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Daily Archives: October 13, 2019

Liberia parliament slashes lawmakers’ earnings by over 30%

Liberia’s house of representatives has voted to slash its monthly earnings by 31 percent and that of the senate by 36 percent.

The lower legislative chamber voted in favour of the cut when it recently passed the country’s draft national budget of $526 million for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.

FrontPageAfrica, a Liberian magazine, reports that the house said it slashed the lawmakers’ salaries and benefits to accommodate the pay of government workers, including about 1,200 health workers.

It said the cut was also to realise its projections, avoid the recurrence of budget shortfall as well as meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) standards.

The report of the joint committee on ways, means, finance, and public accounts and expenditure also indicate the house removed the $7 million contingent revenue as was initially provided for in the budget.

The report reads: “By this, the Committees with the mandate of Plenary instituted a national action that led to the proposed reduction of all employees’ salaries by six percent in the Executive excluding teachers, medical and security personnel, and those earning US$500 and below, while members of the National Legislature will have a reduction of 31 percent or US$2,586 (for House of Reps.) and 36 percent or US3,600 (for the Senate) net of monthly income tax for salaries and allowances, and other reductions to include 50 percent cut in gasoline distribution, so as to address compensation gap.”

Only recently, Italy’s parliament approved slashing the number of its members by 37 percent.

Amid the cost-saving initiatives, Nigeria’s federal lawmakers, said to be among the highest paid in he world, continue to face criticisms for earning huge sums in a country currently the poverty capital of the world.

A senator earns N13.5 million as running cost monthly while a member of the house of representatives is said to earn N12 million monthly.

Rochas Okorocha, senator representing Imo west, recently said Nigeria does not need 109 senators and 360 members of the house of representatives.

He told his colleagues that the number should be slashed by 70 percent.

 

Lagos to unleash KAI brigade to enforce environmental laws

Lagos State Government over the weekend announced the repositioning of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) formerly known as KAI to spearhead the state’s enforcement of the zero tolerance for indiscriminate waste disposal, street trading, erection of temporary structures on drainage setbacks, open defaecation and assist to checkmate the activities of commercial motorcyclists who ply pedestrian walkways.

The state’s position was stated by the Commissioner for The Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello during a familiarization visit to the head office of LAGESC at Safety Arena Complex, Oshodi alongside the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engineer Joe Igbokwe, where he added that the officers would now be posted to the major highways with security back up as a first step to enforcing the zero tolerance and state sanitation laws.

He emphasized that the present administration would in addition to providing necessary security back ups for their operation, also equip the operatives with all the necessary kits and equipments to protect themselves from attacks by criminally minded individuals in the course of performing their legitimate duties on the highways as dictated by the law establishing the outfit.

He warned the officers against indulging in acts of bribery and corruption or making use of proxies to receive gratification from environmental sanitation offenders, stating that monitoring gangs have been formed that would be keeping an eye on the activities of the LAGESC officers as they go about their duties and that anyone found wanting would face appropriate disciplinary measures.

He said his visit to the LAGESC office was to reassure the officers of the commitment of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration to their welfare and also boost their morale by recognizing hard work and to be ready to rise up for the task ahead, saying in the new dispensation, indolence would not be tolerated and that anyone of the employees who feels he cannot measure up to the new expectation has the option of opting out now.

Bello said as part of the measures to reposition the LAGESC, the present pink Uniform would be changed to the old uniform to reflect the colour of the environment and send the right message about total enforcement of the state sanitation laws just as the necessary amendments would be made to the law to revert to the old name of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) which was the original name given to the outfit at inception.

The Commissioner who had an interactive session with all the operatives gave a commitment that the government would stand by them at all times even when issues of persecution or harassment arises in the course of performing legitimate duties, saying they should be fair and firm in their dealings with members of the public at all times as that would be the only basis upon which government can intercede if they are harassed.

He tasked the management of the agency to also look into the possibility of working out off days for officers, some of who complained of working for seven days in the week, saying such working condition is prone to aggravating breakdowns and low productivity, adding that the choice of a retired Commissioner of Police as Corps Marshal, CP Gbemisola Akinpelu (rtd) for the agency by the State was to ensure collaboration with security agencies.

