NDDC Board: FG Urged To Appoint Representatives In Imo, Abia, Ondo

NDDC Gives Contractors 30 Days to Return to SiteA group under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Rescue Movement (NDYRM) Imo state chapter, has called on the Federal Government to immediately appoint a commissioner from the NDDC, who will represent Imo, Abia and Ondo states at the NDDC board, just as other Niger Delta states are duly represented.

The National Coordinator of the group Comrade Amaechi Adibuo made this call in Owerri the Imo state capital, during a meeting with youths from oil producing communities, he said the appointment of the NDDC commissioners in these states will enable benefits accrued to the people of the state come to them accordingly and will eventually bring a lasting peace and orderliness in the communities.

According to him “We the Niger Delta Youth Rescue Movement Imo state chapter hereby respectfully call on the Presidency to immediately appoint and announce names of NDDC commissioners for Imo, Abia and Ondo states, we are fully aware that the new NDDC board has a good plan for the people of the Niger Delta particularly on youth empowerment and development of the oil region, hence the need for Imo, Abia and Ondo states to have representatives at the NDDC board”.

The group maintained that the appointment of these commissioners will restore the confidence of the people especially as it relates to citing and completion of NDDC projects at the oil producing areas.

The group also believes that it will promote development, productivity and avoid further demonstration which may result to violence.

The youths maintained that they are law abiding people and would do anything possible to be productive, promote peace and development in the region.

Boat Carrying Migrants Sinks In Mediterranean

boatA rubber boat packed with 147 migrants sank in the Mediterranean and all but one of its passengers drowned, the sole survivor – a 16-year-old Gambian boy – told rescuers, the International Migration Organization (IOM) said on Wednesday.

A Spanish frigate, the Canarias, found the boy hanging onto a piece of debris in the sea on Tuesday. He was transferred to an Italian Coast Guard ship and brought to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa early on Wednesday.

“He was very tired when they found him. He’s resting now, so we’ll have more details later,” said IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo in Rome, after speaking to staff in Lampedusa.

“The boy said they left Sabratha, Libya, a couple days ago on a rubber boat with 147 sub-Saharan Africans on board, including five children and some pregnant women,” Di Giacomo said.

In the past two days, rescuers have picked up more than 1,100 migrants at sea, and recovered one body, Italy’s Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard did not comment on the latest shipwreck.

So far this year nearly 600 migrants have died trying to reach Italy from North Africa, IOM estimates, after some 4,600 deaths last year. Migrant arrivals to Italy are up more than 50 percent this year on the same period of last year.

Early on Wednesday the Golfo Azzurro, a humanitarian vessel, rescued about 400 migrants – mainly from Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Gambia and Bangladesh – including 16 women and two children.

They were found drifting in a wooden boat without power about 16 kilometers (10 miles) off the coast of Sabratha, the most frequently used departure point currently used by people smugglers in Libya, and will now be transported to Sicily.

“The migrants kissed and hugged their rescuers and sang songs” after they were brought to safety, said Reuters photographer Yannis Behrakis, who is onboard the Golfo Azzurro.

“My brother back home convinced me to make the trip,” said Gambian Kalifa Kujabi, 17, after the rescue. He said he played for Gambia’s soccer academy and paid $600 for the passage. “My brother said that I can only have a future as a soccer player in Europe.”

Electricity Supply: FG Promises Six LGs In Ondo

babatunde-fashola-power-works-and-housing-minister-nigeriaThe Federal Government says it will ensure that electricity is restored to nine local government areas in Ondo state, which have been experiencing total power outage for almost five years now.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola stated this while on a facility tour of Omotosho Power Plant located at Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo state.

The residents of these areas have been disconnected from the national grid for the last five years by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC for alleged indebtedness.

The BEDC, completely cut off Okitipupa, Odigbo, Irele, Ese-Odo and Ilaje Local Government areas of southern senatorial district of Ondo State, five years ago, from the national grid due to high indebtedness by majority of residents in the area.

Similarly, the same punishment was meted out to electricity consumers at Akoko South West, Akoko South East, Akoko North east and Akoko North West Local Government Areas in northern senatorial district of the state, for over two year.

This has led to collapse of small and medium scale businesses while many of the residents had relocated from the affected areas to other places within and outside the State where there is access to power.

But the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola during his working visit to the state described as unacceptable a situation whereby several communities would be put in total blackout for years due to the failure of some residents to pay their electricity bill.

The minister said he had directed that the management of the BEDC be summoned for urgent deliberation on how power would be restored to consumers who were not owing the DISCO.

