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Nigerian government has failed in rice self-sufficiency

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An investigation carried out by Nigeria’s Premium Times has found that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) failed in its quest to make the country self-sufficient in rice production.
The Times reported on Monday that a joint investigation with Buharimeter into rice production in five states; Lagos, Ekiti, Kebbi, Kaduna and Ebonyi and in neighbouring Benin Republic found that the government’s flagship Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, which was touted as Nigeria’s answer to self sufficiency, had failed in most places.

It said the government was unable to recoup a large chunk of the N55 billion loan (nearly R2 billion) already disbursed.
Angry farmers claim the programme has been hijacked by local politicians who disburse funds to fake producers and has become a means of rewarding political patronage.

Attempts by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria to salvage the programme have stalled while complaints concerning expired herbicides, bad seeds and funding shortages threaten to further derail it.
APC boasted in March that agriculture was the core of Abuja’s economic policy, and President Muhammadu Buhari said he would invest heavily in the sector as a means of creating jobs in the hinterlands while also putting money into the local telecommunication infrastructure.

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AN INVESTIGATORS ANALYSIS BETWEEN THE CHINEDU OBIDIGWE AND VICTOR ENEH

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Before delving into any of public interest, it behooves any informed person to seek and get information on the matter under discourse, analyse the information, dissect same in his write-up and form his own opinion. However, these days, people just jump into matters and take stands based on social media gossip and rumour mongering.

I took my time to get information on the Obidigwe and Eneh matter and here are my findings:

Mr. Victor Eneh has made several libelous publications against Chinedu Obidigwe using his APGA Interactive Forum (AIF) Media on Facebook ranging from his claims that Chinedu Obidigwe is training militants at Omasi to the claim that Chinedu Obidigwe was extorting aspirants on the platform of APGA to the claim that Mr. Obidigwe is conducting oath-taking with aspirants at shrines. That Chinedu Obidigwe is a school dropout etc. The sensational publications on Obidigwe on the AIF Media platform is not less than 50. You can confirm this by logging onto Facebook and joining the AIF Media Platform.

Mr. Chinedu Obidigwe sent a petition dated the 24th October, 2018 to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State asking that the Mr. Victor Eneh be investigated. Specifically, the petition stated:

“Sir, we wish to note that criminal defamation constitutes a crime in the laws of Nigeria and under the relevant laws of Anambra State. We refer to the offences of Criminal Defamation of character as contained in Sections 323 to 326 of the Criminal Code CAP 36 Revised Laws of Anambra State 1991 as well as the law relating to provoking breach of peace by offensive publications as contained in Section 2 of Defamatory and Offensive Publications Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 as well as the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015.”

The Petitioner added:
Worse of all, the suspect has been boasting of his connections in the hierarchy of the Nigerian law enforcement agencies. He also claims that with his money and connections with highly placed sponsors, he will publish anything about anybody including our client and nothing will happen to him. In effect, he lives and feels that he is above the law.

The Petition was approved and some policemen detailed to arrest Eneh. The policemen invited Mr. Eneh to come to the Police and answer the case but he disappeared. For 2 weeks the police in Abuja and Awka were on his trail but he kept hiding switching off his phone most times until luck ran out of him and he was caught with a runs girl in a Hotel at Enugu in the early hours of Thursday 15th November, 2018. Eneh tried to jump from Police Vehicle and run away from the Police station in Enugu where the Policemen from Awka went to make entry that they have arrested him and that was when Eneh was handcuffed.

On getting to the State CID, Awka the policemen confronted Eneh with the Petition against him and asked him his response to the allegations. Mr. Eneh admitted that he did what he was accused of. He only said that he has freedom of information to write those things. When he was asked to show the aspect of freedom of information that allows him to spread falsehood about people, he became moot. The police got their file ready to get Eneh to Court and the charge was approved by all relevant authority at State CID, Awka. When the Police had finished preparing Arraignment Notice and are getting ready to take Eneh to Court Mr. Eneh asked the investigating team that he wants to settle with Mr. Chinedu Obidigwe. That he was going to withdraw the libelous write-ups and apologise.

