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Reps criminalise estimated billing by DISCOS

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Reps criminalise estimated billing by DISCOS

•Offenders to pay N1m fine, serve jail term

 

The House of Representatives yesterday criminalized estimated billing by electricity distribution companies as it passed for third reading a bill mandating distribution companies to issue pre-paid meters to electricity consumers or face a jail term of six months or fine ranging from N500, 000 upon conviction.

 

In passing the bill, the House outlawed estimated billing, declaring that electricity distribution companies shall issue pre – paid meters to consumers within 30 days upon application. At the plenary presided by Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yussuff, the lawmakers said that customers who buy prepaid meters through credit advancement metering must be metered within 30 days while electricity charges or billing of consumers should strictly be based on pre – paid metering.

 

“No consumer should be made to pay any bill without a pre – paid meter first being installed at the premises of the consumer, the House further said in the amendment” According to the House, an unmetered customer may be issued with estimated bill for a stipulated period, provided that such estimated bill is issued the   approved centralized automated system that reflects the approved estimated billing methodology. ”

 

If a consumer is not metered within 30 days after an application has been made, the distribution company is prohibited from refusing to connect the consumer or disconnect such a consumer in the event he/she has been connected. “Upon connection, the electricity distribution company serving the consumer must inform the customer in writing on the nature of   the meter installed, tariff methodology and all other services available to the customer.

 

“All cases of illegal disconnection, refusal of the distribution company to connect a customer after application, un – metering within 30 days of a customer applying for a pre – paid meter and estimated billing shall attract both civil and criminal liability and any officer found guilty shall be liable to a fine of N500, 000 or six months imprisonment or both,” the House stated.

 

Similarly, it said that any person who performs any act or contravenes the law by refusing to carry out his lawful duties will be said to have committed an offence and upon conviction be liable to six months imprisonment or a N1 million fine or both. The National Electricity Regulatory Commission the House, ruled has the power to cancel or suspend the license of any distribution company that flouts the provisions of the law

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Knocks, kudos for Buhari over ministerial portfolios

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Knocks, kudos for Buhari over ministerial portfolios

Four months after assuming office for his second term, President Muhammadu Buhari finally consolidated his cabinet on Wednesday by swearing-in 43 ministers that will pilot the affairs of the administration with him.

While retaining himself as the minister of petroleum resources, he also brought back some of the old hands in his first term to continue where there left the affairs of their ministries at the dissolution of the former cabinet.

Prominent among those brought back are Rotimi Amaechi (transport), Babatunde Fashola (works and housing), Ogbonanya Onu (science and technology), Chris Ngige (labour), Zainab Ahmed (finance), Osagie Ehanire (health), Adamu Adamu (education), Hadi Sirika (aviation) and Lai Mohammed (information and culture), among others.

While a section of the public has commended the president for finally inaugurating and attaching portfolios to the ministers, some stakeholders in the corporate world are, however, concerned about the choice of the president as regards those manning some of the key ministries.

Reacting to the development, a frontline capital market operator, Mr. Mike Eze, described the reappointment of Ahmed as finance minister as faulty.

Eze, who is the Managing Director, Crane Securities Limited, said the inauguration was a step in a right direction, though it came very late, stressing that the swearing-in would play a positive role in the direction of the economy, including the stock market.

“Now that they have been inaugurated, it is expected that it will jump start the economy from the comatose situation. Today, the stock market rose partly in reaction to the event,” he said.

On his part, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BIC Consultancy Services, Dr. Boniface Chizea, said there were a few surprises regarding the portfolios assigned to the ministers.

He said: “For instance, there were one or two nominees that had background in the petroleum sector that we thought would have been appointed petroleum minister. But the portfolio was given to a former Bayelsa Governor, Timipre Sylva. I think it was a good decision, as Sylva has the resources and capacity to be able to effectively engage with the entrenched interests in the Niger Delta region.

“The finance minister is returning to a familiar terrain given that it was her former portfolio. In recent times, the finance ministry’s role has been that of book keeping. However, it has a lot of key agencies such as the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and so on, reporting to it. The minister is a gentle lady and one feels that the position requires someone who can handle the rough and tumble that the job requires.

