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Shell spends N17bn on infrastructure in Rivers — GM



Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture says it has spent over N17 billion on infrastructural projects in its host operating communities in Rivers.

SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, disclosed this at the launch of 2019 Shell Nigeria Briefing Notes publication on Friday in Port Harcourt.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the briefing notes is an annual publication detailing the activities of the company’s business interests in Nigeria.

Weli said the N17 billion was spent in 19 cluster communities as part of its Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) agreement with host communities in 2006.

“The GMoU has given communities highly-valued opportunity to decide and implement projects and programmes that have lasting impact on people’s lives.

“The funding, which took off in 2006, has enabled the 19 clusters in Rivers state to embark on projects covering on health, education, water and electricity, sanitation and infrastructure development.

“SPDC and its joint venture partners provide secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice.

He said the projects were managed by Cluster Development Boards under the guidance of mentoring Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

“Currently there are 39 active GMoU clusters in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Abia states, and, so far, we have disbursed $239 million (N44.36 billion) to these clusters since 2006 inception.

“The success of the GMoU initiative has proved what could be achieved when government, international oil companies, communities and NGOs work together for the common good,” Weli said.

The shell general manager said the company has so far contributed over N375.16 billion to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2002 to 2018.

According to him, SPDC has given business start-up grants worth over N27.27 million to about 100 indigent Ogoni youths as recommended by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Report.

“To date, the LiveWire programme has trained 7,072 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and provided business start-up to 3,817.

“Also, SPDC in collaboration with Rivers government opened a Community Health Insurance Scheme where beneficiaries pay about N10,000 per annum to access quality healthcare services.

“The scheme provides healthcare services, including, child birth, seizure disorders, diabetic and ophthalmic care at Obio Cottage Hospital in Port Harcourt,” he added.

Weli said the company had in 2017 established a Marine Engineering and Offshore Technology centre at Rivers State University.

He said the centre runs 18-month Masters and Diploma programmes in Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture as well as Offshore and Subsea Engineering courses.

He added that SPDC had in 2016 donated a modern public library to the Port Harcourt Literary Society to the tune of N1.58 billion.

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Zamfara Gov’s wife partners ANCOPSS on girl-child education



The Wife of Governor of Zamfara,, Hajiya Balkisu Bello-Matawalle, has pledged to partner with the All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Women wing, to improve the girl- child education in the state.

Hajiya Bello-Matawalle made the pledge while receiving members of the association who paid her courtesy visit in her office in Gusau on Wednesday.

The governor’s wife noted that the confederstion had important role to play in complementing government efforts in the education sector in the state.

“I am highly delighted to meet with you, as principals. I recognise your support and commitments while managing schools across the state.

“It is impressive to have your number as women principals in this state, this shows that women in Zamfara are willing to contribute to the future education of our children.

“I am ready to partner with you, especially in the area of supporting girl-child education and also soliciting your support for various government policies, especially in your respective schools.

“The present administration in this state, led by Gov. Bello Matawalle-Maradun, came up with various programmes to boost education in the state.

“As principals of secondary schools, you are among major stakeholders of education sector in the state, all we need is your support and cooperation,”she said.

Earlier, the Chairperson ANCOPSS, Women wing in the state and Principal, Government Girls’ Day Secondary School, Gusau, Hajiya Hawwa-Kulu Lugga, pledged the support of the wing to the state government policies and programmes on education.

She said, “We are here to register our solidarity and support to the present administration’s policies on education.”


Lugga said the wing’s support became necessary, considering the role of the state government in improving education sector,especially in terms of the girl-child education.

“We are ready to partner with you to ensure the success of your various programmes to improve education sector in the state.”

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Global IT hails Buhari for appointing Abdullahi as new NITDA DG



Mr Rasheed Bakare, the Country Director of the firm, gave the commendation in a letter addressed to the president and made available to the Nigeria News Agency , on Wednesday, in Ibadan.

Bakare, in the letter, applauded the appointment of the 39 year-old Abdullahi, describing him as a “digital guru and industry key player”, with potential to surpass his predecessors’ achievements.

He said: “Abdullahi, for a couple of years, has shown and proven to be a world class professional who will use his wide network to take NITDA to the next level, in line with the president’s vision.

