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Envy last won the day on March 31

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  1. The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has written to the House of Representatives to request for the approval of fresh external borrowings totalling $5.513bn. Buhari, in the letter read by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the plenary on Thursday, said the funds were for 2020 budget deficit, financing of critical projects, and some states of the federation. The President also presented a revised 2020 Appropriation Bill and 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper. The National Assembly had recently approved a loan of N850bn for the Federal Government, while another of $22.79bn, which the Senate has already approved, is pending before the House. more details to come
  2. A six-year-old Iranian boy who first stunned the world with his incredible football and gymnastics skills has now amazed followers with his surprisingly chiseled physique. Arat Hosseini has been trained from a young age by his father who posts images of his son on his Instagram page. In them, the six-year-old is pictured showing off his toned six pack and biceps, which are unusually pronounced for someone of his age. Born in Iran, Arat now lives in Liverpool so he can train with Liverpool FC's academy. The pictures have lead to many of his four million Instagram followers to say he could be the strongest six-year-old in the world. Arat gained international attention when videos emerged of him scaling walls in his parents' house when he was just three, and when he was four, a video of him playing football also went viral. The video, in which many viewers mistook Arat for a girl with his long hair, showed him in a Real Madrid shirt while dribbling a football with an incredible amount of control for someone of his age. He reportedly trains hard because he wants to look like his idol, global football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who currently plays for Juventus in Italy. Arat's father, Mohammad, has reportedly been training him since he was a toddler. He has said that his son first started doing gymnastics when he was nine-months-old.
  3. Socialite Bobrisky has allegedly been arrested by men of the Ajah police division in Lagos. It was gathered he was trailed to a salon in Lekki, last night, by the police officers, who interrogated her before being whisked away to the police station. The reason for his arrest remains unknown, but multiple sources suggest she might have been arrested for breaking the curfew considering the time he was found outside. Watch video below
  4. About 500,000 persons engaged in Nigeria’s social investment programme N-Power will have to look elsewhere for means of livelihood as the government is set to terminate their existing engagement. Their current engagement, spokesperson for the humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development ministry Rhoda Iliya, said in a statement has contributed to “the administration’s vision of lifting 100 million people out of poverty by creating opportunities to enhance the productivity of the Nigerian youth.” The programme has enrolled 500,000 beneficiaries thus far – 200,000 from Batch A which started in September 2016 and 300,000 from Batch B which kicked off in August 2018. The beneficiaries were supposed to spend 24 months on the programme but Batch A beneficiaries have spent over 40 months. “Both Batches will soon be terminated according to the (press) release for the reasons given in the (press) release,” Salisu Na’inna Danbatta, the special adviser on media to the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development minister Sadiya Farouq told The Guardian on Monday. The statements were signed by Iliya. Iliya said in one of the statements that the current beneficiaries have overstayed in the programme “thereby denying other Nigerians an opportunity to access the programme and gain skills for entrepreneurship and employment.” When eventually disengaged, the number of people that will be rendered jobless will compound Nigeria’s already bad unemployment figures. The last official figures released by Nigeria’s statistics office put the unemployment rate at 23.1%. Labour minister Chris Ngige said that figure could rise to 33.5 this year. Several beneficiaries in Lagos told The Guardian that there were rumours that Batch A may be exited any time after May and Batch B will be exited shortly after. Although Illiya confirmed that the government is working on the exit for the beneficiaries, she did not give a specific date or month. “The first and second batch, they are still working on their exit,” Illiya told our correspondent, “There is no specific date.” The Underlying issues N-Power beneficiaries have not been pleased with the administration of the programme since the management of the programme was transferred to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in 2019. They said all was well with the programme initially and that the former managers of the programme have started putting in place an exit strategy for them. However, about 24-months after N-power’s launch, the sweet stories soon became sour to tell for these beneficiaries after Buhari announced major shifts in the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) which N-Power is part of. The beneficiaries through a group named the 36-states N-power