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     Senate insists on probe of Tanko Muhammad, former CJN

    By Naomi Sharang

    The Senate on Tuesday insisted that it would go ahead with the probe of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Tanko Muhammad.

    This was sequel to a motion on Matter of Urgent Public Importance moved by Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti).

    The motion was tagged: State of Affairs in the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Demand by Justices of the Court.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate had on June 22, mandated the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to, as a matter of urgency, wade into the crisis rocking the judiciary.

    Following prayers of the motion, the senate resolved to mandate the committee to go ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a lasting solution to the matter by interacting with relevant stakeholders.

    This is with a view to addressing the complaints raised in the petition by the Justices of the Supreme Court.

    The upper chamber also mandated the committee to interface with the relevant stakeholders in the three arms of government as well as at the Bar and the Bench.

    Earlier, Bamidele, while moving the motion pursuant to Rules 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Orders, noted that poor welfare of judicial officers would affect the delivery of the judiciary in respect of their output and would prevent them not to perform optimally.

    The sacred image of the judiciary, which is the epicentre of the temple of justice should be preserved by the Senate through appropriate legislative measures in order to safeguard this highly revered institution and prevent it from being ridiculed, he said.

    The lawmaker who regretted the former CJNs resignation said that this development will not prevent the committee from going ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a probable lasting solution to the matter.

    Even though Muhammad has stepped down as CJN, most of the issues raised by the Justices of the Supreme Court and other stakeholders within the judiciary still remain and need to be addressed urgently to prevent an eventual shut-down of the Judiciary.

    Supporting the motion, Deputy Chief Whip, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, said that this motion will show clearly that the Senate is not unaware of the role it is supposed to play.

    Of course, in playing that role, we also respect separation of powers. Our concern is that the judiciary as an arm of government deserves all the support it needs been the last hope as far as the rule of law is concerned.

    Similarly, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege said, I am very embarrassed as a lawyer and also someone from the judicial family.

    Seeing that petition on the social media and eventually on the mainstream media, I was taken aback because it has never happened, it is unprecedented.

    There is no reason why the judiciary should lack anything financially.

    In his remarks President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said that, I can see most of the emphasis is on funding.

    When we look into the issues, they go beyond funding.

    We should look at other areas whether there is need to improve on the structures or having issues that may not be about funding but funding is of course a major issue. Lawan said.

    NAN reports that recently, 14 Justices of the Supreme Court leveled allegations of corruption against the former CJN, Muhammad.

    The Justices, in a memo, protested the non-payment of legitimate entitlements by the former CJN among others.

    NAN also reports that the former CJN, Muhammad, had on Monday, June 27, resigned from his position, reportedly on health grounds.(NAN)

    Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

    Source: NAN News

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     2023: We will continue mobilisation for Tinubu, says SWAGA

    By Emmanuel Oloniruha

    A support group for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (SWAGA23) has pledged to continue with its grassroots campaign and mobilisation to ensure his victory at the 2023 presidential election.

    According to the statement jointly signed by the groups National Chairman Sen. Dayo Adeyeye and Secretary, Hon. Bosun Oladele, in Abuja on Tuesday, the resolution was made at the end of the groups Central Working Committee meeting.

    The group expressed confidence in the victory of Tinubu in the presidential election and pledged to immediately embark on various mapped-out programmes to achieve this.

    It urged all its members and affiliate groups at various levels across the country to be prepared for greater team work for the victory of the APC presidential candidate.

    We urge our members and affiliate groups to be ready for the mother-of-all campaigns. Together with God, Victory is assured.

    It is quite commendable that all members of SWAGA23 worked not only voluntarily but relentlessly and passionately in ensuring the emergence of Tinubu at the Primaries, it stated.

    It thanked all delegates at the partys last presidential primary for voting Tinubu and commended SWAGA members for their untiring efforts in propagating Tinubu as the best candidate in the next general elections.

    It specifically commended its affiliates in Akwa Ibom Stakeholders for Asiwaju Tinubu (AKISAT), Delta State for Bola Ahmed Tinubu (DESBAT) and the North Central Agenda for Asiwaju (NCA) support for the former Lagos governor.

