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Minister Receives Audience Measurement Report, Pledges Implementation

 

Minister Receives Audience Measurement Report, Pledges Implementation

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has received the report of the Audience Measurement Task Team, with a pledge to implement it in order to reverse the declining fortunes of Broadcast Advertising in Nigeria.

“Based on the feedback that I have received and the eloquent speech just read out by your Chairman, I am convinced that the report that you are submitting today will go a long way in helping us to achieve our objective, which is to solve the Audience Measurement issue in Nigeria, once and for all,” the Minister said on Thursday while receiving the report virtually in his office in Abuja.

He said the absence of a world-class Audience Measurement System has resulted in under investment in the Broadcast Advertising sector and stunted its growth, unlike the Nigerian film, music and fashion industry industries which have grown significantly over the past decade.

“As I have said on many occasions, the value of Nigeria’s Broadcast Advertising Market is not proportional to the country’s population, when compared to the Top 3 Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite having a population more than three times that of South Africa, Nigeria’s Television Advertising Revenue in 2016 was US$309 million, compared to that of South Africa, which was US$1.3 billion,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

He said with the submission of the report, the immediate task before the government is to bring the under-performing the Nigerian Broadcast Advertising Market to what it should be, which is two to three times its current size.

The Minister said this could result in additional US$400 million of revenue in the industry within the next three years, adding: “The key to achieving that objective is the faithful implementation of the report you are submitting today.”

”Let me assure you that we will study the report and implement the recommendations, especially the 5-Step Agenda, with the same vigour and commitment that you have employed in putting it together,” he said.

In his remarks during the virtual submission of the report, Alhaji Bello-Kankarofi, who is a former Registrar of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, said the current Audience Measurement System (AMS) is two decades old, which still uses the old diary method (pen & paper) of collecting data on TV viewership and Radio listenership across key locations in Nigeria.

Alhaji Bello-Kankarofi observed that the current practice is challenged by the growing number of TV and Radio stations, which the Digital Switch Over mandate will further exacerbate hence the need to replace it with a scientific-based Audience Measurement System.

Other members of the Task Team, which was inaugurated by the Minister on 2 June, 2020, are Mr. Obi Asika; Hajia Sa’a Ibrahim; Mr. Mahmoud Alli-Balogun; Mrs. Pauline Ehusani; Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya and Joe Mutah (Secretary).

The event was attended by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe, and the Acting Registrar of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha.

Segun Adeyemi
Special Assistant To The President (Media)
Office of The Minister of Information and Culture
Abuja
13 Aug. 2020

FOLARIN COKER’S DEATH, A GREAT LOSS TO LAGOS- SANWO-OLU

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has described the passing of the late Chief Nathaniel Folarin Coker as a great loss to the State and Nigeria as a whole.

Coker passed away on Wednesday in Lagos after a brief illness at the age of 97.

Sanwo-Olu in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, on Thursday said the late Folarin Coker was one of the front-runners in the race towards making Lagos a leading State in Nigeria and the West Africa sub region.

The Governor said the late Coker’s contributions to the State’s public service as Permanent Secretary in different ministries are exemplary. He said the late administrator effectively combined work and social life in a way that impacted the State positively.

He said: “the late Folarin Coker lived a very good life. His demise, though a great loss to our dear State, should be celebrated. He served Lagos meritoriously as a public servant in various capacities, contributing his quota to the growth narratives of Lagos.”

“The late Chief Coker was also a socialite of note. I remember that as a young man, I always admired his candour whenever he spoke at social gatherings. He was a representation of the true spirit of Lagos.”

“His service to our dear State as Permanent Secretary took him to various ministries such as Education; Youth, Sports and Social Development, Trade, Mines and Natural Resources as well as the ministry of information and tourism, where he contributed meaningfully to the better and bigger Lagos narrative.”

“I pray for his soul to find peace with his creator. May God grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.’’

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

AUGUST 13, 2020

 

IJEGUN-EGBA TANK FARM: FG, LAGOS STATE GOVT MUST COLLABORATE FOR LASTING SOLUTION – SANWO-OLU

  • Governor Meets Reps Cm’tee, Lists Conditions To Curtail Community Agitation

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has explained what needs to be done in bringing a lasting solution to the lingering disagreement between owners of petroleum tank farms in Ijegun-Egba area of Amuwo Odofin and the residents of the host community.

