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Africa Day Celebration in the Diaspora:Funny scene as Irish police dances with Africa Day attendees

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Who says you can’t have fun on the job?
Garda Brian Delaney was policing the Africa Day celebrations, in Waterford City, Ireland when he decided to dance along with one of the ladies.

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Atiku Asks Buhari to Resign over State of Economy

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign from office, saying the president’s recent assessment of the nation’s economy, in which he stated that it had gone out of control, was enough evidence that he had failed.
The president had told state governors last Friday in Abuja that the economy had become so bad that new strategies had to be found to revamp it, admonishing Nigerians to brace up for rough times ahead.

Atiku in a statement in Abuja yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, described the president’s assessment indicating Nigeria’s economy had collapsed under his watch as not only a self-indicting ploy to attract the sympathy of Nigerians, but also a disguise to get a soft landing from the people, who the main opposition flag bearer said he had put under terrible suffering and hardship in the last three and half years.
“The result of course is this late hour confession of failure on the eve of our general elections, in the hope that millions of Nigerians, whom he has condemned to poverty and hardship will give him a clap for failing abysmally. I dare say that President Buhari has miscalculated badly on this matter because Nigerians are simply fed up with him,” he said.
Atiku added, “The economy has collapsed under his watch and he has by this frank remarks admitted that he has no idea on how to fix it; and that is why he summoned the governors to help him. This is really very sad because President Buhari has run out of time and what Nigerians need now is a leadership, which has the political will, administrative experience and sound economic acumen to get Nigeria working again.”
He said the most nauseating aspect of the president ‘s negative assessment of the economy was that he had continued “to exhibit his cluelessness, incapacity and ineptitude in handling the economy by once again invoking the tired mantra of blaming the past administration and 16 years of PDP rule for his own failure.”
Atiku said Buhari’s comment was a confirmation of the forecast by the British multinational bank, HSBC, which predicted that re-electing the president in 2019 could plunge Nigeria into deeper economic hardship.
“Unless those in charge of the APC and the party’s supporters are, as usual, suffering from some form of self-delusion, it just does not make any sense for them to say that the APC-led federal government had brought succour to the ordinary Nigerian when President Buhari himself has admitted to governors of the 36 States of the federation that the economy has gone beyond his control,” he said, adding, “Or do we need a prophet to tell us that the president’s admission of the state of the nation’s economy is a vindication of our long held position and indeed the forecast by HSBC recently cited by the Nigerian media, where the bank had said a second term for Buhari would greatly stunt the economy of the country?”
He called on the APC to apologise to all Nigerians for bringing them nothing but suffering of unquantifiable proportion since 2015, and to make a solemn pledge not to have anything to do with governance again, especially with the 2019 elections fast approaching.
According to him, the hopes for better governance and improved standard of living that many had nursed with the assumption of office by the president in May 2015 has since given way to despair and hopelessness.
He stated, “The exchange rate of the Naira to the US dollar when the APC assumed office in 2015 was about 170 (official rate) to the dollar. Today it is 360 to the dollar. Today, millions of Nigerians, most of them youths, are unemployed, forcing them to become professional beggars, who wait with bated breath for the federal government’s monthly N5,000 handout and N10,000 Tradermoni aimed at bribing them to re-elect the party in the forthcoming elections.”
He continued, “Power generation has actually dipped from 4,949 megawatts PDP left it in 2015 to less than 3,500 megawatts even though Buhari’s handlers consistently claim that 7,000 megawatts is what is currently being generated. What more evidence do we need to know that the APC has been a curse rather than a blessing to our country?”

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ANAMBRA WALK FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN : 5 DAYS TO GO.

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THE SPECIAL EDITION OF ANAMBRA WALK FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN TAKES PLACE ON DECEMBER 22, 2018.
TAKE OFF POINT: DO’S OFFICE OPP GOVERNOR’S LODGE, AMAWBIA.
TIME: 6:30AM PROMPT
ROUTES: FROM THE GOVERNOR’S LODGE THROUGH EKE AWKA, FINOTEL, AROMA AND TERMINTE AT EKWUEME SQUARE.
…powered by ANAMBRA STATE SPORTS DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (ANSDC).

