Tag Archives: COVID-19

Facts on Justice Nasiru Ajanah’s death | Details

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Fresh facts have emerged on the agonising last days of the Chief Justice of Kogi State, the late Justice Nasiru Ajanah.

Justice Ajanah had reportedly died of COVID-19 on Sunday 28th June, 2020.

According to credible family sources, the man walked into an avoidable death as there was no credible evidence that he contracted the dreaded Coronavirus Pandemic.

A very bitter family member told this medium that what the judge complained of was malaria fever, over which he had even been treated with the local herbs.

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“What gave us the confidence that all was well with him was that all the people close to him were tested along with him. His wife, driver and orderly were tested and they all came out negative.

“Inspite of this, he went to the isolation centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja expecting to be given a clean bill of health and to be back home this past Monday only for the family and the members of the public to be told that he passed on exactly two weeks after he got to the centre,” said a source.

Sources revealed that it wasn’t as if his condition was bad, and that a family member even volunteered to pay for the services of a nurse and that a sum of N500,000 (five hundred thousand naria) was agreed but that the CJ insisted on following the laid down rules.
” He went to the isolation himself not that he was taken there, even the text messages he sent to the family never indicated any cause for concern” said a source.

The family source told us that the amiable judge died a broken and sad man as he complained of severe neglect and abandonment even when he requested to see his family or be discharged from the centre.

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The source said that he was never a man given to unnecessary complaints or undue preferential treatment as a result of his office.

The family disclosed that the oxygen level of the jurist was 97 percent which to them was still okay, with a sources saying that “we were confident he was going to be discharged.”

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who had been at loggerheads with the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) over issues relating to COVID-19 in Kogi State seriously faulted the claims of the parastatal that the late Chief Justice of the state, Justice Nasir Ajanah died of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Governor maintained his opinion that the “disease was forced on the people for no just cause.”

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Bello insisted that Justice Nasir Ajanah died of natural cause rather than the deadly virus, while disagreeing with the NCDC on the cause of the death of Ajanah.

Sources said that the Governor, who was once in a bitter confrontation with the amiable judge and made up with him before the last election in the state was particularly pained by this loss thus necessitating his recent outburst against the disease control agency.

Ajanah was however, buried in Abuja on Sunday June 28th according to Islamic rites.

In his sermon during the burial, Justice Nurudeen Khalifa urged Nigerians to live a life of emulation, pointing out that every man has a reward after death. He also advised Nigerians on good living while alive.

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In his remarks, the son of the deceased thanked the state government for its support, describing his father’s death as painful.

The acclaimed “accomplished judge”, who died at the age of 64, was first appointed a high court judge by the Kwara State Government in 1990 and later transferred to Kogi when the state was created in 1991.

As a high court judge, Ajanah served in several jurisdictions across the state, including Ankpa (1991 to 1993), Isanlu (1994 to 1996) and Okene (1996 to 1999) before moving to Lokoja in 1999 where he served until his death.

Kogi Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alhaji Mouktar Atimah, condoled with the state government and the entire Ajanah family over the incident.

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He described CJ’s death as shocking, coming when his services were most needed.

According to him, the late CJ will be remembered for his calmness, forthrightness and selfless service to the state and his community.

He prayed to God to grant the soul of the late CJ eternal rest and the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Ajanah’s death came barely one week after that of the former President of Kogi State Customary Court of Appeal, Shaibu Atadoga.

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The late CJ started his education at the Local Authority (Central) Primary School Okene between 1962 and 1968. He proceeded to the Federal Government College, Keffi, in 1969 and was admitted by the same college for his Higher School Certificate (HSC) in 1974.

He studied Law at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, and proceeded to the Nigerian Law School. He was called to the Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

His working career started with Kwara State Ministry of Justice where he served as State Counsel between 1982 and 1984. He later set up Nasiru Ajanah & Co. in Okene between 1985 and 1989 before he was appointed as a Judge of Kwara State High Court in 1990.