The Team Leader then called Mr. Chinedu Obidigwe to inform him of the development and asked him to come down to State CID for them to see how the matter would be resolved. Obidigwe responded that he would have wanted any settlement to be in Court so that Mr. Eneh would not say he was forced but nevertheless agreed to get to the State CID in 1 hour. However, within that 1 hour the people whom Eneh thanked in his ‘appreciation message’ posted on Facebook at 5PM on that day had started pressuring the Commissioner of Police to have Eneh released. They told the CP that Mr. Eneh was being detained for nothing. Of course, he was released on the orders of the Commissioner of Police before Obidigwe showed up. Chinedu Obidigwe did not see Eneh for 15 hours the he was arrested and released. Mr. Eneh was directed to report to the Commissioner of Police office on Monday 19th November, 2018 for the CP to take a final stand on the matter. Unfortunately, Mr. Eneh is trying to put his Surety Chief Mike Okechukwu Nweke (Akaeze Igbakwu) in trouble because he is claiming to want to die which is an indication that he does not want to attend the CP interview on Monday.

Interestingly, the same day that Eneh was bailed from police, Eneh did not show the pictures of any bodily wound or anything indicating beating by anybody. He first posted online the pictures of himself and his surety. Next, he posted the pictures of himself, his wife and surety and finally he posted the pictures of himself and numerous other people drinking themselves to stupor and making merry at a beer parlour. This was after he was then coached and tutored to start his ‘Chinedu Obidigwe beat me and I am about to die drama series’ which are stuff better than most Nollywood movies. But it has become too late because people don’t have amnesia. People are lampooning him and his ilk with each they tell online presently.

Now, Eneh’s main predicaments are as follows:

His allegations of beating and illegal detention against Mr. Chinedu Obidigwe are mere allegations which nobody would act on unless he writes a petition to that effect. Now if he writes a petition to Abuja, the CP on whose order he was released and who wants to look into the matter would be mad at him. The CP would also feel betrayed by Eneh’s godfathers who begged him to release their boy who was being ‘persecuted’. Unfortunately, Eneh will not have the courage to attend the CP interview because the facts are overwhelming and if the CP reviews the charge he would order Eneh to be charged to Court.

Eneh by planning to dodge the Monday interview is also putting his Surety, Mike Okechukwu in trouble because the police can easily declare him wanted and no Ifeanyi Ubah or Chike Obidigbo can bail him then. Both of them would be in a hot soup.

Eneh’s lawyers are planning to take the police to Court under Fundamental Rights but unfortunately, the CP who ordered for his release will be the first Defendant in that case and it is not going to be funny at all. Again, the case will make the police to ‘kuku’ charge him to Court. Mr. Eneh cannot use Court to stop police from investigating him or charging to Court. His lawyers are aware of the position of the Courts on this matter as enunciated as follows:

Attorney General Anambra State v. Chief Chris Uba (2005) 15 NWLR (Pt. 947) 44 ; where Bulkachuwa JCA held – “For a person, therefore to go to Court to be shielded against criminal investigation and prosecution is an interference with powers given by the Constitution to law officers in the control of criminal investigation The order of perpetual injunction restraining the appellants is unconstitutional because it is an interference with the powers given by the Constitution to Police Officers to investigate and prosecute crimes”.

Inspector General of Police v. Ifeanyi Ubah & Ors (2014) LPELR-23968(CA) where Iyizoba JCA said that – The plaintiff cannot expect a judicial fiat preventing a law officer in the exercise of his Constitutional power.” It is indeed trite that no Court has the power to stop the Police from investigating a crime and whether to or how it is done is a matter within the discretion of the Police.

Other relevant cases here are Fawehinmi v I.G.P. (2002) 7 NWLR (Pt. 767 606; Agbi v. Ogbeh (2005) 8 NWLR (Pt. 926) 40; Christlieb PLC v. Majekodunmi (2008) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1113) 324; Onah v. Okenwa (2010) 7 NWLR; Hassan v. E.F.C.C. (2013) LPELR (CA)

What is the way out for the parties?
The way out the imbroglio is for Mr. Eneh Victor to abandon his cheerleaders who want to cheer him on to prison and make peace with Chinedu Obidigwe. He should also change his brand of activism and social media journalism. Anyone who studied mass communication or journalism knows that press freedom, freedom of information etc like every other laws have limitations. You can be popular by making up salacious stories against people but at the end of the day you are endangering yourself. If however, he must continue with that gutter journalism, charity should be extended to home since it did not started at home. He cannot say that Enugu State is better than Anambra State in all ramifications. The fixation on Anambra lends credence to the assertions in some quarters that he was hired to cause trouble in the state. Let him imagine if someone from Anambra had been making up these stories about the government and people of Enugu State. What would have been the fellow’s fate?