    Following their immeasurable contributions at sensitising the populace on the need for Tinubu to emerge as APC flag-bearer, SWAGA urged the affiliate groups not to relent towards achieving their main objective.

    As the saying goes, the reward for hard work is more works now that the first stage of the process is over and won by our principal, we must embark on the final and crucial stage which is the general elections and the race to the Presidential Villa.

    Our group SWAGA23 must therefore continue at the forefront of the campaign and mobilization at the grassroots for support and votes to win the race for our Principal, it said.

    The group also appreciated Tinubu for according it the required recognition and responsibility, adding that we undertake neither to relent nor disappoint.(NAN)(

    Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

    Source: NAN News

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     Saudi officials, stakeholders meet on measures for smooth Hajj 2022 operations
    By Ismail Abdulaziz

    Major stakeholders in the conduct of the Hajj 2022 operations met on Tuesday in Muna to agree on measures for a successful exercise.

    The meeting was attended by Saudi officials in charge of transportation and Jamrat (sites of pelting of the devil), security representatives and different Hajj companies for pilgrims from non-Arab African countries.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this strategic review planning was to take measures for a smooth movement of the no fewer than one million pilgrims from one religious point to the other.

    The exercise has no fewer than 2.5 million to three million pilgrims participating yearly; but this year being the first after two years of COVID-19 hiatus, only one million pilgrims were allowed.

    The places where discussions centred around include Muna where pilgrims would stay for the night, Arafat where pilgrims stay for the day and leave to Muzdalifa for some parts of the night before coming back to Makkah.

    These places are most significant in the performance of the Hajj that all pilgrims must observe at the same time and in the same location in order to perfect the exercise.

    The meeting agreed on the routes and time that designated buses for countries and states would pick pilgrims, the number of pilgrims per bus and schedule of time for the pick-up.

    The meeting, which takes place every year before the days of the Hajj, was to ensure the safety, comfort and total concentration of the pilgrims on the holy exercise.

    Malam Idris Al-Makura, Executive Secretary, Nasarawa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, told NAN that the meeting had further enlightened Hajj officials on how to guide their pilgrims during and after Hajj days.

    We will take this our decisions to our other members of the pilgrims boards and stress the importance for them to enlighten their pilgrims on the measures and the need for strict adherence for a hitch free Hajj, he told NAN.

    Al-Makura, who is also the Chairman Forum of State Executive Secretaries, said that decisions would reduce the discomfort faced by pilgrims because of the large of number of people involved in the religious exercise.

    Hajj is a religious obligation with a journey to the Holy Kaaba, pilgrims perform a ritual that dates to pre-Islamic days and was sanctified by the Prophet.(NAN)

    Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede

    Source: NAN News

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     EU partners FG on infrastructure, security  Envoy

    By Salif Atojoko

    The EU ambassador to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ms Samuela Isopi, on Tuesday, said the EU was collaborating with the Federal Government to improve infrastructure and security.

    Isopi, who said this at a briefing with business editors in Lagos, noted that it was imperative for Nigeria to improve critical infrastructure and overcome security challenges to attract investments into key sectors of the economy.

    Isopi said: We are working to support the government to address security challenges in the area of farmers/herder clashes, oil bunkering and others.

    Nigeria needs to create the appropriate environment to attract investments in the several sectors of the economy.

    The ambassador said the EU was also focusing on investments in the oil and gas as well as agriculture sectors as key drivers of the Nigerian economy.

    We want to wean ourselves from dependence on gas from Russia. By continuing to buy gas from Russia, we will continue to support their economy.

    We are reaching out to the Nigerian government and other African countries as alternatives.

    But we are confronted by the issues of inadequate infrastructure, vandalism, banditry and kidnapping. Thats why we are collaborating with the Nigerian government, said Isopi.

    Isopi, who described the EU bloc as Nigerias biggest trading partner, said the European bloc accounted for 20.9 per cent of Nigerias trade with the world.

