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National Assembly ready to work for Nigerians –Lawan

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National Assembly ready to work for Nigerians –Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, said that with the recent constitution of the relevant parliamentary committees, the ninth National Assembly was now more prepared and ready to work for Nigerians. Lawan gave the assurance while speaking to journalists at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, shortly on his return from pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

“The ninth National Assembly has been properly constituted, especially with our committees in place,” said Lawan. “We are ready, we are willing, we are capable, we are enhanced to work as an institution, to ensure that we provide those ingredients and inputs that the executive would want for it to implement laudable projects to develop the country.” With him were Senators Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u (Deputy Minority Whip), Teslim Folarin, Bello Mandiya, Ajibola Bashiru, and Sani Musa. Lawan expressed gratitude to God for the opportunity to be part of the over 60,000 Nigerians that participated in this year’s Hajj. “We prayed for our country to achieve optimal security, to have stability, peace and progress. We prayed for the National Assembly too. It is our prayer that the ninth National Assembly will be one to work for Nigerians and for the benefit of those who voted for us.

“Nigerians, in Saudi Arabia, came together with other Muslims worldwide to pray for global peace. I’m sure that with the message that we heard as part of this year’s pilgrimage and Eid generally, is a message of sacrifice, brotherhood and unity.

“Nigerians should thank God that we are still together, as such, we should work to ensure that the unity of this country is not compromised,” Lawan said. The Senate president urged Nigerians to continue to pray for their leaders, pointing out that “leaders are meant to serve the people and no leader would like to deliberately fail to perform. “Also, in times of challenges like we are going through presently, Nigerians should continue to be behind their leaders with prayers and support, backed by understanding, and by the Grace of God, Nigeria will reach those great heights that, for long, we have prayed for.”

Lawan reiterated his appeal to the executive arm of government on the need to be on the same page with the National Assembly to reverse “the undesirable trend of the current budget cycle in Nigeria.” “We need to work for a budget that will be passed by the National Assembly by December. That requires that we work assiduously with the executive arm of government to have the budget laid before the National Assembly by the end of September and for the National Assembly to lock up the whole of October this year for budget defence, so that it can be processed and passed before we go on Christmas break. It is doable, it is achievable and attainable.

“I’m sure if we are able to achieve that, Nigeria’s economy will witness a boost. Businesses in Nigeria will have something predictable to work with. I believe that together with the executive arm of government, we should be able to do this, as this is fundamental to us in the National Assembly and I’m sure the executive arm is also looking forward to that,” Lawan said. The Senate president was received on arrival by Senators Barau Jibrin, Opeyemi Bamidele and his Deputy Chief of Staff, Mohammed Karage

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IPMAN to FG: Rescind decision banning supply of fuel to border communities

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IPMAN to FG: Rescind decision banning supply of fuel to border communities

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called on the federal government to rescind its decision suspending supply of petroleum products to filling stations within 20 kilometres to all Nigerian borders.

In a statement signed by Publicity Secretary of the association, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, the group under the leadership of Alhaji Sanusi Abdu Fari stated that the decision had brought untold hardship to residents of most Nigerian communities located close to the border as they now have to travel between 30 to 50km to source for petroleum products for their personal uses.

The statement reads: “Majority of the petrol stations operating in this Nigerian border towns are owned by our members who are duly licensed in line with the relevant laws of Nigeria.

“They are now seriously affected because their source of livelihood has been shut down by the federal government and they are finding it extremely difficult to survive.

“We therefore, call on the Federal Government to reconsider the

suspension and allow the supply of petroleum products to these Nigerian communities close to the border, but this time around, intensify the monitoring of petroleum products supplied to these communities by improving the communication and relationship amongst her various agencies like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Civil Defence to curb incidents of diversion.”

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Lagos tackles maternal, child mortality with 15% budget to health

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Lagos tackles maternal, child mortality with 15% budget to health

Disturbed maternal and child mortality in the state, Lagos State Government yesterday declared zero tolerance against the menace.

Speaking on the second round of this year’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week, (MNCH) holding next week, Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had pledged 15 per cent of the annual budget would go to the ministry of health to ensure that Lagos residents enjoy the best of healthcare when they visit public health facilities.

