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13-Jun-2024 Permanent Secretary gets Query over alleged Sexual Harassment

Permanent Secretary gets Query over alleged Sexual Harassment

The Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), has queried Ibrahim Lamuwa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, over alleged Sexual Harassment.

Lamuwa, who served as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Senegal with Concurrent Accreditation to Mauritania before his Appointment as Permanent Secretary, is accused of sexually harassing Simisola Ajayi, who works in the Ministry.

Muhammed Ahmed, Deputy-Director of Communication in the OHCSF, confirmed Lamuwa’s Query in Abuja.

“Lamuwa was queried in accordance with the Civil Service Rules and Regulations.” 

According to him, the Query is to give the Accused a fair hearing.

“His response will set the path for further necessary action.”

He also hinted that there would be “unhindered Investigation into the alleged Case of Sexual Harassment”.

“We are following the Procedure in the Civil Service. The Case shall be fully investigated,” he said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar had, based on a Petition by Ajayi, through her Legal Counsel, Femi Falana, Officially asked Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, to wade-in on the Matter.

His Letter asking her to step in on the Matter went viral on Tuesday.

Tuggar stated in the Letter: “Bearing in mind the gravity of the Matter, it has become necessary to draw your attention to it, while requesting the OHCSF to handle the Matter”.

The deadline for Lamuwa’s response could not be confirmed, but an unconfirmed Source said that he had been asked to step aside to avoid interference that could taint Investigation into the Matter.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headlines

13-Jun-2024 Plane Crash: APRA commiserates PR Society, Government, People of Malawi

Plane Crash: APRA commiserates PR Society, Government, People of Malawi

The African Public Relations Association (APRA), has expressed heartfelt condolences to the Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM, an Institutional Member of APRA), the Government and Citizens of the Republic of Malawi over the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of the Country’s Vice President, Saulos Chilima, and nine others on June 10, 2024.

In a Condolence Letter dated June 11, 2024, and addressed to Benson Linje, the President of PRSM, the Continental Association described the Incident as a “huge loss, not only to the People of Malawi but also to the African Continent.”

The Letter reads: “We write to express our profound shock and sadness at the tragic Plane crash that caused the death of H.E. Dr. Saulos Chilima, the Vice President of Malawi, and nine others on Monday, June 10, 2024.

“On behalf of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), we extend our heartfelt condolences to you, our Colleagues in the Public Relations Society of Malawi, and the great People of Malawi."

The letter also states, “As always and especially this time of National Mourning, we stand in solidarity with the People of Malawi.

“We share in the pain and the grief attending this huge loss, not only to the People of Malawi but to the African Continent."

“The Council and all Members (Institutional, Corporate and Individual) of APRA offer heartfelt sympathies and will continue to remember the great People of Malawi in our entreaties.”

APRA, in the Letter, prayed that the cherished Memories of the Departed would bring strength and that the support of Friends, Colleagues, Compatriots, other Pan-Africanists and Lovers around the World will help to bring PRSM and the People of Malawi comfort on the tragic Incident.

APRA also prayed that the Families, Friends, and Loved ones of the Deceased find strength and be comforted over this tragedy.

“Please rest assured that, as we mourn the passing of these Distinguished Personalities and Individuals, we also celebrate their Lives and contributions to the Republic of Malawi and our dear Continent. May their Souls rest in peace,” the Letter closes.

 

Credit NCC PR

13-Jun-2024 Minimum Wage: Fully Armed Soldiers surrounded us while negotiating with FG, says Labour

Minimum Wage: Fully Armed Soldiers surrounded us while negotiating with FG, says Labour

As Nigeria marks Democracy Day, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says its demand for the new National Minimum Wage remains N250,000.

The Acting President of NLC, Adewale Adeyanju, said this in a Statement, while reacting to President Bola Tinubu Democracy Day speech on Wednesday, in Abuja.

The Federal Government had offered N62, 000 as the new National Minimum Wage, at the end of the Tripartite Committee Meeting, involving the Organised Private Sector (OPS).

According to him, the Union appreciates the President’s commitment to those fine Democratic Ideals which allowed the Work of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Negotiation Committee to proceed unhindered despite some hiccups.

“Our demand still remains N250,000 only and we have not been given any compelling reasons to change this position which we consider a great concession by Nigerian Workers during the Tripartite Negotiation Process.

“We are, therefore, surprised at the submission of Mr President over a supposed Agreement.

“We believe that he may have been misled into believing that there was an Agreement with the NLC and TUC.

“There was none and it is important that we let the President, Nigerians and other National Stakeholders understand this immediately to avoid a mix up in the ongoing Conversation around the National Minimum Wage,” he said.

Adeyanju also noted that the Union had not seen a Copy of the Document submitted to Mr President and it would not accept any Doctored Document.

He, however, reaffirmed the Union’s belief that the President on whose Table the Tripartite Committee’s Report presently resides would prepare an Executive Bill which content would reflect the true demand of Nigerian Workers.

“We think that this is an opportunity for him to demonstrate his love for Nigerian Workers and Masses.

“That is by shunning the pieces of advice that may be coming from those whose intentions are continuously focused on hurting the Poor and Struggling Workers of Nigeria.

“Mr President should not allow these Individuals and Groups to sabotage his promise of lifting Nigerian Workers out of Poverty,” he said.

According to him, the President’s Advisers obviously did not tell him the truth that the Leaders of the Trade Unions were intimidated and harassed.

“It is, therefore, important that Mr President understands that we were threatened severally by his Operatives perhaps without his consent.

“Series of Media Propaganda calculated to intimidate and harass us were, and, are still being waged against the Trade Unions by Senior Officials of this Government.

“Fully Armed Soldiers surrounded us while we were in a Negotiation with the Government,” he alleged.

He added the NLC remained assured that the President’s Democratic Credentials will come to the fore in favour of Nigerian Workers and Masses.

He also noted that NLC never agreed on a five-year duration of the Minimum Wage Act though acknowledged that the President mentioned five years or less.

According to Adeyanju, the Union also agreed that Inflation should be pegged at a level for certain amount to be agreed as Minimum Wage. This is to bring clarity to what the Report should contain.

“Once again, we reiterate that it will be extremely difficult for Nigerian Workers to accept any National Minimum Wage figure that approximates to a Starvation Wage.

“We cannot be working and yet remain in abject Poverty.

“We seek justice, equity and fairness for all Nigerians and this we hope would also drive the actions of Mr. President who promised a Living Wage to Nigerian Workers.

“This is an opportunity to show that he listens to Nigerians as he promised,” he said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

12-Jun-2024 Tinubu reviews Special Parade to mark 25 Years of Nigeria’s enduring Democracy

Tinubu reviews Special Parade to mark 25 Years of Nigeria’s enduring Democracy

As part of Activities to mark the 2024 Democracy Day, the Guards Brigade Nigerian Army on Wednesday led the Nigerian Armed Forces and Nigeria Police in a Special Parade.

Nigeria is also celebrating 25 years of unbroken Democracy.

The theme for the Democracy Day Celebration is “25 Years of Enduring Democracy: Prospects for the Future”.

The Parade was mounted by the Personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Police who displayed a Colourful Event.

President Bola Tinubu, who is the Reviewing Officer for the Parade mounted the Special Military Parade Vehicle with his Aide de Camp to inspect the Parade at about 10.15 am.

Afterward, the Troops began the Match Past, first to salute the Dignitaries and seek permission to commence the quick Match Past.

This was followed by the Silent Drill Display by the Guards Brigade, Mass Bang and Cultural Troupes display and other important Activities

President Tinubu and his wife, Oluremi Tinubu arrived the Venue at exactly at 10.00 am heralding the commencement of the Programme.

The President of the Senate and Speaker, House of Representatives, Godswill Akpabio and Tajudeen Abbas as well as the Chief Justice of Nigerian and Secretary to the Government of the Federation arrived earlier.

Also present were Ministers, State Governors, Lawmakers and Security Chiefs.

Earlier in a Nationwide Broadcast, President Tinubu praised the Winner of the Annulled June 12, 1993, Presidential Election, Moshood Abiola and other Heroes of Democracy, including Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Alfred Rewane, among others.

He acknowledged the Economic hardships in the Country and expressed his commitment to supporting the Citizens.

He said, “On this day, 31 years ago, we entered our Rites of Passage to becoming a true and enduring Democratic Society.

“Going through this Passage was hard and dangerous. During the fateful six years that followed, we fought and struggled for our Natural Rights as Human Beings put on this Earth by the divine hand of our Creator.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

12-Jun-2024 Ex- Minister to National Assembly: Cut down your Budget to reduce Cost of Governance

Ex- Minister to National Assembly: Cut down your Budget to reduce Cost of Governance

A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has called for a Review of the Budgets of the Senate and House of Representatives as a Strategy to reduce Cost of Governance.

Obanikoro made the call in commemoration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day.

Nigeria’s Democracy Day is now celebrated on June 12 to remember the acrifices of the Winner of the 1993 Presidential Election, Moshood Abiola.

It used to be celebrated on May 29 Annually, but was moved to June 12 by the Administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria operates a Bicameral Legislature made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“Democracy doesn’t have to be this expensive, that is one thing we don’t get right.

“It is expensive because we have made it so. Let me give you a good example because we borrowed this System from America.

“In America they don’t provide Accommodation for Lawmakers, they fend for themselves when it comes to that, they live basically on Salary and very small Fringe Benefits,” Obanikoro said.

He said that Nigeria could also work toward that, and make the Budget of the National Assembly more transparent.

“When the Budget is more transparent, and People can go Online and see what is allocated to every Member of the National Assembly and can also input into the Process, I do believe that will make the Process or the Institution less expensive,” he said.

Obanikoro added  that if the Budget of the two Legislative Houses would be made  transparent, the recent calls for Parliamentary System of Government would have been avoided.

”This clamour that the Bicameral System of Legislature should be jettisoned will reduce if the Budget is reduced, because the idea is that there are some Budgetary Provisions that should never be in our Books and we must be bold enough to expunge them.

“We cut the Budget size of the National Assembly to a reasonable level that an average Nigerian can live with,” Obanikoro, also a former High Commissioner to Ghana, said.

On immortalising Abiola, Obanikoro said that the Federal Government could do more.

“Let me say this, Government has really tried, because there was a time that Government did not even want to acknowledge the contributions of MKO.

“To have moved from denial to the reality that Abiola  contributed and sacrificed his Life for this Democracy is a welcome and commendable development.

”However, I believe more can be done. Democratic Institutions can be named after him, and we have declared today Democracy Day, not MKO day.

“Some people can say it is synonymous but I will want more Landmark Buildings in Nigeria named after him across the six Geo-Political Zones.

“That way, at every corner of the Country you look, you can visibly know how we got to where we are,” he said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

12-Jun-2024 Tinubu: If you are not counted among their Elite, your life will be small, it’ll no longer be owned by you

Tinubu: If you are not counted among their Elite, your life will be small, it’ll no longer be owned by you

President Bola Tinubu has vowed to preserve Democracy and protect the Rights, Freedom and Liberty of Citizens.

Tinubu said this in a National Broadcast to mark the 2024 Democracy Day and the 25th year of uninterrupted Democratic Rule in the Country.

The President said that as a Beneficiary of the historic efforts of the Heroes of Democracy, he was morally bound to preserve the present Form of Government.

“I stand uniquely placed in this regard. I was among those who took the risk to midwife the birth of our Democracy. I am now a direct and obvious Beneficiary of the fruits of those historic efforts.

“As President of this Nation, I am morally and constitutionally bound to preserve this precious Form of Governance.

“I vow to do my utmost best to protect your Rights, Freedoms, and Liberties as Citizens of Nigeria.

“Even more than that, I pledge to do whatever is necessary to cement Democracy as our Way of Life,” he said.

The President expressed gratitude to Nigerians for the Opportunity to lead the Country and promised not to turn his back on them.

He urged Nigerians to beware of those trying to exploit the current challenges in the Country to undermine and destroy the Democracy for which so much had already been given.

According to him, as Nigerians, we must remind ourselves that no matter how complicated Democracy may be, it is the best Form of Governance in the long run.

“We must also be aware that there are those among us who will try to exploit current challenges to undermine, if not destroy this Democracy for which so much has already been given.

“These People do this not to make things better but to subject all other People and things to their control and dominance until the point that, if you are not counted among their Elite, then your life will be small and no longer owned by you,” he said.

Tinubu added that “I understand the Economic difficulties we face as a Nation.

“Our Economy has been in desperate need of Reform for decades. It has been unbalanced because it was built on the flawed Foundation of over-reliance on Revenues from the Exploitation of Oil.

“The Reforms we have initiated are intended to create a stronger, better Foundation for future growth.

“There is no doubt the Reforms have occasioned hardship, yet, they are necessary repairs required to fix the Economy over the long run so that everyone has access to Economic Opportunity, Fair Pay and Compensation for his Endeavour and Labour,” he said.

Tinubu said  his Government was aware of the proper way forward to move the Country and would take it.

He acknowledged those who laid down their Lives, sacrificing everything to pave the way for the Nation and pledged to do all that was necessary to cement Democracy in the Country.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

11-Jun-2024 Shettima to Youths: Once we engage you, all the madness pervading Nigeria will stop

Shettima to Youths: Once we engage you, all the madness pervading Nigeria will stop

The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, has restated the commitment of the Bola Tinubu Administration to supporting Nigerian Youths to reach their potential and contribute to the Growth and Development of the Country.

Shettima’s Remark was contained in a Statement by Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Office of the Vice President.

He said Shettima made the Remark when he received the National Executive Council of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), led by its President, Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubo, on a Courtesy Visit to the Presidential Villa.

Commending the Council for its support of the Programmes and Activities of the Tinubu Administration, Shettima said:

“We cannot thank you enough for keeping the hope alive for the Nigerian Youth.

“We identify with you, we empathise with you because the future of this Nation belongs to you. We are one of the Youngest Nations on the Planet and the Youth constitute nearly 75 per cent of our Population.

“Once we engage the Youth, once we give them hope for a better tomorrow, all the madness pervading this land will dissipate.

“Sixty years for an Organisation to remain vibrant and still stand on its feet deserves commendation. I want to thank you for believing in the Nigeria Project.

“A lot of Members of your Generation have left the Country but you resolved to stay on, and together we are going to salvage the Ship of this State,” he added.

On plans of the Tinubu Administration for Young Nigerians, the Vice President noted that President Tinubu created a Ministry for the Youth under the current Dispensation.

He added that the President also appointed two Young People to head the Ministry, while the Vice President had complemented that by appointing a lot of Young Persons into Key Positions in his Office.

Assuring the NYCN Delegation that the Administration is aligned with their aspirations, Shettima said, “We hold you in the highest esteem.

“We have a series of Opportunities lined up for you such as the iDICE Project that will create Digital Jobs, including the ones in the Creative Industry.

“So, let’s hope for the best, let’s believe in Nigeria because this is our Country.”

Earlier, Sukubo had expressed the Council’s readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government in addressing Oil Bunkering.

“We have decided to see how we can help this Country in Areas of Oil Theft that have been ravaging this Nation,” Sukubo stated.

He added that, “the NYCN has decided that it’s a collective effort, and we are ready to partner with the Government to address this illegality.”

Sukubo announced that the NYCN, which was established on August 28, 1964, in Lagos, was gearing up to commemorate its 60th Anniversary in November.

On behalf of the Council, he extended an Invitation to the Vice President to Officially unveil the Anniversary Events expected to draw Participants from across the Country.

“This year, we are celebrating our 60th Anniversary, and we want you to Officially unveil the Anniversary Events.

“The Events will have nothing less than 100,000 Participants across the Country, and that is the day we want to give insight into the Activities of this Government,” Sukubo said.

Acknowledging the Administration’s efforts in appointing a significant number of Young People to Government Positions, the NYCN Delegation also appealed to the Federal Government to construct a Youth House.

Also speaking, Rikki Nwajiofor, the National Deputy Secretary General of the NYCN, highlighted the Council’s Role as the Apex Youth Body representing all Youth Organisations in Nigeria as stipulated in the National Youth Policy.

“NYCN is made up of 104 Affiliate Member Youth Organisations, a 27-Member National Executive Council, 36 State Chapters and an FCT Chapter, as well as 774 Coordinators in all Local Government and Area Councils in Nigeria.

“That is why the NYCN is the Vehicle through which the Government passes its Policies to the Grassroots,” Nwajiofor explained.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

10-Jun-2024 Akinsowon: The Accountant grilling to Guinness World Record

Akinsowon: The Accountant grilling to Guinness World Record

All Roads lead to Eric Kayser Restaurant, Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Bendel Close, Victoria Island, Lagos this weekend as another Nigerian plans to break Guinness World Records.

Akinsowon Faderera Edwin, an Accountant and a Chef, will be making an attempt to become the World Record Holder in Grill-A-Thon Berbeque for 82 hours.

An indigene of Ondo State, the Parents are Retired Civil Servants. When successful, he will put the 48-year-old State on the World Map.

Akinsowon is a passionate Griller and aspiring World Champion, with a background in Accounting and a deep love for the Culinary Arts.

His journey from an Arts Student to a record-breaking hopeful is a story of perseverance and unwavering belief in the power of dreams.

With a burning passion and an unyielding spirit, Faderera, an Accountant-turned-Restaurant Staff, is set to embark on a remarkable journey to break the Guinness World Record for the longest Barbecue Marathon.

Drawing from his diverse background and motivated by a deep-seated belief in achieving the extraordinary, he aims to grill for over 82 hours, surpassing the current record of 80 hours.

 Inspiration and Motivation

When asked about the inspiration behind this ambitious attempt, he shared, “Motivation is an inner drive that pushes you beyond expectations. I’ve always believed that nothing is impossible.

“Though I was an Arts Student in Secondary School and later studied Accounting in Higher Education, I found my true calling in the Restaurant Business.

Learning to grill from my Grandfather in Ondo City ignited my passion for Barbecue.”

Preparation and Planning

His journey towards this record-breaking attempt began two years ago.

“From childhood, I envisioned myself as a World Champion. Working in a Restaurant solidified my dream of achieving greatness through Grilling,” he explained.

To ensure his success, he enlisted the help of an Expert Trainer last year, who dedicated a month to honing his Grilling Skills.

However, the path has not been without challenges.

“Financial constraints and a demanding Work Ethic have been significant hurdles,” he admitted.

“But my determination to succeed keeps me going.”

Details of the Attempt

According to him, to break the Record, I must grill for over 81 hours in a Public Area, adhering to specific Guidelines set by Guinness World Records.

“I plan to grill for more than 82 hours, using only Charcoal as Modern Grilling Machines are not permitted. The Event will be open to the Public, and I’ll have a Medical Certificate to ensure the quality and safety of the Food.”

Logistics and Support

Managing rest breaks and staying active throughout the attempt will be crucial.

“Guinness allows only rest breaks, not sleeping time. I aim to remain active for the full four days,” he stated.

The Lagos State Government is providing Emergency Services to ensure safety, and all Foods prepared will undergo Government Approval to maintain high Standards.

Personal Experience and Impact

Staying motivated during such a demanding task requires strong personal support.

“My Mother has always motivated me. Her encouragement keeps me focused, and I want to make her proud,” he shared.

Professionally, he hopes to establish a Global presence in the Grilling Business and inspire others through his journey.

Community Response and Future Plans

 Despite the lack of widespread support, he remains hopeful.

“It’s challenging to get support, but I’m determined. If successful, I plan to build a Grilling Empire alongside my Comedy Ministry,” he revealed.

He also intends to share his Experience and Techniques with others, drawing on his Teaching Background from his Institution days.

Celebration and Advice

When asked about celebrating the record-breaking achievement, he smiled and said, “Let the day come first, and you’ll see.”

His advice to aspiring record-breakers is simple yet profound: “Never lose hope. Start planning and believe in your dreams. Even when the odds are against you, your belief will make it happen.”

“My determination to break the Guinness World Records for the Longest Barbecue Marathon will be a testament to my dedication, resilience and unshakable belief in my dreams.

“The Event promises to be an inspiring showcase of skill, determination and community spirit, featuring free barbeque, free drinks, games, music and entertainment, give away and lots more.

“I solicit for Public support, Private and Public Company support, Federal and State Government support as I will be embarking on the journey starting from 1am on Saturday 15th of June till I break the Record.

“We are inviting everybody to come and experience greatness at the venue, beside Eric Kayser Restaurant, Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Bendel Close Victoria Island, Lagos”.

 

09-Jun-2024 FG goes tough on Vandals, says 'our eyes on Third Mainland Bridge'

FG goes tough on Vandals, says 'our eyes on Third Mainland Bridge'

The Federal Ministry of Works says it is working with the Police to tighten Security and stop Vandalism on the Third Mainland Bridge to save the Public Infrastructure.

The Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Olukorede Kesha, gave the assurance in an Interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.

Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Police Command in Lagos State had on Friday arrested a Suspected Vandal removing LED Road Stud Lights on the newly-renovated Third Mainland Bridge.

According to the Police, the Suspect had already removed 10 of the Lights before he was caught by Policemen on Patrol.

 

Kesha said that the the Ministry would not tolerate any Vandalism on Public Infrastructure.

She said that Police Trucks had been stationed on the Bridge to allow Officers to quickly respond to Incidents and check Vandalism.

She said: “We have written to the Commissioner of Police to ensure more surveillance on the Third Mainland Bridge, and we have stationed Police Trucks on the Bridge.

“Police Officers now patrol the Bridge more frequently; this increased Security Measures have led to the arrest of a number of Miscreants, who were vandalising Public Property.

“We saw that the Cat Eye Lights were vandalised, and the Vandals were promptly arrested and taken into Police Custody.

“More Miscreants were also arrested for Vandalism even on Monday. This shows a strong response from the Authorities.

“Our eyes are on Third Mainland Bridge.”

The Cat Eye Lights are Small Reflective Markers on the Road that help with visibility at night.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

09-Jun-2024 Lagos inspects Road Projects, vows to complete Alapere Pedestrian Bridge in 3 months

Lagos inspects Road Projects, vows to complete Alapere Pedestrian Bridge in 3 months

Lagos State Government has embarked on a Road and Bridge Project which will link Sangotedo in Eti Osa with Ito-Omu creek in Ibeju Lekki and Epe.

The Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Infrastructure, Olufemi Daramola, gave the assurance on Saturday, during an Inspection of some Projects across the State.

”Today, we are at the Omu Creek Road which is one of the Strategic Projects that is ongoing.

“It is a Road of about five kilometres and about 600 metres Bridge.

”It is about 1.1 kilometres from the Lekki-Epe Express Road. What we have witnessed today is really a big progress, there has been a lot of Soil Reclamation, a lot of Soil Replacement has gone on.

”We will be able to get to the point where the Bridge work will start, a lot of Soil Investigation is going on, the progress is very commendable,” he said.

The special adviser also inspected the Ketu Alapere Pedestrian Bridge Reconstruction. Daramola said that the Project would be completed in few months.

 

The Bridge, which was constructed 11 years ago, was damaged  by impact of a Container-Laden Truck which attempted to manoeuvre under the Bridge.

“Reconstruction of the damaged Alapere Pedestrian Bridge is ongoing.

“There was a lot of work on the Alignment. The Federal Government was working on the Third Mainland Bridge, and we had to synchronise the work.

”There is good progress, the Foundation is done, the Cast elements are all being set, the Headroom will be improved, and in another couple of months – two, three months  – I am sure that the Project will be completed,” he said.

Daramola also said that the State Government had  embarked on rehabilitation of some Link Roads in the Ikoyi Axis.

“The State Government is also working on a Network of Roads in Ikoyi, Oyinkan Abayomi, MacPherson, Ilabere. Site visit shows that there is improvement.

“Contractors are on site, and we are having good milage.

”Some Sets of Roads were done in Ikoyi previously, and this Set will add more connectivity. The progress of work  is very commendable,” he said.

The Special Adviser said that the Ilabere Link Road, Ikoyi, project was 70 per cent completed.

”None of the Roads has been completed because it is a Network.

”In Lagos as a whole, there is quite a number of Projects going on, we visit these Sites from time to time.

”I can assure you in Alimosho we have ongoing Projects such as Babafemi Daada, Abaranje Road.  In Badagry, we have Hospital Road, Samuel Ekundayo Road. In Kosofe, we have St. Finbarrs Road in Akoka and all the Contractors are on Site.

”The Governor has given us support maximally, you will see more progress,” Daramola said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

08-Jun-2024 Tinubu commissions N21bn Residence for Vice President, says it's a matter of convenience

Tinubu commissions N21bn Residence for Vice President, says it's a matter of convenience

President Bola Tinubu has inaugurated the N21bn Official Residence of the Vice President, abandoned since 2015.

Tinubu, represented by the Vice-President Kashim Shettima at the Event, reaffirmed the unwavering dedication of his Administration to the Principles of Accountability, Transparency and efficient utilisation of Resources for the betterment of the Country.

He stated that a provision of suitable Residence for the Vice President was not merely a matter of convenience, but a symbol of respect for the Office and the Individuals occupying it.

Tinubu added that the completion of the Project was a testimony to the respect and affection that the President had for the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

”President Bola Tinubu deserves special commendations. We have seen how Vice President were treated in the past.

”However, with the present dispensation, it is a different ball game,” he said

The President said that the decision to complete the Project after going through the required due process was highly commendable.

According to him, “it is not a secret that the Project has faced numerous challenges over the years, including delayed and abandonment by the previous Administration.

”However, rather than dwell on past shortcomings, we have chosen to take this opportunity to demonstrate our resolve to confront obstacles, head on.

“We also resolved to deliver on the promises made to the Nigerians, in line with our Renewed Hope Agenda which has, completion of inherited Projects, as one of its cardinal objectives.

”As we commission this State-of-the-Art Edifice,  we are fulfilling a long standing commitment and reaffirming our unwavering dedication to Accountability, Transparency and efficient utilisation of Resources for the betterment of the our Nation.

“I hold a very strong opinion that abandoning Projects after substantial Expenditures has been incurred is inherently wasteful.

”It is in the best interest of the Government and the Public, to see them through to completion,” he said

Tinubu expressed gratitude to the FCT Administration for taking up the responsibility  to complete the Project to avoid wastage of Taxpayers’ money.

Earlier, the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, said that the Project was awarded in 2010 at the cost of N7bn, but was abandoned in 2015.

”It was in January this year (2024), that we had to review the Project to N21bn, from N7bn, that means additional N14 billion.

”For a Vice-President Residence to take 14 good years and then Mr President, within a year, made it a reality; this is what is called, renewed hope,” he said.

Wike recalled that when he came on board in August 2023, the Project Site was a bush.

“I, therefore, went to the  President and told him Criminals had taken over the place and the President directed that I should make sure that the Project is completed,” he said.

The Minister thanked the President for supporting the completion of the Project and ensuring his Vice lived in a comfortable Environment.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

08-Jun-2024 Minimum Wage: We can't even afford to pay N60,000, say Governors

Minimum Wage: We can't even afford to pay N60,000, say Governors

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says though a new Minimum Wage is due, the proposed N60,000 is not sustainable.

NGF’s Acting Director on Media and Public Affairs, Hajiya Halima Ahmed, in a Statement on Friday in Abuja, sympathised with the Labour Unions in their push for higher Wages.

Ahmed, however, urged all Parties to consider the fact that the Minimum Wage Negotiations also involved consequential adjustments across all Cadres, including Pensioners.

“The NGF cautions Parties in this important discussion to look beyond just signing a Document for the sake of it; any Agreement to be signed should be sustainable and realistic.

“All things considered, the NGF holds that the N60,000 Minimum Wage Proposal is not sustainable and cannot fly.

“It will simply mean that many States will spend all their Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) Allocations on just paying Salaries, with nothing left for Development purposes.

“In fact, a few States will end up borrowing to pay Workers every month. We do not think this will be in the collective interest of the Country, including Workers,’’ she said.

Ahmed, on behalf of the Governors appealed to all Parties involved, especially the Labour Unions, to consider all the Socio-Economic Variables.

She urged the Stakeholders to settle for an Agreement that was sustainable, durable, and fair to all other Segments of the Society, who had legitimate claim to Public Resources. 

 

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08-Jun-2024 Minimum Wage: FG offers N62,000 as Labour pushes for N250,000

Minimum Wage: FG offers N62,000 as Labour pushes for N250,000

The Federal Government said it has offered Organised Labour N62, 000 as the new National Minimum Wage for Workers in the Country.

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State said this while addressing Journalists at the end of Tripartite Committee Negotiation Meeting on Friday in Abuja.

Uzodimma who is also the Chairman of Governors' Forum, spoke on behalf of the Governors that there was progress in the Negotiation of the new Minimum Wage.

According to him, we are almost there because we are just about to sign the dot and there will be a complete closure. Every other thing will follow.

“The Committee has worked so hard and the Committee has reach an Agreement. The Tripartite Committee is made up of three Parties -the Government, the Organised Private Sector(OPS) and the Organised Labour.

“In the wisdom of the Committee, it has put together a Recommendation that will be forwarded to Mr President for further action

“The Organised Private Sector and the Federal Government have agreed on N62, 000 while the Organised Labour is asking for N250, 000.

“At the end of the day what is important is that we are talking. There is no hostility anymore. And the National anxiety is going to be relaxed as soon as this is made Public,” he said.

Also, Festus Osifo, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC) noted that the OPS and Federal Government have recommended N62, 000 as the Minimum Wage.

“But for us we felt that with the current Economic hardship and the difficulty in the Land, the sum of N250, 000 should be what will be okay for the Minimum Wage.

“We are going to sign a Report and forward this position to Mr President. This Committee is to make recommendation to him.

”So we will forward it to him and Mr President will forward it to the National Assembly.

“We will keep pushing to ensure that we have a Wage that stands the test of time in Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking, Goni Aji, Chairman of the Tripartite Committee on the National Minimum Wage, said the Recommendation that they had was as a result of a deep Dialogue and consensus reached at the Tripartite level.

According to him, the situation that we are recommending to Mr President, some how, is repeating itself because it happened in the 2018 Exercise.

“In 2018, it was the other way. The Organised Private Sector and the Organised Labour recommended N30, 000 as Minimum Wage while the Government side recommended N24, 000.

“Two figures were recommended to the then President for his consideration and onward transmission to the National Assembly for it to become a Law. That is exactly where we are,” he said.

He added the Mandate of the Tripartite Committee is to recommend. It has no powers to approve but to recommend.

He said that the Recommendation reached came as a result of deeper understanding and studies of all the Economic Indices, current Inflation and state of the Economy.

He noted that the Organised Private Sector and the Government have agreed on a figure which N62,000 while the Organised Labour is asking for N250.000.

“At the end of the day what is important is that we are still talking ,” he said.

 

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05-Jun-2024 Tinubu to Minister: Give me Cost Implications of new Minimum Wage in 24 hours

Tinubu to Minister: Give me Cost Implications of new Minimum Wage in 24 hours

President Bola Tinubu has issued a Directive to Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, to come up with the Cost Implications of the proposed new National Minimum Wage.

The President gave the Directive at a Meeting with Members of the Federal Government’s Negotiation Team, which briefed him on the outcome of its Engagement with the Organised Labour.

After the Meeting on Tuesday night, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the Minister of Finance had been given till Wednesday(today)to provide the figures that would guide the Federal Government on the issue of the moment.

“It’s been quite challenging, but we thank God that we’re at this point. We thank Labour that true to their words last night, they have suspended their Strike early this morning.

“Government on its side, you can see that the President has just summoned a Meeting of all those who negotiated on behalf of the Federal Government, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“The Minister of Finance was there, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, myself, the Minister of Labour, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC.

“We were all there to look at those Issues and then the President has directed the Minister of Finance to do the numbers and get back to him between today and tomorrow so that we can have some figures ready for Negotiation with Labour”, he said.

The Minister of Information emphasised that the President was committed to an acceptable and sustainable new Minimum Wage realistic for Nigerians, involving not just the Federal Government, but also States and the Organised Private Sector.

He said that Federal Government was not opposed to Wage increment, but that it wants to ensure that any Agreement reached is sustainable and realistic, given the Economic realities on the ground.

“Let me say that Mr President is determined to go with what the Committee has said, he’s also looking at the Welfare of Nigerians.

“Like I said earlier, Government is not an Opponent of Labour discussions, it’s not an Opponent of Wage increase, but what is there is that Government is desirous of ensuring that there is balance between what its pronouncement is and what realities are on ground, therefore we’ll work assiduously to ensure that whatever we do, whatever promises Government makes will be kept. That’s the idea of this Meeting.

“The President has given a Marching Order that all those who have negotiated on behalf of Government and those who are Representatives of other Sectors, the Organised Private Sector and the Sub-Nationals, come together so that we can have a new Wage Award that is acceptable, sustainable and also realistic for Nigeria.

“A Wage Award is not just that of the Federal Government. Like I mentioned, the Sub-Nationals are involved, the Organised Private Sector is involved, the Labour is involved.

“It was Labour that staged a walkout during those Proceedings, now that we’ve come back to the Negotiating Table, all of us will work together again, assiduously, within the next one week to ensure that we have a new Wage for Nigeria that is acceptable, sustainable and also realistic for all Nigerians”, Idris said.

He said the Meeting, also attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, was aimed at finding a balance between the Government’s pronouncements and the Economic realities on the ground.

05-Jun-2024 Labour: We only suspended Strike for one week to allow continuation of Negotiation

Labour: We only suspended Strike for one week to allow continuation of Negotiation

The Organised Labour says it has relaxed the Indefinite Nationwide Strike declared on Monday, for one-week, to allow continuation of Negotiations.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) made this known in a Communique issued at the end of a Joint National Executive Council Meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that Labour had declared an Indefinite Nationwide Strike, midnight of June 2, to press home its demands of  non conclusion of National Minimum Wage Fixing and non reversal of hike in  Electricity Tariff.

The Communique was jointly signed by Joe Ajaero, NLC President and Festus Osifo, President of TUC.

Ajaero said NEC relaxed the Indefinite Strike, following the resolution by the Federal Government to offer more than the N60,000, it put forward to the Tripartite Committee.

According to Ajaero, in view of the deliberations, the NEC-in-Session resolved that there is a greater need to create the right ambience for Negotiation to continue unhindered.

“The Indefinite Nationwide Strike Action is therefore relaxed for one week from today to allow the Federal Government commit to a concrete and acceptable National Minimum Wage.

“Also to take definite steps to reverse the Electricity Tariff hike back to N66/kwh and abolish the discriminatory Classification of Electricity Consumers into Bands.

“The NLC and TUC National Leadership are mandated to continue to maintain open Channels of Communication with the Federal Government to negotiate and secure favourable outcomes for Nigerian Workers and People.

“All Affiliate Unions and State Councils are therefore, directed to relax the Indefinite Nationwide Strike and return to their respective Workplaces immediately,” he said.

Ajaero added that the NEC-in-Session expressed profound gratitude to Nigerian Workers and the General Public for their unwavering support and solidarity in this critical struggle for improved Living and Working Conditions.

He said that the NLC and TUC remained committed to “pursuing all necessary actions to protect the Rights and Welfare of all Nigerian People and Workers as we urge all to await further Directives while the Negotiation continues.”

 

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04-Jun-2024 State Police: We'll go by the decision of FG, says I-G

State Police: We'll go by the decision of FG, says I-G

The Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun says the Force will abide by whatever decision the Federal Government will take on the Issue of State Police.

Egbetokun disclosed this in Lagos, through the Coordinating Deputy Inspector-General of Police, South-West, Abiodun Alabi, who was on a Working Visit to the State.

He said the Force decided to explain its stand in view of many Opinions and Views the matter had generated.

The Police Chief advised Officers and Men to continue in their Job as stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution.

Egbetokun charged the Men to be disciplined, hard working, respect Human Rights, and carry out their Duties in the best Professional ways.

He warned the Personnel against misuse of Firearms, stressing that such should be used responsibly in strict accordance with the Law.

On the Mental and Physical Health of the Men, the I-G said the Officer in Charge of Police Medical had been given Orders to carry out Mental and Psychological Test on Personnel for better performance.

Egbetokun said the Force was already working with some Consultants on befitting Accommodation for the Officers and Men, stressing that very soon, the Personnel would access their own Homes.

The Police Chief warned his Officers and Men against rivalry with other Security Agents, stressing that Nigeria Police alone cannot provide the needed Security for Nigerians.

He charge them to always work harmoniously with other Security Agencies, with a view to providing  good security for all Nigerians.

On Cultism in Lagos State, Egbetokun urged the Men to be proactive by reaching out and engaging the Youths in the Areas of their Command to lecture them on the dangers of Cultism.

Earlier, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Adegoke Fayoade, who welcomed the DIG to the Command, said  all  Security Architecture put in place in collaboration with Stakeholders had brought down Crime rate in the State.

“It is, however, gratifying to note that since the introduction of People Centered, Collaborative and Co-operative, Crime Prevention Strategies by the Commissioner of Police, Crime and Criminal Activities in the State has reduced drastically.

“The Strategies adopted include: Prevention Strategies e.g. (Intelligence Raids of Criminal Hideouts, Cordon and Search) etc. Intelligence led Policing.

“Use of Modern Technology Device(s) (Scientific Aid) to track down dangerous Criminals e.g. Kidnappers, Armed Robbers, Car Hijackers etc. Extensive and Intensive Patrol and Community Policing Strategy amongst others,” he said.

The Police Boss in Lagos re-assured the visiting DIG that the current tempo in Crime Fighting would be sustained until the State is rid of all Criminal Elements.

The DIG was in the command in Lagos, as first State in the  South-West on his Working Visit.

He will be visiting six States in the Region, a visit ordered by the I-G for all DIGs to carry out On-the- Spot Assessment in all Commands.

 

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04-Jun-2024 New Minimum Wage: FG ready to offer higher than N60,000 in 'National Interest'

New Minimum Wage: FG ready to offer higher than N60,000 in 'National Interest'

The Federal Government says, in the National Interest, it is ready to offer higher than N60,000 National Minimum Wage it earlier proposed to the Tripartite Committee deliberating on the Issue.
The Government's decision was disclosed at a Meeting of the Committee convened Monday night by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, after the Organised Labour embarked on Indefinite Strike to press its demand on the National Minimum Wage.
In a Circular jointly issued by the Committee Members at the end of the Meeting, and made available to Journalists, it was disclosed that President Bola Tinubu expressed his commitment to a National Minimum Wage that is higher than N60,000”
“Arising from the above, the Tripartite Committee is to meet everyday for the next one week with a view to arriving at an agreeable National Minimum Wage”
”Labour in deference to the high esteem of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria’s commitment in above undertakes to convene a Meeting of its Organs immediately to consider this commitment.
“The Committee also resolved that no Worker will be victimised as a result of the Industrial Action,” the Circular read in part
In attendance at the Meeting  were: Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State for Labour and Employment.
For the Organised Labour: Joe Ajaero, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Festus Osifo, President, Trade Union Congress (TUC).
It will be recalled that following the Negotiation by the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage  and subsequent withdrawal of Labour from Negotiation and its Indefinite Strike, the Government had convened the Meeting with Labour.
 
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03-Jun-2024 Nigeria in total darkness as Labour shutdown National Grid

Nigeria in total darkness as Labour shutdown National Grid

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says that the Labour Unions have shut down the National Grid, resulting in blackout  Nationwide.
Ndi Mbah, TCN’S General Public Affairs Manager, said this in a Statement in Abuja on Monday.
Mbah said that the National Grid shut down occured at about 2.19 a. m this morning.
She said at about 1:15 a. m, the Benin Transmission Operator under the Independent System Operations Unit of TCN reported that all Operators were driven away from the Control Room.
Mbah said that Members of Staff that resisted were beaten while some were wounded in the course of forcing them out of the Control Room and without any form of control or supervision, the Benin Area Control Centre was brought to zero.
”Other Transmission Substations that were shut down by the Labour Unions include the Ganmo, Benin, Ayede, Olorunsogo, Akangba and Osogbo Transmission Substations.
”Some Transmission lines were equally opened due to the ongoing activities of the Labour Unions,” she said.
Mbah said that Power Generating Units from different Generating Stations were forced to shut down some Units of their Generating Plants.
She said that the Jebba Generating Station was forced to shut down one of its Generating Units while three others in the same Substation subsequently shut down on very high frequency.
Mbah said that the sudden forced Load Cuts led to high Frequency and System Instability, which eventually shut down the National Grid at 2:19 a. m.
”At about 3.23 am, however, TCN commenced Grid Recovery, using the Shiroro Substation to attempt to feed the Transmission Lines supplying Bulk Electricity to the Katampe Transmission Substation.
”The situation is such that the Labour Union is still obstructing Grid Recovery Nationwide.
”We will continue to make effort to recover and stabilise the Grid to enable the restoration of normal Bulk Transmission of Electricity to Distribution Load Centres Nationwide,” she said.
 
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03-Jun-2024 Minimum Wage: Meeting with Lawmakers deadlocked as Labour insists on Strike

Minimum Wage: Meeting with Lawmakers deadlocked as Labour insists on Strike

The Leadership of the National Assembly and Organised Labour made up of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Sunday night engaged in a crucial Meeting ostensibly to forestall a Nationwide Strike on Monday.

thenewsroom.ng however learnt that the Meeting ended in a deadlock as Leaders of Organised Labour insisted on their demand of N494,000 as new National Minimum Wage. 

The Labour Leaders left the Meeting with a resolve to take the position of the National Assembly Leaders to their various Organs for deliberations. 

Also in attendance at the Meeting are some Ministers and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“We are discussing issues related to the Minimum Wage and the proposed Industrial Action by Labour,” a top Source at the Meeting told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), craving anonymity.

The Meeting, conveyed at the instance of the NASS Leadership, is in connection with the proposed Industrial Action by Labour Unions over the yet-to-be agreed new Minimum Wage for Workers.

Present at the Meeting are the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, Speaker, House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass, and other Principal Officers of both Chambers.

 

Others from the Executive side are the Secretary to Government of the Federation, George Akume, Ministers of Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Finance, Wale Edun and Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris.

Also present are Budget and National Planning Minister, Atiku Bagudu, Science and Technology Minister, Uche Nnaji, Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Aliyu Abdullahi, and Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan.

Akpabio, in his remarks, said the Meeting was at the instance of the National Assembly Leadership, following the proposed Indefinite Strike by the Organised Labour.

He said that the National Assembly was not taking over the Responsibility of the Executive and the Labour Unions.

“The Meeting was called to hear the Positions of both Parties on the Minimum Wage Issue.

“The National Assembly is on the part of the People and the Government; what affects the People also affects the Lawmakers.

“The Nigerian Government is keen on providing a Living Wage for its Workers which is why it constituted a Tripartite Committee to negotiate a new Minimum Wage .

“There is need to be mindful of collateral damage that may result from the Wage to be reached at; we must avoid a situation where Workers will be retrenched on account of Employers inability to pay the new Wage,” he said.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass, corroborated Akpabio, saying that NASS was on the side of the People and Government.

He thanked the Ministers and the Labour Leaders for honouring the Meeting, saying that their presence was a testament of Labour and Government’s commitment toward ensuring a lasting solution to the Issue of Minimum Wage.

President of NLC, Joe Ajero, in his remarks, said that what the NLC was demanding for all Nigerians was a Living Wage and not a Starvation Wage.

He said the Workers were the Brothers and Sisters of the Lawmakers and the Ministers and needed to work for Nigerians.

President of TUC, Festus Osifo, said that the current situation in the Country was difficult for Nigerians, especially in the last one year.

This, he said, has also resulted in the difficulty in negotiating a new Minimum Wage for Workers.

He said Nigerians were waiting for the new Wage to meet their Basic Needs of Life “and not to build House or buy Cars”.

 

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31-May-2024 Tinubu to ACF: Summon your Governors, I am doing my very best to grow Nigeria's Revenue

Tinubu to ACF: Summon your Governors, I am doing my very best to grow Nigeria's Revenue

President Bola Tinubu has appealed to State Governments to prioritise the needs of Local Communities by ensuring accountability and effectiveness in the Administration of Local Governments.

The President made this known at a Meeting with the Leadership of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“We are running a Constitutional Democracy. I will appeal to you to summon the Governors. I am doing my very best to enhance the Revenue Base of the Country.

“They must equally be sympathetic, and they must urgently consider the needs of the Local People. People who reside in the Local Communities. That is where they work, farm, and live.

“If the Local Governments are not effective in delivering Services; as Leaders, we must not hang on to the numbers. We have 774 Local Government Areas, but are they truly effective? Do they solve problems for Nigerians?

“Do they coordinate Development Programming with the State and Federal Governments? Who is being held accountable for the performance of the 774 Local Governments? Maybe we should look at recalibrating.

“What was good four years ago may not be good today. When we want the Votes, we go to the Locals; when we get the Votes, we move to and focus on Abuja,” the President said.

Highlighting the significance of Education in Nation Building, the President described the situation of Out-of-School Children in parts of Nigeria as unacceptable.

Tinubu said that Education is a Tool against Poverty and Social Mobility, adding that Education should be used to serve the People and improve their Conditions.

He said that Educational System is the backbone of the Economic Development of the Country, noting that the Administration will collaborate with Stakeholders to curb Out of School challenge.

“We are still building Nigeria, and I am glad that you have emphasised the need for Development. The Infrastructure decay is unacceptable, and the level of Poverty in the North is unacceptable. We must eliminate the Source of these trends,” he said.

On Security, Tinubu said: “Everybody wants to be secure, and we need to invest more in Technology. We will do it, I promise you. We will put our heart and soul into ensuring that Nigeria is secure and its Citizens are protected.

“The AKK Project, the dredging of the River Niger, and improving Port Access and Infrastructure Nationwide, in order to shorten Travel Time, will make us more prosperous as a Nation. We have to fight Insecurity so that People can make a decent Living anywhere they live.”

The President also addressed Economic Development and Livestock Management, stating: “Animal Husbandry has been a huge problem for Nigeria. Dairy Farms can grow our Economy significantly.

“Talk to the Governors and tell them to make more Land available. Talk to Herders to collaborate with the States. The lands are with the States.

“We are ready to put Funds in place to help the Herders. We can do it, and we will be able to do it. If the Brazilians and the Dutch are doing it, we can also do it,” the President said.

The President also used the occasion to appeal for National Unity and continued support for his Government as it solves decades-long challenges confronting the Populace.

“As long as we are together, and we have to be together, there is strength in our diversity. Our strength and opportunity are built into our Population.

“I thank the Cabinet Members for their efforts, but I will relieve any of them of their duties anytime I feel that they are failing Nigerians,” the President affirmed.

The President directed the establishment of a Committee to follow up on the Issues raised at the Meeting and assigned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, to lead the follow-up efforts.

“We must tick the boxes on all that we must quickly do,” Tinubu said.

The Leader of the Delegation and Chairman, Board of Trustees of ACF, Bashir Dalhatu, congratulates Tinubu on his first year in Office and expressed the Forum’s appreciation for his Achievements and Service to the Country.

‘’Your Excellency may wish to recall the Invitation extended to you, which you graciously honoured and which led to a robust Interactive Conference at the Arewa House on the 19th of October, 2022.

‘’We make bold to say that Your Excellency’s vigorous, firm, and credible commitments and assurances to Northerners, made at that Meeting and during the course of your Election Campaign, proved to be a game-changer.

“Your tireless support for and collaboration with Northerners that helped many to win Elections into various Positions, including that of the Presidency in the past, has consolidated the love and trust in the hearts of Northerners for you, as confirmed by the pattern of voting in the last Presidential Election,’’ Dalhatu said.

The ACF BOT Chairman further highlighted several Achievements within the President’s first year in Office, including the prioritisation of Funding for Agriculture and Education, as well as the maintenance of good Relations with Nigeria’s Neighbours.

The ACF applauds the President for the Sokoto-Badagry Highway and the Trans-Saharan highway and his implemented measures to fast-track the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.

‘’With these developments, we feel greatly motivated and even more confident that Your Excellency will look upon the North with even greater sympathy and strive harder to alleviate the dire Economic and Social pains in Northern Nigeria,” the Leader of the Delegation said.

 

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30-May-2024 Midoil/Serenecity Staff Housing Project: Level of work so far impressive – Abdullahi

Midoil/Serenecity Staff Housing Project: Level of work so far impressive – Abdullahi

The desire of Midoil Refining and Petrochemicals Company Limited to see to the smooth construction of its Refinery and Serenecity Projects, was further strengthened when the firm, in company of contractors and stakeholders, undertook yet another inspection tour of the sites at Ererufu Community and the Sekungba Axis.

Led by the Chairman of Serenecity Staff Housing Estate, Amina Abdullahi, the Tour Team supervised the fencing of the secured sites, and gave impressive reviews of the work done so far.

"I am certainly impressed; they have done a good job," Abdullahi declared.

The Team of SereneCity Project Consultants which was led by Architect Jane Udokpo, included Surveyors, Civil and Structural Engineers, Mechanical/Electrical Engineers and Security Experts, thoroughly inspected and deliberated on works done so far on the clearing and fencing of the sites of SereneCity and Midoil Refinery.

Speaking with Journalists shortly after the inspection, Abdullahi, who is an Architect and Retired Seasoned Public Servant, said she was impressed at the work done to bring to fruition the Midoil Refinery and the SereneCity Vision. She noted that when completed, the Midoil Staff Housing Project would be another Banana Island, but with more distinct features that would surely set it apart from the regular estates.

 

"We would say we want it to be a better version of Banana Island. We have noticed the lapses in other highbrow estates, and would love to improve on what they have in those places to produce something that is better here," she said.

She further informed that one of the new features of the Serenecity Staff Housing Project, lacking in other highbrow estates, is the presence of double entrance gates to cater for the movement of both residents and visitors differently, noting that the initiative will reduce unnecessary traffic build-up to the barest minimum.

"We are at the beginning, and you can see that we have started the fencing of the whole land, there will come a time we will do the gate house into the SereneCity. You will find that we are going to have a different entrance for visitors and a different entrance for residents because visitors need to be cleared," she informed.

She added that apart from the fire service station, police posts and educational institutions that would be strictly constructed to modern standard, the Serenecity Project will also be endowed with a helipad to facilitate fast movement of dignitaries from the airport to the facility with the use of helicopter.

While acknowledging initial harassment from a few of the traditional settlers (omo Onile) of the community, which has been remarkably curtailed owing to the efforts of the Executive Chairman of Midoil, Elizabeth Akintonde, she appreciated the Lagos State Government for their cooperation so far.

 

"Lagos State Government is very cooperative. You know State government wants the development of Lagos in every phase.

"For now, it is exclusively for Midoil Refinery Expatriate, Senior, Middle and Junior Staff Quarters.

She appreciated the various consultants and stakeholders involved as well as host communities for their understanding and cooperation as the project progresses.

