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TCN declares two container-load of power equipment missing

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TCN declares two container-load of power equipment missing
  • Police wade in
  • Transmission company secures $1.6bn from donors

The Police authority have begun the probe of two container-load of power equipment, which were yesterday declared missing at the Nigerian seaports by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

The two missing containers are part of the 25 yet-to-be-recovered containers shipment from 800 units of stranded containers abandoned for over 10 years at the ports.

Managing Director of TCN, Mr. Usman Mohammed, who made this known at the organisation’s quarterly news conference in Abuja, maintained that the Police are also beaming their searchlight on circumstances behind two other containers that were discovered to be empty.

He also added that his company had received $1.661 billion from multi-lateral donors to boost power supply in the country.

Though the company has, according to Mohammed, recovered 775 containers and the contents have been used to complete several substations, including the brand new Damaturu, Maiduguri and Ilashe sub-stations, 25 units are yet to be recovered.

According to Mohammed, the company has also recovered 775 power equipment containers out of 800 abandoned at the ports due to tariff related issues, while two have been declared missing and two empty.

“We discovered that two containers were missing and we have reported to the police and they are investigating the matter,” he said.

He, however, did not disclose the contents or the value of the missing containers, but pledged to work with his team to recover them.

The TCN, he said, had raised significant amount to reinforce the system under the critical investment programme.

“As at today, the amount we have raised from multi-lateral donors has risen to $1.661 billion to execute some power projects in the country.

“These projects include the Abuja Wheeling Scheme that will bring five sub-stations and bring a new supply route to the territory.

“The new route will be from Lafia to Abuja with 330 Kilo Volt (KV) line and two 330KV sub-stations in Abuja and put addition three numbers 132 KV sub-stations in the territory,” he said.

He said that the contract for the project had been signed and divided into six slots, adding that 10 contractors had been pre-qualified.

Mohammed explained that TCN “is going to recover about 2,000 to 3,000mw with the present upgrade of its equipment.

“Which automatically means the grid will shift from 8,000MW to at least 10,000 MW,” he said.

The TCN boss said that the company had used its staff to forcefully take over some contracts and those contracts were at the point of completion.

He noted that in spite of the massive investment so far recorded by the sector from the transmission end, the distribution companies were yet to match it with a proportional upgrade of their equipment.

This, according to him, is responsible for the frequent system collapses in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.

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Buhari pledges more investment in education

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Buhari pledges more investment in education

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday promised Nigerians that the current administration would use education to fast track transition of the nation to a modern society capable of favourably competing with other nations. The President, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said this during the 2019 convocation, and 71st Foundation Day ceremony, award of doctorate degrees and conferment of honorary degrees and Fellowship on some prominent Nigerians at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. At the event which took place at the International Conference Centre of the university, Buhari said that his administration would continue to substantially invest in education to make the country a knowledgebased economy. He nevertheless urged the graduating students to contribute to nation building and be good ambassadors of the university.

Buhari said: “I charge you to make meaningful contribution for the development of the nation in particular and humanity in general. It is my belief and prayer that the recognizance of these prominent Nigerians especially Aare Afe Babalola (one of the awardees) will spur the graduating students to cultivate selfless service to humanity. “One of the main purposes of the university education is nation building. “To achieve this noble objective, you have to be good ambassadors of this school by deploying your skills for national growth and development.

“The university and government at all levels have invested for you graduates to be useful for yourself, your parents, community and to the larger society. Here today we are celebrating an important milestone in your life. “I therefore urge you all to justify the investment in you. We will continue to invest substantially in education and government has not relented in its efforts to ensure that education is used to fast track Nigeria’s transition to a modern society.” A total of 343 candidates from various disciplines were awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

The Faculty of Education led the pack with a total of 70, followed by the Faculty of Science with 60 PhDs and the Faculty of Agriculture with 44. Five distinguished Nigerians were given honorary doctoral degrees and Fellowship awards. Among them was the Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti who received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Three of former teachers of the university made the prestigious list. They included the ninth Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayodele Falase, who received an honorary Fellowship; the foundation Dean of Technology, Prof. Fola Aboaba and the former Dean of the Social Sciences, Professor Emmanuel Edozien. Similarly, Prof. Alex Chika Eze, an alumnus received an honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc.). Speaking on behalf of other awardees, Aare Babalola (SAN) called for autonomy of public universities in Nigeria to attain a world-class standard. Babalola said: “I wish to utilize this auspicious occasion to address an issue that worries me day and night which is the autonomy of public universities in Nigeria

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EU-UN blames child marriage for obstetric fistula

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EU-UN blames child marriage for obstetric fistula

The European Union United Nations (EU-UN) Spotlight Initiative has blamed child marriage in the country for an increased in obstetric fistula as 43% of girls marry before the age of 18 and 17 % of them were married off before age 15.

