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Lawmaker pays SSCE fees for 590 students in Enugu


The Deputy Minority Leader of the 9th House of Representatives, Chief Toby Okechukwu has given a grant of about N10million for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) registration of 590 students in his constituency.

Okechukwu is representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency.

The lawmaker, who handed over the cheques through Toby Okechukwu Foundation to the students drawn from 59 schools on Monday in Agbogugu, Awgu Local Government of Enugu, pledged to continually promote education in the area.

He said that he was moved to support the students through the 2019/2020 Educational Grants “because the only way to overcome our challenges is through education.

“The reason we are supporting you is not that you cannot pay for your SSCE but because God has given you the opportunity to benefit from this,” he said.

The deputy minority leader explained that the beneficiaries emerged through a competitive draw process, adding that he had wished all SS 3 students benefitted from the gesture.

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Okechukwu, who also attracted the construction of seven classrooms block in St. Vincent Secondary School, Agbogugu, said that he would do his best to support science education in the area.

Earlier, the Chairman, Post Primary School Management Board, (PPSMB) in the state, Mr Nestor Ezema, said that Okechukwu through his philanthropic gestures had been a shining light to his people.

Ezema appealed to secondary school teachers in the area to prepare the students adequately in order to perform well in the exams.

“There shall not be even one case of exam malpractice in this area so that the students will appreciate what Okechukwu has done for them,” Ezema said.

Earlier, the President-General, Federation of Agbogugu Autonomous Community, Mr Simon Ude described the event which featured the handover of 13 classroom blocks to St. Vincent Secondary School as `historic’.

“This is because today makes it the 13th time Okechukwu will gather us in this school in Agbogugu. You have inaugurated four boreholes in our community.

“The State Emergency Management Agency through your intervention gave us relief materials after an unfortunate wind disaster.

“You raised a matter of urgent public importance on the floor of the Green Chambers on Agbogugu Wind Disaster after which the National Emergency Management Agency stormed our community with relief materials,” he said.

Ude said that before the intervention of the lawmaker, the school was in deplorable condition and the structures were in shambles.

“Many students left the school due to its unfortunate state and the students’ population declined as low as less than 100 students,” he said.

Ude however, said that since the first intervention of the lawmaker in the school, the population had grown to more than 600 students.

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The highlights of the occasion were the inauguration of a newly constructed seven classrooms block and six renovated classrooms block attracted by Okechukwu to the school.

The projects were inaugurated by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.



Buhari set to sign revised 2020 budget on Friday – Presidency



President, Major General (retd.) Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday sign the revised 2020 budget into law following its passage by the National Assembly last month.

This is according to a statement issued on Thursday evening by the Presidency in a tweet on its handle.

“President Buhari will tomorrow, Friday July 10, 2020, sign into law the revised 2020 budget passed by the National Assembly last month,” the presidency tweeted.

The Senate had on June 11th, passed the revised 2020 budget of N10,805,544,664,642, a day after the House of Representatives did the same.

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A breakdown of the figure shows that the sum of N2,488,789,433,344 is for capital expenditure and recurrent non-debt expenditure has N4,942,269,241,984.

The executive also allocated N422,775,979,362 for statutory transfer, while N2,951,710,000,000 was budgeted for debt service.

The passage of the revised figure, which is to be issued from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations on the Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

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The Federal Government had in April, cut down the 2020 budget by over N320 billion and proposed a new budget of N10.27 trillion against the N10.59 trillion passed by the National Assembly.

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Lebanese ambassador walks out on Reps



PHOTOS: Reps resume plenary

Drama played out at the venue of a meeting called by the House of Representatives on Thursday when the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Houssam Diab, staged a walk-out.

Diab, shortly after entering Conference Room 236, New Building, House Wing of the National Assembly complex, walked out on the Committee on Diaspora Affairs who he was to meet.

Also at the meeting were the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Zubairu Dada; Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Julie Okah-Donli; officials of the Federal Ministries of Justice and of Labour, Employment and Productivity as well as Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, among others.

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It was learnt that the ambassador was expecting a closed-door meeting with the lawmakers but met other government officials and journalists at the venue.

Miffed by what he saw, Diab walked out of the venue at around 10.50 am as the meeting was about to start in the open.

Chairman of the committee, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, had said she was shocked that the “ambassador will just get up and walk out on us”.

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While some lawmakers and officials followed the ambassador, the committee called for a closed-door session, sending journalists, security men and aides out of the venue.

Emerging from the meeting, Akande-Sadipe said:

“It was an informal meeting because the Ambassador was nice enough to join us at the meeting. There is no law that says he has to be here today but because he has an interest in the joint relationship between Nigeria and Lebanon.

“We have a lot of Nigerians in Lebanon and we have a lot of Lebanese in Nigeria. We have a relationship with Lebanon from the 50s…

“This meeting today has further reiterated that the Lebanese community and the Nigerian community always stand together to ensure that justice and respect for human lives is a priority, and we will work together to bring modern-day slavery to an end.”

The committee has been meeting with stakeholders on the harassment, intimidation and tracking of Nigerians in other countries, especially on the case of Temitope Arowolo in Lebanon.

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You can’t rig Edo gov election, PDP tells APC



Five councilors in Zamfara

The Peoples Democratic Party has asked the All Progressives Congress to prepare for imminent defeat in the September 19 Governorship Election in Edo State.

It also said the APC and its candidate, Osazie Ize-Iyamu, cannot rig the election while urging them to desist from fabricating reports in an attempt to arm-twist the Independent National Electoral Commission to manipulate the outcome of the elections.

This was contained in a statement titled, “You Can’t Rig Edo Election, PDP Mocks APC, Ize-Iyamu …Urges APC To Desist from Fabrications” and signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbodiyan, in Abuja, on Thursday.

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The PDP alleged that the APC was plotting to

“Use fabrications in a section of the media to arm-twist the Independent National Electoral Commission, to manipulate the Edo state governorship election for their rejected candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.”

Its statement read in part:

“In sponsoring fake reports that PDP leaders were putting pressure on INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, on the Edo election, the APC has further exposed its hopelessness over their rejection by the Edo people and now seeks to blackmail the Commission.

“The APC, by now, should know that attempting to rig, by any way whatsoever, will surely be met with stiff resistance and dire consequences from the people.”

Ologbondiyan further said:

“Our party counsels the APC to blame nobody but themselves for having a discredited nomination process and being stuck with a blighted candidate, who has now become a symbol of a direct affront by corrupt political godfathers and cabal to the will, ability and liberty of the people of Edo state to choose their own leader.”

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