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Buhari blames the recent recession in the country on COVID-19

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President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the country’s current state of recession on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The President said this while declaring open the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit with the theme: “Building Partnerships for Resilience’’.

Buhari who was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said the decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came after 12 successive quarters of positive growth. He also added that the lockdowns, disruption in global supply chains, business failures and rising unemployment caused the recent recession. 

The President said; 

“We can all recall that during the lockdown, farming did not take place, businesses were closed; schools were closed as were hotels and restaurants.

“Also, airlines stopped flying, while inter-state commerce was disrupted.

“The economy only began to recover when these activities resumed and if we are able to sustain the nearly three percentage point increase from the second quarter decline of minus 6.1 per cent, the performance in the fourth quarter could take us into positive territory.”

Buhari who disclosed his adminstration’s effort to mitigate such impact led to the introduction of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), further revealed that all the programmes in the ESP are reliant on the private sector playing a key role in creating and conserving jobs and the production and delivery of services in agriculture, housing, solar power and digital technologies.

He added; 

“Of course, an improvement in global economic conditions, including the restoration of global supply chains and resumption of exports and remittances, should enable a V-shaped recovery.

“We expect, in the same spirit of partnership, that the private sector will complement these efforts by making maximum use of the provisions of the ESP and the Finance Bill when it is passed by the National Assembly and also by retaining and creating jobs so as to keep people at work.

“In a similar spirit of partnership, private sector enterprises should also pay their due taxes.”

Buhari also noted that partnerships are essential and also necessary for framing medium and long-term development plans as the nation combats the COVID-19 pandemic. Pointing out that the  private sector had a key role to play in the efforts to build a more resilient and competitive economy as expressed in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the President further averred that private companies in design, construction, logistics and finance were very much engaged in the nation’s infrastructural projects in power and rail as well as road and bridges.

He said; 

“I am pleased to inform in this regard that we are working actively with the CBN, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and state governments under the auspices of the National Economic Council to design and put in place a N15 billion Infraco Fund, which will be independently managed.

“The Infraco Fund will help to close the national infrastructural gap and provide a firm basis for increasing national economic productivity and growth.”

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Alleged Non Payment Of Salaries: Imo Staff Ass. of Nig Universities Embarks On Strike Today, As Nonso Nkwa Raises Alarm Over Plot To Silence Him

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Owing to allegations on non payment of salaries, staggered payments, under payment of salaries amongst others, the senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities Imo State Chapter vowed to embark on strike today.

In a release titled “Notice of Indefinite Strike Action by the Organized Labour of Imo State, and signed by the Acting Chairman of the group Harrison Agumbah and the secretary Ambrose Okereafor and made available to Lead they accused  Imo State Government of Non Payment of salaries, under payment staggered payment amongst others Imo State Government has recently published the names of genuine civil servants in the state totaling 42,000 out of which they have paid salaries to 41000 upto December 2020.

Addressing the press on the said issue, the commissioner for Information Declan Emelumba revealed that the remaining one thousand workers yet to be paid were those with BVN and other related issues which according to him would be paid as soon as the problems were ratified.

Meanwhile, One of the Radio presenters of Ozisa FM, Chinonso Uba Popularly known as Nonso Nkwa has raised alarm over plot to silence him.

In a press release signed by Nonso Nkwa himself and  made available to Lead, the presenter who did not mention the name of  any person, group or organization as responsible for the said threat, revealed that the said threat  was coming as a result of his stand on the alleged non payment of workers salaries in Imo.

I have reliably gathered information that some persons are planning to make me disappear for my constant defense and advocacy for Unpaid Imo Workers and Pensioners…

I therefore wish to state categorically that I will never stop advocating for the suffering Imo workers and Pensioners no matter the threat to my life because this is a divine assignment am doing…

Nonsonkwa is not a saint but definitely a Defender of the Masses;and the goodwill of the Masses and the Grace of God will Protect my going out and my coming in….

Finally, Nothing scares a Man of Integrity and an advocate of the Masses!!!

Ndi Imo remains my Constituents and I will never back out…God Forbid!!!

Am simply doing Gods Work;nothing more nothing less!!!

If God be for Us,Who can be against Us!!!

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Ohanaeze Youth Accuses Okorocha, Ibe Of Inciting IPOB Against Organization

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The National President of Ohanaeze Youth Council(OYC), the apex youth body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka has admonished Mr Chidi Ibe to refrain from making inciting statements capable of causing disunity and disharmony among Igbos.

Igboayaka gave the reprimand after the Council’s stakeholders’ meeting conveyed to x-ray the insultive utterances of Mr Ibe since the emergence of Prof. George Obiozor, as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Addressing newsmen in Owerri on Saturday January 23, 2021, the youth leader maintained that Mr. Ibe’s inciting statements against Ohanaeze Ndigbo is emboldened by the sponsorship he enjoys from Senator Rochas Okorocha.

Comrade Igboayaka stated that Rochas Okorocha’s unguarded tirades against Prof. George Obiozor was due to the insinuation and assumption that Prof. Obiozor and Sen. Hope Uzodinma are very close friends, stating that this was Okorocha’s statement at Ogboko when he(Igboayaka) had a meeting with him on the way forward for Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

“It’s obvious that Prof. Obiozor’s ambition to become the president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was not conceived during Sen. Hope Uzodinma’s administration as the former had severally consulted Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha when he was the governor of Imo State.