This, it said had given rise to 20,000 new cases of obstetric fistula which occurred every year as a result of child marriages in the country.

This was disclosed by EU-UN Spotlight Initiative during a two-day media engagement on violence against women and girls for southern journalists in the country.

According to the Initiative, violence and other forms of harmful practices against women and girls were on the rise in the country despite the war against the menace.

UNICEF child protection specialist, Mrs. Olasunbo Odebode described violence against women and girls as a silent killer that had taken the lives of scores of victims which the health outcome had gone beyond direct result of physical, psychological or mental health issues.

She said: “The social context of violence against women and girls is based on the traditional patriarchal structure that defines gender. It is the belief in Nigeria being a patriarchal society that women are subordinate to men and when married, they surrender to their husbands

“Women do not have a say in decision making, issues concerning their lives are decided upon and determined by others usually men and older women in the family, and violence is prevalent in the society.”

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Okigwe Constituency deserves better representation, says APC candidate

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Okigwe Constituency deserves better representation, says APC candidate

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming rerun election in Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe Federal Constituency of Imo State, Princess Miriam Onuoha, has urged the people of the constituency to come out en masse and vote for the APC on an election day.

Speaking in a reaction to the Appeal Court’s nullification of the election of Kingsley Onwubuariri, in Owerri, the APC candidate said she dedicated the victory to God, her supporters and the judiciary, which she said remained the last hope of the common man.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri had at the weekend upheld the judgment of the electoral tribunal that sacked Onwubuariri and also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the entire federal constituency within 90 days.

While dedicating her victory to God and the people of the constituents, the APC candidate enjoined all to capitalize on the golden opportunity to vote her again in the rerun election, so as to enjoy the remarkable dividends of democracy like never before in the history of Okigwe North Federal constituency.

Frowning at the state of total neglect and  current poor representation of Okigwe North at the Green Chambers, Onuoha pledged to effect  sound and productive  representation to the people of Okigwe North when elected.

The APC candidate also added that her performance as SURE-P representative which earned her the title “Mama SURE-P” in the last administration is proof of serving the people judiciously.

She urged all registered voters in the zone to come out en masse in the soon to be scheduled rerun election and vote her again.

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Court restrains NAFDAC from deploying banned chemical for public use 

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Court restrains NAFDAC from deploying banned chemical for public use 

Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of a Federal High Court in Lagos has  restrained the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from deploying a banned chemical, methyl bromide, allegedly imported into the country by a firm, Toon Consolidated Company Limited, for public use.
Other defendants affected by the order are: the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Justice.
NAFDAC and the other defendants were dragged to court by a retired judge of the Osun State High Court, Justice Olamide Oloyede and an NGO, Virtues Unlimited Restorative Justice Initiative (VURJI), over alleged illegal importation of the banned chemical.
The restraining order, which was made Monday by the judge, was sequel to a request by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Olukayode Enitan (SAN).
In his submissions, the silk drew the court’s attention to a motion for interlocutary injunction seeking to stop the defendants from deploying the chemical for public use pending the determination of the suit.
However, his motion could not be moved because all the defendants’ lawyers present in court asked for time to respond to it.
Following the development, Enitan urged Justice Oguntoyinbo to issue an interim order to preserve the ‘res’ of the suit.

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Court hears army’s objection to Falana’s suit on OPI

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Court hears army’s objection to Falana’s suit on OPI

Justice Mohammed Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos will next week Thursday hear the preliminary objection filed by the Nigerian Army against the suit filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, to challenge the controversial Operation Positive Identification (OPI).
The judge had at the last hearing of the matter on November 5, ordered the army to suspend the operation pending the final determination of the suit.
At Monday’s proceedings, the lawyer representing the Army and the Chief of Army Staff (1st and 2nd respondents), Mrs. Olayemi Badewole, drew the court’s attention to a motion dated November 14, 2019, seeking to regularize her clients’ notice of preliminary objection.
In the absence of any opposition from other parties in the matter, she moved the motion and her request was granted by the court.
The Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata (SAN), who represented the Attorney General of the Federation (3rd respondent) had earlier informed the court that necessary processes in respect of the suit has been filed and served on the plaintiff.
Responding, a lawyer from Falana’s chambers, E. E. Olawale, while acknowledging the receipt of the processes, sought for an adjournment to enable him respond appropriately.
Justice Aikawa subsequently adjourned the matter to November 28 for the hearing of all preliminary objections to the suit.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen.Tukur Buratai, the Army and the Attorney-General of the Federation were joined as co-respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1939/2019.
In the suit, Falana argued that the planned nationwide operation which was scheduled to run from November 1 to December 23, 2019, by which Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with means of identification is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

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NDDC’s debt: National Assembly to probe NLNG, Shell, 15 other IOCs

