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COVID-19: Buhari to observe Eid prayers at home

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President Muhammad Buhari will observe the Eid El-Kabir Prayers with his family at home, according to his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.

It would be the second Eid prayer that the President would be marking at home with his family since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life, infecting millions across the world.

The President had observed the Eid prayers for Eid El-Fitr at home in line with advice from the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

“In wishing all Muslims a safe and happy Eid, the President reiterated the protocols as issued by the PTF that large gatherings, as much as possible, should be discouraged,” Mr Shehu’s statement read in part.

“Where small groups choose to hold the Eid together, face masks are absolutely necessary, as is social distancing. Advisedly, such prayers should hold outdoors and worshippers are encouraged to bring their own prayer mats.”

Also, as part of efforts to stop the spread of the pandemic and flatten the curve, the President would not be receiving visitors on Sallah homages.

He urged Nigerians to observe COVID-19 protocols as the mark the occasion.

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Imo tops, as Nigeria’s unemployment rate hits 27.1% in Q2 2020

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Nigeria’s unemployment rate has increased to 27 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, a move from 23.1 per cent reported in Q3 2018 according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

The NBC in its ‘Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report’ released on Friday also disclosed that the number of persons in the economically active age (15 – 64 years), jumped from 115,492,969 in Q3 2018 to 116,871,186 in Q2 2020.

“For the period under review, Q2 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34 years) was 34.9 per cent, up from 29.7 per cent, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2 per cent from 25.7 per cent in Q3 2018,” the NBS report said. “These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings.

“The number of persons in the labour force (i.e. people within ages 15 -64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 80,291,894″.

This was 11.3 per cent less than the number of persons in Q3 2018.

“Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 23,328,460 or 29.1 per cent of the labour force,” it added.

The report further revealed that the number of employed people in Q2 2020 slumped by 15.8 per cent to 58,527,276 when placed side by side with that of Q3 2018.

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“Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed (i.e. worked 40+ hours per week), while 22,942,003 were underemployed (i.e. working between 20-29 hours per week)”.

At 48.7 per cent, Imo State has the highest unemployment rate in the country and is trailed by Akwa-Ibom State (45.2 per cent) and Rivers State (43.7 per cent).

Anambra State, however, has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation – 17 per cent.

“For underemployment, the state which recorded the highest rate was Zamfara with 43.7 per cent, while Anambra State recorded the lowest underemployment rate, with 17 per cent in Q2 2020,” the agency said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBS said: “2,736,076 did not do any work in the last seven days preceding the survey due to the lockdown but had secure jobs to return to after the lockdown.”

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Ex-Vice President, Atiku Condemns NBC N5m Fine

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Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Thursday condemned the fined of N5 million imposed on a Lagos-based radio state – 99.3 FM Nigeria Info by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Atiku, in a statement he personally signed asked the NBC to drop the penalty against the station, describing the reason given for its action as an attempt to gag the media in the country.

Atiku also disagreed with the nation’s broadcasting regulatory agency with its argument that the interview that the station had with a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia, constituted any infringement and exposed the media outfit to trading in hate speech.

He argued that whether or not, what Mailafia during the programme aired on the radio station was a false claim, it was not the responsibility of the NBC to impose a sanction for a comment made by an individual.

Atiku added that the former CBN deputy governor had been quizzed and released by law enforcement agents, saying that they were at liberty to prosecute him in court if they were not satisfied with his explanations.

He insisted that it was wrong to make a scapegoat of the media platform which provides opportunities for citizens to ventilate their views.

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The former vice president, however called on the NBC to review the hate speech prohibition code, noting that the interpretation of same was offensive to the notion of free speech

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Ooni Condemns Big Brother Naija, Suggests Replacement

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The Arole Oduduwa and Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II  on Wednesday condemned the prominent Big Brother Naija reality show which he said has been misrepresenting the goodness of the Nigerian youths.

Ooni who doubles as Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) also offered a suggestion for a reality show which will project the country’s values, charging leaders of the National Youth Council of Nigeria to work out plans on the show which will be called, “The Big Nigeria Reality Show”.

According to the monarch, “Nigerian youths are found of accusing and abusing our leaders, stop abusing them and do your bits. Let’s wear our thinking caps and begin to act like real leaders that we are.

“In the last general election, the total number of vote cast is around 27 million while over 170 million people voted during the 2019 Big Brother 9ija reality show. This is a practical reality of who Nigerian youths are and where our priorities lies as Nigerians

“The funny side in all of these is that we still go to bed, have a good sleep and wake up with the hope to meet a Nigeria we didn’t create. Nigerians Youths! Nigerians Youths!! Nigerians Youths!!!

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“Unfortunately, every time I talk about this kind of attitude, everyone just laugh and moves on. What kind of nation are we building?

“When people say this country, or what kind of country is this, they are indirectly saying these people – it is the people that make a country; so what kind of Nigerian youths are we?” , the Ooni queried.

Ooni added, “The proposed show will be structured in a way that young professionals, talented individuals and others across several field of endeavour will be showcased and helped to reach their peak. This would help the participants and also help viewers to have access to people that can be seen as role models”.

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