Thursday, 22 June 2017

Osun partners with 'Back to my Roots Nigeria' for festival of arts, culture & heritage tourism

Osun State government is set to partner with Back To My Roots Nigeria in its forthcoming Oyotunji-Nigeria National Celebration of African Arts and Cultural Heritage Tourism in Sheldon South Carolina USA 2017. The State Government made this known through its Bureau of Culture and Tourism, in the presentation of the Oyotunji Nigeria Celebration of Arts, Culture and Heritage Tourism coming up on Oyotunji, Sheldon, South Carolina, USA from July to October 2017.
Hon. Mrs. Taiwo Oluga the Special Adviser to the Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola stated this on Wednesday,  21st June, 2017 during the visit paid by Rotimi Vaughan, Oyotunji's Ambassador,  to the Osun State Government to update the Osun State Governor on the forthcoming festival in Oyotunji. 

NOUN matriculate Prisons inmates in Abia

The Nigerian Prisons Service, Abia State Command last week witnessed the maiden matriculation ceremony of 13 of her inmates into the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for the 2016 /2017 Academic year. 
The event which took place in Umuahia Prison on Friday 16th June, 2017 saw 10 males and 3 females matriculate into various disciplines of their interests according to the required minimum  qualifications. 
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) after inspection of facilities in the prison earlier in the year approved the Study Centre as part of its partnership with the Nigerian Prisons Service in providing opportunities for the inmates to link up their already trunketed education programme as a result of their incarceration. It could be recalled that education educational programme is one of such programmes employed by the Service to reform the inmates. 
In his opening address, the Controller General of Prisons Ja'afaru Ahmed ably represented by the Assistant Controller-General of Prisons(ACG)/Zonal Coordinator Zone 'E' Owerri, ALLOY UCHENWA congratulated the matriculating students, he however advised them to avail themselves the opportunity to get themselves academically updated for eventual and meaningful engagement upon discharge from the Prison. 

FG: YouWiN! Connect Series 1 to mobilise N2.5Billion under co-investment model for SMEs

The YouWiN! Connect of the Federal government is targetted at mobilising up to N2.5bn annually as equity investment in start-ups and early stage SMEs through qualified fund managers under a co-investment model.  
A statement by
Salisu Na’inna Dambatta, Director (Information) of the Ministry of Finance said the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) “believes that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), are engines of growth to stimulate and sustain economic recovery, thereby making the strengthening of small-scale businesses & the promotion of industrialisation, priorities for economic recovery.”
According to the Minister, “The Federal Government has a renewed focus on key economic sectors in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, with an emphasis on SME led growth in agriculture, energy, technology, manufacturing, industry and key services. 
She further explained that “The revival of these sectors, coupled with increased investment in other sectors, less reliance on foreign exchange for intermediate goods, raw materials and greater export orientation, will improve macroeconomic conditions, restore growth in the short term, help to create jobs and bring about structural change. 
This demonstrates Government’s commitment to empower start-ups and early stage SMEs, providing innovative solutions to local challenges in Nigeria.  This is a key component of the recently relaunched YouWiN! Connect programme.  

EFCC arraigns Ex-Minister, Akinjide for N650m fraud

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, June 22, 2017, arraigned a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide and one Olanrewaju Otiti before Justice J.O Abdul-Malik of the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State on an amended 12-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N650 million.
While Akinjide and Otiti are facing trial on counts one to 12 of the amended charge, the third accused person, Senator Ayo Ademola Adeseun, who failed to appear in court today, is facing trial on counts one to 24.  
The accused allegedly received the money from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke in the build- up to the 2015 general election.
The money was part of the $115m allegedly disbursed by Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
During today’s proceedings, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, counsel to the first defendant, Akinjide;  Michael F. Lana, counsel to the second defendant,  as well as Adeniyi Ishola,  counsel to the third defendant, filed four applications asking the court to strike out of the charges against the first defendant, while also challenging the validity of the amended charge brought by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo.

FAAC shares N462bn for May 2017

A total of N462.359 billion has been distributed  as Federal Allocation for the month of May, 2017  to the  Federal Government, State Governments and Local Government Councils. 
The  communiqué issued by the Technical sub-Committee of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) at the end of the meeting held today in Abuja signed by the Ag. Accountant General of The Federation, indicated that the gross statutory revenue of N317.562 billion received for the month is higher than the  N274.110 billion received in the previous month by N43.452 billion. 
The slight drop in the average price of crude oil from $55.38 to $55.18 per barrel and a decrease in export volume by 1.023 million barrels, reduced oil revenue by $57.12 million. Crude oil production suffered due to leakages, sabotage, shut-ins and shut-downs at Terminals for maintenance and the Force Majoure  declared at Forcados Terminal since February, 2016 subsisted. There were significant increases in revenues from Companies Income Tax and Oil Royalty, however, the increase in customs and excise duty was marginal.
The distributable Statutory Revenue for the Month is #317.562 billion.

Delta PDP mega rally holds tomorrow

The Chairman of PDP DELTA MEGA RALLY Publicity Committee, Olorogun Ebenezer Okorodudu, PhD has debunked fake rumours making the rounds that the rally has been stopped by some irrelevant, disgruntled and mischievous political rascals.
He assured that the PDP Delta Mega Rally scheduled to hold on Friday June 23, at the Sapele Stadium will take place, adding that it will attract top party leaders, chieftains, all elected and appointed public office holders and political appointees from the three senatorial districts across the State.