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Jurgen Klopp ‘Really Excited’ to Face ‘Difficult’ Bayern Munich in UCL Last 16

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Jurgen Klopp is eager for his Liverpool side to test themselves against Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
The Reds will face the Bundesliga giants after Monday’s draw over two legs in February and March.
Klopp is used to facing Bayern from his time as Borussia Dortmund manager, including a meeting between the two sides in the 2013 Champions League final. Though he knows it won’t be easy, he’s keen to do so again.
Asked for his reaction to the draw, he told Liverpool’s official website:
“Difficult. Good draw. It was clear it would be difficult [and] they are obviously a top side. For me it’s nice, going to Germany. But it’s just the draw. So we have now time to prepare the game, a lot of time obviously, and hopefully we have all our players available then. It will be a tough one, an interesting one, and I am looking forward to it.”

Klopp managed Bayern stars Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels during his time with Dortmund, and the latter is relishing the prospect of facing his former mentor:

The match also bears significance for Reds midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri and two members of their backroom staff, head of nutrition Mona Nemmer and head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer, who have all spent time with Bayern, as Klopp noted:
“It’s nice for Mona and Korny and Shaq. I will meet former players [too] and it’s good. But at the end it’s a football game on the highest level and we have to play it. We knew it before, it’s not that anybody thought ‘thank God it’s Liverpool,’ so we don’t think ‘thank God it’s Bayern.’ It’s a tough one, but that’s how it should be. It’s the last 16 of the Champions League so there are only tough teams in, and I’m really excited about it.”
Liverpool’s failure to win their difficult Champions League group all but assured them of a tie with one of Europe’s elite in the next round, but the Reds have also returned to that camp after reaching the final last year.
History is on their side in this fixture, too, per Goal’s Neil Jones:

What’s more, Bayern have not been their usual imperious selves this season. They’re nine points off the top in the Bundesliga having failed to win six of their 15 matches.
Football writer Andy Brassell believes the Reds have little to fear from their opponents:

Despite their struggles, Bayern remain a side packed with talent and Champions League experience.
Since winning the competition in 2013, they’ve reached the semi-finals in four out of five seasons.
Their meeting with Liverpool should make for an exciting tie, but they’ll need to improve significantly if they’re to get past the Reds and reach the business end of the competition once again.

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Nigeria’s army is accusing international bodies of working with Boko Haram and undermining soldiers

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In less than a week, Nigeria’s military has railed against two major international organizations operating in the country.
On Friday (Dec. 14), the military banned operations by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria’s volatile northeast claiming the agency spied for Boko Haram terrorists operating in the region. The army claimed UNICEF staff were sabotaging its counter-terrorism efforts by alleging human rights abuses by the military. But in a swift turnaround just a few hours later—reportedly due to high-level diplomatic talks involving the UN and the United States—the army lifted its ban on the agency.

With the dust over that spat yet to settle, the military has now alleged Amnesty International, the human rights group, is out to “destabilize” and “dismember” Nigeria. The army’s grouse is linked to a new Amnesty International report which claims security forces ”did nothing to stop or prevent” violent attacks in clashes in the country’s middle belt region between farmers and herdsmen despite receiving tips to alert them. The farmer-herdsmen violence has grown to become Nigeria’s biggest internal security threat. Amnesty’s report says the violence claimed over 3,600 lives between January 2016 and October 2018.
The report also accuses the Nigerian army of human rights violations in areas affected by the crisis. For its part, Nigeria’s military says the report is “concocted” against it and has called for the closure of Amnesty International’s local offices. It’s not the first time the Nigerian army has been called out for human rights violations in an Amnesty International report: the group has previously claimed Nigeria’s military has arbitrarily detained and killed civilians in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists and has called for senior military officials to be investigated for war crimes.

The Nigerian army’s denials would have carried more weight in previous years but it’s betrayed by recent events. Just last month it claimed soldiers had been provoked into opening fire and killing unarmed demonstrators during protests by a religious group in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Cheta Nwanze, a researcher at SBM Intelligence, a Lagos-based geopolitical analysis firm, says the army’s public push-back is essentially about self-preservation. “The Nigerian Army has a history of human rights abuses, and covering up those abuses. These NGOs on the other hand, have a duty to talk about such actions, and report them,” says Nwanze. “If the army accepts those reports, the army then has a duty to find, and discipline the officers involved. It’s anyone’s guess how far up such a process will go, and who it will take down.”

