45bn Naira Too Small For Northeast Reconstruction – Sani Zorro

45bn Naira Too Small For Northeast Reconstruction – Sani ZorroChairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees, Mr Sani Zorro says the 45 billion naira earmarked for the reconstruction of the northeast Nigeria is too little.

Zorro said the infrastructure destroyed by years of Boko Haram insurgency far exceeds the amount the federal government is willing to part with.

“We take specific note of the cost of infrastructure destroyed which he (Governor Kashim Shettima) told officials of the National Assembly (and) which he put at 9.6 billion dollars saying that Borno state has suffered the destruction of infrastructure close to seven billion dollars.

“Now the federal government has earmarked only 45 billion naira in this year’s budget for the reconstruction of the northeast? I just hope that this 45 billion is just counterpart funding. I just hope it is a component; maybe there is a bigger funding coming from elsewhere,” he said.

Zorro and his colleague – the Chairman House Committee on Air Force, Muazu Lawan, were in Borno state to convey the feelings of the House of Representatives over recent attacks in the state.

“Our mission is on behalf of the House of Representatives and its leadership and apart from commiserating with the government we have also visited the state specialist hospital where we saw those who have suffered various degrees of injury and we are happy to report that all those who were admitted in danger list are now recovering very fast.

“We were able to talk to each one of them and offered our sympathy. We have also been to the office of UN OCHA where we met a lot of humanitarian partners and we have interfaced with them. ”

However, the Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, Muazu Lawan, believes the specialist hospital Maiduguri needs to be expanded to meet the growing needs of citizens.

“We went to the specialist hospital and we saw the injured, they are responding to treatment and we saw government’s effort.

“The only thing the government has to put in place is expansion of the hospital. There are a lot of room for expanding the healthcare institution, not only because of this incident but for the future, anything can happen.

“We are not hoping for things of this nature to be reoccurring, we hope it will be the last.”

Treatment Of Terror Victims Now Free, Thanks To PCNI

Treatment Of Terror Victims Now Free, Thanks To PCNIThe Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI) has taken responsibility for all bills incurred by those injured by insurgency.

In furtherance to that, Vice Chairman of the initiative, Tijjani Tumsa, has pledged on behalf of the PCNI to support the Maiduguri specialist hospital with the sum of 20 million naira.

This, according to him, is to ensure that “none of the victims has to pay for any treatment given to him whether in medication or operational requirement”.

The committee was in the state to commiserate with the University of Maiduguri and members of the Rann community who were injured during an Air Force operation that went wrong recently.

The PCNI Vice Chairman said: “We are pledging from the PCNI, on behalf of the chairman, General TY Danjuma, the complete payment of their medical needs and we would start that with the provision of 20 million Naira to the specialist hospital to ensure that none of the victims has to pay for any treatment given to him whether in medication or operational requirement.

“In addition to that, we have also pledged the sum of ten thousand naira for each patient for their personal consumables and a total sum of a million naira for the caregivers to be more encouraged to facilitate care giving to these patients.”

Tumsa thanked members of the International Red Cross and other caregivers for having a lot of input in the survival of the victims.

“We are consistent on our belief that the victims of terrorism should not suffer any other burden apart from what they have already suffered.

“The PCNI will ensure that it doesn’t happen and any medical needs or requirements that are a result of injuries suffered from this insurgency will continue to be treated free of charge,” Tumsa stated.

Porous Security

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Professor Ibrahim Njobdi, conveyed the institution’s gratitude to the PCNI for offsetting the hospital bills of survivors of an on-campus explosion which killed a professor and two students.

The Vice Chancellor urged the PCNI to consider providing a solution to the porous nature of the university which paved way for a seven-year-old to beat security posts and penetrate campus.

Professor Njodi said that the Senate of the institution decided unanimously to keep the school open to encourage operatives fighting the terrorism war.

“The only way to encourage the military and other activities going on is for us to remain here so that they have a reason to fight and struggle against the terror. That was why we resolved as a university when the heat was too much way back in 2014; the Senate came here and we collectively took our decision that we would not close the university, we would not run away from terror and that is how it has been,” the VC said.

100 Years Behind

Professor Njodi also spoke on the need to address the challenges facing the education sector in norther Nigeria.

“Education in the north is endangered; I have said it at different fora that prior to Boko Haram there were some studies – some speculative some real, that were conducted that the north was 100 years behind the south educationally.

“That was before Boko Haram. What this means is that at that time if the South stopped going to school, it would take the north 100 years to catch up.

“When you now come to the north and break it up into North-West, Central, and East, Northeast was 150 years behind the South.

