Gov. Bello Orders Contractor To Fix Minna Water Works

Niger State, Abubakar Bello,
Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello

The Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello, has ordered the management of the state Water Board and the contractor handling the repairs of Chanchaga Water Works, Minna, to fix it.

He gave the order after inspecting four electric motors imported from Germany to boost water supply to Minna, the state capital, at the premises of the water facility in Chanchaga.

The governor directed the water board and the contractor to double their efforts, work all round the clock and ensure taps are running with water without further delay.

“We have no time to waste. We must fix this water plant and I am not ready to take any excuse from anybody for further delay in fixing this place.

“We must ensure regular and adequate water supply in the state. With the delivery of these electric motors and the locally refurbished high and low lift pumps, the contractor and his men must work 24/7 and fix this place.

“I am taking this water issue personal and I will be coming here to inspect progress made, even at an odd time.

“So anybody that has a problem with fixing this place is permitted to go. We must fix this water plant”, the governor reassured.

He then assured residents of other major cities in the state that the government was committed to ensuring that all the water works are functional and are meeting the need of the people.

“We are moving to Bida, Kontagora and Suleja very soon. So we are going to expedite work on this Minna Water Works to enable us move to other towns”, the governor assured.

Earlier, the contractor handling the project, Mr. Outare Kokobissi, assured the governor that with the arrival of the electric motors and the refurbished pumps and residents of Minna will soon be relieved of lack of portable water.

He promised to work round the clock to ensure delivery.

Niger State Govt. Declares Emergency On Health Sector

Niger State Govt. Declares Emergency On Health SectorWorried by the state of health facilities in the state, the Niger state government on Thursday declared a state of emergency on the health sector with a view to repositioning the sector for better service delivery.

To this end, it has earmarked the sum of two billion Naira to upgrade five out of the 16 general hospitals in the state which have been left unattended to for the past ten years in the first phase of the project.

Briefing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting in Minna, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mustapha Jibrin, said that the government inherited what he called “moribund” health facilities across the state from the immediate past administration in the state.

He disclosed that the immediate past government in the state expended well over N5billion to build three general hospital in Gulu, Nasko and Wuse areas of the state, but only the one in Wuse was functional.

Those that will benefit from the first phase of the hospital rehabilitation project include the Suleja, Kontagora, Mokwa, Kagara and Minna general hospitals, while all the remaining ones would be attended to in the second phase of the project.

The Commissioner further disclosed that following the inadequate health personnel in the state-owned hospitals, and to ensure quick service delivery, the state government has employed an additional 40 medical doctors, 70 nurses and 10 hospital workers since the inception of the present administration.

He described the current situation where one doctor attends to nine patients as unacceptable.

He said that the state government has approved the immediate payment of the 100% salary structure for all categories of all health workers being enjoyed by their counterpart in other states across the country.

Niger Lawmaker Debunks Receiving N100 Million Constituency Fund

Constituency FundThe Federal House of Representatives member representing Kontagora, Mariga, Mashegu and Wushishsi federal constituency of Niger State, Abdullahi Garba, has debunked the allegation that the sum of 100 million Naira was given to House members as constituency fund.

He explained that no House member was given the said 100 million Naira in cash at once but what was being given to them was an intervention fund ranging from 40 million to 100 million Naira paid in installments after they had submitted works to be carried out in their constituencies.

He made the declaration at Kontagora during the handing over of brand new buses, tricycles, motorcycles, pumping machines, grinding machines worth 450 million Naira as his means of empowerment to his people.

He pointed out that the empowerment was his way of giving back to the people who elected him, for them to feel the dividends of democracy and have a sense of belonging.

While promising to do more in the coming years, he called on the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items by also employing and empowering other people so that poverty can be eradicated in the constituency.

In view of this, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State has applauded its elected officers in the state for giving people oriented dividends of democracy in the last one year.

The State Chairman of APC, Mamud Imam, applauded the House of Reps member for the kind gesture to his people.

The party chairman asserted that as promised during the campaigns, all elected officers from state to federal level remained on course and have continued to remain resolute in fulfilling the pledges to the people and have continued to be committed to the manifesto of the party.

Niger APC Sweeps Local Government Election

Niger electionThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has cleared all the positions in the 25 local government areas in an election held in Niger State.

Low turnout and late arrival of electoral materials characterised the local government elections, as electorates and party agents blamed neglect and ill-treatment on some alleged quarters on Saturday.

