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Bandits demand N100m for six Police ASPs in Katsina kidnappers’ den

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The bandits holding six Assistant Superintendents of Police captive in Katsina State for over one week are demanding N100m ransom for their release.
It was gathered that the ASPs were among the nine who were just promoted to their current rank. They were attached to the Mobile Police Squadron 6, Maiduguri, Borno State.
Findings on Wednesday indicated that they were demobilised from the riot unit and eight of them were on their way to the Zamfara State Police Command on transfer when they were ambushed in the Dogondaji area of Katsina State and taken into the forest.
A reliable police source explained that the nine ASPs were planning to go to Zamfara State together but one of them changed his mind at the last minute while the others embarked on the trip in a commercial bus.
On getting to Kano, the driver was said to have asked them to join another vehicle as his bus had developed a fault.
The source said, “When they were released to go to Zamfara, they scheduled a day for the trip from Maiduguri, but one of them said he wasn’t comfortable with the trip and declined to join them. He said he had something to do and promised to join them in Zamfara later.
“So, the eight others left, but on getting to Kano, the driver said he couldn’t continue the journey to Zamfara, because his vehicle had developed a fault. They joined another vehicle and on their way around Dongodaji in Katsina State, the bandits accosted and kidnapped them.
“While being taken away, two of them escaped and one of them was shot in the leg though he didn’t die. He found himself at a village and the villagers took him to a police station and he was taken to a hospital. The other six officers are still with the bandits who are demanding N100m ransom.”
A senior police officer said the Commander, Mopol 6, could not account for the men when asked about their abduction, adding that he referred inquiries on the missing men to the Zamfara State Police Command.
The officer explained that the normal procedure was for the commander to send a signal to the Zamfara command informing it that he had released the nine ASPs.
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COVID-19: SANWO-OLU EXTENDS RESUMPTION DATE FOR GRADE LEVEL 14 AND BELOW TILL FEBRUARY 1

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Following the increase in number of recorded cases of coronavirus in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has extended the work from home directive to all State public servants on Grade Levels 14 and below to Monday, February 1, 2021.

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s directive was contained in a circular to members of the State Executive Council and all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies issued and signed by the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, on Saturday.

The directive on the extention of the resumption date for Grade Level 14 and below from January 18 to February 1 was taken by the Governor to successfully curtail the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who said the directive excludes essential duty staff, as well as first responders, enjoined all public servants to stay safe and keep adhering to all COVID-19 protocols in order to rid the State of the pandemic in the shortest possible time.

The circular entitled “Re: Stemming the tide of the second wave of COVID-19 – Extension of the Work from home directive” also directed all Accounting Officers to ensure strict compliance with all extant directives aimed to guarantee physical and social distancing in the work place.

“Sequel to Head of Service Circulars Nos.: CIR/HOS/’20/Vol.1/139 of 18th December,

2020 and CIR/HOS/’21/Vol.1/001 of 3rd January, 2021 and in furtherance of the State

Government’s effort to successfully curtail the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 Pandemic in the State, it is hereby notified for general information that Mr. Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has extended the work from home directive to all State Public Servants on Grade Levels 14 and below with effect from Monday, 18th January till Monday, 1st February 2021. Expectedly, the directive excludes Essential Duty Staff, as well as First Responders.

“Public Servants are therefore, enjoined to stay safe by adherence to all COVID-19 Protocols.

Additionally, Accounting Officers are to ensure strict compliance with all extant directives aimed to guarantee Physical/Social Distancing in the work place; through weekly preparation of Duty Rosters as considered germane to the effective service delivery of respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“All Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are urged to observe the contents of

this Circular for acquiescence and give it the deserved Service-wide publicity,” the circular stated.

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FG Disburses another N123.34bn Grants to States

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The Federal Government has disbursed another round of performance-based grants to states in the sum of N123.348bn ($324.6m) under its States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Hassan Dodo.

Ahmed explained that the disbursement followed the achievement of results by the states in the just concluded 2019 Annual Performance Assessment.

The assessment was carried out by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation as the independent verification agent and approved by the programme coordination unit of the finance ministry.

On the disbursements, the minister said it included N91.048bn ($239.6m) of performance-based grants for the 2019 APA results achieved by 32 eligible states across various Disbursement Linked Indicators.

She said the indicators covered fiscal transparency, accountability, expenditure efficiency, revenue mobilisation and debt sustainability.

States received grants per the number of results achieved, with Sokoto State receiving the highest amount of N6.61bn, while Kano got the lowest amount of N1.71bn.

“Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara states got zero allocation due to their inability to meet the 2019 eligibility criteria which required states to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific timeframe,” Ahmed stated.

She further noted that the 2019 APA results were a significant improvement on the 2018 APA results where the total performance-based grants of N43.416bn ($120.6m) were received by 24 eligible states.

This, she said, demonstrated the substantive progress states had made on fiscal reforms.

According to her, the second part of the disbursement involved a new COVID-19 response DLI, which was the implementation of a tax compliance relief programme for individual taxpayers and businesses by states by 30 September 2020.

On this, she said 34 out of 36 states were able to achieve the results for the new DLI for the total of N32.3bn ($85m) of grants, as only Anambra and Zamfara states missed out.

The disbursement came after the recent one in November 2020 by the Federal Government where the sum of N66.5bn ($175m) was granted to 35 states.

The minister observed that since the first disbursement in April 2020, the Federal Government had thus far disbursed the total sum of N233bn ($620.6m) to the states.

This, she said, was under the $750m World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results.

Ahmed said the World Bank-assisted SFTAS programme was principally meant to strengthen fiscal management at the state level to ensure effective mobilisation and utilisation of financial resources.

She said the resources were for the benefit of citizens in a transparent, accountable and sustainable manner, thereby reducing fiscal risks and encouraging a common set of fiscally responsible behaviours.

According to her, the SFTAS programme could not have come at a better time, given the dwindling government revenue occasioned by oil price volatility and the impact of COVID-19.

Ahmed stressed that with the disbursement of N233.26bn since the beginning of the programme, the government had successfully adapted and implemented the SFTAS to provide timely support to states.

She said this was to strengthen the financial capacity for responding to numerous fiscal challenges in their respective domains.

“The increase in the number of benefitting states and results achieved is indicative of the wider acceptance of SFTAS ideals by all states of the federation and this would herald a new era of transparency and accountability in fiscal governance at the sub-national level,” Ahmed said.

Source: The Punch Newspaper

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 Nigeria Univarsities that have Announced Resumption Dates

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Students are return to school after several months of being out of their classrooms.

Below is a list of universities that have announced resumption dates:

  1. University of Ibadan on Friday announced that academic activities will resume on February 22, 2021.

  2. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria announced that it will be resuming on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

  3. University of Lagos has decided that academic activities will be resuming on January 25th, 2021.

  4. University of Ilorin resumed academic activities online on January 11, 2021.

  5. University of Jos will resume on January 22, 2021.

  6. University of Benin will resume academic activities on February 1, 2021.

  7. Lagos State University has already resumed and practicing what it called staggered resumption.

  8. University of Port Harcourt has announced that academic activities will resume on February 1, 2021.

  9. Rivers State University has resumed activities since January 4th, 2021.

  10. Bayero University Kano will begin a new academic session on January 18, 2021.

  11. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta will resume on January 18, 2021.

  12. Ekiti State University will begin academic activities on January 18, 2021.

  13. Federal University of Technology, Akure will begin classes on January 18, 2021.

#nigeriauniversities

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