A military transport plane, carrying air force cadets, crashed and burst into flames near a highway in north-eastern Ukraine on Friday evening, killing at least 22 people on board, officials said.
The Antonov An-26 aircraft crashed while trying to land during a training exercise, the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Ruslan Khomchak, said in a statement.
Khomchak added that at least two more people were critically injured.
A video posted by Deputy Interior Minister, Anton Gerashchenko, on Facebook showed the plane in flames lying near a road and smoke billowing upwards in the night sky.
Pictures taken later showed rescue workers inspecting the wreckage near the town of Chuhuiv.
An investigation has started on what caused the crash.
One pilot reported failure in the left engine of the twin-engine plane, said Oleksiy Kucher, the governor of the Kharkiv region, according to Interfax Ukraine.
Kucher added that this would not have been a critical situation for an experienced pilot.
Citing preliminary information, Kucher said that some of the people on board managed to jump out of the plane when it was at low altitude.
An eyewitness cited by the Ukraine 24 news channel also said people had jumped out.
The crash happened around two kilometres (1.2 miles) from a military airport, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in a statement.
It said 27 people had been on board the plane, revising that figure from an earlier estimate of 28.
The cadets were from the Kharkiv University of Air Force, which is run by the Defence Ministry.
A state commission is being created to identify all the circumstances and causes of this disaster.
Search and rescue work continues on the spot, President Volodymyr Zelenskiys office said.
Zelenskiy will travel to the area on Saturday. (Reuters/NAN)
Source: NAN News
Crude oil prices,
Brent crude futures settled at .92 a barrel, down two cents while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures lost six cents to .25 a barrel.
Brent dropped 2.9 per cent for the week and WTI sunk 2.1 per cent
There is this second wave of fear overhanging the oil market at this point and thats holding us back, said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
In the worlds top oil consumer, the United States, infections are rising in the Midwest, while New York City, which was hit hardest in the spring, is considering renewed shutdown mandates.
More than 200,000 people have died of the virus in the nation.
U.S. fuel consumption remains sluggish as the pandemic constrains travel and hampers economic recovery.
The four-week average of gasoline demand last week was nine per cent below a year earlier.
In other parts of the world, daily increases of coronavirus infections are hitting records and new restrictions are being put in place to limit travel.
In India, throughput by crude oil refiners in August fell 26 per cent from a year ago, most in four months, as demand ebbed because the pandemic is hindering industrial and transport activity.
At the same time, more crude oil entering the global market threatens to beef up supply and push prices lower.
The U.S. oil and gas rig count rose by six to 261 in the week to Sept. 25, energy services firm, Baker Hughes Cosaid.
Libya has recently boosted production and Shellhas provisionally booked the first crude tanker to load at Libyas Zueitina terminal since January.
Iranian oil exports, meanwhile, have risen sharply in September in defiance of U.S. sanctions, three assessments based on tanker tracking showed. (Reuters/NAN)
Source: NAN News
By Sumaila Ogbaje
Troops of Sector 2 (Chad), Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF), have rescued 12 hostages from the Boko Haram terrorists enclave near Barkalam in Lake Chad.
The Chief of Military Public Information, MNJTF, Col. Muhammad Dole, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Ndjamena, Chad and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Dole said the troops ambushed Boko Haram terrorists and sustained heat against them along the fringes of Lake Chad Basin with attendant successes.
He said that three canoes were capsised during the offensive operation, leading to the death and arrest of some terrorists, while others sustained various degree of injuries.
According to him, the 12 persons rescued comprise of one male adult, three women and eight children.
In line with its policy of safe transfer of surrendered insurgents and rescued hostages, the Headquarters, MNJTF used Helicopter to facilitate their movement from Baga Sola to NDjamena, Chad.
While receiving the rescued persons at Air Force Base, the Chadian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt.-Gen. Abakar Daoud, reiterated the absolute commitment and determination of the National and MNJTF forces to combat the menace of the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin.
Daoud urged the troops to remain focus and resolute to rid off insurgency, so as to restore normal socioeconomic activities in the region.
The rescued hostages were moved to a military medical facility for further examinations and medication, and thereafter reunite them with their families, he said.
Source: NAN News
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and some notable Nigerians have urged their compatriots in the Diaspora to key into government efforts for national development.
Some of the notable Nigerians include Mr Innocent Chukwuma, CEO of Innoson Group, and Nigerias High Commissioner to Canada, Amb. Adeyinka Asekun.
They called on Nigerians in Diaspora to key into efforts by the Federal Government to harness their resources directly for national development
The advice came at the just concluded 20th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Americas (NIDOA) with the theme, Harnessing Diaspora Capital for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.
According to them, Nigerias emigrant communities are critical national assets mostly needed now to drive their countrys post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.