Also speaking after the inspection, the Consulting Architect and Project Manager of the SereneCity Project, Jane Adaku Udokpo, expressed delight at the foresight of the Management of Midoil Refinery in coming up with the gigantic project.

"Looking at it, the project is going to be huge. You know every ocean starts with a rain drop. We are starting with a secluding area, and from there to building the main city. So, it is massive.”

Udokpo promised to ensure that all the safety rules and regulations would be applied in the construction of SereneCity disclosing that Midoil has assembled the best of professionals for the project.

On the company’s community relations strategy, Udokpo said, Midoil has applied the best of human relations strategies to guarantee mutual relationship with the host communities and the land owners.

 

It would be recalled that on March 17, 2024, at the cozy environment of Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Ikeja, Midoil Executive Chairman, Elizabeth Omolara Akintonde organised a reception for representatives of the host communities of Sekungba, Arogbo and Ererufu.

The event featured the signing of the agreements with and release of cheques to the communities. There was also the launch of Midoil 3-in-1 Investment Opportunities for Midoil.

Akintonde had hinted that the ground breaking ceremony of the Refinery Site will be held on July 12, 2024.

The Refinery, when completed will produce at a capacity of 100,000bpd.

29-May-2024 New Minimum Wage: Be considerate on your demands, FG tells Labour

New Minimum Wage: Be considerate on your demands, FG tells Labour

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, has appealed to the Organised Labour to be considerate and patriotic in their demands in the ongoing Negotiation for a new National Minimum Wage. 

Onyejeocha made the Appeal in a Statement signed by Olajide Oshundun, Director of Press and Public Relations in the Ministry on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Federal Government had during the Tripartite Committee on the Minimum Wage Negotiation Meeting on Tuesday, offered Labour N60,000 as the new Minimum Wage for Workers.

The Organised Labour had also presented N494, 000 as the new National Minimum Wage for Workers in the Country.

The Minister said that the Federal Government had been consistent in taking steps to secure a fair and realistic Wage for Nigerian Workers.

She therefore, urged Labour to recognise that the Nation’s Economy was still on the path of recovery from the effect of the Pandemic and other Economic Distress.

“We appeal to Organised Labour and indeed, other relevant Stakeholders to be considerate and patriotic in their demands, recognising that our Economy is still recovering from the devastating effects of the Pandemic and other Global Economic Shocks.

“We are committed to putting the People first and ensuring that our Economic Policies benefit all Nigerians, not just a select few.

“The Government remains dedicated to prioritising the Well-being of our Citizens and its want to urge all relevant Parties to demonstrate patriotism and understanding.

“This is particularly during this critical period when the President, Bola Tinubu, is working diligently to revitalise the Economy,” she said.

The Minister therefore said the Government recognised that the Economic challenges faced by Nigerians were complex and multifaceted, and called for collective effort of all Stakeholders to overcome them.

She added that the Meeting with Organised Labour was a significant step in our ongoing efforts to secure a fair and realistic Wage for Nigerian Workers.

“As a Government, we recognise the importance of ensuring that our Citizens receive a decent Standard of Living, and we are committed to making this a reality.

“After hours of intense Negotiations, Labour Leaders took a recess to consult with other key Stakeholders and have pledged to return to the Negotiating Table for further discussion.

“We welcome this development and are optimistic that our continued Engagement will yield a positive outcome.

“In light of the current Economic Conditions, we have made a concessionary move from N57,000 to N60,000,” she said.

She noted that the increase was a demonstration of Government willingness to listen to the concerns of Labour and work towards a mutually beneficial Agreement.

According to her, we understand that the current Economic Landscape is challenging, and we are doing everything in our power to mitigate its effects on our Citizens.

“This is the path that this Government has chosen to pursue, and we will not deviate or stray from the course.

“President Tinubu has been tireless in his efforts to revitalise the Economy and improve the Standard of Living for all Nigerians.

“His commitment to creating Jobs, stimulating Economic Growth, and reducing Poverty is genuine, and we appeal to all to support him in this endeavour.

“As we move forward, we will continue to engage with Organised Labour and other Stakeholders to ensure that our Economic Policies are inclusive and beneficial to all,” she added.

 

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29-May-2024 Budget Padding Remarks: Senate recalls Ningi from suspension

Budget Padding Remarks: Senate recalls Ningi from suspension

The Senate has recalled Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi) who was suspended for three months over Budget padding remarks.

This followed the Adoption of a Motion by Senate Minority Leader, Abba Moro and Co-Sponsored by Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Olalere Oyewumi and Senate Minority Whip, Osita Ngwu at Tuesday’s Plenary, titled “The unconditional recall of Senator Abdul Ningi”.

Moving the Motion, Moro said that Ningi, the former Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum was suspended for three months following a Media Interview he granted the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service on March 9.

“He alleged that about N3.7trn representing over 10 per cent of the 2024 Budget was illegally inserted into the 2024 National Budget.

“Ningi was asked to address his allegation of Budget padding against the National Assembly, following a Motion of Urgent National Importance moved by Solomon Adeola, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations.

“And failing to address the allegation, the Senate resolved to suspend Ningi for three months for violating Legislative Rules, misconduct and unethical behaviour for the Interview he granted on BBC Media.

“The said Ninigi, being under suspension, has spent over two months outside the Precincts of the National Assembly Complex and needs to return to continue with his Legislative Activities as the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District.

“Flowing from the above, the Senate Minority Leadership takes full responsibility for the actions of our Colleague Ningi and apologises on his behalf,” he said.

Seconding the Motion, Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau said “This Senate is the highest Assembly in our Sovereign Land of Nigeria. A Senate that is composed of Men and Women of wisdom.

“I commend the Minority Leader and his Team, the entire Minority Caucus and the entire Leadership of the Minority Caucus.

“This is because I know they acted based on the prompting of the Members of the Caucus for going in-between and for making sure they got to where we are now and by bringing forth this Motion in a way that the resolution of the issue of Ningi’s suspension is resolved finally.

“It is something they need to be commended for because they have gone to meditate and they are apologising on his behalf.

“I urge the Senate, the Leadership having apologised on behalf of Ningi, we should accept this apology so as to strengthen our spirit of brothers that we are known for.”

In his Remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio supported the claim.

“Let me thank the Majority Leadership for this Initiative.

“And also note that it was this same Senate that set up a Committee for you to mediate and then you were the Chairman and then of course, this decision by the Minority Leaders and the entirety of the Minority in the Senate seems to have superseded the area and decision of the Senate.

“So, I agree with you. He is a very Resourceful Senator and one of our own and the Senate is a Family irrespective of the Political divide, irrespective of the Religious divide and irrespective of Languages.

“This happening today is in tandem with the spirit of what the National Assembly, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have done by bringing back our own National Anthem which simply says that though Tribes and Tongues may differ, in Brotherhood we stand,” he said.

Akpabio added: “The decision of the Senate today is clear evidence that this is one Family and though we may come from different Constituencies and different States, in Brotherhood we stand.

“I congratulate the Senate for this decision and I agree that to err is Human and to forgive is Divine. Our Distinguished brother, Abdul Ningi is hereby recalled to the Senate to participate in all activities.”

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

27-May-2024 OGTAN commends Seplat Energy’s Outstanding National HCD Scholarship Scheme

OGTAN commends Seplat Energy’s Outstanding National HCD Scholarship Scheme

Seplat Energy, leading Indigenous Energy Company in Nigeria has been recognised by the Oil & Gas Trainers’ Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) for its Outstanding National Human Capital Development (HCD) Scholarship Scheme.

OGTAN, at its 2024 Annual HCD Awards Ceremony Themed ‘Consolidating Human Capital Development Through Domestication of Skills’, commended Seplat Energy for building Human Capacity through its Scholarship Programmes, which have been sustained over the years across Nigeria.

The Ceremony was held in Lagos with Industry Operators, Regulators, the Academia, and Media, amongst others, in attendance.

Since inception, OGTAN has continued to enhance Human Capacity Development in the Oil, Gas and Energy Sector by interfacing with all Industry Stakeholders to build Local Human Capital Capacity in Nigeria.

OGTAN was issued with a 15-Point Mandate by the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on creation in 2010. This 15-Point Mandate can be summarised as: Supervision, Standardisation and Certification of Training Bodies, Curriculum and Methods of Training Delivery in the Oil and Gas Industry.

The Seplat Energy National Undergraduate Scholarship started in 2014 for its Host Communities, States, and the Nation. Since then, the Programme had provided Scholarships to several Federal and State University Undergraduate Students.

The Scholarship Scheme is the Company’s Educational Programme to assist Indigent Students in Federal and State Universities fulfil their Educational Aspirations.

The Scholarship is open to Students from their Second Year of Study and above, who have scaled a Pre-Set Criterion in Selected Courses of Study. A Scholarship Grant is disbursed yearly to successful Applicants till they graduate, so long as they maintain the Set Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

The Chairman, Board of Trustees, OGTAN, Afe Mayowa, whilst presenting the Award for Outstanding National HCD Scholarship Scheme to Seplat Energy, said the Company has distinguished itself in the Area of Human Capital Development and has demonstrated Leadership amongst its Peers in the Industry.

“We are here to recognise excellence and reward the same. Seplat Energy is a trailblazer as far as this is concerned; and for us, the Award today is aimed at encouraging the Company, and further propel it to do more,” Mayowa said.

Seplat Energy was represented at the ceremony by Akinyemi Akinyoade, Senior Manager, Process, Planning & Performance Management, Supply Chain Management; Stanley Opara, Manager Corporate Communications; and Simeon Ogari, Lead Nigerian Content.

Responding, Akinyoade thanked the Association for its commitment to the growth of the Energy Sector and for the recognition of the contributions of Seplat Energy in Nigeria.

“Sustainability is embedded in our Strategy and is the driving force behind our Operations and Investment decisions, our Management and Culture. We will continue to nurture Talents from the School level till they are ripe to join the Workforce and contribute to National Development,” he added.

 

Credit Seplat Energy PR: Texts excluding Headline

27-May-2024 Protesting Host Communities vow to stay put on SPDC Facility in Bayelsa

Protesting Host Communities vow to stay put on SPDC Facility in Bayelsa

The seven protesting Communities occupying Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Estuary Area (EA) in Bayelsa have indicated to maintain a peaceful occupation of the Facility while awaiting favourable mediation.

Timothy Geregere, Chairman of Bisangbene, one of the Host Communities, disclosed this at Bisangbene.

The Communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa took the protest to the EA Oilfields, off the Atlantic Coastline last Tuesday.

The Protesters arrived at the Facility on Speedboats chanting solidarity songs in the Ijaw Dialect.

Geregere says although they have received appeals to vacate the Facility, they would rather stay back but maintain a peaceful disposition until the matter is resolved.

According to him, they have assured they will remain peaceful, keeping vigil and helping the Military to secure the Cacility.

He said this would continue until the Oil Firm reverts the Composition of the EA Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) to seven in reflection of the Cultural Affinity of the People.

He maintained that the plot by SPDC to foist five other Communities in the HCDT was unacceptable.

The Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, he says, mandates Oil Firms to set aside three per cent of their Operational Expenses for Community Development to be managed by HCDT.

Geregere regretted that they were compelled to resort to a peaceful protest having made efforts to no avail to resolve the dispute on the Negotiating Table.

The Community Leader said it was regrettable that despite making the position of the seven Settlements clear in several Letters to the Company, SPDC ignored them.

“We have been compelled to go this far by mobilising the Communities to draw the attention of all Stakeholders to our simple demand; we want to be treated separately in the EA Oilfield and have written several Letters to SPDC.

“We have come here to draw attention to the delay tactics of foisting ‘strange bedfellows’ together, which is a grand plan to retard Development.

“We will not allow divide-and-rule in our Communities, so we are telling the world that we should be allowed to operate a separate Trust.

“We will remain here until our demand is met, and earnestly hope they will not push us to shut down the Facility,” he said.

He explained that the separation became necessary because the twelve Communities in the EA, including five other Communities, could not work together.

The seven Communities that have resolved to work together are, Bisangbene, Amatu I, Amatu II, Letugbene, Orobiri, Ogbintu and Azamabiri.

According to the Community Leader, four different Clans initially operated the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) before the advent of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in 2021.

He said when the PIA came, SPDC indicated intentions to merge the different clusters but that the seven Communities rejected the proposal of adding five other Communities with them.

They insisted on having a separate Trust from the five other Communities, which are Bilabiri 1, Bilabiri 2, Ikeni, Izetu, and Agge.

When contacted, SPDC Spokesperson, Michael Adande, said the matter was already in Court.

“The EA Host Communities Development Trust is a subject of Intra-Communal Litigation, the outcome of which is being awaited before any further steps by the SPDC.” 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

27-May-2024 Tinubu: Gbagada-Apapa-Oshodi Expressway will enhance access to the Ports, boost Businesses

Tinubu: Gbagada-Apapa-Oshodi Expressway will enhance access to the Ports, boost Businesses

President Bola Tinubu on Sunday inaugurated the newly reconstructed Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota-Oshodi Expressway.

It is a 36.02km Expressway connecting Nigeria’s Premier Ports – Apapa and Tin Can Island – to larger parts of Lagos State.

Tinubu, who performed the symbolic unveiling of the Plaque of the Concrete-Paved Road at the Gbagada stretch, also virtually inaugurated the recently rehabilitated Third Mainland Bridge.

Tinubu said that the Expressway would enhance access to the Ports, boost Commercial Activities, and spur Economic Development.

A Statement by Presidential Spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, on Sunday in Abuja, said Tinubu was represented at the Inauguration of the Projects, executed by the Federal Ministry of Works, by Senate President ,Godswill Akpabio.

Originally constructed between 1975 and 1978, the Road had deteriorated significantly over the years, causing severe delays in the evacuation of Goods from Apapa Wharf.

The Reconstruction of the Road was executed in Four Sections, using Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP), by Dangote Industries Limited, under the Tax Credit Method of Infrastructure Funding, with Hitech Construction Nigeria Limited as the Subcontractor.

The Rehabilitated Third Mainland Bridge, the longest of three Bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland, spans about 11.8km.

It was inaugurated by President Shehu Shagari in 1980 and completed by Ibrahim Babangida in 1990.

The Bridge recently underwent significant Rehabilitation to improve its Structural Integrity and extend its Lifespan.

“This is a great feat by any standards, and it is all for Nigeria. I congratulate the Ministry of Works and the Contractors for the great work.

“It is not only in Lagos that these good things are happening.

“From the Presidential Villa in Asokoro to the AYA Roundabout in the Capital City (Abuja), you will notice a great deal of work and some of these Projects will be commissioned this week,’’ the President said.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, explained the reason for the use of Concrete Technology in constructing the Road, noting its durability as well as the rising Cost of Bitumen used in making Asphalt.

“We want our Contractors to migrate to the use of Concrete Technology for Road Construction,’’ the Minister said, while describing the Inauguration of the Road as another plus on the utility of Tax Credits in the Country.

On the Third Mainland Bridge, the Minister explained that the Project went beyond mere Rehabilitation.

“We had to replace all the Expansion Joints, and we also noticed that over the years all the maintenance on the Bridge was only for the surface and that created a lot of super elevation, pot holes, and increased the dead load on the Bridge resulting in increased deflection,’’ he said.

In his Remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works, Yakubu Kofarmata, announced that Tinubu had directed the Ministry to complete the Abuja-Kano Road within one year.

He assured Nigerians that Makurdi-Enugu Expressway was on the verge of completion and that other Federal Road Projects across the Country are receiving attention.

According to the Permanent Secretary, the Minister of Works has saved Nigeria a total of N1.19trn through Renegotiations of some ongoing Road Project Costs across the Country.

“What we are witnessing today is Nigeria working under the Renewed Hope Agenda of this Administration, and the determination to have a better Nigeria where Infrastructural Facilities are functioning,” he said.

The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Femi Hamzat, commended the President and the Federal Ministry of Works for fixing the Roads, adding that it would reduce Travel Time from 7 hours to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

“About two years ago, a lot of Companies on the Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota Road moved from this Axis because of the deplorable state of the Road.

“We are grateful to Mr President, the Ministry of Works, Dangote Group and Hitech Construction Limited for the current state of the Road and also for the Third Mainland Bridge,’’ Hamzat said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

27-May-2024 Lagos-Calabar Highway: Today is my day to boast, the deal is done, the dream is realisable, says Tinubu

Lagos-Calabar Highway: Today is my day to boast, the deal is done, the dream is realisable, says Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu on Sunday inaugurated the Construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, saying it would revolutionise Transportation in Nigeria and boost unique Economic strength of each Zone.

The President spoke from the Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos end of the Project, which would traverse nine States along Nigeria’s Coastal Shoreline.

Presidential Spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, in a Statement on Sunday in Abuja, said it would link the A1, A2, A3, and A4 Highway Corridors vertically crossing the Western, Central and Eastern Regions of the Country, North to South.

Starting from Lagos and terminating in Cross River, the Coastal Highway will include a spur to the North-Central part of the Country.

From Victoria Island, Tinubu also performed the Virtual Inauguration of the Design and Procurement for the 1,000km Sokoto-Badagry Highway.

This Project is expected to connect Sokoto to Badagry in Lagos State and pass through Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, and Oyo States.

In addition, Tinubu virtually Inaugurated the Design and Procurement for the 461km Enugu-Abakaliki-Ogoja Road, which will traverse Benue, Kogi, and Nasarawa States, terminating at Apo in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The President, who is in Lagos to inaugurate Projects as part of activities marking his Administration’s First Anniversary, also performed the Virtual Inauguration of the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of 330 Roads and Bridges across the six Geo-Political Zones of the Nation.

The President commended the Minister of Works, David Umahi, for being diligent and for his efforts toward the qualitative execution of the strategic Coastal Highway Project.

He also applauded the Chairman of Hitech Construction Company, Gilbert Chagoury, and Ronald Chagoury, whose Company is handling the Project, for being worthy Stakeholders and for believing in the future of Nigeria.

“Together, we worked to tame the Atlantic, and we turned a disaster into a great Asset of Value. We lost weight and took insults, but eventually, we tamed the Atlantic.

“We achieved our goals,” the President said, recounting how the Indigenous Company successfully executed a Project to prevent the Atlantic Ocean from encroaching on critical Sections of the Lagos Shoreline.

“Today is my day to boast. The deal is done. The dream is realisable. The determination to build a Nation of prosperity is possible. We said we would build this Road, and we are determined to do it.

“Do not be afraid. We will do this Road, and it will be a success for Nigeria, and we will do even more of this,” the President said.

Tinubu said the Project would ensure that Future Generations have a good Landmark and Memory to treasure while serving as a good precedent set for others to follow in the timely provision of World-Class Infrastructure.

“We have a Road that will outlive all of us here. That is how to build the future. This Project is more than a mere Road. It is a symbol of hope, unity, and prosperity.

“It will connect Communities, bring prosperity to People, and create Opportunities for millions of our People. For our Nation to excel, we just have to be bold and courageous in our endeavours,” the President said.

Listing the benefits and Opportunities to be created by the Construction of the 700km Road, the President said it would provide direct Employment for thousands of People and indirect Jobs for tens of thousands.

He added that it would open Economic Opportunities for millions of People, fast-track Economic Development, provide 30 million People with improved access to Production and Marketing Centres, and facilitate the free movement of People.

He said the Project would also complement the expansion of the Country’s Maritime Industry in the wake of the recent decision by the United Nations to grant Nigeria an extension of its Continental Shelf by an additional 16,300 square kilometres.

“We must take advantage of these Opportunities,” the President said, adding that the establishment of more Export Processing Zones along the Coastal States must be a priority for the Country.

Umahi announced that the President had directed that Sections 3 and 4 of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project should commence from Akwa Ibom and Cross River States respectively.

Emphasising that Due Process was followed in awarding the Contract for the transformative Project, the Minister described Tinubu as a Visionary and Courageous Leader.

Umahi disclosed that over 40 new Projects are ongoing across the Country and that all Compensations up to kilometre 6 of the Lagos-Calabar Project have been paid.

The Oniru of Iruland in Lagos State, Oba Abdulwasiu Lawal, whose Domain the Road will course through, assured the President that the Community would ensure the removal of all bottlenecks.

He stated that his People have made painful sacrifices for the Project to materialise and called for adequate Compensation for them.

In separate Remarks, three Governors – Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos; Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara, and Hope Uzodinma of Imo described the wide-ranging support from Sub-Nationals as a vote of confidence and support for the Landmark Project.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

27-May-2024 Nigeria showcases Digital Social Investments at APRA 2024

Nigeria showcases Digital Social Investments at APRA 2024

Various Digital Social Investments in Nigeria, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) were on showcase at the just-concluded 35th Annual Conference of the African Public Relations Association (APRA) in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Through a Presentation by the Head of Media Management Relations at the NCC, Omoniyi Ibietan, who later emerged as the Secretary-General of APRA after an Election at the Event which took place from 13th to 17th May, 2024, Participants had a glean into some of the Digital Social Investments and Infrastructure expansion happening in Nigeria, through Regulatory efficiency of the Commission.

In his Presentation with the title: “Digital Inclusion as Arbiter of Accessible PR: A Case of the Nigerian Communications Commission,” Ibietan highlighted some 36 Initiatives of the Commission within and beyond its immediate Regulatory Mandate, implemented to promote Infrastructure expansion, support SMEs, empower Educational Institutions, advance Innovation and promote Digital up-skilling of Nigerian Youths.

These include the Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI); Campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIEP) Programme; e-PAD Project for 232 Institutions; Digital Appreciation Project (DAP) for 247 Secondary Schools; Digital Literacy Training for Teachers (DLT); Digital Integration Programme (DIP) for MSMEs; and the E-Accessibility Programme targeted at Persons with Disabilities.

Others include the Nigerian Girls Can Code Competition; the Build A-Thon, aimed at enabling Young Persons to pitch and enhance their Skills and new Learning experience; Tertiary Institutions Digital Centre (TIDC) for 250 Institutions; 2,291 Digital Nigeria Centers (DNC) Online/Offline Educational Resources; Local Application and Content Deployment Programme; and up to 72 Rural Broadband Initiative Projects, among others.

According to him, the NCC through its component Special Purpose Vehicle, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has undertaken several Digital Infrastructure Projects, Programmes and Collaborative activities with Stakeholders.

“These Interventions have caused a shift in Digital Literacy, fundamentally shrank the Digital divide and opened the floodgates of participation in Political, Economic and Social Processes, and enabled accessible Digital Public Relations in Nigeria,” he said.

While over 20 Papers were presented at the APRA Conference to expound its Thematic Focus of “One Africa, One Voice: Bridging Africa’s Communication Divide”, Ibietan’s Paper was the only Presentation that showcased Digital Infrastructure Investments by any African Country, even though many Papers advocated the centrality of adequate Broadband Infrastructure in enhancing Digital Culture on the Continent.

Ibietan emphasised that Digital Inclusion is the ability of Individuals and Groups to access and fully participate in the Digital Society, particularly in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as the Internet, Computers, and Mobile Devices.

He submitted that Digital Inclusion encompasses not only access to Digital Technologies but also the Skills, Knowledge, and Resources needed to effectively utilise them.

He also emphasised that the phenomenon of Digital Inclusion is desirable for Economies that aspire to grow and develop in remarkable and measurable sense.

He said: “This is because Digital Inclusion promotes Social and Economic Opportunities, enhances Civic Engagement and Participation, supports Education and lifelong learning, fosters Digital Literacy and Skills development, encourages Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and helps to bridge the Digital divide and reduce inequalities.”

He referenced that the COVID-19 Pandemic and its fallouts proved the significance of Digital Infrastructure to the Economy.

Luckily, he said: “Nigeria’s Investment in Broadband Infrastructure partly explained why the Nation was able to cope with the outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus because availability of Digital Infrastructure helped Individuals, Businesses and the Government to migrate their Social and Economic activities to Digital Platforms in order to mitigate the devastating effect of the Pandemic.”

He recommended constant and seamless Communication among Stakeholders to ensure efficiency in the management and proper harvest of derivable benefits, Social Investment and Infrastructural Projects.

 

Credit NCC PR: Texts excluding Headline

27-May-2024 Access Holdings celebrates Africa’s greatness, innovations, achievements

Access Holdings celebrates Africa’s greatness, innovations, achievements

In line with the Theme for the 2024 Celebration of Africa Day, “Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality, and Relevant Learning in Africa”, Access Holdings is celebrating the positives across the Continent.

This year’s Theme is a poignant reminder of Africa’s diversity and the need to address the Educational challenges faced across the Continent.

Africa is a vast and complex Continent of over 1.2 billion People speaking more than 3,000 Languages across 54 Countries.

Despite shared challenges, each Nation contributes uniquely to the continent’s rich Cultural and Historical Mosaic. Unfortunately, Education remains a significant hurdle.

According to UNESCO and the African Union, over a quarter of School-Age Children in Africa were out of School in 2023, and 90 per cent of Children were unable to read or write by Age 10.

This stark reality underscores the need for urgent Educational Reforms to equip Future Generations.

In alignment with this Educational drive, Access Holdings will once again host the Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament starting from the Children’s Day Anniversary on May 27, 2024, in Kaduna.

This Event, which will culminate at the Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club on June 9, will bring together over 150 School Pupils and their Teachers for a day filled with Sports, Art activities, and messages promoting Child Welfare, such as “Stop Child Abuse” and “Childhood Isn’t Meant to Be a Nightmare.”

As the largest Charity Polo tournament in Africa, this Event highlights Access Bank’s commitment to supporting underprivileged Children, having donated over N700m towards building Schools and providing Social Amenities for surrounding Communities in the past seven years.

Beyond Education, there are numerous aspects of African heritage and achievements that deserve celebration:

 

  1. Angola: Known for its vast Oil Reserves, Angola is also Home to the Ancient Tchitundo-Huluvilo Caves, a significant Cultural Landmark showcasing, Prehistoric Art.
  2. Botswana: Celebrated for its stable Democracy established by Sir Seretse Khama, Botswana is also renowned for producing World-Class Athletes like Amantle Montsho, a former World Champion Sprinter.
  3. Cameroon: Home to the towering Mount Cameroon and the Legendary Musician Manu Dibango, Cameroon has made significant contributions to Global Music and boasts rich natural beauty.
  4. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Known for its rich Copper Reserves and the majestic Congo River, the DRC is also the Birthplace of Patrice Lumumba, a pivotal figure in Africa’s fight for Independence.
  5. Gambia: Famous for its beautiful Beaches and vibrant Culture, Gambia is also making strides in Education and Tourism, becoming a notable Destination in West Africa.
  6. Ghana: A beacon of Democracy and Economic Growth in West Africa, Ghana is also celebrated for its rich History, including the Ashanti Kingdom and significant Cultural Festivals.
  7. Guinea: With its rich Mineral Resources, particularly Bauxite, Guinea is also known for its vibrant Music and Dance Traditions that play a crucial role in Cultural Identity.
  8. Kenya: Renowned for its breathtaking Landscapes and Wildlife, Kenya is a Leader in Environmental Conservation and Home to World-Renowned Long-Distance Runners.
  9. Mozambique: Known for its stunning Coastline and rich Cultural Heritage, Mozambique is also recognised for its vibrant Arts Scene, including Music and Dance.
  10. Nigeria: Africa’s most Populous Nation, Nigeria is celebrated for its diverse Cultures, Nollywood Film Industry, and significant contributions to Literature and Music, including figures like Chinua Achebe and Fela Kuti. Nigeria is also Home to Dangote Petroleum Refinery, the Continent’s largest Petroleum Refinery.
  11. Rwanda: A symbol of resilience and progress, Rwanda has made remarkable strides in Economic Development and Technological Innovation, becoming a Model for other African Nations.
  12. Sierra Leone: Known for its rich History and Natural beauty, Sierra Leone is also making progress in Education and Healthcare, contributing to a brighter future for its Citizens.
  13. South Africa: Famous for its stunning Landscapes and diverse Cultures, South Africa is a Global Leader in Mining and a Symbol of freedom and reconciliation, epitomised by Nelson Mandela.
  14. Zambia: Renowned for its spectacular Victoria Falls, Zambia is also making significant strides in Economic Development and Conservation efforts.

Access Holdings is proud to operate in these African Nations contributing uniquely to the Continent’s narrative, from Historical Landmarks to modern achievements in various fields.

As we continue to consolidate the discourse around the 2024 Africa Day Theme, the Group calls on Africans to unite, invest in our incredible Human Resource even as we work to take our rightful place on the Table of Deliberations of Global significance.

 

Credit Access Holdings: Texts excluding Headline

26-May-2024 Development cannot be guaranteed in unsecured Environment, says Tinubu

Development cannot be guaranteed in unsecured Environment, says Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has pledged to continue supporting the modernisation of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to bolster National Security.
Tinubu, represented by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, said this at the 60th Anniversary Ceremonial Parade of NAF, on Saturday in Kaduna.
Other Events included an Aerial Display and Flying- Out Parade for the Members of 37 and 38 Regular Courses, out of which 30 were AVM’s and nine were of the Rank of Brigadier-Geneneral.
The Theme of the Celebration is ‘NAF at 60: Leveraging Strategic Partnership in Aerospace Innovations for Regional Security’.
He said that in the Federal Government’s pursuit of Regional Peace and Security, the NAF has given it a sense of pride and optimism with its capabilities and sense of projection in employment of Air Power.
Commending on the NAF’S quality of Aerial Display and Combat Readiness at the Occasion, Tinubu said it attested to their dedication to Duty.
Restating Security as a top priority of his Administration, he said that Development cannot be guaranteed in an unsecured Environment.
This, he stressed, formed the Federal Government’s idea to continue supporting the NAF and the Armed Forces in general for the development of the Nation and its Regions.
 
 
Describing the NAF as being built on Advanced Technological Assets, Tinubu said the Federal Government was poised to supporting them.
The President said,” This is never too ambitious for any Service that is passionate about discharging its Mandate for the Nation’s overall development.
“We have made substantial Investment in procuring state of the art Multi-Role Combat Air Attack Helicopters and other Platforms that will enhance the NAF’s Capabilities.”
Tinubu listed  some of the Platforms to include: Surveilance Aircraft, T129 Attack Helicopters, Augusta 109 Multi-Role Helicopters, Diamond 62 Surveillance Aircraft and M46 Attack Aircraft, among others.
Speaking further, he disclosed that other Platforms would be  coming in shortly.
According to him, the best way to understand contemporary security challenge is to adopt a whole of societal approach.
Tinubu promised to continue supporting the NAF and the Armed Forces in general for the realisation of the Nation’s quest for sustainable Peace and Security.
He congratulated the NAF on its 60th Anniversary, while praying for the repose of the Souls of those who died in Active Service to the Nation.
 
Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline
26-May-2024 Tinubu arrives Lagos for Roads Inauguration to mark First Year in Office

Tinubu arrives Lagos for Roads Inauguration to mark First Year in Office

Ahead of the first Anniversary of his Administration on May 29, President Bola Tinubu departed Abuja on Saturday for Lagos to begin Inauguration of Projects completed under his Administration.

This is contained in a Statement by Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, on Saturday in Abuja.

Onanuga said that the President would inaugurate the Concrete-Paved Road to the Nation’s Major Ports in Apapa and Tin Can Island on Sunday.

He said that the Reconstructed Road, which began under the Muhammadu Buhari Administration, was financed by the Dangote Group, using its Tax Credits.

On the same day, Tinubu will Virtually Inaugurate the refurbished Third Mainland Bridge, which has drawn Public acclaim for its excellent finishing and aesthetic furnishing.

He will also Virtually Inaugurate the Rehabilitation of 330 Roads and Bridges across the Country.

The highpoint of the President’s Engagements on Sunday will be the Inauguration of the Lagos-Calabar Superhighway, estimated to cost about N15tn.

Work has begun on the Legacy Project that will connect nine Coastal States, with Section Two already awarded to Hitech Construction Limited.

The President will return to Abuja on Tuesday to begin another round of Inaugurations with the Southern Parkway, which the Nyesom Wike-led FCT Administration named after him.

On Wednesday, the President will attend the National Assembly Dialogue Series, after which he will unveil the National Assembly Library Complex, named after him.

Tinubu will leave the National Assembly to Relaunch the Commercialisation of Abuja Light Rail, also known as Abuja Metro and symbolically join the Train Ride to the City Centre.

The Abuja Metro was completed in 2018 by the Buhari Administration.

It was put into Commercial Use up till 2020, but with the onset of COVID-19, the Train Service was abandoned while Vandals descended on the Facility, putting it out of use.

FCT Minister Wike, after spending $15m and building Access Roads to the various Stations, has refurbished it for Commercial Service.

After the Train Ride, the President will also Inaugurate the Wuye Flyover-Link Bridge and the Defence Intelligence Agency Headquarters.

On May 31, Tinubu will Commission the NASENI-Portland Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) Reverse Engineering Centre at Utako.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

25-May-2024 NSIB orders Review of Dana Air Standard Operating Procedure

NSIB orders Review of Dana Air Standard Operating Procedure

The Nigeria Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has directed Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to review Dana Air Limited’s Training Program and Standard Operating Procedures.

The Bureau said the Review should be done with a view to highlighting Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Threat and Error Management (TEM) as Tools in management of Abnormal or Emergency Operations.

NSIB Directives is contained in four Incidents and Accidents Reports and 20 Safety Recommendations released at a Virtual News Conference.

The News Conference was  jointly addressed by NSIB’s Director- General, Alex Badeh, and Director of Transport Investigation, Abdullahi Babanya

“The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should ensure that Dana Air Limited adheres to Standard Phraseology in communicating Indication Malfunctions during Abnormal or Emergency Operations.

“NCAA should ensure Dana Air Limited comply with timely use of Checklist / Quick Reference Handbook particularly at critical Phases of Flight when dealing with Abnormal and Emergency Situations in line with Standard Company Operating Procedures.

”Nigeria Airspace Management Agency should ensure that Air Traffic Controllers always insist on communication of specific Malfunction with Standard Phraseology, in this instance, the use of `Indicated System Malfunction rather than `Gear Disagree,” the Bureau recommended.

The Recommendations were sequel to Preliminary Report “on serious Incident involving MD-82 Aircraft operated by Dana with Nationality and Registration marks 5N-BKl which occurred at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on April 23.

The NSIB also released Aviation Incident Final Reports of Incident involving Embra 145 LR Aircraft operated by Air Peace Limited with National and Registration marks 5N-BVD which occurred in Kaduna (Civil) Airport on January 14, 2021.

The second Aviation Final Report was Onground Collision between Lavatory Service Truck with Fleet Number 9/5 operated by Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO) and a parked Boeing 737-300 Aircraft with National and Registration Marks 5N-DAB.

According to the Report, the incidence that occurred in November  21, 2021 involved the Aircraft owned and operated my Max Air Limited.

Bade said that the Publication of the Reports served as a testament to NSIB’s commitment to Safety and underscored it’s Mission to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

 

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25-May-2024 Turkish Airlines back to business, resumes Lagos Flight Operations after disruption

Turkish Airlines back to business, resumes Lagos Flight Operations after disruption

Turkish Airlines has announced that it would on Saturday, May 25, resume its Flight Operations in Lagos, which were suspended following the disruption of its Operations in the State, four days ago.

“Due to actions at our counter at the  Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport that jeopardised our Flight Safety and continued for four days, we had to cancel our Scheduled Flights to Lagos as of Tuesday, May 21.

“Turkish Airlines, prioritising the safety and security of its Passengers and Crew, will resume Flights to Nigeria on  Saturday, May 25, as it has done since 2006.

“As long as the NCAA and FAAN Authorities take the necessary precautions and maintain  safety of Flights, Crew, Turkish Airlines Lagos Personnel, and Passengers at the Airport, we will continue to operate with the same sensitivity,” the Airline stated on Friday.

It explained that the decision to resume Operations was taken after holding Meetings with Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Officials, and evaluating its request.

According to the Airline, the decision is also informed by the fact that NCAA and FAAN have issued a Joint Press Release announcing that additional Security Measures will be taken to prevent  reoccurrence of such Incidents.

The Airline also said that the FAAN General Manager shared a Written Statement with it, committing to taking unprecedented Measures to ensure safety of its Operations.

“We want to thank the Authorities for the assurance they provided, and we will like to emphasise that Turkish Airlines is the Airline flying to more Countries than any other in the World.

“We adhere fully to the Laws and Regulations of the Countries we operate in and act in accordance with International Business Ethics Principles.

“We have informed the relevant Authorities that we will not be able to carry out the Scheduled Flights until our Flight Safety is guaranteed and requested assurances from them,” the Airline added.

The Airline on Thursday described as illegal, the picketing of its Lagos Office by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), which forced Flight cancellations.

It explained that the National Industrial Court (NICN) had on April 30,  issued formal Notices of Injunction restraining NUATE and its Affiliate Unions from embarking on any Industrial Action to disrupt its Business.

NCAA on Thursday,  also waded into the matter, paving way for an amicable resolution of the Issues, and for the Airline to resume full Operations, albeit without a definite resumption date. 

 

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24-May-2024 Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway: Your buildings will not be demolished, FG assures Lagos Community

Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway: Your buildings will not be demolished, FG assures Lagos Community

The Federal Government has reassured Residents of Okun-Ajah Community, Lagos, that their Properties would not be demolished for the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Project.

The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, dismissed their fears at an Engagement with Representatives of Communities within the alignment of the Road between Eko Atlantic(Chainage Zero) and Eleko inside(Chainage 47.4klm, on Thursday in Lagos.

The Meeting also discussed the payment of Compensations and Environmental Issues as it affects the Projects.

The Minister said that the Construction around the Axis would follow the Original Gazetted Route by the Federal Government.

Umahi said, “We have our Proposal here and we have the Old Alignment; to the glory of God, to solve MTN, 2Africa, Okun-Ajah Community, we are diverting completely from the New Alignment, from the Old Alignment to a New Alignment at kilometer 25.’’

The Minister emphasised that the decision to avoid demolitions was not due to pressure or conflict from the Communities.

According to him, the President’s intervention prioritised minimising the negative impact on Residents.

He assured the People of the President’s firm stance, saying the Government won’t change the Route for Section One, but Residents could still voice concerns about the Project’s impact on their Properties within the chosen path.

Umahi stressed that Government was open to addressing concerns outside Section One, where adjustments might be possible.

Besides, he invited all the Stakeholders to join him to receive President Bola Tinubu, on May 26, as he will be flagging off the 700 kilometers Coastal Roads.

Earlier at the Meeting, Iliasu Gashingbaki, GMD, Meca Group, in Okun-Ajah, had called on the Government to be sensitive to the Global Facility, highlighting how a Submarine Cable belonging to MTN that cut across 33 Countries in Africa was tampered within the course of the Road Construction, thus, shutting Internet Access to some parts of Africa a few months ago.

About 11 People, whose Properties were affected by the Construction of the Coastal Roads, received compensations.

 

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23-May-2024 NCAA Spokesman: Turkish Airlines Country Manager engaged our D-G in shouting match banging his table

NCAA Spokesman: Turkish Airlines Country Manager engaged our D-G in shouting match banging his table

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has said that it would not hesitate to invoke relevant Sections of the Organisation’s  Regulations to sanction Turkish Airlines over mistreatment of Nigerian Passengers.

NCAA’s Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Michael Achimugu, disclosed this to Journalists on Wednesday in Lagos.

Achimugu said that President Bola Tinubu had directed NCAA, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and relevant Agencies, to ensure that the Rights of Nigerian Passengers were protected at all times.

He said the NCAA was currently mediating on the feud between the European Carrier and Aviation Labour Unions, who picketed the Airline’s Operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

According to him, the Agency will not hesitate to roll out stiff penalties and sanctions to Turkish Airlines as Nigerian Passengers, are still stranded at the Airport, following its failure to airlift them to Istanbul.

Achimugu said the Federal Government and its Agencies would spare no effort to call to order any Airline that violates the Rights of Nigerian passengers.

According to him, the Director-General of NCAA, Chris Najomo, had in a Virtual Meeting on Tuesday from the United Kingdom initiated reconciliatory moves between the Country Manager of Turkish Airlines and the Unions.

He, however, said the Representative of the Airline exhibited some traits of impudence, which the Regulator deemed amounted to lack of regard for the System.

Arising from the Infraction, Achimugu said the Federal Government would not hesitate to look deep into the impasse with the possibility of extracting the right punishment if the Carrier is found culpable.

The Federal Government, he said, would take every step to ensure the Rights of Nigerian Passengers are not trampled on by any Carrier, including Foreign Airlines, in taking the right steps to address any infractions on their Conditions of Operations into the Country.

He confirmed that over 300 Passengers had been trapped in the imbroglio involving the Turkish Airlines, and Aviation Unions, as the Carrier had canceled Flights out of and into Nigeria until Thursday.

Achimugu said that, though, the Carrier claimed to have communicated with Passengers through Electronic Mail on the on-going hitch concerning its Operations into and out of the Country, some Passengers still turned up at the Lagos Airport.

He said: “The NCAA is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the inability of Turkish Airlines to operate Flights out of Lagos Airport, due to the picketing of its Operations by Aviation Unions.

“We will ensure that the Rights of Nigerian Passengers are not violated.

“President Bola Tinubu has directed the NCAA, FAAN and relevant Agencies to ensure that the Rights of Nigerian Passengers are protected.

“Currently, the NCAA is engaging Officials of Turkish Airlines, but we have observed some degree of insolence of the Country Manager, who engaged our D-G in a shouting match, he was even banging the table.

“This behaviour to the NCAA is unacceptable. At the end of our findings, if the Airline is found culpable, we will invoke the relevant parts of our Regulation Part 17,  to met out the right punishment,” he said.

Achimugu on Wednesday evening visited the stranded Passengers at the new Terminal of the international Airport, where he conveyed the message of the D-G to them, saying that the Authority would not rest until they were transported to their various destinations.

One of the stranded Passengers, Obiekwe Ngozichukwu, a Guttenberg, Sweden Resident, said he was afraid of losing his Job as a top Official of one of the Hotels in that Country, because the Company had been calling him to resume work.

He said he visited Nigeria for his Mother’s burial, but could not go back because of the cancellation of his Flight, and had been sleeping on the floor at the Airport for two days.

“We don’t know when we are leaving here, I appeal to the Authorities to intervene and save us from this  experience.”

Another Passenger, a Germany based Construction Worker, Charles Ifeanyi, also appealed to the Federal Government to intervene, to save the situation, lamenting that the Authorities must not allow Nigerians to be maltreated anywhere in the World anyhow.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had began the picketing of Turkish Airlines in Lagos.

The picketing is to ensure that the Carrier reinstates Staff, who were dismissed, forced to abandon Duty or forced to resign under duress, including those victimised for their Union Membership in 2020. 

 

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22-May-2024 Sacked Dana Air Workers protest unpaid Salaries, Gratuities, outstanding Pensions

Sacked Dana Air Workers protest unpaid Salaries, Gratuities, outstanding Pensions

No fewer than 100 sacked Employees of Dana Air, on Tuesday in Lagos, picketed the Head Office of the Airline over alleged Unpaid Salaries and Outstanding Pensions, among others.

The Protesters were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions, such as: ‘Expatriates not paid for three months’;

‘Pension Deductions not remitted since 2008’; ‘Say No to tyranny’ and ‘7 Aircraft, only one serviceable’, among others.

The Airlines’ former Training and Cabin Services Manager, Magdalene Onyeukwu, who was also among the Protesters, expressed dismay over the laying-off of the Workers, accusing the Airline Management of lack of empathy.

Onyeukwu also accused the Management of not making adequate Settlements before relieving the Workers of their Jobs.

“I have been working with the Airline since 2008 and I participated in the Demo Flight which got them their Air Operator Certificate (AOC).

“I and others like me have been dedicated, even in the face of challenges. When Salaries were not paid, we were committed until the Runway Incident of April 23.

“It is normal for Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to audit the Airline but before we knew it, we got WhatsApp Messages that our Services were no longer required.

“The Chief Executive Officer of Dana Air, Jacky Hathiramani, should address us. We want our Gratuities, while our April Salary and one month in Lieu of Service should be paid,” she said.

Another Protester, Eze Chidi, a former Aviation Security (AVSEC) Supervisor, condemned the action of Management of the Airline on the Workers, describing it as uncalled for.

Chidi urged the Federal Government to intervene on the alleged victimisation, enslavement, exploitation and unaccountable management, among other acts.

Dana Air Management Officials were, however, not reachable for comments.

NCAA had, on April 24, suspended the Airlines’ AOC, following a Runway Skid of its MD-82 Aircraft, with Registration Number 5N-BKI on April 23.

The suspension of the AOC was to allow NCAA to carry out a comprehensive Audit of the Company.

Consequent upon the ongoing Audit, the Airline had, in a Statement on May 11, stated that some of its Employees had been ‘temporarily disengaged’.

 

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22-May-2024 NCC commences enquiry on Review of Guidelines for Telecoms Industry

NCC commences enquiry on Review of Guidelines for Telecoms Industry

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has begun a Public Enquiry on the Review of three key Guidelines/Regulatory Instruments for the Telecoms Industry.

The Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Aminu Maida, said this on Tuesday while meeting with all Mobile Networks Operators (MNOs) and other Stakeholders in the Telecoms Industry in Abuja.

Maida said the Review of the Guidelines aimed at providing a clear and transparent Mechanism for resolving conflicts within the Telecoms Sector, adding that it would promote timely resolution and ensuring that all Stakeholders are treated fairly.

According to him, it will also shape the future of the Industry in line with contemporary challenges of Digital Age.

He said the Guidelines for Procedures of granting Approval to disconnect Telecoms Operators and the Guidelines for Dispute Resolution in the Industry were being reviewed as Telecoms Networks Interconnection Regulations.

The EVC, who described the Guidelines as vital to the growth and development of the Telecoms Industry Ecosystem, said the Commission held a Public Enquiry to ensuring transparency and accountability.

“The NCC is an Independent Regulatory Authority for the Communications Industry in Nigeria, we are committed towards accessible and competitive Telecoms Industry.

“The Public Enquiry we are conducting today is a testament to the commitment and dedication to transparency and inclusivity towards ensuring that the Voices of all Stakeholders are heard and considered”, Maida said.

“These Regulatory Instruments have played a vital role in driving our Telecommunications Landscape and it is essential that we revisit and revise them to address emerging challenges, trends and Opportunities in the Industry.”

He said Guidelines being considered were vital to ensuring that the Communications Sector meets the demands of the Digital Age.

He added that the Contributions of all Stakeholders would shape the future of the Industry and make the Telecoms Sector more innovative and competitive.

The EVC said the Telecoms Networks Interconnection Regulation played significant role in seamless Communications between two different network and facilitating the growth of the Telecom Industry in Nigeria.

“This Review is crucial to keep pace with Technological Advancements, foster competition, protect Consumers’ Interest and align with International Standards and improve Regulatory efficiency in the Industry.

“The second is the Guidelines for Procedures of granting Approvals to disconnect Telecoms Operators.

“As the Industry continues to evolve there may be instances where the disconnection of Operators becomes necessary.

“These Guidelines are Procedural Framework through which such approval are granted to ensure that they are carried out in a transparent and accountable manner.

“Lastly, we will be reviewing the Guidelines for Disputes Resolution. Disputes are inevitable part of any Industry, There should be a robust Framework for Disputes Resolution.

“The Guidelines aim to provide a clear and transparent Mechanism for resolving conflicts within the Telecoms Sector, promote timely resolution and ensuring that all Stakeholders are treated fairly.

“As this needs arise we must evaluate and review the Guidelines to ensure they are effective in resolving conflicts and promoting a stable Telecoms Ecosystem,” Maida asserted.

 

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21-May-2024 Minimum Wage: Labour insists on May 31 deadline, threatens FG, NERC

Minimum Wage: Labour insists on May 31 deadline, threatens FG, NERC

The Organised Labour has reiterated its May 31 ultimatum for the Federal Government to finalise the new National Minimum Wage Fixing Process for Workers.

The Position was contained in a Communique issued at the end of a Joint Emergency National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday in Abuja.

In the Communique jointly signed by Joe Ajaero, NLC President and Festus Osifo, President of TUC, the Organised Labour said its NEC had thoroughly deliberated on the Issue and considered the current realities as they affects Nigerian Workers and Masses.

Labour noted that NEC appreciated the efforts made thus far, but,  emphasised the urgency of reaching a fair and equitable Agreement.

“We need an Agreement that will genuinely reflect the true Value of Nigerian Workers’ contributions to the Nation’s Development and the current crisis of survival facing Nigerians as a result of Government’s Policies.

“The NEC affirms its commitment to ensuring that the Interests and Welfare of Workers are adequately protected in the Negotiation Process.

“The NEC-in-Session therefore reiterates the ultimatum issued by the NLC and TUC to the Federal Government, which expires on the last day of this month,” the Communiqué read.

Also in the Communiqué the Organised Labour directed all State Councils whose State Governments were yet to fully implement the N30,000 National Minimum Wage and its Consequential Adjustments to immediately issue a joint two-week ultimatum to the culpable State Governments to avert Industrial Action.

It also reaffirmed its demands for an immediate reversal of the Tariff hike and the “vexatious Apartheid Categorisation into Bands to alleviate the suffering of Nigerian Workers and Citizens”.

Labour also gave the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Federal Government May 31 ultimatum to meet the demands.

“In the event that the Government fails to meet the demands outlined within the stipulated timeframe, the NEC authorises the Leadership of the NLC and TUC to take appropriate actions.

“This including, but not limited to the mobilisation of Workers for peaceful Protests and Industrial Actions, to press home these demands for Social Justice and Workers’ Rights,” the Communiqué read in part.

The Organised Labour emphasised the non-negotiable nature of the demands and urged the Government to prioritise the resolution of the issues in the best interest of Industrial peace.

It called on all Affiliate Unions, and Workers including Civil Society Organisations across Nigeria to remain united and steadfast in solidarity during the critical period. 

 

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19-May-2024 Development Indices in many Nigerian States below Global Standards, says Shettima

Development Indices in many Nigerian States below Global Standards, says Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has urged State Governors to prioritise Human and Capital Development Programmes to fast-track Sustainable Social and Economic Development in the Country. 

Shettima stated this at the Inauguration of the remodeled Government House, Bauchi, constructed by the Bala Mohammed Administration.

He said that State Governments were vital for Human Development and Social Change, to address challenges like Healthcare, Education and Security.

“Development Indices in many Nigerian States lag behind the Global Standards and effective Value driven Political Leadership is necessary to improve.

“By promoting right Values across Schools, Institutions and Government Agencies, State Governments can lay a Solid Foundation for future progress.

“It is incumbent upon all of us in Positions of Authority to take Interventions in developing Governance Infrastructure as a catalyst to harmonise and supervise our Policy Making Process in the Country,” he said.

