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774,000 federal jobs get January 5 date

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The 774, 000 Special Public Works (SPW) jobs will now commence on January 5, the Federal Government said on Sunday.

Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, told The Nation on Sunday in Abuja.

The programme, designed for artisans to do public works for three months for N20,000 per month, suffered setbacks in commencement date because of internal wrangling between the minister and a former Director – General of the  National Directorate of Employment, Nasir Ladan, who was sacked last week by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister said the programme ran into some “hiccups” hence the delay in the commencement date earlier announced.

The “hiccups” may be connected with the struggle for the control of the programme by the sacked Director – General who was at loggerhead with Keyamo over the implementation of the programme.

The sacked Ladan, it was gathered, worked with the National Assembly to undermine Keyamo who is the supervising minister following the fallout between the minister and the lawmakers.

Both the government officials couldn’t bring themselves to work together on the programme as Ladan continuously flouted the directives of the minister while cozying up to the National Assembly members.

Twice, the Federal Government announced a new date for the kick-off of the programme designed to employ 774, 000 Nigerians in the 774 local government areas.

On Sunday, Keyamo told our reporter that the work would officially commence in January, 2021 and that an official announcement will be made on Wednesday after the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The minister added that he expects the programme to go on smoothly with the removal of Ladan.

He said: “We have taken a firm decision to begin on January 5, 2021 but I am going to make an official announcement after FEC on Wednesday. We had a few hiccups in December but we have taken a decision to begin January 5 which is a Tuesday.

“The programme will run from January to March 2021 which is pure dry season. So, we are ready. All the obstacles have been removed.”

The minister also said only banks approved by the president would be used for the payment of the participants’ stipends.

Keyamo said the six banks  – Zenith, Access, Fidelity, FCMB, UBA, and Heritage bank enlisted for the programme have successfully opened a special accounts and captured the biometrics of successful applicants for the job.

The applicants, the minister said will be paid through their bank accounts using their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to avoid fraud and double payment.

Keyamo said: “As we go into the field, we need to make a few clarification. The reason this programme was delayed in the last few weeks was because as minister, who is in charge of the implementation and supervision of this programme, we got reports from all over the country that certain unscrupulous persons were generating alternative lists, different from the ones that I approved as minister and which I directed the implementation in strict compliance with Mr president’s directives.

“The clear directive of Mr. President to me was that to ensure a fraud-free process, we should ensure that there is a clear audit trail of all payments made to all beneficiaries and as such we needed to engage selected banks who can share data with us and we needed to open special accountants for all participants in such a way that there will be an audit trail of all payments made through these selected banks.”

The minister also said there is no implementation committees anywhere contrary to reports.

He urged Nigerians to disregard such committees, saying the only committees for the programme, are the state selection committees which he inaugurated to pick applicants.

Keyamo said: “However, what happened was that people began to generate separate lists across the country, using NDE officials at different levels and in clear disobedience of my directives, and in clear case of insubordination. So we had a problem of potential clash if we had started this programme…

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BUSINESS

If you’re African and use WhatsApp, you need to read this

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A new app built by an African for Africans is out. Its name is SupFrica!

The app, just like WhatsApp, has all the features that WhatsApp has. But one thing that it has that WhatsApp doesn’t is, it’s 2× faster than WhatsApp.

Sending a message on Supfrica is faster than sending a message on WhatsApp, the report claims. You can add up 2348055441309, after installation for a test. The voice and video call in Africa is of high quality just as WhatsApp. This is the time to embrace our own. It is proudly made by a Sierra Leonean!

The company, Techfrica, which is owned by Mr. Hassan Hafiz Bakarr-Kanu Sr., released the app on Google Play Store on December 11, 2020, with fewer downloads.

The app is also amazingly rated number 1 on Google Play Store Top Free Apps; leading the world’s top messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, Telegram, WeChat, etc.

You can forward messages to more than 20 contacts at once, unlike WhatsApp. With Supfrica, you can create a Supfrica group and add an unlimited number of contacts to your group, unlike WhatsApp. You can add up 2348055441309, after installation for a test.

