Aso Villa Reads for 10/07/2020

Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria

Punch reports that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has signed the N10.8 trillion revised 2020 budget into law. Buhari signed the document at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja at 11.06 am on Friday. The President explained that the budget had to be revised because of the effect of coronavirus on the nation’s economy. He said ministries, department and agencies will be given 15 per cent of their capital allocation by the end of the month.

Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said his principal has been fair to the Southeast region in political appointments and infrastructural projects. The spokesperson said the President has treated the region fair enough “despite the sparse number of votes in the South East in 2015 and 2019 elections”. Adesina stated this on Friday in a column entitled, ‘Buhari & S’East: Arthur Eze Nails It’ which was published on his website. He said despite Buhari’s “strong commitment towards transforming every part of the country”, some “people with primordial antipathy” could not see anything good in the President’s regime. “It is disingenuous for anyone to claim that President Buhari does not like any part of the country, most especially the South East,” he said. He added that “69 different projects (were) being undertaken by the Federal Government in South East alone, all amounting to about N680 billion. Of course, top on the list is the Second River Niger Bridge, which was built with mouth in the 16 years of the People’s Democratic Party in power.” Punch reported.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate suspension of Ibrahim Magu as Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The suspension is in order to allow for unhindered inquiry by the Presidential Investigation Panel under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws. The President also approved that the EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, should take charge and oversee the activities of the Commission pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation and further directives in that regards. Vanguard reported.

National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Thursday said it apprehended no fewer than 116 human traffickers and rescued 1,489 victims in four years. The Zonal Commander in charge of Kano, Mr Shehu Umar, made this known in an interview in Kano. Umar said that the command received 1,516 cases which involved 1,014 human trafficking acts both internal and external. He added that the cases included 117 child abuse, 75 child labour, 109 sexual abuse, 13 rape cases and 188 other cases on Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP Act) from 2016 to July 2020, including 473 males and 1,028 females. The commander added that “the command arrested 91 male suspects, 25 female suspects, rescued 1,022 females, 467 male victims between the ages of six to 25-years-old within the period under review. Daily Times reported.

Nigeria’s search for a solution to the challenge of non-availability and high cost of coronavirus diagnostic kits may have finally paid off with the development of RNASwift Extraction kit. This was disclosed by the Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency(NABDA), Alex Akpa, on Thursday during a news briefing in Abuja. He said the RNASwift test kit would not only revolutionalise Africa’s PCR-Based COVID-19 testing but will also expand the capacity by 50 times at least. Mr Akpa, a professor, also said it would equally reduce cost by over 500 per cent as compared to the conventional kit in use. “This meets the demands of the Test Africa Initiative. The kits will be produced in Nigeria, which is great news considering that it will enable preference to be given to the testing needs of Africa. “The need for the invention was conceived by the request from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), to test five million farmers and farmhands. “This was to ensure that our food security chain was not compromised by COVID-19,’’ the D-G said. According to him, the RNASwift test kit is an indigenous diagnostic test kit designed, developed and validated in Nigeria for the identification of the causal agent, SARS-Cov-2, which causes COVID-19. He noted that the diagnostic kit is “very accurate and sensitive’’ and competes favourably with conventional and commercially available kits for the diagnosis of COVID-19. Premium Times reported.