“So if those reports are anything to go by, I don’t know what the picture will be now, probably it may be 500 to 1000 years. And this is how bad our situation is educationally.”

Security Operatives Recover Over 500 Stolen Animals From Rustlers

Security Operatives Recover Over 500 Stolen Animals From RustlersPolicemen attached to the ‘Operation Yaki’ security outfit in Kaduna have recovered over 500 cows and sheep that were stolen from herdsmen in Jere, Kagarko Local Government Area of the state while suspected rustlers were also arrested.

At the handing over of the recovered animals to their owners, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Internal Security, Mr Yakubu Yusuf, said that the state government was not leaving any stone unturned in its effort to flush cattle rustlers and other criminal elements out of the state.

Cattle rustling has become an emerging security challenge that has continued to threaten human security and economic activities in the rural pastoralists’ communities and commercial farms in Kaduna state, and some other parts of Northern Nigeria.

The Governor’s Security Adviser explained that the recovery was made possible through intelligence information from members of the public.

He applauded the contribution of security operatives for their role in ensuring that activities of rustlers and other criminals are reduced to the barest minimum across the state.

In their response after taking delivery of the recovered animals, members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, commended the security agencies and Kaduna State government for their effort in flushing rustlers out of the state.

Attacks on pastoralists have become a reoccurring issue in Kaduna State, in most cases, the entire villages and herders’ camps are displaced.

The emergence of the joint task force operation against cattle rustling and armed banditry in the state, is expected to bring the crimes to the barest minimum.

Northern Leaders Lament Poor State Of Region

Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad Abubakar, Shettima, Borno, Northern Leaders, Northern NigeriaPolitical and traditional leaders from the northern part of the Nigeria are lamenting the deplorable state of the region, arising from insecurity, poverty and a downward plunge from its respected position of influence in the country.

The leaders made their position known on Monday in Kaduna state at the annual Pan Northern Summit of Leaders and Elders of the region organised by the Northern Elders Forum.

Speakers at the conference including the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, relived the unity and oneness of the people of the North in the past, saying that the fragmentation that currently exists among the people is responsible for insecurity and backwardness of the region.

Organisers of the summit believe it is time for leaders of the region to come together and address these challenges that have put them behind other regions.

Shettima, Borno, Northern Leaders, Northern NigeriaIn an emotion-laden speech, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state said that the current security challenges in the Northeast and particularly Borno State, where over 50,000 women have been turned to widows by insurgents, calls for serious concern not just from the citizens of the affected states but from Nigerians in general.

The Governor announced that Boko Haram has been largely contained that they no longer pose any security threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria.

He identified key areas which the northern leaders must address to overcome these challenges. They include poverty reduction through agriculture, job creation, reviving the education sector and gender equality.

Blessed with large land mass and population size, as well as abundant mineral deposits, participants at the summit agreed that northern Nigeria has no reason to be poor.

According to them, the way forward is for the people and the leaders to go back to the visions and dreams of the founding fathers whose tenure brought about unity and development of the region in the past.

PDP Northern Elders Vow To Support Candidates Who Will Protect Their Interests

PDP BoTNorthern Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have closed ranks ahead of the party’s upcoming National Convention, as they vow to support candidates who will protect their interests.

Conveners of the Forum told journalists in Abuja that they are in support of the zoning arrangement and other preparations by the Caretaker Committee to hold the convention in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

They, however, insisted that the interests of the North must be protected as the region remains critical to the survival of the party.

Although none of the members in the camp of Sen Ali Modu Sheriff attended the meeting, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr Walid Jubril, said the leadership problem of the party is coming to an end.

As it stands, some members of the PDP are set for the convention in Port Harcourt even in the face of disagreements from aggrieved members.

Blame Parents For Child Beggars In Northern Nigeria – Gov. Bello

Child beggars, Almajiris, Northern NigeriaNiger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has blamed parents for the influx and high rate of child beggars, otherwise known as Almajiris, on the streets of across major towns in the northern region of Nigeria.

He accused parents of abandoning their responsibilities of bringing up children under the guise of religion by sending their wards far away from home to seek Islamic knowledge without anything to support them.

The Governor made this observation when he paid host to the new State Comptroller of Immigration, Mrs. Tamuno Oyedeji in his office in Minna.

He stated that gone were the days when people go afar to seek Islamic knowledge stressing that there were enough Muslim Clerics spread across the region and it was callous and inhuman to send a child from far towns to Minna in other to acquire Islamic education.

Governor Sani Bello, who described the development as unacceptable, lamented that these children are left not catered for, stressing that the state government would do everything possible to protect such vulnerable children so that they don’t become menace to the society.

