COVID-19: Health Minister sacked over $20M illegal contract

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sacked his health minister, who has been charged with corruption over illegally awarding a $20 million contract for coronavirus testing.

Obadiah Moyo, 66, was arrested last month following an investigation by the southern African country’s anti-graft commission. He has been released on bail and is scheduled to appear in court on July 31.

Presidential chief secretary Misheck Sibanda said Tuesday that Mnangagwa removed Moyo from office for “conduct inappropriate for a government minister”.

Moyo is accused of awarding a $20 million contract to Drax Consult SAGL, a Dubai-based company created just months ago, to supply personal protective equipment and COVID-19 test kits.

After Zimbabwe’s opposition condemned the deal, the government cancelled all contracts with the company, according to local media reports.

Moyo also faces charges in two other cases, which date back to last year for the supply of general medical equipment to public hospitals.

The landlocked southern African country has recorded more than 700 coronavirus cases, including nine deaths.

Breaking: Terrorists kill Soldiers at fighting patrol in Maiduguri

The Nigerian Army has said that some gallant soldiers have passed on during a fighting patrol with terrorists in Maiduguri on the 7th July, 2020.

This was made known through its official twitter handle at exactly 12:15 a.m on the 8th of July, 2020.

Meanwhile, it noted that many terrorists were neutralized, adding that reconnaissance and reinforcements are ongoing.

“Troops of 25 Task Force Brigade on fighting patrol came under BHT IED attack along Maiduguri-Damboa Road on 7 July 2020. 

“Many terrorists were neutralized. 

“Unfortunately, some gallant soldiers paid the supreme price. 

“Reconnaissance and Reinforcements are ongoing” It said 

Director of Operations, Umar replaces Magu at EFCC

Tunde Jimoh- Abuja

The Director of Operations, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Mohammed Umar has been picked to oversee the affairs of the agency in the absence of Magu.

An Official at the top echelon of the commission disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to the source who claimed anonymity, Umar was chosen by the “EFCC’s hierarchy” following the reported suspension of Magu.

The official, however, said that the commission had not received any official communication on the reported suspension.

Meanwhile, Spokesman of the EFCC, Mr Dele Oyewale declined comments when contacted by NAN to confirm the latest development.

The embattled acting chairman is being interrogated by a presidential panel set up to probe allegations of gross misconduct against him.

Magu appeared before the Ayo Salami-led panel on Monday before he was reportedly taken into police custody.

Meanwhile, the EFCC official has defended Magu against the allegations, saying they were not true.

However, the source said his travails also emanated from complaints by staff of the commission over poor welfare and delay in promotion.

“I can tell you that all the allegations against Magu are untrue. I see the whole situation as a power play.

“Preparations for the 2023 elections are another reason they want Magu out because he knows too much” He said. 

First bank unveils new features on Mobile App

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced that its mobile banking application, FirstMobile has been upgraded with new and improved features to promote safe and convenient Mobile Banking experience for customers.

The Bank’s award-winning and dynamic mobile banking application has been redesigned with improved security and self-service features to ease the navigation capability and proficiency of customers.

Its unique cool blue colour background gives it a more appealing interface for customers to enjoy a unified and streamlined banking experience whilst going about their day to day activities.

FirstMobile is now embedded with a card protection service for customers to enable and disable cards on channels, account switch off as well as second-factor authentication and device registration.

With the upgraded FirstMobile, customers can remotely initiate the request for a new debit card as well as the replacement of a lost or damaged one, whilst managing activities on their card and account, thus balance enquiry and statement, amongst others.  

The biometrics for transactions is another innovative security upgrade on the application to validate transactions.

This feature includes fingerprint for transactions, allowing the customer to use his or her fingerprint to consummate all transactions.  

Other added features include frequent transaction; dashboard flexibility and personalisation; smoother transaction experience and improved beneficiary management.

With the frequent transaction feature, the user is able to easily access his or her frequently completed transactions – airtime, transfers and bill payments – and reinitiate such with the clicks of a button.

This is an additional menu which can easily be accessed from the dashboard.  

Airtime top-up and data purchase have also been improved, as customers are able to select phone numbers directly from their phone contacts.

The application has been upgraded with a smoother experience on funds transfer, bill payments and airtime transactions as customers can add and delete beneficiary without having to repeatedly enter the recipients’ details over and over again.