Osinbajo condemns violent attacks in Taraba, orders security reinforcements

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has condoled with the victims of the recent violent attacks in a number of communities in Taraba State, where deaths have been reported. He condemned the acts of violence, adding that perpetrators of the attack would be brought to book.
While commiserating with the people of the affected communities, the entire government and people of Taraba State, the Acting President yesterday summoned and held an emergency meeting with top security officials of the Federal Government and Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.
Acting President Osinbajo therefore ordered the deployment of an extra military battalion, police reinforcements and also a deployment of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps to the areas affected. 
Equally, the Acting President has ordered the provision of relief materials to be delivered to the affected communities in Toffi, Mayo Daga, Mayo Sina, Tamiya, Kwara-Kwara, Tungan Lugere, Timjire, Nguroje and other villages in the hinterlands of Mambilla Plateau.

The Federal Government also put in motion, long-time solutions including mediation between opposing groups in the communal conflict.

Green card fraud: American National remanded in prison

An Ikeja High Court persided over by Justice Josephine Oyefeso Thursday remanded in Kirikiri prison an American national, Marco Antonio Ramirez  for allegedly defrauding three Nigerians of  $565,000.
Ramirez  was the Managing Director of three companies, USA Now Plc, Eagleford Instalodge Group and USA Now Energy Capital Group, pleaded not guilty to a sixteen count charge of conspiracy and fraud  levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. 
The EFCC prosecutor, Mrs V.O Aigboje said Ramirez committed the offences between February and August 2013.
The defendant  was accused of allegedly collecting $10,000 from one Olukayode Sodimu under the pretext that the money was meant to facilitate an American Green Card with the US Immigration Services.

INEC notifies Dino Melaye of planned recall by his senatorial district

Sen. Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West senatorial District has been notified of his planned recall by his senatorial district by t he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC , on formally acknowledgement of receipt of a petition from some voters .
In a statement, INEC National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna said the commission had deliberated on the issue during its weekly regular meeting held on Thursday.
"In accordance with the INEC guidelines for the recall of members of the National Assembly, the commission has formally acknowledge the receipt of of the petition to the petitioner's representatives and has conveyed a letter notifying Senator Melaye of our receipt of the petition", INEC said.
INEC added that the next step would be to verify that the petitioners are registered voters in the Kogi West Senatorial District.

Maritime: Nigeria to provide support to Ghana

L-R: Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Head, Africa Section, Technical Cooperation Division, Mr. William Azuh at the Post-Transport Policy Workshop Dinner held in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Federal Government through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to provide support to the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) through a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Nigeria to export 72 MT of yam to UK, US June 29- Ogbeh

Nigeria will on June 29, 2017, export 72 metric tonnes of yam to the United Kingdom, UK, and United States of America, USA, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
Ogbeh made the disclosure Thursday at the end of the meeting with the technical committee on Nigerian Yam Export According to him the flag-off of this new era in raw food exportation from Nigeria will be done at the Apapa Port, which the 72 metric tonnes of yam to be exported will be in three containers at 24 metric tonnes each.
One container will be exported to the UK, while two others will go to the US.
The Minister assured the exporters of government’s support.
He said:"Everything spent will be refunded. We must sell all whatever we can to the world. We account for over 60 per cent of yam production, yet people do not know that we grow yam. 
"These yam exporters are the the real heroes of Nigeria. Oil and gas cannot employ millions of workers as agriculture."

FG declares Monday, Tueday June 26, 27, 2017 public holiday to mark Id-El Fitr

The Federal Government has declared Monday, 26th and Tuesday 27th June 2017 as Public Holiday to mark Id-El Fitr Celebration.
The Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (Rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, enjoined all Muslim faithful and Nigerians in general to use the occasion of the celebration for sober reflection and pray for peace, unity and progress of the nation in its march to nationhood.

Gen. Dambazau urged all Nigerians to shun Hate Speeches and Divisive Tendencies and join hands with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to build a peaceful, strong and united Nigeria, which guarantees fundamental freedoms, including the right of residence in any part of the country, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Uber CEO resigns

Travis Kalanick has resigned as the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of f Uber, the popular ride app
maker which he co-founded and led for eight years, following pressure from investors.
Benchmark, one of Uber’s biggest shareholders, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Menlo 
Ventures and Fidelity Investments signed a letter demanding Kalanick’s resignation
The letter, seen by The New York Times, was titled “Moving Uber forward”.
Earlier it was reported Kalanick was taking a break from the company to deal with the death of 
his mother in a car accident, leaving his 14 top executives in charge of Uber rather than choosing 
anyone in particular to take his place.
In a statement, Kalanick said: “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult 
moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can 
go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”

South African community withdraws quit order against Nigerians

The Nigeria Union in South Africa said on Thursday that one of the communities that gave Nigerians quit order had rescinded it.
The president of the union, Ikechukwu Anyene, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone from Pretoria that a meeting was held by the union and the community as well as the police to resolve the issue.
A meeting was held at Klaafontein community, Extension 5, Johannesburg, and it was attended by the police, officials of the Nigeria union and members of the Nigerian community resident there.
A lot of issues were raised. At the end of the day, it was agreed that they should work together and fight crime in the community.
The police told the community that nobody should leave and that it was their duty to protect all residents,” he said.

