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No plan to sack govt workers — Finance minister

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Finance Minister Says Food Prices Rising

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has denied rumours that the Federal Government plans to lay off government workers.

Ahmed said this on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme on Thursday.

Ahmed denied claims that the government was planning on sacking workers in order to save funds.

She said President Muhammadu Buhari had said repeatedly that no worker would be sacked. The minister, however, said the government would encourage people to leave government jobs by giving them incentives.

Ahmed said the government would reduce overheads by ensuring that government agencies are merged.

She added, “Mr President doesn’t want to disengage staff. That is what he has directed from the beginning of his administration. He also directed that we pay salaries. The Federal Government has never failed in paying salaries and he said we must always pay pensions.

“So, he has been consistent in those directives and we have followed those directives to the letter.”

When asked how the government would cut personnel costs, Ahmed said, “Well, we do hope that at the end of the exercise, some agencies will be merged and it will cut down operational costs.

“And also we will be able to come up with incentive packages to retrain people and redeploy them in some areas where they are useful. For example, we still have a very high need for teachers so we can retrain people and send them to teach but also incentive packages to exit. Again, that is also money. If you want people to exit you have to pay them.

“That is an incentive package so that they can go. That is why it is taking a lot of time because it is not easy to decide on this. Everything centres on resources. We need resources and if we had a lot of money, we would just give very beautiful incentive packages and people would exit and go and start their businesses and we would reduce the size of the personnel cost.”

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Ferdinand Marcos Jr sworn in as Philippines president

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Ferdinand Marcos Jr sworn in as Philippines president

Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the Philippines’ late dictator, has been sworn in as the country’s new president.

Marcos Jr’s inauguration on Thursday marks a stunning political comeback for one of Asia’s most famous political dynasties, 36 years after the elder Marcos was toppled and forced into exile in a popular uprising.

Known as “Bongbong”, the 64-year-old Marcos Jr won a rare landslide victory in last month’s presidential election, helped by what critics have said was a years-long campaign to whitewash his family’s image.

He succeeds Rodrigo Duterte, who gained international notoriety for his deadly drug war and has threatened to kill suspected dealers after he leaves office.

The new president, in a speech that echoed his campaign slogans of unity, promised to take the country far on his watch with policies benefiting everyone, and thanked the public for delivering what he called “the biggest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy”.

“You will not be disappointed, so do not be afraid,” he said at the inauguration ceremony, surrounded by his immediate family and with his sister Imee, a senator, and 92-year-old mother Imelda, a former four-time congresswoman, seated close by.

Marcos Jr also praised his late father’s rule, but said his presidency was not about the past, but a better future.

“I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence …. but he got it done sometimes with the needed support, sometimes without,” he said. “So will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me.”

The late Marcos ruled the Philippines for two decades from 1965, almost half of it under martial law, helping him to extend his grip on power until his overthrow and his family’s retreat into exile during the 1986 People Power Revolution. Thousands of Marcos opponents were jailed, killed or disappeared during his rule, and the family name became synonymous with cronyism, extravagance and the disappearance of billions of dollars from state coffers.

The Marcos family has rejected accusations of embezzlement.

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2023 Sallah: Sultan declares July 9 Eid al-Adha

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Sultan of Sokoto

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, on Wednesday, declared July 9 as Eid al-Adha.

Also known as Sallah, Eid al-Adha will feature the slaughtering of ram during the period known as the “festival of sacrifice”.

This is the second significant celebration in Islam.

The first is Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

In a statement issued by the National Moonsighting Committee, the Sultan urged Muslims to intensify prayers during the period.

It also declared Thursday, June 30, as the first day of Dhul Hijjah.

“Eidul Adha will be on Saturday, 10th Zul-Hijjah 1443H (9th July 2022) In Sha Allah,” the statement read in part.

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Abducted wife of Zamfara NULGE chairman gives birth in captivity

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A woman identified as Ramatu Yunusa with nine months of pregnancy, abducted at Damba area of Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, has reportedly given birth at the bandits’ camp.

According to the husband, Mr. Yunusa, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Zamfara State chapter, the woman delivered at about 3 am on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at the bandits’ camp.

He said he was not even allowed to see his wife and the baby.

“As I am talking to you now, I don’t know whether the new born baby is a boy or a girl but all I know is that my wife has given birth to the baby,” he lamented.

According to him, the bandits demanded any amount as ransom, stressing that the situation was very worrisome to him and the family.

It was gathered that the woman, Ramatu Yunusa, is a nurse with the Federal Medical Center in Gusau, the State capital.

She was kidnapped in the early hours of Tuesday, 28 day of June, 2022, at her Damba residence in Gusau, the State capital.

All efforts by journalists to get reaction from the State Police command proved abortive as the State police spokesman, SP Mohammed Shehu did not respond to calls.

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