The Governor said all the Federal Government’s regulatory agencies operating in the area must stop working at cross purposes with the State’s agencies in addressing environmental degradation in the area. He added that the tank farm owners and oil tankers’ drivers must subscribe to operational regulations that limit the loading of tankers beyond their weight capacities.

Sanwo-Olu said the agitation by members of the host community for the relocation of the tank farms may be far from being over, if stakeholders failed to come to discussion table and work collaboratively.

The Governor spoke on Thursday at the State House in Marina when he received in audience members of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Relocation of Tank Farms constituted by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila with the mandate to investigate the matter and give recommendations.

The Ad-Hoc Committee members, who were led by the chairman, Hon. Sergius Ogun, representing Esan North-East/Esan South-East Federal Constituency of Edo State, had initially gone on a two-day inspection to Ijegun before sharing the findings with the Governor.

Sanwo-Olu said the regeneration of Ijegun-Egba was as important to the community residents as smooth transportation of petroleum products was important to the tank farms’ owners. He said the nation could not afford to allow the host community’s agitation to hinder the operations of the tank farms, which, he said, supply 45 per cent of petroleum products consumed in the country.

He said: “The Ijegun-Egba tank farms are strategic national assets created by the private sector to serve the whole country. Between 40 to 45 per cent of the entire petroleum products that go across the country pass through that corridor. Even if it is to cater for our own need, we must take care of those assets, because they are like a strategic reserve for us as a nation.

“The rudiment of the problem in the area is a logistic issue, which is to ensure the movement of oil tankers in and out of the area without affecting the wellbeing of the community members. We have had to contend with environmental issues and the extent of the bad road network on the corridor is glaring. We have seen how small-capacity tankers are carrying up to 70,000 litres of petroleum products when they should be taking only 30,000 litres. This has exerted great pressure on the roads and the officers that are supposed to monitor them look away.

 

“These are part of the issues we need to resolve with the stakeholders. If we can let these people run their businesses within the confines of regulations, part of the solutions would have been achieved in the process. Also, there is need for total regeneration of the roads in the area. We want the environment to be conducive for business, but we must do that in line with safety of lives and property. We have talked with tank farms’ owners and we all need to come together. It is important for the Federal Government’s agencies to have an agreement and we are ready to play our own part.”

The Governor recalled his previous meetings with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on the issues, stressing that genuine solution would be achieved if the entire network of infrastructure in the host community was cleaned up and regenerated.

He disclosed that the State Government had come up with a new design for the regeneration of the area, but added that the efforts could not be rolled out because federal stakeholders had not agreed with the regeneration plan.

Sanwo-Olu said the stakeholders must fashion out ways to achieve efficient enforcement of the operational guidelines for oil tankers plying the area, pointing out that any intervention initiated without keeping the oil tankers within the confines of approved haulage capacity would yield no result.

The Governor described the Ad-Hoc Committee’s mission as “important national assignment”, hailing Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila for prioritising the issue after the motion calling for assessment of the tank farms’ activities was moved in the House by member representing Amuwo Odofin, Hon. Oghere Egoh.

“After your thorough assessment of the situation, I hope you would be able to call all relevant stakeholders and agencies of Government together on the discussion table. We are committed to any effort that’ll bring permanent solution. We know how much of investment we have in the area, but businesses have to be done under a safe and controlled environment. We want every stakeholder to play their roles,” the Governor said.

Speaking on the Committee’s finding, Hon. Ogun pointed to the inability of the Federal Government’s agencies to work collaboratively with the Lagos State Government as part of the reasons the community’s agitation festered.

He promised that the House would prevail on the federal agencies to close ranks with stakeholders and bring about lasting solutions.

He said: “We believe that the federal agencies have not worked together as one. Our mission is to make them collaborate with the State Government. At the end of the day, we want the tank farms to live side-by-side with the community. On our own side as federal institution, we will suck all relevant federal agencies on this project.”