Representative Forum in a letter to in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on May 22, said the minister has “inflicted enough pain” on them since the programme was transferred to her ministry. They advised Buhari to remove Farouq as a minister and replace her with someone else that is “more competent, proactive and youth-friendly.” “She is just not competent,” the forum president Kabiru Pelemi told our correspondent on phone. “She should be removed.” In an April 13 letter addressed to Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Pelemi claimed the minister did not have “administrative control over the runnings of the N-Power Programme.” “The two batches of the graduate category have experienced frequent late payment of monthly stipend compared to when the programme was under the Vice President’s Office.” When contacted about the allegations, Danbatta simply said, “They can remove her.” Incompetence? President Buhari during his national broadcast to commemorate Nigeria’s 59th independence in May 2018 announced that all SIPs will be institutionalised to the newly created Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development ministry where Farouq heads as a minister. Buhari assured Nigerians that his government’s N500 billion Special Intervention Programme continues to target these vulnerable groups, through the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and social housing scheme. Prior to this, activities of SIPs were coordinated by a government Steering Committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo which comprises Finance, Education, Health, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs, Labour and Productivity, Information ministers to implement government’s agenda. Nigeria’s budget and national planning ministry was NSIPs secretariat. Buhari’s assurance was not enough to keep the running of these programmes as it was earlier as N-Power beneficiaries had to resort to writing open letters and holding protests before their stipends could be paid. source: The Guardian
  5. Sadiya Umar Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, says the stipends of N-Power beneficiaries for the month of April will be paid early next week. She made the promise at briefing of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja on Friday. Last week, the ministry had appealed to the volunteers to be patient, as “payments are currently being processed”. However, while responding to a question on why the payment had not been made for April, the minister gave the assurance that it would be made early next week. “I would like to say it is in the final stage of payments. By early next week, they will get their payments, Insha Allah,” she said. The N-power programme was established by the federal government to provide jobs and skill empowerment initiatives for youths. The N-Power programme, which comes with job training, education and a monthly stipend of N30,000, is only open to persons aged between 18 and 35.
  6. The Catholic Church has suspended St. Maurice (Kaunda Square Catholic Church) Parish Priest Abel Mwelwa from priesthood after a married woman he had an extramarital affair with died in his Parish House during the Easter Holiday. The married woman is said to have lied to her husband that she was going for a funeral with her fellow women from the Catholic Women's League but went to Father Mwelwa's Parish House where she died in the night in unexplained circumstances. According to memo from Alick Banda, the Archbishop of Lusaka addressed to the clergy, religious and Lay faithful, Father Mwelwa has been suspended with immediate effect. "I hereby wish to inform you that I have with immediate effect suspended the Very Rev. Ringford Abel Mwelwa from the priesthood indefinitely. With this suspension he ceases to be Parish Priest for Kaunda Square Parish as well as Judicial Vicar of the Archbishop of Lusaka," read the two-paragraphed memo dated 30th April 2020. According to her fellow women from the Catholic Women's League (CWL), the woman was invited to Father Mwelwa's Parish House on Holy Thursday night. "She was a married woman from St. Maurice and she lied to her husband that she was going for a funeral with her fellow league members in Kaunda Square. Sadly she died in Abel's room in the Parish House that night - on Holy Thursday," said the source. The source said Father Mwelwa called some CWL members from St. Maurice who came to pick up the body and took it to Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital where she was confirmed dead on arrival and taken to the University Teaching Hospital mortuary as brought in dead (BID). The source said the Archbishop of Lusaka was made to pay for the funeral expenses by the family of the deceased woman. Police are waiting for postmortem results to determine what led to her death. The Catholic church World over does not tolerate nonsense and in Zambia it is far much better than the PF in terms of morals and discipline. If it was in the PF, the suspended priest would have continued doing what he was doing as can be seen by the way Edgar Lungu treats his fellow corrupt criminals like Chitalu Chilufya and others. In the pictures is the suspended priest with someone's wife who died in house though its not clear whether the woman died of conjugal activities or God simply allowed this to act as deterrent to anyone including Christians for Lungu who we know that are busy breaking marriages.
