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COVID-19: 13 Million Nigerians May Lose Their Jobs, UN Warned

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The World Food Programme of the United Nations says about 13 million people may lose their jobs in Nigeria as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WFP’s Senior Spokesperson, Elisabeth Byrs, in a statement noted that over 3.8 million citizens, particularly those in the informal sector could lose their jobs, adding that the figure could rise to 13 million if the restriction on movements persist for long.

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Byrs further said in the statement that her agency need more than $182m to sustain life-saving aid to Africa’s most populous country over the next six months.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Edo Is PDP State, Adamawa State Gov Boasts

She said, “We are concerned by conflict-affected communities in North-East Nigeria who already face extreme hunger and who are especially vulnerable. They are on life-support and need assistance to survive.”

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The agency warned that job losses would further increase hunger, which was why it was supporting vulnerable citizens in Nigeria.

According to the WFP, Nigeria needs urgent financial intervention to boost its economy, stressing that millions of citizens across the country are currently suffering the harsh economic impact of the virus.

The WFP official, however, stated that her organisation was distributing two months worth of food and nutrition assistance in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps and among vulnerable communities.

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She also stated that three million vulnerable individuals in Abuja, Kano and Lagos would also receive assistance from the WFP.

READ ALSO: More Trouble In Edo APC As Council Vice Chair Resigns

“We are actually scaling up our operations in the North-East to serve more people in response to the new challenges of more food insecurity posed by COVID-19,” Byrs stated.

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Boko Haram: Another Chibok Schoolgirl Rescued In Borno

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Troops of Operation Hadin Kai on Thursday said they rescued another Chibok girl from the captivity of terrorists.

The victim was rescued around the Bama axis of Borno State.

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Confirming the incident, Theatre Commander Joint Task Force Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa, said profiling of the rescued girl is ongoing.

Recall that the army had earlier rescued Mary Dauda, one of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted in 2014.

READ ALSO: Another Chibok Girl Kidnapped By Boko Haram Found With Baby

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Few weeks ago, the troops also neutralised terrorists of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province in Borno State and intercepted another Chibok girl, Hauwa Joseph, who said she escaped from the Boko Haram camp in Gazuwa during a massive incursion of the troops.

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Tension In Ondo Over Alleged Plan By Bandits To Attack Community

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Tension engulfed communities, towns and cities in Ondo State on Thursday following the rumour that bandits were preparing to attack Ilara-Mokin community in the Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.

The apprehension among residents was hinged on a rumoured letter allegedly sent to Adaba FM, a popular radio station in the state over plans by bandits to launch an attack in the community.

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Following the development, Elizade University, which is situated in the neighborhood, had encouraged parents to dismiss the supposed threat circulating over the alleged planned attack.

The institution claimed that the supposed rumor had been debunked by the appropriate authorities, therefore the university community should disregard the threat.

SP Funmilayo Odulami, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, dismissed the letter as a hoax and said that police operatives as well as undercover agents had been dispatched to the community and around the state.

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Also, in a series of announcements on its airwave and news bulletins, Adaba FM emphasized that it did not receive any letter indicating a planned attack by bandits.

Schools were said to have been empty because many parents prevented their children from going to school after the bogus letter was also rumoured to have been validated by the monarch of the community.

“The attention of the university management has been attracted to the material being shared on social media,” stated Omololu Adegbenro, the registrar of Elizade University, in a statement.

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READ ALSO: Owo Massacre: Ondo Community Invokes ‘God Of Iron’ On Attackers

“The originators of the information claimed that the purported letter was submitted to Adaba FM, Ilara-Mokin. They also claimed that His Royal Majesty, the Alara of Ilara-Mokin, Oba Aderemi Adefehinti was fully aware of the letter, adding that the royal father had disseminated the information to members of the community through his Town Crier.

“As management, it is important to clarify that no threat was issued by Bandits/Fulani Herdsmen to attack the community.

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“This information has been strongly refuted by the management of Adaba FM, which has continued to inform members of the public through its news bulletins that no letter of threat was dispatched to the station.”

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EFCC Laments Dearth Of Whistle-blowers, Despite Huge Rewards

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The Economic Financial Crimes Commission has decried the decline in whistleblowing across the country despite the huge rewards the commission offers to whistleblowers.

The Chairman, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa stated this in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on Thursday, at a one-day town hall meeting.

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The programme facilitated me by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, centred on strengthening the capacity of stakeholders on whistleblowing policy.

Bawa was represented by the Zonal Commander, EFCC, Enugu, Oshodi Johnson.

The EFCC chairman pointed out that at the beginning of the whistleblowing policy, the commission received huge information which, according to him, led to the recovery of “humongous” stolen public funds.

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He disclosed that two of the landmark recoveries from whistleblowers’ information were the $9.8m recovered from a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu, and the $11m recovered at an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

He wondered why the sudden decline and the reason behind it.

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He listed challenges undermining the policy effectiveness to include ignorance of its legal and administrative frameworks as well as difficulties in navigating the complex bureaucratic processes for claiming the advertised incentives.

He said, “It is also not impossible that the few false informants who were prosecuted for wanting to turn a serious programme to memes, unnerved some other would-be informants.

“Whatever the challenges are, it is imperative that there is a fresh awakening to sustain the flow of critical intelligence to Nigerian law enforcement agencies.

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“Recall almost with some sense of nostalgia, how a few years ago, precisely on December 21, 2016, the Federal Government introduced the Whistle-blower Policy, which offered some incentives to citizens that provide information leading to the recovery of stolen public funds.

“It was heralded by a frenzy of sorts with a deluge of information by informants, some of which led to the recovery of humongous sums of money by the EFCC.

“Two of the landmark recoveries from whistleblowers’ information were the $9.8m recovered from a former managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Andrew Yakubu, and the $11m recovered at an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

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READ ALSO:;How EFCC Officials Allegedly Tortured Lagos Clubgoers, Forced Out Naked Couple

“After these landmark recoveries and a few others and notwithstanding the fact that those who came forward with useful information received handsome rewards, enthusiasm for the policy appears to have waned a bit.

“It would seem that the policy is experiencing challenges that tend to undermine its effectiveness. Several factors may be responsible for this. But to my mind, the most obvious is lack of adequate understanding of the legal and administrative frameworks of the policy and the difficulties of navigating the labyrinth of bureaucratic processes for claiming the advertised incentives.”

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Bawa pledged the EFCC’s willingness to partner with critical agencies like AFRICMIL and other community-based organisations in strengthening their capacities to identify and quickly report suspected cases of corruption in their communities.

 

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