As for Obidigwe, if Eneh becomes reasonable and climbs down from the hire horse of intrigues he was propped on by the people using him as pawn, forgive him and move on. At least you deserve some commendation by going to law enforcement agents. Mr. Eneh’s desperation to change the narrative instead of proving his sensational stories to the police shows the discerning world that he was simply lying. There is no need to push the matter further unless he continues on the path of perfidy.

Social media journalist should also learn from this. There is a limit to what you are allowed write in the media. Many people have gone to prison for saying what they can’t prove on social media. In March, a judge in Katsina State sentenced Gambo Saeed of Muduru village in Mani Local Government Area to nine months imprisonment for insulting and defaming the state governor, Aminu Masari, on social media.

Similarly, in October 2016, John Danfulani, a former lecturer of the Kaduna State University, was charged under Section Sections 417 and 418 of the Penal Code for a Facebook post deemed as inciting by the Kaduna State government. Mr. Danfulani who resigned from his post at the state-owned university after he was suspended by the university management for the said Facebook post, was remanded in prison for 13 days before he was granted bail. The case is still on but clearly, Mr. Danfulani is not finding it funny. In August, Johnson Musa, 32, a civil servant in Kogi State was arrested and charged for to Court for posts he made against Gov. Bello of Kogi State. He was accused of threatening and exposing Mr. Bello and his family to harm.
For our information, Section 24 of the Cybercrimes Act provides that:
“He knows to be false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another or causes such a message to be sent commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

Section 2 of the legislation further stated that any person who intentionally transmits any communication through a computer system or network to bully, threaten or harass another person, where such communication places another person in fear of death, violence or bodily harm or to another person” commits an offence under the act and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years and/or a minimum fine of N25,000,000.00.
We should all be careful about what we write. This is my humble opinion!

 

The pictures of himself, his wife and surety and finally he posted the pictures of himself and numerous other people drinking themselves to stupor and making merry at a beer parlour after his release .

 

C.E. Okafor Esq.,
Laywer and Public Affairs Analyst

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FG Declares Tuesday Public Holiday to Mark Eid-El Maulud

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The Federal Government has declared Tuesday as Public Holiday to mark the Eid-el Maulud.
The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), made the declaration on Friday in Abuja in a statement by Dr Mohammed Umar, Permanent Secretary of the ministry.
Dambazau called on Muslim faithful to align themselves with the prophet’s teachings which border on piety, charity, tolerance and peaceful co-existence, among others.
He equally called on all Nigerians to uphold these virtues with a view to overcoming the current national challenges facing the country.
Dambazau assured that the Federal Government remained committed to the unity of the country, and as such, would put adequate structures on ground towards ensuring that forthcoming general elections were credible, free and fair.
He wishes all Nigerians a joyous and peaceful Eid-El Maulud.

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Okowa Calls For Review Of Law Establishing TETFUND

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DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has called for review of law establishing TETFUND to cater for both private and public institutions of higher learning.
The governor made the call today at the combined convocation ceremony of Western Delta University, Oghara, Ethiope West local government area of Delta State.
According to Governor Okowa, “the law setting up TETFUND should be looked into because, it is right for TETFUND to assist the private Universities. Whether private or public, they are training our children.”

He congratulated the graduating students and challenged them to have the zeal to succeed, noting that, “all over the world, the days are gone when you will graduate from the university and carry certificate, moving from one place to the other searching for job; as you go out engage in lawful business, pray and trust in God.”
While assuring of his administration’s commitment to continuously partner with private and public institutions of higher learning, Governor Okowa congratulated the Western Delta University for the successful ceremony.
Chancellor of the University, Obong Victor Attah informed the graduands that “knowledge is not merely a certificate but a deep understanding of issues,” stating that they should deploy knowledge they have acquired to effect positive changes in the society.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Otete Okobiah in his address, stated that, “we are graduating five sets of graduands, 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.”
Former Governor of Delta State and Visitor to the University, Chief James Ibori, former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbenedion, former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) were among dignitaries that graced the ceremony.

