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Surveyor General partners RMFAC for equitable disbursement of national wealth

Surveyor General of the Federation, Taiwo Adeniran, has revealed the preparedness of his office to collaborate with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation & Fiscal Commission to produce a map with geospatial data that will make evidence-based decisions

Surveyor General of the Federation, Mr Taiwo Adeniran, has revealed the preparedness of his office to collaborate with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) to produce a map with geospatial data that will make evidence-based decisions.

Mr Adeniran expressed this when members of the indices and Disbursement Committee of RMFAC led by its Chairman, Chris A. Akomas, paid him a courtesy call at OSGoF, Abuja.

According to a statement from Head, Press and Public Relations, OSGoF, Abu, I. Michael, Surveyor General reiterated the dynamism of geospatial information among other important resources such as capital, human and finance for good and impactful governance.

He added that OSGoF has made necessary arrangements to generate geospatial needs of every sector of the economy to enhance Evidence-Based Decision-Making System (EBDMS).

This, he said has been echoed by the United Nations (UN) and has urged countries to largely rely on geospatial data/information especially for the realization of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He acknowledged the significant responsibilities of RMFAC and pledged to collaborate with it for the development of the Nigerian economy has provided the committee with Road and Administrative Maps.

Earlier, Akomas mentioned that the courtesy call on OSGoF was to consolidate the existing relationship between them to ensure effective service delivery even in the situation of the new normal occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He disclosed that the committee would embark on nationwide advocacy and would require good knowledge of the terrain and boundaries of the country and other geospatial data/information which would be useful for its activities and functions.

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Barcelona failed in their attempt to replace Quique Setien with Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger is so synonymous with Arsenal that it would be strange to see him take over at another club, but it sounds like he’s turned down the chance to take over at Barcelona.

Barcelona are stuck in a strange situation where they clearly want Xavi to take over, but The Evening Standard have reported that it won’t be possible until 2021 at the earliest.

Quique Setien hasn’t shown enough to demonstrate that he should be trusted for another season with this squad, but few top level managers are going to accept a job as a temporary manager.

That does suggest that an elder statesman would be the best way to go, so appointing Wenger on a short term basis could actually make sense.

He’s widely respected for his work even if things went wrong towards the end at Arsenal, but a report from Le10Sport has stated that Barca have tried and failed to bring Wenger in.

They claim that talks were held and they had some good discussions about the project, but Wenger ultimately turned the chance down.

It’s clear that Barca need a new manager to overhaul this team and give them a new sense of direction, but it’s starting to look like they’ll be stuck with Setien until Xavi decides to take the leap.

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CAC: Only Companies fit and qualified will be engaged in public procurement

The Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Garba Abubakar, has said that companies that are not fit and qualified should not engage in public procurement.

Chairman of the Board, CAC, Ademola Sariki and Registrar General, CAC, Gariba Abubakar, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Adebayo and his minister of state, Amb. Mariam Katagum.

The RG explained that there are different provisions of the law that states the qualifications of those that should bid for public procurement, adding that one of the requirements under the public procurement act is that a company should not be under any form of receivership.

According to him, “The current practice where all that is required are certificates of registration and articles of association of these entities does not actually help because you can’t see on the face of the certificate whether a company is actually subject to any form of receivership.

“We had earlier proposed that one of the ways of checkmating some of these abuses is by introducing, adopting letters of good standing to be issued by CAC as part of the requirements for public procurement.”

He added that the letter of good standing can take the place of memorandums and articles stating that it is all encompassing and will show you the name of the company, the address the names of the directors, the nature of the business of company and whether the company is under any form of arrangement or compromises with its creditors by way of either receivership or liquidation.

“And at a glance the letter will show you if the company has encumbrances, whether they have borrowed money, the extent to which they have borrowed. And that will give awarding agencies the opportunity to make impudence’s whether to entrust such kind of procurement on this kind of company,” he stressed.

On President Buhari’s assent of the Companies and Allied Matters (CAMA) Bill, 2020 recently passed by the National Assembly, Garba lauded the development and added that the country has not had any significant change in company law and regulations in the last 2 decades.

He assured that the Commission is ready to ensure that the full latter of the laws are given effects and in doing that, they are ready to collaborate with the National Assembly to ensure that the law is gazetted.

He said they will need to come up regulations that will define certain transactions, particularly regulations of modern articles of association.