Shettima, who inaugurated the Project, lauded Mohammed for his resolve to reconstruct the Government House.

He said that Mohammed devoted his time, life and energy towards repositioning the State by embarking on Development inclined Projects.

“This Edifice will In-Sha-Allah stand the test of time, and posterity will judge you kindly for devoting your time, energies and Resources towards the development of Bauchi State,” he said.

The Vice-President also commended the North-East State Governors for their comradeship, sense of purpose,  commitment, and urged them to be more united so as to face the challenges of Underdevelopment in the Sub-Region.

Earlier, Mohammed said that before contesting for the Office of the Governor, he considered the old Government House as an affront to the State.

He said that his Administration’s goal was to establish Legacy Projects capable of sustaining the ambitious Developmental Needs of the People of the State.

“We believe we can do it and to the glory of God, the remodelled Government house has been done,” he said. 

Shettima is in Bauchi to inaugurate the 15th Edition of the North-East Domestic Trade Fair and other Projects executed by the Bala Mohammed Administration.

The Event was attended by Governors Babagana Zulum, Inuwa Yahaya, Ahmadu Fintiri, Mai Mala Buni and Agbu Kefas of Borno, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba States.

 

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19-May-2024 Minister to newly-elected APRA Executives: Congratulations, leverage on your Expertise

Minister to newly-elected APRA Executives: Congratulations, leverage on your Expertise

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has felicitated the newly-elected Executive Council of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), elected at the 35th APRA Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire from May 13- 18, 2024.

The Minister, also a Fellow of APRA, acknowledged the significance of the election for the advancement of Public Relations across Africa, adding that while it is a pivotal moment for APRA, the collective Expertise, and Leadership of the newly-elected Executive Council would be instrumental in attaining the long-term Vision of the Association. 

The new APRA Executive Council comprises Arik Karani from Kenya as President, Dr. Michele Mekeme from Cameroon as Vice President, and Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan from Nigeria as Secretary-General.

Idris urged the new Executive Council to "continue the Trajectory of Reforms in APRA," stressing the importance of expanding the Democratic Space by encouraging greater participation of National Public Relations Institutions across the Continent.

He highlighted the need for Inclusivity and Collaboration to strengthen the Public Relations Profession in Africa.

The Minister also called on the Executive Council to work closely with the African Union Commission and the Council of Ministers to ensure that Public Relations remains central to Policy Formulation, Programme Execution, and Project Implementation.

"Public Relations should be at the heart of Policy, Programmes, and Project Implementation," he stated.

He also extended his salutations to Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, the Head of Media Relations at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on his emergence as the Secretary-General of APRA. 

“Dr. Ibietan is a thoroughbred Journalist, Public Relations Expert, and Author, who is expected to bring his enormous wealth of experience to bear on APRA positively,” Idris said. 

 

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18-May-2024 Tinubu's engagement to sell Nigeria as an Investment Destination is serious, says Minister

Tinubu's engagement to sell Nigeria as an Investment Destination is serious, says Minister

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, says the Economic situation in the County will soon improve and impact positively on the Lives of Nigerians.

Idris stated this at the high level Dialogue on delivering the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu on Friday in Abuja.

The Dialogue is Titled, “Leveraging International Cooperation to enhance Trade, Investment and Sustainable Development in Nigeria”

It was organised by Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on International Cooperation and Bank of Industry.

According to Idris, the day is for both reflecting on the last one year and looking ahead at the next three, with special emphasis on the Role of International Cooperation in achieving Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

“Tinubu’s determination to engage on the Global Stage to position and sell Nigeria as an Investment Destination is something he takes seriously, both at Home and Abroad.

“He is the Chief Marketing Officer of the Country and always goes the extra mile to fulfill this Role with boldness and determination.

“He gave the Approval to constitute a National Communications Team, to harmoniously engage with Nigerians, and showcase our journey as a Government determined to leave a lasting Legacy of reset and reform in every facet of National Life.

“I want to assure you that you will see a lot more of our work as a Team as we enter this second year of the Administration.

“We will continue to engage with Nigerians, Home and Abroad regarding our work, prioritising truth, credibility and impact.

“I want to express my clear and unshakable belief that things will get better in Nigeria. A lot of the work that was put in during the last 12 months is just now crystallising into reality.

“I am indeed very optimistic about what this second year that we are going into will bring, and I invite you all to share in this enthusiasm,” Idris said.

He said that some of the efforts of Tinubu include, the Consumer Credit Corporation, Nigeria Education Loan Fund, Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative, the Presidential Grant and Loan Scheme.

Others are, Dry Season Farming, Fertiliser Distribution, Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund, Electricity Sector Reforms, Tax and Fiscal Policy Reforms, and National Minimum Wage Negotiations.

“All of these and many more are Policies and Programmes that will directly touch and improve the Lives of Nigerians.

“These will go a long way to bring Prices down, reduce the Cost of Doing Business, put more money into the pockets of Nigerians and bring more Electricity into our Homes and Industries.

“They will also spur Domestic and Foreign Investments and push the Country further towards the path to true and lasting prosperity,” he  said. 

 

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18-May-2024 APRA elects Nigeria's Ibietan Secretary-General

APRA elects Nigeria's Ibietan Secretary-General

Head, Media Relations at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, has been elected the Secretary-General of the African Public Relations Association (APRA) at the ongoing 35th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. 

Ibietan was elected into a Three-Man Executive Council. The other two members are Arik Karani (Kenya), President, and Dr. Michele Mekeme (Cameroon), Vice President. 

Ibietan, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and APRA, has promised to work with other Members of the Executive Council to continue the Trajectory of Reforms in APRA, expand the Democratic Space by encouraging greater participation of National Public Relations Institutions on the Continent.

He has also expressed his readiness and commitment to working more closely with the African Union Commission and Council of Ministers to put Public Relations at the heart of Policy, Programmes, and Project implementation.

Ibietan, a Journalist, Writer, and Author works at NCC where he oversees aspects of the Public Communication Strategy of the National Regulatory Authority for Telecommunication in Nigeria.

Earlier in Nigeria's Fourth Republic, he was Special Media Advisor to the Federal Minister of Information and Communication. He has over 20 years of Experience in Media and Communication Scholarship and Practice, spanning Journalism, Academia, Policy Discourse, Communication Strategy, Regulation, and Stakeholder Relations. 

Ibietan earned BA and MA in Communication Arts and Communication and Language Arts from the Universities of Uyo and Ibadan in Nigeria, respectively, graduating atop his Classes.

Earlier, he obtained a diploma in Journalism with Distinction from the Moscow-Based International Institute of Journalism.

He holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the North-West University in South Africa, with Specialisation in Political Communication. He is a IP3 Certified Regulation Specialist and holds an MBA in Telecommunications from NEOTELIS in Paris.

He is also a Member of the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE), an Associate Registered Practitioner of Advertising (ARPA) and Member of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), the World's only Policy Debating Platform for the Converged Communications Industry. 

As a Scholar, he focuses on Patterns of Political Communication through New Media; Media and Culture Studies; and Theoretical and Normative Foundations of Communication in relation to Democracy and Freedom.

He is on the Faculty of the Nigerian Campus of Italy-based Rome Business School (RBS), where he teaches Doctoral Students PR and Advertising and Media Management and Communication Strategy. He also facilitates Learning to Students in the Master of Corporate Communication Programme at RBS. 

His first Book, Social Media, Social Demography, and Voting Behaviour in Nigeria, was published by Premium Times Books in Washington in May 2023. He has travelled extensively in Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia.

 

] 

At the ongoing Conference, Ibietan presented the First Paper at the commencement of Business Sessions Titled: Digital Inclusion as Arbiter of Accessible Public Relations: A Case of Nigerian Communications Commission. 

Using Castells' Theory of the Network Society and the Knowledge Gap Theory, and based on the actions of the Nigerian Government through the activities of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ibietan advanced a Thesis that Digital Inclusion is the Arbiter of Digital Public Relations. 

Through implementation of Laws, Policies, Guidelines, Developmental Regulation, Collaborative Partnerships, Social Investments, Operational Efficiency and Ancillary Actions that are consequential and quantifiable, and using copious Pictorial Evidence, Ibietan discoursed a perspective that NCC's Digital Inclusion Programmes, Projects and Activities are foundational to Digital Economy.

He argued that this is because Investment in and Coordination of Expansion of Digital Infrastructure, demonstrating their affordances and enhancing People's access to such Resources, constitute the building blocks and raison d'être of Digital Economy and inherently Digital Public Relations. 

APRA, the Successor to the Federation of African Public Relations Association (FAPRA), instituted in Nairobi in 1975, exists to foster unity of Africans and their Global Allies through interactions and exchange of meaning. This year’s Theme is 'One Africa, One Voice: Bridging Africa's Communication Divide'.

APRA Côte d'Ivoire 2024 is endorsed by the Government of Côte d'Ivoire, the Holding Opinion and Public (THOP), and major Global PR Associations, namely the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management (GA), the African Union Commission (AUC), and PR national associations across the continent. 

Additionally, the conference featured the Eight Edition of the Innovation Summit (IN2SUMMIT) and included the Seventh Edition of the SABRE Awards Africa, holding tonight.

The APRA Secretariat is in Nigeria, and the body maintains an Observer Status with the African Union.

 

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17-May-2024 Labour to FG: Do not tamper with Workers’ Pension Funds

Labour to FG: Do not tamper with Workers’ Pension Funds

The Organised Labour has frowned at the Federal Government’s plan to utilise the N19.66trn Pension Funds for Infrastructure Development.

This is contained in a Joint Letter signed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which was addressed to the Minister of Finance on Thursday in Abuja.

The Letter, which was signed by Joe Ajaero, NLC President and Tommy Etim-Okon, TUC Deputy President, was entitled “Leave our Pension Fund Alone: Do not Tamper with Workers’ Funds”.

According to Ajaero, the announcement has ignited deep apprehension and unrest among Nigerian Workers, who are the Primary Contributors of these Funds.

“We, therefore, urge the Government to reconsider its plans to tap into Pension Funds and instead explore sustainable Financing options that do not compromise the Retirement Security of Nigerian Workers.

“Organised Labour will resist any action that seeks to undermine the Retirement Savings of Nigerian Workers,” they said.

The Letter, however, noted that the Government had allegedly accessed nearly 70 per cent of the entire Pension Funds, adding that it was not merely alarming; it was unacceptable.

It said that Nigerian Workers had entrusted their hard-earned Savings for Retirement Security, and not for Government Projects.

“It is imperative to halt any further plans to tap into these Funds, especially given the lack of transparency and accountability in past Government borrowing practices.

“Your proposal to further leverage these Funds for the purported betterment of Housing and Infrastructure raises serious concerns about Fiscal prudence and responsible governance,” it said.

According to Labour, where does the Government intend to source the additional N20trn it seeks to acquire, especially considering the ambiguity surrounding previous borrowing practices from.

It said the lack of clarity on the matter only fuels skepticism regarding the feasibility and sustainability of the Initiative.

“Nigerian Workers demand assurances that their Retirement Funds will not fall victim to further Federal Government borrowing.

“This is especially when the PENCOM Board has not been constituted as enshrined in the Statutes.

“One is left to wonder which Board superintends over such discussion with the Government. Seeking to borrow from the Fund is not backed by the Pension Act,” it said.

It said that this was in spite of the Government’s assurances of widespread consultation with major Stakeholders in the Pension Industry.

It said it was disheartening to note that the NLC and TUC, representing the Owners of the entire Pension Fund Contributions, were not consulted nor informed about the Government’s intentions.

“This lack of transparency undermines the sanctity of Pension Funds, which should be treated with utmost reverence and protection at all times.

“It is incumbent upon the Government to prioritise alternative Sources of Funding that do not imperil the Financial Security of Nigerian Workers.

“We insist that any Initiative aimed at leveraging Pension Funds for National Development must be executed with utmost transparency, accountability, and respect for the Rights and Interests of Workers.

“Furthermore, we strongly oppose the notion of the Government engaging in fierce competition with other Users of Funds in the Pension Fund Market.

“We remain resolute in our commitment to safeguarding the Welfare and Interests of Workers across the Country,” it said.

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

16-May-2024 New Minimum Wage: Labour's withdrawal from Negotiation unfortunate, says NECA

New Minimum Wage: Labour's withdrawal from Negotiation unfortunate, says NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged Organised Labour to return to the Negotiation Table on the planned Minimum Wage Review.

NECA’s appeal came following the decision of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Wednesday, in Abuja, to pull out of the National Minimum Wage Committee.

The development came after Representatives of  Government and the Organised Private Sector made an Offer of N48,000 and N54,000 Wage respectively.

The two Labour Centres had earlier proposed a sum of N615,000 Minimum Wage for Federal Workers, giving Evidence and Data to substantiate their Proposal.

Reacting, the Director-General, NECA, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a Statement issued on Wednesday, in Lagos,  described Labour’s pull out as unfortunate

Oyerinde urged Labour to reconsider its position and return to the Negotiation Table in the interest of its Members and National Development.

“As it is seen Globally, a major feature of all Negotiations is for all Parties to present their opening positions, which was done by all Social Partners.

‘’The expected follow-up action is the actual Negotiation with attendant Counter-Negotiations, alignment and realignment of positions among others.

“The action of Labour to walk out, even when Negotiation has not started, even when it is within its right to do so, has the potential to delay the Assignment of the Minimum Wage Committee, ” he said.

Oyerinde said that the Organised Private Sector remained absolutely committed to the Review of the current National Minimum Wage, to a new one that was fair and sustainable.

He said that it was for one which took due cognisance of the Country’s  current Economic situation. 

 

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16-May-2024 New Minimum Wage: Organised Labour withdraws from Negotiation, says 'FG taking Nigerians for a ride'

New Minimum Wage: Organised Labour withdraws from Negotiation, says 'FG taking Nigerians for a ride'

Organised Labour says it has pulled out from the ongoing Tripartite Committee on the new National Minimum Wage Negotiations Meeting for Workers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at a Joint News Conference stated this on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Organised Labour had said that the Government ‘s proposal of N48,000 as new Minimum Wage for Workers was not just a “mockery but an insult to Nigerians' dignity’.

Labour walked out in the middle of the Negotiations due to the turn of events as they had proposed N615,000 as the new National Minimum Wage.

Also, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) had announced that the least Worker in the Private Sector should be paid N78,000.

NECA later turned around to propose N54,000 as the new National Minimum Wage.

Joe Ajaero, NLC President and Tommy Etim-Okon, TUC Deputy President, in a Joint  Statement entitled “Minimum Wage: Government Presents Wage Reduction”, had expressed disappointment at the turn of events.

Ajaero said Labour was disappointed at the unfortunate and the apparent unseriousness of the Government to engage in reasonable Negotiation with Nigerian Workers.

“Despite earnest efforts to reach an equitable Agreement, the less than reasonable action of the Government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) has led to a breakdown in Negotiations, he said.

“The Government’s Proposal of a paltry N48,000 (forty-eight thousand Naira) as the Minimum Wage does not only insult the sensibilities of Nigerian Workers but also falls significantly short of meeting our needs and aspirations.,” they said.

The Statement also noted that in contrast the Organised Private Sector (OPS) proposed an initial offer of N54,000 though, it was worth noting that even the least paid Workers in the Private Sector receives N78,000 per month as clearly stated by the OPS.

It noted that this highlight the stark disparity between the proposed Minimum Wage and prevailing standards further demonstrating the unwillingness of Employers and Government to faithfully negotiate a fair National Minimum Wage for Workers in Nigeria.

It also said that the Federal Government’s failure to provide any substantiated Data to support their offer exacerbates the situation.

According to the two Labour Centres, this lack of transparency and good faith undermines the credibility of the Negotiation Process and erodes trust between the Parties involved.

“As Representatives of Nigerian Workers, we cannot in good conscience accept a Wage Proposal that would result in a reduction in Income for Federal-Level Workers.

“The Workers, who are already receiving N30,000 as mandated by Law, augmented by Buhari’s 40 per cent Peculiar Allowance (N12,000) and the N35,000 Wage Award, totaling N77,000 only.

“Such a regressive step would undermine the Economic Well-being of Workers and their Families and is unacceptable in a National Minimum Wage Fixing Process.

“In light of these developments, and in order to prevent the negotiation of a Wage deduction, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have taken the decision to walk out of the Negotiation Process.

“We remain committed to advocating for the Rights and Interests of Nigerian Workers and will continue to engage in reasonable Dialogue with the Government if they show serious commitment to find a fair and sustainable resolution to this impasse,” it stated.

It therefore called on the Government to reconsider its position and come to the Negotiation Table with clear hands that reflects the true value of the contributions made by Nigerian Workers to the Nation’s Development.

 

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15-May-2024 Nigerian Universities being run without Governing Councils, ASUU laments

Nigerian Universities being run without Governing Councils, ASUU laments

The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), National Executive Council (NEC), has called on the Federal and State Governments to address all outstanding issues with the Union.

Emmanuel Osodeke, President, ASUU said this in Abuja while briefing Journalists on the outcome of the ASUU-NEC Meeting held at Obefemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife from May 11 to May 12.

Osodeke said that the Union had rejected all the ongoing illegalities and flagrant violation of University Autonomy in Public Universities as a result of non-reinstatement and reconstitution of Governing Councils.

He said that NEC observed with dismay the continued erosion of Autonomy of Public Universities, contrary to the Provisions of the Universities Miscellaneous Act (1993, 2012).

He said, “The dissolution of Governing Councils by the present Administration has paved way for all manner of illegalities in the Nigerian University System.

“University Administrations now place Advertisements for the Appointment of Vice-Chancellor without Authorisation from the appropriate quarters – the Governing Councils.

“Outgoing Vice-Chancellors, working in cahoots with the Federal and State Ministries of Education, are illegally running the Universities on daily basis.

“They routinely usurp the Powers of Governing Councils to recruit and discipline Staff as well as manage University Finances in manners bereft of transparency and accountability.”

He said that for the past 11 months, Universities were being run without a Governing Council which had given room to all sorts of illegalities in the Universities System.

Osodeke said the Union undertook a dispassionate and comprehensive Review of the Status of its Engagements with Federal and State Governments on how to reposition Nigeria’s Public Universities for Global reckoning and competitiveness.

The President also said that the Meeting took a critical look at the worsening Living and Working Conditions in Universities and the Nation at large.

“The Meeting received alarming Reports on the failed promises of the Federal and State Governments towards addressing the lingering issues that forced the Union to embark on the Nationwide Strike of February-October 2022.

“As our Union has consistently stated, Salary Awards are no substitutes for a Negotiated Agreement.

“Each Negotiated Agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and ASUU is a comprehensive package that captures not the just Salary Component.

“But also a gamut of requirements for benchmarking a competitive University System designed for addressing the developmental challenges of Nigeria.

“ASUU’s demand for Negotiated Salary and other Conditions of Service is anchored on the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention No. 98 which underscores the Principle of Collective Bargaining.

“The last FGN/ASUU Agreement was in 2009. Consequent upon the Union’s Advocacy spanning almost one Decade, our Union went into the Renegotiation with the FGN as in 2017,” he said.

Osodeke said that NEC shall reconvene after two weeks from the date of the NEC Meeting to review the situation and take a decisive action to address the Issues.

On the Issue of the Indefinite Strike in University of Abuja, he said they were fully in support of the Action.

 

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14-May-2024 NRC seeks link of Itakpe Corridor to Abuja, bags Lagos NUJ Award

NRC seeks link of Itakpe Corridor to Abuja, bags Lagos NUJ Award

The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, has urged the Federal Government to link the Itakpe Corridor to Abuja to speed up Development in the Country.

Okhiria made the call in Lagos when the Leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, led by the Chairman, Adeleye Ajayi paid him a Courtesy Visit.

He explained that linking the Itakpe Corridor directly to Abuja would help the Country cover up about 75 per cent of the entire Country in Rail Transportation.

According to him, this move is necessary to fast-track Development across Regions in Nigeria.

“I wish to reveal that there have been great Developments, especially in States where we are very visible. Ibadan, for example, is springing up Development in Areas that are closer to the Rail Station, while Lagos is fast becoming a Tourism Site.”

The MD reiterated the commitment of the Corporation to scaling up the level of work done in different Corridors across the Country.

He noted that there had been a decline in the level of vandalism across the Country’s Rail Lines, as Operations had fully begun in most of the Stations.

Okhiria disclosed that Security Surveillance around the Rail Coaches would be scaled up for effectiveness and efficiency.

He commended the Media for being a Partner in Progress in promoting the Operations of the NRC.

“Nigerian Railway Corporation has received the attention it deserves through the Media, and we are grateful for this,” he said.

The MD admitted that Nigeria stood a better chance to grow and develop if all hands were on deck.

“Against this backdrop, State Governments of Borno, Kaduna, Plateau and Ogun are already partnering with the NRC to build an efficient Railway System in their respective States,” he revealed.

Ajayi, commended Okhiria for repositioning the NRC, saying that Nigerians were aware of the giant stride made by the MD in the Corporation.

He added that it was a testament to his background and wealth of experience, having worked in all seven Districts of the NRC.

“As a Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Institute of Management, Vanguard Society of Engineers, among others, one cannot expect less from a Professional like you who has a track record of success,” he said.

He also commended the Corporation for the Professionalism it displayed in executing the Directive of President Bola Tinubu over the 100 per cent discount on Train Trips for Nigerians who travelled to celebrate Christmas and New Year with their Families.

He applauded the selfless service of the NRC to the Nation as no fewer than 163,000 Nigerians benefited from the Exercise via the three Routes being serviced by the Corporation which include Lagos– Ibadan, Warri – Itakpe and Abuja– Kaduna.

“We are equally delighted to hear about the Corporation’s plans to boost Cargo movement across the Nation as moves are underway to enhance Rail Links between Lagos, Kaduna and Kano.

“No doubt, the completion and operationalisation of these Rail Corridors, especially Lagos to Kano will facilitate optimal use of the Dala Inland Dry Port for movement of Cargoes by Rail from Lagos to Kano.

“It is believed that this Initiative will reduce the Cost of Doing Business, reduce the menace of Road Traffic Accidents, and boost the GDP of our Country,” he said

Ajayi later presented an Award of Excellence for Outstanding Performance as the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation to Okhiria, on behalf of the Lagos NUJ.

He said the Award was long overdue, stressing that the Lagos Council of the NUJ would continue to promote the activities of the Corporation around the clock.

He also solicited Partnership with the NRC, particularly in the Area of Capacity Building for Journalists covering Transport Beat.

 

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12-May-2024 My Men have given everything for Nigeria to remain one, says CDS

My Men have given everything for Nigeria to remain one, says CDS

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Christopher Musa, says the happiness of his Men remains paramount to him in discharging his Responsibilities as Defence Chief.

Musa expressed this view while addressing Journalists on Saturday during the Novelty Volleyball match in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, who are on Private Visit to Nigeria on the invitation of the CDS.

He said it was his desire to celebrate the Wounded Soldiers and Veterans that prompted the Invitation of the Royal Prince to come to Nigeria and celebrate with the Injured Veterans.

According to him, it is a great privilege and honour and it shows that People all over the World understand what it is to sacrifice for one’s Nation.

“These Guys have given everything they have just to make sure that Nigeria remains one.

“These Individuals have Families and People that depend on them but we will never allow the situation they are in, to keep them out.

“That is why, for me particularly, it is very important for the Morale of my Men.

“For me, I cannot function if my Men are not happy and I will do whatever it takes for me to make sure that they are happy.

“That is why we are acknowledging what they have done and we are commending them and we appreciate the sacrifices they are making,” he said.

The Defence Chief  said the Nigerian Armed Forces was committed to investing in Invitus Game which commenced in 2014, adding he was wondering why Nigeria delayed in taking part in the Game.

He promised that the Nigerian Team would go all the way to build up the Capacity of the Personnel to be able to continue to win Laurel for Nigeria.

The Vsitor, Harry interacted with Members of his Invictus Foundation and urged them to keep up the good work.

He also cheered up the Injured Soldiers and Veterans who participated in the Novelty Game.

The Visitors had on arrival on Friday had a Closed Door Meeting with the CDS after a visit to a school in Wuse, Abuja.

They later proceeded to 44 Army Reference Hospital Kaduna where they interacted with Wounded Soldiers who are currently receiving treatment.

At Kaduna, they also met with Governor Uba Sani and top Government Functionaries. 

 

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11-May-2024 Dana Air sacks Workers amidst probe of Runway incident

Dana Air sacks Workers amidst probe of Runway incident

Dana Air on Saturday announced  disengagement of some of its Workers  amid ongoing Operational Audit of the Airline.

This is contained in a Statement issued in Lagos by Kingsley Ezenwa, Head of Corporate Communications of the Airline.

According to Ezenwa, Dana Air has made a decision to temporarily disengage some Staff Members pending  conclusion of the Audit.

“The Audit, currently underway, is a collaborative effort between Dana Air and the Authorities to ensure compliance with all necessary Standards and Regulations.

“Dana Air reaffirms its commitment to full cooperation with the Authorities to facilitate a smooth and expedited resolution of the Audit Process.

“In the light of the ongoing Audit, Dana Air has made the decision to temporarily disengage some Staff Members pending the conclusion of the Audit.

“This decision has been made to ensure efficient management of Resources and to facilitate a thorough review of Operational Procedures.

“The Management of Dana Air extends its sincere appreciation to all Staff Members for their resilience and dedication during this period of uncertainty,” he said.

According to him, the Airline recognises the difficulties the Staff have had to endure.

He gave the assurance that efforts are being made to provide updates.

“Dana Air remains committed to providing updates and support to its Staff throughout this Process.

“While these challenges are being addressed, Dana Air has commenced talks with Lessors and are currently engaging Stakeholders on the progress made so far.

“Dana Air, therefore, urges for calm and understanding from our very dedicated Staff.

“The Management is working diligently to address any concern and is preparing a Re-Start Plan that will ensure  safe and efficient resumption of Operations,” he said.

According to him, Dana Air is confident that, with continued support of its Staff and other Stakeholders, it would overcome the challenges.

On April 23, the Airline’s Aircraft with Registration Number 5N BKI, which took off in Abuja, veered off the Runway while landing at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja.

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, on April 24, issued a Letter to the Airline informing it of suspension of its Operations and initiation of Investigation to ascertain the cause of the incident.

 

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11-May-2024 Societal Welfare: NNPC, First E&P JV give N53.4m to NGOs

Societal Welfare: NNPC, First E&P JV give N53.4m to NGOs

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Limited) and First Exploration and Production Limited (First E&P) Joint Venture (JV), have donated the sum of N53m to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria.

This is as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives, according to a Statement issued on Friday by Olufemi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Limited.

Under the JV’s Impact First Initiative, the donation, targeted towards enhancing Societal Welfare, would address Areas such as good Healthcare and Well-being, quality Education as well as Economic Growth within the Nation.

Speaking during the Cheque Presentation Ceremony, NNPC Limited’s Chief Upstream Investment Officer (CUIO), NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS), Bala Wunti, expressed gratitude to First E & P for initiating the laudable Programme.

Represented by the Deputy Manager, External Relations, NUIMS, Edith Lawson, Wunti highlighted NNPC Limited’s belief in the power of CSR, stressing that the Company remains committed to working with its Partners to impact the Lives of the Less-Privileged.

Wunti said under the Initiative, Projects and Programmes executed include the provision of Classrooms, ICT Centres, Laboratories and other Infrastructural Intervention Projects, Scholarships, Quiz Competitions, Skill Acquisitions, and Economic Empowerment, a testimony to NNPC Limited's dedication to fostering Sustainable Development in Nigeria.

Wunti described First E & P’s foresight and Leadership as commendable, adding that the Partner has spearheaded the Initiative towards meaningful change that will ensure a better future for all Nigerians.

Among the Beneficiaries of the donation were the Irede Foundation, which provides Custom-Made Artificial Limbs to Child Amputees aged 0-18 and Human Development Initiative (HDI), which focuses on tackling fundamental Issues of Poverty, injustice, neglect, deprivation, and equality among Vulnerable People.

Others were the OISA Foundation, which transforms Lives through Interventions in the Education and Healthcare Sectors; Cerebral Palsy Center, which renders support to Families with Children with Cerebral Palsy as well as the Niola Cancer Care Foundation, which organises Awareness Talks and screens Communities for Colon Cancer.

 

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10-May-2024 Rep denies receiving $140m bribe from Binance Executive

Rep denies receiving $140m bribe from Binance Executive

Dominic Okafor (APGA-Anambra) has denied receiving $140m bribe from Nadeem Anjarwalla, the Binance Executive, who escaped from detention.

Okafor, who represents the Aguta Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, said this at a News Conference on Friday in Abuja.

An Online Media had alleged that he received $140m bribe from Anjarwalla who was being investigated over suspected involvement in Tax Evasion and Terrorism Sponsorship.

But, Okafor denied the allegation, threatening to take action against the Organisation.

He denied knowledge of such Transaction with the Company, describing  the Report as an attempt to tarnish that Image and integrity I had  built over the years.

Okafor said that he moved a Motion in the House to call for an Investigation into the escape.

“Shortly after I moved that Motion which was well received and a lot of People were calling to commend me; I started getting calls from my friends all over the World saying I collected bribe from this very Company.

“I did a Letter to them which I copied the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Clerk, Inspector General of Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of Security Service (DSS)

“I asked them to retrieve the Information within 24 hours if not I will take Legal Action against them. I am here to exonerate myself from such accusations aimed at tarnishing my Image which I have earned over the years,” he said.

Okafor said that he joined Politics from the Private Sector and had been a Member of Rotary International Club for over 25 years.

He said that the Motion which prayed for Investigation and a re-arrest of the Executives was for the interest of the Country and nothing more.

“For the the Online Media Man that accused me of collecting $140m I do not think that it is something we would sweep under the carpet. I am discussing with my Legal Team to know the right action to take,” he said.

Anjarwalla and his Colleague at Bianace, a Cryptocurrency Platform, escaped from detention on March where they were being held for alleged Tax Evasion and Terrorism Sponsorship.

 

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10-May-2024 Tinubu receives new Envoys from Egypt, Greece, Pakistan, seeks Economic Cooperation

Tinubu receives new Envoys from Egypt, Greece, Pakistan, seeks Economic Cooperation

President Bola Tinubu says Nigeria will continue to play strategic roles in the affairs of the African Continent at all times.
Tinubu said this on Friday while receiving the Letters of Credence from the Ambassadors of Egypt, Pakistan and Greece in Abuja.
He said that Nigeria would continue to play its role as the stabiliser on the Continent towards ensuring lasting peace and progress.
Receiving a Letter of Credence from the Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mohamed Ahmed, Tinubu said both Countries would emphasise on Global peace and stability through Collaboration within International Organisations, such as the UN.
The President noted that since establishing Diplomatic Relations in 1961, Nigeria and Egypt had collaborated on key International priorities, including promoting Regional Peace, Security, and Stability.
Acknowledging Egypt’s role towards a truce in the crisis in Gaza, Tinubu said: ‘’We need to do more. Stability in the Region is of paramount importance.’’
Ambassador Ahmed conveyed President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s willingness to bolster Economic Partnership with Nigeria, emphasising Egypt’s interest in increasing Trade and Investments between the two Countries.
‘’We need to complement each other on Investments. Many Egyptian Companies are interested in coming to Nigeria to invest,’’ the Egyptian Ambassador said.
In discussions with Sohail Khan, High Commissioner of Pakistan, Tinubu described the Ambassador’s Military background as invaluable for exchanging Ideas to expand Security and Defence Cooperation.
‘’We must do more to stop Extremists. We need to enhance our Collaboration and exchange of Ideas and knowledge in these Areas.
‘’As a Government, we will keep an Open-Door Policy with Countries and Development Partners on enhancing Cooperation on Security, Economy, Education, and the Information and Communication Technology Sector,’’ the President said.
The High Commissioner of Pakistan noted the Demographic similarities between the two Countries and expressed a desire to elevate the Relationship to new heights.
‘’Pakistan has the fifth largest Population in the World while Nigeria is the sixth largest. We have a significant Youth Population, and our National Flags are similar.
“I would like to take our Relationship to a new level, from strength to strength,’’ the High Commissioner said.
In a separate Meeting with Ambassador Athanasios Kotsionis of Greece, Tinubu reiterated his Administration’s commitment to an Open-Door Policy that encouraged Collaboration and progress.
He restated Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening Bilateral Relations with Greece and building bridges of Cooperation to address common challenges.
The President assured the Greece Ambassador of Nigeria’s commitment to creating an Environment conducive to Socio-Economic Growth and Development.
‘’Nigeria and Greece have good Historic Ties. We have shared priorities, including promoting Democracy, and there is room to expand Cooperation.
‘’The Economic situation in Africa and Europe is still very unbalanced. We should build on the Opportunities from our challenges and strengthen Relations between the two Countries.
‘’What I expect is an improvement in the Relationship between both Countries, and I look forward to us working on that.
‘’Our Government is about Renewed Hope. Nigeria will continue to play its role as a Stabiliser on the Continent,’’ the President said.
Kotsionis outlined Greece’s efforts to finalise Agreements with Nigeria in the Areas of Tourism, Scientific Exchange, Technology, and Maritime.
‘’We are ready to sign the Agreements with Nigeria as soon as they are ready.
“There is a lot to be done between the two Countries, and we will need the support of your Government.
“We hope to achieve incredible things in Nigeria during my stay,’’ the Ambassador said.
 
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08-May-2024 NCC supports Digital Communications of Disabilities Commission with 50 laptops

NCC supports Digital Communications of Disabilities Commission with 50 laptops

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), has donated 50 Sets of HP Computer Laptops to the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, (NCPWD)
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Aminu Maida, made the donation when a Delegation from his Establishment paid a courtesy visit to NCPWD Headquarters in Abuja.
Maida, represented by a Deputy Director in the Commission, Tijani Munguno, said the provision of the ICT Equipment was borne out of the NCC’s conviction that Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) required the Tools.
He said the Equipment would boost Digital Communications Expertise of PWDs to enable them compete favourably in ICT Market
Maida said that besides building the Digital Capacity of PWDs, the Equipment would support the Commission in its determination to achieve its Mandate.
He added that strengthening Digital Communications for PWDs would boost Skills and ensure Inclusivity.
”We recognised that in today’s World, access to Digital Technology is essential to providing quality output and efficiency.
“With these Laptops, we hope we can make significant impact on the Disability Community,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, NCPWD, James Lalu, thanked the Delegation from the NCC for the donation and support to PWDs.
He expressed commitment to partner with NCC to advance the Digital Communications Skills and knowledge of PWDs.
Lalu presented National Accessibility Manuals to the Delegation to enable NCC get acquainted with the Accessibility Standard Guidelines in their various Offices.
 
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08-May-2024 Fare thee well, thank you, Lekki mourns Mbelu, late Chairman of VGC

Fare thee well, thank you, Lekki mourns Mbelu, late Chairman of VGC

Lekki Residents and Stakeholders have paid tributes to the late Chairman, Victoria Garden City Property Owners Residents Association (VGCPORA), Gihan Mbelu.

They described him as a Community Developer, an Environmental Sustainability Enthusiast, a Visionary Leader with deep passion and commitment of Youth Development and Community Advancement.

They spoke during a Night of Tributes organised for him on Tuesday in Lagos, following his shocking demise on April 26.

Mbelu, until his passing, was not only the Chairman, VGCPORA, but was Vice President, Lekki Estate Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA).

Mbelu, aged 42, was reportedly found dead in his Car within the Community after purchasing Water and Soft Drinks.

His Corpse has since been deposited at the Mortuary for Autopsy.

Noheem Adams, Majority Leader representing Eti-Osa Constituency 1, described the late Mbelu as the driving force that brought Government down to the People of VGC and the People to Government.

He said the late VGC Chair expended every efforts to addressing obstructions at the Canals and stood for the truth in all things.

“The Shoes he is leaving behind are too big to be filled and today would be recorded as the saddest day in 2024 for me.

“The kind of Person he was, I had envisioned that he would one day be one of those to lead the Country due to his immense Leadership Capabilities,” he said.

Sulyman Bello, President, LERSA, said his contributions to the Discourse surrounding the development of the Lekki Region was always very compelling.

Bello said relating with Mbelu would leave one in awe and wonder as he dished out facts, data and incontrovertible point of view without being combative, all for the development of VGC and the entire Lekki-Epe Region.

“As long as it was for humanity, Gihan would give it a try as he was a very oriented problem solving Individual.

“His type is not very available in every Generation or even a Lifetime and he would be sorely missed by us all,” he said.

Idunu Oyebelu, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, VGCPORA, said his passing left profound gap in the hearts of everyone.

She said throughout his Tenure as Chairman, his Visionary Leadership and tireless efforts was very instrumental in shaping the VGC Community.

According to Oyebelu, under Mbelu’s Stewardship, VGC witnessed tremendous transformation, Infrastructural Development and made giant strides in Environmental Sustainability.

“Mbelu’s Leadership was marked by a deep sense of purpose and compassion.

“May his Memory serves as a Source of comfort and make us uphold the Values that he embodied particularly his Spirit of Service.

“We will continue to build on the Foundation he laid,” she said.

Morufat Yusuff, General Manager, VGCPORA, stated that the late VGC Chair did everything to ensure a Drug Free Environment within the VGC Community.

She listed some of the achievements during his Tenure to include fostering a Safer and Healthier Environment, the installation of efficient Energy Feature Lighting, the VGC Recycling Hub to drive Environmental Sustainability.

“He also facilitated efficient access control, identified Opportunities to optimise expenses and was deeply committed to the safety and wellbeing of all VGC Residents.

“He increased Security Surveillance and we had commenced installation of CCTV Cameras with 150 installed and 64 ongoing to be commissioned in August.

“He forged Partnership with Government Entities to resolve Issues, mitigated Flood risks and this is such a sad occurrence that our hearts cant fathom. He would be sorely missed,” she said.

Jane Phillip-Odey, Secretary, VGC, said the late VGC Chair though gone, left impacts, developmental activities and Legacies that would never be forgotten.

“Let us honour his Memory, cherish the time we had with him as we pay tribute to him who would forever be in our hearts and memories,” she said.

Adejo Adehi, Head, VGC Basketball Community, said the late Mbelu ensured that the Youth were engaged in Sporting Activities to take their minds off Drugs and any other vices detrimental to Mental Health and general wellness.

He said his passing would leave a great void but his Legacy, Dedication and Vision would continue to inspire the Youth to build a thriving Community of lasting impact.

“You would be deeply missed but your Memory would live on and we pray you find comfort that your Legacy would continue to flourish,” he said.

Ishan Mbelu, brother of the Deceased, lauded the entire VGC Community for giving a Youth the opportunity to lead and serve.

“On behalf of the Family, I would like to thank you all again and I want to say we are proud of the Community and love you all,” he said.

 

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06-May-2024 Faulty Aircraft: Shettima aborts US trip on advice of Presidential Air Fleet

Faulty Aircraft: Shettima aborts US trip on advice of Presidential Air Fleet

Vice-President Kashim Shettima who was scheduled to represent President Bola Tinubu at a Summit in Dallas, Texas has aborted the trip following a technical fault with his Aircraft.

Shettima was to represent the President at the 2024 US-Africa Business Summit organised by the Corporate Council on Africa.

Stanley Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Office of The Vice-President, disclosed this in a Statement on Monday in Abuja.

Nkwocha said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, will represent the President at the Summit, as Shettima could not make the trip

He stressed that the technical fault forced the Vice President to make a detour on the advice of the Presidential Air Fleet.

According to Nkwocha, the Vice President will carry on with other National Duties.

He stated that the high-profile Summit, taking place at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, would bring together Political and Business Leaders from across Africa, the United States, and other Regions.

Nkwocha added that the Summit would features high-level Dialogues, Networking Sessions, and Plenary.

He said that the African Leaders expected at the Summit include, the President, Republic of Liberia; Joseph Boakai, President, Republic of Malawi; Lazarus Chakwera and the President, Republic of Angola, Joao Lourenço.

Nkwocha said other African Leaders that would grace the Summit are the President, Republic of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi, President, Republic of Cabo Verde, José Maria Neves, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Kingdom of Lesotho, Nthomeng Majara.

He said that the US-Africa Business Summit is expected to foster Economic Cooperation and explore Investment Opportunities between the United States and African countries.

 

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06-May-2024 APC: Organising rented crowd, miscreants against Minister will end in embarrassment

APC: Organising rented crowd, miscreants against Minister will end in embarrassment

The Zamfara Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), has dismissed a recent Protest against Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle as the handiwork of Political Rivals rattled by his rising Political Profile.

A Statement issued in Abuja by the State APC Spokesman, Yusuf Idris, said those orchestrating the Campaign of Calumny against Matawalle were driven by envy and vendetta.

He said that organising “rented crowd and miscreants” would only end in embarrassment to those sponsoring the Protests, meant to push the EFCC to investigate the former Zamfara Governor.

“Unfortunately, the issue being raised is an overflogged one. In fact, if the claims were true, the EFCC would have since made the details available to the Public,” he added.

According to him, the Protesters and their Sponsors are ignorant of National Laws, Constitutional and Judicial Process in the Operations of Anti-Graft Agencies against Suspects.

He appreciated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for telling the Protesters that the Commission “is not driven by Personal vendetta, Political differences and Tribal sentiments, but focused on upholding the Rule of Law and combating Financial Crimes without fear or favour”.

Idris said that the aim of those sponsoring the Protests was to distract Matawalle from carrying out his assigned National Responsibility for the progress and development of the Nation.

“At the Party Level, we know these People and we know their antics and Political strength (if they have any) and we want to assure them that their envy against Matawalle will lead them nowhere.

“The Minister who is the APC Leader in Zamfara, has since moved on with his Life and has always shown readiness to work with anyone for the progress of Zamfara and Nigeria.

“The Party Leadership at all Levels is with him, and ready to defend the Policies and Programmes of President Bola Tinubu at all Levels,” the State APC Publicity Secretary added.

He said that the APC in Zamfara implored the Minister to continue with the efforts to achieve peace and security throughout Nigeria, to enable Citizens go about their Legitimate Businesses without fear.

“He should not be distracted by the Anti-Progressive Elements who don’t mean well for Zamfara and Nigeria,” Idris added.

 

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06-May-2024 Governor: I am still looking for the Airport for which Abia money was looted

Governor: I am still looking for the Airport for which Abia money was looted

Governor Alex Otti of Abia has said that he initiated Forensic Audit of the State Government’s Account to recover stolen Government Funds and not to witch-hunt anyone.
Otti said this on Sunday during an Interactive Session with Constituents of Isiala Ngwa South State Constituency, in Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area.
The Governor said that upon assumption of Office, he established an Audit with the primary objective of recovering stolen Government Funds and not to send anyone to jail.
He said that the Report of the Audit revealed that “a lot of money was looted and stolen brazenly” for non-existing Projects which include the Abia Airport Project.
“I am looking for the Airport for which Funds were moved from the Coffers of the Government for.
“The People concerned with the act of moving the Airport Project Funds in question went to the Media and  began to say all manner of things.
“If you are following the happenings in the Media Space, you will see these things there.
“The problem with lying is that when you tell one lie, you will need another one to cover the first lie and need three more lies to cover the second one.
“We are looking for our money and we must find our money.
”If we don’t find the Airport, then they will refund our money,” he added.
According to him, the Government will not relent in improving the Welfare of the Citizenry through various progressive Initiatives that facilitate Socio-economic growth.
He said that the Government was determined to recover the Funds and utilise it for the development of the State.
Otti commended the House of Assembly Member representing Isiala Ngwa South State Constituency, Roland Chinwendu, for playing “Politics of no bitterness”.
“Immediately, after the Elections he  came to me to make it clear that as the Member representing my Constituency, he would work with me to move Abia forward.

“It is worthy of note that he is a Member of the Peoples Democratic Party and I commend him for that,” he said.
Earlier, Chinwendu said that the emergence of Otti as the Governor was an indication that the Citizens desire good Governance.

“The Elections are long over and I was elected to deliver effective Representation and not elected to play Politics of Opposition or bitterness.
“We have a Governor whose dictum is Practical Government and good Governance and I have no reason not to identify with him,” he said.

He assured the Governor of the unalloyed support of his Constituents and urged him to extend his Infrastructural Development to every part of the Constituency.

Also, a Chieftain of Labour Party, Darlington Nwokocha, commended the Lawmaker for reaching beyond Party affiliations to support the Labour Party-led Government in Abia.
He said that the present Administration was poised to reposition the State through Governance.
 
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06-May-2024 FG Faults Naira Devaluation for high Cost of Medicines, vows to 'do something'

FG Faults Naira Devaluation for high Cost of Medicines, vows to 'do something'

The Federal Government has pledged to bring down soaring Cost of Medications to make it affordable to Nigerians.
Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), stated this in a Statement on Sunday in Abuja.

The Statement disclosed that Adeyey gave the assurance at a Webinar Lecture organised by The Cable Newspaper, to celebrate its 10th Anniversary with the Theme: “Addressing Costs of Medicines’’.
According to Adeyeye, the current high Cost of Medicines in the Country will become a thing of the past as the Agency is working in Partnership with Pharmaceutical Industries to bring down the Cost of Drugs.

She identified rejuvenation of the Local Pharmaceutical Industries as a panacea for high Cost of Medicines in the Country.
The D-G said that Locally Manufactured Medicinal Products would be more accessible and affordable compared to the Imported Drugs if Local Pharmaceutical Industries are rejuvenated.

According to her, the Devaluation of the Naira accounted largely for high Cost of Production locally as the high Exchange Rate made procurement of Raw Materials and Equipment imported for Production extremely high.

She said that due to difficulty associated with procurement of Dollar, Cost of the Imported Drugs has hit the roof, adding that the two Multinationals Industries that left the Country also amounted to the high Cost of some Medicals.

Adeyeye also disclosed that NAFDAC under her Leadership started the “5 plus 5” Regulatory Scheme which entail Companies importing Drugs that could be produced by Local Pharmaceutical Industry to get a Last Five-Year Renewal.

She said that during the Five-Year Renewal period, the Importer must migrate to Local Manufacturing or partner with Local Manufacturer, adding that this was an outcome of a Study.

She said that over 30 per cent of new Companies in Nigeria sprung up as a results of the “5 plus 5” Initiative, adding that it had encouraged many Importers to build their Companies

Adeyeye stressed that some of the NAFDAC Initiatives were aimed at reducing the Cost of Drugs, adding that Local Manufacturing cannot start without strengthening the Regulatory Process.

The Statement also quoted the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, as saying that the Policy Measures put in place by President Bola Tinubu would soon begin to reflect on Essential Medical Commodities. 

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05-May-2024 Katsina Governor: Yar’adua brought me into Politics, was my Mentor, he shaped my life

Katsina Governor: Yar’adua brought me into Politics, was my Mentor, he shaped my life

Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State on Sunday unveiled a Book written on the former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, titled “What Yar’adua told me and taught me”.
The Book written by the former Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Muttaqa Rabe-Darma, has over 600 Pages.
It was made Public after a Prayer Session for the repose of the Soul of the late President, at his 14th Remembrance and Prayer day in Katsina.
The Prayers were offered by different Scholars at Katsina Government House to seek for Allah’s forgiveness to his gentle soul, and grant him Al-jannah.
In his Remarks, Governor Radda said that Yar’adua was a Man with humility, dedication and discipline qualities.
He said that it was Yar’adua who brought him into the timeline of Politics, and was his Mentor who shaped his life.
Radda said that on several occasions, the late former President spoke on Moral Authority, saying that any Leader who wanted to succeed must have it.
Also speaking, the former Governor of the State, Ibrahim Shema, said that Yar’adua was a Leader par excellence who chose to be Servant of the Nation and its People.
“He was the Leader who after taken Oath of Office, declared that his Election has some faults and sets up the Justice Uwais Committee to make some corrections,” he said
Shema said that the late President was a Man of God and dedicated for taking such decisions.
He therefore urged People to continue to pray for the repose of his soul.
“He is my boss, my father, my mentor, my Governor and my President,” he said.
Also speaking, his younger brother, Abdulaziz Yar’adua, said that he grew up under the care of the late President Yar’adua, and learnt a lot of things from him.
One of his children, Shehu Umaru Yar’adua, said that their Father could be remembered for what he had been telling them to “always fear Allah and search for Knowledge.”
He urged People to continue to pray for the repose of the soul of their Father.
 
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05-May-2024 Kebbi Governor laments gang up by 'Prominent Personalities'

Kebbi Governor laments gang up by 'Prominent Personalities'

Kebbi Governor, Nasir Idris, has decried a gang-up by some prominent Personalities against his Administration to sabotage his developmental goals for the State.
Idris made this known on Saturday at the Uhola Festival and Agricultural Show in Zuru Local Government Area of the State.
Idris, who was the Special Guest of Honour, declared that he would refuse to be distracted by their antics in achieving his targeted goals of Social and Economic prosperity of the People.
“Your Royal Highness, you spoke about the bad Roads in urgent need of repairs in your Domain.

“It might be of interest to note that I have submitted the rehabilitation of the dilapidated KoKo-Dabai Road to the Federal Ministry of Works for quick action.

“But to our surprise, someone went and changed the submission from KoKo-Dabai Road to Bui-Kangiwa-Kamba Road up to the Border with Republic of Niger,” he lamented.

According to him, KoKo-Dabai Road is in need of urgent attention more than the Bui-Kamba Road which is still motorable.

“What I am pursuing now is the revocation of the Contract from the Contractor by the Federal Government for incompetence, and re-award it by allowing Kebbi State Government to execute the Contract for quick result and job satisfaction.

”I have already captured the Construction of the Road in the 2024 Budget, whether the Federal Government reimburses Kebbi or not, my People are the Beneficiaries.

“I feel sad whenever I come to Zuru, because all the three Roads linking the Town to other places are in bad shape and an eyesore,” he said.

Idris revealed that he would gather Prominent Personalities from Zuru Emirate including Traditional Rulers to meet President Bola Tinubu in Abuja for a rapid solution to the disturbing issue.

On Security, Idris announced that his Administration expended N500m monthly on Security Matters, adding that the amount covers Logistics and other necessary things in equipping Troops alongside Vigilante Groups to effectively tackle Insecurity in the State.

This, he said, was with a view to enabling Farmers anywhere in the State return to their normal Business of cultivating their Farmlands.
The Governor also gave an order for immediate solution to the problem of Water Supply to Zuru Town from the Dam Site.

On Uhola Festival, Idris told the Crowd that the staging of the Festival had now become an unstoppable Annual Event to be financed by the State Government.

“We will make it a deliberate Policy thrust of this Administration to promote Culture for Economic Growth and Social Integration,” the Governor assured.

The Emir of Zuru, Muhammad Sani-Sami, thanked the Governor for providing moral and material support towards the successful hosting of the Festival.