NSCDC deploys 40,000 personnel, sniffer dogs for eid-el fitir

In preparation of the upcoming Sallah Celebration, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu has directed deployment of 40,000 personnel across the nation to provide maximum security during the festivity.
The Commandant General of the Corps assured Nigerians that in spite of the uncertain security situation in the country, adequate preparation is being made to protect critical areas such as places of worship, markets, motor parks, shopping malls, plazas, recreational centres, schools and other areas considered to be soft targets for attack by insurgents.
While calling on citizens to be extra vigilant and security conscious at all time, he charge them to report strange movements and objects to security personnel and the Corps he said is prepared to protect all critical national assets such as telecommunication masts power equipment and oil and gas pipelines among others.

Nigeria to surpass U.S. as world’s 3rd most populous country by 2050, UN Says

Nigeria is projected to overtake the United States and become the third most populous country in the world shortly before 2050, a U.N. report said Wednesday and India’s population is expected to surpass China’s in about seven years.
The report by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division forecasts that the current world population of nearly 7.6 billion will increase to 8.6 billion by 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100.
It said roughly 83 million people are added to the world’s population every year and the upward trend is expected to continue even with a continuing decline in fertility rates, which have fallen steadily since the 1960s.

700 children abandoned in orphanage homes in Kogi - Govt

Kogi State commissioner for Women affairs and Social Development, Mrs Bolanle Amupitan has expressed worry over the high rate of abandoned children in the motherless babies homes across the state. The commissioner stated this Thursday in Lokoja, adding that over seven hundred babies in 18 registered orphanage homes in the state.
According to her, the figures became worrisome as those who brought those babies are often reluctant to give them up for adoption, yet does not bother about their existence after dumping them at the homes.
She however said the state government has given a directive that relatives who bring babies to any orphanage homes must make a monthly visitation to the homes, and agreed that after two years, such babies will be given to foster parents if their relations are not willing to take them out.
"Prior to this government, child abandonment was at an alarming rate in the state with the activities of the motherless babies' homes greatly uncoordinated. But our involvement in the coordinating and monitoring management of all homes across the 21 local government shows that their are 361 males and 345 females children in 18 registered orphanage homes in the state. This is worrisome.

Nigeria Police key to regional peace, stability- IGP

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, says the Nigeria Police Force is key agency in ensuring sustainable African regional stability and peace. Idris, disclosed this on Tuesday at the West Africa National Security Conference, holding at Accra, Ghana.
The IGP delivered a paper entitled:'' The Role of Nigeria Police in National Security and its Contributions in West Afrca''. Idris said, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigeria Police Force, has made tremendous contributions to stability and peace in the African Regional Block, ECOWAS and also under the United Nations Mandate.
''In 2005, under the United Nations Mandate, the Nigeria Police Force deployed for the first time in the history of the world, the first ever FPU Unit to a United Nations Mission from an African Country to United Nations Mission in Liberia [UNMIL]. '' This Unit which is still stationed in Liberia has been involved in stabilizing the country since its return to democratic rule in 2005.'' Idris further noted that, Nigeria’s contribution to the stability in Liberia was not only limited to the deployment of Formed Police Unit (FPU), in early 2005, few months before the general election that ushered the government of Ellen Sirleaf.

Another batch of 34 Nigerians deported from six European countries

Another batch of 34 Nigerians who were deported from six European countries for committing immigration-related offences Thursday arrived  the Murtala Muhammed International Airport ,MMlA, Lagos  in the early hours of the morning . They were deported from Switzerland,  Germany, Iceland, Austria, Belgium and Hungary.
The deportees, comprised of 32 males and two females, arrived in a chartered Airblue Panorama aircraft.
DSP Joseph Alabi, Spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command,  who confirmed the arrival of the deportees said, "this morning, we received 34 Nigerians who were brought back from Europe. They were made up of 32 males and two females. "

APC govs blame weak governance, poor law enforcement on secessionist threats

Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC have blamed the current wave of separatist agitation on weak governance as provided across the different tiers of government.
The governors under the umbrella of Progressive Governors' Forum PGF also blamed the dwindling fortunes of the economy as well as poor law enforcement mechanisms for the agitations.
The governors in a statement issued Thursday in Abuja, and signed by the Director General of the PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman, called on separatist groups in the country to refrain from making further inciting comments.
"In line with the social democratic principles of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the PGF promotes all-inclusive government, for the development of policies and programs that improve the life of every Nigerian citizen, regardless of ethnicity and religious orientation. It is with this in mind that the Forum condemns in the strongest terms the present secessionist and separatist agitations promoting ethno-regional identity in the country. These sundry factional groups, claiming to represent different ethnic nationalities, sow seeds of disunity and promote secessionist agenda in the nation. We decry and reject their activities in all intents and purposes. 
"Acknowledging the rich diverse heritage of Nigeria as a country, the PGF particularly notes that the resurgence of desperate youth groups promoting ethno-regional identities and extremist positions from the different geo-political zones across the nation as currently experienced is a reflection of prevalent weak governance, economy and law enforcement system in Nigeria", the governors stated.
They noted that the challenge before Nigerians therefore is to commit themselves to the unity of the country.

Wike sacks Works Commissioner

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (l) and Commissioner of Works, Bathuel Harrison inspecting the dualization and reconstruction of Abacha road in Port Harcourt

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has relieved  the State Commissioner  of Works, Mr Bathuel Harrison of his appointment with immediate effect. 
The former commissioner has been directed to hand over to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works.

