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Subsidy Removal : Kwara begins first phase of palliatives distribution 

In what was an attempt to ensure nonpartisanship, fairness and equity, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on August 22 inaugurated the 12-person committee to coordinate the distribution of the palliatives purchased with the N2bn so far received from the Federal Government. 

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Kwara State Government on Wednesday flagged off the distribution of rice palliatives to the most vulnerable persons in the state, with the committee saying it would share at least 250,000 10kg bags in the first phase. 

In what was an attempt to ensure nonpartisanship, fairness and equity, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on August 22 inaugurated the 12-person committee to coordinate the distribution of the palliatives purchased with the N2bn so far received from the Federal Government. 

At the flag off of the distribution  in Ilorin, the state capital, the Governor said the palliatives are only a show of empathy with the people as more sustainable initiatives are being implemented in phases.

He was represented by the Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly Engr Yakubu Danladi Salihu. 

The Governor said: “This is only a fraction of what we have done to identify with the people at this very critical moment of our national life. Palliatives are a stop-gap measure to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy on the most vulnerable among us.

“Over the last few weeks, our government has rolled out different palliative measures to support the people in the formal and informal sectors. Also, we had earlier distributed the five trucks of rice we received from the Federal Government. We acknowledge the limits of this distribution in terms of the reach.

“Today, we are flagging off the distribution of the first consignments of rice we purchased with the N2bn so far received from the Federal Government. We are distributing at least 250,000 10kg bags of rice in this phase. 

“Beneficiaries will be identified on a nonpartisan basis by the committee of eminent Kwarans. This committee has continued to consult with different blocs of our communities as well as evidence-based registers of vulnerable people domiciled with key agencies of government such as the health insurance, primary healthcare agencies, as well as the World Bank. Distribution will be done in accordance with the timetable and logistics of the committee. 

“For me, the most important aspect of today’s event is not the quantity or the sheer reach of the grains to be distributed. The most significant thing is the spirit of empathy that is behind what we are doing. The government at all levels empathises with the people across all social strata of our society. We are committed to taking every step possible to help the people cope with the inconveniences of this time.

“Huge investments are being made to boost the manufacturing sector, strengthen local production of food through commercial agriculture, local production of CNG and electric vehicles, and mass employment for young people in different aspects of the economy. 

“We are a resilient people. I have no doubt that we will emerge from this tough situation much better and stronger as a nation. 

“On that note, I have the honour to flag off the distribution of these palliative. I urge our people to trust the committee to do justice to the assignment, bearing in mind that the whole essence of this modest effort is to show concern to the plight of the people, especially the most vulnerable among us.”

The event was attended by members of palliative committee and beneficiaries of the first batch, including representatives of Persons living with disabilities; WOWICAN; Marketmen and women group; Hausa community; Igbo Community; South-south community; Youth Council; NANS; Youth CAN; Orphanage; NUT; NUJ; TUC; FOMWAN; Non-indigene community; NURTW; NLC and Artisans groups. 

The committee chairperson CP Ebunoluwarotimi Adelesi said the flag off marked the beginning of the exercise, which would see the palliatives being taken to all the 16 local government after agreeing the modalities with all the stakeholders and interest groups.

“The committee has the mandate to distribute approximately 250,000 bags of 10kg rice and advise the government on effective deployment of the N1bn worth of maize from the Maize Reserve (SMR) through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for Livestock Farmers across the state,” she said.

The committee has since started its assignment by directing Director of Personnel Management (DPM) of the local government area to collaboratively work with Primary Healthcare Development Agency in a bid to generate a list of potential beneficiaries and vulnerable indigenes across the nooks and crannies of the state, she added.

CP Adelesi explained that the exercise targets as many vulnerable persons as possible, promising to deploy multidimensional and all-encompassing leadership acumen in making sure that the palliative items get to the targeted vulnerable across the three senatorial districts of the state. 

In their separate responses, representative of Persons with disabilities Alfred Oluwole; representative of FOMWAN Hajia Bilqees Oladimeji; representative of WOWICAN Mrs Kehinde Awe; and the President, Kwara State Artisans Congress Alhaji Jimoh Adeshina applauded AbdulRazaq for this initiative aimed at cushion the effects of fuel subsidy. 

“We know the cost of a bag of rice in the market today. So, we thank the Federal and the state government for this initiative. We really appreciate our able and unique Governor for his passion in improving the welfare of the citizenry,” Adeshina said.

