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    FG names NAN headquarters after Wada Maida

    Malam Wada Maida

    By Mufutau Ojo
    The Federal Government has approved the naming of the headquarters of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja after late Malam Wada Maida, the agencys former Managing Director.

    The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, conveyed the approval in a letter dated Nov. 26.

    Mohammed said the approval was in recognition of the immense contributions of Maida to the growth of the agency.

    I write to convey my approval for the naming of the NAN headquarters building after the late Wada Maida, who served the agency in many capacities, including as Foreign Correspondent, Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director.

    It is my sincere belief that the decision to honour the late Wada Maida is well thought out and that he deserves such a great honour, considering his immense contributions to the development of NAN, he said.

    Maida, Chief Press Secretary to President Mohammadu Buhari when he was military Head of State, died on Aug. 17 at the age of 70.

    A pioneer staff of the Agency, Maida was its Northern Zonal Manager and later its Foreign Correspondent in London before becoming Head of the Political Desk.

    He was appointed its Editor-in-Chief in 1984 and later became its Managing Director before he bowed out in 2003.

    Maida was appointed Chairman of NANs Board of Directors in December 2017 and served in that capacity until his demise.

    Source: NAN News

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    AKK gas pipeline is at 15% completion  Kyari

    AKK gas pipeline

    By Edith Ike-Eboh

    The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, says the construction of Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano(AKK) Gas Pipeline project is currently at 15 per cent completion.

    Kyari disclosed this at the inspection of the second leg of the project at Karogo community in Igabi Local Government Area, Kaduna State, on Tuesday.

    The project is currently at about 15 per cent completion but what is important for us to know is that we are crossing the river Niger, what we call the Ndoni-Aboh river crossing in Rivers and Delta states that will deliver gas from the eastern part to the country into the western corridor.

    That means expanding gas supply into the help line and also making gas ready. We are happy that this project is going on and we will deliver it on course and schedule.

    We have all the assurances of government and particularly that this government is focused on delivering this project so that we clear the trans national gas pipeline which has eluded us.

    By completing the project and expanding the L2 lines and crossing the Ndoniabo River, we would have created a major gas trunk line for gas delivery to our domestic market, he said.

    In her remarks,the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiah Zaniab Ahmed, assured full funding of the project for delivery at targeted timeline.

    She commended the NNPC and the contractors for the commitment and quality of job done so far with the project.

    I have seen very high level of work that has been done and excellent quality, I can see the potential of what will happen to the cities that the project is passing.

    It is going to bring huge businesses and employ a lot of people, already the project is employing people at the level the work is done so far.

    This project is assured in terms of funding, we already secured a lone from China Eximbank of 2.5 billion dollars,the financing has been closed,all that is done now is disbursements for the contractors to continue doing their work, she said.

    The minister urged all stakeholders to continue to collaborate to ensure full delivery of the project at the targeted period.

    Also, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said the project symbolises transformation and revolution for development.

    This project will create a corridor of opportunities for Nigeria and drive a lot of development. We just came back from Kano and seen what gas is already doing, a lot of factories are coming up.

    A lot of factories closed down because of high cost of energy and running on diesel was unsustainable but with this now, it will be cheaper and cleaner and a lot of businesses will spring up around here.

    It will be quite transformational and a lot of jobs will be created, I see a lot of opportunities growing from this project, he said

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the 40-inch x 614km gas pipeline project in June with 24 months timeline of project delivery target.

    The AKK Gas Pipeline is a pipeline planned to transport natural gas from Ajaokuta, in Kogi State to Kano, in Kano State, through several states and urban centers, as part of the Trans Nigeria Gas Pipeline.

    Upon completion, the project will enable the injection of 2.2bscf/d of gas into the domestic market and facilitate additional power generation capacity of 3,600MW.

    Construction of the project commenced in July 2020.(NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Media experts underscore importance of Press Freedom to national devt.

    Media experts underscore importance of Press Freedom to national devt.

    By Lizzy Okoji

    Some media experts have stressed the importance of freedom of the press in nations development, advising practitioners to report in line with the ethics of the profession.

    They gave the advice in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, on the sideline of a three-day workshop organised for journalists by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Abuja.

    The three-day workshop had its theme, Freedom of the Press and the Codes of Conduct for Nigerian journalists.

    They said that the media should re-assess the current state of press freedom for its improvement.

    Speaking to NAN, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, Executive Director, Premium Times and a facilitator at the workshop, said that freedom of the press was not a luxury but the core of development in every society.

