​#ENDSARS: We are not happy Sanwo-Olu denied inviting soldiers — Gen Taiwo

The Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Taiwo Saturday told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate, Saturday said that soldiers were not happy, that the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu denied inviting soldiers to restore peace and order at Lekki Toll Gate.

“I spoke with the governor and said the army was unhappy that he said he did not ask the army to intervene. But I’m sure, after we’ve watched everything, we saw he had more than reasonable grounds to ask the army to intervene.”

Recall that Sanwo-Olu in an interview with ARISE Tv, denied ordering the army to the state, saying such powers was beyond any state governor.

“I don’t know how the officers got it all wrong because the instruction was that police won’t be out until 10-10:30 p.m. when all citizens should have gotten to their various homes. This is totally against what we stand for.

“The army does not report to me, I have reported the matter to the highest command in the military. It’s not something we are going to gloss over. A judicial panel will be set up to investigate it. I have escalated it to the highest level of the military,” Sanwo-olu said

​APC continues to give excuses on failed promises — Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike says the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is stuck on the narrative of endless excuses to wish away its “colossal failure” in nation-building since wrestling power from President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

Wike at a Rivers state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reception for teeming APC defectors on Thursday, also boasted that his governorship achievements thus far have rendered extinct, the APC and all opposition parties in Rivers.

He asked the APC defectors, “Are things better today? So why do you allow people to tell you lies? How long can you continue to listen to the lies of the All Progressives Congress? They have nothing for Nigerians. It is unfortunate that there was a conspiracy to remove a Niger Delta person as President”.

On perceived federal government neglect of Rivers, Wike stated, “Since they started Bonny Bodo Road, what has happened? As we speak, the Federal Government has not released her counterpart funding for that road. Now, NLNG said let us do it and then deduct it from the tax we pay to the federal government. Is it how they have been doing in other states?

“By next year, political activities will kick start, when will they build infrastructure again? Somebody will come and tell you, people, Federal Government has approved industrial pack; they have approved deep seaport in Bonny.”

To the defected APC members, he said, “Thank you for this bold step to join the PDP. Only a wicked man who does not like good things will not see what we are doing in Port Harcourt. With our achievements, we have killed any party that wants to raise its head.

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“This is done by your support. On May 27, 2015, somebody said we can’t pay a salary. Today, we are not talking about payment of salary, we employing 5000 youths into the state civil service.”

Leaders of the deflectors included former Director of Finance and Administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Henry Ogiri; APC South-South administrative officer, Gloria Boma; Mr. Lolo Ibieneye and Alhaji Hassan Douglas.

On behalf of the defectors, Dr. Henry Ogiri, said they were motivated to return to the PDP because of the quality of people-oriented projects embarked upon by Governor Wike.

Strike: We’ll explore other options if ASUU remains adamant, says FG

The Minister of Labour and Employment , Dr Chris Ngige , has expressed optimism that the prolonged strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities will be resolved by next week when the Federal Government team meets the union leaders again .

He , however , said if the matter was not resolved by then , he would explore the provisions in the labour law and other channels. Government had previously appealed to the union to call off the strike.

The union had on March 24 2020 embarked on an indefinite strike over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action between them as well as the lingering disagreement over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System that ASUU rejected.

Speaking on Politics Today on Channels Television on Friday , the minister said the government had met six of the union ’s nine demands and that they would meet again next week with the hope of ending the prolonged strike.

He stated , “Even if countries go to war , at the end of the day they come to the negotiation table . I ’m inviting them ( ASUU ) next week . We are doing side meetings on our part and we are collating everything. I ’m collating responses from the Accountant General of the Federation ’ s Office and everybody who has something to do with this matter .

When asked if it meant that the lecturers may not return to the classrooms in the next one or two weeks , he said , “I ’m not looking at that ( long) period. I ’m an optimist on this matter . By next week , we will conclude this matter. There are so many options left. We have the labour laws and I have options left to me in the labour laws . I have other channels .”

