Nigeria To Assume Presidency of Community of Democracies

Vice President, Namadi Sambo has arrived Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital for the 7th meeting of the Community of Democracies (CoD).

The VP will represent President Goodluck Jonathan on the Global Conference on Democracy which will hold between the 27th and 29th May 2013.

The Vice President will engage stakeholders on Nigeria’s democratic gains and its leading role in the democratic transition in Africa.

Nigeria is a member of the governing council of CoD members which has elected Nigeria as the incoming president of the council for the period 2015-2017.

Earlier this month, Nigerian government has organised a two-day national workshop on the theme “Strengthening Democratic Transition and Institutions” which it hopes to adopt as the theme of her presidency of the governing council. Through its initiatives, activities were nurtured to support democratic processes in individual countries.

Other member states are Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Finland, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Republic Of Korea, Sweden, United States and Uruguay.

The Ministerial Conference holding in Ulaanbaatar is the 7th and the conference holds bi-annually to review the organisation’s activities at supporting democratic processes in individual countries.

The conference was first convened at Warsaw in 2000 where the final declaration towards the Community of Democracies was signed.

The VP who was accompanied by his wife Amina Namadi Sambo and the Governor of Gombe State Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo was received by the Vice Minister Foreign Affairs of Mongolia; D Gankhuyaf, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Viola Onwuliri, Nigerian Ambassador to China Amb Aminu Wali and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Poland; Amb Samuel Wodi Jimba, on arrival at the Chinggis Khan airport Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

V.P. Sambo Commissions Projects In Maiduguri Amidst Tight Security

Vice President Namadi Sambo today commissioned some projects initiated by the Borno state Governor Alhaji Kashim Shettima amidst tight security.

Our correspondent reports from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital that all major roads within Maiduguri metropolis were closed to ensure security throughout the day to prevent any attack likely to be staged by the radical sect, Boko Haram.

While in Maiduguri, the Vice President commissioned the Maduganari Bye Pass Road, 144 trucks and drilling rigs at Trailer Park, the Muhammad Shuwa Memorial Hospital before performing the foundation stone laying of 300 Housing Units of Shetima Ali Mongono Teachers village aimed at accommodating teachers in the state.

The Vice President praised the governor for the initiative towards the execution of the projects after the commissioning.

The Vice President while suing for peace assured that the Federal Government will continue to partner with the Borno state government to find lasting peace in the state and the nation at large.

Arch Mohammed Namadi Sabo says with the expected peace the state is currently enjoying, more attention will be focused on projects that will improve the lots of the people.

He says the Kano-Maiduguri road project will be adequately funded and assured that it will soon be completed.

The Borno state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, thanked the vice president in return for the visit and encouragement and for all the assurances in the area of road construction, power supply, afforestation, job creation and the dragging of the Lake Chad Basin as well as the commitment towards drilling the oil within the basin.

The governor also called for the support of the Federal Government towards the resolution of the Boko Haram conflict which he says has affected the prospects of the state greatly since its commencement.

The Vice President later had a closed door session with Borno Elders a meeting believed to be for finding a lasting solution to the restiveness and security challenges plaguing the north-east region of the country.

State Governors, FCT Share $1billion From Excess Crude Acct

The Federal Government has approved the distribution of $1billion among the 36 states and FCT to enable them execute more people-oriented projects in line with the government’s transformation agenda and the need to deliver more democracy dividends.

Briefing state house correspondents after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Tuesday, the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi said that after the deduction only about N9.2 billion will be left in the excess crude account.

NEC also endorsed the implementation of the states GDP computation programme introduced by the Ministry of National Planning and six states of the federation will be used as pilots in the execution of the programme.

Vice President Namadi Sambo presided over the council meeting where issues on the excess crude account, GDP computation, how to curb trafficking in persons in the country and the stoppage of multiple taxation across the states were discussed.

Over the years, GDP has been calculated at the federal level but now the Federal Government says it is also possible to calculate the gross domestic products at the state level.

The council also adopted recommendations on how to stop child trafficking in the country with Abia, Kogi and Ogun states to be treated as pilot cases in a bid to combat the social scourge.

Sambo Charges NIPP Contractors On Dec. 2013 Deadline

 

The federal government has challenged contractors handling projects under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) to hasten action on meeting the December 2013 deadline for their completions.

Vice President, Namadi Smbo gave the challenge in Abuja while presiding over a project management meeting of the NIPP.

He noted that the level of work done by contractors handling the generation projects of the NIPP has improved, saying that most of the projects had been completed, while some were at an appreciable stages of completion.

He, however, frowned at the slow pace of work on some transmission projects across the country.

The VP expressed his delight with the present state of the nation’s power generation capacity, saying that as of December 31, 2012 about 4,517.6 megawatts were being injected into the national grid.

He warned that government would not take it lightly with any contractor who failed to meet the target of all the NIPP projects.

