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Ghost Workers: N143bn Saved in 2016, Says FG

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  • Federal Government Saved N143bn in 2016

The Presidency also said that 11 persons believed to be members of a syndicate responsible for the presence of 50,000 ghost workers on the Federal Government’s payroll had been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for further investigation and prosecution.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists.

Shehu said although the 21 Chibok girls released recently by the Boko Haram sect had been adopted by the Federal Government, many local and international interests had expressed the desire to educate them for free.

He said, “A black American billionaire, Mr. Robert Smith, who is currently sponsoring the education of 24 girls from Chibok, among them the first set of escapees from Boko Haram at the American University of Nigeria, Yola has offered to pay for the education of the 21 released through negotiations.

“He is offering to take responsibility for all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free. The Murtala Muhammed Foundation in the country is equally interested,” he said.

Shehu added that some of the suspects involved in the ghost workers scam were already undergoing trial.

He explained that the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance created by the present administration was able to uncover the 50,000 ghost workers and saved the nation of N13bn monthly during the year.

Shehu said the amount was taken off the government’s payroll from February to December.

The presidential spokesman said, “The flagship programme of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rid the system of fraud and instill good governance is on course.

“Through a notable initiative, the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the government has embarked on the continuous auditing of the salaries and wages of government departments.

“When the committee was constituted in February 2016, the Federal Government’s monthly salary bill was N151bn excluding pensions.

“Now, the monthly salary warrant is N138bn, excluding pensions, which means that the government is making a monthly saving of about N13bn. That is from February 2016 to date.”

Shehu added that the pension bill which was N15.5bn monthly as of February had been reduced to N14.4bn.

He said the government was making an average monthly saving of about N1.1bn on the pension bill.

Responding to complaints by some of the parents of the 21 Chibok girls that they did not have enough room for interaction with their daughters brought home for Christmas by the Department of state Services, Shehu admitted that there were some hitches arising from a lack of understanding of the objective of the trip by some security operatives.

He explained that following the complaints, a directive had been given from the headquarters of the DSS for the access by the parents to be eased.

“If the situation persists, please let us know so that the higher authorities will make a further intercession,” he said.

Shehu also allayed the fears of many members of the ruling All Progressives Congress concerning board appointments.

He assured the agitated members that the process would be fully back on track at the beginning of 2017.

He said, “You know that the reconstitution began methodically, from sector to sector. You should expect that to resume at the beginning of the New Year. The President has given directions on what to do.”

On the agricultural programmes of the administration, Shehu said the President’s persistent call for a return to farming was yielding good results.

He added, “The talk about agriculture has driven people to the farm. This year, there is a huge boom in the rural economy. We have witnessed an excellent harvest. Farmers are getting value for their output.

“What has encouraged the farmers the more is the increasing availability of extension services. New farming techniques are helping farmers to do their occupation better.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

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President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.

The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.

According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.

The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.

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University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session

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University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session

University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.

In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.

The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.

The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.

The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.

“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.

“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.

“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.

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House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion

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House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion

The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.

Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.

The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.

Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.

Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.

A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

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