The minister , who said his children had also been at home as a result of the strike, explained that government had agreed to give the University Transparency Academic Solution , the payment platform proposed by ASUU , a trial . He however said the feedback he got from the National Information Technology Development Agency , the agency mandated to follow -up the trial with ASUU , showed they had just concluded the first phase and that the second phase to assess the functional requirement of UTAS had not been done .

He added , “UTAS has yet to be ready but government will not discourage them . And we have told them there is no need using the same old method of strike to make demands since such had been deployed since 2017.”

On the revitalisation fund , he said government had agreed to release N 30 bn out of the N 40 bn demanded by the union as the payment for November 2019 and September 2020, adding that the remaining N 10 bn would be staggered.

“A committee that looked into the Needs Assessment of universities held a workshop on how funds could be generated came up with the recommendation that other things could be done to raise funds , because revitalisation cannot be done through the budget , especially when the country is running a deficit budget ,” Ngige added .

​South Sudan, WHO begin campaign to vaccinate 1.5m children against polio

South Sudan in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday launched a fresh campaign aiming to vaccinate 1.5 million children against polio following another polio outbreak.

Olushayo Olu, WHO representative for South Sudan said the campaign provides greater opportunity for the vulnerable populations to receive interventions that could avert life-threatening diseases such as disability from poliomyelitis.

“In spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and flooding sweeping much of the country, the campaign provides greater opportunity for vulnerable populations to receive critical interventions that could avert life-threatening diseases such as disability from poliomyelitis,’’ Olu said in a statement issued in Juba.

This came in the wake of confirming 15 cases of vaccine-derived poliomyelitis in children under five years of age in seven counties found in the states of Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Western Bahr El Ghazal, Warrap, Lakes and Eastern Equatoria.

It revealed that the affected children have irreversible paralysis.

Olu disclosed that polio is a preventable disease that no child in South Sudan should suffer from.

WHO noted that the number of confirmed cases has continued to rise in the last few weeks, adding that the first round of the campaign will target children in seven states and 45 counties.

It added that follow-up campaigns covering more states and counties are planned.

Elizabeth Achuei Yol, minister of health, said the campaign is aimed at containing the polio outbreak in order to safeguard other children in the country.

“We need to move fast to stop this outbreak from harming more children,’’ she said.

Achuei urged all parents to take their children for polio vaccination including those who have already been vaccinated.

“It is safe to receive an additional dose and we want to make sure every child is protected,’’ she added.

Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF South Sudan Representative said the vaccination campaign will help to protect the country from future polio outbreaks.

“We must ensure all children in South Sudan are taken for routine immunisation which includes the polio vaccine, so this doesn’t happen again when the outbreak is curbed,’’ said Ayoya.

According to the UN, less than 50 per cent of children in South Sudan are immunised against polio and other life-threatening diseases, putting them at risk of life-long disability and death.

​NNPC announces N153.17 ex-depot price for petrol

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced N153.17 ex-depot price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol for the month of November.

The corporation announced this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Dr Kennie Obateru, in Abuja on Friday.

The ex-depot price is the amount at which the depot owners sells the commodity to retail outlets owners and fuel marketers across the country.

He said: “The correct prices, as can be seen on PPMC’s ‘Customer Express’ platform (online portal for procurement of petroleum products) are: Ex-Coastal Price – N128, and Ex-Depot Price (with collection) – N153.17.”

Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) is a subsidiary of the NNPC.

He advised marketers to make their purchases through the online “Customer Express” platform (PPMCCustomer.Express/login/authenticate) at the recommended prices.

He faulted the widely circulated memo in the media purporting an increase in the PPMC Ex-Coastal Price and Ex-Depot Price (with collection) to N130 and N155.17, respectively.

“We wish to clarify that there was a slight increase in the price based on the prevailing realities of market forces of demand and supply,” he stated.

The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the PPMC did not make public the October ex- depot price but in September, it announced ex-depot price of N151.56k.

The November price of N153.17 has an increament of N1.61 from the September price.