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THE ANAMBRA STATE HON COMMISSIONER FOR WORKS, CHIEF ENGR. MARCEL IFEJIOFOR BAGS NSE’s PROFESSIONAL FELLOWSHIP AWARD

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BY MADUABUCHI NWALIEJI

THE Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) founded in 1958 is the umbrella body of the engineering profession in Nigeria. Over the years, the society has distinguished itself through various programmes making it an avenue for true professional development for its members and the technological advancement of the country.

In recognition of the meaningful contributions of its members to the advancement of technology and also those who have distinguished themselves in various spheres of life, every year the society during its national conference singles out such esteemed members for commemorative awards.

Chief Engr. Marcel Ifejiofor’s pedigree as a distinguished Commissioner in addition to his professional qualification, undoubtedly, earned him the award.

The distinguished FNSE award will be presented by the National President of the NSE, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu, FNSE to Anukanu Aguleri at the 9th fellowship conferment ceremony & lecture scheduled to hold on Friday 23rd November, 2018, at the Banquet hall, NAF Conference centre & suites, Kado district, Abuja. Chief Engr. Marcel Ifejiofor had a month earlier been conferred with the Most Distinguished award of Excellence and Icon of Infrastructural Development by the Students Union Government of Nnamdi Azikiwe University in the occassion of the 25years anniversary of the University.

The award is therefore an endorsement and a confirmation of his astute leadership qualities and human character traits, which has also endeared him to well-meaning people and organizations. The society rightly invited him for the award, which has enlisted him into the Board of Fellows of the NSE in Nigeria.

CONGRATULATIONS TO CHIEF ENGR. MARCEL IFEJIOFOR, THE HONOURABLE COMMISSIONER FOR WORKS ANAMBRA STATE.

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Peter Obi, Ghost Of The Past And Reality Of Today

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By Abdullahi O Haruna

Never live in today like tomorrow won’t come, while he reigned supreme as the lord of the manor, he exhibited certain needless manifestations that were antithetical to common sense. In a swift moment of needless impulse, he bundled some northerners, mostly those who engaged in menial jobs for survival and marched them in trailer load back to their base. To him, these guys had no business being in Anambra State. Those who were allowed to stay behind were marked with identity ropes dangling on their necks. This same lethargic indecision was extended to neighboring southeastern states when he sacked civil servants who aren’t indigenes of Anambra State. They were tragic decisions that left a sore reference in the idea of one Nigeria. Nothing breaks the fiber of a society like the flagrant display of divisiveness.

Mr Peter Obi is dangerously being haunted by the hubris of his self-inflicted past, like a book every chapter is open to unbury gaffes, lies and double-faced personality. In one of his outings on the popular talk show platform, he regaled the audience on his prudent and austere lifestyle, so excited was he that he announced to the boisterous crowd of having just a wristwatch! He was cheered to high heavens as that leader that isn’t defined by the ostentatious bait of life. In the same vein, the soft-spoken former governor of Anambra announced his penchant for traveling on economic class, not staying in expensive hotels and bragging of owning just a house. These were however punctured as a house in the United Kingdom was traced to him with pictures of him adorning different shades of wristwatches.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) running mate to Alhaji Atiku in the forthcoming presidential elections was also recently busted with the echoes of his past stance when he vehemently referred to Muhammadu Buhari as being too old to be president in 2015. According to him, a 72-year-old man has no business. Unfortunately, Mr Obi is today standing in supportive tissue with Atiku who is 72 years old! Talk about consistent inconsistency. Tracing the many inconsistencies of Peter Obi was the reported embarrassing situation where the convoy of the former governor was sighted and caught in front of Next International Offices in Apapa, Lagos, carrying a whopping sum of N250 million in raw cash. Public calculations were made and plausible questions were put forth on why a ‘financially disciplined’ former banker would have to move a quarter of a billion naira in this era of seamless electronic cash transfer?