“We are also fine-tuning some laws in this regard with the hope that it would bring enduring solution to the problem. But in the main time, we have decided to send these child beggars on the street back to their parents”, the Governor added.

The Governor then pledged to sustain the joint patrol with the Immigration Service in the state in order to intensify patrol within the state and across its borders with Niger and Benin Republics to check irregular migrants.

He called on officers of the service to put an eagle eye and pay attention to entry flights into the country, especially those returning pilgrims, in other to apprehend those who might sneak in illegally.

Governor Sani Bello promised to assist the state command of the Immigration Service with logistics to boost its monitoring and surveillance across the state.

The new State Comptroller, Mrs. Tamuno Oyedeji acknowledged the continued support of the state government to the Immigration Service.

She gave the assurance that they would work with relevant stakeholders to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the state.

Community Urges Governor To Rehabilitate Roads In Niger State

roads, Niger State, Abubakar BelloA community in Niger State has appealed to Governor Abubakar Bello to, as a matter of necessity, consider the full rehabilitation of its roads.

One of the residents of Railway community, Abubakar Adamu, expressed dismay over the long abandonment of the community due to alleged victimisation of an individual who was said to be in opposition political party in the area.

He said that the government should be able to have the heart to accommodate everybody, insisting that the present All Progressives Congress (APC) government was looking forward to giving its best in service delivery to the people of Niger State in northern Nigeria.

An elder of the community, Mr Ibrahim Suleiman, who lamented over the situation of the roads, however, expressed confidence in the present administration.

He described Governor Bello as “a man with listening ears and (that) cares for the needy” and urged him to come to the aid of the community he claimed had been abandoned for several years.

Suleiman, who is an APC member, expressed hope that with the initiation of construction of many roads, the Governor would surely rehabilitate the roads that connect to the community, especially the Nnamdi Azikiwe road that links with Pigry – Morris axis.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe road in Chanchaga Local Government Area is one of the first roads constructed that leads to Minna town, but had been allegedly abandoned by the past governments in the last 18 years.

Yobe Govt. To Construct First Cargo Airport In Northern Nigeria

Yobe, cargo airport, airport, NigeriaThe Yobe State government is set to award contract for the construction of the first ever cargo airport in northern Nigeria.

The state’s Commissioner for Works, Transport and Energy, Sirajo Wakil, revealed this on Monday in an interview with Channels Television in Damaturu, the Yobe State’s capital.

He said that the airport which would be for ticketing, cargo and located in the state’s capital, would facilitate the export of meat, dairy products, and gum Arabic among others which will be source of foreign exchange to the state.

Mr Wakil regretted that Yobe State was the only state among the 19 northern states of the country without an airport, hence the need for an outstanding one.

He affirmed that the state government had concluded plans for the award of the contract which according to him, would be the first of its kind in the Nigeria’s northern region.

The Commissioner also lamented the non-functioning of most airports in the north, saying they were constructed on the basis of ticketing which ordinarily according to him could sustain the survival of any airport.

He disclosed that regulatory agencies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the Ministry of Aviation had visited the state for the feasibility survey of the proposed airport and had certified the award of the contract.

Wakil assured the people of Yobe State that the Governor Ibrahim Geidam-led administration would complete all the ongoing road projects across the state despite the tough economic situation.

New Petrol Price: DPR Intensifies Surveillance In Niger State

DPR, Niger State, PetrolThe Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Thursday said it has intensified its surveillance in Niger State, northern Nigeria.

In spite of the increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol by the Federal Government, the DPR has ensured that marketers adhered strictly with the new pump price of 145 Naira per litre in the state.

The Controller of DPR in Niger State, Engineer Abdullahi Jankara, disclosed this to reporters after a surveillance inspection tour in Minna, the state’s capital.

He said the agency would not relent in its efforts to ensure that the marketers obey the order, in times of price and standard distribution of the product to the public.

“We have seen normal situation since the increase in the price of PMS, especially in Minna due to the availability of the product,” he said.

Jankara assured that cheating in times of delivery would not be accepted just as the DPR would watch out for sharp practices by the petroleum marketers, who he said were fond of perpetuating such illegal acts in the state.

“Although it is not yet over because of the feelers we are getting from the hinterland on the exact situation, on a general note we have 80% compliance as things will be in total control,” he added.

The DPR boss vowed to continually beef up surveillance team into the hinterland to replicate what is happening in the townships.

He said that many filling stations have complied with with the new price while erring stations have been compelled to revert to the official price.

Three Feared Dead In Jebba Rail Accident

Rail-Accident-JebbaThree persons have been killed in a rail accident in Jebba Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State in northern Nigeria.