He requested the Federal Government to also provide Funding for the Festival.

The Emir announced that a permanent Uhola Village would be constructed that would contain a Secretariat, Sporting Facilities, Motel and Amphitheater for the development of Tourism. 
 
 
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04-May-2024 Lagos Government: Lekki will not experience Apapa 'Go Slow'

Lagos Government: Lekki will not experience Apapa 'Go Slow'

The Lagos State Government has assured that Lekki will not turn out to be another gridlock-prone area like Apapa in the future.
Olufemi Daramola, Special Adviser (SA) to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Infrastructure, gave the assurance on Friday, during the 2024 Ministerial Press Briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Ministerial Briefing, which began on April 23, will run until May 28, as part of activities lined up to commemorate Sanwo-Olu’s First Year in Office for the Second Term.
“With the rapid development of Infrastructure at the Lekki Free Trade Zone and its Environs, Government will ensure provision of adequate Infrastructure to ensure that Lekki does not turn out to be another gridlock-prone area like Apapa in the future,” he said.
He said the focus on Lekki in terms of Infrastructural Development was to ensure that it was prepared for the influx of activities that would take place in the near future.
“This Administration is not selective; we’re however strategic. We have the Deep Sea Port, Dangote Refinery and the Airport. There’s need for major Infrastructure to be put in place.
“We need to be proactive, we don’t want to have another Apapa, we need to find alternative routes to reduce travel time on that Road. So, this is not the matter of grade A or grade B Locations.
“We have to move at a fast pace because of all the ongoing Projects in this Axis. This is not to say other Areas are neglected.
“We strike a balance, every Resident of Lagos State deserves the best,” he said.
Daramola said that Projects were supervised round-the-clock across the State as part of the Governor’s Vision of making Lagos a Mega State through a consistent Project Development drive.
He said this was aimed at positioning the State as an Economic Destination with functional Infrastructure.
“Some of the Projects ongoing to achieve such feat include the Lagos Lagoon Highway, the 7th Axial Road, the construction of Taiwo Street, by China Town, Ojota, the construction of Shasha Link Bridge part of Union Road, Shomorin, Mortune Avenue, Adama Dania/Mohammed/behind Airport Roads.
“Others are the construction of Ayetoro, Ashipa, Parent’s Choice Ayobo-Igando Link Bridge, Alhaji Shekoni Street, Construction of Ijegun-Ijeagemo Road to link LASU Iba Road.
“Also, construction of Okota/Apapa-Oshodi Expressway [Lord’s Chosen Road with link Bridge], the construction of the Awodi-Ora, Olodi Road with link Bridge, among others.
“Since the inception of Governor Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, the Public Works Corporation has intervened in a total of 2,702 Roads, covering approximately 431.32 km using an average Carriageway width of 7.3m,” Daramola said.
He said he and his Team had successfully completed all inherited Projects and embarked on new Strategic Projects that would stand the test of time in spite of the Global Economic Downturn.
“Furthermore, this Administration has continued to deliberately invest in Infrastructure as a critical Development Driver of the State’s Economy, and along the line providing hundreds of Jobs for Residents as well as bringing immediate and impactful succour to Commuters,” Daramola said.
He announced the completion of 172 Roads translating to 177.93km and further execution of 253 Projects which on completion would translate to 298.22km at the end of the Administration as a tall stride that would give Lagosians true Dividends of Democracy.
“It is also important to note that we have completed 2.510Km Bridge (2510m) while 3.13km (3132 meters) is currently ongoing at different parts of the State,”he said.
Similarly, the Special Assistant on Works, Oluyinka Adekunle, noted that during the Inauguration of Sanwo-Olu-led Administration, Government promised to complete all inherited Projects and embark on new ones.
He said that was the bedrock of the ‘T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Agenda.
“Our government has continued to deliberately invest in building Infrastructure as one of the Platforms used for discharging the Social Contract we signed with Lagosians.
“Through our Projects, we have continuously provided Jobs for hundreds of our People and provided impactful Economic succour to those living in the State.
“We are also equally aware of the attendant impact of building resilient Infrastructure, which will not only generate a strong Economic Base for the Productivity of our People, but will also increase Employment and foster Innovation,” he said.
According to him, one of the important methods adopted to bridge the Infrastructure gap in the State is to deliberately improve both the maintenance and management of existing Infrastructure Assets in a way that would preserve the quality of the Assets.
“To achieve this, we have put in place Policies and Structures for the renovation and management of the existing Portfolio of our Infrastructure Assets.
“Government emphasises a two-pronged approach by ensuring routine maintenance of existing Assets to ensure that Infrastructure operate as initially intended in a long-lasting manner and the continuous rehabilitation and upgrade of new iconic Infrastructure,” he said. 
 
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03-May-2024 Onayiga is NUJ's 2024 Press Freedom Award Winner

Onayiga is NUJ's 2024 Press Freedom Award Winner

Prominent Nigerian Journalist and a Senior Member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Gbenga Onayiga has been nominated for the Press Freedom Award 2024.

The occasion scheduled to hold on Friday, May 4, 2024 in Abuja, was made known by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Freedom Awards Selection Committee.

The United Nations General Assembly had dedicated the day under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated on the 3rd of May every year, acts as a reminder to Governments of the need to respect their commitment to Press Freedom. 

“It is also a day of reflection among Media Professionals about Issues of Press Freedom and Professional Ethics”, the Committee said.

The Seasoned Journalist and former Political Editor, Network News, of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), as part of his struggles to ensure that Freedom of the Press is respected, as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Students Union of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), in 1984, led a peaceful protest by students to Dodan Barracks, Ikoyi, the Seat of Government, to protest the trial and eventual incarceration of former Editors of the Guardian Newspapers, Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor, by the Military Regime of General Muhammadu Buhari, for allegedly contravening Decree 4 of 1984’.

Onayiga also led the struggle for the Introduction of a Special Salary Scale for Media Workers in Nigeria, and as Representative of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on the Ministerial Technical Committee, set up by former Information Minister, late Dora Akunyili where he and other Members succeeded in making the Government approve the payment of Weighing and Peculiarity Allowances for Federal and some State Media Workers.

The renowned Media Practitioner received his dose of brutality from the Security Agency, when, as Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Correspondents’ Chapel in Abuja, was attacked while trying to ensure the release of Cameras seized from Photo Journalists, who were taking shots of Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed Winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election.

This happened when Abiola was stepping out of the Courtroom and entering the Black Maria, at the commencement of his Trial at the Abuja High Court on September 14, 1994. Onayiga’s resilience led to the eventual release of the Cameras.

The Nominee in a related manner, was detained by Soldiers during the General Ibrahim Babaginda Coup d’etat in 1985.

“I was on early morning duty on Newspaper Review Desk in Radio Nigeria, Ikoyi, and not aware that there was a Coup. On my way to Broadcasting House, Ikoyi, I was arrested by Soldiers near CMS in the Official Car at about 4.30am.

“After being released at about noon, when the Military Men were sure that the Coup was successful, I still proceeded to the Office to complete my Job but stern-looking Soldiers sent me back at the gate’, Onayiga recalled.

Onayiga was Chairman, Safety Fund for Journalists (NUJ) ­­from April 2013 to July 2016; Member, Monitoring Network on Safety of Journalists from September 2014 to July 2016; Member, Committee of Experts on Voter Education from November 2014 to March 2015; Member, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee, Governing Board, Nigerian Press Council from 2010 to 2012 and Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Insurance Committee.

He also served on the Governing Board of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and is the current Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Committee on Milestone Recognition for Media Icons in Nigeria.

02-May-2024 Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway: Community threatens to 'fight dirty'

Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway: Community threatens to 'fight dirty'

The Okun-Ajah Community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos, has called for the need to maintain the 2006 Coastal Plan designed by the State Government for Lagos-Calabar Road Project.
The Community on Wednesday in Lagos, pleaded with President Bola Tinubu to prevail on the Minister of Works, David Umahi, in that regard.
The Baale in Council of the Community, Saheed Ologunro made the call after the Compensation Payment Ceremony for the affected Property Owners by the Minister of Works, David Umahi.
Ologunro explained that the new alignment in the plan would affect the existing Community which had been residing there for 200 years.
The Baale said: “As at 2006 when we moved in there, the Routes for the Coastal Road was already demarcated.
“There is a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) that covers where most of the Landlords in the Okun-Ajah built their Structures.
“Surprisingly, there is a deviation from the approved C of O from the initial Coastal Road.
According to him, if nothing is done after the appeal, then the Community will not allow the Government to demolish Structures in the Community.
Another Resident, Augustine Nwabueze, said: “Are we saying the C of O is no longer valid.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government because many of us have invested all we have in our life there.
Umahi had earlier said that the Federal Government would pay Compensation to Property Owners affected by the demolition necessary for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.
He explained that the Project would mark a major milestone in the Renewed Hope Roadmap of Tinubu for Economic Diversification.

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02-May-2024 New Minimum Wage takes effect April 1, 2024, FG assures Labour

New Minimum Wage takes effect April 1, 2024, FG assures Labour

The Federal Government has assured Workers in the Country that the implementation of the new National Minimum would still take effect from April 1.

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, gave the assurance during the Commemoration of the May Day Celebration, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Theme of the 2024 May Day Celebration is ’People First’.

Onyejeocha recalled that on January 30, 2024, the Federal Government took a decisive step towards enhancing the Welfare of Nigerian Workers by inaugurating a 37-Man Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage.

According her, this Committee was tasked with the critical responsibility of recommending a realistic National Minimum Wage that aligns with our current Economic landscape.

“Since then, the Committee has been working tirelessly alongside Labour Leaders to reach an Agreement on a new National Minimum Wage that reflects the Country’s Economic realities.

“Although the Committee could not reach a consensus at its last Meeting before the May deadline.

“We want to reassure Nigerian Workers that we are working diligently around the clock with Organised Labour to conclude Negotiations and ensure a successful outcome.

“Our commitment is unwavering and the Nigerian Workers should be rest assured that in spite of the short delay, the new Minimum Wage will take effect on April 1, 2024,” she said.

According to her, this Government is receptive to the Committee’s suggestion of transitioning beyond a mere Minimum Wage to a Living Wage that truly reflects the Value of Workers’ contributions.

Onyejeocha said it was unacceptable for any Worker to toil tirelessly and still struggle to make ends meet, hence, the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to pay Wage Award to Workers and Review of the National Minimum Wage by a Tripartite Committee.

She further said this was to ensure that every Worker received a fair Living Wage that would enable them to live with dignity, provide for their families, and contribute to the growth of the Economy.

The Minister also affirmed Government’s commitment to placing the Needs and Aspirations of Workers at the forefront of the National Agenda.

She said this was through the provision of fair and just Working Conditions which were not just ideals but basic Human Rights.

“This is because every Worker deserves to work in an Environment free from exploitation, discrimination, and oppression.

“We must, therefore, strive to create Workplaces that foster dignity, respect, Job Security and Inclusivity for all,” she said.

She urged all Stakeholders to embrace a spirit of cooperation, understanding, and patriotism, coupled with diligence and increased Productivity.

She added that by working together, we could lift our Nation out of Poverty and usher in an era of prosperity for Workers and Citizens alike.

“Rest assured that this Government empathises with the struggles of Workers and Citizens and will not falter in its commitment to their well-being.

“I urge Organised Labour to foster a Conducive Environment that promotes constructive Engagement and collaborative problem-solving for the benefit of all Stakeholders and the Nation as a whole,” she said.

 

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02-May-2024 Labour gives FG May 31 deadline, threatens showdown over Minimum Wage

Labour gives FG May 31 deadline, threatens showdown over Minimum Wage

Organised Labour has given the Federal Government till May ending to finalise the Process of implementing the new National Minimum Wage for Workers.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, made the demand on Wednesday in Abuja at this year’s Edition of the International Workers Day.

This year’s Celebration focuses on Ensuring Safety and Health at Work in a Changing Climate.

Ajaero said the Process of fixing a new National Minimum Wage was still ongoing and had witnessed robust Engagements.

“All Parties in the Tripartite Process are well represented and the Engagement has been robust.

”We have placed our demand of N615, 000 only before our Social Partners while we await their offer.

“If, however, the negotiation of the Minimum Wage is not concluded by the end of May, the Trade Union Movement in Nigeria will no longer guarantee Industrial peace in the Country,” he said.

Ajaero also said Labour had placed a demand that the new Act would have a two-year life span with an Agreement for automatic adjustments in Wages any time Inflation exceeded 7.5 per cent.

He said the Union further demanded that every Employer with up to five Workers should pay the new Minimum Wage.

Ajaero called for the strengthening of Monitoring and Compliance Mechanisms in order to penalise Non-Complying State Governments.

He said that Nigerian Workers deserved to have a National Minimum Wage that approximated to a Living Wage.

“Our figures are based on objective realities around the Nation and not based on some fantasy; but on what confronts us as Workers around the Nation.

“We want to be able to buy Foodstuff, Housing, among others.

”Any wage that is below this Living Wage condemns Workers to starvation, ”he said.

Ajaero, however, urged Workers to remain vigilant as the Negotiations were approaching conclusion.

”We must not let our guards down but be alert so that together, we can assist Government take the right decision and pay Workers a Living Wage as promised by Mr President.

“We will not allow our interest to sabotage the desire of the President concerning a Living Wage for Workers,” he said.

The NLC President also said that there was a need to review the Contributory Pension Scheme.

He noted that there had been complaints about the Scheme such as delay or Non-Transmission of Contributed Money to Pension Fund Administration among others.

Ajaero also called for reactivation of Gratuity to Public Servants.

He further called for the upward Review of the Retirement Age in the entire Public Service from 60 to 65 years and 35 years to 40 years in Service just as was done for Teachers and Judges.

 

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02-May-2024 Tinubu assures Workers of commensurate Wages, better Working Conditions

Tinubu assures Workers of commensurate Wages, better Working Conditions

President Bola Tinubu has congratulated the Nigerian Workers on the occasion of Annual May Day Celebration by Workers Globally.

This is contained in a Statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The President saluted Nigerian Workers for their fidelity to the peace, progress, and development of the Nation evident in their tireless efforts and patriotic zeal to keep the National Engine running.

He stated that his Administration remains committed to improving the Welfare of all Workers, citing the various Relief Programmes, including the Wage Award and the imminent Minimum Wage Review.

“President Tinubu celebrates Nigerian Workers across all spheres – from the Clerical Officer who ensures the proper Documentation and Distribution of Correspondence and the Security Officer who remains ever dutiful through all Seasons.

“The Teacher who secures the future of our Nation by imparting knowledge to the Next Generation; the Doctor who works relentlessly to save precious Lives, and to all Nigerian Workers who keep the candle aflame.”

Tinubu said that the Custodians of the Nation’s Machinery deserved a fair Wage and enhanced Welfare, adding that “a Labourer is deserving of not just any Reward but fair and commensurate Wages”.

The President assured Nigerian Workers of his determination to improve their Welfare, enhance their Working Conditions as well as provide the necessary Tools for them to succeed.

The Federal Government on Tuesday announced Increase in Salary of some Categories of Nigerian Workers by 25 per cent to 35 per cent

The Labour Unions, however, are waiting for a new National Minimum Wage, which has expired by April 1 by Constitutional Provision.

Joe Ajaero, the Nigeria Labour Congress President had called for a Review of the five years Renegotiation of the Wages of Workers in the Country due to Inflationary trends of the Economy.

“There is a need to tinker with the Law providing for five yearly Renegotiation of National Minimum Wage to allow for yearly adjustment of Wages based on the Rate of Inflation and Value of the Naira.

“This is important because People have been coming up to say that if we increase Salaries, it will affect Inflation,” he had said at the 2nd National Labour Adjudication and Arbitration Forum in Abuja.

 

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02-May-2024 TUC: Harassment, intimidation of Informal Workforce heart wrenching

TUC: Harassment, intimidation of Informal Workforce heart wrenching

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Wednesday said the harassment and exploitation faced by Workers in the Informal Economic Sector is unacceptable and should be addressed by the Government.

The TUC President, Festus Osifo, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at the 2024 Workers’ Day Celebration with the Theme  “People First”.

Osifo said, in spite of the Informal Sector’s vitality and contributions to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP), it operated on the margins of legality, leaving Workers vulnerable to exploitation.

“The level of harassment and intimidation of the Workforce here is heart wrenching yet the Workers remain resourceful and resilient.

“The level of exploitation and outright extortion is deep and leaves the soul weeping.

“The toiling and exasperation and the violence meted out on them by Operatives of the Government is better left to imagination.

“It is like all Hawks in Government descend on them daily for what they call Revenue Generation,” he said.

The Labour Leader added: “They bear the brunt of Government Operatives, yet efforts are not made to address their Basic Needs.

“We, therefore call on the Government at all levels especially those at the State and Local Governments to immediately check the over- Taxation through Multiple Levies imposed on the Men and Women who eke out their Living within the Informal Economy.

“The drive for increasing Internally Generated Revenue should not be a burden borne solely by the exploited Masses whose Businesses thrive in the Informal Economy”.

Osifo said that addressing the Needs of Nigeria’s Informal Economy is crucial to Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development.

He said deliberate Policies should be made to formalise and integrate Informal Enterprises, providing Legal recognition, access to Financial Services and Social Protection.

The Labour Leader added that Gender-Specific Interventions were also essential to tackle challenges faced by Women, such as, Gender Based Violence and Unequal Pay .

He added that empowering the Informal Workforce would unlock their potential as drivers of Economic Growth, fostering a more equitable and prosperous future in Nigeria..

Osifo also called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the Passage of the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC), for improved Funding of Researches in the Country.

He said that the call was imperative because Research is key to the development of any Nation.

“The gross underdevelopment of Nigeria despite the abundance of Natural Resources is attributable to negligence of Research Development and Innovation by Successive Governments.

“We demand for the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and its Provisions for the NRIC for improved Funding of Research.

“We call on the National Assembly to expedite the Passage of the NRIC Bill and for the President Bola Tinubu to give Assent thereafter.

“Research Development and Innovation is a sure route to overall National Development, Job Creation, Poverty Alleviation, Food Security, Diversification of the Economy, reduction in over-reliance on Imported Goods, among others,” he said.

 

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02-May-2024 Pay rise not Minimum Wage, Senior Civil Servants clarify

Pay rise not Minimum Wage, Senior Civil Servants clarify

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has clarified that the 25 per cent and 35 per cent Increase in Workers’ Salary announced by the Federal Government is not Minimum Wage.

The President of the Association, Tommy Okon, made the clarification while fielding questions from Journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

Okon, who is also the Vice President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said that the approval of the salary increase was to close the salary gap that existed in some Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“Other Sectors have benefitted from these Increases, it is only the core Federal Civil Service. So, it is a good development no doubt, but the People need to be informed.

“Some even saw it as if the Government had ambushed the Labour Unions and then come out unilaterally to increase the Minimum Wage to that amount. Whereas, it is not the Minimum Wage.

“The Minimum Wage is ongoing, what the Government did was to correct some gaps that existed among the Pay of those in the Sectors listed,” he said

Okon said the clarification was important for the generality of Workers and the Masses at large that the Salary Increase was to bridge Wage gap in the Civil Service.

The Federal Government on Tuesday announced Increase of between 25 per cent and 35 per cent in Salary of Civil Servants on the remaining six Consolidated Salary Structures.

They include Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS), Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure (CONRAISS) and Consolidated Police Salary Structure (CONPOSS).

Others are Consolidated Para-Military Salary Structure (CONPASS), Consolidated Intelligence Community Salary Structure (CONICCS) and Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS). 

 

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01-May-2024 Senate President assures Nigerian Workers Living Wage

Senate President assures Nigerian Workers Living Wage

President of the Nigerian Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has assured Nigerian Workers that the National Assembly and the Executive will work together toward giving them a Living Wage and better Working Conditions.

This is contained in a Statement signed by Eseme Eyiboh the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President in Abuja on Wednesday.

He extolled the sterling qualities that stood out the Nigerian Worker, saying that a Nigerian Worker was noted for his patriotism, hardwork, resilience, and dedication to Duty.

“I am happy to be associated with the Nigerian Worker as in the last 25 years and I can attest to the fact that everywhere you go, the Nigerian Worker’s Spirit resonates profoundly.” he said .

Akpabio assured that the National Assembly under his Leadership was more than committed to ensuring the best Working Conditions for the Workers .

“No Nigerian Worker will again be allowed to work under Inhuman Conditions, we will do everything to give you the best because you deserve the best.”

Akpabio said the Theme, “Ensuring safety and health at Work in a changing Climate,” was apt and in tune with International Best Practices, assuring that Nigeria will never be left behind,” he said.

He said the 10th National Assembly was fully committed toward providing the required Laws aimed at protecting the interest of the Nigerian Worker by creating a befitting Working Environment and a reasonable pay that takes them home.

“On behalf of the Senate and the entire National Assembly and indeed, my Family, I wish to join the World in wishing the Nigerian Worker a happy International Labour Day” he said.

”We are celebrating patriotism, hardwork, commitment and dedication exhibited by the Nigerian Workers.

”I want to assure you that your sacrifices would never be in vain, the tough times will not last forever, in fact, the challenges would soon be over,” Akpabio said.

 

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01-May-2024 FG okays pay rise for Civil Servants, Pensioners

FG okays pay rise for Civil Servants, Pensioners

The Federal Government has approved 25 per cent and 35 per cent of Salary Increase for Civil Servants on the remaining six Consolidated Salary Structures.

The Head of Press, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Emmanuel Njoku, said this on Tuesday in Abuja.

“The Federal Government has approved an increase of between 25 per cent and 35 per cent in Salary Increase for Civil Servants on the remaining six Consolidated Salary Structures.

”They include Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS), Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure (CONRAISS) and Consolidated Police Salary Structure (CONPOSS).

“Others are: Consolidated Para-military Salary Structure (CONPASS), Consolidated Intelligence Community Salary Structure (CONICCS) and Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS).

“The Increases will take effect from January 1,” he said.

According to Njoku, the Federal Government has also approved Increases in Pension of between 20 per cent and 28 per cent for Pensioners on the Defined Benefits Scheme.

He said this was in respect of the above-mentioned six Consolidated Salary Structures and would also take effect from January 1.

He said the move was in line with the Provisions of Section 173(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

The Official recalled that those in the Tertiary Education and Health Sectors had already received their Increases.

“This involves Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) and Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS) for Universities.

“For Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, it involves the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure (CONPCASS) and Consolidated Tertiary Educational Institutions Salary Structure (CONTEDISS).

”The Health Sector also benefitted through the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and Consolidated Health Sector Salary Structure (CONHESS),” Njoku said.

 

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30-Apr-2024 Flight Disruption: NCAA vows quick settlement of Air Travelers

Flight Disruption: NCAA vows quick settlement of Air Travelers

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has assured Air Travelers of prompt payment of Compensation for any Flight disruption and Baggage Issues.

Michael Achimugu, NCAA Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection gave the assurance at a News Conference on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, the NCAA would ensure prompt resolution of Customers’ complaints and compel default Airlines to act immediately.

He said the Authority had been rebranding its Consumer Protection Department for Public awareness and effective Service Delivery.

He further said that efforts had been made towards ensuring better Passenger Experience for Nigerian Passport Holders flying Foreign Airlines.

Achimugu stated that a lot had been accomplished within the four months stewardship of Chris Najomo as NCAA Acting Director General.

He said the engagement of NCAA in February with Foreign Airlines had resulted to the Airlines unblocking their Inventory Fares and making cheaper Fares available.

Listing other achievements of the Agency, Achimugu said with the efforts of the Federal Government, Air Peace has commenced Lagos-London Operations.

`Base on the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo and NCAA Ag. DG`s sojourn to the UK, buoyed by the commitment of Mr President, Air Peace was able to finally commence the Lagos-London Operations,’ he said.

“A complete re-evaluation of Holders of Permit for Non-Commercial Flight (PNCF) is on-going to ensure Holders are adhering to the Terms and Conditions of their Permits.

“Relocation of the Procurement Department from the Director-General’s Office to the Directorate of Corporate Services to promote transparency and accountability in Procurement Matters,” he said.

He said the Authority had been able to pay off the backlog of Housing arrears to all Members of Staff that had accumulated from 2019 till date.

He added that a Ministerial Approval was secured for Inter-Directorate Deployment, to open up bottlenecks in Structure and subsequent Promotion of stagnated Workers from Grade Level 14 to 15 as General Welfare.

Achimugu said the Management had been operating Open-Door Policy and regular Engagement with the Unions to ensure peace and stability in the Workforce.

He said the NCAA would take Legal Action against Media Houses that publish false Information about the Organisation.

 

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30-Apr-2024 We have 'more than enough' to battle Petrol scarcity, says NNPCL

We have 'more than enough' to battle Petrol scarcity, says NNPCL

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has assured Nigerians that the ongoing Fuel scarcity and queues will be cleared out Wednesday, May 1.

Olufemi Soneye, Chief Communications Officer, NNPCL, said on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to Soneye, the Company currently has an availability of Product exceeding 1.5 billion Litres, which can last for at least 30 days.

“Unfortunately, we experienced a three-day disruption in distribution due to Logistical Issues, which has since been resolved.

“However, as you know, overcoming such disruptions typically requires double the amount of time to return to normal Operations,” he said.

He said: “Some folks are taking advantage of this situation to maximise Profits.

“Thankfully, Product scarcity has been minimal lately, but these folks might be exploiting the situation for unwarranted gain

“The lines will be cleared out between today and tomorrow,” Soneye assured.

Similarly, Hammed Fashola, the National Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (lPMAN), expressed hope that the queues in Lagos and Ogun would ease off this week, relying on the words of the NNPCL.

Fashola, however, stated that the queues in Abuja might tarry a bit due to the distance to Lagos.

“The Information available to us from the NNPCL was that there was a Logistics problem, and when that happens, it will disrupt the Supply Chain.

“That might be a delay in the movement of Ships from the Mother Vessel to the Daughter Vessel before it gets to the Depot Tanks.

“Before we can correct that, surely it will take some days. I think by Tuesday or Wednesday, there will be more Products available for lifting by Marketers.

“It might take time before it can ease off in Abuja, considering the distance to Lagos and the bad Roads; Lagos might be calm this new week,” Fashola assured.

Stranded Motorists and Commuters have expressed concern over frequent Fuel scarcity in Lagos Metropolis and across the Country.

This has resulted in a few Commercial Vehicles, leading to a hike in Fares.

The situation within Lagos Metropolis showed that only a few Filling Stations were selling, with long queues in most parts.

The few Filling Stations that dispensed Petrol in the Lekki Axis, had long queues of Vehicles stretching some meters.

 

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30-Apr-2024 NERC spikes competition, deregulates Meter Prices

NERC spikes competition, deregulates Meter Prices

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has announced Deregulation of Meter Prices under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Scheme for End-User Customers.

This is according to a Statement by the Commission in Abuja on Monday signed by Garba Sanusi, the Chairman of NERC and Dafe Akpeneye, the Commissioner Legal, Licensing and Compliance, NERC.

The Statement said: ”Effective from May 1, the new Order will introduce a competitive Bidding Process, allowing Customers to choose from a variety of Authorised Vendors.

”This will mark a significant shift from the previously Regulated Pricing Structure.*

According to the Order, all Prices of Meters within the MAP Scheme will be determined through Competitive Bidding.

The Commission said that the move was expected to foster transparency and reduce Prices as Customers would have the freedom to select their preferred Meter Providers among those authorised under the Scheme.

”The Deregulation lifts previous restrictions allowing all MAP Permit Holders to provide Services across all Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria, provided they meet specific requirements.

”This broader Operational Scope is anticipated to increase competition among MAPs, potentially leading to better Services and Innovations in Metering Solutions,” it said.

The Order said that DisCos had been mandated to ensure that Smart Meters provided by MAPs were seamlessly integrated into their Head-End Systems and Meter Data Management Systems.

”Furthermore, they must provide a publicly accessible Online Portal displaying their Technical Specifications and Commercial Terms for MAP participation.

”This is to ensure a standardised approach to Meter Installation and function across board,” it said.

According to the Order, thorough testing and confirmation process for new Meters have been outlined.

”With DisCos required to complete these Evaluations within 20 working days from when a MAP meets all specified requirements.

”Meters that fail the Confirmation Test must be promptly reported to the MAP with details on the failure points,” it said.

The Commission said that the Deregulation also introduced flexibility in the types of Meters available under the MAP Scheme.

”DisCos can now offer basic Electronic Meters, Internet of Things (IoT) Meters, DIN Rail Meters, and Current Limiters, depending on the Customer’s Energy Consumption Profile.

”While deregulating Meter Prices, NERC will oversee the submission of Price Offers from MAPs to ensure fair competition.

”This includes a requirement for MAPs to hold a Minimum Stock of 2,000 Units of Meters as an eligibility criterion for participation in the Bidding Process.

The Commission said that End-Use Customers now have the sole right to choose their preferred MAP and Meter types, which align with their specific Energy Needs.

It said that additionally, stringent measures have been placed to ensure timely installation of Meters with penalties for MAPs that fail to meet installation deadlines.

 

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30-Apr-2024 FG to Consumers: Don't pay if you're not receiving 20 hours Electricity daily

FG to Consumers: Don't pay if you're not receiving 20 hours Electricity daily

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu says the Federal Government requires $10bn Investment yearly, to revive the Power Sector for the next 10 years.

Adelabu said this in Abuja on Monday, at a one day Investigative Hearing on halting the Electricity Tariff increase by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) organised by the Senate Committee on Power.

“For this Sector to be revived, Government need to spend nothing less than $10bn Annually in the next 10 years.

”This is because of the Infrastructure requirement for the stability of the Sector, but Government can not afford that.

“And so we must make this Sector attractive to Investors and Lenders.

“So for us to attract Investors and Investment, we must make the Sector attractive, and the only way it can be made attractive is that there must be Commercial Pricing,” he said.

Adelabu added:“If the Value is still at N66 and Government is not paying Subsidy, the Investors will not come.

“But now that we have increased Tariff for a Band, there are interest been shown by Investors.”

The Minister said the major challenge in the Sector was absence of Liquidity, saying that the Sector had been operating on a Subsidised Tariff Regime, given the absence of a Cost Reflective Tariff.

He said that the Subsidy had not be funded over the years as huge Liabilities was being owed the Generating Companies ( GenCos) and the Gas Companies.

Adelabu said the inability of the Government to pay the outstanding N2.9trn Subsidy was due to limited Resources, hence the need to evolve measures to sustain the Sector.

He appealed to the Lawmakers to support the process of paying the Debt owed Operators across the Value Chain of Generation, Transmission and Distribution.

“The increase is based on Supply, saying that any Customer that do not receive 20 hours Power Supply will not be made to pay the new Tariff,” he said.

He said the Government was committed to ensuring sustainable Reform in the Sector, saying that there was need to clear the outstanding Debt owed GenCos and Gas Companies.

To improve Power Supply, he said Government was investing in Hydro Electric Power, adding that construction of 700 Mega Watt Power Plant in Zungeru had commenced, while Kashimbila Hydroelectric Power Plant of 40 Mega Watt was awaiting evacuation to improve Generation.

The Minister said there was also an on going Investment of 26 Small Hydro Power Dams to boost Electricity Production across the Country.

However, Members of the Committee in their separate Remarks decried the experiences of Nigerians on Electricity Supply over the years, despite the unbundling of the Sector.

Lola Ashiru, the Vice-Chairman of the Committee said Nigerians were paying for inefficiency of Power Sector Operators.

Ashiru said there was a lot of inefficiency across the Value Chain of Generation, Transmission and Distribution.

He said Poor Nigerians must be protected, adding that there was need to consider a reversal of the Tariff increase.

Solomon Larlong said there was no consultation, before the increase, adding that issues of Palliative should have been discussed and provided before the Tariff increase.

Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Chairman of the Committee said what Nigerians wanted was a solution to the Issues and ways to ensure Liquidity in the Sector.

He also decried the non appearance of a Company “ZIGLAKS” over the failed Agreement to provide Prepaid Meters for Nigerians.

He alleged that the Company had received N32bn in 20 years to meter Nigerian Electricity Consumers.

Adamu Alero said due consultation was not made before the Tariff increase saying the Public was not at peace with the increase of over 200 per cent, hence the need for a reversal.

Stakeholders at the event include the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (NAN), Association of Power Generation (Gencos) and Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

 

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26-Apr-2024 Air Peace denies Emergency Landing at Lagos Airport, explains Incident
25-Apr-2024 Petrol 'scarcity' hits Abuja as long queues return

Petrol 'scarcity' hits Abuja as long queues return

Motorists in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have expressed worry over the long queues being presently experienced due to scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as Petrol.

Long queues were seen at Fuel Stations due to scarcity of the Product.

In the City Centre, long queues were seen at TotalEnergies, Wuse, Zone 3, TotalEnergies by Audit House, Cornoil and TotalEnergies, opposite the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) Towers and all NNPC Limited Retail Outlets.

Along Kubwa Expressway, the NNPC Limited Retail Outlets opposite Salbas, Shema, AA Rano and Salbas Fuel Stations as well as Evergreen Station inside Kubwa had long queues.

Along Airport Road, Rimaco Fuel Station and NNPC Limited Retail Outlet had long queues.

The Independent Marketers sell between N680 to N700 per Litre, while the NNPC Limited Retail Outlets maintain its Pump Price of N617 per Litre.

The Black Marketers were also seen along the Roads and in front of Fuel Stations making brisk business, selling at N1,000 per Litre of Fuel.

Some of the Motorists expressed sadness at the inconsistency and unavailability of Fuel and its associated high Price in the Country.

They appealed to the Federal Government to resolve whatever the issues were.

However, an Official of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), said there was no PMS distribution challenge in the FCT.

He said almost every Fuel Station had PMS to sell and that the few Stations with queues were those selling cheaper than others, especially the NNPC Limited’s Retail Outlets.

“I drove round the City Centre and there were no queues except at the NNPC Retail Station,” he said.

Maigandi Garima, the President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said there were queues because people prefer to buy Fuel from NNPC Retail Stations that sell below the Rate of Independent Marketers.

“That is the reason for the long queues but if you go to the Independent Marketers such as IPMAN, Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) and Depot and Petroleum Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) you will not see much queues.

“The Independent Marketers sell higher because of the Rate they buy from Private Depots while those that buy from the NNPC Limited Depots sell cheaper.

“The Ex-Depot Price for Private Depot is between N650 and N690, while the Ex-Depot Price for NNPC Limited Depot is N555 per Litre,’’ he said. 

 

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25-Apr-2024 Minister restates commitment to efficient Aviation Industry

Minister restates commitment to efficient Aviation Industry

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has restated commitment to ensuring a modern, inclusive, efficient and sustainable Aviation and Aerospace Industry.

Keyamo said this at the Global Transport Policy (GTP) Intermodal Transport System Annual Roundtable held on Wednesday in Lagos.

The Minister was represented by Henry Agbebire, Director of Special Duties, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

He said that the Ministry had a pivotal role to play in promoting Sustainable Development and enhancing Transportation Infrastructure in the Country.

Keyamo noted that Transportation is one of the Cardinal Pillars of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, which he said underscored the importance of a robust and efficient Transportation System in driving the Nation toward Sustainable Development and prosperity

The Minister hoped for an Aviation Sector in Nigeria that is Environmentally friendly, sustainable and inclusive.

Speaking further, Keyamo said that his Five-Point Agenda was to accelerate the existing Aviations Road Map envisioned to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and better Service Delivery, with a view of generating Revenue for Government for Infrastructural Development of the Sector

He said his Five-Point Agenda was in sync with the Renewed Hope Agenda, with Infrastructural Development as a key component.

He said they include to: ”Ensure strict compliance with Safety Regulations and continuous upward movement of Nigeria’s Rating by ICAO.

“Support for the growth and sustenance of Local Businesses whilst holding them to the highest International Standard in the Aviation Industry.

“Improvement of Infrastructures in the Aviation Industry; Development of Human Capacity within the Industry; optimising Revenue Generation for the Federal Government”.

He said that the Ministry had also taken other Strategic Policy Interventions to foster Economic Growth.

The Global Transport Policy Bilingual Magazine was also launched at the Event.

The Event, with the Theme: “Transport Infrastructure and Strategic Policy Intervention: Building Blocks for Economic Growth’ had in attendance Stakeholders and Industry Players in the Transport Sector”.

 

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25-Apr-2024 NCAA suspends Dana Air from flying over Runway Excursion

NCAA suspends Dana Air from flying over Runway Excursion

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has written to the Management of Dana Airlines, informing it of the suspension of the Airline’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC), effective April 24.

This is contained in a Letter to Dana Airline, signed by the NCAA Acting Director-General, Chris Najomo on Wednesday in Lagos.

Najomo said that the suspension was in accordance with Section 31 (7) of the Civil Aviation Act 2022.

He said sequel to the Runway Excursion involving a Dana Aircraft MD-82, with Registration Number 5N BKI on Tuesday, the Authority had imposed a suspension on Dana Airline’s AOC with effect from April 24 at 23:59.

Najomo, however, said that the Authority was awaiting the Preliminary Report of the Investigation launched by the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB).

“While the NSIB is conducting the Safety Investigation, the NCAA has initiated an Inhouse Compliance assessment of this occurrence taking into account previous occurrences involving Dana Air Aircraft.

“This is in a bid to establish any trend which must be nipped in the bud in the interest of the safety and well-being of our Citizens and Travellers.

“Furthermore, the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development in sharing the concerns of the Authority has thrown his weight behind the need for swift measures to be taken to address pertinent Safety and Economic Issues that may underpin some of these occurrences.

“As precautionary step, and in accordance with Section 31 (7) of the Civil Aviation Act 2022, the Authority has imposed a suspension on your AOC with effect from April 24 at 23.59 p.m. to allow for a thorough Safety and Economic Audit,” he said

In the Letter addressed to the Management of Dana Airlines, Najomo said the Safety Audit will entail a Re-Inspection of the Organisation, Procedures, Personnel and Aircraft as specified by Part 1.3.3.3 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.

While the Economic Audit will critically examine the Financial Health of your Airline to guarantee its capability to sustain Safe Flight Operations.

 

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24-Apr-2024 Dana Runway Incident: We took prompt emergency action, says FAAN

Dana Runway Incident: We took prompt emergency action, says FAAN

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has notified the Public and all Stakeholders that Runway 18L/36R has been reopened for Flight Operations.

This is contained in a Statement signed by Obiageli Orah, Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN on Tuesday in Lagos.

Orah said the development followed the earlier closure of the Runway on Tuesday morning due to an incident involving a Dana Air Aircraft, with Registration Number 5N-BKI, which overshot the Runway during its Landing Sequence.

She said prompt actions were taken by FAAN’s Emergency Response Team to evacuate and recover the Aircraft from the Site.

Subsequently, comprehensive Clearing Operations were conducted to ensure the Runway was free of any Foreign Object Debris (FOD) that could impede Flight Safety.

She added that the FAAN Operations Division and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) had jointly conducted a thorough Inspection of the Runway Surface and deemed it safe for the resumption of Operations.

Also, an appropriate Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued in this regard.

“We acknowledge the area affected by the overshoot was significantly muddy.

“A concerted effort was made for the thorough and efficient cleaning of the Area to facilitate the swift resumption of Operations on Runway 18L/36R.

“FAAN wishes to express its gratitude to the Traveling Public, our Airline Partners, and all Stakeholders for their patience, understanding, and cooperation during the temporary closure.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this incident may have caused.

“Ensuring the safety and security of our Passengers, Staff, and Airport Operations remains our top priority.

“FAAN is committed to providing a safe, secure, and efficient Air Transport Environment for all Users of our Airports”.

The Authority appreciated everyone for their continued support and understanding.

 

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24-Apr-2024 Ribadu to African Nations: Let's fight Terrorism, share Intelligence together

Ribadu to African Nations: Let's fight Terrorism, share Intelligence together

National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, has called for enhanced Collaboration among African Countries to enhance Intelligence Sharing to effectively address the menace of Terrorism.

Ribadu made the call at the round off of the two-day High-Level African Counter-Terrorism Meeting, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Meeting had as the Theme, ‘Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Institution Building to Address the Evolving Threat of Terrorism in Africa’.

The Meeting was organised by Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and UN Office for Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT).

Ribadu said that such Collaboration should include investing in Cybersecurity Capabilities to combat the increasing Digital Recruitment by Extremist Groups and circulation of their Propaganda.

He also urged all to work towards a cohesive Framework for Regional and International Regulations to facilitate Operational Coordination and support Capacity Building in critical areas such as Forensic Science, Legal Frameworks, and Counter Terrorism Financing.

The NSA said there was need to developing Community-based solutions with the backing of Local and International Partners, to make them sustainable and impactful.

“Reflecting on the Outcomes of our Discussions, it is clear that while the challenges are daunting, they are surmountable with a holistic approach that encompasses reverse Security Measures and Comprehensive Strategies aimed at tackling the root cause of Terrorism.

“In closing, let us depart from here together with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

“The road ahead may be found with challenges, but it is also bringing opportunities for progress and transformation.

“We must continue to analyse the promotion of Peace, Security and Justice for all, building a future where the Scourge of Terrorism is but a distant memory and the promise of prosperity and peace prevails,” he said.

In his Remarks, the Under Secretary-General, UNOCT, Vladimir Voronkov, said the Meeting had sent a strong “Message of Unity” on the Counter-Terrorism Agenda in Africa.

Voronkov said that supporting African Member States in their Counter-Terrorism efforts and responding to their needs, were among the top priorities of UNOCT, adding that the high-level Meeting had kicked off the Abuja Process.

He said the Process would be guided by African-led and African-owned solutions against Terrorism; enhanced Regional and Sub-Regional Cooperation.

Others, were a comprehensive approach at addressing conditions conducive to the spread of Terrorism, and strengthening capacities of affected Member States.

“The UNOCT will continue to support the Government of Nigeria, the African Union, and Regional Organisations as well as all African Member States during the Abuja Process.

“It is also important that International Partners enhance their Counter-Terrorism support to African Member States.

“The sharing of Experiences, Expertise and Resources is critical for the success of our common endeavors in the Continent,” he added.

In an interview with Journalists, Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Muhammad Badaru, said the meeting had reinforced the commitment of African Nations to work together to fight Terrorism.

Badaru said the Nations had resolved as Africans to develop means and strategies that was African to tackle Terrorism with the support of the International Community.

According to him, the Delegates encouraged the thinking that the time is now to end Insecurity and have resolved to work together as a Continent.

“We will get a lot of Intelligence on the Source of Funding and Source of Arms for Terrorists and we are also collaborating with other Countries to protect the movement of Terrorists from one Country to the other.”

For her part, Emanuela Del Re, European Union Special Representative for the Sahel, reiterated the commitment of the EU to support the Counter-Terrorism efforts of the African Countries to end the menace.

She said the Meeting was an African led Programme, adding that the EU would support African ownership.

According to her, the EU has a lot of Projects in several hundreds of millions of Dollars of which 72 per cent of all its Investments in Terrorism go to Africa.

“This shows, of course, how much we are involved and committed.

“I really want to praise President Bola Tinubu, the NSA and of course, Nigeria for taking the Leadership.

“I think this is brave on the part of Nigeria because it is a very difficult issue that is trying to take the Leadership off.

“I think that from now on, with this particular Event, when the Abuja Process started, I think we will have more Opportunities to work together to tackle the situation.

“Especially, as regards Terrorism, which is probably one of the most horrible Events that affect the Continent,” she said. 

 

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24-Apr-2024 African Leaders, UN adopt Abuja Declaration in fight against Terrorism

African Leaders, UN adopt Abuja Declaration in fight against Terrorism

African Leaders including Heads of States and Government, Ministers of Defence, National Security Advisors, and Representatives of Regional Organisations, UN and others have adopted the Abuja Declaration in tackling Terrorism in Africa.

The Declaration made at the end of the High–Level African Counter–Terrorism Meeting, held on Monday and Tuesday in Abuja, was presented by the National Coordinator, National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Adamu Laka.

The Event has the Theme: “Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Institution Building to Address the Evolving Threat of Terrorism in Africa”.

The Declaration among other things recognised the continuing relevance of the Instruments adopted by the African Union, including the Communiqués of the African Union Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council as well as relevant normative Frameworks of all participating Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms.

These, according to the Declaration are aimed at addressing the Scourge of Terrorism and Violent Extremism on the African Continent.

They recalled in particular the desire of the AU to silence the Guns on the Continent by the year 2030 and note the fact that the spread of Terrorism and Violent Extremism in different parts of the Africa poses a significant threat to its peace, security, and stability.

They also acknowledged that Terrorism had hindered progress being made towards the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and African Union Agenda 2063.

According to the Declaration, African Leaders acknowledge that the growing activities of Terrorist Groups and the lethality of their attacks particularly in parts of West Africa and the Sahel, Central, Eastern and Northern Africa, is exacerbating Insecurity in these Regions.

“Note that Terrorist Groups with affiliations to Al-Qaeda and/or Da’esh capitalise on Local grievances, frequently rooted in inequalities, poor Governance, lack of Development, violations and abuses of Human Rights, as well as the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, to forge extensive Operational Networks and disseminate radical Ideologies.

“Further notes that these Groups exploit instability and conflict to escalate attacks across the Continent and expand their Zone of influence and control

“We also acknowledge the need to adequately address the root causes and structural drivers of Terrorism, Violent Extremism in Africa and emphasise the imperative for greater collective action in addressing the challenges of Terrorism and Violent Extremism on the Continent given its spiral effects,” it said.

The Declaration emphasised an African-led and African-owned approach to countering Terrorism; strengthening Regional and Sub-Regional Cooperation; encouraging prevention and effective counter measures to address the spread of Terrorism; and build Capacities of Member States critically challenged by Terrorism and Violent Extremist tendencies.

They declared to undertake to expressly reaffirm their collective commitment to strengthening the Security of African States in line with the Common African Defemce and Security Policy and within the spirit of finding African solutions to Africa’s Security challenges.

They condemn in particular, increasing Terrorist threat against Vulnerable Targets, including critical Infrastructure and Public Places in some parts of the Continent.

They urged International Partners to similarly affirm zero tolerance for Terrorism regardless of the motives, and to take appropriate practical measures to ensure that their respective Territories are not used by Terrorists for the Organisation and or financing of Terrorist acts to be committed against other States or their Citizens.

They paid tribute to all African Citizens and Peace Keeping and Peace Enforcement Personnel who paid the ultimate sacrifice combating Terrorist Groups on the Continent and beyond.

In countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, the Leaders underlined the need to promote the meaningful participation, Leadership, and Representation of Women, Youth, Victims of Terrorist activities and/or People in special situations in decision-making Processes related to Counter-Terrorism;

They urged all UN and AU Member States to enhance Cooperation and Collaboration in fighting the Scourges of Terrorism, Radicalism and Violent Extremism.

They also called for Joint Operations, signing Extradition Agreements, as well as establishing Platforms for sharing their experiences, best practices and lessons in preventing and combating Terrorism, Radicalism and Extremism.

They also emphasised the need to address Terrorist Propaganda based on Inter–Religious tensions and the clash of Civilisation Narrative.

They expressed respect for all Faith and Belief Systems noting that distorted narratives based on the misinterpretation and misrepresentation of Religion to justify violence are often leveraged to recruit Supporters, particularly Foreign Terrorist Fighters, mobilise Resources and garner support from Sympathisers of terrorism groups and activities.

They called upon all External Actors to cease support(s) to Terrorist Groups on the Continent and reiterate the request for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) from the Continent.

“We thank the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Organisers of the High Level African Meeting on Counter Terrorism as well all Member States, International and Regional Organisations and Civil Society Groups and International Partners who participated in this Event and contributed to the discussions.

“Given that our objective is to make the Process beneficial for all critical situations on the Continent, we decide that the dates and venue for the follow-up meetings of this Process will be made known in due course.

“We request the African Union Peace and Security Council to consider and endorse this Declaration and to recommend same to the United Nations Security Council for appropriate action,” they said. 

 

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23-Apr-2024 Jonathan insists on State Police as Tinubu 'pushes for reform'

Jonathan insists on State Police as Tinubu 'pushes for reform'

President Bola Tinubu has pledged his Administration’s resolve to reform the Nigeria Police Force and enhance National Security Architecture.

Tinubu made the pledge on Monday at a One-Day National Dialogue on State Policing with the Theme, “Pathways to Peace: Reimagining Policing in Nigeria”, held at the Abuja Continental Hotel.

Represented by the Vice-President Kashim Shettima, the President observed that the Idea of State Policing was  not just a mere Policy Proposal, but a potential milestone in the Evolution of the Nation’s Law Enforcement Framework.

He said that State Police would create the opportunity to fashion Law Enforcement in a manner that would closely address the various demands of Communities across the Country.

Tinubu said that his Administration was much aware of the complex Security Issues confronting Nigeria, as such, was continually developing, refining its Strategies and Methods to address the challenges effectively.

He said,” the Commitment of my Administration to reform the Police Force and enhance Security at both the National and State Levels is unwavering.

”We view the outcomes of today’s deliberations as crucial inputs that will guide the Government’s actions towards reforming the Institution of the Police and achieving a safer and more secure Nigeria.”

Tinubu implored the Participants of the Dialogue to look at the Idea of State Policing from multiple angles

”In our deliberations, let us consider the implications of State Policing from multiple perspectives.

”We must evaluate its potential to improve response times to Emergencies, adapt to specific Local challenges, and increase accountability.

”At the same time, we must address concerns related to the standardisation of training, oversight, and the safeguarding of Civil Liberties.

”Our Dialogue today should also be seen as an opportunity to listen, understand, and propose solutions that bridge gaps.

”It is essential that this forum is not the end but the beginning of an ongoing conversation on the Issue of Police and Security Sector Reform in our Country,” he added.

The President expressed delight that the 10th House of Representatives under Speaker Tajudeen Abbas had keyed into the Idea of State Policing.

He said that the involvement of the Legislature in Executive Reform Proposals ensured continuity and synergy.

Tinubu urged, “Let us use this opportunity to engage and explore every option with the seriousness and diligence they demand.”

The former President, Goodluck Jonathan, commended the Organisers of the Event, saying, ” the Issue today is not whether to establish State Police but how it should be operated.

“There is no need to debate about State Police. The Issues of State Police and Coast Guards were accepted at the 2014 National Conference.”

According to him, the Nigeria Customs Service and other Agencies at the Border were not trained to deal with Criminal Gangs.

He urged the Government to concentrate on how to manage the State Police in a way that it would not be hijacked by the Political Class.

Jonathan recommended that the Act establishing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be rejigged so that the Police were not used for Election Malpractices and stuffing of the Ballot Boxes in states.

Also, former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar maintained that in order to make peace and ensure a safe Society, Governors must be transparent, responsible, and honest as well as make the Citizens go about their normal businesses.

