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Gov. Poll: CAN urges stakeholders to shun violence





Ayokunle made the plea  in a statement through his Special Assistant, Media and Communications, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, on Friday in Abuja.

The cleric reminded electorate of the need to avoid violence, bloodshed and all forms of electoral offences.

“Tomorrow is the state governorship and state assembly polls nationwide, with the exception of few states where the governorship poll has been held.

“All eligible voters with their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) should come out en-masse to exercise their inalienable rights without any fear of being intimidated and vote according to their conscience.

“Not to vote is to allow the wrong candidates to occupy the position of leadership they do not deserve,” he advised.

The CAN President urged stakeholders, politicians, security agencies and the officials of the INEC to ensure a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the elections.

“Our politicians should avoid rigging, violence, vote buying, ballot snatching and other electoral offences; our security operatives, especially the Police and the Army, must operate within the ambit of the law, while our youths should resist the temptation of being used to foment troubles,” he stressed.

He, however, urged INEC officials and security operatives involved in the conduct of the polls to remain impartial and apolitical.

He advised INEC to conduct its activities better than in previous elections and ensure that the collation of results was free, fair, transparent and accessible to all stakeholders.


Anambra govt. empowers teachers with farm inputs for school farming




Mr Nnamdi Onukwuba, the Commissioner for Agriculture in Anambra says the ministry has extended its farm inputs distribution to schools across the state for the 2020 farming season.

Onukwuba made this known on Thursday while presenting the farm inputs to some teachers in Awka.

The commissioner urged the teachers to key into the subsistence farming policy for school children initiated by Gov. Willie Obiano to promote agriculture in the state.

He said that most public primary and secondary schools in the state have large expanse of land, which could be used for cropping activities and urged the teachers to maximise the policy.

He described Obiano as agriculture-friendly governor, who had always supported farmers with certified inputs and wished to put food on the table of the people of the state.

“We want to chase away hunger and unemployment in our state; we must join hands with the governor to promote agriculture,” he said.

He said that the inputs support given to the schools would achieve maximum yield and tasked the teachers to make efforts to achieve the government’s goal of encouraging young farmers in the state.

Onukwuba charged the teachers to apply the inputs using best agricultural practices to achieve the objective which the school farming was initiated.

He said that the ministry had presented pumpkin, okro and maize seedlings, sweet potatoes, lime, cassava stems and organic fertiliser to various schools.

Mrs Ifenyinwa Uzoka, the Director of Extension Services in the ministry, who briefed the teachers on the best agricultural practices, said an agro company, “Harvest plus” provided some of the seedlings to the ministry to support government’s call for  “Go back to Agriculture” initiative.

Mr Joevita Arazu, the Principal of Igwebuike Grammar School Awka, who spoke on behalf of other teachers reassured of their support to government policies.

Arazu said that they would do their best to key into the new policy of subsistence farming for school children.

He commended the government and ministry of agriculture for their support to schools in the state and promised to utilise the inputs properly.

Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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General news

