Breaking News in Nigeria this Afternoon, Saturday 4th of July 2020

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1. Stop paying derivation fund to Edo State Government, pay to us – HOSCON tells Buhari.

The Edo State oil-producing communities under the aegis of Oil and Gas Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON), has told President Muhammadu Buhari to direct that their derivation fund be paid to them directly without going to the state government.

“It is illegal to pay derivation fund to state govt, pay to us,” the group said.

The group also pleaded with the President to stop the alleged illegal and unconstitutional payment of 13 percent derivation fund through state governors, who are third line charge on the Federation Account and pay same directly to the Host communities, through the proposed Presidential Derivation Committee (PDC) and State Implementation Committees, SIC.

The oil-producing communities specifically told President Buhari to replicate the recent fiscal freedom granted to the judiciary and legislature at the states’ level for the oil-producing communities.

The Edo HOSCON, in a statement issued in Abuja by its Chairman, Deacon Osazuwa, and the Secretary, Pastor Osariemen Paul Okpamen, said the practice of paying the fund to state governments over the years was a contravention of the constitutional provision for the fund.

Edo HOSCON reminded President Buhari that the provision for the Derivation Fund was actually done to take care of the peculiar economic and ecological side effects of oil and gas operations on the communities.

2. 3million graduates have applied for the 400,000 N-Power jobs – Federal Government reveals.

Over three million applicants have enrolled for about 400,000 job spaces in the third batch of the Federal Government’s N-Power programme.

The candidates applied for the programme through the online portal of the N-Power scheme which was opened for applications on June 26, 2020.

N-Power is one of the National Social Investment Programmes of the Federal Government.

The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said today being Saturday, that it was carrying out the transitioning of independent monitors recruited to monitor Batch A and B of the N-Power programme as well as other NSIPs.

The Federal Government, through the N-Power office, had stated that it would absorb 400,000 applicants as Batch C beneficiaries.

The humanitarian ministry’s Deputy Director, Information, Rhoda Iliya, said, “Enrolment of beneficiaries for N-power Batch C commenced on June 26, 2020 and has received over three million applications since the portal opened.

“The application process will be concluded as soon as possible to provide additional Nigerian youths access to the programme.”

3. I have no APC Court Case – Amaechi says.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday, said he was not involved in any litigation involving the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State or anywhere in the country.

Amaechi, in a statement by his media office, raised the alarm that an unnamed group was plotting to tarnish his image by alleging that he had a “phantom interest” in a court case involving the APC in the state.

The former Rivers State governor warned that no one should drag his name into any court matter involving the party in the state or anywhere else as he was, “for now,” concentrating on his work at the Ministry of Transportation.

4. I earned more as a Professor than as a Minister – Pantanmi reveals.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, says his “salaries and allowances” as a serving minister, are lesser compared to what he earned as an academic at the International University Madinah, Saudi Arabia.

Pantami said this while reacting to online reports that he procured three houses since his assumed office barely a year ago.

According to a statement by his spokesperson, Uwa Suleiman, the minister said he only came back to Nigeria “to answer the call to serve his country as a sign of his patriotism and selfless service.”

A part of the statement said; “For the purpose of setting the records straight, the Honourable Minister has not purchased a single property anywhere In the world, in the period he has been in office as a Minister. One of the apartments in the images published is one which the Honourable Minister has occupied since January 2017, more than two years before becoming a minister, while the other one is a house he rented since 17th December 2019. Two of the images are not even known to him.

It is worthy of note that as a serving Minister, Dr Pantami’s salaries and allowances fall below his earnings as a Professor at the International University Madinah Saudi Arabia, where he still holds the record of being the first Nigerian to lecture at that level. He only returned to Nigeria out of the zeal to contribute his quota to national development.

Dr Pantami is one of the few Nigerians who are driven by nothing, but an unequalled sense of patriotism and selfless service as demonstrated in his act of sacrifice, to answer the call to serve his country as a sign of his patriotism and selfless service.”

5. Rivers State and Kwara State gets 6 ambulances, and 100million Naira each from BUA Foundation.

BUA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of BUA Group, has donated six ambulances and 100million Naira each to Rivers and Kwara states.

Food supplies were also part of the donation, which was BUA’s part in the states’ COVID-19 pandemic intervention programmes.

While presenting the ambulances to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State governor in Port Harcourt and his Kwara State counterpart, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in Ilorin, representatives of BUA Foundation said the donations were intended to assist both governments in fighting the pandemic to a standstill, as the number of cases continue to rise in the country.

Both states commended BUA Group for its support in their fight against COVID-19.

Governor Wike praised the sustained support from BUA Foundation to the Rivers State government, noting that BUA had made a donation of 100million Naira, as well as 4,000 cartons of pasta for which the state remained grateful.

Also, Governor AbdulRahman thanked Abdul Samad Rabiu, the Executive Chairman of BUA Group, for the ambulances and the 100million Naira.

He said the donations will further strengthen the state’s fight against the pandemic, adding that they will be used judiciously.

A statement by BUA noted that since the start of the pandemic, BUA had committed about $20 million dollars to various efforts to tackle the virus within Nigeria.

6. Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has tested positive for Covid-19.

The Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Governor confirmed this in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday.

He and some of his close aides tested positive for the virus after carrying out the coronavirus test, the statement said.

Umahi further disclosed that, presently, they are not showing any symptoms but have since isolated, in line with protocols laid down by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The Governor directed the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, to take over the frontline coordination of the state’s fight against the pandemic to protect Ebonyi people.

Umahi appealed to the people of Ebonyi state to take the NCDC protocols more seriously while stating that he’s working from home and will conduct all meetings virtually.

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These are some of the breaking News in Nigeria this Afternoon, Saturday 4th of July 2020.

Follow me for more breaking news daily.

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