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Nigerian professor in sex for grades scandal gets prison term

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Nigerian professor Richard Akindele, accused of demanding sex from a female student, was sentenced to prison on Monday.
Akindele was convicted after pleading guilty to four criminal charges, including demanding gratification from a student and sexual coercion of a student.
Akindele had pleaded not guilty to the charges in earlier court appearances at the Federal High Court in Osogbo, southwest Nigeria. However, he changed his plea during his third appearance in court on Monday.

Akindele was sentenced to two years in prison for demanding sexual benefits from student Monica Osagie, two years for soliciting sexual benefits to improve her marks, one year for falsifying his age, and one year for altering evidence. The judge said his sentences would run concurrently, so he will serve two years.

Osagie, 23, was not in court on Monday but her lawyers  consented to a plea bargain made by Akindele, a requirement under Nigerian law.
The case against Akindele gained momentum after Osagie’s exclusive interview with CNN.
Osagie said she secretly taped a phone conversation with Akindele to gather evidence against him.

Akindele was fired by Obafemi Awolowo University for sexual misconduct one month after the interview and the Nigerian Senate launched an investigation into the issue of sexual harassment in universities.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, ICPC, also started criminal proceedings, which led to his conviction Monday.
Akindele’s lawyers negotiated a plea bargain with federal prosecutors and they deliberated for four hours before Justice Maureen Onyekenu reached a judgment on Monday. The judge rejected the terms of the plea bargain, including a suspended sentence, community service and an option of a fine.
The professor needed to be “taught a lesson” to serve as a deterrent to those who abuse their authority, Onyekenu told the courtroom.

She said accepting the bargain would have downplayed the trauma victims of sexual harassment face in universities.
“I know the mental torture many of our female students have been subjected to by the likes of the respondent.
“The adverse effect of such action is huge. Many of his like have been awarding marks to those students that are ready to warm their beds, thereby releasing half-baked graduates into the society,” Onyetenu said.

A lawyer for Akindele did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Akindele’s sentence was hailed by women’s rights campaigners and prosecutors pursuing the case.

“The ripple of the outcome of this case will be felt positively for years to come,” ICPC spokeswoman Rasheeda Okoduwa said.
“It’s a clear message to all those who harass students to stop it. If they don’t, we will come after them with the law. This brings some measure of relief to students in the system if this harassment occurs,” she said.

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Senate President reveals nominees for National Assembly Commission

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President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki has approved the names of 12 nominees into the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
The nominees are, Senator Joy Emordi (Anambra) who is being proposed as the Chairman, Nuhu Musa (Jigawa), Hon. Bilyaminu Yusuf Shinkafi (Kebbi), Barr. Femi Agge (Edo), Uthman Olakunle Taofeek (Lagos), Prince Adenekan Olateru-Olagbegi (Ondo) and Amb. Abdulazeez Sheikh Usman (Kwara).
Others are Awalu Aliyu Ohindese (Kogi), Henry Odey Adagba (Ebonyi), Dr. Rufus Omeire (Imo), Hon. Bilyamini Bunbot (Bauchi), and Ahmed Ashemi (Borno).
In line with the provisions of Sections 3 and 4 of the National Assembly Commission Act, 2000, the names of the nominees will be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment.

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Buhari writes Nigerians: I’m deeply grateful

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President Muhammadu Buhari, who marked his 76th birthday today has penned an appreciation note to all Nigerians thanking them for the show of love and prayers on his special day.
He also seized the opportunity to renew his pledge to serve Nigerians diligently and take the country to greater heights or as his re-election campaign will put it, the Next Level.
Read the personal letter of President Buhari:
Dear Nigerians/Friends –
It’s been my joy and honour to serve our country, Nigeria, for most of my life.
As I turned 76 today, I am deeply grateful for all the prayers, goodwill messages and encouragement from Nigerians and friends, at home and abroad.
Life is better lived together in peace, unity and prosperity.
In all, I give glory to almighty Allah for mercies, and thanks to Nigerians for counting me worthy to serve them. It is something I have rededicated myself to, and will do to the very best of my ability.
Nigeria has all the potentials for greatness. Our greatness as individuals will only derive from Nigeria’s greatness. So, on this special day, I commit myself again to the task of taking our country to greater heights, and invite you to partner with me in that worthy cause.