  7. Barcelona and Real Madrid will return to training this week after La Liga granted permission to teams in the Primera and the Segunda Division. LaLiga clubs are returning to training this week following the Spanish Ministry of Health’s approval for the return of sports training sessions. In accordance with the Return to Training Protocol that LaLiga has drawn up with medical experts, professional players from LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank – the first and second divisions of professional football in Spain – will start training alone following medical tests carried out by club staff. This return to training has been planned by LaLiga with measures that have been agreed with the relevant sports and health authorities in order to guarantee as much safety as possible for the health of all those involved. These measures cover a period of approximately four weeks with different phases that, in any case, will be subject to the de-escalation process established by the government. Thus, together with the medical tests carried out by clubs, a staggered return to training has been implemented that will start with players training alone and end with group activities prior to the return to competition, scheduled for June. Professional footballers returning to work will go hand in hand with the recovery of a very significant economic sector that accounts for 1.37% of Spain’s GDP and creates 185,000 jobs. This is at a time when the country’s economic situation is now the main concern, precipitated by the health crisis. “This crisis has had a profound impact on all of us. The return of football is a sign that society is progressing towards the new normal. It will also bring back an element of life that people in Spain and around the world know and love,” said Javier Tebas, the president of LaLiga. “People’s health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart LaLiga. Circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 19/20 season this summer.” Source: La Liga La Liga also confirmed that the restart of the competition is scheduled to happen in June.
  8. Reports From campusthree.com indicate that a final year law student identified as Augustine Ukwu has been killed by a police officer in Enugu. The 27-year-old 500 level law student of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, was reported dead following an incident with a police officer. The late Augustine was allegedly murdered by an officer of the Nigerian police force in Nsukka, Enugu State — this is according to a report by Vanguard News. Ukwu was reported to have gone to a beer parlour with his friend on Thursday April, 23, 2020, where he was arrested by a local security outfit, beaten and handed over to the officer in charge of the Anti-cult in Nsukka, Ferdinand Nnamdi Ochi, who allegedly murdered him over a yet-to-be-identified issue. The deceased father, Andy Samuel Ugwu, —a retired policeman— said that all his efforts to unravel the circumstances which led to the death of his son and efforts to retrieve his body have been futile.
  9. Nigerian Actress and screen goddess, Mercy Johnson has welcome a new baby and yes your guesses are just as mine, is a GIRL! The husband, who just cannot hold his joy took to his Instagram account to break the news most Nigerians have been waiting for the past few weeks. Congrats to the Okojie Family & to the new baby WELCOME!!!
  10. The wife of a 49-year old man was delivered of a new born baby, the issue of gender in families played out in Imo State after he found out the 5th child was female . Out of rage, he smashed the new born on the floor and the baby died instantly. Ezekiel Anorue, has been arrested by the Imo State Police Command for killing a new born child and is now facing charge for murder which attracts life imprisonment if he is tried and found guilty before the Court. Police source said that the dastardly act was exposed after the wife raised alarm when the child stopped breathing immediately the father hit her on the floor. It was gathered that the suspect, Anorue, was angry that his wife had lied to him that the new baby will be a male child, which was what he had longed for in the family. The wife, who spoke in tears, disclosed that she had to lie to her husband that she will be delivered of a male child because she was threatened so badly after her 3rd and 4th female children. She said, “I had to lie to him so I could have peace of mind”. The suspect, Anorue, confessed to the crime: “I really don’t know what came over me; I was so angry that I threw the baby on the floor. What my wife told me was different from the result of the scan she claimed revealed we would have a baby boy. I had to give her money to do the test at two different laboratories but she always came home with a result showing we would have a boy. I had already renovated our house, bought lot of things but when I got home it was a baby girl”. “We already had four girls and I was so happy when she told me we will have a male child but it turned to be female. ”Speaking on the strength of the report, the Imo State Public Relations Officer said the suspect will be charged to Court as soon as investigations are concluded
  11. Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), Nigeria’s leading electricity distribution company, has announced that it will resume disconnection activities following the resumption of partial business activities. In a statement signed by the company, Ikeja Electic said that the decision was necessitated by the need to meet its obligations to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). The statement read in part: "Throughout the period of the lockdown, Ikeja Electric focused on increasing supply while suspending disconnection of customers who were yet to settle their bills. This showed our understanding of the challenges passed by the current realities. "However, as we begin partial lockdown, we use this medium to inform our customers of the need to start paying their bills to avoid power cuts as we have also lifted the suspension of disconnection activities. "The request is necessitated by the need to meet our obligations to the Nigerian Electric Supply Industry (NESI), as paying your bills will enable us meet our financial obligation to the market operators and this will ensure that the country continues to generate power supply".
