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Environment

FG denies privatisation of Dams

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Dams

Abuja, March 12, 2019 The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu on Tuesday denied claims that it was privatising the nation’s dams, saying what was being done was hydropower concessioning.

Adamu said this at the opening of a Media Water Sector Workshop in Abuja.

According to him, what is being done is to give partial ownership to beneficiaries to develop the hydro power component for the overall benefit of Nigerians.

“We are not concessioning dams, when we concession, we are concessioning the hydro power component of the dam but the dam itself will still be owned by the Federal Government.

“What we do is to provide some leasing arrangement for cage fish farming and all others, we concession hydropower for aquaculture.”

Adamu said the concessioning model, being facilitated by the Infrastructure Concessioning and Regulatory Commission and Bureau of Public Enterprises allows a concessionaire to take custody of the project for a period of time as determined by the financial analysis.

He added that the concessionaire would be responsible for generating hydro power and connecting it to the transmission network made available by the Transmission Company of Nigeria for distribution.

On Gurara Dam, Adamu said the ministry was negotiating with the preferred and reserved bidder in line with the guidelines of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), to drive the processes to benefit Nigerians.

He said that the rule in the guidelines of ICRC stipulated that a Transaction Adviser be involved in the processes.

“We have concluded that of Gurara where we have 30 megawatts of hydro power plant, all the processes leading to the concessioning have been done, what is left is for us to present it to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

“We still have to wait because the transmission line is not working and it is not within the purview of the ministry, it is taken by Transmission Company of Nigeria

“A lot of progress has been made, we hope that by the end of this year, something will happen.”

The minister stressed that shortlisted firms had been given their request for proposal and analysed in choosing the preferred and reserved bidder.

He expressed hope that successive administration would ride on what was being done, saying with the coming in of the private sector operators in irrigation, through the Graduate and Youth Empowerment Scheme, more hectares would be achieved.

Mr Benson Ajisegiri, the Director, Water Supply, with the ministry, said efforts in improving access to water and sanitation led to the inauguration of the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme (PEWASH).

Ajisegiri, represented by Mr Abdulhamid Gwaram, said so far, 22 states had indicated interest and signed the PEWASH Protocol, noting that implementation had started in Kano and Ogun states.

Mrs Oyeronke Oluniyi, the Deputy Director, Irrigation and Drainage Department, said that the ministry was working to see that irrigated agriculture was promoted in parts of the country.

According to her, so far, part of the intervention is the Bakolori Irrigation Scheme in Zamafara which has reached 40 per cent completion and has been able to cultivate no fewer than 528,000 tonnes of rice and other cereals.

Oluniyi called for support from stakeholders to enable the ministry meet its target of irrigation for national development.

Earlier, the Director, Press and Public Relations with the ministry, Mrs Kenechukwu Offie, said the aim of the workshop was to educate the media on better reportage of the ministry and its activities.

She said this was also an opportunity to equip the media with the modern styles and dynamics of quality water reporting.

Politics

Gani Adams welcomes twins

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Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, on Tuesday, welcomes a set of twins in a private hospital in Lagos.

Adams made this known in a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday.

He said his wife, Mrs Mojisola Adams, delivered of a set of twins, a boy and a girl, on Tuesday night, saying that the mother and the babies were in good condition.

The Aare Ona Kakanfo expressed gratitude to God for the gift, saying it was purely a gift from God.

He said: “With the new addition of twins to my immediate family, I am happy that God has singled me out for his blessing.

“This is especially, at this time. I am most grateful that the Lord has done for me what seems very impossible.

“More importantly, I want to also appreciate everybody that have been sending greetings and words of prayers to me since the birth of my twins. I am very grateful to the almighty God.’’

Adams said his residence in Omole Phase 2 in Lagos had been witnessing a significant increase in the number of well-wishers and guests.

He said the well-wishers had come to share in the joy of the newborn babies.

Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Foreign

Over 97 pct of dams in Mongolia give birth so far

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A total of 18.8 million dams (female livestock animals) in Mongolia have given birth so far, local media reported on Thursday, citing the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry.

“The dams that have given birth account for 97.3 percent of all dams nationwide which were counted by the end of 2019,” the ministry said in a statement.

Mongolia is one of the last nomadic countries in the world.

