El-Rufai Donates Land For Methodist Church

Governor Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna State has promised to provide additional land for building of Methodists church in Kafanchan, Southern Kaduna

The governor who made the promise when he received the prelate of the Methodist Church Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche in his office also urged the Church not relocate from their present location.

He said: “I visited your church in Kafanchan after the violence. We are willing to give you another plot of land in Kafanchan, but please consider using it to build an additional church. We request that you do not abandon or relocate the church from your present site. Let us not succumb to the agents of blackmail and division.

“Your neighbors in Kafanchan must accept the right of that church to remain there. The current church should be rebuilt and maintained as a symbol of the right to worship freely.”

Malam El-Rufai said that the government is committed to securing the area and promoting a return to normalcy. He disclosed that 10 mobile police squadrons are now deployed to the affected local governments, along with two battalions of the army. He further requested that the religious leaders should discourage the tendency to allow criminals to hide behind religion.

“When individuals have problems or disputes, they should not be allowed to mobilize emotions by escalating their differences into an ethnic or religious conflict.”

Malam El-Rufai thanked the Methodists for showing solidarity with the people and government of Kaduna State in this trying moment.

Earlier in his remarks, the prelate of the Methodist Church Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche urged Governor El-Rufai not to relent in his quest to restore peace and security in southern Kaduna. 

Dr. Uche, who was speaking when he visited Malam El-Rufai in Kaduna, told the governor that he should take the blames flying around as the price of leadership. 

“We note that you are being blamed over the violence in southern Kaduna. Please take that as the price of leadership. We know that the issue has been happening before your government. I remember the 1987 events vividly.

“We call on the people of Kaduna State to accept each other, to be tolerant, and to say no to violence. I have served in Kano. I do not see why we should fight each other. Nobody can Christianise or Islamise Nigeria. Let us learn to live together in peace. Religion should preserve lives. Anybody who kills is a criminal. Those who sponsor killings should be arrested.”

Dr. Uche, who was accompanied by the Methodist Bishops of Kaduna and Kano, said he came in solidarity with the people of Kaduna State. He informed Malam El-Rufai that the MedtodistChurch in Kafanchan was vandalized during the 19th December 2016 riot in Kafanchan. He requested for a new plot of land so that they can relocate the church.

“My church is affected by the violence in Kafanchan. We want your assistance with land to relocate the church and to rebuild it. We thank you for the plots of land you allocated to the Methodist Church in Abuja. I have seen your signature on the certificates of occupancy, and I know that you have nothing against the Church.”

We’ll Use IGR Only For People-Focussed Programs – Governor Ahmed

FG Reiterates Commitment To Bridging Power Shortfall In 2017

says accurate population census critical to provision of adequate electricity supply  

In a renewed effort to re – energize its commitment to providing incremental, stable and uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has disclosed some policy directions for the power sector for 2017.

The Minister made the disclosure recently in Abuja during the monthly Power Sector Dialogue Series with theme; 2016 Power Sector Review and 2017 Power Policy Direction organized by the Nigeria Electricity hub, a subsidiary of  NEXTIER Power, a leading policy advisory firm with a focus on the Nigeria electricity market.

Speaking on 2016, Fashola reacted to the call for the reversal of the privatization of the power assets, saying that it will be almost impossible to reverse, as the exercise is just three years old, and needs time to mature. In his words, “We should think on what to do to make it work better, instead of canceling it, because that will only take us backward to the beginning”. 

The Minister said every time we cancel contracts we send negative signals to our foreign investors that we don’t respect agreements, saying with privatization, government is now a policy maker and a regulator.

On the other challenges facing the sector, the Minister stated that accurate demographic data is very critical in the planning and provision of adequate electricity supply to the citizenry, lamenting that lack of proper planning has hampered the delivery of electricity in the country over the years.

According to him, it is important to know how many we are so as know how much power to provide, and the number of consumers to be supplied electricity.

