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NGO knocks NDDC over non-remittance of $30m fund

NGO knocks NDDC over non-remittance of $30m fund

The failure of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to release its $30 million counterpart funding into ongoing Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project for the Niger Delta has denied 1, 3500 women and youths in three state the empowerment benefits.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development assisted LIFE-ND involving agro skills and entrepreneurship training for youths in the Niger Delta was initiated by Federal Government since 2019 to check youth restiveness through job creation, enhance food security and economic development with the livelihoods the programme provide.

The LIFE-ND National Coordinator, Abiodun Sanni disclosed this during the launch of the Certification of the project into an Entrepreneurship Development Institute by the Nirsal Micro Finance Bank in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Sanni said Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Imo states were yet to come on board because the NDDC defaulted, while six others state have gained so much.

Sanni said, “With the launch the project as an Entrepreneurship Development Institute by the NMFB, we are set to catalyze the LIFE-ND of training youths and women of the Niger Delta with the benefit of certification and access to finance through NMFB.

“We are supposed to interface with nine states in the region, but currently running in six. NDDC is expected to pay a counterpart fund of $30 million within a span of six years, just as IFAD is promptly putting in $60 million for Abia, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Edo, Delta and Ondo states.

“Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Imo are yet to come on board because the NDDC is yet to pay their counterpart funds required to enlist these three states.

“The project targets 38,750 beneficiaries, but nonpayment by NDDC has reduced beneficiaries to 25,250 which is not commendable.

“This has lingered for over three years. We have done all we can to ensure NDDC lives up to its responsibility, but up till now, we have not been able to get the commitment needed from the commission.

“So what we have achieved so far is for the six states being funded by IFAD.

“A project that could have ensured that youths in these three states have tremendously benefited from this goodwill has not manifested because the commission has failed to meet up its responsibility.”

He added, “The project is supposed to end 2025. We are hitting the third year mark and a lot have been achieved in respect of the six states currently onboard.”

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.


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Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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