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Chibok Parents, Leaders Fight Over FG’s N100m Cash Gift

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Parents of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls and the community’s leader are at loggerheads over the sharing of the N100m cash gift allegedly given to the parents of the students by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The money was allegedly given by the President after a meeting in Abuja on July 22.

But Dr. Reuben Abati , special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, denied the report that money was given to the Chibok delegation.

But the BBC Hausa Service said that  the sharing formula for the N100m cash gift sparked a serious disagreement between some of the parents and leaders of the Chibok community in Abuja as the parents complained of being shortchanged in the sharing of the money.

There were reports that the Presidency allegedly released the fund to the leaders of the Chibok community in Abuja, as a palliative measure, for onward distribution to parents of the kidnapped girls after the meeting.

However, trouble started when some of the parents who felt cheated with the sharing of the largesse accused the leadership of the community in Abuja of shortchanging them.

One of the parents told BBC Hausa Service: “I got only N200,000 out of the said N100m allegedly received by our leaders in Abuja. Some of us got N300, 000 and some less than that,” he said.

The aggrieved parent said that he was not happy with the way the money was shared as he felt shortchanged.

“Our leaders in Abuja are using the girls to enrich themselves. In fact, some of the parents were screened out of the entourage by the Chibok leaders in Abuja. Many of them are residents of Abuja, not parents of the kidnapped girls,” he said.

Another parent, who was screened out of the delegation that visited the President, said he got only N7,000 out of the money that was shared.

“I was at the farm when they brought the N7,000 to my house and I collected it. Some of us got even less, N300 and below,” he said.  aggrieved parents stressed that they were not selling their daughters and that the money from the President just came to them without their asking or expecting it.

One of the community leaders, Pobu Bitrus, who is also a member of the House of Representatives, was at the meeting with the President.

Bitrus told the BBC that after the meeting with the President, money was distributed to the parents in envelopes.

“After we met with the Presidency, the parents were given money in envelopes and that’s all. All other things they are saying about N100m, I don’t know about that,” he said.

Tsambido Abana, chairman of the community, described as false allegations that the money was shared among the parents and that some were short changed by the leadership of the association.

Abana, in a telephone interview yesterday, said there was no truth in the report that Presidential officials doled out N100m to the parents and the escaped girls that held a parley with the President.

He said: “There is no iota of truth in that report. I don’t even want to talk about it because I don’t know how such a story came about. The money that was shared to the parents was handled by presidency officials who gave out envelopes to the parents, so I was not involved in the sharing and I can’t say anything about it.”

In his reaction, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati denied the report that money was given to the Chibok delegation.

“Nobody distributed any envelope after the meeting. The meeting was held in the Villa, a public place. After the meeting, the President left and the parents as well as the children went into their buses in the presence of the media,” he said.

According to him there was no time for money to be given after the meeting.

“The President is not part of will never do anything to bribe anybody. This issue is not about money. We are talking about human lives here.

“The allegation is completely wild. What they are claiming is unknown to the President. Whoever is claiming it should prove it because no such thing happened.

“The commitment of the President is to get the girls back safely. It is not about bribing anybody. This is a very serious matter and we will like to appeal to those who want to play politics with it, using all kinds of tricks to ridicule the efforts of the administration, to always appeal to their individual conscience and realise that what we are dealing with here is a very serious matter and not a matter of mischief,” he added.

Meanwhile, not fewer than eight persons were said to have been killed and a major bridge in Yobe State destroyed when gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect attacked Katarko village on Monday, residents and a security official said.

According to reports, the gunmen, who came in large numbers, could not be matched by the soldiers at a check point about 300 metres away from the village.

“They came at 7:30pm,” said Lawan Ali, a resident of Katarko who spoke from Buniyadi, the headquarters of Gujba Local Government Area of the Yobe State, where he sought refuge after the attack.

“They stormed our village with some vehicles and many motorcycles, shooting and chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great).

“Some of them could be mistaken for solders because of their dressing which resembled that of the Nigerian soldiers. “The soldiers in Katarko had to flee after seeing the large number of the attackers.

“After attacking the village and killing about eight persons and injuring others who were not so lucky to escape, we later heard a thunderous explosion at the location of the bridge; we all fled into the bush. But in the morning, we found out that the bridge had been destroyed with bombs,” Lawan added.

Residents of the village lamented that with the destruction of the bridge, the village would be cut off from other part of Yobe State as the rain intensified.

The attack on Katarko village was the first on the community despite its proximity to Sambisa forest.

Abbas Gava, a member of the Nigerian vigilante group in Borno State, who also confirmed the incident, said he was communicating with his colleagues in the state on the incident.

The meeting took place after a meeting with the visiting Pakistani teenager, Malala Yusoufai, who champions the cause of girl-child education.


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CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns

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By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,

In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.

 

The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.

 

Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.

 

Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.

 

On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.


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NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

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Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.

NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System

Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.

“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.

“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.

He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.

Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.

Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.

According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.

“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.

Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.

 


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NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.

 

The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.

 

A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.

 

This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.

 

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.

 

Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.

 

They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.

 

Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.

 

According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.

 

However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”

 

The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.

 

Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.

 


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