He revealed that part of the main task of LAGESC operatives this year would be the securing of the Lagos Outer Marina corridor which will soon be landscaped and beautified into a park as part of efforts to restore the lost glory of the area which has now been overtaken by weeds and undesirable elements.

Also speaking, the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engineer Joe Igbokwe implored the officers to work with diligence and always apply diplomacy while operating adding that their operations is prone to confrontations and attacks.

The Commissioner had earlier inspected a guard of honour mounted by officers of the Corps after a parade during the visit, which also had the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environment, Mrs Aderonke Odeneye and other directors of the ministry in attendance.

Lagos unfolds strategies to sanitise meat value chain

Sequel to the new reforms that the State Government has adopted to sanitize the red meat value chain in the State, the State Government has unfolded what it termed the immediate, intermediate and long term strategies for immediate implementation in the State.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal disclosed this in Lagos over the weekend when he met with Presidents, Secretaries and members of the Board of Trustees of the Butchers Association in the State in order to avail them of the new reforms as well as solicited their cooperation and support for the success of the reforms in the red meat value chain.

He recalled that the main objective of the sanitization exercise in the red meat value chain are the promotion of the red meat value chain by providing wholesome and hygienically processed beef for the populace as well as boosting beef processing to international standards in order to facilitate export opportunities and foreign investment into the value chain.

“A 21st Century Lagos wants to raise the standard of slaughtering, processing and marketing of red meat in the state. The purpose is to ensure the safety and health of the populace by ensuring that only certified animals are slaughtered and wholesome beef is available in our markets. This will also boost international recognition of beef from the state thus opening up an export portal which will be a source of forex, This is what Lagos is pushing for, a conducive and hygienic environment in the red meat value chain,” the Commissioner observed.

According to the Commissioner, among the immediate strategies for implementation is the linking of approved slaughter houses and abattoirs to the markets being supplied through the EKO refrigerated meat vans adding that abattoirs supplying various markets are identified and classified using the meat vans such that butchers in such abattoirs are not only identified but linked to the market they supply with the use of a color tag/code.

He explained that henceforth butchers in the State would be issued veterinary meat hygiene certificate for health and wholesomeness after inspection of carcass by veterinary officers and certificates and colored or coded tags for their respective vendors stressing that any butchers or vendors with certificates and tags would therefore be expected to load the products into coded meat vans en route to their specified markets.

“The proposed flow of activity is to ensure that only certified carcasses leave the approved abattoir. The products are tagged and traceable to butchers/vendors and markets by use of coded EKO meat vans. This strategy will prevent street hawking of beef and sale of beef from illegal abattoirs as coded markets will be made public and the populace would be advised to only purchase from same,” he noted.

The Commissioner stressed that the issuance of the veterinary meat hygiene certificate for health and wholesomeness is compulsory and backed by Schedules 4 and 5 Cap M3 Meat Inspection Laws of Lagos State adding that no butcher or meat vendor can sell without the certificate in the State.

Lawal noted that a monitoring team comprising officials of the Ministries of Health, Environment and Water Resources, Special Duties and Inter Governmental Relations, Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas as well as the monitoring, enforcement and compliance unit of Ministry of Agriculture such as Veterinary Microbiologists and Pathologists has since been constituted in order to ensure the effective implementation of the reforms.

The Commissioner further highlighted the need for the standardization of abattoirs activities in the State such that all the approved abattoirs are not only functional, hygienic and conducive for slaughtering activities but strictly adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

“There must be continuous availability of clean water supply and there must be prompt disposal of waste from the abattoirs. Any person in possession of beef for sale without our certificate will have such products confiscated and the person prosecuted,” Lawal averred.

He added that part of the intermediates strategies are that concessionaires will be mandated to complete all necessary construction and upgrade within a specified timeline; any concessionaires that renege on terms of contract/agreement will have such contract reviewed; the upgrade of markets to comply with international standards and introduction of modern and standard butchering tables with removable tops.