Mr Fashola who expressed happiness that there was relative improvement in gas supply to Omotosho power plant which had enhanced the contributions of the plant to power generation in the country, said the host, Omotosho community would start enjoying electricity before the end of next month.

Speaking Earlier on behalf of the affected communities, the Chairman of Okitipupa Local Government, Pastor Larry Ogunmusere told the Minister that residents had contributed huge sum of money for re-connection but pleaded with the government to prevail on BEDC to restore power to the communities.

Conducting the minister round the power plant, the Managing Director, Omotosho Electric Energy Company, Engineer Sam Ishekiri explained that the 500 megawatts Omotosho power plant was currently contributing over 300 megawatts to the national grid, due to an increase in gas supply in recent time.

Nigeria vs Burkina Faso Friendly Match Cancelled

nigeri-burkina-fasoThe Super Eagles’ second international friendly, against Burkina Faso in London scheduled for Monday, March 27 has been cancelled, after seven players in the Burkinabe contingent failed to secure entry visas into the United Kingdom.

The information has been confirmed by the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green in London:

“We regret to announce that the second friendly match we had scheduled for the Super Eagles as part of preparations for the remaining matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series, and the beginning of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification race would no longer take place on Monday, 27th March 2017.

“The match in question is called off due to no fault of either the organizers or the Nigeria Football Federation. We will announce further plans for the Super Eagles’ preparation for these two important qualifying campaigns in due course.”

There is no British Embassy in Ouagadougou, and officials of the Federation Burkinabe de Football had been shuttling between Accra and Ouagadougou for visa processing. FBF sources said the Embassy in Accra told them last week to proceed to Morocco (where the Etalons played the Atlas Lions on Friday) and that the visas would be issued there.

However, the applications were still pending at the British Embassy in Morocco as at close of work on Friday, the last working day before match day in London.

The Burkinabe Football Federation on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 7pm UK time called the match organizers to say some of their players and officials were unable to secure entry visas into the United Kingdom and therefore would not be able to honour the match.

NFF President and CAF Executive Committee member, Amaju Pinnick was unhappy with the development but stated that the objectives of satisfying the technical team’s desire of squaring up against tough, physical African opposition and fostering team bonding and organization were achieved.

“The Technical Adviser (Gernot Rohr) wanted to play very physical African teams, as part of the preparations for the World Cup qualifying matches against Cameroon, and we duly fulfilled that with the arrangements we made for Senegal and Burkina Faso.

“Unfortunately, some of the Burkinabe players could not secure entry visas into the UK. It is nobody’s fault. Our joy is that we were able to play Senegal and got a fair result with a depleted squad, and also the objectives of team bonding, team building, team discipline and further imparting the Technical Adviser’s philosophy to the group have been well served.

“The Technical Adviser has also been able to look at a few more options, and our strength-in-depth is looking very good.”

Sugar Processing: Dangote To Invest 217 Billion Naira In Nasarawa

FAACAfrica’s richest businessman, Aliko Dangote has pledged to invest 217 billion Naira on sugar processing in Nasarawa State.

He made the pledge when he visited the governor in Lafia, to discuss the outlook of the investment.

According to Dangote, the sugar processing plant which is to be cited in Tunga village of Awe Local Government Area of the state will occupy 60,000 hectares of land and will take off in less than 30 months.

He explained to the Governor that the plant will be the largest in the world and will produce 480,000 tonnes of sugar, which is 27 percent of Nigeria’s total consumption.

He said the project is targeted at employing over 40,000 people which includes 10,000 out growers who will be given inputs and all necessary equipment.

He also said he is hopeful that the investment will improve lots of host community as primary and secondary schools will be built, those existing will be refurbished, welfare of the teachers will be taken care of, provision of water, electricity and an equipped hospital among other benefits.

He further expressed optimism that the investment will improve the Internally Generated Revenue of the state asides other benefits.

“Once you have light, people will be able to generate their livelihood and they won’t mind paying their taxes if they are making money”

“So the revenue of the government will increase and their will be quite a lot of activities, the employment will be over 30,000.

“This project will cost about 700 million Dollars, this is going to be the largest sugar plantation in West Africa”, he said.

The state is also to benefit from 50 megawatts of power which will be generated from the bagasse of the husks of sugar canes which will in-turn woo other investors.

Responding, the governor expressed happiness with the development which he said will turn around the fortunes of the state.

He then assured him of his safety and necessary support.