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NDDC’s debt: National Assembly to probe NLNG, Shell, 15 other IOCs

…Finance minister, CBN Gov to testify

A joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has concluded arrangements to investigate 17 international oil companies (IOCs) including the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Shell Petroleum and Conoil for alleged indebtedness to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).
Other oil firms, which are to be quizzed by the joint committee, are Shebah Express Petroleum, Atlas Petroleum, Allied Energy, Frontier Oil, Seven Energy Limited, Belma Oil Producing Limited, AITECO Exploration and Production, Dubrin Oil and Continental Oil and Gas.
Also to be investigated is Enageed Resources Limited, New Cross exploration and Production, Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Development Company and Prime Exploration and Production Company.
Co-chairman of the joint committee and House of Representatives committee chairman on NDDC, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (APC, Ondo), who disclosed this Monday in a chat with the media in Abuja, explained that as part of the investigation, the Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris and Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Anthony Ayine will also testify before the joint committee.
According to Tunji-Ojo, records have shown that the affected oil companies jointly owning the NDDC N72 billion and $73 million respectively adding that the federal government is also owning the agency a whopping N1.2 trillion.

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Senate disowns Hate Speech Bill, says it’s Abdullahi’s idea

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Senate disowns Hate Speech Bill, says it’s Abdullahi’s idea

Worried by the spate of criticisms that have greeted the Hate Speech Bill which passed first reading last week, the Senate has distanced itself from the proposed legislation

The acting spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, told journalists in Abuja on Monday that contrary to widespread impression, the bill was not the idea of the ninth Senate

He said it was solely being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, based on his conviction.

Akwashiki described as unfortunate, the statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which insinuated that the bill was a Senate bill, skewed to make the alleged third term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari possible.

He maintained that the fate of the bill would be determined on the floor of the Senate after a robust debate by senators.

Meanwhile, the ex-spokesperson for the Senate, who sponsored the bill, insisted at a news briefing on Monday that his proposed legislation is aimed at achieving peace in the country.

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Buhari congratulates Lyon, condemns violence in Bayelsa

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Buhari congratulates Lyon, condemns violence in Bayelsa

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, David Lyon, on his “impressive victory”.

He felicitated with the governor-elect in a statement on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The President also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in Bayelsa who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, despite the pockets of unrest recorded in some parts of the state.

He, however, condemned the loss of lives in the state, particularly prior to the election and, commiserated with the families of the victims.

“Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement.

He noted that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

According to the President, it is unfortunate that pockets of unrest, mostly sponsored by desperate politicians were recorded during the poll.

He promised to work with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.

Buhari also urged the governor-elect to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance.

He appealed to those aggrieved by the outcome of the election to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.

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INEC declares Kogi West Senatorial election inconclusive

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INEC declares Kogi West Senatorial election inconclusive

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared as inconclusive the election of the November 16 Kogi West Senatorial District because the margin of win was less than the total cancelled votes.

It said that it will announce later a date for the supplementary election.

It stated that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Smart Adeyemi scored a total of 80,118 votes while the Kogi West Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaye, scored 59,548 votes.

Smart Adeyemi had slightly more than 20,000 votes than Dino Melaye.

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APC’s Lyon wins Bayelsa guber election

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APC’s Lyon wins Bayelsa guber election

Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared the winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election which took place on Saturday.

Announcing Lyon as the winner, the Returning Officer, Prof Faraday Orumwense, stated that the total votes cast stood at 505, 884 while the total valid votes were 499, 551.

He added that 6333 votes were rejected in the election in which the PDP scored 143,173 leaving the APC’s to take the bigger chunk of the votes, totalling 352,552.

Lyon defeated Douye Diri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in six out of eight locals government areas in the state.

“I , prof Faraday Orumwense hereby certifies that I am the Returning Officer for the Bayelsa State governorship election held on 16th day of November 2019.

“That the candidates recorded the following votes… Lyon David of the APC got 352,552 votes…while the PDP candidate, Diri Douye got 143,172 votes.

“That Lyon David having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby returned elected,” he said at the State Collation Centre in the capital, Yenagoa.

Lyon’s victory makes it the first time an opposition party is winning the state since the return of democracy in 1999.

The state, which was created in 1996, has always been governed by the PDP.

Below are the scores from each local government area as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Sagbama LGA

APC – 7, 831

PDP- 60, 339

Brass LGA

APC – 23, 831

PDP- 10, 410

Nembe LGA

APC – 83, 041

PDP- 874

Ekeremor LGA

APC – 21, 489

PDP- 18, 344

Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA

APC – 8, 934

PDP- 15, 360

Ogbia LGA

APC – 58, 016

PDP- 13, 763

Southern-Ijaw LGA

APC – 124, 803

PDP- 4, 898

Yenagoa LGA

APC – 24, 607

PDP- 19, 184

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