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ALGON pledges support for YESSO towards poverty reduction in Oyo

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Ibadan, April 25, 2019 The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State Chapter, has pledged support for the Youths Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) towards poverty reduction in the state.

Mr Bosun Ajuwon, the State ALGON Chairman, made the pledge in Ibadan during a One-day Advocacy Meeting with the management of Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that YESSO, which was founded in May 2013, is a support operation financed by the World Bank in conjunction with the state government.

The support operation which was targeted at poverty reduction through the creation of opportunities for the poor, vulnerable as well as unemployed youths was implemented by the Oyo State Operations Coordinating Unit (OYOSOCU).

Ajuwon, also Chairman, Ibadan North-West Local Government,  said that ALGON would continue to support the programme which, he said, was targeted at the grassroots under their jurisdictions.

“We know that there are people in our councils who are poor of poorest and this programme is an avenue to reach them.

“We will continue to support the programme because it is one of our primary objectives. We have to ensure that our people have access to good quality life,’’ he said.

Mr Bimbo Kolade, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, said that the effort of government was to reduce poverty and empower youths.

Kolade, who was represented by Mr Alade Bello, Director of Local Government Affairs in the ministry, said that the programme targeted the lower ranks in the community.

Earlier, Mrs Laide Lasisi, OYOSOCU State Coordinator, said 14,406 poorest households captured from 19 local government areas of the state,  benefited in the first phase.

She said that YESSO was targeted at the poor of the poorest, saying another 14, 594 households from the remaining 14 local government areas have been captured in the second phase.

Lasisi said that the households captured in the second phase were presently undergoing cleaning, adding that it would later be added to the existing data under SOCU.

“We have just finished the remaining 14 local government areas and the data is under- going cleaning, once we are done, we will add that to the existing data under SOCU.

“Another 14,594 households undergoing cleaning on Public Workfare, are youths of age 18 to 35 years that are poor, and get paid N7,500,’’ she said.

She said that they had already operated in 30 communities of the 33 local governments in the state, saying they would  soon take the 33 local governments areas at once.

Lasisi said that the effort was to accelerate disbursement to the councils before the programme ended in 2020.

“We did geographical targeting to identify the poorest local government. We looked at documents to identify the poorest communities and this enables us to identify the poorest of the poor.

“Our first target is 40 households per community, but if they are more than that,  we will take them as long as they are identified by the community,’’ she said.

NNN reports that the event was also attended by Heads of Local Government Administration, Directors of Education and Services as well as other relevant stakeholders.

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FRSC explores better strategies to tackle road crashes

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The Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kaduna, Aliyu Dutsinma, on Thursday said only better road safety strategies would guarantee safer roads in the country.

Dutsinma stated this at a North-West adhoc stakeholders consultative meeting for production of implementation cost model and Monitoring and Evaluation framework for Nigeria Road Safety Strategy II, 2019 – 2023, held in Kaduna.

He explained that the stakeholders were expected to make inputs on the identified cost and budgeting gaps from the first version of Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, which run from 2014 to 2018.

He said that it was important to have a realistic budget to implement all activities outlined under the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy Phase II.

According to him, the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy document adopted Safe System approach to road safety management anchored on the five pillars listed in the United Nations Decade of Action For Road Safety.

Dutsinma said lack of synergy among relevant agencies are compounding road crashes, emphasising that the phenomenon needed to be addressed through concerted efforts.

According to him, the strategy document will stimulate road infrastructure development across states  and other strategic initiatives meant to  save lives of commuters and other road users.

The FRSC official appreciated Gov. Nasir El-Rufai for hosting the event and his support to the commission.

He urged the participants to come up with favorable outcomes for the successful implementation of the policy document in all states, to tackle the high rate of road crashes in the zone.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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NAN celebrates Ojugbana, retiring board member

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The Governing Board, Management and staffers of the Nigeria News Agency , on Thursday celebrated Mr Charles Ojugbana, a retiring Director in the federal information ministry,  who represented the ministry on NAN’s governing board.

