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Ekiti government to reconstruct Ado township roads

The Kayode Fayemi administration in Ekiti State says it has defrayed inherited debts to the tune of 31 billion naira since assumption of office.

Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, at the weekend said his administration would soon begin the reconstruction of Ado township roads many of which have become deplorable as a result of lack of maintenance in the last four years.

The governor made this known during an inspection tour of some projects including the Adunni Olayinka Civic Centre, New Ado-Iyin road and World Bank-funded rehabilitation of Ureje waterworks treatment plant as well as the new water reservoirs and replacement of water pipeline from Ero dam to Ado Ekiti.

Dr. Fayemi said his government had concluded plans to make the township roads motorable but was delayed by the heavy rainfalls this year.

The governor explained that his administration had spent the last one year rebuilding the state and attending to projects that were abandoned by his predecessor as well as completing ongoing ones because his government does not “have a culture of abandonment.”

He added that most of the projects he initiated during his first term that were abandoned by his successor in office would be completed and commissioned next year.

“The first year was basically a year of rebuilding and restoration because there were things that were left and were hardly touched for four years that I left here. So we spent the last one year reviewing the projects, rebuilding them and restoring all that was abandoned and completing projects that were also started by my predecessor but maybe taken halfway because we don’t have a culture of abandonment. If you go to Oja Oba, it is virtually completed. We are also completing other things that were not completed; those we left and those we met, either they were community projects or state-wide projects.

“When I said this would be a year of construction and deliverables, I meant it and by the time we complete this year in October 2020, it would be a year of commissioning in large scale. We didn’t do much of commissioning in the first year in office. The Lagos Liaison office is completed now. This civic centre is about to be completed. All the plug and play facilities are now in place at the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion. The rains are off. The contractor is now back on Ado-Iyin road and we could see evidence of that with the crushing of rocks, clearing of the roads, fixing of the drains. It is a first-class job that they are doing there. We will restart work on Ado township roads now that the rains are gone.”

Fayemi who identified paucity of funds as a major challenge of the government, said his administration was being creative in the management of its meager resources so that the goods of democracy can be delivered to the people of the state.

At the Ado waterworks outstation, the governor directed the contractor handling the construction of a 2,000 cubic metre water reservoir to loop it with the old reservoir so that it could supply more water to the public.

The reservoir which the contractor promised will be ready by February 2020, will be serviced by Ero dam as its transmission pipelines are already being laid.

Work has reached 25% on the 7.3km new Ado-Iyin road as the contractor handling the project has started constructing the drains and continuing earth works now that the rains have subsided.

Fayemi was accompanied on the inspection by the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr Sola Adebayo, his Public Utilities and Infrastructure counterpart, Hon. Bamidele Faparusi, Special Adviser on Road Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Sunday Adunmo and the General Manager, Ekiti State Water Corporation, Engr Bisi Agbeyo, among others.

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APC: Governor Abiodun’s appeal court victory, true reflection of people’s wishes

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has assured industrialists in the state of his administration’s readiness to put an end to the deplorable state of road network affecting manufacturers and other road users in the state.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, has described the victory of the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, at the Appeal Court as a true reflection of the overwhelming wishes of Ogun people, freely expressed in the March 9 governorship election.

The party equally said the dismissal of the appeal filed by the Allied People’s Movement (APM) by the Appellate Court was a reaffirmation of the divine mandate given to Abiodun.

The four-member panel of Court of Appeal, Ibadan on Monday, upheld the election of Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The panel in the unanimous judgment, delivered by Justice Mohammed Ambi-Usi Danjuma, who stood in for the head of the panel, Justice Abubakar Yahyah, dismissed the appeal filed by the governorship candidate of Allied People’s Movement (APM), Adekunle Akinlade, for lack of merit.

Akinlade had dragged the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the first respondent and Governor Abiodun as second respondent, before the Court of Appeal following the judgment of Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, that also dismissed the petition of Akinlade.

But giving the position of the party on the judgement during a press briefing at the APC secretariat in Abeokuta, the Publicity Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, stated that “the judgement would put to an end to the side distractions of this budding political association touting unmerited mandate.

“We see the judgement of the Appeal Court as a true reflection of the overwhelming wishes of Ogun people, freely expressed in the March 9, 2019 governorship election. The party believes that the latest judgement from the Appeal Court will put an end, the side distractions of this budding political association touting unmerited mandate.