However, they called for a conducive environment and formal structures back home to leverage the capitals, influence and connections of the Nigerian Diaspora.
In a pre-recorded video message, Adesina highlighted the strong financial power of Nigerians abroad as shown in their remittances averaging billion (N8 trillion) annually.
Think of it. What this means is that Nigerias value added Diaspora is a significant net gain rather than a brain drain.
The Diaspora, however, is more than money of course. The Diaspora represents knowledge, strategic influence and networks.
In a world of hyper change, Nigeria needs its best and brightest to tackle the most challenging issues of our time, and to ensure its rightful place in the League of Nations.
Together, let us inspire a greater Nigeria, a developed, prosperous and dynamic country bursting with energy and hope, he said.
The AfDB president lauded President Muhammadu Buharis foresight in setting up the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to properly harness their brains, innovation and entrepreneurial capacities.
He called for the right policy and political engagement to attract Nigerians abroad and properly tap their huge capitals for national development.
In a keynote address, Innoson noted that the huge remittances of the Diaspora to Nigeria is an indication that they are interested in the wellbeing of their fatherland.
But remittances are not enough. We need them back to the country. We need the strength from abroad to power our economy.
We need the Diaspora human capital to come back and contribute to our GDP. This is the way forward to achieve our greatness.
If Innoson Vehicles after 10 years is still waxing strong in spite of the challenges, I believe that you too can succeed in Nigeria, because whatever that is wrong in Nigeria can be corrected with what is right in Nigeria, he said.
The automaker also stressed the need for government to create the right environment for Nigerians to return home and contribute their quota.
For his part, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada said the quantum of financial flows from the Diaspora was capable of sustaining Nigerias development if properly channeled.
Asekun said: I believe it is commendable and worthwhile to send in money for day-to-day living and for consumption.
But I also believe that the whole impact of these flows will be felt upon the development process when a structure is brought to bear in the process.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa made very valuable points in terms of all the various initiatives in place such as the opportunities for mortgages, he said.
Turning to Nigerians, home and abroad, he noted that the nations development is in their hands, adding that the creation of an enabling environment in Nigeria is also their collective responsibility.
The Chairperson of NiDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, highlighted some programmes the commission has initiated, including a Diaspora trust fund.
Recently we put in place the Nigerians in Diaspora Trust Fund Committee to work out modalities so that we can have a proper structure for Nigerians who want to invest at home.
The committee was inaugurated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs not long ago and will soon report back to us.
We are also working with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for what we call Diaspora Mortgage Programme where you can sit in the comfort of your home and be able to get a mortgage and then a home in Nigeria.
There is no excuse any more. You now have NIDCOM to work with and we are determined that the Diaspora will never be ignored again in the annals of our country, she said.
All the speakers lauded the tremendous achievements of NIDOA in the last 20 years, especially its influence on governments policies that led to the establishment of NIDCOM.
Earlier, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of NIDOA, Mr Obed Monago, said the organisation had sustained its mission, including promoting patriotism, networking and cooperation among Nigerians in the Diaspora since its creation in 2000.
Monago said the theme of this years AGM was apt coming at a time Nigeria needs all the resources it could muster to recover from COVID-19.
The impact of COVID-19 has shown that time is now for the Diaspora to think inwards and homewards and act in the most definite ways to help bring about the socio-economic development that is so much needed in our country.
However, we will passionately ask the federal government to provide that enabling environment for us to build our country.
This includes corruption eradication, rule of law, transparency, checks and balances, infrastructure, constant power supply, accountability, favourable monetary policies, ease of doing business, among others, he said.
Source: NAN News
Muhammad Babandede, CG Nigeria Immigration Service
By Ibironke Ariyo
The Federal Government has approved the deportation of 10 Egyptians and seven Sri-Lankans with immediate effect.
Mr Sunday James, Public Relations Officer, Nigeira Immigration Service (NIS), disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
James said that the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbeshola, had signed the deportation order in pursuant to section 45, subsection 2, section 46, subsection 1 and Section 47, subsection 1 of the Nigeria Immigration Act 2015.
He said that the 10 Egyptians had violated the conditions for their entry and the Minister had ordered their deportation with immediate effect.
Seven Sri-Lankans that were jailed for petroleum product related offences after serving their jail terms were ordered by the court to be deported to their country as well.
The minister also signed the deportation order of one Ali Mahamat Taher to France and one Kasinathan Ramasamy to India who were found to be involved in activities violating the conditions of their entry into Nigeria.
Taher was found to be engaged in activities capable of undermining the security of a friendly neighbouring country to Nigeria in Maiduguri, Borno state.
While Ramasamy was found working as a shop attendant in Kano, he said.
NAN reports that the Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, had directed that all migrants in Nigeria should comply with the laws guiding their residence and entry following the resumption of international flight.
