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Ekiti to lay 606-km broadband infrastructure



The Ekiti Government on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with O’odua Infraco Resources Ltd. to lay a 606-kilometre broadband infrastructure in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that  the development came barely a week after the governor  signed an Executive Order reducing the Right of Way charges from N4,500 to N145 per metre.

Gov. Kayode Fayemi, during the signing of the MoU in Ado- Ekiti, explained that the move was in line with his administration’s commitment to the promotion of a  knowledge economy.

The governor said that the reduction in the cost of laying fibre in the state had already generated healthy competition in the ICT sector.

He said that the project would open up significant opportunities, attract new businesses and enhance quality healthcare service delivery as well as digital education.

The governor said that the initiative would not only turn Ekiti into a digital hub but also a destination of choice for domestic and international technology companies.

Fayemi said the broadband policy would be coordinated by a Digital Infrastructural Committee made up of various relevant government institutions critical to the implementation of the initiative.

“For us,  the roadmap is first the fibre connectivity itself, the second is the adequate data centre infrastructure, the third is the e-learning programme which will cover our educational institutions, then our safe city, our security programme will also be included.

“Our Geographical land Information  System (GIS), we would digitalise all our land record; of course, commercial investment as well as digitalisation of our government assets and our health education initiative,” he said.

The project, expected to be completed in 14 months according to the Managing Director of O’odua Infraco Resources Limited, Mr Sammy Adigun, would be officially flagged off  in October 2019.

The Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Mr Bamidele Faparusi, who also spoke at the event, announced the readiness of the state government to provide additional incentives to the communication industry.

This, he said, was in line with its timeline on development goals, especially the knowledge economy.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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VSF donates PPE, COVID-19 palliatives worth N120m to Ekiti govt, 2,060 homes



The Victims Support Fund (VSF) on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti donated to the Ekiti State Government Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items and various materials as COVID-19 palliatives, all worth about N120 million.

The donation, according to the VSF Executive Director, Prof. Sunday Ochoche, was part of the Fund’s contributions to curbing the spread of coronavirus in the state.

While presenting the palliatives to the state government, Ochoche noted that the PPE would prevent medical personnel from contracting the coronavirus.

“Nigeria can’t afford to lose its medical personnel to avoidable deaths being caused by the pandemic,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that materials donated include: 2,060 bags each containing rice, beans, sachets of salt, cassava flakes (garri), and four litres of groundnut oil.

There were also 50,000 face masks, 30,000 bottles of hand sanitisers and 290 items of medical equipment such as safety boots and goggles, as well as Hazmat suits.

Also, the Head of VSF COVID-19 Task Force, Mrs Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, said the donated materials would help in cushioning the effect of lockdown on the poor and vulnerable.

Akerele-Ogunsiji, while presenting the materials, said the VSF COVID-19 Task Force had donated materials to 12 financially-challenged states which were regarded as being accountable and transparent in the management of the pandemic.

She said VSF, a private-funded non-government organisation (NGO) which was conceptualised and formed in 2014, has consistently provided succour for victims of insurgency in the North-East.

Akerele-Ogunsiji added that VSF has been reaching out to the poor and vulnerable under this emergency situation to reduce their sufferings.

VSF is a private funding partnership with a mission to mitigate the effect of the lockdown on the vulnerable and the poor. We appeal that these materials be distributed to the right people so that its effect can be felt.”

Akerele-Ogunsiji pointed out that the intervention became necessary in view of the hunger caused by the lockdown and reported cases of loss of medical personnel to the pandemic.

“Nigeria has been suffering serious deficit under this COVID-19 and that is why the VSF Task Force has visited 12 States with open records of accountability and transparency in financial dealings to intervene and give supports to the people.

“Since we started this battle against COVID-19, many with no other means of livelihoods have lost their jobs. We remember the poor and vulnerable as well.

“The lockdown won’t be effective when people are hungry. They will surely go out to survive.

“We are concerned about not losing any of our doctors and nurses to the pandemic . We appeal that these materials should be distributed to the right people who truly deserve them”.

Wife of the state governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, received the materials on behalf of the state at the Government House in Ado-Ekiti.

She said the donation would complement the state’s food bank for the elderly, where palliatives were being distributed to people since the lockdown began in Ekiti.