“Fashola is no longer in charge of the Ministry of Power. I think it is clear that poor power supply is still an issue and the president needed to appoint someone with fresh ideas. However, virtually all the former ministers that were reappointed retained their portfolios. This is obviously a vote of confidence in them.

“But we hope that the cabinet will deliver, because the administration has not hit the ground running; the president was sworn in on May 29 and it is almost at the end of August that he is swearing-in ministers.”

Also taking on Buhari, a development economist, Mr. Odillim Enwagbara, said Ahmed was not suitable for the portfolio of a finance minister

According to him, “the minister of finance isn’t the right person for the position. I was thinking President Buhari would have looked for a serious technocrat to be in charge of finance, because the economic problem of this country is very complex. He needs somebody who understands the complexity and who can take the bold moves that are needed to deepen the economy.

“So I’m not really happy that she is brought back. He needed a technocrat who is sound on macroeconomic issues; an economic manager who should push Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to increase its tax revenue, because the country is in short-change of tax revenue by bringing technology into tax collection.”

Also speaking on the suitability of Ahmed as finance minister, Advisory Lead Consultant on Private Sector Development to the ECOWAS Commission, Prof. Ken Ife, believes she deserves to be retained to consolidate on gains recorded.

He, however, advised the new minister to act as a tax collector by ensuring that all MDAs remit their funds to the consolidated revenue account without delay.

He said as a coordinating minister for the economy, she should be in the vanguard of implementation of Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Ruwase and Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Ajayi-Kadir, explained that private sector operators were keenly waiting for the new ministers to resume and change the economy for the better.

Ruwase explained that LCCI was not surprised with the ministerial portfolios since many of them were reinstated to their former positions, saying that the onus was on them to perform and meet the expectations of Nigerians.

According to him, the private sector is not satisfied with the present economic performance of the country’s gross domestic product.

He said: “One thing that is good about the whole ministerial appointments is that a lot of the ministers are going back to where they were. This will check a situation of spending more money to learn the ropes or know the new environment.

“If we have not been able to achieve our set objective in the economy, it’s not because of those people we have as ministers in those key sectors, but it’s more of lack of political will.”

On his own part, Ajayi-Kadir explained that it was a welcome development to have the ministers back after three months, saying that it was time to buckle up and work assiduously at revamping the economy.

Speaking on the reappointment of Amaechi as Minister of Transportation, the Rector of Certified Institute of Shipping of Nigeria (CISN), Prof. Alex Okwuashi, said his reappointment was a mere compensation by President Bahari.

He noted that a maritime technocrat should have been appointed to drive the industry forward.

Notwithstanding, he said that Amaechi should be able to learn from what he did not do well during his first term in office.

However, a former President of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Greg Ogbeifun, said that any well-meaning stakeholder in the industry should be happy with Ameachi’s appointment.

Ogbeifun said that the stakeholders were expecting that he would continue with the good job he started in the industry, particularly when the ministry has been strengthened with a minister of state, in person of Senator Gbemisola Saraki.

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NNPC targets gas production surge to 3bn scuf daily

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NNPC targets gas production surge to 3bn scuf daily

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has heightened the hunt for investments as it declared plans to surge the country’s gas output for the global gas market to three billion standard cubic feet (scuf) daily.

Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mele Kyari, who declared this at the annual conference organised by the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC) in Lagos, yesterday, maintained that gas is the needed catalyst for national development.

“All hands must be on deck to ensure that, using the realistic government policies, gas is fully utilized domestically to power industries and fast track the nation’s march towards industrialization,” he said.

Part of what should be done, according to Kyari who was represented at the event by the Chief Financial Officer, Umar Ajiya, is “to open up the midstream, complete all critical gas development projects targeted at delivering about 3Bscfd to gas market, ensure the closeout of investment decision on NLNG Train 7 and improve domestic utilization to boost power generation and industrial growth.”

Speaking on the conference theme: ‘Harnessing Oil and Gas Potentials for National Development,’ the NNPC’s boss said: “Our concerns should be, among others, on what we need to do to harness Nigeria’s oil and gas potentials towards national development, more so, in the face of mounting challenges facing the industry.

