FEC Approves $945 Foreign Loan To Improve Irrigation

FECThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved three foreign loans in the sum of $945 million to improve irrigation system, prevent flooding in Ibadan, Oyo State and provide water for Bauchi, Ekiti and Rivers States.

The council meeting which was presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo also approved four road projects totaling N22 billion.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Water Resources Mrs Sarah Ochekpe who was joined by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina and the Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yiguda, said the International Development Association’s credit of $495 million is for the management of irrigation systems in the country.

She said the idea behind the facility was to upscale what the Federal Government was doing in improving the irrigation system to ensure a year-in-year-out farming season in the country.

The road projects will cover those of Mbaise Ring Road intersecting Owerri-Umuahia Road in Imo State, Calabar-Okoroba Road in Cross River State, and the Phase One of Mbak-Arochukwu Road

The council was briefed on the issues of pensions and the resolve by government to remain conscious of the needs of the average Nigerian worker especially those who have spent their lives working for the good of the country.

INEC Extends Phase 2 Of Voters’ Registration In 12 States

INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the phase two of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise for seven days in 12 states, starting from Monday at their different Local Government Areas

INEC is extending phase two of the exercise to allow those who are yet to register partake in the execersie.

The commission, however, said it was impressed by the large turnout of eligible voters but regretted that the heavy rains during the period of the exercise, from August 20 to 25, did not allow much people to take part in the exercise.

Meanwhile, the extension which begins on September 22 and ends on September 28, INEC said, would start at 8.00am and end at 4.00pm each day.

The states in this phase include; Anambra, Bauchi, Cross River, Delta , Ebonyi and the Federal Capital Territory.

Others are Jigawa, Kwara, Ondo, Oyo, Sokoto and Yobe States.

Oyo Commences Construction Of Model Schools

AjimobiThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, says old dilapidated buildings bursting at the seams with pupils would be a thing of the past in Oyo State’s story as he flagged off the construction of new model schools across the state.

Making the promise in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Ajimobi reaffirmed that education remains one of the most important sectors for his administration and he had demonstrated this by voting 33% of the current budget, far greater than UNESCO’s benchmark, to education.

He added that the construction of the first 6 model schools would be spread across the geopolitical zones of the state and would be the first of its kind in the entire country.

According to report, serious work had began at the Oba Akinbiyi High School, Mokola, Ibadan, where old, decrepit school buildings were giving way to a brand new ones.

Structural defective schools were also getting new leases of life to accommodate deserving learning processes.

The new model schools, which would be built at a cost of 623million naira each, would comprise 8 laboratories, admin block, technical education workshop, clinic, refractory, auditorium, cafeteria and 24 modern classrooms which would accomodate 30 pupils each.

The Commissioner for Education, Professor Solomon Olaniyonu, disclosed that the model schools were esthetically appealing and structurally balanced in design and would serve as prototype of standard schools in the state.

Gov. Ajimobi also added that in addition to the e-learning about to commence in the state, primary school pupils would start enjoying free food supply from the next academic season to provide necessary nutritional component for outstanding academic performance.

CBN Signs N220B SME Fund With State Governments

CBN Logo The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has signed a multi-billion naira Medium Enterprise Development Fund with the 36 state governments.

The CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who announced a loan of N220 billion for development of Small and Medium Enterprises across the country at a meeting with the state governors, said the fund will ensure wealth creation and poverty reduction in the country.

Emefiele also said sixty percent of the funds will be disbursed to women at a single digit interest rate

However, the modalities for disbursing the loan did not go down well with the state governors who were present at the meeting

The governors, which include the governors of Akwa Ibom, Ogun and Oyo states, called for an upward review of the loan scheme and the removal of bureaucracy in accessing the loan.

Statistics as at 2010 reveals that funding gap of S.M.E’s stands at nine point six trillion naira

 

 

Smugglers Attack Customs Special Task Force In Oyo

custom attackYoung men suspected to be smugglers attacked some Customs officers at Igbeti in Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State brutalizing and damaging properties belonging to the Nigerian Customs Service.

According to the leader of the Task Force and Coordinator of the Comptroller General’s Task Force Team, D.C Shallangwa, the hoodlums attacked his men while on duty brandishing guns, cutlasses and other harmful weapons.

Shallangwa added that his men were well equipped to deal with such challenges but they refrained from the use of retaliatory force so that innocent people would not be affected.

The Deputy Comptroller of Customs further disclosed that the smugglers aimed at killing the morale of his men but they remain undaunted as any attempt to repeat such dastardly act would be resisted.

He also warned that the Task Force would not hesitate to use necessary force to curtail and discourage smuggling activities anywhere in the country.

PDP National Secretary Suit: Court hears Oyinlola, Others Objection On June 30

court-hammer-gavel1The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed for Monday, June 30, for the hearing of a suit urging the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Professor Olawale Oladipo as the National Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The plaintiffs in the suit are the state chairmen of the party in Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ondo as well as financial secretaries in Lagos and Ekiti. They are Chief Adebayo Dayo, Alhaji Olayinka Taiwo, Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa, Chief Ebenezer Alabi, Dr. Tope Aluko and Chief Taiwo Kuye.