    Olorunyomi explained that the role of the media was key to effective development of any nation, and should have access to information and relay quality and truthful information to the public.

    You cannot qualitatively achieve development where freedom of the press is lacking because of the value of the media particularly that of accountability, transparency and poverty reduction.

    But that power can be seen in concrete terms or abstract terms. One way to look at it is the instrumental power that the media has.

    The media has the power to trigger other kinds of processes.

    Freedom of the media has become a factor like every other factor that you bring to a production process,Olorunyomi said.

    He advised journalists to continue to practice within the best ethical standards of the profession, and try as much as possible to be truthful in their reportage.

    According to Olorunyomi, accuracy in reporting is the primary definition of the job of a journalist.

    He also urged the media to always provide effective verification for claims and avoid fake reportage.

    Also speaking, Dr Tunji Ogunyemi, Head of History Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said that the independence of the media was essential and that every media organisation must operate within the ethics of the profession.

    Ogunyemi said that the independence of the media entails the capacity of the practitioners to be able to decipher issues and publish them in so far as they were truthful, promote public interest and for public benefits.

    This is essentially the purports of section 22 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which provides that the media is for the purpose of public benefits and interest.

    The media should be able to publish the truth regardless of their proprietorship.

    Independence of the media entails publishing news that are not dictated by any authority and that it does not become a mouth piece of only governments alone or any party, but rather a mouth piece of the Nigerian State.

    Letting government know where she has not done well and then letting the people know where the government has done well. It is very possible to achieve objective reportage,Ogunyemi added.

    Earlier, Mr Jide Ojo, Executive Director, Oja Development Consult, urged the media not to rely on social media as a primary source of information.

    Ojo advised the media to always verify any information seen on social media from the verified source to avoid reporting fake news and causing embarrassment.

    Said he: Protection from internet falsehood and manipulation and other related matters bill popularly known as the Social Media Bill, had been perceived by some to abridge freedom of expression.

    He however called on the media not to abuse the use of social media while reporting, advising that government should have a better way of regulating the social media space.

    We must learn to be responsible in the enjoyment of our fundamental human rights.

    I will prefer a different type of regulation which civic education, and also, working with the internet service providers to be able to come up with more creative restrictions.

    A journalist can use the social media as a secondary source of information and not as a primary source, Ojo added. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Stakeholders renew call for abolition of joint account system for LGs

    Stakeholders renew call for abolition of joint account system for LGs

    By Angela Atabo

    Stakeholders have renewed calls for the abolition of joint account system by state governments to enable local government councils in the country function effectively at the grassroots.

    They made the call at a one day Public Policy Dialogue on Good Governance and Service Delivery at the Grassroots organised by PER-ECP in partnership with Democracy Vanguards in Abuja on Tuesday.

    Speaking at the event, Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state said that his administration had strengthened local councils in the state because of their pivotal role in societal development.

    He said that the his administration examined factors militating against quality service delivery by local government councils and discovered that proper funding was necessary for effective

    functioning of the councils.

    There is need to allow local councils full operation and management, hands off from their revenue,hands off their money ,let it come directly to them.

    Let oversight function of state houses of assembly be strengthened so they can be monitored for effective service delivery.

    I call on all other actors to allow local councils operate optimally because once they are given that liberty, things will be better ,more so abolish the joint account system to allow for proper service delivery, El-Rufai, represented byAlhaji Jaafaru Sani, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs said.

    Sen. Bala Ibn NaAllah (APC-Kebbi) said that the National Assembly had attempted to enact laws to ensure that local councils got their funding directly but was presented by those in government.

    All agitations arising in terms of local government autonomy is guaranteed under section seven of the Constitution, meaning that a system is put in place to assuage the fears and grant electorate their request.

    So the assumption is that those charged with the responsibility of occupying offices under the constitution will uphold the oath of their offices and not allow personal interest affect official decision and do justice to all without fear or favour.

    If you will put that scale on every elected person, ask me how many will pass through it? So this is the situation that we are in.

    Our problem in all honesty is not that we have not made effort to strengthen the administration of the local government ,our problem is political and only a very determined civil society and elite who wish this country well will move towards restructuring the leadership recruitment process in Nigeria, he said.

    According to NaAllah, it is only then that the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians as enshrined in the constitution can be delivered so there is need to adjust the approach and attempt at corruption to make the system in a way that stealing is impossible.

    Professor of Law, Auwalu Yadudu said that the local councils challenges the local government were those of the law adding that situation does necessarily mean that new laws must be made.

