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FEC Approves N1.04bn For Contracts Variation In Health, Water Resources Ministries

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N1,039,000,000 for contracts variation in the ministries of Health and Water Resources.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this Wednesday after the federal cabinet meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mohammed said N203 million was approved as the revised estimate cost for the consultants supervising Bagwai Water Dam Irrigation project in Bagwai Local Government Area of Kano State.

He said: “On behalf of the Honourable Minister for Water Resources, I want to report that the Honourable Minister for Water Resources presented a memo to Council today, seeking Council’s approval for the revised estimate costs and extension of the contract of the consultants supervising the project from an initial sum of N98 million to N203 million.

“The Bagwai Water Dam Irrigation project in Bagwai local government area of Kano State actually was commenced, the initial contract was actually awarded year 2005 and due to several logistics problems, the project is still on and just recently the FEC actually approved an augmentation of the entire contract and that means also that the mandate of the consultant supervising the construction would also have to be reviewed.

“So, it was reviewed from N98,000,000 with the sum of N203 million. So, now the total cost for the consultancy is N302,875,379.”

The minister said the council also approved an upward review of the contract for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of the 38 oxygen plants all over the country in the sum of N836 million.

He said: “The Minister of Health also presented a memo seeking for an upward review for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of the 38 oxygen plants all over the country. You will remember in June, the Federal Executive Council, actually approved the sum of N5.615 billion to four major contractors for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of 38 oxygen plants in various parts of the country.

“Regrettably, the four companies also came back recently with the same complaints ranging from fluctuation in the foreign exchange and the scarcity of the material all over the world as a result of COVID-19.

“So, he presented a memo for augmentation in the sum of N836 million and this was also approved today.”

Mohammed said FEC also ratified the United Nations Tourism Organisation Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics 2020.

He further announced the listing of the Kwagh-Hir Theatrical Performance on UNESCO’s representatives’ list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The minister said: “In my capacity as Minister of Information and Culture, I also presented a memo seeking for the ratification of the United Nations Tourism Organisation Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics 2020.
“In 2019, at St. Petersburg, Russia Federation, the General Assembly of the United Nations Tourism Organisation approved the framework and legal framework of the Convention of Global Ethics on Tourism and I brought a memo to Council today and Council graciously ratified that convention.

“I also informed Council today that we finally succeeded in listing the Kwagh-Hir Theatrical Performance on UNESCO’s representatives’ list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

“This journey actually started in 2006. Those of us who are familiar with Kwagh-Hir, which is the Tiv theatrical performance, is one of the flag-ship of our cultural performances in Nigeria. It actually started as a form of storytelling, then dramatised and is supposed to teach morals to our people.

“I’m proud to say that today the theatrical performance has been inscribed on the Intangible List of UNESCO and this brings to five, the number of such intangible cultural heritages we have. The other four are the Ifa Divination System, which was listed in 2008. The Oral Heritage of Gelede, which was also listed in 2008. We have the Ijele Masquerade, which was listed in 2009 and we have the Argungu Fishing and Cultural Festival, which was first listed 2016.

“Like I said, 2019 we succeeded in getting Kwagh-Hir Theatrical Performance listed. We have several other applications before UNESCO, which we want to push forward.

“The major advantage of having these cultural realities listed is that it draws and attracts tourism traffic and tourists to the country. At the same time, it attracts funding for the conservation and preservation of this intangible heritage.”

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Sudan military declares state of emergency after coup, shuts down internet

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Sudan’s military leader has declared a state of emergency across the country and dissolved its transitional cabinet, which is seen as a huge blow to the country’s already fragile transition to democracy.

Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan made a televised announcement on Monday as thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded the streets of the capital Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman, after soldiers arrested several government officials.

Among those detained on Monday is Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. He was moved to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the coup, said the information ministry, still apparently under the control of Hamdok’s supporters.

The military also raided the television and radio headquarters and shut down the internet. The capital’s airport has been also closed, together with some of the city’s roads and bridges.

At least 12 people have been wounded so far in the protests that have been called by the pro-democracy coalition born out of the uprising which put an end to the 30-year long rule of Omar al-Bashir.

In his announcement, Burhan said that the military will continue the process towards democracy, but dissolved the sovereign council, a joint military and civilian body created to run the country since al-Bashir’s removal.

“We have started our path towards the state of freedom and peace but some political powers are still trying to maintain everything in their hands, without giving attention to political, economic and social threats,” he said.

Al-Burhan said the military will appoint a technocratic government to lead the country to elections, set for July 2023.

But he made clear the military will remain in charge.