The defendants are INEC, the PDP and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Prince Oyinlola was suspended and expelled from the party sometime in November 2013 but was reinstated to office by the Court of Appeal.

Dissatisfied with this decision, the plaintiffs proceeded to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling. They also filed a motion at the Supreme Court for a Stay of Execution of the Court of Appeal judgment which reinstated Prince Oyinlola.

That application would be heard on July 6, 2014.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, counsel to INEC, Vilba Kintai asked the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction, insisting that it was an intra-party dispute.

The commission argued that it does not recognize Prof Wale Oladipo who was nominated by the South West Caretaker Committee as the national secretary of the PDP because the party’s leadership had not produced any court order to that effect.

Counsel to Prince Oyinlola, Mr Gboyega Oyewole, also filed a preliminary objection seeking the dismissal of the suit. He argued that the suit is subjudice because a sister case exists in a court in Abuja where Prince Oyinlola is challenging his expulsion by the party.

The lawyer also noted that Prof Oladipo whom the plaintiffs want the court to recognise is not a party in the present suit.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, Ifeoma Esom, wants the court to dismiss the preliminary objections raised by the defendants. The plaintiffs seek an order directing INEC to recognise and deal only with Prof Oladipo until 2016 when a new National Convention of the PDP will be convened to elect his successor.

Counsel to the PDP, Mr Yamzat Yusuf has however told the court that he has only just been served with the preliminary objections and would need time to respond.

The presiding judge, then directed all parties to exchange and reconcile briefs before adjourning the matter to Monday June 30, 2014 for further hearing.

President Jonathan, Fashola Pay Tribute To Late Arisekola-Alao

alao2President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed shock and sadness over the death of renowned business man and religious leader, Abdul–Azeez Arisekola-Alao.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, read: “On behalf of himself, the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, President Jonathan extends sincere condolences to the Arisekola-Alao family as well as the people of Ibadan and Oyo State on the passing away of the famed Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland.

“As they mourn the famous entrepreneur, community and religious leader, President Jonathan urges his family, relatives, friends, associates and dependents to be comforted by the fact that Alhaji Arisekola-Alao lived a much fulfilled life, and in passing on, leaves behind a legacy of significant and commendable achievements.”

The President also noted that Arisekola-Alao would always be remembered and honoured, especially for the remarkable entrepreneurial skills with which he established many successful businesses and created jobs for numerous Nigerians, as well as for his religious leadership and philanthropic gestures.

He prayed that God Almighty would receive his soul and grant him eternal rest.

Also, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, has also sent his condolence to the family of the late businessman. The Governor said that the passage of the front line politician and religious leader would leave a vacuum that would be very hard to fill in Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general.

According to the Governor, Aare Arisekola would be sorely missed by all for his widely acknowledged philanthropy, statesmanship and entrepreneurial leadership.

Governor Fashola said that the indelible mark left by Arisekola in the field of commerce and industry and the contribution he made to the economic development of the South West region and Nigeria in general would never be forgotten in a hurry.

The late Ibadan businessman and the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao died on Wednesday June 17 at a hospital in Switzerland where he was undergoing treatment.

June 12: South West States Observe Holiday In Honour Of M.K.O Abiola

MKO-Abiola

After 21 years, the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election is still being referred to as the best ever conducted in Nigeria’s history.

On that day, millions of Nigerians trooped out to perform their civic duty, looking beyond ethno-religious bias to participate in the electoral process.

The controversy here is that the election, believed to have been won by late Chief Moshood Abiola on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party, was annulled by the military regime under General Ibrahim Babangida.

After waiting for over a year with his mandate nowhere in sight, Abiola   declared himself the lawful President of Nigeria on June 11, 1994.

His address, delivered in Epetedo, Lagos, included an announcement that he has formed a government of national unity which he was to head.

He died on July 7, 1998 in Abuja fighting for his mandate.

South West states have declared today a work-free day while many civil society organizations have lined up different events to mark the day.

 

 

Channels National Kids Cup: We Are Out To Catch Them Young- Okon-Akpan

Head, Sports Desk of Channels Television, Austin Okon-Akpan, today (Tuesday) announced the commencement date of the Channels National Kids Cup as May 24-27.

Speaking during the Station’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Okon-Akpan stated that teams to participate in the National tourney include states from “Jigawa, Sokoto, Kaduna, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Abia, Rivers, Ebonyi and Kwara” adding that “we are ready to start catching them young”.

Mr Okon-Akpan, who noted that four teams will be representing vlcsnap-2014-05-20-10h00m16s216Lagos State, added that the excitement that has greeted the competition will make it absolutely interesting.

He singled out Ishiaka Adedeji from Ebute-Metta Primary School, whom he tipped to be one among many star players to be watched during the competition.

