Aso Villa Reads for Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

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

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has approved the appointment of Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji as the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for a single term of five years. A statement by the Director Information in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey on Thursday said the appointment was “in accordance with the provision of Section 12 (2) (a) and 6 (3) of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Establishment) Act, 2007. [Punch]

The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate has it has resumed the mop up verification exercise earlier scheduled for January. It said the verification which would end next week would take place at the directorate’s headquarters Abuja. In a statement titled ‘Resumption of the postponed mop-up/in house verification’, it said this exercise was for pensioners who had already submitted their documents for consideration and had been invited to be verified. [Punch]

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved different contacts totalling N62.04bn at its weekly meeting presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). The approved projects cut across the Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory and Ministry of Water Resources. One of such projects is the augmentation of the contract sum for Ajebandele-Shagamu Section of the Benin-Ore-Ajebandele Road. [Punch]

The Federal Government has announced a plan to support over 500,000 employees with a N30,000 one-off grant, noting that the initiative is to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the business community. The fund being disbursed by the Bank of Industry (BoI), has seen over 311,000 employees benefit. Speaking at the payroll support activation ceremony in Lagos, the Senior Associate, Bank of Industry, Emmanuel Musa, explained that the 311,000 beneficiaries represent about 65 per cent of the target, maintaining that the survival fund is a five-component programme. [Guardian]

President Muhammad Buhari has directed the military and Police, to effect the immediate rescue and safe return of all the yet to be ascertained number of staff and students abducted by gunmen in Niger state. The president has also ordered the dispatched to Minna, a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation and meet with state officials, community leaders, as well as parents and staff of the college. [Guardian]

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved projects valued at N62.047 billion for various contract proposals presented by the ministries of Works and Housing, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as Water Resources. Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, Ministers Babatunde Fashola (Works and Housing), Mohammed Bello (FCT) and Suleiman Adamu (Water Resources) gave details of the approvals and the figures attached to them. [Nation]

The Federal Government on Wednesday said all was set to begin repatriation of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon, Niger and Chad back home. Basheer Mohammed, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), said that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the group to remain steadfast in carrying out the assignment of returning Nigerian refugees from the three countries. He further affirmed that arrangements were already in top gear towards actualising the planned return of the refugees commencing with those in Cameroon from Feb. 27. [Herald]

President Muhammadu Buhari has transmitted the 2021 budget proposal for the Nigeria Police Trust Fund to the senate for consideration and passage. “The estimates of revenue and expenditure in the funds 2021 budget proposal, are consistent with the statutory purpose of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund terms of providing funding through a special intervention fund for: training and retraining of personnel of the Nigeria Police to enhance their skill and overall improvement, performance and efficiency in the discharge of their duties as well as responsibilities,” part of the letter read. [Premium Times]

The Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Oko in Anambra state, Dr Francisca Unoma Nwafulugo, has commended the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola for the 1.23 kilometer roads constructed in the institution. The rector stated that the project would impact the quality of education and the learning environment at the institution. The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing is constructing internal roads in 43 tertiary institutions in Nigeria under its road Intervention programme. [Blueprint]

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Dr. Andrew Kwasari said a direct investment of $1.2 billion has been secured under the Green Imperative Project for Nigerian Farmers. “In summary, Green Imperative is a borrowing that will inject foreign direct investment of 995 million euro that is $1.2b that has been structured financially to allow the government of Nigeria use a bi-lateral negotiation and arrive at a financing that is below 3% per annum interest rate and a gestation period of about 15 years to be paid.” [Blueprint]

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has approved the use of AstraZeneca vaccine in Nigeria. Director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojosola Adeyeye, who disclosed this during a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, said that the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8-degree centigrade. The Astrazeneca vaccine was recently approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Subject to approval by NAFDAC, the EUL will allow Nigeria to receive the first batch of the vaccine from COVAX Facility within weeks. [Leadership]

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