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Hajj: Nigeria loses Nine Pilgrims

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The number of Nigerian pilgrims that died while performing the 2019 Hajj in Saudi Arabia has risen to nine, the chairman, medical team of the National Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Ibrahim Kana, has announced.

Mr. Kana stated this in Muna while briefing journalists on the activities of the medical team of NAHCON for the pilgrims.

He said the latest deceased pilgrim, from Lagos State, collapsed at Jamrat and brought to the hospital in Muna but died, she was hypertensive.

Earlier, the Lagos state Amir Hajj, AbdulLateef Abdulkarim, identified the deceased as Folashade Lawal.

He said the late Mrs Lawal hailed from Oshodi Local Government Area of the state, noting that she slumped at 3 am while heading to Jamrat to throw stone at the devil.

Throwing stone at the three devils is one of the Islamic rites towards acceptable hajj.

The chairman of the team said that the commission opened 21 field offices in Muna with adequate drugs and ambulances.

Mr. Kana, who said well-trained medical personnel were on ground to attend to pilgrims.

He identified cough and hypertension as some of the health challenges presented by patients.

Meanwhile, Nigerian pilgrims had begun aggressive buying and selling after Arafat and Eid-el- Kabir.

NAN correspondent, who visited Nigerian camp in Muna reports that many pilgrims, mostly women, were seen buying women wears and other gift items, they claimed were meant for their families and friends at home.

Others, however, devoted their time to accomplishing the remaining rites such as stone throw at the three devils and special prayer.

Pilgrims who spent three days to accomplish religious rites in Muna were expected to move to the Grand Mosque, Makkah on Tuesday to complete the remaining rites to ensure an acceptable hajj.

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Edo 2024: Ighodalo Wins PDP Guber Ticket with 577 votes

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By Dasvid Torough, Abuja

All efforts to make the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in Edo State came to naught as two aspirants lay claim to victory on Thursday.

Dr Asue Ighodalo was announced the governorship candidate of the PDP for the Sept.

21 guber election.

The Chief Returning Officer and chairman of the Edo Governorship Primary election Committee, Gov.

Dada Lawal of Zamfara State, declared Ighodalo as winner after he garnered 577 votes to defeat six other aspirants.

The primary was co-chaired by Gov.

Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta

The governorship primary was held at the Lawn Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.

The Edo Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Anugbum Onuoha, led officials of INEC to monitor the process.

Ighodalo scored 577 votes to defeat other aspirants, including Deputy Gov. Philip Shaibu, who scored one vote.

In his acceptance speech, Ighodalo who thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed in him, promised prosperity for all Edo people.

He added that he would make deliberate efforts to tackle poverty and deliver good governance to the people.

Two former House of Representatives members, Mr Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama and Omosede Igbinedion, stepped down minutes before the primary.

The other aspirants Anslem Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Martin Uhomoibhi, Hafia Hadizat Umoru, Osaro Onaiwu and Arthur Esene, all scored zero vote.

Earlier, the State Chairman of PDP, Tony Aziegbemi who welcomed the Edo Governorship Primary Election Committee to the state, said the PDP was ready for the Sept. governorship election.

Aziegbemi said a total of 594 adhoc delegates were elected by party members.

Similarly,  the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu emerged factional candidate for the same election.

It was reported that Shaibu scored 3000 votes in a parallel primary election held at his residence on Commercial Avenue, Benin City.

The Returning Officer, Bartholomew Moses declared that Shaibu won with an overwhelming majority of votes.

It was said that some delegates who went to Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium were denied entry.

These delegates returned to the deputy governor’s lodge for the primary election.

Shaibu reportedly addressed the delegates and advised them to remain peaceful, promising to speak with the primary electoral committee chairman.

It was later resolved that a parallel exercise should hold and Shaibu emerged candidate of the election.

Delegates from 12 local government areas reportedly elected Shaibu as the candidate.

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FAAC Shares N 1.149trn Jan Revenue to FG, States, LGs

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total sum of N1.149trn Jan. Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, States and Local Councils.  

