Top of the Morning News in Nigeria for Wednesday, 27 May 2020

1. Kaduna extends lockdown by two weeks

The Kaduna state government has extended its 60 days lockdown by two weeks, making some adjustments.

While the government approved the reopening of some businesses, it said schools and places of worship would remain closed.

Hadiza Balarabe, deputy governor of the state, announced this in a broadcast on Tuesday evening.

She said during the two week extension, the state will continue to expand its public health response, including testing capacity.

“After 60 days, the state government has reviewed the Quarantine Orders. The Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has approved the recommendation to extend the partial lockdown regulations for two weeks, with adjustments to permit the reopening of certain sectors,” she said.

2. PDP hails Buhari

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Zamfara Chapter, on Tuesday expressed satisfaction with the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against banditry and other crimes in the state.

This was contained in a statement signed by the party’s State Secretary, Alhaji Hashimu Modomowa, and made available to newsmen in Gusau.

The party dissociated itself with the recent remarks by the state Commissioner for Rural Development and Cooperative, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi, in which he accused the federal government of paying more attention to COVID-19 than banditry.

3. Over 500 Ghost Projects Approved In 2019 Budget For NDDC – Acting MD

The acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei has alleged that the agency’s 2019 budget was padded with about 500 non-existing projects.

Professor Pondei, who spoke to journalists in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, explained that a huge amount of money was appropriated for bogus projects.

He was reacting to allegations of corruption levelled against the Commission’s interim management committee.

He was reacting to allegations of corruption levelled against the Commission’s interim management committee.

Pondei, a Professor of Medicine at the Niger Delta University, was appointed by Buhari in February 2020.

In October 2019, President Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the NDDC.

Pondei is leading the President’s forensic audit.

We discovered that after NDDC forwarded its budget to the national assembly committees on NDDC, what was sent back to the commission was no longer recognisable,” Pondei said.

“The 2019 budget was classically over padded, with almost 500 new projects inserted to it when it was sent back to us.

“We found out the budget appropriation was done in such a way that meaningful projects were allocated very little sums of money.

“It is unfortunate that the 2019 budget will expire on May 31 without any project executed in the region. It was passed two months to the end of its implementation period.”

4. State Governors are very angry with Buhari and are summoning a meeting to discuss his executive order

The president’s executive order which will grant state legislatures and judiciary financial independence, has left state governors seething with rage.

A handful of governors are furious with President Muhammadu Buhari for granting financial autonomy to the legislative and judicial arms of government in the 36 states of the federation, and are spoiling for showdown discussions.

On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at exactly 2pm, the governors will meet via teleconference to take a common position and weigh their options.

On Friday, May 22, 2020, President Buhari signed Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 into law.

“Based on the power vested in me under Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I, today, signed into law Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 for the implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary,” the president said.

Implication of the order

The executive order means that the legislative and judicial arms of government across the 36 states will no longer be tied to the apron strings of powerful governors; and will receive their financial allocations straight from the center.

15.5 million Nigerians have fallen into extreme poverty over the course of the past two years.

5. Nigeria remains world’s poverty capital with 102.4m living in extreme poverty

Two years after Nigeria overtook India as the nation with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty across the world, the country’s poverty ranks continue to increase.

The World Poverty Clock, a web tool based on World Data Lab’s global poverty model, estimated in June 2018 that 86.9 million people measured to be living on less than $1.90 (N684) a day were resident in Nigeria.

That number has increased by over 15 million in the past two years, according to new figures published by World Data Lab on May 26, 2020.

The total number of people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria now stands at 102,407,327, 50% of the country’s estimated population of over 205 million.

51,766,902 are male, while the remaining 50,640,425 are female, according to the statistics released on Tuesday.

The World Poverty Clock uses publicly available data on income distribution, production, and consumption provided by various international organisations.

6. The food that Buhari had sent to Kano was not spoiled – the Ganduje government

The Kano state government has denied allegations by some that it has withdrawn subsidies sent by the federal government to the state.

A statement released by the state Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba, told reporters on Tuesday that it was not true that some people were saying that the food was being destroyed as a result of all the rain.

“The Kano government is ignoring reports by some skeptics that the grain that the federal government had dispatched to Kano two weeks ago had been abandoned as a subsidiary at KASCO, where it was raining,” the statement said.

The Commissioner added that before the rains were brought to Kano it was too late and the government had taken measures to shut down the waterproof tamfolios to prevent damage. According to him, the committee responsible for collecting the corn vaccine has begun distributing food to the poor.

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