Animal husbandry is the backbone of the landlocked country’s economy as nearly 40 percent of the country’s nomad population depends on animal husbandry for their livelihood.

The number of livestock animals in the country surpassed 70 million by the end of 2019, said the country’s National Statistics Office.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

UK Supreme Court overturns jailbreak convictions of Northern Ireland’s Adams

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The British Supreme Court overturned two 1975 convictions of Irish nationalist leader, Gerry Adams, for trying to escape from a prison in Northern Ireland.

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that his initial detention had not been lawful.

Adams, who stood down in 2018 as head of Sinn Fein, the main party opposing British rule of Northern Ireland, was among hundreds of people held without trial in the early 1970s under a policy meant to break the guerrilla Irish Republican Army.

While Adams did not dispute the two escape attempts, his lawyers argued that he had not been lawfully detained in the first place and so could not have been convicted of escaping from legal custody.

The court agreed, saying that the internment order that led to Adams’ detention had not been considered by a British cabinet minister, known as a secretary of state, but by a lower-level minister.

“The momentous decision on whether to detain a person without trial, potentially for a limitless period, should have been made by the secretary of state himself,’’ the Supreme Court ruling said.

“The making of the ICO (interim custody order) in respect of the appellant was invalid. It follows that he was not detained lawfully.

“It further follows that he was wrongfully convicted of the offences of attempting to escape from lawful custody and his convictions for those offences must be quashed,’’ the ruling said.

Adams was the main political leader of the movement to end British rule of Northern Ireland for decades.

The violent conflict between mainly Protestant Unionists who favour continued British rule and mainly Catholic Irish Nationalists ended with the Good Friday agreement in 1998.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein under Adams later joined power-sharing governments in the province.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Metro

50th Birthday: Gani Adams promises to devote life to charity, humanity

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The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams on Wednesday promised to devote the rest of his life to charity and service to humanity.

Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Kehinde Aderemi, dedicated his 50th birthday to God and to the memory of those that lost their lives to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Adams will clock 50 years on Thursday.

He called on governments to ensure an egalitarian society by promoting justice and social equality for the nation to progress.

According to him, at this point in time, Nigerian leadership needs to inculcate the idea of putting the interests of the people first.

Adams, who said that he would be focusing more on charity to the poor and the less privileged in the society, promised to continually touch the lives of the people positively.

He said that Nigerians, especially, those from the Southwest, would begin to feel his impact more due to initiatives that would add values to the lives of people across the region.

“I am not getting younger, attaining this glorious age is never by my power or might, it is simply by the special grace of God who has been so wonderful to me and the rest of my family.

“Therefore, at 50, I think I need to do lot more in enriching the lives of poor people in the country.

“As the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, it is important to look beyond the present situation in the country and see how we can be of help to the vulnerable.

“I want to impact humanity through empowerment programmes and human capacity development initiatives,” he said.

Adams said he would concentrate on building skill acquisition programmes and human capacity development initiatives.

“I would like to use my social networks and influence to change the narratives, particularly, in the Southwest,” he said.

The Aare Ona Kakanfo said that the challenge before the leadership of the country now was the struggle for a better society.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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General news

Buhari salutes APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole at 68

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on his 68th birthday, wishing him more wisdom and strength as he continues to pilot affairs of the ruling party.

The President’s congratulatory message was conveyed in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday.

President Buhari joined family, friends, APC members, and supporters across the country, and abroad, in saluting the party chairman for his courage, diligence, and resilience in consistently rallying everyone around the onerous task of taking Nigeria to next level.

He affirmed that Oshiomhole’s skill in mobilising people and resources had truly galvanised the party, with leaders at various levels regularly setting and realising targets.

According to him, such targets will leave lasting legacies, especially in providing security, ensuring an inclusive economy that works for all, and promoting transparency and accountability.

The President urged Oshiomhole to be more steadfast and focused on carrying all members and supporters along in realising the larger goal of making life better for all Nigerians.

He also appreciated Oshiomhole’s sacrifices for the country over the years as a labour leader and as a governor.

President Buhari prayed for longer life and good health for Comrade Oshiomhole.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)

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Politics

COVID-19: Gani Adams postpones Oke’badan, Eledumare festivals indefinitely

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Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has announced that the Oke’badan and Eledumare festivals have been postponed indefinitely due to the spread of coronavirus disease across the world.