Other Committee members at the meeting include the Deputy Chairman, Hon. Mariam Oruoha, Hon. Tijani Ismail, and Hon. Uko Arochukwu and Hon. Egoh.

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

AUGUST 13, 2020

 

FG yet to respond to COEASU’s demands – Ogirima

As the 21-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government by the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) expires at the weekend, President of the academic body, Mr. Nuhu Ogirima, reveals that no step has been taken by the authorities to meet their demands.

Ogirima, a senior lecturer at the Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi State, expressed disappointment that the Federal Ministry of Education has continued to show reluctance in tackling the lingering issues raised by COEASU.

“The ultimatum is expiring this weekend. They haven’t called us for any dialogue or meeting of any sort. It’s only the House of Reps that called us and we met with the committee leadership. The House Committee on Tertiary Education invited us to a meeting. We discussed. They promised that they will meet with the minister to intervene. The Director of Trade Union Service in the Ministry of Labour called and she also said she will reach out to the Ministry of Education and IPPIS office. That is the level of intervention we have got. But the Federal Ministry of Education has done nothing so far,” Ogirima said.

He disclosed that the union would give FG two weeks extension after which a warning strike will commence to be followed by a full-blown industrial action.

The union leader stated: “We are pushing on. The ultimatum expires by this weekend. The normal thing is that we will complain to the Ministry of Labour that these people have not done anything. So, we will extend it hoping that within the extension time they would act appropriately. If they don’t do that within two weeks we will have no other option besides a full-blown industrial action after we have embarked on a warning strike. What I am trying to say is the fact that we will continue the process to its logical conclusion. There is no going back on it.”

Ogirima accused civil servants in the ministry of education of not properly advising the executive on how the lingering problems could be duly resolved to strengthen the education sector.

According to him, “The core civil servants in the Federal Ministry of Education are also part of the problems that we are witnessing. These issues have lingered for years. The ministry is aware of them. But they are not even keen in pushing the politicians, the executive, the minister specifically in this regard towards doing the needful. They have contributed towards the inability to resolve this crisis that has been there for decades. Like I said, it’s only the ministry of labour that has called us since we issued the 21-day ultimatum. The parent ministry hasn’t deemed it fit to reach us. They have contributed to the issues because they allowed it to linger. They deceive government officials of some extant laws and come up with all sorts of excuses to prolong the issue. I am talking about the core civil servants in the Federal Ministry of Education. They are part of the problems we are witnessing. Other subsectors have resolved their crisis. Look at the health sector; look at JOHESU, the resident doctors. Government has been responding adequately and promptly to their issues. But why has the ministry of education been dilly-dallying? There is nothing happening in the ministry of education. There is no activity going on there.”

 

FROM MICHAEL JEGEDE

MEDIA PROFESSIONAL

ABUJA

 

 

Gov Wike Deserves Commendation Over Court Victory Against Shell

 

The Rivers State Governor, His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Wike deserves commendation and should be appreciated for securing another land mark court victory against Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria for Rivers state.

 

The court judgement in the Suit No.PHC/652/CS/2020 delivered by Hon Justice Charles Nwogu on Thursday, August 13, 2020, is a further proof of Governor’s Wike’s concern for the people and firm belief in the judiciary as the true interpreter of conflicting constitutional matters which has earned the judiciary the toga as the last hope of the common man.

 

The need to approach the court over the failure of SPDC to obey the earlier judgements of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/PH/231/2001, CA/PH/396/2012 and at the Supreme Court in Suit No. SC/731/2017 concerning the interests accrued and not paid from the fixed landed assets in kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and those of lands in Oil Mining Lease No.11 (OML 11) sold to Rivers State has further demonstrated Governor Wike as a law abiding citizen who believes in the rule of law and is ready to pursue any case aimed at securing that which belongs to the state to its logical conclusion.

 

By this judgement the SPDC is duty bound to ensure that the earlier orders of the superior courts are executed to the advantage of the Rivers State government (Claimant) which have been affirmed to be consistent with Section 287(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

 

I therefore, commend Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for refusing to be intimidated and for his firmness in fighting for the possessory and title rights due the State for buying the assets including pecuniary accruals in respect of the fixed assets comprised in Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests comprised in OML 11 which SPDC (defendant) has refused to pay.