While commending those contractors handling the generation projects, he reiterated government’s commitment to the service delivery to Nigerians.

 

Sambo declares open Eko 2012 as Abdullahi challenges athletes

Vice President Namadi Sambo has declared open the 18th National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012 at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Surulere, Lagos.

Vice President Sambo admonished the participating states to imbibe the spirit of fair play and unity for which the fiesta is known.

The event was different from the previous editions of the festival, as it explained the rich culture of Lagos state.

There was also fire display, eyo masquerade, contemporary dancers, royal dancers and calisthenics.

More than 8,000 athletes from 36 states including the federal capital territory will fight for medals at the biennial fiesta.

Meanwhile the Minister of Sports; Bolaji Abdullahi has challenged the participating athletes to embrace the spirit of friendship which is one of the objective of the National Sports Festival.

Mr. Abdullahi said lessons have been leant from the London Olympics and the talents discovered at the games will be groomed to discover more talents that will represent the country at the 2016 Olympics games in Brazil.

The games begin today with 14 events holding in different venues across the state.

Hoard grains at your own peril, FCT Minister of State tells farmers

The minister of state for the Federal Capital Territory; Olajumoke Akinjide has been reacting to the news that some farmers may be hoarding grains across the country to cause food crisis following the flooding that ravaged some parts of the country.

The minister while paying sallah homage trip to Preisdent Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, also leading a delegation of FCT residents and clerics said that hoarders will do so at their own peril because the country has a enough grains to release at strategic times.

She appealed to Nigerians whether Muslims or Christians to be their brothers keepers an avoid profiteering at other peoples misfortune. She said that the Federal Capital Territory administration will give a human face to issues that concerns the residents wherever they are.

The president re-assured that the Federal Government had enough grains in the National Strategic Reserve which would be released into the system.

He said, “Nigerians should not be afraid that there may be hunger in the land or shortage in food supply as a result of the food incident. We have enough grains in our strategic reserves. The percentage of the farmlands that have been affected by the recent flood is not so high.

“We have enough grains in the National Strategic Reserves that we will release if the nation is threatened by food shortage. But we are not threatened. The people hoarding grains are doing so at their risks and not in the best interest of the country.”

Sambo directs speedy transmission of generated power

Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo has directed the Federal Ministry of Power to ensure speedy evacuation of power generated to ensure constant power supply.

The Vice President gave this directive, when he chaired the 24th Board meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) overseeing the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), at the State House, Abuja.

The Vice President expressed delight with the current generation capacity of over 4,200 megawatts of electricity, he however lamented the lack of integrity and associated problems of the transmission and distribution lines to evacuate the generated power.

Mr Sambo, noted that with the quantity being added to the national grid, Nigerians were experiencing improvement in power supply, and therefore directed the Ministry of Power and the NDPHC to ensure speedy completion of the transmission lines, and the injection substation for the delivery of constant and stable electricity to Nigerians.

He also directed that a meeting be convened to tackle the problem of gas supply to the power plants, which according to him was also militating against power supply.

In line with President Jonathan’s Performance Contract policy, the VP directed that the National Planning Commission to draw up a Performance Contract that will be signed between him and the Board of NDPHC.

He also directed the NDPHC to ensure that such Performance Contract trickles down and that all of its consultants sign the performance bond, which according to him would enhance service delivery.

4,200 megawatts

Earlier the Minister of State for Power, Arc. Darius Ishaku, disclosed that the country is currently generating more than 4,200 megawatts of electricity, saying that the transmission and distribution network has integrity issues, which is affecting the adequate evacuation of the generated power.

He assured the meeting that the Ministry was doing everything possible to arrest the issue.

The Managing Director of NDPHC, who was represented by the Executive Director Technical Services; Mr. Louis Edozien, disclosed that the NIPP projects in Sapele, Alaoji, Olorunsogo and Omotosho were currently generating 1,350mw.

He however, noted that they would have achieved more but for gas supply as he also gave the assurance that progress was being made to ensure early delivery of all NIPP projects in the country.

The board under the chairmanship of the Vice President approved the purchase of replacement parts for Gas Turbines for Calabar, Egbema and Gabarin power plants from General Electric, the original manufacturers.

The board also approved the engagement of fire-fighting management providers for Olorunsogo, Sapele, Alaoji, Omotosho and Ihovbor power plants and the provision of gas pipe line to Geregu Phase II, NIPP power plant were also approved.

While the extension of project consultancy work for construction of Omotosho Phase II power plant was as well approved by the board.

 

HAJJ detention: It will be resolved today – Saudi Ambassador

The Saudi Arabian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Khaled Abdrabuh has given the assurance that the controversy over the detention of  908 female Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and the deportation of some will be resolved later today.

The deported 171 female pilgrims arriving at the Aminu Kano International Airport on Wednesday.