At the ceremony held in Abuja, Malam Wada Maida, the Chairman of NAN Governing Board, said that the outgoing member had contributed positively to the decisions of the board.

He said that the vacuum created by his retirement would be difficult to fill because of his wealth of experience and willingness, at all times, to contribute to the development of NAN.

Maida said that the board would continue to tap from the wealth of experience of the outgoing board member by reaching out to him when necessary.

In his remark, Mr Ibrahim Mammaga, the Acting Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of NAN, said that the outgoing board member would be remembered for his wealth of experience and belief in due process.

He said that Ojugbana had contributed to the development of NAN through excellent suggestions and willingness to receive NAN management at difficult times.

“This ceremony is in recognition of his excellent service to the development of NAN,” Mammaga declared. .

In his remark, Ojugbana commended NAN board and management for packaging the event, adding that it was a “good and encouraging initiative”.

He described the board chairman as a “detribalised Nigerian always ready to accommodate every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion and ethnic background”.

Ojugbana pledged to continue to offer necessary support to the board and management of NAN, adding that his doors would remain open for the agency.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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PLSG issues 238 Cs of O in Jos

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Mr Yakubu Datti, Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, on Thursday issued 238 Certificates of Occupancy (Cs of O), and 815 Right of Occupancy (R of O), in Jos.

Dati, in a speech at the ceremony, said that government was committed to restoring confidence and guaranteeing access to land titles for the citizens.

He said that government had simplified land documentation technology via the Plateau State Geographic Information System (PLAGIS), to enable applicants get their documentation within 21 days.

“The ministry has keyed into the Plateau State Development Plan and has embarked on reorientation and human capital development.

“PLAGIS is gradually eradicating past sharp practices and unnecessary bottlenecks to ensure effective and efficient land documentation through the application of technology,” he said.

He advised members of the public and organisations to ensure they were up to date with their titled documents as the ministry would soon apprehend and prosecute defaulters.

Dati said that titled documents would enable owners to access loan and fast track the ease of doing business within the state.

He urged land owners within the state to make use of the opportunity to get their document as Gov. Simon Lalong was committed to providing layouts for agriculture, tourism, mining and industries.

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Lafia residents will enjoy steady power supply by first quarter of  2020 – NDPHC

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Residents of Lafia, Nasarawa state capital and its environs will soon enjoy adequate and steady power supply as the construction of the 330/132 KVA transmission substation in the city nears completion.

Mr Umar Moddibo, Manager of the project disclosed this on Thursday at an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) workshop with members of the Akurba host community and other stakeholders.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the project is being executed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

Moddibo noted that the project had reached 95 per cent and upon completion, would provide at least 23 hours adequate electricity supply to Lafia and environs.

“According to our work schedule, all major works at the substation will be completed by Dec. 23.

“What will be left is the powering (Turn in – turn out) of the substation from the nearest transmission line.

“Our target is that by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the issue of insufficient power supply in Lafia and environs will be over,” Moddibo said.

He explained that the substation have the capacity of 420 MVA and one of the best amongst the 72 substations so far built by the NDPHC in the country.

Moddibo said that the project would enhance rapid socio-economic development in the state through the reduction of cost of production of goods and services.

“This will encourage the establishment of factories and small scale business, improve standard of living as well as increase the revenue base of the state,” Moddibo said.

He said that the company would build block of classrooms for the community as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Mr Eze Odigbo, General Manager, Environment and Community Relations of NDPHC said that the essence of the EIA was to ensure the environmental sustainability of the project.

Odigbo, represented by Mr Olajide Olubunmi, the deputy general manager said the scoping workshop was part of the EIA process where the host community and other stakeholders interface with the company to collectively assess the impact of the project.

He noted that the ultimate aim was to ensure the mitigation or elimination of negative impact arising from the project.