    Yadudu said that existing legislations if respected and obeyed would solve the challenges because, respect for the rule of law would address the issue of local government autonomy.

    Dr Adiya Ode, National Coordinator, PERL-ECP, said that the aim of the dialogue was to address Nigerias service delivery crisis due to socio economic, education, security and health challenges.

    She said that the constitution made local governments in Nigeria the sole tier of service delivery adding their inability to function effectively raised many questions about Nigeria.

    She said that the discussion would shed light on issues of how to improve local governance in Nigeria, how to ensure that those given responsibility lived up to expectations.

    Source: NAN News

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    U.S. pays tributes to late Nigerian ambassador, Nsofor

    U.S. pays tributes to late Nigerian ambassador, Nsofor

    The United States has paid glowing tributes to the immediate-past Nigerian ambassador to the country, late Justice Sylvanus Nsofor.

    Nsofor, a retired Justice of the Court of Appeal, died in the U.S. on Dec. 10 after a brief illness.

    He was aged 85.

    In a statement on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State said it was saddened by the passing of the diplomat.

    It expressed condolences to the family of the late ambassador and staff of the Nigeria embassy.

    Amb. Nsofor was an important and influential member of the diplomatic community in Washington, D.C., and helped to strengthen our partnerships across the West Africa region.

    His long career in public service, which spanned both the law and diplomacy, was a testament to his dedication to the Nigerian people.

    In striving to find common ground between the UN and Nigeria, he supported mutually beneficial programmes and initiatives across a wide range of sectors, including educational exchange, rule of law, and business investment.

    He saw tremendous value in people-to-people connections and fostered a spirit of cooperation across the diplomatic corps, the statement said.

    It added that the Department of State honours Nsofors leadership in promoting diplomatic exchange and understanding during his tenure in the U.S.

    Source: NAN News

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    Japanese court sentences Twitter Killer to death

    Japanese court sentences Twitter Killer to death

    A Japanese court on Tuesday sentenced to death a serial killer, Takahiro Shiraishi, also known as the Twitter killer for murdering eight women and a man he met on social media.

    Delivering judgment, the Judge, Yano Naokuni, said the death sentence against Shiraishi was prompted by the extreme seriousness of his crimes, the New York Times quoted the Tokyo court as saying.

    Shiraishi did not just murder his victims but had trampled on the dignity of the dead, Naokuni held.

    The convicted murderer had testified that he had at first considered denying his involvement but later changed his mind in the face of the overwhelming evidence against him.

    Shiraishi, nicknamed the Twitter Killer had confessed to meeting with eight women and a man at different times on social media and luring them to an apartment, where he killed them all.

    Shiraishi was arraigned before the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court in September.

    He was charged with sexual assault, murder and theft of the victims belongings, as well as abandoning the victims remains in coolers.

    The remains of the victims, aged between 15 and 26, were found at an apartment in the city of Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, in October 2017.

    The victims families and prosecution counsel had during the trial demanded a death sentence for Shiraishi.

    His lawyers (defence counsel) had argued that the victims wanted to die and went to see Shiraishi on their own will.

    Shiraishi had, however, rejected their submission before the court and made it clear that the victims did not give their consent to be killed by him.

    Shiraishi confessed outright before the court that his aim was to rape the victims and take their money.

    I had a hard time making up my mind to do it, but I had done illegal things on a daily basis as part of my work as a scout and had internalised the idea that its only a problem if you get caught, he was quoted as saying in court.

    He had also told the court that after the first murder, the rest was easy.

    Delivering judgment, the Judge held that none of the victims wanted to be murdered, and that the defendant was found to be fully responsible for the crime.

    The Judge upheld the prosecutions demand and sentenced Shiraishi to death accordingly.

    Source: NAN News

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    IPMAN directs members to sell PMS at N162 in Kano

    IPMAN

    By Abbas Bamalli

    The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Kano State branch, has directed its members to sell petrol at N162.44 per litre as directed by the Federal government

    The IPMAN Chairman in Kano, Alhaji Bashir Dan-Malam gave the directiveon Monday at a news conference in Kano.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Federal Government had reduced the price of the commodity from N168 per litre to N162.44 per litre following dialogue with the organised labour.

    He said the directive followed the reduction of the price of the commodity to marketers by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from N153.17 to N148.17 per litre with effect from Monday.

    According to him, since the Federal Government had reduced N5, the marketers have no option than to also reduce the price of the commodity at their filling stations to members of the public.