 

The judgement has again confirmed the various ways the rights and benefits of the State were being undermined by multinational oil companies who have always taken the peaceful disposition and silence of Rivers people for granted until Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike decided to confront the lingering defendant’s defiant appropriation of these assets despite completed sale of the assets head-on.

 

If the previous administrations had exhibited same vision and tenacity against similar agencies and companies by whatever name called, the infrastructural challenges of the state would have been far less, but thank God we have an amiable, visionary and people-oriented leader like Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who has insisted that it will be no longer business as usual not only to multinational oil companies but also to all government ministries, departments and agencies.

 

I appreciably  thank Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for the court victory against SPDC and pledge my unalloyed support to him as always, in his bid to leave Rivers State economically stronger by plugging all leakages of government’s sources of income and wish to call all concerned organizations doing business in the state to co-operate with the Wike administration in the interest of the people of Rivers State.

 

Signed:

 

Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor

Member, Representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency.

 

Friday, August 14, 2020.

Press Statement

 

Gov Wike Deserves Commendation Over Court Victory Against Shell

 

The Rivers State Governor, His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Wike deserves commendation and should be appreciated for securing another land mark court victory against Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria for Rivers state.

 

The court judgement in the Suit No.PHC/652/CS/2020 delivered by Hon Justice Charles Nwogu on Thursday, August 13, 2020, is a further proof of Governor’s Wike’s concern for the people and firm belief in the judiciary as the true interpreter of conflicting constitutional matters which has earned the judiciary the toga as the last hope of the common man.

 

The need to approach the court over the failure of SPDC to obey the earlier judgements of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/PH/231/2001, CA/PH/396/2012 and at the Supreme Court in Suit No. SC/731/2017 concerning the interests accrued and not paid from the fixed landed assets in kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and those of lands in Oil Mining Lease No.11 (OML 11) sold to Rivers State has further demonstrated Governor Wike as a law abiding citizen who believes in the rule of law and is ready to pursue any case aimed at securing that which belongs to the state to its logical conclusion.

 

By this judgement the SPDC is duty bound to ensure that the earlier orders of the superior courts are executed to the advantage of the Rivers State government (Claimant) which have been affirmed to be consistent with Section 287(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

 

I therefore, commend Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for refusing to be intimidated and for his firmness in fighting for the possessory and title rights due the State for buying the assets including pecuniary accruals in respect of the fixed assets comprised in Kidney Island Base, Port Harcourt and interests comprised in OML 11 which SPDC (defendant) has refused to pay.

 

The judgement has again confirmed the various ways the rights and benefits of the State were being undermined by multinational oil companies who have always taken the peaceful disposition and silence of Rivers people for granted until Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike decided to confront the lingering defendant’s defiant appropriation of these assets despite completed sale of the assets head-on.

 

If the previous administrations had exhibited same vision and tenacity against similar agencies and companies by whatever name called, the infrastructural challenges of the state would have been far less, but thank God we have an amiable, visionary and people-oriented leader like Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who has insisted that it will be no longer business as usual not only to multinational oil companies but also to all government ministries, departments and agencies.

 

I appreciably  thank Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for the court victory against SPDC and pledge my unalloyed support to him as always, in his bid to leave Rivers State economically stronger by plugging all leakages of government’s sources of income and wish to call all concerned organizations doing business in the state to co-operate with the Wike administration in the interest of the people of Rivers State.

 

Signed:

 

Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor

Member, Representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency.

 

 

N27 BILLION ABANDONED MODEL SCHOOLS PROJECT IN OGUN STATE: IBIKUNLE AMOSUN MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!

SPN CALLS FOR AN INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC PROBE PANEL TO INCLUDE REPRESENTATIVES FROM NLC, TUC, NUT, NSE, SOCIALISTS, COMMUNITY LEADERS, CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS AMONG OTHERS.

WE DEMAND ADEQUATELY FUNDED PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT TO EXECUTE ALL PROJECTS AS AGAINST THE CORRUPTION-RIDDEN CONTRACT SYSTEM!

