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ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja Authority Abuja Consults Abuja Daily Abuja Independent ABUJA MAIL Abuja MediaGate Abuja MediaGate Consulting Abuja MediaGate Management

• Southern governors urge FG to convoke national dialogue

• Ask Buhari to address Nigerians on challenges of insecurity
• Call for restructuring of Nigerian Federation, review of revenue allocation formula
• Condemn lopsided appointments into Federal Government Agencies
• Insist on state police
• Recommend activation and establishment of ports in other States of the federation
• Ban open grazing
• Say no more cattle movement to the South by foot

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA IN GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA, DELTA STATE, ON TUESDAY, 11TH MAY, 2021

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA IN GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA, DELTA STATE, ON TUESDAY, 11TH MAY, 2021

At its meeting, held today, 11th May, 2021, the Southern Governors Forum reviewed the situation in the nation generally and focused on the current security situation, agitations/restructuring, prospect for inter-state collaboration and partnerships as well as on the incidence of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rising from the meeting, the Forum:

i) affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economíc development and prosperity;

ii) observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part of the country has presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing
various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security. Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across
Southern Nigería;

iii) noted that development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the South. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South (including cattle movement to the South by foot);

iv) recommended that the Federal Government should support WILLING States to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems;

v) agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review
of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism;

vi) recommended that in view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing
governance arrangements, the Federal Government should
convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency;

vii) recommended that in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal
Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogenous;

viii) resolved to foster cooperation among the Southern States and the nation at large. In this connection, Secretaries to the Governments of the Southern States are to work together to develop and institutionalize a mechanism to foster this cooperation which will advance the comparative economic advantages and other interests of the Southern
States;

ix) expressed concern on the continued gridlock on the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway and the chokehold it has exerted on the nation’s economy being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf. The meeting therefore recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other States of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic
activities in the country;

x) the meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country, and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State Governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic;

xi) expressed very grave concern on the security challenge currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people; and

xii) expressed gratitude to our host, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his generosity and hospitality.

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SECURITY: SANWO-OLU, 15 GOVS STORM ASABA FOR SOUTHERN GOVERNORS MEETING

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

•To Discuss Security, Regional Interests, Others

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has arrived in Asaba, capital of Delta State for a meeting with other governors under aegis of the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum (SNGF) to address the growing issues of insecurity and other matters affecting the regions and Nigeria as a whole.

The Southern Nigeria Governors Forum is the umbrella body for all the seventeen governors in South-West, South-South and South-East geo-political zones of Nigeria.

According to the statement issued on Tuesday by Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, the meeting is an intervention by the governors to jointly brainstorm and address burning issues in the Southern part of Nigeria.

The regional security meeting is holding less than twenty hours after Governor Sanwo-Olu hosted a very crucial stakeholders meeting on security in Lagos, to address the challenges posed to the state.

Like Lagos, the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum meeting is expected to critically evaluate the current security situation in the country, the implications for southern Nigeria and proffer an immediate and long term solution so as to keep the region safe and secure for the citizens.

The SNGF, will hold in the banquet hall of the Delta State Government House, Asaba.

Some of the governors who are already in Asaba as at 11:30am for the crucial meeting are the host governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Chairmen, South-West Governors Forum, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

It would be recalled that the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum held a virtual meeting last Tuesday at the instance of Governors Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and David Umahi (Ebonyi) who are chairmen of the South-West, South-South and South-East Governors Forum respectively.

The virtual meeting was attended by 15 out of the 17 governors in the Southern region of Nigeria.

It was during the virtual meeting that the governors agreed to meet in Asaba today for another meeting that will harmonise their positions towards addressing the insecurity and tension in the country, among other issues.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 11, 2021

