News Digest https://newsdigest.ng Breaking News in Nigeria and around the world Sat, 16 Oct 2021 21:35:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 140628670 APC state congress: Bauchi stakeholders reject Adamu Adamu’s anointed candidate https://newsdigest.ng/apc-state-congress-bauchi/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 21:33:55 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88373 APC state congress: Bauchi stakeholders reject Adamu Adamu’s anointed candidate NEWS DIGEST – Stakeholders at the Bauchi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have rejected a move by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to impose a candidate, Babayo Alim, for the chairmanship position of the party in the state. The ruling APC […]

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APC state congress: Bauchi stakeholders reject Adamu Adamu’s anointed candidate

NEWS DIGEST – Stakeholders at the Bauchi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have rejected a move by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to impose a candidate, Babayo Alim, for the chairmanship position of the party in the state.

The ruling APC has slated this Saturday for the conduct of its state congresses.

Rising from a heated meeting on Thursday, the stakeholders rejected the minister’s move, calling on him to rescind his decision and allow aspirants from the Central Senatorial zone to contest the elections.

“There is a need for a level playing ground for every aspirant to contest this election, in the spirit of equity and fairness.

“The minister’s action will only create animosity among party members and further weaken the chances of the party in producing the next governor in the state.

“We can’t afford to remain silent while these anti-democratic practices go on in our party.

“We are committed to producing the next governor of Bauchi State and we will achieve our goal only by sticking to the universally recognized democratic practices,” one of the stakeholders who didn’t want his name mentioned stressed.

The stakeholders also alleged an ongoing move to coral federal and state legislators into endorsing the minister’s preferred choice.

Internal wrangling in several states including Kano is threatening the party’s unity ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Bauchi was one of the states the APC lost in the 2019 elections due to internal squabbles.

In the absence of an APC governor in the state, the minister is regarded as the party leader for occupying the highest government office in the state.

 

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EFCC grills Kwankwaso over alleged fraud https://newsdigest.ng/efcc-interrogates-kwankwaso/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 18:49:40 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88372 EFCC grills Kwankwaso over alleged fraud NEWS DIGEST – A former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Saturday, turned himself in for interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This came weeks after Premium Times newspaper reported how the top member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shunned previous invitations by […]

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EFCC grills Kwankwaso over alleged fraud

NEWS DIGEST – A former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Saturday, turned himself in for interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This came weeks after Premium Times newspaper reported how the top member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shunned previous invitations by the anti-corruption agency.

His decision to turn himself in could have been made to avert possible arrest which our reporter learnt was being planned by the commission.

Top EFCC officials, who asked not to be named because they had no permission to speak on the matter, told the newspaper that Mr Kwankwaso arrived at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja before noon on Saturday.

“This was after repeated invitations not honoured by him,” one of the sources said.

Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s spokesperson, could not be immediately reached for comments.

A close aide, who sometimes speaks for Mr Kwankwaso, said he would get back to our reporter, but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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The former governor is being investigated over a 2015 petition by Concerned Kano State Workers and Pensioners, who alleged that he violated the Kano State Pension and Gratuity Law of 2007 in the management of pension remittances amounting to about N10 billion contributed between 2011 and 2015.

Mr Kwankwaso, earlier governed Kano State between 1999 and 2003, before he returned for his second term from 2011 to 2015.

The 64-year-old also served as the senator representing Kano Central between 2015 and 2019.

According to the petitioners, Mr Kwankwaso had directed that pension remittances be used for housing development, largely to favour the pensioners.

A tripartite deal was later reached between Kano State Pension Trust Funds as the investors and Kano State Investment and Property Limited and Kano State Housing Corporation Limited as developers on a 60:40 sharing ratio.

However, after contracts for the construction of 1,579 houses were awarded for the development of ” Kwankwasiya, Amana, and Bandarawa Cities”, the petitioners alleged, Mr Kwankwaso “manipulated” the process to terminate the term of the agreement and made outright allocations in favour of his aide and cronies.

The alleged manipulation happened in May 2015, the month Mr Kwankwaso left office as Kano’s governor.

Mr Kwankwaso is not the only politically exposed person who shunned an invitation by the EFCC last week, findings by this newspaper show.

As of the time of filing this report, Mr Kwankwaso had been grilled for hours by EFCC operatives.

It is not clear yet if he will be released on bail or pass the night in custody.

