Tuesday, 30 October 2012

FG Vows To Stop Casualisation Of Workers In Maritime And Other Sectors

 The federal government has vowed to put an end to casualization in the maritime and other sectors of the economy through a new employment policy that would be rolled out soon to sanitize the industries

 The Minister of Labour and Productivity, made this known in Abuja while flagging off the 2012 conference and commissioning of the new National Headquarters of the Maritime workers Union of Nigeria

The Minister who lauded the industrial peace and harmony in the Maritime sector said reforms carried out in the oil and Gas industry by the government would be extended to the telecommunications and the Maritime Sectors

President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria,(MWUN) said while extreme casualization is no longer tolerated in the industry, the union has equally commenced training and retraining of its members to meet up with global best practices at the nation's sea ports

He added that the union has embarked on social welfare scheme for workers in the lower income bracket who constitute the vast majority of the terminal operations workforce

Ribadu Report – No Cover Up From The Presidency

President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that the report of the Nuhu Ribadu led Committee on the Oil sector be submitted to him on Friday November 2nd, 2012.

This followed wide spread controversy that has trailed the Committee report even when it was yet to be officially submitted to the government.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, said the Goodluck Jonathan led government was committed to the campaign against corruption hence there would be no cover up in the findings of the Ribadu Report when the report is finally submitted.

Okupe said the President should be commended for his personal resolve to fight institutionalized corruption in Nigeria instead of the current criticism that has trailed the yet to be released report.

Nigerian, he also stated, should praised the president for ordering  the probe of the Oil Industry for the period of ten years (2002 - 2011) which also covers the tenure of his administration.

 President Jonathan’s unwavering and commendable determination to fight corruption, Okupe insisted, is clearly demonstrated by his approval of the appointment of credible Nigerians, anti Corruption Crusaders and members of the opposition party in the committee.

Court Reject Application To Summon Edwin Clark

A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's request for a court summon of the Ijaw Leader and former Information Minister, Chief Edwin Clark.

The EFCC had prayed the court to summon the elder statesman over his call for the sack of the EFCC boss.

Justice Kolawole stated that Clark is neither a party nor counsel in the matter before him for the oral application to be granted, adding that the commission is at liberty to file formal application to summon Clark before the court.

Ekiti Vows To Consolidate On Impressive Health Records

The Ekiti State government has promised to tackle all primary health issues confronting people of the state as a means to sustaining the impressive records of the state in the health sector.

Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka while speaking in her office during a courtesy call by the Primary Health Care Development Agency, led by the permanent secretary, Primary health in the state ministry of Health, Mrs. Folakemi Olusola Falore, said the state was determined to continue to create awareness and champion immunization rather than rest on her oars as a state that has being free from polio since the last sixteen years.

Olayinka while hinting that the state was prepared to provide adequate fund for the health institutions and health related  programmes to guarantee that the people of Ekiti continues to enjoy good health, said the Dr. Kayode Fayemi led administration was prepared to address the issue of obsolete equipments in its hospitals and primary health centres in the coming year.

In her address, Mrs. Falore who was accompanied on the call by the Director of Primary Health in the Ministry, Dr. Joshua Ileke praised Ekiti mothers for their awareness and cooperation in the agency’s bid to continue to ensure that Ekiti is polio free.

Calling for greater vigilance towards guiding against transfer of polio from influx of persons from the Northern part of the country, she requested for adequate funding for her agency, adding that greater awareness also needed to be created in the state, especially.
Explaining that Ekiti has the lowest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the country, she said the government is working assiduously to attain zero level. She also added that the maternal mortality rate in the South West is 147 out of 100,000 births; the best so far.

Delta Leaders Allege Blackmail, Condemn Attack On Uduaghan, DESOPADEC

 Delta leaders under the auspices of The People’s Movement Tuesday criticized members of the Ndokwa  Youth Elite Forum (NYEF) who recently exhibited their negative obsession with the person of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan  in a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan, saying their actions and activities smack of vendetta, sheer blackmail and hidden agenda to destabilize the state.

The leaders also described the  youths as misguided, misinformed and brainwashed individuals hired by the opposition to foment trouble in the state .
 “ His Excellency is performing and the people are fully behind him" the leaders said in a statement by the Director of Communications of The People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua.

Maintaining that the governor’s approach and style may not have impressed some new generation rabble rousers and political jobbers who see politics as a cake-sharing vocation, the leaders said the petition  was a malicious one aimed at tarnishing the image, personality, character and hard-earned integrity of the governor.