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There “was a foolish attempt” to burgle my residence – Ibrahim Gambari The Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has confirmed that there “was a foolish attempt” to burgle his residence at 3:00am this morning but it turned out to be unsuccessful. Professor Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa has assured that there is nothing to worry about from the incident. The police, in a related development are searching for a suspected burglar who unsuccessfully attempted break into the house Maikano Abdullahi the Administration Office on Thursday, last week. Maikano lives on the same street with the Chief of Staff, close to the Villa. May 10, 2021 Press Statement APC’s Lies Confirm Its Leaders Are Behind Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries- PDP …Urges Workers to Hold APC Responsible The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the knee-jerk attempt by the pretentious All Progressives Congress (APC) to deny the public declaration by the APC-led Federal Government to slash workers’ salaries, has confirmed that it is indeed the mastermind of the obnoxious policy. The PDP stresses that the frenzy by the APC in hastily assuming the position of the mouthpiece of the Buhari Presidency, exposes a panic measure, symptomatic of being caught in its usual act. Of course, hardened oppressors and political predators always resort to disgraceful and shameless lies when caught in the act. That explains why the APC could expect Nigerians to forget, in a space of five days, the public declaration by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a review of workers’ salaries as well as the merging of agencies of government. Perhaps the lying APC should be reminded how the Minister, at a public function organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja, last Wednesday, unambiguously declared that there were moves to cut workers’ salaries. In the minister’s words, “Mr. President has directed that the salaries committee that I chair, work together with the head of service and other members of the committee to review the government payrolls in terms of stepping down on costs”. It is instructive to remind that the minister’s declaration was immediately condemned by labour unions and other well-meaning Nigerians, who described the move as unacceptable under the current excruciating economic situation. It is therefore absurd and exposes a desperate diversionary measure for the culpable APC to attempt to distort the facts by claiming that the it was the PDP that alleged of plans to slash workers’ salaries, when it was publicly announced by the Federal Government. This attempt by the APC to divert attention from the moves by its government to slash salaries of workers only goes to validate our intelligence that the APC is behind the plots. It is clear that the APC is now overweighed by the burden of being exposed, but resorting to lies and diversionary measures cannot sway Nigerians. Now that the APC is speaking for Mr. President in his manifest failure and anti-people policies, we charge Nigerians to hold the APC, as a party, responsible for any salary cut. Nigerians should also hold APC accountable for the economic strangulation, as well as the escalated kidnapping, bloodletting and worsened insecurity in our country under the Buhari administration. Our party restates our stance that the lying APC and its government must rescind the move to slash the salaries of workers. Instead, the APC should get its leaders to return the over N15 trillion they stole from the national coffers as well as get more competent hands to manage our ailing economy. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI TO MARK EID IN THE VILLA, PLANS MODEST CELEBRATION AT HOME As Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid Al-Fitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, President Buhari directs that all celebrations be limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis. To this effect, the President, First Family, his personal aides, members of cabinet and Service Chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa to observe the Eid prayers. Time fixed for the prayer is 9:00am. Thereafter, there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the President by religious, community and political leaders. As was the case last year, the President encourages such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic. President Buhari specially thanks the Ulama (Islamic Clerics) and all other religious (Muslim, Christian) leaders who continue to pray for the wellbeing of the nation and its people. The President, in addition, takes this opportunity to condole with all who lost family members due to what he described as the ‘madness’ going on in parts of the country. The President calls on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence. “If we attack institutions guarding us,” the President wonders, “who will protect us in future emergencies?” Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 9, 2021 May 10, 2021 Press Statement NPA, NDDC Looting: PDP Demands Amaechi, Usman’s Sack, Prosecution …Says Agencies Are Now APC’s Cash Cows The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over exposed looting of over N165billions in the agency. The party also asks the transport minister to come clean on his reported connection in the alleged involvement of his wife, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The foul stench of corruption oozing out of the NPA, NDDC and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that our MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their cronies in government in their unbridled looting of our patrimony under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch. Our party asserts that the fact that it took the minister a clear six years (2016 to 2021) to query the NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operating surplus of the agency, which is under his purview, is suspect and raises public belief that he (Amaechi) only acted apparently to shied himself after indicting audit documents had already been exposed. This is in addition to reports from the office of Auditor General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under the suspended NPA Managing Director and Amaechi’s ministerial supervision. The audit report also exposed another N15.18 billion allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview. The PDP therefore rejects the obvious attempt at a coverup in the recourse to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry recommended by the Transport Minister to investigate the NPA fraud, in which he also has some questions to answer. Our party insists that both the minister and the indicted NPA Managing Director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and possible prosecution. Moreover, Nigerians are appalled that fingers of fraud allegation are also pointing to the wife of the Transport Minister in a N48 billion contract scam under the sacked NDDC’s Managing Director, Nelson Bambraifa, who was reportedly nominated into that position by the minister of transportation, Amaechi, but fired on allegations of corruption. The PDP describes as unpardonable that the humongous sum in the NDDC contract scam involving the wife of the transport minister was allegedly siphoned under the guise of offering training to unsuspecting youths in the area. It is indeed disgraceful that under the APC that promised to fight and end corruption in our country, the public space is awash with revelations of sharing of government revenues among concubines, wives, girlfriends and family members of top APC leaders. This can only happen under the watch of an absentee president, who also condone corruption. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES DESIGNER OF NATIONAL FLAG, MICHAEL TAIWO AKINKUNMI ON 85TH BIRTHDAY On behalf of all Nigerians and the government, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm felicitations to Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, OFR, on his 85th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with designer of the National Flag, whose creativity and patriotism remain remarkable. President Buhari affirms that Akinkunmi, who is an honorary Life Presidential Adviser, upholds the values that every citizen should emulate for nation building, which include humility, selflessness, integrity and a keen interest in seeking greater good for country and humanity. The President prays that God will grant the octogenarian and retired civil servant longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation he loves so much. Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) May 10, 2021 May 9, 2021 Press Statement PDP Berates APC for Instigating Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country. The PDP alerts that intelligence at its disposal indicates that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the APC administration had plunged our nation in the last six years. The PDP describes as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians. Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget. Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads. Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same to governance. It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities. The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration. Our party cautions that APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut as it will trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation. It is distressing that in the last six years and particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the APC and Buhari Presidency have failed to take any decisive steps to stimulate to economy and promote production. Instead, the APC and its administration had engaged in mindless external borrowings, bulk of which had also been looted by APC leader and their cronies in government. Now that they have borrowed from every corner of the world, the APC and its administration are now turning to salaries of our workers. Our party counsels the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage our economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS VICTIMS OF NIGER BOAT ACCIDENT President Muhammadu Buhari expresses immense grief on the boat mishap in Tijana village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State and extends his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured. According to the President, this incident is more disheartening as some of the victims were reportedly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Commending the life-saving work of the first responders and local divers at the scene of the incident, the President wishes the wounded a speedy recovery and success on the search and rescue of some missing passengers on the capsized boat. President Buhari calls on the transportation authorities to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations on the nation’s waterways and urges that lessons from this accident should help prevent a future occurrence. He assures residents of Niger State that restoring long term stability and peace is a core objective of the Federal Government working with the State government and other critical stakeholders in the local communities. Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 10, 2021 LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR PRESS RELEASE SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES • Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others • Renewed Demand for Special Status Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on some security issues to rein in what they describe as a disturbing trend. Among others, they demanded action against what many described as the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, and violent assaults. It was all at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading lights in security circles listened to a group of panelists who highlighted the state’s security challenges. In the audience were religious leaders, the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council. Governor Sanwo-Olu listed his administration’s efforts in security and assured his audience that a decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals. Its operators, they said, are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal. But those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold. The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which will ply the routes the motorcycles are plying. Besides, those who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs were advised to grab the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and other government programmes. Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by some lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State. The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required an urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations. He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies. “Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.” Sanwo-Olu made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants. He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals. The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level. The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos. He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver on our promises on a safe, secure and livable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.” Appraising security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State. Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered. In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos. He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada. “The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.” “The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.” There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country. The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates. Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to support the Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets from where criminals launch their nefarious activities. Commissioner for Information Mr. Gbenga Omotoso described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given a string of security breaches in the country. He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pickpockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters. “We don’t want our Lagos to become an epicenter of evil and criminality,” Omotoso said. At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest. The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons. “Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others. “Government should take control of abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.” SIGNED GBOYEGA AKOSILE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY MAY 10, 2021 LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR PRESS RELEASE SANWO-OLU RECEIVES LASU PANEL REPORT ON NEW VC’S APPOINTMENT …‘We’re Fair To All’ – Omole Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, received the report of the six-member special visitation panel on the appointment of the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Lagos State University (LASU). The panel, chaired by former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, turned in three volumes of report to the Governor – the Visitor to the university – 37 days after it was constituted to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process of appointing new VC. Sanwo-Olu said he was elated by timely submission of the panel’s recommendations, saying the feat demonstrated members’ competency, selflessness, and hard work put in the task. He expressed hope that the report would enable the State Government achieve peaceful transition and foster peaceful industrial relations in the school. The Governor pledged his commitment to give all stakeholders a level playground and equal opportunity, noting that the panel was raised in the overall interest of students and image of the institution. He said: “Today, I received reports of the special visitation panel on the Vice Chancellorship of LASU, which looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor, especially the remote causes of the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the for the appointment. “This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that will drive the established vision of the school’s founding fathers emerges at the end of the process. “I thank the chairman of the special visitation panel, Prof. Bamitale Omole, and all other members of the panel for the sacrifice, selflessness and inconveniences they had to bear in the course of the task. Report of this panel will be well utilised and its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor of LASU.” Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said the panel was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015. The panel, he said, was charged to look to review, in the public interest, the relevance of the deluge of petitions against the first and second selection processes for the appointment of substantive VC and to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the appointment. Wahab added that the panel was also asked to review and advise on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and make recommendations for the smooth running of the university. Presenting the report, Prof. Omole said: “Without scintilla of equivocation in our findings, observations and recommendations are based on the memoranda submitted to us, the face-to-face interactions and interviews that we had with many of the people who held opposing and disparate position on the matter of the appointment of the 9th VC. “Individuals, groups, associations, unions, guild, the academia and traditional rulers who submitted memoranda were given ample opportunities to present their submissions. The documents we are submitting to the Visitor of the university are final products of the careful and punctilious exercise for official consideration.” Other eminent members of academia on the panel include former VC of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Council of Oba Adetona on Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, former Lagos Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, former Registrar of University of Ibadan (UI), Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, and a Director on Grade Level 17 in Lagos public service, Mrs. Funmilola Olajide, who is the panel’s Secretary. SIGNED GBOYEGA AKOSILE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY MAY 10, 2021 PRESIDENT BUHARI JOINS PRAYERS FOR UNITY, PEACE AS MUSLIMS END TAFSIR President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday joined worshippers for the closing session of the Tafsir at the State House Mosque where prayers were said for Allah’s protection to be upon the nation, its people and the leaders. The President and worshippers listened to the final round of the daily interpretation of the Quran delivered by Sheikh Abdulwahid Abubakar Sulaiman, the Chief Imam, which they had done throughout the fasting period. In today’s episode, the Imam reviewed the virtues of the Ramadan and prayed against disunity, unrest, anger and crimes. He also prayed to God for peace, harmony and security for the nation and its people. In a short sermon to commemorate the end of the exercise, Sheikh Abdulwahid said we desperately need God’s peace in view of the challenges facing the nation and urged all citizens to do justice to one another and seek restoration through repentance, humility and love. Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 9, 2021 Development: South-South leaders applaud Akapbio, Akwa, others South-South leaders on Sunday said the work done so far by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, deserved to be shown to the world. They also urged South-South governors to learn from the example of the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Akwa. At a meeting convened in Abuja, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of direction and values. They accused some South-South governors of adding to the difficulties of the Niger Delta region. ‘’Some people tend to think they can hold the Niger Delta region to ransom, and lay down conditions for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – when to constitute the board, who should be appointed, how many contracts they want and when to pay them or their cronies’’ The leaders underscored the suave style, sound management and extraordinary performance of the NDDC’s sole administrator. Particularly, the prominent South-South leaders accused some governors of the zone of throwing their hate and anger in the public space. They applauded Senator Godswill Akpabio, for bringing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs his intelligence, experience and energy. ‘’We shall never be able to make progress by blackmail threats, corruption of the mind of youth, spreading false doctrines and careless talk’’ Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry in a statement after the meeting said the leaders hailed Akpabio for keeping his word with the people, bringing about conditions for genuine progress and working strenuously for the overall development of the oil rich region. ‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio and the South-South leaders have a joint aim to advance the welfare of the people. They have a vital part to play in the speeding of the region’s development’’ the leaders said. They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for guiding the Niger Delta region steadily forward to progress. The leaders were keen to applaud the attitude the Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has shown thus far as well as his support for the NDDC management. The leaders also underscored the hostile intentions of some youths in the region. They scolded Alhaji Abubaka Amaigo Brown, Bedford Benjamin and Lambart Olambo, accusing them of working against the interests of the region. “Chief Godswill Akpabio is a person of great intelligence. He has extraordinary energy, boundless optimism and vision about the possibilities of progress in the Niger Delta region’’ Niger Delta leaders excited by Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation The rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery by the Federal Government is exciting prominent leaders in the Niger Delta region, who hope the project could contribute to the growth of the country and more jobs for youths in Nigeria, particularly the oil rich region. ‘’That is welcome news for the Niger Delta people’’ the regional leaders said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. The well-known leaders in the region hailed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for engaging host communities appropriately and sourcing about 3,000 workers locally in line with the local content policy. The leaders also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the project. “We are so excited about the plans of the Federal Government to fix the old refinery so that local refining can resume as soon as possible” the leaders said in a statement signed by the Chairperson of Niger Delta People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua. ‘’The Niger Delta leaders remain fully committed to supporting the Federal Government and the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, in the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery’’ the statement said. The leaders praised the Federal Government for the transparent processes and the making of all the process plants hydrocarbon-free to enable the contractor to carry out the rehabilitation work safely. Refurbishing of the technical building, replacement of the fire-fighting and deluge sprinkler systems, refurbishing of 24 offsite tanks, replacement of electrical equipment in the substation, installation of primary earthing integration and new lighting system are some key activities that will be carried out. Pumps, turbines, expander, boilers, compressor fans and blowers, tanks, vessel and drums will also be replaced.


The Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has confirmed that there “was a foolish attempt” to burgle his residence at 3:00am this morning but it turned out to be unsuccessful.
Professor Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa has assured that there is nothing to worry about from the incident.
The police, in a related development are searching for a suspected burglar who unsuccessfully attempted break into the house Maikano Abdullahi the Administration Office on Thursday, last week. Maikano lives on the same street with the Chief of Staff, close to the Villa.

May 10, 2021
Press Statement
APC’s Lies Confirm Its Leaders Are Behind Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries- PDP
…Urges Workers to Hold APC Responsible

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the knee-jerk attempt by the pretentious All Progressives Congress (APC) to deny the public declaration by the APC-led Federal Government to slash workers’ salaries, has confirmed that it is indeed the mastermind of the obnoxious policy.
The PDP stresses that the frenzy by the APC in hastily assuming the position of the mouthpiece of the Buhari Presidency, exposes a panic measure, symptomatic of being caught in its usual act.
Of course, hardened oppressors and political predators always resort to disgraceful and shameless lies when caught in the act.
That explains why the APC could expect Nigerians to forget, in a space of five days, the public declaration by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a review of workers’ salaries as well as the merging of agencies of government.
Perhaps the lying APC should be reminded how the Minister, at a public function organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja, last Wednesday, unambiguously declared that there were moves to cut workers’ salaries.
In the minister’s words, “Mr. President has directed that the salaries committee that I chair, work together with the head of service and other members of the committee to review the government payrolls in terms of stepping down on costs”.
It is instructive to remind that the minister’s declaration was immediately condemned by labour unions and other well-meaning Nigerians, who described the move as unacceptable under the current excruciating economic situation.
It is therefore absurd and exposes a desperate diversionary measure for the culpable APC to attempt to distort the facts by claiming that the it was the PDP that alleged of plans to slash workers’ salaries, when it was publicly announced by the Federal Government.
This attempt by the APC to divert attention from the moves by its government to slash salaries of workers only goes to validate our intelligence that the APC is behind the plots.
It is clear that the APC is now overweighed by the burden of being exposed, but resorting to lies and diversionary measures cannot sway Nigerians.
Now that the APC is speaking for Mr. President in his manifest failure and anti-people policies, we charge Nigerians to hold the APC, as a party, responsible for any salary cut.
Nigerians should also hold APC accountable for the economic strangulation, as well as the escalated kidnapping, bloodletting and worsened insecurity in our country under the Buhari administration.
Our party restates our stance that the lying APC and its government must rescind the move to slash the salaries of workers. Instead, the APC should get its leaders to return the over N15 trillion they stole from the national coffers as well as get more competent hands to manage our ailing economy.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI TO MARK EID IN THE VILLA, PLANS MODEST CELEBRATION AT HOME

As Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid Al-Fitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, President Buhari directs that all celebrations be limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis.
To this effect, the President, First Family, his personal aides, members of cabinet and Service Chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa to observe the Eid prayers. Time fixed for the prayer is 9:00am.
Thereafter, there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the President by religious, community and political leaders. As was the case last year, the President encourages such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic.
President Buhari specially thanks the Ulama (Islamic Clerics) and all other religious (Muslim, Christian) leaders who continue to pray for the wellbeing of the nation and its people.
The President, in addition, takes this opportunity to condole with all who lost family members due to what he described as the ‘madness’ going on in parts of the country.
The President calls on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence.
“If we attack institutions guarding us,” the President wonders, “who will protect us in future emergencies?”
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 9, 2021

May 10, 2021
Press Statement
NPA, NDDC Looting: PDP Demands Amaechi, Usman’s Sack, Prosecution
…Says Agencies Are Now APC’s Cash Cows

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over exposed looting of over N165billions in the agency.
The party also asks the transport minister to come clean on his reported connection in the alleged involvement of his wife, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The foul stench of corruption oozing out of the NPA, NDDC and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that our MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their cronies in government in their unbridled looting of our patrimony under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch.
Our party asserts that the fact that it took the minister a clear six years (2016 to 2021) to query the NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operating surplus of the agency, which is under his purview, is suspect and raises public belief that he (Amaechi) only acted apparently to shied himself after indicting audit documents had already been exposed.
This is in addition to reports from the office of Auditor General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under the suspended NPA Managing Director and Amaechi’s ministerial supervision.
The audit report also exposed another N15.18 billion allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview.
The PDP therefore rejects the obvious attempt at a coverup in the recourse to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry recommended by the Transport Minister to investigate the NPA fraud, in which he also has some questions to answer.
Our party insists that both the minister and the indicted NPA Managing Director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and possible prosecution.
Moreover, Nigerians are appalled that fingers of fraud allegation are also pointing to the wife of the Transport Minister in a N48 billion contract scam under the sacked NDDC’s Managing Director, Nelson Bambraifa, who was reportedly nominated into that position by the minister of transportation, Amaechi, but fired on allegations of corruption.
The PDP describes as unpardonable that the humongous sum in the NDDC contract scam involving the wife of the transport minister was allegedly siphoned under the guise of offering training to unsuspecting youths in the area.
It is indeed disgraceful that under the APC that promised to fight and end corruption in our country, the public space is awash with revelations of sharing of government revenues among concubines, wives, girlfriends and family members of top APC leaders. This can only happen under the watch of an absentee president, who also condone corruption.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES DESIGNER OF NATIONAL FLAG, MICHAEL TAIWO AKINKUNMI ON 85TH BIRTHDAY

On behalf of all Nigerians and the government, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm felicitations to Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, OFR, on his 85th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with designer of the National Flag, whose creativity and patriotism remain remarkable.
President Buhari affirms that Akinkunmi, who is an honorary Life Presidential Adviser, upholds the values that every citizen should emulate for nation building, which include humility, selflessness, integrity and a keen interest in seeking greater good for country and humanity.
The President prays that God will grant the octogenarian and retired civil servant longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation he loves so much.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 10, 2021