The public are hereby advised to note that all special exemptions granted to migrants due to COVID-19 has elapsed,he had said.
Source: NAN News
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.
By Abujah Racheal
The Federal Government on Friday inaugurated the first Infectious Disease Centre (IDC), in the Federal Capital Territory, and handed it over to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH).
Speaking at the inauguration of the 40-bed centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the centre would improve Nigerias capacity to respond to all infectious diseases.
With laboratory testing and case management in one location, there is a much shorter time between sample collection and infection confirmation.
This will ensures early initiation of treatment and thus mitigate mortality during infectious disease outbreaks.
I am very proud that today, we now have an international standard centre where we can manage highly pathogenic infectious disease cases, including critical medical and laboratory equipment, Ehanire said.
The minister hinted that the model would be replicated across the 36 states to ensure that the country was better prepared for infectious disease outbreaks.
Other facilities in the hospital inaugurated by the minister included the Accident and Emergency Unit which is a 32-bed facility with an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), radiology suite, dialysis unit, fully equipped dedicated operating theatre and oxygen supply unit.
Also inaugurated was a Cardiology Unit with facilities for non-invasive procedures including a 4D echocardiograph.
The minister also laid the foundation stone for the Mental Health Block, a 76-bed block which, when completed, would have facilities for specialised therapies, an emergency area, consulting, psychotherapy and seminar rooms, and a pharmacy.
The Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, in a remark, said that the project commenced in 2019 following the outbreak of the Lassa Fever in 2018 and the urgent need for a centre to manage infectious diseases.
In addition to managing viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Lassa fever, Ihekweazu said the Centre was designated for the management of cases of other infectious diseases, including Coronavirus, in the FCT.
The NCDC boss stated that the treatment centre also had a molecular laboratory for the prompt diagnosis of infectious diseases.
He said it was even more important to establish a treatment centre in Abuja to improve health security, while noting that COVID-19 had shown that no investment in the health sector was too small.
Ihekweazu reinforced the need for multi-sectoral collaboration to ensure the sustainability of the project.
Prof. Bisala Ekele, the Chief Medical Director of UATH, reaffirmed the commitment of the hospital management to ensuring optimal utilisation of the treatment centre for the management of infectious diseases, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ekele stated that the NCDC had supported the FCT Administration to mitigate the impact of the pandemic through training of health care workers on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC).
He added that the commission had also assisted in the provision of medical supplies, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and deployment of rapid response teams.
He disclosed that the NCDC had deployed and maintained a team of epidemiologists to support the FCT health authorities in response to the pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NCDC is mandated to lead the preparedness, detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.
Part of its role involves supporting states and building their capacity to respond to outbreaks, with directives from the Minister of Health.
NAN reports that the NCDC conducted a joint onsite assessment with relevant stakeholders in the FCT and it was agreed that UATH, Gwagwalada was strategically placed and suitable for the treatment centre. (NAN)
Source: NAN News
The Court of Appeal on Friday reserved judgment in Bayelsa deputy governors alleged certificate forgery suit.
TheDeputy Governor, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to dismiss the alleged certificate forgery suit brought against him by the governorship candidate of Accord Party, Mr Ebizimo Diriyai.
Diriyai is appealing the August judgment of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that dismissed his petition against the Nov.16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa.
When the matter came up on Friday, Ewhrudjakpo told the Justice Adzira Mshella led five-member panel of justices that the case of the Accord Party on the alleged certificate forgery was statute barred.
He said it was statute barred because it was not filed within the 14 days stipulated by Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Earlier, Mr Chukwuma Machukwu-Umeh, SAN, counsel to Ewhrudjakpo told the court that what the appellant took to the state election petition tribunal was a pre-election matter which was erroneously labeled as a post election matter.
Machukwu-Umeh said that in compliance with relevant laws, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), published names of Bayelsa governorship candidates and their running mates 60 days before the election .
This, he added was for the general public to make claims and objections.
He contended that in breach of the law, the Accord Partys governorship candidate did not file any claim or objection within the 14 days allowed by law.
The senior lawyer further argued that being a pre-election matter, the appellant ought to have filed his case at a Federal High Court, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or High Court of a state.
He said that the appellant no longer had a live case against the deputy governor and urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
Other respondents in the suit, Gov. Douye Diri, INEC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also asked the appellate court to dismiss the appeal for being incompetent and a waste of the courts time.
They prayed the court to uphold the judgment of the tribunal which had earlier dismissed the appellant s petition along with three others.
After taking arguments from all counsel in the matter, Justice Adriza Mshella, announced that judgment was reserved and a date would be communicated to parties in the suit.
News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) recalls that the Bayelsa Election Petition Tribunal had in August, dismissed the petition of Diriyai against Ewhrudjakpo.
