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Senate Passes N13.082 Trillion Budget For 2021  

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Just before it set out on its Christmas holiday, the Nigerian senate has passed thirteen trillion naira 2021 appropriations bill into law on Monday after recommendation by senate appropriations committee chairman, senator Jibrin Barau.

President Muhammadu Buhari had presented the proposal to the joint session of upper and lower legislative chambers in October.

More than half a trillion naira had been added to the president’s proposal as the exchange rate benchmark was pegged at three hundred seventy-nine naira to one dollar.  Crude oil production is projected at four hundred thousand barrels per day at forty dollars per barrel.

House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the Nigerian economy is resilient and doing better than most countries despite the turbulence it had weathered.

Nigerian News

Four Officers Killed, One Missing As Police Repel Ambush

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The Nigerian police says four of its officers have been killed and one still missing after they clashed with an armed criminal gang in the Birnin-Gwari area of kaduna State. The police also says many of the gunmen were killed in the clashes that took place on Friday.

Police spokesperson, Frank Mba, said in a statement on sunday, the officers were ambushed by about 100 “bandits” as they returned from an operation in neighbouring Niger State. The police statement denies initial reports claiming 18 officers had been abducted during the attack.

It says “only 16” officers were involved in the incident and the bodies of four police officers and their weapons had been recovered, 11 survived while “efforts are being intensified to rescue the one officer still missing. It is unclear whether the missing officer had been abducted by the armed men.

Meanwhile, in other separate attacks on Sunday also in Kaduna state, authorities confirm at least five persons, including an 80-year-old woman and a local traditional ruler, were killed and several others wounded. The state commissioner for internal security, Samuel Aruwan, says the gunmen targeted three rural areas of Giwa, Igabi and Chikun.

It’s not clear who carried out the series of weekend attacks in Kaduna State.

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Osinbajo Calls For Locally-Made COVID-19 Vaccine

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Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo has spoken on the need for locally-developed COVID-19 vaccines, developed and manufactured by indigenous pharmaceutical companies.

In a statement on Thursday, the vice-present said the country should begin a dialogue on how this could be achieved to boost capacity for the manufacture of vaccines that would be suitable for peculiar Nigerian situation in particular and Africa in general.

Nigeria currently plans to spend two trillion naira to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for an estimated one hundred sixty million of the country’s 200 million population.  One hundred thousand vaccines are expected to be delivered to the country by the end of this month.

Professor Osinbajo said in the statement, although COVID-19 poses one of humanity’s greatest health challenges, it could also present the country with an opportunity to “ramp up public health infrastructure in Nigeria including the training of required experts.” He said the government should be providing more funding for this cause.

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Ebonyi PDP Petitions Police, DSS, Alleges Threat To Chieftain’s

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Ebonyi state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has petitioned the new commissioner of police, department of state security, DSS, and other security agencies in the state, to investigate the threats and attack on its chairman, Elder Fred Udeogu by alleged  thugs they say are loyal to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

The petition forwarded to the state police command, dss office, and other security agencies in the state, asked for an immediate arrest and prosecution of the alleged thugs.

PDP is claiming that APC state chairman, Stanley Okoro, stormed Udeogu’s residence with the alleged thugs.  The party also accused governor David Umahi of directing the whole incident.

Caretaker chairman of Ebonyi APC chapter, Stanley Okoro Emegha, describes as falsehood PDP claims that the governor took away a vehicle that was given to Fred Udeogu when he took office as PDP caretaker chairman in the state.

Udeogu claims the governor has a sinister plot against him and that his life is threatened.

Okoro says there is nothing like that and that no thugs are being harbored.

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