May 9, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Berates APC for Instigating Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country.
The PDP alerts that intelligence at its disposal indicates that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the APC administration had plunged our nation in the last six years.
The PDP describes as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians.
Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget.
Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads.
Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same to governance.
It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities.
The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration.
Our party cautions that APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut as it will trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation.
It is distressing that in the last six years and particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the APC and Buhari Presidency have failed to take any decisive steps to stimulate to economy and promote production.
Instead, the APC and its administration had engaged in mindless external borrowings, bulk of which had also been looted by APC leader and their cronies in government. Now that they have borrowed from every corner of the world, the APC and its administration are now turning to salaries of our workers.
Our party counsels the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage our economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS VICTIMS OF NIGER BOAT ACCIDENT
President Muhammadu Buhari expresses immense grief on the boat mishap in Tijana village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State and extends his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured.
According to the President, this incident is more disheartening as some of the victims were reportedly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Commending the life-saving work of the first responders and local divers at the scene of the incident, the President wishes the wounded a speedy recovery and success on the search and rescue of some missing passengers on the capsized boat.
President Buhari calls on the transportation authorities to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations on the nation’s waterways and urges that lessons from this accident should help prevent a future occurrence.
He assures residents of Niger State that restoring long term stability and peace is a core objective of the Federal Government working with the State government and other critical stakeholders in the local communities.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 10, 2021

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES
• Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others
• Renewed Demand for Special Status

Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on some security issues to rein in what they describe as a disturbing trend.

Among others, they demanded action against what many described as the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, and violent assaults.

It was all at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading lights in security circles listened to a group of panelists who highlighted the state’s security challenges.

In the audience were religious leaders, the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council.

Governor Sanwo-Olu listed his administration’s efforts in security and assured his audience that a decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals. Its operators, they said, are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal. But those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold.

The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which will ply the routes the motorcycles are plying. Besides, those who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs were advised to grab the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and other government programmes.

Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by some lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State.

The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required an urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations.

He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies.

“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.”

Sanwo-Olu made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants.

He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals.

The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level.

The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos.

He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver on our promises on a safe, secure and livable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.”

Appraising security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State.

Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.

In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.

“The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.”

“The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.”

There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country.

The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates.

Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to support the Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets from where criminals launch their nefarious activities.

Commissioner for Information Mr. Gbenga Omotoso described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given a string of security breaches in the country.

He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pickpockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters.

“We don’t want our Lagos to become an epicenter of evil and criminality,” Omotoso said.

At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest.

The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons.

“Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others.

“Government should take control of abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 10, 2021
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU RECEIVES LASU PANEL REPORT ON NEW VC’S APPOINTMENT
…‘We’re Fair To All’ – Omole

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, received the report of the six-member special visitation panel on the appointment of the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Lagos State University (LASU).

The panel, chaired by former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, turned in three volumes of report to the Governor – the Visitor to the university – 37 days after it was constituted to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process of appointing new VC.

Sanwo-Olu said he was elated by timely submission of the panel’s recommendations, saying the feat demonstrated members’ competency, selflessness, and hard work put in the task. He expressed hope that the report would enable the State Government achieve peaceful transition and foster peaceful industrial relations in the school.

The Governor pledged his commitment to give all stakeholders a level playground and equal opportunity, noting that the panel was raised in the overall interest of students and image of the institution.

He said: “Today, I received reports of the special visitation panel on the Vice Chancellorship of LASU, which looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor, especially the remote causes of the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the for the appointment.

“This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that will drive the established vision of the school’s founding fathers emerges at the end of the process.

“I thank the chairman of the special visitation panel, Prof. Bamitale Omole, and all other members of the panel for the sacrifice, selflessness and inconveniences they had to bear in the course of the task. Report of this panel will be well utilised and its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor of LASU.”

Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said the panel was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The panel, he said, was charged to look to review, in the public interest, the relevance of the deluge of petitions against the first and second selection processes for the appointment of substantive VC and to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the appointment.

Wahab added that the panel was also asked to review and advise on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and make recommendations for the smooth running of the university.

Presenting the report, Prof. Omole said: “Without scintilla of equivocation in our findings, observations and recommendations are based on the memoranda submitted to us, the face-to-face interactions and interviews that we had with many of the people who held opposing and disparate position on the matter of the appointment of the 9th VC.

“Individuals, groups, associations, unions, guild, the academia and traditional rulers who submitted memoranda were given ample opportunities to present their submissions. The documents we are submitting to the Visitor of the university are final products of the careful and punctilious exercise for official consideration.”

Other eminent members of academia on the panel include former VC of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Council of Oba Adetona on Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, former Lagos Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, former Registrar of University of Ibadan (UI), Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, and a Director on Grade Level 17 in Lagos public service, Mrs. Funmilola Olajide, who is the panel’s Secretary.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 10, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI JOINS PRAYERS FOR UNITY, PEACE AS MUSLIMS END TAFSIR

President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday joined worshippers for the closing session of the Tafsir at the State House Mosque where prayers were said for Allah’s protection to be upon the nation, its people and the leaders.
The President and worshippers listened to the final round of the daily interpretation of the Quran delivered by Sheikh Abdulwahid Abubakar Sulaiman, the Chief Imam, which they had done throughout the fasting period. In today’s episode, the Imam reviewed the virtues of the Ramadan and prayed against disunity, unrest, anger and crimes. He also prayed to God for peace, harmony and security for the nation and its people.
In a short sermon to commemorate the end of the exercise, Sheikh Abdulwahid said we desperately need God’s peace in view of the challenges facing the nation and urged all citizens to do justice to one another and seek restoration through repentance, humility and love.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 9, 2021

Development: South-South leaders applaud Akapbio, Akwa, others

South-South leaders on Sunday said the work done so far by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, deserved to be shown to the world.
They also urged South-South governors to learn from the example of the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Akwa.
At a meeting convened in Abuja, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of direction and values.
They accused some South-South governors of adding to the difficulties of the Niger Delta region.
‘’Some people tend to think they can hold the Niger Delta region to ransom, and lay down conditions for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – when to constitute the board, who should be appointed, how many contracts they want and when to pay them or their cronies’’
The leaders underscored the suave style, sound management and extraordinary performance of the NDDC’s sole administrator.
Particularly, the prominent South-South leaders accused some governors of the zone of throwing their hate and anger in the public space.
They applauded Senator Godswill Akpabio, for bringing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs his intelligence, experience and energy.
‘’We shall never be able to make progress by blackmail threats, corruption of the mind of youth, spreading false doctrines and careless talk’’
Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry in a statement after the meeting said the leaders hailed Akpabio for keeping his word with the people, bringing about conditions for genuine progress and working strenuously for the overall development of the oil rich region.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio and the South-South leaders have a joint aim to advance the welfare of the people. They have a vital part to play in the speeding of the region’s development’’ the leaders said.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for guiding the Niger Delta region steadily forward to progress.
The leaders were keen to applaud the attitude the Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has shown thus far as well as his support for the NDDC management.
The leaders also underscored the hostile intentions of some youths in the region.
They scolded Alhaji Abubaka Amaigo Brown, Bedford Benjamin and Lambart Olambo, accusing them of working against the interests of the region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is a person of great intelligence. He has extraordinary energy, boundless optimism and vision about the possibilities of progress in the Niger Delta region’’
Niger Delta leaders excited by Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation
The rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery by the Federal Government is exciting prominent leaders in the Niger Delta region, who hope the project could contribute to the growth of the country and more jobs for youths in Nigeria, particularly the oil rich region.
‘’That is welcome news for the Niger Delta people’’ the regional leaders said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The well-known leaders in the region hailed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for engaging host communities appropriately and sourcing about 3,000 workers locally in line with the local content policy.
The leaders also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the project.
“We are so excited about the plans of the Federal Government to fix the old refinery so that local refining can resume as soon as possible” the leaders said in a statement signed by the Chairperson of Niger Delta People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua.