“The executive governor is not reckless as projected by the youths.”

The Ndokwa youths, according to the  leaders, were clueless about the activities of the commission and the realities on ground .

Noting the hypocrisy and the poverty of the criticism,  the leaders stated that DESOPADEC was set up to rehabilitate, rejuvenate and resuscitate the peoples and communities of the oil producing areas of Delta State.

They stressed that a total of N149bn was released to oil-producing communities in the state through the Commission to enable it perform and fulfill its mandate to the people as well as for development projects in the last five years.

 “Delta was not misusing the derivation fund, as 50 per cent of it had been allocated to DESOPADEC.” The leaders said.

They also said top Nigerians and foreigners had applauded the Delta State governor for ensuring economic transformation of the riverine communities, re-building the destroyed and neglected cities of the military crisis of May 13th, 2009 and training of Deltans at home and abroad through its scholarship scheme.

“ The commission has since been recording laudable results in terms of development” the leaders said.

DESOPADEC, the leaders further stated,  awarded 1664 projects in the 19 local government areas which form its areas of jurisdiction between 2007 till date.

“Out of these projects, 347 were cited in Itsekiri, 424 in Ijaw, 455 in Urhobo, 305 in Isoko and 115 in Ndokwa areas”

Recalling the achievements of the commission, the leaders said in July, 2009, the people of Beneku in Ndokwa East Council Area commended the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan for his progrramme of development in the State, especially  on the restoration of Ferry Services to the community for  the crossing of goods and services to and from Beneku community.

They said a team of Americans, led by the Political and Economic Officer of the American Embassy in Nigeria, Helena P. Schrader in January, 2010 visited DESOPADEC in Warri and commended the commission’s efforts,  particularly in  the renovation of police staff quarters at "A" Division, Warri, Miller Water side road, Warri Club Jetty, DEOPADEC head office complex, completed blocks of classrooms and laboratory at Hussey College, Cavagina Primary School block of classrooms, Omatshola Primary School block of classrooms, and block of class rooms at Our Ladys College, Effurun amongst others.

 Emphasizing that Governor Uduaghan and members of his cabinet were responsible, accountable and focused , the leaders called on the people to discard such infamous insinuation and concentrate on those noble objectives that can help reposition the state.

They appealed to members of NYEF to look critically inwards with a view to removing the log in their eyes.

The leaders also appealed to the Chairman of the Itsekiri oil and gas producing communities, Prince Ikenwoli Emiko and others to see the renovation of Police Barracks in Warri and Warri Club by the commission as part of the  social responsibilities of the commission and settle the matter amicably.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Fashola Visits Scene Of Saturday’s Fire Disaster In Lagos, Orders Scene To Be Cordoned Off For Safety Reasons

Sympathizes with traders, affected organizations
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Sunday visited the scene of Saturday’s fire disaster, Euroasia Plaza, on 10/12 Breadfruit Street in Central Lagos ordering that the street be cordoned off until firemen completely put off the fire and engineers determine the structural strength of the building even as he sympathized with traders over the incident.

The Euroasia Plaza, a five-storey building housing wholesale and retail shops as well as a branch of a major commercial bank, was engulfed by an inferno late afternoon on Saturday with the two top floors collapsing on each other just as men from the State’s Fire Service, operating atop a Bronto Skylift aerial ladder firefighting equipment, continued to battle with the fire on the fourth and fifth floors of the building as at Sunday morning.

Speaking to newsmen after inspecting the damage, Governor Fashola said it was expedient to cordon off the street on which the building stands for the safety of all and to ensure that no life was lost as no one could yet determine the structural strength of the damaged building.

“At this stage, we are still battling with the fire. We are yet to know the strength of the damaged building; but meanwhile, the paramount thing is to minimize the loss. 

I have asked the Divisional Police Officer here to cordon off the street. Our Engineers will come to determine the structural strength of the damaged building”, the Governor said.
Addressing traders and other stakeholders in the area later, the Governor appealed to them to cooperate with the police and the firemen by being patient until both the firemen and the structural engineers finish their work on the building explaining that it was necessary to prevent people from trading or going near the building in order to avoid loss of life.

He told the agitated traders, “I apologize to you and others who are doing business here, but we are taking precaution to avoid any loss of life. Every other thing that is lost in the fire is replaceable but we cannot replace life. So let us eliminate the fire and save life”.

He advised them and others living or doing business around the building to keep a safe distance from the building until engineers assess its strength to determine how safe it is adding, “You can see, the fire is not fully out. Until we finish our work, we will not allow you to go close or into the building to avoid any loss of life”.