Although, the election was relatively peaceful in most of the centres visited by Channels Television’s correspondent, there was low turnout of voters as some of them were accredited and didn’t come out to vote.

“Very Unfortunate”

The two former Nigerian leaders in the State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar did not come out to vote, but investigation revealed that General Ibrahim Babangida was out of the country for medical checkup.

Investigation further revealed that the two leaders don’t come out to exercise their franchise in most of the local government elections conducted in the past.

The immediate past Governor, Muazu Aliyu, was also absent in his country home of Minna for the election.

The Niger East Senatorial District Senator, Mr David Umaru, also did not come out to vote.

The Niger State Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Tanko Beji, while leaving the office of the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) described the local government election as “very unfortunate”.

Mr Beji, after hearing some results on Sunday, expressed displeasure in the results announced, adding that he would consult the party before would take a stand later on the matter.

The local governments results collected from the various council returning officers were: Agaie, Chanchaga, Bosso, Lavun, Mokwa, Edati, Magama, Munya, Pailkoro and Rafi.

Others were: Rijau, Shiroro, Tafa, Bida, Wushishi, Gbako, Mariga, Lapai, Gurara, Borgu, Agwara, and Katcha Local Government Areas.

The only local government result being awaited was Kontagora, the country home of the State Governor.

Meanwhile election could not hold in Suleja Local Government Area due to perceived crisis in the area. It was rescheduled to hold on Saturday, January 23.

Niger Govt. Renovates Deputy Governor’s Residence With 16m Naira

niger-stateNiger State Government says it has spent 16 million Naira in renovation of the Deputy Governor’s residence to a befitting level.

The state government also earmarked 100 million Naira for the completion of the Sani Bello Housing Estate in Kontagora.

The state Commissioner for Works, Lands and Housing, Haliru Jikantoro, gave the figures while briefing reporters after the State Executive Council meeting in Minna.

He claimed the Deputy Governor’s residence was in total shambles and total overhauling was done during the renovation.

More Houses For People

Jikantoro said the developer for the Sani Bello Kontagora Housing Estate was supported to complete the estate because he was the only developer who continued working on the site when other developers left their sites at the cessation of the former administration and absence of fund.

The Commissioner also said that the present administration was looking into some projects by the former administration that were viable and people oriented, with the view to completing them.

He added that though the new administration intended to provide more houses for the people, there was no need to build more houses when there were houses that were yet to be completed.

Jikantoro further stated that the state government intends to take one project at a time to enable them deliver well.

“Whatever project we intend to undertake, we will face it one at a time so that we can do a good job in order to leave a legacy.

We will not dabble into all projects at the same time. We will pick one and complete it before moving into another project. The fact that Sani Kontagora Housing Estate is picked, does not mean that other housing projects in the state would be abandoned,” he said.

The Sani Bello Kontagora Housing Estate is currently at 85 per cent completion and the 100 million Naira advanced to the developer would complete the project in few months.

Women In Niger With VVF Get Free Surgery

vvfThe wife of the Niger State Governor, Dr. Amina Sani Bello, has conducted a free surgical camp for women with Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) in the state.

The camp, which has about 20 women with the condition from across Niger State, is aimed at improving the maternal health of women in the state.

The women were operated on free by the Governor’s wife and VVF surgeons who were drawn from Katsina and Kano states.

Speaking to journalist at the General Hospital, Kontagora, Dr. Bello said that the aim was to proffer treatment to the women who had VVF and had no money to treat them surgically, adding that curing them from the ailment would give them a better life.

According to her, “VVF is a terrible condition which usually affects women in the poor areas and because they are poor, it is difficult to get treatment.

“What we have done in collaboration with Sani Bello Foundation and Niger State Government, is to call Fistula surgeons who are experts in treating the diseases surgically, so that those affected can have the surgery free and be integrated back into the society.”

Bello further said that she was planning to open a VVF centre in Niger State to address the backlog of women with VVF who have not been treated.

She debunked myths that VVF is affected by teenage pregnancy and early motherhood, saying that all those that registered for the camp were above 30 years.

“This condition is not just in a situation where it is teenage pregnancy. It happens in a situation of the kind of healthcare that the expecting mother gets,” she said.

The Governor’s wife called on the government to improve the healthcare system, to enable the women get access to ante-natal care and skilled birth attendants.

