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Zamfara was bankrupt when I took over – Gov. Lawal

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Gov. Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State says Zamfara was bankrupt when he took over the affairs of the state.

Lawal, stated this on Wednesday evening at an interactive session with Zamfara professionals in Abuja, saying the state was in a bad state when he assumed office.

“I believe in the history of our state, this is the first time where professionals and people of Zamfara State are here to interact.

“I am delighted to hear some of the comments made. It is indeed incredible.

“The Zamfara State we inherited is in a bad state. At the time we took over, Zamfara was bankrupt with nothing left.

“It is a state where we inherited so many bad things,” he said while responding to questions and comments from professionals from the state.

 

“I believe in the history of our state, this is the first time where professionals and people of Zamfara State are here to interact.

“I am delighted to hear some of the comments made. It is indeed incredible.

“The Zamfara State we inherited is in a bad state. At the time we took over, Zamfara was bankrupt with nothing left.

“It is a state where we inherited so many bad things,” he said while responding to questions and comments from professionals from the state.

The governor says he inherited a three-month salary backlog with no single money to take care of the civil servants, said when he took over, the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) exam was already over and the children were unable to sit for it.

“Fortunately for us, NECO (National Examinations Council) is about to start and if we do not do anything, the children may not write the exam,” he said.

He said that though the state was owing WAEC about N1.6 billion and NECO about N1.4 billion which had made the students unable to sit for the exams in the past, his government had recently paid off NECO’s debt.

“This is something that is verifiable. Outside security, education is key because without education, we are going nowhere,” he said.

He explains that his government had commenced reconstruction of primary schools and building the capacity of the teachers to boost their productivity.

He said when he came in, Zamfara had 28 ministries which had now been reduced to 16 ministries.

The governor, who lamented the condition of the hospitals in the state, said he was committed to changing all the narratives.

He, therefore, solicited for the professionals’ support in order to build the state in the interest of the people.

Lawal said as part of the efforts to tackle the security challenge in the state, he met with the chief of defence staff, the chief of army staff and the national security adviser on different occasions yesterday.

He said he also met with officials of the European Union and the World Bank on issues of insecurity, education, health and infrastructural development, and that they were ever ready to provide support.

“I appeal to you to be our ambassador, that in everything you do, Zamfara comes first.

“We can’t do it alone. We need the support of all to change the fortune of Zamfara State.

“I want to appeal to all to keep praying for peace and prosperity for our dear state.

“I am open for discussion, I am open for advice and collectively, we shall build a better Zamfara,” he said.

Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, congratulated the governor on his election victory.

According to him, we on this side are ready to assist our state in whatever capacity we have found ourselves.

Shinkafi said cooperation is in two ways: “when we call on you, try and listen to us.”

He gave assurance that the federal civil servants from the state would remain apolitical.

The Grand Khadi of FCT, Alhaji Ibrahim Rufai-Imam, urged the people of Zamfara to be lovers of one another irrespective of local government of origin.

“Let us unite and see how we can move the state forward.

“We need to continue praying for the state to come out of the present predicament,” he said.

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IMF Urges Stronger Social Safety Nets to Maximize AI’s Benefit

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International Monetary Fund
– IMF warns of job losses and inequality from generative AI
– Fiscal policy crucial for equal distribution of AI benefits
– Upgrades to social protection and tax systems necessary

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sounded the alarm on the potential negative effects of generative AI on jobs and wealth inequality. To mitigate these effects, the IMF recommends implementing stronger social safety nets and fiscal policies.

Accordingly, governments should consider new measures to raise revenue and support workers who lose their jobs due to AI. This includes investing in sector-based training to prepare workers for the jobs of the future.

The IMF emphasizes that fiscal policy has a major role to play in ensuring a more equal distribution of AI’s benefits. However, this requires significant upgrades to social protection and tax systems worldwide.

As the IMF notes, “Fiscal policy has a major role to play in supporting a more equal distribution of gains and opportunities from generative AI.” They argue that more generous unemployment insurance and investment in sector-based training are necessary to prepare workers for the changing job market.

The IMF advises against a special tax on AI products, instead suggesting that corporate tax breaks that encourage job displacement should be reconsidered. Strengthening taxes on capital income could help offset rising wealth inequality.

 

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Police Probe US Businessman’s Sudden Demise in Lagos Hotel

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– US-based businessman Onyejekwe Izuchukwu found dead in Lagos hotel
– Police investigation underway to determine cause of death
– Autopsy to be performed to reveal more details

The Lagos State Police Command has launched an investigation into the sudden death of Onyejekwe Izuchukwu, a 62-year-old US-based businessman. Izuchukwu’s body was discovered in his hotel room in Ikoyi on June 9, 2024.

According to a source, Izuchukwu had been staying at the hotel since June 6, engaging in business activities. Tragically, his lifeless body was found by a cleaner on the floor of his room.

The hotel’s management reported the incident to the police, who have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Izuchukwu’s death. A doctor was called to the scene and confirmed the businessman’s demise.

Izuchukwu was a prominent figure in the oil and gas industry, having served as President of Bits and Drilling Tools, a division of Schlumberger. His death has sent shockwaves through the industry.

“The command has commenced an investigation into the case,” said Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin. “Izuchukwu’s corpse has been deposited in a morgue in Ikeja for autopsy.”

 

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