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TOP NEWS IN NIGERIA TODAY(MORNING EDITION)
=> “Jonathan And Yar’adua Didn’t Build A Single Road” – Osinbajo-Thecable
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday said that the federal government did not build “a single new road” in the last 10 years.
The late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan presided over the country within that period.
Speaking at the pastors and leaders retreat of the Fountain of Life Church in Ilupeju, Lagos, Osinbajo said corruption in the country was not caused because by a few individuals, but that the entire system was built around lack of integrity.
He expressed confidence that the country would be great again but noted that the foundation for the greatness had to be laid with a lot of pains.
“Unless we tackle graft, we may not be able to achieve something,” he said.
“The federal government in the past 10 years could not build a single new road, not repairing existing ones alone.
“Now we have a president who will not steal money and who will not allow anybody to steal money.”
Commenting on the N6 billion that the last administration spent on a new residence for the vice-president, he said Aguda House, the current official residence, is up to standard with enough space.
He said the present administration would complete it but consider putting it to other use.
“There is no need for a new vice-president’s house; it is a kind of waste; we are now in a situation where we cannot abandon it; it has to be completed and used for a different thing,” he said.
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=>CBN Targets N200/$ Parallel Market Rate-Thenation
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is targeting a N200 to dollar exchange rate in the parallel market, The Nation learnt on Friday.
The naira which on Friday traded at N330 to a dollar in the parallel market is expected to appreciate speedily, as impact of the CBN’s measures to stabilize the currency volatility in the parallel market begin to materialize.
President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), said the N330 rate in the parallel market is an improvement from last week’s rate when the naira exchanged for N391 to dollar.
The strident calls by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and some foreign interest for Nigeria to devalue its currency and the artificial spike in forex rate created by Bureau De Change operators appears to have tanked. This has been linked to a complex and integrated currency management approaches deployed by the CBN.
According to a top source in the apex Bank, “The aim of CBN is to ensure that the divergence between the official and parallel rate does not exceed N3, so we are looking at a parallel market rate of N200/$ because the downward trend in the pressure on the naira will be sustained.”
“The CBN has the capacity to sustain the downward pressure and will deploy further currency management initiatives, while capitalising on fiscal policies of the federal government to remain in support of non-devaluation of the Naira. The current stand of the federal government on Nigeria’s legal tender is Non-Devaluation. It will be unwise for anybody to be hoarding dollars because we can assure you that Naira appreciation is going to trend upwards going forward.”READ FULL NEWS
=> APC Chairman, Oyegun Takes 10-Day Break From Politics To Rest-DailyTrust
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Friday. said that he would commence a 10-day working break from Monday to enable him rest.
He said the Deputy National Chairman, South, Engr. Segun Oni, would act on his behalf during the vacation.
Chief Odigie-Oyegun addressed journalists at the APC National Secretariat to clarify the reports that he would go on a month-long vacation that could signal the beginning of his disengagement from the party.
He said despite his health challenge, he managed to attend last Wednesday’s meeting of the party’s key leaders at the State House, Abuja.
He dismissed the media report suggesting an “internal strife” in the party and a move to “ease” him out of office.
He said, “I have been chairman for how long now? It’s going to two years. It has been very intense prior to building the party- a very intense period putting government together up to this point. All that has happened is that I think I deserve a bit of a break. That will start effective Monday. In my absence, my deputy, Engr Oni, will cover my beat. It is that simple, it is that straightforward. Any speculation about not being in the office is of no consequence.
“On Tuesday, I was down with malaria. I managed on Wednesday to attend that crucial meeting at the presidency. On Thursday, I had to go to the hospital just to be sure. Today (Friday), I am at work, full stop.”
When asked about the duration of the break, he said, “Ten working days (two weeks). So, if you start counting from Monday, you should know when I’ll be back. The meeting on Wednesday has such important national issues that chairman or no chairman position has nothing to do with such serious issues of national importance. It’s very serious that select group like that was put together to address so nothing as mundane as whether the future of the chairman is in doubt or not….
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=>FG Unveils Free Health Services To 100 Million Nigerians
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole has stated that the Federal Government has plans to offer free health care to 100 million Nigerians in 2 years.