‘’The Niger Delta leaders remain fully committed to supporting the Federal Government and the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, in the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery’’ the statement said.
The leaders praised the Federal Government for the transparent processes and the making of all the process plants hydrocarbon-free to enable the contractor to carry out the rehabilitation work safely.
Refurbishing of the technical building, replacement of the fire-fighting and deluge sprinkler systems, refurbishing of 24 offsite tanks, replacement of electrical equipment in the substation, installation of primary earthing integration and new lighting system are some key activities that will be carried out.
Pumps, turbines, expander, boilers, compressor fans and blowers, tanks, vessel and drums will also be replaced.

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SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES


LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

• Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others
• Renewed Demand for Special Status

Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on some security issues to rein in what they describe as a disturbing trend.

Among others, they demanded action against what many described as the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, and violent assaults.

It was all at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading lights in security circles listened to a group of panelists who highlighted the state’s security challenges.

In the audience were religious leaders, the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council.

Governor Sanwo-Olu listed his administration’s efforts in security and assured his audience that a decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals. Its operators, they said, are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal. But those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold.

The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which will ply the routes the motorcycles are plying. Besides, those who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs were advised to grab the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and other government programmes.

Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by some lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State.

The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required an urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations.

He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies.

“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.”

Sanwo-Olu made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants.

He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals.

The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level.

The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos.

He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver on our promises on a safe, secure and livable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.”

Appraising security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State.

Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.

In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.

“The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.”

“The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.”

There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country.

The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates.

Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to support the Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets from where criminals launch their nefarious activities.

Commissioner for Information Mr. Gbenga Omotoso described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given a string of security breaches in the country.

He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pickpockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters.

“We don’t want our Lagos to become an epicenter of evil and criminality,” Omotoso said.

At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest.

The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons.

“Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others.

“Government should take control of abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 10, 2021
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU RECEIVES LASU PANEL REPORT ON NEW VC’S APPOINTMENT
…‘We’re Fair To All’ – Omole

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, received the report of the six-member special visitation panel on the appointment of the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Lagos State University (LASU).

The panel, chaired by former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, turned in three volumes of report to the Governor – the Visitor to the university – 37 days after it was constituted to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process of appointing new VC.

Sanwo-Olu said he was elated by timely submission of the panel’s recommendations, saying the feat demonstrated members’ competency, selflessness, and hard work put in the task. He expressed hope that the report would enable the State Government achieve peaceful transition and foster peaceful industrial relations in the school.

The Governor pledged his commitment to give all stakeholders a level playground and equal opportunity, noting that the panel was raised in the overall interest of students and image of the institution.

He said: “Today, I received reports of the special visitation panel on the Vice Chancellorship of LASU, which looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor, especially the remote causes of the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the for the appointment.

“This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that will drive the established vision of the school’s founding fathers emerges at the end of the process.

“I thank the chairman of the special visitation panel, Prof. Bamitale Omole, and all other members of the panel for the sacrifice, selflessness and inconveniences they had to bear in the course of the task. Report of this panel will be well utilised and its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor of LASU.”

Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said the panel was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The panel, he said, was charged to look to review, in the public interest, the relevance of the deluge of petitions against the first and second selection processes for the appointment of substantive VC and to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the appointment.

Wahab added that the panel was also asked to review and advise on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and make recommendations for the smooth running of the university.

Presenting the report, Prof. Omole said: “Without scintilla of equivocation in our findings, observations and recommendations are based on the memoranda submitted to us, the face-to-face interactions and interviews that we had with many of the people who held opposing and disparate position on the matter of the appointment of the 9th VC.

“Individuals, groups, associations, unions, guild, the academia and traditional rulers who submitted memoranda were given ample opportunities to present their submissions. The documents we are submitting to the Visitor of the university are final products of the careful and punctilious exercise for official consideration.”

Other eminent members of academia on the panel include former VC of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Council of Oba Adetona on Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, former Lagos Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, former Registrar of University of Ibadan (UI), Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, and a Director on Grade Level 17 in Lagos public service, Mrs. Funmilola Olajide, who is the panel’s Secretary.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 10, 2021

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Development: South-South leaders applaud Akapbio, Akwa, others


South-South leaders on Sunday said the work done so far by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, deserved to be shown to the world.
They also urged South-South governors to learn from the example of the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Akwa.
At a meeting convened in Abuja, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of direction and values.
They accused some South-South governors of adding to the difficulties of the Niger Delta region.
‘’Some people tend to think they can hold the Niger Delta region to ransom, and lay down conditions for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – when to constitute the board, who should be appointed, how many contracts they want and when to pay them or their cronies’’
The leaders underscored the suave style, sound management and extraordinary performance of the NDDC’s sole administrator.
Particularly, the prominent South-South leaders accused some governors of the zone of throwing their hate and anger in the public space.
They applauded Senator Godswill Akpabio, for bringing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs his intelligence, experience and energy.
‘’We shall never be able to make progress by blackmail threats, corruption of the mind of youth, spreading false doctrines and careless talk’’
Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry in a statement after the meeting said the leaders hailed Akpabio for keeping his word with the people, bringing about conditions for genuine progress and working strenuously for the overall development of the oil rich region.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio and the South-South leaders have a joint aim to advance the welfare of the people. They have a vital part to play in the speeding of the region’s development’’ the leaders said.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for guiding the Niger Delta region steadily forward to progress.
The leaders were keen to applaud the attitude of the Ijaw National Leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clarks has shown thus far as well as his support for the NDDC management.
The leaders also underscored the hostile intentions of some youths in the region.
They scolded Alhaji Abubaka Amaigo Brown, Bedford Benjamin and Lambart Olambo, accusing them of working against the interests of the region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is a person of great intelligence. He has extraordinary energy, boundless optimism and vision about the possibilities of progress in the Niger Delta region’’

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SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects’


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and members of the National Assembly suspected to be responsible for inserting N39.5bn for apparently 316 duplicated and mysterious projects in the 2021 budget.”

SERAP said: “Any such investigation should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing the duplicated and mysterious projects. Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any stolen public funds should be fully recovered.”

In the letter dated 8 May 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”

SERAP also said: “We are concerned that the N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects may have been used as a ploy to divert and steal vital resources from MDAs. Budget allocations and expenditure ought to be well-suited to ensure access of Nigerians to basic public services, and responsive to the people’s needs in order to prevent corruption or unnecessary or wasteful spending.”

The letter, read in part: “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”

“These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”

“SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”

“Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”

“It would also enable your government to meet Nigeria’s human rights obligations in the way the MDAs under your leadership and supervision allocate, spend and audit the budget.”

“Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“The revelations also suggest that the indicted MDAs lack transparent, accountable, effective and credible budgeting processes to prevent and combat corruption. SERAP is concerned that the Federal Government has not complied with Nigeria’s obligations under international human rights law.”

“SERAP notes that the budget is government’s most important economic policy document. A carefully and transparently developed, implemented and evaluated budget is central to ensuring access of Nigerians to essential public goods and services, and to the effective realization of all human rights.”

“SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to dated, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.

“The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”

“Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”

“According to our information, the security sector received N10.02tn between 2015 and 2021 but without details about how the money has been spent. A total of 117 federal agencies received allocations in the 2021 budget for “security votes” worth N24.3 billion.”