Ekiti airport project to continue despite unfriendly economy – Gov. Fayemi



The Cargo Airport, currently being built by the Ekiti State government in Ado Ekiti, will continue, notwithstanding the present unfriendly economy, Gov. Kayode Fayemi has said.
The governor, who said this on Friday in Ado Ekiti, while on an inspection visit to some project sites, embarked upon by his administration, said he was confident that the project would be completed on schedule.
According to him, the current economic downturn being experienced globally will not be allowed to stop the completion of the airport, given its relevance to the economic growth of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the airport project formally commenced in October 2019 at a ceremony attended by Fayemi, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, a legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) and others.
NAN also reports that the project is sited on Ado Ekiti-Ijan Ekiti road in the state capital.
Although the governor admitted that the project required huge financial commitment and well-defined technical expertise, he, however, said that his administration would go ahead with it and ensure its inauguration, along with others, before October 2022, to mark his third year in office.
According to Fayemi, the project is pivotal to his administration, adding that no effort will be spared to ensure its completion.
“I am confident that this project will be inaugurated before I leave office. We are doing everything possible to ensure that we deliver alongside other projects we are working on,” he said.
The governor also listed the establishment of an agriculture zone, where agro-allied factories would be located in order to further boost the state’s industrial development, as another legacy project of his administration.
“It is an agro-based industrial hub of our state. A juice processing factory will be there. Dangote Mill, JMK Mill and our Dairy Farm at Ikun-Ekiti will also be part of it.
“Just go and check what the government and Promasidor Nigeria Limited are doing at Ikun-Ekiti. We have brought the 400 local and foreign cows we want to crossbreed to produce 1,000 litres of milk daily.
“Although it is true that resources are very scarce, nevertheless, with innovation, we shall ensure that we fulfill our promises to the people of the state,” the governor said.
NAN also reports that other projects visited by the governor for on-the-spot assessment of their level of completition included the Ekiti State Civic Centre and the New Oja Oba market, among others.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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World Environment Day: Association urges Lagos govt. to create more parks, gardens



The Association of Lagos Landscapers on Friday called on the Lagos State Government to create more parks and gardens to actualise the state’s ‘Green Alternative’ drive.

The association made the call in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Mr Olusegun Osadare and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

The association, which is the umbrella body of horticulturists working with the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), made the call to mark the 2020 World Environment Day with the theme: ‘Celebrating Biodiversity’.

An Executive member of the association, Mr Ismail Badejo, said that the association was in total support of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s environmental policies to reduce the effects of climate change.

Badejo said that the association was working hard to ensure greener parks and gardens in the state; while applauding the numerous national and international recognition so far received by the state.

“The goal and aspiration of the group is to achieve greener parks, gardens and sites as it used to be years ago that earned the Lagos State Government various awards both local and international in the area of environment.

“We call and encourage the Ministry of the Environment to play a vital role by ensuring adequate attention is paid to activities of our supervisory agency.

“There is also need for government to ensure that policies that will promote greenish environment and tree planting to reduce the impact of climate change should be encouraged,” he said.

Badejo also urged the government to take the plight of the association’s workers into consideration, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic by paying their outstanding salaries.

He said that the development could hinder the efforts put into work to maintain a greener Lagos, which could lead to negligence by members.

“The same horticulturists that worked with the state years ago are still around working. Our association is trying its best but government needs to motivate us.

“In the last five years, payment of members of the association has not been regular. This often affected our performances,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Vice President of the association, Mr Padonu Amosu had earlier encouraged communities to understand the importance of tree planting and to key into the idea of conserving the environment.

Amosu said that tree planting and keeping of gardens were not only for the rich but explained that there were cheaper and available flowering and gardening options for everybody.

He debunked the myth that flowering and gardening was exclusively for the rich.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)


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Science & Technology

Right of Way charges: Emulate Gov AbdulRazaq, Minister tells Govs




Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami has advised Nigerian governors to emulate their Kwara State counterpart AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq over the recent reduction of the Right of Way (RoW) charges for telecommunication companies.

Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary (CPS), to Gov AbdulRazaq, in a statement on Friday in Ilorin said the Minister gave the advice in a letter of commendation to the governor.

“We hope all other Governors emulate your patriotic gesture,” Ajakaye quoted the minister as saying.

News Agency of Nigeria , reports that Gov AbdulRazaq had recently directed the reduction of the RoW fee for Telecom firms from N5, 500 per linear metre to N1 per kilometer of fibre, the second lowest in Nigeria after Kaduna.

The Commissioner for Communication, who announced the reduction on Sun, May 31, said the directive took immediate effect.

Until now, telecom firms were paying N5,500 per linear metre as the fee for laying fibre cables in the state.

The Governor said the decision was to strengthen digital penetration and improve ease of doing business ratings in Kwara.

The minister in the letter said he was highly delighted about the decision of Gov AbdulRazaq.

