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Covid-19: Ex-President Jonathan’s wife releases N2bn Abuja hotel as isolation centre

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Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan has released her Abuja hotel valued at N2 billion to be used as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients.

It was learnt that the hotel, which is presently under an interim forfeiture order since April 2018, was released after incumbent First Lady, Aisha Buhari struck a deal with her predecessor at the Presidential Villa recently.

Aisha Buhari through her pet project, the Future Assured Programme, reportedly entered into separate agreements with Mrs Jonathan and the Ministry of Health to convert the hotel to a 200-bed isolation centre.

The First Lady was said to have made an offer to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire to equip the hotel as an international standard-treatment centre.

Some of the facilities Mrs Buhari’s pet project is expected to provide are water, furniture, beddings, fittings and modern health equipment used to manage COVID-19 cases.

The hotel is expected to be handed over to the ministry on Monday to be managed by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) COVID-19 committee.

The Nation quoted a source close to Mrs Jonathan as saying, “This is the time we must all come together, irrespective of political differences, to assist this nation to fight the pandemic. It is a time to shun politics.

“I will do everything to help this great country that has also given me the opportunity to serve.”

Credit: The Herald

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BBC To Cut 500 Jobs As It Attempts To Save £200m For ‘Transformation’ Of The Corporation

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The BBC has announced plans to cut 500 jobs as it attempts to save £200 million to drive the “transformation” of the corporation.

Chief operating adviser, Leigh Tavaziva said it is making the changes to improve its premium video offering and digital capabilities.

It comes as the BBC is already attempting to save £500 million as part of a plan announced two years ago.

Tavaziva said “significant activity” is already underway to make the corporation “more flexible”.

She said: “In March this year we announced a requirement for an additional £200 million of savings and reinvestment plans to drive the continued transformation of the BBC.

“This will support greater investment into premium video content and further develop our digital capabilities.”

She added: “To further build our digital capabilities, whilst targeting efficiencies, over the next two years we will continue to close and transfer roles in some areas and create new roles in growth areas.

“This will result in a forecast net reduction of 500 roles in the public service by March 26, with further growth in targeted areas planned in our commercial group.

“To support these changes we will today be launching a new voluntary redundancy scheme for staff.

“Our priority remains to protect and champion the BBC’s fighting role as the UK’s public service broadcaster, for all our audiences both local and global.

“I would like to thank all colleagues for their continued efforts and commitments over the past 12 months.

“I am immensely proud of the exceptional content creativity, delivery, and innovation that our teams both provide and support every day.”

The BBC announced in March 2023 that it was to cut 1,000 hours of TV in order to save money, with half of that coming from sport.

In the same year, the corporation announced it was scrapping its in-house chamber choir, the BBC Singers, and reducing salaried orchestral posts across the BBC English Orchestras by around 20%.

In December 2022 it said that it was making £11m worth of cuts in local radio, which saw its 39 stations required to share content and broadcast less localised content.

Back in 2016, the BBC said it needed to cut £800m worth of costs, with £80m of that coming from news.

The move saw the Andrew Neil Show axed in 2020, along with 450 jobs in English regional TV news and current affairs, local radio and online news.

 

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I Have No Blending Plant Outside Nigeria, NNPC Boss Kyari Replies Dangote

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The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari has said he does not own a blending plant outside Nigeria.

Kyari stated this on Tuesday, July 23, while reacting to claims that some officials of the NNPC have blending plants in Malta.

Reacting in a post on his X handle (formerly Twitter), Kyari said he had been inundated with calls from family members and friends, asking if he truly owns a blending plant in Malta.

Kyari stated that he does not own or operate any business directly or by proxy anywhere in the world except a local mini-agricultural venture.

He also said he is not aware of any employee of the NNPC that owns or operates a blending plant in Malta or anywhere else in the world.

“I am inundated by enquiries from family members, friends and associates on the public declaration by the President of Dangote Group that some NNPC workers have established a blending plant in Malta thereby impeding procurements from local production of Petroleum products.

“To clarify the allegations regarding the blending plant, I do not own or operate any business directly or by proxy anywhere in the world with the exception of a local mini Agric venture, neither am I aware of any employee of the NNPC, that owns or operates a blending plant in Malta or anywhere else in the world.

“A blending plant in Malta or any part of the world has no influence over NNPC’s business operations and strategic actions.”

The NNPC boss threatened to sanction any official of the NNPC involved in such acts if they truly exist.

 

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Just In: Shelve Planned Protest -Tinubu Begs Nigerians

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President Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians to shelve planned protests against bad governance in the country, slated for next month.

The appeal was made known by Information Minister Mohammed Idris, who briefed State House correspondents after a meeting with the President on Tuesday.

Idris said Tinubu urged the organisers of the protest to shelve the plan and await the President’s response to their complaints.

“The issue of the planned protest, Mr President does not see any need for that. He’s asked them to shelve that plan. He’s asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas,” the minister said.

The protest against economic hardship, which is gaining traction on social media, has been scheduled to hold across all states of the Federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, starting from August 1.

JomogNews reports that the prices of food and basic commodities have gone through the roof in the last months.

Many Nigerians currently are battling one of the country’s worst inflation and economic crisis sparked by the government’s twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and unification of forex windows.

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