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FCT teachers’ unpaid salary arrears: NUT Chairman gives fresh update on indefinite strike

Federal Capital Territory primary and secondary school teachers have insisted that nothing will avert an indefinite strike if their demands are not met by Thursday.

Mr Stephen Knabayi, the FCT Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the end of an emergency meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

Recall that the FCT chapter of the NUT commenced a five-day warning strike on November 18 over the non-payment of their promotion salary arrears, lack of teachers’ upgrade and insecurity, among others.

Knabayi said the demands of the teachers are in two folds, adding that teachers under the FCT Administration and those under the area councils are affected.

Nabayi said although the union has received a commitment from the FCT Minister, Bello Mohammed, on the matter, it continued with the warning strike due to non-commitment from chairmen of the FCT area councils.

“The strike is ongoing. It is a five-day warning strike, which is expected to come to an end on November 24.

“We are dealing with two tiers of government in this matter, the State and area councils.

“As I speak with you now, we have no issues any longer with FCTA, because of the commitment we have received from the Minister of FCT.

“However, we do not have any commitment from the area councils as we speak.

“That is why the strike is still ongoing,” he said.

The NUT chairman urged the area council chairmen to take advantage of the window for the warning strike to dialogue with the union.

He said failure to do that would mean a call for the strike to continue.

“We are hoping that tomorrow they will still take advantage of the available window to dialogue with us with the aim of resolving it.

“If not, we are expected to meet tomorrow at our level to take the strike to the next level,” he said.

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I’m not above the law — Fani-Kayode speaks again

Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, said there is nothing wrong even if he had been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Fani-Kayode stated this on Wednesday morning while reacting to his arrest by the EFCC.

 

The EFCC had confirmed that the former minister was arrested for forgery.

However, Fani-Kayode denied the arrest on Tuesday night and also made another comment via his Facebook page on Wednesday morning.

The ex-minister, in the new post, claimed he had a “friendly chat” with EFCC.

On the other hand, he noted that he could have been arrested because joining APC doesn’t give him immunity.

“I pity those that said I was arrested. They are filled with hate and live on fake news,” Fani-Kayode noted.

“Since when did an invitation and a friendly chat become an arrest? And even if I had been arrested, SO WHAT? I am not above the law and neither does joining APC give me immunity. My God is MIGHTY!.”

However, Fani-Kayode failed to talk about why he was in the EFCC office but confirmed in a previous post that he was “granted bail” after a “friendly chat.”

Below are some of the reactions from Nigerians on social media.

Chyke Leo: “It was not just a friendly chat, it was a brotherly and bridge-building visit. Mix more concrete and keep. You go build bridge tire. Your grammar will land you into trouble one day. Since I was born I’ve never seen a friend who releases his friend on bail.”

Engr Nathaniel: “You had a friendly chat with EFCC for 6hr?, if there was no arrest, why were u bailed on self-recognition?, Or u think Nigeria’s are daft.”

Michael Anderson:”Oga Kayode wasn’t arrested he was only granted bail if you know you know.”

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Oil spill: FG directs Timpre Sylva to visit Bayelsa community

 

The federal government has directed Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, to visit Bayelsa community and investigate the level of damage caused by the recent oil spillage.

 

Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, said this on Wednesday while speaking to the state house correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

A wellhead in the Santa Barbara South field had blown on November 5 and since then, it had been spewing oil into the water bodies.

 

It is jointly owned by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company (AEEPCO) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Aiteo, which acquired the oil mining lease, OML 29 in 2015, had said that it was working with oil spill regulators to contain the leak.

 

Responding to queries about the federal government’s efforts in ensuring proper curtailment of the oil spillage, he said that President Buhari had given a directive to the ministry to ascertain the level of damage done at the site.

 

“And the question which is on the spillage in OML 29, we are quite aware of it,” Sylva said. 

 

“Unfortunately, it has happened. It is also one of the issues I discussed with the president as a minister and he has asked us to go and visit the site to assess the situation and report back.”

 

“Definitely, we are quite concerned with what is happening in Nembe and will be going there very soon, tomorrow in fact, to go and look at what is happening and report back.”

 

He said the President was concerned about the flowing oil, saying that the adverse environmental impact of the spill will not be tolerated by the government.

 

“Mr. President is personally very interested and we have discussed it and he said we should go there and come back and report to him because environmental degradation issues are things that we are not going to condone but of course we’ll work with the operators of OML 29 to ensure that this spillage is brought under control as quickly as possible,” he added.