“We wish to express our profound appreciation to the people of Ogun State, not only for the given mandate, but also for the support they have continued to give to the Abiodun-led administration. Same goes for the mass media. This unconditional support, we assure, will not be taken for granted.

“In line with the campaign promise of the governor, the administration has been running and will continue to run an inclusive government. It therefore behoves politicians and non-politicians who genuinely desire the peace and progress of our dear state to join hands with our governor, who believes in politics without bitterness,” Oladunjoye submitted.

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Oil tanker goes up in flames in Lagos — in pictures

A fuel tanker suspected to have been used to lift premium motor spirit illegally has gone up in flames in Abesan-Ipaja area of Lagos State.

A fuel tanker suspected to have been used to lift premium motor spirit illegally has gone up in flames in Abesan-Ipaja area of Lagos State.

The incident, which was swiftly brought under control by the various government agencies, happened in the early hours of Monday (today).

Officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Nigeria Police Force and those of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps were all present at the scene of the fire.

A fuel tanker suspected to have been used to lift premium motor spirit illegally has gone up in flames in Abesan-Ipaja area of Lagos State.

A fuel tanker suspected to have been used to lift premium motor spirit illegally has gone up in flames in Abesan-Ipaja area of Lagos State.

A fuel tanker suspected to have been used to lift premium motor spirit illegally has gone up in flames in Abesan-Ipaja area of Lagos State.

A fuel tanker suspected to have been used to lift premium motor spirit illegally has gone up in flames in Abesan-Ipaja area of Lagos State.

A fuel tanker suspected to have been used to lift premium motor spirit illegally has gone up in flames in Abesan-Ipaja area of Lagos State.

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Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold admits to concern over handball VAR incident against Manchester City

Trent Alexander-Arnold had the threat of a VAR check in the back of his mind after the ball struck his arm in the build-up to Liverpool’s opening goal against Manchester City on Sunday, but his focus remained on the task at hand.

Trent Alexander-Arnold had the threat of a VAR check in the back of his mind after the ball struck his arm in the build-up to Liverpool’s opening goal against Manchester City on Sunday, but his focus remained on the task at hand.

Fabinho’s sensational long-range strike was subject to a review after the incident in Liverpool’s penalty area, but it was eventually given due to the right-back’s arm not being judged to have been in an unnatural position.

City’s players and coaching staff were apoplectic on the touchline as they believed a number of decisions went against them in the game, but Alexander-Arnold was pleased Liverpool kept their heads to go up the other end and score.

“Obviously yeah, you know there’s VAR and I think it has hit my arm, but I think it might have hit Bernardo Silva’s first,” Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports.

“But it’s one of them where you have to carry on playing and we went down the other end and punished them.

“They were complaining about the goal and the handball and that, but like I say we went down the other end and Fabinho has hit a wonderful strike and we’ve gone 1-0 up.”

Further goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane helped Liverpool to a 3-1 win which took them eight points clear at the top, with City going into the international break in fourth. Leicester and Chelsea occupy second and third.

Despite their healthy lead, Liverpool know from their experiences last season that they can’t afford to slip up. Andy Robertson, who assisted Salah’s goal, was especially keen to make that point – but he knows his side are now in with a great chance of claiming the title at the end of the season.

“Last year, especially at the back end of the season, both us and Man City just weren’t dropping points,” Robertson told Sky Sports.

“We kept on winning, that’s why the points tally was so high. We believe that if we keep going like that, you know, if we keep getting 97 points, one year we’re going to win the league!

“Hopefully we can just keep going game by game, as boring as it is. That’s exactly what we have to do.

“It worked well for us last year and it’s worked well for us so far this year.

“We’ve beaten Man City at home and it’s a big result for us, but we still need to keep going after the international break, it’s the toughest period over Christmas.”

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Lagos: Operators in red meat value chain must adhere to standard

Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal has urged franchisees operating in the red meat value chain in the State to put in place necessary protocols in order to ensure that their meat is wholesome and fit for human consumption.

Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, has urged franchisees operating in the red meat value chain in the State to put in place necessary protocols in order to ensure that their meat is wholesome and fit for human consumption.

The Commissioner made the call in Lagos over the weekend when he met with them in furtherance of the series of engagements with stakeholders in the red meat value chain sequel to the State Government adoption of new reforms to sanitize the red meat value chain in the State.