“From NNPC’s point of view, we are working tirelessly to achieve that. Today, with our partners, we are driving the aspiration to grow the national reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2025 and improve crude oil production to three million barrels/day during the period. To achieve these targets, we are not oblivious of the fact that huge investment is required across the entire value chain.”

In the downstream sub-sector, Kyari said: “Nigeria is still a net importer of petroleum products due to the current state of our refineries and the long absence of private investment in the refining sector. Thus, we require more investment to revamp and expand our domestic refineries and associated infrastructures to support the growth of the downstream sector and guaranty energy security to the nation.

“In this respect, NNPC under my purview, would leave no stone unturned to ensure our 445,000-barrel refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna work to an appreciable level or capacity.”

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Ijaw congratulate Amaechi, Sylva, Akpabio, Keyamo, others

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Ijaw congratulate Amaechi, Sylva, Akpabio, Keyamo, others

The Ijaw nation in Delta State has congratulated members of the newly inaugurated federal cabinet, especially the ministers from the Niger Delta region and other oil producing states.

The people, who spoke through one of the Ijaw leaders, Sheriff Mulade, at a press conference, yesterday felicitated with Festus Keyamo (SAN) from Delta State; Timipere Sylva (Bayelsa); Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Osagie Ehanire and Clement Agba (Edo); Emeka Nwaduba (Imo); Godwin Jedi Agba (Cross Rivers), Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo), and Uchechukwu Samson Ogah from Abia State.

The people, however, urged them to attract uncommon governance and development to the grassroots in the Niger Delta region and their states.

According to Mulade, seven ministers from Niger Delta and three from other oil producing states (Ondo, Abia and Imo) were among the 43 ministers in the federal cabinet inaugurated and assigned portfolios on Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

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Imo elders caution Okorocha against distracting Ihedioha

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Imo elders caution Okorocha  against distracting Ihedioha

Immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has been advised to desist from ‘sensationalizing his failure’ and stop distracting Governor Emeka Ihedioha.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Elders’ Council gave the advice in a press briefing held at the party’s secretariat, Owerri, yesterday.

Speaking on behalf of the body, Peter Mgbenwelu, Ambrose Ejiogu and Osita Nwaneri said they would be compelled to make Okorocha “politically uncomfortable” should he refuse allow Ihedioha to work in peace.

They further warned the ex-governor to desist from heating up the state and constituting a distraction to the state government.

They said: “We as custodians of conscience of this party, the Imo PDP, and we will not allow any ostentatious politician to distract the present PDP government of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha in the state.

“We want to let Okorocha know that we are old enough to know and that we know enough to be able to make him uncomfortable politically and in other spheres of his life.

“As elders, we are saying this as the first and last warning for him to desist from his reckless and baseless utterances and his constituting himself into a nuisance through his parade of hoodlums and questionable characters across the state.”

Okorocha had through his Special Adviser on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo in a recent statement described Ihedioha as being too small to govern Imo state.

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Huawei trains 935 civil servants on ICT

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Huawei trains 935 civil servants on ICT

Chinese Telecommunications company,  Huawei, has trained 935 Federal Civil Servants in Information and Communications Technology, ICT. This was in fulfillment of the understanding and partnership it entered with the Federal Government in 2015.

New Telegraph learnt that the training has been coming in batches since January 2017, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed between the Federal Government and Huawei Technologies.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, ( SGF) Boss Mustapha stated this  yesterday in Abuja during the closing and award ceremony of the second phase of the programme. He said  that the programme was part of governments Public Private Partnership, PPP, drive to improve the capacity of civil servants in ICT and improve the quality of their service delivery.

Mustapha noted that  the programme would tremendously increase the knowledge of participants in the areas of: Human capacity building in ICT developing trends; Innovative ICT, Building a Smart City; Everything Connected  Internet of Things (IoT) Trends and Solutions; Software-Defined-Networking (SDN) Development Trend and Basic Knowledge; Cloud Cutting-edge Technology and Trends; Big Data Cutting-edge Technology and Trends; E-Government for the Future We Want; Web Design & Maintenance Training; Microsoft Word Training; and Tour of Galaxy Backbone ICT Facilities.

Also speaking, the newly inaugurated Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Pantami, in his remark, noted that Huawei Technologies have indirectly helped the communications ministry in delivering part of its core mandate.