No reason was given for the sack.

Intelligence sharing among ECOWAS Police facilitate arrest of Evan- IGP

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has attributed the arrest of Chukwujeme Onwamadike, the suspected kidnapper popularly known as Evans, to information sharing and intelligence cooperation among police services in West Africa.
Information sharing is crucial to tackling the menace of trans-border crimes in West Africa; it is through such exchange that we were able to nab a Ghanaian/Nigerian kidnapper two weeks ago, after evading arrest for many years,” Idris said on Wednesday.
Idris spoke in Accra, Ghana in a paper titled: “The role of Nigeria Police in national security and its contributions in West Africa”, delivered at an ongoing West Africa international security conference.
For several years, Evans terrorised Nigerians and nationals of many countries across West Africa. Efforts to apprehend him did not yield the desired results until we spread our search net wider,” he said. The police chief, who solicited closer ties among security agencies in the sub-region, emphasised the need to improve the method of monitoring and surveillance, particularly among border and coastal police units.
Idris called for improved communication capabilities among intelligence gathering outfits in West Africa, and called for mutual support to plug loopholes usually exploited by criminals. He said that the Nigeria Police Force had 300,000 personnel in 127 area commands and 5303 divisions, adding that the force had consistently contributed to stability and peace in ECOWAS nations and under UN mandates.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Quit notice: Stop playing politics with national security, Osinbajo warns govs

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has warned state governors against playing politics with national security especially over the quit notice given to the Igbo living in the 19 states of the north by a coalition northern groups.
Osinbajo reiterated that Nigeria's Constitution guaranteed all Nigerians to live in any parts of the country without molestations, just as he warned people talking carelessly in a way that would threaten the unity of the country.
He gave the warning when he met with the 36 governors at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, further noted that the Constitution guarantees freedom of expressions but he said that it must be done in a decent way.
He said, “There is a part of all of these agitations and statements that are made that is fair and may well be considered as freedom of expression. Clearly, we are all allowed to express our views and there is a part of this that is expected in any healthy and robust democracy, people arguing and disagreeing sometimes even silently.
But borderline has to be drawn and that is when conversations or agitations degenerate into hateful rhetoric where the narratives degenerate to pejorative name-calling, expressions of outright prejudice and hatred.

Ericsson Mobility report: 2.6b new mobile broadband subscribers will be added in 2022

While Nigeria is among the top five countries with over 3 million mobile subscriptions net additions in the first quarter of current financial year, latest Ericsson Mobility Report just released has predicted that 2.6 billion new mobile broadband subscribers will be added through 2022, averaging to more than one million each day.
With over one million Mobile Internet users added daily globally, according to the report, dominant access technology will be LTE in 2018, making it the fastest-growing mobile technology in history
Africa, according to the report, added 9 million new mobile subscriptions in the first quarter of the year, reaching a total of 985 million.
The report further foresees continued rapid growth of mobile connectivity as global mobile data traffic increases to eight times its current level by 2022.
On industry trends, the Mobility Report features articles on Internet for all, massive IoT coverage in cities and remote operation of vehicles with 5G.

Indonesian firm to build 10,000bpd refinery in Akwa Ibom

An Indonesian firm, PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of PT Intim Perkasa, Indonesia, has indicated interest in building a 10,000-barrel per day modular refinery in Akwa Ibom State.
This was disclosed via a statement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which quoted Mr. Adi Hartadi, Head of Investor Relations of PTPP (Persero) Tbk, partners to PT Intim Perkasa Nigeria Limited, as having said in Abuja during a business meeting with the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru.
Hartadi stated that the company has more than 50 years of experience in construction and engineering and it was desirous of diversifying into downstream operations in Nigeria.
Commenting on the planned investment in the refinery, Maikanti Baru said the NNPC placed high premium on investment in the nation’s refining sector, adding that the corporation would give necessary support to the Indonesian Company’s interest in the downstream sector.
Baru, who was represented by Chief Operating Officer, Refineries and Petrochemicals of the NNPC, Mr. Anigbor Kragha, stated that the country’s three refineries, with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, could not function optimally over the years due to lack of investment.
Baru explained that given Nigeria’s expected population by 2025, more than 40 million litres of petrol would be required for local consumption, adding that the combined capacity of the nation’s three refineries would only be able to satisfy just above 50 per cent of the projected local demand.
He expressed optimism that with this kind of investment coming steadily, Nigeria could serve as a regional hub of refined petroleum products for West Africa and beyond.

Ericsson exploring sale of media, broadcast divisions

Ericsson appointed banks to explore the sale of its two broadcast and media units – divisions once held-up by the company as key components for its future growth, Bloomberg reported.
According to the news website’s sources, Morgan Stanley will investigate a possible sale of Ericsson’s media solutions unit, which covers media processing hardware and technology used to deliver video to a range of devices.
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is already on the lookout for a buyer for Ericsson’s broadcast and media services division, which sells a range of creative and delivery services to content providers. The sale will include content and design business RedBee, acquired by Ericsson in 2014.
Ericsson’s media division was one of the areas championed by former CEO Hans Vestberg, who stepped down in July 2016. As late as April 2016, the company said it would intensify efforts to become the market leader in TV and media technology. At the time, Vestberg said Ericsson was already seeing traction in the unit and was the leader in OSS/BSS for IPTV.

