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JAMB shut four exam centres in Bayelsa

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board has shut down seven examination centres in Bayelsa State over alleged violation of rules and regulations guiding the examinations.

JAMB coordinator in the state, Abdusalam Mohammed, announced the development on Tuesday in Yenagoa when he paid a courtesy call on the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state is now left with only four centres to cater for its 24,000 candidates.

Mohammed explained that some of the centres were de-listed for duplicating the Virtual Private Network (VPN) of their router, a development that compromised the data security of JAMB.

He said that others were shut down for charging outrageous sums during registration.

“When the registration exercise commenced, we sent out a monitoring team who found that candidates were charged N5,000 for a service that should ordinarily cost N2,500,” Mohammed said.

On JAMB’s readiness to conduct examination in the COVID-19 era, Mohammed said that the body was training its staff during the lockdown.

“We also sensitised candidates and provided personal prevention equipment.

“In order to reduce the crowd at our office during registration, we set out specific days that candidates could visit us. The intention was to reduce body contact between staff and candidates.

“Before the outbreak of COVID-19, we used to ask candidates to thumb-print documents, but that has been stopped so as to curtail the spread of the virus.

“We have replaced that with a One-Time Password (OTP), which is sent to the candidate. The OTP will verify the candidate and confirm if he or she is the original owner of that particular application.

“In the past, it was difficult to have 20,000 candidates for JAMB, but this year, the number has skyrocketed to 24,000 candidates, meaning that there is an improvement in the enrolment of students in Bayelsa.

“Unfortunately, awareness of our activities is low in Bayelsa. That is why we have come to visit you,” Mohammed explained.

Responding, the Chairman of NUJ, Samuel Numonengi, frowned on the activities of the operators of the examination centres de-listed, saying that their actions were detrimental to progress in the state.

“We cannot stand people jeopardising the future of our children in Bayelsa.

“I want to join you to condemn their actions and encourage parents and candidates to stand up against any form of infraction perpetrated by these individuals that have questionable character.

“In the past, JAMB had a strong synergy with journalists, but that relationship is weak now. So, I want to encourage you to build that synergy so as to educate our people and shore up our fortunes,” he said.

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NURTW moves against highway crime, adopts vehicle e-tracking

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The National Union of Road Transport Workers says it will track members’ vehicles electronically as a way to address the spate of kidnapping and insecurity on expressways.

The union, during the National Executive Council meeting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, said it was imperative for them to use electronic tracking device in curbing the menace of kidnapping and insecurity on expressways in the country.

President of the union, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa, said the NURTW had lost many members to banditry while many were kidnapped.

He said, “We have resolved to use tracking to monitor our members’ vehicles. This will help us to alert our members of impending dangers.

“We admonish our members to be security conscious; the issue of insecurity in the country is worrisome. Many times our members are been kidnapped across the country, we have lost many members as a result of insecurity and there is no compensation from the government. So we really need to be careful and vigilant when we are on the steering. E-tracking will help passengers and our members after we put it to use”.

Baruwa thanked members for their support and confidence in his administration.

He said the administration was faced with serious financial challenges and the emergence of the COVID19 affected their revenue, adding that it was a miracle to have survived the devastating effects of the lockdown.

 

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EFCC arrests, grills ex-Imo governor, Okorocha

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.

He was arrested in Abuja and was later questioned by the EFCC over issues bothering on alleged corruption.

Okorocha, currently representing Imo West at the Senate, was grilled at the EFCC Abuja office on Tuesday.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the development but did not give further details.

 “It is true, he was arrested today in Abuja but we are not giving details,” he said.

Okorocha had been accused by the Imo government of looting the state’s treasury through various malpractices.

He was in February arrested by police from the Imo State Command for allegedly unsealing Spring Palm Estate linked to his wife, Nkechi.

Okorocha was later released but about 14 of his loyalists are being tried.

The Imo State Government had sealed the Spring Palm Estate and other properties claimed to have been “diverted” by Okorocha and his family members.

But the Senator said the properties were legitimately by him and his family members.

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NBS: Used vehicles, motorbikes, PMS top Nigeria’s imports

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Used vehicles, motorcycles, premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, and antibiotics were the major products imported by Nigerians from India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China in the fourth quarter of 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics has said.

The bureau stated this in its just released Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020, according to a Punch report.

It also stated that the major commodities exported from Nigeria to the five nations were crude oil and natural gas.

The NBS said, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

“The major exports to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were petroleum motor spirit, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”

The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.

“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.

According to worldstopexports.com, Nigeria imported about half (49.6 per cent) of its imported goods by value from Asia in 2019; another 30 per cent from suppliers in Europe with 11.2 per cent arriving from North America.

Smaller percentages were said to come from fellow African nations (6.5 per cent), Latin America (2.3 per cent) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.3 per cent) led by New Zealand and Australia.

Given Nigeria’s population of 201 million people, its total $47.4 billion in 2019 imports translated to about $240 in yearly product demand from every person in the West African region country.

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