He said the Government should make Laws to provide for an Orderly Environment, urging the Citizens to stop destroying or vandalising Public Properties.

He also advised that the Traditional Rulers should be given Roles to play and be engaged in maintaining peace and order in their respective Domains.

 

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23-Apr-2024 TCN to Senate: Help us with more money to complete ongoing Projects

TCN to Senate: Help us with more money to complete ongoing Projects

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), has appealed to the National Assembly (NASS) for more Funding to enable it complete ongoing Projects.

The Managing Director of TCN, Sule Abdulaziz, made the request when the Senate Committee on Power, led by its Chairman, Eyinnaya Abaribe, paid an Oversight Visit to the Company in Abuja on Monday.

Abdulaziz stated that TCN had over 100 ongoing Projects, adding that when completed, the National Grid would be completed.

According to him, some of the Projects were started since 2001 with the problem of Funding stalling their completion.

”TCN is focusing on Grid expansion because of the increasing demand for Electricity; it does this through rehabilitation and reinforcement Projects.

”Currently, TCN has more than 100 ongoing Projects Nationwide.

”Most of the Projects cannot be completed due to Fund constraints and we appeal to the Committee to help TCN source Funds to complete them,” he said.

The Managing Director also emphasised that there were other challenges like Right of Way Issues and vandalism of Transmission and Installations

Responding, Abaribe, said that in spite of the huge sums of money injected into the Power Sector, there were still a lot of challenges.

He, however, assured TCN that the Committee would report to the Senate as requested by the TCN Management, and examine the possibility of reviewing its Annual Budget for improved Service Delivery.

 

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23-Apr-2024 FG targets 6,000 Megawatts of Electricity Generation

FG targets 6,000 Megawatts of Electricity Generation

Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, says the Federal Government plans to increase Power Generation from 4000 Megawatts to 6000 by the end of 2024.

Adelabu said this in Abuja when Members of the Senate Committee on Power visited the Ministry.

The Minister said the Federal Government plans to achieve the 6000 Megawatts of Power using the Hydro and Solar Plants to increase Supply of Electricity to Households and Businesses.

He described as unfortunate and sad, a situation where the highest Electricity currently being generated stood at only 5800 Megawatts.

“The Infrastructure are lying there, without adequate maintenance, the Turbines are rusting away.

”With proper Investment put in place, we can generate 6000 Megawatts before the end of 2024,” he said.

The Minister also said that the Federal Government was going to transform the Electricity Distribution Companies, (DisCos) adding that they were the last mile in the Power Supply Industry.

According to him, if they don’t perform, it means the entire Power Sector is not performing.

“We are putting pressure on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to ensure that the DisCos sit up and if they have to withdraw their Licenses for not performing, why not?

“We are unbundling the DisCos along State Lines as some of them are too big for efficiency and effectiveness.

“Some of them are serving so many States, so we are rearranging and restricting the DisCos along State Lines, so that each State Government will know the Distribution Company responsible for their States,” he said.

The Minister said it was time the Federal and State Governments started exercising their Rights in the Management and Operations of the Power Sector.

“We have left it for the Private Sector for too long and they have messed it up.

“We also plan to Franchise the DisCos so that we can have smaller DisCos that are ready to invest,” he said.

Earlier, Eyinnaya Abaribe, Chairman of the Committee, had said that they were in the Ministry for an Oversight Function.

Abaribe said that the Oversight Visit became necessary to find out the challenges that had led to poor Supply of Electricity to Nigerians and also the reasons for the consistent collapses of the National Grid.

He said the Committee, in pursuant to the Rules and Regulations of the National Assembly, had already invited the Ministry of Power and its Parastatals for an Investigative Hearing on the increase in Tariff by April 29.

Abaribe said, “This is with regards to payment for Power by Nigerians, so, we won’t want to discuss that before the date.”

”’The Committee has already invited the Minister and his Agencies to discuss the issue of increase in Tariff extensively with the Committee,” he said.

 

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22-Apr-2024 NAMA laments challenges of Air Traffic Controllers at Nigeria's Airports

NAMA laments challenges of Air Traffic Controllers at Nigeria's Airports

Many Airlines are avoiding Nigeria’s Airspace because of difficulties encountered in communication with Air Traffic Controllers, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) confirmed in Lagos.

Its Managing Director, Farouk Umar, told Journalists at Ikeja that the Agency was consequently eyeing more Investments to rejuvenate the Communication System to match emerging Air Traffic trends.

He explained that there was the need to improve the weak Communication System, which had been demand-saturated as the Industry grew and more Routes were opened.

He said huge Investments were required of the Federal Government as more Routes opened needing more Stations to have Signals to cover the entire Country.

He added that the Presidency recently budgeted N40bn to address some of the issues at the Airports, but the money had not been accessed.

Umar assured that as soon as money was made available, the agency would tackle critical safety challenges at the various airports.

“The entire Communication Network has been re-designed to ensure that every blind spot is covered because if one System fails today, Air Traffic Controllers would not notice.

“We realised also that our Radios are working well and well-positioned and we have addressed the challenges we met on ground, but then, we are still having issues.

“The issues have nothing to do with our Radios, but with Electricity Supply which had been a national challenge that Government had been working assiduously to fix.

“We have decided to deploy Solar Energy at some of our Facilities to complement Electricity Supply from the National Grid and from Generators so that they can function well,’’ he said.

Umar noted that the International Civil Aviation Organisation frowned at even a second’s blackout at any Airport and Nigeria could not afford to flout the Regulation.

“For an average Electronic System, the Lifespan is about 10 years. Most of the Communications Electronics at the Airports have been working for the past 15 years to 20 years. Their performance would be below standard, expectedly.

“We are replacing some of the Equipment and we have done almost 80 per cent. The Contractors are still working, however,’’ he assured.

Umar also told Journalists that Terminal Control Centres (TRACON) were still having challenges because since 2014, there had not been enough Spare Parts to fix the obsolete Equipment there.

“The Federal Government has approved the modernisation of the TRACON System. 15 per cent of the Fund has been paid and we are hopeful that more installations will start soon.

“We are also hopeful that at the end of it all, the System will go back to optimal performance,’’ he said.

Umar lamented that NAMA had been charging Airlines N11,000 as Navigation Fee per Flight since 2008 when Fares for Local Flights were N16,000, whereas Airfares had risen to N150,000. 

 

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22-Apr-2024 Tinubu to roll out CNG for Mass Transit in May

Tinubu to roll out CNG for Mass Transit in May

The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI) is set for initial rollout to the Public by the end of May, a Presidential Aide has revealed.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, announced this in a Statement in Abuja.

The Initiative is part of the Palliatives put in place by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023 when the Fuel Subsidy was removed.

To actualise the Programme, the President launched the Presidential CNG Initiative in October 2023 to deliver cheaper, safer and more Climate Friendly Energy.

The CNG Initiative is designed to deliver Compressed Natural Gas, especially for Mass Transit.

Onanuga said it was part of the many Intervention Programmes to reduce the burden of increase in Pump Price on the Masses.

He added that Government had provided N100bn (part of the N500bn Palliative Budget) to purchase 5,500 CNG Vehicles, 100 Electric Buses and more than 20,000 CNG Conversion Kits, alongside spurring the development of CNG Refilling Stations and Electric Charging Stations.

“With necessary Tax and Duty Waivers approved by President Tinubu in December 2023, the PCNGI Committee is partnering with the Private Sector to deliver the promise on the Initiative.

The Private Sector has responded with more than $50m in actual Investments in Refilling Stations, Conversion Centres, and Mother Stations.

“Also, a Safety Policy Document on 80 Standards and Regulations that must be strictly adhered to by Operators has been developed and approved to ensure CNG Conversions are done safely and reliably,” he said.

Onanuga said that the deployment of CNG Buses and Tricycles and the vision to get at least one million Natural Gas propelled Vehicles on the Roads by 2027 would mark a major Energy Transition in the Country’s Transportation Industry.

He said that the use of more expensive Diesel and Petrol would gradually be phased out, when many Vehicles, including Trucks, run on Natural Gas, adding that 30 of the 36 States had the Gas in abundance.

“Remarkably, the Tinubu Administration, in driving the Nation to the desired destination, has flagged open a new Industry, along with thousands of new Jobs.

“Four Plants owned by JET, Mikano, Mojo, and Brilliant EV located in various parts of the Country are involved in the assembly of the Semi Knocked Down (SKD) Components of the CNG Buses.

“JET, which has received the SKD Parts, is coupling the Buses in Lagos and is working towards delivering 200 Units before the First Anniversary of the Tinubu Administration.”

Onanuga said that Brilliant EV would assemble Electric Vehicles meant for Kano and Borno, which would not have access to CNG for now as well as in key Nigerian Cities and University Campuses.

“In all, over 600 Buses are targeted for Production in the First Phase that will be accomplished this year.

“A new Plant on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will assemble thousands of Tricycles.

“The SKD Parts, manufactured by the Chinese Company LUOJIA in partnership with its Local Partner to support the Consortium of Local Suppliers of CNG Tricycles, are set for shipment to Nigeria and expected to arrive early in May.

“About 2,500 of the Tricycles will be ready before May 29, 2024.”

He said that thousands of Conversion Kits for Petrol Powered Buses and Taxis that want to migrate to CNG are also ready with CNG Cylinders.

The Presidential Aide added that the Federal Government intended to provide them at subsidised rates, especially for Commercial Vehicle Drivers, to bring down the Cost of Public Transportation.

Onanuga said that the PCNGI was working with 22 other Agencies, including the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council, to deliver 80 Natural Gas Vehicle Conversion and Associated Appliances Standards for the Country.

He added that an App MYCNG.NG to embed the Nigeria Gas Vehicle Monitoring Systems would show CNG Conversion and Refilling Sites in the Country.

“The Tinubu Administration is an Enabler of the evolving CNG Industry.

“In collaboration with the Private Sector, the PCNGI is set to deliver 100 Conversion Workshops and 60 Refilling Sites spread across 18 States before the end of this year.

“The Vision of Mr. President to deliver one million Gas Vehicles cannot be possible without the Private Sector, including the RTEAN, NARTO, NURTW, and Players in the Downstream Sector of the Transportation Chain and Financiers.”

 

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18-Apr-2024 Threaten Nigeria's Sovereignty, be ready to pay a big price, Tinubu warns

Threaten Nigeria's Sovereignty, be ready to pay a big price, Tinubu warns

President Bola Tinubu has reiterated his administration’s commitment towards ensuring comprehensive Economic Security for all Nigerians.

Tinubu said this would be achieved through addressing Foundational challenges and creating a fair and equitable System.

He said this when he received Members of the Afenifere, the Yoruba Socio-Cultural organisation, on Wednesday at the State House in Abuja.

The President said his Administration was re-engineering Nigeria’s Finances, boost the purchasing power of Citizens, and spread prosperity down the line.

He said that the Administration was instituting a Credit System where the element of Cash would not be an impediment to a significantly enhanced Standard of Living for all Citizens.

‘’We are committed to the Economic survival of our Country. To re-engineer the Finances of our Country, we must start in earnest.

“So first, retool, revamp the Economic Opportunities available, and resolve to continue taking the firm and steady baby steps that are necessary.

‘’We have seen the problems Parents face in training their Children in School; it is the reason why we established the National Student Loan Programme, which is taking off well.

‘’We are equally examining what to do with the high degree of Unemployment. We must help Vulnerable People by providing Social Security. We are looking at how to provide Allowances for the Unemployed.

“We are developing ways to boost the purchasing power of Citizens with the Consumer Credit Scheme.

“If we remove the Cash upfront element to buy a Car or a House, we will reduce the propensity for Fraud and Corruption across the Land,’’ he said.

On Security, the President declared that those who threaten the Sovereignty of Nigeria would pay a heavy price.

‘’I am irrevocably committed to the unity of Nigeria and Constitutional Democracy. Constitutional Democracy is reflected greatly here since we assumed Office. What we face now is the challenge of Terrorism.

“Security of Life and Property is very necessary for Development. I can tell you we are achieving success. We have degraded Terrorism to a level that they cannot threaten the Sovereignty of Nigeria any longer.

‘’Banditry and Kidnapping will be defeated. And there is no payment of Ransom whatsoever. We are taking the battle to them. We are getting results more rapidly than before. We are working hard on Intelligence Gathering.

“Those who think they can threaten the Sovereignty of Nigeria will have themselves to blame. They have a price to pay. And we are not going to relent,’’ Tinubu added.

In his remarks, Olu Falae, commended the President for his courageous decisions, the rehabilitation of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos and other critical ongoing Projects.

He urged the President not to relent in ensuring fairness and equity for all Nigerians while noting the importance of Constitutional Amendment to devolve more Powers to States.

‘’Mr President, you are the Leader of Nigeria now and the most important Political Figure in Africa, we expect you, in view of your Legacy and Pedigree, to lead our Country with knowledge, courage, and integrity.

“We have no doubt that your Tenure will mark a turning point in the History of our Country, under your Leadership, Nigeria will be repositioned.

‘’We will stand by you as you make all efforts to change the Nigerian Story for the better.

“Be assured Afenifere will not abandon you in fair or foul weather, as long as you remain faithful to the Principles of fairness, integrity, and courage that is expected of you as the Leader of Nigeria, we will stand by you,’’ Falae assured.

The Delegation, led by Afenifere Leader Reuben Fasoranti, includes other Eminent Citizens from the South West.

 

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16-Apr-2024 You're not Robots, Tinubu tells Police, declares 'April 7 Police Day'

You're not Robots, Tinubu tells Police, declares 'April 7 Police Day'

President Bola Tinubu has declared April 7 as National Police Day.

Tinubu, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, made this known on Monday night during the Maiden Edition of the Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

He identified a complete overhaul of Institutional Mentality and Memory of Police Officers as fundamental in his Administration’s ongoing bid to transform the Force into a Modern, Professional and Accountable Institution.

He said that his Administration had initiated wide-ranging Reforms to revitalise the Nation’s Police Force since assuming Office in 2023.

He, therefore, stressed the need to engage Men and Women of the Force in Training and Capacity-Building to equip them with the Expertise required to carry out the arduous task of Modern Policing.

He also disclosed that the Federal Government had approved the first week of April as Police Week and the last day of the week as the National Police Day.

“Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen, in our Tradition of honouring the Police Force in the life of this great Nation, we have approved the adoption of the first week of April as Police Week.

“Furthermore, the last day of the week, the April 7th, is hereby declared National Police Day in Nigeria.

“Tonight, I must remind you that we don’t see you as just the Shields of the Nation, we don’t see you as Robots.

“This is why we are here; we are here to humanise you.

“At a time in Nigeria’s History, when the Nation’s Security Architecture is being stretched beyond elastic limits, the Citizens have been able to endure in the face of security threats as well as attacks on their Lives and Livelihoods due to the commitment of the Police.

“Your exemplary valour doesn’t only represent the pinnacle of patriotism that binds us but also instills confidence that brighter days lie just beyond the horizon.”

The President listed part of the comprehensive Reforms by his Administration to rejuvenate the Police Force to include investment in Training and Capacity-Building.

“My Administration will ensure that Police Officers are equipped with the Knowledge, Skills, Values and Expertise required to tackle the complex challenges of Modern Policing.”

He also gave assurance that the Government would upgrade Equipment and Technology of the Force to enhance its Operational effectiveness and efficiency.

“This includes acquiring Fit-for-Purpose Equipment, Weapons, Ammunition and Armoured Carriers to provide cover and protection for Officers in Combat Situations.

“These endeavours will be supported by suitable measures to enhance the Status of our Officers and Personnel both during their Service and after Retirement,” President Tinubu said.

Earlier, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, commended the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, for recognising the hard work, resilience and patriotism of the Officers and Men of the Police Force.

He expressed his delight and that of the National Assembly for celebrating the well-deserved Officers of the Force.

The Senate President stressed that the decision to celebrate the Nation’s Unsung Heroes would pave the way for a new Police Force in the Country.

“The Leadership of the Police understands the role of the Police Force in a Democratic Dispensation.

“I commend the Inspector-General of Police and I commend the Police Officers for the work of sacrifice and for maintaining peace and order in our Communities.

“As we commend the good Officers, let us weed out the bad ones among the Police Force as, to whom much is given, much is expected,” Akpabio said.

15-Apr-2024 Minister laments dirty state of Epe Tourism Sites

Minister laments dirty state of Epe Tourism Sites

Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John, has called on Residents of Epe in Lagos State to take conscious efforts in maintaining the Tourism Sites within the Local Government Area.

Ade-John made the call during her vist to some Tourism Sites within the Community, some of which were; Oju Alaro Shrine, the Marina Waterfront, Palace of Oloja of Epe and some iconic Colonial Buildings.

The Minister, who was quite elated over the ennormous Tourism potential within the Town, expressed displeasure that the Tourist Attractions were not properly maintained.

She said the Community Members must begin to see Tourism as a money spinner which could engage them positively.

He urged the State and Local Governments to constantly sensitise Epe Residents on the need to maintain those Sites.

“The Local Government must work on sensitising the Locals to always ensure these Sites are neat and tidy, it won’t attract Tourists if they are left like this.

“I have just seen that Epe has more Colonial Buildings than Lagos Township, I urge you to keep what you have, treasure and nurture these Sites.

“Epe is a beautiful place to be, with beautiful Beaches, Mangroves, Seafoods and all; these are what the Backpackers want to see.

“We are going to help you advertise what you have so that People can visit Epe more than ever before but the Sites must be made neat,” she said.

The Minister urged the Lagos State Government to build a proper Fish Market capable of attracting Tourists.

“I was at Makoko Fish Market to get some Fishes for myself as early as 6.30a.m, I was surprised to see lots of Foreigners and different types of Seafoods, honestly, we are indeed blessed.

“I think the State Government need to build a more attractive Fish Market to further promote Tourism, so that People can travel here to see and buy.

“The Mangroves we have in Epe here can be made to be like the Amazon Forest in Brazil where Tourists pay hugely to watch.

“It is painful that we do not appreciate what we have, we need to help People change their mindsets,” she said

In a response, Tobun Abiodun representing Epe Constituency 1, at the Lagos State House of Assembly, promised to work on the sensitisation for the Community Members.

He said “We will work on all the complaints and we assure you that very soon we are going to start competing with other Local Government in the State and ensure Epe takes the lead in terms of Tourism.”

 

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14-Apr-2024 Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline, Mambilla Power Project not abandoned, says FG

Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline, Mambilla Power Project not abandoned, says FG

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, says President Bola Tinubu is committed to the improvement of the overall well-being of Nigerians.

Idris stated this on Saturday when he featured  in the Flagship Live Phone-In Programme of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Kaduna,’ Hannu da Yawa’.

Speaking on Agriculture, Idris said that Tinubu Administration was keen towards ensuring Food Security and it had rolled out Measures and Programmes that were targeted directly at the actual Farmers.

This, he said, was a turn from the previous Practices and Programmes which usually ended up in the hands of People who capitalised on such Programmes for their selfish interests.

“Before President Tinubu Administration, Farmers were not the Beneficiaries of Funds made for Agricultural activities.

“President Tinubu has put more effort in ensuring productive outcomes in dry season farming, a lot of measures have been put in place in restructuring loans and other interventions for agriculture,”he said.

Speaking on alleged abandoned projects in the Northern parts of the Country, Idris said that no responsible government can abandon Projects which funds had already been put into.

The Minister explained that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline and the Mambilla Power Project, among numerous Projects in the Northern Parts of the Country, were still in existence.

He, however, said People always criticise Governments without facts, adding that the Projects may experience delay, but they have not been stopped.

Also speaking on the Security of Lives and Properties, Idris said that talks were ongoing about the creation of State Police as being revived by the President due to its importance.

Idris said this was to ensure Economic Growth and Development especially as it affects Farming and other activities, which could improve Livelihood.

He frowned at a Section of the Public, especially the Media who tend to promote more the activities of Criminals and Terrorists, while playing down the successes hugely recorded by the Armed Forces and other Security Agencies.

Answering a question on Fuel Subsidy removal, Idris reminded the Public of Tinubu’s provision  of Wage Allowances, among other Palliatives for the Poor and Vulnerable Households, which were aimed at shielding the effects on the People.

He disclosed that the Conversion Centres of Cars using Petrol to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) would soon be inaugurated by Tinubu across the Federation, all in the  bid to cushion the effects of the Fuel Subsidy removal.

The Minister restated Tinubu’s commitment to the fight against corruption, while urging the Public to shun Fake News and other comments aimed at discrediting the Government.

Idris also urged the Public to be patient with Tinubu Administration, stressing that a lot of viable Programmes and Measures would be rolled out to make the People live better.

 

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14-Apr-2024 Sanwo-Olu to Nigerians: Change for good, stop talking bad about Nigeria

Sanwo-Olu to Nigerians: Change for good, stop talking bad about Nigeria

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, has called on Nigerians to refrain from speaking ill of the Country but pray for its betterment.

Sanwo-Olu gave the advice at the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr Celebration on Saturday at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

The Celebration had the Theme: “Allah will not Change the Way of the People until they Change What is in their Hearts”.

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, urged Nigerians to change their thoughts and speak positively about the Country.

According to him, God will not change anything for any Society until the People would decide to change  their minds for good.

Sanwo-Olu added that the Citizens should stop cursing the Country so that God would change it for the better.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to believe in their current Leaders and pray for them and the Country.

“Almighty God will not change anything for any Society until they change what is in their minds.

“Our collective intent should be to keep praying for Nigeria and the Leadership to do the right thing.

“That is when Allah will intervene in the present situation of our Country.

“It is, therefore, important for us to desist from talking ill about the Country,” he said.

The Governor also charged the People to be empathetic toward one another, adding that they should be their brothers’ keepers.

He appealed to Parents to guide their Children and Wards right.

Sanwo-Olu harped on Children being respectful while reiterating that it was the responsibility of Parents to raise their Children in the way of God.

In her address of welcome, the Wife of  Lagos State Governor, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, urged Nigerians to emerge from Ramadan not only as Individuals who had undergone personal growth but as Agents of Change within their Communities.

She advised them to commit to fostering a Society built on the Principles of Justice, equity and compassion.

“Let us remember that true change begins within the depths of our hearts.

“The joint Ramadan and Lent experienced this year should remind everyone of the universal value of Humanity that unites all regardless of Religious Belief, Background, or Ethnicity,” she said.

She advised Nigerians to reject bigotry and prejudice in all its forms and work toward building a more Inclusive Society where everyone would be valued and respected.

Justice Abdulrraheem Ahmad of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Kwara State, said that the current situation in Nigeria was not vested upon the People by Allah but was a creation of the People’s handiwork.

He advised Nigerians to have a change of mindset and speak positively about the Country.

Ahmad also urged the People to be righteous, as well as fair and kind to one another irrespective of Religion, Race or Tribe.

 

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13-Apr-2024 Witness: How I collected $3m Cash for Emefiele 'without being given a Kobo'

Witness: How I collected $3m Cash for Emefiele 'without being given a Kobo'

A Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Employee, Monday Osazuwa, told an Ikeja Special Offences Court how the former Apex Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on different occasions, directed him to collect $3m Cash in tranches.

Osasuwa, while being led in Evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, said he was a Dispatch Rider in Zenith Bank in 2001 before he joined the CBN in 2014.
Osasuwa said he joined the apex bank as a senior supervisor in 2014.

He said Emefiele was the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc while he was working as a Dispatch Rider in the Bank.

The Witness said he knew Emefiele, who was his Boss, while in Zenith Bank and that he later joined him at the CBN.

The Witness said he was later appointed  as a Senior Supervisor (full time) in Recording and Filing of Documents while working in the CBN Governor’s Office in Lagos.

“I was still working in the CBN Governor’s Office while I was appointed as a Full Staff Member and we usually communicated through WhatsApp and Email.

“I function as a Senior Supervisor, Recording  and Filing with other Official Roles.

“I recall that in 2020, when he was outside Lagos, he called me that he would give me a number that a Man had something I should collect from him and that the Man would give me the number of another Person.

“When I got to the Man’s Office, I was given an Envelope. I  counted the money and the Man said I should give it to my Boss,” he said.

The Witness further told the Court that the First Defendant used to collect money by himself  anytime he was in Lagos but anytime the Defendant was not around, he would tell him to give the money to the Second Defendant.
Osazuwa added that Emefiele sent him to MINL Limited when he was with Zenith Bank.

“This Company is situated at Isolo, the First Defendant did send me to collect Cheques from the Company from Mr Monday and when I collected the cheque from Mr Monday, I would give it back to Emefiele and he would lodge the money into Dumies Oil and Gas.

According to him, Emefiele’s Co-Defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, lived in the Residence of the former CBN Governor.
He stated that when he collected money for his Boss, he would take it to his Residence at Iru Close, Ikoyi.
“Whenever I received the money and take it to my Boss’s Residence, Emefiele would tell me to give it to the Second Defendant whenever he was not at home.

“I did not keep a record of transactions because the instruction he gave me was that I should collect the money and bring the money to his house.

“The highest amount I collected was one million dollars all in Cash and some weeks later, the Businessman also called me to collect $850,000, $750,000 and $400,000 Cash in tranches.

“I have never been rewarded, paid or given anything because I am doing it out of faithfulness and he knows it but he has never for once said, ‘take this’,” he said.

Under Cross-Examination by the Defence Counsel, Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, the Witness confirmed  to the Court that he had been working with the Defendant since 2002.

According to the Witness, Emefiele passed instructions to him through the Second Defendant and that he had been collecting Cheques for Dumies Oil and Gas.

He, however, told the Court when he was made to confront the Second Defendant during Investigation but the Second Defendant failed to admit it.

“I started collecting Cheques for Dumies Oil and Gas when I was in Zenith Bank.

“I cannot calculate the exact year I have been collecting the Cheques but it all started when the First Defendant was the Managing Director at Zenith Bank and I was working at Zenith Bank,” he said.

The EFCC on April 8 arraigned Emefiele on 23 Counts bordering on Abuse of Office, accepting Gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving Property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage.

Emefiele’s Co-Defendant was arraigned on three Counts bordering on acceptance of Gift by Agents.

The Defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the Charge.

Earlier, Oshodi had declined the Oral Application for adjournment moved twice by the Defence Counsel.

The Judge adjourned theCcase until April 29 for Trial and Hearing of Application for Closed-Session.

 

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13-Apr-2024 Tinubu to Governors, Lawmakers: Let's 'unite and work together'

Tinubu to Governors, Lawmakers: Let's 'unite and work together'

President Bola Tinubu has called for unity of purpose and more collaboration among the Federal, State Governments and Members of the National Assembly to achieve National Development Goals.

The President made the appeal while receiving State Governors and the Leadership of the National Assembly in Lagos on Friday.

Led by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, the Delegation includes Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, House of Representatives Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas as well as Governor of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq among others.

Speaking on behalf of the President, Shettima expressed optimism about Nigeria’s Economic resurgence and called for collective efforts to propel the Nation forward.

He urged unity and collaboration among all Stakeholders to achieve shared prosperity and promised a brighter future for the Nation.

“Let us unite, rally around our Leader, and catapult this Nation to a greater pedestal. By December, I hope we will have cause to celebrate. Let us coalesce to take the Nation to a greater pedestal,” Shettima said.

Emphasising Tinubu’s role as a unifying Leader transcending Ethnic and Religious lines, the Vice-President noted that the gathering of 27 Governors in Lagos, along with the Leadership of the National Assembly and some former Governors, bears the testimony of a detribalised Leader.

‘’This gathering cuts across Ethnic, Religious, and Political lines. Here, we have Eno of Akwa Ibom and Hyacinth of Benue, and as the President was seated, he was asking, ‘Where is Wammako, where is Yari’?

“That is the hallmark of true Leadership. What binds us together supersedes whatever it is that may divide us.’’

‘’The future of the Black Man rests on Nigeria to make or mar. Our Economy has turned the corner. By the coming months, the Economy will roar back to glory,’’ the Vice-President said.

Akpabio commended the State Governors for emulating Tinubu’s Leadership Style, characterised by listening to Diverse Voices and consulting widely with the People, irrespective of Political Affiliations.

“The Governors are doing well. I can say so because I have been there before,” Akpabio said.

Expressing confidence in the President’s Leadership, Akpabio noted that Tinubu enjoys the broad support of Nigerians across Political Divides.

“As you coast home to victory for a Second Term, may all the Governors seated here also coast home to a Second Term victory in their States,” the Senate President said.

In his remarks, AbdulRazaq expressed support for the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, describing it as a huge Project that would have a significant impact on the Nation when completed.

He commended the President’s efforts in stabilising the Economy and improving Living Conditions, highlighting the positive developments in the Country, which include the Stabilisation of the Exchange Rate and decreasing Food Prices.

He attributed these improvements to the President’s Initiatives and also lauded the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s funding for 8,800 Primary Healthcare Centres.

“We commend your efforts because the Ship is gradually turning. We have seen how the Exchange Rate of the Naira against the Dollar is coming down.

“The Cost of Food is coming down. The Dry Season Harvest is commencing soon. Things are getting better, and there is light at the end of the tunnel,” the Governor said.

The Governor also expressed gratitude for the support provided by the Federal Government to States, particularly in distributing Grains to alleviate Food shortages.

‘’We are here to support you, and we also thank you for the support that you are giving to the Sub-Nationals. Trucks are wheeling up across the Nation, distributing Grains. I have received, and most of the States have.

‘’Because of what you are doing, those who are hoarding Food Items are releasing them, and that is why the Prices of Food are coming down,’’ he said.

AbdulRazaq reiterated the Governors’ commitment to supporting the President’s Initiatives and pledged to continue complementing the efforts of the Federal Government in driving progress and prosperity across the Nation.

 

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12-Apr-2024 Sanwo-Olu threatens demolition of any Lagos Building that fails Integrity Test

Sanwo-Olu threatens demolition of any Lagos Building that fails Integrity Test

Lagos State Government has reiterated its resolve to demolish Buildings that fail its Integrity Test.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu reassured of the step as 14 Buildings in close proximity to the two that went up in flames at Dosunmu Market on the Lagos Island on Tuesday caved in to the fire.

“A lot of Residential Apartments have been turned to Warehouses. I am saying without any iota of doubt that more Buildings will go down.

“I just finished the Assessment of a very unfortunate, but preventable disaster.

“Access was denied to the First Responder to the fire for a couple of hours. This fire started more than 48 hours ago and is still alive.

“At the last count we have about 14 Houses that have been affected and more may go down after the extensive Test.

“What I have seen here is what could have been prevented; we do not have a Full Report yet, so I do not want to speculate.

“From the Initial Report, it was gross carelessness,’’ he said at the site of the fire.

Sanwo-Olu added that the Dosunmu Market would be closed indefinitely, but that Government would assist those to be affected.

“We will bring down any Property that does not conform to our Rules and Regulations of Construction.

“We cannot allow anyone to put the Lives and Property of others and the Environment at risk.

“We will support those affected by the fire so they can get back on their feet, however.

“There are more progressive things we ought to be doing than to be spending scarce Resources on avoidable Accidents,’’ the Governor lamented. 

 

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12-Apr-2024 Inflation will lead to Cost review of Coastal Road Project, FG warns

Inflation will lead to Cost review of Coastal Road Project, FG warns

The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has projected a Return on Investment (ROI) of around N1.67trn in 15 years on the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Corridor.

The 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Project is designed to connect Lagos to Cross River, passing through the Coastal States of Ogun, Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom, before culminating in Cross River.

Umahi gave the estimate while addressing Journalists and Stakeholders during a Meeting on Lagos-Coastal Highway Projects, at the Eko Hotel, on Thursday in Lagos.

The Minister gave the total estimates based on the Classification of Vehicles to be tolled when the Project is completed.

”I ran the figures this morning. That is if the 47.47km Phase I is completed and I toll on the two Sections, I give an average of 50,000 Vehicles, the big Vehicles will be charged about N6,000, the small ones will pay between N1,000 and  N1,500.

“Lets make it that an average of N3, 000 would be charged, In fact, when I rounded the figures, I will have about N1.67trn in 15 years. So, the ROI will be huge,” he said.

The Minister said that the Total Cost of the Coastal Road Project could not be fixed, saying if Inflation hits, the Project would have to be reviewed.

“Some People say we paid N1.067trn, the answer is No. We paid money according to the Procurement Act and according to the Policy of the Federal Ministry of Works.

Umahi noted that the Project would boost Economic Activity, improve Transportation, and create a more enjoyable Travel Experience.

He said, “along the Corridor, Tourism will be developed, there will be increased Economic Activity with Estates, Factories, etc., Transportation Network will improve, and Train Stations will increase activity and there will be faster Water Transportation.’’

Umahi said that the Project, which aims to make Road Travel more attractive than Air Travel, would have Amenities along the Corridors such as Solar Lighting, Toll Stations, Filling Stations, Hotels, and CCTV Cameras for improved security and faster response times to incidents.

The Minister, who acknowledged that the Coastal Road’s importance was a National Asset with the potential to attract Foreign Investments, noted that it required acquiring Land which might be problematic for some Property Owners.

He used the Proverb “you can’t make an Omelette without breaking Eggs” to acknowledge the potential hardship caused by Land acquisition.

He said that the Government prefers a negotiated settlement with Property Owners instead of relying solely on Legal Processes.

The Minister acknowledged the Government’s ultimate authority over Land Ownership.

He however, appealed to Property Owners for their cooperation and avoid confrontational approach.

Stakeholders at the Meeting  including Royal Fathers, Politicians, Land Owners and Estate Developers, described the Projects as laudable, raised issues about having a reasonable amount as Compensation and pleaded that it be timely, among others. 

 

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12-Apr-2024 FG to compensate Property Owners on Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Route

FG to compensate Property Owners on Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Route

The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has assured Property Owners along the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Route that a fair and transparent Compensation will be paid to those affected.

Umahi said this at a Press Briefing/Stakeholders Meeting on Lagos-Coastal Highway Projects, at Eko Hotel, on Thursday in Lagos.

The Minister said that the Compensation Process, which would be based on Government-Approved Rates, would ensure payment of a standard, non-negotiable amount.

“By next week Wednesday, we will know how much Compensation will be paid, and it will be paid according to the Rate gazetted by the Federal Government.

“ From Wednesday, I will appoint a Committee that is going to review the Remuneration to be sure that what is on paper is what is on ground.

“So, we are going to call People as much as possible, starting from Monday, to come and know if this is your Property, this is how much you are getting and so on and so forth,’’ he said.

Umahi said that a One-on-One Engagement Process would take place over 30 days to verify Property Ownership and Claims.

“So, we will try to fast track it because the One-on- One Engagement is going to be for 30 days, and I said that you will all be paid within the 30 days; the moment you are verified and you sign, you are going to get your money in 30 days,” he said.

The Minister pledged his commitment to upholding the Nigerian Constitution, which guarantees fair Compensation.

He said, “I swore to uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that Constitution has not changed; so whatever the Constitution says in terms of Rate is what we have to pay.’’

The Interstate Highway is proposed to traverse about nine States along the Coastal Shoreline of the Country.

The 750km Highway, handled by Hitech Construction Africa Limited, will start from Lagos and terminate in Cross River, with a spur to the North Central Part of Nigeria.

 

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10-Apr-2024 Tinubu to fix Borno Power Supply problem soon, says Shettima

Tinubu to fix Borno Power Supply problem soon, says Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has reiterated the determination of President Bola Tinubu Administration to address Power deficit in Maiduguri, Borno.

Shettima gave the assurance in Maiduguri on Tuesday when he hosted Members of the Borno Elders Forum, All Progressives Congress and other Stakeholders to Ramadan Iftar (Breaking of Fast).

He also emphasised the commitment of the Federal Government to boosting Nigeria’s Infrastructural Needs.

According to him, President Tinubu has his eyes on the basic needs and requirements of the Nation.

Shettima, therefore, called for continued support for the Tinubu Administration by all Nigerians.

The Vice-President said the Government’s Policies would be immensely beneficial to all and sundry in no distant time.

He specifically cited the Power Supply challenge in Maiduguri and some parts of Borno as having caught the President’s attention.

”The directive issued by President Tinubu is for the situation to be immediately addressed.

”We owe it to this President to be loyal and Law-abiding Citizens; He has a total grasp of the situation, challenges and, indeed, the prospects we have as a Nation.

”A careful look at our Nation’s Economy will show a gradual bouncing back on most frontiers.

“This is a testament that, indeed, our Investment of our Votes and trust in this Leader will pay off at the end of the road.

”So, let us continue to pray for him, commit ourselves to peace, unity and development of the Nigerian Nation and we shall definitely be the winners for it,” he said.

The Chairman, Borno Elders Forum, Gambo Gubio, thanked the Vice President for the Invitation, expressing deep belief and trust in the Capacities of both the President and his Vice.

The Secretary of the group, Bulama Mali-Gubio, who acknowledged the commitment of the Tinubu Administration to the Nigerian Project, said the President deserved support from all Nigerians.

Some of the Guests at the Event were, Senator representing Borno Central, Kaka Lawan; Member representing Maiduguri Federal Constituency, Abdulkadir Rahis, Umar Kyari, and Ibrahim Umar.

 

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09-Apr-2024 Supporters of Lagos Council Boss stage counter Protest, say 'he did not steal N1.9bn'

Supporters of Lagos Council Boss stage counter Protest, say 'he did not steal N1.9bn'

Some Residents of  Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area(LCDA) on Monday staged a protest at  the Lagos State House of Assembly Complex against what they called false allegation of Funds misappropriation levelled against the Council Chairman, John Ogundare.

The Protesters, numbering about 1000, carried Placards with inscriptions dismissing the alleged N1.9bn  misappropriation.

The Protesters, who also chanted songs in support of the Chairman, were received by some Lawmakers.

A different Group of Residents had on Thursday staged a  Protest at the same Complex, demanding the suspension of Ogundare over the allegation.

Segun Williams, who led the earlier Protest, said the Council Chairman had been indicted by an Investigative Report of the Local Government’s Legislative Council, and urged Members of the State House of Assembly to act swiftly on the Matter.

Olusoji Fagbuda ,who led the Protest on Monday, described the N1.9bn misappropriation allegation against the Council Chairman as unfounded.

He said those who staged the earlier Protest, demanding the suspension of the Council Chairman, were blackmailers and that they were not known in the Council Area.

“We do not know these People who came on Thursday to protest. I am a Resident and APC Member, so I can say that these People are not known in our Area.

“The Protesters are hungry People who just want to survive. The allegation against our hardworking Chairman is unfounded, it is baseless.

“Those who allege should be able to prove, even the Councillors and Supervisors have told us that every allegation against the Chairman has been settled. So, the allegation is baseless,” he said.

Also speaking, Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC) in  Eti-Osa East LCDA, Adekunle Odunuga, said they staged the Protest to dismiss the misappropriation allegation against the Council Chairman and to clear his name.

“We are here this morning to counter a Protest staged last Thursday to blackmail our Chairman.

“I am here with my People and Party Chairmen from various Wards are here with me. The Women Leaders from various Wards are here too. The Ndigbos, the Hausas, the Traders, Executives of  CDAs are all here with us. We are here to support our Chairman.

“We do not know the Protesters in the Council Area, they are not Residents of Eti-Osa East. So, we are here to counter their Protest because their allegation against the Chairman is unfounded.

“If they want to get details on how things are being done at the Council, they should have come to the Council instead of staging a Protest in order to damage the image of the Chairman,” he said.

Receiving the Protesters, Desmond Elliot, Lawmaker representing Surulere Constituency I, assured the Protesters that the Matter would be deliberated  by the House.

Elliot said the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa  and other Principal Officers, would advise accordingly.

“We have accepted what you have said and it will be taken in for further Investigation by the House.

“We have listened to all Parties present here and I believed last week, there was a Group that came here too. The Group met my Colleagues here and they addressed the Protesters.

“Today, you have also come to counter their Protest and we have listened and we will take your Protest and your Petition to the House.

“By the grace of God, when the next Plenary is called, we will raise it at the Floor of the House and it will be duly deliberated,” he said.

The Lawmaker appealed to the the Protesters to be peaceful and not do anything that could create tension in Eti-Osa.  

 

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09-Apr-2024 EFCC recovers N30bn from Edu's probe, investigates 50 Bank Accounts

EFCC recovers N30bn from Edu's probe, investigates 50 Bank Accounts

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has so far recovered N30bn in the ongoing probe of Suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.

The Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said this in the March Edition of the Commission’s Monthly E-Magazine, EFCC Alert, released on Monday.

Olukoyede said the Commission had also placed 50 Bank Accounts under Investigation over alleged Fraud that involved Halima Shehu, suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the  National Social Investment Programme Authority (NSIPA).

President Bola Tinubu had in January,  suspended both Edu and Shehu over alleged payment of N585m Humanitarian Funds meant for Vulnerable Groups in Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Cross River and Ogun States into a Private Account.

The President also suspended Social Investment Programme and, thereafter, asked the EFCC to take over the case and probe both embattled Officials,  including anyone involved.

Olukoyede said the Anti-Graft Agency was making progress on the Investigation, emphasising the magnitude of the Case and the need for Nigerians to exercise patience.

“With respect to this particular Case, we have recovered over N30bn, which is already in the Coffers of the Federal Government. It takes time to conclude Investigations; we started this Matter less than six weeks ago,” he said.

According to him, there are Cases that take years to investigate. There are so many angles to it. And we need to follow through with some of the discoveries that we have seen.

“Nigerians should give us time on this Matter; we have Professionals on this Case and they need to do things right. There are so many leads here and there.”

According to him, as it is now, the Commission is investigating over 50 Bank Accounts that we have traced money to.

“That is no child’s play. That’s a big deal. And again, we have thousands of other Cases that we are working on.

“Nigerians have seen the impact of what we have done so far by way of some People being placed on suspension and by way of the recoveries that we have made. You have seen that the Programme itself has been suspended,” he said.

He said  the Commission was exploring so many discoveries that it had stumbled upon in its Investigation.

“If it is about seeing People in jail, well let them wait, everything has a process to follow.

“So, Nigerians should wait and give us the benefit of the doubt,” Olukoyede stated.

 

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06-Apr-2024 Nobody can steal LG Funds under my watch, says Abia Governor

Nobody can steal LG Funds under my watch, says Abia Governor

Governor Alex Otti of Abia, has said that Local Government (LG) Funds cannot be hijacked under his watch.

 

Otti said this on Friday during the monthly Media Parley at Government House, Umuahia.

 

The Governor said that he was intentional about ensuring that Funds meant for the Local Governments would be utilised to facilitate balanced Socio-Economic Growth in Abia.

 

He said: “Local Government Funds cannot be hijacked under my watch and if you see what is happening in the Local Governments, you will know that the Funds are working.

 

“So anybody who says Funds have been hijacked needs to tell us who hijacked the Funds and we can now begin to pursue the Hijackers, but to the best of my knowledge, it is impossible to hijack Funds under my watch.”

 

Otti also said that the State Government had developed a robust Strategy to reposition Education in Abia.

 

“We have looked at the Curricula, Teaching Staff, the Infrastructures and we are in the process of enumerating the Civil Servants we can redeploy to the Schools,” he added.

 

Otti said that Government was making concerted efforts to make the Teaching Profession very attractive.

 

He also said that Government had commenced its Retrofitting Programme in 171 Primary Schools and 54 Secondary Schools to upgrade the Selected Schools to be of high quality Standard.

 

“We have what we call the Minimum Standard, if you get into a Primary School that we have touched you will understand.

 

“There are Facilities that must be there in the Schools like Libraries, Laboratories, Students Hostels, and Principals’ Quarters among others,” Otti said.

 

He further said that his Administration has been able to cut down the Cost of Governance by ensuring that only absolutely necessary Expenditures were undertaken by the Government.

 

Otti said: “it’s tough but we have to do it, we have been managing our Expenditures in such a way that we are able to live within our means as much as possible.”

According to him, as at the time his Predecessor took over, the State was owing N34.5m and as at the time he took over, the Debts had reached over N192.2m.

 

He expressed dismay over the fact that these Funds could not be accounted for.

 

Otti said that some of the Debts had  already been paid off, because they were Commercial Bank Overdrafts at very high Interest Rates.

 

He said that since he became Governor, he had always ensured that Security Vote was judiciously utilised in enhancing Security in Abia.

 

Otti added that Security remains top priority in the State Government’s Agenda because of its Role in Development. 

06-Apr-2024 FG: Electricity Subsidy 'only for a short while'

FG: Electricity Subsidy 'only for a short while'

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, says the Federal Government will continue to subsidise Electricity for Nigerians to guarantee stable and reliable supply.
 
Adelabu said this at the Ministerial Press Briefing Series organised by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation on Friday in Abuja.
 
He said that the recent increase in Tariff affected only a small  percentage  of the Country’s  Population, adding that majority of  Nigerians would continue to enjoy Government’s  Subsidy.
 
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had announced an increase in Electricity Tariff paid by Band A Customers from N68/KWh to N225KWh.

Band A  Customers are those who enjoy Electricity Supply for 20 hours per day.

‘”From the latest Statistics, we have about 12 million Customers in the Sector and this (Tariff increase)will only affect  about 1.5 million Customers.
 
 ”The remaining 10.5 million Customers will continue to enjoy Government’s Subsidy which is almost 70 per cent  of the Population
 
”This review is in conformity with our Policy thrust of maintaining a subsidised Pricing Regime in the short run or in the short term with a Transition Plan to achieving a full Cost Reflective Tariff for the Sector over a period of three years,” he said.
 
The Minister said that before the Tariff increase, Government was subsidising the Cost of producing and transmitting Electricity in the Country by more than 50 per cent.
 
 Adelabu said the Government decided not to migrate to a Cost Reflective Tariff or remove Subsidy 100 per cent because it was sensitive to the pains being experienced by Nigerians presently.
 
He said removal of Subsidy would be a journey rather than destination and that it would be a gradual migration from Subsidy Regime to a full Cost Reflective Tariff Regime.
 
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06-Apr-2024 Abuse of Office: Fresh trouble for Emefiele as EFCC arraigns former CBN Governor in Court

Abuse of Office: Fresh trouble for Emefiele as EFCC arraigns former CBN Governor in Court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will on Monday (April 8) arraign the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Special Offences Court, for alleged Abuse of Office.

Emefiele will be arraigned alongside one Henry Omoile before Oshodi on a 26-Count bordering on  Abuse of Office, accepting Gratification, accepting Gifts through Agents, Corruption, and Fraudulent Property Receipt.

The former CBN Governor was also alleged of conferring corrupt advantage on his Associates contrary to the Corrupt Practices Act of 2000.

The Charge Sheet, marked ID/23787c/2024, was dated April 3 and was filed by Rotimi Oyedepo.
One of the Counts stated that Emefiele allegedly committed Abuse of Office between 2022 and 2023, in Lagos, an offence punishable under Section 73 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

Another Count alleged that Emefiele directed to be done in Abuse of the Authority of his Office, as the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, an arbitrary act, to wit: allocating Foreign Exchange in the aggregate sum of $2.2bn without bids.

Also, it was alleged that Emefiele abused the Authority of his Office  by allocating Foreign Exchange in the aggregate sum of $291m without bids, which act was prejudicial to the Rights of Nigerians.

Emefiele’s Co-Defendant was alleged to have acted as an Agent and accepted from Raja Punjab through Monday Osazuwa, the total sum of $110,000, for the ex-CBN Governor as a reward for allocating Foreign Exchange by the Central Bank in favour of Raja Punjab’s Employer.

 

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06-Apr-2024 FG expresses commitment to transparency in Public Communication

FG expresses commitment to transparency in Public Communication

The Federal Government has restated commitment to transparency in Public Communication as a deliberate Policy to build trust between Government and its Citizens.
 
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris re-emphasised this during his Opening Remark at the Fourth Ministerial Briefing Session on Friday in Abuja
 
He said the Vision for his Ministry include; restore Public Trust in Public Communications and amplify Policies and Programmes of the Federal Government, as well as inspire Nigerian Narratives.
 
Idris said the Ministry will place emphasis on National Values, deepen the Social Contract between Government and Citizens, modernise Technology and Talent in the Federal Government’s Information and Communications Systems.
 
He assured that the Government would create an Enabling Operating Environment for the Media in Nigeria, through favorable Policies and Incentives.
 
“We understand that transparency is not just a Principle to be upheld but a Foundation for Good Governance.
 
“Therefore, we are committed to ensuring that our Communication Channels remain open, accessible, and informative.
 
“We strive to provide accurate, timely, and relevant Information to the Public on Matters of Governance, Policy, and Programme,” he said.
 
The Minister said the Administration had recorded some salient achievements in the Economy through the implementation of some Macroeconomic Reforms.
 
“Our Foreign Exchange Market has stabilised and our beloved Naira is getting stronger daily,” Idris said.
 
He said the recent establishment of the Presidential Economic Coordination Council and the Economic Management Team Emergency Task Force underscored President Bola Tinubu‘s commitment to fostering a unified strategy for Economic Management.
 
He said the establishment of the Teams would leverage on the expertise and insights of key Stakeholders from both the Public and Private Sectors.
 
According to him, the Teams would serve as platforms for robust discussions, analysis, and decision-making to drive Sustainable Economic Growth, Job creation, and prosperity for all Nigerians.
 
“The Launch of the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund aims to raise about N20trn for Investment in critical Sectors such as the Real Sector of the Economy, Transport, Social Services, Agriculture, and ICT among others.
 
“The Fund seeks to support Projects that promote growth, enhance Local Value-Addition, create Employment Opportunities, and promote Exports.
 
“The Projects to be targeted by the Fund include the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, which kick-started recently.
 
“Others are, the Sokoto-Badagry Expressway, Lagos-Kano Expressway, the Eastern Rail Lines and the modernisation of Ports and Aviation Facilities across the Country,” Idris said.
 
He said, the Progressive Policy in the Power Sector and many other review were strategic steps toward a more sustainable, efficient, and equitable Electricity Sector.
 
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05-Apr-2024 Residents want Lagos Council Boss out of Office for 'stealing N1.9bn'

Residents want Lagos Council Boss out of Office for 'stealing N1.9bn'

Residents  of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area (LCDA) on Thursday staged a protest at the Lagos State House of Assembly Complex over alleged misappropriation of N1.9bn by John Ogundare, the Council Chairman.

The Protesters, numbering about 500, carried Placards with various inscriptions, calling for the suspension of the Council Chairman.

Segun Williams, who led the Protest, urged Members of the State House of Assembly to act urgently on the Matter.

Williams said Ogundare had been indicted by an Investigative Report of the Local Government’s  Legislative Council, adding he did not  deserve to remain in Office.

“Therefore we are seeking  his suspension pending the conclusion of the Matter before your noble chamber(Lagos House of Assembly).