“The Armed Forces will continue completing the democratic transition until the handover of the country’s leadership to a civilian, elected government,” al-Burhan said.

The move came just before the military was supposed to hand leadership of the country’s joint military-civilian administration to civilians next month.

The information ministry called his speech an “announcement of a seizure of power by military coup”.

Tensions have been rising for weeks between Sudan’s civilian and military leadership over Sudan’s course and the pace of the transition to democracy.

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Sudan: UN condemns military takeover, PM detention

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The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has condemned the military coup in Sudan, and called for the release of the prime minister and other officials.

He said this in a tweet Monday

In a military takeover on Monday morning, Sudan’s armed forces dissolved a governing council that included civilians and detained the prime minister and other civilian officials, endangering the country’s transition to democracy.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, his wife and members of Sudan’s cabinet were detained and taken to an undisclosed location.
In a security alert posted Monday, the US Embassy said it “has received reports that armed forces are blocking certain areas in and around Khartoum” and “internet in Khartoum is non-functional.”

Guterres said the UN would “continue to stand” with the people of the country.

“I condemn the ongoing military coup in Sudan. Prime Minister Hamdok & all other officials must be released immediately. There must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition. The UN will continue to stand with the people of Sudan.”
An aide and office director of Sudan’s now-arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told CNN that the premier was aware of army plans and was under pressure to dissolve the government.

The adviser, Adam al-Hireika, said that he visited Hamdok on Sunday evening where he discussed the current state-of-affairs.

Hamdok had just met with army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who declared the coup on state-TV on Monday.

“I say he was cautiously optimistic that there was an opening for agreement, but I think the military side wanted him to dissolve the government and he insisted on not unless there is a process and there is an agreement between political parties,” he told CNN’s Becky Anderson.
“This morning, when I heard about what happened I went to the PM’s residence, he is my boss and friend. I went to his residence unfortunately he wasn’t there. His wife and him were taken to an unknown destination by soldiers,” he added.

Burhan said in a statement that power-shared council and government were dissolved and declared a state of emergency after a balanced power-sharing agreement with the civilian component “became a conflict” over the past two years, “threatening peace and unity” in Sudan.

“What, General Burhan mentions in his address, actually what most of a lot of it was agreed between the two parties, but as the PM stood very strongly against dissolving the government without a process. I think that was the biggest issue of contention,” Hireika said.
Hireika warned of a civil war in Sudan if there was a return to military rule. “
“Well, I think the bigger picture, a return to military rule will mean more civil war in Sudan and instability in the region as a result,” he added.
Amnesty International calls on Sudan authorities “to respect human rights” following military takeover
From CNN’s Mohammed Tawfeeq
Amnesty International has urged the authorities in Sudan “to respect human rights” following the arrest of the country’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other officials in an apparent coup.
“We are concerned by the escalating tensions in Sudan following the reported arrest of the Prime Minister and other civilian leaders and the imposition of an internet shutdown,” Amnesty International said in a post to Twitter on Monday.
Amnesty International “calls on the authorities in Sudan to respect human rights—including the right to life, right to freedom of association, expression and assembly, both offline and on the internet. The right to peaceful protest must be respected, now more than ever.”
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s armed forces, dissolved the power-sharing Sovereign Council and transitional government, saying in a televised statement that an “independent and fair representative government” would assume power until one is elected in 2023. Burhan also announced a state of emergency across Sudan.
Several articles of the constitution were suspended and state governors were removed, Burhan said.
Those arrested by “joint military forces” include various civilian ministers of Sudan’s transitional government and members of Sudan’s sovereign council, the Information Ministry said. CNN could not independently verify the Information Ministry’s claims, however family members said the Minister of Information was one of several senior officials detained.
Protesters who opposed the coup have taken to the streets in the capital Khartoum and have faced gunfire near the military’s headquarters, according to the information ministry.

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Boko Haram attacks Yobe military base, three soldiers injured

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Three soldiers were wounded on Saturday when Boko Haram insurgents attacked a military base at Katarko village in the Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.

The reportedly insurgents drove into Katarko village in about 10 gun trucks and attacked the military formation.

They were said to have engaged the security operatives at the base in a gun duel.

The Cable reports that troops of the Nigerian Army, who repelled the attack, alongside airstrikes by the Nigerian Air Force, were said to have killed many of the insurgents.

However, a precise number of fatalities had not been ascertained as of the time of filing this report. It was only gathered that three soldiers were injured in the attack.

“Two to three soldiers were injured and have been taken to hospital in Damaturu for treatment,” the source said, adding, “Many Boko Haram members are also feared dead. They were struck by foot soldiers and air support.”

 

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