“We are trying to see how the government will ensure that our healthcare centres are able to provide 24-hour care in each ward. This will go a long way in ensuring that women who are pregnant will have skilled birth attendants to attend to them.”

One of the Surgeons, Dr. Kabiru Abubakar, called on the government to employ more skilled doctors who can perform Caesarean operations and also improve infrastructures.

Police Beefs Up Security In Niger State Higher Institutions

PoliceIn a bid to forestall another suicide bomb attack at the Federal College of Education, Kontagora, the Niger state Police command has beefed up security in all higher institutions across the state.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Olushola Amore, disclosed this to journalists in Minna, the capital of Niger State.

He mentioned that henceforth students will be be thorough screened and searched before entering all the nine higher Institutions across the state.

The Police boss also used the opportunity of the briefing to warn Politicians in the state to avoid violence as the command will not tolerate such.

A female suicide bomber had blown herself up at the Federal College of Education, Kontagora, in Niger State, killing her self and  a 200-level student of the college in the incident and leaving four others injured.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack but it is believed that the terrorist group, Boko Haram, was behind it.

The group has been the mastermind of numerous attacks in northern Nigeria.

This attack came coming barely two days after a suicide bomber who disguised as a student, infiltrated the assembly ground of Government Senior Science Secondary School in Potiskum, Yobe State, and set off a bomb, killing at least 35 people.

Suicide Bomber, Student Die In Kontagora School Attack

niger_stateA female suicide bomber on Wednesday blew herself up at the Federal College of Education, Kontagora, in Niger State.

Although it was initially thought that the suicide bomber was the only one killed in the blast, it was later discovered that a 200-level student of the college also died in the incident, which has also left four others injured.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but it is believed that the terrorist group, Boko Haram, was behind it.

The group has been the mastermind of numerous attacks in northern Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the school has been shut down till November 24th.

This attack is coming barely two days after a suicide bomber who disguised as a student, infiltrated the assembly ground of Government Senior Science Secondary School in Potiskum, Yobe State, and set off a bomb, killing at least 35 people.

More details soon….

Thisday Bomber Denies Terrorism Charges

A suspected member of Boko Haram, Mustapha Umar, who is being tried for allegedly attempting to bomb SOJ Plaza – occupied by Thisday, the Sun and the Moment, on Kontagora Road on April 26, 2012 has denied the allegations.

Umar made this confession in an interview conducted by the police shortly after he was arrested on April 26, 2012.

The recorded interview contained in a video compact disc (VCD) was tendered in court by prosecution lawyer, Simon Labaran.

The video was played in the open court

Although conducted in Hausa, a court interpreter interpreted the interview in English.

In the interview, Umar said he coordinated the attacks on Thisday Abuja office and the one in Kaduna and was not supported by Boko Haram.

He said that his intention was to wreck the organization for publishing insulting materials about Prophet Mohammed.

Umar, 34 years, a Kanuri from Borno State and a widower with children, said he was not a member of  Boko Haram.

He said the attacks for which he was being tried were coordinated by himself and some of his friends trained under Sheikh Ja’afar M’adam in Maiduguri.

Umar, who said he was educated up to secondary school level having attended the Government Day Secondary School, Maiduguri, stated that while the Kaduna bombing was done with his private Honda car he bought a year earlier, the bombing of the newspaper’s office in Abuja was carried out by his friend – Alhaji – with his jeep.

The trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola admitted in evidence a translated transcription of the interview conducted in Hausa.
With the admission of the exhibit, the prosecution closed its case.

The defence led by Nureini Sulaiman has said he was going to make a no case submission.

Justice Ademola adjourned to June 24 for adoption of all processes in respect of the defence’s no-case submission.

Nigeria Army steps up counter terrorism operations

The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Onyeabo Ihejirika says the Nigerian Army is adopting a new strategy to fighting terrorism in the country.

He said “the Nigeria Army cannot always depend on a set pattern of operations”.

General Ihejirika made the remark at the graduation ceremony of 1,952 soldiers from Basic Counter Terrorism Course 6 at the Nigerian Army Training Centre Kontagora, Niger state.

Nigeria has been grappling with the upsurge of terrorist attacks in the northern region that has claimed many lives and raised fear among citizens and doubts over the capability of security forces.

Terrorist attacks including the killing of Italian and British hostages earlier this year raised calls for the military to adopt new tactics and skills in counter terrorism.