“Our long term strategies will involve livestock identification and traceability system such that an animal can be traced from the cattle market to shops; the use of meat boxes instead of bags to convey beef cuts and the set up recall/return strategies if there is a problem with a particular batch of meat,” the Commissioner added.

Other according to him are the creation of a butcher’s database/log so that details of butchers in the State are captured and numbered accordingly, introduction of batching and coding system using the identity of each butcher that will allow easy tracking and tracing of abattoir activities and the establishment of functional prototype meat shops across all the divisions in the State.

Sanwo-Olu declares emergency on Lagos roads, rallies Julius Berger, Hitech, others to fix damaged roads

Lagos State Government has declared a state of emergency on various dilapidated highways and carriages within the State.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday at the Lagos House Marina, ordered massive construction work on critical roads and highways across the State, beginning from Monday (tomorrow).

The Governor’s directive followed the conclusion of his series of meetings with eight multi-national engineering firms, which began a few weeks back. After his final meeting with the contractors on Sunday, which lasted for about three hours, Sanwo-Olu declared the commencement of major construction work on the identified highways considered critical to the reduction of traffic congestion in the State.

The Governor said all the eight engineering firms had been given the mandate to immediately mobilise their equipment on the sites and commence major construction works on the identified roads.

He said: “This afternoon, we have just concluded meeting with various reputable construction companies and all of them have been given the brief to immediately commence major construction work in various parts of the State. The exercise will begin tomorrow with palliative work on the selected roads, which are both on the Island and mainland divisions of the State.

“The contractors have been given the mandate to start mobilising their equipment to their respective sites without further delay. Their activities must first give our people an immediate relief on the affected roads so that there can be free flow of traffic even during the rehabilitation work.”

To complement the major construction work on the highway, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) would be carrying out repairs of 116 inner roads across the State. This, he said, would be in addition to over 200 roads already rehabilitated by the corporation in the last three months.

The Governor said he was not unaware of the pain experienced by road users in the past few days, which was compound by persistent downpour. He appealed to residents to bear with the Government while efforts were being made to assuage their pains and bring permanent relief to them.

He said: “We expect the rains will begin to subside in this month of October and this is why we are mobilising our contractors to immediately start the major construction work on the identified highways and bring permanent relief to residents. I am giving all Lagosians the assurance that the contractors will start the construction in earnest and will deliver on the terms of agreements reached with them.”

Sanwo-Olu said officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will be working round the clock to control traffic on the areas where the construction would take place.

Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, listed some of the critical highways and roads to be constructed to include Ojota stretch of the Ikorodu Road, Motorways-Kudirat Abiola Way, Apogbon Highway, Babs Animashaun Road, Agric/Ishawo Road and Ijede Road in Ikorodu, and Lekki-Epe Expressway from Abraham Adesanya to Eleko Junction.

She added that there would be massive re-construction work on a network of roads in Ikoyi, Ikeja GRA and Victoria Island.

The contractor deployed by the Government included Julius Berger, Hitech, Arab Contractors, Metropolitan Construction, Slavabogu Construction, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Rajaf Foundation Construction, and RCF Nigeria Limited.

Police, aide differ on alleged attack on Oshiomhole’s Benin home

The Edo State Police Commissioner and an aide to the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, have given different versions about an alleged attack on the ex-governor’s country home in Benin.

A group of youths suspected to be political thugs on Saturday evening reportedly attacked Oshiomhole’s residence in the Okoroutun area of GRA in Benin City.

Eyewitness alleged that the suspects had gathered around the residence, chanting ‘Oshiomhole ole,’ apparently waiting for him to come out, but they were said to have been dispersed by security agents and the road closed to traffic for some time before it was re-opened.

When our Correspondent visited the area on Sunday morning, about four Police patrol vans were there, in addition to the one that was always stationed in front of the building.

Oshiomhole, while addressing some youths who followed him to his house from the hotel where he had stayed, said there was no cause for alarm, as he only came to Benin to attend a ceremony and take some rest.