  According to him, the state which had a maternal mortality rate of 512 to 100,000 live births, Abayomi acknowledged that the figure was very high better when compared with the national figure though.

He said that the governor was committed to ensuring that the health ministry got at least 15 per cent of the budget.

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Economic summit: 22 investors indicate interest in Osun

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Economic summit: 22 investors indicate interest in Osun

…as Oyetola signs Executive Order establishing Investment Agency

 

 

No fewer than 22 investors yesterday indicated interest to partner with and investing in the state as the 2019 Osun Economic and Investment Summit came to an end.

The investors both local and international also reaffirmed their commitment to partner with the state by expanding the scope of their businesses.

They signified their readiness to explore potential of the state in the areas of agriculture, mining, infrastructure, health, education and Information and Communication Technology.

Some of the ready partners and investors are Ms Manisha Dookhony, the Managing Director Rwenzon Consulting; Dr. Segun Aina, President, African Fintech Network; Mr. Muraina Oyelami, Painter/Performing Artiste; Mr. U.G Muhammed, Transmission Company of Nigeria, among others.

Dookhony said her organisation was ready to partner with the state in setting up the necessary policies and providing immediate solutions towards creating an enabling environment while Mr. Muhammed pledged to partner the state to boost its power sector by providing four Sub-Stations in Osogbo, Ede, Iwo and Ife as well as installing DPGW Cables from the state to several locations around the country.

They, however, promised to explore the investment opportunities created by the government.

Meanwhile, while declaring the Summit closed, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, said the state would continue to provide enabling environment for investors to thrive and every business partner to succeed, saying the state would continue to strengthen all existing frameworks to protect businesses as well as honouring all commitments.

Oyetola, who announced the signing of the Executive Order establishing Osun Investment and Promotion Agency, said the decision was taken to further demonstrate the state’s commitment to socio-economic development.

He assured the investors and development partners of government’s resolve to turn Osun into an enviable investment hub.

Oyetola said: “I believe that with the support   of   our   partners,   we   can   put   up   a   formidable   front through which we can collectively accelerate development and take   our   beloved   State   to   the   most   enviable   height of development.

“I   wish   to   state   unequivocally   that   I   commit   myself   fully   to working with all our valued investors and development partners to deliver on the lofty ideas.

“I   am   aware   that,   in   the   course   of   this   Summit,   many relationships, just as we desired a number of exciting informal and formal business discussions, have been birthed. I am told by the   secretariat   that   not   less   than   45   business-to-business   and business-to-government   of   such   formal   conversations   took place.

“We will be following up on these discussions, with a view to   providing   the   necessary   support   required   to   translate   the discussions into reality.

“As part of efforts towards implementing the outcome of this Summit, I am happy to inform this gathering that I have just signed the Executive Order establishing the State’s Investment and Promotion Agency. This is to further demonstrate our seriousness and commitment to ease of doing business in our State.

“As I said in my Opening Speech, we are a law-abiding State. We are Omoluabi. Our words are our bond. We will be guided by the law as a responsible government.

“We shall also strengthen all existing frameworks to protect businesses.

“Rest assured that your businesses are safe in Osun.I must register my profound and heartfelt appreciation to all our distinguished resource persons, investors, development partners and participants for making this event a huge success.”

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Youths seek Buhari’s intervention on deplorable Aba-Ikot Ekpene Highway

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Youths seek Buhari’s intervention on deplorable Aba-Ikot Ekpene Highway

Youths from communities along the Aba- Ikot Ekpene Highway in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, have pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Ministry of Works to commence rehabilitation of the road to ease businesses and end the sufferings of the people of the area.

Speaking under the aegis of Agalaba Patriotic Front (APF), Obingwa council, the youths lamented that their communities had been cut off from Aba, the commercial hub of the state following the deplorable state of the road.

They also lamented that the condition of the roads had placed a barrier between them and their Ikot-Ekpene neighbours from Akwa-Ibom State who no longer access their communities not to talk of Aba through the road.

The youths said that it was disheartening that the Highway had been featuring in the national budget since 2009, without being rehabilitated, stressing that presidential intervention was highly needed on the road.

President of Agalaba Patriotic Front, Mr. Michael Dimiri, told journalists that over 45 businesses had closed down including mega shops and fuel stations while articulated vehicles diverting from the bad spots, had destroyed once motorable inter-community roads.