APC lampoons PDP aspirants for dropping ambitions for Fayose

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has lashed out at the People's Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants who on Mondayannounced dropping their ambitions to enable Governor Ayodele Fayose run for a third term.
The party said their action is shameful and a declaration that they are content with the misery Fayose is spreading across the state, including a declaration that they are incompetent to perform better than Fayose if they have opportunity to lead the state.
Some PDP governorship aspirants, including Abiodun Omoyeni, Dr Sikiru Lawal, among others led by Deputy Governor Kolapo Olusola,  had on Monday addressed a press conference where they announced that they had dropped their ambitions to support Fayose to run again in 2018 governorship election.

Wike decries indiscriminate installation of telecom masts

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  (m), Chairman of the Investigate the Health Implications of Siting Telecom Masts Near Homes Committe   House of Representatives, Mr Iboro Ekanem (l) and  Member Representing Tai/Eleme/Oyigbo Federal Constituency , Mr Barry  Mpigi during a courtesy visit by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee to Investigate the Health Implications of Siting Telecom Masts Near Homes at the Government House Port Harcourt on Wednesday .

Rivers Governor, Nyesom  Wike has decried the indiscriminate  siting of telecommunications masts, which have negative effect  on the health of the people. 
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee to Investigate the Health Implications of Siting Telecom Masts Near Homes at the Government House Port Harcourt on Wednesday , Governor Wike said that  it is sad that most corporate organizations  find it difficult  to respect  laws.

Kenya becomes AFC’s 15th member

Lagos: Kenya is the latest country to become a member of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a leading pan-African multilateral development finance institution and project developer.
Kenya is AFC’s 15th member and third East African member after Rwanda and Uganda. AFC’s other members are: Cape Verde; Chad; Côte d’Ivoire; Djibouti; Gabon; the Gambia; Ghana; Guinea-Bissau; Guinea; Liberia; Nigeria and Sierra-Leone.
The announcement comes one month after AFC Live, Africa’s premier infrastructure summit, at which AFC celebrated ten years of activity in the field and welcomed more than 600 leading thinkers from government, academia, business and finance to debate the opportunities and the challenges of investing in infrastructure in Africa.
Kenya is one of the largest economies on the continent and has long been a regional hub for East Africa, its pivotal geographical location at the intersection between East and South making it a commercial centre bridging the two regions. As one of largest financers and developers of infrastructure in Africa, AFC is perfectly placed to help improve the quality of Kenya’s infrastructure, enabling the country to capitalize on its strategic position and strong growth prospects. 

US Ambassador to Nigeria endorse Osun OMEAL, other Social Investment Programmes

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington has applauded the state Government of Osun for its Social Investment Programmes, saying that is the major reason everybody is coming to Osun to learn about her programmes.
Mr. Symington declared this today when he paid a courtesy visit to governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at the Bola Ige House, Abere, Osogbo, the Osun State Capital.
The Ambassador who was accompanied on the trip by the US Consul-General, Mr. John Bray; Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Frank Sellin and Assistant Regional Security Officer, Mr. Paul Biba commended the state government for its massive infrastructural investment which he said has created wealth and employment for the people.
Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had while receiving the US Ambassador with select members of his cabinet described his government’s believe in investing in human capital.
The Osun governor also made it clear to the ambassador that his administration came into government with a clear objective of how to tackle the various socio-economic problems of the people of the state.

175 Nigeria Libya returnees arrive Lagos Airport

Another set of 175 Nigerians who voluntarily agreed to be deported from Libya Tuesday arrived the cargo section of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos  aboard a chartered Nouvelair  aircraft with registration number TS-INA.
The aircraft  carrying  the returnees, made up of of 34 males, 122 females, 10 children and nine infants, arrived late and the deportees were profiled late into the night by the various security agencies at the Airport.
They were assisted back to Nigeria by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM9) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya. And were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) , the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.
Also  present were officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Addressing newsmen, Air Commodore Paul Ohemu, Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA,  said “the agency in collaboration with the IOM was working to stem irregular migration and return stranded Nigerians from Libya”.

How Buhari’s administration is implementing change agenda--Odigie-Oyegun, APC stakeholders

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun (middle/red cap) in a group photograph with a visiting APC delegation from Niger State and some National Working Committee (NWC) members at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday evening.

National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has said that despite several challenges inherited by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration from predecessor regimes, the government has continued to implement the Change Agenda to restore the country on the path of growth and development.
Odigie-Oyegun said this when he received in audience an APC delegation from Niger State led by Party State Chairman, Alh. Mohammed Jibril Adamu and Chairman of Suleja Local Government Council, Hon Abdullahi Shuaibu Maje. The delegation comprising party state executives and other political appointees from Niger State paid the National Chairman a solidarity visit at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday evening.

Intelligence cooperation among West African police services ensured arrest of Evans – IGP

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has attributed the arrest of Chukwujeme Onwamadike, the suspected kidnapper popularly known as Evans, to information sharing and intelligence cooperation among police services in West Africa.
Information sharing is crucial to tackling the menace of trans-border crimes in West Africa; it is through such exchange that we were able to nab a Ghanaian/Nigerian kidnapper two weeks ago, after evading arrest for many years,” Idris said on Wednesday.
Idris spoke in Accra, Ghana in a paper titled: “The role of Nigeria Police in national security and its contributions in West Africa”, delivered at an ongoing West Africa international security conference.
For several years, Evans terrorised Nigerians and nationals of many countries across West Africa. Efforts to apprehend him did not yield the desired results until we spread our search net wider,” he said. The police chief, who solicited closer ties among security agencies in the sub-region, emphasised the need to improve the method of monitoring and surveillance, particularly among border and coastal police units.