“We are grateful to the state government for following the step of the federal government for this bold initiative. We’re very grateful.” 

Some beneficiaries took turns to commend the government for the palliatives.

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Stop cursing your leaders – Sanwo-Olu tells Nigerians

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State urged citizens to refrain from criticizing Nigeria and instead pray for its improvement.

Speaking at the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr celebration, themed “Allah will not Change the Way of the People until they Change What is in their Hearts,” held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, emphasized the need for Nigerians to adopt a positive outlook towards the country.

He stressed that divine intervention would only occur when people change their mindset and stop speaking negatively about Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu encouraged Nigerians to have faith in their current leaders and pray for the nation’s progress, emphasizing the importance of collective prayer and positive thoughts for national development.

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Nigeria’s Onyeka reacts as he scores first premier league for Brentford

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Frank Onyeka is ecstatic after netting his debut Premier League goal for Brentford.

Onyeka swiftly made an impact for the Bees, entering as a late substitute during their 2-0 triumph against Sheffield United at the Gtech Community Stadium last Saturday.

The defensive midfielder found the back of the net in stoppage time, securing a crucial 2-0 victory for the home side.

This win marked Thomas Frank’s team’s first victory in their previous nine Premier League matches.

Onyeka took to social media to share his joy about the win and his goal, stating, “Crucial 3 points secured and thrilled to contribute with a goal ⚽️.” Brentford’s win alleviated concerns about relegation, propelling them to 14th place in the standings.

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Ondo Monarch dies months after ascending throne

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Julius Omomo, the Olojoda of Oda kingdom, passed away at the age of 83.

Ade Adelakun, a family source, confirmed the monarch’s demise on Sunday, stating that he died on Saturday after a brief illness.

Adelakun described Omomo as a humble, decent, and down-to-earth monarch, noting that his reign brought peace and development to the monarch’s domain.

Omomo ascended to the throne on May 30, 2023, and was formally crowned in December of the same year, albeit amid controversy.

Despite challenges to his nomination, including claims of an illegal installation by members of the ruling house, the state government proceeded with his installation, stating that no court injunction had been served against it.

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UNIBEN begins investigation following alleged student ‘assault’ on Akpata

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Olumide Akpata, the Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate in Edo state, claims he was assaulted by certain University of Benin (UNIBEN) students.

During an interactive session at the senior staff club, Oshodin pavilion in UNIBEN, Akpata stated that he was “attacked by some students” who felt excluded from the meeting with the university’s senior staff.

In a widely circulated video, a UNIBEN student alleged being shot in the leg by one of Akpata’s security personnel. However, Akpata refuted the claim in a video response, asserting that he was actually the victim of the chaos.

Akpata further explained that the students disrupted the meeting, barricaded the gates, and caused a lecturer to sustain injuries.

He emphasized that the incident was an attempt by the present Edo government to disrupt the upcoming election in September.

Meanwhile, UNIBEN has announced the formation of a committee to investigate the “violent incident,” condemning the reported violence during Akpata’s visit.

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Matawalle slams Northern elders over anti-Tinubu comments

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The recent remarks made by the Northern Elders Forum regarding Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidency have sparked controversy.

The NEF expressed regret for their support of Tinubu in the 2023 general election, stating a preference for a candidate who is perceived as more inclusive and aligned with the interests of all regions.

In response, Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, criticized the NEF, calling their actions a political burden on the North and emphasizing that they lack the authority to speak for the entire region.

Matawalle defended Tinubu’s presidency, highlighting his victory in the 2023 election and the positive impact of his government on the Northern region.

He urged the NEF to prioritize unity and cooperation within the North and to support Tinubu’s presidency for the country’s progress.

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85% of Nigerians still enjoying electricity subsidy – FG

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The Federal Government has announced that despite the removal of electricity subsidy for Band A consumers, approximately 85% of Nigerians still benefit from the subsidy under the new electricity supply regime.

This revelation comes amid ongoing public outcry over the recent tariff hike by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, highlighted that the subsidy withdrawal, expected to save over N1 trillion, will be reinvested to enhance power supply and social services.

He also underscored the need for equitable distribution, noting that a significant portion of the subsidy was previously enjoyed by affluent individuals and industrial clusters.

Furthermore, he emphasized the strengthened governance structure of the NERC under the new Electricity Act, enabling the agency to impose stringent penalties on electricity distribution companies for billing and supply-related infractions.

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