Responding to a question by one of the affected traders on what Government would do to assist them, Governor Fashola said the major priority for now was to ensure the safety of all, the complete stoppage of the fire and determination of the structural integrity of the building adding that when work on the building was finished, the possibility or otherwise of traders retrieving their goods will be determined following which government could assess and assist on the losses.

The Governor, however, advised the traders not to crowd around fire disaster scenes in future in order not to obstruct firemen who have come to put off the fire adding that such obstructions would not only lead to further spread of the fire but could increase the possibility of loss of life.

“We appreciate your efforts to put out the fire. We understand your sense of being your brothers’ keepers. But it must stop. We have built the capacity to fight fire disasters so your efforts can only aggravate the damage and increase the danger of loss of life. Henceforth, you should keep off the scene and allow professional firemen to do their job”, the Governor said.

He said the difficulty experienced by firemen while trying to gain access to the scene was caused by the traders who have chosen to trade in the streets instead of the modern markets built by the Government in different parts of the State adding, however, that Government would continue to engage with the traders on the issue.

Governor Fashola also advised the traders to take out insurance policies on their businesses against loss and damages such as they experienced as a result of the fire pointing out that in cases like the present fire disaster, insurance companies with which they insured their goods would come to their aid.

Addressing another group of traders and residents of the area at the Martin Street roundabout, the Governor again reiterated the necessity of Government’s action in cordoning off the Breadfruit Street adding, however, that anybody who goes in there would be arrested by the Police.

As at the time of the late morning visit, firemen were still battling with the fire as they continuously fired jets of water towards the smoking ruins of the top floors. No less than 10 modern fire trucks, including aerial ladders, were deployed on the street to fight the fire and prevent it from spreading to adjourning buildings.

On the visit with the Governor were the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, the Special Adviser on the Central Business District, Mrs. Derin Disu and other top government officials.

Fg Pledges To Turn Mro Of Akwa Ibom International Airport To National Hanger

The Federal Government has pledged its readiness to collaborate with Akwa Ibom State Government in turning Maintainance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facilities of Akwa Ibom International Airport to a National Hanger.

President Goodluck Jonathan who made the pledge Saturday during an official reception held in his honour at Government House Banquet Hall, shortly after the inauguration an ultra-modern Governor's Office and ground-breaking ceremony of  International Stadium Complex Uyo.

The President remarked '' The Federal Government has decided to collaborate with the Akwa Ibom State d Government in turning Maintainance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facilities of Akwa Ibom International Airport to National Hanger, which would be of a national importance''.

 He reasoned that having a national hanger was of a national interest to the country, saying ''We would continue to partner with the state and other states to bring in more development to the country. The Governor has done well"

Jonathan, who congratulated Governor Akpabio on the speedy transformation of the state particulary the commissioning of ther new Governor's Office and ground- breaking ceremony of the International Stadium, noted that it showed good leadership and what could be achieved by a leader, recalling that recently he was in the state for the inauguration of e-library and dualised Aka-Nung Udoe Road, among others.

According to him, the feat bore an eloquent testimony of Akpabio administration to modernize the state and contribute to a democratic era as well as a clear indication that democracy is taking a strong root in the state, applauding the present administration in the state for its tremendous performance in the area of infrastructure.

The President said initially he was reluctant to partner the State Government in the consturction of Federal Roads in the state, but he decided to change his mind due to the economic importance of the roads coupled with the fact that Governor Akpabio is capable of completing the job on schedule hence the approval the Federal Government gave to the state government to do so.

Governor Godswill Akpabio said the new Governor's Office was conceived to meet the demands of an ever-changing world, which is not only ICT compliant and facilities needed for e-governance and contemporary governance.

Akpabio hinted that the job was scheduled to be completed in 18 months but commended the Secretary to the State Government being Chairman of Finance and General Purposes Committee for cooperating with Julius Berger Group in completing the job in just eight months.

The Governor hoped the same thing would apply to Akwa Ibom State Stadium which foundation stone was laid today saying the stadium non completion would boast of a 30,000 seater stadium with a banquet hall, proximate conveniences for spectators, restaurants on each floor, among others.

Ekwueme, A Patriotic Nigerian – Amaechi

Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has described former Vice-President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme as a patriotic Nigerian who contributed immensely to promote unity and development in the country.

Amaechi spoke on Sunday at a special thanksgiving service in honour of the former Vice President to mark his 80th Birthday Anniversary held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Port Harcourt.