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METRO

Ayadi reveals the spirit responsible for Nigeria’s problems

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The General Overseer, Power and Wisdom of God Church, Badagry, Lagos, Pastor Idowu Ayadi says Nigeria is being troubled by the “spirit of cheating”.

This spirit of cheating, he said, was responsible for the majority of the challenges facing the country.

However, he called on Nigerians to play a noble part in complementing the positive efforts of the Federal Government to address the nation’s challenges.

Ayadi made the call at a news briefing on Saturday as part of the activities marking the celebration of Christmas in Badagry.

The cleric tagged his message: “The Spirit Troubling The Nigerian Nation”.

Ayadi said he consecrated himself to pray for Nigeria, and after many days of prayers, it was revealed to him that the source of the nation’s problems was the “Spirit of Cheating”.

According to him, to destroy the spirit of cheating, everyone has to buy into speaking the truth and never sell it.

He said that society should stop worshipping money, while parents should not teach their children how to cheat.

“All clergymen should emphatically teach their followers that life does not consist in the abundance of the things they have, and that act of covetousness is evil.

“On the side of government, there must be check and balance mechanism that will prevent the commission of fraud.

“The three arms of government, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, must work together, effectively and efficiently.

“If all these are done, the spirit of cheating will die a natural death, and the lost glory of our country shall be restored.

“Then, we will take our rightful position among the comity of great nations,” he said.

Ayadi said many that were born with the truth had sold the truth, while many who did not have the truth, had refused to buy it.

He said the spirit of cheating in Nigerians had turned all infrastructure that would have promoted prosperity into a sorry state.

The cleric said that all efforts being made by the government to improve our roads and power supply had not yielded the desired results.

“This is because the spirit of cheating is in the people who are frustrating those government’s efforts.
“Infrastructure decay is the major contributor to our economy penury.

“There will be no economic prosperity in any nation where there is inefficient infrastructure to support the production of goods and services,” he said.

Ayadi said that the spirit of cheating made the perpetrators of insecurity to believe that whatever they could not get legally, would be obtained through the cruel and dubious means.

He said: “We should not pass the total blame of insecurity in our country on the current administration and military alone.

“It is the effect of the long term accumulated failures of our past leaders, who the spirit of cheating had deceived to believe that as long as they and their families are comfortable, what happens to others is not their concerns.”

The cleric then urged the government to set aside an hour once in a week to pray for the nation’s security.

He said Nigeria must remain one indivisible country, urging everyone to pray for unity of the country and set aside those things that would militate against it.

Also, Ayadi said that the first wave of the COVID-19 was an art of God to demonstrate to the world “His unquestionable power”.

He said the second wave of the global pandemic had come to be added to the list of diseases that would continue to affect human beings.

The cleric urged Nigerians to observe and keep all safety guidelines, advising government not to embark on any form of economic shutdown again.

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METRO

CHRISTMAS: Obasa commends Christians for prayers, calls for more love among citizens

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As Christians all over the world celebrate this year’s Christmas, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa reinforces the message of love, which he said, Christ signified, urging Christians to strengthen their love for their neighbours and the country at large.

While commending Christians for for playing positive roles in the unification of the country as well as their prayers for a greater Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Obasa emphasized that the prayers of the faithful in Lagos state and Nigeria have helped the country, especially in 2020 when the world was humbled by COVID-19.

The Speaker, in his message to celebrate Christmas, urged Christ’s followers “not to take God’s grace in their lives for granted by flouting the protocols against Coronavirus.

“It is no longer news that COVID-19 resurfaced at a time we were all heaving a sigh of relief.

This time, the cases recorded daily is a cause for concern.

“In spite of the growing fear, however, the fact is that we can individually play our parts by adhering strictly to all the guidelines for our collective protection.

“Therefore, as we celebrate, we should be mindful of our actions and be conscious of our environment.

“We should also remember those who are in need knowing that Jesus lived, preached and practice love.

“Let us remember Matthew 25 verse 14: ‘The king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’,” the Speaker advised.

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