According to the minister, the reduction in the fee would go a long way in helping the implementation of the National Broadband Plan that was recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I wish to offer my sincere appreciation to you for adhering to the resolution of the State Governors under the auspices of the Governors’ Forum on the 22nd of January 2020.

Your resolution of the RoW is truly commendable. It will enhance the prospects of broadband penetration in the country and promote a digital economy for a digital Nigeria.

“We believe an executive order will further give the decision a stronger policy backing,” Pantami said in the commendation letter.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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COVID-19:Ondo Govt. partners stakeholders to tackle community transmission



The Ondo State Government says it has resolved  to partner with relevant stakeholders to curb community transmission of COVID-19.

Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu who was represented by the Chairman Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 and the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, made this known on Friday at a stakeholders’ meeting on COVID-19 in Akure.

Akeredolu said the uncooperative attitude of some residents toward observing stipulated precautionary guidelines on COVID-19 prevention and the consequent community transmission, nessecitated the meeting and the call for collaboration.

He told each group the  areas the government would want it to buckle up and assist  in steming the tide of the pandemic.

According to him, the country has recorded over 11,000 confirmed cases and hundreds of deaths, which is a very serious issue that calls for concerted efforts and cooperation.

“The case in the state is still a sucess story, as the state has successfully treated and discharged 21 patients and has recorded only four deaths.

“There is need for stakeholders to form a formidable force to tackle COVID-19 and stem the tide, as recent cases recorded are clear cases of community transmission,” he said.

He said  that the rate at which cases were being recorded and the increase in death toll called for drastic actions  and collaboration.

The state’s Epidemiologist and Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control of the Ministry of Health, Dr Stephen Fagbemi, said that serious control measures had to be taken as the country was gradually easing the lockdown.

He appealed to the state residents to cooperate with the government by obeying stipulated precautionary regulations  in the interest of all.

The Secretary of the Ondo State Bankers Committee, Mr Okafor Wallace, said at the meeting that congestion in and around banks  in recent times was unhealthy and uncalled for.

According to him, the world now operates cashless policy and people do not need to carry cash round but transact business online or use the Point of Sale (PoS) terminals.

Wallace praised the governor and his team for commitment to tackling COVID-19.

The Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state, Mr Adebo Jacob, appealed to the government to cushion the effect of the pandemic on transporters through palliatives.

He also urged NURTW members to comply with all laid down guidelines  on the prevention of COVID-19.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was attended by representatives of the Ondo State Forum of Bankers, Market Women Association, NURTW and security agencies.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran (NAN)Ijeoma Popoola

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General news

Monarch urges Kwara govt. to complete road projects in Irepodun LG



Oba AbdulWahab Oyebamire on Friday urged the Kwara Government to complete abandoned road projects in Irepodun Local Government Area to assist community farmers and traders transport their produce to the markets.

Oyebamire, the Aala of Ilala, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin.

He said that the farming season was here as well as the rainy season but the access roads and the link bridge to the community were yet to be completed.

The monarch said that the projects were about 80 per cent completed, saying that in spite of several letters written to the government to embark on completing the projects, nothing had been done yet.

“We are appealing to the government to complete the roads and the link bridge in the area because our wet and dry seasons’ farmers and marketers are experiencing untold hardship.

“They find it difficult to ply the roads and transport their produce from the farms to the markets daily and this challenge is affecting their economy and livelihood,” he said.

Oyebamire, however, commended the intervention of the state government on the measures introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

He said that the government extended the palliatives to the people of the community, saying that the palliatives cushioned the effects of the lockdown in the community.

“We appreciate the government of Kwara State for the quick intervention and consideration,” the monarch said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Zambia gov’t happy with increased Chinese investment: minister




The Zambian government on Friday commended the Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone (ZCCZ) for its contribution towards increased trade and manufacturing sectors in the country.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma said the ZCCZ, which has established the Lusaka East Multi-Facility Economic Zone, has played a pivotal role in increased investment.

