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COVID-19: BUHARI APPROVES IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF N15BN TO LAGOS, NCDC

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Posted on March 27, 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari at his office in the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 26, 2020. Photo: Twitter- @NGRPresident

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate release of N15 billion to the Lagos government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to tackle the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, TCPNewsgathered from Channels TV

In a series of tweets on Thursday, the President explained that the approval followed the extensive briefings he received recently on the state of the nation, as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He ordered that the sum of N10 billion grant be immediately released to Lagos State to boost the government’s capacity to control and contain the outbreak, as well as support other states with capacity-building.

The remaining N5 billion, according to the President, is to be paid as a special intervention fund to the NCDC to equip and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across Nigeria.

He revealed that the Nigerian Air Force was already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response.

President Buhari said the initial closure of the nation’s international airports and land borders for four weeks was to ensure that appropriate policies, processes, and infrastructure were in place to cope with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.

He, however, regretted the inconvenience caused by the flight and travel restrictions to Nigerians abroad willing to return home, stressing that it was for the greater good.

The President thanked all medical personnel in the country for their efforts in curbing the spread of the disease.

He also urged Nigerians to be mindful of those he said were taking advantage of the present situation to spread panic and cause confusion.

Read the President’s remarks below:

Over the last few days, I have received extensive briefings on the state of the nation as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the relevant Federal Government agencies as well as the Lagos State Government.

Accordingly, I approved the following:

The immediate release of a 10 billion Naira grant to Lagos State, which remains the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria. This grant will enable Lagos to increase its capacity to control and contain the outbreak, while also supporting other States with capacity-building.

The immediate release of a 5 billion Naira special intervention fund to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to equip, expand and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across the country.

The Nigerian Air Force is already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response across the country.

To protect our homeland from external exposure, I directed the immediate closure of our International Airports and Land Borders for four weeks in the first instance, to enable us to put up the appropriate policies, processes and infrastructure to cope with suspected and confirmed cases at home, without risking a compounding of the situation with more imported cases.

The inconvenience caused by these flight and travel restrictions to our fellow citizens abroad who want to return home is regrettable, but it is necessary for the greater good, and I thank you all for your understanding and cooperation.

I have also directed that only cargo vessels that have been at sea for more than 14 days be allowed to dock in our ports after the crew has been tested and confirmed disease-free by the Port Health Authorities.

This 14-day restriction, however, does not apply to vessels carrying oil and gas products as by their nature, there is minimal human contact.

We have also suspended the movement of commuter trains to limit the spread of the virus to other parts of the country.

I have directed the NCDC to draft all its recent retirees back into service to beef up our manpower as we respond to the pandemic.

Furthermore, all NCDC staff and experts who are away on training or international assignments are to return immediately.

Already the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is conducting an evacuation mission to bring back some of our specialists in Central Africa, to enable them to support the national response.

I commend the monetary policy authorities for their financial intervention to support our entrepreneurs and companies as we go through this difficult time.

We are also looking at fiscal measures to minimise the negative impact of this pandemic on the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.

As you are aware we have begun the process of reviewing the federal budget. We shall communicate our fiscal interventions once the budget review process is concluded.

In the meantime, I have directed the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, to work with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), to ensure that all production of essential items such as food, medical and pharmaceutical products continues unhindered.

We are engaging our international friends and partners to share knowledge and to seek their support in our response to the pandemic. We are grateful for the show of support thus far – we have already started receiving goods and supplies intended to help us scale up our efforts.

Let me specially thank and commend all of the hard and heroic work being done by our medical personnel, the NCDC, Port Health Authorities, Security Agencies, State Governments, and all ad-hoc staff and volunteers.

I urge all Nigerians to be mindful of those among us who seek to spread panic and misinformation and sow confusion at this time.

We must all pay attention only to the relevant government agencies working day and night to make accurate and useful information available to the public.

I will also ask all of us to strictly obey all public health guidelines and instructions issued by the Federal and State health authorities, regarding personal hygiene and social distancing.

These guidelines will be updated from time to time as new information and treatments are obtained.

In the meantime, I want to assure all Nigerians, that the Federal Government remains committed to protecting all Nigerians. We seek your full support and cooperation as we go through this very difficult time. Together we will triumph over this pandemic.

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Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Arabic Inscriptions On Naira Notes

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Justices Yellin Bogoro of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday, July 16, dismissed a suit by a Lagos-based lawyer, Malcom Omirhobo, challenging the use of Arabic inscriptions on Naira notes.

According to the judge, “the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is empowered by Section 53 (1) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) to print, design and issue the currency and compels the need to establish bad faith before an action can be brought to challenge the act or omission of the Federal Government or the apex court.”

The court also held that the suit challenging the Arabic inscriptions on Naira notes failed to establish that the CBN’s powers were exercised in bad faith.

Omirhobo had filed the suit against the CBN in Jan. 2020 contending amongst other things that Arabic is not one of the four official languages of Nigeria namely English, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. In the suit, the lawyer contended that Arabic is not indigenous to Nigeria and to have it on our country’s currency offends certain provisions of the Constitution.

The CBN, in its response, had filed a preliminary objection insisting that Omirhobo had no locus standi to file the matter. The bank also filed a defence.

Three other interested persons joined the suits as defendants, the Incorporated Trustees of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), its Founder, Ishaq Akintola; and a Kebbi-based legal practitioner, Umar Kalgo.

Ruling on the case, Justice Bogoro first dismissed the CBN’s preliminary objection and held that Omirhobo had the locus standi to institute the action of being a taxpayer. The court also held that public interest actions must be encouraged.