“The allegations are contained in a Report dated December 19, 2023, sent to the Chairman since last year.

“In the Report, signed by the Leader and Majority Leader of Eti-Osa East LCDA, the Chairman was indicted for diverting funds earmarked for critical Sectors, including Health and Education.

“Among the allegations are failure to pay Running Costs to various Departments of the Council based on the 2023 Budget; neglecting Balance Payments to past Political Office Holders against Governmental advice;

“He was also indicted for unauthorised Project Execution and Contract Awards without Legislative Approval, non-adherence to the 2023 Budget for Schools and Primary Health Centres’ Construction/Renovation.

“Also failure to comply with Legislative requests for Income and Expenditure Records. He has perpetually approved Contracts above his limit of N35m,” he said.

Williams alleged that the Chairman had ignored the invitation of the State Assembly on  March 25 and April 3, and had been bragging that he had enough Funds to influence the State’s Lawmakers.

He said the Assembly needed to act and “clear itself from this mess.”

Receiving the Protesters, Adebola Sabi, representing Lagos Mainland II, said the Assembly under the Leadership of Mudashiru Obasa, would see to the Matter.

Sabi thanked the Residents  for their peaceful demonstration.

“I am saying it categorically that, on behalf of the Speaker, you will get justice.

“We are here for the People of Lagos State and we will give you justice. We will deliver your message to the Speaker and I am aware that the Chairman was invited because I was part of the Ad hoc Committee that was to investigate him.

“You voted us to come here to serve you and we are going to serve you well. So, please go back home peacefully and don’t allow anybody to torment you,” he said.

Other Lawmakers that received the Protesters include Abiodun Orekoya (Shomolu I), and Bonu Solomon (Lagos Mainland I.)

 

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05-Apr-2024 Tinubu to GAVI: No Child will be left behind when it comes to Vaccination against preventable Diseases

Tinubu to GAVI: No Child will be left behind when it comes to Vaccination against preventable Diseases

President Bola Tinubu has called on Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to collaborate with potential Nigerian Vaccine Manufacturers to ensure equitable access to life-saving Vaccines for Children and Adults.

Tinubu made the call at a Meeting with a Delegation of GAVI led by its Chief Executive Officer, Sania Nishtar, at the State House, on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the Partnership on Local Vaccine Production had become necessary owing to the challenges faced by Developing Countries, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic and other Infectious Disease outbreaks.

‘’We have capable and talented People who can make the necessary contributions to the Production of Vaccines in Nigeria and the rest of Africa,’’ the President said.

The President assured the GAVI Delegation of Nigeria’s commitment to fulfilling its outstanding Counterpart Contributions for routine Vaccines for the year 2023.

He directed the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammad Pate, to work with the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, to ensure the release of necessary Funds for Vaccine procurement.

‘’We intend to contribute to the Development of our Healthcare Programme, and we are committed to partnering with GAVI,’’ the President said.

Tinubu stated that his Administration was focused on ensuring that no Child is left behind when it comes to Vaccination against preventable Childhood Diseases.

‘’GAVI’s commitment to Humanity is recognised throughout the World. Thank you for the impactful commitment to Humanity, and we welcome the Collaboration to save our Children from preventable Diseases.

‘’We as a Nation are committed to your Values, and we believe that no Child should be left unprotected,’’ he said.

Tinubu acknowledged the invaluable perspective shared by the GAVI CEO and emphasised the importance of leveraging her experience for the benefit of Children’s Health.

He also commended Nishtar for her visit and support for the Administration’s Health-Sector Initiatives.

The President, who pledged to prioritise Investments in Health Sector Renewal, noted the importance of Coordination and Collaboration among Federal, State, and Local Governments.

In her Remarks, the GAVI CEO congratulated the Nigerian Government on its innovative Health-Sector Initiatives, including increasing Budgetary Allocations to Health to 4.6 per cent and commitment to providing HPV Vaccines for Adolescent Girls, among others.

She expressed readiness to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to leverage Policy Instruments and Technical Expertise to advance Health outcomes.

Nishtar announced GAVI’s commitment to providing $250m Grant support to Nigeria, as well as its dedication to addressing Vaccine inequity in Africa through Initiatives like the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator.

She said that for the Initiative, it had earmarked $1bn to support the sustainable growth of Africa’s Manufacturing Base for Vaccine Production.

‘’Nigeria is a very Special Country. It is a very Special Country in Africa. It is a Special Country in the World and it is a very Special Country for us in GAVI.

“There is a dictum in GAVI that says, ‘there is no success for GAVI without success in Nigeria’,’’ she said.

The GAVI CEO also informed the President that the GAVI Board would be meeting in the coming weeks to decide on Policy Decisions to impact the way Nigeria receives support from the Organisation, beyond 2028.

She added that her visit to the Country was for discussions with Nigeria’s Health Managers.

 

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04-Apr-2024 Tinubu pens Students Loan Bill into a Law

Tinubu pens Students Loan Bill into a Law

President Bola Tinubu has signed the Students Loan Bill into Law on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Students Loan is part of the implementation of the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023.

The Act,  popularly known as the Students Loan Bill seeks to provide Loans for Indigent Nigerian Students to pay Fees in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions.

At the signing, Tinubu commended the efforts of the Members of the National Assembly for the expeditious handling of the Bill.

He said that this action showed the Administration’s priority towards encouraging Education among Nigerian Youths as a tool to fighting Poverty.

“We are determined to ensure that Education is given the proper attention necessary for the Country including Skills Development Programmes.

“This is to ensure that no one, no matter how Poor their background, is excluded from quality Education and Opportunity to build their future.

“We are here because we are all educated and we are helped. In the past, we have seen a lot of our Children dropped out of Colleges and given up the Opportunity,” he said.

Tinubu said that the Loan would ensure that the Standard and Control of the Scheme are applied without discrimination against a Nigerian Citizen.

The Act establishes the Nigerian Education Loan Fund which is expected to handle all Loan Requests, Grants, Disbursement and Recovery of the Loans provided.

NELFUND, according to the Act, is to be funded from multiple streams and will engage in other productive activities.

Its Sources of Funding as dictated by the Act include; one per cent of all Profits accruing to the Federal Government from Oil and other Minerals.

It also include one per cent of Taxes, Levies and Duties accruing to the Federal Government from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigerian Customs Service (NCS); Education Bonds and Education Endowment Fund Schemes.

The Loan will also be funded through Donations, Gifts, Grants, Endowment and Revenue accruing to the Fund from any other Source, according to the Act.

 

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01-Apr-2024 EFCC: We're battling 'Mega and Lower Thieves' in our war against Corruption

EFCC: We're battling 'Mega and Lower Thieves' in our war against Corruption

The EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, has pledged to lead a broad-based and holistic Anti-Graft war that would not spare anyone linked with any form of Economic and Financial Crimes.

Dele Oyewale, EFCC Spokesperson, in a Statement issued on Monday quoted Olukoyese as having said this during a Concert in Abuja.

The Anti-Corruption Concert was organised to create awareness and Public involvement in the fight against Internet Crimes.

Olukoyede reaffirmed his commitment to an all-embracing, fully-integrated war against Corrupt Practices.

“We will not spare anyone.  We will not spare the mega thieves.  As we are doing the mega, we will also do those at the lower end.

“In the last two months, we have arraigned  two former Governors.  So, it is not true that we are only focused on Internet Fraudsters.

“Of course, Internet Fraud is bad enough but our focus is on every form of Economic and Financial Crimes”, he said.

He cautioned Youths against indulging in Internet-related offences,  pointing out that the consequences of being convicted for such Crimes are grave.

“Youths need to know that being Ex-Convicts has Career limitations.  Ex-convicts can’t run for Public Offices, the stigma alone is even terrible.

“I urge you to avoid Internet crimes by all means.  Your future is more important than any immediate gains from such crimes,” he said.

Olukoyede said EFCC under his watch was deeply interested in giving Youths a glorious and sustainable future.

To this effect, he said, a Cyber Crime Research Centre was being planned at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Academy.

“The Centre will involve Youths in indepth Research about the Issue of Cybercrime. Their energies will be deployed toward profitable engagements,” he said.

Olukoyede charged the Youth to embrace hard work and diligence,  stressing that the path to success was hard work and dignity.

“There is dignity in Labour. Let’s come together. All of us must come together and agree that Corruption is evil. Don’t’ leave the fight to EFCC alone,” he said.

The Minister of State for Youth Development,  Ayodele Olawande, enjoined Youth across the Country to support the EFCC in its Crusade against Economic and Financial Crimes and other acts of Corruption.

“Nigeria is supposed to have progressed more than this. We will not allow corrupt People to destroy our future, that is why we need to come together and fight this evil in our Society.

“That is why we need to continuously run this Campaign because I am convinced that everyone of us have a part to play, without you, there is little or nothing EFCC can do.

“Let’s show the World that Nigeria's Young People are determined to change the narrative,” he said. 

 

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01-Apr-2024 TCN faults low Gas Supply, vandalism for constant Grid collapse

TCN faults low Gas Supply, vandalism for constant Grid collapse

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)  says  it remains committed to managing the National Grid and ensuring its stability amidst ongoing challenges.
 
The Company, in a Statement signed Ndidi Mbah, General Manager, Public Affairs, in Abuja, identified the challenges to include the persistent low Gas Supply affecting Power Generation into the Nation’s Grid.
 
She said that the Company’s diligent Grid Controllers work tirelessly day and night to balance the Grid and prevent any kind of disturbance amidst challenges.
 
Mbah said the Grid disturbance on March 28 was promptly managed by the Company’s Operators, with Power restoration achieved in some Areas within 21 minutes of the disturbance.
 
”We acknowledge the collaborative efforts of the Federal Government, particularly the Minister of Power, who has been working hard to address the root causes of low Gas Supply.
 
”The Minister held meetings with Generating Companies (GenCos) and Gas Companies (GasCos) to secure a higher Volume of Gas Supply and consistency for enhanced Power Generation.
 
”As efforts to stabilise Gas Supply progress, TCN emphasises the importance of consistent Gas availability to sustain optimal Power Generation.
 
 ”It is a fact that low Power Generation substantially increases Grid fragility,” she said.
 
Mbah said that in addition to Gas Supply challenges, TCN faces various Sector-specific hurdles.
 
“Some impact other Players in the Value Chain, but invariably affect Grid stability,” she explained.
 
She said that vandalism was a persistent challenge, as clearly seen in the First Quarter of 2024 in which five significant  incidents disrupted Transmission Operations, necessitating emergency repairs.
 
”In some cases, we effect complete Tower reconstruction or Transmission Line replacement due to acts of vandalism.
 
”This highlight the critical need for increased Community support and vigilance in protecting Transmission Infrastructure.
 
”TCN urges heightened vigilance for now, particularly in the Zuba Area, following alerts of a planned attack on TCN Facilities in the Area,” she said.
 
She said  that the Company implored Residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities around Power Facilities in the Area.
 
”We urge everyone, especially those living close to TCN Towers Nationwide, to join hands with the Company in safeguarding Power Transmission Towers and Cables,” she said.
 
 
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31-Mar-2024 Benue least developed in the North, Hyenas biting us, says Governor

Benue least developed in the North, Hyenas biting us, says Governor

Benue Governor, Hyacinth Alia says the State is the least developed among the 19 States in the Northern Part of Nigeria.

Governor Alia made the declaration on Friday when he broke Ramadan Fast with Muslin Faithful in Makurdi.

He vowed, however, that the situation must change as his Administration was determined to embark on Developmental Projects that would put Benue in a pride of place among other States in the Country.

“Out of the 19 Northern States, Benue is one of the very least developed. It is just now that we are even installing Solar Street Lights.

“As we started work, Hyenas came out to bite. They are demanding that we should not construct Roads, build Schools, pay Salaries and provide Streets Lights and I am saying: `no’.

“The Poor Masses of Benue voted for me in an unprecedented manner. It is better I work for the Masses.

“Today I invite the Young Generation to go to the Farms. Let us go to the Farm. Join Cooperatives and we will support you. The State Government will give you the Capital to farm.

“Nigeria should not be talking about Food Insecurity. Benue alone can feed Nigeria if crises are stopped and Farmers are able to return to their Farms,’’ he said.

He admonished Nigerians to unite to be able to confront common Enemies like Bandits, Kidnappers and Corruption among others.

The Governor stressed that Nigerians needed unity in diversity to make meaningful progress in the Comity of Nations.

“We are all one. And this is why we have Inter-Marriages. My Sister is married to one of you (Muslims) and I find a lot of love in her Home.

“All our Holy Books speak about peace and love. Why do we create divisions and hatred?

“The one who created us all desire that we are peaceful and love one another,’’ he said.

Alia also enjoined Nigerians to change their perception about Government; about themselves and about Religion, stressing that none of the Holy Books talked about picking tents against one another.

“We were living together peacefully for decades until the bad Guys, Bandits and Gunmen came killing us.

“They are not our Friends. They don’t want peace. They are against us and we must unite to stop them.

“We are the ones to prevent Insecurity. The Police and Military can only help us to succeed. So no bad egg should hide under our good shield to cause us harm,’’ he said.

He noted that President Bola Tinubu meant well for Nigeria and especially for Benue and needed the collective support of the People to succeed.

“Pray for President Tinubu. He means well for Nigeria and for Benue,’’ Alia admonished.

Earlier in his Sermon, the Chief Imam of Benue, Umar Garba said the Muslim Community in the State was at peace with the Benue Development Agenda.

Garba, a member, Benue Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy said any Society that God desired to bless, He would first bless with a God-fearing Leader.

“We ask God to bless Governor Alia and bless Benue People. Any Society that God wants to bless, He usually blesses it with a God-fearing Leader.

“God did not make a mistake by making Alia the Governor of Benue,’’ he stressed.

 

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31-Mar-2024 FG approves N25bn for Healthcare Infrastructure in States

FG approves N25bn for Healthcare Infrastructure in States

The Federal Government has approved the disbursement of N25bn through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) to bolster Healthcare Infrastructure in States.

Muhammed Pate, the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, made this known on Saturday in Abuja at the sixth Meeting of the BHCPF Ministerial Oversight Committee.

Pate said that the Funds were designated for Direct Facility Financing and Workforce Incentives across States.

The Minister said that the Initiative was in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Agenda and commitment to improving Healthcare outcomes for Nigerian Women, Children, and Vulnerable Populations. 

He said that the disbursement would be facilitated through gateways including the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).

“This substantial Investment underscores our dedication to enhancing Healthcare Infrastructure and supporting our Healthcare Workforce.

“In addition to Direct Facility Financing and Workforce Incentives, a portion of the Funds will be allocated by the NHIA to provide Financial protection for the Poorest and Most Vulnerable Populations, further ensuring equitable access to Healthcare Services,” he added. 

The Minister announced the establishment of a dedicated Reporting Mechanism for Citizens to report any misuse or deviation from Guidelines regarding the disbursement of the Funds. 

“An Email Address and Reporting Line will be made available, enabling Citizens to actively participate in monitoring Fund Implementation.

“We are committed to ensuring that Healthcare Resources are utilised effectively and transparently. 

“Regular monitoring and oversight will be conducted to uphold the Fiduciary Integrity of Healthcare Systems, ensuring that Nigerians benefit from these Resources,” Pate said. 

Oyebanji Filani, who spoke on behalf of Commissioners for Health and Human Services, pledged that all the States would prioritise the quality of care provided Nigerians even after leaving Hospital. 

Filani highlighted their Plan to strengthen Public Health Units and ensure Frontline Health Workers and Civil Servants receive necessary support.

“We are committed to ensuring that every Nigerian has access to good quality Healthcare Services. 

“By bolstering Resources at the State Level and fostering stronger Collaboration with the Federal Government, we aim to significantly improve the quality of Healthcare Services in the near future,” he added. 

He expressed optimism about the potential impact of these efforts.

“With a focus on enhancing Healthcare Delivery Nationwide, Stakeholders anticipate tangible improvements in Health Services across the Country,” Filani said. 

In his comment, Muyi Aina, the Executive Director, NPHCDA, announced series of Initiatives aimed at ensuring accountability and enhancing Service Delivery. 

Muyi emphasised the importance of transparency in Expenditure and announced the establishment of a dedicated Call Line for Whistleblowers to report any discrepancies or malpractices observed in the field.

He said that the Government would leverage Software Technology to track Expenditure at the Facility Level, and ensure Funds allocated are utilised appropriately. 

“Our goal is to ensure that every Nigerian has access to the basic Services they need,” he said.   

Kelechi Ohiri, Director-General of NHIA,  underscored the importance of ensuring Financial access to Healthcare for all Nigerians by reducing out-of-pocket payments for Healthcare Services.

 

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30-Mar-2024 Contractor's failure to meet deadline forces postponement of Port Harcourt-Aba Train Service

Contractor's failure to meet deadline forces postponement of Port Harcourt-Aba Train Service

The Federal Government has postponed the Launch of the Port Harcourt-Aba Train Service to April from the initially planned start date at the end of March.

The Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali, disclosed this to Journalists after inspecting the reconstructed Railway Tracks in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Alkali expressed disappointment over the delay and stressed that the Contractor had given assurances of the Project completion in April.

“This is my second time Visit to Port Harcourt to inspect the progress of the (Port Harcourt-Aba) Railway Line since assuming Office as the Minister of Transportation.

“The Contractor initially committed to a March start date, but during Track Inspections, they made some observations necessitating the extension of the start date to April.

“The Contractor has now committed to an April Launch for the Port Harcourt to Aba Railway Services,” he said.

Alkali said that measures were also being taken to connect both Port Harcourt and Onne Seaports to the Port Harcourt to Aba Rail Track.

“We are not satisfied over the failure of the Contractor to deliver the Work on the agreed deadline.

“The Contractor promised delivery of the Project by March, but if they can deliver it in April, then I think that we can manage that.

“We started with the 15 per cent Component in fixing the Port Harcourt to Aba Rail Section, but we now, focussing on linking the Line to Port Harcourt and Onne Ports,” he explained.

The Minister assured of President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to completing all ongoing Projects across the Country.

Regarding the Calabar-Enugu-Abuja Gauge Rail Line awarded by the previous Administration, Alkali mentioned ongoing efforts to finalise Project Financing.

“We are currently making all arrangements for the Finances, and as soon as the Finance is ready, the Project will commence.

“We are dedicated to delivering all Projects in all Parts of the Country,” he affirmed.

Alkali noted that Work on the Ibadan to Abuja Standard Gauge Rail Line was progressing, urging Public patience and support for successful Project Delivery. 

 

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30-Mar-2024 Killing of 17 Military Men: Police hand over wanted Delta Monarch to Military

Killing of 17 Military Men: Police hand over wanted Delta Monarch to Military

The Police Command in Delta has handed over Clement Ikolo, the Traditional Ruler of Ewu kingdom in Ugheli South Local Government Area of the State to the Military Authority.
 
The Spokesperson of the Command, Bright Edafe, confirmed the development to Journalists on Friday through a terse message in Warri.
 
The embattled Royal Father, who had surrendered himself to the Police Command on Thursday in Asaba, was consequently handed over to the Military Authority on Friday.
 
King Ikolo was among the eight Persons declared wanted by the Military Authority over the alleged recent killing of the 17 Soldiers in Okuama Community in Ughelli South.
 
The Soldiers were allegedly ambushed and slain on March 14, 2024 while on a Peace Keeping Mission to Okuama Community.
 
Also declared wanted alongside the Royal Father were the President- General of Ewu, Arthur Ekpekpo, Andaowei Bakriri, Akevwru Omotegbono, Akata David, Sinclear Oghenerukevwe, Reuben Baru and Igoli Ebi.
 
The Ewu Traditional Ruler had earlier on Thursday before surrendering himself to the Police, claimed his innocence in the incident.
 
He expressed shock that his name as the king of the Ewu Kingdom would appear on the List of Wanted Persons.
 
“I have no hand in the killings, I have no hand in encouraging anybody to kill anybody, it is against my Philosophy as a Human Being and my Faith as a Catholic.
 
“It is a serious Crime against Humanity and they need to look at the appropriate places and do thorough Investigation to know all those who have committed this Crime and bring them to book.
 
“I am not a party to this and I have said earlier, the State Government is aware of the turbulence I have been going through.
 
“As I speak, an arrangement was made by the Government to invite those who are fighting me in the Kingdom to reconcile the differences before this recent happenings.
 
“I barely know anything right now, I have no Information, I know nothing, I am only just in the process of setting up a Structure to enable me rule in the Kingdom,” Ikolo said.
 
 
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29-Mar-2024 Stop cursing Nigeria, Tinubu warns Religious Leaders

Stop cursing Nigeria, Tinubu warns Religious Leaders

President Bola Tinubu has called on Religious Leaders to refrain from vilifying or denigrating the Nation in their Sermons.

Tinubu said this during Ramadan Iftar with Traditional Rulers and Religious Leaders at the State House on Thursday in Abuja.

The President stressed the significant Role of Religious Leaders in shaping Public Opinion and fostering a sense of unity among Citizens.

He urged the Leaders to be more constructive in their criticism of those in elective Positions, adding that his Administration was determined to turn Nigeria’s challenges into prosperity.

He urged Traditional and Religious Leaders to forge a strong bond with the Government to defeat Terrorism, Banditry, Kidnapping, and other forms of Criminality in the Country.

‘’The love of the Nation is in your hands. Pray for our Country. Educate our Children. The Sermons we preach to the Members of our Churches and Mosques are important.

‘’Do not condemn your own Nation. As a Yoruba man and as our Fathers will say, ‘no matter how slippery the bottom of your Child is, you must leave the beads there.’

‘’Leave the beads there. This is your Country; do not condemn it in Sermons, do not abuse the Nation. Leadership is meant for changes.

‘’Yes, this Leader is bad, fine. Wait until the next Election to change him, but do not condemn your Country. Do not curse Nigeria. This is a beautiful Land.”

The President, who acknowledged the Birthday wishes and goodwill extended to him on the Occasion, reminded the Leaders that his Birthday on March 29 coincided with Good Friday.

‘’I have earned the honour of having my Birthday fall on Good Friday, and I pray that on this Maundy Thursday, you all shall return to your Homes safely.

“May God guide and keep you and your Families in good health, and lift your spirits,’’ the President said.

Also speaking, Vice-President Kashim Shettima emphasised the pivotal Roles of Religious and Traditional Rulers in promoting peace and unity, urging them to continue to ‘‘build bridges that transcend Ethnic and Religious divides.’’

The Vice-President expressed delight that the Nation’s Economy is on a rebound, noting the strengthening of the Naira against the Dollar.

‘’The President means well for the Nation, and he has continued to redefine the meaning and concept of Modern Leadership.

‘’For many years, Fuel Subsidy was an albatross. The President took a bold decision from day one, and he hit the ground running. Now the Economy is turning the corner,” the Vice-President said.

Speaking on behalf of the Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, assured the President of the unwavering support of Traditional Rulers.

Ogunwusi commended the Government’s efforts to address the hike in Food Prices and the Security challenges.

‘’You are not alone, Mr. President. The Prices of Food Items and Goods are gradually coming down.

“You are doing your best on Security, and we cannot allow you to do it alone. We will join hands to support your Vision to the betterment of our Nation,’’ the Ooni said.

Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, the Emir of Zazzau, speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), highlighted the significance of Ramadan as a period of reflection, empathy, and unity.

On the Security situation in the country, Bamalli, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto and President General, NSCIA, expressed optimism that the Country would return to peace and stability.

‘’I am happy to see Representatives of Muslim and Christian Communities in this Room. I pray God Almighty blesses the President for him to do more to take the Country to the Promised Land,’’ the Emir said.

Samson Fatokun, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), noted that the Ramadan Dinner with Religious and Traditional Leaders, coincided with Maundy Thursday.

It is the Thursday before Easter, observed in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s Institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

Fatokun, who delivered the Address of CAN President, Daniel Okoh, commended Tinubu for fostering a harmonious Relationship between the State and the Church.

‘’We are encouraged that your Administration has shown great determination in tackling the challenges of Kidnapping and Banditry and bringing to justice the Perpetrators of this dastardly act.

‘’We shall continue to show our support to your Administration so that you can execute your noble intention for the Nation,’’ he said.

 

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28-Mar-2024 Tinubu: We'll find those who killed our patriotic, brave, gallant 'Officers and Men'

Tinubu: We'll find those who killed our patriotic, brave, gallant 'Officers and Men'

President Bola Tinubu has described the 17 Officers and Soldiers killed in Okuama on March 14 as patriotic, brave and gallant Nigerians.

He said that the Deceased gave their lives to defend and protect the Nation against internal and external threats.

At the Burial Ceremony of the Officers and Soldiers on Wednesday in Abuja, Tinubu said that their death serves as a rallying point for Nigerians to condemn Crime and Criminality.

“They went as Peace Makers and Peace Keepers, seeking to bring an end to the hostilities between the two Communities.

“They didn’t go with Tanks, Machine Guns and other Weapons. They were on a Mission of Peace.

“The Officers and Soldiers who lost their lives that day were Patriots, Brave and Noble Men who gave their lives to defend and protect our Nation against internal and external threats,” he said.

The 17 Military Personnel killed include Lt.-Col. Ali, Maj. D.E Obi, Maj. S.D. Ashafa, Capt. U. Zakari, Staff Sgt. Yahaya Saidu, Corporal Danbaba Yahaya, Corporal Kabir Bashir, Lance Corporal Abdullahi Ibrahim, Lance Corporal Bulus Haruna, Lance Corporal Sole Opeyemi, and Lance Corporal Bello Anas.

The rest are Private Alhaji Isah, Private Clement Francis, Private Abubakar Ali, Private Adamu Ibrahim, Private Hamman Peter, and Private Ibrahim Adamu.

Tinubu said that the Deceased have all been awarded Posthumous National Honours.

“The four gallant Officers have been awarded Member of the Order of Niger (MON). And the 13 courageous Soldiers who also lost their lives have been Awarded Federal Republic Medals.

“As Commander-In-Chief, I do not take the contributions of Members of our Armed Forces for granted. I recognise your valour and bravery.

“I honour your unflinching commitment to making our Country safe from Criminals, Bandits, Kidnappers and Insurrectionists.”

The President urged the Officers and Men of the Military not to be deterred by this setbacks and be prepared to continue to work for peace and harmony.

Tinubu also called on Nigerians to rededicate themselves to rebuilding Communities and making them places where love, tolerance and harmony reigns.

“Leaders at all levels, especially Community Leaders and Traditional Rulers, must work to strengthen the bonds that unite us. We must end the cycle of violence and bloodletting.

“I want to make it clear, once more, that those who committed this heinous crime will not go unpunished. We will find them and our departed Heroes will get justice.

“The Elders and Chiefs of Okuoma also have a duty to help the Military in fishing out the Gunmen who committed the barbaric Crime against our Men.”

The President commended the Armed Forces for their restraint in choosing not to carry out any reprisal attacks in Okuoma or its Neighbouring Communities.

“We must all ensure that the innocent People of Okuoma are not made to bear the punishment of the guilty and wicked among them.”

He said that Government would provide a House in any part of the Country to each of the Families of the four Officers and 13 Soldiers.

Tinubu added that all the Children of the Deceased would enjoy a Federal Government Scholarships up to  University level.

The President also directed the Military to within the next 90 days, ensure that all the Benefits of the Departed are paid to their Families.

 

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27-Mar-2024 Kidnappers are Terrorists, Cowards, Tinubu talks tough

Kidnappers are Terrorists, Cowards, Tinubu talks tough

President Bola Tinubu says Individuals involved in Kidnapping of innocent Citizens must be treated as Terrorists.

Tinubu, at a Ramadan Dinner with Members of the Federal Judiciary, also condemned the reprehensible acts perpetrated by Kidnappers across the Country

Hosting the Judicial Officers, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, the President reiterated Government’s resolve to defeat Banditry.

The Dinner was attended by Serving and Retired Judicial Officers, including two former CJNs, Justice Mahmud Mohammed and Justice Walter Onnoghen.

He said that those who resorted to kidnapping Children are Cowards, incapable of confronting the might of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

‘’We must treat Kidnappers as Terrorists. They are cowardly. They have been degraded. They look for soft targets. They go to Schools and kidnap Children and cause disaffection.

“We must treat them equally as Terrorists in order to get rid of them, and I promise you we will get rid of them,’’ the President said.

On the review of Salaries of Judicial Officers, Tinubu pledged that his Administration would continue to implement necessary Reforms to improve the Welfare and Working Conditions of Judicial Officers.

‘’I recognise that the Judiciary has one of the most unrewarded Responsibilities. They are yet to modernise Equipment and Recordkeeping, and their progress towards improvement is slow.

‘’When you look at the Career path of a Judicial Officer, they cannot practice the Vocation for which they were trained after Retirement.

‘’While the Framers of the Law may have their reasons, I perceive this differently and see this from a fair Compensation angle that should benefit all,’’ the President said.

Tinubu expressed gratitude to the Judiciary for its dedicated Service to the Nation, acknowledging its role in upholding the respectability of the Judicial Arm of Government.

“We will continue to support one another and bring Nigeria to that glorious dawn,’’ the President stated.

Responding, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ariwoola, commended the President for hosting Judicial Officers to a Ramadan Dinner, his commitment to Judicial Reforms, and for improving the Welfare of Judicial Officers.

“May the Lord continue to bless you and your Administration. Let your Ship land and berth beautifully. We shall continue to pray for your Administration because there are many good things in the pipeline for Nigerians,” he said.

Ariwoola commended the Administration for achieving an unprecedented milestone by appointing a full complement of 21 Justices to the Supreme Court.

Lateef Fagbemi, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, expressed gratitude to the President for forwarding the Executive Bill, Titled, “Judicial Office Holders, Salaries and Allowances, etc, Bill 2024” to the National Assembly.

Highlighting the stagnant State of Judges’ Salaries and Emoluments since 2007, Fagbemi commended the President’s courage, determination, and compassion in taking the decisive action.

‘’It takes a man with a great heart, determination, and consideration to do what the President did. More than 300.3 per cent salary increase has been given to the Judges. The President has done his own part, never mind that the Bill is still with the National Assembly.

‘’In my short stay as the Attorney-General, I have come to observe that anything that concerns the Judiciary, you are very much interested in it, and I thank you for your abiding interest in the Judiciary,’’ he said. 

 

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26-Mar-2024 Nigeria goes after escapee Binance's 'Big Man'

Nigeria goes after escapee Binance's 'Big Man'

The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has confirmed the escape from Lawful Custody of Nadeem Anjarwalla, a Suspect in the ongoing Criminal Probe into the activities of Binance, a Cryptocurrency Exchange Company.

Zakari Mijinyawa, Head, Strategic Communication, ONSA, said in a Statement on Monday in Abuja, that Anjarwalla escaped on Friday.

Mijinyawa however said ONSA has taken immediate steps in conjunction with relevant Security Organisations, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as the International Community to apprehend the Suspect.

He said the Security Agencies were also working with Interpol for an international Arrest Warrant on the Suspect.

According to him, preliminary Investigation shows that Anjarwalla fled Nigeria using a smuggled Passport.

The ONSA Spokesman said that the Personnel responsible for the Custody of the Suspect had been arrested as Investigation continues to unravel the circumstances behind his escape.

Mijinyawa said the Nigerian Government, like others round the World, has been investigating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Transactions perpetrated on the Binance Currency Exchange Platform.

Anjarwalla, who holds British and Kenyan Passports, is Binance’s Africa Regional Manager and has been under a 14-day Remand Order by a Court in Nigeria.

”He was scheduled to appear before the Court again on April 4.

”We urge the Nigerian Public and the International Community to provide whatever Information they have that can assist Law Enforcement Agencies apprehend the Suspect,” he added. 

 

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26-Mar-2024 NCC slams Criminal Charges against MTN, others for Copyright Infringement

NCC slams Criminal Charges against MTN, others for Copyright Infringement

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has filed criminal charges against MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and four others over alleged Copyright infringement.

The charge with Number FHC/ABJ/CR/111/2024 filed in the Federal High Court, Abuja Division was obtained by by Journalists on Monday.

The four other Defendants in the case are; Karl Toriola, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria,  Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Limited and Yahaya Maibe.

In the Three-Count Charge, NCC alleged that the Defendants, between 2010 and 2017 “offered for sale, sold and traded for Business’’, Infringed Musical Works of an Artist, Maleke Idowu Moye without his consent and authorisation.

The Commission alleged that the Defendants used Musical Works and Sound Recordings of Maleke with Subsisting Copyright, as Caller Ring Back Tunes, without the authorisation of the Artiste.

The Musical Works and Sound Recordings of the Musician allegedly infringed upon included; 911, Minimini-Wanawana, Stop Racism, Ewole, 911 Instrumental, Radio, Low Waist, and No Bother.

The Defendants were also alleged to have distributed the Musical Works to their Subscribers, without authorisation, thereby, infringing on the Rights of the Artiste.

In the Third Count, the Defendant were alleged to have in their possession, other than for their Private or Domestic Use, the Musical Works and Sound Recordings of the Artiste.

According to NCC, the alleged offences are contrary to and punishable under Section 20 (2) (a) (b) and (c) of the Copyright Act, Cap. C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The case is yet to be assigned to any Judge and no date has been fixed for Mention. 

 

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26-Mar-2024 We did not pay a dime for the release of abducted Children, says FG

We did not pay a dime for the release of abducted Children, says FG

Federal Government did not pay ransom to secure the release of Children abducted in Sokoto and Kaduna States earlier in March, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said on Monday in Abuja.

He said at the end of a Federal Executive Council Meeting that President Bola Tinubu had made it clear that no ransom should be paid to Bandits and Kidnappers so as not to encourage them.

The Minister reassured that the Children had been reunited with their families safely and in good health as directed by the President.

He said that Tinubu had also challenged Security Agencies to ensure that abductions and kidnappings were brought to an end in Nigeria.

Idris said Government was prepared to work with those ready to give advice that could end the dastardly acts, but would not spare those found complicit.

“Mr President and Cabinet Members are happy to note that as promised, the Children were rescued and reunited with their Families and no ransom was paid.

“The Federal Executive Council and Mr President are very grateful to, especially the National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs and Security Agents who participated diligently in ensuring that this kidnapped Children are reunited with their Families.

“Government is determined to protect the Lives and Property of Nigerians. Mr President has also charged Security Agencies to ensure that these kidnappings are brought to a halt finally in this Country,’’ Idris said.

He added that Tinubu had charged Cabinet Members and other Government Functionaries to fast-tract the delivery of Government’s Relief Programmes such as the Consumer Credit Scheme, Students Loans and other Social Programmes.

In his remarks, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun said the President had approved the setting up of an Economic Management Team Task Force.

The Team would work for six months on Economic Revitalisation Programmes of the Administration, he said.

Edun said Nigeria was already getting offers of Euro Bond to finance Government Programmes, but no decision had been made on the offer.

 

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25-Mar-2024 Tinubu: Birthday Celebrations? No, not for me 'at this time'

Tinubu: Birthday Celebrations? No, not for me 'at this time'

President Bola Tinubu has said he would dedicate his 72nd Birthday to the task of building a more stable, secure, prosperous and united Nigeria.

He also asked Friends and Associates wishing to celebrate him to donate such monies to Charity Organisations of their choice in his name, instead of placing Adverts in Newspapers or Radios.

A Statement by Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, said that Tinubu would mark his Birthday on Friday, March 29.

“During an auspicious occasion as this, it is customary for Family Members, Friends and Associates to celebrate him in different ways.

“President Tinubu, in deference to this challenging time, said he will not host any Birthday Event and does not want any of his Associates and numerous Well-Wishers to organise any Celebratory Event on his behalf or in his name.

“President Tinubu appreciates the honour of being the Leader of Africa’s Leading Nation at this time and he is working very hard to make life better for the generality of our People,” Onanuga said.

He said that the manner of Celebration was the President’s responsiveness to the present mood of the Nation and recent killing of Officers and Men of the Army and Police in Delta.

He said that it was also due to the recent spate of Security breaches by Criminal Elements in different parts of Nigeria.

“There should be no form of Birthday Event and placing of Birthday Goodwill Advertorial Messages in Newspapers. Goodwill messages should not be placed on Radio and Television Stations too.”

 

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24-Mar-2024 Tinubu promises safe, secure Schools, not 'Lairs for abductions'

Tinubu promises safe, secure Schools, not 'Lairs for abductions'

President Bola Tinubu has assured Nigerians that his Administration will ensure that Schools become safer and secure for teaching and learning.

This is stated in a Statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Sunday in Abuja.

Ngelale said that the President reiterated the pledge when he received the news of the release of the Kuriga Schoolchildren in Kaduna State.

Bandits on March 7 abducted 287 Pupils and Teachers at Local Government Education Authority Teachers Primary School, Kuriga, in Chikun Local Government Area of the State.

The Bandits had on Tuesday demanded for N1bn Ransom for the release of the Children through a Contact.

Security Agencies have, however, been on their heels since Tinubu directed the immediate release of the Victims safe and without any Ransom.

The President emphasised the importance of Collaboration between the Federal Government and States for expected outcomes, especially on Matters of Security.

Tinubu commended the National Security Adviser, the Security Agencies, and the Kaduna State Government for the dispatch and diligence with which they handled the situation.

He noted that urgency, meticulous attention and tireless dedication are critical to optimal outcomes in Cases of mass abductions.

“President Tinubu also welcomes the release of Pupils of a Tsangaya School in Sokoto State, commending all the Parties to the feat for their valiant effort.

“The President assures Nigerians that his Administration is deploying detailed strategies to ensure that our Schools remain safe Sanctuaries of learning, not Lairs for wanton abductions,” Ngelale said. 

 

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24-Mar-2024 Let me as your Wife be a Signatory to your Overseas Account with $1.3bn, Mohammed laments danger of Fake News

Let me as your Wife be a Signatory to your Overseas Account with $1.3bn, Mohammed laments danger of Fake News

Lai Mohammed, immediate past Minister of Information and National Orientation, has recounted how Fake News peddled on Social Media almost crashed his 40-year old Marriage.

 

The ex-Minister gave the account in Lagos at an Event to commemorate the 90th Birthday Anniversary of Wole Soyinka, Africa’s First Nobel Laureate for Literature.

 

The Text of Mohammed presentation at the Event, on the Topic, “The Media in the Age of Disinformation”, was made available to Journalists on Saturday.

 

Mohammed, the Managing Partner of Bruit Costard, a Lobbyist and Public Relations Firm, recalled that one of the pressing challenges he faced in Office as Minister was  the spate of Fake News, Misinformation and Disinformation.

 

Speaking specifically on how the menace almost ruined his Marriage, Mohammed stressed that the consequences of Fake News, Disinformation and Misinformation were far-reaching.

 

“Permit me to share publicly with you today for the first time, how Social Media threatened the Foundation of my 40-year-old Marriage.

 

“It was sometimes in 2018 when I came to Lagos from Abuja for an Official Assignment.

 

“As usual, I retire to bed about midnight, but about 3 a. m., my Wife gently roused me from my slumber.

“At first, I panicked, fearing that there had been a Security breach, but my Wife’s mien belied that possibility, for she was calm and composed,” the Ex-Minister said.

 

He continued: “Solemnly, my Wife asked me if I was fully awake as there were some serious issues to discuss.

 

“I could not fathom what was that urgent or serious to warrant being woken up at this time of the night.

 

“My mind immediately did a kaleidoscope of my rascalities and escapades in the last few months”.

 

Mohammed said that the accusation from his Wife was “a bombshell” and was narrated to him in Yoruba Language.

He presented the narration as follows:

 

“Daddy, death can come knocking at any moment, please let me also, as your Wife, be a Signatory to your Overseas Account in Ali Financial which contains $1.3bn.”

 

The former Minister said he could not believe that his Wife could take, hook, line, and sinker the Fake Story in circulation crediting humongous sums of money in Overseas Accounts to Government Functionaries/Ministers under former President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.

 

“I spent the next two hours or so, sweating to convince my Wife that there is no iota of truth in the allegation.

“I had to fetch a Calculator and reproduce the Federal Appropriation Act for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 in the middle of the night and explain to her why it is simply preposterous for me to have $1.3bn in a Foreign Account.

 

“I explained to her that there is no year my Capital Budget exceeded N5bn, which  then, at about N400 to a Dollar, was just $12.5m.

 

“I explained that, even if I managed to divert every Kobo of it to my Personal Account, it will take at least, 104 years to save the sum of $1.3bn being peddled that I stole,” he said.

 

Mohammed added: “My Wife insisted that the whole World believed the Story and that her Friends had, as a result, besieged her with all kinds of requests.

 

“She said every effort on her part to deny the existence of this Foreign Account only succeeded in depicting her in the Minds of her Friends as a selfish, greedy and uncaring Friend.

 

“Is my Wife truly convinced of my innocence? The answer is in the wind!.“

 

Mohammed reiterated that Social Media remained the Platforms of choice for the Purveyors of Fake News, Anti-State Groups, Anarchists, Secessionists, Terrorists and Bandits.

 

He recalled that while in Government, his Ministry uncovered 476 Online Publications that were dedicated to spreading Fake News against the former Administration of Buhari.

 

Mohammed specifically recalled the Fake News that the former President had died while receiving treatment in a London Hospital and was replaced by a clone called “Jubril from Sudan”.

 

According to him,  the challenge of Fake News continued up to the Campaigns leading to the 2023 General Elections where President Bola Tinubu became a target, when Videos and Speeches attributed to him were manipulated and distorted.

 

He said the Purveyors of Fake News were relentless in their efforts to de-market the laudable Policies and Programmes of the Tinubu Administration.

 

Mohammed said Fake News had become exponential through the use of Artificial Intelligence and deep learning techniques to create highly realistic fake or manipulated Videos, Audio Recordings or Images.

 

“The consequences of Disinformation and Misinformation are far-reaching.

 

“They undermine Democratic Processes, sow discord within Communities, and pose significant threats to Public health and safety.

 

“Today, even the Media is at the risk of losing its credibility because of the proliferation of Fake News on the Social Media.

 

“Therefore, the Media, as Custodians of the Public Trust, must take decisive action to combat the scourge of Disinformation and Misinformation,” he said

 

Mohammed said that Social Media Platforms and other Intermediaries accountable for their role in amplifying Disinformation and Misinformation should be held responsible

 

According to him, they should be checkmated through robust Regulatory Frameworks to curb the spread of False Information while safeguarding freedom of expression.

 

He admonished Social Media Platforms to prioritise the integrity of Information over profit motives and take proactive measures to detect and remove harmful Content from their Platforms. 

 

 

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24-Mar-2024 DHQ declares self-styled Biafra Agitator, Ekpa, 96 others wanted

DHQ declares self-styled Biafra Agitator, Ekpa, 96 others wanted

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Saturday declared Finland-based Simon Ekpa, a self-styled Biafra Agitator wanted.


Also declared wanted alongside Ekpa was Chika Edoziem, another Biafra Agitator, both of them Disciples of Leader of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.


They are among the 21 violent Criminals declared wanted in the South-East Geopolitical Zone.


Ekpa and Edoziem were among 97 other Persons the DHQ declared wanted for Terrorism, Kidnapping and other Crimes.


Director of Defence, Media Operations, Edward Buba, displayed the names and photographs of the Wanted Persons in a poster he released on Saturday in Abuja.


The poster showed names and photographs of the Wanted Persons in various Geopolitical Zones and they were designated either as Terrorists, Kidnappers or Persons behind violent Crimes.


No bounty was placed on the 97 Persons declared wanted.


In 2022, the Military declared 19 Bandits wanted in the North-West and placed a N5m bounty on their heads.


It is not clear whether those declared wanted in 2022 have been captured or killed but names like Bello Turji and Halilu Babubu still featured on the list released on Saturday.


The DHQ declared 43 Persons wanted in the North-West in connection with Banditry, Kidnapping and Terrorism.


Among them are Alhaji Shingi, Malindi Yakubu, Boka, Dogo Gide, Halilu Sububu, Ado Aliero, Bello Turji, Dan Bokkolo, Labi Yadi, Nagala, Saidu Idris, Kachalla Rugga and Sani Gurgu.


It declared 33 Boko Haram and Islamic State – West Africa Province (ISWAP) Terrorists wanted in the North-East.


Among them are Abu Zaida, Modu Sulum, Baba Data, Ahmad, Sani Teacher, Baa Sadiq, Abdul Saad, Kaka Abi, Mohammad Khalifa, Umar Tella, Abu Mutahid, Malam Mohammad, Malam Tahiru Baga, Uzaiya and Ali Ngule.


Others declared wanted in the South-East included People known as Egede, Zuma, ThankGod, Gentle, Flavour, Mathew, High Chief Williams Agbor, Ebuka Nwaka, Obiemesi Chukwudi, aka Dan Chuk, David Chidiebube and Amobi Okafor, aka Temple.


The DHQ urged Members of the Public to report Information about the Wanted Persons via Phone Numbers: 090488450750, 09071230344, 08167291448, 09135783469, 09127140930 and 08146691704.


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20-Mar-2024 Nnamdi Kanu: Who is the Bagger or Idiot that will speak when I am talking?

Nnamdi Kanu: Who is the Bagger or Idiot that will speak when I am talking?

The detained Leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, on Tuesday, disassociated himself from the ongoing killings and violence in the South East.

Kanu, who spoke in an Interview with Journalists shortly after Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court, Abuja adjourned his trial until April 17, said the Organisation, which he leads, is not a violent one.

He vowed that those behind the violence leading to wanton killings of their fellow Brothers and Sisters and burning of Property under the guise of being IPOB Members would not be spared.

Justice Nyako had earlier rejected his Bail Application and a Preliminary Objection filed on his behalf by his Lawyer, Alloy Ejimakor.

Speaking, the IPOB Leader noted that the violence persisted because he was being held in the Custody of Department of State Services (DSS) and vowed that if released, there would be peace in the entire South- East Region of the Country.

According the IPOB Leader, “Anybody committing Crime cannot go free. I swear. Anybody committing crime in the South East cannot go free.

“They are doing it because I am in the DSS Custody. If I were to be outside, nobody can try that.

“I suspect that some People in Government are complicit.

“They are making money with the Insecurity.
They know if Nnamdi Kanu is outside, in two minutes this nonsense will stop.

“Who is the Bagger or Idiot that will speak when I am talking? That I will give an Order in the East, who is the Idiot that I will give an Order that will counter it?

“Nobody can. I am Nnamdi Kanu. Rubbish!

“Anybody involved in any form of violence in the East in the name of IPOB is a goner and they know it. Let me come out of this mess, only two minutes, there will be peace in the East”, he said.

Earlier, Kanu and his Lawyer, Alloy Ejimakor, applied that he should be transferred to Kuje Correctional Centre following the refusal by the Court to admit him to Bail.

They said granting the request would enable them prepare for their Defence adequately.

Ejimakor insisted that Kanu’s Lawyers were having difficulty in consulting with him at the Department of State Service (DSS)’s Custody where he is currently kept.

He said that they won’t be able to proceed with the Trial unless the detained IPOB Leader is moved from the DSS Custody.

He alleged that the DSS Personnel usually confiscate Documents brought for Kanu by his Lawyers.

He also alleged that the Security Operatives usually stop them from taking notes during visitation, and that they eavesdrop on Kanu’s Consultation with Lawyers on matters pertaining to his Defence, among others.

The Lawyer then urged the Court to make an Order transfering him to Kuje Correctional Centre for them to have adequate time and Facility to defend him in accordance with Section 36(6)(b) and (c) of the 1999 Constitution.

Also speaking in the Open cCurt after he was granted leave to speak, Kanu pleaded with the Court to send him to the Correctional Centre.

He said besides that he was not free to consult with his Team of Lawyers any time they visited, the DSS had no Medical Facility good enough to take care of his Health.

The IPOB Leader, in a dramatic mode, pulled off his top Liverpool FC Sports Wears, to show the Judge parts of his Armpit, to complain about his alleged poor treatment.

Justice Nyako refused the Oral Application seeking the transfer of Kanu to Kuje Correctional Centre, saying an Order declining the request had already been made in the past.

She said the only option was for the Defence to challenge the Order at the Court of Appeal.

Besides, the Judge held that the Prison was insecure.

She said in the past, no fewer than 15 Terrorism Suspects had escaped from the Correctional Centre.

Kanu then sought that an Order should be made placing him under House Arrest instead of the DSS Facility.

He alleged that his continuous detention at the DSS Custody did not augur well with him going by his state of Health.

Justice Nyako, rather, directed Ejimakor to apply for variation of conditions granted to visit Kanu in the detention.

Then Ejimakor applied that Kanu should be kept in a Private Custody in order to allow his Lawyers free access to him.

He said this was there concern going by Section 36 of the Constitution.

The Judge said since the Court is a Court of Record, the request should be filed to afford the Prosecution to also respond appropriately.

Counsel for the Federal Government, Adegboyega Awomolo, also disagreed with Ejimakor’s Application.

The Senior Lawyer said an Order of Court had already been made and that the action of the Defence was to delay Trial after the Court had already granted an accelerated hearing of the Matter.

He said that there was a Guideline for Lawyers visiting Kanu at the DSS Facility but more often than not, they flouted the Directive.

He said the Practice was that any Lawyer paying a visit to the Defendant must first write the Director-General of the Security outfit for clearance.

He said this was to guard against where a Visitor would come into the Custody with the intention to harm the IPOB Leader, thereby, causing unnecessary problem in the Country.

Awomolo said even though the Defendant had a Team of Lawyers, there had been a time where a Lawyer who visited Kanu was not even known to him.

He said there was no where in the World where a Terrorist Suspect is allowed to move freely.

The Senior Counsel said he was ready to proceed with the Trial and that their Witnesses were in Court.

Ejimakor disagreed saying his Client should be kept in a place where they would be well prepared to defend their Case.

Justice Nyako adjourned the Matter until April 17 for Hearing.

 

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19-Mar-2024 Wike threatens to sack PS regardless of Civil Service Rules

Wike threatens to sack PS regardless of Civil Service Rules

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has advised the newly inaugurated Permanent Secretaries for the FCT Administration to perform, else, they will be sacked.

Wike gave the warning after the Inauguration of the Chairman and Commissioners of the FCT Civil Service Commission, FCT Head of Service, and the Permanent Secretaries in Abuja on Monday.

“As a Permanent Secretary, you are not a Political Appointee, and you know the implication of that.

“If you perform below our expectations, there is nothing like query him in accordance with Civil Service Rules.

“We have no time for that. We will just send you packing as Permanent Secretary,’’ he said.

Wike added: “I don’t want to hear that Files are unduly delayed.

“We want you to support the Government of President Bola Tinubu to realise the Renewed Hope Agenda’’.

The Minister reminded the FCT Workers of the long struggle for the realisation of the FCT Civil Service Commission since enactment of the Law in 2018.