    She added that the EU accounted for 25.4 per cent of Nigerias exports to the global market, and was Nigerias second largest import destination, accounting for 16.1 per cent of the countrys total imports.

    She further noted that the bloc was Nigerias first partner in foreign direct investment, with EU companies, together with their Nigerian business partners, contributing to the countrys economic growth, job creation and wealth generation.

    She said all the issues hindering investments in Nigeria would be tackled at the 8th EU-Nigeria Business Forum, themed Nigeria and the New Economy, scheduled to hold in Lagos from June 30 to July 1.

    According to her, business leaders and government officials from Nigeria and Europe will seek to identify new opportunities to unlock the Nigerian economy towards win-win outcomes for Nigeria and Europe at the forum.

    She said the EU-Nigeria Business Forum had over the years served as a strong platform for European and Nigerian businesses to engage with the Nigerian authorities towards improving the business environment.

    This years event will focus on three key sectors: backward integration policy of the Nigerian government; opportunities to increase gas exports to Europe; and new initiatives in the agricultural sector.

    While these sectors are not new, the potential in them remains largely untapped.

    During the 8th EU-Nigeria Business Forum, discussions will aim to identify the causes of these hindrances and explore how these opportunities can be unlocked for the mutual benefit of Nigeria and Europe, said Isopi.

    The Trade Counselor, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr John Taylor, explained that the 8th EU-Nigeria Business Forum was jointly organised by the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, in collaboration with member states.

    According to him, in addition to the plenary discussions, there will be exhibitions on both days of the event.

    He said the first day would feature a demonstration by several European companies operating in Nigeria on how they have been able to implement the backward integration policy of the Nigerian government in their sectors.

    He added that proceedings on the second day would focus on the Team Europe project, and the investments of EU businesses in the Nigerian agricultural sector.

    Also speaking, Ms Inga Stefanowicz, Team Leader, Green and Digital Economy, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said EUs objective was to support farmers in rural communities in Nigeria.

    We have to drive the issue of quality, making their produce exportable. We would like to have an increase in trade, exporting agricultural products that have value addition.

    We are already involved in this; looking at small holder farmers, how we can link them to the markets. To have goods of the quality that can be exported, and also of high quality for consumption in the local market.

    We believe that this can create jobs and empower many families, especially young Nigerians, said Stefanowicz. (NAN) (

    Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

    Source: NAN News

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     Sanwo-Olu, NCFRMI, UNHCR sign Lagos as refugee-friendly city

    By Busayo Onijala/Florence Onuegbu

    Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Monday signed the declaration of the state as one of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) #CitiesWithRefugees.

    The governor signed the document during the 2022 World Refugee Day Symposium in Lagos, organised by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), in collaboration with UNHCR.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the #CitiesWithRefugees initiative was launched by UNHCR globally on the side-lines of World Refugee Day in 2018.

    It has brought together more than 280 cities in over 40 countries to call for more local authorities to welcome and include refugees in their communities.

    NAN also reports that World Refugee Day is marked yearly on June 20 to celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home countries to escape conflict or persecution.

    The theme for this years celebration is: Whoever, Wherever, Whenever, Everyone Has The Right To Seek Safety.

    It is a day when the global community collectively rallies round refugees to show empathy and understanding for their plight.

    Delivering his speech, the governor said that his administration would continue to create the space and ambience for refugees, no matter their beliefs or where they come from.

    He said that the state would not make refugees and asylum seekers uncomfortable, as the government would ensure fairness and equity in handling them.

    According to him, Lagos State has the most significant urban refugee caseload in Nigeria, because it provides a welcoming environment where they can thrive and become self-reliant.

    All that refugees are requesting is an opportunity and a space in the room. Once they are given social protection, they will indeed blossom and be willing to contribute their quota in a safe and secure manner, Sanwo-Olu said.

    In her remarks, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, Federal Commissioner, NCFRMI, said that Nigeria is presently host to over 84,000 refugees and asylum seekers, with Cross River alone hosting about 41,000 of them.

