Breaking News This Evening, September 2, 2020

1. Kebbi Flood: Buhari Laments Loss Of Lives, Properties By Rice Farmers

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock over the death of six persons and economic loss estimated to be about N1 billion to flood by rice farmers in Kebbi State.

President Buhari described the unfortunate development as a major setback in his administration’s efforts towards boosting local food production.

The President, who expressed deep concern over the heavy floods that took a number of lives, submerged thousands of hectares of farmlands and houses, destroying farm produce and personal belongings in the affected communities, noted with dismay that the catastrophe happened at the wrong time.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja Today.

President Buhari in the statement said, “I am particularly sad over this incident because it’s a setback to our efforts to boost local rice production as part of measures to stop food importation.

“Kebbi State is the focal point of our policy to produce rice locally as part of this administration’s commitment to agricultural revival which suffered relative neglect in favour of food importation.

“With the loss of six lives and still counting; thousands of hectares of land flooded and estimated economic losses of more than one billion Naira by rice farmers in Kebbi State, we face a major setback in our efforts to boost local food production.

“This bad news couldn’t have come at a worse time for our farmers and other Nigerians who looked forward to a bumper harvest this year in order to reduce the current astronomical rise in the costs of food items in the markets.”

The President, while sympathising with the bereaved families and farmers affected by the devastating floods, assured that “we are going to work closely with the Kebbi State government in order to bring relief to the victims.”

2. APGA State party executives, others defect to APC in Abia

The entire state executive committee of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia state, led by its chairman, Chief Nkem Okoro, has dumped the party and declared for the All Progressive Congress, APC.

Speaking at the APC state secretariat in Umuahia Today, APGA chairman, Chief Nkem Okoro, explained that they came to complete what can be described as a ‘tsunami of political realignment’ with the APC which he said have ended their political journey in APGA.

Okoro stated out their decision was taken after wide consultations with APGA supporters and leaders at all levels, who agreed that the APC represents a progressives platform with the ideals and vision required to take over governance in 2023.

“In his words, “Our decision to join the APC became more cogent and expedient, after the leader of the party in Abia state and a respected Abia son, Dr. Alex Otti joined the party with thousands of APGA supporters recently.

“Today, we have trooped out here with the progressive zeal, passion, and commitment to wholeheartedly join the APC with the desire to selflessly support the vision of the party aimed at ensuring that the Abia of our collective dream is achieved.

“As leaders of APGA at all levels, we showed hard work and commitment devoid of compromise in leading our party men and women, therefore today, we want to assure you that, we shall deploy same virtues of commitment and sincerity as APC members to passionately work for the growth and expansion of the Abia APC at all levels.

“What we are doing here today marks the end of our journey in APGA, thus we are joining the Abia APC with our spirits and souls, and with the determination to make people-oriented sacrifices aimed at taking the APC to an enviable height.

“Present here with me today are the members of the State Working Committee, the 17 L.G.A Chairmen and the ward chairmen of the 184 wards of the state, as well as former state and L.G.A officers of the party.

“Due to the Covid-19 challenges, coupled with a large number of APGA members willing to be part of today’s event, we directed our L.G.A Executives, Ward Executives, and other members to carry out their declarations at their various wards, so that this place wouldn’t experience any form of COVID-19 breaches and possible stampede.

“We know that the constitution and ideologies of the APC attach so much priority to discipline, loyalty, and supremacy of the party over every individual, therefore we are excited because our track record of commitment, discipline and loyalty would make it easier for us to quickly integrate and be part of the big APC family,” he said.

Receiving the new members to the party, the Abia APC chairman, Chief Donatus Nwankpa, said the APC was ready to receive as many people as were ready to join the party, as democracy is a game of numbers.

He pointed out that the party in the state was interested in working with other progressive minds in the state and has been repositioned to win the governorship, 3 senatorial, 8 House of Reps, and 24 Assembly seats.