Users can also take a photo or select from the Avatar (available icons) to personalize their dashboard and beneficiaries for Transfers, Bills Payment & Airtime Transactions by uploading a picture to associate with their beneficiary, especially the more frequent ones.

The dashboard has been designed to reflect the lifestyle and social pattern of the user as it can be customized by adding any profile picture of choice.

The dashboard also enables users to monitor their spending patterns over a period. It shows the inflow and outflow of funds on their account.

In need of a loan to meet that pressing need, FirstMobile has you covered and puts you at an advantage with the FirstAdvance and Nano Loan features.

Keen on watching the next blockbuster in your favourite cinema, with FirstMobile, you can book for movie ticket(s) ahead of time, thereby averting the risk of being told the movie is sold-out upon getting to the movie theatre. You can also book for flights at your earliest convenience on FirstMobile.

“The upgraded FirstMobile is built to reflect FirstBank’s resolve at reinforcing the digitisation of our payment systems, whilst putting our customers at an edge to conveniently meet their everyday needs at any time, irrespective of where they are. Indeed, this upgrade makes the application new, as it is designed to suit the social pattern and lifestyle of our customers.” said Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products.

“With over 3.7million active users on FirstMobile across android and ios devices, we remain steadfast at regularly reinventing our services on the App with dynamic and innovative capabilities to resonate our focus to deliver state of the art digital solutions to all our customers at all times, irrespective of where they are” he concluded.

Only recently, FirstMobile was awarded the “Best Mobile Banking App” in the country at the Global Business Outlook Awards.

10 major allegations Against EFCC Boss, Magu

Tunde Jimoh- Abuja

What happens when the proverbial hunter becomes the hunted? 

This may appear to be the fate of the country’s chief anti-corruption czar, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Magu, was yesterday detained at the Force CID building after been whisked away by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), early Monday. 

The EFCC boss, who also appeared before a Presidential Investigative Panel on Anti-corruption chaired by Justice Ayo Salami, at the Villa yesterday, has been slammed with several allegations from the memo submitted by the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami. 

The ten major allegations against Magu as compiled by PRNigeria are listed below:
1. Insubordination to the Office of the AGF 

2. Alleged ‘relooting of recovered loots’ and Sale of seized assets to cronies, associates and friends

3. Alleged favouritism towards selected EFCC investigators called the ‘Magu Boys’ for ‘juicy’ assignments 

4. Alleged leakages of investigative reports that were prejudicial to some cases to some selected media 

5. Alleged discrepancies in the reconciliation records of the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Finance on recovered funds 

6. Alleged declaration of N539b as recovered funds instead of N504b earlier claimed 

7. Not providing enough concrete evidences against some suspects including on Diezani Alison-Madueke for her extradition 

8. Reporting some judges to their presiding officers without deferring to the AGF 

9. Late action on the investigation of P&ID leading to legal disputes 

10. Not respecting court order to unfreeze a N7b judgment in favour of a former executive director of a bank

Lagos Assembly approves N920bn revised budget

The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the year 2020 appropriation (amendment) Bill of ₦920,468,589,337Bn for the State.

Members of the House passed the re-ordering from Consolidated State Revenue, during the Committee of Supply following the report by the Joint Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, and Finance.

The Chairman, House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu noted that the approval of the House for re-ordering of priorities under the Year 2020 Appropriation contained 120 findings and 120 amendments as recommended by the Joint Committees and approved by the House through a voice vote conducted by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa.

Yishawu said that the approval of the Bill was necessitated by the unforeseen pandemic (COVID-19) which has adversely affected the internal revenue projections of the State and also crippled the economic activities on a global scale.

While giving the breakdown of the re-ordering, The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ajayi Obasa indicated that the total budget size shrunk by ₦248.093Bn being 21% to ₦920.469Bn from ₦1.168Tn.

Obasa noted that this made the proposed revised total, ₦920,468,589,337Bn with the Recurrent Expenditure of ₦411,608,499,249 and Capital Expenditure of ₦508,860,843,967 for the year ending 31stDecember, 2020.

Ajayi, thereafter, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to forward a clean copy of the approved Y2020 appropriation (amendment) Bill to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his assent.

Tinubu a business man in politics with no ideology – Odumosu

Director of Communication, Aare Onakakanfo Strategic Intervention Group,(ASIG)Olajide Odumosu, has described the National leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a business man in politics with no ideology.