He said: “Two years ago, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Raji Fashola, had visited the area and pledged the commitment of the federal government to rehabilitate the road. Since then, nothing has been done as the road has been totally abandoned.

“As at today, over 45 businesses located on the road including hotels, filling stations, farm settlements, mechanic workshops and schools have closed shop.

“These businesses provided jobs to over 5,000 families. Now, they have closed shop because the federal government refused to rehabilitate the road.  Our people can no longer convey their agricultural produce to Aba town.

“We can’t access the Nigerian Christian Hospital at Nlagu, which is the major health institution for the people of Obingwa East constituency.

“You can also see the number of businesses which have closed shop due to the dilapidated state of the road. We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Ministry of Works to commence rehabilitation of this all important road.”

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Anambra NULGE gets new leadership

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Anambra NULGE gets new leadership

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Anambra state chapter, yesterday elected an 11-man State Executive Committee led by Mr. Chudi Orakwe to pilot its affairs for the next four years.

Orakwe emerged winner with 37 votes ahead of Mr. Ifeanyi Nworie who garnered seven votes.

Other members of the leadership who were returned unopposed as their opponents stepped.

They were Mr. Victor-Mary Anuna, Vice-President; Mrs Chinyere Obiazi, Treasurer, Mr Lawrence Nwachebelu and Mr Ifeanyi Okolo, Auditors.

Others are Mr. Edochie Anaekwe and Mr David Ugbagu trustees; Mrs Uzoatu Ngozi Welfare Officer, Mr Kenechi Ezeibe, Publicity Secretary; Mr Linus Onyenweife, State Young Workers Representative and Mrs Chika Onyeachu as Chairperson Women Committee.

The election which was conducted under a peaceful atmosphere was supervised by the Mr. Nankpak Njomiri-led national caretaker committee of the union.

Njomiri, who was represented by Mr. Benedict Utako, the National Publicity Secretary of union, said the election was in accordance with the constitution of NULGE which derived its powers from July 11 court’s judgement which nullified tenure elongation.

The national caretaker committee on October 23 inaugurated Anambra chapter caretaker committee with the mandate to conduct election within three months.

Utako said the new executive committee was a product of the struggle against tenure elongation and impunity and for the preservation the constitution of the union.

He charged them to work for the interest of workers in the state and uphold the ideals of the formation NULGE.

In his acceptance speech, Orakwe thanked the members for their boldness in standing for what was right, promising that he would not let them down.

He said he ran his campaigns on the mantra of redemption and rescue and assured that with the support of his team, he will deliver on his campaign promises.

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FG restates commitment to TVE development

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FG restates commitment to TVE development

The Federal Government has reiterated commitment to grow opportunities in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sub-sector through provision of adequate funding in infrastructural support.

Besides, it stressed the role of technical and vocational education in national development, saying it would not be overestimated, hence the important attention being paid to technology by the government as a necessary platform for the development of the country.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu disclosed this yesterday in Lagos at the 33rd convocation of the Yaba College of Technology, where he was represented by the Director of Tertiary Education in ministry, Dr. Joel Ojo.

“The Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to provide enabling environment for quality, technological, vocational education to ensure the attainment of development of our youths and job creation,” he said.

Towards this end, the Minister, however, added that this informed the inclusion of TEVT as one of the pillars in the Ministerial Strategic Plan, saying the government had spent huge resources through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention in tertiary institutions and would continue to invest more resources that are relevant to fast-track technological and socio-economic development of the country.

According to him, the new Innovative Development Effectiveness and Skills Acquisition (IDEAS) project was an attempt to ensure improvement and upgrading of laboratory facilities in all Federal Technical Colleges and some selected institutions across the six geo-political zones of the federation.

Adamu said: “Since the focus of the present administration is to provide opportunities for our teeming youths to create wealth and maximize their potentials, I, therefore, challenge our academic institutions to engage youths in activities that encourage skill acquisition and development.”

Giving the breakdown of the graduating students for the 2017/2018 academic session, the Rector, Mr. Obafemi Omokungbe, said no fewer than 8,411 graduating students, comprising full-time and part-time would be awarded National Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and Certificate of the college.