He urged the relevant football authorities in the country to “monitor and support these group of players” insisting that “the next Cristiano Ronaldo will emerge from the group”.

He commended the efforts of School Road, Aba in Abia State for producing some Super Eagles players and wondered how the players from Lagos and other States will handle the protégés of footballing heroes past.

He however sent the message of the Lagos representatives, who just concluded their preliminaries, to those coming from around the country, including School Road, Aba.

He said “the Lagos guys said don’t care if they are coming from any school, they are ready and will fight till the end”.

He likened the talents of Yusuf Ajayi to world goalkeeping legends, George Campos of Mexico and Jose Luis Chilavert of Paraguay, who were famous for their specialty in dead ball situations and acrobatic goalkeeping style.

Mr Okon-Akpan promised Nigerians that the competition will be no less as interesting as the national and international competitions that take place in Nigeria, Africa and the entire world and maintained that “for us at Channels Television, the objective is simple, we want to be able to catch them at this level. Not necessarily take them to one club or academy”.

“The fact that you take them out of their classrooms and give them the opportunity to show that they can play football; they have talents in them, I think it is admirable” he said.

He however berated the unfortunate incident of age cheats during the preliminary stage of the competition and warned that all hands will be on deck to check other schools coming from the states mentioned above and ensure that the scourge is reduced to its barest minimum during the competition.

Fighting Insecurity: Jonathan Meets With Governors, Security Chiefs

GEJ2The expanded meeting convened by the Federal Government to look at security situation in Nigeria has kicked off in the Presidential Villa with President Goodluck Jonathan presiding.

The meeting which has a fuller house as against what happened a week before, has many of the governors from the opposition parties present.

The President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, as well as the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor are also attending the meeting.

Twenty-four governors are in attendance while the governors of Jigawa, Imo, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Ogun, Plateau, Edo and Yobe are being represented by their deputies.

The security chiefs in attendance are; the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Inspector-General of Police, the Comptrollers-General of Customs and  Immigration, Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Commandant-General of the  Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp.

The Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro, Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abduljelil Adesiyan, the  Foreign Affairs Minister,  Viola Onwuleri, Agriculture Minister,  Akinwunmi Adeshina and the  Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, are also present.

The expanded National Security Council meeting was summoned by President Jonathan following the bombing in Nyanya, Abuja and the abduction of over one hundred female students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno.

 

Customs Alert Nigerians Of Illegally Smuggled Rice

nigeria-customs-service

The Nigeria Customs Service has warned Nigerians to be wary of the consumption of contaminated rice that could be illegally smuggled into the country through neighbouring African countries.

The area comptroller Oyo/Oshun command of Customs, Richard Oteri, who gave the warning at the headquarters of the command in Ibadan on Saturday, told Channels Television exclusively that some of the rice seized from smugglers by his team were not good for consumption.

While disclosing the large seizure that was made along the Iseyin/Saki axis of Oyo State, the area comptroller advised consumers to check rice properly in the market before purchase, as some of the contaminated ones could be re-bagged and sold to Nigerians.

Oteri pointed out that smugglers may use the festive season to perpetuate their nefarious activities and bring in contraband goods, but he stressed that the command was “ready to make sure they do not succeed”.

A total of 1,300 bags of 50kg rice with a duty paid value of 16 million Naira were seized by the crack team led by Alajogun Joseph.

Oteri further stated that the importation of rice through Nigeria’s sea ports was the only allowed form of importation. “All those importers who bring in  rice through neighbouring African countries will continue to be treated as smugglers with the full weight of the law bearing on them,” he said..

Illegal Importation: Customs Seizes 15,485 Bags Of Rice In One Year

nigeria-customs-serviceA total of 15,485 bags of 50kg rice with a duty paid value of approximately 173million Naira have been seized by the Oyo /Osun Area Command of Customs in the past one year as a result of intensified heat on illegal importation of rice into the 2 states.

Making this disclosure in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Oyo/Osun Area Comptroller of Customs, Richard Oteri, several unscrupulous Nigerians have resolved to make smuggling their tasks in life despite its attendant risks to the lives of individuals and the economy of the country at large.

Oteri added that the command was poised to make the business as unprofitable as possible for those who refuse to heed repeated government warning on smuggling.

The latest seizure of the command included 9 buses fully loaded with 481 bags of 50kg rice, fairly used cars, fabrics, and among other items.

Seizures and offloading of carefully concealed rice has become a common scene at the headquarters of Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Customs in Ibadan the Oyo State capital. Between March 2013 and March 2014 alone, almost 16,000 bags of 50kg rice have been intercepted, with the duty paid value put at about 173 million Naira.

Oteri disclosed that the smugglers get more crafty by the day, concealing rice with items like charcoal, yam flour, saw dust, yams, cassava waste and other dairy products.

He added that the Comptroller-General of Customs remains resolute in his commitment to fully implement the rice import policy and warned Nigerians who patronise neighbouring African ports instead of the nation’s sea sorts for smuggling purposes to desist from the act or lose their investment.