(PREMIUM TIMES)

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IPOB denies declaring sit-at-home on Monday, Tuesday next week https://newsdigest.ng/ipob-denies-declaring-sit/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 18:22:21 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88369 IPOB denies declaring sit-at-home on Monday, Tuesday next week NEWS DIGEST – The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Saturday denied declaring a sit-at-home on Monday and Tuesday next week. IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, issued the rebuttal in response to reports making the rounds that it declared a sit-at-home. Powerful, in a statement he signed, […]

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IPOB denies declaring sit-at-home on Monday, Tuesday next week

NEWS DIGEST – The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Saturday denied declaring a sit-at-home on Monday and Tuesday next week.

IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, issued the rebuttal in response to reports making the rounds that it declared a sit-at-home.

Powerful, in a statement he signed, insisted that such reports did not emanate from him and should be discarded.

He stressed that the reports were created by government agents aimed at de-marketing IPOB and causing confusion.

He said: “The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great and indefatigable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the fabricated statement being circulated by mischief makers and paid agents of darkness that IPOB had directed Biafrans to sit-at-home Monday, October 18; Tuesday, October 19; and Thursday, October 21 for our leader, and One year anniversary of #EndSARS protest.

“We want to make it categorically clear that the above purported statement did not emanate from IPOB, and we completely dissociate with such falsehood. IPOB did not issue any sit-at-home except on October 21 when our leader is expected to appear in court.

“We therefore urge members of the public to ignore the purported statement and utter falsehood being peddled by paid agents of government to create confusion and demarket IPOB. Their intention is to portray IPOB as a violent and insensitive movement but we know their antics, and shall beat them to it.”

Powerful said IPOB only declared a sit-at-home on Thursday, October 21 because its leader, Nnamdi Kanu is expected to appear in court.

“For the sake of clarity, IPOB has not called for any sit-at-home except on Thursday, October 21 when our Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will appear in court in Abuja. Biafrans will solidarise with him by staying indoors on that day because we are all in the struggle together. He did nothing to deserve any persecution by the Federal Government.

“We seriously warn all those behind this rumour to retrace their steps and stop tarnishing the good image of IPOB.

“As a responsible and responsive movement, we stopped Monday Sit-at-homes in the interest of our people. When we discovered that hooligans and paid agents of death wanted to hijack the opportunity to unleash mayhem on our people are cleverly blame it on IPOB, we stopped it. So, anybody sitting at home on Mondays does so out of one’s volition and not on the orders of IPOB.

“We also urge the general public to ignore the fake news that our leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU has been taken away by foreign government,” he added.

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SMEDAN organizes agri-business development, empowerment programme https://newsdigest.ng/smedan-organizes-agri-business/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 17:32:48 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88368 SMEDAN organizes agri-business development, empowerment programme NEWS DIGEST – Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, has organized agri-business development and empowerment programme in Katsina State. According to the the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Umar Dikko Radda, the programme is to promote and facilitate the development programmes and projects in the MSMEs sub-sector […]

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SMEDAN organizes agri-business development, empowerment programme

NEWS DIGEST – Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN, has organized agri-business development and empowerment programme in Katsina State.

According to the the Director-General of SMEDAN, Dr Umar Dikko Radda, the programme is to promote and facilitate the development programmes and projects in the MSMEs sub-sector of the Nigerian economy.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Dr Radda shared that the organization is working to create a good enabling environment for business and small enterprises.

He said, “Serving as a vanguard for rural industrialization, poverty reduction, job creation and enhanced livelihoods.

Linking MSMEs to internal and external sources of finance, appropriate technology and technical skills as well as large enterprises.

“Working in contact with other institutions to create a good enabling environment for business in general and MSMEs activities in particular.”

SMEDAN DG added that MSMEs are vital in the socio-economic transformation in developing and developed countries.

“Globally, MSMEs are recognized as engines of socio-economic transformation, as has become well established in both developing and developed economies. They offer opportunities to drive jobs and wealth creation as well as income re-distribution within society.

“These further unveil them as a distinctive mainstay of the economy that requires befitting attention. The expectation of SMEDAN is to drive more output from the sub-sector with more careful attention to resources deployment and proper management.”

SMEDAN created the Agribusiness Development and Extension (AD&E) Department as the fulfilment of a long-held desire to enlarge the windows for delivering its core mandate to the Nigerian people.

According to SMEDAN, the department now focuses exclusively on agri-business development, in line with the emphasis of the current Federal Government.

“The on-going Agricultural Development and Empowerment Programme (ADEP) training, is one of the instruments available to the Department to meet its mandate.

“Here, the focus is on providing capacity building or human capital development, with associated business development services (BDS) to existing participants of existing Federal/State Government agribusiness initiatives as well as youth start-ups.

