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Give us employment, pay our allowances — Kwara para-athletes appeal to Governor

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…Protest to governor’s office

By Saka Laaro, Ilorin

Members of the Kwara state Special Sports Athletes, otherwise called para athletes, have appealed to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to provide them with employment opportunities to uplift their welfare and attract more glory to the state.

The special athletes, who were led by the Vice Chairman (North Central) and representative of the Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation, Felix Olatunbosun Oyadinrin, made the appeal when they staged a peaceful protest to the seat of power, Government House, Ilorin on Tuesday.

The people carried placards with various inscriptions to express their feelings, saying that all efforts to meet with the state governor had not been successful.

The special athletes asked for payment of their awards both at the national sports festival Asaba 2022 and para games in Abuja 2023, as well as special monthly allocation for their welfare.

The para-athletes, however, commended administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on sports development in the state, saying that, “We will like to show our appreciation to the present administration led by his Excellency, Governor Abdulrazaq, for the support in promoting sport in the state.”

In one of the letters said to have been written to request for audience with Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq over their demands, titled, REQUEST FOR EMPLOYMENT FOR SPECIAL SPORT ATHLETES, and signed by their captain, the people said that it had yielded no fruits more than three years after.

“Over the years, the special sports athletes have been representing the state and winning laurels; both at International and National competitions. We plead to His Excellency to grant us this request so as to uplift the welfare of the special sport athletes positively and put a smile on our faces.

“I hope we shall meet your mercy and that our request will be given due and favourable consideration.”

The team captain of the Kwara State Special Sport Athletes said that the team comprises Para-Table tennis, Para-Athletes, Power-lifting, Wheelchair basketball and Para-badminton athletes.

“We have boosted the standing of the State among its peers in sporting levels. On numerous occasions we were promised; promising and not fulfilling. Meanwhile, many of the athletes had given nothing but exceptional services to the state in terms of sport and nothing to show for it, in our lives and that of our family.

“On many occasions, we have organised seminars for people living with disabilities and to encourage them. It is a shame that all this effort is wasted because there is no support from the state government.”

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Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves surge by 5% to $33.58bn

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Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves increased by 5 percent to $33.58 billion in the last two months.

This is according to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s latest FX data as of June 19, 2024.

Accordingly, the foreign exchange reserves figure represents a $1.47 billion increase compared to $32.11 billion on April 19, 2024.

The Monetary Policy Committee, MPC during its 295th meeting reiterated its commitment to boosting Nigeria’s external reserves.

“The Committee also noted the marginal increase in the external reserve balance between March and April 2024 and urged the Bank to sustain its focus on accretion to reserves”, reads in part.

Recall that the Nigerian government received $925 million from Afrieximbank barely two weeks ago as the $3.3 billion crude oil-backed prepayment facility organized by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

Meanwhile, despite the increase in the country’s foreign reserves, Naira depreciated N1485.36 for the second consecutive time against the dollar on Thursday.

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Ondo Govt breaks silence after court declared 33 LCDAs illegal

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Following the judgment of an Ondo State High Court which declared the creation of the 33 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, as unconstitutional, the state government has stated that it is studying the judgement.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Kayode Ajulo, in a statement on Friday, said the state government would duly analyze the judgement, adding that the rule of law would be followed.

The late former Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu created the LCDAs in 2023.

But in his judgement on Thursday, Justice A.O. Adebusuoye stated that the LCDAs were not lawfully created.

According to Ajulo, the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement has been requested and will be studied accordingly.

“All necessary measures, in accordance with our laws, will be taken to safeguard the interests of our citizens, foster peaceful coexistence, and uphold the rule of law.

“The Honourable Attorney General remains steadfast in his commitment to prioritising the well-being and welfare of our citizens, working tirelessly to ensure that justice and the law are served.”

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Nigeria Customs generates N249b within 5 months in Rivers

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The Nigeria Customs Service, Area 2 Command, Onne in Rivers, said it has generated more than N249 billion as at May, 2024 representing 40.3 per cent of its current annual revenue target.

Comptroller of the command, Muhammed Babandede, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at Onne.

According to him, the 40.3 per cent revenue record followed a recent review of the command’s annual revenue target from N494 billion to N618 billion.

The comptroller noted that when compared to the same period in 2023, the command had recorded an increase of more than N153 billion.

He also said that six containers laden with codeine, contraband drugs and goods valued at more than N3 billion were also confiscated within the period under review.

He said that the seizures included four containers laden with bales of clothing, lace and fabrics with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of more than N911 million.

Others, the controller said, were two containers laden with 2,625 cartons of codeine syrup among other contraband valued at more than N2 billion.

Babandede commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for inter-agency collaboration while also assuring adequate handover of seizures.

He also emphasised that the command would not relent on its core function of trade facilitation which entailed streamlined and simplified technical and legal procedures for clearing import or export goods.

On the operations of bonded terminals, the comptroller explained that the final destination for clearing of consignment was at the importer’s discretion.

“These procedures are guide which all Customs officers must adhere to.

“This negates the erroneous belief that officers of the Onne command connive with operators of Bonded Terminals to transfer containers,” he said.

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