Good evening, readers! Here are some topical news stories you might have missed in the course of the day:
-.The NDDC says it stands by the list of contract beneficiaries sent to the National Assembly. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) claims as many as 250 contracts were awarded in just one day to members of the National Assembly. Both the lower and upper chambers of the National Assembly have in the past few weeks been investigating allegations of financial misappropriation in the commission.
-.A huge blast at Beirut port that devastated entire neighbourhoods of the city has killed more than 100 people and injured over 4,000, the Lebanese Red Cross said Wednesday. Until now over 4,000 people have been injured and over 100 have lost their lives. Search and rescue operations are still being conducted in the surrounding areas, a statement said.
-.The Lagos State Government on Wednesday announced the reduction of the Land Use Charge (LUC) to the pre-2018 charges, indicating a reduction of 48 per cent. The Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, made this known at a news briefing on the 2020 New Land Use Charge Law in Alausa, Ikeja. Olowo also announced that the waiver of penalties for LUC for Year 2017, 2018 and 2019 translated to N5.8 billion potential revenue for the state.
-.Thousands of Indian troops imposed a curfew in Kashmir on Tuesday, with razor wire and steel barricades blocking main roads a day ahead of the one-year anniversary of the restive region being stripped of its autonomy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed direct rule last August 5, promising peace and prosperity after three decades of violence that have seen tens of thousands of people killed in an anti-India uprising.
-.Security operatives on Wednesday dispersed demonstrators who were carrying out a #RevoltuionNow protest in Abuja.A team of security operatives including the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Police Force (NPF), and the Army, pursued both protesters and journalists from the scene of the protest. The march was a commemoration of the nationwide protest stagged by members of the #RevolutionNow movement headed by Mr. Omoyele Sowore in 2019.
-.The House of Representatives is set to petition President Muhammadu Buhari over the refusal of some agencies of government to appear before its Committee on Public Account to answer questions over financial irregularities traced to them or clarify some records provided by other agencies. The House Committee on Public Account is particularly not happy with the refusal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefele, Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority, Haha Hadiza Bala Usman and the Bureau for Public Enterprises to appear before it over sales of federal government landed property across the country.
-.The Borno State Chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress has asked the Federal Government to influence the implementation of insurance packages for aid workers. The state chairman of the union, Bulama Abiso stated this at a joint press conference with Trade Unions and Civil Society Network in Maiduguri, the state capital. The coalition said the press conference became necessary following the persistent security challenges the state is facing.
-.The Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Yekini Idiaye has been impeached. Idiaye was impeached during plenary on Wednesday which was held at the Assembly complex in Benin City. Hon. Roland Asoro, who is a member representing Orhionmwon II Constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) has been elected as the new Deputy Speaker.
-.US President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he might give his acceptance speech for a second term nomination from the White House, a breach of longtime tradition. The August 27 speech, the biggest formal moment in the candidate’s campaign for a second term in office, was originally planned for a mass gathering of Republican Party faithful in Charlotte, North Carolina.
-.Members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 have briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria ahead of the announcement of new protocols.
The team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha held a meeting with the president on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
-.Three hundred and six Nigerians have arrived the country from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday. The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) said the returnees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 8:00am.
-.Gov. Obaseki visited the Benin monarch on July 25 for royal blessings as part of his re-election campaign, but was unable to present kolanut and gin in line with the palace tradition for the royal blessing. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obaseki, accompanied by the party’s National Campaign Chairman, Gov. Nyesom Wike, were embarrassed when the monarch asked for the kolanut to offer prayers for the visitors to have a successfully campaign but none could be provided.