Plans

JAMB boss lists major challenges

Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) said malpractice and indiscipline are some of the board’s major challenges yet to be fully addressed. The Registrar made this known when members of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education visited the board’s headquarters in Bwari, Abuja on Monday. Oloyede said that the challenges, unfortunately, were mostly with regards to parents trying to bend the system by all means and get their wards or children into schools, irrespective of their performance. “Our challenge remains examination malpractice, especially with regards to parents who keep calling me to favour their wards or children whether they meet the requirements of the system or not. “There’s also indiscipline from the tertiary institutions...

Anxiety in Bayelsa as four local councils cannot pay salaries

Trouble is looming in four local government areas in Bayelsa State over the inability of the council to pay the salaries of its workers. The affected local government areas – Ogbia, Nembe, Sagbama and Ekeremor – are said to be owning three months salaries. The other four local government areas namely Kolokuma/Opokuma, Yenagoa, Southern Ijaw and Brass are said to be struggling but have a financial edge due to the internally generated revenue. Bloated wage bills in the troubled local government councils and the various debts they are servicing have eaten up their finances such that they cannot meet the financial obligations to their workers. The state government had recently taken over the payment of teachers salaries in the Ogbia Local Government Area to prevent industrial action by the tea...

Roberto Martinez to stay on as Belgium coach

Roberto Martinez will stay on as Belgium coach despite the country’s European Championship exit and attempt another tilt at a major title at next year’s World Cup, he said in an interview with Belgian newspapers on Friday. Martinez, whose contract runs until after next year’s tournament in Qatar, had not given any clarity on his plans since Belgium were beaten 2-1 by Italy in Munich in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals a week ago in a major disappointment for the team, who have spent the last three years top of the Fifa rankings. “I’m staying as coach. When I feel I no longer have anything to contribute is when I will leave,” he said. “But I don’t have that feeling now. I was a bitterly disappointed to be knocked out but now I’m looking ahead to the World Cup in Qatar. And also the Nations Leag...

NSITF raises N180 billion from employers’ enrollment in 10 years

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. Michael Akabogu, has revealed that the agency has raised N180 billion from employers’ enrollment from July 2011-May 30, 2021. He also said that plans were afoot to plug revenue leakages, even as he warned the public to be wary of fraudsters masquerading as agents of NSITF. At an interactive session with Finance Journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Akabogu also stated that the scheme has registered almost 200,000 employers. Out of this number, 170,000 employers are actively involved in the scheme by making their contributions steadfastly. He added: “We have collected both from the private sector who have contributed about 80% of the total revenue and we have collected from the government and all other agencies, so we...

Moderna starts human trials of an mRNA-based flu shot

Moderna gave its mRNA-based seasonal flu vaccine to the first set of volunteers in a clinical trial, the pharmaceutical company announced today. The start of the trial marks the next stage of the company’s work on this type of vaccine technology after the overwhelming success of its COVID-19 vaccine, which was built using the same strategy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, mRNA vaccines were still largely experimental, even as they were heralded as the future of vaccine development. People who get an mRNA vaccine are injected with tiny snippets of genetic material from the target virus. Their cells use that genetic information to build bits of the virus, which the body’s immune system learns to fight against. The high efficacy of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTec...

BUA increases price of cement

BUA Cement Plc has increased the ex-factory price of its cement product by N200 per bag. The cement manufacturer, it was reliably gathered, unveiled its new price increase from N2,800 to N3,000 per bag over the weekend. The price increase by BUA is contrary to what he has repeatedly asserted that his company does not have any justification to increase the price of cement as it is currently making enough returns. It would be recalled that BUA Cement, in various statements issued between April 24 and June 18 this year, had refuted any claims of increase in the ex-factory price of its cement products by N300 per bag, stating that, “the company had no plans to increase prices of its cement now or in the near future.” According to a statement issued on April 24, 2021, the company stated that, “...

Nigerian government set to tackle oil, gas infrastructure vandalism with skills acquisition

The Federal Government has expressed plans to create a reorientation programme aimed at engaging the youth in skills acquisition to address oil and gas infrastructure vandalism. The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, stated this at a Town Hall Meeting on “Protecting Oil and Gas Infrastructure” on Monday in Abuja. Newsmen report that the town hall meeting was organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. Akpabio said that the programme would be targeted at the pupils and students of primary and secondary school across the nine states in Niger Delta. He explained that the Federal Government was currently meeting with stakeholders, traditional rulers, youth groups and all others from one state to the other. “We are setting up skills acquisition centres, we...

Coronavirus: England to lift mask, distancing rules July 19

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday revealed plans to lift most of England’s legal coronavirus restrictions, including face masks and social distancing from July 19, urging personal responsibility rather than government edict. Johnson had initially aimed for a full reopening on June 21, but was forced to push back the date because of a surge in the highly contagious Delta variant. That variant now accounts for nearly all new Covid-19 cases in Britain, and infection rates have soared, sparking concern. But mass vaccinations have stopped a resultant surge in hospital admissions or deaths. “This pandemic is far from over, it certainly won’t be over by the 19th,” warned Johnson. “We must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid. “There’s only one reason why we can contemplate g...

PANDEF cautions Nigerian government over Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho, others

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has cautioned the Federal Government over some of its recent actions, warning that the government should consider the consequences of treating with contempt, the 16-Point Agenda it presented to President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2016. The group also condemned the midnight raid on the house of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho and cautioned the Government’s plan to identify the sponsors of the rearrested leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. The socio-cultural organization said the action of the government has caused the Niger Delta youths to declare a vote of no-confidence on PANDEF because it was the leaders of the region that requested them to stay action when they took a decision to cri...

#EndSARS: VP Osinbajo urges States to send judicial panels’ progress reports

As plans for next year’s budget begins to gather pace, the National Economic Council (NEC) has endorsed the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) which was presented to it at an emergency meeting of the Council today. Besides the MTEF presentation, the NEC also updated its focus on the reports of the State Judicial Panels set up across the country after last year’s #EndSARS protests. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, urged States where the panels are still sitting to also send interim reports so as to measure progress. According to the Vice President, in a statement by his media aide Laolu Akande, the reports are now being received ahead of a Council meeting where presentations would be made on them, both for States where the panels have conclude...

AfreximBank to support Ogun infrastructural development with $200 million

The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) has disclosed its plans to support infrastructural development in Ogun State with an envelope of $200m. The fund, according to the bank, will be dedicated towards projects and other developmental initiatives embarked upon by the incumbent administration in the state. The President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Afrexim Bank, Benedict Oramah, who made this known when he led management of the bank on a courtesy visit to Governor Dapo Abiodun at his Oke-Mosan Office, Abeokuta, on Monday, equally said the bank would partner Ogun on ensuring that the 250-bed Specialist Hospital, Abeokuta, is completed and begin operations soon. Oramah, while noting that the bank has been investing heavily in the health sector in Africa to develop vaccines ...