Speaking, while reacting to the recent story in the media where the Coordinator of Bola Tinubu Disciples Organization, (BTDO), Agarawu Wasiu, described Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, as an ingrate, a traitor and a misfit for the Yoruba race.

Odumosu said with the story, the writer had done more damage to the reputation of the APC leader than good,disclosing that Agarawu rather than addressing issues raised in the said interview, had decided to go haywire, raining insulting words on the personality of Aare Gani Adams

He admitted that the interview with Yoruba Heritage online Television was just a tip of the iceberg.

“Having gone through the story, it is obvious that Tinubu’s Disciples Organization are nothing but a large group of loose cannons that are ready to mortgage the future of the Yoruba race.

In the interview with the London- based online Television, Aare Gani Adams raised four issues revolving around the state of the nation and the future of the Yoruba race.

While responding to the questions, Aare said Tinubu had no interest in the actualization of Oodua republic and restructuring. Agarawu,had, in the statement, described Yoruba’s quest for restructuring as the most taunted, thus justifying Aare’s stand that his leader-Tinubu had no interest on restructuring.

Aare said the former Lagos state governor was never a member of any Yoruba sociocultural group, where leaders are properly trained and built with Yoruba ideology and philosophy

“He was groomed by the late General Shehu Yar’Adua, under Premous group- a political dynasty of the late politician.

Tinubu’s political background is alien to Yoruba ideology and that his campaign for presidency, two months after the swearing- in of president Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office was ill-timed and a distraction to the APC government” .

“All the issues raised in the said interview were nothing but the truth because they outweighed the response from Agarawu”

“Tinubu’s quest for power is Hitlerish and no sane Yoruba man will like to identify with the former governor of Lagos state. He should name three unique things he had done for the Yoruba race”

” Tinubu had a hand in the break up of all the socio cultural groups in Yorubaland, Afenifere, OPC, YCE, others. He whittled down the popularity of PRONACO”

“The OPC under Aare’s leadership broke up into groups.He sponsored the renegades in Somolu, Ilorin,and Ibadan. Now those groups have gone under and they are of no relevance at the moment”.

” Afenifere had a bitter story to tell about him. The Yoruba socio cultural group had been in existence since 1948,he had infiltrated the group with Afenifere Renewal group. He went to the presidency with another group led by Pa Ayo Fasanmi, saying they are the authentic Afenifere.YCE is presently another victim of Tinubu’s political chicanery”,he said

“The new Yoruba World Congress that is just starting are presently feeling the heat of his infiltration, with some of its top member resigning with no genuine reason”

“Even there was an unconfirmed reports that the Lagos state government slowed down on the implementation of the Amotekun Security outfit because they are waiting for bourdillion’s go ahead, even as it is evident that his body language on Amotekun across the southwest is nothing to write home about. All these are evidences against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu” he said.

“While serving his unjust detention in prison, Obasanjo decided to deal with Aare Gani Adams. And one of his reasons then was because of his closeness to Tinubu.

He was was released from detention after fourteen months that was between October 2005 and December 2006.

He said Aare was an ingrate. Let him justify this. Has he built a house for Aare Gani Adams? Did he buy a car or sponsor Aare’s education? Or did he spend any money for the development of the OPC as organization? When Okiro arrested him in 2001,did he pay for his legal fees?

Even during the installation ceremony of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland on January 13, 2018 in Oyo, did he contribute financially or send any representative? He didn’t.

These are questions begging for answers.

In 2007 when Aare Gani Adams launched his book “Leadership challenge” at Museum Centre, Honourable Tunde Balogun, Tinubu’s representative at the book launch promised to give Aare five million, but up till today, he didn’t fulfill his promise.

In 2005,Tinubu offered Aare Adams a two-bedroom apartments at Lagos state Low Cost Housing Estate, Ojokoro,Meiran, Lagos but he rejected it.The last time Aare meet with him was in 2009.So why is he after Aare?

The position of Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland is that of a traditional warlord of the Yoruba race. As the Yoruba generalisimo and cultural aficionado, he has sworn on an oath to defend the Yoruba race and this is what he has been doing, Any Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland must say the truth at the right time, no matter who is involved. And the Aare Gani Adams I know is up to the task.

Therefore, it is a complete misinterpretation of words to say Aare Gani Adams is a misfit for the Yoruba race.

Signed:
Olajide Odumosu
Director of Communication
Aareonakakanfo Strategic Intervention Group(ASIG)

What Oluwo of Iwo said on Family Planning

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi has described family planning as an attempt to eradicate one’s race.