While commending the programme, he admitted that the challenges facing the country cannot be tackled by the government alone, hence the need for private sector intervention.

“We always clamour for digitalization, but if we digitalize and our civil servants are not up to date with ICT, then the aim would have been defeated.

“It is necessary for civil servants to improve on ICT to meet up with changing trends. Nothing can be achieved in government if the capacity of civil servants is not developed,” the minister added.

Earlier in his goodwill message, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, harped on the need to keep up with the trend of the fourth industrial revolution and seize opportunities created by digital technology.

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Customs frustrating Buhari’s fight against insurgency, corruption – SINET

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Customs frustrating Buhari’s fight against insurgency, corruption – SINET

group, Social Integrity Network (SINET), yesterday, accused Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) of frustrating President President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against insurgency and corruption in the country.

The National Co-coordinator of the Group, Mallam Ibrahim Isah, who made the accusation at a press briefing in Abuja, said that the cancellation of pre-shipment inspection by the NCS was responsible for persistence of insurgency in the country.

Isah pointed out that the escalation of insurgency in the country began immediately after the cancellation of Pre-Shipment Inspection by NCS, noting also that the action had led to negation of Buhari’s anti-corruption policy, by giving room to high level of tax evasion in the country.

Expressing the displeasure of SINET over the decision of the Customs to cancel the exercise, Isah noted that the cancellation was done during the tenure of the former Comptroller-General, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi.

He posited that restoration of the policy by Customs, would to a very large extent, help in curbing illegal shipment of firearms into the country by crimes magnates.

His words: “With the benefit of hindsight, the escalation of insurgency began immediately after the cancellation of Pre-Shipment Inspection by the Nigeria Customs Service during the tenure of the former Comptroller General, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi.

“Therefore, a quick win to countermand insurgency is the restoration of Pre-Shipment Inspection services to forestall many containers which are supposedly to be carrying legal items/goods of different kinds being loaded with dangerous weapons and brought into the country without adequate attention”.

He further alleged that as at present, little or no inspection was carried out on containers at the points of loading, thereby, subjecting the lives of Nigerians to serious threats and uncertainty.

Apart from illegal weapons allegedly being shipped into the country without required interception by Customs, Isah also accused operatives of the agency and their counterparts, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), of negligence in curbing smuggling of all manner of substandard products into the country.

“The conspiracy being perpetrated by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and personnel of Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON) with smugglers at the various ports across the country is creating serious economic threat to local manufacturers, who have invested their lives through bank loans and workers’ salaries commitments to mention a few.

“Many local industries have in the recent time shut down their operations while other existing ones are in the process of laying off over 20,000 workforce as released by the umbrella body of industrialists nationwide.

“In addition, the unpatriotic acts of smuggling have proven to be responsible for the unending war against insurgency as smugglers import undisclosed items into the country unchecked at the premier ports and the private jetties.

“All these are attempts to frustrate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR’s efforts to restore probity into the nation because the carnage has led to high level of tax evasion in Nigeria.”

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A’Ibom to shut 1,140 ‘illegal schools’

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A’Ibom to shut 1,140 ‘illegal schools’

The Akwa Ibom State Government has spoken of plans to close down over 1,140 illegal nursery, primary and secondary schools operating across the state.

The state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien, disclosed this yesterday in Uyo, the state capital, while address newsmen on the development.

Essien said the move by the government was to stem the rising cases of unapproved private schools in the state, even as he expressed dismay over the manner in which some alleged unscrupulous persons in the state were busy establishing schools without proper registration with relevant agencies of government.

He said: “These schools are not approved by the state Ministry of Education while students are being taught under unhygienic conditions, where the learning environment is deplorable. We have in the ministry the minimum standards which must be fulfilled before opening any school in the state.”

Essien, who said the ministry, would publish the names of the illegal schools so that the public could be aware of their locations, warned that defaulters would be prosecuted by the state government.

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We chose street children, women’s rights as our focus – Dala

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We chose street children, women’s rights as our focus – Dala

Yahcit Susan Dala is Chief Legal Officer and Coordinator with the National Human Right Commission in Bauchi State. In this interview with ALI GARBA, she says the emphasis is on women who don’t know their rights, she also speaks on the vision of the Commission to end street children

 

 

So, tell us about you, tell us about the activities of the human right organisation

The main mandate of the Human Right Commission is to promote and protect of human right in Nigeria. That is what we have been doing since the National Human Right Commission came to be in 1995, established by the National Human Commission Act of 1995 and amended in 2010. The commission started with a vision to bring human right closer to the grassroots- the people. 

