President Buhari also swore in seven new ministers recently screened and confirmed by the Senate. The first batch sworn in included Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh – Abia State, Umana Okon Umana – Akwa Ibom State, Odum Odih – Rivers State, and Ademola Adewole Adegoroye – Ondo State.
The second batch of the ministers who were sworn in comprised Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub – Kano State, Goodluck Nnana Opiah – Imo State, and Egwumakama Joseph Nkama – Ebonyi State.
Before the swearing-in, a minute of silence was observed in honour of Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, the 4th Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General, who died at the age of 63 on Tuesday night in Abuja.
Those physically in attendance at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting were the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Other Ministers who were also in attendance include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige; Education Minister, Adamu Adamu; Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Pantami; Mines and Steel Minister, Olamilekan Adegbite; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Budget, National Planning, Clem Agba, and Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Maryam Katagun.
Similarly, the erstwhile Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora was also redeployed to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation as the substantive Minister.
Newly appointed Minister Umanna Okon Umanna is the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, while the erstwhile Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, was moved to Niger Delta Affairs in the same capacity while Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub is the new Minister of State for Works and Housing.
New FEC members Goodluck Nanah Opiah, Ekumankama Joseph Nkama, Ikoh Henry Ikechukwu, Odum Udi and Ademola Adewole Adegoroye are Ministers of State in the Ministries of Education, Health, Science and Technology, Environment and Transportation, respectively.
Danish court returns guilty verdict on Nigerian pirate —- remands him in prison
A Danish court on Monday found a Nigerian guilty of endangering the lives of Danish military personnel in a shooting incident last November involving Denmark’s navy and a crew of suspected Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
However, the court declined to sentence the Nigerian, Lucky Frances, 40, despite a call from the prosecutor for a prison sentence of 12 to 15 months.
As part of international anti-piracy efforts, Denmark deployed a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea in October last year.
“The court emphasized that the 40-year-old Nigeria, together with the other perpetrators, fulfilled all the signs of piracy and had to be described as a pirate group,” Copenhagen city court said in a statement.
Frances, who was injured during a firefight with Danish navy personnel in the November clash, was taken to Denmark for prosecution in January after being treated at a hospital in Ghana.
Frances was exempted from any legal consequences due to his medical condition and the fact that charges against the other three suspected pirates had been dropped, his lawyer Jesper Storm Thygesen told Reuters.
Charges against the three other suspected Nigerian pirates were dropped in January after Denmark failed to find a country in the region to take them.
Frances will remain in custody until both sides have decided whether to appeal against the verdict, Thygesen said.
Possession of NIN by passengers now requirement for boarding trains—Sambo
” The train driver can see from a distance if there are any threats on the tracts that will enable him to match the break long before getting to the threat, and that is why I am telling you confidently,” said the Minister.
The Minister debunked the rumour that train services will resume on Monday, adding that the newly introduced measures will delay the resumption of business along the corridor for a few more days for passengers to get acquainted with the new protocol involved in train boarding before it will resume services.
“We have not said that train services will start tomorrow. I want to be very categorical about that.
“Now, we have introduced a new system before you buy a ticket. The purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile you because that is the beginning of the security checks. So at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who are on board.
“If you don’t have a NIN you are not going to board our train, it is as simple as that. If you are a minor, an adult will register for you and an adult can only register for not more than four minors.
“Now, we want to give sufficient time for the Nigerian public to listen to these two requirements, to assimilate this new system.
“So if you go and start tomorrow, a lot of people will be disgruntled. Why didn’t they tell us that this is a new way of doing it? Why didn’t they give us adequate time to do it? So we want to give you adequate time. Definitely between 3,4,5 days, certainly not more than a week.
Sambo assured Nigerians that a smooth and secured train ride is guaranteed while noting that the trains will not travel at night for now, while there is also going to be a review in train fares.
“I can assure you that we are a compassionate government and will consider the masses in the review of the train fare.”
We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snags”.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company, called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
Sambo said that although only God can guarantee maximum security, he assured Nigerians that everything is in place to guarantee a secured and smooth train ride.
“We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snacks”.
The Minister assured that Secured ID would continue to handle the e-ticketing services.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
The Minister was accompanied by the Minster of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye; Minister of Water Resources Eng. Suleiman Adamu; Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria; Chairman Governing Board Nigeria Railway Corporation Ibrahim Musa.
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