The attention of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Ogun state, has been drawn to recent findings of an investigation conducted into the abandoned multi- billion naira model schools project allegedly undertaken by the past administration of Ibikunle Amosun, and the opaque manner in which the present Dapo Abiodun-led APC government has deliberately shielded and shrouded information regarding the said project. Given this monumental discovery of wastage of public resources and malfeasance, we demand that former Governor Ibikunle Amosun be held accountable. We call for the immediate investigation of the past governor and all persons linked to the failed project, and their speedy trial and stiffest punishment if found guilty. As far as we are concerned, the role of the present Governor Dapo Abiodun in shielding Amosun from prosecution shows that he himself is only planning to commit the same atrocity and mindboggling corruption by the time his tenure is completed.

The orgies of corruption oozing from the N27 billion model schools contracts, as published by an online news media: The Premium Times of 2nd August, 2020 are unsettling. In the reports and observations by The Premium Times, this tale of seeming underhand dealings are  lazed with nauseating, odious, noxious, pathetic and mind-boggling revelations!  All of which has again opened up yet another can of worms in  the sleaze-filled capitalist system, whose reoccurring decimals are greed of profits for a few rich, against the need of the working and poor majority. This was aptly captured in the sordid revelations by the online newspaper. From the reports, It was apparent at the inception, that the multi-billion naira model schools project by former governor Ibikunle Amosun, was self-conceited,  ill-conceived and self-serving, as against the need of the citizenry. The question surrounding the quality and quantity of works done; the non-disclosure of the identities/names of the contractors; the mysteries around the costs/sum total of the execution of the awarded contracts; and the recent barring of access to the abandoned buildings, suggest that both the past governor Ibikunle Amosun and current governor Dapo Abiodun are not only cohorts in subterfuge, but are also subterraneanously and surreptitiously conniving actively to deprive

the good people of Ogun state in particular and the general  public at large,  the true knowledge of how a colossal sum of N27billion of tax payers monies have been squandered  on purported model schools project, that have turned out to be nothing, but a white elephant!

The SPN frowns at the abandonment of the models schools structures by the previous administration and the wily and treacherous methods of the present Dapo Abiodun administration that is deliberately obfuscating information into this monumental wastage and gross recklessness in the management and utilisation of the state resources.  This has again showed as the SPN has always maintained, that the capitalist ruling class both in and outside government, would always at all times protect and defend their class interests and collaborate against the suffering but hard working masses, to guarantee their positions and ostentatious lifestyle unless compelled by struggles and agitation of the working class from below to give way to their demands and interests! Therefore, the SPN calls for the constitution of an independent probe panel comprising of the elected representatives NLC, TUC, NUT, NSE( Nigerian Society of Engineers), Socialists, community leaders, civil organizations and others, to open the financial books of the government both past and present, to determine and ascertain all contentious issues surrounding the award, execution, completion and the payment/non-payment of compensations to individuals/communities, whose land were forcefully acquired for the purported siting of the failed model schools project, with a view to bring to light any financial malfeasance or otherwise in the handling of the  project, and anyone found culpable should be held accountable.

The SPN calls on the NLC, NUT, TUC, Socialists, Civil society organizations and other mass organizations in the state, not to flinch from embarking on campaigns including protest matches, rallies, demonstrations, picketing and other mass actions, to compel the governor, Dapo Abiodun, should his government fail to set up an independent probe panel to look into issues surrounding the model schools contracts. This call is in line with the motto of the present state government: “Igbega Ipinle Ogun, ajose gbogbo wa ni o! So, let’s heed it”.

It would be recalled that the past administration of Ibikunle Amosun had in 2012, embarked on a N27billion naira model schools construction project across the 20 local government areas in the state (though some local governments like ijebu ode and others never got any). These model schools, totalling 26, when completed, the governor had boasted then “were going to raise the education standard in the state as they would provide world-class tutelage”. The schools the then governor said further will provide unparalleled facilities in science, technical education, agriculture, humanities, enterprise and sports with full boarding facilities, to serve the entire. It is envisaged, the governor stressed, that these model schools will produce students who can compete with their peers anywhere in the world”! Some of these model schools only got ‘completed’ in February 2016, when President Mohammadu Buhari and the former governor commissioned them with fanfares. Alas these model schools, never commenced academic activities after the commissioning, save for Akin Ogunpola Model School in the Ewekoro local government. The school admitted 250 pupils for the summer camp in August, 2016. After the summer camp, the school admitted pupils for the 2017 and 2018 academic sessions. But by 2019, dwindling students enrolment due to inadequate learning facilities, lack of teaching and non-teaching staffs, poor academic environment  and other unresolved ills be-devilling the school led to its closure by this present administration!