Ajanah served as Chairman, Kabba Disturbance Tribunal in Kogi State (1994); Chairman, Election Petition Tribunal in Adamawa State (1998); member of Governing Council, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (1999 to 2006); Chairman, Panel on Murtala Muhammed International Airport Fire Incident (2000); Chairman, Election Petition Tribunal in Akwa Ibom State (2007); and Chairman, Election Tribunal Petition in Rivers State (2008).


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: U.S daily report changes. [Live Updates]

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49,286 cases in 24-hour period reported in the US as death toll hits 128,000 while infections in India surpass 600,000.


  • New United States coronavirus cases rose by nearly 50,000, according to a Reuters tally, marking the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic. More than half of new cases each day come from US states of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, home to 30 percent of the country’s population. More than 128,000 people have died in the US due to the pandemic. 
  • The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution demanding an “immediate cessation of hostilities” for at least 90 days in key conflicts including Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Congo to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
  • New Zealand’s health minister, David Clark, resigned on Thursday, following recent slip-ups in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and personal mistakes.
  • Italy’s hard-hit northern region of Lombardy accounted for considerably more than half of the nation’s latest confirmed 187 coronavirus cases – raising the total to 240,760 nationwide. The Health Ministry also reported 21 new deaths, raising to 34,788 the total of known deaths.
  • Close to 10.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, over 5.6 million have recovered, and more than 516,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

#Newsworthy…

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Unknown deaths hit Indian city.

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A spike in non-coronavirus related deaths in the Indian city of Ahmedabad highlighted the impact of the pandemic on general healthcare, doctors warn.

The rise in the number of fatalities in the most populous city in western Gujarat state, is due to patients with serious illnesses either not able to go to hospitals or being afraid to visit them because of the virus, doctors said.

Data collected from twenty-four Hindu crematoriums and four of the largest Muslim graveyards in the city shows that there have been 3,558 deaths in April and 7,150 in May. During the same months the previous year, the number of reported fatalities were, respectively, 2,784 and 2,706.

A man lights an oil lamp inside the tomb of Ahmad Shah during a special prayer meeting for the victims of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amid the spread of the disease in Ahmedabad, India [Amit Dave/Reuters]

The numbers contain “ominous signals” for the rest of the country, doctor Rajib Dasgupta, a professor of community health at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, told Reuters.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Nigeria records 790 fresh cases with 603 total deaths

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Nigeria Centre For Diseases Control record 790 new cases of COVID-19 with total number 26,484, deaths 603 , and 10,152 discharged.

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790 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Delta-166
Lagos-120
Enugu-66
FCT-65
Edo-60
Ogun-43
Kano-41
Kaduna-39
Ondo-33
Rivers-32
Bayelsa-29
Katsina-21
Imo-20
Kwara-18
Oyo-11
Abia-10
Benue-6
Gombe-4
Yobe-2
Bauchi-2
Kebbi-2

26,484 confirmed
10,152 discharged
603 deaths


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: PDP empathize with Delta Governor

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Delta Chapter, has empathised with Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, his wife, Edith and family following the news that they tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

The party in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza, on Wednesday expressed its solid support for the governor and his family at this trying time.

The party urged him to be firm in faith and strong in the conviction that this is a situation that would soon pass.

“Your Excellency, the Delta PDP family wish you, your dear wife and members of your family presently inconvenienced by this unwanted situation, a speedy recovery.

“COVID-19, like you have told Deltans, is not in any way a death sentence and your inspirational leadership, as well as proactive management of this pandemic, has further strengthened our belief that you and your family will all come out stronger and healthier.

“We commended your Excellency for the sincerity, honesty and the transparency you have continually exhibited, especially as it concerns your family since the outbreak of this pandemic.

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“We join our prayers with those of your well-wishers all over the world, that the good Lord will touch you and your family with His Divine healing at this time,’’ the party prayed.

It called on Deltans to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 preventive measures put in place by the NCDC, the Federal and Delta Ministries of Health amid rising positive cases of the pandemic in the state.

“It is now obvious to all that COVID-19 is real.’’

The party wished the governor and his wife, speedy recovery and prayed that God blesses and keeps them safe.


