Not less than 2,525 beneficiaries of N-Power have been disengaged from the Federal Government’s programme. Justice Bibiye, the spokesman of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), who made this disclosure, said the beneficiaries were sacked for absconding from their places of primary assignment (PPA) for a long time.
“Instances have compelled the need for continued action against those who are seen to be undermining the smooth implementation of a well-thought-out Federal Government social intervention initiative.”
[READ MORE: List of successful applicants for TEF 2019 announced]
Expressing his dissatisfaction on how some beneficiaries abused the programme, Bibiye made known that the N-Power is not a charity programme, thus everyone captured under the scheme is expected to adhere to the rules of engagement through diligence, hard work, and commitment to designated duties.
Nairametrics understands that the disengagement of the affected beneficiaries is the first major sanction imposed by the Federal Government since the programme was launched.
While enjoining members of the public to report cases of absenteeism, Bibiye warned that similar acts of dereliction of duty, indolence, absenteeism, and indiscipline on the part of the beneficiaries would continue to attract sanction.
According to him, to effect serious sanctions on beneficiaries who fail to comply with the working standard, the government has increased the number of monitoring partners for supervision and monitoring of all components of the NSIPs for effective and efficient service delivery.
What you should know: In order to accelerate entrepreneurship culture among the Nigerian youths aged 18 to 35, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, had in 2016 introduced the N-Power scheme to support both graduates and non-graduates alike.
An estimated 500,000 youths across the country are currently engaged in the scheme, providing services in the country’s education, health, agriculture sectors and local government offices with a monthly stipend of N30,000.
Covid-19: Moscow commences mass vaccination of Sputnik V shot
Moscow has commenced the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, through 70 clinics on Saturday, December 5, 2020,
Moscow has commenced the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, through 70 clinics on Saturday, December 5, 2020, marking Russia’s first mass inoculation against the disease that has infected over 2.4 million people in the country.
According to a report from Reuters, while making the disclosure, Moscow city’s coronavirus task force said that the Russian-made vaccine would first be made available to doctors and other medical workers, teachers and social workers because they have the highest risk of exposure to the disease.
The Russian capital, Moscow, which is the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, reported 7,993 new cases overnight, a sharp increase from 6,868 that was recorded a day earlier and well above the reported daily infection rate of around 700 that was recorded in early September.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, on his personal website, wrote, “Over the first five hours, 5,000 people signed up for the jab – teachers, doctors, social workers, those who are today risking their health and lives the most.”
The age limit for those expected to receive the vaccine is capped at 60 years. It, however, bars people with certain underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those who have had respiratory illnesses for the past two weeks from being vaccinated.
What you should know
It can be recalled that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in a televised government meeting, announced the registration of its first Covid-19 vaccine in what was described as a step ahead of any other vaccine development.
The Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, which was developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, in collaboration with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), was certified to be 92% effective in protecting people from the virus infection.
Russia has developed 2 Covid-19 vaccines namely, Sputnik V which is backed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and another by Siberia’s Vector Institute, with final trials for both yet to be completed.
Scientists have raised concerns about the safety and speed at which Russia had registered and approved its vaccine, giving the regulatory go-ahead for it and launching mass vaccinations before full trials to test its safety and efficacy had been completed.
The Sputnik V vaccine is administered in two injections, with the second dose expected to be given 21 days after the first.
US House passes reform bill to decriminalize marijuana
US Congress has passed a sweeping legislation that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
The 116th US Congress passed a reform legislation to decriminalize marijuana and expunge non-violent marijuana-related convictions and prosecution.
The bill, however, moves to legislate H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019, under a closed rule.
According to a statement made by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jerry Nadler, the MORE Act is a commonsense bill that will make a tangible difference in the lives of millions of Americans, as it is tied around ideals of racial, economic, and moral justice.
However, the bill still has to pass through the US Senate, but it is likely that the Senate would pass it, given the uncertainties around it and owing to the non-inclusion of a cost estimate in the committee report, according to Clause 3(d) of rule XIII.
However, US representative for the eastern part of Bronx in New York, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, tweeted that 68% of Americans support marijuana legalization.
This year, South Dakota, Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey joined 11 other states in legalizing it. Yet, the federal government still classifies pot as a dangerous drug. The Senate must listen to the American people and vote on this bill.
Why this matters
The bill, if finally passed by the senate would decriminalize cannabis, and also provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the war on drugs, through the expungement of certain cannabis offenses and for other purposes.
Thus, leading to the delisting of marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances and expunge some marijuana convictions for nonviolent criminals.
The bill would also ban the denial of federal public benefits to a person on the basis of certain cannabis-related conduct or convictions.
What they are saying
The House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jerry Nadler, representing parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn said:
“There is no reason for cannabis to be classified as a federally scheduled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The MORE Act deschedules cannabis, allowing states to establish their own marijuana regulations and providing medical marijuana access to veterans in need.”
“The MORE Act is a common-sense bill that will make a tangible, real difference in the lives of millions of Americans. I’m proud of this bill centered around ideals of racial, economic, and moral justice.”
“I’m so proud that the MORE Act passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 228 to 164. I introduced this bill to provide restorative justice, modernize America’s cannabis laws, and deliver meaningful investments to America’s communities & small businesses.”
Co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Earl Blumenauer, representing Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, while speaking at Capitol Hill during the House session on Friday said:
“We are here because we have failed three generations of Black and Brown young people, whose lives can be ruined or lost, by selective enforcement of these laws.
This Legislation will end that disaster. It’s time for the Congress to step up and do its part”
What you should know
- Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 15 states and Washington DC, while Medical marijuana is legal in 34 states of the 50 States of the USA.
- The MORE Act has seen a lot of criticisms by people who believe the bill is an unserious bill, as there is zero interest in moving this bill in the Senate and zero interest in supporting it in either the current administration or the incoming one.
- Earlier this week, Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, criticized the House for passing the cannabis bill, instead of focusing on a COVID-19 stimulus bill that both parties reportedly have agreed upon.
US Government removes visa reciprocity fees for Nigerians from December 3
The US government has removed all visa reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens seeking visas to the US.
The United States government has announced the removal of all visa reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens seeking visas to the US with effect from December 3.
This disclosure was made through a statement titled, ‘Update on removal of visa fees for Nigerian citizens by the US Government,’ by the Federal Ministry of Finance on Saturday, December 4, 2020, and signed by the ministry’s Spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye.
The Federal Government revealed that this positive development follows the removal of excess visa application, processing and biometric fees for United States citizens applying for Nigerian visas by the Nigerian Government.
The statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry reads, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the United States Government has removed all visa reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens seeking visas to the United States.
“The positive development is in line with the removal of excess visa application, processing and biometric fees for the United States citizens applying for Nigerian visas by the Nigerian Government. The United States Government has therefore eliminated reciprocity fees for Nigerian citizens with effect from December 3, 2020.”
The foreign affairs ministry, in the statement, also advised prospective travellers to the United States to visit www.travel.state.gov for details.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that in 2019, the Donald Trump administration had imposed the reciprocity fee for all approved non-immigrant visa applications by Nigerians. This fee was charged in addition to visa application fees for only applicants who were issued visas.
- While imposing the additional reciprocity fees, which ranged from $80 to $303 depending on the class of visa, the US Embassy in Nigeria disclosed that the reciprocity fees were a fallout of unsuccessful talks with the Nigerian government over the reduction of visa fees it charged United States citizens.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja ______________________
PRESS RELEASE pic.twitter.com/YH8AhPsO2X
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria 🇳🇬 (@NigeriaMFA) December 4, 2020