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FG Appoves N10B Survival Fund for Transport Operators

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Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, has disclosed that the Federal Government has approved a 10 billion naira survival fund for transport workers and operators.

The Minister made this known when the President, Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA), Engr. Isaac Uhunwagho, led the association’s National Executive Committee and Trustees to pay her a courtesy call in Abuja recently.

A press release signed by Anastasia Ogbonna on behalf of the Director Press said:

“The Minister informed the delegation that the funds which will help cushion the sufferings encountered by road transport workers and operators as a result of COVID-19 pandemic is domiciled with the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment adding that the Federal Ministry of Transportation has is currently working on the modalities for its disbursement”.

While appreciating the fact 90% of Nigerians travel by road, Sen. Saraki stated that the FG will soon initiate a master plan that will reform the sector. She therefore solicited the buy-in of all stakeholders.

Reacting to challenges operators face from State governments and other stakeholders, the Minister gave the assurance that she will discuss the issues through the National Transport Commissioners Forum.

The Minister also disclosed that she is in talks with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the concessionning of some routes which she thinks is the best way to go so as to increase government revenue.

She further enjoined them to avoid duplicity and formalize their structures in an organized manner for better engagements, with the ministry and other relevant agencies.

The National President, Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA), Engr. Isaac Uhunwagho who led the delegation, stated that their visit was in respect of challenges being faced by the body and also to appreciate her efforts towards the chalenges PTONA has being facing since February, 2020 and the cooperation and protection which the Ministry is now ready to provide for public transportation in Nigeria. The President said that with this, “our future in the ‘one chance’ business is now encouraging.

Also, Engr. Isaac pleaded for COVID-19 financial palliatives for her members to prevent their businesses from folding up. The President, PTONA clarifying on the need for this disclosed that PTONA members felt the impact of the lockdown the most as their branded buses could not operate due to the ban on interstate travel. The general motor parks he said did not comply with the ban as their parks became a safe haven for flouting the ban and as a result enjoyed black market transportation boom.

He further lamented that despite PTONA members being the major investors in the transportation sector, it is ironical that their companies are the prime target for state and local government authorities who impose taxes, levies and other ridiculous conditions on their members while according to him, they leave the filthy general motor parks and target us. These challenges among others necessitated the visit on the Honourable Minister and hoped their pleas would be looked into.

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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