The Federal Capital Terriory Administration (FCTA) has declared that there would be no Eid-il-Fitr prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Expressway (Airport Road).
This is contained in a statement by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Bello said the directive was part of resolution reached at a meeting between FCTA and the FCT League of Imams Initiative led by its Chairman, Imam Tajudeen Adigun
He explained that the objective of the meeting was to discuss the modalities of holding Eid prayers for the upcoming Eid-il-Fitr celebrations.
Bello said that all worshippers are enjoined to hold Eid prayers outdoors within the premises of their neighbourhood Juma’at mosques
Acccording to him, indoor worship are to be limited to less than 50 per cent of installed capacity.
Religious authorities are advised to regulate the flow of people entering and exiting places of worship.
” All non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols of facial coverings, physical distancing and hand washing are to be observed
” All other Eid celebrations and activities should be confined to homes as all public parks, recreation and entertainment centers are to be closed
On his part, the Chairman of the FCT League of Imams Initiative, Adigun, said “In Islam, you listen to experts, those who are specialists and those who have actually discussed with us are experts in the field of medical sciences.
” In Islam, you also abide with the commands of leadership. Based on this and what we are convinced of, we urge Muslim Ummah to also respect this stand of the Administration by observing our Eid prayers within our localities.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in 2020, the FCTA cancelled eid prayers to mark the Eid-el Fitr celebration in the FCT.
This is sequel to the statement by the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), under the leadership of His Eminence, The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, regarding the suspension of the Eid Congregational Prayers in towns and cities across the Federation.
The decision, the FCTA said, was in tandem with the guidelines, issued by the then Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that all places of worship in the FCT and other high risk States of the Federation should remain closed during the recently extended period of lock down.
NAN also reports that the federal government on Monday, reintroduced the restriction on mass gatherings after a spike in COVID-19 cases recorded in in Brazil, India and Turkey.
The Head of the Secretary of Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Mohammed, who announced this said effective Tuesday May 11, said event centres and non-essential public places such as night clubs would remain closed till further notice.
Mohammed said that gathering of religious groups, weddings, have been reduced to 50 per cent attendance, while official engagements, meetings and conferences should continue to hold virtually.
He said government had also reintroduced curfew from midnight of Monday to 4p.m.
The committee directed security personnel to enforce the measures while state governments to set up a mobile tribunal for the prosecution of violators.
Mohammed said: “the National Response continues to focus on achieving a balance between preserving lives while working on a long term epidemic control. Effective from 00:01 hours on Tuesday, this phase four of restriction of movement shall come into effect.
“We shall maintain restrictions on mass gatherings of sidewalk settings, with a maximum of about 50 people in an enclosed space,” he said. (NAN)
Tinubu Presents His First Budget As President On Wednesday
President Bola Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday.
This is according to a memo dated November 27, 2023, signed by the federal legislature’s Secretary of Human Resources and Staff Development, Shuaibu Maina Birma, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly.
“I am directed to inform you that the 2024 Budget would be presented by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 29th November, 2023,” it read.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council has approved a 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion.
This followed the review of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework earlier passed by the National Assembly which benchmarked the exchange rate at N700 to $1 and crude oil price at $73.96 cent per barrel.
Briefing State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, said it revised the MTEF and the Fiscal Policy to use an exchange rate of N750 to $1 and also a benchmark crude oil reference price of $77.96 per barrel.
According to Bagudu, the FEC also approved an Appropriation Bill for 2024 with an aggregate expenditure of N27.5 trillion, an increase of over N1.5 trillion from the previously estimated.
He also noted that using the old reference prices, the forecast revenue is now N18.2 trillion which is higher than the 2023 revenue, including that provided in the two supplementary budgets, in which the deficit is lower than that of 2023.
Senate Seeks Nigeria’s Inclusion In $147billion Global Bitumen Market
…passes Bitmen Development Commission Bill for second reading
The Senate Thursday made legislative move of including Nigeria in the $147billion global bitumen market with passage for second reading , a bill seeking for establishment of Bitumen Development Commission .
