The administration of Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has connected 300 of the 447 communities in the state to national grid within the first four years in office.
The General Manager of the Enugu State Rural Electrification Board, Mr. Onyema Odo disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Tuesday.
Odo said that since Ugwuanyi came on board as the governor of the state in 2015, it had been massive transformation in the electricity sector adding that he had not seen that type of development since the creation of the board.
He said that when the governor came on board, he made it clear that he was interested in human and infrastructural development.
The GM said that he had approved for the purchase of a lot of transformers to the rural communities, installed high tension lines in several communities, electrified and energized 13 communities that never had electricity.
“Some of the communities that had electricity needed extension due to population increase and increase in gadgets, so we have to change the 300kVA transformers in those areas to 500KVA to accommodate the increase in load.
“We have extended electricity to different communities across the state.
“Apart from our traditional rural electrification projects, we have intervention programmes here and there, and the governor has intervened in terms of security, donated transformers to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and others.
“The street lights in the 82 division have been installed; we equally extended electricity in the Garrison Command, Diagnostic Centre, Zoo Estate and Diamond Estate.
“We also have interventions in most of the key nongovernmental areas like in Cathedral, Nchatancha Nike, and Geoffrey Okoye University, all these are under interventions not in our key mandate.
“The governor in his magnanimity re-installed transformer in Juhel Filling station that was razed down by fire,” he said.
Odo said that the board was also in charge of streetlight maintenance all over the state adding that it had 43 functional generating sets for street lights.
According to him, from our last survey, we had 183Kms road length of underground armored cable and over 6,000 streetlights scattered only in Enugu city.
He said that in Nsukka, they had 15 functional generators and 3,405 street lights expanded in over 73kms adding that the governor had made it to be a first line charge because of the security implications.
The GM said that people see Enugu as a safe haven where they could come, relax and go about their normal business adding that the cost of maintaining the street lights was very expensive.
Odo said that the main challenge facing the board was street light vandalism and destruction.
“Every now and then, some reckless drivers knock down the poles while hoodlums vandalize armored cables in Milken Hill, Gariki, Coal Camp, New Haven and other places in the city.
“We have about 13 men standing trials because they were caught in the act, they are creating darkness here and there so we are working with vigilance groups, the police, civil defence to see if they can police some of these projects.
“It is the same problem we have in rural communities where we install our transformers, you find out that every now and then the armored cables are being vandalized.
“I appeal to communities in the state to ensure that the projects in their areas are being sustained. The situation is pathetic where government will spend millions of naira in developmental project and the hoodlums who supposed to benefit from it are the ones vandalizing it.
“It is a helpless situation especially in the rural communities, hoodlums should leave our installations alone; they should cooperate with their people to guard the electricity projects in the communities,” he said.
Odo however, said that with the speed which the governor was going with electricity projects, before the end of his second tenure, no community in the state would be talking about electricity need.
Edited by Maureen Atuonwu
Lagos Govt receives 1,000 land grabbing petitions in 1 year
The Lagos State Government says it has received one thousand petitions relating to forceful take-over of landed properties in the last one year.
The Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), made this known on Wednesday at the Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s first anniversary.
He said that out of the one thousand petitions received, 350 were successfully resolved within the year.
Onigbanjo noted that deliberate efforts were made by the government to strengthen the task force to arrest and prosecute suspected notorious land grabbers.
“This will send a strong signal about the determination of the present administration to rid the state of illegal dispossession of landowners.
“The task force with five counsel received one thousand petitions out of which 350 have so far been resolved, while over 600 are pending and are at various stages of resolution.
“About 20 petitions are currently being prosecuted in court; 20 properties under dispute are marked with inscriptions by the Office, to prevent any further transactions until pending issues are resolved.
The commissioner said that one of the cases handled by the task force included the Ejigbo land grabbing matter, which had gone viral.
It was popularly known as the Adeoye’s case, in which a warrant of arrest was issued against the three alleged land grabbers.
