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No plan to sack teachers not sympathetic to APC – Kogi Commissioner

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The Kogi State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon Wemi Jones, has described as absolute falsehood a report making the rounds in some section of some online media that Gov. Yahaya Bello has reportedly ordered the sack of Kogi teachers who are not APC supporters.

Hon. Jones in a statement issued to Newsmen in Lokoja, while reacting to the misinformation, described the news as fake, baseless and a figment of the imagination of unscrupulous individuals masquerading under the guise of opposition with the intention to create disaffection amongst teachers and workers in the State.

The Commissioner said as a matter of fact, the State Government is about releasing the list of 1,500 successful applicants to be employed as Teachers in the State Secondary Schools in the first phase of an ongoing recruitment exercise for teachers, describing the report as one from the pit of hell.

The Commissioner explained that it would interest the authors of the sponsored report to note that in the just concluded transparent exercise carried out to recruit teachers in the State, nobody was asked to show his or her party membership card, “whether he is APC or PDP, rather, for everybody that was interviewed, what mattered was whether the applicant possessed the requisite qualification to be a teacher in the State or not.”

He described the misinformation as one too many by the opposition, saying the report was not only illogical, but also one laced with lies and vendetta, while wondering why the opposition would go so low to paint the State Government black for no just cause.

The Commissioner said at no time was any directive issued to Local Government Chairmen as contained in the report to compile names of Teachers not sympathetic to APC, noting that the present administration was one that had placed premium on recruitment and improvement of the welfare of Teachers and workers in general.

While pointing out that just recently the Leadership of NULGE and NLC in the State publicly commended the State Government for the release of promotion, payment of promotion arrears for teachers and other workers benefits in the state, he described those behind the misinformation as enemies and agents of Lucifer whose trade in stock was to cause destruction and disaffection amongst the peace-loving teachers and workers in the State.

Hon. Jones was emphatic that no compilation of names of Teachers as falsely claimed by the mischief makers was ever contemplated, adding that the present administration of Gov Bello was one that had better repositioned the education sector to the admiration of the people since the creation of the State.

He said, “In the last seven years under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello, we made the building and renovation of primary schools across the State a top priority. The GYB Model Science Secondary Schools across the State are another signature of the Gov. Bello administration that has remained a watershed in the state’s education history.

“In the area of technical and vocational education, the State has reawakened all the moribund Technical Colleges in the State. The Technical Colleges in Idah and others have been renovated, remodeled and are nearing completion with the aim of reawakening technical and vocational education.”

The Education Commissioner noted with nostalgia the establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, an institution he said had become the flagship amongst State Owned Universities in Nigeria, while reiterating that the malicious report of Gov. Bello ordering the sack of teachers not sympathetic to APC was not only spurious, but also “stands logic on its head.”

While querying the yardstick the authors of the malicious report used to determine teachers not sympathetic to APC as claimed, the Commissioner described Gov. Yahaya Bello as a democrat who would not muzzle any citizen of the State over their choice of political affiliation.

“The good works of Gov. Yahaya Bello acknowledged all over the country in the repositioning of the education since the State history is enough to convince the teachers and other citizens of the State on who to vote for in the forthcoming general election,” he said.

The Commissioner called on Journalists to always cross-check their facts before publishing, noting that balanced and unbiased reportage was the way to go in modern democracy.

Hon. Jones maintained that the State had no uncleared list anywhere after the Successful staff audit carried out years ago aimed at arm-twisting civil servants to do its bidding or be sacked.

The Commissioner expressed optimism that with the unprecedented achievements, in terms of human capital and infrastructure by Gov. Yahaya Bello, he was confident that the All Progressives Congress would win overwhelmingly in all the forthcoming elections.

“Kogi State is an APC State by virtue of good governance under the leadership of Gov Yahaya Bello,” he noted.

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FG warns against illegal mining operations as another tunnel collapses

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The Federal Government has warned against illegal mining operations and cautioned land owners against the activity.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, issued the warning in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori, on Saturday in Abuja.

The warning was issued in the aftermath of another incident of a mine collapse in Niger, which reportedly claimed three lives.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the collapse occurred on Thursday at Bazakwoi, a village in Adunu community, Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger, where local miners were reportedly illegally mining for gold.

NAN recalls that a similar incident occurred on June 3 at Galadima Kogo, Shiroro LGA of Niger State, where more than 30 people were reportedly trapped.

According to the statement, owners of licenced units of land mined by illegal miners will lose their titles.

The minister stated that preliminary investigations showed that the collapsed mine was in an area under Exploration Licence 43113 of JURASSIC MINES Limited in Adunu Village, Paikoro Local Government Area, Niger State.

It stated that an exploration licence was  given to an applicant to confirm if the site was suitable for the proposed mineral exploration, but does not authorise the applicant to engage in mining.

While addressing the ministry’s response, Alake confirmed  receiving news of the accident around 4:45 pm on Thursday, where three people died in a gold mining tunnel collapse at the site.

He further stated that inquiries revealed that the  miners were operating illegally.

“The ministry promptly mobilised its mine officers, who arrived at the site around 6:15 pm.

“Officials were informed that three men were killed in the accident and have since been buried.

“At the time of the visit, work had stopped at the site, and only onlookers were seen. The coordinates of the site were taken, and officials returned to Minna at about 8.30 pm.

“The owners of the company were contacted by phone, but they claimed ignorance of happenings in the site. They were then summoned to the office in the state capital,” he said.

The minister stated that he would communicate further developments as they unfold.

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Tinubu appoints Ayodeji Gbeleyi DG, Bureau of Public Enterprises

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr Ayodeji Gbeleyi as the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

According to a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, the President expects the new Director-General to bring his vast experience and competence to bear on the role.