He said, “In moments like this, it is not madness for madness.

“I used to call you guys our infantry division who protected our votes, even when we were in the opposition when the Federal Government was PDP.

“So, now that the Federal Government is APC, we have to take it easy so that there is no breach of peace anywhere in Nigeria and particularly in our state.”

While the Edo State Police Commissioner denied the incident, describing it as “a lie,” Chief Press Secretary to Oshiomhole, Simon Ebegbulem confirmed it, and also named the person who allegedly sent the suspects.

“The attack was neutralised by APC youths who were mobilised to the national chairman’s residence.

“They (suspected thugs) were in front of his house chanting ‘Oshiomole ole,’ waiting for him because he went out.

“He was in Benin to attend a birthday; they were now waiting for him to come back so that they could attack him.

“When our boys now got wind of it, they sent APC boys there and chased them away.

“I learn that one of the cars they used was destroyed.

“The Commissioner of Police and the Director of DSS were there yesterday night, ” Ebegbulem said.

Abandoned in London as a kid, Nigerian-born Efe Obada now earns $575,000 with Panthers

Efe Obada’s journey from Stockwell to the NFL was not easy. A refugee from Nigeria, he was reportedly trafficked from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom at the age of 10.

He was left homeless and then placed into foster care in Lambeth. In foster care, he bounced from one home to another.

Obada, now 27, didn’t pick up a football until his early 20s, let alone play college ball like most NFL draft prospects. At the age of 22, when he was working in a North London warehouse, a friend recommended that the 6ft 6in Obada try the British American football team, the London Warriors’ training session. He was scouted shortly after, and the rest is history, Brixtonblog has narrated.

According to the NBC, the coaching squad was immediately impressed with his speed, especially considering his 6-foot-6-inch frame. One coach, who had been an intern with the Dallas Cowboys, flagged Obada to his former team and recommended they offer him a tryout.

After just five games of experience with the Warriors, the Cowboys signed Obada to its practice squad in 2015.

He was sent from Dallas to the Kansas City Chiefs to the Atlanta Falcons before finally landing in Carolina in 2017.

After years on the sidelines, Obada played in his first NFL game last season as a Carolina Panther — and he seized the opportunity. Playing defensive end, he posted a sack and an interception in his debut game. His performance earned him the game ball from head coach Ron Rivera and the distinction of being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

His story is far from complete: Obada needs to prove his ability on the field in order “to extend his work visa beyond the one year, $570,000 contract he signed with Carolina in January. If he doesn’t get re-signed or find another opportunity, he will have to move back to London,” UK Mirror reports, quoting the ESPN.

The stakes are high — but for Obada, it fuels the fire. “He practices 100 miles per hour,” Rivera said.

As Obada put it: “I go hard every time.”

On Sunday (today), the Carolina Panthers will play the division-rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Kick off is set for 9:30 a.m. ET.

For the 27-year-old Brit, Sunday’s meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will mark the first time he has played on UK soil as an NFL player and takes him back to the place where his football journey started.

Although he has visited his hometown several times since making his NFL debut last year, it is easy to see how much this particular trip means to him as he looks around visibly struggling to express his emotions, Mirror has reported.

Despite being new to the game, it didn’t take long for the 6ft 6 defensive lineman to make an impression and for those at the Warriors to see that he possessed many of the qualities needed to play at a higher level, such as the hunger and the eagerness to improve.

“When we got the kit on him and got him into practice, his speed was just silly for a guy that size,” says Simon Buckett, who was the team’s special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach at the time. “I haven’t seen anyone come to the Warriors before or since with that size and that kind of speed.” Buckett said.

One of the biggest sources of support for Obada at the Warriors both on and off the field was then-defensive coordinator Aden Durde, who made an early impression by giving him a pair of cleats.

“Just having Aden invest himself and his time – taking time out of his family and investing in someone he didn’t really know – was amazing,” Obada says.

“I’ve never had any role models, any male figures investing time in me, and that was very impactful, so I stuck it through.