    He said: I am therefore directing our members in the Kano zone to commence the sale of the commodity at N162.44 per litre from today in compliance with the governments directive.

    I want to also assure the public that we are committed to transporting the product to all states under Kano State including Katsina, Bauchi, Yobe and Jigawa especially during the Yuletide to prevent scarcity.

    He, however, commended the Federal Government for listening to the public complaint and outcry to reduce the price of the product.

    According to him,IPMAN would continue to support the Federal Government to ensure uninterrupted petroleum products supply across the country. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Biden to Trump: Time to respect the peoples will

    Joe Biden

    U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday said it was time for outgoing President Donald Trump to stop grandstanding and concede the Nov. 3 election.

    Addressing the nation shortly after the Electoral College confirmed his victory in the Nov. 3 general polls, Biden said the will of the people prevailed.

    He said Trumps refusal to accept defeat after his several lawsuits failed up to the Supreme Court was an unprecedented assault on our democracy.

    He stated that the countrys democracy had been pushed, tested and threatened but proved to be resilient, true and strong.

    The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago, and we now know that nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power can extinguish that flame.

    This is the biggest voter turn out in the history of the United States of America.

    The number is so big that this election now ranks the clearest demonstration of the true will of the American people.

    Together, Vice President-elect Harris and I earned 306 electoral votes, well exceeding the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory.

    Three hundred and six electoral votes is the same number of electoral votes that Donald Trump and Vice President Pence received when they won in 2016.

    At the time, President Trump called the electoral college a landslide. And I respectfully suggest he does so now, the president-elect said.

    Biden won the November election with received 306 electoral votes, against Trumps 232.

    The next step is the transmission of the votes to a joint session of Congress presided over by Vice President Pence on Jan. 6 for counting and final confirmation.

    This will pave the way for Bidens inauguration on Jan. 20.

    Trump said in November that he would step aside in January if the electoral college ratified Bidens victory. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    UN condemns deadly Dec. 12 attack in Niger

    UN-Secretary-General-Antnio-Guterres

    By Harrison Arubu

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned Saturdays deadly attack by gunmen that claimed 27 lives in the Republic of Niger.

    The Boko Haram terrorist group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, which left several others wounded and about 800 houses razed in the countrys Diffa Region.

    Reports say the incident occurred hours before polls opened for municipal and regional elections across Niger on Sunday.

    In a UN statement, Guterres expressed regret that the attack disrupted the elections in the Diffa region.

    The Secretary-General strongly condemns the attackperpetrated by unidentified gunmen in Diffa Region, in Niger, on Dec. 12 in which at least 27 people were reportedly killed and some 800 houses burnt.

    He expresses his deepest condolences to the bereaved familiesand the people and government of Niger, and wishes a swift recovery to the injured.

    The Secretary-General regrets that this barbaric attack disrupted the peaceful holding of municipal and regional elections in the Diffa region.

    He reiterates the commitment of the UN to support national efforts to consolidate democratic governance, promote social cohesion and achieve sustainable development, it added. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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    Xploits Coy, Access Bank train 53 people on fish, snail farming

    Fish Farm

    By Okeoghene Akubuike

    Fifty-three people have been trained in snail and fish farming to tackle unemployment and food shortage in Nigeria.

    Mrs Grace Taiwo, Director of Communications, Xploits Consulting Ltd., an environmental and sustainability company, said the training was done by the company in partnership with Access Bank.

    Taiwo said in a statement in Abuja on Monday that37of the beneficiaries were from Ado in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa, while 16 others were from Lokoja in Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi.

    She said that a multilateral approach was needed to address the dual challenges of unemployment and food insecurity in the country.

    Taiwo said that agriculture would provide employment and income for the unemployed youths.

    This will in turn provide food we need through increased production and ensure that agriculture is passed from one generation to the next.

    Against the backdrop, Xploits Consulting Ltd., with the support from Access Bank Plc, initiated this agribusiness skills programme to provide technical knowledge for the community to improve their livelihoods.

    The need for this programme is even greater, as the country is now in its second economic recession in four years, a situation linked to COVID-19, Taiwo said.

    One of the beneficiaries, Mr Enock Jiggah, commended the bank and the company for bringing the training to their doorstep.

    Also, Mr Eneh Afamefuna, the Manager, Access Bank branch, Lokoja, urged the participants to take full advantage of the opportunities offered during the training.

    Knowledge is power and information is essential, food will always sell, that is why we are supporting Xploits Consulting to train you in this area of fish and snail farming, he said. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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