The Big 5: Osinbajo decries low impact of commercial banks, Shehu Sani explains reason he revealed Senators’ running costs and other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today.

The US, through the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson Monday, promised to provide support to ensure the rescue of the 110 abducted Dapchi schoolgirls.

Tillerson met with President Muhammadu Buhari and had another session with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama.

First, we respect the responsibilities of the government of Nigeria and the territorial integrity of Nigeria. But the way we support is in providing them capacity with equipment and also training of the personnel of special operations and sharing intelligence to ensure that they have all the information available to carry out the recovery effort,” Tillerson said.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that commercial banks have no impact on the populace with no fewer than 40 percent of the people under-banked.

It is accurate to say that for most Nigerians, banks have not really significantly impacted their lives or livelihoods. First, the under-banked population is said to be in the order of about 40 percent, which means that a significant number do no even have access to banking facilities let alone banking products of any kind. The majority of those who have bank accounts for a variety of reasons are not able to access personal loans, mortgage or business loans. This explains why financial inclusion has gained inclusive currency and resonance in the past few years,” Osinbajo said.

INEC in Ondo has said it may burn unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) before the 2019 General Elections.

The Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) Rufus Akeju said this on Monday in Akure while addressing newsmen.

He said despite efforts to sensitise voters to pick up their PVCs, about 370,464 cards were yet to be claimed.

The Commission is making efforts almost on a daily basis for voters to get their PVCs and if eventually some of them are not collected, the commission may decide to burn it or make it unusable as to avoid using it to manipulate the coming election,” he said.

At least three persons have been killed on Monday as farmers clashed with herdsmen in Igbeagu Community, Izzi Local Government Area, Ebonyi.

Police spokesman Loveth Odah confirmed the incident saying two herdsmen attacked a villager who had gone to feed his cattle in the bush and, after an altercation with him, chopped off his hands. He raised an alarm and other villagers came to his rescue.

Herdsmen then attacked the villagers who came to the farmer’s rescue.

Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central) who revealed that he and his colleagues receive N13.5 million as running costs monthly apart from their salaries has given reasons why he did so.

In an interview with BBC, Sani said, “I decided to burst it open. It was a moral issue“.

He said the National Assembly is being run with little or no accountability about how money is spent.

And stories from around the world…

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said Russia might have been responsible for the attack in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Moscow now faces a deadline of midnight tonight to give reasons why a Russian-made nerve agent was used in the poisoning of former Russian agenet Sergie Skripal and his daughter.

Republicans on a House panel have found no evidence to show there was a collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin in the 2016 US Presidential election.

Mike Conaway, who leads the inquiry, said the House Intelligence Committee agreed with US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the race. But he said Republicans did not find proof that the meddling was in favour of US President Donald Trump.

Serena Williams comeback attempt has been cut by her sister Venus Williams, who beat her in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 at the BNP Paribas Open.

It is the first win for Venus over Serena since 2014 and the first straight-set victory since 2008.

Southampton have sacked Manager Mauricio Pellegrini after a miserable run of only one win in 17 Premier League matches which has left them in a fight to avoid relegation with nine games remaining.

The Saints are targeting an immediate replacement before Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Wigan Athletic.

The White House on Monday, said it expects an unprecedented meeting between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong un to take place if North Korea sticks to its promises, even though Pyongyang has yet made any comment on the possibility of a summit.

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