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THE NATION

COZA saga: PUNCH appoints new editors

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he management of The PUNCH has appointed new editors for its daily and weekend titles following the sack of the former helmsmen.

The newspaper on Tuesday, after interviewing about 15 people appointed Ademola Oni as the Daily Editor of The PUNCH to replace Martin Ayankola.

Oni was the Sunday Editor of the newspaper before his elevation as the Daily Editor.

The PUNCH had on Monday sacked its Daily Editor, Ayankola over an offensive cartoon published on its back page last Thursday. Also asked to resign was the Saturday Editor, Olabisi Deji-Folutile over the same issue.

There has been outrage over a cartoon published on the back page of the PUNCH last Thursday. The opinion on its back page column was written by Abimbola Adelakun, with the title “What Does Mrs. Fatoyinbo Know.” The article was illustrated with a cartoon of a man desecrating the bible with urine.

The publication had generated lots of displeasure against the newspaper for publishing such offensive cartoon aimed at casting aspersion on the Christian faith and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Also, PM News authoritatively learnt that Dayo Oketola was appointed by the company as the Weekend Editor for both Saturday and Sunday publications.

Oketola was formerly the Business Editor of the Daily newspaper.

Meanwhile, before his sack on Monday, Ayankola had been the longest serving PUNCH Editor, having been appointed to the office in 2013 and during his tenure, the PUNCH towered higher.

He was forced to resign for allegedly bringing the newspaper into disrepute, as Deji-Folutile was also asked to resign for allegedly playing a role in the publication, while the cartoonist of the newspaper was sacked.

The PUNCH had also tendered an apology to the public over the offensive cartoon.

The apology reads: “On the back of the page of the Thursday, July 4, 2019 edition of the PUNCH, we published a cartoon to illustrate an article titled, ‘What does Mrs Fatoyinbo know?’ The cartoon features a character desecrating the Holy Bible.

“We apologise for the offensive cartoon and assure our esteemed readers that we hold the Christian faith in high regard. We have since commenced the process of applying appropriate sanctions to the members of staff responsible, and we shall be reviewing our editorial process to prevent re-occurrence.”

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THE NATION

NITDA DG, Isa Pantami, wins outstanding promoter of local content for national development award

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The efforts of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in the development and promotion of local content in ICT sector has been further affirmed by an array of industry players and stakeholders at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on 19th July, 2019. The Director General/CEO of NITDA, Dr. Isa Pantami, was awarded the prestigious Titans of Tech Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the promotion of local content for national development.

In a statement by Mrs, Hadiza Umar, NITDA’s head of Corporate Affairs & External Relations, the IT agency’s unwavering commitment to local content under Dr Pantami, has enhanced the purchase of indigenous brand of ICT devices by over 60% within the last three years. Local hosting of data doubled in value and local software consumption has significantly increased as attested to by the diversity of IT experts and business people at the Award ceremony.  The cumulative effect of these efforts, is that ICT contribution to GDP reached an unprecedented mark of 13.63% in Q4 of 2018.

Organisers of the Award further recognised the purposeful approach of Dr Pantami to ICT regulation in Nigeria. Organisers and stakeholders opined that the leadership of Dr Pantami is restoring confidence in indigenous technology development which has led to more foreign direct investment in the IT sector than any other sectors since 2018.

The Award was received on behalf of Dr Pantami by Dr Vincent Olatunji, the Director of e-Government Development and Regulations department of NITDA.

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THE NATION

TCN suspends KEDCO from electricity market

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The management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says it has issued suspension and disconnection orders to Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) from the electricity market.

The suspension order was posted on TCN’s twitter handle @TCN_Nigeria on Sunday.

According to the twitter handle, the suspension order was as result of KEDCO’s default in the Market Conditions/Market Participation Agreements.

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THE NATION

How we spent $1bn security fund – Presidency

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The Presidency has dismissed Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) allegation that the one billion dollars drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was spent by the Muhammadu Buhari administration on the 2019 general elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party in a statement on Sunday asked Buhari to explain to Nigerians what his administration had done with one billion dollars drawn from the ECA in 2017 and meant to address the nation’s security challenges.

The amount was approved by the National Economic Council in December, 2017, to be used to purchase weapons to fight insurgency across the country.

However, Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said “this unverifiable allegation’’ clearly indicated that the PDP was suffering from socio emotional distress.

He said PDP ”thinks that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own.

”Here is what happened to that 1 billion dollars. It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about 490 million dollars for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United States.

”Various other military procurement have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about 880 million dollars or so. The PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”

The presidential aide added that, barring considerations of national security, the details of the stage of implementation, the procurement made and the suppliers would be obtained and made available on Monday.

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