Ironically, these same model schools according to Mr Segun Odubela, the then commissioner for science and technology of the Ibikunle Amosun’s government, “had gulped N750 million each to build and N300 million to equipped, totally N27.3 billion for the 26 model schools across the 20 local government areas”. Never mind, some local government areas never get to have these schools, yet monies were earmarked and spent on these non-existing model schools project! Surprisingly, all these took place at a time when the  state-owned public primary and secondary schools  were completely comatose, with teaching and non-teaching staffs owed backlog of unpaid salaries and allowances for several months; unremitted contributory pension funds running into billions of naira to the  education workers; withholding of the payment of  deductions from co-operative funds; inadequate funding of existing schools calling for government attentions, poor learning environment; dilapidated academic infrastructure amongst others. Rather than address these malaise, the then government chose to fritter away hard earned taxpayers monies through bloated phantom model schools contracts!  The SPN demands that Former Governor Ibikunle Amosun must and should be held accountable!

To make matters worse, enquiries into the opaque financial dealings and other related matters involving this abandoned model schools project across the state by the past administration are currently being prevented, and information withheld by the Dapo Abiodun’s Abiodun’s government. Aside this, governor Dapo Abiodun, through his special adviser on Basic and Secondary education, Mrs Ronke Soyombo, gave express orders that nobody seeking information about the schools should be allowed access into these abandoned facilities, save for those from the state ministry of education! Added to this, the present administration is doing its best to cover up the seeming corruption that took place in the award of the contracts and execution of these model schools project. The present state commissioner for works Mr Ade Akinsaya, when contacted by journalists seeking information on the exact amount officially budgeted and spent on these abandoned schools project had rebuffed them, and out-rightly refused to even reveal the names of the contractors who built the schools, saying with cheek in tongue that the project was not handled by his ministry! Requests for information about the project from the state ministry of finance, met with iron curtain! While the media aide to the governor Dapo Abiodun, Mr Remi Hazzan in a characteristic showmanship said “that the model schools project were ill-conceived”! He stated further: “you have classrooms that are no longer habitable for teachers and students, and they (the previous government) left all of those ones unattended to and began to build new schools. It means that maintenance culture was expunged from the books” he said!  He did also claim that the Ibikunle Amosun’s administration didn’t hand over the financial and contractual documents of the model schools project to the present administration! But that a project review committee is looking at the project and would soon reveal its findings.

The SPN rejects this selected and handpicked project review committee by the Dapo Abiodun’s government. A committee formed by this government going by the above narratives cannot be entrusted with this kind of task and expect them to be impartial and unbiased with their findings. We therefore demand an independent and democratic project review committee cum probe panel with representatives drawn from the NLC, TUC, NSE (Nigerian Society of Engineers), NUT, Socialists, community leaders, civil society organizations among others, to unravel the mystery surrounding these abandoned schools project that have allegedly gulped N27 billion naira with little or nothing to justify such huge amounts. This has again brought to the fore the need to do away with the anti-poor capitalist policies of government, including the present contract system in the execution of public infrastructural programs that is liable to corruption and mismanagement, and serving as conduit pipe used by government officials both elected and selected, to corruptly  enrich themselves at the expense of the dire needs of the working and poor majority, whose living and working conditions continue to worsen, amidst plenty, through inflated or phantom contracts. We demand that the contract system be replaced by well-funded public works department at the state ministry of works with state of the art equipment under the democratic management and control of the workers, including representatives from host community and other interest groups, in ensuring that not only the proposed project has links with the needs of the citizenry, but to ensure openness, probity and accountability in the execution of all government projects.