The establishment of the zone, he said, has seen an increased number of Chinese firms coming to invest in the zone.

In remarks delivered when he toured the zone, the Zambian minister said the investment of about 140 million United States dollars in infrastructure and production service facilities at the zone has resulted in increased trade and manifesting.

Zambia, he said, has made progressive strides towards attaining its industrialization agenda, adding that the setting up of industries by several investors was an indication that Zambia was heading in the right trajectory.

About 26 firms are currently operating in the zone and have invested about 26 million dollars.

The Zambian minister urged the proponents of the zone to continue expanding their operations, adding that the government has put in place good investment policies.

Hao Yafei, vice general manager at ZCCZ, thanked the government for creating an enabling environment for investment.


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General news

World Environment Day: Lions Club donates items to C/River Govt



The Lions Club International, District 404A2 of Calabar, has donated items worth thousands of naira to the   Ministry of Environment in Cross River,  to commemorate the 2020 Environment Day with the theme: ‘Time for Nature’.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items include: pairs of rain boots, hand gloves and rain coats of different sizes for environmental field workers.


Mr Anthony Doherty, who led other members of the club, said  that the donation was part of their commitments toward a clean and green environment.


Doherty said that  the club was concerned about the environment because it was part of its service areas.


“As the world marks the 2020 World Environment Day, we are here to donate these items as a way of supporting the efforts of the state government in environmental protection and sustainability.


The state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Mfon Bassey and his team are doing a good work in returning the city of Calabar to its glorious days.


“The enviroment is one of Lion’s Club service areas; I want to assure you that we will always do our best in ensuring that the environment is protected and kept neat,” he said.


Responding, Mr Effiom Ene-Obong, the Permanent Secretary in the  Ministry of Environment, thanked the club for always identifying with the ministry and supporting them to function optimally.


Effiom, who represented the Commissioner at the event, said Calabar was wearing a new look with various ongoing works to give the city a  better facelift.


He explained that the state government in collaboration with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project was currently desilting the gutters with a view to averting  flooding and erosion in Calabar metropolis.


According to him, the objective is to ensure that erosion flows freely into the channels whenever it rains.


“Also, the state government through the Ministry of Environment is remodelling major roundabouts and monuments in Calabar metropolis to further preserve and give them a new look.


The Ministry has also embarked on the felling  of old trees and planting new ones across the  major urban areas in the state,” he said.


He urged the  residents of  the state to stop dumping their waste inside the drains, adding that such an act was capable of blocking the drains which may eventually lead to flooding.


He commended Gov. Ben Ayade for placing premium on environmental protection and sustainability in the state.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Environment Day: CLO urges state govts to strengthen implementation of environment laws



An NGO, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), has urged state governments to strengthen the  implementation of environmental laws and regulations for proper protection of the environment.

The Chairman of CLO in Anambra, Mr Vincent Ezekwueme, made the appeal  while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Friday.

Ezekwueme spoke on the sideline of the World Environment Day, which is commemorated worldwide on June 5 and this year’s theme is “Celebrating Biodiversity.”

He said: “I most passionately appeal to state governments through their state houses of assembly to enact stringent legislations that will protect and preserve our environment.

“However, positive environmental laws are not enough; there is the need to establish viable environmental protection agencies and special environmental marshal corps at all tiers of governments,” he said.

The CLO boss also  said that concerted efforts should be made to protect the environment, adding that Nigerians should take ownership of their environment and preserve it.

“It is pertinent for government and the citizenry to device means and ways to turn our waste into wealth as well as stop degrading and polluting our environment.

“This movement will avert avoidable health challenges; since a healthy environment breeds  healthy citizenry and  nation,’’ he said.

Ezekwueme, however, lamented the  huge loss in the environment to natural disasters such as  erosion, flooding, sand dredging, indiscriminate waste disposal and torrential downpour.

NAN reports that the World Environment Day is the  day that the United Nations has dedicated to  encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect the environment.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada (NAN)

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