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Gov. Obiano pledges more road infrastructure in Anambra before tenure ends

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Road

Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra says his administration will provide more road infrastructure to enhance human and vehicular movement across the state before the end of his tenure in 2021.

Obiano said this when he paid an inspection visit to the ongoing construction on the Enugwu-Ukwu link road in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra.

The governor said that the government would complete all road projects already started in the state before the rains.

He also said that it would also embark on massive road maintenance interventions on potholes and failed portions of some roads in the state before rainy season to ensure its accessibility.

Obiano, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, observed that part of the about six kilometer links road in Enugwu-Ukwu would connect with the road leading to Enugu-Onitsha express way when completed.

The governor said that the link road would also provide access to other nearby communities which had already been asphalted.

He added that some parts of the road that were still at stone-based level would be attended to soonest.

The governor, who described road infrastructure as key to development, reiterated his administration’s commitment to construct more roads across the state within its remaining years of governance.

The governor expressed happiness on the pace of work on the project and promised the people of Enugwu-Ukwu community that the link road would be completed within three weeks.

He said that the state government would continue to financially support the contractor handling the project to ensure its delivery on schedule.

Mr. Emmanuel Okolo, the contractor handling the project said that the state government’s cooperation on the project was encouraging and commendable.

Okolo promised to complete and deliver the project on schedule as long as the state government continued to provide the necessary support.

He said that the swampy topography of the area was a major challenge facing the company and assured that with the financial backup of the state government, they would surmount the challenge.

Mr Christian Beluchukwu, an indigene of Enugwu-Ukwu community, expressed happiness over the construction of the link road.

Beluchukwu said that the road project, when completed, would boost business between the community and its neighboring towns.

 

General news

Gov. Makinde constitutes Oyo Credit Corporation, Sports Council

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Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has appointed Afees Jimoh, a former House of Representatives member, as Chairman of the state’s Agriculture Credit Corporation.

Special Assistant on Print Media, Moses Alao, announced to the appointment in a statement on Thursday.

“Jimoh, the newly appointed chairman of the state’s Agriculture Credit Corporation, attended Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin; University of Lagos, Akoka; Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos State.

“Where he obtained NCE Technical, HND, PGD and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical/Electronics and Computer Engineering, respectively.

He was a Reps member for Irepo/Olorunsogo/Oorelope Federal Constituency between 2011 and 2015.

“He served as the Deputy Director-General of the PDP Campaign for Oyo North Senatorial District in 2019,” the statement reads.

He said that the governor also approved the composition of the Oyo State Sports Council, with former Chairman of Ibadan North-East Local Government, Gbenga Adewusi, as chairman.

According to the statement, other members of the Oyo State Sports Council are Bello Tajudeen, Ogundele Quadri, Oguntoye Issac and Ogungbenro Fatai.

Others are Miss Omolabake Alabi, Makinde Adegboyega as General Manager and Director, Policy Coordination, Governor’s Office.

“Adewusi is a graduate of Human Kinetics from University of Ibadan and a former Sports Trainer to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

“He is the current chairman of the Oyo State Handball Association and served as chairman of the state’s Badminton Association,” he said.


Edited By: Nkiru Ifeajuna/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Katsina Govt reopens weekly markets

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The Katsina State Government has directed the reopening of all major weekly markets across the state.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the Government of the State (SGS), Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, and made available to newsmen on Thursday in Katsina.

He said that the markets would be reopened with effect from June 5.

“The decision was taken as a result of a drop in the emergence of new COVID-19 cases.

“Also as a result of concerns by the government on the adverse effects of the shutting down of markets on the socio-economic activities and means of livelihood of majority of people in the state,” he said.

Inuwa, however, warned that the easing and lifting of lockdown, ban, restrictions of movement and reopening of markets “does not mean that there is no more coronavirus in the state.”

“The disease still exists. Old people and those with health challenges must avoid crowded places,” he said.

The SGS stressed the need for people to abide by the health and security protocols, including wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, regular hand washing with soap and use of sanitisers.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the affected markets are located in Charanchi, Mai’adua, Mashi, Dandume, Zango, Danja, Bakori, Yankara, Kafur and Dankama.

Others are in Kaita, Kagadama, Dutsi, Garkin-Daura and Kayawa, among others.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Ooni of Ife donates motorised fumigators to Enugu Govt.

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Thursday at the Enugu State Government House donated four modular motorised fumigators to the state government.

Ogunlesi said that the gesture was part of his contributions to contain the spread of the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

The monarch, who was represented at the presentation of the equipment by Mrs Fadekemi Fadojutimi, said  the gesture underscored his selfless service to the country.

He said that the equipment were locally fabricated within the neighborhood of the monarch.