He feared for nations enforcing family planning as their space will soon be constituted with foreigners as currently obtainable in Canada, calling on Nigerians to respect the dictate of God on procreation.

Oba Akanbi equally considered the need for more human resources as necessitating factor for more procreation, saying the most populous nation, China, is gaining her technological relevancy and world power through her human endowments.

Discrediting the insinuation of over population as one of the factors for poverty, Oluwo hinted grace speaks than background in making a breakthrough in life.

He reiterated China, the most populous nation, as the emerging giant of the world, earned through her human mental.

Oluwo affirmed the strength in population as weighty, saying the onus should be on government to provide enabling environment for all and sundry.

He tasked the government to further improve the quality of both formal and technical education to enrich and promote brains needed for economic growth.

There is much more strength in Procreation. We ignorantly related poverty to over population. If it were to be, China, by now should be the most affected nation by poverty. But no, China is the emerging world power, getting it very right”

” Few other powerful nations are getting it wrong for placing limit on childbearing years back. 75% of Canadians are made up of foreigners born outside Canada. In few years to come, the land may be controlled by foreigners”.

“Aside this, the dictate of God on more procreation should be respected by individual willing to bear more child. Grace is great. Having more child is not measurement of poverty. Many rose from grass to grace”

“Education is the key. China becomes powerful on their passion in technical education. The government should focus more on improving technical education. Education is as important as human blood”

Basic education from primary to secondary should be free and made compulsory for everyone. Higher education should be subsidized. These will encourage average pursue of knowledge while technical trainings is also promoted. This is the strength of any developed nation”

“The population of the northern states for years is an edge over other regions. There is need to harp on the quality of education and not putting embargo on the numbers of children”.

“I thank the president for situation of the Federal college of education in Iwo which is the most populous town in Osun state. Iwo’s strength is her population and I will tell my subjects to say no to family planning as long as a responsible government is on hand. We were marginalised before but the future is great for us through our strength of human resources”

WAEC finally announces exam date amidst COVID-19

The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has announced the commencement of its examination on August 4.

The National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) and the National Examination Council (NECO) examinations would also be conducted immediately after WAEC concludes its examinations.

The final year examinations were postponed because of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging Nigeria and many other countries of the world.

Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemka Nwajiuba, who spoke on Monday in Abuja during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 news briefing, advised state governments to reopen schools for the final year students who are willing do revision before the examinations.

He disclosed that the Ministry of Education would on Tuesday hold a conclusive consultative meeting with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers on modalities for the conduct of the examinations.

Nwajiuba disclosed that there were 19,159 registered centres for the WAEC examinations expected to be decontaminated within this week by the Federal Ministry of Environment.

He, however, noted some of them are private schools which ordinarily would not be the responsibility of the Federal Government to put them in shape before reopening, saying the institutions would take care of the facilities they need for reopening.He also noted that revision classes were not mandatory, stressing that if any state feels that it does not need to reopen schools for revision before the examination, “the Federal Government does not have any issue with that.”

Face mask defaulters will be charged to court from nextweek- Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Government has said it will start charging face mask defaulters to court from next week, as the period of grace was over.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this while briefing newsmen on the update of the COVID-19 management in the state on Friday.

Sanwo-Olu said that at this phase in the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic, taking personal responsibility was now more important than ever.

He said that such personal responsibility was not only for self-protection but also for protecting other people, including loved ones.

According to him, mask usage is mandatory in public places as a strategy to curb the spread of the virus.

”We are asking offices, business and commercial premises to refuse entry to any persons not wearing masks in line with the Presidential Task Force directive on ”No mask, no entry”.

”No mask, no service enforcement agencies will from this week charge defaulters to court, as the period of grace is now over.

”Dear Lagosians, please continue to wash your hands regularly. As much as possible, maintain social distancing, especially in public places.

”On our part as a government, we will continue to do everything possible to protect and uphold the health and wellbeing of the people of the state,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu further said that the state government was commited to scaling up testing and isolation capacity and enforcing the guidelines issued.

”With regards to enforcement, we are increasing our focus and efforts in this area. As you all know, guidelines and directives are effective only to the extent to which they are complied with by the citizenry.

”The best laws and guidelines are of no use if they are disregarded by the people for whom they have been issued.

”Lagos State belongs to all of us. We must join hands to ensure that we defeat this virus,” he said.

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