#Newsworthy…

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Kogi FMC Attack: Police launch Manhunt

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The Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Mr Ede Ayuba, has ordered detectives to go after armed hoodlums that launched a violent attack on facilities at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.

Ayuba, who gave the order on Wednesday during a visit to the centre to assess the extent of damage, said that the perpetrators believed to be sponsored political thugs would not go unpunished.

A statement issued by the Spokesman of the Police Command in the state, DSP Aya Williams, said the commissioner had directed his deputy in charge of the Criminal Investigation Depratment to head the team of investigators.

He assured the staff of the hospital of the police to guarantee the safety of their lives and property.

Ayuba enjoined members of the public to go about their lawful activities and supply any information that could lead to the arrest of the fleeing suspects.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Gov. Okowa and wife test positive.

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Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has announced that he tested positive for coronavirus alongside and wife, Edith.

The governor announced this on social media today July 1. This comes barely a week after one of their daughters tested positive for the virus.

”My wife and I have tested positive for COVID-19. We are well and continuing with our isolation/medication. We thank you all for your continued prayers for us and our daughter.” he wrote.


#Newsworthy…

Happy New Month From Noble Reporters Media

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Kogi FMC COVID-19 briefing in disrupt amid gunmen attack

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The Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Lokoja, Kogi State, has been attacked by unidentified gunmen.

The gunmen disrupted a press briefing which was to demand a COVID-19 screening center in Kogi.

Shots were fired in the air to disperse the people on the ground who were present to discuss challenges medical professionals are facing in the coronavirus pandemic.

Laptops, phones, and other valuables were carted away by the gunmen who assault anyone who stood in their way


#Newsworthy..

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COVID-19: Osun govt arrest ‘Face Mask’ violators.

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The Osun State Government on Tuesday went a step further in its attempts at enforcing the use of face mask by residents, when scores of violators were arrested in Osogbo and shown videos of isolation centres.

The arrests were made by the COVID-19 Joint Task Force on the order of the state government.

The JTF men, which was led by the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Security, Abiodun Ige, arrested many residents, especially those in public vehicles and motorcycles.

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Those arrested were taken to Salvation Army Middle School, Alekuwodo, where they were shown videos of COVID-19 patients that were being treated in isolation centres.

Expectedly, many residents who had left home without face mask rushed to buy from the roadsides to avoid being arrested.

Ige, who spoke on the rationale behind the state government’s action, said the exercise was meant to enforce compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.


#Newsworthy…

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We found 6 herbal products in fight against COVID-19 – Anambra claims

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The Anambra State government claimed it had identified six herbal products for the management of the deadly COVID-19 disease.

This was revealed on Tuesday by Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra on Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice.

Ibezim who gave the information during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka, said that the agency had forwarded the products to the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

According to him, the process of producing the six herbal products which are in capsule, powder and liquid forms were reviewed by a team of medical experts before they decided to take the products to NAFDAC for its final confirmation and approval for public consumption.

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He said; “We have a team of medical experts in all areas of medicines who are saddled with the responsibility of reviewing herbal products in the state before they would be made public for use.

“We will give approval if the products fit our standard. We do not discriminate, the government has provided a friendly environment for business to thrive for all genuine herbal practitioners despite their states of origin.

“Anambra Traditional Medicine Board has been assigned the responsibility of properly analysing herbal products in the state and declare them fit for use by the public or otherwise before they are pushed out; all practitioners are advised to comply,” Ibezim concluded.


#Newsworthy…

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Wase warns Reps on COVID-19 – says ‘it is not a joke’

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The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase on Tuesday warned members of the House against shunning COVID-19 safety protocols, adding, that the global pandemic is not a joke.

Wase issued the warning shortly before the House adjourned plenary till Thursday in honour of the lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Adebayo Osinowo, aka Pepper, who died on June 15 of suspected COVID-19 complications.

He said: “COVID-19 is real. We should not joke about it. The way and manner we conduct ourselves is not good enough. We are the ones making the regulations and the laws for the country, and if there are protocols that have been established regarding the pandemic, I think we should be honourable enough to observe every protocol that has been put in place.