He said there was the arrest and prosecution of land grabber at Ogudu Government Reservation Area (GRA) Residential Scheme II; and recovery of land from a land grabber at Ojota, among others.
Onigbanjo said the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) held series of activities to galvanise strategic action.
The commissioner said the state government responded appropriately to formal and informal reporting of incidents of rape, defilement, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect and maltreatment.
According to him, DSVRT equally ensured the arrest and arraignment of an alleged wife molester, one Sulaiman Maiyegun, who on May 5, 2020, posted the beating of his wife, which went viral on social media.
He said the department also obtained restraining orders in court against domestic violence abusers.
The attorney-general said that the Directorate of Citizen’s Rights (DCR) received 1,308 petitions out of which 1,070 had been resolved, with 228 at different stages of resolution.
“These petitions spread across the Department’s various units, which include the Human Rights Protection Unit (HRPU), Consumer Rights Protection Unit, Monetary Claims, Family Matters, the Employee/Employer Matters, and One-stop Child Justice Centre.
“The department also took part in prison watch, with effect from May 2020, and conducted several rescue missions on abused children.
“Specifically, three children were rescued from their stepmother at Ikorodu.
“A 12-year-old boy was also rescued from his violent mother at Agege, while seven judgments were obtained at the National Industrial Court and an amount of N21,353,319 was recovered,” the commissioner said.
NANS asks govt, security agencies to create safer environment for girl-child
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on governments at all levels, security agencies, community leaders and parents to create a safer environment for girl-child across all ages.
NANS’ South-West, Deputy Coordinator, Oladimeji Uthman, made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
Uthman said that urgent attention needed to be given to the safe environment of every female student due to the constant rape and murder cases being reported in the country.
“Rape is ranked as one of the most traumatising vices that are hunting down the life and future of many youths, especially the female gender around the world.
“Justice is still being sort for Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a female Microbiology student of the University of Benin, who was found lying in a pool of blood at a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God after been allegedly raped and murdered by an unidentified gang of rapists.
“We have received, with great shock, disdain and agony, yet a new case of gruesome rape and murder of another student, Miss Bello Barakat, in Oyo State.
“Barakat, a student of the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Moore Plantation, Apata, Ibadan, was alleged to have been raped and killed by another set of unknown persons.
“The unwholesome and inhumane criminal act was carried out at the girl’s home where she lives with her parents,’’ statement read in part.
According to the association, the leadership and entire members of NANS – South West Zone and other Zones – loudly condemn the evil and violent act meted on these innocent girls.
“We promise never to stop campaigning and pressuring until justice is found for our deceased members.
“It is the most unfortunate and horror scene to imagine how innocent and promising young ladies were devoured by a fellow human.
“We believe the government, through its various law enforcement agencies, is already making effort to investigate and serve justice as due.’’
The association reaffirmed that its leadership had resolved to never stop pressurising until the perpetrators of these heinous crimes were brought to book.
“We are aware that in other climes, these criminal acts attract capital punishment.
“We are, therefore, asking that such be immediately implemented as part of the Violence Against Persons (VAP) act.
“The cut of this evil against our members is deeper than what words can express.
Gov. Ugwuanyi says efforts to transit IMT to degree awarding institution on course
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State says his administration’s goal of transiting the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu to a degree awarding institution is on course.
Ugwuanyi disclosed this during a facility tour of the institution.
The governor, who was led round the structures being put in place in the institution by the Chairman, IMT Governing Board, Mrs Ifeoma Nwobodo expressed satisfaction with the pace of work done.
He said that his administration was on course to reposition the foremost state-owned institute preparatory to its transition to a degree-awarding institution.
Some of the facilities inspected included four academic buildings and other structures recently approved by the state executive council at the cost of N810 million.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other ongoing projects in the institution include rehabilitation of internal roads and renovation of the Administrative Block.
Others are refurbishment of the Mass Communication Block and other buildings.
