Abdulsalami Commends Wike For Project Delivery In Rivers

 

A former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, has commended the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike for his delivery of projects to the Rivers people.

Gen Abubakar stated this on Friday during the inauguration of the 8.4 kilometres Garrison-Trans-Amadi-Slaughter-Woji Elelenwo Road in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

He called for the sustained maintenance of the road, adding that people must pay their taxes for more roads to be constructed.

He further stated that the Garrison-Trans-Amadi-Slaughter-Woji-Elelenwo Road which leads to the economic nerve centre of Rivers State is a major contribution to the growth of the state.

Fitted with 16 telecommunication ducts on the two sides of the dual-carriageway, the Garrison-Trans-Amadi-Slaughter-Woji-Elelenwo Road has six bridges and seven exquisitely designed roundabouts with delicately placed walkways and gardens.

The contract was awarded by the immediate past administration in 2009 but abandoned due to lack of funding.

Upon assumption of office, Governor Wike financed the execution of the project through Internally Generated Revenue.

In his address, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike stated he will always use Rivers resources to develop world-class infrastructure for the state.

He said though the Garrison-Trans-Amadi-Slaughter-Woji-Elelenwo Road was awarded by the Amaechi administration, it was abandoned at less than 30 per cent completion. The governor added that his administration retained the same contractor, till the road was delivered.

“This road transverses Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Areas. When we came on board, RCC left the site because the road was not funded. Our administration paid over N17billion to complete this project.

“This road is very key to the development of the state. Trans-Amadi is an industrial hub. The poor state of the road drove companies away. But now most companies are back. The roundabouts have changed the landscape “, he said.

He directed the construction of a flyover from Government Vocational Centre to Saint John’s on Aba Road.

The governor added that all projects that will impact on the lives of the people will be completed by the administration.

Rivers State Works Commissioner, Dum Dekor said they will enhance the development of the area.

While, the Representative of RCC, Engr Nabel Esawi thanked the Rivers State Government for funding the road to completion.

Caretaker Committee Chairman of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Prince Amadi Oparaeli thanked the Rivers State Governor for the major road that will improve the economy of the state.

Govt. Alone Can’t Solve Farmers, Herdsmen Crisis – Gen Abubakar

Abdulsalami, Herdsmen, FarmersNigeria’s immediate past military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, believes the solution to the persistent bloody clash between herdsmen and farmers across the country should not be left to government alone.

The former military leader-turned-farmer said the crisis requires all hands to be on deck, especially well-meaning individuals in the country.

He proffered this solution after hosting Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele at his Maizube Farms on the outskirts of Minna, Niger State capital.

General Abubakar hinged the escalation of clashes on the increased rate of urbanisation and the attendant reduction in availability of grazing land for livestock.

“The solution to the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen requires that all hands should be on deck. This should not be left to the government alone. We have to join hands with government to resolve the crisis.

“The animals need grazing field and water points but the rapid rate of urbanisation has grossly affected this,” the General noted.

He, however, called on the government at all levels to provide grazing reserves with adequate water points to reduce the face off, destruction and wanton killing by the warring farmers and herdsmen.

“In providing the grazing reserves for these herdsmen, government should endeavour to build schools for the children of the nomadic herdsmen. This is very important,” Gen. Abubakar advised.

The former military leader had earlier told the Minister of Agriculture that clashes between farmers and herdsmen have never been limited to the country saying, “the crisis is not limited to this country, it occurs in virtually all the countries in West Africa”.

The Minister disclosed that his ministry is perfecting the use of cassava leaves which abound in the country as feeds for cows as part of efforts to mitigate the crisis.

KBR ex-boss goes to jail for helping Halliburton bribe Nigerian government officials

A US court on Thursday sentenced Albert Stanley, a former Kellogg Brown & Root LLC Chief Executive Officer to two and a half years in prison for his role in a scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials in return for $6 billion in engineering and construction contracts.

The court also said that Mr Stanley must serve three years of probation and pay $1,000 a month in restitution after he is released.

The former KBR chief pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiring with others to bribe Nigerian government officials to secure construction and engineering contract in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company from 1995 to 2004.

Mr Stanley was KBR’s chief executive until 2001 and chairman until June 2004.

KBR was previously a subsidiary of Halliburton, but was spun off in 2007 and in 2009 agreed to pay $579 million to settle bribery allegations.
Kellogg Brown & Root LLC, the former engineering subsidiary of Halliburton Co, pleaded guilty in 2009 and admitted that it paid $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials to win the $6 billion in contracts for the Bonny Island LNG project in the Niger Delta. Partner companies from Italy, France and Japan were involved.

According to agency reports, Mr Stanley told the U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison that alcoholism played a role in compromising the traditional American values of hard work, honesty and integrity that he brought to his professional life.

“I lost touch,” he said. “I wish to be very clear that I accept full responsibility for what I have done … and hope to be able to continue to make amends for my past.”

Larry Veselka, Stanley’s lawyer, asked the judge to forgo a prison sentence for Stanley, citing his involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous and mentoring relationships with people in Houston and North Carolina, where Stanley now lives. About two dozen people also attested to Stanley’s volunteer work in court Thursday.

Indeed, Stanley’s sentence is lighter than his plea agreement had outlined, as he had faced the possibility of seven years in prison for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A federal presentencing report suggested punishment of three and a half years.

Veselka also argued that Stanley had cooperated with prosecutors and helped the government recover $1.7 billion in fines and restitution; making this case, Veselka said, the most successful prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The act says it is unlawful to bribe foreign government officials or company executives to obtain or retain business or to secure an advantage to getting the business.

But the trial Judge dismissed Veselka’s statement, saying the sum was only large because the case was one of the biggest ones prosecuted.
Ellison settled on two and a half years, acknowledging that white-collar criminals face hardship in prison. But he insisted he didn’t want to make a “distinction for crime for rich people.”

“The court does take note of and salute the strides Mr Stanley has made both to put things right in Nigeria and to redeem his own life,” Ellison said. “But the misconduct was serious, ongoing and deeply hurtful.”

After the sentencing, Stanley appeared to tell friends who approached him that it was disappointing. Veselka congratulated the Justice Department for its successful prosecution but withheld additional comments since Stanley was still cooperating with prosecutors.

TWO OTHERS GET SENTENCED

A second man involved in the bribery scheme, British lawyer Jeffrey Tesler, was sentenced earlier Thursday to 21 months in prison and two years’ probation. He was arrested in London in 2009, pleaded guilty in Houston a year ago to conspiring and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The third man to get a conviction in the e bribery scandal was Wojciech Chodan, 74, who on Wednesday received a one year supervisory probation and fined $20,000.

Mr Chodan pleaded guilty in December 2010.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in 2010 charged the current and former KBR and Halliburton executives; including former American Vice President Dick Cheney, who at one time led Halliburton; in the bribery scheme. But the charges were dropped a few weeks later after Halliburton agreed to pay a $35 million settlement.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was passed in 1977. Its anti-bribery provisions were broadened in 1998 to apply to foreign firms and persons who directly or through agents allow corrupt payments to take place.

NO ACTION YET FROM NIGERIA

Despite these convictions, the Nigerian government is yet to take any major steps in identifying or prosecuting the bribe takers.

The only Nigerian to be prosecuted by the EFCC in relations to the Halliburton trial is an aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Adeyanju Bodunde, who is facing trial in an Abuja High Court for his role in the scale.

A preliminary report names some former Nigerian President as Halliburton bribe takers. They included, Military Head of States, Late Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Olusegun Obasanjo.