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Police Rescue 9 Police Officers from Armed Bandits in Katsina

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The Nigeria Police have successfully rescued Nine (9) Police Officers who earlier went missing on 8th November, 2020 between Kankara town and Sheme in Katsina State after the night commercial bus they were traveling in came under attack by heavily armed men, all dressed in Military Camouflage, but suspected to be bandits.

The officers, all Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs), were on their way to Gusau in Zamfara State from Maiduguri at the time of the incident. Two of the officers are currently receiving medical attention in a hospital, while the remaining seven are being debriefed. Covert operation to locate and rescue the officers commenced immediately they were discovered missing en-route to their destination. Thus, the apparent delay in commenting on the unfortunate incident was a deliberate decision aimed at protecting the integrity and confidentiality of the rescue operation and the concomitant safety of the officers. It is also important to state that preliminary investigation has shown that the attack on the vehicle was an opportunistic crime as the officers were all traveling in mufti, unarmed and alongside other private citizens in the commercial vehicle.

The total number of officers involved in the incident is nine (9) and not twelve (12) as previously, wrongly reported in some sections of the media. Follow-up investigation into the incident is still ongoing. Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni reassures Nigerians that the Force is working assiduously to ensure an improved safety and tactical presence of police personnel on our highways as the yuletide approaches.

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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.

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Ogun Schools to resume on Monday 18th January

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Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology wishes to announce to the general public that resumption date for all Primary, Secondary schools and Government Science and Technical Colleges in the state is Monday 18th January 2021.
With the emergence of the second wave of COVID-19 parent/guardians, teachers, schools administrators and other stakeholders must ensure full compliance with all COVID-19 protocols/guidelines as released by NCDC and Government. This include, among others:
* Wearing of facemask by all learners, teachers and other non-teaching staff at all time;
* Use of infrared thermometer for temperature check;
* Use of hand washing facilities with soap and water;
* Use of hand sanitizer;
* Social and physical distancing should be maintained while large gathering such as assembly should be discouraged; And
* Isolation room, health clinic/bay already created in schools should be functional and regularly maintained.
All stakeholders are to ensure strict compliance.
Signed:
Prof. Abayomi A. Arigbabu, FMAN
Hon. State Commissioner for Education, Science And Technology.
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