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PHOTOS OF THE DAY: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are married

PHOTOS OF THE DAY: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are married.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were on Saturday declared husband and wife by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It was a well attended occasion watched by millions of people.

After the wedding, at St George’s Chapel, the couple, new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, delighted thousands of well-wishers as they travelled through Windsor in an open-topped carriage.

Below are some images from the wedding.

Below are some images from the wedding.

Nigerian Airways’ workers to get N45bn terminal benefits

Nigerian Airways’ workers to get N45bn terminal benefits

Ex-employees​ of the liquidated Nigerian Airways are to receive their entitlements amounting to about N45 billion, Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has said.

The Minister who gave the hint on Tuesday also said that the Federal Government would settle other debts and contractual obligations to local contractors between 2006 and 2015.

Adeosun stated this while appearing before the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Senate on “Promissory Note Programme and Bond Issuance.”

She told the committee chaired by the Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Francis Alimikhena, that the debts owed to various classes of contractors, including the terminal benefits of ex-Nigerian Airways workers, would be paid through promissory notes and bonds issuance.

The minister admitted that the unpaid Federal Government obligations constituted a drag on economic activity across many sectors.

Read also: Rice production: Buhari commends farmers in Jigawa

The unpaid obligations include those of pensioners as well as salary and promotion arrears to civil servants; obligations to contractors and suppliers who in turn, owe banks thereby increasing the non-performing loans in the banking system, and unpaid electricity bills by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Other obligations are exporters owed funds under the Export Expansion Grant Scheme and unpaid refunds due to State Governments in respect of projects undertaken on behalf of the Federal Government.

According to the Minister, the Federal Government, has approved the issuance of promissory notes and bonds to settle its contractual obligations subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

The Minister, however, debunked claims by the ex-workers that there was a presidential approval for the payment of their terminal benefits.

“There is no presidential approval and no appropriation yet for the payment of N45 billion to the ex-workers,” she said.

Similarly, a representative of the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Usman, told the committee that the government paid N34.2 billion to clear the promotion arrears to workers in the MDAs.

JUST IN: Mace snatching: National Assembly summons Omo-Agege, Ndume

JUST IN: Mace snatching: National Assembly summons Omo-Agege, Ndume

The National Assembly has summoned Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, representing Delta Central and Senator Ali Ndume representing Borno South over (Delta APC) the theft of the mace of the Senate.

The summon was made by the ad-hoc committee set up to probe the situation surrounding the invasion of the National Assembly by some thugs who snatched the mace on Wednesday April 18, 2018.

The mace is the symbol of authority of the Legislature.

The two senators were summoned to explain the different roles they played in the incident.

The chairman of the ad-hoc committee made up of members of the Senate and House of Representatives, Senator Bala Na’Allah, said the two legislators were indicted by the Sergeant-At-Arms in his statement in the on-going probe.

The invitation, he said at the resumed hearing of his committee, was an opportunity for them to say all that they knew about the incident.

Read also: Strike: FG warns JOHESU members

His words: “Based on the testimony of the Sergeant-At-Arms before the committee, you are alleged to have prevented the mace keeper from taking away the mace to safety.

“The committee has, therefore, deemed it necessary to invite you in order to respond to that allegation. As regards to Omo-Agege, based on the testimony of the DPO, the SSS and the Sergeant-At-Arms, you are alleged to have entered the National Assembly accompanied by seven persons who allegedly took the mace of the Senate during plenary session on April 18, at about 11:30 am

“All those who testified, stated that the said people were cleared into the chamber based on your confirmation that they were with you. The committee in pursuance of this has deemed it necessary to formally invite you to respond to these allegations on Wednesday, May 16 at 11:00 a.m.”

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had vowed to bring all those involved in the invasion of the National Assembly and snatching of the mace to book.

He made the vow when inaugurating the ad-hoc committee to probe the case.

Saraki said it was necessary for the Legislature to restore its integrity which had been violated as a result of the invasion.

His words: “The events of the 18th of April 2018 will go down as one of the darkest days of our democracy. The precincts of the National Assembly is not just a place where the National Assembly meets, it is the symbol of our liberty and freedom from autocracy and the base of our democracy.

“This should not happen. It should never have happened. The violation of this solemn place, the symbol of our liberty to have a government by the representatives of our people for our people by a group of mobsters and criminals cannot simply be ignored. It has been inferred in many quarters that this group of thugs and urchins were led by a serving distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is most despicable and unspeakable.”

Active mobile lines in Nigeria hit 149m in March

Active mobile lines in Nigeria hit 149m in March

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says active mobile phone lines in the country rose from the 148 million in February to 149 million in March.

The NCC stated this in its monthly Subscribers Operator Data posted on its website.

It said active mobile lines increased from 147,961,791 in February to 148, 854,338 in March.

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), for active mobile lines, however, recorded 217,566 users in March, same as February.

According to NCC, the number of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) also rose from 81,498 recorded in February to 85,185 in March.

The report said teledensity increased marginally from 106. 00 in February to 106.64 in March.

Teledensity is the number of connected telephone lines for every 100 individuals living within an area, which varies across the country.

The NCC also said the number of connected mobile lines in March rose from 237,621,583 in February to 238, 116, 977.

Read also: BREAKING: Buhari, Saraki, Dogara in closed door meeting

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) for connected lines for March was 3,586.095, the same figure with January, the subscribers’ data revealed.

The report said the number of fixed wired/wireless for connected lines in March increased from 345.195 in February to 355,485 as at March.

