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Renovating Govt House not my priority, says Abdulrazaq



Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara says renovating the decrepit Government House he inherited is not his priority, but programmes that have direct impact on the welfare of the people.

The governor said this on Tuesday when the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, paid the traditional ‘Bareke’ visit to the Government House.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the emir and his entourage were received on behalf of the governor by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi.

The governor promised that his administration would complete all abandoned or ongoing projects in the state, adding that ignoring them would amount to wasting public funds already sunk into them.

Abdulrazaq said he inherited a decrepit Government House which he said reflected the general decay of infrastructure in the state,

According to him, he has chosen to prioritise programmes that directly affect people’s welfare instead of embarking on rehabilitation of his own office when he assumed office on May 29.

“As your Royal Highness may have noticed, the Government House we inherited needs urgent rehabilitation as many parts of it are just not fit for habitation.

“This is reflective of the general decay in public infrastructure across the entire state.

“In the circumstances, we cannot in good conscience prioritise rehabilitation of my office to the neglect of urgent matters affecting the state,” he said.

Abdulrasaq listed the areas that needed urgent attention to include potable water, bad roads, unpaid gratuities, abandoned projects, comatose state media, especially Radio Kwara, resurgence of polio, stagnant education sector, strikes and appalling healthcare system.

“I’m glad to inform Your Royal Highness that all of these issues have received our attention since we came on board.

“We have also resolved not to allow Kwara become a mortuary for abandoned projects.

“This explains why we recently paid N350million to the contractors for the completion of the new State Secretariat Complex.

“We have also given similar assurances to contractors handling all road projects, most of which had been abandoned before we came on board,” Abdulrazaq added.

The governor also said his administration had started fixing three major water works across the three senatorial districts.

They are the Asa Dam, Lafiagi Waterwork, and Igbaja waterworks.

He listed other steps taken to include the resuscitation of Radio Kwara, the commencement of fresh round of polio vaccination, resolution of crises and re-accreditation of the Colleges of Education and ending Kwara’s pariah status at the Universal Basic Education Commission with the payment of its N450million debt.

Others were payment of various counterparts’ funds in health sector and road construction, payment of N100million gratuities to pensioners, payment of running costs to government ministries after many years and ongoing talks with federal and development agencies to develop the state.

“Let me reassure Your Royal Highness that this administration has tremendous respect for our traditional institution.

“We see these institution as partners in our effort to re-launch Kwara into national reckoning,” Abdulrazaq added.

The governor promised to continue to support the institution to deliver on its mandate as the custodians of the nation’s diverse cultures.

“In return, we urge the traditional institution to support our programmes in the overall interest of our people and our effort to continue to keep Kwara safe for investments and socioeconomic stability,” he said.

Earlier, the Emir said this year’s Bareke was the first since the governor was inaugurated and commended the administration for its strides.

Sulu-Gambari called for tolerance, understanding and peaceful co-existence among residents of the state.

He prayed for God to continue to strengthen the good bond between the governor and his deputy, saying this would go a long way in promoting unity and peace in the state.

NAN reports that dignitaries at the Bareke included the Deputy Speaker of the Kwara House of Assembly, Rapheal Adetiba; Chief of Staff, Government House, Adisa Logun; and the Head of Service, Susan Oluwole.

Others were All Progressives Congress (APC) State Chairman, Bashir Bolarinwa; State Secretary of the party, Mustapha Isowo; and top APC chieftains, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo and Kunle Suleiman.


(Edited by Mufutau Ojo)


Senate labour committee lauds Buhari’s efforts on employment, economic development



Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity,  Sen. Benjamin Uwajumogu has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s  economic development agenda leading to current rise in employment figures in the country.

Uwajumogu gave the commendation in a statement he issued on Sunday in Abuja, while reacting to the July Purchasing Index Report (PMI) report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He said the index which showed sustained rise in employment level index for 27 consecutive months, was an indication of economic policies of the Federal Government and was yielding sustainable development and dividends for citizens.

The CBN PMI report was a statistical tool used by the apex banking institution to measure  performance of economic growth in some sub-sectors of the economy.

The report also indicated expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 28th consecutive month with production level growing at 58.9 per cent.

 Uwajumogu said the employment data was an indication of the success of the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) of the federal government, which was expanding the economic frontiers in different sectors.

He recalled that recently, an International economic rating agency based in USA, Fitch Solution predicted a 2.3 per cent growth in the country’s GDP.

Uwajumogu, representing Imo North Senatorial District, said the favourable prediction was an indication of a brighter economic outlook for Nigeria, as more Foreign Direct Investments would come into the country’s economy leading to increase in employment and productivity.

Uwajumogu assured that the 9th Senate of the National Assembly would cooperate with relevant Government agencies to sustain the economic policies.

He said that through effective legislation and oversight responsibilities, the lawmakers  would drive improved employment opportunities for the growing young population.

Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide

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Wase felicitates with Sultan of Sokoto at 63



The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Ahmed  Wase (APC-Plateau) has congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar lll, as he marked his 63 birthday anniversary.