He said as President Tinubu had actualised the dream, it was only fair that Workers pay back by being committed and work for the success of his Administration.

The Minister said the newly inaugurated Head of Service would send out Posting Letters to Directors as part of his promise to reshuffle them.

Wike also called on the Coordinators of Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD), Abuja Municipal Management Council (AMMC) and Abuja Infrastructure Investment Council (AIIC) to discharge their Duties diligently.

He particularly urged the STDD Coordinator to pay close attention to the Developments taking place in Area Councils in line with the Directive of President Tinubu.

Wike also urged AMMC Coordinator to make sure the Street Lights are working, Sanitation are done very well, and Public Buildings are well repaired.

Those inaugurated are Chidi Amadi, as his Chief of Staff, Emeka Ezeh as Chairman of FCT Civil Service Commission, with six Commissioners representing the Six Geopolitical Zones.

The Commissioners are, Ahmed Mohammed (North West), Anthony Okeah (South-South), Mohammed Ibrahim (North East), Miskoom Naantuam (North Central), Jide Jimoh (South West) and Barrister Azubike (South East).

Also inaugurated is Udo Atang, the pioneer Head of FCT Civil Service and 10 Permanent Secretaries.

The Permanent Secretaries are Adam Babagana (North East), Wanki Ibrahim (North East), Asmau Mukhtar (North West), Dogo Bodinga (North West), Olusa Olusegun (South West) and Adetoyi Kolawole (South West).

Others are Grace Adayilo (North Central), Olubunmi Olowookere (North Central), Ibe Chukwuemeka (South East) and Okonkwo Nonubari (South South).

The Minister also inaugurated Abdulkadir Zulkarfi as Coordinator STDD and Felix Obuah, Coordinator AMMC.

Oladiran Akindele who was appointed Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Council (AIIC) was absent at the Inauguration.

 

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19-Mar-2024 Military to Leaders of Delta Community: Produce killers of our Men

Military to Leaders of Delta Community: Produce killers of our Men

The Nigerian Military has debunked claims that it has embarked on reprisal attacks on Okuama Community in Delta.

Some Members of the Community had on Thursday ambushed and murdered the Commanding Officer of 181 Army Amphibious Battalion, two Majors, one Captain and 12 Soldiers.

The Director Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, in a Statement on Monday, said the Community was already deserted even before Troops arrived there.

Buba advised those peddling the fake news of reprisal attacks on the Community to desist from further dishonouring the Fallen Heroes.

He said it behoves on the Community Leaders, Elders and the People of Delta to identify the Perpetrators of the murder, so that they could be brought to account for the heinous crime.

The Defence Spokesman said as long as the dispute between Okuama and Okoloba Communities remain, it “implies that there could be untoward activities not initiated by the Military”.

“Overall, there is no doubt, that this is an extremely sad development and untoward activity by Members of the Okuama Community against Troops that were there to protect them.

“We urge the Public to resist the temptation of allowing any videos of the incident of the killed Personnel from going viral.

“It would be a dishonour to the Fallen Heroes to allow such ugly videos of their demise go viral.

“Above all, as the Military mourns, it remains ever determined to ensure safety and security of Citizens across the Country,” he said.

Buba said it was tragic, senseless and barbaric to have killed the Officers and Soldiers in such a dehumanised and unspeakable manner.

According to him, while the Armed Forces mourns the loss of the Gallant Troops, there will be measured responses and injurious consequences for the Perpetrators.

He consoled their Families, Colleagues and Loved Ones over the tragic incident.

Buba reminded Nigerians that the Armed Forces consist of Citizens from every nook and cranny of the Nation who had taken Oath of  Allegiance to put themselves in harms way to defend the Country.

The Defence Spokesman said it was in line with this, that Troops were deployed on Internal Security Operations in about all the States of the Federation to intervene, deescalate and contain Security breaches.

“The ugly incident in Okuama Community in Delta is indicative of the dangers our Gallant Troops experience in order to secure our Nation.

“The Military assures that there would be measured responses and injurious consequences for the Perpetrators of these dastardly act.

“Nevertheless, the Armed Forces being a Disciplined Force that complies with Rules of Engagement, Laws of Armed Conflict and the respect for Human Rights would be tempered by these Provisions.

“We would not be led by emotions, but by the Rule of Law,” he added.

 

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17-Mar-2024 Fish out killers of our 'Soldiers and Officers' in Delta, Tinubu tells Military

Fish out killers of our 'Soldiers and Officers' in Delta, Tinubu tells Military

President Bola Tinubu has authorised the Military High Command to fish out those who killed  Military Officers and Men in Delta.

The President in a statement, joined Nigerians and the Armed Forces to mourn the needless death of the gallant Soldiers.

“The Defence Headquarters and Chief of Defence Staff have been granted full authority to bring to justice,  anybody found to have been responsible for this unconscionable Crime against the Nigerian People.

“My Government will not relent until we achieve peace and tranquillity in every part of Nigeria.”

A Commanding Officer, two Majors, one Captain, 12 Soldiers and a Civilian, lost their lives on Thursday in an ambush at Okuoma Community, Ugheli South Local Government Area of Delta.

The incident occurred when the Troops were responding to a crisis between Okuama and Okoloba Communities of the Area.

“I extend my profound condolences to the Families of these fallen Soldiers, their Colleagues and their Loved Ones.

“The Military High Command is already responding to this incident. The cowardly offenders responsible for this heinous crime will not go unpunished,” the President said.

The President said the incident demonstrated the dangers faced by Servicemen and Women in the line of Duty.

“As a Nation, we must constantly remember and honour all those who have paid the ultimate price to keep our Country safe, strong and united.

“The Officers and Men who died in Okuama Community have joined the pantheon of great Men and Women who gave their all, with honour, in the Service of our Fatherland.

“Members of our Armed Forces are at the heart and core of our Nationhood. Any attack on them is a direct attack on our Nation. We will not accept this wicked act.” 

 

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17-Mar-2024 Yesterday’s crisis will become today’s opportunity, Tinubu vows to turn Nigeria around

Yesterday’s crisis will become today’s opportunity, Tinubu vows to turn Nigeria around

President Bola Tinubu says his Administration is deploying Resources to Critical Sectors to significant impact on the Welfare of Nigerians.

A Statement by Presidential Spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale said Tinubu emphasised that the Government would not allow the abuse of the Nation’s Treasury.

He made the commitment at a Meeting with the Forum of State Chairmen of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) led by its National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, at the State House in Abuja.

The President assured that the Government was working round the clock to improve the Living Conditions of all Nigerians.

He called on Leaders at the Grassroots to encourage Citizens to get their National Identification Number for planning, structured interventions and full integration into Government Relief Programmes.

“The Programme of our Government will be truly progressive; Student Loans, a National Consumer Credit System, and Social Welfare for the Unemployed, as well as Graduates.

“Every Nigerian will find a place of belonging in our Country.

“In the eye of even the biggest hurricane, we will find that place of tranquility and prosperous harmony for the benefit of all.

“Nigerians will all partake on this National Journey to prosperity,’’ the President said.

Tinubu told the APC States Chairmen that his Government had already drawn up a Blueprint for Large-Scale Livestock Farming.

“We are bringing Mechanised Farming to the fore. Yesterday’s crisis will become today’s opportunity.

“Fertilisers are being supplied to Farmers as we speak. Agriculture and Economic diversification provide the answers to our problems.

“We will not continue to import Food. We know how to turn lack into abundance, and the World will watch us do it again,’’ he said.

Tinubu added that the repositioning of the Economy was a top National Priority and urged Party Members not to wait for Appointment before embarking on exemplary Civic Engagements.

“As we are fighting corruption, Smugglers, and old Subsidy Beneficiaries, they most certainly will fight back.

“All those who falsified records and became losers with the Subsidy removal, they will fight back, but we will defend our People.”

He urged all Party Chairmen in States, regardless of party affiliation, to mobilise Citizens to go for NIN Registration.

“Some are poor Nigerians who have not experienced Formal Education and have no understanding of what NIN is and how it will benefit their Lives. We must teach them. We must care for them.

“We will be making faulty moves without accurate Data and iron-clad, Digital Intervention Structures,” Tinubu said.

He said a Committee of Governors, headed by Vice President, Kashim Shettima, is working on what must be done to further lift the People.

 

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15-Mar-2024 A mighty 'Iroko' has fallen, says Oyo Governor as 'Olubadan joins Ancestors'

A mighty 'Iroko' has fallen, says Oyo Governor as 'Olubadan joins Ancestors'

The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Olalekan Balogun, has passed away.

News of the death of the 82-year-old Ibadan Traditional Ruler was confirmed by his Media Aide, Dele Ogunsola, late Thursday evening.

Oba Balogun died at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan few hours after admission at the Hospital.

The First-Class Traditional Ruler ascended the throne on March 11, 2022 after the demise of his Predecessor, Oba Saliu Adetunji

Meanwhile, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, says the late Olubadan of Ibadan who died late was an Epitome of Royal excellence and a great achiever.

Governor Makinde, while announcing the king’s death in Ibadan around midnight, said the 42nd Olubadan made great marks in Ibadanland in just a little over two years of his Reign.

The Governor had, in a Statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sulaimon Olanrewaju, announced that Oba Balogun joined his Ancestors late Thursday evening at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

He expressed his condolences to the Olubadan-in-Council, the Oyo State Traditional Council, the People of Ibadanland and Oyo State in general.

“With total submission to the will of God, I announce the passing unto glory of our Father, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II, the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

“A mighty ‘Iroko’ has fallen. Oba Balogun has joined the Ancestors.

“In Kabiyesi, Ibadanland had a cosmopolitan and well-experienced Olubadan, who made indelible marks on the sands of History and achieved greatly within a short while.

“On behalf of the Government and good People of Oyo State, I condole with the Immediate Family of the late Oba Balogun, and pray for the repose of his soul,” he had said.

 

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15-Mar-2024 National Assembly has right to tinker the Budget, Minister talks tough

National Assembly has right to tinker the Budget, Minister talks tough

The Federal Government says it will provide the sum of N100bn through Consumer Credit Fund to support the Manufacturing Sector.

Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, said this while briefing Journalists on clarifications on the implementation of 2024 Appropriation Act, in Abuja on Thursday.

Bagudu, who noted that the Manufacturing Sector was facing serious challenges, said that the Fund would help to revive the Sector.

“Our Economy can gain if many People can pay for Goods and Services over a period of time just as it’s being done around the World. And it will help our Manufacturing Sector.

“The Consumer Credit is a veritable tool to provide access to Goods and Services to a lot of Nigerians. A Committee is working on this.

“It has not been implemented. The money has not been withdrawn; the Fund is a Catalytic Fund and it’s expected to grow,” he said.

The Minister said that Government was also providing N100bn for Agriculture Sector.
He said that the Fund was supposed to attract more funding so that the Mortgage Industry would grow bigger.

Bagudu further stated that Government had equally made available N100bn Energy Transition Fund to support the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicles.

He said that when Fuel Subsidy was removed, Government quickly provided N100bn to support the provision of CNG Vehicles which would consume less Gas than Fuel.

Bagudu added that a total of N60bn had also been provided as Student Loan.
He said that although N50bn was captured in the Budget, another N10bn was appropriated in the Supplementary Budget.

He said that the Fund was part of efforts to cushion the effects of Hardship on Students.
“There was a N10bn Provision in the Supplementary Budget. Right now, we have N60bn of Student Loan in the two Budgets.

“We believe that our Students should have an additional option,” he said.
The Minister said that the Federal Government had also made provision for Youth Development Fund and Project Preparation Fund.
He used the opportunity to douse the tension surrounding the alleged padding of the 2024 Budget to the tune of N3.6trn.

According to him, the word, ‘padding’ is a tautology and it’s now seen in negative form.
He said that while the Constitution allowed the President to present a Budget Document to the National Assembly, the National Assembly, on the other hand, had the right to add or subtract from the Budget.

“In fact, the National Assembly has the last word when it comes to Appropriation. So, they have the right to increase Dudget Line,” he said.

The Minister, however, said that when the Constitutional Rights were performed by the National Assembly, it should not be seen as padding.

“When People talk about padding, the word has been narrowed to a negative form. Whereas in reality, there can be no Appropriation without either addition or subtraction,” he said.

Bagudu said that the President submitted to the National Assembly a Consolidated Revenue Fund of N27,503,404,073,861, adding that the Legislative Body authorised a Consolidated Revenue Fund of N28,777,404,073,861.

 

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15-Mar-2024 Minister: Vandals of Power Assets are “Killers of People, Saboteurs of Business

Minister: Vandals of Power Assets are “Killers of People, Saboteurs of Business

The Minster of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has assured Nigerians that the ongoing Power Upgrade and Investment in Power Sector would improve Electricity Supply within the next three to six months.

Adelabu gave the assurance during a Working Visit to some ongoing Projects in Maryland and Alausa Substations on Thursday in Lagos.

Adelabu visited Ikeja Electric and other ongoing Projects in Lagos Metropolis.

He disclosed that upgrading some Substations in Lagos by Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had commenced on 30MVA Transformers to 100 MVA and 205 MVA in Maryland and Alausa, respectively.

The Minister maintained that the Federal Government’s position on the implementation of a Cost Reflective Tariff for the Power Sector was inevitable.

He said that Investment across Distribution Companies (DisCos) was low due to the unavailability of Funds to carry out Infrastructure Upgrades, appealing to the Companies to ensure good Service Delivery to justify Tariff Review.

He said the Ministry would do all it could to ensure that DisCos up their games through massive Investment, noting, “if that fails, it will resort to legal backing.”

Adelabu bemoaned the rising Cases of vandalism of Power Assets across the Country, recommending Capital Punishment for Vandals.

He labelled Vandals of Power Assets as “Killers of People and Saboteurs of Business growth”.

“We need Scapegoats. We are ready to give them the right punishment in terms of Prosecution.

“Punishment for Vandals should go beyond six months Jail Term. Capital Punishment should be meted out to Power Vandals. They kill People, and they kill Businesses,” he said.

Adelabu added that all hands must be on deck among Operators within the Power Sector Value Chain.

He said it remained worrisome that the Country with an installed capacity of 13,000MW was generating a paltry 5,000MW.

Adelabu pledged to change his Master Plan from top-to-bottom approach to bottom-to-top.

”Going forward, efforts will now be concentrated on Development and Infrastructure Upgrade from DisCos to GenCos and then Transmission.

“If we get it right at the DisCo level, then we are most certain that we are almost getting there. The Meeting is planned, not accidental. You have made landmark achievements in the last 10 years.

“You have done well in relation to other DisCos. We can just shake your hands and leave, but they said the biggest room is the room for improvement.

“You are a Model DisCo, the biggest in terms of Revenue Collection. I don’t know the one that is bigger between you and Ibadan DisCo, in terms of Industrial Clusters, because I am aware there are a lot of Industries within your Catchment Areas,” he said.

Adelabu urged Nigerians to continue contributing positively to the growth of the Country in spite of the current Economic challenges.

“It is a bad time for the Country. I mean, if you look at the Hardship in terms of Commodities and Prices, these have affected the Purchasing Power of a lot of People.

“I believe that this is the time for all of us to wake up and do things well for the Country.

“Though, I am bothered about what is happening, but I am not discouraged.

“This is the time that you (DisCos) should work hard with us to get desired improvements in Power Supply to People and Businesses,” he added.

He urged DisCos to work closely with the Government to expedite National Development through a sustainable Power Sector for reliable and Cost-effective sustainable Power Supply.

Earlier in her address, the Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Electric, Folake Soetan, while reeling out some of the giant strides recorded by the Company, said that the Company had  achieved a lot in terms of Infrastructure Upgrades and Capital Expenditure.

Soetan said that the Company’s total CAPEX in 2015 was N5bn but grew to N50.58bn in 2023.

She added that Average Revenue Collection in 2015 was N3.75bn and grew to N18.22bn as at 2023.

On Metering, she said 30,000 Meters were deployed to Consumers as at 2015, while the figure hit 800,000 as at 2023.

Soetan lamented that Revenue Collection in the Industry was largely hampered by the huge Metering Gap and non-payment of Bills.

She worried that Meter Bypass and Energy Theft contributed immensely to the losses recorded by DisCos.

The Ikeja Electric Boss said Power Generating Capacity was still significantly lower than the demand for Electricity.

This she noted had resulted in frequent Power Outages and Load Shedding.

 

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14-Mar-2024 FG rules out ransom payment, says Nigeria will not bow to Kidnappers

FG rules out ransom payment, says Nigeria will not bow to Kidnappers

President Bola Tinubu has further directed the immediate release of the abducted Children in Kaduna and Borno States.

He insisted that the Federal Government would not succumb to the payment of ransom to Kidnappers and Terrorists in the Country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made this known at the end of the third Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.

“So, the Security Agencies are working round the clock. The Children and People that have been abducted by Criminal Elements will be brought back to safety pretty soon.

“And Mr President has also directed that no ransom will be paid by Government to any of this Criminal Elements. I think it’s important that this be put out there.”

On the support offered by Foreign Bodies to assist in the rescue of the kidnapped Children, Idris said Government was looking at such offers.

“Well, we’re aware that is not just the US that has actually offered. Other Countries have also offered to support Nigeria.

“But what we can tell you is that Government is still reviewing these offers and the position of Government will be made known.”

For his part, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari  disclosed that the distribution of Grains as Palliative has began Nationwide in States Capitals.

He said that the details of the distribution would not be revealed due to the current trend of vandalism of Foodstuff across the Country.

Kyari also disclosed the various achievements of Government towards ensuring Food Security and promoting Local Industries.

The Minister said that the largest Tomato Manufacturing Company was inaugurated last Friday while the Central Bank of Nigeria has handled about N2.15m Fertiliser to the Ministry on Wednesday.

He added that the Ministry was collaborating with sister Agencies towards using of Irrigation Facilities in the Country for Agricultural purposes.

 

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13-Mar-2024 Alleged Budget Padding: Senate sends Ningi on three-month suspension

Alleged Budget Padding: Senate sends Ningi on three-month suspension

The Senate has suspended Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi) for three months from all activities of the Senate over 2024 Budget padding allegation.

The Upper Chamber’s Resolution was sequel to a Motion by Solomon Adeola (APC-Ogun) during Tuesday’s Plenary.

The Motion was titled: “Urgent Need to Address the False Allegations Against the Senate and the Presidency on the 2024 Appropriation Act by Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central).”

The BBC Hausa Service had reported Ningi as saying that President Bola Tinubu was operating two different Budgets for 2024.

It said Ningi had claimed that the National Assembly passed N25trn as 2024 Budget and not the N28.7trn that was being implemented by the Federal Government.

The initial prayers of the Upper Chamber was “allow for immediate deliberation of the matter and take appropriate action deemed fit in the overriding Public Interest and to prevent breakdown of Law and Order.

“Take further necessary steps to correct the wrong impression in Public Domain of 2024 Budget created by the BBC Interview and other National Media Houses and Social Media Platforms by Ningi.

“And amplified by Suleiman Kawu (NNPP-Kano) through his Facebook Account and other Social Media Platforms; and

“Take any further decision as the Senate deems fit and proper to safeguard the integrity of the 2024 Budget which is pivotal to the revamping of our Economy.”

Jimoh Ibrahim (APC-Ondo) had moved for an additional prayer that Ningi be suspended for an initial period of 12 months while Edeh Dafinone (APC-Delta) seconded.

But Garba Maidoki (PDP-Kebbi) moved a Motion for an amended prayer that the suspension should be for three months which was seconded by Sani Musa (APC-Niger).

Earlier, moving the Motion, Adeola as Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, said that the additional increase of N1.2trn was presented by the President during the Appropriation Process.

“This was through additional funding requests.

“The additional Source of Funding for the increase came from the increase in the Benchmark of Naira to Dollar from N750-N800, increase in Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) Revenue and other Sources.

“The false allegations including that of the 2024 Budget being against the “North” has since generated Debate in the Media and General Public with aspersions on all Senators, the Senate and the National Assembly.”

In his own defence, Ningi said, “I think Adeola has done a fair job except on some issues that I do not understand. I never said the Budget was padded.

“I never issued any of these Statements. This is a fake contribution that was forwarded, I do not know the Author of this,” Ningi told the Senate.

In his contribution, Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele said what Ningi had set to do “was tantamount to a Civilian Coup.”

Earlier, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio said that “Ningi told me he had paid the Consultant N30m to conduct the Investigation.

“Ningi called some of us for a Meeting. When he told me this, I told him I would like to see the details.

“But I didn’t receive it, but you had the opportunity to attend a BBC Interview. It’s only you that has the Document you have. I don’t have it.

“I want Nigerians to know that what President Bola Tinubu presented to the National Assembly was N27.5trn, at no time did the President presented N25trn.

“The integrity of this Chamber has been totally damaged,” he said. 

 

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12-Mar-2024 Hardship: Sanwo-Olu signs MoU with Niger on transfer of Food after harvesting to Lagos

Hardship: Sanwo-Olu signs MoU with Niger on transfer of Food after harvesting to Lagos

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, says the State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Niger State to enhance Food availability in Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure during the 2024 Special Ramadan Prayer organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs, held at the State House Mosque Complex, Lagos House, Ikeja.

The Theme of the Event was: “Allah Will Not Change The Way Of A People, Until They Change What Is In Their Hearts”.

The Governor recounted that his visit to Minna, Niger State, on Monday with President Bola Tinubu, was on Food Security.

He explained that the Agreement signed was on Food Production and transfer of Food after harvesting to Lagos.

According to him, Minna is into Extensive Farming Mechanisation so the Agreement will ensure Food Security in Lagos.

“We are building Structures, we have the Capacity for Storage and we have the major biggest Logistics Hub in the Country.”

Speaking on Ramadan, Sanwo-Olu said: “This is a time to be thankful to God for sparing our lives especially with the current Economic Hardship”.

He, therefore, implored everyone, both the Muslim and Christian Faithful, to love one another and bear each other’s burden in one way or the other.

He urged Muslims and non-Muslim alike that as they observe the Ramadan and lent respectively, they should show love, be compassionate and co-exist peacefully.

“This is a time to show love, and give from our excesses. Also, People should be able to share, feed the Vulnerable and at the end, everyone will come out smiling and live peacefully”.

Earlier in his welcome address, Olanrewaju Layode, Commissioner for Home Affairs, implored Muslim Faithful to cater for the Less Privileged around them as commanded by the Holy Quran,

The Commissioner urged on harmonious coexistence devoid of prejudice, hatred, acrimony and bigotry

He charged them on exhibiting attributes of charity and good neighborliness.

In his Lecture, the Guest Speaker, Dr Munirudeen Ar-Riyadi, speaking on the topic: “Observing Ramadan Like Never Before”, described Ramadan as a spiritual journey that is obligatory.

According to him, Ramadan is an act of Ibadah and to be rewarded, one needs to understand its ethics before undergoing it.

“The period of Ramadan is an opportunity to move closer to God in order to enjoy all the benefits in the Religious activities.

“Ramadan teaches us obedience to our Leaders, to those in Authority and also teaches one to be submissive.

“It teaches unity, uniformity, humility, good conduct and mannerism. It also gives one spiritual security and protects one against evil deeds.,” he said.

 

11-Mar-2024 Hardship: Help the Poor, Tinubu begs the Rich

Hardship: Help the Poor, Tinubu begs the Rich

President Bola Tinubu has urged Wealthy Individuals to assist the Indigents in the Society to alleviate their suffering.

Tinubu made the call on Sunday in Kano while inaugurating the distribution of 140 Truck-Loads of Rice donated by Abdullahi Yari in honor of the President.

Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Print Media, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, Tinubu commended the gesture.

He said that it was aimed at supporting Individuals who were in need at this critical time.

“All over the World, Leadership belongs to more than one Person. There is need to always help the Vulnerable in the Society.

“Let us come together, unite as a Country and forge ahead for a better Nigeria,” he said.

Tinubu commended Yari for donating the 140 Trucks of Rice labelled with his name and picture for distribution to the Less-Privileged.

He also said that the Commodity would go along way in easing the Hardship faced by many at this time.

The President, however, called on Nigerians to pray for the unity, peace and progress of the Country during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Earlier, the Representative of Yari, Abubakar Danburam, said the 140 Trucks contained 50kg of 84, 000 bags of Rice.

Danburam revealed that it would be distributed to at least 500,000 Households in the North.

He said that the gesture was to complement Tinubu’s efforts of supporting the Needy and other Vulnerable in the Society.

Yari enjoined Nigerians to pray for relief from the Economic challenges bedeviling the Nation.

10-Mar-2024 Vacate immediately, Lagos orders Owners of Shanties in Lekki

Vacate immediately, Lagos orders Owners of Shanties in Lekki

The Lagos State Government is set to remove Shanties and Illegal Structures erected around the Jakande Estate and Mayegun, in Ajah.

Olusegun Olaoye, the Public Affairs Officer, Lagos State Building Control Agency, said this in a Statement on Sunday in Lagos.

Olaoye said that Relocation Notices and warnings had been given since the past two years.

He quoted Olajide Babatunde, the Special Adviser to the Governor on eGIS and Urban Development, as saying this during an Inspection of the Area on Sunday in Lagos.

Babatunde expressed dissatisfaction the way and manner unplanned Construction was put up in Jakande Estate and Mayegun.

He said that Spaces that should be clear for various reasons, like Building Distance from the Road (Setbacks) and proper water flow (Drainage), were being blocked by these Structures.

Babatunde lamented that the planned Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Project was being negatively affected by the Construction.

He advised Occupants of these Shanties and Illegal Structures to vacate with immediate effect.

He said that the Government would not give further Notice before removal of the Structures.
Babatunde said, “Removal Notices had been served severally on the Occupants of these Shanties but they have remained adamant.

“You can see that some of them have started removing the Illegal Structures themselves but, I will implore those yet to comply to do so immediately as removal of these Illegal Structures begins today.”

Those who accompanied the Special Adviser on the Inspection Tour include the Permanent Secretary, Office of Urban Development, Sodeinde Nurudeen, General Manager, State Building Control Agency, Gbolahan Oki, and some Security Officials.

10-Mar-2024 We won’t award Contracts for Contractors to sit at home, Minister warns

We won’t award Contracts for Contractors to sit at home, Minister warns

Bello Goronyo, the Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, says President Bola Tinubu’s Agenda on Food Security is not just a mere promise but an absolute priority.

Speaking in Sokoto State on Sunday during an Inspection of the ongoing Work on the Goronyo Dam Speedway, the Minister emphasised the importance of Contractors fulfilling their Responsibilities.

Goronyo said that Members of the National Executive Council were actively overseeing the activities of all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure effective monitoring.

“The Era of neglecting Contracts is behind us, we are fully committed, and we expect Contractors to deliver. We won’t award Contracts for Contractors to relax at home while we pay.

“We will not rest until Nigerians reap the true benefits of Democracy championed by President Bola Tinubu,” he said.

Regarding the Dam Project, Goronyo acknowledged the challenges with the Speed Gate causing water overflow and damaging Farmlands.

“This issue has led to significant Crop damage, and Farmers have raised concerns.

“At the Ministry level, we have engaged the Contractor, who has committed to completing the Work within two weeks,” he explained.

The Minister further said that his On-Site Visit provided valuable insights into the level of compliance.

“By the end of the stipulated period, upon my return, if the Work is completed with a lasting solution, I will be satisfied,” he concluded. 

10-Mar-2024 Rescue Kaduna School Children, Tinubu orders Security Agencies

Rescue Kaduna School Children, Tinubu orders Security Agencies

Vice-President Kashim Shettima says President Bola Tinubu has ordered the entire Security Architecture in the Country to rescue the abducted Kaduna School Children.

Shettima said this on Saturday when he paid a Sympathy Visit to Governor Uba Sani.

The Vice-President, who said that President Tinubu was personally pained by the unfortunate incident, gave assurance that the President was equal to the task of securing the Country.

“I am here at the behest of President Bola Tinubu to empathise, in solidarity with the Government and People of Kaduna State, over the sad incident of the kidnapping of our School Children.

“The President was personally pained by what happened and he has instructed the Security Agencies to leave no stone unturned until we return our Children to their Parents.

“He is in regular contact with the Governor.

To date, he has spoken with the Governor four times and with me three times, asking if the Children have been rescued.

“On behalf of my Principal, President Bola Tinubu, please  accept our sympathy over the travails that have befallen our People.

“Be rest assured that the President is equal to the task, the very essence of the existence of Government is to secure the Lives and Properties of the Citizenry.

“I appeal to the Media to be very selective in their choice of reporting the incident, in the interest of the Children that are affected.”

He, however, commended the Media and solicited their continued support.

“Our Friends from the Media, we have come a long way and we will go a long way with you.

“You are our Friends, you are our Contemporaries, you are our Brothers,” Shettima said.

Earlier, Governor Sani said that President Tinubu, Vice-President Shettima and the Security Agencies had been working closely with the Kaduna State Government since the incident happened.

According to him, the State Government is also working with the affected Community, the Leadership of Chikun Local Government, as well as relevant Security Agencies to ensure that all the Children return home safely.

“I will like to thank the Vice-President for visiting us, to commiserate with the People and Government of Kaduna over the unfortunate incident.

“I am happy that since the incident happened, President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima as well as the Security Agencies in the Country have been working closely with us to ensure the safe return of the Children.

“I will like to caution the Media to be very careful in the way they make their own Reports because, at this critical time, we have to avoid politicising this very unfortunate incident.

“What is important to us is the safe return of the Children and, of course, we cannot allow anybody to jeopardise the safety of the kidnapped Children,” Sani said.

No less than 287 Pupils and Teachers of Government Secondary School and LEA Primary School  in Kuriga, Kaduna, were abducted by Bandits on Thursday, triggering Nationwide outrage.

The Bandits reportedly invaded the Kuriga area of Chikun Local Government Area in Kaduna State, shooting at some of their Victims before taking away the Pupils and Teachers from both Schools. 

 

08-Mar-2024 ECOWAS raises concerns over rising Terrorism attacks

ECOWAS raises concerns over rising Terrorism attacks

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says Member Countries are currently facing a clear and present danger in the form of Transnational Terrorism.

Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, said this at a News Conference in Abuja on Friday.

“Initially confined to certain Countries in the Sahel (Mali and Niger) and the Lake Chad Basin (Nigeria), Terrorist attacks have multiplied and spread to other Countries (Burkina Faso and Mali) and are now a real threat to Coastal Countries (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo).

“The number of fatalities, those maimed, displaced, and those who have lost Livelihoods and Educational Opportunities has been the subject of conflicting figures.

“Yet all the figures are indicative of the pain and suffering that Insecurity continues to inflict on the People, particularly in the Sahelian Member States,’ he said.

Reeling out statistics to that effect, Musah said in 2023, for instance, more than 3,500 incidents of Terror attacks were recorded in the ECOWAS Region, including close to 2,000 in Burkina Faso; more than 1,044 in Mali; and 500 in Niger Republic.

According to the Commissioner, these incidents have resulted in close to 9,000 fatalities, including 7,000 in the three Sahelian Countries – Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic.

Musah observed that Terrorist attacks in the Coastal Region include 177 in Benin Republic and Togo which recorded 203 deaths.

He said the attacks left in their trails debilitating effects on Human Lives with dire Humanitarian crises.

“In just the three ECOWAS Sahelian Countries a total of 4.8 million People faced Food Insecurity, 2.4 million People were internally displaced and close to 9000 Schools remained closed.

“A disaggregation of the Data shows that Burkina Faso had the highest number of Food-Insecure People – close to 2.2 million; followed by Niger with 1.9 million and Mali about 800, 000.

“Burkina Faso also accounts for the largest number of internally displaced People – about 2 million, while Mali and Niger each have close to half a million displaced Persons.

“The number of Schools closed stood at 6,000 in Burkina Faso, 1,700 in Mali and 1000 in Niger,” he said.

The Commissioner, however, said that the Sub-Regional Bloc had taken measures to curb acts of terror and stem the tide of Humanitarian Hardship which they had wreaked on the People.

He added that due to the transnational nature of Terrorism threats, the Bloc has initiated multilateral efforts within the Framework of existing Regional and Continental mechanisms or through the creation of Ad-hoc arrangements.

In addition, he said, Partner States and Institutions have also launched some Initiatives aimed at contributing to the fight against Terrorism.

“In addition to ECOWAS own Counter-Terrorism Initiatives, there have been multiple other Initiatives in the Region, including the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (MNJTF), Nouakchott Process (AU) and the Accra Initiative.

“These are anchored on Intelligence and Information sharing, European Union Capacity Building Mission in Niger (EUCAP Sahel Niger), MINUSMA and the G5 Sahel until recently.

“This is why as ECOWAS our Proposal is to integrate the various Initiatives into the Regional Plan of Action and use them as Specialised Operational Tools of the Regional mechanism.

“This will facilitate coordination, promote ownership, and enhance inclusion,” he explained.

The Commissioner noted that Proposals have been made by the Committee of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defense Staff with regard to the deployment of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) to combat Terrorism in a kinetic mode to be funded by the Bloc.

“In the coming weeks, the Ministers of Finance and Defence will meet in Abuja to determine the Modalities to mobilise Resources including for the activation and Operations of the Force.

“This Force will operate across the Region, in close collaboration with Local Forces and existing Anti-Terrorist mechanisms,” he said.

Musah said ECOWAS had already involved Third Parties to resolve its differences with Mali, Burkina-Faso, and Niger, who had earlier announced their threat to withdraw from the Bloc.

According to him, all Financial and Economic Sanctions had been lifted on the three Countries, while other measures were being deployed to make them see reasons to remain in ECOWAS.

“There are various Engagements also going on, not only by ECOWAS but by Third Parties and all that in order for all of us to find common ground with these Countries.

“We are just waiting for the three member States, who I must repeat, are all important Members of ECOWAS.

“And without them, it is going to be more difficult to deal with many of the challenges facing the Region.

“You know, Terrorism, the whole issue of the Sahel what is happening there, and our collective goal in terms of free movement of People and all that.

“With the Sanctions that were imposed, we saw the indirect impact of them on Ordinary People who trade across Borders,” he said.

Musah maintained that ECOWAS is a listening Institution, whose Heads of State have given attention to the Population and have taken the appropriate measures.

“The ball is now in the court of our Member States, that is, the three Countries,” he added.

 

08-Mar-2024 Tinubu sacks Salihijo as REA boss, dismisses three Directors over fraud

Tinubu sacks Salihijo as REA boss, dismisses three Directors over fraud

President Bola Tinubu has approved the indefinite suspension of the Managing Director/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, alongside three Executive Directors of the Agency.

A Statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, said this followed a comprehensive Investigation into the Financial activities of the Agency.

The President also approved the Appointment of Abba Abubakar Aliyu as the new Managing Director/CEO of the Agency in acting capacity with immediate effect.

The new Appointees of the Agency are Ayoade Gboyega as Executive Director, Corporate Services and Umar Abdullahi Umar as Executive Director, Technical Services.

Others are Doris Uboh as Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund (REF) and Olufemi Akinyelure as Head of Project Management Unit, Nigeria Electrification Project.

Ngelale said the suspended Officials alongside the former Managing Director are Olaniyi Alaba Netufo, Executive Director, Corporate Services; Barka Sajou, Executive Director, Technical Services and Sa’adatu Balgore, Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund.

Ngelale said the President has ordered a wider Investigation into the conduct of the suspended Officials in an alleged  fraudulent mis-expenditure amounting to over N1.2bn over the past two years.

He added that some of the Funds had already been recovered by the Anti-Graft Agencies.

The Spokesman said Tinubu charged all Appointees to uphold the highest standards of transparency and accountability in the discharge of their Duties.

He also reiterated his determination to elevate the yearnings of Nigerians for good Governance and qualitative Service Delivery above the narrow interests of Individuals entrusted to provide critical Services.

07-Mar-2024 Senate, House Leadership to meet Tinubu as fresh attack in Benue claims 50 Lives

Senate, House Leadership to meet Tinubu as fresh attack in Benue claims 50 Lives

The Senate, says Leadership of the National Assembly will meet President Bola Tinubu over Resolutions and Recommendations toward curbing killings and general insecurity Nationwide.

The Senate said the recommendations were those made by the Eight, Ninth and 10th  Assemblies.

The Senate Resolution followed adoption of a Motion at Plenary on Wednesday.

The Motion, titled, ”Continued killings by suspected Terrorists parading as Herdsmen and increasing insecurity in Kwande, Ukum, Logo and Katsina Ala Local Government Areas of Benue” was sponsored by Emmamuel Udende (APC-Benue).

Udende in his Lead Debate, said it was sad that no fewer than 50 Persons were killed in fresh attacks on several Communities in Kwande, Ukum, Logo and Katsina Ala local government areas of Benue by Terrorists.

He said the affected Communities, some of which were attacked on March 5, include Tyuluv, Borikyo, Kundav, Ugbaam, Uyam, Udedeku, Yaaiwa, Nyihemba, Tomatar, Menakwagh, Yiase and Agura all in the Benue North- East Senatorial District.

Udende said Residents of the Villages and Communities now found themselves as targets of heavily armed Terrorists on daily basis.

This, he said, left many Homes completely burnt down and numerous Residents still missing, while the Perpetrators, however, remained elusive and had not been apprehended.

He said the pathetic situation and development had inflicted untold hardship on Women, Children and the Elderly, who were trekking long distances in search of a safe haven and awaiting intervention of Security Operatives.

Udende said the situation had impacted negatively on the Economic Lives of the People and the resultant effect of shortage of Farm Produce was one of the reasons for astronomical rise in Prices of Agricultural Produce and Inflation in Nigeria.

He expressed worry that despite the Public outcry and previous Resolutions of the National Assembly on criminal activities of the Terrorists, their activities had continued.

The Senate in its further Resolutions, urged the Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police and Heads of other Security Agencies to as a matter of urgency, deploy Security Personnel to address continuing and ongoing attacks by Terrorists in the affected Communities.

This, Senate said, was to flush out and stop the killings and restore normalcy to the affected Communities.

Senate also called for heightened surveillance and investment in Surveillance Technology and Equipment to detect and prevent future attacks.

It also called for a review of  the Security Architecture in the Areas affected to forestall the continuous attacks.

It further requested the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to immediately mobilise Relief Materials to the People displaced by the recent attacks in the Communities of Benue.

President of Senate, Godswill Akpabio in his remarks, said the primary responsibility of the State Government was to use Security Vote to ensure security of Lives and Property.

”We expect that the State Government will marshall out plans with the immediate Security Operatives within the affected States and see what they can do before bringing it to the President.

“And I want to assure you that President Bola Tinubu though he has not stayed long in Office, is supportive of the activities of the Armed Forces.

“And by the time the Senate meets with him in conjunction with the House of Representatives, I believe that the Resolutions that we come out with, will benefit the entire Country.

“It is a fact that since his assumption of Duties, Insecurity has abated, major attacks are no longer taking place but this one is just an abberation, and it will be brought to an end.

“I assure People of the Areas affected that the Senate is taking serious actions with the Presidency to ensure that normalcy is restored to the Areas and Victims are also taken care of.”

 

07-Mar-2024 Shettima on Wigwe: He was a miracle who  left before the Season of Bloom

Shettima on Wigwe: He was a miracle who left before the Season of Bloom

Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Wednesday, in a poetic tribute described the late Group Chief Executive, Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, as ‘a miracle capturing his exploits, achievements and conquests’.

Shettima said this during the Night of Tribute for Wigwe, held at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, where he conveyed the Condolences of the Presidency.

Shettima, in a poetic rendition, captured the qualities of the Deceased as a Banker, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist.

“Herbert left us in Winter, far away from Home. Herbert left us before the Season of Bloom.

“Spring was just to arrive at his last location, the United States, when the Lord called for him but Spring is not the symbol of Hebert’s Bloom, his Journey was defined by perculiar Seasons.

“He bloomed long before his Co-Travellers, so this Spring for us isn’t the Spring of Festive Flowers, it is the Season of Wreaths.

“This Spring for us isn’t the Season of Tears, it is a Celebration of Herbert’s Flight to a height that only a few of God’s Chosen Ones have attained.

“I feel privileged to be here today to share in the Memories of Hebert and the Pillars of his Hope that left with him.

“Only 15 days separated Herbert’s birth from mine.
He is a Friend, a Brother, a Contemporary, I feel honoured to partake in celebrating the divine miracle that was Herbert’s life,” Shettima said.

The Vice President praised the exploits of  late Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the former Group Managing Director of Access Bank, for transformations brought into the Banking Industry.

He described Wigwe who was his former Colleague in the Banking Sector as a Visionary Leader.

“He was a sanctuary of inspiration for his Friends, a source of solace for his Family, a nourishing hope for his Community, a symbol of pride for Nigeria and a beacon of hope for Africa,” he said.

Shettima explained Wigwe’s excellence in all Areas where he had opportunity to utilise his talents to make transgenerational impacts of success stories.

He said that Wigwe conquered all that was supposed to be conquered, all captured within his impactful Lifetime of an extraordinary Service and Leadership.

He mourned Wigwe; his Wife, Chizoba; their son, Chizi; and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Group, and their other Associates in the Helicopter crash.

“The Journey of our departed Brothers and sister may have ended in a distant land but their spirits linger in the hearts of everyone here and beyond.

“Today, we honour not just the Souls that boarded that helicopter but the indomitable Dreamers and Builders that soar to heights reserved for the chosen few,” he said.

He commended the establishment of Wigwe University, birthed to raise a Generation of bold Nigerians and Africans who will change the World.

“On behalf of my Principal, President Bola Tinubu, the Access Family, the Banking World, the Nigerian Nation, please accept our most heartfelt condolences, may his Soul rest in eternal peace, Amen. Thank you,” he said. 

 

07-Mar-2024 Tinubu: Assuming a Leadership position in tough times is the ultimate test

Tinubu: Assuming a Leadership position in tough times is the ultimate test

President Bola Tinubu has extolled the virtues of the late first Premier of the Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo.

This is contained in a Statement by Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant to The President on Media and Communications, Office of The Vice President, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Tinubu, who during the 2024 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership held in Lagos, noted that the Principles of Awolowo have withstood the tests of time and geography.

Represented by the Vice President Kashim Shettima, the President described the late Awolowo as a compass and guiding light for several Generations of Leaders.

Tinubu, who identified the power of time to judge fairly, noted that it was only time that defines the tough decisions, character and sacrifices a Leader has to take to make a difference.

He observed that understanding Awolowo’s teachings requires coming to terms with “the obscured reality of Leadership.

“Overcoming the conspiracies of Mischief-Makers, Sceptics and Saboteurs is the very first test every true Leader must undergo.

“For the great Sage from Ikenne, his enduring impact persisted despite revisionist efforts.

“Time sifts through biases and lies, and through hidden Agendas and Propaganda.

“Time delivers to us the naked truth that defines the tough decisions and sacrifices every sincere Leader must make to create a difference.

“But, in all we do, we must always find strength in the belief of those who trust the Process, those who give us the benefit of the doubt.”

He noted that there was no greater honour than the privilege to lead one’s People.

Tinubu said that assuming a position of Leadership during times of turbulence is the ultimate test of our mettle as Leaders.

“It is in these moments of uncertainty that true character and capability come to the forefront.

“While the immediate judgment may be rendered by the People we either impress or displease, the long-term verdict is carved by time, the passage of time.”

He recalled how Awolowo contended with forces both within and outside his Political Party.

The President stated that the great Sage was a victim of his ambition to make a difference and was dragged by a hostile Opposition until he found himself behind bars.

He, however, noted that with the passage of time, even the harshest of Awo’s Critics came to realise the futility of taking a man who stood out, even in death, because of his refusal to compromise his convictions for granted.

“He (Awolowo) fought until his very last days in defence of Democracy in Nigeria, and these are the examples that make him a Hero of the Nation.

“There is no doubt that time has been Awolowo’s ally. Time has revealed the enduring impact of his Ideas and actions,” Tinubu said.

He congratulated the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwunmi Adeṣina, for clinching the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership.

He described Adesina as a “maverick change-maker who has not only flown our flag all over the World but has dazzled the World with the novelty of his thoughts, indispensability of his Ideas, and dynamism of his actions”.

Earlier, Adesina recalled the Visionary Leadership and Legacies of the late Awolowo, which, according to him, spreads across Education, Healthcare and Infrastructure Development.

He said the Award is humbling, inspiring and motivating, even as he pledged to support Initiatives that will transform more Lives and Livelihoods across Africa.

The Chairperson of the occasion and President of Tanzania, Samia Hassan, commended the foresight of the Eminent Team of Judges for selecting Adesina for the 2024 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership. 

 

05-Mar-2024 So much to talk about at Wigwe's Night of Tributes...

So much to talk about at Wigwe's Night of Tributes...

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos on Monday promised to immortalise the Memory of the late Founder of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe.

Sanwo-Olu made the pledge on Monday night at an Event to celebrate the late Group Chief Executive, Access Corporation, tagged, “Celebrating Herbert Wigwe – A Professional Legacy”.

The Event was divided into six Segments of Young Hebert, the Banker, the Entrepreneur, the CEO, the Builder and the Ambassador.

The Governor narrated his last conversation with Wigwe on Thursday, February 8, where lofty Ideas were discussed.

“This was the last conversation that I will keep on my Phone for a long time,” he said.

He said that Wigwe was a Man who always had good stories and supported several Projects of his Administration and driving him to take up new challenges.

“Herbert was one of the very first People that supported my ambition generously,” he said.

He said it was unbelievable how a Man could give so much, including his words of encouragement.

Sanwo-Olu revealed how Wigwe collaborated with other Partners to cushion the effects of COVID-19 during the dreaded Global Pandemic.

“Herbert led from the front, encouraged and stood with the State Government. I have indeed lost a big friend,” he said.

He said Wigwe and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the former Group Managing Director of Access Bank, took a trip with him to Cairo to pursue Visions of Lagos.

He said Wigwe had a Special History of Isale Eko, and Lagos would immortalise him, haven been born in Island Maternity Hospital.

He said if places of birth mattered, Wigwe should be of Isale Eko Origin, noting, “Herbert has transcended beyond Borders.

“Lagos will not forget Herbert Wigwe. We will support the Family,” he said.

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun while speaking of his encounters said, “It is a tough Season for all of us.”

Abiodun said words were not enough to describe how larger than life Wigwe was as he achieved so much within a short Lifetime.

“Herbert was loyal to his Friends, way ahead of his time ever forward looking,” he said.

He said Wigwe believed in the Country Nigeria, he was patriotic, adding that he met him about 30 years ago and thanked Wigwe for believing in him and supportive of his Programmes and Projects.

He said the Projects included Gateway International Airport and the Epe/Ijebu-Ode Road Projects, among others.

He described Wigwe as a bridge builder, selfless, bold and courageous.

He said it still felt like a bad dream that Herbert was gone, saying he was happy he honoured the Invitation to see Wigwe’s new Home.

He hinted that Wigwe had a Street named after him in Beirut, saying, “he lived more than a Life on one Lifetime”.

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, narrated Wigwe’s contributions to Sports and various Sectors, including supporting his Personal and Family Visions.

“Herbert gave me his time and thinking, what I valued most; the Man is never short of Ideas,” he said.

The CBN Governor said he and the Deceased recently discussed the way out of the Country’s Economic impasse, adding that the Banker’s demise had left a vacuum in that Sector and the Economy.

Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, former Senator for Gombe North and former of Governor of Gombe State, said, “from Him we come, to Him we shall return” while reeling out good times with Wigwe Coopers Library.

Dankwambo said Herbert was handed over to him as a Brother by his Father.

Dankwambo, a former Accountant-General of the Federation, shared hilarious moments, describing Wigwe as a detribalised Nigerian.

“Herbert and I acquired this Bank (Access Bank) and made it what it is today,” he said.

Dignitaries relished adventurous and courageous stories from Wigwe’s early Childhood and later his successful sourjourn and success stories from GTB and later the acquisition of Access Bank.

Femi Otedola, in an emotion-laden voice, also expressed the qualities of Wigwe while Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote, said Wigwe lived an incredible Life.

Tributes of President Bola Tinubu, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, France President, Emmanuel Macron, and former US President, Bill Clinton’s were read at the Event.

Friends, Associations, Professional Colleagues, Access Bank Management from Nigeria, Ghana, and the UK as well as Staff took turns to eulogise the patriotism, friendship, and mentorship qualities of Wigwe.

Iyabo Okunsanya, Executive Director-in-charge of Corporate and Investment Banking at Access Bank Plc, said the opening prayer at the Event.

Also, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Roosevelt Ogbonna, read the Citation of Wigwe while Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the former Group Managing Director of Access Bank delivered the Closing Speech. 

03-Mar-2024 Lekki Community inaugurates Road built through self-help

Lekki Community inaugurates Road built through self-help

Some Members of Estates in the Lekki Peninsular, under the Aegis of the Estate Initiative, have completed a 700m Road known as Osapa-Platinum Link Road, through self help.

The new Road is to provide Commuters respite from the Lekki-Epe Expressway Traffic Congestion.

Sophie Pokima, Co-ordinator of Estate Initiative, Osapa-Platinum Road Project, during Inauguration of the Road on Saturday, said that the aim was to complement Government efforts in Transport Infrastructure Development.

According to Pokima, the development demonstrates that when Communities come together to pursue a cause, they will achieve their goals.

She said that the Road was aimed at saving the Osapa-Platinum Community from perennial  Traffic Congestion on the Osapa-Lekki-Epe Expressway.

She said that at evenings, Members of the Community spent about 30 minutes to turn into the Yahaya Dosunmu Way from Lekki-Epe Expressway.

“This obviously is not sustainable, as that long waiting time at the Traffic Light to get off the Expressway leaves Motorists frustrated and leads to indiscipline.

“Agitations that have resulted in accidents have occurred due to these situations.

“Also, for our Members who use the Chevron Drive access, it takes them between 30-45 minutes to drive to Jakande Traffic Light during peak hours.

“With all these challenges, Members of the Estate Initiative saw huge Economic and Health potential in creating an outlet into the Lekki-Epe Road, and mobilised themselves to kick off this Project,” she said.

Pokima lauded the contributions of the Chairman of Oretol Nigeria Limited, Adewale Oladapo, to the Project.

She added that the Leadership of the Lekki Estate Residents and Stakeholders Association, the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Chairman, Eti Osa Local Government Area  supported  the Initiative.

“They learnt of the Project, took interest in it, took time off their busy schedules to carry out on-the-spot assessment and made contributions and pledges.

“We still,  however, have a long way to go.

“The Majority Leader has graciously linked us to the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, who not only promised to provide Lightening for the Road and other Roads on the Corridor, but also sent a Project Engineer for on-the-spot assessment and measurements.

“We thank the Commissioner and eagerly await the execution of that part of the Project,” she said.