Mrs Fayemi added that the state would have had many COVID-19 victims if not that the Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration was proactive in the management of the problem.

“We want to appreciate the VSF for listing Ekiti among the benefiting states. The present government has done a lot for the people in terms of palliatives since this crisis started.

“No sector can say we have not reached them. We have reached out to Okada riders, market men and women, widows, the elderly and all categories of people considered as poor and vulnerable.

“We want to assure you that these materials will be distributed to people who are genuinely needy. They will get to the right places,’’ she assured.

Also speaking at the event, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Biodun Omoleye, said the campaign against COVID-19 was being waged everywhere across the state.

“We want to thank you (VSF) for the gesture and wish to say that this intervention is timely and I want to call on other well-meaning Nigerians to follow suit.

Also, I will like to assure you that all the items will reach the target desired,” he said.

Similarly, the Commissioner for Health in Ekiti, Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, said the state had provided hand wash stations in strategic places across the state.

“We have provided hand-wash stations in strategic places, such as the markets and clinics, while offices were also directed to ensure that they provide same at the entrance of their offices. Places like praying centres were not left out also,” she assured.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Ekiti COVID-19 molecular lab ready for commissioning – Commissioner



Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, the Ekiti Commissioner for Health, says the COVID-19 Molecular Laboratory established to boost the state’s testing capacity for the virus will be commissioned on June 1.

The commissioner, who is also a member of the Ekiti COVID-19 Committee, announced that the state had so far generated N2 million from various court fines imposed on the over 100 COVID-19 lockdown offenders.

Yahaya-Kolade said that the offenders had been arrested and prosecuted since the pandemic broke out in the state.

She was speaking during a news conference on Friday in Ado Ekiti, while giving update on the status of the pandemic in the state.

The commissioner said the laboratory located in the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital would be commissioned by Gov.  Kayode Fayemi.

“We are still perfecting some regulatory procedure with  the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) but everything will be fine-tuned before June 1.

“We have 20 COVID-19 cases so far, two are still active,  we have recorded two deaths and 16 have been treated with investigational drugs and discharged,” she said.

The commissioner said fighting the coronavirus was draining the state financially rather than benefiting from it as alleged in some quarters.

The State Coordinator of the Taskforce and Director General, Office of Transformation, Strategy and Delivery, Prof.  Bolaji Aluko said security was still tight at the border towns, adding that the state had not recorded serious incursion through the borders in recent times.

Aluko said that quarantine centres in all the 16 local government areas of the state were currently empty, adding the borders were very secured.

The Commissioner for Environment, Mr Gbenga Agbeyo, said the government had undertaken the fumigation of all major towns across the three senatorial districts in the state to curtail the spread of COVID– 19.

“To ensure that we have a healthy environment, the government has declared that all Ekiti residents must observe the monthly environmental programme of Saturday, May 30 to make our state clean,’’ he said.

The Senior Special Assistant on Public Health to the Governor, Dr Jimlas Ogunsakin said that sensitisation on the dangers of COVID-19 was still being intensified across the 133 towns in the state to contain its spread.

Ogunsakin said the disease had not reached the level of community transmission due to the right strategies being put in place by the state government via the COVID– 19 task force.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Grace Yussuf (NAN)


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Flooding: Ekiti LG warns residents against dumping refuse in drains



The Ido-Osi Local Government Council of Ekiti has warned residents to desist from dumping refuse in drains, especially during the rainy season.

The Chairman of the council, Mr Adeola Lawrence, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ido-Ekiti on Friday.

He said with the commencement of the rainy season, there was need for residents of the community to keep the drains clean to avert flooding.

Lawrence said the local government council had been sensitising residents on the need to always dispose their refuse in designated dump sites.

He said that environmental officers of the council would be moving around to ensure that residents complied with the directives of the council.

Adamant residents, he said, would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

According to him, the council has been making efforts to avert flooding and will not tolerate any act which can jeopardise its initiatives.

The chairman assured residents that his administration would continue to create an enabling environment to make living conducive for residents.

Edited By: Moses Solanke/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Police arraign 3 over alleged theft of MTN cable in Ekiti



Three men on Friday appeared before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged theft of MTN cable.

The defendants-Junaid Olayinka, 39; Olatunde Ayeni, 38; and Alake Kunle, 40, are facing a one-count charge of stealing.