“He will also ensure that the agency is more efficient and effective in its role as the clearing house for all IT projects and infrastructural development in the country.”

Bakare, while congratulating Abdullahi on his appointment, which it described as well-deserved, charged him to leave above board and justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.

NAN reports that the new NITDA boss was born on Feb. 21, 1980 in Hadejia, Jigawa State.

He is a graduate of Computer Science from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT-Sloan), with 15 years experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture in both the private and public sectors.

He attended leadership and management courses at Harvard University, USA, University of Cambridge, UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

The new NITDA boss is the first Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s public sector and certified project manager as well as solution architect.

He worked at Galaxy Backbone as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead, Technical Solution Design Team from 2004 to 2013.

In 2014, he joined the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives total view of the bank’s IT infrastructure and easy decision on new IT investment.

Abdullahi was part of the team that executed software license rationalisation, which has increased cost savings for the bank in license annual subscriptions.

As a technology architect at the apex bank, he produced seven Solution Architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless policy in Nigeria.

The new NITDA boss also overhauled the agency’s IT clearance process and encouraged shared services among agencies which helped the federal government saved over N16 billion from IT projects.

Abdullahi is a member of both the British Computer Society (BCS) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), and he is a recipient of 100 Leading Telecom and ICT Personalities award in Nigeria.

Edited by Olabisi Akinbode and ‘Wale Sadeeq






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Plant trees to mark special events: DG advises Nigerians



The Director-General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano,  on Wednesday in Lagos appealed to Nigerians to  cultivate the habit of planting  trees to commemorate  special anniversaries in their lives.

Aminu-Kano made the appeal during the planting of 30 trees at the NCF Family Park in Lekki located within its premises by IBTC Bank  to commemorate its 30th anniversary.

He added that it would also help to restore the nation’s depleted forest cover.

He said that Nigeria had lost 94 per cent of her  forest cover and all hands must be on deck to reverse the trend through sustained planting of trees.

He commended the bank and appealed to other Nigerians, corporate organisations and the three tiers of government to emulate the gesture to restore the nation’s forest cover.

“This is something I will recommend to every Nigerian; to plant trees to commemorate  special events in their lives   because trees are long lasting and you remember that event whenever you  see such  trees.

“If you have an occasion to commemorate whether marriage, the birth of a child, jubilees, any birthday or landmark event, plant trees.

“I commend what the bank is doing and they have promised to replicate the planting in  the six geo political zones of the country.

“I hope  the public, companies and governments can do more to take to this habit of planting trees in hundreds,’’ he said.

Aminu-Kano said that NCF as part of its Green Recovery Nigeria initiative would continue to plant trees even in some forests that need regeneration.

“We can never get tired of planting trees. Even in a forest, there are places where you will need natural enrichment due to natural processes that some trees go through and die. And sometimes there is  the need to assist the forest to recover,’’ he said.

He lamented how  flooding  had been affecting  some trees in the Lekki Conservation Centre due to eastward ocean current causing erosion.

He said that this had continued to threaten the existence of the entire NCF.

He appealed to the Federal Government to support the Lagos State Government in combating the problem by building more groins.

He lamented the sharp drop in the nation’s forest cover to less than six per cent  and called for  sustained efforts by stakeholders to save the nation’s environment.

“We think that it is pitiful that the amount of land in Nigeria that is forested has moved from 40 per cent in the 1960s to arguably below six per cent.

“And the international standard which Nigeria signed up to is that a country should aim to have a minimum of 25 per cent of its area covered in forest;  so we have a long way to go.

“And we have to plant as many trees as possible; we are doing an exercise now with government and other stakeholders to identify which are the right trees that should go to the right places, in the right numbers, at the right time.

“We are losing 350,000 hectares of forests every year in Nigeria and we need to catch up by planting enough to not just replace the ones we are losing but pick up and try to hit that target of 25 per cent,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that two species of trees:  the African mahogany and Ijebu Mahogany were planted.

Mr Adeyemo Olayomade, NCF’s Conservation Assistant,  explained that the two species were chosen because both were hard wood of the same family, ever green and medicinal.

NAN reports that IBTC Bank was established in 1989.


