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President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2019 Budget into law.

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the 2019 Appropriation bill of N8. 92 trillion (Budget) into law.


The ceremony took place at the President’s office around 11am.

President frowned at increase of the budget submitted to the National Assembly with over N90 billion

He also said that the reduction of the budgetary allocations by the National Assembly would make it difficult for the government to implements its projects targeted at diversifying the economy..

President Buhari said he will engage with the leadership of the Ninth Assembly whenever it emerges on the concerns of the executive on budget,

Present at the ceremony were the Senate President, Bukola Saraki who entered after the President had signed the budget, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang.

Also at the ceremony were the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefuele, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

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National News

South Africa sends envoy to Nigeria over xenophobia attacks

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South Africa has finally decided to reach out to Nigeria and other countries worst-hit by xenophobic attacks in its territory. President Cyril Ramaphosa has despatched his envoy to Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to explain his country’s commitment to “Pan African unity and solidarity”.

He would also speak on steps taken to end the attacks on foreigners and to bring perpetrators to account.

The attacks and killings have strained the relationship between the two countries.
President Buhari sent a special envoy to express the Federal Government’s displeasure.

Also at the weekend, Zimbabweans booed President Ramaphosa during the funeral of former President Robert Mugabe.

On Sunday, President Ramaphosa’s spokesman Khusela Diko said three envoys would visit Nigeria and six other countries.

He added that the envoys would deliver the president’s message regarding the attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property.

They will also reassure fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity.

Besides, the envoys will reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law.

Diko listed the other countries for visitation as Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

They will brief the governments about steps being taken by South Africa to halt the attacks and to bring the perpetrators to book.

Nigerian citizens are fleeing South Africa following the wave of deadly xenophobic attacks.

After private airline Air Peace volunteered to fly people back home for free, a flight carrying 189 Nigerians landed in Lagos last Wednesday.

Another batch of 320 Nigerians is due for evacuation tomorrow, the airline’s management confirmed on Sunday.

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National News

FG insists on compensation for victims of xenophobic attacks

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Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, says the Federal Government is pressing for compensation for affected Nigerians in the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Dabiri-Erewa stated this at the maiden Diaspora Lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

The lecture was entitled: “Role of Africans in Diaspora in the Transformation of a University of Technology.”

Dabiri – Erewa, who was represented by Mr. Abdul-Rahman Balogun, her Special Assistant on Media, noted that the Nigerian government was also putting in place measures to ensure perpetrators were prosecuted and justice given.

According to her, those that have been evacuated to Nigeria would be well taken care of.

Dabiri-Erewa also enjoined all state governments to create a Diaspora Desk, saying Nigeria has the highest diaspora potentials in Africa and the third in the world.

Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has also said that Nigerians who just returned from South Africa due to xenophobic attacks would receive soft loans from the Bank of Industry if they are interested in doing business.

She said this when the returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Wednesday.

Apart from the soft loans for interested returnees, they would receive transport stipends that would take them to their different destinations as well as airtime on their phones that would last for over two months.

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National News

320 Nigerians expected from South Africa

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nThe first batch of Nigerian returnees from South Africa will be airlifted from Johannesburg to Lagos today, according to the Nigerian Consul-General, Godwin Adama. The 320 passengers, who are among over 600 Nigerians to be airlifted by Air Peace Airlines, are expected to arrive the Murtala Muhamed International Airport, Ikeja at 9 am.

Geoffrey Onyeama

Adama said their evacuation followed the conclusion of their documentation in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa.

He said: “We are documenting people through the

filling of relevant forms with information such as place of birth, state of origin, local government areas. We also check nationality and discourage wives with different nationalities to avoid bringing in other nationals. We equally discourage those wanting to take advantage of the flight.”
The Consul-General, who added that the second batch will leave South Africa tomorrow, shed light on the evacuation and flight schedules.

He said: “The manifest for the first flight is ready and we are working on the next flight. The two missions are working together to make a success of the evacuation. Nigerians will be conveyed in buses from the two missions to the airport at early hours of the morning to ensure smooth operations.”

The Chairman of Air Peace Airlines, Mr. Allen Onyema, who confirmed the deployment of the B777 aircraft to South Africa, said the returnees will be airlifted free of charge.

Onyema, however, lamented that he had received an e-mail from South Africa that some unauthorized persons were illegally collecting 1,000 dollars from each Nigerian that wanted to take advantage of the flight.

He said: “We have not designated or recruited any agent in South Africa to collect money on behalf of Air Peace. So, nobody should pay money to anyone or group of persons posing as Air Peace agent or staff. Any Nigerian who has paid money for repatriation to Nigeria with Air Peace should request for a refund and report to appropriate authorities.”

Adama assured Nigerians of a hitch-free evacuation, saying that the Nigerian Mission in South Africa had put in place measures to ease the process.

He also said the mission had introduced measures to ensure that other nationals do not take advantage of the free flight by Air Peace to come into Nigeria.

Ahead of the evacuation, the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, appealed to Southeast governors to come to the aid of the returnees who are of Igbo extraction.

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Politics

Presidential Election Tribunal Adjourns Till August 21

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The presidential election tribunal has said that it will deliver judgement in the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar on Septemeber 11, 2019.

President Muhammudu Buhari and Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar

All the parties in the suit had made their final submissions on August 21, when the tribunal declared that the date for the judgement will be communicated at a later date.

Read Also: Court Orders Final Forfeiture Of Diezani’s Jewellery Worth $40m

The PDP and its candidate are seeking to nullify the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 poll.

They insist that the election was marred by irregularities and are asking the tribunal to declared Atiku as the duly elected president.

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