He said, “I don't see ethnicity in you (Ekwueme), if others have seen, I never see it in you, so we as Nigerians owe you a lot in that regard. Let me tell you that there are those of us who admire you even at the party meetings and one of the things we admire you for is your level of patriotism”, he said.

Governor Amaechi explained that at 80, Dr Alex Ekwueme was still fit to dip into his competences and experiences to add value to the Nigerian society.

“Be rest assured that some of us look up to you after looking up to God, and we will continue to keep the struggle that you are still struggling for, to see if there will be a better Nigeria, and I pray there will be a better Nigerian”.

“An opportunity has opened up now, and that opportunity is the forthcoming constitutional amendment, and as usual Nigerians have started dealing with cosmetics not reality of power distribution, structure of the country, but reality of sharing what and who is what”, he added.

Governor Amaechi told Dr Alex Ekwueme of his readiness to join him in asking fundamental questions that would consolidate the unity of the country at the constitutional amendment.

“And I think I will join you in asking fundamental questions, it is important that we ensure the unity of the country in a way to move the nation forward, and I will join you in that”, he said.

On his part, the celebrant, Dr Alex Ekwueme thanked the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and all well-meaning Nigerians who turned out in their numbers to honour the him.

Edo State House Assembly Dissolves Caretaker Across Eighteen LG Council

Care taker committees across eighteen local government councils in Edo state have been dissolved with immediate effect.

Edo state house of assembly took the decision this morning and directed the former chairmen, councillors and secretaries to immediately hand over all government properties  under their care to the most senior civil servant in the various councils. The continuous administration of the councils with controversy particularly after a high court sitting at Ekpoma nullified their tenure as unconstitutional, null and void. 

The main opposition in the state PDP has also severally challenged the action in court while the state governor remained adamant. 

President Jonathan Visits Taraba Governor Danbaba Suntai At National Hospital, Abuja; Insists That He Is In Stable Condition; Doctors Say Governor May Not Need Surgery For Injuries

Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai may not need to undergo any operation for the injuries he sustained from the plane crash he was involved in on Thursday evening

And President Goodluck Jonathan who visited him at the intensive care unit of the National Hospital where the. Governor was transferred to on Friday afternoon has again reiterated that his condition is stable

Information reaching President Jonathan in the morning was that the Governors condition was stable even if at then there was still talk of him being flown abroad for treatment

The prognosis was encouraging enough for the President to make plans to visit the Governor in the National Hospital where he was being transferred to from the specialist hospital in Yola

At the hospital it would be a battle of wits between newsmen and security agents to get something meaningful to report to the people of Nigeria

The tug of war continued throughout the injured Governors arrival at about 2.15pm to the arrival of the President around 2.45pm

Thankfully, the President conscious of his responsibility to assure Nigerians of the Governor's condition, condescended to speak to the media after going in to see the Governor

His assessment of the situation seems encouraging enough

And to lend weight to his comments, he invites the expert in charge to throw more light on the situation

After struggling to get this story, what is left is to join many Nigerians in wishing the Governor a swift return to full health as against the battery of prophets of doom who had said that he died outright 

Bayelsa Governor Hails Supreme Court Judgement.

 Henry Seriake Dickson has hailed the unanimous judgement of the Supreme Court
upholding his election as the duly elected governor of Bayelsa State.

Governor Dickson who stated this in a release signed by his Chief Press Secretary Daniel Iworiso-Markson says this victory further portrays the judiciary as a cardinal
cornerstone of Nigeria's democracy. 

The Supreme Court in a unanimous judgement dismissed the appeal of Mr. Imoro
Kuboh and his party, Change Advocacy Party (CAP), for lack of merit and further
affirmed the judgements of the lower courts upholding the election of Governor

The lead judgement was delivered by Justice Walter Onoghen.

Governor Dickson, who dedicated the victory to God and the good people of
Bayelsa State, thanked them for their continued prayers and support for his
administration and urged them to be steadfast as the best is yet to come.

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba Condemns Kaduna Bombing

Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has congratulated Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Bishop John Onaiyekan, on his elevation as a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. In a  statement in Abuja, the Senate Leader also expressed worry about the timing of the bombing of a Catholic Church in Malali, Kaduna State, coming on the heels of the euphoria of Onaiyekan's elevation.

The bomb explosion reportedly killed 15 people and injured over 100 on Sunday. Ndoma-Egba noted that evil forces who were obviously not happy with peace ushered in by the Sallah celebrations which saw Christians joining their Muslim brothers to celebrate the festival were behind the weekend bombing.