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Yultide: I-G Orders CPs, AIGs To Beef Up Security Nationwide

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Inspector-General of Police ( I-G), Ibrahim Idris, has ordered Commissioners of Police (CPs) and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) to beef up security nationwide throughout the Christmas and new year celebrations.
The information is in a statement by the force Spokesman, acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, on Sunday in Abuja.
Moshood stated that the police chief wanted the CPs and AIGs to be on the ground to ensure the safety of lives and property of Nigerians during and after the period.
He said that they were to ensure the implementation of robust and elaborate security arrangement to ensure the security of all political parties in the ongoing political rallies and campaigns across the country.
He advised political parties to abide by the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and INEC Guidelines, and play the game according to the rules.
He added that there would be an intensive raid of identified criminal hideouts, black spots and flashpoints across the country.
He said that Commanders of Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) and Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) should ensure deployment of officers to flashpoints and crisis spots in the various commands across the country.
He explained that police officers were mandated to be polite, civil but strict in ensuring security and safety of travellers and other road users throughout the country.
“The motor traffic divisions of the force in every state are to ensure the free flow of traffic on highways and major roads in the country,” he said.
The I-G also directed CPs and AIGs to ensure that no roadblock was mounted anywhere in the country, including those by revenue agencies.
He said the force would also not condone hate speeches, indecent and criminal defamatory conducts from any individual(s) or group(s).
He said that the force would continue to be neutral and ensure level playing ground in terms of security.
He implored parents and guidance, traditional/religious leaders, public office holders to monitor their children, wards, subjects to be law abiding.( NAN)

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Selling our crown jewels isn’t the solution – Yemi Osinbajo

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This has been a testing three years for Yemi Osinbajo – an economic recession, proliferating security crises and now a resurgent opposition rallying for what most politologues think will be one of Nigeria’s closest-run elections.
As soon as the election campaign opened on 18 November, Osinbajo set off on a regional tour to convince Nigerians to vote for his All Progressives Congress (APC). Osinbajo is not a natural politician and his careful delivery and considered statements are out of kilter with the revival of populist politics.
The Africa Report caught up with Osinbajo at the Presidential Wing at Abuja airport, just after he had attended the dedication of the Dunamis International Gospel Centre. Osinbajo soon snapped back into campaigning mode, with his critique of the opposition’s manifesto.
Then he was ready to jump on a plane to address more meetings in Lagos. Osinbajo’s outreach to people at town hall meetings and his criticism of those trading in identity politics have won him a growing respect. A former law professor and a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church, Osinbajo now comes across as the cool-headed technocrat.
But that is not the whole story. Politics runs through his veins – not the partisan barracking style of politics, but one of organising communities to change society. Osinbajo is married to the granddaughter of nationalist leader Obafemi Awolowo.
He sees the rapid development in those early independence years as holding important lessons for today’s political class. Since Osinbajo took over the vice-presidency in May 2015, he has been put in charge of stabilising the economy against a backdrop of crashing oil prices and militant attacks in the Niger Delta.
“A good man in a crisis,” said one of his colleagues, without much fear of contradiction. And the crises have piled up. For much of 2017, there was intense speculation about the state of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health after lengthy trips to London for treatment.
Osinbajo temporarily took over as acting president in his absence and won more good reviews. As he and Buhari take to the campaign trail, Osinbajo will need all his powers of persuasion. Buhari’s campaign director Rotimi Amaechi says that people will need to feel there is more money in their pockets.
But the recovery has been slow. The economy is set to grow at 1.9% this year, slower than the birth rate. Osinbajo has been stepping up social investment programmes, which he says have brought 13 million Nigerians into job creation schemes, a free school meals programme as well as a cash transfer programme for 300,000 very poor households.
With a population nudging 200 million, it is a question of scale. If the government is doing the right thing, is it doing enough of the right thing for enough people? Or will the opposition under flag-bearer Atiku Abubakar start to land some killer blows? Few are prepared to place large bets either way.

Q -What are the big issues for you in this election campaign?

YEMI OSINBAJO: Corruption, security and the economy. We have stemmed grand corruption, by which I mean the direct looting of state resources, the inflation of contracts and various schemes like the ‘strategic alliance’ contracts in the oil and gas sector set to divert state resources for personal gain. In terms of security, in direct contrast to the hand-wringing, self-pity and corruption which typified the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) response to Boko Haram, this administration has retaken the 14 local government areas that were under the control of Boko Haram and has restricted their attacks to a limited geographical area. Whereas in the past, people in places as far away as the Federal Capital Territory slept with one eye open in fear of attacks by the terrorist grouping. Of course, there is still a lot more to be done in terms of security in general, but the benefits of decisive positive action are there to be compared with an era of supine helplessness.