“I must say that we have lost quite a number of persons, some very close to us. We should not joke about this matter. I want to plead that we should sit in accordance with the spacing.”

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In his contribution, the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, urged Wase to ask the sergeants-at-arms to mark seats as part of measures to force members to observe social distancing.

Upholding Ado-Doguwa’s prayer, the deputy speaker asked the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, to ensure that the lawmakers sit according to the marking.

While also speaking, the member representing Agege Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Adejare, recalled how Osinowo was a cheerful giver, recalling how the late lawmaker once shared N150,000 to security men on his way out of the National Assembly and he was shocked.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Electricity tariff hike under test

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… GenCos threaten suit over delay
… DisCos, govt, discuss poor services, supply cost
… Senate urges Buhari to bear cost of deferred hike
… Operators deny lobbying NASS, putting sector in debt

Nigeria’s electricity supply industry faces yet another regulatory summersault, as the National Assembly, on Monday, toppled plans to increase cost of electricity supply by as much as 50 per cent.

This came as senators yesterday vowed to compel the executive arm of government to bear the impact of planned hike in electricity tariff, if eventually deferred to next year.

In the same vein, the nation’s power generation companies (GenCos) yesterday in Abuja said they would consider meeting the Federal Government at the court of Arbitration if planned electricity tariff increase is not implemented today (July 1).

Reacting to intervention by the National Assembly, which deferred the tariff increase, Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Joy Ogaji, said government must increase the tariff today, (Wednesday, July 1, 2020) or GenCos would either collect their outstanding fees or head to court.

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Ogaji also said that the operators would declare a force majeure and down tools.

“We are sick and tired of this back-and-forth. We are totally in support of the service reflective tariff as path to viability and sustainability. If government does not increase the tariff tomorrow (today), it’s either we are paid all our outstanding or we meet at Arbitration. If anyone wants to show favour, not at the expense of GenCos,” she said.

Ogaji added that the GenCos were obligated to generate electricity for Nigeria, and in turn receive 100 per cent payment of their monthly market invoice as was agreed in the (PPA).

She disclosed that, while GenCos engaged in a massive capacity recovery, they have been constantly paid less than 100 per cent of their invoice monthly.

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“ From available data, as recent as April 2020, DisCos remittance was as low as eight per cent. In context, an eight per cent remittance leads to a 92 per cent reduction in remittance to GenCos.

‘‘Six years after the privatisation, GenCos’ Available Generation Capacity (AGC) has been exceeded. The implication of this is that GenCos have kept to their industry agreement with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the market.’’

On the contrary, representatives of electricity distribution companies (DisCos) had maintained that they would support suspension of the planned hike only if government would bear the differences in current tariff and what was considered as appropriate.

Speaking on the issue before the Senate Press Corps yesterday, Chairman Senate Committee on power, Gabriel Suswam said: “Nigerians were heavily burdened because of COVID-19. The economy has contracted by 3.2 percent; that’s a lot. So, it makes it difficult for you and me to attend to some of our social problems.”

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He expressed the hope that the executive would agree, even though it would come at a cost.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and other principal officers of the two Chambers had met at the National Assembly with chief executives of electricity regulatory body and DISCOs across the country.

The National Assembly leaders were emphatic that the timing of the planned hike was wrong, even though they had no objection to cost-reflective tariffs to attract the much-needed investments.

In the course of the meeting, the DISCOs also admitted that they were not well prepared for the planned hike in tariffs; even though they desired the increase.

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The meeting therefore, agreed to defer the planned hike until first quarter of next year, while the leadership of the National Assembly promised to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.

Lawan said: “The agreement was that there was not going to be any increase in tariffs on July 1. While we are in agreement here that there is no question on justification for increase, the time is simply not right and appropriate measures need to be put in place.”

DisCos and leadership of NASS are being accused of working to delay the take off of the tariff. Owners of the companies reportedly lobbied lawmakers to delay the plan.