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Chase Buhari out of Aso Rock, says Aisha Yesufu

Political activist Aisha Yesufu is rallying Nigerians, especially Northern Nigerians to drag President Muhammadu Buhari out of Aso Rock and chase him out of power.

 

“What is Buhari still doing in office. Buhari should be chased out of the Villa. They will carry the broom, sweep his legs out”, she said.

 

Her rallying cry followed the incessant attacks and kidnappings on Kaduna-Abuja expressway, with the security agents now appearing helpless.

 

On Sunday, an APC chieftain in Zamfara, Sagir Hamida was killed on the road and many people kidnapped.

 

Samuel Aruwan, the commissioner for internal security and home affairs in Kaduna, said security operatives rushed to the scene of the attack in the Kachia local government area of the state.

 

He said 11 people were rescued, but some travellers were still held by the gunmen.

 

Aisha is pissed off by the helplessness and in the video, is rousing Nigerians for action to chase Buhari out of power.

 

“What is wrong with us? Why is Muhammadu Buhari still the President of Nigeria? Are we going to wait until we are all dead before we do something?

 

 “Dead people cannot talk, dead people cannot do anything.

 

“This is the time to do something.

 

“He is destroying the country for our children, grandchildren. And we are sitting down at home, doing nothing.

 

“Northern people, where are you. Life does not matter. Where is the secured north?

 

She also asked the National Assembly to impeach him, saying nothing will happen.

 

“The people in the North are tired of him”, she said in the video.

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Nigerian govt clarifies fuel price hike, promises action on cost of cooking gas

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria has dismissed reports of a planned hike in fuel prices.

 

Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Executive Officer of the Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, who made this position known on Tuesday in Abuja, reassured that there was no plan to increase the official price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) as speculated in some quarters.

 

Ahmed said this when he fielded questions from State House Correspondents, after he, alongside Gbenga Komolafe, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), was officially presented to President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

This is coming just as the federal government also promised to do something drastic concerning the rising cost of cooking gas to alleviate the pains of Nigerians, especially now that the yuletide season approaches.

 

NAN reports that Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, presented the two Chief Executive Officers to the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, today.

 

Ahmed noted that the marginal queues being witnessed at filling stations in Abuja and some parts of Nigeria had nothing to do with any supposed plan by the government to hike PMS prices.

 

He said, “Basically, what happened is that some of the depot owners selling Premium Motor Spirit above the official ex-depot price of N148 are selling at N156 or N157.

 

“The reason is that they’re paying for their logistics like shipping and Port charges and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) charges in US dollars and they’ve to go to the parallel market to source for the dollars.

 

“The differential between the official exchange rate and the parallel market is their reason for adding between N9 and N10.

 

“But we had a meeting on Tuesday, November 9, and the heads of the Nigeria Ports Authority and NIMASA, as well as other stakeholders, were all there, and it was resolved that NNPC excess capacity vessels would have chattered to oil marketing companies and they would be charging in Naira.

 

“I believe with these, there’ll be no reason for the depot owners to increase their price beyond the official selling price of N148.”

 

Also addressing the State House Correspondents, Sylva disclosed that Buhari was happy with the level of implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

 

“He charged us to ensure that we use our best experience to ensure that the industry is on track.

 

“Luckily for us, we’ve very experienced people on the saddle, both in the authority and the commission, and the President asked us to go ahead and do what’s best in the interest of Nigeria at all times.”

 

Speaking on the recent increase in the price of cooking gas in the nation, Sylva said, “the President is worried over the situation just like all other Nigerians.”

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Lai Mohammed’s attempt to rubbish EndSARS report while Buhari awaits White Paper shows FG not coordinated – HURIWA

 

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria says that the statement by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, rubbishing the report of the Lagos panel on the Lekki shootings, when his principal,  Muhammadu Buhari, is awaiting the White Paper to be released by the Lagos State Government goes to shows that there is no cohesion between the Federal Government and the sub-nationals.

 

Recall that the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel on November 15, 2021, submitted its report to the Lagos State Government, noting that at least nine persons were confirmed dead at the Lekki toll plaza when soldiers stormed the tollgate to disperse EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.

 

The 309-page leaked report stated, “The atrocious maiming and killing of unarmed, helpless and unresisting protesters while sitting on the floor and waving their Nigerian flags and while singing the National Anthem can be equated to a massacre in context.”

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who received the report, said he had constituted a Committee to bring forward a White Paper within the next two weeks to be considered by the Lagos State Executive Council.

