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Gov Bello reduces ministries to 14, Permanent Secretaries to 25

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has announced the reduction of the ministries from 23 to 14.

Bello, who announced this in a broadcast on Thursday night, also reduced the number of permanent secretaries from 54 to 25.

He said the Head of Service would provide further information on the changes, and noted that the decision was part of efforts toward reducing the burden of governance.

“We are not going to use the poor condition in which we met most institutions in the state as an excuse.

“I have embarked on strategic public sector reforms to strengthen the institutions of governance for the delivery of quality services that will improve the living standard of our people,’’ he said.

Bello also said the administration would pursue the issue of looted fund retrieval in line with regulations, adding that the committee on this issue had submitted its interim report.

“For example, an examination of only two bank accounts of Government House shows more than N70 billion cash withdrawals by a few officials who must explain the purpose for which the withdrawals were made.

“The operation of the Joint Account was characterised by diversions and misapplications of huge funds, especially those paid to Ward Development Projects and 10km Roads Projects.’’

He said that N832.5 million of the 10km road project was transferred to Local Government Chairmen Forum, N75 million to Government House and N300 million to Office of the Secretary to the State Government.

The governor said that this accounted for why most of the 10km road projects were abandoned by the contractors.

He explained that the administration would continue to give priority to people-oriented project and programmes.

Bello said that key areas of health, education and agricultural would be used as tools to uplift youths and reduce unemployment.

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BREAKING: ASUU meeting with FG end in deadlock, strike to continue

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ASUU

The meeting between the federal government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday ended without an agreement.

As a result of this, the six-month-old strike embarked on by public university lecturers is set to continue.

The lecturers met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee at the National University Commission (NUC) in Abuja with high hopes of resolving the impasse.

A senior member of ASUU said that members of the Briggs renegotiation committee didn’t come with any new offer on the table.

According to him, the committee pleaded with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget.

The meeting started at about 12pm and lasted for about three hours.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14.

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Suspected thugs destroy Tinubu’s Emilokan billboard in Lagos (PHOTO)

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Some persons suspected to be political thugs have vandalized a billboard of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in Lagos.

The billboard located on the close to the third mainland bridge was destroyed on Tuesday morning.

The action sparked tension online as some APC members have accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

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EFCC recovers another 1.4bn naira for NHIS

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EFCC writes INEC, demands APC, PDP, other aspirants’ bank details

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered an additional sum of one billion, four hundred million naira (N1.4 Billion) for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

In a statement via its official Twitter handle, the money, according to the commission, was part of the funds which some commercial banks ‘fraudulently’ refused to transmit to the Treasury Single Account, TSA, since 2015.

The statement further said the money had been released to the NHIS since August 5, 2022.

It also revealed that the Commission had in similar fashion on February 10, 2022, released a sum of N1.5bn to the scheme.

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