He said 148 of them graduated with Distinction at the HND level, while 127 students obtained Distinction at the ND level.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Governing Council of the college, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) said efforts had been made to drive a fairly stable academic calendar, provide peaceful and conducive environment for effective teaching and learning, as well as encouraging novel interaction among students.

He, however, commended the management for putting in place a robust action towards improved security on campus, while also ensuring that all requirements that would promote and enhance efficient studies, such as consumables and modern classroom furniture, among others, were provided for the students. 

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El-Rufai heads committee on review of ownership of DisCos

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El-Rufai heads committee on review of ownership of DisCos

The National Economic Council (NEC) has appointed Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State as the head of the ad-hoc committee that would review the ownership of the electricity distribution companies (DisCos).

Emeka Ihedioha, governor of Imo State, announced the committee’s decision yesterday  after a meeting, saying the National Council on Privatisation and Bureau of Public Procurement would serve on the committee.

Governors representing the six geo-political zones on the Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company will serve on the review committee.

The power sector was privatised in 2013 resulting in six generation companies and 11 distribution companies.

At its sitting on Tuesday, the senate had resolved to probe the challenges of electricity supply after a motion moved by Chukwuka Utazi, the senator representing Enugu north.

The northern part of the country with a vast expanse of land can tap into large solar farms while the southern parts of the country with significant reserves of natural gas and coal can generate power from same,” Utazi explained saying Nigeria can set a target of 100,000 megawatts in the next 10 years by a mixture of energy sources such as natural gas, hydro, coal, wind and renewable energy.

“Both the north and South have large water bodies that can still be dammed for hydro.”

Utazi said distribution companies also lacked the financial and technical capacity to carry out their functions.

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Ogun State’s Samuel Ojo wins 2019 NNPC National Science Quiz

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Ogun State’s Samuel Ojo wins 2019 NNPC National Science Quiz

The representative of Ogun State, Samuel Oluwatobi Ojo, has emerged the overall winner of the 19th Edition of the NNPC National Science Quiz Competition.

The event, according to NNPC, is the Corporation’s flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

Ojo, a student of Apt Scholars Universal College, Ota, Ogun State, came tops in the competition in which 18 participants pariticipated up.

The event, which was witnessed by President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, also had in attendance the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva; Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai; Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Muhammed; Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Hon. Haruna Manu, representatives of the governors of Akwa Ibom and Benue states, among other top stakeholders.

Ojo finished with 75 marks ahead of Master Mbazu Chinonso of Ebonyi State who emerged second-place winner and Master Great Ugochukwu of Abia State who had completed the race in third place position.

This year’s edition of the Grand Finale of the NNPC National Science Quiz Competition had contestants tested in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and NNPC general knowledge, a release by NNPC Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Samson Makoji has said.

Sylva, in his remarks, commended NNPC for sustaining the competition through the last two decades and for bringing innovation to it, year-in-year out while urging other agencies in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to emulate the NNPC example.

The Minister explained that corporate organisations needed to give back to communities, noting that it is in their enlightened self-interest to do so.

“It gives companies the license to operate. In the Oil and Gas Industry in particular, giving back to the communities is imperative to get the support of the local community and guarantee smooth exploration and production activities,’’ he said.

Welcoming participants and guests to the amphitheater of the NNPC, Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, said that NNPC would not only sustain the sponsorship of the annual national quiz contest but would constantly seek innovative measures to improve the competition whose ultimate aim is to encourage students in the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related subjects.

Kyari observed that through the years, the quiz competition, which was first held in 2000, had also helped to break down long-held stereotypes and engender a better sense of national being in participating students through cross-cultural interactions that the contest offers.

President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, in his remark, noted that since its inception, the NNPC National Science Quiz Competition had groomed a set of next generation of scientists and young leaders of thought set to be at the vanguard of innovation and industrial growth.

He said as the world moved ever faster into the period of the fourth industrial revolution, emerging economies like Nigeria needed agile-minded scientists and technicians who can think outside the box in the quest for solutions to the country’s unique challenges.

Dangote said that by engaging these youths in the competition through the years, NNPC was living up to its expectations, defining a noble path for the future well-being of the participating youths.

“I can only encourage the corporation not to rest on its oars on this laudable initiative and others through which the company impacts on its publics across the country’’ he said.