What is your reaction to the calls to restructure the federation and devolve more power from the centre?
I reject the idea that geographical restructuring will magically solve our problems. Good governance, honest management of public resources, deeper fiscal federalism and a clear vision for development are the keys to addressing most of the challenges the nation faces. The APC empanelled a committee chaired by governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State to look at the issues. They came up with recommendations on geographical restructuring, revenue allocation, devolution of powers, the form of government and residency of citizens in states, and increased community participation. The proposals are being deliberated in a wide-ranging and inclusive manner, and we will be coming out with the official stance of the party.

Could restructuring speed up economic growth?
Stronger more autonomous states will lead to faster growth for the states and consequently for the whole. Greater devolution of powers is the way to go: enabling state police and more control over natural and other resources. The Lagos State government, between 1999 and 2007 in particular, undertook a policy of seeking to deepen the autonomy of the state and fiscal federalism by litigation. I was then attorney general of the state. In several cases before the Supreme Court, we challenged the federal government’s fiscal and administrative hegemony.

The opposition pres­idential candidate Atiku Abubakar is promising that his economic strategy will promote growth and be driven by the market.
I don’t see anything original about what he [Atiku] is saying or in his policy documents. He takes a few things from our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), a few sound bites here and there. We very strongly believe in markets, and we have always believed in a private sector-led economy. If you look at the ERGP, one of the key issues is how to sell down some of the government’s shares in our joint ventures.

Then do you favour a radical privatisation programme?
The opposition saying that they’re going to sell 90% of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is neither here nor there. Between 2010 and 2014, the country realised $383bn from oil and we can’t see the infrastructure that was meant to be built. So, if at that time all of our assets had been sold in some purported free-market operation, we would have been in an absolute mess today. At the moment we have all these joint ventures, the government is the principal party in these joint ventures. The real issue is fiscal prudence, good governance, ensuring that we are able to deal with corruption – especially fiscal corruption. I don’t think it’s a matter of just throwing open everything. The first question that ought to be answered by the opposition is what happened to all of the resources that we’ve earned all this time? Why do we think that selling the crown jewels today is a solution to the problems? We think that a gradual process putting in place strong systems to ensure good governance is the way to go.

This economy does not need a shock right now by removal of subsidies and the cost-push inflation which will result
So you oppose shock therapy?

When the opposition talks about deregulation, I mean these are the same people who say they want to deregulate the downstream oil sector and then they’re going to fix petrol prices at N80-90. There is absolute confusion as to how they intend to execute their economic policy. Their policies are not thought out. They are simply taking a look at our economic programme and trying to see what can be tweaked here and there. If you say, I want to deregulate, then you are saying let the markets determine the price.

But your government has retained a fuel subsidy regime?
We were determined to ensure that the abused subsidy regime was corrected. The reason why subsidies have earned such a bad name is because we had several companies that were purportedly supplying petrol to the markets, so they would say they brought five cargos whereas they brought only one but they would claim subsidies for five. So there was what was called the subsidy scam and several companies and individuals are still being prosecuted. Under the former regime, this scam was pervasive. What we have tried to do is to attempt to deregulate, but not complete deregulation. So the petrol price moved from 87 naira to about 145 naira a litre which is where it is today. It’s not a situation where different companies are coming with their claims and all of that. This is purely a government-funded subsidy and there is no room for abuse.

Do you think this fuel subsidy is a good use of state resources?
Most countries subsidise something or the other. You may have to subsidise agriculture or something else to enable the economy to go the way you want, empower people in the way that you want. Today we know that if there is a sudden shock and the subsidy is completely removed, transport prices, housing prices and food prices will go up. So the subsidy in our view holds down those prices. We think that this economy does not need a shock right now by removal of subsidies and the cost-push inflation which will result. We are doing quite a bit in terms of funding. Giving micro-credit loans, loans to industry and giving loans to traders to improve consumer spending and all of that.

