News Highlights

News Today; Benue State Governor Tests Positive For Covid-19, Nollywood actor Ernest Asuzu does at 37

Breaking News: Benue Governor Ortom Tests Positive For Covid-19

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State

According to news emanating from the “Food basket of the nation” – Benue State Government House in Makurdi, Governor Samuel Loraer Ortom has tested positive for the dreaded Covid-19 virus.

The fever-inducing announcement on the governor’s health status was made public on Wednesday morning by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase.

The usually calm mien Governor Ortom had, as a matter of precaution, been in isolation in the last few weeks because some members of his kitchen cabinet and closest aides had already tested positive to the pandemic. He saw the writing on the wall and heeded. He’s helped save a lot of lives already. Good man.

Among Governor Ortom’s aides who had tested positive to Covid-19 were his aide de camp, his orderly, closest permanent secretaries and even his personal physician. Covid truly is no respecter of persons or social status!

Thankfully, Governor Ortom is fine and receiving treatment as prescribed by his medical team. He has urged Benue citizens to continue going about their personal businesses without fear but to ensure they adhere to all Covid-19 protocols like the wearing face masks, use of hand sanitizers, regular-hand washing and strict observance of physical distancing.

Relief Loading As NIMC Permits Telecoms Operators To Register Nigerians For NIN

Overcrowding At NIMC Registration Center

Hopes of embattled Nigerians meeting with the compulsory NIN-SIM linkage order by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) received a massive boost on Wednesday as the commission has revealed plans to license telecoms operators to begin the NIN registration process.

No less than an estimated 70 million Nigerians presently risk losing their telephone numbers, internet and other communication devices, due to failure to obtain their National Identity Number (NIN) as the February 9, 2021 cut-off deadline dangled dangerously over their heads like the Sword of Damocles.

Respite came the way of the embattled yet-to-be-linked Nigerians when NIMC Director-General, Aliyu Aziz, revealed that telecommunications companies have been licensed to register people who do not have their NIN for the SIM-linkage, so as to reduce the over-crowding currently being recorded at commission’s offices. About time the commission (and the government) has seen the overcrowding as a potential Covid-19 super-spreader and a public health issue in a pandemic period too!

The announcement should bring succour to the large number of Nigerians (who have unwisely if we’re being real) risked their lives – in the face of contracting Covid-19, while trying to meet the twice shifted cut-off NIN-SIM linkage deadlines at NIMC offices nationwide.

They’ve met nothing but brick walls, these frustrated Nigerians. When they can’t Booking Numbers because of the sheer number of applicants, racketeers are fleecing them of various amounts to “help” (isn’t that what we usually call it here?) them register.

What do you think of NIMC’s February 9 cut-off ultimatum? Remember we’re talking about linking 200 million phone lines, do you think they’ve given Nigerians enough time to get the NIN-SIM linkage process done?

(Image Credit – dailypost.ng)

Tokunboh And Other Vehicle Importers In Ecstasy Because Of Massive Slash In Duty By Customs

Imported Cars Under Inspection At The Ports

While some investors may be wearing a frown on this one, the average Nigerian seeking to be a car owner is grinning from ear-to-ear.

The reduction in import duties on Tokunboh cars and other vehicles like buses and tractors from 35 to 10 per cent might be commencing next week according to the Nigeria Customs Service! Excitement overload for importers!

Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, who made the disclosure in Abuja, said the only thing delaying the implementation is the official communication the Customs are expecting from the Finance Ministry on the matter. Someone please tell the guy in charge not to sleep on something good while on duty!

For those who don’t know, the vehicle tariff reduction policy was championed by the Nigeria Customs to reduce the cost of transportation (and by extension cost of doing business) in the country. Col’ Ali did Nigerians a good favour when he put this in the 2020 Finance Act. Praise the Lord, somebody!!! Ah! To think some of you Nigerians don’t like this guy!

Now that the 2020 Finance Act has become law (something sweet for a change), activity in the Transport industry should be picking up by another notch at least. Please tell the guy with the memo to hurry up!