According to him, the chemical that comes with the equipment is not harmful to the body and can be used to disinfect the environment.

Ogunlesi said that the fumigator had a droplet that could kill germs and viruses.

Responding, the Deputy Governor, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, thanked the monarch for the gesture.

Ezeilo said that the intervention would support the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

The deputy governor also said that the invention of the equipment would generate employment for Nigerians.


Edited By: Angela Okisor/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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General news

Kaduna Govt consults stakeholders on steps to reopen economy

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Kaduna State Government has urged people to wait for the guidelines to ease the lockdown of different segments of the society and economy in the state.

The Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, made the plea in a statement on Thursday in Kaduna.

Balarabe said publication of the guidelines would soon be out, adding that it would be followed by ‘’a formal announcement on the re-opening of permitted sectors’’.

She recalled that the state government had last week extended the Quarantine Orders by additional two weeks during which stakeholders would be consulted on the conditions for a safe re-opening of the state.

“Further to that commitment, the state government has initiated consultations with traditional rulers, business community, market and transport unions, proprietors of private schools and religious leaders.

“This was aimed to discuss the protocols for re-opening more segments of the society and the economy.

“Clear protocols and guidelines for the reopening of approved sectors will be published before the current Quarantine Order expires on Tuesday, June 9, 2020,” the deputy governor said.

According to her, this will spell out what is required and the measures to be taken in the economic and social sectors that will be reopened.

“The markets, places of worship, schools and other facilities whose operations were prohibited under the Quarantine Orders, will remain shut until the approved protocols are announced next week.

“Citizens should note that congregational worship is not yet permitted.

“Religious leaders are aware of this fact, and we expect everyone to live up to their obligations and avoid needless, and illegal activity,’’ she added.

Balarabe, who is also the Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19, said that government had consulted widely with stakeholders who have pledged to assist the state government’s efforts in reopening of the state.

Thank God we have responsible leaders who understand the dangers and challenges of COVID-19, and are prepared to help the state and society to achieve navigate safely,” she said.

According to her, the recommendations and suggestions that have emerged from the consultations will help to strengthen the re-opening strategy.

“The draft guidelines and discussion documents shared with the stakeholders will be improved with inputs received,’’ she said.

Balarabe said it was only prudent to allow the sacrifices that had been made to be followed, to achieve the desired results.

She commended the citizens for their perseverance through hardship occasioned by the enforcement of the lockdown period.

The deputy governor noted that the burning desires of the state government to save life against COVID-19 neccecitated the adoption of stringent preventive measures announced back in March 2020.

The chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19 recalled that the state government strategy to curb the spread of the virus was aimed at protecting lives and the economy.

“That is why the lockdown has from inception been partial to allow for essential services and the operation of some economic sectors.

In April, we also tasked a committee of senior officials to plan post-lockdown scenarios for the state.

“The report of this committee has since been discussed by the state task force on COVID-19 and published,’’ she added.


Edited By: Angela Okisor/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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General news

Engineers, govts, other professionals should partner for national devt – Don

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A Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Lagos, Dr Olanike Buraimoh, on Thursday called for collaboration among governments, engineers and other professionals to solve Nigeria’s developmental challenges.

Buraimoh of the university’s Department of Microbiology, made the remark at the 11th Olu Awoyinfa Distinguished Annual Public Lecture, induction of new engineers and presentation of scholarship awards in Lagos.

The event with the theme “Forming Uncommon Partnership: Solution to Challenges of Developing Nations”, was organised by the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Lagos.

Buraimoh said that microorganisms interacted with all elements within the environment and affected operations and activities in every field, hence the need for collaboration of other professionals with microbiologists to harness microbial benefits.

She highlighted the need for synergy between engineers and microbiologists, to avert most of the problems of environmental degradation causing building collapse and construction failure.

The lecturer made various illustrations on how microorganisms could cause degeneration of substances, chemical components, facilities and other installations because of the kind of materials disposed in the past on the portion of land.

“Chemically, microorganisms degrade chemicals, plastic or anything.

Almost 50 per cent of the challenges we have in Nigeria is because we have refused to reckon with microorganisms,” she said.

Buraimoh said that 80 per cent of microorganisms were beneficial to humans if put to the right use, listing some of the areas of benefit to include construction, agriculture, water, health, among others.

She said that the introduction of microorganisms to agricultural sector had improved production more than 60 per cent in Nigeria, without affecting food quality or chemical interference which could cause toxicity.

The guest speaker urged all fields of engineering to collaborate with microbiologists, to assist them in using microorganisms to deal proactively with microbial challenges slowing down innovations.

Buraimoh said that bio wastes were available in huge quality in Nigeria and could be used to produce most chemical inputs, needed locally to reduce importation and dependence on other nations.