“We assure you of absolute and total cooperation in carrying the activities. Nasarawa state is going to ensure full fledged security networks that will give your workers the opportunity to work without any hindrances, any fear or any tribulations”

“I want to assure you that we will do anything we can to ensure that this seed of wealth that you have planting in Nasarawa state will germinate and expand the scope of our prosperity, wealth and well being”,the governor said.

German Police Arrest Teenage Suspect Murder

germany-policeThe German police has arrested a teenager suspected of killing his nine-year-old neighbor, after a nationwide manhunt.

Police began searching for the 19-year-old Marcel Hesse, after the dead boy was found at his home in the western city of Herne, on Monday night.

The teenager was arrested after identifying himself at a restaurant.

German authorities said he posted images of the body (with multiple stab wounds) online, and also reported a fire at a nearby flat, where another body was found.

MNJTF Hosts Delegation Of Ministers From Lake Chad

nigerian-troops-to-gambiaThe headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force Ndjamena on Friday hosted a delegation of Council of Ministers, from Lake Chad Basin Commission and Commissioner for Peace and Security African Union.

The delegation was led by the Executive Secretary and Head of Mission LCBC Sanusi Imran Abdullahi.

The Deputy Force Commander MNJTF, Brigadier General Moussa Mahamat Djoui who represented the Force Commander Major General Lamidi Adeosun assured the delegation of MNJTF commitment to ensure the Boko Haram terrorist are defeated in the shortest possible time.

The Head of Mission / Executive Secretary LCBC said the intention of the visit was to showcase to the Ministers what they are capable of doing.

He further pointed out that in LCBC there is no demarcation, no nations, as we all work as one and as a team for a common mandate and objective.

While commending the officers and men of MNJTF on behalf of the Council of Ministers of the LCBC, the Minister of Water Resource of Nigeria Suleman Adamu expressed his appreciation for the brief of activities and achievements of the MNJTF, in bringing Peace and Security in the Lake Chad region.

Minister Siddik Abdel Karim thanked the Heads of States of LCBC for the great initiative to effectively implement MNJTF.

The visit witnessed a detail brief in the activities, achievements and prospects of the MNJTF and visitations.

In other to enhance mobility of troops in the various sectors, 15 tactical vehicles and 30 motorbikes were handed over to the Commander MNJTF, who took advantage of the occasion to heartily thank the delegation from the AU and promised that MNJTF will keep working as a team to ensure success of its mandate.

Lafia Airport To Begin Operation Within Two Years – Al-Makura

Armed Forces Remembrance: Al-Makura To Employ 100 LegionnairesThe Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura has given an assurance that in the next two years, the Lafia airport will be ready for operation.

He said the ongoing Lafia Airport, when completed will be the most viable alternative to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport which is in Abuja.

“With the commitment of the contractors, there is every assurance that in the next two years the airport will be ready for use”.

The governor affirmed that with the 65 kilometer road to be constructed from the Airport to Keffi, passengers from Abuja will be able to access the Airport within one hour ten minutes.

He explained that depending on the location of passengers in Abuja, the Lafia Airport will be closer to those around Karu, Asokoro and other locations in Abuja looking at the distance to the Abuja Airport and that of Lafia.

He further maintained that the airport will also open up more business channels and activities that will boost both the economy of the state, FCT and equally create employment opportunities for the people.

He added that the people of the state and business partners interested in the project should be rest assured that the Airport will be a reality.

Okowa Calls For Strengthening Of PDP Ahead Of Polls

Delta Govt. To Partner With NDDC On ProjectsThe Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has urged members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to engage in actions that will strengthen the party to enable it emerge victorious in future elections.

Governor Okowa made the call during the Delta North Senatorial meeting of the PDP, held at Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South local government area of Delta State.

According to the governor, “We should ensure that there is no more factions in our party, we should be more united and committed to the ideals of the party to enable us win in elections.”

Governor Okowa kicked against segregation in the party, as a result of individual interest for elective offices, noting that such would demoralise the interest of active members of the party.

“Chairmen of the party, especially, at the local government level should not be seen to be identifying with aspirants for elective positions, or seen to be taking sides but should be neutral”.

On the forthcoming local government elections in the state, the governor stated, “It is too early to heat up the state because of elections, there will be no imposition of candidates for elections.”

“Where there is no consensus candidate, there must be primaries for the people’s choice to emerge,” the governor stressed.

He called on Deltans to be involved in the monitoring of government projects being executed in their areas.