The minister disclosed this while speaking on Thursday at a weekly broadcast on the African Independent Television.
The minister said for the government to achieve the target, primary healthcare services would be revamped and the government would take to the “the universally accepted concept of one primary healthcare centre per political ward”.
He disclosed that pregnant women would be one of the beneficiaries of the scheme.
“One of the things we want to do under the revitalised PHC programme is that each of these revitalised, reinvigorated PHC will have an industrial borehole so that we can offer water to the people, clean drinkable water,” he said.
”The primary healthcare facilities, according to the minister,will be managed by nurses, mid-wives and village workers so as to accommodate cultural differences in different parts of Nigeria. “If we do not (do this), people will not use the facilities.”
=>SHOCKING: Nigerian Govt Sidelines NCC, Strikes Secret Deal With MTN-PremiumTimes
The Ministry of Communications on Friday confirmed it collected N50 billion from MTN Nigeria on behalf of the Federal Government as part payment for the N780 billion fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The NCC had in October 2015 sanctioned MTN, one of Nigeria’s largest mobile operator, for failing to disconnect 5.1 million improperly registered lines within a prescribed deadline.
MTN thereafter challenged the fine at the Federal High Court, Lagos, but announced on Wednesday that it was settling out of court with the government.
MTN Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Ferdi Moolman, announced in a statement on Wednesday that the company was withdrawing the case and making a “good faith” payment of N50 billion.
“This is a most encouraging development. It demonstrates a willingness and sincerity by both parties to work together towards a positive outcome,” Mr. Moolman said.
But the decision to settle out of court along with the payment of N50 billion appeared to have been shrouded in secrecy, as the NCC, the regulatory agency at the centre of the issue, saying its management was unaware of the deal.
Hours after Mr. Moolman’s announcement, the Director of Communication, NCC, Tony Ojobo, told PREMIUM TIMES exclusively his Commission was unaware of MTN’s decision to withdraw its court case, and the payment of N50 billion to the Nigerian government.
The Registrar of JAMB has stated that a total of 1,589,175 candidates applied to write JAMB this 2016.
In his statement, He also confirmed that the exams are slated to begin on 27th Feb, 2016 and would last for a total of 14 days.
He also said that the minimum cut-off to certify entry into any institution is 180 Marks, but any institution is allowed to raise their entry cut-off based on their internal requirements such as course or number of applicants. This was reached and agreed in a meeting in which the Minister of Education Chaired.
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=> Ohaneze begins talks with presidency to ensure Kanu’s release-TheNation
The Pan Igbo social-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has revealed that it has started talks with the presidency to ensure the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the director of radio Biafra, from detention. The organization has also noted that it will commence discussions with the notable traditional rulers in Nigeria for the same purpose. Speaking with journalists on Friday, February 26, in Abuja, the Ohaneze said that the talks between its leaders and top presidential officials were already at advanced stage. Although the organization did not give details of the discussions, it expressed optimism that something positive would come out of the consultations very soon. According to the group, the course of action is to employ political solution to the problem. The Nation reports that Mazi Okechukwu Iziguzoro, the national president of the group youth wing, confirmed that such traditional rulers like the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and the monarch of the Bornu Kingdom, had been already consulted on the issue. Iziguzoro said that Igbo leaders assured the presidency and the royal fathers that they were prepared to prevail on Kanu to discontinue the operation of Radio Biafra if he is released.
Part of the late Prince Abubakar Audu’s house called Millennium Plaza in the Central Business District Area (CBD), Abuja, was gutted by fire today, Friday 26. The fire which started at about 2.00pm was reportedly caused by power surge in one of the offices on the fourth floor. However, no life was lost but but property worth millions of naira got burnt during the inferno. About two car were burnt while occupant run to save their cars. As at press time, fire fighter are still at the scene of the incident . READ ALSO: Special Report: Lagos, Abuja police officers fingered in excessive abuse of power, force, extortion When our reporter got to the scene of the incident, fire fighters were still battling to put off the fire as policemen were also seen at the scene protecting life and properties. A son of the late Audu Abubakar who could not make any comment on the incident was seen making phone calls to help the situation.