In a congratulatory message on Saturday in Abuja, Wase described the monarch as an icon of peace.

The parliamentarian said that the sultan through his spiritual counsel brought peace and tolerance not only to Sokoto state but the entire nation.

“His Eminence has over the years demonstrated both in words and in deeds that he is a true man of peace by always preaching unity, mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria.

“As a spiritual leader and traditional ruler, you have over the years, distinguished yourself as an exemplary leader, traversing the length and breadth of the country, preaching peaceful coexistence and building bridges across religious and cultural divides.”

Wase prayed for many more years in good health for the sultan as he continued in his service of humanity and uniting the people of Nigeria.

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Nov. 16 election: APC screens Lokpobiri, ex-INEC REC, 4 others in Bayelsa



The All Progressives Congress on Saturday screened the immediate past Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri.

Similarly, the party screened the immediate past Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) Frankland Briyai for Nov. 16 governorship election in Bayelsa.

Nigeria News Agency, reports that others, who were screened by the Mr Ita Isong led National Screening Committee include a former female Commissioner of Police, Deseye Poweigha, Ebitimi Amgbare, David Lyon and Preye Aganaba,

Earlier, Isong assured all the aspirants of a level playing ground to ensure a smooth primary of the party on Sept. 29 andl the election.

Speaking with journalists after the screening, the former Cross River REC, Frankland Briyai, and former Minister, Heineken Lokpobiri, said that they were satisfied with the outcome.

Lokpobiri said: ”Well, the screening committee did an excellent job, out of the seven aspirants, I happen to be the last person to be screened and I think the process went very well.

“If I don’t get the ticket, I will definitely cooperate with the party. Am a party man.

“Ultimately, other aspirants are expected to rally round whoever gets the party ticket, so that we can work together for the party.”

On his part, Briyia, reiterated his earlier promises to led Bayelsa industrial revolution as he had been a leader with proven integrity and commitment.

He said: “Bayelsa needs somebody who could share, who could build, who could lead.

“I have been a leader in my post primary school and tertiary school, even in my places of work I have quite outstanding qualities that make me believe that when I win and become the governor of Bayelsa, citizens will experience the best of life.”

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Go, change narratives about womanhood – Mrs Akeredolu charges BEMORE girls



Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu, has advised girls who participated in the BEMORE Summer Bootcamp to go back to their homes and change the narratives about womanhood.

Mrs Akeredolu gave the advice on Saturday at the closing of the third edition of the programme, held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

She enjoined the girls to proclaim what they were taught at the camp and impact the society positively.

She also urged them to introduce a ‘Weekend Democracy Meeting’ to their families, where some of the things they had learnt would be shared with others for good living.

According to the governor’s wife, she is determined to focussing on the young girls who are malleable and not yet polluted with tribalism and rabid religiosity which are common with many Nigerians.

“I’m determined to equipping them with the tools to succeed and protecting them from harm, and all manners of physical abuse.

“I am certain that this will lead them to becoming leaders, not only in technology, but in all endeavours, especially in politics where their voices are desperately needed to sit at the table of decision making,” she said.

The governor’s wife said BEMORE was structured to chart a new course and serve as a grooming ground for a new breed without greed.

She explained that the girls were taught to be selfless, good mannered, advocate of causes of their choice, especially those related to the uplift of women.

“They were also trained to be proficient in their chosen professions,” she said.

Mrs Akeredolu tasked the girls to return to their various communities and initiate positive changes without being bothered by the high and mighty that might confront them when practising what they had learnt in the camp.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the over 250 girls, selected across the state, were trained on ICT, solar energy, taekwondo and various skill acquisitions.

Edited by Moses Solanke and ‘Wale Sadeeq


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Be selfless, patriotic in discharging your duties, CLO charges new ministers



The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has charged members of the newly-constituted Federal Executive Council (FEC) to be selfless and patriotic in the discharge of their duties in order to improve the conditions of the citizenry.

Mr Vincent Ezekwueme, Chairman of the Anambra State chapter of the organisation, gave the charge on Saturday in Enugu while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency on the expectations of Nigerians from the new federal cabinet.

Ezekwueme urged the new ministers to work relentlessly in order to restore the trust and hope of Nigerians in government and earn their respect.

According to him, they must engrave their names in the heart of the citizens by being catalysts for positive change.

“They must promote and provide good governance, transparency, accountability, public interest, welfare and fear of God. Passion for betterment of the country and its citizenry must also be their moving spirit.

“The new ministers must be more effective, efficient, prudent, assiduous, conscientious and upright in the discharge of their national duties,’’ he said.

The CLO boss urged citizens to hold them accountable and tell them what they needed to know rather than what they wanted to hear.

“Holistic implementation of government policies and programmes in words and actions, not political rhetoric, is the greatest and best expectations of Nigerians.

“This is the precondition for the true democratic governance which our people have been yearning for,’’ he added.

Edited by Chioma Ugboma and ‘Wale Sadeeq


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