On the Malali, Kaduna bombing, Ndoma-Egba expressed worry about the choice of Kaduna State when adherents of the two religion had earlier gathered to celebrate the Sallah together: "It is curious that two days before the dastardly act, Christians and Muslim faithfuls gathered together on Sallah day to celebrate the festival.

He said he  find this new spate of bombing not only wicked but evil for anyone to wreak such havoc less than 24 hours after residents of both religions celebrated together in the spirit of peace, tolerance and brotherhood.

The Senate Leader enjoined those affected not to engage in reprisal killings just as he urged them to leave revenge to God.

State creation will Address Marginalization – Mark

   ……condemns renewed attack on churches

President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, yesterday said the National Assembly would consider the creation of more States because that would bring government closer to the people.

He also condemned the renewed attack against places of worship particulaly the attack on St. Theresa Catholic Church, Kaduna on Sunday, adding that it is never too late for the perpetrators of this dastard act to repent from their sinful acts against God.
Senator Mark stated this in his address at the Ojude Oba Festival 2012 held in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State yesterday.

According to him, “Creation of additional States can only make government closer to the people contrary to the view been expressed in certain quarters that we do not need additional States in the Federation.”

He expressed support for the agitation for the creation of Ijebu State out of the current Ogun State noting that new States would address the issue of marginalization been raised in many parts of the country today.

Describing this year edition of Ojude-Oba Festival as a thanksgiving for the good health of Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland, Senator Mark said as a nation of diverse culture, we must take advantage of our diversity by using our culture as a symbol of unity.

He urged Nigerians to come together and emphasis those things that bind us together as a nation.

Earlier, the Governor of the State, Ibikunle  Amosun commended the bound of unity among all the indigenes and residence of the State.

He assured that his administration will continue to work for the development of Ogun State and her people.

In his welcome address, Oba Adetona urged the National Assembly to remedy the injustice been melt on Ijebu people by ensuring the creation of Ijebu State been one of the original 24 provinces of Nigeria that is yet to become a State.

“We have been on this issue of creation of Ijebu State since 1975. The justification for it is abundantly clear. The most worrisome aspect of it was the total neglect of Ijebu community in the State creation exercises that have taken place.

“It is lamentable that Ijebu which in the colonial era was one of the 24 provinces that made up Nigeria cannot today boost of being counted as one of the 36 States that presently constitute the country.” Oba Adetona stressed.

President Jonathan Condemns Kaduna Church Suicide Bomb Attack

 President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned Sunday's suicide bomb attack on a Catholic Church in Kaduna, describing it as "barbaric, cruel and uncalled for."

A statement from the Office of Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity revealed that Dr Jonathan was extremely saddened by the explosion but resolute that the war against terrorism would become more unrelenting as the nation would never give in to the forces of terror and retardation.

 President Jonathan noted that the apparent objective of the criminal and unpatriotic elements and forces behind the attack was to set back the progress the Administration had made in the fight against terrorism in the country.

It is obvious he said that the perpetrators did not mean well for Nigeria and its unity and development, but he insisted that the persistence of messengers of evil would not prevail over the will of the government and the people to secure peace and safety

The President commiserated with the Catholic Church, family and friends of the victims of the bombing, assuring them that government’s resolve to deal with the threat of terrorism remained strong.

 Government's efforts to deal with all acts of terror and violence would only be redoubled even as he promised that the security agencies would continue to receive all the support they needed to reverse the unacceptable trend that threatened the peace and stability of the nation

President Jonathan Directs That Ribadu Committee Report Be Submitted At Presidential Villa On Friday

In the wake of the debate generated by leaked portions of the Nuhu Ribadu led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force in the media President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that a comprehensive report of the body should be presented to him this week. 

A statement from the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati explains that this is in furtherance of the Jonathan administration’s commitment to transparency, probity, and accountability in the petroleum sector

The Committee which was set up in February 2012, was required to, among other tasks, determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues such as taxes and royalties due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria,

The Task Force is also required to take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owed as well as  obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators.

The statement revealed that the presentation of the Committee’s report will take place at the State House, Abuja, on Friday, 2nd of November

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Nigerian pilgrims prepare for Arafat tomorrow

Nigerian Pilgrims today joined others from all over the world to converge in the tent city of Mina ahead of tomorrow’s Arafat day, the high point of this year’s hajj exercise.
The action is in line with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad while the pilgrims would head towards the plain of Arafat tomorrow glorifying Allah in preparation for Eid Kabir salah celebration on Friday.