“This will procure the required mind-set, which inculcates agriculture in programme beneficiaries as a business – worthy of pride, devotion and diversification. We thus key into Mr President’s vision of raising 100 million persons out of poverty over the next four years.”

The objectives for the training programme include to encourage the target beneficiaries to embrace agri-business development, as a viable business option; strengthen entrepreneurship skills of potential/existing beneficiaries of agri-business development schemes; facilitate networking/exchanges amongst beneficiary farmers and their peers for value addition and inclusive value chain development as well as encourage the diversification of the economy away from crude oil, using agriculture.

At the closing ceremony, agribusiness cooperatives received cash grants of about two hundred and eighty eight thousand naira, amounting to a total of four million, six hundred and twenty thousand naira.

In his closing remarks, Dr Radda said trainings are also going on in other parts of the country.

“As we gather here today, similar ADEP trainings are taking place in two centres each in Bauchi, Yobe, Enugu and Ogun States. Also, two weeks ago, we were in other five states of Kebbi, Borno, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Ondo delivering impact as part our commitment to fostering the business skills of micro and small enterprises (MSEs).”

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N20bn bailout: Kogi govt demands apology from EFCC https://newsdigest.ng/bailout-kogi-govt-demands/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:12:05 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88366 N20bn bailout: Kogi govt demands apology from EFCC NEWS DIGEST – Kogi State Government on Friday demanded apology from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged “embarrassment” of dragging it to court over N20 billion bailout fund. The Commissioner for Information in Kogi, Kingsley Fanwo, stated the government’s position at the presentation of […]

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N20bn bailout: Kogi govt demands apology from EFCC

NEWS DIGEST – Kogi State Government on Friday demanded apology from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged “embarrassment” of dragging it to court over N20 billion bailout fund.

The Commissioner for Information in Kogi, Kingsley Fanwo, stated the government’s position at the presentation of awards to senior journalists who participated in the GYB Essay Competition for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Editors in Lagos.

The EFCC had on Friday told the court that it was no longer pursuing the case after the state government had given its commitment to return the money to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Mr Fanwo said it was unfortunate that the commission ignored thorough explanations by the state government on the matter; but chose to heed allegations from “hired guns.”

He added that it was unfortunate that the commission chose to believe allegations that it fixed N19 billion out of the amount in a new generation bank.

The commissioner challenged the commission to exhibit professionalism in its affairs, noting, however, that the state government was yet to receive details of the judgement.

Mr Fanwo declared that the state government would address the media after receiving the Certified True Copy of the judgment.

The commission withdrew the suit seeking the forfeiture of N20 billion bail-out funds granted to the Kogi State Government by a new generation bank.

The money, which was meant for the payment of civil servants was alleged to have been domiciled in an interest-yielding account with the bank by officials of the state government.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the order of withdrawal on Friday sequel to a motion filed and argued by EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), leading Rotimi Oyedepo.

Mr Pinheiro listed six grounds upon which the judge granted the prayer, adding that “the EFCC is a responsible body”.

One of the grounds was that questions resulting in the commencement of the suit had been clarified, and an intention had been shown to return the sum of N19.4 billion to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

NAN

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‘It will just keep getting worse’: Moghalu predicts economic implosion from electing wrong president in 2023 https://newsdigest.ng/worse-moghalu-predicts/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:09:24 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88365 ‘It will just keep getting worse’: Moghalu predicts economic implosion from electing wrong president in 2023 NEWS DIGEST – Discussions on the possible zoning of the presidency continues to dominate Nigeria’s political space, and Kingsley Moghalu, a presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, fears that Nigeria may yet suffer for failing to prioritise economic […]

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‘It will just keep getting worse’: Moghalu predicts economic implosion from electing wrong president in 2023

NEWS DIGEST – Discussions on the possible zoning of the presidency continues to dominate Nigeria’s political space, and Kingsley Moghalu, a presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, fears that Nigeria may yet suffer for failing to prioritise economic competency.

“That must be our number one priority,” said Prof. Moghalu. “If we just play politics as usual—politics without governance—we get very bad outcomes.”

It is this lack of economic competency, he said, that has caused the federal government to result to “profligate” and “irresponsible” borrowings unlike ever done by administrations before it.

A month ago, Mr Buhari’s government wrote the Senate to seek approval to borrow $4billion to meet “emerging needs” and sort “critical projects.” Elder statesmen and civil societies were quick to note the nation’s debt profile and called for constitutional amendment to debt limit.