The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
9/5/2021
Lagos, Nigeria
Emails: info@serap-nigeria.org; news@serap-nigeria.org
Twitter: @SERAPNigeria
Website: www.serap-nigeria.org
For more information or to request an interview, please contact us on: +2348160537202

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Development: South-South leaders applaud Akapbio, Akwa, others


South-South leaders on Sunday said the work done so far by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, deserved to be shown to the world.
They also urged South-South governors to learn from the example of the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Akwa.
At a meeting convened in Abuja, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of direction and values.
They accused some South-South governors of adding to the difficulties of the Niger Delta region.
‘’Some people tend to think they can hold the Niger Delta region to ransom, and lay down conditions for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – when to constitute the board, who should be appointed, how many contracts they want and when to pay them or their cronies’’
The leaders underscored the suave style, sound management and extraordinary performance of the NDDC’s sole administrator.
Particularly, the prominent South-South leaders accused some governors of the zone of throwing their hate and anger in the public space.
They applauded Senator Godswill Akpabio, for bringing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs his intelligence, experience and energy.
‘’We shall never be able to make progress by blackmail threats, corruption of the mind of youth, spreading false doctrines and careless talk’’
Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry in a statement after the meeting said the leaders hailed Akpabio for keeping his word with the people, bringing about conditions for genuine progress and working strenuously for the overall development of the oil rich region.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio and the South-South leaders have a joint aim to advance the welfare of the people. They have a vital part to play in the speeding of the region’s development’’ the leaders said.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for guiding the Niger Delta region steadily forward to progress.
The leaders were keen to applaud the attitude of the Ijaw National Leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clarks has shown thus far as well as his support for the NDDC management.
The leaders also underscored the hostile intentions of some youths in the region.
They scolded Alhaji Abubaka Amaigo Brown, Bedford Benjamin and Lambart Olambo, accusing them of working against the interests of the region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is a person of great intelligence. He has extraordinary energy, boundless optimism and vision about the possibilities of progress in the Niger Delta region’’
SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects’

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and members of the National Assembly suspected to be responsible for inserting N39.5bn for apparently 316 duplicated and mysterious projects in the 2021 budget.”

SERAP said: “Any such investigation should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing the duplicated and mysterious projects. Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any stolen public funds should be fully recovered.”

In the letter dated 8 May 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”

SERAP also said: “We are concerned that the N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects may have been used as a ploy to divert and steal vital resources from MDAs. Budget allocations and expenditure ought to be well-suited to ensure access of Nigerians to basic public services, and responsive to the people’s needs in order to prevent corruption or unnecessary or wasteful spending.”

The letter, read in part: “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”

“These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”

“SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”

“Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”

“It would also enable your government to meet Nigeria’s human rights obligations in the way the MDAs under your leadership and supervision allocate, spend and audit the budget.”

“Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“The revelations also suggest that the indicted MDAs lack transparent, accountable, effective and credible budgeting processes to prevent and combat corruption. SERAP is concerned that the Federal Government has not complied with Nigeria’s obligations under international human rights law.”

“SERAP notes that the budget is government’s most important economic policy document. A carefully and transparently developed, implemented and evaluated budget is central to ensuring access of Nigerians to essential public goods and services, and to the effective realization of all human rights.”

“SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to dated, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.

“The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”

“Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”

“According to our information, the security sector received N10.02tn between 2015 and 2021 but without details about how the money has been spent. A total of 117 federal agencies received allocations in the 2021 budget for “security votes” worth N24.3 billion.”

The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
9/5/2021
Lagos, Nigeria
Emails: info@serap-nigeria.org; news@serap-nigeria.org
Twitter: @SERAPNigeria
Website: www.serap-nigeria.org
For more information or to request an interview, please contact us on: +2348160537202

Categories
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APC National Chairman warns Presidential Aspirants, says it is insubordination to start campaigning for 2023


The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday in Abuja said there is no crisis among its national leadership over the race for 2023 presidency.
Alhaji Mamman Mohammed, Director-General Press and Media Affairs to Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and National Chairman, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), said this in a statement.
Mohammed urged the media to resist any form of manipulation and stand for truth and justice at all times.
He said that the plan was to distract the CECPC from the onerous task of rebuilding the party and discredit the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no disagreement between the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
“They have remained good brothers in a very good relationship with a common goal of contributing to the development of their state, party and country.
“The Governor of Yobe and Chairman APC CECPC wish to make it abundantly clear that he is heavily preoccupied with the task of governance of his state and rebuilding the party,’’ he said.
Mohammed said it amounts to insubordination for any loyal party member to start canvassing for any political office two years into the tenure of a sitting president from the party.
He noted that President Buhari had two more years to complete his tenure, adding that it was compulsory on the party and every loyal member to support him and the APC administration.
“We cannot contemplate anything outside the set plans of the party,’’ he said.

Gbajabiamila seeks stronger ties between Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for stronger socio-economic and political ties between Nigeria and Sao Tome & Principe in the spirit of African brotherhood.
Gbajabiamila said both countries could partner in the areas of agriculture, tourism and commerce.
He spoke in Abuja on Friday when he received the President of the Parliament of Sao Tome and Principe, Hon. Delfim Santiago Das Neves, who paid him a courtesy call at the National Assembly.
The Nigerian Speaker, who noted that he had looked forward to such a meeting, added that the world had become a “big village” where countries must work together closely to harness their areas of common interests.
Gbajabiamila cited an example with the 9th Assembly, which he said had deliberately embarked on “parliamentary diplomacy” since 2019 to help build friendships between Nigeria and other countries, especially on the African continent.
He explained that such parliamentary friendship groups helped to resolve issues through legislative interventions and dialogues.
“I am excited because this meeting will strengthen and deepen economic and socio-political ties between Nigeria and your country…
“Sao Tome and Principe is rich in agriculture and tourism. This is an area Nigeria can tap into.
“In our house here, we have, since 2019, embarked on parliamentary diplomacy.
We have established friendship groups with many countries and I use this opportunity to invite Sao Tome and Principe to be part of this process”, he added.
The Nigerian Speaker also invited Sao Tome and Principe to join the Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments, which would hold its inaugural meeting later in October this year.
Sao Tome Principe goes to the polls on July 17 to elect new political office holders, and Gbajabiamila seized the opportunity of Das Neves’ visit to wish the country luck and pray for the success of the exercise.
Speaking earlier, Das Neves said Nigeria and his country were one, as he recalled that the first settlers in Sao Tome and Principe actually came from Nigeria.
He called for improved relations between the two countries, which Das Neves admitted had not grown much in the last 10 years.
Das Neves called for a partnership to promote free trade zones and the establishment of a joint maritime security force to protect people and goods on the Gulf of Guinea.
Das Neves, who said he was happy to visit Nigeria, also solicited Nigeria’s support for the upcoming general elections in Sao Tome and Principe.
Signed:
Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Soso Music, SMW Fashion launch in Lagos

Dubai-based businessman, Mr. Philip Ikezahu has announced the launch of his dual business entities in Nigeria- ‘Soso Music worldwide and SMW fashion line’.

Disclosing this together with his team at their Lekki office recently in Lagos, Mr. Ikezahu, noted that while the Soso Music worldwide is focused on music recording, publishing, promotion and artiste management, the clothing line targeted creating and setting of fashion trends across Africa with youths being its major audience.

Mr. Ikezahu who is also a jewelry merchant in Dubai added that the aim of synergizing both music and fashion is to creatively “create our own market in pop culture and harness it to its fullest. This is because there is a reason to invest in the fastest growing sector of economy in Africa.”

“If you look closely, with Nigeria championing Music and Fashion indusrty in Africa, you will discover that these two sectors are the biggest things to come out of Africa to the entire world. And this has been made possible evidently through our diversity of sound, culture and tradition and content.”

“As we speak, we have rolled out about twenty-five thousand pieces pilot fashion merchandise set to be distributed nationwide; and we expect them to gain huge acceptance from our audience because of the heavy craftsmanship and creativity we have put into the production.”

“We would like the general public to also know that we have created various products for different class strata and we have also set aside a good promotional and advertising budget to ensure that every youth in Nigeria is involved.”

Ikezahu further revealed that the record label arm of the establishment will be announcing the official signing of two recording and performing artistes who are currently ‘warming-up’ to take the Nigerian music industry by storm.

He added that the fashion line on the other hand will in future also expand into model scouting, management, organizing of fashion shows, and exporting talents across Africa.

