government

Joe Biden nominates veteran diplomats for top State posts

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday nominated U.S. foreign policy veteran Wendy Sherman, a key negotiator of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, to be the No. 2 official at the State Department. Biden also nominated Victoria Nuland, a retired career foreign service officer who was the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, NATO ambassador and State Department spokeswoman, to be Under Secretary for Political Affairs, effectively the third-ranking U.S. diplomat. Sherman, who has a masters degree in social work, was the State Department counselor from 1997 to 2001, a period when she was also policy coordinator on North Korea. From 1993 to 1996 she served as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs. Because of her association with the Iran deal, which was fiercely opposed by Repub...

Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni in commanding election lead, rival alleges fraud

Uganda’s long-time leader Yoweri Museveni held a commanding lead in a presidential election according to partial results on Saturday morning, with final results expected later in the day, though his main rival Bobi Wine alleged widespread fraud. With ballots from 86% of polling stations counted, Museveni had won 5.3 million, or 58.8%, while main opposition candidate Wine had 3.1 million votes (34.6%), the electoral commission said just after 9 a.m. (0600 GMT). The government ordered the internet to be shut down the day before voting on Thursday, and the blackout was still in place. Wine, 38, had galvanised young Ugandans with his calls for political change after 35 years of Museveni, 76, ruling the country. The run-up to the election was more violent than in previous polls. Security forces...

160 Almajirai rescued in Kaduna State

No fewer than 160 children have been rescued by Kaduna State Government COVID-19 Task Force officials from locations that are neither authorised and licensed as schools nor as children’s homes in the state. According to a statement issued by Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Media and Communication, on Friday, some of the rescued children are toddlers who aren’t yet able to properly identify themselves. He noted that the rescued children are from thirteen states in the northern and southern parts of the country. Adekeye added that some of the kids are from Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic. The statement read in part, “The locations in which the children were found were operating in violation of regulations that had ordered the closure of all schoo...

Coronavirus takes toll on federal roads’ construction in Lagos

The ravaging effect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) was, perhaps, the biggest challenge faced by stakeholders in the road sub sector of the construction industry in 2020. As the virus gained ground, several contractors soon abandoned work and shut their operations, consequently, many hitherto gainfully employed Nigerians were thrown into the labour market. Even when the government later introduced partial lockdown measures, the number of workers on site was scaled down by many contractors in line with COVID-19 protocols, which slowed down progress of work. Virtually all road projects in Lagos State suffered the effect of the pandemic, with every project having its own peculiar challenge. The reconstruction of 46km Agbara-Seme section of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project awarded to CGC Nigeria...

Morocco to host 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations

Morocco will be the host country for the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football has announced. Congo had been due to welcome to the competition in 2020 until they pulled out in July 2019, leaving the event without a host before the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic a year later. Before the cancellation, Caf had made a positive step with the expansion of the African Women’s Cup of Nations from eight to 12 teams, which was the first change to the format after 11 editions. Besides that, a record total of 36 national teams have entered the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Awcon finals, with 11 countries expected to make it out of the qualification series. “Morocco has been designated host of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations,” interim...

NHIS: Sokoto received N518 million Health Intervention Fund

Nasir Sambo, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) said the Buhari administration has disbursed N518 million to Sokoto State Government in 2020 as National Healthcare Intervention Fund aimed at enhancing the lives of vulnerable persons in the society. Speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of the official commencement of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), Mr. Sambo said the federal government remained committed to attainment of mandatory Universal Health Coverage (UHC) toward ensuring improved healthcare to citizens. He stressed that the federal authorities was committed to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The executive secretary noted that the National Health Act enshrined one percent from accrued consolidated national revenue f...

Nigerian government seizes bank’s assets over Shell’s N183 billion debt

File Photo Nigerian government have moved to sequester the assets of the country’s premier lender First Bank of Nigeria Limited in an effort to recover the damages oil major Royal Dutch Shell owed the Ejama Ebubu community of Rivers State in a legal contest spanning many decades, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Police operatives and court officials arrived the bank’s main branch in Port Harcourt on Tuesday to execute an order to seize the lender’s asset, FirstBank said in a statement. The bank said the incident leading to the confiscation of its properties was “unjustified, illegal and a reckless misuse of the machinery of justice.” Lagos-headquartered FirstBank resolved to guarantee the damages awarded against Shell by a Rivers State high court judge a decade ago. According to the estimation...

Presidency: Boko Haram weaker now than in 2015

As the country marks the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Friday, the Presidency has declared that the activities of Boko Haram insurgents have been weakened compared to what obtained in 2015. This is even as it said that more than 2,403 criminals, including terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and criminals of other sorts, were reportedly eliminated by the Nigerian Armed Forces, in coordinated operations across the country between March 18 and December 30, 2020. The event is billed to hold in the early hours of the day at the National Arcade, opposite Eagles Square, Three Arms Zone, Abuja. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement titled “Security checklist, as Nigeria marks Armed Forces Remembrance Day, by Presidency” flaunted the Buhari admin...

China possibly committed ‘genocide’ against Xinjiang Muslims

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said on Thursday that new evidence had emerged in the past year that “crimes against humanity – and possibly genocide – are occurring”. The CECC also accused China of harassing Uighurs in the US. China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centres” to stamp out “extremism” and give people new skills, but others have called them concentration camps. The United Nations says at least one million Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang. Faith leaders, activist groups and others have said crimes against humanity, including genocide, are taking place there. Beijing denies abuse accusations. The CECC report called for a formal US “determination on whether atro...

Anambra records 89 new coronavirus cases

Anambra State has recorded 89 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in its second wave, bringing the total confirmed cases in the state to 169 as of January 13, C-Don Adinuba, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, has said. Mr Adinuba, in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Awka, urged the citizens of the state to shield themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic following the second wave in Nigeria. He said the need to repeat the precautionary call was as a result of a considerable increase across the state, with 453 confirmed cases and 334 persons discharged. According to him, it is a worrisome situation with the state having recorded a total of 14,267 tests done. He appealed to the public to comply with all precautionary measures in order to sustain the health safety m...

Rights group urges lifting Ugandan social media ban

Amnesty International is calling for Ugandan officials to lift bans on social media imposed ahead of Thursday’s election. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced on Tuesday that the government had shut down social media. On Jan. 9, Facebook deleted dozens of pro-Ugandan government accounts, saying they were “fake.” Museveni characterized Facebook’s action as arrogant. “It is alarming that the Ugandan authorities have suspended social media networks including Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp and restricted people’s right to freedom of expression and access to information,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, in a press release. Amnesty International said the move was intended to silence journalists, election o...

Lecturer found dead with bullet wounds in Ebonyi

A lecturer with the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Mr Kyrian Nwoke, has been murdered by unknown assailants. Until his death, he taught in the Department of Physiology in AE-FUNAI. His lifeless body was found along Abakaliki rice mill axis of Ogoja Road, on Monday, with bullet wounds. Newsmen gathered that the deceased was using his car for a taxi in order to fend for himself and his family following the hardship occasioned by the lingering dispute between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities which has led to the withholding of salaries of lecturers for months. Mr Nwoke was said to have gone missing on Sunday after a yet-to-be-identified person called him to come to Udemezue in Abakaliki to pick customers to a popular eatery a...