Amendment of NLNG Bill: We shall defend the economy of Rivers State--Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike exchanging pleasantries with the Managing Director of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas  (NLNG) , Mr Tony Attah on Tuesday night at the Government House Port Harcourt. 

Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike has stated that his administration  will always defend the economy of Rivers State and the South-South geo-political zone, saying that the state government will join forces with other governors  of  the zone  to stop the amendment of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited Bill . 
The governor  also stated that agitations in the South-South have remained rife, because  the authorities  ignore  the  geo-political zone, even though the people  produce the wealth that sustains the nation.
Speaking  on Tuesday night at the Government House Port Harcourt during a courtesy visit by the management of the NLNG Limited, Governor Wike said that the state government will mobilise the state's representatives at the National Assembly to ensure that the NLNG  Limited remains in good stead to continue with her operations.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

We will deploy entire FG apparatus to ensure no one threatens Nigerians, & our territorial integrity-Osinbajo

Ahead of one more meeting tomorrow afternoon with all 36 State Governors to conclude his consultative sessions over certain ethnic agitations and exchanges between some groups in the South-East and the North, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has affirmed the readiness of the Federal Government to protect the territorial integrity of the country.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke this afternoon at a meeting with traditional rulers from the North at the Presidential Villa where he observed that traditional rulers play critical roles in the affairs of the nation.
Below are his full remarks:

Miyetti Allah alleges fishermen in Nasarawa poison 155 cows

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Nasarawa State chapter, has accused fishermen in Akwanga Local government Area of Nasarawa state of poisoning 155 cows belonging to  its members in the area.
Chairman of the association,   Alhaji Mohammed Hussaini who spoke to journalists while reacting to the crisis that erupted  between  the Fulani herdsmen and the youths of Eggon in barkin-kogi area of  Sabon ginda in lafia east development of Nasarawa which claimed two lives in the area.
Hussaini  who expressed surprise at the attitude of the fishermen said that despite the cordial relationship with the people in the  area called on the state government, the traditional rulers and security agencies to  help safeguard the lives and property of its members in order to forestall a repeat of the incident.
He said that the association under his leadership calm down the angry Fulani’s from reacting to the people of the area, adding that the group cannot tolerates a situation where people invites crisis in a peaceful environment by poisoning cows that came to drink water in a stream  and describe the devilish act as unfortunate.
Hussaini also disassociated the association from media reports that Hausa/Fulani community were behind the crisis that led to the death of two persons in barkin-kogi area, Sabon ginda in lafia east development of Nasarawa state with the eggon youths, noting that there is nothing like hausa/Fulani community in any part of the country.

FG congratulates 7 Nigerians in UK Parliament

The Federal Government has congratulated seven Nigerians who were recently elected into the United Kingdom Parliament.
This was disclosed in a statement issued Tuesday in Abuja and signed by the Assistant Director (Press) in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mohammed Nakorji.
The statement said "in a congratulatory letter to the Nigerian Parliamentarians in the UK, the Permanent Secretary (Political Affairs), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,   Amb. Olukunle Akindele Bamgbose, stated that their victory was a tribute to their selfless service to their community and indeed humanity".

Amaechi can only find relevance under chaotic situations – PDP

Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the Minister of Transportation, and former State Governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of using incitements as a strategy to win sympathy from Rivers people.
Felix Obuah, chairman of the State PDP said this through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needam in reaction to Mr Amaechi’s recent comments on the security situation in the State.
According to the State PDP boss, Amaechi has adopted as a strategy the penchant to cause unnecessary stir whenever there is relative peace and stability in the State aimed at deceiving impressionable minds into seeing him as a redeemer he has never been, is never and will never be.
But unfortunately for him, Obuah noted, the Rivers people are now wiser and have seen the difference between a stir-crazy politician of Amaechi’s stock and a natural and people-driven leadership of Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike whose landmark achievements in only two years in office have dwarfed the entire Amaechi’s eight years in office as wasted.

Chinese oil company pays N29.3bn to FG

A Chinese oil firm, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has made a total payment of 539.578 million Yuan, about $81.329 million, to the Federal Government for two petroleum assets, Oil Mining Leases (OML) 130 and 138.
The payments which translated to about N29.278 billion, were for taxes, royalties and fees for the oil assets operated by the company in 2016,. The report used an exchange rate of 6.6344 Renminbi Yuan to one United States dollar. It also included payments from its subsidiary, Nexen Energy.
The payments details obtained yesterday were released by the Canadian authorities under the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA). The ESTMA requires extractive entities active in Canada to publicly disclose, on an annual basis, specific payments made to all governments in Canada and abroad.
The Act, according to the Natural Resources Canada, delivers on the country’s international commitments to contribute to global efforts to increase transparency and deter corruption in the extractive sector.