The revenue was shared at the Feb. meeting of the FAAC chaired by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun.

According to a communique issued by FAAC, the N1,149trn total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N463.

079 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N391.787 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N15.
922 billion and Exchange Difference revenue of N279.
028 billion.  

Total revenue of N2.068 billion was available in the month of Jan. Total deductions for cost of collection was N78.412 billion, total transfers, interventions and refunds was N639.926 billion and savings was N200.000 billion.  

Gross statutory revenue of N1.151 billion was received for the month of January 2024. This was higher than the sum of N875.382 billion received in the month of December 2023 by N 276.426 billion. 

The gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) in January 2024 was N420.733 billion.  This was lower than the N492.506 billion available in the month of December 2023 by N71.773 billion.  

The communique stated that from the N1,149.816 billion total distributable revenue, the Federal Government received a total of N407.267 billion, the State Governments received N379.407 billion and the Local Government Councils received N278.041 billion.

A total sum of N85.101 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.

From the N463.079 billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N216.757 billion, the State Governments received N109.942 billion and the Local Government Councils received N84.761 billion. The sum of N51.619 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.

The Federal Government received N58.768 billion, the State Governments received N195.894 billion and the Local Government Councils received N137.125 billion from the N391.787 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue.

The N15.922 billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) was shared as follows: the Federal Government received N2.388 billion, the State Governments received N7.961 billion and the Local Government Councils received N5.573 billion.

The Federal Government received N129.354 billion from the N 279.028 billion Exchange Difference revenue.  The State Governments received N65.610 billion, and the Local Government Councils received N50.582 billion. The sum of N33.482 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.

In the month of January 2024, Companies Income Tax (CIT), Import Duty, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Oil and Gas Royalties increased significantly, while  Value Added Tax (VAT), Export Duty, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) and  CET Levies decreased considerably.     

The balance in the ECA was $473,754.57.

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Hardship: Military Warns Coup ‘Advocates ‘, Vows Consequences 

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The Military yesterday sent a stern  warning to those calling for coup over the hardship in the land occasioned by fuel subsidy removal and  foreign exchange crisis.

Nigeria is currently facing one of its worst economic crisis in history, triggering protests in different parts of the country.

Some persons have said if things do not get addressed on time, the military could oust the government of President Bola Tinubu, which is less than one year in office.

Reacting to this, Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, said those insinuating such do not mean well for the country amd warned that the law would catch up with them.

Musa said the Armed Forces would continue to do their best to protect the country’s democracy.

He spoke while responding to questions from newsmen shortly after he commissioned the main entrance of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army and Officers Transit Accommodation, both at the Division Headquarters in Port Harcourt, the  Rivers State capital.

While admitting that the country was experiencing some challenges, he said coup calls were improper because nations achieve more and develop faster under a democracy.

Musa said, “Whoever is making that calls does not love Nigeria. We want to make it very clear that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are here to protect democracy.

“We all want democracy and we do better under democracy. And so we will continue to support democracy. And any of those ones that are calling for anything other than Democracy are evil people and I think they don’t mean well for Nigeria.

“And they should be very careful because the law will come after them. We can see that with democracy a lot of things are happening in Nigeria. Yes we are going through trying periods, I mean in life nothing is hundred percent.”

He emphasized that what is needed is for citizens to be patient and give their support to the government to succeed and put the enemies of state to shame.

“Everybody goes through a trying period in life, and it is what you do with them. You can see the government putting efforts to ensure that we come out better. And it is when you go through difficulties and come out better you will really appreciate what it is to build a nation. And so we are going through our trying period, but I can assure Nigerians that it will get better.

“All we need is for all of us to put our hands together to ensure that we defeat those enemies of the government, those enemies of this country that don’t want us to succeed. We will surely succeed and the Armed Forces are here to support the Government in ensuring that we develop, we succeed and to see that there is peace in Nigeria.”

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