She urged governments and other professionals to partner with the academia to commercialise several abandoned viable researches good enough to industrialise Nigeria.

“A sustainable collaboration must take place between the academia and the industries, ministries, governments and policy makers to foster evidence-based policy making.

“To understand how humans and other life forms on earth, including those who we are yet to discover, can withstand an anthropogenic climate change, it is vital to incorporate knowledge of microbial unseen majority.

“Microorganisms affect climate change including production and consumption of greenhouse gases.

“The impact of climate change will depend heavily on response of microorganisms, which are essential for achieving an environmentally-sustainable future,’’ she said.

Mrs Funmi Akingbagbohun, Chairman, Ikeja Branch, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said the nation had a combination of several issues which required uncommon partnerships with other professionals to resolve.

Akingbagbohun said that the COVID-19 pandemic had further revealed the need for collaboration of the experts, to look for permanent solutions to Nigeria’s problems.

While delivering her opening speech, she eulogised the virtues of late Olu Awoyinfa.

Akingbagbohun said that Awoyinfa, who was celebrated nationally and globally, was passionate about the development and advancement of engineering in Nigeria.

She said that Awoyinfa, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 75, included annual awards for best graduating Chemical Engineering graduates of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in his will.

The Ikeja Branch NSE chairman said that the scholarship awards had been sustained and announced Miss Oluwatofunmi Adeniran as the 2020 beneficiary, being the best in her set.

Engineer Awoyinfa never became a chairman but we are celebrating him today because he was not looking for power; he focused on how to grow and mentor young engineers.

“Any nation that wants to grow requires engineers who are in every sphere of life solving societal problems,” she said.

Akingbagbohun commended his spouse, Mrs Abimbola Awoyinfa and her children, who had been supportive before and after the passing of the icon in all the series of the lecture.

This is the 11th of the series and Pa Awoyinfa enjoyed some of the series even when he was alive and because of the social distancing, we can accommodate only 20 in the hall and the others will have to join us online,’’ she said.

The Ikeja Branch NSE chairman boss challenged young engineers to strive to leave a legacy while highlighting the various efforts of the branch, to ensure commercialisation of researches of some young engineers.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adeniran, best graduating Chemical Engineering student of OAU, received a N100,000.00 scholarship award while 21 new members were inducted into the Ikeja NSE.


Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Ajimobi mourns ex-Gov. Olumilua

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Former Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has expressed sadness over the death of Evangelist Bamidele Olomilua, a former governor of Old Ondo State.

Ajimobi, who is also the APC Deputy National Chairman (South), mourned Olomilua

in a statement through his Media Aide, Bolaji Tunji,  made available to newsmen on Thursday in Ibadan.

Recall that Olumilua, who died at 80, was elected former governor of Ondo State on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and served from January 1992 to November 1993.

Ajimobi said that the late Olumilua lived a life of service to the people till he breathed his last on Thursday, June 4.

He described the late Olumilua as an elder statesman, who though had a short tenure as governor due to military intervention, left indelible imprints in the sands of time.

“As a progressive-minded elder, he was one of the founding members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2006, which later metamorphosed into our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“By his death, a vacuum has been created in the progressives’ fold while the people of Ekiti have also lost an illustrious and distinguished son.

“Our dear country has equally lost the sage counsel of this elder statesman,” Ajimobi said.

He described Olumilua as an upright man who was ever ready to speak to his conviction.

According to him, he was a man of impeccable character who never minced his words.

As the Chancellor of the Ekiti State University, his contributions to that Institution are legacies that will continue to live after him, Ajimobi said.

The APC deputy national chairman also sent condolences to Governors Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ekiti and Ondo states, and the family of the deceased politician over the loss.

“My heartfelt condolences go to the governors of Ekiti and Ondo states and Mama, his wife, for the loss of her loving companion of several decades.

“This is also to his children who have continued to distinguish themselves and the loved ones left behind ,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Politics

Lagos govt. reopens religious centres June 19

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The Lagos State Government has announced the reopening of religious centres at 40 per cent capacity, effective June 19.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that congregational worship with 40 per cent capacity would resume for Muslims on Friday, June 19, while Christians would resume on Sunday, June 21.

Sanwo-Olu announced this at State House, Marina, during a media briefing on the update of the management of Coronavirus and the second phase of the gradual easing of C0VID-19 lockdown in the state.

He said that the religious houses were only to run Sunday services for churches and Friday Jumat for Muslims, but barred from vigils and other weekly services.

”As we all know, mass gathering during COVID-19 pandemic can be of serious public health consequences. And there are documented evidence that mass gathering can increase the spread of the virus.

”That is why we will from 14 days time, precisely from the 19th of June for our Muslim worshippers, from the 21st of June, for our Christian worshipers, be allowing all of our religious bodies to open at the maximum of 40 per cent of their capacity.

