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Nasarawa attacks: NEMA distributes relief materials to over 2000 victims

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Victims

Akwanga (Nasarawa), April 28, 2019 The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed relief materials to more than 2000 victims of gunmen attacks in Nasarawa State.

Mr Mustapha Maihaja, NEMA Director-General, represented by Mr Kayode Fagbeni, Director, Relief Planning Research and Forecasting, made the presentation on Sunday in Akwanga.

Three communities, Numan-Kuchu, Mente and Nidan in Akwanga Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State, were on March 28 and April 14 attacked by suspected gunmen.

The attacks left no fewer than 18 persons dead, several property lost and more than 2000 persons rendered homeless.

Presenting the relief materials, Fagbemi said the action was prompted by the level of damage done during the attacks.

“There were conflicts, lives were lost and property destroyed. When it happened, the Senate asked NEMA to intervene.

“We sent our representatives here to carry out assessment of the damage and after the assessment, the President through NEMA brought relief materials to the victims.

“The relief materials are, 1000 pieces of blanket, 1000 pieces of nylon mat, 1000 pieces of wax print, 100 cartoons of toilet soap, 150 cartoons of detergent and 750 pieces of treated mosquito nets

“Others are 250 pieces of women’s foot wears, 500 pairs of men’s wears, 500 pairs of children’s wears, 300 bags of rice, 50 bags of granulated, 100 tin cartoons tomatoes, 370 bundles of roofing sheets, 600 bags of cement.

“We also brought 80 bags of three inch nail, 120 packet of zinc nails, 600 pieces of ceiling board, 50 bags of millet and 50 bags of maize,” he said.

The director noted that the materials would be distributed directly to the victims.

He said the distribution will be carried out by NEMA officials, Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA), local government officials, representatives of the traditional ruler and that of Sen. Philip Gyunka.

He urged them to be transparent in the distribution and prayed God to avert such occurrence in future.

Responding, Mr Samuel Gamu-Yare, the Chun-Mada and Chairman Traditional Council of Akwanga, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate and other stakeholders for their support.

“Our sincere appreciation the president and the senate, who through one of us, Sen. Gyunka, called on NEMA to send relief materials to cushion the effect of the devastating situation.

“To NEMA for the prompt action as well as to the Fulani community for their tireless efforts to ensure that peace is restored, I say thank you.

“This is the first time the Mada land is experiencing this type of carnage. Mada land has been the most peaceful and most friendly environment,” he said.

The traditional ruler urged the committee handling distribution to do so with a high sense of responsibility by ensuring they attended the target audience.

He called on the affected communities to embrace tolerance and forgiveness, while hoping that such would not repeat itself as the people returned home to continue with their farming activities.

Sen. Gyunka(PDP-Nasarawa) expressed his appreciation for NEMA’s prompt response.

He said : “when the incident occurred, I moved a motion in plenary and based on this, the FG acted promptly by carrying out assessment during public holiday and today the relief materials have been released.

“We sincerely thank the Federal Government, the Senate, media and other stakeholders for their support.”

The lawmaker, who is Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts called for peace in the affected communities.

The Chairman, Akwanga Local Government Area, Mr Samuel Meshi expressed joy over the intervention.

He said the relief materials, particularly the roofing sheets, would provide succour to the affected persons, while giving them confidence to return to their communities.

He prayed for peace to return to the state and the country as a whole.

He called for security to be beefed up in the communities, adding that “security agents have been deployed to those areas but we need mobility for them to move round the villages.

General news

COVID-19: Nasarawa lifts ban on commercial motorcycles, open markets

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The Nasarawa Government has lifted the ban on operation of commercial motorcycles occasioned by COVID-19, as part of the gradual reopening of activities in the state.

Ahmed Yahaya, Commissioner of Health made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Lafia, after an expanded  stakeholders’ meeting on COVID-19 in the state.

Yahaya also announced that the government had approved the reopening of all markets across the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Gov. Abdullahi Sule, had on March 2, shutdown all markets and placed ban on commercial motorcycles as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The commissioner, however, said that the lifting of the ban and reopening of markets was with certain conditions that must be  observed.

“Commercial motorcycle operators should carry only one passenger and must use face masks ,” He  added.

The Commissioner listed the conditions for the  reopening of  markets to include,  compulsory use of face masks, provision of hand sanitiser and running water as well as observance of physical distancing by both traders and custoners.

