…Senate wants railways back
Daniel Atori, Minna
President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan has assured that the National Assembly will work closely with the Executive arm of government in ensuring that all deplorable federal roads in Niger State are fixed soonest.
He made this disclosure on Sunday when the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Mohammed Musa (313) unveiled his ‘Action Plan’ for the zone in Minna.
According to him: “We will work together with the Executive arm of government for the benefit of the people of Niger State and indeed the country to ensure that we achieve our common goal of taking Nigeria to the next level.”
While assuring that, he will be fully involved in the fixing of roads in Niger, the Senate President aded: “I think it is time to make our railways work again, because the movement of heavy haulage on the roads have really spoilt all our roads.
“I do not have to drive through the roads to know it’s bad, I have heard alot about it. Niger State does not need to lobby for Chairman, Senate Committee on Works while I am particularly involved.”
The Senate President while commending Senator Musa said the three Senators from the state are loyal and are very good representives of the state.
APC mulls mini-convention to replace NWC members
ational leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is considering a mini-convention to fill vacant positions in the National Working Committee (NWC), according to a party source.
The convention, which would hold before the end of October, the source said, would ratify the nomination of NWC members brought in from their zones.
Since after the 2019 elections in March, the party has not held National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to address some issues in the party.
This lack of statutory meetings in the party is causing ill feelings among members, as APC governors and Presidency are demanding for such meetings.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently asked the NWC members to go and resolve crises in the party or it would be dissolved.
The APC governors, in trying to find solutions to the problem bedevilling the party, held a meeting with the NWC members on Friday.
The delegation of the Progressive Governors’ Forum was led by its chairman, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
The NWC positions to be filled are: Deputy National Chairman (South), Otunba Niyi Adebayo and National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni.
While Adebayo is now Minister of Trade and Industry, Buni has been elected governor of Yobe State.
According to the source, the mini convention became necessary since the zones could not agree on the replacement of members at the NWC and to address some issues in the party through resolutions.
He explained that all the states from the North-East would be allowed to present candidates for the office of the national secretary for party members to cast their votes for a choice candidate.
The three states that have shown interest in the National Secretary are Borno, Yobe and Taraba.
Also, the South-West would be allowed to produce a consensus candidate for the replacement of Adebayo as Deputy National Chairman (South) or the states would be allowed to produce candidates to contest the position, the source said.
Adebayo is from Ekiti State and it is likely that the zone would move the position to another state since Ekiti had occupied the position since 2014.
The source further revealed that the convention would ratify the position of the National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, who came in after Bolaji Abdullahi resigned.
Onilu, presented by the North-Central, is in acting capacity until his position is ratified by the convention.
Abdullahi was one of the NWC members elected last year, before his resignation to contest the governorship ticket of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State.
There have been cracks in APC’s NWC since after the general election, as the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, had stayed away from the party as a result of his letter to the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, demanding his resignation.
Also, the National Vice Chairman (North-West), Inuwa Abdulkadir, has been expelled by the party leadership.
The party source explained that the mini convention will address some of the allegations against the leadership of APC.
According to him, the NWC might be restructured with some members asked to resign.
Bala flags off N8.8bn road project in Bauchi
auchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has flagged off the N8.8 billion road project between Alkaleri and Tafawa Balewa Local Government Areas of the state.
Mohammed said the benefiting communities include Yalwan Duguri, Badaran Dutse, Birim, Bajama, Kumbala, Kundak Wurno and Burga community respectively.
Speaking at the project site in Burga, Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area, Governor Mohammed said already over N4 billion had been released to contractors to commence work within the period of completion in two years.
He said the award for the construction of the road was in line with campaign promises to provide infrastructure that had direct bearing on the lives of the teeming populace.
According to him, adequate attention would be given to facilitate the timely completion of the project and acknowledged the courage and endurance demonstrated by the communities for waiting patiently to see the day of the execution of the project.
Governor Mohammed reaffirmed that in an effort to remain focused and committed to its campaign promises; his administration would embark on meaningful projects that had socioeconomic impact on the citizens of the state.
On his part, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport, Engineer Stephen Abubakar, said the road when completed, would increase access to social amenities and other opportunities associated with road transport to the communities.
He explained that the road was designed to have a length of 58.4k metres with total width of 10.3 metres, which comprised of a carriageway of 7.3 metres and 1.5 metres shoulders on each side.
The permanent secretary noted that the road would be constructed with four bridges, 45 box culverts and 70 pipe culverts of different sizes as it would be completed within 24 dry months.
In his remarks earlier, Caretaker Committee Chairman, Tafawa Balewa Local Government, Kefas Magaji, who spoke on behalf of the benefiting communities, described the gesture as a welcome development, saying the road would further boost movement and interaction among the people of Tafawa Balewa and Alkaleri Local Government Areas.
