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EFCC Denies Arrest of Okorocha and Wife

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By Manny Ita

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has denied media report that its operatives arrested immediate past governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha.
It was earlier reported that Okorocha and his wife were arrested by EFCC agents.
When contacted on Thursday the acting spokesman of the Commission Tony Orilade said the report is not only false but fake news.

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Nigerian Selected for Prestigious International Writing Program

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Award-winning Nigerian poet, essayist, translator and author of short stories, Mr. Tade Ipadeola, has been selected to participate in the International Writing Program (IWP) Fall Residency at the University of Iowa, courtesy of the United States Department of State.

From September 1 to November 16, 2019, Ipadeola, the 2013 winner of the Nigeria Prize for Literature, joins 28 other accomplished writers from across the globe in the world’s oldest and largest multinational writing residency.

Over the course of 11 weeks, Ipadeola and the other participants will give readings and lectures that share their work and cultures, collaborate with artists from other genres and art forms, and travel to interact with audiences and literary communities across the United States.

In addition, the residency will provide the writers a one-of-a-kind inter-cultural opportunity to forge productive relationships with colleagues and translators, and take part in the vibrant social and academic life of the University of Iowa as well as the larger American literary scene.

United States Consulate Public Affairs Officer Russell Brooks congratulated the Nigerian writer on his acceptance into the residency program. According to him, the goal of the IWP Fall Residency is to provide outstanding writers with a platform for cultural exchange and collaboration.

“The International Writing Program Fall Residency is a unique experience for rising stars and established writers who have achieved literary distinction and have shown interest in contributing to the creative writing culture in their home countries.

“This program will enable Ipadeola to present his works and Nigeria’s literary culture to a wider audience. He will in turn learn more about U.S. society, culture, and the American people,” Brooks said.

Ipadeola has three published works, including The Sahara Testament, a poetry collection, which won the Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2013 and has been translated into Dutch, French, Spanish and Xhosa.  In 2009, he won the Delphic Laurel in Poetry for his Yoruba poem Songbird at the Delphic Games in Jeju, South Korea. In 2012, he translated Paid on Both Sides, the first dramatic work of renowned Anglo-American poet, W.H. Auden, into Yoruba as Lamilami.

To date, 34 Nigerian literary figures have participated in the IWP Fall Residency. Notable among them are Elechi Amadi (1973), Cyprian Ekwensi (1974), Ola Rotimi (1980), Femi Osofisan (1986), Niyi Osundare (1988), Festus Iyayi (1990), Lola Shoneyin (1999), Obari Gomba (2016).

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LAGOS PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR MILITARY SCHOOLS

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The Lagos State Government will be supporting secondary schools established by the military formation across the State to increase access to education for residents.

The move was disclosed on Wednesday by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu while receiving the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Olu Irefin, on a courtesy visit at the State House in Marina.

Sanwo-Olu said the State’s intervention for the military schools would specifically address deficits in staff strength, training and teaching materials, promising that the Ministry of Education would be meeting with the Army leadership to agree on modalities of the partnership.

The Governor said: “Our administration is prepared to provide quality education to all our pupils in public schools. We will also be extending the same gesture to children attending schools established by the Nigerian Army, regardless of whether their parents are personnel or not.

“The Commissioner for Education will be meeting the Army’s education department for collaborations on recruitment of teachers and provision of teaching equipment. Our education policies and programmes will not be exclusive only to pupils in public schools. Those attending schools established by the military and private investors within the State will also feel the impacts of our government because we believe all of them are our citizens.”

Sanwo-Olu hailed the Army for its cooperation with his Government in the coordination of joint security operations across the State. He also reassured the Army of his administration’s commitment to strengthen the engagement of the “OP Mesa” – a joint military’s operational outfit – for improved performance.

Maj-Gen Irefin, who took over the leadership of the 81 Division on July 22, said his visit to the Governor was to seek support for schools owned by the Army and also to show appreciation to the Lagos Government on its “constant” logistic assistance rendered to the military formation in the State.

The Army chief thanked Sanwo-Olu for consenting to the Division’s request of support for its schools, stressing that the State Government’s interventions would boost the education services rendered by the schools to members of their host communities.

He said: “Our secondary schools which are mostly in the barracks accommodate 70 per cent of pupils whose parents are not military personnel. Most of the teachers in these schools are on temporary engagement, which could limit the services provided by these schools. This is the reason why we urgently need assistance to enrol teachers in our schools for permanent engagement.”

On the task of OP Mesa, Irefin said the Army would maintain constant assessment of its operations in the State to ensure that the personnel deployed for the engagement acted in line with rules and best practices.

 

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LAGOS, CHINESE GOVT TO PARTNER ON SKILLS EXCHANGE

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said his administration’s development agenda was aimed at leveraging the population of the State for sustainable socio-economic development.

The Governor said although the State was facing the challenges of growing population, his administration was prepared to turn the burden to opportunities by training people and equipping them with life skills.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Monday while hosting the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Chu Maoming, in Alausa on a courtesy visit.

The Governor said his administration would be expanding the state government’s relationship with the Chinese government to build human capital by exposing young population in the State to training opportunities in diverse areas, including technology, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and cultural exchange.

“Lagos and China can learn from each other, because we share similarities in several areas. Both entities are both hugely populated, with Lagos being the most populous city in Africa. China has a huge population not only in Asia, but also in the world. Based on these similarities, we can promote value exchange that would lead to improved human capital development on both sides, Sanwo-Olu said.

“Lagos is growing by the day and we are faced with the challenges of catering for this population. We initiated a development agenda that is aimed at harnessing the potential of residents. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with China, which would explore opportunity of technology transfer to build the skills of our young people.

Also, there are many exchange opportunities in Chinese manufacturing sector, agriculture, construction and culture. Our people need to take advantage of this opportunity for employment generation.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu observed that Lagos and China shared long history of collaborations, but added that his government would deepen the relationship.

Maoming said the Chinese private sector investors had concluded to increase the volume of trade with Lagos to the tune of billions of dollars, stressing that the investment would result in job creation and knowledge transfer.

He said: “I arrived Nigeria in May and I have visited a lot of Chinese businesses operating across the country, including Lagos. Today, there is good news. Chinese business community has concluded the plan to increase their size of investments in Lagos. The presence of Vice Chairperson of the China’s biggest oil company, National Offshore Oil Corporation, here today is an indication of the readiness of the Chinese business community to inject billions of dollars in the Lagos economy. We are exploring other areas of opportunity in which China and Lagos can cooperate to sustain our bilateral partnership.”

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