Several other persons were also reported to have sustained various degrees of injury in the Kano-bound train involved in the accident.

An eyewitness said that the last coach of the 12 coaches suddenly detached from others, causing the accident.

“There was no way to inform or stop the coaches in front due to the panic state of the travellers in the detached coach,” the eyewitness explained.

The eyewitness also said that the rescue team from the Nigerian Railway Corporation arrived to assess the damage and remove the coach which had derailed.

The Managing Director of the Corporation, Mr Fidet Okhira, explained that the government was working hard to change the old narrow gauge to a modern standard one to forestall future occurrence.

He added that the coach that was involved in the accident was not a passenger coach but a carrier one, stressing that those that died could not be passengers, but persons that had hidden inside the coach meant for luggage.

Civil Servants In Northern Nigeria Celebrate Workers Day

Workers Day-Northern NigeriaState governments and civil servants in northern Nigeria have joined the rest of the world to mark the 2016 edition of the Workers Day.

In Kaduna State, the government called on both Federal and state governments to address some of the socio-economic challenges facing the nation.

The civil servants demanded for an upward review of the current minimum wage to at least 100,000 Naira in line with the present economic realities.

At separate rallies to mark the May Day, the workers called on the Federal Government to tackle the epileptic electricity supply, fuel scarcity, insecurity, unemployment and casualisation of workers among other challenges.

They also warned the Kaduna State government to shun any plan to retrench its workforce, threatening a showdown against government if any civil servant is sacked.

While a faction of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kaduna State, led by Mr Adamu Ango, marked the Workers Day with a rally held at the Kaduna Township stadium, the other faction held a road procession near the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.

Kano

In Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, said that his government has recently established the salary and wages directorate as part of efforts to ensure transparent salary administration for the state’s civil servants.

Addressing workers to mark the 2016 Workers Day celebration, Governor Ganduje noted that the welfare of workers has been one of the major priority of his administration since inception.

Channels Television correspondent reports that hundreds of workers turned out during the colorful match pass held at the Sani Abacha indoor stadium.

While expressing happiness with the cordial relationships between his government and labour unions in the state, the Governor promised that his government would not leave a stone upturned in ensuring the state civil servants are catered for.

He added that various policy frameworks had been put in place to ensure that workers in Kano State benefit from his government’s welfare packages for the civil servants.

Although the NLC Chairman in Kano State, Dr. Kabiru Minjibir, commended the Governor’s civil service initiatives, he disagreed with some policies the workers considered injurious to them.

He stressed the need for government to fully study the report of the just concluded workers’ biometric data exercise, to avoid further complications that might result to confrontation between government and workers.

Other issues highlighted by the workers were the issue of labour casualisation and scarce job opportunities for teaming youths in Kano State.

Borno

In the northeast, civil servants in Borno State demanded a total implementation of the 18,000 Naira minimum wage.

Pensioners who joined in the celebration also called for an upward review of their pension, which is still on a minimum of 4,400 Naira.

The anniversary was marked with an elaborate rally under heavy security in the Ramat Square in Maiduguri, the first rally in five years, owing to the insurgency problem.

In line with the 2016 theme “The Working Class and the Quest for Economic Revival”, the civil servants lamented that their income was no longer sufficient, considering the economic reality of the country.

The Borno State NLC Chairman, Comrade Titus Abana, said that the theme was symbolic as people of the state were faced with two fundamental problems of insurgency and dwindling resources.

Fighting Insurgents: Military College Holds Inter-agencies Security Training

MilitaryThe Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji, Kaduna State, has conducted an inter-agencies training on information sharing and intelligence gathering.

Addressing participants during the closing ceremony of the training, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said that the training was very important considering the internal security challenges facing Nigeria.

Mr Arase, who was represented by the Zaria Area Commander, reiterated that the Nigerian Police Force was determined to take its rightful place in internal security operations aimed at ensuring a peaceful and secured society.

In his speech, the Director of Joint Studies of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Johnson Irefin, explained that such joint inter-agencies training would bring about developing of new techniques on standing operating procedures on internal security and low intensity operations.

He also stressed the need for security personnel and other stakeholders involved in conflict and emergency situations to adhere to the rules of engagement during internal and low intensity conflict.

The event was organised to gather intelligence on a regular basis, to ensure prompt response to crisis situations in line with the humanitarian challenges caused by the Boko Haram insurgents in northern Nigeria.

The training workshop, which drew participants from the military, Police, para-military agencies, National Orientation Agency and National Emergency Management Agency among others, lasted for three weeks.

It was conducted in two phases which featured lectures, presentations, planning and conduct of internal security operations in a multi-agency setting.