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Gov. Ayade appoints committee to end petrol scarcity in C’River



Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has appointed a three-man task force committee to tackle the lingering fuel scarcity in the state, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Information, Mr Aye Henshaw, made this known in a statement in Calabar on Monday.

He said Mr Tony Undiandeye is the Chairman while Mr Edem Ekong and Mr Itaya Asuquo are to serve as members.

Henshaw directed the task force team to liaise with relevant petroleum associations, security agencies in the state and other stakeholders with a view to ending the scarcity within 24 hours.

“In view of the recent fuel scarcity in the state which has brought untold hardship to the citizenry, government has constituted a three-man task force to liaise with the relevant stakeholders and address the issue in the interest of the public.

‘‘The task force is to liaise with relevant stakeholders to resolve the issue within 24 hours and return all filling stations to full operations.

‘‘Members of the public are, therefore, requested to remain calm as government is doing everything possible to restore the fuel situation to normalcy,’’ Henshaw said.

NAN reports that the scarcity in the state started on June 18, following a leadership tussle between two factions of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in the state.

NAN reports that a litre of petrol now goes for N300 in the parallel market, while some filling stations that are operating sell a litre between N180 and N200.


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



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



NEC to examine ownership structure of power distribution companies


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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Good Governance: Okowa tasks leaders to get closer to citizens



Good Governance: Okowa tasks leaders to get closer to citizens


Asaba, Nov. 21, 2019 Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday tasked Nigerian leaders to be closer to the people to strengthen and ensure a processes of good governance.

Okowa made the call while delivering a keynote address at the 2019 edition of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Day celebration, organised by the state chapter in Asaba.

He said that leaders must be close to the people they lead and identify with them for good policies to be made.

“A godly leader, at whatever level, is empathetic with the pain and suffering of the people he is called to lead.

“There are far too many leaders in our society who are disconnected from the reality on ground and that does not augur well for people-centred policies and good governance.”

He said that Nigeria would experience great relief if “we will heed the divine injunction to repent, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways”.

He said that CAN as an Umbrella body provided platform for fellowship and prayers for all Christian denominations.

“I have no doubt that it will serve as a catalyst for greater love and stronger unity among Christians of all persuasions.

“The first thing that struck me upon receiving the invitation to this meeting is the theme, ‘God Is Our Refuge And Fortress (Psalm 91: 2)’ which I believe we all need a fresh revelation of God as our Refuge and Fortress in the times that we live in.

“All over the world, nations are in turmoil, the seas are roaring, the earth is being shaken to its foundations, the future is very much uncertain and men’s hearts are ‘failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth’.

“But, when the Bible speaks of God as our refuge and fortress, it speaks of His awesome power to protect us from evil, deliver us from danger and fight our battles, because while He is the God of love, He is also ‘a consuming fire’ and ‘a man of war,” he said.

The governor added, “indeed, God is our present help in times of trouble and when the situation seems hopeless and you don’t have anywhere to turn.

“When you have done all that you could and the enemy seems to have you cornered, when those you trusted turn around to betray you, you must resist the temptation to get even or react in the flesh.

“Trust God to make a way where there seems to be no way for the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Bishop Kingsley Enakirerhi, while delivering the sermon, said that Christians were called to solve problems.

He said that temptations and challenges would prove to visible and invisible enemies that “when you make God your refuge and fortress, you will be prosperous, protected and preserved.”

On his part, State CAN Chairman, Senior Apostle Silvester Okorote, in a welcome address said the celebration remained an annual event that every Christian in state looked forward to celebrating.

“It is a day when we gather from all churches and the five blocs across the state to celebrate the oneness of the body of Christ on which the high priestly prayer of Jesus Christ is cantered,” he said.

News Agency if Nigeria reports that the event featured thanksgiving service as prayers were said for the country, the state and for leaders in authority among others.

Edited by Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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NEC asks NGF to constitute ad hoc committee to address mining challenges



NEC asks NGF to constitute ad hoc committee to address mining challenges


Abuja, Nov. 21, 2019 The National Economic Council (NEC) has resolved that Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) should constitute an ad hoc committee to address the challenges confronting the mining sector in Nigeria.

Gov. Abudullahi Sule of Nasarawa State briefed State House correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Sule said that the council received a memorandum from the Minister of Mines and Steel Development which intimated to the council the current relationship between the three tiers of government in fiscal governance of the solid minerals sector.

He said the minister sought an improved synergy between the three tiers of government in the sector and also requested  the council’s support in respect of the provisions of the constitution and the Nigerian Mineral Mining Act.

The governor said that NEC was further informed that the ministry had resuscitated the Presidential Mines Surveillance Taskforce in all states of the federation with the responsibility of curbing illegal mining and environmental degradation.

He said that the taskforce would also plug the revenue leakages in addition to the institutionalising of National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources Development.

“The resolutions of the council are as follows: council resolved that there is need for greater collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development as well as the various states.

“It was also resolved that environmental issues and concerns in various states have to be sorted out by the Federal Ministry of Mines and the various states.

“Regarding community relationship, council resolved that there should be a full time engagement of the communities to avoid mistakes made in the oil sector.