9mobile secures N82.8bn AFC loan
n what appears to be a landmark achievement since the exit of United Arab Emirates (UAE) investors, Etisalat Telecommunications Company, 9mobile has secured N82.8 billion (US$230 million) from the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).
The facility came as a lifeline for the telco, which currently ranks distant fourth among mobile network operators in the country with 16 million active subscriptions.
The facility, which is divided into two tranches, is to be spent on repayment of historic vendor obligations, according to the company. Part of the loan, the telco said, would also be used, among others, to “finance costs, interest reserve account and payment towards quick win CAPEX initiatives.”
AFC is a pan-African multilateral development financial institution established to bridge Africa’s infrastructure investment gap through the provision of debt and equity finance, project development, technical and financial advisory services.
Announcing the development through a statement yesterday, the Board of Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited (EMTS), trading as 9mobile, said the loan was a boost to its efforts to reposition the company. “Convinced by the initiatives so far taken by the Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero-led Board and management headed by Acting Managing Director, Stephane Beuvelet, to return the multi-award-winning company to the path of growth and profitability through cost efficiency, innovative product development and network efficiency, AFC announced the approval of the loan on Friday, August 23,” the statement read.
AFC, in a letter addressed to both Bayero and Beuvelet, was quoted as saying: “Africa Finance Corporation is pleased to inform Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services that it has received full Board approval to support the turnaround strategy of EMTS through a US$230 million super senior debt investment.”
Commenting on the approval, the Board Chair, Ado Bayero, expressed happiness that EMTS’ effort to recover previously ceded ground through an innovative growth plan is being supported by a pan-African financial institution, the AFC.
Bayero further assured of the company’s resolve to continue its aggressive enhancement of network capacity and innovative features to guarantee optimum value to customers.
1,000 benefit from Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat medical outreach
agos State Government yesterday said that no fewer than 1,000 people have so far benefited from the ongoing free surgical intervention in orthopedic surgery, eye, and others being offered by the state government in collaboration with a non-governmental organisation, BOSKOH Lagos Healthcare Mission.
New Telegraph gathered that at Massey Street Children’s Hospital, 81 pediatric patients were referred for various cases, including dental problems and chronic medical conditions, while over 300 patients were being attended to at General Hospital, Lagos, with a total of 94 surgeries so far carried out. A total of 67 dental extractions were also carried out.
Speaking during a visit to centres where the surgery was being carried out simultaneously in general hospital, wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said that the free surgical intervention which included dental surgery procedure, ENT surgery amongst others was a continuation of the free screening recently conducted at the designated primary health centres across the State.
She expressed delight at the impact the interventions had on the lives of beneficiaries.
She said: “I have been around five general hospital today to observe what has been done for the past few days.
Yoruba leader: Afenifere leaders, others meet over Akintoye’s emergence
embers of the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere at the weekend converged on Akure, the Ondo State capital to deliberate over recent emergence of Prof. Banji Akintoye as their new leader.
It was gathered that the meeting which was held behind closed doors at the Akure residence of the leader of the group, Pa Reuben Fasoranti was aimed at dousing tension arising from the endorsement of Prof. Akintoye by a group.
Thursday, last week, a group, the Assembly of All Yoruba Groups Worldwide had picked 84-year-old Akintoye as the new leader of the Yoruba race.
The delegates of the groups at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital endorsed Akintoye as the fourth Yoruba leader after Pa Abraham Adesanya.
But sources at the Akure meeting which was attended by Prof. Akintoye, traditional rulers, as well as some prominent Yoruba sons including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Wole Soyinka among others expressed concern over the development in the Yorubaland and called for caution.
The sources added that during the meeting Akintoye assured the Afenifere leaders that he would not do anything that would cause disunity in Afenifere and in Yorubaland.
The meeting which was presided over by Pa Fasoranti had in attendance the Afenifere Deputy National leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, its National scribe, Seinde Arogbofa and the Publicity Secretary of the group, Yinka Odumakin.
Others present were the Ondo State governorship aspirant of the PDP, Chief Sola Ebiseni, Supo Sonibare, Olaitan Osun and Demola Folarin amongst other leaders.
APC screens seven aspirants ahead August 28 Bayelsa primary
o fewer than seven aspirants including Prince Ebitimi Amgbare, David Lyon, Preye Aganaba, Heineken Lokpobiri, former minister of state for agriculture and rural development, were among those screened by the National Screening Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for their primary election slated for August 28 ahead of the governorship election coming up on November 16.
Others screened were former Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) Frankland Briyai, a female aspirant and former Commissioner of Police, Diseye Poweigha and Prof. Ongebi Maureen Etebu.
Addressing the aspirants and stakeholders at the state secretariat in Yenagoa, the Ita Isong-led National Screening Committee had assured all aspirants of a level playing ground that would ensure a smooth playing ground towards the party’s primary.
Addressing journalists after the exercise, Heineken Lokpobiri said he was satisfied with the outcome of the exercise.
