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Buhari employs 200,000 graduates

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All is now set for the deployment of 200,000 unemployed graduates selected in the first batch of the Buhari administration’s plan to hire half a million Nigerians.

While the 200,000 were selected about two weeks ago, their names have now been sent to state governments and the FCT, who will deploy them to their specific program assignments.

The names will also be published this week on the N-Power internet portal, while the participants will start receiving SMS messages informing them of their selection as from Monday November 21, 2016.

State governments and the FCT are also encouraged to post the names of the successful first batch applicants in their local government areas while there would be further public announcements.

Between now and the end of the month, the states and the FCT would be engaged in deploying the graduates who would formally start working and earning their stipends on December 1, 2016.

Of the 200,000 in the first batch, 150,000 will teach, 30,000 will work in the agricultural sector and 20,000 in healthcare delivery, covering the three specific program assignments.

The N-Power Volunteer Corps is an expression of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to invest in the human capital development of Nigerian citizens, particularly our young people.

The N-Power program is also an innovative means to enhance ailing public services in the area of basic education and primary healthcare. In the agricultural sector, it is aimed at achieving self-sufficiency by giving our farmers relevant advisory services.

The Federal Government of Nigeria hereby congratulates all 200,000 successful applicants in the first batch, and they are encouraged to take this opportunity seriously by learning the skills that will brighten their future. They are also implored to serve their communities with commitment and dedication.

For those who have not been selected at this time, there is a waiting list based on the total number of applicants, and subsequent batches will absorb more of the qualified applicants.

All together, the N-Power will engage and train 500,000 young unemployed graduates. It is a paid volunteering program of a 2-year duration that engages graduates in their immediate communities, where they will assist in improving the inadequacies in the education, health, and agriculture sectors.

The 500,000 graduates under the N-Power Corps program will be trained in skills that will enable them exit after two years to economically viable job and business opportunities.

As part of the program, the participants will own tablets that will contain information necessary for their specific engagements, as well as information for their continuous training and developments.

Participants will be provided teaching, instructional, and advisory solutions in 4 main focus areas, and will be paid a monthly stipend of N30,000 during the program. The 4 main focus areas are in basic education, agriculture extension services, public health and community education (civic and adult education).

Besides the N-Power program for undergraduates, there are other schemes for non-graduates. These are: N-Power Knowledge, which would select 25,000 young Nigerians and N-Power Build 75,000, all of whom shall be trained and paid during the duration of the scheme.

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Army withholds salaries of 45 soldiers in Borno

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Authorities of the 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, have withheld the salaries of 45 soldiers, according to sources.

The soldiers, who were among the 149 troops of the 153 Task Force Battalion withdrawn from Marte, Borno State, after spending three years in counterinsurgency operations, were accused of for abandoning their duty posts.

The battalion came under attack on three occasions during which several soldiers were killed while a range of weapons, equipment and vehicles were either carted away or destroyed.

The battalion was overhauled after the last attack in February.

A source said necessary changes were made and troops who served with the battalion were moved to different formations in Maiduguri before a new deployment was made.

“Some of the soldiers who were not seen at their new units were believed to have gone on AWOL (Absence Without Leave). Their salaries accounts were not credited in April,” he said.

But one of the affected soldiers said the allegation of desertion against them was untrue.

“We were not given our salaries and when we asked our supervisors in the 7 Division, we were shocked to hear that we had forfeited all our entitlements over desertion.”

Attempts to get the response of army authorities were not successful.

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EFCC goes after top officials of PDP over N10bn scandal

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The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has invited officials of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for questioning over alleged criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of funds and fraud.

This is coming barely a month after a chieftain in the PDP, Kazeem Afegbua, petitioned the anti-graft agency to scrutinise the Secondus-led National Working Committee on financial misappropriation.

In the letter of invitation dated May 17, 2021, and addressed to the Prince Uche Secondus, the EFCC said the need to obtain certain clarification from the party has become imperative.

The agency, however, requested the party’s National chairman to release the National Auditor, National Organising Secretary and Director of Finance to report at the EFCC headquarters from May 19th to 21st 2021.

The agency also requested the national officers to honor the invitation with relevant documents relating to sole of forms into the party’s elective positions from January 2017 to date.

Kazeem had in his petition alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has been shrouded in mystery, accusing the leadership of deliberate attempt to shortchange the party in the build up to the 2023 general elections.

However, Secondus had since denied the allegation and filed a N1 billion suit against the petitioner, Kazeem Afegbua.

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Nigeria’s drug control agency approves new COVID-19 vaccine

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has granted approval for the conditional emergency use of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is the third vaccine recommended for administration in the country.

The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojiola Adeyeye, in a statement on Tuesday, said information on the vaccine shows it met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.

She said, “The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a single dose. Results from a clinical trial involving people in the United States, South Africa and Latin American countries found that Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 in people from 18 years of age.

“The Phase III clinical trial involved over 44,000 people. Half received a single dose of the vaccine and half were given placebo (a dummy injection). People did not know if they had been given Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine or placebo.

According to her, the trial showed a 67 per cent reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases after two weeks in people who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. Most of these side effects were mild to moderate in severity and lasted 1-2 days.

On the vaccine safety, Adeyeye said NAFDAC, in line with its pharmacovigilance and safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines, will closely monitor and subject the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to several activities that apply specifically to COVID-19 vaccines.

The AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has been giving out has garnered many sceptics internationally after some recipients of the vaccine died.

At least 16 countries including Germany, France and Sweden have suspended the use of AstraZeneca, which put on the Nigerian government to suspend it.

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