“We should monitor projects being executed in our communities; when they are good, we should commend the contractors but, when they are not okay, we should draw the attention of appropriate authorities because, my administration is committed to executing projects that will stand the test of time.”

The governor commended members of the party in the state, for ensuring that the party remains strong, thanked the chairman of the party in the district, Hon. Moses Iduh for his commitment towards calling regular meetings of the party in the area.

Earlier, Hon. Iduh in his address, said, “2017 is a turning point for our party in the Senatorial district, particularly with regards to the awakening of party spirit through sustained regular meetings at the wards and local government areas,”

Also in attendance were former Deputy Governor of the state, Benjamin Elue, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Senator Patrick Osakwe, Hon. Onyemaechi Mrakpor, and Hon. Ossai Nicholas.

Iran Leader Dismisses Trump’s Warning On Missiles

iran-leaderAyatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed Donald Trump’s warning to Iran to stop its missile tests, saying the new U.S. president had shown the “real face” of American corruption.

In his first speech since Trump’s inauguration, Iran’s supreme leader called on Iranians to respond to Trump’s “threats” on Feb. 10, the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. Trump had tried but failed to frighten Iranians, Khamenei said.

“We are thankful to (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America,” Khamenei told a meeting of military commanders in Tehran, according to his website.

The White House has said the last week’s missile test was not a direct breach of Iran’s 2015 nuclear pact with six world powers, but that it “violates the spirit of that”..

In remarks published on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran would not agree to renegotiate its nuclear agreement.

“I believe Trump will push for renegotiation. But Iran and European countries will not accept that,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told Ettelaat newspaper. “We will have difficult days ahead.”

On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised to tear up the nuclear deal. While his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has not called for an outright rejection of the accord, he has suggested a “full review” of it.

The supreme leader, Iran’s top authority, also said Trump has “confirmed what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the U.S. ruling system.”

Trump responded to a Jan. 29 Iranian missile test by saying “Iran is playing with fire” and slapping fresh sanctions on individuals and entities, some of them linked to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.

“No enemy can paralyze the Iranian nation,” Khamenei said. “(Trump) says ‘you should be afraid of me’. No! The Iranian people will respond to his words on Feb. 10 and will show their stance against such threats.”


World Cancer Day: W.H.O Calls For Support To Fight Disease

NOWA, 500 women, breast cancerAs the world commemorates the World Cancer Day, the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) has called for an increased effort in the fight against the disease.

In a statement by the W.H.O Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, “The W.H.O says February 4, 2017 is a day to reflect on how cancer affects everyone in different ways, and how everyone can be part of the effort to reduce the impact on individuals, families and communities.

He adds that it is urgent to do so because cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, with approximately 8.8 million cancer-related deaths in 2015.

This figure is expected to double within the next 20-30 years, and African countries are likely to be the most affected.

Middle East Travellers Rush To Take Advantage Of Trump Setback

immigrantCitizens of seven mainly Muslim countries who were banned from the United States by President Donald Trump can resume boarding U.S.-bound flights, the U.S. government said on Saturday, after a Seattle judge blocked his executive order.

The ruling gave hope to many travellers and sent some scrambling for tickets, worried that the newly opened window might not last long. Trump denounced the judge on Twitter and said the decision would be quashed.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” the president said.

The travel ban, which Trump says is needed to protect the United States against Islamist militants, has sparked travel chaos around the world and condemnation by rights groups who have called it racist and discriminatory.

“Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in it’s death & destruction!” Trump tweeted. “When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security – big trouble!”

In the wake of Friday’s ruling, Qatar Airways was the first to say it would allow passengers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to resume flying to U.S. cities if they had valid documents.

Fellow Gulf carriers Etihad and Emirates said they would do the same, as did others including British Airways, Air France, Spain’s Iberia and Germany’s Lufthansa.

“I am very happy that we are going to travel today. Finally, we made it,” said Fuad Sharef, an Iraqi with an immigration visa who was prevented along with his family from boarding a flight to New York a week ago.

“We were right, we are legal. Even at that time, I was optimistic. I was sure that we were going to go. I didn’t surrender and I fought for my right and other people’s right,” he told Reuters.

The family was due to fly on Turkish Airlines later on Saturday from Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, to Istanbul and then to New York, before starting a new life in Nashville, Tennessee.

Officials in Lebanon and Jordan, however, said they had received no new instructions regarding the Jan. 27 travel ban.

A spokeswoman for budget airline Norwegian, which operates transatlantic flights including from London and Oslo, said the situation was “still very unclear”.