    According to Sulaiman-Ibrahim, most of the refugees reside in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Taraba, Benue, Lagos, Kano and Borno, while there are about 320,000 Nigerian Refugees spread into Niger, Chad and Cameroon Republics.

    In the face of increasing daily influx of asylum-seeking migrants from the West African sub-region, particularly from Cameroon, due to the separatist political crisis in her southern part, Nigeria has put in place robust protection regime for our Persons of Concern (PoC).

    Nigeria has one of the best hospitable environments for refugees to operate in.

    In collaboration with the UNHCR, we have continued to double up efforts in ensuring the rehabilitation and reassurance of refugees security, healthcare, education, livelihood support and durable solutions, Sulaiman-Ibrahim.

    She added that the signing of the declaration of Lagos as #CitiesWithRefugees by Sanwo-Olu was a defining moment with global significance, as it underscored the place of refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons and other PoCs in his heart.

    Lagos has always been and particularly under the current leadership, has created inclusiveness and promoted hope for refugees and PoCs through favourable policies in the areas of education, health and social services, Sulaiman-Ibrahim said.

    On her part, UNHCR Representative in Nigeria, Ms Chansa Kapaya noted that welcoming refugees creates opportunities for economic, civic and social growth.

    This, she said is because the diversity of ideas and experiences refugees bring spur creativity and innovation.

    She stressed that in spite of the unimaginable sacrifices refugees make upon safety, many keep their hopes and dreams for the future alive.

    Their contributions dont just change communities but also change the world and today, we are asking people to remember the importance of welcoming new comers into their communities.

    They are determined despite being displaced and dispossessed. Their will to survive and relentless strive to improve their lives are not easily extinguished by adversity.

    We can do more to reach more refugees but resources are limited and there, we need your help, she said.

    NAN reports that in Nigeria, the cities that have signed the #WithRefugees pledge include FCT, Calabar, Ogoja and Lagos. (NAN)



    Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Julius Toba-Jegede

    Source: NAN News

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     AfDB moves to cut bn annual import of medicine into Africa

    By Cecilia John

    The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved the establishment of African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation for A,fricas access to technologies.

    According to the bank, this is for the manufacture of medicines, vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.

    In a statement by the banks Communication and External Relations Department on Monday in Abuja, the AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina described the development as a leap for Africa.

    He said, with Africa importing more than 70 per cent of all the medicines it needs and consuming 14 billion dollars per year, the establishment of the Foundation was a major development.

    Adesina said Global efforts to rapidly expand manufacturing of essential pharmaceutical products including vaccines in developing countries, particularly in Africa, to assure greater access, had been hampered.

    This has been hampered by intellectual property rights protection and patents on technological know-how, manufacturing processes and trade secrets.

