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#EndSARS: We Will Compensate Families Of Slain Policemen – Seyi Makinde

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Monday, pledged that the state will compensate families of Policemen who lost their lives during the #EndSARS protests, which were hijacked by hoodlums recently.

The governor, who stated this while speaking at the Oyo State Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, Eleyele, Ibadan, said that the families will be compensated from the N500 million fund already set aside to compensate  victims of police brutality and injustice.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor equally commiserated with officers and men of the Police Command over the loss of their officers as well as destruction of a number of structures and equipment.

He stated that the state government will not leave the Police to walk alone, adding that the government will continue to work together with the force to make Oyo State safe and secure for residents.

He equally urged the Police to put the experience of the last few weeks behind them and join hands with the government to rebuild the nation and create a better society.

He maintained that the cooperation of the Police is needed to bring to book arsonists, anarchists and killers, stating that the government and the people of Oyo State are solidly behind the Police and that they would work together to make the state better.

The meeting had in attendance the Garrison Commander of the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Adesoji Ogunsugba and the DIG Research and Planning, Force Headquarters, Leye Oyebade and other top police officers of the Command.

The governor said:  “I announced that the government has set up an initial N500m Victim Compensation Fund. I made the announcement last week and I want to say that the families of the policemen in Oyo State who were extrajudicially killed will be part of those to be compensated in the fund. And I also want to say that may the souls of the departed colleagues rest in peace.

“The Police are a very important part of our community. My prayer is that things will get better with our country, state and Nigerian Police Force. Things will get better with Oyo State Police Command and it will get better with us as individuals. I can stand before you to say that not every member of the Police is bad. So, the government and the people of Oyo State are with you.

“If we work together to create a better society, you also are coming to enjoy that better society. We must all join hands to make our society better. It is time to put everything that has happened behind us and work towards nation-building. That I said I support the protest does not mean I am against you. I am for the protection of everyone’s right including the right of the officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force.

“So, we need your cooperation to ensure that arsonists, anarchists are brought to book. And I am here to work with you to make the burden you are carrying very light.”

The governor added that the state government would undertake the rebuilding of all burnt down and destroyed stations as well as take care of all logistics as contained in a document presented to him to by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nwachukwu Enwowu, stating that all requests by the Police to make them comfortable in their places of work would be granted by the state.

Earlier, the Commissioner of Police said: “As a matter of fact, October has come and gone. It was a bad month. It was a black month. It was a very sorrowful month, not just for Oyo State but for the entire federation. Granted that we have suffered a lot of losses in terms of buildings, burning of police stations, loss of men, vehicles and personal belongings, that is a price one has to pay by way of what we call professional hazards.

“But that does not mean life will not continue. We have to put all that behind us and forge ahead and be sure that today, being the first working day in the month of November, that we will do our best to be sure that Oyo State will continue to be a state with one of the lowest records of crime.”

He urged Police officers to go back to their duty posts and give their best to the communities, saying: “I further want to urge each and every one of our officers here that when you leave here, you should go back in full confidence that you will give your best to the communities and your areas of responsibility.

“You should not be intimidated and you cannot abdicate your responsibility, which is that Police, as a lead security agency, cannot abandon your duty post and expect those who are not trained to do that job to come and do it for you.”

He stated that while other security services were there to support the Police as stated by the General Officer Commanding 2nd mechanized Division last week, Policemen cannot afford to shy away from their responsibilities.

The Commissioner of Police added that intimidation or harassment of the members of the public should be a thing of the past, noting that the Police would not want to hear that the fundamental human rights of the public are violated in any way whatsoever.

He added that the Police should key into one of the four pillars of the administration of Governor Makinde, which borders on security as according to him,  the governor has supported the Command immensely.

He said: “He (Governor Makinde) has provided us with vehicles, telecommunications, a lot of logistics including welfare allowances to boost the morale of the officers.”

Also speaking, the Garrision Commander 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Ogunsugba said: “You have received enough tonic to come out of your shell and do the job together. The job belongs to us and we have nobody to call apart from us. We will not sell this country or allow this country to be taken over by miscreants.

“So, please I don’t want us to start quoting one law that is outdated. The current law now is the IGP’s pronouncement, which everybody can hear clear and loud. You have been empowered to do your work.

“The other aspect is my General Officer Commander’s comment when he came here. He said you are not alone. We are with you day and night. And for those of you who are in the town, you would have been seeing us in some of your deployments. We have been patrolling together. And we have been saying that an injury to a policeman is an injury to a military man. That shows you are not alone. So, what I will tell you is to come out. It is time. Nigeria belongs to us. Oyo State belongs to all of us. We must come out to do the job.”

Similarly, Oyebade appreciated the governor for everything he has been doing.

He assured that there will be a new beginning with the Police, stating that having spoken with the rank and file of the force, there will be a new era and a new beginning in the area of policing in the state.

“I have already gotten feedback from the commissioner of police to the least constable here, and I know that it is going to be a new beginning, a new era and a new dawn in the area of policing in this state. Yes, we have challenges, there is no system that does not have a challenge but we are going to surmount those challenges. Looking at the way the government is going to encourage and has been encouraging us with our facilities, I know when I left Oyo State and I know what has been put in place after I left.

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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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