“ In summary, the governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), should constitute an ad hoc committee involving governors to engage with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel to find ways of addressing all the issues involved so that there will less challenges especially in this particular ministry,’’ he said.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Akeredolu, Makinde, others seek more collaboration to promote indigenous languages



Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has called on government at all levels to give more attention to the development and promotion of indigenous languages as against the foreign ones.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Akeredolu stated this in Ibadan on Thursday at the presentation and book launch of ‘Eya Ara fun Alakobere’ (Anatomy for Beginners – Human and Veterinary).

Akeredolu, who was represented at the event by Chief Olusegun Ale, his Chief of Staff, stated that the book was a laudable initiative.

He said that Yoruba language should be made a compulsory subject from the elementary classes to the senior secondary school level in the South-West.

“I believe that there is the compelling need to salvage Yoruba language from the danger of extinction in the next 100 years or thereabout.

“As a government, our administration has been making efforts to encourage the learning and speaking of Yoruba language in our primary and secondary schools.

“This is a deliberate effort on our part, because if we can encourage learning and speaking of the language at these levels, there is high probability of us achieving our objectives of not allowing it go into extinction,” he said.

Also, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, who was represented by Chief Bisi Ilaka, his Chief of Staff, said promoting Yoruba language would preserve its culture and values.

He urged everyone, as stakeholders, to promote the use of indigenous languages.

In his address, the Chairman of the occasion, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Bamgbose, commended the disciplinary approach used in producing the book.

He said that the book was an answer to those who thought Yoruba language lacked the capacity for technical terminologies in foreign languages.

Bamgbose said that the use of the book would promote effective communication between both human and veterinary doctors and their clients.

Meanwhile, Prof. Ayo Banjo said it was clear that the way to go in research was interdisciplinary approach.

He, however, called for more collaborative work to bridge the existing gap in the education sector.

The book reviewers, Prof Jide Desalu, a professor of anatomy and Prof. Oladipo Ajiboye of the Department of Linguistics, University of Lagos, both gave their commendations.

They commended the efforts of the five authors from three disciplines, who worked for about 15 years to produce the book.

Ajiboye said that the book was a worthy addition to the collections of books on Yoruba terminologies.

“The book will fill the gap in the teaching and learning of science and technology in Yoruba language,” he said.

One of the authors of the book, Prof. Olubunmi Olapade-Olaopa, said that the book was borne out of a dire need to communicate with indigent patients and enhance the teaching of anatomical science in Yoruba language.

“It is well recognised that to improve the understanding and advancement of science in a community, it requires that the various subjects be taught in the native language of its people.

“It is also a known fact that both undergraduate and postgraduate students learn better in their own local languages.

“This project was possible because the Yoruba language has both the depth and the breadth to accommodate the lexicon of anatomy.

“To this end, the existing Yoruba indigenous words that describe various parts of the body were compiled by working with local butchers and language experts.

“This book is the result of a successful interdisciplinary collaborative project between human and veterinary surgeons as well as Yoruba language experts, that is, between science and humanities,” he said.

NAN reports that the 100-page book was authored by five academicians: Profs. Olubunmi Olapade-Olaopa, Olusola Akute, Duro Adeleke, Fadeyemi Akinrinmade and Matthew Shokunbi.

Edited by Moses Solanke and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Sanwo-Olu’s Adviser on Housing counsels Lagos property owners, tenants



The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka has advised landlords and tenants in the state to always make use of registered house agents and lawyers to avoid issues in leasing and renting of properties.

Benson-Awoyinka, in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, said that such agents and lawyers should be registered with the state’s Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) and listed on its website.

The special adviser said unless property owners or tenants use registered agents in the state, it might be difficult for the government to help in resolving disputes that might arise from transactions.

Benson-Awoyinka spoke against the background of recurrent cases of clashes between tenants and landlords.

She said that if a landlord and tenant went through a registered agent or lawyer when handling rent related issues, it would be easier to resolve issues that might arise.

The special adviser said that if disagreements arose over such properties, it would not be the business of the landlord to relate with the tenant, but that of a trained agent to handle such cases.

According to her, the tenant or the person leasing a property using a government registered agent or lawyer is safer as such agent or lawyer can easily be traced when financial disputes arise.

She said  that it would  prevent a situation where people pay money to a landlord or fake agent who eventually disappears with the rent.

“When renting out your property, you must know the kind of agreement you sign with the tenant, you don’t just give out your property because you are in need of money.

“The agent that brought that person must first be a registered agent; ensure the tenant has a guarantor.

“But, in most cases, problems arise because the landlords do not want to pay the lawyer or the registered agent to handle the matter for them.

“A registered agent or lawyer will always know what to do.

“Once the agent or lawyer takes his commission, he is committed to see to the welfare of the tenant or landlord in that property, but some landlords also want to be the agent.

“Going to a mediation centre later to settle such cases does not pay anybody, when you could do the right thing at the beginning,” Benson-Awoyinka said.

According to her, if a dispute arises on a property, the landlord or tenant just has to approach the agent and explain the situation and such agent or lawyer takes it up from there.

She said that the registered agents and lawyers knew what to do, and this would save conflicting landlords and tenants from dragging themselves before a mediation centre.

Editing by Oluwole Sogunle

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