Ogoni Cleanup: HYPREP commences sensitization of impacted communities

The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, has commenced sensitization of Ogoni residents on its activities, in view of the clean commencement of the remediation of the area bided to start soon.
The Project Coordination arm of HYPREP, which visited some of communities that are highly impacted in Ogoni to acquaint them with the programme, stated that the project would carry along citizens of the impacted communities and that the first stage of the project would include provision of good drinking water and healthcare for the areas.
On the first day of the sensitization in a well attended gathering of chiefs youths and women, Bodo and K-Dere communities, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, the Head, Project Coordination, HYPREP, Mr. Marvin Dekil, stressed the need for HYPREP to intimate the people of its activities.
The project is introduced by the Federal Government to clean all Ogoni communities. We need to reach out to the communities. We need to inform you that FG is ready to clean up Ogoni. We are about to commence work. We will be visiting the entire site soon. We will be bringing in companies soon with their technology to test what they can do.

Private sector has important role in influencing consumers’food choices through nutrition communication.

Following the fact that globally, an estimated 165 million children under the age of five years are stunted 52 million are wasted and deficient in key vitamins and minerals; and the increase in the use of the internet and the social media, especially on information relating to food and nutritional products, it has become imperative to strengthened nutrition education through communication tools and strategies.
In a recent workshop on “Nutrition Communication and Social Media Marketing” by the SUN Business Network, a private initiative geared towards improving nutrition in over 29 nations in the world, the country coordinator, Uduak Igbeka said that the need to support businesses to better communicate nutrition to consumers and also to sensitize them on how to maximize the social media for better marketing of nutritious foods has become more imperative.
According to her, delivering the right nutrition messages has become necessary, as the average consumer has become more inquisitive about the nutritional value of any product, which can be easily accessed from the comfort of their smart phones. Thus, she urged them to know and understand the challenges of transacting business online, social enterprise and the barriers to effective social marketing communication Tuesday.

Ooni to train 200 youths on information communication technology(ICT)

Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi(Ojaja II) is set to train over 200 youths on Information Communication Technology ICT  in respect of this year’sedition of his annual Ife Youth Economic Summit (IYES).
In a statement signed by the Special Assistance to Ooni on Empowerment and Wealth Creations,  Mr Olamide Awosunle, saying  the programme was meant to engage as many youths as possible to prevent the youths unrest.
According to Awosunle, Ooni Ogunwusi as had been an advocate of the younger generation, adding that the monarch is embarking on the project in his quest to contribute to the development of ICT as viable means of income generations and to serve as a mechanism for the reduction of youths unemployment.

Why Federal Government is shielding Amaechi from prosecution--Wike 

L-R: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Mr Chamberlain Usoro, Ms Maope Ogun and Mr Garba Umar on Tuesday  during a special  appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Programme at the Government House Port Harcourt. 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has berated Former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for superintending over a vicious insecure system that led to the assassination  of prominent  Rivers indigenes.
Governor Wike further declared that the Federal Government  is shielding Amaechi from prosecution because the  former governor  financed  the 2015 general elections for the APC. 
The governor also stated  that the failure of the former governor to fund the  operation  of  security agencies for over six months during his second term  contributed to the  degeneration of security in the  state. 

Ooni challenges America, others, to discourage ethnic disunity in Nigeria

... says mankind started from Africa
Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi(Ojaja II) has called on America and other Western countries not to engage in moves that could divide Nigeria saying mankind started from tropical Africa.
The monarch gave the warning while receiving​ the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington and other top officials from American Embassy in his White House palace at Ile-Ife on Tuesday. The Ambassador was on a courtesy visit to the Spiritual Leader of the Yoruba. During the visitation, the Americans also toured the ancient city generally accepted to be the Traditional headquarters of Oduduwa race to see historical artefacts and heritage locations.
The Ooni explained that the Western countries must see the growth of Nigeria as germane for the development of world. He specifically warned against the use of resources to put other developing countries at disadvantage challenging the Western countries to invest in the development of Nigerian youths, adding that would promote peace and unity.

APC leaders, youths, others reaffirm support for Amaechi

Notable leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in  Rivers State on Monday described the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi as a man of peace, honour, purpose, foresight and integrity.
They also expressed optimism that politicians and non politicians in Rivers State would team up "Rivers State has been very lucky to have the person of Amaechi"
In a release issued in Port Harcourt by the APC 2019 Mandate and signed by the National Chairman, Mrs Ibufuro Thompson, the leaders praised Amaechi for accelerating the realisation of the political aspiration of the people and expanding the reach of the party in the South-South geo-political zone, particularly Rivers State.
They said Wike had already lost the 2019 governorship election because the PDP administration "The APC in Rivers State represents in clear terms, the aspirations of millions of Rivers people for a positive change in the state"
The leaders condemned those trying to put Amaechi in a smaller garment, saying success in Rivers The leaders commended Amaechi for making Rivers State a true haven where Nigerians of diverse ethnic and religious groups have converged to do legitimate businesses and achieve their life pursuit They attributed Amaechi's rising political profile to his numerous achievements in the areas of youth empowerment, infrastructural development and leadership projection at all levels.
"Rotimi Amaechi has the interest of the people at heart. He is better than Wike in terms of good programmes that have impact to the masses.