Though NASS only deferred the tariff increase to first quarter of 2021, providing just a temporary relief for consumers, a lot of electricity consumers and civil society groups have expressed concerns, especially given the sorry state of the industry and its impacts on economic development and standard of living.

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The industry has experienced many regulatory flops, which might continue to undermine the objective of bridging the huge electricity gap despite privatisation.

The current development is coming barely three months after the nation shelved an earlier plan to implement tariff review.
Being the second failed attempt in the last three months, stakeholders are beginning to express deep concern, especially as the sector continues to speak from both sides of the month despite huge liquidity and investment apathy.

They are also worried about a purported service-reflective tariff, which could oust the masses and prioritize well-to-do Nigerians in provision of electricity, though as much as 93 million Nigerians (about 55 per cent) still lack access to electricity.

With over four different groups or committees attempting to regulate the sector, the stakeholders are also worried over incessant interferences in the industry, stressing that the move would only worsen the precarious state of the nation’s power sector.

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Though the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was empowered by Parliament through the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 to serve as an independent body for technical and economic regulation of the electricity industry, the persistent interfe0rence in the sector is seen as part of the failure of the body to bark and bite.

The sole regulator has been accused of being responsible for policy summersaults and gross mismanagement of customer confidence as well as creating investment apathy.

Last year, NERC moved to fully implement a Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) designed in 2015 and the Minimum Remittance Order for the Year 2019, the tariff system, which, if implemented periodically as designed, would have addressed the accumulated increase and reduce impact of the proposed tariff hike on consumers.

The commission, with headquarters in Abuja and zonal offices in the six geopolitical regions, had conducted public hearing on the proposed increase, but defied disagreements to announce that implementation of the MYTO would take effect on April 1 this year. It later deferred the implementation to July 1, following the outbreak of Coronavirus.

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Seeing that the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, had insisted before NASS members that there was no going back on the increase, as government was burdened by huge spending on the sector, the distribution companies backed the move with massive media campaign, including advertorials in national dailies to inform their customers of the new tariff plan.

But few days to the increase, NERC reportedly back-pedaled, distancing itself and the Federal Government from the tariff hike before NASS.

Recall that the DisCos are currently challenging the power of the regulator in court. The 11 utility companies, which serve as revenue collectors in the sector, have been severally criticised as being the weakest link in the sector as well as not remitting revenue accurately.

Privatised in 2013 to reverse epileptic power supply situation, the sector has been troubled by financial crises involving over N4 trillion.

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The Federal Government had spent about N2 trillion to subsidise electricity consumption in the last five years, but current economic realities are bad. Over N10.8 trillion loan has been approved in the last one year alone. This is coupled with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and crash in prices of commodities.

Consequently, government has been seeking means to exit payment of subsidy in both petroleum and power sectors.

Since the move to increase the tariff was announced, stakeholders in the sector have increased agitation against shoddy performance of the power sector, especially in respect of poor service delivery, considering that the majority of consumers are not metered despite introduction of Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) scheme, while others raised concern on need to save the market with cost-reflective tariff plan.

An associate professor of Energy Law at the University of Lagos, Yemi Oke, told The Guardian that the timing of the tariff debate was ill-conceived, insensitive and seemingly desperate, stressing that consumers should have right to adjust, opt out or determine what level of electricity consumption they could afford through proper and honest metering.

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He said that the country, as far as the power sector is concerned, left “leprosy to cure ringworm” as the problem in the sector remained unresolved.

“Those issues that make tariffs increment desirable by DisCos are still there. Issues that make consumers resist further increase in tariffs are still there. Those fundamental issues that drag the power sector down in Nigeria have remained potent.”

An energy lawyer, Madaki Ameh, did not see any justification to increase tariffs and asked the general public to rise up against the attempt, which he described as “fraudulent.”

Ameh said: “There was a comprehensive review of the tariff issue and a number of town hall meetings were held across the country, where tariff increases were roundly rejected by consumers. At the end of that exercise, NERC issued guidelines rejecting the request of DisCos to review tariffs to the so-called ‘cost-reflective’ levels. So, what has changed between April 1 and now? What happened to all those townhall meetings? Were they just for show? What is so urgent about the tariff increase now, especially as there has been no meaningful improvement in service delivery by the DisCos?