Similarly, it said Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) for connected lines rose from 515,231 in February to 542,063 in March.

The report, however, said the number of fixed wired/wireless for active mobile lines decreased from the 137,570 recorded in February to 136,781 in March.

Police begin recruitment of 6000 officers, screen 1,113 in Lagos

The Nigeria Police Force has begun the recruitment process for more than 1,113 applicants in Lagos.

The screening was started at the Police College, Ikeja, on Monday.

Those invited for the screening were at the centre in Ikeja going through the process.

The process, according to ACP Okon Otoyo, who presided over the screening, would be for one week.

It was gathered that no fewer than 6000 applicants were shortlisted across the country.

The indication that more policemen would be recruited was given by President Muhammadu Buhari recently during a special interview session with the Hausa Service of Voice of America, in Washington, United States.

The president was in the U.S. on the invitation of the American President Donald Trump.

He said the measure was to enhance the security situation in Nigeria.

Read also: Auto crash claims 4 police cadets, 2 others

“I have approved the recruitment of 6,000 policemen by the police authorities and I directed that those recruited must come from all the 776 local government areas of the federation.

“Even if it means recruiting one person each from the 776 they should do that instead of going to motor parks, railway stations or market for the recruitment exercise.

“I gave (Police authorities) them this directive,’’ he said.

U.S. embassy makes final preparation for Jerusalem move

U.S. embassy makes final preparation for Jerusalem move

U.S. Embassy road signs went up in Jerusalem on Monday ahead of next week’s opening of the mission in accordance with President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

Trump says he is making good on U.S. legislation and presidential pledges dating back decades.

Other world powers have not done so, sidestepping one of the thorniest disputes between Israel and the Palestinians, who want their own state with East Jerusalem as the capital.

A Reuters witness saw workmen installing the signs, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, along roads leading to a U.S. consulate building in south Jerusalem that will be remodeled as the embassy when it is formally relocated from Tel Aviv on May 14.

“This is not a dream. It is reality. I am proud and moved to have hung this morning the first new signs that were prepared for the U.S. Embassy,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat wrote on Twitter.

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordanian control in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.

The last round of peace talks on a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip collapsed in 2014.

“This (embassy) move is not only illegal but will also thwart the achievement of a just and lasting peace between two sovereign and democratic states on the 1967 borders, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

Read also: Nigerian Embassy in Washington explains sack of workers

The Trump administration has left the diplomatic door open for a possible Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, however.

“By recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the seat of its government, we’re recognising reality,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to Israel on May 2.

“I also stress, as President Trump has said in December, the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem remain subject to negotiations between the parties, and we remain committed to achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future for both Israel and the Palestinians.”

Barkat called the embassy move a “historic event,” describing Jerusalem as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

At the consulate site, mechanical diggers cleared scrubland as workers posted embassy signs along city roads.

Street signs in Israel have sometimes fallen victim to political vandalism, with Jews erasing Arabic or Arabs the Hebrew.

An Israeli police spokesman played down such prospects for the U.S. embassy signs.

“We’re not guarding the embassy signs but of course there is upgraded security around the embassy which is already being implemented,” he said.

“There are also new CCTV cameras that have been set up in the area. The perimeter and all movement in the area are being closely watched.”

Why I joined politics after leaving military –Buhari

Why I joined politics after leaving military –Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said that his coming into politics was not to amass wealth for himself but to improve the lives of the people of Nigeria.

Buhari made the declaration according to a statement issued by his media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu.

The president said he had always been inspired by the need to improve the lives of the people, and when he left the military, he saw the need for an intervention.

According to him, following the need to ensure fairness, justice and inclusion of Nigerians in the matters that shape their lives, he launched an intervention by coming into politics.

Read also:Buhari in Daura for APC congress

His words: “I am not in politics for fun, frivolity or to amass wealth, I have always been driven by a deep sense of commitment to make a difference to lives of our people.

“After my retirement from the army, or forceful retirement, I sat back and watched as events unfolded on the political turf, and realised the country needed an intervention for fairness, justice and inclusion of Nigerians in the issues that affect their lives.’’

Garba who said the president made the statement during the All Progressives Party’s (APC) Ward Congress held at Bayagida Model Primary School, Daura, Katsina State, on disclosed that Buhari also spoke about his second term bid.

According to him, the passion which made him to come into politics to change the lives of Nigerians for the better also fired the idea of continuing in office for another term.

He said he had passion to serve the people of Nigeria and make life more meaningful for them.

His administration, he reiterated, had already started the process of ensuring fairness, justice and equity, in spite of the challenges it had faced.

While calling on Nigerians to conduct themselves in the 2019 general election, the president warned that God gives victory to only those He wants.

“After going to the court so many times to challenge results of elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011, and going up to the Supreme Court, I concluded that ultimately it is God who determines who will win elections, and in 2015 I got here,’’ he said.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Talking Press Freedom

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Talking Press Freedom

The United States Mission in Nigeria organised a special event to mark World Press Freedom Day 2018 on Thursday.

Read also: PHOTO OF THE DAY: Moghalu celebrated by students of UNN

The event held in Lagos featured Chairman, Lagos Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Dr. Qasim Akinreti; former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Dr. Chidi Odinkalu; President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mrs. Funke Egbemode; former Vice Chancellor, AAUA, Ondo State, Prof. Femi Mimiko, and CPS Dolapo Badmus, Zonal Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Police Zone 2 Command.