“We had the former law which was not extensive enough because various companies have been complaining and the provisions are not well encompassing.

“Now that we have the opportunity to come up with regulations on articles, it will go a long way in bringing a better governance structure for most of the companies and if we do well, companies don’t have to submit there own articles for registration,” he said.

He said they will come up with fees and make it uniform fees, adding that discrimination in fees is very difficult to manage but uniform fees make it easier to access.

He said they will have a committee that involves stakeholders such the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Institute of Directors in designing the regulations and come up with something that is acceptable to the larger segment of those that will benefit from these provisions.

Earlier, the Chairman Board of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Ademola Seriki said they were at the Ministry to show formidable appreciation and steer a clear message to Nigerians that this is a new steering wheel in the business area of the CAC under the leadership of himself and the Registrar General.

He further lauded that Minister for being able to deliver what has been on in the last 2 decades regarding the new law of CAMA signed into law by Mr. President.

He said with this, Nigerians can now see a friendly business in the area of Commerce and Industry and also in the Financial Capital Market.

The minister while responding assured that they will prepare a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to approve the proposed regulations which will become part of the processes.

He said he is looking forward to the regulations the CAC is putting together that will continue with the ease of doing businesses in the country.

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Lagos PDP warns governor not to waste state funds on Edo, Ondo elections

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The Peoples Democratic Party, Lagos State chapter, has cautioned the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu against spending funds belonging to the state on the upcoming governorship elections in Ondo and Edo states.

This was contained in a press statement by the Lagos PDP’s spokesperson, Gani Taofik, titled ‘Resist wasting Lagos funds on Ondo” on Wednesday.

In the statement, the party raised an alarm that there would “most likely be a diversion of Lagos funds into the APC Ondo state governorship contest”.

It alleged that making Sanwo-Olu the Chairman of APC campaign council for the Ondo election was a way of asking him to finance the election.

The statement read, “The selection of Sanwoolu as Head of the APC Ondo State Governorship campaign council cannot be for his political experience but because the APC intends to use Lagos funds to run the Ondo elections.

“The party urge the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance and the Accountant General to prepare for accountability within this period of Edo and Ondo elections.

“We will invite EFCC and also support the legal protest against this selection targeted at diverting Lagos taxes in the face of colossal infrastructure inadequacies begging for attention in the state.

“Governor Sanwoolu should show empathy to Lagosians by rejecting the Greek gift selection as head of the APC campaign council, so as to concentrate on his much-touted quest to improve the state development.

“For the PDP, the state will be further plunged into avoidable debts and infrastructure deficits if the governor delves into such party assignments obviously distractive and prodigal at this time.”

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Kano Disco urges tenants to verify electricity bill before renting apartment

The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) on Tuesday urged potential tenants to always verify electricity bill status before renting apartments in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States.

KEDCO gave the advice in a statement signed by its Head, Corporate Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Shawai, and issued to newsmen on Tuesday in Kano.

He said that the advice was necessitated by the huge unpaid electricity bills by out-going tenants in Kano Franchise area.

“It has been observed that many tenants pay percentage of their bills while some even refused to pay or skip payments.

“This has sadly accumulated huge unpaid debts which are often left unpaid when such tenants are packing from those houses.

“It is unfair to heap the huge outstanding electricity bills on people that did not enjoy the services, customers must take responsibility for their bills in the overall interest of the power sector.

“This has become imperative in view of the observations made by field staff of KEDCO and the need for incoming tenants to avoid inheriting bills of services that were never rendered to them,” he said.

Shawai enjoined customers to cultivate the habit of paying their bills in full to avoid leaving behind huge bills which might create issues for intending tenants, KEDCO and landlords.

He also called on all landlords to be involved in the electricity bill status of their properties to avoid any challenge with KEDCO.

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President Buhari: Boko Haram fighters are ‘mere scavengers desperate for food’

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over the Emergency National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari has once again dismissed the threat constituted by Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast region.

Buhari rode to the presidency in 2015 partly based on a promise to destroy the Islamic sect that has terrorised the restive region since 2009.

And even though his administration significantly diminished the operational capacity of the terrorist group, factions of the group are still able to carry out devastating attacks over the past few years.

This has not stopped Buhari from downplaying the group’s capacity for years after first declaring it ‘technically defeated’ in December 2015.

During a meeting with state governors and security chiefs on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Buhari dispelled the commonly held assumptions that the terrorists possess better weapons than the military, and more money than the government.