The court, however, held that Omirhobo failed to prove that the CBN acted Mala Fide, in bad faith and accordingly dismissed the suit.

In his reaction to the judgment, Omirhobo said he had applied for a Certified True Copy of the judgement and would study the same to decide his next line of action.

The lawyer also said the court noted that Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and religious country and that no ethnic group or religion is superior to the other.

The lawyer claimed that the court held that Arabic is not Nigeria’s official Language and advised that for Nigerians to coexist in harmony, ‘perhaps it is time for the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government to remove the Arabic inscription on the N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes since it has been removed from the N5, N10, N50 and N100.’

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Kano: Gov Yusuf Reinstates Gaya Emir, Names Two Others For Karaye, Rano

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Kano State governor, Abba Yusuf has reinstated Emir of Gaya, Alhaji Aliyu Abdulkadir Gaya, and approved the appointment of two other second-class Emirs for Rano and Karaye.

According to a statement issued by the governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Tofa, the new emirates are to serve as second with Kano as first-class emirate.

Yusuf named the newly appointed Alhaji Muhammad Karaye as the Emir of Karaye. He was the District Head of Rogo before his latest appointment.

Alhaji Muhammad Umar was named the Emir of Rano. He was the District Head of Bunkure before the latest appointment.

The statement added: “While congratulating the newly appointed Emirs, Governor Abba Yusuf enjoined them to be custodians of culture, peace, and unity of the people in their respective emirates.”

Recall that Governor Yusuf had on Tuesday signed into law three second class emirates in the state with Rano Emirate covering only Rano, Kibiya and Bunkure Local Government areas and Gaya Emirate covering only Gaya, Ajingi and Albasu Local Government areas while Karaye Emirate covers only Karaye and Rogo Local Government areas.

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Obasanjo, Ooni, Adeleke, Buratai, Oyinlola, Emir Of Biu, Others Storm Kuta For Olowu’s 60th Birthday

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The ancient town of Kuta was ago on Sunday as Olowu of Kuta, HRM Oba Dr Hameed Adekunle Makama Oyelude, CON, Tegbosun III, received dignitaries across Nigeria to celebrate his 60th birthday anniversary.

Prominent among the dignitaries were former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor Ademola Adeleke, former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former chief of army staff, Gen TY Buratai rtd who also doubles as Balogun Agba Akin of Kuta and the executive chairman of federal character commission, Dr Muheeba Dankaka.

Traditional rulers at the ceremony include Ooni of Ife, HIM Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Olowu of Owu (Abeokuta) Oba Prof Saka Matemilola, Timi of Ede, HRM Oba Munirudeen Lawal and Emir of Biu, Alhaji Midala Mustapha Umar amongst others.

Speaking earlier with journalists, Oba Makama said he was elated to receive the creme de lacreme of the society at his 60th birthday.

The revered monarch said his 60th birthday anniversary was put together by his admirers, friends, and well wishers across the country.

He, however, advised that traditional rulers should adhere strictly to their mandate as Custodian of culture and traditions, adding that Obas are not installed to be religious leaders.

The 60th birthday was preceded by a series of events like Olowu Marathon, Walk For Life, and Healthcare/ medical checkup.

There were also fireworks at the dot of 12.00am on Sunday to herald Olowu Kuta into his 60th birthday.

The Marquee Tent, which served as the venue of the ceremony, was filled to its capacity.

The Bonsue Fuji Crooner, Adewale Ayuba, was a delight to watch as he dished out good music, relishing his bonsue style as guests also appreciated him.

Gen Buratai,who is a personal friend and confidant of Olowu Kuta, said he’s delighted to be part of the celebration of the monarch who has distinguished himself as detrabilised Nigerian.

Governor Adeleke, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, commended Olowu Kuta “as a delightful example of devotion to the people”.

The statement read; “The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has rejoiced with the Olowu of Kuta, HRM Oba Hameed Adekunle Makama Oyelude (Tegbosun III), on the auspicious occasion of his birthday, describing him as a delightful example of devotion to the people.”

Governor Adeleke, who acknowledges Oba Oyelude, sustained efforts in fostering peace and harmony in his domain, noted that the monarch’s open door policy and soft power approach has engendered unity among subjects.

The Governor lauds Oba Oyelude’s steadfast observation of culture and traditions, adding that the monarch continues to inspire a great deal of interest in Yoruba’s rich heritage through appearances and utterances.

“On this auspicious day, I congratulate HRM Oba Hameed Adekunle Makama Oyelude (Tegbosun III). Oba Oyelude is a striking pointer of what purposeful leadership should look like considering the profound impact of his influence on subjects and Kuta town,” the governor noted in a congratulatory message.

“As he turns 60 years today, I join every sons and daughters of Kuta to celebrate Kabiyesi, and commend him for the incredible leadership he exudes just as I honour his commitment to fostering peace and stability by promoting harmony in his domain.

“It is my prayer that God Almighty will grant Kabiyesi more celebrations in good health, strength and wisdom so that he can continue to offer impactful leadership and also to contribute to the promotion of Yoruba’s culture, traditions and values.”

Also, Prince Oyinlola said Olowu Kuta’s ascending into the throne of his forebears has brought development to the ancient town.

He, however, wished Oba Makama long life and prosperity, as he journeyed ahead in his mandate as Custodian of culture and traditions.
Other side attractions include ‘Iwure’ by Chief Yemi Elebuibon, ‘Oriki’ by Ajobiewe.

The Osun State cultural troupe was a delight to watch, while a northern group based in Kano entertained the guests with the melodious songs laced with Hausa-Fulani traditions.

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