The Chairman of Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Adesegun Bankole, lauded the Community for the  Intervention.

Bankole, represented by Abiodun Maiyegun, Supervisor, Works and Infrastructure, Eti-Osa Local Government Area, urged other Estates to replicate same to complement the State Government’s efforts in addressing Infrastructure deficiencies.

He pledged the Government’s support for such an Initiative, and urged the  Residents to continually liaise with the Local Government to maximise Opportunities for Community Development.

Tari Taylaur, Chairman, Zone A,  Lekki Estate Residents and Stakeholders Association, said that it was laudable that the Community Members executed such a Project to make life easier.

She urged more Communities  to take steps within their capacities to improve Lives without waiting for Government all the time.

She also urged  Communities to keep their Environments clean.

 

02-Mar-2024 Poor Power Supply: FG threatens to withdraw Licenses of Non-performing DisCos

Poor Power Supply: FG threatens to withdraw Licenses of Non-performing DisCos

Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu has summoned Chief Executive Officers of two Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to a Meeting to hold in the coming week over worsening supply situations in their Regions.

Those invited to the Meeting are Chief Executive Officers of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBDC).

Also summoned to the Meeting is Sule Abdulazeez, Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

The Summon is contained in a Letter signed by B.U Mustapha, Director, Distribution Services, Ministry of Power.

The Management of other non-performing Distribution Companies would also be queried over non-performance as Reports continue to filter in on situation in their Regions.

The two DisCos have been summoned due to the worsening Power Supply situation in their Regions in spite of improved Supply from TCN.

Bolaji Tunji, Special Adviser, Strategic Communication and Media Relations at the Ministry stated on Saturday in Abuja that Gas shortage notwithstanding, Electricity Generation had been ramped up to more than 4000mw in recent days.

“The Ministry expects Power Supply to have improved across the Country, as opposed to current experience in some Regions.

“Findings revealed that some Distribution Companies were deliberately not taking up Power Supply from TCN, while some Power Lines were also damaged by Vandals in Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt and Ibadan Regions,’’ he stated.

He quoted the Minister as saying that wilful non- performance by any DisCo could suffice as reason for severe punishment or outright License revocation.

“The Minister also directed TCN to immediately begin repair works on damaged Transmission Towers and Power Lines to improve Power Supply in affected Regions,’’ Tunii stated.

He recalled that the Minister embarked on Supervisory Visits to some of the Power Generating Plants in the last few months.

“He was in Kainji Hydropower Plant which will soon embark on an expansion plan to boost its existing 560mw Operational Capacity.

“He also visited Benue and Taraba to assess Infrastructure being constructed to evacuate an additional 30mw from the Kashimbilla Hydropower Station to the National Grid,’’ he stated.

Only 10mw is currently being evacuated from the Kashimbilla Hydropower Station to the National Grid.

The Minister was also at Olorunshogo and Omotosho Thermal Plants in Ogun and Ondo States, respectively and was at Ihvobor and Azura Power Plants in Edo.

During the Visits, he assured that the Federal Government planned to pay part of the outstanding debts owed Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos) and Gas Supply Companies.

Tunji stated also that with efforts being made there should soon be succour for Electricity Consumers Nationwide. 

 

02-Mar-2024 I will make Kogi a nightmare for Criminals, Governor boasts

I will make Kogi a nightmare for Criminals, Governor boasts

Governor Ahmed Ododo of Kogi, has vowed that his Administration would flush out all criminal elements in the State.
Ododo said this on Friday in Lokoja during the Passing out Parade of 132 Rank and File of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Represented by the State Security Adviser, Jerry Omodara, the Governor said there had been fight back by criminals since January 27 when his Administration came on board.

“Security is work in progress. Now that there is a new Government, we have realised that there is a fight back by criminals but we have a solid foundation as far as Security is concern in Kogi.

“That is the reason we quickly reviewed the Security Architecture of the State and every loopholes we needed to plug.

“We are already sniffing them out. We have issues of almost three kidnapped cases simultaneously along Obajana-Kabba Road that almost gave us another bad name.
“I can assure you today that the State has tackled them very well; we are determined to flush out criminals from our dear Dtate,” Ododo said,

The Governor promised his continued support for the Security Agencies, and urged them to work in synergy to ensure that Kogi remained safe.

Ododo assured of his determination to not only sustain the Foundation of Security Architecture inherited from the previous Government but also to improve on it.

He restated his commitment to continue to invest heavily on Technology and Human Intelligence, saying, “when we have the Security working as one body you will discover that we will achieve results.

“Insecurity is Community-based. We have also involved Security at the Grassroots

“We are carrying the Hunters along and reviewing the Kogi State Vigilante activities. We are bringing them to be a serious Fighting Force to make sure Kogi is kept safe”.

He commended the NSCDC Personnel for their role in protecting Lives and Properties in the Country and implored them to do more for the unity of Nigeria as a Nation.
Earlier, the NSCDC Commandant in Kogi, Paul Igwebuike, commended the Corps’s Commandant-General, Abubakar Audi, on his Policies in rejigging NSCDC, saying it has yielded positive results.

The State Commandant advised the newly recruited Officers to serve their Fatherland with sincerity to the Nation.

02-Mar-2024 Tinubu's emergence as Nigeria's President ordained by God, says Shettima

Tinubu's emergence as Nigeria's President ordained by God, says Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima says the emergence of Bola Tinubu as President is not by chance but a Divine blessing base on purity of his heart.


Shettima stated this on Friday when he hosted a Delegation of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) on a Courtesy Visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


”The Road that led to the Tinubu Presidency did not happen by chance. This is a man whose trajectory is characterised by making sacrifices for the good of the Nation.


“The President’s success is a Divine blessing which is a reward for the purity of his heart,” he said.


Shettima emphasised the need for Leaders to invest in building bridges, stressing that Tinubu’s contributions in providing an alternative Platform for the Nigerian Political System could not be underrated.


”President Tinubu made sacrifices and built bridges. He was a veritable sanctuary for Victims of Political witch hunts.


”When other Governors were struggling to have a Seat at the Dining Table with former President Olusegun Obasanjo way back then, he provided an alternative Platform for the Nigerian Political system,” he said.


Shettima therefore urged Nigerians that, the President not being a Leader by accident, they should be patient with him as he piloted the affairs of the Country to success.


Shettima urged the newly appointed Board of NCPC to demonstrate unwavering devotion to duty.


He reminded the Board Members of the importance of Religious commitment in addressing the challenges facing the Nation.


”All of you here were picked because of your Religious Devotion. We cannot condone what is taking place in the System.


”We must all strive to make a positive impact to attain the Nigeria of our dreams,” he said.


Earlier, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, Stephen Adegbite, expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for the opportunity given to them to serve on the Board.


He also commended the Vice President’s exceptional Leadership, recounting instances of support for the Church and efforts to foster peace and harmony in Borno State.


“Your antecedent and what we have known about you are immense.


“When we came to Maiduguri, Borno State, I was the Director of National Issues and Social Welfare at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).


“The then CAN Chairman in Borno State said to us that they had an exceptional Governor, who supported Christians and rebuilt Churches destroyed by Boko Haram,” he said.


He added that Vice President Shettima stood with the Church and ensured that there was peace and harmony in the Church in Nigeria and with People of other Faith.


Adegbite also noted that the Commission’s Role goes beyond Pilgrimage as it extended to ensuring a harmonious Environment for the Nation.

01-Mar-2024 Tinubu slams Labour, says 'You are not the only voice of Nigeria'

Tinubu slams Labour, says 'You are not the only voice of Nigeria'

President Bola Tinubu says  the value of Democracy is measured in People-oriented outcomes, Projects and Programmes.

Tinubu stated this on Thursday in Lagos while inaugurating the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT), Red Line Project.

The 37km Project is expected to reduce Travel Time and improve Transportation and Logistics in the State.

Tinubu said the Federal and Subnational Governments would strengthen their Collaboration to provide reliable, efficient, and affordable Transportation Systems for all Nigerians across the Country.

‘It is my singular pleasure to inaugurate the First Phase of the LRMT Red Line to the glory of God Almighty and for the benefit of the People.

”Today, I am seriously honoured that I am a Lagosian and the first to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

”My promise is not to let you down. We will arrive at the destination with joy, happiness, and prosperity; God willing,” he said.

The President said the Vision of a Modern and Effective Public Transportation System in the State was conceived during his tenure as the former Governor of Lagos State.

He described the Project as a dream realised and a fulfillment of years of hard work and dedication by successive Governments.

”I am very happy indeed that today is a day to remember in Nigeria’s Infrastructural History, particularly Lagos, the Center of Excellence.

“Today is evidence that it is good to dream, and it is a serious validation of Democracy as a Form of Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.

”When you put People at the center of your Vision and Planning, you will realise the Value of Democracy.

”Twenty-five years ago, I was elected to lead Nigeria’s Most Populous State.

“From the very beginning, my Team and I toiled day and night with a very bare cupboard and amidst pervasive deficiency to implement a Developmental Vision that will transform Lagos into an Economic Powerhouse.

”The momentum of greatness we kick-started a Quarter of a Century ago has become unstoppable progress. It is not a crime to dream and dream big. Just stay focused and make development a central focus,’’ he said.

Tinubu called on Nigerians to embrace change and work toward National Progress, stressing his Administration’s commitment to eradicating corruption and ensuring Industrial harmony.

”Some Labour Unions should understand that no matter how we cling to our freedom and rights, to call for strikes within the first nine months of a new Administration is unacceptable.

”If you want to directly participate in the Electoral Process, wait until 2027, if not, maintain the peace. Labour is not the only voice of Nigeria,” the President said.

Tinubu assured Nigerians that their Lives would become more enjoyable as Modern Amenities are built across the entire Nation under his progressive Leadership.

‘‘This is very efficient and comfortable, and I am happy. Our Transportation System must be all about the People. We have cut down Imports on PMS by almost 50 per cent.

“We need Mass Transit to complement the daily efforts of Citizens and make things easier for our People. And this is what this is all about. It is about the People. It is about Democracy. We are happy about it,’’ Tinubu said.

He commended the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the Urban Transport Agency he established over 20 years ago, for its exemplary performance.

Tinubu implored LAMATA to sustain the momentum in completing all other phases of the Red Line Project, as well as the full execution of the broader Rail Blueprint of the State.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, said the First Phase of the Project, executed by the State Government, spanned 37 kilometers and shared the track of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Lagos-Ibadan Modernisation Project.

He explained that it is from Ebute Metta to Agbado with Stations at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja, Agege, and Iju.

According to the Governor, Phase One of the Project will transport 750,000 Passengers daily at inception and 1.1 million Passengers daily once it is fully operational.

”All the Stations are live and ready to receive Passengers,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The President also witnessed the signing of the Contract for Phase 2 of the LRMT Red Line project by the Managing Director of LAMATA, Abimbola Akinajo, and the Chairman of CCECC Nigeria Limited, Jason Zhang.

Tinubu embarked on an Inaugural Train Ride from the Ikeja Station to the Agege Station, accompanied by  Sanwo-Olu and his  Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.

Others include some State Governors; Members of the Federal and State Executive Councils; Members of the Federal and State Legislative Assemblies and Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jianchun.

 

29-Feb-2024 Hardship: Why we chicken out, NLC defends suspension of Protest

Hardship: Why we chicken out, NLC defends suspension of Protest

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said the day-two Nationwide Protest over Hunger and Economic Hardship was suspended due to alleged threats on the Leadership of the Congress.

Joe Ajaero, NLC President, said this at a News Conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

The National Executive Council (NEC,) of the NLC had called for a two- day Nationwide Protest against the crisis of survival and Hardship in Nigeria to be held between February 27 and February 28.

On the first day of the  peaceful Protest, NEC of the Congress suspended day-two of the Protest.

According to Ajaero, it is important that Members of the Public are made aware of the grievous threats against the Leadership of the NLC.

“This is aimed at intimidating and harassing us into abandoning our choice of Democratic Expressions through the Nationwide Protests.

“”We have been threatened with all manners of consequences that will be meted out to us if we went ahead with the Protest.

“We were not, however, deterred as lifting the heavy yoke of suffering upon Nigerian Workers and Masses left us with no other choice than to press on, ” he said

He said that during the Tuesday Rally in Abuja, we had hard evidence of the importation of Agent Provocateurs.

The NLC President said the Agent Provocateurs were mobilised to the Protest Routes and Grounds to cause violence and unleash mayhem against peacefully assembled and Protesting Nigerians.

“God is, however, always a step ahead of the Enemies of Workers and Nigerian People.

“That was also one of the reasons we had to restructure the second day of the Nationwide Protest.

“As we address this Press Briefing, all the Major Routes to our Headquarters here in Abuja have become militarised,” he said.

Ajaero said that this level of intimidation was designed to suffocate and muzzle the Voices of the Citizens so that we can surrender the Civic Space to Retrogressive Forces of the Society.

According to the NLC president, today is the 46th Anniversary of NLC.

“The recognition of that also conditioned our decision to rearrange our activities for day-two to allow us observe our Birthday in a solemn Assembly in our various Secretariats across the Nation,” he said.

Ajaero therefore, said the NLC would remain steadfast in its commitment to defending and promoting the
interests of Nigerian Workers and the Downtrodden.

NEC of the NLC also extended the Ultimatum to the Government by an additional seven days, which would lapse in March to implement all Agreements reached. 

 

28-Feb-2024 Hardship: There is light at the end of the tunnel, I take responsibility, says Tinubu

Hardship: There is light at the end of the tunnel, I take responsibility, says Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu says his Administration will ensure that Nigeria is reformed for greater efficiency towards fairness and equity in all aspects of National Life.

Tinubu said this while addressing Afenifere Leaders at the Residence of Reuben Fasoranti in Akure on Wednesday.

The President emphasised his commitment to leading Nigeria towards Economic and Social prosperity.

”Nigeria will survive the current Economic challenges. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I requested the Job, and I am not complaining about it. I take full responsibility.

”We are meeting our Obligations to the International Community. To lenders, we have not defaulted, and we are not going to default. We are navigating the twists and bends on the Road to Nigeria’s prosperity,” the President said.

On reforming Nigeria, Tinubu said he would emphasise Fiscal and True Federalism, as well as the broad-based manifestation of the Philosophy of “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

He acknowledged the understanding and support of all Nigerians in the face of the tough but temporary Economic Conditions, assuring them that their patience and perseverance would not be in vain.

“The Economic challenges we have endured since assuming Office are not new to me. As the former Governor of Lagos State, I faced similar calls for my resignation. But, through perseverance, Lagos emerged as the fifth Largest Economy in Africa.

“We must manage this moment with wisdom and grow Nigeria responsibly. I campaigned for this Office to serve Nigeria’s interests, and I was elected.

“Some said I would not last in the Tribunal and came up with all sorts of predictions, but even when in Court, I remained focused.

“We cannot allow Nigeria’s Economy to be exploited. We cannot abandon our Economy to Marauders. I am determined to re-engineer our Finances and curb selfish interests permanently,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of Afenifere, Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who read the address of Fasoranti, commended Tinubu’s commitment to Nigeria’s progress.

“You have kept your word to return to this place where we all prayed for you, and this shows that you are a man of your word,” the Elder Statesman stated.

Fasoranti urged the President to continue to be fair and courageous, declaring that such traits were the hallmark of the Afenifere Family.

“Today, you are carrying our Flag. We are noted for integrity, competence, fairness, and courage. Your performance so far has shown that you understand the full gravity of your Mandate, which is to show the Nigerian People that a good Government is possible,” he said.

28-Feb-2024 Economic Hardship: NLC backtracks on Street Protest

Economic Hardship: NLC backtracks on Street Protest

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it has suspended its Second Day Nationwide Streets Protest over Hunger and Economic Hardship in the Country.

Joe Ajaero, NLC President said this in a Communique jointly signed with Ismail Bello, Acting General Secretary of the Congress at the end of its National Executive Council(NEC) Meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the decision was taken by the National Executive Council of the NLC when it reviewed and assess the effectiveness of the Execution of the First Day of the Nationwide Protest.

“NEC-in-Session resolved to suspend Street Action for the Second Day of the Protest having achieved overwhelming success thus attained the key objectives of the Two-Day Protest on the First Day.

“”However, Nationwide Action continues tomorrow with simultaneous Press Conferences across all the States of the Federation by the State Councils of the Congress including the National Headquarters,” he said

Ajaero said the NLC had extended the Seven -Day Ultimatum given to Government by another seven days and would now expire on March 13.

He said the NLC expected the Government to implement all the earlier Agreement of  October 2, 2023 and other demands presented in their Letter at the Nationwide Protest.

He said the NLC would meet and decide on further lines of action if, on the expiration of the 14-day, the Government refused to comply with the demands as contained in the Ultimatum.

Ajaero said NEC commended Nigerians, its Affiliates, State Councils, Workers and Civil Society Allies for peacefully demonstrating their outrage on the Hardship imposed by the Government and its twin altars, the IMF and the World Bank.

He said NEC also deeply appreciated Nigerian Workers and Masses for sending a strong message to the Powers that be on their united resolve to demand accountability from those who occupy Positions of Leadership in our Nation.

He expressed NLC commitment to continue to defend and promote the interests and desires of Nigerian Workers and the Downtrodden Masses.

 

27-Feb-2024 Protests: Police place Men on red alert, warn NLC

Protests: Police place Men on red alert, warn NLC

The Police on Monday, said they have deployed Personnel and placed them on red alert ahead of the February 27 and 28 proposed Protests by the Nigerian Labour Congress.
 
The Force Public Relations Officer,  Olumuyiwa Adejobi said this in a Statement in Abuja.
 
He said the deployment was in recognition of  Peaceful Protest, in line with Extant Laws, as a Fundamental Right of Citizens.
 
Adejobi said the Idea was in line with the commitment of the Nigeria Police to ensure that the Rights and Freedom of Protesters were protected.
 
“In line with its Lawful Duty to maintain Law and Order, the Nigeria Police have deployed Personnel Nationwide and placed them on red alert to monitor the planned Protests.
 
 “All Commissioners of Police and their respective Supervising Officers have been briefed and instructed to coordinate the Officers on ground in ensuring the safety and security of all the Protesters.
 
“While recognising the importance of Peaceful Protest, the Force remains vigilant against any attempts to hijack such Protests by Individuals or Groups with sinister intents,” he said.
 
He said the Force was fully prepared to respond swiftly and decisively to unlawful activities or acts of violence targeted at threatening Public peace, safety and security.
 
According to him, it is vital to state that the Police has spread its tentacles Nationwide to curb any attempt by some Individuals who may want to leverage on the Nationwide Protests to create brouhaha.
 
He said the Police would not allow wanton breakdown of Law and Order, loss of Lives and Property as experienced, in some instances, in the past, in parts of the Country.
 
Adejobi said the Inspector-General of Police (I-G) Olukayode Egbetokun had called on the Protesters to conduct themselves peacefully and responsibly.
 
The I-G enjoined Organised Labour to adhere to the Principles of Non-Violence and respect for the Rights of
26-Feb-2024 FEC gives directive for implementation of Oronsaye Report

FEC gives directive for implementation of Oronsaye Report

The Federal Executive Council has adopted the Steve Oronsaye Report on the Reform of the Civil Service to cut Cost of Governance.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris disclosed this at the end of the Council Meeting on Monday in Abuja.

He said that some Ministries, Departments and Agencies would be scrapped, merged or subsumed into relevant Organisations of Government.

Idris, however, said that the aim was only to cut Cost and not throw Nigerians into the Labour Market.

The Minister, who said that details of the affected MDAs would be made available soon, disclosed that a Committee had been set up for its implementation.

Idris also revealed Council’s deliberation on the proposed Industrial Action by the Nigeria Labour Congress, urging it to shelve the plan.

He said that Government had fulfilled more than 85 per cent of the Agreements entered into with Labour in September 2023.

The Minister said that Labour should consider the efforts of Government in addressing the challenges and not allow Mischief Makers to hijack the situation at this critical period.

Similarly, the Council approved the continuation of payment to Vulnerable Households under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).

Minister of Finance, Wale Edun said that appropriate measures would be put in place to verify all Beneficiaries.

He said all Beneficiaries would be identified through their BVN, NIN and Account Numbers or Electronic Wallets even after the payment.

Edun said that the reintroduction of the NSIP was in line with the Administration’s desire of addressing the challenges faced by Vulnerable Nigerians.

He added that 12 million Households would benefit immediately from the payment of N25,000 NSIP Initiative.

25-Feb-2024 Presidency to NLC: You have hidden Agenda, most issues raised for your Protests settled
25-Feb-2024 NLC fingers FG in plans to attack its February 27, 28 Protests

NLC fingers FG in plans to attack its February 27, 28 Protests

The  Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says the State has perfected plans to launch attack against the two-day Nationwide Peaceful Rallies it scheduled for February 27 and 28.
 
NLC President, Joe Ajaero made this known in a Statement he personally signed and made available to Journalists on Sunday in Abuja.
 
Ajaero in his Statement titled, “As the State Prepares to Unleash Violence on us” said that one of the Groups being primed to attack the Peaceful Rallies is by a nebulous name, Nigeria Civil Society Forum (NCSF).
 
“NCSF is one of the emergency Groups put together, funded, promoted and remote-controlled by Government to cause violence against our Members for electing to peacefully  protest against the hunger in the Land.
 
“We would want the State to know that the solution to our horrible Economic situation and hunger is not by  suppressing peaceful dissent or inflicting violence on peacefully protesting Citizens,” he said.
 
Ajaero insisted that the NLC  and Civil Society Allies were moving ahead with the Protest Rallies against Economic Hardship and Insecurity in line with the decision of the National Executive Council.
 
“As Citizens, we have a Fundamental Right to Peaceful Protest and History bears us Witness that our Protests are always peaceful except in instances of State-engineered violence.
 
“In light of this, we advise the State to put on its thinking cap and find solutions to the pains it continues to cause the People instead of further dehumanising them,” he said.
25-Feb-2024 Tinubu to ECOWAS Leaders: Let's put our People first

Tinubu to ECOWAS Leaders: Let's put our People first

President Bola Tinubu has expressed confidence in the possibility of lasting peace, security and prosperity in the West African Region.
 
He said this at the Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of States and Government on the Political, Peace and Security in ECOWAS Region in Abuja,  on Saturday.
 
Tinubu said the complexities of the Issues facing the Body necessitated a comprehensive and collaborative approach.
 
He stressed the importance of engaging in constructive Dialogue, prudent judgment and unity toward Sustainable Peace, Security and Political Stability in the Region.
 
”I am confident that through our collective efforts and determination, we will navigate the challenges before us and chart a course toward a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous West Africa.
 
”Your presence today demonstrated your unflinching commitment to the sustenance of Regional Integration with all its ingredients for the promotion of Good Governance, Peace, Security, Stability and Socio-Economic Development.
 
”Once more, we are gathered here to address pressing developments in our Sub-Region surrounding Peace and Security as well as the Political Situations in the Republics of Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali. 
 
”We must approach these Issues with a sense of unity and commitment to the well-being of our People,” he said. 
 
The President said  the challenges warrant concerted efforts and a deep sense of History to ensure the spirit of Shared Vision, solidarity and collective responsibilities. 
 
He said that in spite of the Region’s challenges, he was buoyed by the spirit of collective resolve that defined the ECOWAS Community. 
 
”In the course of this Summit, therefore, we will receive a Memorandum from the ECOWAS Commission President on the Peace, Security and Political Situation in the Region. 
 
”The Memorandum will give us an update on the current situation in the Republics of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger. 
 
”Our decisions must be guided by our commitment to safeguarding the Constitutional Order, upholding Democratic Principles, and promoting the Social and Economic well-being of the Citizens of the aforementioned Countries.”
 
He called for constructive deliberations to examine the actions taken by these Countries and ensure that the Citizens were not denied the benefits derived from Regional Integration Initiatives.
 
”Let me underscore that these challenges, though daunting, present an opportunity for ECOWAS to reaffirm its commitment to the Vision of our Founding Fathers and the Principles underpinning our commitment to Peace, Security, and Regional Integration.
 
”We must stand united in our resolve to promote Economic Integration, Democracy, and Human Rights, with a view to fostering Sustainable Development across all our Member States.
 
”Times like we currently face in our Sub Region demand that we take difficult but courageous decisions that put the plight of our People at the centre of our deliberations.
 
”Democracy is nothing more than the Political Framework and the path to addressing the Basic Needs and aspirations of the People.”
 
 
22-Feb-2024 Gowon pleads more time for Tinubu, says too early to expect result

Gowon pleads more time for Tinubu, says too early to expect result

Former Nigeria's Military Head of State and Elder Statesman, Yakubu Gowon has urged Nigerians to give more time to the  President Bola Tinubu-led Administration, toward resolving the various challenges confronting the Country.

He added that it was too early in the life of the administration to begin to resolve all the inherited crisis in different sectors.

Gowon said this after a Meeting with Tinubu at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday in Abuja.

“Well, I was telling him that no Nigerian Leader that get there and will not have all the Report of what is being said about him.

“But certainly, there’s no doubt from what one hears and what one sees on the various Media. I think the Government is trying its best to deal with the various problems of the Country.

“Don’t you worry,  you will get criticised but People who get there know better than you know.

“I think all what one can say is that Nigerians, we’ve got to give the President time to get things really done. And it is too early to say absolute result, perfect result will be achieved now.”

Gowon said  the Meeting with the President also centred on the issue of the challenges facing the ECOWAS Sub-Region, adding that it must be settled amicably.

“Being the surviving Leader, or Founding Fathers of the ECOWAS, I think we had to discuss some of his plans in order to see what can be done to bring the matter under control,” Gowon said.

He debunked claims on Social Media that he refused to attend an Event organised by ECOWAS, adding that this was probably due to miscommunication.

“I think there was a miscommunication but then, it gave the opportunity for the  President to call me so that we can discuss what I was to do.”

20-Feb-2024 Man killed by a Lion he fed, nurtured from birth at OAU Zoo

Man killed by a Lion he fed, nurtured from birth at OAU Zoo

Olawuyi Olarewaju, a Veterinary Technologist with Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun, has been killed by a Lion.
 
It was learnt that Olarewaju, who had been in charge of the OAU Zoological Garden for over a decade, was attacked by a nine-year-old Male Lion on Monday.
 
He was said to have been attacked while feeding the Lion at the Zoological Garden of the University.
 
Confirming the incident, Biodun Olarewaju, the OAU Public Relations Officer, said the Management of the University had been thrown into mourning following the incident.
 
Olarewaju, in a Statement in Ile-Ife, said that other Members of Staff of the University, who were at the Scene of the incident did everything within their powers to rescue the Deceased but the Wild Cat had already caused severe fatalities.
 
He said that saddened by the tragic Event, the aggressive Lion had been euthanised.
 
“On hearing the sad news, the Management Team, led by the Vice Chancellor,  Adebayo Bamire, abruptly ended an on-going Meeting for an on-the-spot assessment.
 
“The Vice Chancellor was informed on arrival by the Acting Director of the University Health and Medical Centre, Tirimisiyu Olatunji, that all First Aid and Medical efforts to save the life of the Victim failed.
 
“The Deceased has been taking care of the Lions since they were born on campus about nine years ago but tragically, the Male Lion killed the Man who had been feeding them.
 
“The University Management has sent a Delegation to the Widow and Children of the Deceased, imploring them to take solace in God who gives life and also has the power to take life,” he said.
 
Olarewaju said that the Management had ordered a comprehensive Investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident.
 
17-Feb-2024 EU to push €37m fresh Investment into Nigeria’s Power Sector

EU to push €37m fresh Investment into Nigeria’s Power Sector

The European Union (EU) says it is set to invest €37m into Nigeria’s Power Sector.

The EU Head of Mission to Nigeria,  Samuela Isopi said this when she visited the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, on Friday in Abuja.

She was accompanied by the new Head of Cooperation of the EU, Luca Massimo and Godfrey Ogbemudia,  Programme Manager on Energy.

Isopi said that the money was apart from the about €200m Grants invested in the Sector since 2008.

Speaking on the EU’s various Intervention Programmes in the Power Sector, the Envoy said that the current support would cover Small Hydro-Power and Solar for Healthcare Facilities.

Other Areas to be covered in the current Intervention are the Rural Electrification with isolated and interconnected Mini-Grids Project, Circular Economy.

According to her, the projects will commence soon.

 Isopi also used the opportunity to invite the Minister to an upcoming Inauguration of two Projects funded by the EU and implemented by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Responding, the Minister, who received the Ambassador in company of his Chief Technical Advisor, Adedayo Olowoniyi, expressed  appreciation to the EU for the support it has been giving to the Sector.

Adelabu said that more support was needed to address the enormous challenges in the Sector.

He said that the issue of Liquidity was the main problem that the Government is trying its best to resolve.

The Minister said that the Market would only be sustainable and run efficiently when there is a Cost Reflective Tariff in place.

According to him, he was pleased with the EU Programmes for the Sector and confirmed their alignment with the Ministry’s Strategy.

The Minister promised to work with the EU on its  Programmes especially  on Small Hydro and State Electrification Projects within the new Electricity Act.

 

16-Feb-2024 NLC wants action, not empty talks, begins Nationwide Protest February 27

NLC wants action, not empty talks, begins Nationwide Protest February 27

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC,) says it will embarked on a two-day Nationwide Protest from February 27 to February 28, over the mounting Economic Hardship and Insecurity in the Country.

Joe Ajaero, President of NLC said this at a News Conference at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting on Friday in Abuja.

Ajaero said that the NEC of the Congress met to discuss the State of the Nation,  and the non implementation of the Agreement reached with Government.

According to him,  NEC unanimously noted its deep disappointment and condemned the action of the Federal Government in refusing to implement the Agreements reached.

“NEC in Session follows its decisions that it stands to rectify the 14 days ultimatum issued to the Federal Government within which to implement the Agreement, and address the mounting crisis of the survival of Nigerians.

“That the 14 days ultimatum Notices expires on the midnight of February 22, that if on the expiration the Congress is not satisfied with  Government compliance with the Conditions of the Notice.

“Congress will be at liberty to take action that will compelled Government to implement the Agreement.

“NEC in Session declare a two day Nationwide Protest on February 27 and 28 to demonstrate outrage on the mounting Hardship and Insecurity across the Nation .

“If our demands are met after the Nationwide Protest, NEC will ensure to issue a seven day Notice that will expire on March 2, to the Federal Government, after which an Indefinite Nationwide Strike will commence,” he said.

He added that, Nigerian Workers and People are not interested in the empty talk but action.

He, therefore called on all its Affiliates, State Councils and Civil Societies to start mobilising across the Nation for effective action as February 22 approaches.

The NLC President said that there was need for urgent solution to address the continued suffering of the Nigerian People and Workers.

He said that NEC in Session calls for immediate action from the Federal Government to rectify this grievances, and restore faith in the Democratic  Process and Social Dialogue.

 

15-Feb-2024 60 Lawmakers press for Nigeria's return to Parliamentary System

60 Lawmakers press for Nigeria's return to Parliamentary System

Sixty Lawmakers at the House of Representatives, have commenced moves to return Nigeria to a Parliamentary System by 2031, by amending the 199 Constitution.

Abdulsamad Dasuki (PDP-Sokoto) a Spokesperson for the Group, said this at a News Conference at the National Assembly in Abuja on Wednesday.

Dasuki said the proposed amendment would significantly impact on the Nation’s Political Landscape.

He added that the Lawmakers were advocating a transition from the current Presidential System to a Parliamentary System at all Levels, including Federal, State, and Local Government Councils.

“Our Founders, in their wisdom and in a Political Atmosphere devoid of compulsion, considered the interests of their Native Peoples, and their desire to live together led them to adopt the Parliamentary System of Government.

“They considered a Country where truth and justice reign, where no Man is oppressed, and where all Citizens live in peace and plenty, and adopted the Parliamentary System of Government,” he said.

He said that the collapse of the First Republic and the long stretch of Military Rule culminated in the adoption of a new System of Government, fashioned after the U.S Presidential System.

“Over the years, the imperfections of the Presidential System of Government have become glaring to all, in spite of several alterations to the Constitution to address the shortcomings.

“The System has denied the Nation the opportunity to attain its full potential.

“Among these imperfections, are the high Cost of Governance, leaving fewer Resources for crucial areas like Infrastructure, Education, and Healthcare,” he said.

He said that the System had hindered the Nation’s developmental progress as it vested excessive Powers vested on the the Executives, who were Appointees and not directly accountable to the People.

“The Bills presented today seek a return to the System of Government adopted by our Founders, which made governance accountable, responsible, responsive, and ultimately less expensive.

“With the Presentation of these Bills, we hope to ignite and provoke a National Conversation about the future of the Nigerian Governance System.

“This will also ensure robust Public Debates, Stakeholder consultations, Expert analyses, and a thorough and informed decision-making process,” he said.

He stated that it was also to raise awareness about this significant development and encourage constructive Dialogue on the potential implications of the proposed Constitutional alteration.

Also speaking, Wale Raji (APC-Lagos) said the move was to start a National Conversation on the need for a transition from Presidential to a less expensive Parliamentary System of Government.

“The Process may not terminate with the current Administration; it may go beyond 2027, but we have set the ball rolling. The actual commencement may be 2031.

“We have initiated a Process, and History will record it that a Group of Lawmakers sought the need to reduce the Cost of Governance, and if a Group of Lawmakers scuttles it, History will record it,” he said.

 

14-Feb-2024 NLC: Most FG Workers not paid January Salary

NLC: Most FG Workers not paid January Salary

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government to consider Annual Review of National Minimum Wage because of Inflationary trend and Value of the Naira.

Joe Ajaero, NLC President made the call in Abuja at the 2nd National Labour Adjudication and Arbitration Forum, organised by the National Employers Consultative Association (NECA).

The Theme of the Forum is “Strengthening Tripartism and Social Dialogue (including alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms) for a Sustainable Industrial Relations System in Nigeria.

Ajaero said Government should have a rethink on the five year cycle of Minimum Wage because it was not favourable to the Nigerian Workers.

According to him, no matter the amount negotiated, it would have been eaten up by Inflation before the end of the five year cycle.

“There is a need to tinker with the Law providing for five yearly renegotiation of National Minimum Wage to allow for yearly adjustment of Wages based on the Rate of Inflation and Value of the Naira.

 “This is important because People have been coming up to say that if we increase Salaries, it will affect Inflation.

However, we cannot leave Salary to be constant while other variables continue to grow,’’ he said.

Ajaero said Workers were displeased with the poor implementation of the N35,000 Wage Award by the Federal Government.

The NLC President added that most Federal Government Workers were yet to receive their January Salary.

He therefore called on the Government to expedite the implementation of the 16 Points Agreement reached with Organised Labour to cushion the effects the Fuel Subsidy removal.

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, commended NECA for collaborating with the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) to organise the Forum.

She said the forum would foster dialogue among Stakeholders and promote peaceful Industrial Relations.

Dike Plang, Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity, said the Event was apt and critical to sustainable Industrial Relations in Nigeria.

The Lawmaker assured that the National Assembly would ensure comprehensive review and amendment of existing Labour Laws to conform to International Labour Standards.

He also commended President Bola Tinubu for constituting the Tripartite Committee on the Review of Minimum Wage for Workers.

14-Feb-2024 Reps bicker over Bill on Minimum Qualification for Public Office Holders

Reps bicker over Bill on Minimum Qualification for Public Office Holders

The House of Representatives on Tuesday stepped down a Bill seeking to alter the Minimum Educational Qualification for the Offices of President and Vice-President from Primary School certificate to a University Degree.

The Bill was sponsored by Adewunmi Onanuga (APC-Ogun) at Plenary.

Presenting the General Principles of the Bill, Onanuga called on the House to look at the Educational Qualifications of Political Office Holders.

She said that Nigeria had passed the age of using School Leaving Certificate as the Minimum Requirement for Political Office.

She added that a University Degree or its equivalent should be made the Minimum Qualification.

Babajimi Benson (APC-Lagos) supported the Bill.

“I can’t believe that in this Modern Age, some People will say, don’t go to School, yet go and be President,” he said.

Julius Ihonvbare (APC-Edo) also spoke in favour of the Bill.

“We are in a World where Knowledge is Power, we see Leaders of other Nations who make excellent Presentations, but here we have Leaders dodging Debate.

“I don’t think this Requirement should apply to all Political Offices; for Local Government, it might not be required, but the President, Vice President and National Assembly Members should be required to own a Degree,” he said.

Leke Abejide (ADC-Kogi)  said the World had moved and Nigeria should not be left behind.
“If we put a Mediocre to head an important Political Office, we will end up in disaster.”

Alfred Iliah (APC-Plateau) said Educational Qualification remains very important and the bedrock of every Society.

“The Qualifications of every National Assembly Member should be looked into if the Country must make progress,” he said.

Mustapha Aliyu (APC-Sokoto) said the Bill was long overdue, adding that Education was the bedrock of the development of the Society.

“For those contesting for Executive Seats, they should have a Degree; however, the jump from School Leaving Certificate to a Degree is too wide. I will propose that there should be a middle course.”

Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers)  also endorsed the Bill, lamenting the  decline in Standard of Education.
He reiterated the importance of backing the Bill wholeheartedly, saying "why do we say a Primary School Certificate Holder should be given. We should do the right thing."

Aliyu Madaki (NNPP-Kano) however, offered a different perspective, saying the Leadership quality of a Political Office Holder should not be determined by his Level of Education.

“I have an MBA in Financial Management, but restricting others with Qualifications will not carry all Nigerians along. All Nigerians should be allowed to participate and exercise their Leadership qualities,” he said.

Bashir Sokoto (APC- Sokoto) also opposed the Bill.
“We were privileged to go to University, but we have few privileged Nigerians who can not afford to go to the University.

“I propose that we allow the Minimum Requirement for Political Office Holders to remain Primary School Certificate.”

Ahmed Jaha (APC-Borno) said passing the Bill would negatively affect some Sections of the Country.

“Qualification alone is not a true taste of Knowledge. We are making Laws for good Governance and peace in this Country. We will not pass Laws that will favour only a small number of Nigerians.

“How many Nigerians are Degree Holders? The America that we refer to has done greatly in educating its Citizens’, but here in Nigeria, what have we done in improving our Education System.”

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu, who presided over Plenary stepped down the Bill after a heated Debate.

13-Feb-2024 FG, World Bank seek $3bn to expand Nigeria's Broadband Infrastructure

FG, World Bank seek $3bn to expand Nigeria's Broadband Infrastructure

The Federal Government and the World Bank are targeting $3bn to fund additional 120,000km Fibre Optic Cables to leap frog Broadband Infrastructure and Connectivity in Nigeria.

The Minister of Communications, Innovations and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at a Stakeholders’ Engagement with the Theme “Realising a Nigerian Vision of Broadband for All”

The Event was organised by the Ministry of Communications in conjunction with World Bank.

Tijani, who expressed hope that the Funds would be raised in the next two or three years, said the Project involved Stakeholders from the Private Sector and it would be delivered in the next three years.

According to him, it has become imperative to seek Investments in the Nation’s Digital Backbone to facilitate access at affordable Prices to the Digital Space for all Nigerians.

“We are here with critical Stakeholders on how to attract Investments and fund our Broadband Infrastructure.

“I am sure everybody that is listening to me probably understand that now we cannot do without Technology on Internet; so, we all need quality access regardless of our location.

“There is need for us to invest in that Databank. So, it is the kind of thing that we call the Telecommunications Infrastructure, or in some cases, we call the Fibre Optic Cables.

“So, there is actually a Cable that helps us make it possible for Internet to happen,” the Minister said.

According to him, Nigeria has laid 3,035km Fiber Optic Cables, but 120,000km Fiber Optic Cables would be required for Nigerians to have quality and efficient access to the Internet and other Digital Services irrespective of their locations.

In his remarks, Franz Drees-Gross, the World Bank Regional Director, (Infrastructure) West and Central Africa,  said the First Phase of the Project would involve laying 95,000km Fiber Optic Cables across Nigeria.

Drees-Gross said it would improve access and Digital Services Content in the Country.

He described Nigeria Digital Ecosystem as vibrant, adding that the World Bank was deeply involved and interested in supporting Nigeria to raise the needed Funds for the Project.

“We plan to set up a Digital National Broadband Fund and to roll out about 95,000 kilometers of what we call Middle Mile Cable.

“That is the Terrestrial Cable in the Territory of Nigeria to bring Broadband to more parts of the Country.

”I think Nigeria has about 35,000 kilometers of Broadband Cable. The idea is to add another 95,000 and what we are discussing with the Government is what is the best way to finance that?

According to him, Nigeria has a very impressive and vibrant Digital Ecosystem in Lagos, adding that Nigeria can be the Hub for exporting Digital Services to West Africa.

 

13-Feb-2024 Access Holdings names Agbede as Wigwe's replacement

Access Holdings names Agbede as Wigwe's replacement

The Board of Directors of Access Holdings Plc has  appointed Bolaji Agbede as the Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
 
The Company’s Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, stated this in a Notification to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Tuesday in Lagos.
 
Ekwochi said the decision followed the demise of the Firm’s former Group Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe last Friday.
 
Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings, his Wife, Son and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Chairman of NGX Group died on Friday in a Helicopter crash in Southern California, U.S.
 
The Company’s Secretary said that the Appointment was subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
 
He said until Agbede’s Appointment, she was the Company’s most Senior Founding Executive Director in charge of Business Support.
 
According to him, Agbede has nearly three decades of Professional experience cutting across Banking and Business Consultancy Services.
 
She commenced her Professional Career in 1992 at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and served in various Capacities within the Commercial Banking and Operations Functions rising to the Position of a Manager in 2001.
 
The Acting Group CEO subsequenty served as the Chief Executive Officer of JKS Limited, a Business Consulting Outfit in 2003.
 
Agbede joined Access Bank Plc in 2003 as an Assistant General Manager and was responsible for managing the Bank’s Portfolio of Chemical Trading Companies.
 
She served as the Bank’s Head Group Human Resources between 2010 and 2022 and was appointed the Company’s Founding Executive Director, Business Support in 2022.
 
Agbede has a track record in Successful People Integration in Business Combination and Culture Transformation.
 
She holds a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos  in 1990 and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Cranfield University, UK in 2002.
 
The Action Group CEO is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management, UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.
 
Agbede has attended several Renowned Leadership and Professional Development Programmes including the High Performance Leadership Programme organised by IMD and the Strategic Talent Management Programme organised by the London Business School.
 
Commenting, Abubakar Jimoh, Chairman, Access Holdings said that the Appointment of Agbede is in alignment with the firm’s robust succession planning practices.
 
Jimoh said ” We are strongly convinced that Agbede, being the Company’s most Senior Executive with exceptionally rich, Professional and Leadership experience and understanding of the Access Culture, will provide the much-needed Leadership to steer the Company.
 
“This is towards the attainment of our Strategic Vision of building a Globally Connected Community and Ecosystem, inspired by Alice for the World.” 
 
13-Feb-2024 Wigwe's Staff: We have lost a Brother, a Brother’s Wife, a cherished Son

Wigwe's Staff: We have lost a Brother, a Brother’s Wife, a cherished Son

Staff Members of Access Holdings on Monday promised to uphold the Legacies of their late Co-Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Access Holdings Group, Herbert Wigwe, who died in a Helicopter crash.
 
Wigwe died with his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi, alongside Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group), in the U.S. on February 9, 2024.
 
Speaking at the Access Bank Headquarters in Victoria Island, the Workers and Customers were in sober and pensive mood.
 
Though activities were going on smoothly at the Headquarters, a water-tight security was equally put in place within and around the premises.
 
NAN Correspondents, however, flipped through the Condolence Register opened in honour of the departed with a number of comments.
 
However, the Bank’s Security Operatives prevented the Correspondents from picking names of the Sympathisers in the Register.
 
The Security Operatives said they were under strict instructions not to allow anyone flip through the Register, insisting that Sympathisers could only ‘comment and leave’.
 
“We are not happy, this is not time for this,” one of the Security Operatives said.
 
Members of the Public and Staff arrived in droves to sign with some adorned in black Corporate Attires.
 
Some of the Workers who expressed their mood praised Wigwe’s mentorship and brilliance at impacting them to sharpen their skills, competencies and capabilities.
 
However, some Staff Members spoke on condition of anonymity while expressing their grief.
 
A Senior Official said the tragedy was a personal loss to Workers, who felt like Blood Relation of Wigwe, described as a great Boss that touched and impacted the Lives of many Workers directly.
 
The Workers promised that the Staff would use the deceased great Vision for the continued growth and development of the Bank.
 
The Official said Wigwe introduced Innovations that repositioned the Access Bank Holdings on a Global Pedestal.
 
“If Herbert had a dream, it was our Collective Vision, we will uphold his Vision and build on his Legacies.
 
“We have not only lost a good Boss but we have lost a Friend, his wife  was also involved. So, we have lost a Brother’s Wife and a cherished Son,” one of the Workers said.
 
“We are still in shock. He was a good Boss, a committed Achiever, we will build on his Legacies, it will live here forever”.
11-Feb-2024 Wigwe, wife, son, three others perish in US Helicopter crash

Wigwe, wife, son, three others perish in US Helicopter crash

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Saturday confirmed the crash of a Helicopter carrying six Passengers in a Southern California Desert near Las Vegas.

All the Passengers on Board are reported to have died.

Herbert Wigwe, the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings and other Nigerians were feared to be in the Helicopter.

He was reportedly on Board with five others believed to be his wife, son and Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc.

According to FAA, the crash occurred on Friday around 10 p.m. local time near Nipton, California.

However, the FAA has not made available the List of the Passengers involved in the accident as at the time of filing this Report.

The Family Members of some Nigerians suspected to have been involved in the crash did not respond to calls.

Tunde Moshood, the Specialist, Asset and Communications to the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, described Wigwe as a Leader with unwavering dedication to his Nation and his indomitable spirit serve as inspiration to us all.

“Though he may have left this World prematurely, his Vision and Values will continue to guide us as we strive for a brighter future.

“Adieu, Herbert Wigwe. Your presence will be sorely missed, but your Legacy will endure as a beacon of hope and progress,” he said.

Born on August 15, 1966 in Isiokpo, Port Harcourt, Herbert Wigwe has carved a niche for himself in the World of Finance.

He obtained a Degree in Accountancy from the University of Nigeria and further Education in Banking and Finance, Financial Economics, and an Executive Programme from Harvard Business School.

Wigwe’s impact was not limited to Banking. His passion for Philanthropy led him to establish the Herbert Wigwe Foundation, fostering Education and Entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

His dedication earned him the Order of the Niger (CON) and admiration from Peers and the Public.

10-Feb-2024 Lagos Government, Residents tackle Transportation challenges in Lekki

Lagos Government, Residents tackle Transportation challenges in Lekki

The Lagos Commissioner for Transportation, Seun Osiyemi and the Leadership Team of the Lekki Estate Resident and Stakeholders Association (LERSA), have taken steps to address the Transportation challenges across the Lekki Peninsula.

The President of LERSA, Sulyman Bello, on Saturday in Lagos, said the development would enhance the quality of life for Residents at the Axis.

LERSA is the Umbrella Association for Businesses, Residents and Stakeholders from 1004 Axis to the Epe Corridor.

Bello said the Meeting was critical to addressing and proposing solutions to the Transportation challenges affecting the Area.

He outlined key Areas for improvement in Traffic Management and Enforcement to mitigate Traffic Offences and enhance overall Transportation efficiency.

Femi Oke, Chairman of the LERSA Transportation Committee, emphasised the need for Specialised Enforcement Teams in Construction Zones and Peak Time Management Squads.

Oke also called for the deployment of Monster Trucks for towing obstructive Vehicles, especially in strategic Areas like the Lekki Port and Refinery.

Additionally, he urged for Zonal Patrol Units, an increase in Transportation Personnel, and the exploration of alternative Transportation methods such as Rail and Water Transport.

“It is also important to have the installation of Truck Barriers on the Jubilee Bridge and the use of Technology, such as Cameras, to monitor and penalise Traffic Violators,” he said.

In response, the Commissioner provided insightful feedback on each issue, detailing the State’s efforts to address these challenges and improve the Living Standards within the Lekki Peninsula and Lagos at large.

He restated his commitment to providing actionable solutions in line with the drive of the Governor of Lagos to making Lagos a Model State for others to emulate.

10-Feb-2024 FG to Organised Labour: We'll honour our Agreement with Workers

FG to Organised Labour: We'll honour our Agreement with Workers

The Federal Government has assured its commitment to expedite full implementation of the 16-Point Agreement reached with Organised Labour.

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of State for Labour and Employment gave the assurance  at  a News Conference on Friday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), issued a 14- day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement all the Agreement reached on October 2, 2023.

Reacting to the ultimatum, Onyejeocha said the Federal Government acknowledged the challenges faced by Nigerians and had demonstrated sincerity in its ongoing negotiations with the Trade Unions

“We wish to reassure Nigerians that this Government is fully committed to honouring its obligations to Workers and the Less Privileged in Nigeria.

“We will ensure the complete implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we entered into with Organised Labour.

“Our word is our bond. I can confidently say that President Bola Tinubu Administration stands firmly with the People.

“The President is tirelessly working to ensure that everything is done to address the needs and concerns of the Nation,” she said.

The Minister also assured Government’s  commitment to maintaining open and constructive communication with Labour,

She said such communication would  foster positive Labour Relations and guarantee a supportive Working Environment for all Workers.

The Minister, however noted: “You will agree with me that negotiations are often a gradual process, with Resolutions unfolding in stages.

“For example, the N35,000 Wage Award agreed upon between the Government and Organised Labour is currently being implemented.

“However, we have received complaints regarding non-implementation in some Public Sector Organisations as well as the Private Sector.

“The Ministry is actively addressing these issues to ensure compliance across all Sectors”.

The Minister recalled that the  37-Member Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage had been inaugurated to recommend a new National Minimum Wage for Nigerian Workers.

She said the Government promptly effected the Statutory Obligation in order to mitigate the hardship the Citizens are facing.

“Amidst these developments, the Government is actively implementing its plan to go green with the implementation of the Presidential CNG Initiative.

“It is designed to alleviate the challenges arising from Subsidy removal and for the Country to gradually transit to cheaper, safer and more reliable Gas produced domestically for transportation,” she said.

Onyejeocha added that in line with Government ongoing commitment to improving the Welfare of Nigerians, provisions have also been made for an initial 55,000 CNG Conversion Kits.

She  said the take-off for the state-of-the-art CNG Conversion Centres Nationwide was also ongoing with the aim to deliver one million Converted Bi-Fuel CNG/PMS Vehicles.

To further ease transportation, the Minister said the Government, through the Ministry of Finance will procure about 11,500 CNG Vehicles including Buses and Tricycles in the next few months.