DRC makes progress in fight against sexual violence

Kinshasa: Recent United Nations figures show an 85% decrease in reported cases of conflict-related sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the last three years.
These figures highlight the progress being made by organisations inside the DRC, including the office of the Personal Representative to the President on sexual violence and child recruitment, Ms Jeanine Mabunda.
However, the DRC is still dealing with outbreaks of unrest across the country, in particular in Kasai province. On International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms Mabunda commented on the publication of the figures and on the scale of the challenge:
Whilst the reduction in the reported cases of sexual violence in conflict situations is a milestone to be celebrated, we must not underestimate the long road ahead. Sexual violence continues to be a tool used by the most powerful in our society to terrorize the most vulnerable, as shown by recent reports of appalling sexual violence in the province of Kasai, which is experiencing heavy fighting of late.
To mark the second International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we are revitalising our efforts, in collaboration with our domestic and international partners, to continue our work. On 27th June we will be opening Pavilion 8 of the General Referral Hospital of Kintambo, a centre dedicated to the gynaecological care of and support for victims of sexual violence. We are also raising awareness of our hotline service.

Access Bank, others take over Etisalat Nigeria over N541 billion debt

A consortium of banks, led by Access Bank PLC and other Nigerian and foreign banks, has taken over the management of Etisalat Nigeria, effective June 15.
The takeover followed the collapse of the effort by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, EMTS, promoted by-one time Chairman, United Bank for Africa, UBA, Hakeem Bello-Osagie, to reach agreement with the banks on debt restructuring plan in the protracted $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) debt impasse.
However, EMTS Holding BV, established in the Netherlands, has up to June 23 to complete the transfer of 100 percent of the company’s shares in Etisalat to the United Capital Trustees Limited, the legal representative of the consortium of banks.
Etisalat Group, the parent company of Etisalat Nigeria, announced the takeover on Tuesday in a filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.

SERAP drags FG, Queen's College to UN over pupils’ deaths, suffering

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned four UN special rapporteurs urging them to use their “good offices and mandates to urgently request the Nigerian government and the authorities at Queen’s College, Lagos to end continuing suffering of students, and ensure justice and effective remedies for the unnecessary loss of lives of three pupils of the school.”
The rapporteurs petitioned are: Ms. Koumbou Boly Barry, Special Rapporteur on the right to education ; Mr Leo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation; Ms. Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food; and Professor Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extremely poverty and human rights.
In the petition dated 19 June 2017, and signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale, the organization expressed “serious concern that alleged corruption by the leadership of the school has ruined the lives of several pupils, and squandered their potential for personal development. These girls have depended on the integrity of the authorities both at the Federal Ministry of Education and the school levels but have been badly let down by those entrusted with the power to provide them with access to quality education in a safe environment.”

Monday, 19 June 2017

We will ensure that Nigerians benefit from shipping – NIMASA DG

L-R: Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Ahmed Ogembe, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Wife of the NIMASA DG, Mrs. Elima Dakuku-Peterside and the NIMASA Board Chairman, Major General Jonathan India Garba (Rtd.) during the Tell Awards of Excellence, 2016, held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos where NIMASA bagged “Public Organisation of the Year”.

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that the Agency will ensure that Nigerians benefit optimally from shipping and also assured that the maritime domain will be safe, secured and clean for all to do business.
The DG who stated this shortly after receiving the TELL Award of Excellence for the 2016 Public Organization of the year 2016 in Lagos noted that the award is to challenge the Agency to continue in its quest to improve on the ease of doing business in the Nigerian maritime domain, and assured investors in the Nigerian maritime of the safety of their investment.
Speaking further, he assured Nigerians that the Agency is leaving no stone unturned in curbing piracy activities in the Gulf of Guinea.

Maritime transport policy important to national economic growth- Dakuku

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has stated that Nigeria is in dire need of a Maritime Transport policy which will complement the existing National Transport Policy and advance the country’s global maritime trade.
The DG stated this at the opening of the National workshop on Maritime Transport Policy (MTP) organised by NIMASA in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Dr. Peterside noted that the programme is a new phase in the nation’s journey towards effectively maximising the maritime opportunities that abound the sector, especially in line with the Agency’s mandate of promoting and facilitating maritime trade.
According to Dr. Peterside, “you will agree with me that 60% of the cargo headed to West Africa will likely end up in Nigeria; we have not only a long coast but also one of the longest inland waterways; in addition of six active port complexes. All these, coupled with our population, make us the biggest economy in Africa. Therefore, we need a sustainable maritime policy that would guide the coordination of maritime activities as we strive to advance Nigeria’s Global maritime Goal”.
Dr. Peterside also said that as part of the revolution going on in the transport sector, the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is advancing the intermodal transport system by linking all the port complexes to the hinterland via the railway to further facilitate ease of doing business.
The DG however, opined that NIMASA cannot achieve this goal alone, hence the need to seek supports of the IMO and other relevant stakeholders in order to come up with a model to develop a maritime transport policy that will serve Nigeria’s interest and stand the test of time.

Voter Registration: DPC urges eligible Nigerians to register now

The Democratic People’s Congress urges eligible Nigerians to take advantage of the on-going Independent National Electoral Commission’s voter registration to register and obtain voter cards for elections.
Those eligible to register are Nigerian citizens who have attained the voting age of 18years and those who did not register in previous registration exercise. It is a crime to register twice.
It is manifest that sovereignty resides in the people which they exercise through their ballots in elections. Your vote is therefore your power to elect credible candidates that will provide good governance and social justice that will usher better life to our longsuffering compatriots.
All eligible Nigerians are urged to go to the nearest INEC registration centers in their Local Government Areas and perform this crucial civic responsibility that will further deepen our democratic process.
DPC reiterates its stand on one man, one vote. Each vote must be counted and count in the overall result in every election.
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