Atiku has said he would float the naira if he wins the presidency. What would happen if he went through the policy like that?
First is that it’s not up to him. At the central bank we have a monetary policy committee that determines many of these parameters and there’s the central bank governor. I’m surprised that he [Atiku] would say that. We believe that we should as much as possible allow in the markets where the naira is concerned. If you look at our ERGP and several of our other policies, we’ve pushed in that direction. We also think that it has to be gradual.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been highly critical of Nigeria’s exchange rate policy. What’s your response?
I’m one of those who believe that any purist, monetary theories belong in the realm of academia, not in practical economics. You’ve got to look at your circumstances, you’ve got to look at what is going on and you’ve got to make your calculations. The IMF has its own doctrines and ideas. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all. You can’t make the same recommendations to Ghana as you would make to Croatia. I think that there are substantial differences in the way that we want to approach the economy and calculations that we are making. So I am not certain that their recommendations ought to be accepted.

There is rising concern about the quality and availability of education in Nigeria. How are you addressing this?
Under its Every Child Counts policy, the government will focus on public education with the aim of democratising digital, functional skills and science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics literacy. The main tools utilised will see an uptake in coding, animation, robotics, design thinking and other computational skills, as well as critical thinking, collaboration, project management and skills that prepare children for the world of work. The plan will also target a nationwide retraining effort to ensure teachers are able to impart the skills to revolutionise the sector. The third plank of the plan aims to remodel 10,000 schools per year to deliver the required outcome.

This week the government floated a $2.8bn eurobond. How sustainable is this borrowing, given the high percentage of state revenues spent on debt service?
Our debt-to-GDP [gross domestic product] profile is quite low: The public debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 18.4% by the middle of this year. We are reducing the debt overhang that has been stifling investment and growth. Up to N2.2 trillion ($6.1bn) in debt is owed to states, contractors, electricity distribution companies, the export expansion grant, on judgment debt and pensioners, amongst others left unpaid [by the last PDP government].


This article first appeared in the December-January 2019 print edition of The Africa Report

 

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Bags Of Rice For Anambra Workers – Another Evidence Of Responsiveness By Obiano

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By EGBUNA AMUTA –

Ever since he mounted the saddle of Governorship in Anambra state over four years ago, Chief Willie Obiano has left no one in doubt that he places very high premium on the well being of the citizenry. Good life, security and happiness of Ndi Anambra mean a lot to him, hence his emphasis on the protection of their lives and property. Obiano as a focused leader does not play to the gallery. This explains why, against all odds, he remains an outstanding achiever.
Perhaps, his cultural background as an Omambala man and the fact that he worked for many years in blue chip companies where staff welfare are not undermined, Obiano ensures that persons who are serving the state with him are well taken care of, in accordance with available resources. Little wonder that public and civil servants as well as political appointees in his administration are among the happiest and most productive in Nigeria today.
Governor Obiano is managing the resources of Anambra in the most efficient, transparent and prudent manner to the extent that he is simultaneously executing quality capital projects and taking care of the welfare of the citizenry. His frugal management of the state’s lean resources ensured that he gracefully declined to collect the bailout funds made available in 2016 by the federal government to states to cushion the harsh effects of debilitating economic recession in Nigeria. Akpokuedike’s refusal to collect the money was due to his desire not to heap unnecessary debt burden on Ndi Anambra. Little wonder, Anambra has been declared by the Nigerian Debt Management Office, DMO, Abuja as the least indebted state in the country.
It is equally on record that, under the watch of Obiano, an Economic Stimulus Package was delivered to the less privileged persons such as hawkers and wheelbarrow pushers. This was since August 2017, when taxes and levies hitherto imposed on them and pupils as well as students of public primary and secondary schools were abolished by the state government. Some miscreants who at times engage in illegal collection of levies and taxes from wheelbarrow or truck pushers and hawkers are often arrested and charged to courts.
It is a truism that Obiano is the only governor of Anambra state in recent memory to have increased workers salaries twice in his first tenure. He also pays their salaries before the end of every month; hence Obiano is fondly called “the Alert Governor” by the workforce. Pensioners are not left out.
It is equally an undeniable truth that the Obiano administration is the first ever in the state to procure mass transit buses to convey workers and other low income earners to and from major towns in the three senatorial districts of the state. These buses charge affordable fares on commuters as the state government subsidizes their transport fares.
Right now, the Obiano administration is distributing bags of rice to all civil and public servants as well as pensioners as Christmas gifts. Workers in the paratatals, including staff of the Anambra Broadcasting Service, are as usual, not left out. The workers are equally being paid their Leave Allowances. Surely, they would as usual receive their December salaries before the yuletide. This gesture has become a tradition in Anambra state since the Governor Obiano came on board in 2014.
It is against this background that the state chapters of Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC, during the annual Worker’s Day celebration on May 1, 2017, conferred the honour of the “Most Workers Friendly Governor in Nigeria” on Anambra state helmsman. The National bodies of the NLC and TUC equally endorsed the award given to the governor by the state branches of the unions.
Last month, the Presidency and the House of Representatives pronounced Akpokuedike the foremost champion of workers’ welfare in Nigeria. It is generally expected that Governor Obiano would characteristically not hesitate to pay whatever new minimum wage that would eventually be fixed by law for Nigerian workers.
However, to whom much is given, much is expected. Anambra workers should therefore brace to increase their productivity in order to enhance the socio-economic prosperity of the state; the Light of the Nation.