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Uzodimma’s Stance On State Police Exposes A Sympathy For Bandits, Says PDP

May 6, 2021
Press Statement
…Blames Gov for Crisis in Imo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alerts that the frenzy by Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, against demands by the PDP and other well-meaning Nigerians for the establishment of state police, exposes his sympathy for terrorists and bandits who are killing, kidnapping and ravaging our nation.
PDP’s position is predicated on Governor Uzodimma’s interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, wherein he also attempted to justify President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to wake up to the statutory demand of his office and take expected steps to rescue Nigerians from terrorists and bandits.
The party asserts that Governor Uzodimma’s anti-people stance against efforts to establish state policing system also exposes his insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians in the face of manifest failure by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled federal security apparatus to protect the people.
It is however not surprising that Hope Uzodimma, who is in the Imo State government house as a beneficiary of criminal manipulation of our electoral and judicial processes by the APC, cannot but found himself justifying the failures of his benefactors at the expense of the lives of other Nigerians, including the people of Imo state.
Nigerians are now seeing the faces of the APC leaders who have sympathy for terrorism and should hold such individuals responsible for the activities of such deviants in our country.
Governor Uzodimma, as a former legislator, knows that the Second Schedule (Exclusive Legislative List) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) vests the operation of the police, the military and other armed services; the control of arms and ammunitions as well as criminal records among other statutory paraphernalia of national security on the Federal Government and not the states.
Against this backdrop, any well-meaning leader ought to be lending his or her voice to the call by Nigerians on President Buhari to wake up to his statutory responsibilities as well as initiating the required executive instrument to accelerate legislative actions towards the amendment of relevant sections of the constitution to establish a desirable state police system.
Furthermore, the PDP cautions Uzodimma against politicizing the current security crisis in Imo state which is occasioned by his mismanagement of the sensibilities of the citizens.
Governor Uzodimma should end his pursuits of imaginary traducers and blame nobody but himself and his APC for the crisis in Imo state.
Our party is grief-stricken over the devastation that Governor Uzodimma and the APC have brought to Imo state and urges the people to continue to be peaceful and law-abiding despite the provocations by APC thugs who have been causing mayhem in the state.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

NIGERIA, GUINEA BISSAU TO TAKE BILATERAL TIES TO HIGHER LEVELS

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday said Nigeria was ready to raise the existing cordial relations with the Republic of Guinea Bissau higher to align them with the strategic and economic priorities of the two nations.
President Buhari, who described the relationship between the two countries and their leaders as “robust and stable,” commended President Umaro Sissoco Embalo as a brother and a true friend of Nigeria, endowed with a good vision for his own country and its people.
The President, who spoke shortly after hosting his visiting Guinean counterpart to a private, one-to-one dinner to break their fast said they had candid discussions as friends and brothers.
Throughout the Iftar dinner, the warmth and goodwill between the two leaders was evident for all to see.
President Embalo, in Nigeria for a two-day official visit, said the trajectory of bilateral relations points to a bright future for the two nations and the entire West African sub-region.
He thanked President Buhari for the role he played in the stabilization of his country, saying that Guinea Bissau had been on the agenda of ECOWAS in the last twenty years. He expressed happiness that his country was no longer a problem for its neighbours.
President Embalo said he thought the best moment to visit and say “thank you” and express his country’s appreciation to President Buhari was the period of the Ramadan.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 6, 2021

Gbajabiamila commiserates with Pastor Adeboye over Son’s death

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has commiserated with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, over the death of his son, Dare.
Gbajabiamila said it is painful for a father to lose his child at any point in time, saying the younger Adeboye lived a life full of worship to the Lord and service to humanity.
The Speaker recalled how Dare took after his father in the work of God and rose to become one of the leading youth pastors in RCCG.
Gbajabiamila expressed sadness over the loss of such a “promising young man”.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker sent his condolences to the entire Adeboye family, especially Pastor Enoch Adeboye and his wife, Folu Adeboye.
Gbajabiamila said one could not question God over the loss, but urged the Adeboyes to find solace in the fact that Pastor Dare was a perfect example of how our youth should be and became a role model to many.
“I was saddened by the news of the demise of Pastor Dare Adeboye. His demise is painful, especially now that we need youth like him to serve as role models to their peers.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Adeboye family and the entire RCCG family at this difficult moment.”
“I pray that the good Lord will find a peaceful resting place for Pastor Dare Adeboye,” Gbajabiamila said.
Signed:
Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU COMMISERATES WITH PASTOR ADEBOYE OVER SON’S DEATH

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has commiserated with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye and his wife, Pastor Folu Adeboye, on the death of their beloved son, Pastor Dare Adeboye.

Pastor Dare Adeboye, an Assistant Pastor in charge of Youth in Region 35 of RCCG and third surviving child of the renowned cleric, died in his sleep on Wednesday in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. He was 42-year-old.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, expressed his heartfelt sympathies, urging the deceased family, friends, associates and entire members of RCCG to take the death of Pastor Dare Adeboye in good faith.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “no doubt the death of a loved one is usually painful as it is irreparable but we must always take solace in God especially if the deceased had lived a good life, just like the late pastor Dare Adeboye.”

He said “The pastoral and wise counsel of Pastor D as he was fondly called will be sorely missed by his family and the entire members of RCCG, especially in Eket, Akwa Ibom, where he played active roles as a cleric before he passed on.

“I sympathise with Pastor Enoch Adeboye, his wife, siblings and widow of the deceased and the entire members of RCCG. I pray that God will grant the late Pastor Dare Adeboye eternal rest and grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 6, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI COMMISERATES WITH PASTOR ADEBOYE ON DEATH OF SON

President Muhammadu Buhari extends deepest sympathies to the family of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), on the passing of his son, Pastor Dare Adeboye.
Also commiserating with members of the RCCG on the demise of the Assistant Pastor in charge of Region (Youth) 35, President Buhari urges them to find comfort in the teachings of the Holy Scriptures that those who have chosen to serve God faithfully will see Him as He is in eternity.
The President prays God Almighty to grant the departed rest in His everlasting kingdom and comfort grieving family, friends and associates.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 6, 2021

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU COMMISSIONS 66-CLASSROOM BLOCKS IN FOUR LAGOS SCHOOLS

…As Governor connects 100 schools to broadband Internet to aid learning
…State to unveil 300 more education projects next week

Four magnificent newly completed school buildings were unveiled on Thursday by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu across three Local Government Areas (LGA) in Lagos State.

The multi-level ultra-modern buildings are part of the infrastructure projects completed by the Ministry of Education under the Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP), which is covering 970 basic and secondary schools across the State.

Sanwo-Olu inaugurated the school projects amid praises by teachers, students and their parents. As he stopped in each of the beneficiary schools to formally open the buildings, the Governor was warmly received by cultural troupes made up of pupils, singing in appreciation of the gesture.

Four-storey buildings of 18 fully furnished classrooms each were commissioned by Sanwo-Olu in Fazil Omar Senior High School, Iwaya, Yaba; Onike Girls Junior High School, Onike-Iwaya, and Igbobi Junior High School, Somolu. The fourth school project is in Akintan Junior Grammar School on Clegg Street, Surulere, where the Governor opened a single-story building of 12 fully furnished classrooms.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration’s intervention in education was predicated on revamping the learning environment and introduction on technology to raise quality and deliver excellent results.

He said education remained one of his Government’s building blocks to achieve its vision of Greater Lagos, adding that the projects would further strengthen the effort to achieve the goals in “Education and Technology” pillar of his T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.

He said: “The move to actualise our Greater Lagos vision is hinged on delivering quality education as building blocks. We flagged off the upgrade of infrastructure in schools to deliver 300 classrooms, including seven new hostel blocks across our boarding schools.

“Some of the projects are being commissioned today and they include a block of 18 classrooms with administrative offices, library, laboratory, toilets, and water supply systems each at Igbobi Junior College, Fazil Omar Senior High School Iwaya and Onike Girls High School, Iwaya.

“We aggressively embarked on these projects to accelerate our children’s access to world-class learning environments, thereby providing requisite facilities and security in the schools that cut across Education Districts and Local Government Councils. All of these efforts are taken to expand access to quality education for our children irrespective of their location.”

In complementing the facility upgrade, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government had started to roll out fibre optics across the State-owned schools to aid learning through high-speed Internet connectivity.

