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FG Disburses Another N123.34bn Grants To States

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The federal government has disbursed a fresh N123bn performance-based grants to state governments.

Minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ahmed says the disbursement is a result of the achievements made by the states in the just concluded 2019 annual performance assessment.

The assessment was carried out by the office of the auditor-general of the federation as the independent verification agent and approved by the programme coordination unit of the finance ministry.

The finance minister says the indicators covered fiscal transparency, accountability, expenditure efficiency, revenue mobilization and debt sustainability.

States received grants in accordance with the number of results achieved.  Sokoto state received the highest amount, six and a half billion naira, while Kano got the lowest amount of one point seven billion naira.

Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara states got zero allocation because they did not meet the 2019 eligibility criteria which require states to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific timeframe.

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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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