Is Mr Peter Obi living a two-faced life where what he preaches is in variance with who he is? Did the man overrate himself in sanctimonious garb to hoodwink the people when in measurable sense there are frightening contradictions in his personality? Should we allow Obi’s sheer boost of falsehood in the face of glaring truth? In every element of the future, there is an iota of the past. Those who look up to the future must have their past in tandem to the reality of today. It would be unfair to allow the inconsistencies in the beautiful profile of Peter Obi to sail on when he can address them now that he seeks the mandate of the people. Leadership founded on deceit is a catalyst to a dysfunctional society. We are where we are because of where we are coming from and where we are today determines where we will be tomorrow.

Whoever must lead us must carry the ware of integrity in character and deeds; never again shall we go back to the era where lies and deceits were the ingredients of existence. Great nations are made when the people are governed by people defined by the true spirit of honesty, moral compass, and by leaders whose patriotism overwhelm their personal interests devoid of primordial sentiments. This is the time to scrutinise the characters of our leaders beyond what they throw at us. For Mr Peter Obi, he alone can bury the ghosts of the past  by coming out clean in his true character.


| Leadership Newspaper

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OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT :NO VIOLATIONS IN APPROVAL OF N5.8B EMERGENCY FOOD INTERVENTION FUND FOR NORTH EAST

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Our attention has been drawn to a report of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness issued on Thursday, November 8, 2018, particularly in respect of funds released for “emergency intervention of food security to the North-East” in June 2017, when the Vice President was Acting President.
In its report, the Committee alleged that a sum of N5,865,671,939.26 was approved and released in June 2017 vide a Memo raised from the Office of the Acting President, directing the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation to so act. The House Committee also concluded that the payment made was in contravention of approval of the National Assembly. This conclusion is both false and misleading.
To start with, it is important to understand the context of the transaction. This was at a time when internally displaced persons and their host communities faced very severe food shortages throughout the North East, as a result of successive poor harvests and abandoned farmlands, minimal cross-border cash crop trade and lost economic opportunities.
On 15th April 2017, the United Nations World Food Programme (UN WFP), a major aid organisation and food supplier to the region, had issued a warning that it would be reducing its vital support to about 1.8 million IDPs by as much as 85%, due to corresponding reduction in funding by the donor countries. Around the same time, the United Nations Commission for Refugees in Geneva also warned of the growing risk of mass deaths from starvation among people living in the conflict areas.
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) moved urgently to prevent the looming disaster by establishing a strategic food intervention plan for the affected States. A Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Delivery to the North East was convened and the Committee met on the 13th of May, 2017 to kick off the process, with the then Acting President as Chairman. Other members of the Committee included:
(i) Minister of Finance;
(ii) Minister of Budget and National Planning;
(iii) Minister of State for Budget and National Planning;
(iv) Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development;
(v) Governor of Central Bank;
(vi) Deputy Chief of Staff to the President; and
(vii) Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
Resulting from the deliberations of this and subsequent meetings, the approval referred to in the House Committee’s Report was, in fact, based on a request raised by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as facilitator of the National Food Security Programme, vide a letter dated May 25, 2017.
As explained in the said letter, there was an immediate need to distribute grains, including rice, maize, soya beans and sorghum, to Internally Displaced Persons through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). The only way to obtain the quantity of grains required was to resort to the National Food Security Progamme (NFSP) earlier established by the Federal Government as a means of shoring up its strategic grain reserves.
It was in consequence of the Federal Government decision to urgently purchase the stored grains for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons that the CBN made the proposal for approval of 30,905.08 Metric Tonnes at N5,229,685,333.26. Of that amount, the then Acting President eventually approved N5,036,644,933.26, after excluding bagging costs. This was pursuant to the recommendation that bagging, transportation and other logistics were best handled by NEMA.
NEMA also originated a request to the Acting President, dated May 25, 2017, requesting the sum of N829,026,456.00 for general logistics, branding & packaging, tracking, security, personnel, media & publicity and contingency costs of taking the grains from their respective locations in Kano, Kaduna, Funtua, Ibadan and Gombe to Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Jigawa States.
These presidential approvals were well within the clear constitutional authority of the Acting President, who needed to take emergency steps to forestall acute food shortages in the affected States and there was nothing illegal or unconstitutional about them. The approvals were duly communicated by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Central Bank, Director General of NEMA and the Minister of Finance for implementation.
On account of the emergency nature of the procurement, the House Committee’s assumption that the ordinary rules of procurement would apply was wrong. Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act makes provision for emergency procurement, in which case the procuring entity is allowed to engage in direct contracting for goods and file a report thereafter with the Bureau of Public Procurement.
It is also wrong to assume that taxes and interests accruable to government from these transactions in food items were deliberately ignored or waived by neglect. Of course, we expect that any loans advanced to any of the companies would be recovered with the agreed interests, and that any profits made by such companies would be liable to tax in the usual manner.
The suggestion that the grains were never delivered to the target States is also blatant falsehood. In actual fact, in order to ensure effective distribution of the grains, an Emergency Food Intervention Project Team was established, consisting of the Director General of NEMA and representatives of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Department of State Security, Nigeria Police and the Presidency.
The Committee also worked with respective State Emergency Management Agencies, as well as humanitarian agencies such as World Food Programme, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Deliveries were publicly made directly to the intended beneficiaries. In fact, the then Acting President personally inspected the electronic truck-tracking unit established in Maiduguri for the purpose of monitoring the transportation, and flagged off the food distribution on the 8th of June, 2017. Besides, there was the integration of a robust monitoring and evaluation system into the operation in order to facilitate a transparent and accountable process.
Therefore, all insinuations on this matter regarding purported indictments and perceived violations of due process or the constitution are baseless and totally false. Such interpretations are flawed and should be utterly ignored.


Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President
Office of the Vice President
9th November, 2018

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Anambra Govt Directs Road Project Contractors To Go Back To Site

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The Anambra State Government has directed all contractors, handling road projects in the state, to go back to their different sites as the rains have subsided.
The Commissioner for Works, Engineer Marcel Ifejiofor, gave this directive at the end of a meeting with Contractors, Consultants, Engineers, Representatives and the management staff of the Ministry of Works in his office in Awka.
Engineer Ifejiofor noted that work slowed down on road construction because of the rainy season.
According to him, now that the rains are over, massive construction of roads would re-commence effectively.
The Commissioner emphasised that because of heavy rains and flooding that occurred this year, the contractors would have so much work to do.
He, however, urged them to put in the best to guarantee business dealings with the state, stressing that shoddy works would not be tolerated.
The Commissioner told the consultants and the engineers representing state government interests to be alive to their responsibilities to avoid lapses.
He added that henceforth, every design must follow an assessment template from the state road design committee.
One of the contractors and the traditional ruler of Umueri, Igwe Ben Emeka, re-assured that the contractors would work hard according to specifications and expectations of the government and people of the state.

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Anambra Govt Approves Recruitment Of More VIOs, Provision Of Alcohol Testing Device For ATMA

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The State Government has approved the recruitment of more Vehicle Inspection Officers and the provision of alcohol testing device for the Road Traffic Agency.
Governor Willie Obiano disclosed this at the 2018 National Conference of Directors and Chief Road Traffic Officers of the Federation in Awka.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu noted the importance of Vehicle Inspection Officers in ensuring Road Safety and Security. Governor Obiano, who enjoined the officers to ensure that only those that have been properly trained should be given driver’s licence, urged them to put off road, any vehicle that is not road worthy including ones used by some driving schools during training.
In a remark, the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Uchenna Okafor, noted that Anambra State had improved tremendously in every sector.
According to him the State is rated as number one in security in the country, adding that Vehicle Inspection Officers are of paramount interest to the State adding that the annual conference they embarked upon will help them rebuild and promote safety on the road.
The Acting National Chairman of Conference of Directors and Chief Road Traffic Officer of the Federation, Mr Garba Abdu Gaya said that the theme of the conference: `Innovative Strategies for Enhancing a Sustainable Road Traffic Safety and Security` is very relevant and timely.

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Army overpowers Boko Haram in Yobe

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The Nigerian Army said the situation at Katarko in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe had been brought under control after troops foiled terrorists attempted attack on the military location in the town.
The army spokesman, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu in a statement on Thursday said the troops immediately swung into action following a tip off and pushed the terrorists backward with superior fire power.
He, however, said some of the terrorists escaped into nearby bushes but efforts were on to get them, adding that the troops were currently embarking on clearance patrol in the area.
Chukwu urged Yobe residents in general and Katarko in particular, to go about their legitimate businesses and report any suspicious activities or movement in their area to the law enforcement agents for prompt action.