On his part,  Samson Gamu-Yare, the “Chum-Mada,” who spoke on behalf of the state Traditional Council of Chiefs, said the traditional rulers would intensify sensitisation of their subjects to observe all governent’s directives toward the containment of COVID-19.

He said the traditional institution  would continue to complement government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 by ensuring strict monitoring of their domain for those who may want to flout orders.

Similarly, Mr  Bola Longe, Commissioner of Police in the state,  said the police and other security agencies had mounted road blocks at strategic locations across the state for the strict enforcement of government’s ban on interstate travels and curfew.

“We will not allow people to flout the regulations as directed by the federal and Nasarawa state governments.

“All entry and exit points in the state are being monitored by security agencies and we will not allow interstate movements,’’ he said.

The commissioner also warned shop owners,  to provide hand sanitiser, water and soap to customers and wear face masks to avoid face-off with the police. .


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

 

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COVID-19: NOA begins motorised sensitisation in Nasarawa

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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Nasarawa State says it has commenced a motorised sensitisation against the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Dr Priscilla Gondo-Aluor, Director, NOA, Nasarawa State, said on Thursday in Lafia that the sensitisation became necessary for residents not to misconstrue the relaxation of lockdown for end of COVID-19.

According to Gondo-Aluor, the general public should take note that the virus is still affecting people worldwide, including Nigeria.

She reminded the residents to adhere to the recommended safety measures, including wearing of face mask, physical distancing, regular washing of hands with soap and water as well as use of alcohol-based sanitiser.

“It has become absolute necessary that the general public should be called upon to be aware that COVID-19 is still affecting people worldwide, Nigeria inclusive.

“As such, the safety measures and protocol of COVID-19 should be strictly observed so as to reduce the spread rather than throw all cautions to the wind which will result in an increase in the number of effected persons.

“The relaxation of the lockdown clearly calls for every citizen to play his/her parts by keeping off COVID-19, considering the increase in the confirmed cases and deaths in Nigeria,” she said.

The Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers, Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), appreciated the agency for embarking on the motorised campaign.

The emir, who spoke through the District Head of Lafia, Alhaji Mustapha Yahuza, said that the emirate council had notified the people not to see the relaxation of the lockdown as the end of the pandemic.


Edited By: Joe Idika/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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COVID-19: Lawmaker, 3 others die in Nasarawa- Gov Sule

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Gov.  Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State on Thursday confirmed that four persons  have so far died of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.

The governor made the disclosure in Lafia at the review meeting of the state’s  COVID-19 committee.

According to the  governor, the state unfortunately recorded four deaths including the member of the state assembly representing Nasarawa-West out of the 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.

The governor also said that 705 samples were taken from the state to the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) for testing  since the pandemic started.

Out of the 705 samples taken, we have so far received 658 results and 90 were confirmed positive, while results of the remaining are  still being awaited.

“Those receiving treatment at the various isolation centres in the state are so far responding to treatment,” Sule added.

The governor assured the people of the state that the government under his leadership would always prioritize their welfare, health and security in line with the oath of office.

He also expressed gratitude to traditional rulers, security, health personnel, journalists and other stakeholders for their efforts toward containing the virus.

Sule also thanked God for sparing the life of Joseph Masin, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state who recently regained his freedom from kidnapers.

He expressed gratitude to the security agencies for their efforts and his family and indeed the entire Christians in the state for their patient during the abduction of the CAN Chairman. .


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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FEC approves N8.1 billion for completion of dam in Nasarawa State

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N8.1 billion for the completion of the construction of Farin-Ruwa multipurpose dam in Nasarawa State.

The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the third virtual meeting of the Council.

The meeting was presided over by President Muhamamdu Buhari at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.

He said the project was started by the Nasarawa State Government in 2013 but the state government in 2018, requested the federal government to take over for completion of the project.

He said: “President Buhari approved the project, a multipurpose dam project with provision for water supply, irrigation and 20 megawatts hydropower station.

“All we intend to do at the federal level is to complete the dam and then hope that we can get a concessionaire to take over the component of the hydropower, which includes the construction of the power house, the turbines and the transmission lines.

“The contract sum is N8.14 billion inclusive of all taxes with the completion period of 24 months.

“It comprises of the completion of the dam embankment, spring lay and outlet works for the water supply and hydropower component, 20 kilometres of access road and rehabilitation of some service quarters.’’

In his contribution, the Minister of Defence, retired Maj. Gen Bashir Magashi, said his ministry made presentation to the Council on its achievements and challenges in the last one year.