 

United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on a two-day official visit to Nigeria last week, had said that the submission of the report by the Lagos panel was an important step towards accountability for killings and rights abuses allegedly committed by some operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.

 

Blinken had met with the Nigerian President at Aso Rock in Abuja, and Buhari had said the Federal Government was waiting on Lagos State and other state governments to come up with their conclusions.

 

But at a press conference on Monday, Mohammed said, “It is simply incredible that a judicial panel set up to investigate an incident has submitted a report laden with allegations, the same allegations it was set up to investigate in the first instance.

 

“Instead of sitting for all of one year, the panel could have just compiled social media tales by the moonlight on the incident and submitted, saving taxpayers’ funds and everyone’s time. That report is nothing but the triumph of fake news and the intimidation of a silent majority by a vociferous lynch mob.”

 

‘Lai disrespected Buhari, Sanwo-Olu, has no business in govt’

Reacting, HURIWA National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said on Tuesday that the minister disrespected Sanwo-Olu by rubbishing the panel’s report before the release of the White Paper by the state government.

 

Onwubiko said Mohammed has no business being in government any longer.

 

The HURIWA coordinator said, “The reaction of Lai Mohammed stridently denying the clear and evidently proven massacre of gargantuan proportions in Lekki Toll Gate on 20th October 2020 and his attempt to rubbish and discredit the report of the illustrious Lagos State Judicial Panel on #EndSARS protest, is a demonstration that there is no coherence and cohesion in government at the centre.

 

“It shows that there is truly nobody at the Centre who is providing leadership in which case the cabinet-level ministers are doing and saying whatever they deemed alright in their warped imagination to say or do.

 

“The Minister of Information Lai Mohammed has succeeded in revealing the spectacular collapse of the Presidency and that governance is now through an autopilot mode. It is sad, pathetic and disappointing that the Minister spoke even before a White paper is published by the Lagos State Government and it shows that he has no respect for the sensitivity and sacredness of the many lives that were needlessly wasted by soldiers and police.

 

“He has no valid reason to remain as a minister because he has lost all modicum of self respect and I think Nigerians will no longer take the Federal government serious if he remains in office as the official spokesperson of the Government.”

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FG launches e-passport to curb forgery, improve application process

 

The federal government has launched an enhanced e-passport to improve application process for Nigerians in the country and abroad.

 

According to a statement by Sola Fasure, media adviser to Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, the official rollout of the enhanced e-passport took place at the Nigerian High Commission in London, UK.

 

“What we have come to do here (UK) is symbolic of the core mandate of the ministry and indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria affirmation of citizenship integrity,” he said.

 

“As we are all aware, there have been huge challenges in passport administration, from shortage of booklet to touting and an economy of corruption built around it.

 

 “These challenges have persisted for too long and a lot of people have become cynical while others have taken them as normal and then roll with it.

 

“I do not believe that any problem is insurmountable, so we are going to solve all the problems associated with passport administration and we are already succeeding.”

 

Aregbesola said the new e-passport was a “huge improvement” over the standard passport introduced in 2007.

 

He said it has more sophisticated security features, making it one of the most secured passports in the world.

 

“The enhanced e-passport is a great improvement on the biometric passport technology which Nigeria adopted in 2007 as a strategic step towards curbing forgery. Impersonation and other forms of frauds associated with obtaining travel document under the old machine readable passport regime,” he said.

 

“We are aware that technology rules the world and we are keeping abreast of the latest development in the field.

 

“Over the years, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) had worked assiduously and in close synergy with Messrs Iris Smart Technologies Limited to develop and implement passport reforms.”

Aregbesola said the reforms are in tandem with international best practices, including extant International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Standards and Regulations.

 

In his remarks, Isa Jere, the acting comptroller-general of NIS, expressed the service’s readiness to meet the demands for passports in the UK.

 

Jere said his officers are ever ready to roll out the new passports at the official rate published on the NIS website.

 

“We are ready to serve the public and start rolling out the new enhanced e-passport in the UK with immediate effect. Our staff are professionals and will deliver excellent service to our citizens,” he said.

 

 “Those who have any complaints whatsoever are advised to use the publicly listed complaints channels to adequately resolve any issues raised.”

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Boko Haram, ISWAP caliphate springs up in Niger state

The government of Niger State have sounded the alarm that terrorists including the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram are planning to establish a caliphate in the state.

Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday in Minna, the state capital.

He also said that intelligent report at government’s disposal reveals that bandits have begun to align with insurgents to indoctrinate residents in some communities of the state to imbibe strict Islamic ideology and ban women from going to school.