  12. A 2019 report on Poverty & Inequality released, on Monday, by the National Bureau of Statistics says that 82.9 million Nigerians live in poverty, which is representative of 40.09% of the country's population. Although, the data released exempts Borno State that has been scourged by insurgencies. The report also shows that 18.04% of urban dwellers live in poverty, while in the rural areas, 52.10% of people live in poverty. In 2010, the National Bureau of Statistics released a report that showed that 60.9% of Nigerians were living in poverty, which, at the time, the total population of Nigeria was estimated to be 112.4 million. The measurement of poverty and the standards of living between the months of September 2018 and October 2019 were taken by the Bureau, in conjuction with the World Bank, from the Nigerian living standards survey (NLSS). The report states that “The consumption aggregate is the monetary value of food and non-food goods and services consumed by the household. “Thus, the consumption aggregate has the following component: expenditure on food from all sources, schooling and education expenditure, healthcare expenditure, housing expenditure, non-food expenditure like clothing and recreation.” Nigeria, in 2018, overtook India as the world's poverty capital according to Brookings Institution.
  13. A former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Turaki, has been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Kabiru's former Special Assistant, Sampson Okpetu, has been arraigned also by the commission, along with two companies, Pasco Investment Limited and Samtee Essentials Limited on charges of corruption. The commission said that the arraignment was necessitated by the alleged fraud committed by the two firms belonging to the former minister's aide. All defedants pleaded not guilty to the charges brought before them, with the presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, granting them bail. June 22 has been fixed for the hearing of the case. Kabiru served as Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs between 2013 through to 2015, subsequently serving as the Supervising Minister of Labour from 2014 to 2015 under the Goodluck administration.
  14. Chaos occurred today at the FCMB branch at Onipanu, Lagos, after a customer developed some symptoms of COVID-19. The unknown customer was said to be using the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) when he began to find it difficult to breathe, then collapsed in front of the ATM. This caused other customers to scamper for safety as they suspected it could be COVID-19 symptoms. The customer had collapsed at the ATM outside the bank. According to a video shared on social media platform, by a Twitter user , security officials at FCMB were seen lifting the customer into the bank premises. The incident occurred the first day banks in Nigeria began to open their branches to the public. Recall 9jaonline had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari had lifted the lockdown, directing business activities to resume after calls to end the restriction on movements across the country. When the customer's temperature was checked, it was high, leading to a suspected case of COVID-19, however, FCMB is yet to address the situation. Before the reopening of their branches, banks had already started releasing guidelines for customers to follow if customers want to gain access into their branches, but with the recent incident at FCMB, banks might implement stricter measures. Below are guidelines released for customers No mask, no entry: While the Federal and State Government have advised Nigerians to use their mask, some still move around without it. Any individual who intends to visit Polaris Bank, the person won't be allowed access into the bank. Compulsory hand sanitiser: Sanitiser has now become a major item if anyone intends to gain access to either GTBank or Polaris. Both banks said any customer or individual hoping to make transaction in their banking hall must apply sanitizer in front of their branches. Adhere to social distancing: Customers must adhere to the social distancing within the bank. If customers gather in large numbers without spacing themselves, they won't be allowed into the bank. This was seen in various videos captured at bank gates today. Banks closed the gate against the crowd trying to gain access to their premises by force.
  15. The Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed that it has received $311,797,866 of the Abacha loot. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the disclosure on Monday, through his Spokesman, Umar Gwandu. According to him, the amount increased from over $308 million two months ago to $311 million because of the interest that accrued. “This Agreement is based on international law and cooperation measures that set out the procedures for the repatriation, transfer, disposition and management of the assets. “In line with the 2020 Asset Return Agreement, the fund has been transferred to a Central Bank of Nigeria Asset Recovery designated account and would be paid to the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) within the next fourteen days. “The NSIA is responsible for the management and execution of the projects to which the funds will be applied."

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