His spokesperson, Garba Shehu, in a statement quoted him as describing what’s left of the terrorist group as “mere scavengers desperate for food, raiding shops and markets, and killing innocent persons in the process”.

Despite his dismissal, the president expressed concern about how the terrorists are still able to access weapons despite the fact Nigeria has shut down its land borders with neighbouring countries since 2019.

He promised the governors that service chiefs have strict instructions to rejig the military’s operations, and admitted that Nigeria’s intelligence-gathering must be improved.

“We have said enough on the need for them to rejig their operations. I am glad that there is better synergy and cooperation which are very important,” he said.

Internal security challenges across the country were the main issue discussed at Tuesday’s meeting attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, heads of defence, security and intelligence agencies, and members of the Security Committee of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).

The governors highlighted the problems of poverty, unemployment, trust deficit between the military and civilian populations, and the inflow of small arms into the country.

They also urged Buhari to consider a bail out for security for the states in view of the enormity of the resources they now expend in support of the military and the police.

Buhari said there’s an imminent shipment of military weapons and aircraft from Jordan, China, and the United States that will further boost the nation’s fight against insecurity.

He asked Nigerians for patience as the military trains personnel with the new weapons.

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NFVCB seals off illegal drive-in cinemas in Abuja

The Executive Director of NFVCB, Mr Adebayo Thomas, made the call in an interview on Sunday in Abuja.

The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has sealed off illegal drive-in cinemas in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Mrs Bola Athar, Director of Operations of the NFVCB, made the disclosure to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

A drive-in cinema or theatre is a cinema structure consisting of a large outdoor movie screen and a parking area where customers can view movies from the privacy and comfort of their cars.

According to Athar, the illegal drive-in cinemas are operated by some showbiz promoters and recreational spots owners.

“Through our intelligence-gathering efforts, we understand that films are being exhibited to the public for commercial purposes in these centres as drive-in cinemas.

“These recreational centres and their promoters are not licensed exhibitors and the venues they are using are not approved by the board for exhibition, which is a contravention of relevant sections of the NFVCB Act.

“As the regulator of the motion picture industry, we have sealed off some drive-in cinemas in the FCT within this week, including the one at the Central Park, until the right thing is done,” she said.

Athar explained that, for a film to be allowed for exhibition in Nigeria, it must be censored, classified and the exhibitor, as well as the premises for its exhibition, licensed.

Newsmen report that the NFVCB is a Federal Government body that regulates the films and video industry, and it is empowered by law to classify all films and videos whether imported or produced locally.

It also registers all films and videos outlet across the country and keeps a record of all registered outlets, among other functions

Newsmen reports that a drive-in cinema is now a growing trend in the entertainment industry globally, as traditional movie theatres remain closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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PTF: Coronavirus positive cases gradually coming down

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, says restriction measures like social distancing, and wearing of face masks need to continue during the period of Ramadan, which is around the corner.

Dr Sani Aliyu, the Coordinator, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has said that positive cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) gradually coming down as the daily results now revolves around 400.

He made this known at the daily briefing of the PTF on Monday in Abuja, warning, however, that the reduction was not in a way a win.

He said that all the non-pharmaceutical guidelines must be followed to achieve full success in the fight against COVID-19.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said “we have recorded 46,577 cases from 317,496 samples tested so far, while 33,186 persons have been treated and discharged.

“Sadly, we lost 945 persons to the COVID-19 infection, which has now been identified in 549 of our 774 local government areas, and half of all cases in Nigeria so far are concentrated in 20 local government areas.

“​The figures show that Nigeria is also sadly approaching the symbolic 1,000 number of fatalities, a grim reality that should be a wake-up call for us.

“Many more Nigerians today personally knew a person who succumbed to COVID-19, and so I ask that we remind ourselves that COVID-19 is still with us and will be for a long time.”

He warned that “until there is vaccine, the only options we have to protect ourselves are the non-pharmaceutical measures, proven to be cheap and effective such as the appropriate use of face mask, physical distancing and avoiding crowds.”

On the way forward, the minister said “our focus is still to reduce fatality to less than one per cent, not only with preventive measures, but also with a strategy that encourages citizens to report early for treatment and for hospitals to attend to all patients in distress; most importantly, to be able to provide oxygen treatment.

“The main COVID-19 symptoms include breathlessness, which responds well to oxygen supplementation as first measure.

