Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has expressed dissatisfaction with the level of work done at the ongoing expansion of the Imo Airport Apron project in Owerri.
Director, Policy and Standard of the commission, Mr Alex Elikwu raised the concern on Tuesday when he led a team from the commission and Ministry of Aviation to inspect the phase two and three of ongoing expansion of the Airports Apron project.
Elikwu said he was not satisfied with the level of work done, considering the amount of money released for the contract.
He said: “We are not satisfied with what we are seeing here today; it fell short of our expectations because out of the N 677million contract sum, a total of N560million has been released to the contractor which constitutes 82 per cent of the total sum.”
According to the director, the quality of the job done so far also fell short of standard.
He also raised worry over the contractor’s absence during the inspection after he was duly informed by the airport manager of their visit.
“We want the ministry of aviation to ensure that the contractor justifies money given to him by the federal government.
“His absence will create a lacuna in our inspection because we need to ask him some technical questions and get direct answer from him but right now that he is not here with us, we will do our report and make recommendations to government,” he said.
The director also expressed regrets on the condition of the runway noting that the spotted potholes made the airport runway fell short of internationally accepted standard.
Elikwu said that this called for urgent attention.
The Airport Manager, Rejoice Ndudinachi said the Apron expansion was an abandoned project when she took over management of the airport.
“This project was abandoned when I came in but I insisted that the contractor must come back to site due to flight increase operations in the airport.
“I don’t supervise the contractor, directly but the ministry of aviation; I also informed him that inspection team from the presidency will visit the site so I don’t know why he is not here,” she said.
The airport manager also appealed to the federal government to help connect the airport to national grid, adding that since she came in, she had been running the airport on a generated power supply.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the apron expansion is being done by a local contractor, Mesh Projects based in Aba, Abia State.
Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu
Imo police parade traditional ruler over alleged kidnapping
A traditional ruler in Awara, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo, was on Monday paraded by the police for alleged involvement in kidnapping.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the traditional ruler was paraded along side a pastor of the Winners Chapel in Njaba for alleged defilement of 11-year- old daughter of a fellow pastor.
The command also paraded 31 suspects who allegedly committed various crimes, ranging from armed robbery, kidnaping and rape, among others.
The Commissioner of Police in Imo, Mr Issac Akinmoyede, said a gang had kidnapped one Louis Obodo, at Mgbala Agwa and Insp. Oscar Mbaeri, in Agwa in Oguta Local Government recently.
He further said that the gang kidnapped the trio of Chigozirim Nnaji, Desmond Okonkwo and Anyanwu Amarachi on July 19 after which the police gave them a hot chase.
Akinmoyede said that the syndicate had abandoned their lexus 330 Jeep during an exchange of gun fire with operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and Anti-kidnapping units of the command.
“My Nephew took my vehicle to do kidnapping, I am not one of them. Though they have used my vehicle about four times and they gave me money,” he said.
On his part, the head of the syndicate, Caleb Agu, said he provided spiritual guide for the gang.
The gang had Ikechukwu Njoku as Protocol officer; Ebenezer Obioha, as Operational Commander and executor; Fabian Obioha, the gang armourer while Bernard Uzoma, was the native doctor that provided protection from operational hazards and arrests.
The police boss said that on May 15, 2020, the gang ambushed and attacked a team of NDLEA officers, during which they killed one operative, left two others seriously wounded and absconded with their rifles.
Akinmoyede stated that the sum of four million and two hundred thousand naira, one Lexus 330 SUV, four AK 47 rifles, one LAR rifle, one SMG rifle, 120 rounds of 7.62MM life ammunition, was recovered from the gang.
The CP said that the suspects would be changed to court after investigation.
On the rape allegation, the pastor denied complicity but admitted that he was tempted to commit the act.
According to him, he had just been transferred to the Njaba chapter of Winners Chapel and was waiting to be assigned his residential apartment, before another Pastor offered to harbour him until he secured his own accommodation.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Flood: NEMA trains emergency vanguards in Imo, Abia on quick response
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has inaugurated local emergency response vanguards in various communities in Imo and Abia, to collaborate with the agency in tackling incidences of disaster.
The Head, Imo/Abia Operation Office, Mr Evans Ugoh, made this know in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Owerri.