It would be recalled that the current administration had recently approved N282million to pursue the re-accreditation of 41 academic programmes in IMT.
Traders express happy over Gov. Ugwuanyi’s reopening of Ogbete main market
The market is now to operate from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
A News Agency of Nigeria Correspondent who visited the market on Wednesday reports that most traders were seen cleaning up their shops at the onset of the transactions.
NAN also observed that buckets of water and sanitisers were placed at the entrance to the market and at various shops for use, while traders and buyers wore face masks.
Some of the traders who spoke with NAN lauded the governor for reopening the market and promised to abide by all the precautionary measures adopted to contain the virus.
Mrs Ester Obi, who deals in babies’ items, said that it was a thing of joy to resume business after two months of lockdown.
“I am grateful to the governor for reopening this market; in fact, it has not been financially easy with me and my family since the closure,’’ Obi said.
Mrs Uzoamka Udeh, who sells utensils, described the reopening of the market as a “huge relief’’ to her, adding “I have started making sales’’.
“I really want to use this opportunity to thank Gov. Ugwuanyi, who listens to our complaints as many of us faced financial difficulties during the lockdown,” she said.
Some buyers, who came to the market, said that reopening of the market showed that normalcy was gradually returning to Enugu.
Kaduna LG distributes 15 donkeys seized by state govt to beneficiaries
Alhaji Muhammad Aliyu, Chairman, Soba Local Government area, Kaduna State, on Wednesday distributed 15 donkeys to some residents of the council area to enhance their economic and agricultural activities.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna on May 21, directed that dozens of the donkeys, which were seized from illegal traders at the Kagarko forest, to six local governments in the state be distributed to six local governments.
The six beneficiary local governments are Igaabi, Zaria, Soba, Kubau, Giwa and Kudan local governments.
Aliyu said since the distribution of the donkeys by the state government, the local government received many requests from interested members and groups for the donkeys, hence the distribution to some residents.
The chairman said the gesture was from the state governor to assist the rural communities with the easiest means of transportation at the grassroots, stressing that donkeys were now very costly.
He implored the beneficiaries to make effective use of the animals for better agricultural and economic activities.
”Use of donkeys as a transportation alternative particularly during this rainy season is very important.
“Where vehicles cannot reach, donkeys can easily reach and they will serve the purpose they are meant for,’’ the council chairman said.
The beneficiaries expressed their happiness over the gesture, and assured of the local government authorities that they would use the donkeys accordingly.
The law prohibits unlawful slaughter, killing and sale of donkeys within the state.
It also prohibits movement of donkeys for the purpose of slaughtering for human consumption within the state among others.
IMT seeks Enugu Govt’s support to commercialise automated sanitiser dispenser
The Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, has called for the assistance of the state government in commercialising its solar automated sanitiser dispenser.
The Chairman, IMT Governing Board, Mrs Ifeoma Nwobodo, made the call on Wednesday at the Government House, while presenting the solar automated dispenser produced by the institution to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Nwobodo said that the device could automatically dispense soap, water and sanitiser using solar energy.
The board chairman said that the effort was part of the institution’s contribution to the state government’s crusade against the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Nwobodo said that the institution had the capacity to produce the product in commercial quantity, if given the support.
Responding, Ugwuanyi commended the institution for the initiative and breakthrough.
The governor said that such was the type of relationship that needed to exist between government and institutions in the area of research.
Ugwuanyi said that his administration would give the institution the needed support and cooperation to achieve success in the project.
Libyan gov’t forces kill dozens of eastern-based army soldiers in southern Tripoli
“The heavy artillery of the 307 Artillery Battalion destroyed a mortar company of Haftar’s terrorist militias (commander of eastern-based army) in Wadi al-Rabee axis (southern Tripoli),” Mohamed Gonono, spokesman of the UN-backed government’s forces, said in a statement later Tuesday.
“Our brave forces counted 48 bodies of the fleeing terrorists left behind before they escaped from the battlefields,” the statement added.