Lawal noted that the engagement with stakeholders was necessary in order to avail them of the new reforms as well as solicited their cooperation and support for the success of the reforms, adding that the main objective of the reform was the promotion of wholesome and hygienically processed beef for the populace.

He stressed that food handling played a vital role in food safety and that every protocols that would ensure that meat is wholesome and fit for human consumption must be put in place, adding that since animal health is human health, “we need to be careful in the ways animals are handled.”

“It is important to note that 60% of pathogens that affect man are from animals, this is referred to as zoonosis. The implication of this is that our association with animals makes us susceptible to certain diseases which can easily be prevented with the right knowledge. The failure to carry out the right action is the cause of several un-explainable deaths and chronic conditions. And since the animal pathogens that affect man through consumption of their products and byproducts, hence proper handling, processing and packaging are very essential,” the Commissioner said.

Lawal pointed out that only certified animals fit for consumption must be allowed to enter the value chain, hence he averred that carcasses procured must have a certificate of health with a meat receipt while supply vendors must not only make full disclosure of clients but must also furnish the veterinary officers of their chosen abattoir a 24-hour notice of intention of slaughter.

According to the Commissioner, supply vendors engaging in sharp practices would henceforth be prosecuted alongside any officer that passed the beef, saying that a public announcement of the incidence will be made, thus blacklisting such vendor while any market where the prevalence of sharp practices are high will be closed immediately.

“A database of suppliers with their clients will henceforth be generated. In addition, a rating/ scoring system would be put in place to ensure only competent hands are in the meat industry and a standard Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan for supply merchants would also be generated and there must be 100% compliance,” Lawal said.

The Commissioner added that the database pool would give a picture of the compliance status and readiness of the value chain for the international market, noting that an association of operators with standard operating procedures would not only be the drive for the international market but would also encourage more partnerships in the red meat value chain.

“The export potential for beef is very huge and tapping into the multi-billion dollar market will only be possible with these reforms. Changing the red meat value chain is a collective effort thus all hands must be on deck to revamp the sector. The progress of the industry lies in our hands, let’s all do our part to ensure that only wholesome beef is sold to the populace,” he averred.

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Kogi Assembly approves renaming of state university after Prince Abubakar Audu

The Kogi State House of Assembly has passed a bill changing the name of the state owned university to Prince Abubakar Audu University, Ayingba.

The Kogi State House of Assembly has passed a bill changing the name of the state owned university to Prince Abubakar Audu University, Ayingba.

Governor Yahaya Bello made the announcement on Saturday at the campaign rally at the university town of Ayingba, Kogi East Senatorial District.

Bello said the decision was “in recognition of Audu’s unparalleled achievements and contributions to education and overall development of the state.”

“Today, the sixth Assembly has approved the bill changing the name of our university to Prince Abubakar Audu University, in honour of our great leader and political icon, in recognition of his unparalleled achievement in the state.”

Audu was governor of Kogi State twice. His first tenure was from January 1992 until November 1993; while the second tenure ran from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2003.

He had sought to be elected governor again in 2015 on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress; and he won the August 28th Kogi State gubernatorial primary.

He picked Mr. James Abiodun Faleke, a legislator, as his running mate..

However, Audu died on November 22, shortly before the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the Kogi State governorship election as inconclusive.

He had recorded more votes than his opponent in the elections, but due to the dilemma created by his sudden death, his party, APC, chose the runner-up of the primary elections, Yahaya Bello, as the candidate to replace him.

Bello is seeking reelection as Kogi governor on the platform of his party, APC.

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#RevolutionNow: NHRC kicks as DSS fails to release Omoyele Sowore, Olawale Bakare

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The Department of State Services on Saturday failed to release the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, and Olawale Bakare, despite the agency’s admission late on Friday that it had been served with the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court’s warrants for the release of the two men from custody.

Reacting to the development on Saturday, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, said in a statement that such conduct of disobedience to court order erodes the confidence of the people in government and the judiciary.

He stated, “Many cases have been reported to the commission about investigating police officers and state security officers deliberately refusing or delaying to verify bail conditions following court orders just to punish suspects unduly for reasons that are not constitutional.

“The constitution guarantees the innocence of every citizen of Nigeria until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“A situation where the order of courts are continuously disobeyed by security agents makes such security agents judges onto themselves and such situation does not augur well for our democracy based on separation of powers and rule of law.

“It makes the law uncertain at any point in time and leads to loss of confidence of the people in government and state institutions of which the judiciary is one.