In his remark, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmadu, District head of Akurba community, who spoke through the youth leader, Idris Mohammed commended the Federal Government for siting the project in their community.

According to him, the project aimed at industrialising the state is a clear demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to develop the country.

He, however, appealed to the company to employ some of the youth who were engaged in the construction of the substation as permanent staff.

Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

Traffic Violations: Report erring lawyers to NBA, Falana tells FRSC

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Human Rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday  urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to report any lawyer who committed traffic offence to disciplinary committee of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in their jurisdictions.

Falana said this at the sideline of the FRSC 4th Quarter 2019 Retreat themed, ‘FRSC Operations in Public Perspective’ at Magodo, Lagos.

“There is no lawyer who has immunity on the road; if any lawyer misbehave on highways, report him to disciplinary committee of NBA in that zone for necessary action.

“Whoever goes outside the provisions of the law can easily be dealt with, nobody can challenge you for that,” Falana said.

According to him, a former Governor of Lagos State once arrested a Nigerian Army colonel who violated traffic rule.

“The arrest of the serving colonel by a former governor of Lagos State sent a signal to everybody that nobody is above the law.

“There were so many vehicles now with lawyer’s logo because they believe that they are above the law,” he said.

Falana said that only about 74 people have immunity in the entire country, the President, vice president 36 governors and their deputies.

“Anybody outside the list can be brought to book, the person can be challenged for breaching the law.

“For lawyers, if any lawyer misbehaves on the highway, if you don’t want to charge him, report him in writing to the disciplinary committee of the bar association.

“In Lagos, we have five branches of NBA Ikeja, Lagos, Epe, Badagry, and Ikorodu. Please, if any lawyer misbehaves on the road report him, no lawyer want to be charged and convicted for any offence whatsoever,” Falana said.

The human rights lawyer also advised the corps to always keep the records of convictions of any erring motorists charged to court nationwide.

“So that when they want to contest for elections, you will know that they have been convicted somewhere, that will be used against such offender, then everybody will be cautious,” he said.

According to him, “when the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, once said that anybody caught driving against the traffic must be taken to psychiatric hospital, many people were cautious in driving.

“If they have that in their record, that such person was once treated for insanity, nobody would employ them anywhere, then everybody would sit up, that is also one of the criteria for disqualification for elective positions.

“We must go back to the rule now, of course, the enforcement is relaxed, but we must go back to maintain sanity on the road,” he said.

Edited by Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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NEC to examine ownership structure of power distribution companies

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NEC to examine ownership structure of power distribution companies

NEC

Abuja, Nov. 21, 2019 The National Economic Council (NEC) has resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to look into the ownership structure of power distribution companies.

Imo Gov. Emeka Ihedioha disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He stated that `NEC resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee, including Kaduna Gov. Nasiru el-Rufai, as well as governors representing the six geo-political zones, to review the status of  the ownership structure of the power distribution companies.

El-Rufai was was at some point, Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) while the six governors are currently serving on the board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

“He said that the committee would also include representatives of the National Council of Privitisation (NCP) and BPE.

The governor said that what gave rise to the discussion on the NDPHC was an issue that came up in terms of ownership between the Federal Government and state governments.

“ It was important for us to deal with all concerns and establish factually what the true situation is.

“Whether it is a joint or partnership ownership structure between the Federal Government and the state governments or whether the Federal Government has divested its shares,’’ he said.

Ihedioha said that the Accountant General of the Federation, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, also briefed the council on the balances of national accounts.

He said that Excess Crude Account balance as at Nov. 20 stood at 324.d5 million dollars; Stabilisation Account, N29.48 billion; while Natural Resources Development Fund Account stood at N79.7 billion

Ihedioha said that the vice president, who is the chairman of council, briefed the meeting on the Single Window Steering Committee and the Apapa Traffic Task Team.

He said that Gov. Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State would join the team.

The Imo governor, however,  said that the nothing was discussed on budget support refund which came up at the council the previous month.

Edited by Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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