The spokesman also said that the UN-backed government’s forces has seized eight armed vehicles of the eastern-based army, captured four soldiers, and destroyed 10 military vehicles.
Despite repeated international calls for cease-fire, the eastern-based army and the UN-backed government have been fighting for more than a year over the control of Tripoli, which killed and injured hundreds of civilians and displaced more than 150,000 others.
Australian universities warn of research “disaster” without government support amid virus outbreak
Australia’s universities have warned that the nation’s research capacity will be devastated by the coronavirus crisis without government support.
Universities Australia, on Wednesday, released modelling that found the sector could lose 16 billion Australian dollars ($11 billion) in revenue between 2020 and 2023 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figures were released ahead of a meeting between the peak body and Education Minister, Dan Tehan, on Wednesday.
Tehan has dismissed calls from universities for government assistance, instead urging them to adjust their business models.
Catriona Jackson, the Chief Executive of Universities Australia, said that the projected shortfall would have a long-lasting impact on university finances.
“We can’t pretend that won’t have a big impact.
“Not only does that revenue support the staff and facilities to educate the next generation of skilled workers, it also pays for much of the research and innovation that keeps Australia internationally competitive,’’ she said in a media release.
“If there’s less research on campus we will be less equipped to deal with crises like COVID-19 and bushfires in future.’’
“You can’t have an economic recovery without investing in research and development,’’ she added.
Universities accounted for 34 per cent of Australia’s investment in research and development in financial year 2017-18, up from 24 per cent a decade earlier.
Brian Schmidt, the Vice-Chancellor of Australian National University (ANU), told News Corp Australia that ANU has resorted to using international student fees to fund its research amid the pandemic.
“That money is going to go and the question is: what is Australia going to do about it?
“All the evidence is that when you invest in research in universities, you get large economic spill-overs,’’ he said.
“This is an impending disaster, which needs to be sorted out in the next few months.
“Universities like my own will have to make decisions about what activities we can afford to do and what we can’t.
“We’re to lose a potential early-career researcher generation.’’
The Group of Eight (Go8), a coalition of Australia’s top universities, said that prior to the pandemic, research from its members “pumped almost 25 billion AUD ($17.3 billion) into the economy each year’’.
“Life, as we know it, has changed dramatically and more than ever we need a research-led economic recovery – unashamedly focused on job creation, retraining, improved productivity processes and new industries supported by AI and hi-tech manufacturing,’’ Go8 Chief Executive, Vicki Thomson, said.
“COVID-19 has shone an uncomfortable light on what we have known all along – our funding system is broken, with an over-reliance on international fee income to prop up our university research – 70 per cent of which is undertaken in Go8 universities.’’
The warnings come as La Trobe University, which has more than 25,000 students across Australia, faces bankruptcy.
In a briefing, sent to staff on Tuesday, Vice-Chancellor, John Dewar said that there was “no money tucked down the back of the sofa’’, warning that unless staff agreed to a pay cut, there would be 450 redundancies.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Sen. Folarin felicitates with ex-Gov. Alao-Akala at 70
In a statement issued by his media aide, Yekeen Olaniyi, and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Ibadan, Folarin also lauded Alao-Akala for living a life of service to humanity and encouraging upcoming leaders in Oyo State.
“The former governor remains indelible in the minds of numerous people of Oyo State. I commend our brand new septuagenarian for ensuring meaningful impacts in all the local government areas of the state.
“As you mark your birthday in good health surrounded by family members and friends, I convey to you my family’s good wishes and that of the entire people of Oyo Central Senatorial District,” Folarin said.
The group in a congratulatory message signed by its President, Ademola Dare-Williams , described Alao- Akala as a consummate politician, astute administrator and lover of the masses.
According to him, Alao- Akala’s main focus was the upliftment of the masses through the execution of people-oriented projects.
“As governor, a great number of the people enjoyed the dividends of democracy through job creation and economic empowerment while artisans, petty traders and market women witnessed great improvement in their trade,” he said.
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