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FG to Increase Npower Beneficiaries by 50,000, Budgets N400bn For Npower, Others in 2021

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In a bid to continually tackle unemployment in Nigeria, the federal government has made plans to increase the number of Npower beneficiaries by 50,000 in 2021.

This was after the federal government had earlier announced that over 5 million applications were submitted for the 400,000 space available under the Npower scheme.

The Federal government through the ministry of humanitarian affairs has submitted a proposed budget of N400 billion for the 2021 fiscal year on its Social Investment Programme (NSIP).

In the documents submitted to the National Assembly, the proposed recurrent expenditure for 2021 remains unchanged while the personnel cost increases by N3.8 billion or 2.31 percent to N170.1 billion in 2021. This summed the total recurrent expenditure to N350 billion and capital spending to N50 billion.

The document stated that the increase in personnel cost was as a result of the proposed increase in the number of Npower beneficiaries.

This increase is “because of (an) increase in the number of NPOWER (NTEACH Hub) beneficiaries from 400,000 to 450,000,” the document shows.

The ministry allocated 52.6 percent of 2021 proposed recurrent expenditure to the Job Creation Unit which will be used for the implementation of programs, including Npower and innovation hubs.

Last week, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, had complained that the amount budgeted for youth programmes in the 2021 proposed budget is inadequate.

Speaking at a budget defence session organised by the House Committee on Youth Development in Abuja last week, Dare said, “The 2021 budget emphasises investment in our citizens, particularly the youth, in order to achieve the aspirations of government and the move to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

“It is highly important to note the present capital budget proposal, though higher than last year’s, is yet grossly inadequate to finance the maintenance of five stasis and the mini sports centres that we have across the country, and the youth development centres.”

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EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja

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The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.

Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.

“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.

Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.

He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.

The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.

“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.

The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.

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Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea

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President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.

Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.

The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.

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Senate Passes Bills To Establish Two Federal Universities in Ekiti, Nasarawa states

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The Senate on Tuesday passed two bills seeking to establish two federal universities in Ekiti and Nasarawa States.

The bills are the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2021.

Both bills are sponsored by Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), and Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South).

The passage of both bills followed the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital was “necessitated as a result of the precarious health conditions faced by the resident.”

According to him, the bill to establish the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State, seeks to promote and emphasize teaching, research and extension of knowledge in the field of medicine and environmental sciences.

In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed a third bill to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act.

The bill’s passage by the upper chamber followed consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Senator Oloriegbe in his presentation explained that the amendment bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the University Teaching Hospital, Lafia and Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital.

In a related development, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Kaiama, Kwara State, scaled second reading during plenary.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North).

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered, referred it to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.

The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

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