Come next week, Tokunboh cars and buses will (hopefully) be in the reach of more average Nigerians. Club owners better get ready to make more money because the cars won’t wash themselves…

Would this new duty reduction policy create new jobs on the streets and draw more “Yays” than “Nays” on the streets? What do you think?

(Image Credit – guardian.ng)

Nollywood Rocked By News Of Ernest Asuzu’s Passing At 37

Today isn’t the best of days for the Nigerian movie industry right now. Heads are bowed as news of the death of one of her favourite bad boys, movie actor, producer, director and singer, Ernest Asuzu, broke this morning.

The actor who started his acting career in the 1990s was part of the Nollywood cult-classic, “Rituals”. He became popular because of his foreign accent and wearing oversized American sports jerseys, baggy jeans and sneakers.

Many of today’s movie goers may not be familiar with the actor who was also a rap singer under the name, “El Cream.” The Imo-bron but Lagos-bred actor was one of Nollywood’s finest in the 1990s. He took part in no less than 100 movies.

Ernest went under the radar when he suffered a stroke which affected his speech in 2015. He was said to be making plans for a return before his sad passing, which reportedly took place on Tuesday night.

The sad news was confirmed by Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) president, Emeka Rollas. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and two children.

(Image Credit – topnaija.ng)

Smash the Criminals! Governor Seyi Makinde Charges Additional 200 Amotekun Officers Dispatched To Tackle Kidnapping And Banditry

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

Oyo State is about to switch things up for criminals in the South West with the governor, Seyi Makinde, dispatching no less than 200 officers to the regional security outfit, Amotekun.

Governor Makinde was said to be making the additional to deployment to Amotekun to beef up efforts to clear the state, and the South West region, of the recent kidnappers and bandits masquerading as herders, especially in the hotly-contested Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun areas.

Giving the new officers their new charge and job description, the governor asked the Amotekun officers to make Oyo State too hot for criminals, kidnappers and other undesirable elements and root them out without remainder. The criminals aren’t ghosts, Amotekun should sniff them out now.

The governor made the disclosure at an emergency security parley with the representatives of Igangan of the Ibarapa area and security stakeholders. It is hoped the security situation in the State and other areas will improve with this current deployment.

(Image Credit – dailypost.ng)

53 dead, 29 Seriously Injured In Ghastly Western Cameroon Road Accident

Dschang Ghastly Accident

In what has been described as the most ghastly mishap in the country in recent times, least 53 passengers of a 70-seater bus were said to have died of burns following a collision with a truck carrying adulterated fuel in western Cameroon on Wednesday. Another 29 passengers suffered serious injuries in the crash.

Governor of the region, Awa Fonka Augustine, said the accident which occurred in Dschang could have been due to unclear visibility caused by fog and that the bus must have had a braking defect.

The ghastly crash which occurred around 3:30 a.m. local time, at the Dschang Cliff, an area dreaded by drivers because of the treacherous nature of its many hills and gullies.

A clearly sad and disturbed Governor Augustine said the dead cannot be identified because they were burnt beyond recognition.

(Image Credit – bbc.com)

Tears And Eulogies As Ghana Buries Ex-President Rawlings

Late President Jerry Rawlings

Though guests were limited due to Covid-19 restrictions, Ghanaian authorities are said to have had a torrid time trying to control the people who headed to Independence Square, Accra, to catch a final glimpse of the man they so loved.

The West African country is finally burying its beloved leader, former fighter pilot, Jerry Rawlings. The former leader who passed away last November of an undisclosed illness was laid to rest in a state funeral after 2 months of delay.

Despite being told to stay and watch proceedings at home to prevent the gathering from becoming a potential super spreader, many Ghanaians turned up at the venue regardless. Talk about people with coconut head!

Hundreds of people had paid their last respects for the three days his body laid in state in the capital, Accra. Though mourners wore masks and used sanitizers, keeping social distance was a big challenge.

Prominent mourners at the Rawling burial include Liberia’s President George Weah, Sierra Leonean leader, Julius Maada Bio, and representatives from the UN and African Union. To the people of Ghana, the rest of Africa says, “Take Heart…”

(Image Credit – france24.com)

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