    African pharmaceutical companies do not have the scouting and negotiation capacity, and bandwidth to engage with global pharmaceutical companies.
    They have been marginalised and left behind in complex global pharmaceutical innovations.
    He decried that of 35 companies which recently signed a licence with Americas Merck to produce Nirmatrelvir, a COVID-19 drug, none was African.
    According to him, no institution exists in Africa to support the practical implementation of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) on nonexclusive or exclusive licencing of proprietary technologies, know-how and processes.
    He expressed optimism that the Foundation would fill existing gaps when fully established.
    It will be staffed with world-class experts on pharmaceutical innovation and development, intellectual property rights, and health policy.
    It will act as a transparent intermediator advancing and brokering the interests of the African pharmaceutical sector with global and other Southern pharmaceutical companies, the statement said.
    It quoted Adesina as saying, Africa must have a health defence system, which must include three major areas.
    Revamping Africas pharmaceutical industry, building Africas vaccine manufacturing capacity, and building Africas quality healthcare infrastructure.
    The statement said that African leaders had called on AfDB to facilitate establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.
    It said that the AfDB president, who presented the case for the institution to the African Union at the Summit in Addis Ababa in February, said it was a bold initiative.
    Africa can no longer outsource the healthcare security of its 1.3 billion citizens to the benevolence of others.
    With this bold initiative, the African Development Bank has made good on that commitment.
    The decision is a major boost to the health prospects of a continent.
    A continent that has been battered for decades by the burden of several diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19, but with very limited capacity to produce its own medicines and vaccines.
    The statement noted that the World Trade Organisation WTO)and the World Health Organisation (WHO), welcomed the banks decision to establish the Foundation.
    It quoted the Director-General of the WTO Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as saying, the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is innovative thinking and action by the African Development Bank.
    It provides part of the infrastructure needed to assure an emergent pharmaceutical industry in Africa.
    The statement also quoted the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus as saying establishing the Foundation was a game changer.
    It also quoted him as saying it was a game changer on accelerating access of African pharmaceutical companies to IP-protected technologies and know-how in Africa,
    On activities of the Foundation, the statement said that it would prioritise technologies, products and processes focused primarily on diseases that were widely prevalent in Africa.
    It noted that the Foundation would build human and professional skills, research and development ecosystem, while supporting upgrade of manufacturing plant capacities and regulatory quality to meet WHO standards.
    According to the statement, the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation is being established under the auspices of the AfDB,
    It stated that the Foundation would operate independently and raise funds from various stakeholders including governments, development finance institutions, philanthropic organisations among others.
    The Foundation will boost the African Development Banks commitment to spend at least three billion dollars over the next 10 years.
    This is to support the pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector under its Vision 2030 Pharmaceutical Action Plan.
    The Foundations areas of work will also be an asset to all other current investments into pharmaceutical production in Africa.
    Rwanda will host the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation.
    It will have its own governance and operational structures, while promoting and brokering alliances between foreign and African pharmaceutical companies.
    The statement further pointed out that the Foundation would strengthen local pharmaceutical companies to engage in local production initiatives with systematic technology among others.
    The Foundation according to the statement, will work with African Union Commission, European Union Commission, WHO and other stakeholders, for collaboration in developed countries and developing countries. (NAN)

    Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

    Source: NAN News

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     CSOs call for adequate compensation, rehabilitation for victims of torture
    The civil society organisations (CSOs), on Monday, called on the Federal Government to ensure that victims of toture are adequately compensated and rehabilitated.

    The CSOs made the call at a press briefing to commemorate this years International Day in Support of Victims of Torture tagged: Archiving Zero Tolerance for Toture in Abuja.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, organised by Avocats Sans Frontiers (ASF) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Justice, is celebrated on June 26 of every year.

    The Country Director of ASF, Angela Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, said there must be justice for victims of torture.

    Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, who said there should be adequate compensation and rehabilitation for victims of toture, said perpetrators must be made to face the wrath of the law.

    She said: Government must demonstrate a strong commitment to this. Justice in this respect, is a three-way traffic.

    That is, justice for the victim through adequate reparation or compensation and rehabilitation; accountability for the perpetrator who should also be made to pay compensation, and justice to the taxpayer or society which seeks a reassurance that law enforcement agencies and security operatives will respect the rule of law and the rights of citizens and would subject no one to toture no matter the alleged crime.

    She stressed that it was necessary that criminal actions be instituted under the Anti-Torture Act (ATA), 2017 against perpetrators of toture.

    She said that the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies should strengthen internal mechanisms for holding security operatives accountable for acts of toture.

    Uzoma-Iwuchukwu, who expressed concern that some of the victims of toture are afraid to report the matter due to fear of reprisal, enjoined government at all levels to ensure these people are given adequate protection.

    The Executive Director, Sterling Centre for Law and Development, Deji Ajare, called on the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to ensure the prosecution of alleged perpetrators of toture.

    Ajare urged the AGF to adopt the implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Anti-Torture Act and to budget and provide funding for the National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) to fulfil its functions.

    The Chairman of NCAT, Dr Samson Ameh, SAN, said Nigeria set up the committee for the prevention of torture in compliance with its obligation under the United Nations Convention.

    Ameh, however, said that inadequate funding had hampered its operations.

    Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, said that the ministry had recorded convictions against security agencies that acted arbitrarily against the Anti-Torture Act.

    Jedy-Agba, represented by Mr Yusuf Abdullahi, an officer in the Department of Public Prosecution, stressed that confessional statements must be obtained voluntarily, otherwise, it might not be tenable before a trial court.

    She urged the Nigerians not to relent in writing petitions to the NCAT anytime their rights are violated. (NAN)(

    Edited by Sadiya Hamza

    Source: NAN News

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     Mark, Gumut hail NBBF ban reversal, say FGs decision misconstrued
    By Victor Okoye

    Igoche Mark, the factional President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), has hailed the Federal Governments decision to rescind its earlier directive on Nigerias withdrawal from international basketball.

    President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, had on Thursday announced the Federal Governments decision to withdraw the two-year ban it placed on the NBBF from international basketball.

    Mark, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said the latest decision taken by the Federal Government was a welcome development, adding however that it had nothing to do with the disputed leadership of the NBBF.

    He stressed that the decision to choose who leads the federation was the exclusive right of the stakeholders and not that of a few selfish individuals.

    The reversal of the ban is a good step in the right direction. At least now we can participate in international championships, which are good, but I think it stops there.

    As far as Nigeria Basketball is concerned, the basketball stakeholders are going to decide who will lead Nigeria basketball forward.

    Gone are the days whereby some few individuals because of their political clout and without having actual interest in basketball or without having the support of the stakeholders, come to try to run the basketball federation.

    Gone are the days where basket ballers celebrate mediocrity. Now the awareness is there and it is time for basketball to move forward.

    So, the basketball stakeholders are going to decide who will lead the NBBF going forward, he said.

    Mark stressed that the Interim Management Committee (IMC) which was set up by the ministry had a mandate which it was yet to fulfil in order to set the ball rolling for a new dispensation.

    He therefore called on the IMC to ensure that the constitution of the NBBF was reviewed to make adjustments to some grey areas which would then usher in a new board.

    The IMC has been set up by the ministry and I believe that they were given a task which they have not accomplished yet and one of the tasks is to look into the document being paraded as a constitution by the Musa-Kida led board.

    They were given the mandate to make necessary adjustments and to chart the way forward for NBBF. So, I think they still have a task to do, he said.

    He said that he would be happy if the decision taken by the Federal Government would help in reinstating the DTiigress at the world cup in Australia, adding however that it was FIBAs prerogative.

    Also, Stanley Gumut, the players representative on the board of the NBBF said that the decision taken by the Federal Government was indeed a positive step in the right direction.

    Gumut however stressed that the decision had absolutely nothing to do with the mandate of the IMC, which was basically to chart a new course for the NBBF, adding that they were still very much in charge of the federation.

    I think it is a good step as we harness these things rather than banning ourselves and can still be playing the game at the same time as we try to figure out where the problem is and get it fixed.

    However, what I saw from the statement is that they are willing to make amends even though not all stakeholders have been informed as regards this new development.

    I also saw the letter signed which was from some concerned stakeholders in the U. S. and some concerned individuals as well based here in the country.

    I dont however believe that the IMCs mandate has been put on hold as a result of this latest decision. I think they are still working and very much in charge as there is no federation as we speak, he said.

    Gumut lamented that it was rather unfortunate that some selfish people from some quarters were trying to take advantage of the situation and claim ownership of the federation.

    This for me is a very positive development, but it is unfortunate that some people are already celebrating and claiming that they are in charge, but that has not been stated by the federal government.

    There is no statement that has mentioned anyone as a legitimate president of the NBBF and I wish to state that everyone who is trying to disrupt the process must desist from it as we wait to see the end of the story.

    I am sure that sooner or later there will be a time line for what needs to be done. All I was able to deduce from the statement was that the constitution which had always been the bone of contention is now going to be amended by the stakeholders.

    This has to be done before we can even start thinking of an election and possibly who becomes the president of the federation.

    English is a very tough language and very hard for some of us to understand sometimes. So I can pardon those who read the story differently.