Before end of the month, the Governor said broadband Internet infrastructure would be completed and commissioned in 100 schools selected for pilot scheme.

From next week, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that members of the State’s Executive Council would be commissioning iconic schools projects across the State, as part of the activities marking his second year anniversary in office.

The Governor acknowledged the national feats in academic recorded in the 2021 National Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientist (JETS) Competition held last February in Abuja, in which pupils of Lagos State origin won 11 medals and 10 trophies in various categories of the academic contest.

Also at the recently concluded Maltina School Games, Lagos emerged the Overall Best State, clinching 21 gold medals. Sanwo-Olu described the feats as part of the results of his administration’s investment in education.

He promised to continue to improve the standard of education and quality of teaching personnel to make Lagos schools a positive reference point.

He said: “The infrastructure being put in place in our schools would amount to nothing if they were not complemented by competent, dedicated and passionate teachers. I assure all parents that the standard of education will continue to rise and we will not stop until Lagos schools become a positive reference point across the globe.”

Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, said the Governor’s focus was not on infrastructure upgrade alone. She said the State’s intervention had also touched all elements of the value chain in education, including teachers’ recruitment and training, teachers’ rewards, curriculum review, investment in technology for learning, and provision of teachers tablets, among others.

She said the inaugurated projects were parts of the 1,097 projects being undertaken by the Sanwo-Olu administration, covering comprehensive upgrade of 970 public primary and secondary schools.

In the LMDGP, the Commissioner said the State Government had supplied 86,000 dual furniture sets to 775 schools, constructed 70 new school buildings, renovated 197 schools and built eight new hostel blocks in the State-owned boarding schools.

Adefisayo said: “The State Government’s ultimate purpose is to ensure that all students in our schools receive sound and quality education in a good environment. It is wonderful to see that these promises are being kept. In less than 2 years, the State Government has met every one of these promises to a significant extent.”

Chairman of Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), Mr. Hakeem Smith, highlighted the details of the projects, pointing out that the intervention addressed spatial functionality, design efficiency, building durability, adequate ventilation and natural lighting.

He added that the Committee, since its inauguration in November 2019, had embarked on the construction of several classroom blocks, school hostel accommodation cutting across 100 primary and secondary schools in the State.

On the top most floors of the inaugurated schools are laboratories, assembly grounds and office spaces for teaching personnel.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 6, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI SAYS IDENTITY KEY TO PEACE, STABILITY, URGES MORE COMMITMENT TO NIN REGISTRATION
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja called on Nigerians to fully participate in the ongoing synchronization of National Identification Number (NIN) with SIM cards across the country as it will provide a digital framework for improving security and strengthening of the economy.
Launching the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigerian Telecoms Sector and Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Cards registration, the President said proper identification of all Nigerians and legal residents in the country and ability to conveniently access a data base will provide impetus for more effective planning and security oversight.
“The NIN will cover one of the weaknesses in our security structure. We will be able to easily identify and know the personality of Nigerians. We will identify people easily, including the crooks,’’ he said.
The President said the launch of the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration was quite timely and will support efforts to enhance security and develop the economy.
“The National Identification Number is the foundational digital ID for the country; both Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to obtain the NIN. It will provide access to government services and will give government useful insights that will enable us to utilize scarce resources in a more efficient way,’’ he added.
President Buhari noted that the first National SIM Policy was launched in February 202o, and the revised policies were in full alignment with the objectives of the administration in the areas of economic development, security and anti-corruption.
“The Digital Economy sector has made significant progress and recorded a number of unprecedented achievements since we expanded the mandate of the Ministry of Communications to include the digital economy mandate.
“The Information and Communications Technology sector was the fastest growing sector in both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the entire year 2020, based on the Report by the National Bureau of Statistics.
“The sector’s 14.70 per cent double digit growth rate played a principal role in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth rate of the sector exceeded four times the next fastest growing sector of Q4 2020, ICT Sector which had a growth rate of 3.42 per cent. This is truly commendable,’’ the President added.
President Buhari said the digital economy sector provided online options for activities that were hitherto restricted to offline channels, while minimizing the disruption to activities of both public and private sectors, and reducing cost of meetings.
Accordingly, he said the National Policy for Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector was in line with the administration’s commitment towards ensuring that Nigerians become active participants in the different sectors of the economy, including the telecommunications sector.
“The Federal Government embraced institutionalizing online meetings through the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions. As a result of this, we now have virtual Federal Executive Council, virtual Council of State and virtual National Economic Council meetings, among others, even though this development was triggered by COVID-19,’’ he said.
“As a country, our desire to produce what we eat, and consume what we produce is not limited to the literal meaning; rather we want to work towards being self-sufficient in every sector of the economy. For the telecom sector, we want Nigerians to play a major role in the design and manufacture of devices, in meeting the manpower requirements and in becoming an active part of the telecommunications ecosystem of the country.
“The policy aims to achieve this and I have earlier directed the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, to develop the structure for its implementation and forward this to the Nigerian Communications Commission to implement. We are confident that the execution of the Policy will further enhance our economy and lead to the creation of jobs,’’ the President noted.
President Buhari said there had been many futile attempts to promote the use of digital identity in the past: “Previous attempts have been unsuccessful due to a number of reasons, including sabotage. Our focused approach shows that this administration is dedicated to ensuring that we derive the benefits of a secure and robust digital identity system.’’
The President assured that his administration was fully committed to the safety of Nigerians and linking the SIM to NIN will significantly enhance security, aid in national planning and budget preparations.
In his remarks, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy appreciated the President for the continuous support to the telecoms sector, including regulators and operators, thanking him for the keen interest in ensuring that the security sector gets a boost with more information on Nigerians and legal residents.
The minister noted that the NIN Registration had recorded a huge success with 54 million Nigerians already captured in the process, adding, “within six months over 12 million enrolled.’’
Dr Pantami said it was now possible to have virtual ID cards that can be used in various transactions, assuring that the NIN and Sim card registration for Nigerians and legal residents will cover 99.9 per cent.
He said the buoyancy of the telecoms sector had given Nigeria many leadership roles in international organisations, listing the impact on education, training, health and welfare of many, including the establishment of 600 computer centres, and a world class sim card manufacturing company in the country.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 6, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS TOP FLIGHT ADMINISTRATOR, AL-HASSAN YAKMUT SALEH, AT 60

President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates with quintessential administrator, Al-Hassan Yakmut Saleh as he turns 60 May 5, 2021.
The President appreciates decades of service to the country by Saleh, in different areas of endeavor, including sports, management and administration, rising to the position of Director-General, National Sports Commission.
Equally worthy of note, President Buhari says, are top flight appointments held by Saleh, including; Chef De Mission, 12th All African Games, Deputy Chef De Mission, Olympics Games, and Secretary, Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board, urging the younger generation of Nigerians to emulate such devotion to duties.
Rejoicing with the Yakmut Saleh family, professional colleagues, friends and well-wishers of the administrator, the President wishes him Godspeed, good health, and greater service to motherland.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 5, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI REJOICES WITH SENIOR JOURNALIST, ABUCHI ANUEYIAGU, AT 60
President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates with journalist and fervent Buharist, Abuchi Anueyiagu, as he clocks 60 May 6, 2021.
The President salutes the staying power of Anueyiagu, a long-time supporter, who has weathered all storms to stand by his convictions, saying; “more of such men are needed at times like this in our country.”
President Buhari rejoices with the media fraternity, the Anueyiagu family, friends and associates on the milestone occasion, wishing the journalist good health and length of days to continue serving his community, profession, and the country at large.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 6, 2021

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EBIRERI HENRY IN DELTA STATE, BEREAVED

Renowned Journalist, Henry Ovie Ebireri, is due in Delta State today.
Ebireri is participating in the burial of his brother, Mr. Tony Ebireri.
Tony Ebireri died in Warri.
The well-known media professional told newsmen in Lagos ‘’I am bereaved. I lost my brother, Tony Ebireri. He died in Warri’’
The funeral service will take place on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in Sapele. He will be buried on Friday, May 7, 2021 in Ugbimidaka-Elume, Delta State