“The President expects him to strengthen the agency as the national resource centre for capacity building and sustenance of reforms.

“This would be through the promotion of a competitive private sector-driven economy, ensuring social accountability and efficient deployment of public resources.

“The President also expects him to advance effective corporate governance and fiduciary discipline in the public and private sectors,” the statement added.

Gbeleyi is a financial expert and chartered accountant.

He is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

He is also an alumnus of executive programmes of the prestigious London Business School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Lagos Business School.

He has over 30 years of post-qualification experience in diverse sectors including manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods, investment and commercial banking, project finance, telecommunications, infrastructure and public administration.

He was the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Commissioner of Finance in Lagos State from 2013 to 2015.

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Nigeria’s inflation rate hits 33.95% in May -NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent in May 2024.

The NBS said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Inflation Report for May, which was released on Saturday in Abuja

According to the report, the figure is 0.26 per cent points higher compared to the 33.69 per cent recorded in April 2024.

It said on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 11.54 per cent higher than the rate recorded in May 2023 at 22.41 per cent.

In addition, the report said, on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 2.14 per cent, which was 0.15 per cent lower than the rate recorded in April 2024 at 2.29 per cent.

“This means that in May 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in April 2024.”

The report said the increase in the headline index for May 2024 on a year-on-year basis and month-on-month basis was attributed to the increase in some items in the basket of goods and services at the divisional level.

It said these increases were observed in food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel, clothing and footwear, and transport.

Others were furnishings, household equipment and maintenance, education, health, miscellaneous goods and services, restaurants and hotels, alcoholic beverage, tobacco and kola, recreation and culture, and communication.

It said the percentage change in the average CPI for the 12 months ending May 2024 over the average of the CPI for the previous corresponding 12-month period was 29.06 per cent.

“This indicates a 7.86 per cent increase compared to 21.20 per cent recorded in May 2023.”

The report said the food inflation rate in May 2024 increased to 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 at 24.82 per cent.

“The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis is caused by increases in prices of Semovita, Oatflake, Yam flour prepackage, Garri, and Bean,

“Others are Irish Potatoes, Yam, Water Yam, Palm Oil, Vegetable Oil, Stockfish, Mudfish, Crayfish, Beef Head, Chicken-live, Pork Head, and Bush Meat.”

It said on a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in May was 2.28 per cent, which was a 0.22 per cent decrease compared to the rate recorded in April 2024 at 2.50 per cent.

“The fall in food inflation on a month-on-month basis was caused by a decrease in the average prices of Palm Oil, Groundnut Oil, Yam, Irish Potato, and Cassava Tuber.

“Others are Wine, Bournvita, Milo, and Nescafe.”

The report said that “all items less farm produce and energy’’ or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce and energy, stood at 27.04 per cent in May on a year-on-year basis.

“This increased by 7.21 per cent compared to 19.83 per cent recorded in May 2023.’’

“The exclusion of the PMS is due to the deregulation of the commodity by removal of subsidy.”

It said the highest increases were recorded in prices of Actual and Imputed Rentals for Housing Class, Bus Journey intercity, and Taxi Journey per drop.

“Others are Accommodation Service, X-ray photography, Consultation Fee of a medical doctor, Laboratory service, among others.”

The NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 2.01 per cent in May 2024.

“This indicates a 0.18 per cent decrease compared to what was recorded in April 2024 at 2.20 per cent.”

“The average 12-month annual inflation rate was 23.45 per cent for the 12 months ending May 2024, this was 5.34 per cent points higher than the 18.11 per cent recorded in May 2023.”

The report said on a year-on-year basis in May 2024, the urban inflation rate was 36.34 per cent, which was 12.61 per cent higher compared to the 23.74 per cent recorded in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the urban inflation rate was 2.35 per cent, which decreased by 0.32 per cent compared to April 2024 at 2.67 per cent.’’

The report said on a year-on-year basis in May 2024, the rural inflation rate was 31.82 per cent, which was 10.63 per cent higher compared to the 21.19 per cent recorded in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the rural inflation rate was 1.94 per cent, which increased by 0.024 per cent compared to April 2024 at 1.92 per cent.’’

On states’ profile analysis, the report showed that in May, all items’ inflation rate on a year-on-year basis was highest in Bauchi at 42.30 per cent, followed by Kogi at 39.38 per cent, and Oyo at 37.73 per cent.

It however, said the slowest rise in headline inflation on a year-on-year basis was recorded in Borno at 25.97 per cent, followed by Benue at 27.74 per cent, and Delta at 28.67 per cent.

The report, however, said in May 2024, all items inflation rate on a month-on-month basis was highest in Kano at 4.24 per cent, followed by Gombe at 4.06 per cent, and Bauchi at 3.75 per cent.

“Ondo at 0.57 per cent, followed by Kwara at 1.19 per cent and Yobe at 1.24 per cent recorded the slowest rise in month-on-month inflation.”

The report said on a year-on-year basis, food inflation was highest in Kogi at 46.32 per cent, followed by Ekiti at 44.94 per cent, and Kwara at 44.66 per cent.

“Adamawa at 31.72 per cent, followed by Bauchi at 34.35 per cent and Borno at 34.74 per cent recorded the slowest rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis.’’

The report, however, said on a month-on-month basis, food inflation was highest in Gombe at 4.88 per cent, followed by Kano at 4.68 per cent, and Bayelsa at 3.62 per cent.

“While Ondo at 0.02 per cent, followed by Yobe at 0.95 per cent and Adamawa at 1.02 per cent, recorded the slowest rise in inflation on a month-on-month basis.”

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