Adams, the Chief Promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF), made this known in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Kehinde Aderemi, in Lagos on Sunday.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the two festivals were earlier scheduled to hold between March 25 and March 31 respectively.

Adams explained that the postponement was made in line with the directives of the Federal Government and state governments in the Southwest that all social gatherings be suspended.

He said: “As the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland and Chief Promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation, (OFF), I wish to state categorically that the Oke’badan and Eledumare festivals have been postponed.

“The decision was made in line with the directives of the Federal Government and state governments that all social gatherings be suspended.

“The report of the spread of the deadly disease is growing by the day. For instance, Lagos has discovered new cases; Oyo state has also recorded a case of the coronavirus pandemic

“We are one of the voices advocating for good health care services in the country. The news is scary and nobody is safe with the rate COVID-19 spreads like wildfire.’’

The Aare Onakakanfo restated the need for caution, saying the decision became imperative as there was need to reduce the spread of the deadly disease.

Adams said unfortunately, the hospitality business, tourism sector, sports, religion including hotels and restaurants were mostly affected by that COVID-19 pandemic.

He urged his members, both in Nigeria and in the diaspora not to panic as the COVID-19 pandemic would soon be a thing of the past.

Adams also advised Nigerians to remain calm, expressing hope that the situation would be taken care of within a short period of time.

The Aare Onakakanfo appealed to the Federal Government to be proactive in the efforts to nip the scourge in the bud.

He said: “As we continue to face the reality of the moment with the raging effect of coronavirus across the world.

“We must not panic because it is in a time like this that we need to show character and strength in ensuring that we keep our heads above the waters as soon as possible.”

Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Court of Appeal reinstates Adams Oshiomhole as APC National Chairman

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The Court of Appeal Abuja, has ordered stay of execution of suspension on suspended National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress APC, Adams Oshiomhole.

Justice Abubakar Datti Yahaya who presided over a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, gave the order on Monday while delivering ruling in an ex-parte application filed by Oshiomhole.

Oshiomole had in an ex-parte application prayed the court to halt the suspension order on the grounds that there would be no status quo ante belum if the appellate court fails to intervene.

His lead lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun ,SAN, had informed the Court that there is a National Executive Committee meeting of the APC slated for Tuesday March 17, wherein the applicant would be excluded going by the suspension order of the lower court.

Olanipekun submitted that the order has already created a state of disorder in the party that could degenerate if the appellate court failed to intervene.

The senior lawyer who noted that time is of essence because of the seriousness of the issue, said that there will be an irredeemable damage if the court does not intervene.

In its ruling, the appellate court held that status quo can only be maintained if the order of the lower court is stayed.

“We have looked at the application and we are of the view that the image of emergency has been painted. There is an information that NEC would hold meeting tomorrow and the applicant will not be there.

Justice would not have been served if the applicant is not in that meeting.

 The status quo can only be maintained if there is a stay.

We find merit in the application

“We hereby order a stay of execution of the lower court made on March 4, 2020, pending the hearing of the notice of appeal slated for Friday March 20, 2020”.

The Court in addition ordered all parties in the suit not to take any further steps that would affect the ruling of the Court.

“We hereby give an order of injunction restraining the respondents or their agents from taking further steps until the determination of the substantive suit.

The Court of Appeal in addition made an order of accelerated hearing in the matter.

Justice Yahaya however urged politicians to learn to resolve their problems without involving the courts.

Justice Danlami Senchi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had in an interlocutory ruling on March 4, 2020, ordered among others, that Oshiomhole should desist from parading himself as the APC Chairman.

The order was sequel to an application of interlocutory injunction asking the court to suspend Mr Oshiomhole, having been suspended as a member of the APC by the party in Edo State.

However Ishiomole through his lawyer, Mr Damian Dodo SAN, had on same day approached the appeal court to reverse the suspension order placed on him by the lower court.

Oshiomhole in his appeal, specifically asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the suspension order of Justice Senchi and restore his position as National Chairman of the APC.

In his appeal predicated on four grounds Oshiomhole argued that the judge erred in law and arrived at a wrong conclusion which occasioned a miscarriagepanel of justice when the court placed him on suspension at an interlocutory stage of a suit instituted against him by some aggrieved members of the party.

Oshiomhole also argued that the High Court further erred in law when it decided that he, in the performance of his duties as APC National Chairman, would interfere in the court action filed against him by the aggrieved members.