In related development, the Hajj security command had laid down elaborate plan to facilitate the pilgrims’ movement to Mina and also focused on providing security and safety on all roads leading to the tent city.

The Director of Traffic, Major General Abdul Rahman Bin Abdullah Al-Miqbil, said that 24,000 buses participated in the transportation of pilgrims from Makkah to Mina.
For his part, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior, Major General Mansour Al-Turki, said the main plan focused on transporting over two million pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health says it has not registered any epidemic or quarantine cases during the ongoing hajj exercise.

Spokesman of the ministry, Dr. Khaled Marghalani, said the health condition of the pilgrims is reassuring and advised them to drink plenty of water, fresh juice and dairy products to compensate for water loss.

Senate Accuses Oil Companies Of Hiding Under Weak Laws To Perpetrate Oil Spillage In Nigeria, Moves To Amend Nosdra Act.

The Senate has refuted claims by oil companies operating in the country that 70 percent of oil spills are as a result of sabotage.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki at a stakeholders meeting on the amendment of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency NOSDRA  in Abuja said that fifty percent of oil spills in Nigeria are due to corrosion of oil infrastructure including pipelines that are 40-50 years old.

Senator Saraki noted that oil companies, whose negligence is the major cause of oil spills in the country, hide under the weakness of the oil pipeline Act to escape liability. 
The lawmaker however said that the proposed amendment to NOSDRA Act 2006 will compel polluters to pay compensation to individuals and communities who may have suffer from the impact of oil spills.

Amaechi Swears-In New Rsiec Chairman And Members

Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has sworn in the new Chairman of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC), Prof. Augustine Ahiazu.

Members of the commission were also sworn-in at a short ceremony in government House Port Harcourt, Wednesday. They are, Dr Eddy Adiele, Dame S. O. Nwachukwu, Dr. (Mrs) Vinolia S. Fubara, Ibiso Dakoru, Kennedy Tsaro Pueba and Kathryn Ngozi Ajayi.

Amaechi mandated the commission to organize credible local government elections in the state in 2014.

He said, “I think to an extent I liken the position you hold to that of a pastor which is sacred and you are the Altar of God. I think that the position you hold will determine the credibility of the kind of election you organize.

“Now that you have been chosen, it is between myself and my God and between you, your God and the public. Your name will either be written in the history book of Rivers State as people who have dispassionately discharged their responsibilities or as people who others might see as those who helped to ruin the future of others in the state.”

The Governor said he had carefully chosen the members of the state electoral body to reflect the desire of his administration to organize transparent and credible local government polls in the state.

According to him, “this country must move away from the current situation that we find ourselves where elections don’t matter, where leaders are known as rulers, where they don’t bother about the electorate and this situation where leaders are not accountable to the people because they are not elected; and the only way they can be elected is if the process by which the election is organized is transparent, and that starts with the kind of persons who hold public office.”

Amaechi assured that he would not meddle in the affairs of RSIEC and promised prompt release of funds to enable the electoral body to do its work. 

IGP Places His Men On Red Alert, Orders Adequate Security All To Places Of Worship And Government's Facilities

To ensure a hitch free sallah celebration the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has directed all Zonal Assistant Inspector General of Police AIGs and State Command Commissioners of Police CPs to take provide water-tight security across the country before, during and after the celebration.

IGP also  directed the  Zonal AIGs and CPs to provide  24hrs security around all government installations, facilities and other related vulnerable targets.

The Police Boss instructed  the state commissioners of police to personally ensure all  vulnerable points,  places of worship, recreation centres, resorts and other public places are adequately and effectively protected, to enable worshippers and the general public enjoy maximum fulfillment. 

In a statement signed by the Deputy Force Public Relations officer, Frank Mba, the IGP ordered the Commanders of Police Highway Patrol Teams to ensure  motorized patrols on the nation's highways are targeted at crime and accident prevention while Police men deployed on our highways should render necessary assistance to  road users, accident victims and those who might have suffered vehicular break down.