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Nigeria’s army is accusing international bodies of working with Boko Haram and undermining soldiers

News15 hours ago

Nigerian professor in sex for grades scandal gets prison term

News15 hours ago

Senate President reveals nominees for National Assembly Commission

Home16 hours ago

Buhari writes Nigerians: I’m deeply grateful

Sport16 hours ago

Sports Festival: Okowa to reward victorious Team Delta with N229m

News16 hours ago

Yultide: I-G Orders CPs, AIGs To Beef Up Security Nationwide

Home16 hours ago

Selling our crown jewels isn’t the solution – Yemi Osinbajo

Home16 hours ago

Bags Of Rice For Anambra Workers – Another Evidence Of Responsiveness By Obiano

Politics17 hours ago

APGA Is The Clear Altertnative

Politics17 hours ago

THE PROGRESSIVE AGENDA OF APGA IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD THE GOVERNMENT OF OUR DEAR COUNTRY NIGERIA.

Politics17 hours ago

GENERAL GBOR PRESENTS APGA’S FIVE CARDINAL COVENANT TO SOUTHWEST LEADERS.

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HILLS AND WILLS : Nigerian Twin authors of Dominik’s Diaries (Grandma: Desperate Measures) Making Waves Around The World

Special Report/Investigation2 days ago

Yuletide : Anambra Police Command Assures Residents Of Peaceful Celebration, Cautions Against Use Of Fireworks

Home3 days ago

Nigeria’s president Buhari said economy in “bad shape” -State Governor

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Nigerian lawsuit-Lawyers for the Nigerian government said they had filed a $1.1bn lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in a commercial court in London on Thursday in relation to a 2011 oilfield deal.

Business3 days ago

Nigeria’s economy grew 1.81 pct in Q3, driven by non-oil sector, stats office says

Life & Style3 days ago

Ugandan crowned 2018 Miss World Africa

Home1 week ago

Press Statement: PDP Condemns Freezing of Peter Obi’s Accounts,Laments Harassment Of Family Members

Home2 weeks ago

Exclussive shots : Obiano Takes Christmas to Upper Iweka

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News Pictures Of The Day : APGA Campaign Flag off & Mega Rally

Home2 weeks ago

Arinze celebrates Mass to honour Governor Obiano, others

Life & Style2 weeks ago

William Onyeabor: Industrialist & Afro-psychedelia Pioneer

Life & Style2 weeks ago

Michelle Obama & Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie light up the Southbank stage

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Knocks for Peter Obi for quoting dubious statistics

Life & Style4 weeks ago

The Catholic Church in Aguleri – The History

Home4 weeks ago

Southeast hits Buhari with shopping list

Home4 weeks ago

FULL VIDEO: President Buhari unveils achievements, future plans for Nigeria

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Atiku’s six-year policy plan worries South

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PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES GOV WILLIE OBIANO ON POPE FRANCIS’ HONOUR FOR SOCIAL HARMONY- FULL TEXT

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Gov Obiano is His own Man—Not A Beautiful Bride

Home3 weeks ago

2019: Gov Obiano speaks on ‘secret support for Buhari’

Home1 week ago

Atiku: Obasanjo shifts political gear to neutral

Home2 weeks ago

AIR FORCE COUNCIL APPROVES PROMOTION OF 64 SENIOR OFFICERS, GRANTS CONCESSIONAL COMMISSION TO 4 SNCOS

Politics4 weeks ago

Presidential debate: Buhari, Atiku to clash on Jan.19

Home3 weeks ago

Obiano leads Members of the National Defence College to Innoson.

Special Report/Investigation3 weeks ago

Hilary Ineomo-Marcus spared deportation on medical grounds moments before boarding plane

Home2 weeks ago

Rose Orianran-Anthony INEC’s new secretary

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