In addition, on the non-payment of outstanding debts owed Distribution Companies (DISCOs), the Minister assured his audience that government will off-set these after proper verification, pointing out that the present administration had inherited accumulated debts prior to the privatization exercise.

On the issue of metering, Fashola further stated that government has directed distribution companies to bridge the metering gap in the country, so as to end the estimated billings of consumers.

Looking forward, Fashola stated that the government is geared towards ensuring that everyone in the system gets paid, putting in place better governance and institutional frameworks, more sanctions for energy theft, ensuring better contract performance and sanctions for non-performance, as well as providing electricity access to rural dwellers

The Minister further revealed that the existing contracts for 2000 constituency electricity projects under the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) will soon be completed, adding that the government will be looking at expanding the generation, transmission and distribution aspect within the electricity value chain by encouraging more technical partners and other investors to come into the power sector and explore other energy resources in more secured environments in the country.

EFCC, SEC Declare War On Fraudulent Capital Market Operators

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, have vowed to clamp down on fraudulent operators in the Nigerian capital market.

Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman, EFCC, and his SEC counterpart, Mournir Gwarzo made the pledge  Thursday, January 19, 2017  while signing a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for cooperation at the EFCC head office, Abuja.
The collaboration will see the EFCC provide law enforcement muscle to give bite to SEC’s regulatory mandate in the capital market. 
Magu stressed the need for both agencies to pool resources together in dealing with the menace of Ponzi schemes, which many Nigerian are currently at their mercy.
Gwarzo, on his part declared that the signing of the MoU will send a strong warning to fraudsters added that, “any operator of the capital market that crosses the red line will certainly be dealt with”.

FG, States And LG’s Share N400 Billion For The Month Of December 2016

A total of N400 billion has been distributed  as Federal Allocation for the month of December , 2016 by  the  Federal Government, State Governments and Local Government Councils.
The  communiqué issued by the Technical  sub -Committee of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC)  at the end of the meeting indicated that the Gross statutory revenue received is  N248. 715 billion which is  higher by N8.595 billion when compared with the N240. 120  billion received in the month of November, 2016.
The shared amount comprised the Month’s Statutory distributable revenue of N224.883 billion, Value Added Tax of N79.273 billion, Exchange gain of N52. 842 billion and  Excess PPT Account of N42.998 billion.
There  was also a N6.330 billion refund to the Federal Government by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Therefore, from the Net Statutory revenue, Federal Government received N105.762  billion (52.68%); States received N53.644 billion (26.72%); Local Government Councils received N41.357 billion (20.60%); while the Oil Producing States received N15.504 billion as 13% derivation revenue.
Furthermore, from the Revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT), Federal Government received N11.415 (15%); States received N38.051 billion (50%) while the Local Government Councils received N26.636  (35%).
The Communique further explained that there was a revenue decline of $65.40 million in Federation export sales due to a drop in the volume of Crude oil export of 1.390  million barrels while crude oil sales increased from  $ 47.08 to $47.30 per barrel  during the period  under  review.
There was also a shut-in and shut-down of pipelines due to the activities of vandals as well as for maintenance due to leakages and sabotage which impacted negatively on production. Collection from Royalties increased significantly, and increases in Companies Income Tax  (CIT) and Value Added Tax  (VAT) were marginal.
Kenechukwu . Offie (Mrs)
Director  Information, OAGF

Rann Bombing Show Of ‘Unprofessionalism’ By Nigerian Military – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed shock and totally dismay at the news of the accidental bombing of Rann Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp in Kala-Balge Local Government Area of Borno State by the Military leading to the death of over 52 and more than 120 injured persons in the Camp.

A statement by its spokesperson, Dayo Adeyeye described the accidental bombing as totally unacceptable and we demand a thorough and independent investigation into the matter to unravel the mystery behind the Accident.

Adeyeye stated further, “The excuse by the Nigerian Military that the Camp was mistaken to be a gathering of Boko Haram members is a show of unprofessionalism and lack of intelligence regarding operations of such magnitude.