“We are turning our preferences therefore to gadgets that provide oxygen, like oxygen generators to be in many facilities, including general hospitals and larger Primary Healthcare Centres, while solar powered aggregates, where available, will be prioritised.”

He advised federal health institutions with oxygen plants to activate them as a matter of priority and ensure they could deliver to their Accident and Emergency Department.

“The other measure is the activation of ambulance service to move patients to treatment centres. This strategy worked well in Kano and all states should prepare to set up the system, as Federal Ministry of Health will provide guidance, support and training,” he added.

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TikTok announces first wave of creators set to receive payment for their videos

China’s ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app.

TikTok announced the first wave of recipients for its new Creators Fund, a $200 million venture that will pay popular personalities for their content.

There are 19 creators in total, including David Dobrik, Brittany Tomlinson, Cheyenne Jaz Wise, Justice Alexander, Michael Le, Marissa Ren, and Ross Smith. While many of the recipients already came from full-time entertainment backgrounds — including Dobrik and Smith, who are popular YouTube creators — many of the selected TikTokers came from non-media backgrounds but were able to build substantial followings on the app.

Dr. Fayez (@lifeofadoctor), an emergency medicine doctor, has amassed more than 500,000 followers on the app since starting TikTok in 2019 and is known for “mythbusting common misconceptions within healthcare, or giving his audience a glimpse on his everyday life as a doctor,” according to a new TikTok blog post. Matt Gresia (@mattgresia) is an entrepreneur who uses TikTok to teach business skills to his more than 13 million subscribers.

TikTok first announced the $200 million fund in late July, and a spokesperson described the initiative as a way to support ambitious creators who “are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood” on the app. It remains unclear just how often creators will be paid or how much each payment amounts to, but a spokesperson told The Verge at the time that it’s an ongoing payment system.

In order for creators to be considered for the fund, they must “be 18 years or older, meet a baseline of 10K followers, have accrued at least 10K video views in the last 30 days, and post original content” that doesn’t violate the company’s community guidelines, according to the blog post. To compare, YouTube’s Creator Program, which allows people to monetize their content through advertising, requires creators to have more than 1,000 subscribers and accrue more than 4,000 hours of watch time over the last 12 months.

“Creating engaging and meaningful content takes time and commitment, and our creators are just as passionate about sharing stories and connecting with their audiences as we are about serving them and our broader community of users,” Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok US, wrote in the blog post.

The company’s goal is to increase the fund from $200 million to $1 billion in the next three years. Right now, the fund is only applicable to creators in the United States, but the company hopes to create more funds globally later on. Applications for creators will open later this month, according to the blog post.

The fund comes at an important strategic time for TikTok. Paying creators in the US may bolster the company’s image in its ongoing struggles with the US government, which is looking for an American company (reportedly Microsoft) to purchase TikTok. Otherwise, the app is facing a ban under an executive order from President Trump. TikTok has spent months trying to make itself a more American company, with a campus in Los Angeles, an American CEO, and plans to hire 10,000 people in the United States. If TikTok can become a viable, economic platform for Americans, that’s another positive for the company’s presence in the United States.

More information about the Creators Fund and the first wave of recipients is available on TikTok’s blog.

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Ondo deputy governor officially resigns as PDP member

The Zenith Labour Party, on Sunday, confirmed the adoption of Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, as its governorship candidate.

Ondo State Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, has resigned his membership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Ajayi according to his Media Adviser, Allen Sowore, in a statement in Akure said that Ajayi decision to resign was as a result of the call on him by a majority of the good people of Ondo State to give hope to the hopeless, provide credible and purposeful leadership in our dear State.

The deputy governor has, therefore, reassured his teaming supporters to remain focused and committed as he will be announcing his next line of action shortly.

Ajayi appreciated the National Leadership and members of the party for their warm reception and acceptance in the short period he rejoined the party.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the PDP in Apoi Ward ii of Ese-Odo Local Government Area, Festus Oboro acknowledged the receipt of the resignation letter on 9th of August, 2020.

Recall that Ajayi rejoined the PDP on June 21 2020, at his home town, Kiribo.

He later contested in the governorship primary but lost to Eyitayo Jegede.

Meanwhile, Ajayi will tomorrow defect to the Zenith Labour Party to contest for the governorship election.

The party has adopted him after it replaced his name with that of its candidate, Rotimi Benjamin who was elected during the party’s primary early this month.

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