    Regardless of whoever went first to make a statement and declare himself as being in control, that does not in any way legitimise the person, he said.

    Gumut said that it was rather unfortunate that the DTigress would not be going to the world cup, stressing that the decision taken by the Federal Government would not force FIBA to change its stands.

    For the girls, to be honest with you, its unfortunate that they will not make the world cup because FIBA cannot reverse the decision which they have made already.

    Nigeria has lost that chance unfortunately, but I believe that going forward and since the ban has been lifted and hopefully FIBA is aware of the Federal Governments decision, then we await a statement from FIBA shortly.

    So, lets wait and see the decision of FIBA, then that should inform our next line of action as a nation, he said. (NAN)(

    Edited by Grace Yussuf

    Source: NAN News

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     Railway fencing: Contractors protest over non-payment of N500m debt
    By Franca Ofili

    The Abuja-Kaduna Railway Fencing Sub-Contractors Association on Monday, in Abuja protested over non-payment of N500 million debt owed them by Deux Projects Limited since 2018.

    The associations spokesman, Mr Onyeka Enechuku, said the angry contractors were subcontractors to the major company, called Deux Projects Limited, owned by one Dr. Tunji Olowolafe.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters carried placards with different inscriptions such as

    Deux projects, pay us our money since 2018 and Deux Projects Limited you are a 419 pay us our money.

    The placards also included Dr Kayode Olatunji Olowolafe, you have killed two of our members by refusing to pay us our money for the work done since 2018/2019, you are wicked.

    Enechuku called on the Federal Government to intervene on the issue as some of their members were in jail due to non-payment of loan they collected.

    Our members worked on the Abuja- Kaduna railway with Deux Projects Limited in 2017, 2018, some 2019 and since then, till now we are yet to be paid, Enechuku said.

    According to him, the protesting contractors have been agitating over the debt owed them without success.

    He said the chairman of the company promised to pay the contractors but failed to fulfill the promise.

    According to him, members of the association always come from Lagos, Delta, Onitsha, while many have died others are bankrupt.

    Many contractors sold their properties to execute the projects only to be deceived.

    The worse part, they worked under most precarious situation as they were risked being kidnapped, after all the sacrifices their paymasters are engaging in hide and seek, he said.

    A staff of the Deux Projects Limited, who did not what his name mentioned, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the company would pay the contractors in due time.

    I dont have anything to say because the person they came to see is not around; so, I am not allowed to address them.

    The officer they came to see travelled to Lagos to discuss the contractors issue, he said.

    He advised them to call the chairman because most of them have his contact. (NAN)(

    Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Isaac Aregbesola

    Source: NAN News

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     Edo govt to plant 10m trees in 10 years
    By Usman Aliyu

    Edo Government says it is partnering the Royal Wood Company Nigeria Ltd. to plant 10 million trees in the next 10 years.

    The state commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Mr Jonathan Lawani, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Benin.

    Lawani said the partnership was part of the measures put in place to bring back forest in the state.

    According to him, Edo in its planned action for 2023-2028 is set to prioritise reduction in deforestation and carbon losses from illegal logging, agriculture and settlement.

    He blamed them as the main drivers of deforestation as well as other land use activities including bush burning, charcoal production, mineral exploitation and grazing.

    Edo state has employed more forest guards and is partnering African Nature Investors Foundation to train both the existing and newly-employed forest guards for effective policing.

    Edo has partnered the Association Bernadette Strebel World Peace in Europe to regenerate 400 hectares of degraded forest reserve with both indigenous and exotic species.

    Another 400 hectares of degraded land has been allocated to Captain Consult Ltd. for regeneration, he said.

    The commissioner said that the states investment in oil palm production was certified to regenerate 20 per cent of the total area allocation for use.

    Lawani said the measures were to protect forest tenure and resource rights as well as ensure equitable, inclusive and transparent sharing of benefits.(NAN)(

    Edited by Abubakar Ahmed/Donald Ugwu

    Source: NAN News

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