We are very worried that the Military after several successes against the Sect in recent times will display such provocative conduct capable of rubbing-off on its past achievements as a professional organization.

Nigerians will recall our earlier warnings to the Military not to allow itself to be used by the Ruling Party, the APC as a propaganda machine. We had also warned the Military to remain resolute in its duty as a body constituted by law to defend the territorial integrity of the Nigerian State but not an arm of the Ruling Party.

The Military must excuse itself from the Ruling Party’s propaganda and deceit of scoring cheap political points and concentrate more on the job of really wiping off the insurgency in the North-East and to eliminate threat in all regions of the Country.

We are of the opinion that the Tuesday, January 17, 2017 accidental bombing of the IDP Camp was a reaction to a false alarm and the Military was misled by the informant to cause the killings of those innocent Nigerians.

Consequently, Nigerian military must talk less on its modus operandi and also carry out sufficient intelligence gathering in order to avoid such costly mistakes in the future.

While we appreciate that Nigerians are being informed of the operations of the Military, it is very important to conceal some vital and critical security information to avoid opponents using such information to infiltrate their ranks.

We wish to further advise the Military hierarchy to stop playing to the gallery and maintain distance from the APC leaders who are bent on deceiving Nigerians to cover up for their incompetence and none performance.

Finally, we condole with Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Governor of Borno State, Mr. Kashim Shettima and the families of those who lost their lives in the incident.

It is unfortunate and regrettable as we pray their souls to rest in peace. We are equally calling on government at all levels to provide the needed support for the injured persons and pray for their speedy recovery.

Chibok Girls’ Film “Waiting For Hassana” Premieres On US

A film dedicated to telling the story of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, “Waiting for Hassana”, will be premiered in the U.S. on Friday.

This is contained in a statement by Adam Segal, a representative of The 2050 Group – Publicity, obtained by the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The short documentary, the first Nigerian production ever selected to debut at the prestigious Sundance International Film Festival, focuses on the Chibok girls.

“WAITING FOR HASSANA is a powerful short documentary directed by Ifunanya ‘Funa’ Maduka and produced by Uzodinma Iweala and Ifunanya Maduka.

“It will premiere at the Sundance International Film Festival on Jan. 20, 2017.

“The short documentary, WAITING FOR HASSANA, tells the story of the Chibok abductions from a single perspective — a voice of one of the fifty-seven escapees.

“The film was shot over the course of 2016 in Nigeria by acclaimed Nigerian cinematographer, Victor Okhai.

“Nnamdi Asomugha, a Nigerian-American and former NFL cornerback turned producer, is the primary backer and executive producer on the project.

“Gallerist, Edward Tyler Nahem, and philanthropists, Ann and Andrew Tisch, are also executive producers,” the statement said.

With 46,660 attendees in 2016, Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the U.S.

Held in January in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, as well as at the Sundance Resort, the festival is a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers.

The statement quoted Maduka as saying: “This contained and intimate film introduces a new point of entry into the Chibok kidnappings.

“We know the global story, now we hear the personal one. As the director, my aim was to visually and sonically plunge audiences into the psychological and emotional landscape of our subject.

`My hope is that audiences will leave feeling inextricably linked to her life and her story – that it will become as much their story as it is hers.

“That radical intimacy is, to me, the basic and necessary function of art. It was also important to me that a Nigerian told this story, and I am proud that our crew reflects that drive.”

It also quoted Iweala as saying: “Within every tragedy there are incredible stories of resilience.

“When my mother came to me and said that people need to hear about the strength of these young women who have suffered the worst and yet still have so much to offer the world, I said I would help to get that story out there.

“WAITING FOR HASSANA is the result of a team of Nigerians dedicated to telling our own stories to ourselves and the world.”

