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Flooding hits riverine areas in Benue

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There are reports of flooding across all the riverine local government areas of Benue, the state Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment Godwin Oyiwona has said.

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He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by telephone on Friday that all the local government areas on riverine areas and few others were affected.

He named the local government areas to include Makurdi, Agatu, Logo, Guma, Buruku, Otukpo and Gwer-West, among others, noting that government was doing its best to mitigate flooding effects on the people.

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According to him, the government has released funds for the cleaning of Idye Basin that controls most of the water-flow within Makurdi.

He said that there “are ongoing projects across the state that, when completed, will check flooding and its impacts.

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“There are ongoing construction of drainage channels in the North Bank and other areas”.

Several residents of Makurdi have started relocating to safer grounds from their homes following the rise in water level of River Benue.

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The flooding submerged houses, hotels, schools, churches and business places located about two kilometres on the bank of River Benue, according to the commissioner.

Other areas affected according to him within Makurdi metropolis include part of Judges Quarters, Achussah, Nyiman, Agber Village, Idye, Mobile Barracks and Kaamee settlement.

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Other areas also include Kucha Utebe community, Gyado Villa community, the Wurukum Abattoir, Timber and Rice Markets as well as the Angwan Jukun areas of the state capital.

NAN reports that in 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a 3.35-kilometre Idye Basin drainage channel to address the ecological challenges in Makurdi.

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The Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has also confirmed that no fewer than 200 households were affected by flooding in Makurdi.

Dr Emmanuel Shior, the Executive Secretary of the agency, said that the agency had, over time, advised people residing on floodplains to relocate to avert disaster.

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SPOTTED: Tinubu Reading 8-Month-Old Newspaper In New Photo Showing He’s Well

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A picture of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has sparked fresh controversy.

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There have been different rumours about the health of Tinubu, who has been away from the country before the kick off of the campaign for the 2023 elections.

On Sunday, the ruling party’s presidential candidate released a proof of life video, where he was seen on a thread mill.

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Despite the footage, critics of the APC insinuated that some things were hidden about the health condition of Tinubu.

However, in an apparent manner to clear doubt on his health condition, Tinubu released some pictures on Thursday morning.

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In one of the pictures, he was seen reading an old copy of The Nation Newspaper, which he has the largest share in.

It is unclear whether the picture was taken in January when the paper was published or in October when the Presidential Candidate has been convincing people about his health condition.

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Below are the front cover of the Paper and the picture that Tinubu put up on social media today:

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Reactions as new photos of Tinubu with grandchildren resurface on social media

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By Francesca Iwambe

Reactions have continued to trickle from Nigerians on social media over photos of presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with his grandchildren, which surfaced on Twitter and Instagram on Thursday.

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Tinubu’s son shared photos of the APC flag bearer on his verified Instagram handle with the caption and hashtags, “ Hi Grandpa #FamilyFirst#TinubuFamily #FamilyMan #Grandpa #TakenOnSunday #Noella #BATSenior #BATJunior #Leader.”

Special assistant on digital communications to President Muhammad Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, also shared Tinubu’s photos on Twitter on Thursday.

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Ahmad tweeted, “Good morning from our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu, and his grandchildren. A wonderful family person.”

Recall that Tinubu shared a video of himself cycling on a fitness bike on Sunday.

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The video, which went viral, had since elicited questions about his whereabouts.

But, the spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo has said cycling is a regular routine for Tinubu, adding that the former Lagos state governor was not trying to prove any point.

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Keyamo, while speaking in an interview with Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, described Tinubu as an “avid cyclist.”

His words, “People who are close to him know that he is an avid cyclist. He does that all the time. It is his regular routine. So, we are not trying to prove anything to anybody.”

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Meanwhile, Tinubu also posted picture of himself in an office on Instagram on Thursday with a caption that simply reads, “Stay Focused.”

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NCC To Deploy Technology For Verification Of Annual Operating Levies, Tax, Among Others

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By Gloria Ikibah

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it is going to deploy technology to verify the annual operating levies (AOL), tax and other payments by network service providers to the Federal Government.

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Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbata, disclosed this on Wednesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate the Duplication of Functions of Agencies of the Federal Government.

He said, “We are currently going to deploy a technology solution. We call it Revenue Assurance Solution. We have finished signing the MOU with the consultant that is going to do this deployment, so that we can be independently verify that the amount of annual operating levy (AOL) they are paying and other taxes are indeed what they are supposed to pay and therefore not shortchange the NCC or government when it comes to payment of taxes”.

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He also revealed that the Commission recently did a successful fifth generation spectrum auction where more than half billion dollars was generated for the Federal Government.

He said, “We, through what we call annual operating levy, run our operations, pay our staff salaries and allowances and even provide resources for intervention in the diverse areas of information and communication technology in the various parts of the country.

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“These interventions are verifiable. There is no state of the federation that we don’t provide interventions in the diverse areas of ICT. We also provide training. We would like to ensure our citizens are ICT savvy by embracing this important technology because that is what the whole is doing. That is what we can do in order to ensure our citizens are socially and economically transformed to change the way they are doing things, the way they collaborate and innovate.

“We have records available to show that we have been contributing a lot to the coffers of the government and a very good example is when we did that successful 5G auction. The proceeds from the auction goes to the coffers of the government. We don’t normally take anything. It is gazetted that whatever we sell spectrum, we do not keep the money, we normally transfer this money to the consolidated revenue fund of the government,” he said.

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Earlier, the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, Rep Victor Danzaria, said research, revenue generation and service delivery are critical conditions in the consideration process for merging or crapping agencies of government.

According to him the committee had a mandate to investigate duplication of functions and counter productivity of agencies for possible merger.

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Some of the agencies under consideration were Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBS) and the Nigerian Communication Satelite.

Others are, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Galaxy Backbone, National Boundary Commission and Border Communities Development Agency among others.

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Danzaria said that it is not about having many agencies with so many Director-Generals that does not deliver the required services to Nigerians but about productivity.

“The ad hoc Committee is critically looking at these agencies, their existence and looking at possible synergies and mergers of these agencies to give effective service to Nigerians.

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“One area is research, second is revenue generation and thirdly is regulatory functions and service delivery and at the end of the day, this is what Nigerians want.

“It is not about when you go to any agency, you see this man seated there on a table and services are not being offered there,” he said.

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