Ugoh said that the decision to train the local response vangards, was in line with the agenda of NEMA’s Director-General, AVM. Muhammed Muhammed (rtd), of taking disaster management to the grassroots.
He said that NEMA was mindful of the 2020 flood prediction and would intensify response activities, to ensure that incidences of disaster were curtailed in Nigeria.
The head of the operation office implored the response vanguards to discharge their duties with dedication, and warned that the agency would not tolerate inefficiency from them.
Ugoh said that the agency ended the training with retreats in Umuahia in Abia, and Isu Local Government Area in Imo, with the coordinators of the response vanguards in attendance.
He urged the coordinators to always monitor sea level in their areas and regularly update the local government authorities on the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET)’s flood predictions and the need for preparedness.
He also advised the flood-prone communities in the two states to always adhere to NEMA’s yearly flood early warning measures.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Ejike Obeta (NAN)
Address host communities’ issues in new PIB – Expert
Henshaw made this known at a Virtual Masters class on Precept 5 of the Nigerian Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) in Abuja on Sunday.
He said it was unfortunate that over the years, various forms of benefits transfer to oil-producing communities, put in place by the Federal Government had failed to address the exploitation, degradation and deprivation suffered by the communities.
He named the benefits transfer to oil-producing communities to include the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Ministry of Niger Delta, the 13 per cent Derivation Fund and Ecological Fund.
Henshaw said that passage of a decent PIB bill that addressed the concerns of citizens must ensure benefit sharing mechanisms that translated to tangible benefits for people in the region.
According to him, it has to ensure Implementation of the National Petroleum Policy and end to all environmentally dangerous practices in the sector.
“Amendment of NOSDRA Act to increase its capacity to carry out its activities without relying on oil companies.
“Engendering trust by ensuring meaningful participation in extractive resource projects,’’ he said.
On the 13 per cent derivative paid to oil producing states, he said that it had not impacted the communities as the accounts were domiciled with the state governments.
This, he said, has made it difficult to monitor its use for the development of the region.
He said that some states like Edo, Delta and Imo had created some special commission for implementation of projects which nerve worked but rather promoted corruption in the system.
“The continuous failure of government to ensure local impact to ensure benefits are properly transferred, will not bring any change,” he said.
He said that the recent Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) introduced in the system should be explored effectively to help benefit transfer mechanism.
He called for the overhaul of benefit transfer mechanisms, like the Niger Delta Development Commission and 13 per cent derivation fund, adding that strengthening issues in the GMOUs and ensuring that they were put into law should be key.
“A decent PIB can tackle all these for the effective growth and development needed in the country,’’ he added.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
APC stakeholders seek support for Uzodinma’s agenda
Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo on Sunday urged indigenes of the state to support the Hope Uzodinma-led administration’s Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery agenda.
The stakeholders, led by the former Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Eze Madumere, gave the advice in Abuja when they passed a vote of confidence in the governor.
They also passed a vote of confidence in the Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Nwajiuba, and the Director-General of NEPAD, Gloria Akobundu, for their sterling performances.
“ Today, we are here to pass a vote of absolute confidence on Gov. Hope Uzodinma of lmo on the platform of the APC as the leader of the party in the state and the only APC governor in the South-East and the South-South.
“We are satisfied with the developmental agenda of the governor represented in his 3Rs programme (Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery).
“We urge all Imo citizens to support the governor in his stride to achieve the set agenda.
“We equally pass a vote of confidence on the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and the Director-General of NEPAD, Princess Gloria Akobundu, for their sterling performances so far.
“We also recognise the leadership of Prince M. Nlemigbo -led APC Caretaker Committee which was constituted after the dissolution of the Imo APC party executive committee, Local Government and Ward Executives Committee by the National Working Committee (NWC) on Dec. 18, 2018,” Madumere said.
He called on Imo indigenes who left the APC for other political parties to return to the party.
“We urge our brothers and sisters who recently returned to the party after seeking electoral fortunes on other party platforms to queue behind the leadership of the party.
“We urge such persons to re-register at their various wards as the party has enough room to admit them.
“We also encourage all members of the party to discontinue all legal suits, as resolved by the last NEC meeting and supported by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We will support the leadership of the party in all disciplinary measures they may decide to take against any breach of our party rules and regulations,” Madumere said.
He expressed the support of the stakeholders for Uzodinma, Gov. Mai Buni-led National Caretaker Committee and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)