Nigeria as stated in the bill sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim ( APC Ondo South) , has quantum of 5.9trillion barrels ( 938billion m³) of global in – place Bitumen and heavy oil resources , second to Venezuela .
He specifically informed the Senate that more than 80% of the resources are found in Canada , United States of America , Venezuela and Nigeria .
But lamented that while other countries blessed with the Natural resources are exploiting it through required legislations or legal frameworks , Nigeria’ has no legal framework for such exploration with attendant untapped opportunities and huge market loss .
Therefore according to him, ” the objectives of the Bill includes: the need to develop a legal framework for the regulation of the Bitumen development in Nigeria; to prevent unconventional sources from taking advantage of research-enhanced applications over other competitors; and to lead innovation and resource-based strategy in the development of bitumen in Nigeria.
“The Bill will also ensure effective utilisation of over 38 billion reserve of bitumen in Nigeria; and to promote economic diversification policy of the Federal Government”.
He added that the Bill among other reasons, seeks to restrict the activities of the commission to its regulatory and cordinating functioons , specifically as it relates to the Develooment of Bitumen in Nigeria .
Ondo State alone according to him , has the highest deposit in Africa with an estimated value of $42billion which are aside from depisits in Ogun State , Edo , Lagos and Akwa- Ibom States .
” The proposed Bitumen Development Commission when established , would fastrack the development of Bitumen in Nigeria , make her a key player in the $147billion global market and create instant 12, 000 jobs for Nigerians .
” It would also help Government at various levels to put in place asphalted roads in various communities .
” Out of the 200, 000 kilometres of roads in Nigeria , only 20, 000 are asphalted even with imported Bitumen which is not good and being addressed with the proposed commission” he said .
Many of the Senators who contributed to debate on the bill , concurred with Jimoh Ibrahim’s submissions , making the Senate as put to voice votes by its President , Godswill Akpabio , passed it for second reading .
Akpabio who commended Senator Jimoh Ibrahim for sponsorship of the development – driven bill, mandated the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals to make further legislative inputs on it and report back in a month’s time .
Barau Offsets Postgraduate Student’s Cancer Treatment Bills
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jibrin, has paid the medical and surgery bills of Abdurrabah Idris Yahaya, a 30-year-old Kano State indigene and M.Sc. student who has been battling cancer.
Abdurrabah, a resident of Bankaura/S.Doka area of Ungogo Local Government of Kano State, who had been receiving treatment from home, went viral on social media, seeking assistance following medical doctors’ advice that he undergo surgery.
Worried by Abdurrabah’s situation and the urgency of the doctors’ advice, the Deputy Senate President sent a delegation with the sum of N1.45 million to offset his medical and surgery bills.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Professor Muhammad Ibn Abdullahi, Senator Barau expressed concern over the health condition of the student who is a beneficiary of his Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme.
While urging the patient and his family to remain prayerful, as every illness is the will of Allah, Senator Barau prayed for the quick recovery of the student.
“The Deputy President of the Senate is deeply worried since he heard about the situation of this young, talented man’s health. As such, he sent us the sum of N1,450,000 as required by the doctors for his surgery.
“Strengthen your faith in Almighty God, Abdurrabah will be okay by the grace of Allah,” he said.
He reiterated the commitment of Senator Barau to supporting people in education, health, and other areas for the development of society irrespective of their constituents, region, or state.
While appreciating the Senator, the mother of the patient, Malama Halima Haruna, who could not hold back her tears, said she had no words other than prayers for the Senator.
Speaking on her behalf, Abdurrabah’s elder sister, Nafisa Idris Yahaya, said they had been pleading for support from people, but Senator Barau has, by his financial assistance, wiped away their tears.
“We received the sum of N1,450,000 from the Deputy President of the Senate. In the past, Senator Barau had paid for his scholarship for a master’s degree. Here he is again, assisting our family. We have been looking for where to get money for the surgery, but today is our happiest day. We appreciate him for this. May Almighty Allah reward him abundantly,” she said.
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