The petition was dismissed on the grounds that the allegation of certificate forgery against Ewhrudjakpo was not proved by the petitioner.
Diriyai had dragged INEC, Diri, Ewhrudjakpo and the PDP before the tribunal alleging certificate forgery and falsehood against the deputy governor.
He alleged that the deputy governor forged his NYSC exemption certificate, which he presented to contest the Nov. 16 governorship election in Bayelsa.(NAN)
Source: NAN News
Prof. Jega, Former INEC Boss
By Naomi Sharang
Prof. Attahiru Jega, former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Friday said that Nigerias political space needed cleansing, and urged every Nigerian to contribute own quota to ensure that.
He stated this at the inauguration of the 34-member Policy Advisory Committee of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), on Friday in Abuja.
Jega, who is a member of the advisory committee of the PRP, said that all hands must be on deck to sanitise Nigerians on the electoral process.
I believe that all Nigerians can no longer sit on the fence as everybody needs to contribute to the cleansing of politics in Nigeria.
There should be no fence sitters; our future is at stake. We cannot allow bad people to continue to govern us or misgovern us and continue to wreck our country and its future, he said.
The former INEC boss said that he would help members of the committee to prepare position papers, policy criticisms and policy frameworks that would make PRP a strong political party that could win elections.
Earlier, Chairman of the party, Mr Falalu Bello, while inaugurating the members, had said that the members were thoroughbred intellectuals drawn from a wide field of specialisation and experience in Nigerias intellectual vineyard.
He said that the committee would operate in 10 working sub-groups including foreign policy and Pan-African Solidarity and Unity, internal security, civic liberties and values orientation, among others.
Bello said that the primary assignment of the group would involve carrying out a critique of the existing government policies and programmes in the working sub-groups area of interest.
He advised the members to take full cognisance of the many progressive provisions of Chapter two of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution in carrying out their assignment.
Our party, the PRP, shall court the involvement and participation of intellectual workers in the struggles for material and social advancement of the working masses of this country, he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that members of the committee, which is coordinated by Mr Richard Umoru, include Prof. Ifeanyi Anigbogu, Dr Aminu Aliyu, Mr Abdulkadir Isa, Prof. Ahmadu Sanda, Hajiya Aishatu Dankani, among others. (NAN)
Source: NAN News
Dr Chikwe Ikekweazu NCDC Boss
By Franca Ofili
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has received three Smart Walk-Through Booths for COVID -19 sample collection, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of the centre has said.
Ihekweazu said the booths were donated by the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Sample collections will done safely and easily in the country.
This donation reflects the understanding that the fight against COVID-19, really requires joint effort.
The booths are designed in a way that when people need samples collected, you dont have to dress in your full Personal protective equipment (PPE), this is a model that will make simple collection more easier and health workers protected, he said.
Ihekweazu said that the booth would enhance the fights of COVID-19 in the country and promised to ensure it was properly used as required.
He said the booths would be put into effective use at the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, the Central Public Health Laboratory and Nigerian Institute of Medical Research in Lagos.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora said that Nigeria needs collaboration in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mamora appreciated the government of Korea and advised the NCDC to ensure proper use of the booth.
Also speaking, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Maj.-Gen. Lee In-tae who was represented by Mr Woochan Chang, KOICA Country Director said that the donation marked another milestone in the bilateral relations that established since 1980.
Lee said that the booths are expected to provide medical staff with effective protection during test sample collection, support mass screening for COVID-19 in a timely and efficient manner and reduce the usage of PPE.
He said some key features of the booths include: Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, high efficiency bi-directional fan module conductive for medical staff to collect test sample.
He advised the NCDC to ensure efficiency and good maintenance of the booths (NAN)
Source: NAN News
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed the appointment of Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau as the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and Ahmed Bobboi as the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF).
Mr Femi Adesina, who confirmed the appointments in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said Simbi Wabote was also reappointed as Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
He said the renewal of the appointments followed recommendations to the President by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Syla.
Adesina revealed that Aliyu was credited to have ran the PTDF successfully in the past four years, keeping faith with the Seven Strategic Priorities he had introduced in January 2017.
These are: Domestication, Cost cutting, Sustainable funding, Efficient internal processes, Linkages with the industry, Utilization of centers of excellence, and Pursuit of home-grown research.
According to him, Bobboi gets his reappointment for having run PEF in a way that made it a key and strategic player in the administrations oil and gas reforms, especially in stabilizing the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country, among others.
He said the NCDMB boss, Wabote, won his pips for managing the NCDMB and completing its headquarters building.
The presidential aide said that Wabote also initiated many landmark projects that were widely commended by industry players.
All the appointments take immediate effect, he said.
Source: NAN News