He said: “Well, the screening committee did a good job. Out of the seven aspirants, I happen to be the last person to be screened and I think the process went well.”
Edo APC primaries: Erring members’ll face disciplinary action – Obaseki
do State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has assured members of his party that disciplinary actions would be taken against those who betrayed the party during the 2019 All Progressives Congress (APC) primary elections in the state.
Obaseki spoke while receiving the report of a committee set up by the state chapter of the APC to reconcile aggrieved party members after the primary elections.
The governor expressed appreciation to the committee for helping to review issues involving all aspirants that participated in the party’s recent primaries.
Obaseki called for compulsory monthly meetings across the various units, wards and local government areas (LGAs) that would be attended by special assistants and advisers from the wards.
He assured them that he would get across to all the parties involved in the issues raised by the committee and urged them to be proud of the developmental strides so far recorded by the party.
Obaseki also assured them that the reconciliation exercise would be carried out while promising that stiff disciplinary measures would be meted out to those that betrayed and erred against the party.
Chairman of the four-man committee, Theophilus Okoh, during the presentation of the report to the governor, said the committee visited the three senatorial districts in the state and the local government areas to interact with party members who bought APC expression of interest forms, adding that the aspirants cooperated with the committee members.
Rivers community celebrates as NDDC restores electricity
he people of Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State at the weekend trouped out in their numbers to celebrate the restoration of electricity to their community by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Isiokpo was agog as members of the community staged a festive rally to thank the NDDC for re-connecting them to public power supply after two and half years of power outage from the national grid.
Speaking on behalf of the community, John Tasie, a retired civil servant, commended the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa and the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Chris Amadi, for fulfilling the promise they made to the people of Isiokpo to give them electricity.
Tasie also lauded the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for making deliberate efforts to develop the Niger Delta, acknowledging that the impact of NDDC was being felt in the region. He said: “It is heart-warming that Isiokpo and other communities in Ikwerre Kingdom can now enjoy stable electricity, courtesy of the NDDC.”
“There is no better way to demonstrate our feelings and gratitude to NDDC than by a public rally like this, which also coincides with our annual wrestling festival.”
The crowd of community leaders, youths and women moved round the town singing songs of joy and displaying placards with different messages. Some of them read in part; “President Buhari, Ikwerres are happy with you and NDDC; ‘Thank you Nelson Brambaifa and Dr Chris Amadi, aka ‘Light;’ ‘Thank you NDDC for re-kindling our hope,” among others.
Okowa felicitates with Sultan at 63
elta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, at the weekend congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, as he attained the age of 63 on August 24.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, commended the Sultan for his untiring efforts at promoting and advancing the cause of peace, unity and positive development in all parts of the country.
He said Nigerians at all levels appreciated the Sultan for his immense contributions toward building bridges of unity and peaceful coexistence among the citizenry.
“My family, the Government and people of Delta State felicitate with you, the Sokoto Emirate Council, Government and people of Sokoto State on the occasion of your 63rd birthday anniversary.
“Your usual timely and wise counsel on national issues keeps us, leaders, in check at all times.
“We acknowledge your exemplary role as Head, Jama’atu Nasirl Islam (JNI), President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and co-Chairman of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).
“We also appreciate your support for education in Nigeria as a key to the promotion and protection of human life and dignity, because man has no dignity without education.”
“As you continue to use your exalted throne to promote peace, unity and positive development in the Caliphate and across our nation, be rest assured of the support, partnership and cooperation of the government and people of Delta State,” he said.
Kogi guber: I’ll bring development to all groups, says Irukera
ll Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the November 16 election in Kogi State, Dr. Tunde Irukera, yesterday promised to make the state greater if elected, saying that the state needed help to save it from its current from socio-economic woes.
Speaking during his official declaration and inauguration of his local government campaign team in Lokoja, Irukera said his vision and agenda would bring development to all ethnic groups in the state.
“l have a vision of a greater Kogi and you as an individual must be great. I have an Igala agenda. I have an Okun agenda. I have an Ebira agenda. But for the vision to become reality, there must be a mission, which is for you to deliver me,” he said.
The director-general, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), said he planned to emancipate Kogi State from socio-economic woes through his HELP (Health, Employment, Learning-Education and Prosperity) Agenda, and restore power back to the people purposeful and people-oriented leadership.
He said the state was in dire need of help, which he said he would address through good governance and advised those on the verge of losing hope as a result of the prevailing hardship in the state, not to despair, assuring them that help was on the way.
Irukera said the choice of leadership should be freely given to the people, adding that; “The time has come for us in Nigeria to choose our leaders based on character and popularity.”
Speaking earlier, immediate past Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Imam, described Irukera as the best among the APC aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket in the November 16 governorship election.
Also speaking, APC State Women Leader, Hajia Fatima Allah-Dey, urged women to come out and fight for their freedom and the future of their children, saying that they had spent too much time in the dark.
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