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#Revolutionow: 9 northern groups pull out of planned protest



Nine groups out of the 15 that formed the Joint Northern Action Front to partispate in a planned revolutionow protest in some northern states on Aug. 22, have pulled out.

The Secretary of the groups, Tanko Mustapha made the declaration in a joint press statement issued on Wednesday in Kaduna.

“We are pleased to announce today that these nine groups have resolved to pull its members out of tomorrow’s planned protests called by the Joint Northern Action Front which we were part of,” he said.

Mustapha said their withdrawal from the protests was based on some considerations.

“We have reviewed the planned protests by critically looking into the nature, salient intentions and most importantly the likely negative consequences on the North in particular and democracy in generall.

“We discovered that the main intention of the protests is far from checking government excesses that are of national concerns, but rather to further the hidden agenda of some people.

“Our concern is that the nature of the protests may very likely not be peaceful and it will not only be unproductive but may have negative consequences on the north and our democracy as well.

“We weighed all the possibilities against the background of its dangerous consequenses in countries like Libya and Yemen who embarked on such moves blindly.

“After candidly weighing the pros and cons, we arrived at the conclusion that the exercise is ill informed, in bad taste, counterproductive, self-serving as well as an ill wind that will not blow anybody any good.

“Despite the lapses in governance in all aspects, especially in security, economy, and infrastructure, we wish to align with the patriotic position of the apex conglomerate of groups in the north, the CNG, that every issue can be discussed and resolved in a civilized manner and never by violence.

“We today, therefore, declare a complete pullout from participation in the organization and call on the protesters and all people of the north to disregard the calls,” he said.

Mustapha called on the government to as a matter of urgency, address all the observed lapses and misgovernance to avoid uprisings.

Edited by Chidi Opara/Maharazu Ahmed

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Nigerian robbed, murdered in South Africa



As Nigeria and South Africa seek ways to end the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in that country, the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) on Wednesday announced the gruesome murder of another Nigerian.

The union’s President, Adetola Olubajo, said on Wednesday that the victim, 46-year-old Obinna Stanley Ayanele, hailed from Uruala, Ideato North Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo.

He said Ayanele was murdered in cold blood by some criminals in his shop in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg, on Tuesday evening with the intension of robbing him of his money and wares.

“With deep sorrow in our hearts, the Nigeria Union South Africa  (NUSA) regrets to announce the gruesome murder of another Nigerian, the late Stanley Ayanele from Uruala, Ideato North LGA, Imo, aged 46.

“Until his death, he was a small scale business owner, a stockist of petty goods.

“Ayanele was accosted by some criminals at his shop in Krugersdorp, Johaneeburg in the evening of Aug. 20, 2019 with the intention of robbing him of his money and wares.

“In the process he was murdered in cold blood,’’ Olubajo said in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency .

He said that according to a witness, three unknown men held him at gun point and robbed him of his valuables, including cash.

“He was brutally stabbed severally, and they smashed his head with a hammer thereby leaving him in pool of his blood to bleed to death,’’ Olubajo quoted the witness as saying.

He added that the murderers were at the verge of carting away the late Obinna’s wares in the shop when community members contacted the South Africa Police Service (SAPS), Krugersdorp Cluster Station.

Olubajo said the SAPS crime team later arrested two of the criminals while the third one escaped. A manhunt was immediately constituted.

He noted that the murder weapons were confiscated by the police and the remains of the deceased deposited at a government mortuary.

The union’s president said that a case of murder was immediately opened by the Nigeria Union Ward at the police station and the suspects were charged to court today (Wednesday Aug. 21).

He said NUSA urged Nigerians in Krugersdorp to remain calm, law abiding since the matter had been charged to court, adding that the officer investigating the case had also promised to leave no stone unturned until justice was done.

“We commend the South Africa Police for their swift response,” Olubajo said.

NAN reports that the murder of Ayanele came eight days after a meeting of the heads of Nigeria’s two missions in South Africa with the South Africa Police Minister Bheki Cele and top police officials in Pretoria on Aug. 14, seeking ways to ensure peaceful co-existence between nationals of both countries.

Bala was accompanied by the Consul-General, Godwin Adama, to the meeting.


(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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