It explained that WAITING FOR HASSANA is a film that seeks to reframe the narrative about the Chibok abductions by emphasising the strength and perseverance of an interrupted friendship that is both a source of profound pain and intense motivation to pursue a better life through education.

It said Maduka is a Nigerian American filmmaker and professional cinephile, with a penchant for world cinema.

Previously, she worked on the feature “Half of a Yellow Sun’’, and the documentary, “Building a Dream’’, it said.

The latter covered the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, where she was a founding member and served as the Academy’s first dean of students, it said.

“Funa holds degrees from Cornell University and Harvard University, and waiting for Hassana is her directorial debut.”

The statement also said Iweala is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and a medical doctor.

His first novel, “Beasts of No Nation’’, was released in 2005 to critical acclaim, and won numerous awards, it said.

Beasts of No Nation was translated into 14 languages and selected as a New York Times Notable Book, and it was adapted into the Netflix Film by the same name.

He is also the Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Ventures Africa, a Lagos-based news platform covering police, business, and culture in Nigeria, Africa, and the world.

Iweala is a graduate of Harvard College, Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.


FirstBank Strengthens Money Transfer Services

First Bank of Nigeria Limited said it had been on a journey of strength and dynamism committed to providing the best financial solutions to promote convenience and support the lifestyles of its customers.

To this end, the bank said through the years, it had demonstrated an understanding of its customers’ modern lives, wants, and needs as part of its drive to become the trusted partner providing bespoke and accessible banking offerings to its teeming customers.

It explained in a statement: “One of many of such banking offerings by FirstBank is the money transfer services available nationwide, which provide for customers an alternative transaction channel that is safe, convenient and a flexible means of funds transfer all year round. These services are also available at weekends as well as on public holidays from some dedicated branches.

“With Western Union, customers can conveniently receive money from abroad and send money from Nigeria to over 200 countries and territories Worldwide and recipients can receive funds straight to their accounts. With the outbound Western Union Service, Customers can now send funds directly to bank accounts outside Nigeria with the new Account Payment Network (APN) recently added to the Western Union Service.

“Another money transfer service provided by FirstBank for its customers is MoneyGram. With this service, users can now receive money from loved ones abroad or send to them from Nigeria. FirstBank is the leading agent bank for MoneyGram in Nigeria and has been recognised for its increased transaction volume among other agent locations.

“The bank also offers the RIA money transfer service with which customers can receive money from loved ones abroad directly into their accounts in Naira. RIA money transfer service also offers the option of cash pick up at over 750 FirstBank branches nationwide. With TransFast, users can initiate money transfer online which can be received directly into FirstBank accounts here in Nigeria. Now isn’t this just convenient?”

ECOWAS Troops Suspend Gambia Operation, Gives Jahmeh Last Chance To Leave Banjul

ECOWAS troops  halted their march into Gambia Thursday night to give former president Yahya Jammeh, one more last chance to leave Banjul.

Jammeh has up till noon to leave, in the new deadline given by ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc.

If he fails to do so, the troops under Operation Restore Democracy, will continue their march into the capital. There was no resistance by Gambian troops at the border when the West African soldiers entered Thursday.

”Troops in Farafenni refused to fight. They opened border for ECOWAS troops to enter freely. No loss of lives down that end’, a source monitoring the operation said.

Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow took the oath of office on Thursday at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar Senegal, calling for international support from West Africa’s ECOWAS bloc, the African Union and the United Nations.

“This is a day no Gambian will ever forget,” Barrow said after taking the oath, which was administered by the president of Gambia’s bar association.

“Our national flag will now fly high among the most democratic nations of the world.”

The support he canvassed for quickly came in with the United Nations Security Council supporting a resolution backing West Africa’s effort to restore democracy in the small African country.

Thereafter, the regional military force launched an intervention effort.

“We think that up until the last minute there is still a solution through dialogue,” said Marcel de Souza, head of the ECOWAS commission, explaining the decision to suspend the advance to reporters in Dakar late on Thursday.