”We know that these places of worship have different sizes, but even if your 40 per cent capacity is really so large, you cannot have beyond 500, and keeping that 40% maximum capacity is really, really so, so important.

”We will be encouraging people to have more than one service and to ensure that they keep their premises clean, disinfect before another round of worship can take place,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu also said those below 15 years of age and above 65 years old would not be allowed into places of worship, due to their vulnerability to the virus.

He also urged all religious houses to adhere strictly to safety measures like fumigating and keeping the premises clean, making sure worshipers wear face mask before entering, use of sanitiser, among others.

Sanwo-Olu said that the Lagos State Safety Commission would not only register but would be going round to check level of compliance.

According to him, the state government has the discretion to stop or restrict worship where there is no compliance.

Hotels and hospitality businesses are also free to open, while restaurants will open for take-away services only.

However, gyms, spas, cinema, event centers, night clubs and all other such services remain closed and inter-state journeys remain banned.

Sanwo-Olu said primary and secondary schools would remain shut because the government was still consulting with all stakeholders in the sector.

He added that the government would come up with guidelines for their re-opening in two weeks time, and that the on-line classes for tertiary institutions continued.

Sanwo-Olu said that from Monday, June 8, civil servants on levels 13-14 would resume with their senior colleagues on level 15 and above, while levels 1-12 were still to work from home.

All other guidelines are as announced by Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Monday, June 1 and they include: curfew from 10p.m.-4a.m., full re-opening of banks and other financial institutions, offices and business places to operate from 7a.m.-6p.m.

He added that manufacturing companies were permitted to do night shift but to make arrangement for movement of staff.

The governor admonished residents to wear face mask always as the level of compliance on wearing of face mask was not encouraging.

He urged Lagosians to self-regulate or government would regulate them.


Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Politics

Edo Gov. Poll: Rep Chinda chairs PDP screening committee

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Rep Kingsley Chinda, Obio/Akpor Constituency, Rivers, is to chair the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) screening committee for aspirants in its primaries for Edo governorship,  scheduled for Thursday.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the party’s  National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd) on Thursday in Abuja.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP approved the list of the screening committee.

Members of the screening committee are: Chief Oladimeji Fabiyi, Sen. Joy Emordi, Hajiya Aishat Hasindu, and Hon. Boyele Debekeme as Secretary.

Akobundu said  the screening exercise would hold at the NWC HALL, Wadata Plaza from 10 a.m.

The three aspirants that obtained the party’s nomination and expression of interest forms for the primaries were, Mr Kenneth Imansuangbon, Mr Omoregie-Ogbeide Ihama and Mr Gideon Ikhine.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Agriculture

Niger govt. inaugurates 2020 farming season, subsidizes inputs

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The Niger State government on Thursday inaugurated the 2020 farming season and announced subsidies for essential farming inputs to farmers in the state.

At the event, Gov. Abubakar Bello said the administration would provide fertilizers to farmers for the season in collaboration with fertiliser dealers and companies.

“This framework entails shifting from direct procurement and distribution of fertilisers by government and allowing the private sector to drive the process through their own networks.

“This means that government will now provide subsidies for fertilisers, assorted seeds and agro-chemicals to small scale farmers using the private sector,” he said.

Bello said that the measure was to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic which had disrupted global socio-economic activities did not impact negatively on farmers in the state.

“The pandemic is also threatening agricultural activities for this season, a situation which has dire consequences on food security of the state and the nation at large,” he said.

Bello said that the policy would give smallholder farmers access to vital production inputs.

The governor, who was represented by Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government, said that the exercise would eliminate middlemen, ease availability and access to genuine fertilizers and other inputs.

He said that 15,000 metric tons of fertilisers made up of 10,000 metric tons of NPK and 5,000 metric tons of Urea would be delivered to designated government fertiliser stores in the 25 local government areas for sale to farmers.

Bello said that the commodity would be sold at N5,000 per bag for NPK and N7,000 per bag Urea.

He said that other inputs such as improved varieties of assorted seeds and weed control chemicals had been made available at the sales point for easy access by farmers.

“These inputs include 457 metric tons of assorted seeds and 107,050 litres of assorted agro-chemicals,” the governor said.

Bello said that government had given approval for rehabilitation of five irrigation schemes at Chanchaga, Agaie, Jamaare, Tamanai and Lioji.

At the occasion, Alhaji Shehu Galadima, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria in the state, urged government to tackle insecurity in some parts of the state to enable farmers go back to farm.

Galadima appealed to government to pay attention to the issue of adulterated fertilizers circulating in the state to curtail the negative effect this will have on farm produce.

He lauded government for making fertilizers and other inputs available, adding that the gesture would cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 on farmers.


Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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