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While the DisCos were accused of trying to get the government heavily indebted to the sector so as to cripple its control of the industry, knowing that ministries and agencies currently owe the utility companies over N100 billion, as revenue shortfall hits N1.2 trillion, spokesperson of the DisCos, Sunday Oduntan, denied the allegations.

He also denied that the DisCos did lobby NASS to halt the tariff increase, adding that the companies were ready to effect the tariff review until NASS convinced them to defer the decision.

Oduntan stated that executives of the utility companies, where government own 40 per cent share and represented at the board were in Abuja, courtesy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before being invited by the lawmakers.

“We are very prepared, but we are mindful of the challenges faced by Nigerians. Timing is very important, but the regulator chooses the timing and the mode, including the actual level of tariff,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: 561 fresh cases in Nigeria

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Nigeria records 561 new cases of COVID-19 on 30th of June 2020 to make Total infections hit 25,694. Deaths toll now 590 and recoveries amounts to 9,746.

Stands•

561 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

Lagos-200
Edo-119
Kaduna-52
FCT-52
Niger-32
Ogun-19
Ondo-16
Imo-14
Plateau-11
Abia-8
Oyo-8
Bayelsa-7
Katsina-6
Kano-5
Bauchi-3
Osun-3
Kebbi-3
Borno-2
Jigawa-1

25,694 confirmed
9,746 discharged
590 deaths


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Police pledge to punish anyone seen publicly with no face mask

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The Akwa Ibom State Police Command said it would prosecute those who violate the compulsory use of face masks in public places in the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer CSP Frederick Nnudam, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, CP Imohimi Edgal in a Statement on Tuesday, said all the Divisional Police Officers, DPOs and other members of the Enforcement Committee have been mandated to arrest and prosecute offenders

The Statement reads in parts, “In its renewed efforts and determination to enforce the provisions of the Quarantine and Restriction of Movement Regulations, 2020 as amended, reaffirms that wearing of facemask by all persons in public places will be vigorously enforced.

“For the avoidance of doubt, paragraph 12 (1) of the Quarantine and Restriction of Movement (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2020 states that “the use of facemask by all persons in public places is hereby made mandatory”. While paragraph 12(2) provides a fine of ten thousand naira (N10, 000.00) for a first time offender or community service for seven (7) days and a fine of twenty thousand naira (N20,000.00) for a second time and subsequent offender or community service for fourteen (14) days.

“In view of the foregoing, the Commissioner of Police has directed all Area Commanders, DPOs and other members of the Enforcement Committee to arrest and prosecute any pedestrian, passenger, driver, congregation, seller, buyer and other persons found in public places without facemasks.”

The Command however urged the people to always wear facemasks in public places and follow other safety measures aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: 18 Kirikiri inmates regain freedom

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Eighteen inmates of Kirikiri Medium Security Custodial Centre were on Tuesday June 30, granted freedom by Lagos Chief Judge Kazeem Alogba.

The inmates who have been in custody of the centre since 2016 for offences such as stealing, burglary and fraudulent conversion were released following directives from President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad to heads of courts.

Heads of court were told to decongest the prisons to curtail spread of coronavirus(COVID-19) amongst inmates.

The inmates were released under the power vested on the Chief Judge under Section 1 (1) Criminal Justice Release from Custody ) (Special Provisions) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2007. This was done at an event tagged “Correctional Centres Decongestion Exercise”, and held at J.I.C. Taylor Court House in Igbosere.


#Newsworthy…

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Storyline: How Akeredolu’s COVID-19 infection could hinder his re-election

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For the next 14 day at least, Ondo Gov. Rotimi Akerdolu will lie low, nursing his health to beat the covid-19 virus that invaded his system.