ECOWAS will send a team led by Guinea’s president, Alpha Conde, and including the presidents of Liberia and Mauritania to Banjul on Friday, de Souza said.

If the mission succeeds, Jammeh will travel to Guinea before choosing a country of exile.

“It’s out of the question that he stays in place. … We propose that he leaves in an honourable manner and with respect,” said de Souza, who added that regional leaders were open to the possibility of an amnesty as part of a deal.

It was unclear what Jammeh’s next move would be. He has so far ignored pressure to step aside and offers of exile.

On Thursday, he still tried to exercise his emasculated power by announcing the dissolution of his cabinet and promised to reconstitute a new one.

In reality, he is now alone, with his government riddled by defections. In the biggest loss yet, Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy, who has held the role since 1997, quit on Wednesday.

Jammeh, in power since a 1994 coup, initially conceded defeat to Barrow following a Dec. 1 election before back-tracking, saying the vote was flawed.

De Souza said a total of 7,000 troops from Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Mali are involved in the operation. Troops had already entered Gambia from the southeast, southwest and north before they were ordered to stop.

The advance will resume at noon (1200 GMT) on Friday if Jammeh still refused to leave, he said. Barrow will return to Gambia once the operation is over.

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday backed ECOWAS’s efforts to ensure Barrow assumes power, and the United States said it supported the intervention.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement pledged “his full support for his (Barrow’s) determination, and ECOWAS’s historic decision, with the unanimous backing of the Security Council, to restore the rule of law in The Gambia so as to honour and respect the will of the Gambian people.”

ECOWAS and the African Union previously said they would recognise Barrow from Thursday, and nations including the United Kingdom and France were quick to congratulate him.


Following Barrow’s swearing in, hundreds of Gambians celebrated in the streets of Banjul, the capital, cautiously at first, and then gradually in larger numbers as they realised the security forces looking on were not going to open fire.

Army chief General Ousman Badjie, who had publicly stood by Jammeh, was seen smiling on the streets wading through a mass of jubilant Banjul residents shouting and dancing.

Cars raced up and down the highway lined with iron-roofed shops in the pro-Barrow Serrekunda district of Banjul, with horns honking and people hanging out the windows.

“The dictator is out,” shouted pharmacist Lamine Jao, 30, as others cheered and whistled in agreement. “It’s just a question of time. We’ll soon flush him out. Believe me.”

During the brief inauguration speech, Barrow asserted his new role as commander and chief of Gambia’s armed services, ordering soldiers to stay calm and remain in their barracks. Those who did not would be considered rebels, he said.

In a statement released late on Thursday, Jammeh announced he was dissolving his government – a 19-member Cabinet, half of whose members had already resigned – and pledged to name a new one “in due course.”

Fearing unrest, thousands of Gambians have fled in recent weeks, the United Nations estimates.

Tour companies, meanwhile, have rushed to evacuate hundreds of European tourists.

Gambia’s long, sandy beaches have made it a prime destination for tourists, but Jammeh, who once vowed to rule for “a billion years,” has earned a reputation for rights abuses and stifling dissent.


Comedian, AY Announces New Movie ’10 Days In Sun City’

Award-winning Nigerian actor and stand-up comedian, Ayo Makun, popularly known as AY, is set to release a new movie “10 Days in Sun City”.

AY who dropped the hint on his Instagram handled and shared a photo from his production wrote: “Production meeting is in progress for my new movie ‘10 Days in Sun City.”

He is yet to reveal more details about his upcoming movie.

The actor is still basking in the success and popularity of his movie, “30 Days in Atlanta,” with the highest domestic gross of N137m.

The comedy movie was also recognised by the 2017 Guinness World Records, as one of the films with the highest domestic gross in the territories of Bollywood and Hollywood, listed alongside “PK” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,”.

It was the first time that the Nigerian movie industry received such recognition by the ‘Guinness World Records’ since inception in 1955.