We have done some sensitisation too with traditional rulers at the Emir’s palace, we have done radio programmes and any opportunity we have we have to talk, it is about human rights. 

What are some of the cases that you received complaints about?

There is no aspect of life that doesn’t involve human right, but to make our work easy, we have divided human right issues into three major thematic areas, namely, economic, social and cultural rights, civil, political right and vulnerable groups rights, we have cases of all these three areas.

Which among them was the most pathetic?

All cases of human rights violation are pathetic, but we noticed we had so many cases of sexual abuse especially on minors, children, we had cases on abandonment of parental responsibilities to family, children and we had cases reported against police officers in the mode of arrest, detention and handling of alleged violation of human rights issue, these are some of the cases. We also have labour related matters reported at the Commission.

How has the Commission been protecting the right of women?

Women, they fall under the vulnerable groups, women rights could be in various ways, domestic violence, it could be sexual abuse or exploitation, and it could be discrimination. When the cases come, depending on the nature,  some could be criminal in nature like domestic violence and that is responsibilities of the police to investigate. So, when we have cases that are criminal in nature, we usually involve the police to find out from the victims if they have reported it to the police, what steps have they taken. And if the police have already taken proper steps, then that it is alright, we can just watch and monitor but when the police have failed to take proper steps, then the Commission can step in by contacting the police on behalf of the victim or sending the victim to the police. Most time when we get in touch with the police, it makes them sit up and do the proper thing, those are some of the few cases concerning women. But the major challenges we have, is that we don’t get much cases reported because as I said, people do not know that this is actually a ‘violation and where to go-to, to get help’ commission. We keep saying that we need everybody and the media to tell people of Bauchi that there is somewhere they can go for assistant when there is abuse of their rights  or violation

Why is it that women, girl-child abuse is on the increase?

Of course, it is and nobody likes that, it affects them physically, emotionally and psychologically as well as when they don’t have a balance life. Women are the ones that take care of the home, children and when a woman is not emotionally, psychologically stable, it affects the children and whole family and it goes on to affecting everything in the society in general.  One of the things we hope to achieve is to liase with House of Assembly and relevant stakeholders and senisitise them on human rights and need to pass some laws. Another law that we really want to advocate for, is the child’s right law, I don’t know which name Bauchi State will call it, some state called it Child’s Protection law, some called it Child’s Right Law that is just an example. We are happy that the administration of criminal justice law was passed before the last administration left office.

How do you protect the innocent and criminal as well?

Depends, everybody have rights, the way we say, your rights ends when mine begins. When you say we protect both innocent and criminal, everybody is innocent until you are pronounced guilty by the Court of law so when someone is perceived to be criminal, we call it allegation, that is why in the Commission make use of terms like alleged violator when someone walks in here and makes a complaints, we don’t say the violator or the guilty one but we refer to it as alleged until it is proven otherwise. so anybody  that walks into this office,

What about the right of Almajiri, street children?

Talking about Almajiri, we do a lot advocacy and sensitisation, one of the things we noticed when we came to Bauchi is high number of street children and Almajiri. We have already begun talking with the state government and one of the challenges I told you is lack of passage of the child’s right acts law protecting children on the street which we have. As we go on in our sensitisation we will speak concerning those issues. On the issue of Almajiri, I know in the past the Commission was at the fore front of advocating for this children to be protected, we noticed the abuses that those children are exposed to. In doing that, the Federal Government tried to streamline this by building Tsangaya schools during President Goodluck Jonathan administration, he established some Islamic schools in the North for those Almajiri children but it has became a major problem that all hands have to be on deck, the government cannot do it alone, parents have to be involved as well, the local authorities, traditional rulers, Religious body among others.

Right of children is one of our primary focus in the commission.

What is your next line of action?