The prosecutor, Insp Oriyomi Akinwale, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on May 13 at about 2.p.m. at Atlas Area of Ado-Ekiti

He alleged that the defendants stole a cable valued at N500,000, property of MTN Telecommunications.

Akinwale said the offence contravened Section 390 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

The prosecutor asked the court for an adjournment to enable him study the case file and present his witnesses.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Counsel to the defendants, Mr Kayode Akinwumi, urged the court to grant the defendants bail, with a promise that they would not jump bail.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Olanike Adegoke, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N200,000 with one surety each in like sum.

Adegoke adjourned the case till July 8 for hearing.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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15 NYSC members to repeat service, 26 get extensions in Ekiti



Fifteen Corps Members of 2019 Batch B Stream ‘1’ who served in Ekiti would have their compulsory one year service repeated, while 26 bagged various extensions.

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Ekiti Coordinator, Mrs Emmanuella Okpongete made the disclosure on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti during the passing-out of 2019 Batch B Stream 1.

NAN reported that the state coordinator gave the breakdown at the ceremony held at the Ekiti Parapo Pavillion, Ado-Ekiti, without the usual ceremony.

According to Okpongete, those who are to repeat the service year absconded from their primary assignments.

“The punishment for their offence is to repeat their service year and refund whatever allowance(s) they might have collected.

“Today, we are having the passing-out of the 2019 Batch B Stream 1. This set of corps members are unique in different ways.

Out of 2,282 Corps members, 15 absconded and will have their service year repeated, 26 got extension for various offences and three outstanding ones that have done well are recommended for State Awards

16 corps members got Commendation Letters for their outstanding work in their primary places of assignment, we however, lost one to ruptured Appendix,” Okpongete said.

On measure to ensure that social and physical distancing was maintained during the issurance of certificates, the NYSC state coordinator said they designed it in a way that not more than 20 corps members attended at once.

She said,” We asked corps members to come at certain time. We ensure we do not have more than 20 to take certificates at once.

” We asked them to come with their own face masks, while we provided soaps and water to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

She, however, thanked Ekiti Government for being supportive at all time, while urging corps members not to allow the prevalence of the Coronavirus to deter them from putting into positive use the skills acquired.

In a separate interviews, Lateef Tajudeen and Edith Oarhe thanked Almighty God for the successful service year.

Oarhe said,” Though my first challenge when I came to  Ekiti was language barrier, but I was able to adapt; I have learnt a lot from different people and background.”

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Children’s Day: Be obedient, Ekiti Speaker tells children



The Speaker, Ekiti House of Assembly, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, has advised children to be obedient to their parents, so that they can be good leaders of tomorrow.

Afuye gave the advice on Wednesday, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Tai Oguntayo, in Ado-Ekiti, as the World marked 2020 Children’s Day.

“Bad leadership is an offshoot of family upbringing. This is why it is said that charity begins at home.

“I therefore urge children to obey their parents, so that they make the world a better place as leaders of tomorrow,” Afuye said.

The speaker enjoined parents to do their duties toward their wards so that they would not become social liability in the future.

He, however, assured the Ekiti people that the state assembly would continue to make laws that would enable the children to grow and take over leadership of the nation and state in particular.

Afuye commended the wife of Ekiti Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, on her various activities toward curbing child trafficking and women abuse in the state.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)


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Ekiti Assembly passes Tourism, Hospitality Licensing and Regulation Bill



Ekiti House of Assembly has passed the Ekiti Tourism and Hospitality Licensing and Regulation Bill, 2020, the News Agency of Nigeria reports

The unanimous resolution was taken at Wednesday’s plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Funminiyi Afuye in Ado Ekiti.

The passage followed the submission and subsequent adoption of the report of the House Committee on Arts, Culture and Tourism by the Chairman, Mr Adeyemi Ajibade.

According to Ajibade, the bill, if assented to by Gov. Kayode Fayemi, seeks to regulate the activities and registration of hospitality businesses in Ekiti.

The bill was seeking regulation of the relationship between government and the private sector in carrying out business transaction.

Contributing during debate on the bill, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, the Majority Leader, said the bill, when passed, would ensure seamless relationship between government and private sector in developing strategies.

He urged members to give the bill accelerated passage.