Thereafter, AY’s second movie titled: “A Trip to Jamaica” was premiered in Sept 2016, and grossed N168m at the box office within three months of its premiering at cinemas.

It surpassed the N137 million record set by Guinness World Record holder, “30 Days in Atlanta”, to become the highest grossing movie of 2016 in Nigeria.


Obaseki, Benson Idahosa University Set To Generate Electricity From Waste

Edo state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said his administration will collaborate with Benson Idahosa University (BIU) in Benin to convert waste for wealth creation in the state.

The governor announced this on Thursday after meeting with the management team of Benson Idahosa University at The Government House in Benin.

On why he decided to meet the management, he noted that waste management was a priority in his administration and he was ready to collaborate with investors interested in converting waste to wealth.

He also said that his administration, in its effort to make the state clean, will unveil its environmental strategy in less than two months.

“We will be launching a massive environmental campaign because our goal is to make the state and Benin the cleanest capital in the country. It will involve massive citizen participation and we will be counting on the support of the University when we unveil the strategy”, he said.

The governor however urged the institution to finalise plans with its other partners in order to facilitate a proper MoU with the government. Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Mr Ernest Izewingie, said the visit was to seek the government’s permission to get access to its waste dumpsites for its ‘waste to wealth initiative’.

He also explained that the initiative aimed to facilitate youth employment, income generation and conversion of waste to electricity in the state. “We want to partner with the state in the area of waste management; we want to convert waste into wealth.

A Switzerland-based company will fund the project with no financial commitment on the part of the government. We are building a waste recycling machine which will have a bioreactor that will act as an artificial stomach to digest the carbon base material”, he revealed

Trump Team Denies Inviting Ex-president Jonathan To Inauguration [See List Of Invitees]

The Trump transition committee, Great Again, has denied reports in some sections of the media in Nigeria that President-elect Trump declined invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari and has instead invited former president Goodluck Jonathan to the U.S 45th presidential inauguration scheduled for Friday in Washington.

The official speaking to Per Second News in Washington Thursday morning said that the inauguration was mostly a domestic event for America.

“The US State Department has advised that as in the past, foreign delegations will not be invited to Washington for the President-elect Trump’s 2017 inauguration and that heads of state and governments will be represented by chiefs of diplomatic missions in Washington,” the official said.

A twitter account of Deji Adeyanju, a  PDP spokesperson also said that United States of America president-elect Donald Trump has invited ex-president of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan to his inauguration on Friday, January 20, 2017.

A U.S State Department official said that “The ‘Heads of Mission’ are the only foreign officially invited. It will be an historic few days!” He further confirmed that one invitation card has been sent to the Nigerian Mission in Washington, DC.

According to the Great Again official, Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee has raised a record $90 million-plus in private donations, far more than President Barack Obama’s two inaugural committees.

But while Trump has raised more money for his inauguration than any president in history, lead inaugural planner Tom Barrack said theTrump team wants to avoid a “circus-like atmosphere” in favor of a more “back to work” mindset.

He said only few foreign leaders were invited, which includes Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister.

Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also revealed Thursday that 28,000 officials are dedicated to security for the event, including 7,800 National Guard troops.

Former leader Jonathan is currently in Bayelsa, according to close aides.

SEE LISTS Attending

• Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton 

• former President Bill Clinton

• former President George W. Bush

• former First Lady Laura Bush

• former President Jimmy Carter

• Ohio Gov. John Kasich 

• New Mexico Gov.  Susana Martinez

• former UKIP leader Nigel Farage 

• Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak 

•  Anson Chan, the former chief secretary in Hong Kong

• Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

• Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

• Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass.

• Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

• Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, D-Mass.

• the Rev.  Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

• Rabbi Marvin Hier, the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

• Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York

• the Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse

• televangelist Paula White

• Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, leader of Great Faith Ministries International in Detroit


• Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

• Israeli Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu

• former President George H.W. Bush.

• former Florida Gov.  Jeb Bush

Source: PerSecond News

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