One thing the Commission identify is the need to reach the grassroots with this message, we need to do more sensitization to let the people know what human rights are.  Sometimes, people are surprised at what are their rights!  They are not really aware of what their rights are, like in the administration of criminal justice law there is a way that a police can arrest you, can handle you at the point of arrest so many things can be put in place before arrest. They have to inform but people don’t know these things, so we need education in human rights education. The commission cannot do it alone because it may not have the resources to go all the places, which we need to go to so if we can get collaboration, partnership with people that can access these places, our job would be easy.

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AfDP, Chinese investment in agro-processing to attract $5bn – Govs

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AfDP, Chinese investment in agro-processing to attract $5bn – Govs

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has expressed confidence that the combined investment of the African Development Bank (AfDP) and Chinese investors in Special Agro-Processing Zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria has the potentials of attracting $5 billion into the country.

The AfDB investment alone will attract $1 billion while $4 billion is expected with the entrance of private investors into the initiative.

NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi, told journalists at the end of the 4th meeting of the forum on Wednesday in Abuja that all the states in the country were potential beneficiaries of the SAPZs initiative, which, he said, would bring together the farming and the processing community.

Fayemi, who is the governor of Ekiti State, disclosed that the NGF Deputy Chairman, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, had a fruitful meeting with AfDB and Chinese investors in Nigeria.

“The meeting was part of a series of high-level engagements driven by AfDB to promote the establishment of SAPZs in Nigeria.

“This SAPZs, which will bring together the farming and the processing community, have the potential of attracting about $1 billion from AfDB and up to $4 billion with the entry of private sector investors,” the governor added.

He said that the governors had already agreed with AfDB that a desk office for the initiative would be at NGF secretariat to coordinate interest expressed from various states.

Fayemi further disclosed that the governors have resolved to continue to support the actualisation of universal health coverage in the country.

This, according to him, followed update from the NGF secretariat on Basic Health Care Fund (BHCF), State Health Insurance Agency and the fact that Nigeria had been polio-free for three years and on the verge of being certified polio free.

“The governors expressed willingness to prioritize routine immunization coverage in states, which will ensure that Nigeria is declared polio free and ensure sustainability, moving forward,” he added.

According to him, the governors were exploring available means to settle the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) imbroglio.

His words: “NFIU is a matter that is on our agenda consistently, but as you may be aware, we are also in court.

“We are exploring all other initiatives in order to ensure that we come to a clear conclusion on NFIU matter.”

The governor said that the forum received many presentations on polio eradication from Rotary International Nigeria PolioPlus Committee.

Nineteen governors and Cross River State Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivira Esu, attended the meeting, which ended late hours of Wednesday.

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Ibadan Obas reject peace move with Olubadan

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Ibadan Obas reject peace move with Olubadan

The purported peace move being made by some parties involved in a crisis rocking Ibadan Traditional Council which has pitched the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 against members of the Olubadan-in-Council, has been described as a ruse and misleading.

A section of the media had yesterday reported the peace move, claiming that they were privy to a document which contained the terms of the peace initiative.

But, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, who reacted on behalf of his brother Obas and members of the Olubadan-in-Council described the alleged peace move as out of tune with them.

The next in rank to Olubadan, who led the 21 Obas crowned by former Governor Abiola Ajimobi on 27th August, 2017 said there was no way any move would be made in their absence being the direct beneficiaries of the law that granted them the elevation.

He said: “We are not aversed to peaceful resolution of the impasse which was unnecessary in the first instance and which informed the recent rapprochement between the Olubadan palace and some of us.

“But to smuggle in a peace initiative that we are not part of through the backdoor is not acceptable to us and we reject the process in its entirety.

“What’s more, the Oyo State Government Gazette No 3 Vol.43 dated 29th March, 2018 which the said document ferociously attacked, and which put a seal on our elevation is not presently a subject of litigation at any court of law.”

“Curiously, attempt to dubiously smuggle the said gazette into the ongoing appeal case in which the litigant sought to set it aside, was thrown out with the judge describing such move as ‘an abuse of court process, vexatious and frivolous’.

“Do we now conclude that what the litigant could not achieve in the court of law, they wish to achieve it through the backdoor? We say no to such dubious arrangement.

“We equally reiterate that as much as we are for peace, unity and progress of our land, whatever peace process or initiative that will be sustaining must have our inputs.”

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