“He sold me a dream. At the time, there was no other opportunities for the NFL. It was just solely ‘Okay – you want to play American Football – let’s train and let’s try and get you better,’ and I bought into it.”

Govs stealing public funds need deliverance, says Nasarawa gov

Abdullahi Sule, governor of Nasarawa state, says any person elected as governor has no justification to steal public funds.

According to NAN, Sule spoke during the closing ceremony of the 23rd national Quranic recitation competition organised by the Jamaatul Izalatul Bid’ah Wa Ikamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS) on Saturday in Lafia, Nasarrawa state capital.

He said governors were well provided for in the scheme of things, and as such, only a diabolic governor would resort to stealing public funds.

“When I assumed office as governor, I realised that only those who have no true knowledge about God would steal or that their major preoccupation would be to steal public funds.

“Any person who is a governor and is stealing public funds, then such a person is in need of God’s deliverance.”

He dismissed insinuations that one must be wealthy before joining politics, saying that as long as religious scholars keep avoiding politics, then they should be prepared to elect leaders who would betray their trust.

The governor, therefore, called on scholars and other educated elite to join politics in order to help bring sanity to the system.

He also urged them not to relent in telling people the truth even at the risk of being rejected.

 

Armed robbers behead police officer in Ilorin

Armed robbers on Saturday attacked Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.

The men of the underworld were said to have struck when staffers of the station had left for their respective homes.

During the bloody incident, the armed robbers allegedly beheaded a sergeant and some security personnel attached to the fuel station.

It was also gathered that the robbery incident occurred while the security men were already asleep.
Checks on Sunday revealed that the NNPC mega station was under lock and key, throwing residents into panicky situation that another round of fuel scarcity was imminent.

Spokesperson of the state police command Ajayi Okasanmi confirmed the incident.

He added that the “information is true jare. But the command is investigatingthe issue.”

Passenger dies at Lagos airport after receiving news of wife’s death

Jude Oladapo, 44-year-old passenger, has slumped and died while undergoing boarding procedures at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

Joseph Alabi, spokesperson for the MMIA police command, said the incident happened on Saturday when the deceased was waiting to board an Air France flight out of the country.

Alabi said the passenger was said to have slumped suddenly after receiving news that his wife had died.

According to him, Oladapo was confirmed dead by Ajayi Olamide, a medical doctor at the MMIA medical clinic.

Alabi said the corpse had been deposited at the Air Force hospital mortuary.

The police airport command spokesperson also dismissed claims that a Royal Air Maroc aircraft, with registration number CN-ROR, was burgled while landing at MMIA on Friday.

He said the police had carried out investigation and confirmed that all necessary security landing procedures were observed.

“There is a standard procedure, which includes an escort vehicle following an aircraft that is landing, which will make it difficult for any invader to approach the aircraft,” he said.

“The aviation security officials confirmed that they arrived at the aircraft with its baggage cabin door already opened which might have been due to other factors.”

Aisha Buhari returns to Nigeria

 

The wife of the President Her Excellency   Mrs. Aisha Buhari has arrived back in the country. Mrs Buhari arrived at approximately 4.30am  Nigerian time on a British Airways flight

Speaking on why she stayed away for so long, Dr Buhari said before the advent of this administration it had always been the custom for her to take a long vacation with her children, but since the president was elected and due to exigencies of duty it has not been possible, however this year she decided to break the jinx and spend time with them, especially since Mr President has graciously appointed Special Advisers  and Personal assistants to her.

Mrs Buhari further thanked all Nigerians  for their support and encouragement and said she was ready to continue her work with women and children

Present at  the airport to meet her were the First lady of Kogi state, Mrs Rasheedat Bello, Wife of former Governor of  Nassarawa state, Mrs Mairo Al Makura. Chairperson of National centre for Women Development Joy Gene Nunieh, wife of Minister for Niger Delta Affairs  Mrs Ekaetae Unoma Godswill Akpabio, D.G. Womens development centre, Mrs Mary Etta, and  Senior Special Assistant office of the wife of the President, Dr Hajo Sani.

She returned home to the villa to meet Family, friends and associates