“Rochas Okorocha wants to anchor his presidential ambition with sentiments on Ohanaeze Ndigbo and IPOB which explains why he was using Chidi Ibe to incite IPOB against the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to achieve a political sympathy and love from IPOB members,” Igboayaka noted.

“It’s very unfortunate that since the inception of Biafra agitation, many Igbo politicians have used pro-Biafrans to achieve their political selfish interests, and at the end they give pro-Biafra members name. Today, Chidi Ibe and Rochas Okorocha have found a new love in IPOB like Romeo and Juliet, just to project themselves as lovers of the Biafra movement,” Igboayaka stated.

“Were was Rochas Okorocha and Chidi Ibe when IPOB members are being killed and tortured by the security agents, and how many IPOB members did Ibe empower when he was Commissioner in Okorocha’s administration,” Igboayaka queried.

The OYC president stated that Chidi Ibe was using his inciting statements stressed mobilize IPOB for Okorocha’s presidential project, stressing that it is unacceptable for anyone to use his personal ambition to cause crisis with Igbo youths in IPOB.

He decried that the time and resources Okorocha was wasting in court to distract his brother Prof. Obiozor, could be channelled to a substantive adventure that can favour Ndigbo, wondering how at this critical point the Igbos are eaten starkly by leprosy while Rochas Okorocha and Chidi Ibe are busy romancing ringworm.

“Enough of this gimmick and nonsense by desperate Igbo politicians using Ndigbo and Biafra quest to whip up sentiments while in actual sense they are major beneficiaries of looting of Nigeria’s treasury,” Igboayaka warned.

“Ohanaeze Youth Council will not succumb to the politics of divide and rule by Chidi Ibe and his master Sen. Rochas Okorocha in Igbo land, but any patriotic progressive who love Ndigbo should drop his or her personal agenda and earnestly support Prof. Obiozor to build a new Igbo society as he leads the great Igbo race in the next four years,” he concluded.

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Court Determines Nkechi Ugwu’s Fate Feb. 19 Over Certificate Case

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A Commissioner in Imo State Mrs Nkechi Ugwu has been sued by a concerned citizen  Mr. Obum Joseph, who is from  Imo State,  to present her certificate, with which she was screened through by the Imo State House of Assembly, before she was made a commissioner.

   In suit No. FHC/OW/CS/71/2020, dated 24th day of June and filed on the 26th day of June, 2020, at the Federal High Court, Owerri, presided over by His Lordship Tijani G. Ringim, Mr. Obum Joseph, through his legal counsel Barrister Kings Nwosu, based in Aba, Abia State, presented his originating summons, demanding the court to compel Mrs Nkechi Ugwu to present to the public the certificate with which she was screened through before becoming a commissioner.

  Addressing journalists at the Federal High Court, Owerri, when the matter was presented on Thursday, Counsel to Obum Joseph stated that the litigant took the first defendant Mrs Ugwu to court in view of the fact that as a concerned citizen of Imo State, from the same state with the Commissioner, that he (Obum Joseph) was duty bound to compel the first defendant to produce the certificate, in order to ascertain whether she was qualified to occupy the position, as according to his counsel: “he now feels that if Nkechi is made a Commissioner without presenting certificate when there are other better people, who have also served the interest of the party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), from the area, who have better Certificate that should have been considered instead of Nkechi Ugwu, that it will not augur well for his Local Government Area Ideato South.

  Counsel to Obum Joseph Barrister Kings Nwosu further said that instead of Nkechi Ugwu to simply comply with the demand of Obum Joseph, by presenting the demanded certificate, she through her counsel Barrister D. O. Agbo , raised some preliminary objections that Freedom of Information Bill (FIB) is not applicable in Imo State, as such that  the request by Obum should not be granted by the court.

  Barrister Kings Nwosu also stated that Mrs Ugwu equally maintained in her preliminary objections that nobody has come  to ask her for the certificate; in other words that the litigant and his counsel ought to have first of all asked her to present the certificate before taking her to court.

  Barrister Kings Nwosu further hinted thus: “in the affidavit in support of our originating summons, Obum Joseph made stenous  efforts that were geared towards making her to present the certificate, even before coming to court but she did not present it, hence he (Obum) now came to the court.”

  Furthering, Barrister Nwosu said: “Obum Joseph is acting as a concerned citizen because he comes from Imo state,the same state  with Nkechi Ugwu.”

  Joined in the suit, according to Barrister Kings Nwosu are: The Clerk, Imo State House of Assembly; the Imo State House of Assembly and the Attorney General of Imo State, in that order, Nkechi Ugwu being the first defendant.

  “I, acting for Obum Joseph, presented his originating summons and the lawyers from the Ministry of Justice  and the Attorney General office moved their counter claim, issued before the court. Arguments were taken and we asked the court to grant our application in respect of the originating summons, which Obum Joseph filled against Nkechi Ugwu. After replies from both Counsels, the Court unanimously adjourned the matter for 19th of February, 2021 for judgement,” Barrister Nwosu submitted.

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