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Gunmen Kidnap Australians, New Zealander and South African in Calabar

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Gunmen in Calabar have killed a local driver and kidnapped two Nigerians, three Australians, a New Zealander and a South African working for an Australian mining company in the state.

Those taken were believed to be workers with Australian mining and engineering giant Macmahon, which was contracted to cement company LafargeHolcim in the state, police commissioner Jimoh Ozi-Obeh told reporters.

The abduction happened in the Akpabuyo district near the capital of Cross River state, Calabar, at about 7am on Wednesday, Nigerian police said on Thursday.

.”The police is currently working with the Nigerian Navy to ensure that the victims are released unharmed,” he added.

Meanwhile the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has disclosed that they were working with Nigerian authorities to free their citizens. 

“We are working with the authorities, local authorities, at the highest levels,” Turnbull told reporters in Geelong, Australia.

“We don’t know at this stage the identity of the kidnappers and families in Australia are notified, of course. 

“It is a very serious kidnapping, a very serious criminal assault, one person was killed and seven people have been kidnapped.”

Irene Ugbo, a spokeswoman for Cross River state police, said no ransom demand had been received.

One witness to the abduction, who asked not to be identified, said the kidnappers took the men to a waiting boat.

LafargeHolcim spokeswoman Viola Graham-Douglas said the company was informed of the incident by Macmahon, which was “working with the security agencies to resolve the situation”.

Macmahon has an $18m a year contract with the United Cement Company of Nigeria Ltd (UniCem) for quarrying operations at UniCem’s cement manufacturing plant at Mfamosing, near Calabar.

UniCem is a joint venture between Franco-Swiss conglomerate LafargeHolcim and Flour Mills of Nigeria, according to the Australian firm’s website.

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NIGERIA MOST PROSPEROUS BLACK NATION IN THE WORLD, PRESIDENT BUHARI DECLARES AT UNVEILING OF THEME, LOGO FOR 60TH ANNIVERSARY

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Unveiling the theme and logo for the commemorative activities to celebrate 60 years of independence, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja described Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, as the most prosperous black nation in the world.

Nigeria at 60 theme, TOGETHER, with the logo was projected and unveiled virtually on the 12 by 20 feet screen at the Council Chambers, before the commencement of the e-Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari.

The President performed the exercise in the presence of some cabinet ministers and other members of the council who joined the meeting online.

”Today, we stand on the threshold of history as we formally begin a series of activities commemorating Nigeria’s Diamond Anniversary.

”The task history has saddled me with today is to proclaim a theme that will keep us united, help us forge ahead and unveil a logo that will form the critical pillars which our 11-month modest commemorative activities would rest on.

”Celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp, but the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act differently, has also foisted on us the imperative of a low-keyed celebration.

”Operating within the limitations placed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we created an internet challenge for Nigerians to make a choice from a set of four pre-selected logos that would appropriately define the theme.

”Of these four options, Nigerians from all walks of life participated in making a choice and I am happy to let you know that the logo I would be unveiling is a product of choice from the Nigerian people,” President Buhari said.

Speaking further on the logo, the President declared:

”The selected option depicts our togetherness, a country of over 200 million people whose natural talent, grit and passion glitter like the precious DIAMOND we are.

”This, to me, is a special appreciation to our most precious asset – our people. Everywhere you go, Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in academia, business, innovation, music, movie, entertainment, fashion and culture.

”Furthermore, the neatly encrusted Diamond on the Nigerian Map symbolizes our age of treasure, the worth of the Nigerian people with our sparkle to the admiration of the world.

‘‘In the same vein, the pear green and dark green colours should respectively remind us of our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land.

‘‘All these properties make us unarguably the most prosperous black nation in the world and Africa’s largest economy.’’

On the theme of TOGETHER, President Buhari recounted that the country’s founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together to fight for Nigeria’s independence.

‘‘This shall be a befitting tribute to the struggles of our heroes past,’’ he said.

The President thanked members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Nigeria’s Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration for the work they have done so far, reminding them ‘‘that this is just the beginning.’’

President Buhari pledged that his government would work towards greater inclusiveness and look forward to the participation of all Nigerians in the celebration.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
September 16, 2020

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Procurement: Lagos Assembly Raises Mobilization Fee by 20 Percent

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Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, has proposed the amendment of the State Procurement Agency Law, 2015 with a view to raising the advance payment from 20 to 40 percent.
This was made known during the public hearing on a bill titled, ‘The Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2020,’ which took place at the Lagos House of Assembly Pavilion.
In his keynote address, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who was represented by his Deputy, Hon Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun said, “Procurement is very important. It has to do with the delivery of goods and services. We felt we should do what is needed to set the state on the part of progress.”
According to him “the idea of public hearing affords the policymakers to hear from the masses. It is meant to build public confidence in the government. Good legislation must not be the yearnings of the populace alone, it must be the aggregated interest of the people.”
“We are here to discuss important issues, which is public procurement. Procurement is broad, encompassing, and covers all aspects of government activities. Lagos State is proud to be one of the states with one of the best procurement policies in Nigeria.”
He however stated, “We must never rest on oars towards the provision of better democracy. We can make remarkable progress and improvement through our contributions today.”
The Chairman, House Committee on Public Procurement, Hon. Rauf Age-Sulaimon said the purpose of the amendment is “to ensure that the society is regulated. When you are talking about development, procurement is the most important because if, government projects are not properly executed, of course, you will not see the result.”
“We have been talking about the money needed for projects and the economy is not smiling at all and for us to support contractors there is a need on the part of the government to encourage them. The essence of this is to increase from 20% to 40% so that the person involved would be able to do the job effectively.”
“We will ensure that the contractors adhere strictly to the terms of the contract. It will benefit the masses because it will not be the winner takes it all. It will not be the survival of the fittest because the fittest might not be capable. It is open to everybody. Once you have the requirement you will be allowed to bid.”
While giving the overview of the Bill, the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said, “the law as it stands today has 83 sections, out of which we are proposing to amend 38 sections. The reason for the amendment is to simplify the narration.
Agunbiade explained, “Amendment of section 63, advance payment of not more than 40 percent of the contract sum may be paid to a supplier or contractor.
“Provided that advance payment above 40 percent shall be subject to the regulation prescribed by the agency.
“Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, any person, company or authority who accesses mobilization fee and absconds or does not carry out the services or works commensurate to the fee paid commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for two years or a fine equivalent to the fee paid or both “
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BREAKINGNEWS: Ogun politician, Buruji Kashamu dies of COVID-19

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Ben Murray-Bruce who broke the news on Twitter said Kashamu died at First Cardiologist Consultants in Lagos.

 

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