He argued that the issue of duties as APC National Chairman is a matter which arose from substantive issues for determination and claimed ought not to have been determined at the interlocutory stage of the main matter.

The suspended National Chairman further submitted that the trial judge erred in law and arrived at a wrong conclusion which occasioned a miscarriage of justice when after ordering the filing of pleadings, immediately set down motion for interlocutory injunction for hearing in the absence of pleadings.

He further faulted the suspension order against him on the grounds that the trial court determined the motion for interlocutory injunction without recourse to triable issues which ought to have been discerned from pleadings.

Respondents in the appeal are: APC National Vice Chairman (Northeast) Mustapha Saliu, Edo State APC Chairman, Honourable Anselm Ojezua, Alhaji Sani Gomna, Mr Oshawo Stephen, Mr Fani Wabulari and Mr. Princewill Ejogharado.

Others are the Inspector General of Police and the State Security Service.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

 

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Politics

Declare 2 days holiday for Eledumare Festival, Gani Adams urges governors

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Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has urged South-West governors to declare two days public holiday in celebration of the Eledumare Festival across the region.

Gani made the appeal at a media briefing in Lagos on Thursday to unveil the series of programmes scheduled for the 2020 edition of Eledumare Festival.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the festival is one of the festivals being celebrated annually by Aare Onakakanfo in the annual calendar of the foundation.

Adams, who is also the Chief Promoter of Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF), reiterated the need for the six states to promote the core values of the Yoruba race.

He said: “I am appealing to all the  governors and religious leaders in the region to join us to celebrate Eledumare Festival.

“I urge all the state governors to as a matter of fact, declare two days as public holiday annually for the celebration of Eledumare Festival across the South-West region.

“For us, Eledumare Festival has transformed the image of OPC, it has brought peace and tranquility to us.

“Eledumare has rewarded all our efforts, either physically or spiritually, by transforming the image of OPC from bad to good patriotic Nigerians and thus becoming the most vibrant organisation in the South-West.

Aare onakakanfo said he was making a case for cultural rebirth and transformation as they celebrate the festival this year.

Adams said he was making a case for the development of the tourism destination across the South-West.

According to him, I am imploring all our brothers, families and friends to join us as we celebrate God, the Eledumare for the next 21 days.

Gani, therefore, expressed dissatisfaction over the entrenchment of foreign culture in all facets.

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

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Politics

Gani Adams urges South-West governors to build independent power projects, rail system across the states

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Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has urged the six South-West governors to build independent power projects and rail system that would link all the states in the geopolitical zone.

Media Aide to the 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Kehinde Aderemi, said in a statement on Thursday that Adams made the call in Epe, Lagos State, during the 2020 Edition of Grandmothers’ Festival, organised by the Olokun Festival Foundation.

Adams explained that uninterrupted power supply across the region would further improve commerce, tourism and drive the desired development in the six states.

According to him, the issue of security, power and transportation are mostly critical to the development of the nation.

The Aare Onakakanfo, therefore, urged the governors to look forward to creating conducive atmosphere for investors in the South-West.

“All over the world, businesses thrive where security and safety of citizens are guaranteed.

“Stable power supply is key to the development of every nation. In South Africa for example, the transportation system is amazing because of the effective rail stations between Johannesburg to Pretoria.

“Nigeria is a great nation, our leaders travel abroad and they see the kind of development spreading across United Kingdom, America, Asia and Africa.

“In South-West, we have all it takes to set the pace for the development of our region. That is why it is very important for everybody to brace up for the take off of that laudable project,” he said.

Adams noted that with the passage of Amotekun Bill this week, he was fulfilled that part of his dreams had been realised.

According to him, this is a victory for all Nigerians, it is our victory in the South-West because 25 per cent of residents in Lagos State and other South-West states are non-indigenes.

In his remarks, the Oloja and Paramount of Epe Kingdom, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun, applauded Adams for spreading the gospel of cultural transformation to Epe.

He said: “I commend Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, for promoting our cultural identity and heritage.

“Aare has made strong impact in Yorubaland and he will always remain a key player in the progress of our race,’ he said.

Animashaun said Epe traditional institution had always been supportive of any initiative that could boost Yoruba culture and tradition.

He, however, urged members of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) to be focused in sustaining the core values of the organisation.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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