“A situation like this can also lead to self-help thereby creating more problems for law enforcement agents and threaten the precarious situation of state responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill human rights in the country.”

Late on Friday, the DSS through its spokesperson, Peter Ifunaya, had blamed the non-release of Sowore and Bakare on the alleged failure of their lawyers to take their delivery of Friday.

In reaction, the defence lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), faulted the DSS’ claim.

Falana said lawyers in the defence team waited in vain for over four hours at the DSS headquarters in Abuja to receive the two men who have been held by the agency for close to 100 days.

On Saturday a lawyer in the defence team, Mr. Marshal Abubakar, and a group of other lawyers, activists, and supporters of Sowore and Bakare, arrived at the DSS headquarters at 8am to receive them.

They had to leave the place at 1pm when it was clear that the agency was not ready to release them.

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Data cost reduction: Minister extends deadline as NCC intervenes

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has granted the prayers of the Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, to properly position and empower the ministry to fulfil his digital economy objectives”

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, has extended the deadline given to telecom operators to review the cost of data downwards.

Pantami had on Tuesday issued a five-day ultimatum for the operators to tackle the challenges of illegal data deductions and downward review of cost of data.

However, in a statement signed by the spokesperson for the minister, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, which was shared on the official Twitter handle of the ministry on Saturday, it was revealed that the deadline has been extended.

The statement said the directive of the minister had led the Nigeria Communications Commission to come up with strategies that would address the identified challenges.

Part of the statement read, “In a letter from the Executive Vice Chairman, received by the office of the Honourable Minister on the 8th of November 2019, the telecommunications regulator, intimated Dr Pantami of the strategies been taken to stem the tide of shortchanging subscribers by Mobile Network Operators.

“In its earlier attempts to tackle the challenges, the Commission informed the Honourable Minister that it had issued a directive to all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) on the attendant penalties associated with Automatic Renewal and Forceful Subscription to Data and Value Added Services. The penalties include considerable financial sanctions on the erring operator.

“The Commission is in the process of carrying out a study on the End-of-Session Notification for Data Services and depending on the outcome, may issue a direction in accordance with the Act.

“Furthermore, in a bid to protect consumers, the Commission also notified the Honourable Minister of their regulation of the initial directive to include refunds to the consumer in established cases of unauthorised subscription.

“Dr Pantami has graciously granted an extension with the understanding that the Commission will resolve these issues within the shortest time possible.”

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Kogi seeks federal government’s help as flood takes over nine local councils

Mr Sanusi Yahaya, the state’s Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, made the call after a tour of some affected communities in Lokoja on Saturday.

The Kogi Government has appealed for help from the Federal Government over current flooding in the state.

Mr Sanusi Yahaya, the state’s Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, made the call after a tour of some affected communities in Lokoja on Saturday.

Yahaya said the continuous rise in water levels of the two rivers (Niger and Benue) in the state necessitated the appeal for help.

“We have just been informed by the Nigeria Hydro-logical Services Agency (NIHSA) that the recent upsurge in flooding was due to excessive spilling of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, which came through River Benue,” he said.

He said several communities in nine Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state were experiencing flooding.

He named the LGAs as – Lokoja, Ajaokuta, Kogi/Kotonkarfe, Bassa, Omala, Ofu, Igalamela, Idah and Ibaji.

He said that the residents of the communities at the river banks had been advised to seek alternative accommodation for their safety.

“Our people are suffering even though the state government has taken some steps to identify the victims and see what we can do for them.

“The community members have already been advised to relocate, but many of them are challenged in terms of places to relocate to but then safety first.

“We are again appealing to federal government and other stakeholders about the perennial flooding in the state.

“Even though we are working on permanent solutions to be able to relocate the people, many houses were affected and relocating them will be quite capital intensive.

“We are already overwhelmed as a state; we need the support of federal government.

“We need federal government’s intervention particularly through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other agencies; it is beyond our capacity,” he said.

The commissioner noted that though NEMA had sent a team to go round for assessment, more people were been displaced on daily basis.

“So, as a state, we are overwhelmed, and we are calling on the federal government to come to our aid,” Yahaya said.

The areas visited are Adankolo Estate, Integrity Chapel area, Federal University Lokoja, Ganaja village road, among others.

Some residents interviewed also appealed to the state and federal government to come to their aid with relief materials and accommodation.

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