The SSG listed some of the communities visited by the insurgents to include Koki, Madaka, Kurebe, Kusare, and Chukuba, where residents were assured of protection but asked to embark on civil disobedience and reject western education.

“These people (Boko Haram) often go to communities to communicate with them (residents) and assure them that they will not harm them, and join them during Friday congregational prayer to preach to them on the need to forsake western education and embark on civil disobedience,” Matane told reporters in his office at the Government House in Minna.

“These are some of the attributes of Boko Haram that are perpetrated in the North East and the Sambisa Forest axis.”

He said that ISWAP fighters were also making an attempt to establish a permanent camp at Babana Forest around the Kaiji National Park in Borgu LGA.

“ISWAP is trying to establish a camp at National Park at Babana in Borgu Local government Area of Niger State,” Matane said.

“They also made a video claiming that they are not kidnappers, but engaging in religious activities.

“They have assured us that they are ‘God sent’ to establish an Islamic caliphate. Despite their rapprochement, we are not negotiating with them.”

The SSG also decried the spate of attacks by bandits on innocent residents in recent weeks, saying they were now collaborating with insurgents to worsen the security situation in the state.

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Women protest delay in constitution of NDDC board in Rivers

Some women from Niger Delta on Tuesday shut down the main entrance of Niger Delta Development Commission in protest over the delay in the release of the report of the forensic audit of the commission as well as the constitution of the substantive board.

The aggrieved women sealed off the main entrance to the commission with their placards preventing access into the premises.

The presence of security agencies however could not deter the women from carrying on with their protest.

One of the leaders of the protesters Adienbo Odighonin, the Coordinator of the Wailing Women of Niger Delta said the protest was in expression of the grievances against the “sole administrator-ship” of the NDDC.

Odighonin also expressed concerns that they women have not been carried along in scheme of things.

She said “We are here tell Akpabio, Malami and Buhari to constitute the board, to bring to public the outcome of the forensic audit report. To tell them that when constituting the board women should be properly constituted into the system”.

“We are here to tell them that this illegal sole administrator should be dissolved”.

“We promised Niger Delta that we are going to bring out a naked women protest, this is just the beginning. Women will come here lie down and sleep and tell them that the board must be constituted”.

While no official of the commission came out to address the women, a security personnel attached to the office requested that the protester submit their protest letter and give way.

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Flights delayed as air traffic controllers protest colleague’s death

 

 

The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has embarked on “flow control” for two days in protest of the death of Aniekan Effiong Inuk, an air traffic controller.

Inuk reportedly died on Monday while on duty at Abuja airport.

Flow control is a practice of holding aircraft on the ground in anticipation of congestion at destination airspace or airports.

All morning flights at domestic airports were either cancelled or delayed on Tuesday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Abayomi Agoro, NATCA president, and Agbonlahor Felix, NATCA secretary-general, said they are embarking on flow control between November 23 and 24 to register their displeasure over lack of poor working conditions.

They said in the last two years, the association has lost nine members on active service “due to stress related health complications which seem associated with poor working conditions and inadequate staffing”.

“Several appeals to management and other stakeholders in the industry and inactions by appropriate managers on communiqués from the Association’s past Annual General Meetings, had failed to address the issues,” they said.

“Hence, Air Traffic Controllers are embarking on a three (3) hours flow control for two days, 23rd and 24th November, 2021 from 0600 UTC to 0900 UTC to register our displeasure and call the attention of relevant authorities and the public to quickly address our concerns without further delay.”

The association made some demands that must be met within two weeks.

“That a standard medical emergency kits be provided at all ATC units and a yearly Health Safety Environment (HSE) training programs for ATCOs be conducted,” NATCA said.

“That all ATC communication facilities and equipment, most especially, the VHF radios and SATCOM links be holistically rectified in other to address the perennial communication problems encountered in Nigerian airspace.

 “That the staff deployed to ATC from other departments who have been stagnated on the same grade level for over seven years be placed on their appropriate grade levels having fulfilled all requirements to be air traffic controllers.

“That all appropriate managements should immediately approve and implement an upward review of the remunerations of contract ATCOs to make for them to earn Aerodrome and approach rating allowances.

“That the appropriate management should immediately liaise with the Federal Ministry of Aviation and other relevant government bodies to correct the anomalies observed in the recently approved ATC Scheme of Service to allow for implementation in a bid to eliminate the stagnation of air traffic controllers.”