In times like this when every second counts, the Ondo No.1 citizen’s latest health status has a lot of political implications

  1. His primary election campaign team will first experience shock, as all of them we have to go in for tests and isolate themselves for 14 days too.
  2. The psychological impact of this will tamp down the excitement and optimism of his team
  3. His arch enemies, within and outside the APC, will take advantage of that. More importantly, his estranged Dep. Gov. Agboola Ajayi who just defected to the PDP to battle in the coming guber election will get in the saddle. How will Akeredolu hand over to him?
  4. His APC challenger for the party ticket, Kayode Oke, will also take advantage of the disarray in Akeredolu camp to gain some more ground.
  5. If there are no underlining health condition may come back a changed man—very careful in his re-lection drive. After all, thunder must not strike same place twice.

#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Profitability threat hit Banks in Nigeria

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The profitability of Nigerian Banks in the medium term may be under threat following rising inflation and increased government borrowing that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Report gathered exclusively by Noble Reporters Media released recently by Fitch Solutions that the banks are expected to grow in the medium term, but the rate of growth would be determined by the effects of inflation and government’s borrowing from the banks.

The report stated that due to COVID-19 pandemic and a weakened oil sector, there would be a deceleration of client loan growth from 14.0 per cent y-o-y in 2019 to 2.5 per cent in 2020, before a small pickup to 4.3 per cent in 2021.

Similarly, the demand for credit would weaken amid reduced economic activity and elevated uncertainty among consumers and businesses while deteriorating asset quality will make banks more cautious in issuing loans.

In the meantime, Fitch Solutions has revised its earlier 2020 growth forecast for Nigerian banks, including their total banking asset growth. The decision to change the earlier forecast was made out of consideration for the economic shortfalls caused by the pandemic.

Recall that Nigeria’s adoption of the IFRS 9 accounting standards for bad loans had considerably helped to improve asset quality in the banking sector. As a matter of fact, the ratio of non-performing loans had declined by as much as 40.7 per cent between Q4 2018 and Q4 2019.

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Unfortunately, the pandemic and the dramatic fall in oil prices earlier this year, all combined to negate the recent recorded success. This is why banks’ asset quality is projected to deteriorate this year, according to Fitch Solutions. This will also make banks become more cautious about lending.

“We continue to expect the changed minimum loan requirement to help drive client loan growth over the medium term. We have revised our growth forecast from the previous quarter and expect client loans to reach NGN14.9trn in 2020 with growth of 2.5 per cent from 2019.

“Due to economic headwinds caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we have revised our forecast for total banking asset growth to 5.3 per cent to NGN44.2trn. Over the medium term, we see average annual asset growth of 12.0 per cent to NGN63.8trn by 2024.

“Nigeria’s ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) tied to the oil sector declined by 40.7 per cent from Q418 to Q419 as oil exports rose by 16.1 per cent in 2019. In turn, the total NPL ratio fell from 11.7 per cent to 6.0 per cent over this period. However, due to the combined economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lower oil price, we expect asset quality to deteriorate this year, making banks more cautious about lending.”


#Newsworthy…

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Fatima-Ganduje-Ajimobi blast Seyi Makinde | Must Read.

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Fatima Ganduje-Ajimobi, who is married to late Isiaka Ajimobi’s son, Idris has taken a swipe at Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.

According to the daughter of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Seyi Makinde can never surpass the achievements of the late ex-Governor Ajimobi.

Fatima, who is SA to Speaker Gbajabiamila, said this in a tweet in response to a post by Nigerian activist Segun Awosanya aka Segalink on Tuesday.

Awosanya had tweeted, “I don’t know how many people are glad to know that Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo State cannot be guilt-tripped into endorsing a heist wrapped in emotions at the expense of the beleaguered people of Oyo State. I’m personally happy he saw through the shenanigans.”

In her response, however, Fatima tweeted, “Lol. Face with tears of joy half-truth is dangerous sha! SM can never ever ever come close to Ajimobi. Not your mate!!!”

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The Ajimobi family has been engaged in a feud with the governor since the death of their patriarch last week.

Ajimobi’s widow, Florence, had last week accused Makinde of abandoning the family, and being insensitive and refusing to condole with the family when Ajimobi died.

The family had also accused the governor of refusing to give them the approval to bury their father on a parcel of land in Ibadan.