The IGP warned officers who will be deployed during the period, to ensure that they comport themselves within the confines of the law, adding that they must be firm  polite, civil and professional in the discharge of their assigned roles as well as respect for the fundamental human rights of citizens at all times.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

President Goodluck Jonathan Opens Retreat On Sports To Effect Drastic Review Of The Nation's Sports Policies

 President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday opened a Presidential Retreat on Sports with the aim of effecting a drastic and holistic review of the nation's sports policies

Pointing out that no nation could afford to overlook the relevance of sports to National development and well-being, the President stressed that there was a pressing need to put in place a framework for achieving National Sporting excellence

Though the President's mind set is that this retreat is not being convened to apportion blame or point accusing fingers, already some presentations at this event are doing just that

Government's commitment beyond this retreat is to say the least a tall order: to become the best sporting nation, among the top 4 nations in the Commonwealth and ultimately rule the world

It is difficult to move away from apportioning blame as the presentation of Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi demonstrates

He believes inadequate planning and what he describes as a credibility deficit has been the bane of Nigerian Sports but stresses that  is no excuse for corporate organizations to shy away from supporting sports

Outlining the UK experience, former British Sports Minister, Sir Gerry Sutcliffe says his country went from winning just one medal in 1996 to overwhelming success in the 2012 London Olympics through massive funding of Sports especially in schools and communities

And relating the South African experience, President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Gideon Sam said governments should take control and designate special centers that specialized in different sports

Stakeholders believe poor management, corruption inadequate funding and faulty training procedures are among the problems besetting sports

And amidst the hard talk what shines through is that this will just be another talk shop if steps are not taken to implement the decisions reached 

JTF Arrest Two Vessels

The Joint Military Taskforce in Niger Delta says ten crew members arrested on board of two vessels on the coast of Bonny in Rivers State for illegal oil bunkering are now facing interrogation.
The Commanding officer of the Joint Military Taskforce Operation Puolo Shield in the Niger Delta Brigadier General Tukur Burutai said the vessels MT Theresa Lagos and MT Beco Peter were intercepted while trying to load substance suspected to be illegally processed crude oil.
 Brigadier General Tukur Burutai represented by the chief of staff two Brigade Nigeria Army Colonel Gold Ndubuisi told journalists that the two vessels were arrested on the 17th and 18th of this month.

Man Docked over 7.5m Dollars Trafficking

A young man Abubakar Tijjani Sheriff was brought before a fedral high court in lagos on tuesday for money laundering and trafficking.

The EfCC claimed that the accused was arested with 7.5 million dollars at Muritala Mohamed international Airport on his way to Dubai.

The agency claimed that the accussed only declared 4.5million dollar to the nigerian customs.

The offence is punishable under the foreign Exchange monitoring and misscellaneous provisions.

As at the time of filling this report he is still awaiting his formal arrainment before justice C.J Aneke

Lasaa Says Poster Offenders Switch To Wall Painting

Poster offenders in Lagos State are switching to wall painting, according to Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency (LASAA).“These offenders have now adopted a more brazen approach by painting directly on public walls bridges and pillars” the Managing Director of LASAA, Mr. George Kayode Noah has said.

Commenting Mr Noah said “they have decided to adopt this new strategy following the level of success our Agency has recorded in curbing the menace of indiscriminate posters wherever we find them within the city”. Speaking further on the issue, Mr. Noah noted that the culprits now deploy painting directly on the walls and pasting small stickers on public infrastructures in desperation for publicity as a new method of defacing Lagos.

Mr. Noah warned that “our position remains unchanged about indiscriminate pasting of posters, or painting of public walls. Anyone caught engaging in this illegal act will be prosecuted.” He concluded that LASAA will continue to deploy its resources to fight against these practices. It will be recalled that the Agency in an effort to compliment its poster removal campaign acquired new heavy duty poster cleaning equipment.

Reps To Take Over Kogi Assembly

 The House of Representatives may push for the takeover of legislative duties of the Kogi state House of Assembly following the inability of its ad Hoc Committee to resolve the crisis of leadership there.
Currently the Kogi Assembly is sealed on the orders of the Federal Legislature pending the resolution of the conflict.

Ondo polls: No Need For Tribunal, Mark, Ihedioha tells PDP, ACN, others.

Senate President  Senator David Mark has counselled the defeated governorship candidates of  the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN)  and others in the  last Saturday's Ondo election not to waste time going to tribunal to challenge the winner governor Segun Mimiko.

Mark, who stated this in Quebec, Canada, where he is  attending 127thInter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting,  yesterday , said that the result of the election has confirmed that the wishes of the Ondo people have prevailed.

"It would therefore be an exercise in futility if some people goes to court  to challenge the outcome of the polls even with an overwhelming victory,"the senate president stated.

Senator Mark canvassed that "we, Nigerian politicians must start embracing the democratic culture where the power of the people as expressed through the ballot is  respected and seen as supreme".