On his part, Ojo commended NNPC for providing the platform which has enabled teeming youths like him to achieve their dreams and academic ambitions.

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Court stops NUJ President, others from holding fresh election in Ogun

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Court stops NUJ President, others from holding fresh election in Ogun

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Ibadan has stopped the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) from conducting fresh election in the Ogun State Council of the union.

The court restrained the NUJ President, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, National Secretary, Comrade Shuaib Leman, and 12 other defendants from holding any election in the state council pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice.

The presiding judge, Justice J. D. Peters, granted the order on Wednesday in an ex parte application brought before him in suit number NICN/IB/85/2019.

The suit was filed by the Ogun NUJ Chairman, Soji Amosu, and three other claimants, challenging the purported decision of the union’s national leadership to conduct fresh election into the offices occupied by the claimants.

The national leadership had constituted a five-member electoral committee, with Lanre Ogunyinka and Tunde Olayiwola appointed as chairman and secretary respectively, to hold election on Saturday.

But ruling on the application brought by counsel to the applicants, Deji Enisenyin, the presiding judge ordered the respondents to refrain from conducting any election in the Ogun State council of NUJ.

He declared that the applicants have right for which the intervention of the court was necessary and sought to be protected from infringement by the respondents.

The judge held that the claimants, who were elected on March 29, 2019, should not be interfered with by Isiguzo, Leman, Central Working Committee and National Executive Council which were joined as first, second, third and fourth respondents respectively.

Justice Peters said: “This is an ex parte application brought pursuant to Order 22 Rules 1 and 2 of the Rules of this Court. I have read the processes filed by the learned counsel including the affidavit in support, the accompanying exhibits and the written address.

“Having done so I find that the applicants have right for which the intervention of this court is necessary and sought to be protected from infringement by the respondents. I find merit in this application and granted same as sought.

“For the avoidance of doubt, an order of interim injunction is here issued restraining the 1st – 4th and 10th – 14th respondents, their privies, servants, agents and whosoever named from conducting any election in to the offices of Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the NUJ Ogun State Council which is currently held by the 1st – 4th applicants following the election held on 29/4/19 pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

“An order of interim injunction is here issued restraining the 1st – 4th respondents, their privies, servants or agents from interfering with the offices of the 1st – 4th applicants following the election held on 29/3/19 pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.

“It is further ordered that the respondents, their privies, servants or agents shall not take any step that may adversely be an affront to the orders here made by this court today.”

The judge directed that the order be served on the respondents forthwith.

He, thereafter, adjourned the case to December 4 to hear the Motion on Notice.

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Serial killings: Why police must produce suspect – Court

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Serial killings: Why police must produce suspect – Court

High Court sitting in Port Harcourt  on Monday ordered the police to unfailingly produce a second suspect, Nemi ThankGod, on Nov. 21, in connection to the killing of nine women in different hotels in Rivers State.

Justice Adolphus Enebeli gave the order in Port Harcourt following an application by the Attorney-General of Rivers, Prof Zacchaeus Adengo.

Adengo told the court that from the case file he received from the police, a second suspect, Nemi ThankGod, ought to be charged in the matter alongside the first accused person, Gracious David West.

The attorney-general following the new evidence, filed an application before the court, seeking to substitute the initial 10-count charge with a fresh charge, together with proof of evidence (a document which contains all the statements made by prospective witnesses as well as statements made by the accused persons themselves).

He however, urged the court to adjourn the matter to a later date to enable the defence counsel study the fresh information served on them on Monday inside the courtroom.

The defence counsel, Vincent Chukwu, opposed the application of the prosecution and prayed the court to continue with the proceedings of the matter.

But trial Judge, Justice Enebeli, adjourned the matter until Nov. 21, for the plea of the defendants.

Later, Adengo, who spoke to newsmen outside the courtroom said he applied for a substitution of the original charges with the new one, following discoveries emanating from the case file he got from the police.

”On November 14, my office received the case file from the police. I studied it and the case file discloses criminal accusations against ThankGod.

“We have prepared fresh information, together with proof of evidence as required by law, but unfortunately the learned Justice was served this morning and we were able to serve the first accused person in the court and it is only fair that they should take time to study the case file, the information and proof of evidence, so the matter has been adjourned to Nov. 21, for plea,” he said.

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