says the ministry has commenced cash transfer to poorest households in the country to cushion effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister said this during a press briefing by the presidential task force on the disease in Abuja, on Monday.

Nigeria has recorded 111 coronavirus cases spread across 10 states and the federal capital territory.

The country also recorded its second death from the disease on Monday.

Farouk said the ministry has commenced advance payment of conditional cash transfer to the poorest households in the country.

She said the vulnerable group will also be expanded to consider more persons during the infection period.

“In Mr. President’s speech, paragraph 54, he directed that the conditional cash transfer should be given in advance of two months. This we have also done. We have directed immediate cash transfer to the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country,” she said.

“Because of this COVID-19, the vulnerable groups have to expanded, because we are aware that there are people who live on daily wage, so we are also going to look at those groups of people to see how we can get this food relief intervention to them in this period.”

The minister said the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed trucks of relief materials to states affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

FG assures timely completion of 41.4 km Aba-Port Harcourt Road project

The Federal Government has assured early completion of the Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway that cuts across Enugu, Abia and Rivers States.

John Fadere, Federal Controller of Works in Rivers and Head Supervisor of the project gave the assurance while inspecting the Oyibo, Rivers stretch of the project on Sunday.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the project is one of the 25 critical roads in six geopolitical zones financed by the Federal Government under the N100 billion Sukuk Bond road intervention.

Fadere said the 41.4-kilometre Aba-Port Harcourt (section four) stretch of the entire Enugu-Port Harcourt Road project had attained 21 per cent completion.

“Section four of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Road project, awarded in 2015, starts from Aba and ends at Eleme Flyover in Port Harcourt, covering a distance of 41.4 kilometres.

“As at today, we have achieved 21 per cent completion of the road project while the contract period has rising to about 70 per cent.

“The project is expected to be completed before the end of 2022,” he said.

He said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in 2018 approved the upgrade of some section of the Aba-Port Harcourt Road project to eight lanes.

“So, 13 kilometres section of the road project stretching from Imo River (Abia/Port Harcourt boundary) to Eleme Flyover in Port Harcourt has been upgraded to eight lanes.

“The upgrade was sequel to challenges the project encountered before take-off. First was the ever-increasing traffic density on the road and problem of surface water.

“We know that Rivers state soil water is very close to the surface. This makes it difficult for rain water to sink into the ground after rain,” he said.

Fadere assured that the contractor handling the project was working hard to complete the construction of 26-kilometre concrete drain to end flooding in the area.

Also speaking, Godwin Eke, the South-South Zonal Director of Federal Highway, described the project as a strategic road that connects South South states to commercial city of Aba and other South-Eastern states.

According to him, the eight-lane highways when completed would ease both human and vehicular traffic as well as boost commercial activities in the regions.

“We appeal to motorists to exercise patience as the road would soon be completed. The project made tremendous progress considering challenges it has faced,” he pleaded.

Mr Zou Xiaowei, the Project Manager, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), assured that the project would be completed according to specification before 2022.

He said the road when completed would last for period of 50 years.

NAN

Scrap Creative Industry Financing Initiative, CIFI, CERLSI petitions FG

The Civil Empowerment & Rule of Law Support Initiative, CELSI, has urged the Federal Government to scrap the Creative Industries Financing Initiative, CIFI, a programme run by the CBN on behalf of the Federal government to advance loans to struggling artists, musicians, web developers and fashion designers.

The petition is a policy brief, Looted Nigerian Art: Before their Return, authored by CERLSI, and which highlighted areas the Federal Government must look to, to encourage the return of looted Nigerian works of art in museums in Europe and the Americas.

According to the CERLSI document, there is increased interest in Europe, to return looted art works from Nigeria but that such interest is usually frustrated by the general disinterest in the return of precious works of arts by successive Nigerian governments.

Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku, author of the brief said that nobody anywhere gives loans to struggling artists or creative individuals with a payback condition. ‘Because of the crucial role culture plays in the overall development of a nation, countries usually use residencies as drivers of artistic talent and potential rather than with payable loans to creative people. They use these residencies as hubs and fund them like angel investors to nurture the creative potential of any writer or artist of fashion designer who meets a certain set of requirements’, Mr Etemiku said.

What even makes the idea of payable loans from the CBN to the creative industries awkward is that there are a set of requirements that a creative person must meet to access the CBN loans. Some of those conditions include that the applicant be registered with the government, submit a comprehensive business proposal, come up with a credit bureau report with no unpaid obligations and a satisfactory credit risk management systems, CRMS, report. Even though the conditions try to stimulate creative people to become business savvy, they are not arts friendly. They look like conditions that artists and creative people are not expected to meet, and therefore creating a leeway for corruption in the CBN.

Other issues which the CERLSI policy brief highlighted, to stimulate the return of looted Nigerian works of art from museums in Germany, France, the US and UK, included the adoption of Emmanuel Macron’s Savoy-Sarr report, rescind the proposed concession of the National Arts Theatre, and the upgrade of all museums in Nigeria to world class standards.

FG, south-west governors agree to formalise Amotekun

The federal government and governors of states in the south-west have reached the agreement to draw up a legal framework for the Western Security Network code-named: Amotekun.

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, disclosed this to state house correspondents at the end of a meeting Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had with the six governors from the region on Thursday.

Akeredolu said the legal framework will help resolve all “burning issues” surrounding the security network.

Asked if the governors failed to draw up the legal framework for the outfit before the launch on January 9, Akeredolu said the inspector-general of police and other “relevant security agencies” were consulted earlier.

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, who had described the outfit as illegal, was part of the meeting.

More to follow…

Buhari Orders Govs To Dissolve LG Caretaker Committees Immediately

All state governments operating caretaker committees at the local government level are to disband them with immediate effect and revert back to democratically elected representatives.

The order was delivered by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) who said caretaker committees were illegal and unconstitutional.

According to him, the Committees amount to a breach of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

He also said the actions of some state governors in dissolving elected local government councils “was unconstitutional, null and void and continued disobedience of the Supreme Court judgment of December 9, 2016 in the case of Governor of Ekiti State & Ors vs Prince Sanmi Olubunmo & 13 Ors. ”

The AGF thereby requested “all their excellencies, state governors and speakers of state houses of assembly, who are currently acting in breach of the provisions of Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and also acting in disobedience of the Supreme Court judgment highlighted above, to immediately retrace their steps by ensuring compliance with the above in the overall interest of the rule of law and our democracy.”

The AGF’s request was handed down through a letter addressed to the Oyo State Attorney-General, Professor Oyewo Oyelowo.

The letter dated 14 January, 2020, reference number HAGF/OYO/2020/Vol.I/I. was titled, “Unconstitutionality of Dissolution of Elected Local Government Councils and Appointment of the Caretaker Committee: The Urgent Need for Compliance with Extant Judicial Decisions.”

The letter read in part: “The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation in line with the constitutional role as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation under Section 150(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) has noted with dismay the continued non-adherence by some state governors and state houses of assembly to the provisions of the Section 7(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) as it relates to the existence, administration and control of local government councils in Nigeria.

“This unpleasant development, without doubt, is hindering the much needed grassroots development expected to be put in place by the third tier of government.