He said: “We spoke about our short comings. We talked about manpower shortage, inadequate funding for the Ministry of Defence. We talked about all the operations we have been conducting, the successes and failures of each of the operations right from Operation Lafia Dole to Operation Tawase.

“The shortcomings of each of the operations were discussed and God so kind contributions were made by members of the council and I think in no distant time there will be a change in the conduct of our affairs in the Ministry of Defence.’’


Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Nasarawa Govt. mulls e -procurement

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The Nasarawa State Government says it will adopt e- procurement to engender transparency and accountability in the process.

Mr Dominic Bako, the newly appointed Director-General of the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) told newsmen after his confirmation by the Nasarawa State Assembly on Tuesday in Lafia.

According to him, e – procurement will give opportunity for everybody to participate and engender transparency and accountability.

The director-general promised to make the procurement competitive for contractors with the view to identifying people that had capacity and expertise.

Bako explained that the Bureau was serving like a clearing house and due process office, where rules must be followed.

He commended Gov. Sule for finding him worthy of the appointment, and also for ensuring that things were done differently and correctly.


Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni (NAN)

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DG nominee vows to ensure transparency in government procurement process in Nasarawa 

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Dr Dominic Bako, a nominee for the position of Director General, Nasarawa State Bureau for Public Procurement has vowed to ensure accountability and transparency in government procurement process.

 

Bako gave the assurance on Tueday when he appeared for screening before the state House of Assembly   in Lafia.

He said that it would no longer be business as usual in the award of contract and purchase of government property given the establishment of the bureau.

 

“I want to commend His Excellency, Gov. Abdullahi Sule for appointing me and also the Speaker and the Honourable members for passing the bill for the establishment of this Bureau for Public Procurement.

 

“I want to assure you that if confirmed and sworn in as DG of this Bureau, it will no longer be business as usual in the government procurement process.

 

“I will ensure transparency and accountability, due process while discharging my duties for the overall development of the state,” he said.

 

The DG nominee said that he would use his wealth of experience towards ensuring the rapid development of the state.

 

Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, Speaker of the Assembly announced the confirmation of Bako as the DG of the Bureau for Public Procurement, citing his integrity, competence and wealth of experience.

 

The speaker directed the Clerk of the Assembly to communicate the house  resolution to the governor for necessary action on Bako’s confirmation.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bako was until his appointed, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Budget, Finance and Economic planning.

He also served as Head of Service, Permanent Secretary and  Commissioner under the immediate past administration of Gov. Umaru Al-Makura in the state.

 


Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

 

 

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Nasarawa Assembly urges Gov. Sule to sack SSG over N248.5m unaccounted funds

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Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Tuesday urged Gov. Abdullahi Sule to relieve the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed-Tijani of his appointment, for failing to account for over N248.5 million released for schools rehabilitation.

The fund was released during the tenure of the SSG as Commissioner of Education in the immediate past administration.

Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, Speaker of the Assembly, announced  the house resolution after the lawmakers deliberated on the report of an Ad-hoc committee that investigated the N1 billion released in 2018 for renovation and fencing of public Secondary schools in the state.

The Assembly asked Ahmed-Tijani to refund the over N248.5 million unaccounted funds to the coffers of the state government.

The Assembly noted that the former commissioner had displayed blatant inefficiency, incompetence and ineffectiveness in the performance of his official duties.

Based on the resolution of the Assembly, His Excellency, Gov. Abdullahi Sule should relieve the SSG of his appointment.

I request the Clerk to communicate the Assembly’s resolution to the governor for immediate action,” the speaker said.

The speaker called on Gov. Sule, to as a matter of urgency,  implement the resolution in the interest of peace, development and accountability to serve as deterrent to others.

According to the speaker, based on the committee’s findings, N873, 233,942.60 was expended based on information from the Payment Vouchers, excluding five percent deductions for Monitoring and Evaluation, as payments for the completed and uncompleted projects.

“The total released contract sum was N1, 084,000,000 only, if N873, 233,942.60 is deducted from the total contract sum, N210, 766, 057.40 will be unaccounted for.

Then add 5 per cent Monitoring and Evaluation which is N37, 718, 499.19, the total unaccounted funds will amount to N248, 484,556.60,” he said.

Balarabe also urged the government to declare a state of emergency on all ongoing projects to ensure completion.

“All contractors who completed their work should be paid immediately by the ministry and all payments made to the unknown contractors should be refunded to government coffers immediately.