It is unacceptable to us as a party that of these alleged 26 model schools built with a colossal N27 billion naira, only two of them currently add ‘value’ of any  kind to Ogun state and it’s good people. HID Awolowo Model College in Ikenne which presently serves as Covid-19 isolation centre, and the school at Obafemi Owode local government has been converted to the base of the much touted Bureau of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), otherwise known as tech hub, whose only claims to tech hub is in the name! The other school structures including the model school in Kemita, Abeokuta south; Adeoye Lambo College in Abeokuta north; Akin Ogunpola Model College in Ewekoro are all presently covered with overgrown weeds, with reptiles and other animals taking refuge in the buildings, whose doors, windows and other accessories have been carted away! Disappointingly, the only consolation that the governor Dapo Abiodun has  offered the good people of Ogun state for this unprecedented waste of state resources is that the model school at Ilaro was structurally defective, promising to demolish it and replace with vocational training centre! He has since kept sealed lips about the other abandoned Schools, while scheming to obscure the searchlight been beamed into the entire skewed model schools project of his predecessor. This failed and abandoned school project is not a one off thing, but rather it was the hallmarks of the previous government.  Failed and abandoned road projects, whose contractors have been mobilized, and in some instances complete payments made, without the project taking off, save for the demolition of structures allegedly obstructing project sites without compensation to the owners, litter every corner of the state. Just to give one example, the reconstruction of Ikangba/Obalende / Lagos Garage / Oke – Owa / Ilese Road, 6-Lane road of 13.5km cutting across three (3) local government areas, awarded to PW, at the contract sum of N8 billion on the 15th May 2017, was abandoned, and remains in the worse condition ever. This is after many houses had been demolished without compensation to the owners by the previous government. Till this very moment, all that general public is inundated with, is the promised desires of the Dapo Abiodun’s government to remobilise contractors to site!

The SPN  therefore calls on NLC,  TUC, NUT and other mass based organizations to lend their  voices to  call on the Dapo Abiodun’s government  to as a matter of urgency, constitute a democratic probe panel with representatives of NLC and others as stated above to open the financial books of the government to ascertain the true state of the abandoned model schools project and other failed and abandoned road projects across the state, with a view to bring to justice those  that are found to have enriched themselves  with monies from these inflated contracts to the  detriment of the poor working people of Ogun state. Failure to heed this call, the trade unions must be prepared to lead campaigns, including mass actions to demand that the Dapo Abiodun government do the needful or resign his position as the governor of the state.

 

Signed

Eko John Nicholas

Chairperson SPN Ogun State

08022634850

 

NDDC Allegations Unfounded – Collincrystal Energy

Denial continues to trail the allegations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) that the Commission was coerced into making underserved payments to some companies and contractors.

One of the listed companies in the NDDC allegations, Collincrystal Energy on Tuesday vehemently denied the allegation.

‘’Collincrystal prides on its integrity and timely completion of awarded contracts. The company does not need any coercion of the National Assembly to get paid’’ a statement by the company’s Head of Project, Mr. Austin Onoje Onokurefe, said.

The company called the allegation spurious, unfounded and baseless.

‘’Collincrystal will go to any length to defend its name which had been built on merit over the years’’ Onokurefe categorically stated.

‘’The company is noted for quick and timely completion of projects among other major companies. Any attempt to tarnish the good name of the company may attract legal actions’’ the statement added.

 

In the same vein, a major construction company, Webster Global Ventures Limited, at the weekend described its inclusion in the list of companies allegedly coerced to be paid by the National Assembly as a deliberate effort to destroy the company’s reputation.

The company described the statement credited to the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei as false, inaccurate, and misleading.

In a statement made available to journalists in Lagos, the company said that the National Assembly never influenced any payment made to the company by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

In the words of the Director of Operations of the Company, Mr. Opeolu Adarae: ‘’we are a company of international repute. No one should dent our image. The National Assembly never influenced any payment made to our company, because we completed all projects handled by us. We have been in existence for 20 years. We have never been involved in fraud. Nobody gave us recommendations. The company does not have any business with the National Assembly. The Executive Director, Project of the NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh inspected the project we completed and certified it’’

The company further urged the management of the Commission (NDDC) to count Webster Global Ventures Limited out of the ongoing saga with the National Assembly.

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