Also Ekiti Sexual Violence Against Children (Compulsory Treatment and Care) Bill, 2020, passed through the second reading.

Commenting on the bill, the Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Hakeem Jamiu, expressed concern over the prevalence of sexual violence among citizens of the state and called for adequate care and compensation for victims.

In her contribution, Mrs Yemisi Ayokunle, member representing Ekiti West, advised the relevant committee to look into the area of who pays for treatment and care of the victim.

The bill was subsequently referred to the Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development for further legislative scrutiny.

Four other Bills debated were, Ekiti Customary Court (Amendment) Bill 2020; Ekiti Public Finance Management Bill, 2020; Ekiti State College of Agriculture and Technology, Isan-Ekiti Law (Amendment) 2020; and Ekiti Mortgages and Foreclosure Bill, 2020.

NAN reports that the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Revised Appropriation Bill 2020 were referred to Committee on Appropriation for further legislative action.

Earlier, the Speaker had read two letters from the state governor concerning the MTEF and Revised Appropriation Bill 2020.

Edited By: Muftau Adediran/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Court remands man over alleged cultism, possession of Indian hemp in Ekiti



A Magistrates’ Court in Ado-Ekiti, on Wednesday ordered the remand of a suspect, Adetomiwa Ogunleye, 24, over alleged membership of an unlawful society and possession of cannabis sativa (Indian hemp).

The defendant, whose address was not provided, is standing trial on a two-count charge of membership of an unlawful society, Eiye confraternity, and possession of prohibited narcotics.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Abdulhamid Lawal, who did not take the plea of the defendant, ordered that he be remanded in police custody, pending legal advice from the office of the state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

He thereafter adjourned the case until June 3 for mention.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp. Caleb Leranmo, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on May 24 in Ikole-Ekiti.

He said that the defendant confessed to being a member of the secret cult and was arrested while in possession of substance suspected to be Indian hemp.

Leranmo said that the alleged offences contravened Sections 4 (i) of the Secret Cult (Abolition and Prohibition) (Ammendment) Law, 2017, and 5 (b) of the Indian Hemp Act.

The prosecutor said the case file had been duplicated and forwarded to the office of the DPP for advice.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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COVID-19: NYSC distributes palliatives to elderly persons in Ekiti communities



The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Ekiti office, has distributed food items, sanitisers and other relief materials to elderly men and women in four selected communities in the state.
Distributing the items in Ogotun-Ekiti, in Ekiti West Local Government Area, the NYSC coordinator in Ekiti, Mrs Emmanuella Okpongete, said the scheme identified with the suffering of the people at the trying time of Coronavirus pandemic.
News Agency of Nigeria, reports that items distributed included: six bags of rice, one bag of beans, one bag of Garri, two packets of salt and one carton of vegetable oil.
Other were, three cartons of spaghetti, two cartons of tomato paste, two cartons of `maggi’ spices, three cartons of Indomie noodles and 100 pieces of face masks.
The rest were 50 bottles of hand sanitisers, 30 bottles of sprayer sanitisers and 20 bottles of hand wash soap.
NYSC scheme is marking its 47th anniversary and this time around because of the Coronavirus and its effects on the people we decided to assist by giving out little of what we have.
NYSC scheme is a service to the community. In putting the community first we decided to visit four LGAs and villages in Ekiti state.
“Our focus is to reach out to those who are vulnerable. We feel that giving out only the sanitisers and face marks that are produced by our corps members will not be enough.
“We decided to add food items that will be able to, at least, sustain each family that benefits for two days,” Okpongete said.
NAN reported that the NYSC coordinator also enlightened the community on the dangers of COVID-19, urging them to stay safe at all times.
In his response, the traditional of Ogotun-Ekiti, Oba Samuel Oladapo, thanked NYSC scheme for the gesture, praying that the scheme would sustain its mandate of uniting the nation.
Some of the beneficiaries, Chief Amos Ayeto and Mrs Lucia Oyebode, commended the donor, and called on others to emulate the NYSC scheme’s gesture to alleviate the suffering of the people during the pandemic.
NAN reports that other communities that also benefitted are Ijero-Ekiti, in Ijero LGA, Ise-Ekiti, in Ise/Orun LGA and Emure-Ekiti, in Emure LGA.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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