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Nigeria hails Africa’s resolve to combat terrorism

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President Buhari with delegates of the African Parliamentary Union

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the African Parliamentary Union APU for choosing to look at issues of terrorism and organised crimes in Africa.
Speaking at the opening of the 41st Conference of Speakers of the National Parliaments of the African Parliamentary Union in Abuja, President Buhari said parliamentarians have helped in promoting democracy and human rights in Africa.
“Since its foundation, the African Parliamentary Union has continued to champion the objective of bringing African Parliaments together to join the challenge of finding solutions to the many problems confronting the continent, and at the same time, helping to develop parliamentary practice in the continent towards the promotion of democracy, human rights, freedoms and the realization of the objectives of the African Union to achieve durable peace.
I am delighted that the 41st Conference of Speakers, as part of its meeting, will be considering the role of parliaments in the fight against terrorism, armed gangs and organised crimes in Africa.
Terrorism, armed banditry and organised crimes have continued to be a security challenge for member states of the African Union; the proliferation of arms aided by abuse of the ease of movement of persons across freer borders, which have been historically in place to encourage African unity, have contributed to acts of terrorism by groups like Al Shaabab, ISIS and Boko Haram,” he said.


Nigeria’s Effort
President Buhari said on her part, Nigeria has done a lot in tackling the menace of Boko Haram and the country is still working hard to address other security challenges.
“Here in Nigeria, we have done a lot to reverse the terror trend and halt the advancement of Boko Haram. We have in collaboration with our neighbours strengthened our armed forces to effectively confront terror groups and have also initiated programmes to address widespread poverty, which has been identified as a significant factor fueling unrest and boosting terror recruitments.
In spite of this progress, we are not unmindful of the remaining challenge of armed invaders who ransack villages and small farming communities and commit terrible acts including the cold-blooded murder of women and children. We are also making progress in addressing this challenge,” he said.
The Nigerian leader, who commended the efforts of African governments in dealing with terrorists groups, advised the African APU to develop strategies that will help Africa completely destroy the monster of terrorism.
“While I commend the actions of African governments in dealing with these evil groups, it is my strong belief that the APU will develop strategies to assist governments in confronting this menace and, as Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), I will be more than willing to fast track your resolutions for deliberation and adoption at the ECOWAS sub-region and the much larger African Union.
“At the recently concluded Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in China, many trade and cooperation agreements running into hundreds of billions of dollars were signed between China and individual African countries. These agreements will hasten the efficiency of the business and investment climate in Africa. I am pleased that the Conference of Speakers will also consider the promotion of private investment. The dynamics of global trade are changing fast. Foreign Direct Investment is a key index of economic performance,” he said.


Improved Economies
President Buhari called on African countries to look into ways of improving their economies, as the face the realities confronting the globe in that sector.
“As the global economic superpowers redesign and restructure the global economy, Africa cannot afford to be caught off guard. We have to navigate these uncertain economic times with realistic plans in which the private sector is key. Barriers that restrict ease of doing business and private sector growth must be addressed by legislation and it is hoped that your resolutions will aid the efforts of African governments in developing a more robust private sector to attract necessary investments in our economies,” he said.
Girl Child Education
President Buhari also praised the decision of the APU to critically look at the issue of girl child education and early marriage, which has affected many girls in Africa.
“I am also delighted that the promotion of girls’ education as a way to address early marriages will be the focus of the APU Committee of women parliamentarians. This is another subject that requires close attention and I assure you of the support and cooperation of the government of Nigeria. A few months back, four girls from a high school in Anambra State, in South East of Nigeria, won the first prize for innovation at an international competition held in the United States of America. The success of these girls, some as young as 14, is a success for Africa as a whole, but more importantly, it is a demonstration of what can happen when the girl child is given the opportunity. Education should not be seen as a government programme only, but as a human right and a social imperative.
He said educating girls increases the possibility of having more women innovators, entrepreneurs and Chief Executive Officers as he assured the APU of the desire of the government to improve the condition of the African girl-child.

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