“Funds should be released to contractors who have the capacity and ability to carry out the work,” he said.

He also called on contractors who collected money and refused to carry out the renovation or fencing of the schools to do so within one month or face the consequence.

The speaker urged the ministry of education to take on the spot assessment of all uncompleted projects, to determine the level of work done and make funds available for their completion.

Earlier, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali (APC-Lafia North), moved the motion to relieve the SSG of his position.

Alhaji Ibrahim Muluku (APC-Nassarawa Eggon East) seconded the motion.

The legislators unanimously adopted the committee’s reports and urged the governor to relieve the SSG of his position.

It would be recalled that the speaker has constituted the Ad-hoc committee on March 17, to carry out thorough investigation on the utilisation of the N1billion approved for the renovation and fencing of public secondary schools in the state.


Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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COVID-19: Aisha Buhari renovates 15-bed capacity facility in Nasarawa

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First Lady Aisha Buhari has renovated and equipped a 15-bed capacity ward in Mararaba Gurku Medical Centre in Nasarawa State to provide conducive atmosphere for COVID-19 patients.

Buhari also built two sanitary and administrative block in the facility.

Buhari, who was represented by Dr Haji Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, said the facility was part of her effort  towards supporting the state in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

She urged the management of the centre to ensure proper maintenance of the facility.

The first lady also distributed personal protective equipments (PPEs), food items and other medical equipments.

Buhari enjoined residents of the state to sustain prayers against the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In his response, the Nasarawa State deputy governor and Chairman, State Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, thanked the first lady for the gesture and promised to make judicious use of the facility.

Akabe said the state government was making frantic efforts towards containing the spread of the pandemic in the state.

He said the facility would be used as one of the isolation centres to cater for the COVID-19 patients in the state.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Nasarawa State Hospitals Management Board, Dr Usman George, expressed appreciation to the first lady for the gesture.

George said that the facility was one of the site identified by the state government to treat COVID-19 patients.

”We want to make proper use of this place to have a unilateral flow where you have donning areas where you have personal protective equipments and areas where you remove the personal protective equipments.

”We also intend to put cardiac monitors and one or two ventilators as part of the state government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.


Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Education

Nasarawa SSG indicted over project scam, to refund over N248.5m

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The Nasarawa State House of Assembly’s ad-hoc Committee, investigating alleged projects scam of N1 billion for the renovation/fencing of secondary schools, has indicted the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Aliyu Tijani.

Tijjani has therefore been ordered to refund the government N248.5 million of the unaccounted funds, released in 2018.

The Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Mr Daniel Ogazi, (APC- Kokona East), who made this known on Monday in Lafia, while presenting the committee’s report during the House0′ proceedings, noted that the SSG was the state’s Commissioner for Education when the alleged fraud occurred.

Ogazi said that the former commissioner displayed blatant inefficiency, incompetence and ineffectiveness in the performance of his official duties.

He said based on the committee’s recommendations, N873, 233,942.60 was expended as discovered from the Payment Vouchers (PVs), excluding 5 per cent deductions for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), as payments for the completed and uncompleted  projects.

“During our investigation, we summoned the Commissioner for Education, her principal officers and management staff, the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the former Commissioner for Education now SSG, Commissioner for Works, his principal officers, as well as the contractors that handled various projects.

“And during our investigation, the SSG agreed that he will take responsibility for his action.

“The total released contract sum was N1. 084 billion only, and if N873, 233,942.60 is deducted from the total contract sum, this will amount to N210, 766, 057.40.

“Then add 5 per cent Monitoring and Evaluation which is N37, 718, 499.19. The total sum of unaccounted funds will amount to N248, 484,556.60,” he said.

Ogazi urged the government to declare a state of emergency on all abandoned projects to ensure its completion.

“All contractors who completed their work should be paid immediately by the ministry and all payments made to the unknown contractors should be refunded to government coffers immediately.

“Funds should be released to contractors who have the capacity and ability to carry out the work,” he said.

He also called on contractors who collected money and refused to carry out the renovation/fencing to do so within one month or face the consequences.

The committee’s  chairman urged the ministry of education to take on the spot assessment of all uncompleted projects to see the level of work done and to make funds available for the completion of the same in the interest of development.

Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House, after receiving the report, said it would be deliberated upon on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the speaker had on March 17, constituted the ad-hoc committee to carry out thorough investigation on the alleged misuse of the funds.


Edited By: Philip Dzeremo/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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