Also speaking, the National Vice Chairman of APC in the South-East zone, Chief Emma Enukwu, said that the decision of the former APGA members to join APC shows that the Ndigbo have now learned a lot about politics and are fully ready for national politics.

Enukwu who led other zonal officials of the APC, including the Enugu and Ebonyi state chairman of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye and Rev. Eze Nwachukwu, respectively, added that lack of understanding of national politics made the Igbo’s loss their rightful position in Nigerian politics.

3. Osun directs schools to revert to old names

Public schools in Osun have been directed to revert to their old names before reclassification effected by Ex-Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration in 2013.

The directive was contained in a circular titled ‘Reverting: Reclassification nomenclature of schools to old status,’ by Dr. Taiwo Adeagbo, for the Coordinating Director, Ministry of Education.

It was addressed Today to principals, head teachers of elementary schools, Inspectors of Education and Zonal Inspectors of Education.

The circular dated August 27, 2020, recalled approval given to the recommendations of the Policy Review Roundtable Summit on some extant policies in the Education Sector in February 2020 and directed the affected officials to immediately comply with the directive.

The circular read in parts: “Recall that at the policy review roundtable summit on some extant policies in Education Sector held between 20 and 21 of February 2020, His Excellency, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola approved that Schools should revert to their pre-reclassification names and nomenclatures.

“Sequel to the above, all schools are hereby directed to revert to their old names with immediate effect as approved by the Osun State Government.

“Kindly give this circular the widest publicity it deserves.”

The resumption of public schools for the abridged third term had been tentatively fixed for Monday, September 21, 2020 by the state government.

4. Petrol now sells for N151.56 per litre

The Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC) has announced new petrol pump price of N151.56 per litre.

In a brief internal memo with ref: “PPMC /IB/LS/020, dated September 2, 2020, the company said “a new product price adjustment has been effected on our payment platform.

“To this end the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) is now one hundred and fifty one naira, fifty six kobo (N151.61) per litre.”

The Head Depot Manager, D.O. Agbalaya, who signed the memo said; “This is effective from Today September 2, 2020.”

The price of the Brent crude was as at Today $46 per barrel.

The marketers sold petrol for between N145.80 to N150 per litre in the month of August.

Recall that the PPPRA had on August 4 approved an ex-depot price of N138.62 per litre for the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol and kept the pump price to its chest.

The agency reviewed it upward by N6 from its previous N132.00 per litre of July.

The Federal Government based its hike on the increase in the prices of crude oil in the month of August.

The Brent Crude sold that for $43.24 per barrel in July rose to $44.03 per barrel in August.

It deregulated the product in March this year.

In the month of July, the agency had approved a pump price of a band of N140.80 to N143.80 per litre.

It was the first time that the agency approved a new price after the removal of petrol subsidy.

Prior to the July 1 hike, the agency had on May 1, approved price band of N121.50 to N123.50 per litre for the product.

5. COVID-19 sample tests exceed 100,000 in Lagos

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Today said Lagos State had tested 100,607 samples for COVID-19 infections since the inception of the pandemic.

The NCDC announced the figures in its COVID-19 Situation Report for Sept.1.

It said that out of the 411, 077 COVID-19 sample tests conducted in the country, Lagos had conducted the highest number of sample tests.

On the chart list for the tests, Lagos was followed by Abuja with 49,022 tests, while Kano, Plateau, and the Oyo States, conducted 43,441; 24,469 and 19,807 tests.

The agency said that Lagos State recorded 19 new COVID-19 infections from the 239 confirmed infections reported in the last 24 hours from 15 states.

According to the centre, the new infections had increased the state’s confirmed COVID-19 cases to 18,157.

The agency noted that the state recorded no discharge and fatality on the reported date.

Meanwhile, the data by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa Region, shows that there were 1, 250,340 confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent, with over 984,000 recoveries and 29,911 deaths.

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