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I’m Not Due for Retirement Yet, NASS Clerk, Sani-Omolori Kicks

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The clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, has reacted the compulsory retirement notice issued to him by the National Assembly Service Commission. In a statement on Wednesday evening, the clerk insisted that the retirement age for the National Assembly remains 40 years of service or 65 years of age.

He said the resolution of the National Assembly which increased the age and years of service has not been amended.

He also said the commission has no powers to intervene in the controversy.

“The attention of the National Assembly Management has been drawn to a press release dated 15th July, 2020 signed by the Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, informing the general public that the commission has approved the retirement age of staff of the National Assembly as 35 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first.

“The Management of the National Assembly wishes to inform all staff and the general public that the extant regulation as contained in our Revised Conditions of Service duly passed by both Chambers of the 8th National Assembly puts the retirement age of staff at 40 years of service and 65 years of age whichever comes first.

“The Resolution of the 8th National Assembly on the Conditions of Service of Staff has not been rescinded nor abdicated by the National Assembly, who under the authentic National Assembly Service Act 2014 as passed is empowered to review any proposed amendment to the Conditions of Service by the Commission.”

“Therefore, the National Assembly Service Commission does NOT have the powers to set aside the Revised Conditions of Service as passed by the 8th National Assembly.”

He said the management “had maintained a studied silence in deference to the leadership of the 9th National Assembly which is looking into the position being canvassed by the commission but finds it intriguing that the National Assembly Service Commission has unilaterally gone ahead to take a decision.”

He urged all staff to disregard the press release by the commission and go about their lawful duties.

The controversial bill was proposed and passed at a time that the commission (known as NASC), which is the policy-making organ of the federal legislature, had not been constituted.

Following its constitution in February by President Muhammadu Buhari with Mr Amshi as its chairman, the NASC reviewed and decided to set aside the revised condition of service, saying it was self-serving and not duly passed.

This development has divided National Assembly workers in the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).

While a faction is applauding the decision of the NASC to jettison the new rule, another is standing with the National Assembly management led by Mr Sani-Omolori.

An argument preferred by a group is that if the bill was passed by the National Assembly like similar ones, it thus requires assent by President Muhammadu Buhari to become law.

The other group counters, saying it does not require presidential assent but that NASC, which they pointed out was not on ground at the time the bill was passed, can move for a revision of its provisions.

The opponents of the bill also alleged that the five-year increase in service years “was smuggled through the back door” into the original body of proposals.

They fingered Mr Sani-Omolori, his management team and the leadership of the 8th National Assembly as the architects of the ‘surreptitious’ extension of service years under the guise of reviewing the conditions of service of legislative workers.

The revised conditions, however, appear to be very popular with a majority of the over 4,000-strong workforce of the National Assembly who all stand to benefit from the implementation, one way or the other.

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See Full List of 14 Countries Lagos Placed on COVID Watch List

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The Lagos government has placed 14 countries on its COVID-19 watchlist as a measure to prevent a third wave of infections in the state.

Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, said this on Wednesday at a media briefing to highlight the state’s COVID-19 third wave mitigation strategy.

He noted that the Lagos state government is outlining measures that will guide the management of inbound passengers of interest (POIs) from other countries.

The commissioner explained that travellers coming from other countries into Lagos have been classified into three groups — the red countries, the amber countries, and the green countries.

According to him, India, Brazil and Turkey where new variants of COVID are causing an increase in infection rate are as the ‘red countries’.

“From the Lagos perspective, we’re also looking at what we describe as Amber Colour countries, where we know that mutants are circulating. And this is important for us to be able to define how strict our monitoring of your isolation at home and how your testing is performed. We are monitoring countries where we know the mutants are circulating, but the situation is still severe,” he said.

According to him, the ‘amber countries’ are Canada, US, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

He listed the ‘green countries’ as countries with no records of variants from red countries and no clear increase in the number of daily confirmed cases.

“Our protocol for management of inbound passengers from the Red Countries will include: a mandatory PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post arrival and a 14-day isolation in a government approved facility paid for by the passenger,” he said.

“Passengers of interests from the Amber Countries are also required to do PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post arrival and a mandatory seven days isolation at home which will be monitored by our logistics, surveillance and EkoTELEMED teams.”

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Former Defence Chief, General Joshua Dogonyaro Dies at 80

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Lt. General Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro (Rtd) is dead.

The officer, who heralded and read the coup speech that ended the regime of Nigeria’s current President, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) and brought General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) to power on August 27 1985 died in Jos, Thursday morning after a brief illness.

He turned 80 on 12 September 2020. General Dogonyaro was a former Chief of Defence Staff and is survived by his wife Zainab Esther Dogonyaro and seven children.

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Let’s Pray Against Kidnapping, Banditry – Buhari Urges Nigerians

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians, irrespective of religious affiliation, to pray against kidnapping and banditry.

In recent times, there has been a spate of killings, kidnapping and banditry in different parts of the country.

The president, in a statement to celebrate the Eid festival, noted that the country can overcome its problems if Nigerians come together.

Buhari urged Nigerians to ignore those using religion as a tool of division for their own “selfish advantages”.

“On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all,” Buhari said in a statement released by Garba Shehu, presidential aide, on Wednesday.

“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.

“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.

“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.

“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”

The president advised Nigerians to continue to observe the COVID-19 measures, amid the celebration.

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