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APC Earmarks N1.4bn For Congresses, Convention

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National party chairman, Odigie Oyegun

The All Progressives Congress will spend N1.4bn for its congresses and the national convention.

The figure was contained in the budget approved by the party’s caucus and the National Executive Committee at its last meeting held in March.

Documents obtained by SUNDAY PUNCH in Abuja on Saturday indicated that N603.6m was earmarked for the conduct of ward and state congresses across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

For the Ward Congress Appeals Committee, the document revealed that each of the three members would receive a transportation allowance of N100,000 in addition to  N40,000 daily payments while their chairmen would receive N50,000 as the daily allowance for the three-day exercise.

A total of N327,600, 000 has been earmarked for that stage of the exercise. The party also set aside N146m for the same process to be replicated at the local government level.

The party also earmarked N144,300,000 for the activities of the state congress committees, while it would spend N25m on the printing of forms, guidelines, result sheets and tags.

A top member of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that the party was able to raise funds following the President’s intervention.

He said, “Apart from the sale of nomination forms, the intervention of Mr. President ensured that some of our governors and other elected and appointed party members paid their dues.

“Some governors, which he refused to name, also made personal donations for this to happen. We are still consulting, and you know we still have the elective convention coming up in June.”

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, had, in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, said the APC would not fund party activities with government funds unlike the previous administrations.

He said, “The funding of all our party activities is from our internally generated revenue. We generate funds to meet our obligations from the membership dues and levies.

“We also receive voluntary donations from our members. For us in the APC, it is not business as usual because we are accountable to our members and the Nigerian people who voted our party into power.”

Part of the APC 2018 budget presented to NEC by the party’s National Treasurer, Alhaji Mohammed Gwagwarwa, earlier in the year read,“Looking ahead of 2018 which is an election year, many activities, ranging from the organisation of congresses/ primaries, conventions, sensitisation meetings and campaigns are expected.

“The budget inevitably has to be robust, flexible and capable of being implemented. Bearing this in mind, a budget of N14.82bn, as shown in the Annexure 2, is being proposed.

“The main sources of income for the 2018 budget are nomination fees (N5.86bn), fund raising (N3.45bn), membership dues (N4.2 bn), sales of party cards (N1bn), and levies on elected/appointed office holders (N 0.304billion).”

Explaining the basis for his optimism, Gwagwarwa said, “Based on membership strength of about 10 million and 35 per cent success in collection of membership fees, we are confident that this system would ensure a sustainable funding for the party.”

The memo also gave insights into the contentious issue of the alleged lack of openness in the income and expenditure of the party’s resources.

This was the subject of the acrimonious relationship among members of the party’s National Working Committee before President Muhammadu Buhari set up the reconciliation committee, led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to resolve the crisis within the party.

The memo partly read, “The approved income budget estimate for 2016 was N6.488bn. The principal contributors to the budget were membership subscription (N3bn), funds raising (N2.5bn), sale of membership cards (N 0.5 bn) and levies on elected /appointed office holders (N 0.337bn).

“However, the party is determined to do more than this in order to achieve its stated objectives, sustain its relevance and enhance its capacity to win elections in 2019.”

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Welcome the next set of MTN Scholars!

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360 young Nigerians receive scholarships from MTN Foundation

MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 360 university students at a virtual ceremony on November 12, 2020. The scholarships were awarded under the MTNF scholarship schemes made up of the MTNF Science & Technology Scholarship (STSS) and Scholarship for the Blind Students (SBSS). In attendance were the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, represented by the Technical Assistant, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi; Honourable Minister of Science & Technology represented by the Acting Director-General of the National Space Research and
Development Agency, Dr. Francis Chizea; former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson amongst other notable dignitaries.

Speaking at the ceremony, the representative of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi said: “We are here with the MTN Foundation to celebrate scholars that have excelled in school. MTN is also supporting people with disabilities by funding their education and this is very commendable. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is constantly working towards elevating skills over degrees. We are also committed to ensuring that individuals are empowered with the right tools and skills.”

Also speaking, Honourable Minister of Science &  Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu represented by Dr. Francis Chizea said: “I am glad that MTN, in giving back to the society through its foundation, set up a scholarship scheme to empower the youths and as well, drive science and technology. This is a welcome development and a commendable effort that other organizations need to emulate.”

A major highlight of the ceremony was a fireside chat themed “Insight. Influence. Impact” with thought leaders sharing inspiring insights with the scholars. Nigeria’s former Minister for Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson reiterated the role MTN continues to play in the ICT space and its impact on the country. “We need to get a workforce that is very comfortable with technology. We are in a state where we need world-class educational institutions and interventions such as this that will enable students to be very vast in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Johnson said.

Leading to the ceremony, this year’s graduating students from the scholarship programme were hosted to a career incubation boot camp facilitated by experts from Google, Oracle, Cisco and Jobberman. Facilitators shared insights on various opportunities amongst other vital employability tips.

Speaking on the scholarship award ceremony and workshop for graduands, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said, “Providing access to quality education is the first step to a world of opportunity for the youth of our nation. We know it does not stop there. We need to also ensure that they are adequately prepared for the
workplace. We hope that the fireside chat at the award ceremony will inspire the students to reach for greatness and innovation. Furthermore, it is our belief that the employability workshop held earlier will enrich the career path of the graduating students. The MTNF scholarship scheme is more than just funds; it is a commitment to
build the capacity of our youth. We wish all our graduating scholars success as they set out to take on the world and congratulate all awardees as the next set of young nation builders in the making.”

The newly awarded scholars will each enjoy a scholarship grant worth N200,000 annually till graduation as long as they maintain a CGPA of 3.5 or its equivalent. The scholarship covers tuition, book allowance and stipend. Till date, MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 3,829 students valued at over NGN 2.1Billion.

The MTNF annual scholarships are awarded to high performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.

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Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt

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Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed

Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed

Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.

An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.

According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.

The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.

Also Read: We Spend N4,500 Daily On Meals Of Each COVID-19 Patient: Bauchi Govt

Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.

He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.

He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.

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Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin

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Funke Olakunrin's killers

Funke Olakunrin’s killers

The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.

Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.

Also Read: BREAKING: Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin Arrested – Police

They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.

The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.

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