1. FG To Remove 200,000 N-Power Beneficiaries From Scheme [LEADERSHIP]
After three years of their recruitment into the N-Power Scheme, the federal government is set to exit 200,000 of the beneficiaries from the programme. Their disengagement will take place between January and February this year, LEADERSHIP has learnt.
Some officials of the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, operators of the scheme confirmed the development in Abuja, yesterday.
They said that the 200,000 persons to go were among 500,000 young Nigerians recruited by the federal government for the N-Power programme in 2016.
It was gathered that they were being dropped from the scheme because there was no budgetary provision for them in the 2020 national budget.
2. World Bank Forecasts 2.1% Growth For Nigerian Economy [LEADERSHIP]
The Nigeria Economy is expected to grow by 2.1 per cent in 2020, while the South African economy is projected to grow at 0.9 per cent this year as the World
Bank in its latest report forecast a 2.5 per cent rise in global economic growth.
The World Bank in its January Global Economic Growth Prospects titled, “Slow Growth, Policy Challenges” released yesterday, while noting that growth was subdued in 2019 in Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa, the three largest economies in the region, said growth in the Sub Saharan region is expected to pick up to 2.9 per cent in 2020.
It said growth in Nigeria is expected to edge up to 2.1 per cent adding that the macroeconomic framework characterised by multiple exchange rates, foreign exchange restrictions, high persistent inflation, and a central bank targeting manifold objectives, is not conducive to confidence.
3. IGP To Sanction Officers For Rights Violation [LEADERSHIP]
The inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, has threatened to sanction any police officer, especially commanders, who is found guilty of misconduct and violated the rights.
Adamu, who stated this while addressing the commanders in charge of the Police Mobile Force, Special Protection Unit and the Counter-Terrorism Unit at the force headquarters, Abuja yesterday, noted that the rise in cases of incivility to citizens, misuse of firearms, deployment of personnel on unauthorized duties and illegal checkpoints against extant directives were worrisome.
He, however warned that the commanders would be held liable for the infractions by their men and urged them to focus on their primary duty of protecting lives and property and to ensure compliance with force orders and directives.
4. I Was Never Under Pressure To Contest 2023 Presidency – Jonathan [PUNCH]
Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday said there was no truth in reports that he was under pressure to contest the 2023 presidential election.
An online platform had reported that Jonathan said he was under immense pressure to contest the Presidency in 2023 and that he had been promised the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, should he decide to contest.
The online media had also quoted Jonathan as saying that some highly placed individuals had been piling pressure on him to consider the job following the alleged failure of the regime of the current President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
But Jonathan’s spokesman, Dr Ikechukwu Eze, in an interview with our correspondent said it was not true that the ex-President made such comments.
5. Oil Companies Making Profits, Host Communities Suffering – Presidency [PUNCH]
International oil companies operating in Nigeria are making profits while most of the communities hosting them are being impoverished, the Presidency has declared.
In his goodwill message at the 4th National Council on Hydrocarbons held in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, decried the impoverishment faced by residents in the oil rich region where most IOCs operate.
Enang, whose statements were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the council, advised the NCH to take “cognisance that the host communities were still being impoverished while the IOCs keep making profits.”
6. Ukrainian AIRLINER CRASHES IN IRAN, 176 KILLED [PUNCH]
A Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran early on Wednesday, bursting into flames and killing all 176 people on board, Reuters reports.
Debris and smouldering engine parts from the Boeing 737, which carrier Ukraine International Airlines said was last serviced two days ago, were strewn across a field southwest of the Iranian capital where rescue workers in face masks laid out scores of body bags.
Among the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, three Germans and three Britons, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said. Most passengers were in transit, the airline said.
7. Reversing Drug Addiction In Nigeria [NATION]
Law enforcement agency and other stakeholders have shown concern about reversing the trend of the UN’s record on drug abuse which says some 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders.
The 2019 World Drug Report provides a global overview of the supply and demand of opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) as well as their impact on health.
It stated, through improved research and more precise data, that the adverse health consequences of drug use are more widespread than previously assumed.
Willing to reduce the rate of drug abuse in the country, Nigeria has not only been sensitive to the observance of the World drug day but making frantic efforts to reduce drug and substance abuse.
According to the Executive Director, UNODC, Mr Yury Fedotov, the findings of World Drug Report complicates the global picture of drug challenges, underscoring the need for broader international cooperation to advance balanced and integrated health and criminal justice responses to supply and demand.
8. FG Interference, Govs’ Intrigues Threaten Operation Amotekun [PUNCH]
There were strong indications on Wednesday that intrigues among South-West governors and interference by the Federal Government were threatening the Western Nigeria Security Outfit codenamed Operation Amotekun (leopard).
The PUNCH gathered that although all the South-West governors agreed to set up the security outfit at a summit organised by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria in June last year, some of them had started developing cold feet.
The summit, which was attended by the governors, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the South-West, was convened following serial killings and kidnapping in the zone by Fulani herdsmen.
9. Suspected Bandits Kidnap Four Customs Officers In Katsina [ThisDay]
Suspected bandits have kidnapped four officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The four customs officers, according to residents of the area, were abducted at a checkpoint in Dan-Bedi village along Jibia-Batsari road about 10.12 a.m.
The abduction came barely 24 hours after the murder of Umar Isah, a senior lecturer with the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria by bandits in Malumfashi LGA of the state.
Confirming the abduction of the Customs officers to THISDAY yesterday, a resident of Jibia who craved anonymity, said seven bandits reportedly arrived at the checkpoint, fired gunshots in the air and whisked the victims away.
10. Again, PDP Questions Credibility Of 2019 Presidential Election [ThisDay]
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent demand for credible elections has put a huge question mark on his 2019 presidential election victory and subsequent electoral victories of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) conducted by the current Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
PDP added that the President’s statements have raised fresh issues on the credibility of the February 2019 presidential election.
The party said by demanding that INEC and the police should ensure that the will of the people prevailed in free, fair and credible elections “immediately ahead and going forward,” Mr. President has admitted that preceding elections under the current dispensation have been less than credible.
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