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Buhari pledges $3m for AU humanitarian agency

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President Muhammadu Buhari has applauded the creation of an African Union Humanitarian Agency to address the needs of displaced people and refugees, pledging $3 million to help it get off the ground, and praising the work of a specialised committee that drafted its statute.

He said more than 5 million people had been displaced in the Lake Chad region, with Nigerians accounting for 70% of those affected.

The president said this on Friday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, during the 16th African Union Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Humanitarian Crises in Africa and the Pledging Conference.

He again called for a coordinated and institutionalised effort to alleviate the suffering of refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa.

He told the gathering that Boko Haram’s humanitarian crisis in Nigeria necessitated the establishment of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, which was designed in accordance with the Kampala Convention for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons.

“Through the ministry, the government constructed Internally Displaced Individuals camps for refugees, returnee migrants, and displaced persons in every area of the country, where they received food, shelter, clothes, medical care, and other livelihood support.”

He said the globe was facing new concerns such as climate change, which has resulted in global warming, rising water levels, and the shrinkage of rivers and lakes in some areas, causing disruptions in aquatic and ecological systems.

The African Union Chairman and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, pleged USD3million and urged other African leaders to contribute to the establishment of the humanitarian agency.

Climate change, natural catastrophes, and terrorism, he said, have made it necessary to establish an agency to help displaced Africans.

President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, offered USD2 million for the new organisation and another USD2 million for Mozambique, where about 4000 have been killed and more 800,000 are said to be displaced in the humanitarian crisis in the country.

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PVC: Gov. Matawalle declares one-week public holiday

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The Governor of Zamfara State, Hon. Bello Mohammed Matawalle has declared next week Monday to Friday, (June 20th to 24th, 2022) as work free week to enable the State’s public and civil servants to go to their respective localities and obtain their Permanent Voter Cards, (PVC).
The Governor directed all the commissioners, Special Advisers, Permanent Secretaries, other public office holders, party officials and traditional rulers to monitor and supervise the ongoing Voter Registration exercise.

This was contained in a press statement signed and issued to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital by the State’s commissioner for information, Hon. Ibrahim Magaji Dosara.
According to the statement, every person above the age of 18 is expected to be part of the exercise, saying that it was their constitutional right to elect their leaders.

Governor Matawalle appealed to the general public to participate in the exercise so that they would not complain later.

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Taraba retirees protest against non-payment of gratuity

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The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) Taraba State Council has called on the state government to ensure prompt payment of all entitlements of its members as well as enrollment of all local government retirees in the state.
The state Chairman of the Union, Comrade Kefas Katan stated this at a World Press Conference held on Friday at the NUP Headquarters in Jalingo, the state capital.
He explained that the backlogs of gratuity for retired civil servants in the state are estimated at over N30billion.
The Chairman said the briefing was a replication of the one conducted on the 1st June 2022 in Abuja by the National President of the Union, Mazi Godwin.
Comrade Kefas Katan said retirees in Taraba State are facing numerous challenges due to the non-enrollment of many of its members into the scheme.
Reporting by Sani Suleiman; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare

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Buhari inaugurates council on e-Governance

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President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will continue to take advantage of digital technologies to transform every sector of the economy.

He stated this in Abuja while inaugurating the Presidential Council on Digital Economy and E-government.

The President tasked members of the council to work towards strengthening the capacity of government to develop, adopt and deploy digital technologies to make government more efficient and transparent, thereby improving Nigeria’s global standing in the ease of doing business index.

He noted that the council would provide the oversight needed to bring about a veritable structure for accelerating achievements in digital economy and in the implementation of e-government.

The President enjoined members of the Council to consider the task as a national assignment and justify the trust reposed in their ability to support and significantly enhance the digital transformation in the country.

He said the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, in 2019, and expansion of the mandate of the Ministry of Communications to include Digital Economy had brought significant progress and a number of unprecedented achievements.

President Buhari expressed delight that the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions had helped to formalize government online meetings.

He said Nigeria’s progress in e-governance had been noted by the international community, eliciting recognition from international stakeholders, including the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Chairman of the 2022 Forum of the highly regarded World Summit of the Information Society.

While congratulating the Minister, the President acknowledged that the Ministry had partnered with the Korea International Co-operation Agency to develop a National E-government Master Plan, approved by FEC in August 2019.

He listed benefits from the partnership to include training of over 1,400 Nigerian public servants in both Nigeria and South Korea on e-governance, the launch of an e-Government Training Centre, handed over to the Federal Government in 2019, and the signing-off of Phase II of the E-government Project for Building Foundations Towards Digital Governance in Nigeria, 2020-2026.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, had noted that the launch of NDEPS made provision for the establishment of the Presidential Council to co-ordinate the development of an indigenous digital economy.

He said the recent auction of spectrums by the Ministry, generated over 400 percent revenue to the Federal Government coffers, while two virtual institutions established by government had trained some 500,000 Nigerians on digital and emerging technologies.

The 27-man committee, chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, on behalf of President Buhari, has Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Governors of Gombe, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Edo, Lagos, and Imo, as members.

Others are the Ministers of Finance, Industry, Trade and Investment, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited.

Others are Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, and the Director General, National Identity Management Commission.

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