Moghalu, who once served as the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, felt the loans were procured without considering its impact on the next administration

“I feel that there is an element of callousness in this direction of economic policy because I feel there is a sense that 2023 will come we will walk away from it and somebody else will handle it,” he said.

“And the sad thing is that these loans are not productive,” he added.

Moghalu said he couldn’t possibly understand why Abuja continues to steer its course despite the criticism and pleas from the business community, economists and citizens. “So, there is no responsiveness to the cries of Nigerians that they are mortgaging our future.”

According to Moghalu, Nigeria could still avoid a collapse similar to Afghanistan if it was to elect an economically competent president in 2023 to begin to turn the economy around.

To achieve this, Moghalu said young Nigerians must decide to be active in the next election. They must register to be eligible to vote in 2023. The Senate acceptance of electronic transmission of results is already a step in the right direction, said Moghalu.

Should Nigerians continue to play politics, Moghalu warned that the economy would “keep getting worse.”

“There is hope but that hope rests in the decisions that Nigerians make in 2023,” he said.

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CISLAC wants the government to prosecute defaulters in Pandora Papers https://newsdigest.ng/cislac-government-prosecute/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:08:36 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88364 CISLAC wants the government to prosecute defaulters in Pandora Papers NEWS DIGEST – The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, is one of several groups mounting pressure on the Federal Government to begin investigating nationals implicated in the Pandora Papers report. Pandora Papers is a project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and […]

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CISLAC wants the government to prosecute defaulters in Pandora Papers

NEWS DIGEST – The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, is one of several groups mounting pressure on the Federal Government to begin investigating nationals implicated in the Pandora Papers report.

Pandora Papers is a project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and involves about 600 journalists across the world, including Premium Times. Its release in early October made Nigerians familiar with the clandestine dealings of sundry Nigeria elites.

Since its release, lawmakers across the world have been pushing for stringent punishments for defaulters based on questions of illicit financial flow and tax fraud.

Premium Times said 137 influential Nigerians have in the last three decades purchased at least 233 UK properties worth a combined £350 million in today’s currency exchange.

To conceal these secret dealings, Nigeria elites would make the purchase using offshore companies established in the British Virgin Islands and Panama. But a leak has allowed journalists to demystify the true identities of the owners.

It has been 4 years since the last leak, the Paradise Papers, caused the fall of several governments and criminal investigations of world leaders. CISLAC warns that the Federal Government cannot allow the Pandora Papers investigation to follow the pattern of the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers, in 2016, both of which never saw those indicted brought to account.

Already, the Federal Inland Revenue Service has announced its intention to punish persons found in the leak to have broken tax laws. In hiding some of their assets using offshore companies, the Pandora Papers defaulters had successfully cheated the country off revenues from taxable assets.

“Liability to pay in full the principal sum due, and the full penalties and interests that have arisen, as well as prosecution for tax offenses, would be enforced,” said Johannes Wojuola, spokesperson for the FIRS.

CISLAC advises the Nigerian government to digitize the assets declaration processes and grant public access to the asset declaration of public officers.

“As of now, the asset declaration administration is dysfunctional and a major enabler for corruption,” said Auwal Rafsanjani, Executive Director of CISLAC, said on Monday.

CISLAC says there is more the Federal government can do to stop future occurrences. The Nigerian government is asked to fully implement the Beneficial Ownership (BO) register to uncover the full beneficial owners of companies in the country.

“The Nigerian government must ‘live the talk’ by ensuring the beneficial ownership data is publicly accessible and must show leadership by acting on them,” Rafsanjani said.

Anti-graft agencies are encouraged to engage international counterparts to ensure that middlemen like lawyers and accountants who help to make smooth money laundering and tax evasion operations are exposed and held to account by the country’s laws.

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Tension as #EndSARS anniversary protest gathers momentum https://newsdigest.ng/tension-endsars-anniversary/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 13:04:06 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88363 Tension as #EndSARS anniversary protest gathers momentum NEWS DIGEST – Groups planning to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest on October 20 have vowed not to back down despite repeated warnings from the police authorities. The Nation gathered that organisers have been mobilising online via social media platforms for a protest to coincide […]

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Tension as #EndSARS anniversary protest gathers momentum

NEWS DIGEST – Groups planning to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest on October 20 have vowed not to back down despite repeated warnings from the police authorities.

The Nation gathered that organisers have been mobilising online via social media platforms for a protest to coincide with the Lekki Tollgate incident which occurred last year.