The Federal Government on Wednesday gave the Saudi Arabian government 24 hours to resolve the issue as instructed by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, after he summoned the Arabian envoy to his office.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, who is the head of federal government delegation to Saudi Arabia to resolve the impasse, met with the Saudi Arabia envoy behind closed doors on Thursday.

Honourable Tambuwal in his address to journalists stated that the Nigerian mission in Riyadh is meeting with Saudi authorities to resolve the situation.

However, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign affairs, Representative Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, has warned that Nigeria will not hesitate to bring back her people if the issue is not resolved today.

According to the National Hajj Commission, 908 female Nigerian pilgrims were refused entry into Saudi Arabia, alleging that they breached the escort rules for female pilgrims under Saudi law.

The law of the Islamic nation stipulates that any female pilgrim that is not over 40years old must be accompanied by a male who should either be her husband, brother or father.

The Senate, also in a unanimous motion asked the presidency to immediately take necessary steps to ensure the release of all the Nigerian female pilgrims detained in authorities in Saudi Arabia.

One killed as gunmen attack Vice President’s house in Zaria

Gunmen on motorbikes attacked the country house of Vice President Namadi Sambo in Zaria in Kaduna state on Monday, but he was not in the building at the time, police said.

“The policemen on guard and the assailants were engaged in a gun battle around 11:30, however, a cobbler was hit by a stray bullet and died instantly,” police spokesman Balteh Abdulrazaq said.

“Two police officers sustained bullet wounds on their legs and arms and have since been rushed to an undisclosed hospital,” he said.

Mr Abdulrazaq said no arrest has been made.

“We have already commenced investigation and we are urging the public to remain calm and report any suspicious activities around them,” he said.
Hundreds of miles northwest of Zaria in the remote city of Sokoto, suicide bombers targeted police stations on Monday.

“Two suicide bombers attacked two police formations in the state capital … as a result three people died that includes the two bombers and a police officer,” Muktar Bello, police spokesman in Sokoto, told Reuters.

Suspected members of Boko Haram killed five people and lost four of their members in a series of gun battles in Nigeria’s second largest city Kano on Sunday.

Security experts believe Boko Haram has many cells operating independently from each other. The sect recruits from the millions of disillusioned youths in the impoverished north, who can be easily coerced into joining the insurgency.

FG flags off distribution of free textbooks

The federal government on Thursday, flagged off the distribution of free textbooks and other instructional materials worth about N6 billion to pupils of public primary and Junior Secondary School.

The textbooks are to be distributed to the students in all the 774 local government areas, across the 36 states of the country, including the FCT.

Represented by Vice-president, Namadi Sambo, President Jonathan at the presentation of the textbooks to some students, said the programme will be backed up with equitable distribution and proper use to achieve the goals of the investment in the education sector.

The Vice-president revealed that, as part of its basic education development plans, the federal government in 2010 and 2011 expended about N16.6 billion on the distribution of books and instructional materials to pupils in primary and junior secondary schools.

Also present at the event, was the Minister of Education, Prof Rukayaat Rufai, who noted that the importance of this gesture cannot be over emphasized considering the challenges of funding in the education sector.

The Vice-president, who performed the presentation of the books to selected pupils from different schools, also emphasised the need to support the programme with proper production, distribution and application.

The textbooks distributed covers English language, Mathematics, Social and basic sciences for Primaries 1 and 2 as well as laboratory equipment for Junior Secondary Schools nationwide.

FG Commissions Ultra Modern Voice Of Nigeria Mast

The vice president architect Namadi Sambo has commissioned the Voice of Nigeria’s (VON) ultramodern super transmitting station and its revolving antenna, located at Lugbe, Airport Road, Abuja stating that the project is in line with Federal Government’s commitment to meet the 2015 global deadline for the digitisation of the broadcast industry and international best practices.

The  vice president who represented president Goodluck Jonathan at the occasion said that VON established in 1961, as an external arm of the then Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation was in recognition of the critical role the country was playing in freeing other African countries from the shackles of colonialism.

He charged the management and staff of VON to as a matter of priority develop programmes that would make the Radio station the choice of listeners in and outside the shores of Nigeria.

In his words,”You have the duty of helping to inculcate in all Nigerians abiding peace and pride in Nigeria and the knowledge that we all have a stake in ensuring that our strive towards sustained economic growth and development is not compromised by breaches of peace and security in any part of the country.”

In his remarks, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, called on President Jonathan to ensure the immediate completion of the second phase of the VON project. He also appealed for additional funds for the nation’s information sector for the smooth execution of government transformation agenda.

“With this commissioning , we will now have the most modern radio transmission station in Africa. We will be joining other five countries to claim ownership to this type of technology. The technology we have acquired will make it possible for the Voice of Nigeria to simultaneously broadcast signals to all parts of the world” said the minister.