According to him, Mimiko  has worked hard to secure the victory ,thus making sentiment canvassed by some politicians during the campaign irrelevant as people preferred merit.
 Also commenting, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives,Sir Emeka  Ihedioha said  that the result of the election in Ondo has shown that the people appreciates performance.
According to him, reports on ground before the election have shown that Mimiko had worked hard for the people in his first tenure and that it was only good the people of Ondo reward him with a second term in office.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Waziri Mobilizes Support For Flood Victims, Leads Ngos To Donate Drugs And Foodstuffs

Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri has charged well meaning Nigerians and friends of the country to step out and give a helping hand to victims of flood ravaging parts of the country.

Waziri made the call on Monday October 22, 2012 when she led some international organisations to donate relief materials such as drugs, foodstuffs, water, mattresses, cloths and others to flood victims in Makurdi, the Benue state capital.

The former EFCC boss had on Sunday, October 21 led top officials of her Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO; Women, Youths, Children and Crime, WYCC and its partners; Helping Hands Foundation, HHF, Primus International Super Specialty Hospital and others to visit the affected areas and relief camps before handing over the relief materials which were received on Monday by the state deputy governor, Chief Steven Lawani who led members of the state executive council to welcome Waziri and her team.

While presenting the materials, Waziri quoted former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill who once said “you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give” to challenge other Nigerians, organisations and friends of the country to stand up and identify with the victims of the flood disaster.

According to her, “I am encouraged by the fact that I know I can contribute, and I therefore believe I can volunteer my contribution. This is equally in the spirit of the call by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan that all Nigerians and organisations both local and international should give a helping hand to governments at all levels to alleviate the sufferings of those that have been affected by this natural disaster.

“As someone committed to service, I believe that in or out of government, we should strive to make a contribution to better the lives of others. As a result, we have to reach out to other like minds who have given us drugs, food stuffs, cloths and other materials necessary for the wellbeing of children and women especially. 

We have gone round the three camps yesterday, Sunday and We want to commend the Dr Gabriel Suswam led government for doing the needful for the displaced persons especially the clinics established to cater for the people living in the camps to avoid an outbreak of epidemic which often follows disasters like this. We are very glad to see the clinics and with this in place, there is a good channel of proper administration of the drugs we have brought and the ones others will bring.

“This little effort we believe is the only way we can overcome the tragedy of an immense disaster like this. We need to pull together little efforts and contributions like this so that as a nation we can help our fellow citizens in great need. Now is the time when the risk to remain in our comfort zones and look the other way when our people are in pains and agonies can be more painful than the cost of making a contribution and offering a helping hand.”

In his response, Deputy Governor Lawani thanked Waziri and her team for identifying with the displaced persons.

“We have received a couple of donors but this is the first time we are having a foundation like this come to support us. Because of the nature of what your organisation is doing, the state government will like to partner with you on how to resettle the victims. Your visit today is a good omen for us because we just learnt that President Jonathan will also be visiting us this week”, he added.

On Waziri’s team were Beverly Nelson, Delitta Whitfield and Louisa Walter of Helping Hands Foundation; Dr Nilesh Vishwakarma and Dr Jojo Vaighue of Primus Hospital among others.

President Jonathan In Niamey: Says Nigerians In Diaspora May Be Able To Vote In Presidential And Gubernatorial Elections By 2015

President Goodluck Jonathan says that it may be possible for Nigerians in diaspora to vote in the 2015 general elections as he has directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to look at the possibility of  Nigerians in Diaspora taking in the presidential and gubernatorial elections as a starting point

President Jonathan disclosed this on Thursday, in Niamey, the capital of Niger
Republic at a meeting with Nigerians residing in that country, where he responded to issues tabled before him  bordering on security challenges, education, roads and power

The President who said he would take who said he will a final decision on the issue next year,promised Nigerian nationals in Diaspora that the administration will soon bring to an end the gory killings of the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram, which had turned the country into a nightmare

According to President Jonathan,efforts by the government had reduced the activities of the group drastically.

He gave assurances that the president that would come after him would not be asked questions bordering on  infrastructure, hinting that before December, most of the major roads in  the  country would be made motorable so as to allow Nigerians travel with relative ease

To this end, the president said he had given marching orders to the Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenmen and his colleague in the ministry,
Bashir Yuguda to massive intervene on all Federal roads across the country so as to improve the condition of the major roads

On the power sector, the president said though power supply had relatively improved, the country would begin to experience relative stable power supply before the end of 2013.

And on education, President Jonathan promised that his administration would do everything possible to complete the ongoing  international school project in