But police authorities across the States have been issuing warnings against the anniversary protest, asking the organisers to halt the plan.

Convener of #RevolutionNow and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore said: “Starting from 8:00AM, All Roads in Lagos leads to #LekkiTollGate on October 20 2021! We Will Never Forget #LekkiMassacre2020 #RevolutionNow.”

Also, the United Kingdom has warned its citizens to avoid large gatherings ahead of the first anniversary of the protest.

In a statement published on its website as obtained by The Nation, the UK said: “Events to mark the one-year anniversary of #EndSARS protests are likely to take place nationally, week commencing 18 October.

“There may be protests and a heightened security presence in major cities such as Lagos and Abuja.”

The UK government advised its citizens to follow instructions from security agencies and also monitor the local media for information on possible protests in different parts of the country.

The Nation reports #EndSARS protests, which held between October 8 and 20 last year, was a public outcry for an end to police brutality, extrajudicial killings, extortion and abuse of power, especially by officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The Federal Government had directed States to set up judicial panels of inquiry into allegations of human rights violations involving police officers, following the protests.

Ahead of the protest in few days, popular comedian Debo Adebayo, widely known as Mr. Macaroni who took part in the EndSARS, berated celebrities for being beneficiaries of the government whom he claimed stifled activities of the #EndSARS anniversary.

Macaroni,in a lengthy Instagram post, spoke on how the government has clamped down on the events planned out one year after the protest.

Rapper and activist, Folarin Falana, a.k.a Falz, also stated that concerts are being organised to distract youths from remembering those who died during the EndSARS protest last year.

In a statement titled ’20:10:20 [update]’, Falz stated that no one has been punished yet for ‘heinous crimes’ perpetrated during the protest.

Sharing a picture of the #EndSARS movement, Falz vowed that the organisers will never ever be silenced.

Source: The Nation

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UN may cut food supply to North-East, says WFP Director https://newsdigest.ng/cut-food-supply-north-east/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:57:52 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88361 UN may cut food supply to North-East, says WFP Director NEWS DIGEST – The United Nations World Food Programme may soon cut its food rations to women and children in Nigeria’s North-East east, says West Africa Regional Director Chris Nikoi. In a statement shared in Abuja on Saturday, Mr Nikoi warned the over half a […]

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UN may cut food supply to North-East, says WFP Director

NEWS DIGEST – The United Nations World Food Programme may soon cut its food rations to women and children in Nigeria’s North-East east, says West Africa Regional Director Chris Nikoi.

In a statement shared in Abuja on Saturday, Mr Nikoi warned the over half a million people benefitting from its food aid may be shut out as funding sources shrink.

“Cutting rations means choosing who gets to eat and who goes to bed hungry. We are seeing funding for our life-saving humanitarian work dry up just at the time when hunger is at its most severe,” Mr Nikoi explained, saying the body urgently needs a $5 million donation in a matter of weeks to sustain the programme.

The number of internally displaced persons in Boko Haram ravaged states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa surpassed two million in September 2021, reaching another grim milestone, the director noted.

A cut in the WFP supply in the area would compound woes as severe hunger reached a five-year high in the country. Unending insurgency, which has hampered farming, has been worsened by the socio-economic fallout from COVID-19.

“Our food assistance is a lifeline for millions whose lives have been upended by conflict and have almost nothing to survive on. We must act now to save lives and avoid disruptions to this lifeline,” Mr Nikoi added.

The WFP director said that current food security analyses showed that 4.4 million people in North-East Nigeria did not know where their next meal would come from, and over one million children are already malnourished.

He cited continued attacks on communities by non-state armed groups, harsh lean season conditions amid an economy dealing with the fallout from the COVID-19, as portending great danger for the people.

Mr Nikoi added that high food prices and a severe reduction in household purchasing power, had also contributed to a bleak outlook for the most vulnerable people in North-East Nigeria.

(NAN)

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APC suspends congress in Oyo https://newsdigest.ng/apc-suspends-congress-oyo/ Sat, 16 Oct 2021 12:57:40 +0000 https://newsdigest.ng/?p=88362 APC suspends congress in Oyo NEWS DIGEST – The congress of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State has been suspended due to the alleged forging of documents for the exercise and other irregularities. The congress was suspended after an order was issued by the Caretaker Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of […]

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APC suspends congress in Oyo

NEWS DIGEST – The congress of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State has been suspended due to the alleged forging of documents for the exercise and other irregularities.

The congress was suspended after an order was issued by the Caretaker Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State

More to follow…

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