The Big 5: UNICEF says 69% of Nigerian children without access to education are in the North; #GandujeGate: I was not paid to reveal clips – Journalist insists | More stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

Publisher of online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, Jafar Jafar, on Thursday appeared before the Kano House of Assembly adhoc committee investigating the video clips of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje allegedly receiving bribe, insisting that the clips are genuine and undoctored.

Jafar who told the committee that he received the video clips from a whistle blower who was fed up of Ganduje’s habit of collecting kickbacks, further presented to the committee on copies of the said video with all the voices of those involved.

“I want to clear the mind of some people who have been saying I was paid, if it can take me to swear with the Holy Qur’an that the video was not for political reasons,” Jafar said.

The Federal Government, 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory as well as the 774 Local Governments on Thursday shared N698.7billion for the month of September.

Disclosing this in Abuja, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, after the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting, gave a breakdown of the revenue accrued in September to be distributed in October, for which she said N569.28 billion received as gross statutory revenue, was lower than the N587.1 billion shared in August by N17.8 billion.

In the summary of the distribution, the Federal Government got a total of N300.1 billion, the States got N184.4 billion while the Local Governments got N139.4billion.

United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) says 69 percent of children without access to basic education in Nigeria were found in streets of northern Nigeria, with North East states leading and North West states trailing behind.

UNICEF Education Specialist, Azuka Menkiti, who stated this on Thursday while speaking at a media dialogue in Kano, attributed the development to some obsolete cultural practices and religious misinterpretations in the region, urging political, traditional and community leaders in the region to put more effort to change the statistics as regards number of children without education.

“We don’t insist on formal education. It could be Koranic education. But it will be more profitable if they combined both Koranic and formal education,” she said.

The Federal Government has said its decision to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) from domestic air fares was in line with global best practices and aimed at making air travel more affordable to citizens.

According to President Muhammadu Buhari who made this known on Thursday while inaugurating the new International Terminal of Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, in Rivers, “this will make air travel more affordable and subsequently lead to the creation of jobs by the air transport service value chain as well as increase revenues for government.”

Similarly, the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has reopened the Osubi Airport in Warri, Delta State, to flights operations after a two-month closure.

The Federal government has put a ban on the unauthorised acquisition of controlled items such as firearms, remotely piloted aircraft (drones) and broadcast equipment, warning that those with such illegally acquired controlled items are hereby advised to voluntarily surrender them to the appropriate security agencies or face the full wrath of the law.

National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, who disclosed this on Thursday during the General Security Appraisal Committee Meeting in Abuja, said the measure was part of broad measures to stem the tide of insecurity, adding that the abuse of social media platforms have become the major source of insecurity in the country.

He cited the recent violence in Benue, Plateau, Zamfara and Kaduna States as a worrying cases of insecurity across the country fuelled by abuse of social media platforms through fake news, hate speech and incitement as well as illegal possession of controlled items.

And stories from around the world:

The United Kingdom told Ecuador in August that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would not be extradited if he left the country’s London embassy, where he has lived under asylum since 2012, Ecuador’s top government attorney said on Thursday. (Reuters)

The FBI has searched a mail facility near Miami, as investigators try to find who is behind a series of suspected explosive packages which have been sent to eight high-profile people, including ex-President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, actor Robert De Niro, among others. (BBC)

The US military has received a request for active-duty troops on the US-Mexico border, a US official said on Thursday, after President Donald Trump said he was “bringing out the military” to guard against a caravan of Central American migrants and refugees. (Al Jazeera)

China and Japan should safeguard free trade and anchor global growth, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday, as Japan’s prime minister arrived in Beijing on a visit against a backdrop of trade friction with the United States. (Reuters)

56-year-old French urban freeclimber, Alain Robert was arrested Thursday after bringing parts of London’s financial district to a standstill by scaling the 46-storey Heron Tower — the area’s tallest building without ropes or safety equipment, while traffic came to a halt as bemused crowds packed the streets below. (AFP)


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