Makinde had said the land in question was a subject of court litigation and thus could not allow Ajimobi to be buried there.


#Newsworthy…

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Protest in Edo over allege dismissal of 200 workers

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No fewer than 200 ad-hoc workers of the Edo State COVID-19 Mobile Screening Task Force on Tuesday took to the streets of Benin City, the state capital, to protest their alleged dismissal and non-payment of their two months remuneration.

The protesters, comprising medical doctors and related experts who went round the state during the period of the lockdown to take random samples from residents of the state, blocked the gates to the State Hospital Management Board office, and also went to lodge their grievances with the State House of Assembly.

One of the data collectors, Mr Emmanuel Ojie, said they had worked for over two months with the attendant risks associated with the job without being appreciated.

According to him, “We are owed May and June. We only reported to our duty post today to discover that we have been relieved of the job without being paid. We have no fewer than 26 groups, consisting of eight persons per group.

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“The group consist of doctors, medical laboratory scientists and others.

“In the course of this job, we staked our lives. At least three of my colleagues in the same group went on isolation as a result of Covid-19.

“We have been working everyday in the last three months, including public holidays. They said they were going to pay us N90, 000 per month.

“Nobody has told us why we are being owed and we really do not care why we are relieved of the job, but we need our money because we worked for it.”

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Speaking in the same vein, another data collector, Patience Efe, said they had to embark on the protest because of the method of dispersal by the Incident Manager of the task force, Dr Andrew Obi.

“The development is annoying because Dr. Andrew Obi chose to disperse us through a social media platform. Things are not done that way because for over two months, we risked our lives without pay.

“We need to know where we stand. It is not easy to come out as front liners to risk our lives without being paid for it. That is why we had to embark on this peaceful protest,” Efe said.

Efforts to speak with the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, failed, as he did not pick up several calls on his phone.

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Also, when contacted, the State Covid-19 Incident Manager, Dr Andrew Obi, said he was in a meeting.

“I am in a meeting right now and will call back in two hours,” he said.

However, the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, in a statement, said the taskforce was demobilised after the state exceeded its target to screen and test over 500,000 and 5,000 persons respectfully.

According to him, “The screening exercise was massive and crosscutting. The officials were inundated with lists of persons, who were said to have participated in the exercise.

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“So, we are carefully vetting the lists before making the final payment. The outstanding allowances would be paid before the end of the week.”

Osagie added that “The taskforce for the screening exercise was set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government, upon the outbreak of the pandemic in the state, based its response on the data polled from an epidemiological study done in partnership with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).

“This led to the setting up of a taskforce to embark on a massive screening and testing of 500,000 and 5000 persons across the state.

“The target has been achieved and surpassed. This has led to the modification of our response to the pandemic. With this, the taskforce was demobilised across the screening centres at mobile posts, borders and several other locations.”


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Ondo Governor, Akeredolu test positive. | Video

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Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has tested positive for COVID-19.

Akeredolu confirmed his status via his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

He tweeted, “Today, I tested positive for #COVID19. All is well. I’m asymptomatic and have been self isolating. Work continues. Your continued prayers over my well being are most appreciated.”

I am currently self-isolating and supervised home management will be administered by the wonderful team at our Infectious Disease Hospital.’


#Newsworthy…

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Where’s Covid-19 rules? 3000 fans to watch Barca-Atletico at Camp Nou

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Barcelona will not be alone when they face Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, as there will be 3,000 customised shirts in the stands.

This is part of the ‘Aqui jugamos todos’ (‘Here we all play’) campaign, with all the proceeds going towards solidarity projects in the fight against COVID-19.

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Fans from all over the world have been able to buy a commemorative shirt for this Tuesday’s match.

The shirts were placed on the seats in the first tier of the side and on the north and south goals.

It will be an image that the players will see when they take to the pitch.

The fans will receive this shirt at home after undergoing a thorough cleaning and disinfection process.

Therefore, Barcelona will take on Atletico with ‘fans’ in the stands at the Camp Nou.

Must Read

Neymar openly wants ‘Camp Nou’ return


#NobleSports

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