Oyo Cautions Residents Against Fire Incidents
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Residents of Oyo State have been urged by the government to be careful and avoid anything that might cause fire outbreak during the harmattan season, saying that the Mr Abiola Ajimobi’s administration would continue to support the fire services department to ensure that it performs its life-saving functions effectively.
Commissioner for Works and Transport in the state, Mr Wasiu Dauda, who gave this admonition during a courtesy call by members of the Oyo State House of Assembly Committee on Works and Transport recently, also cautioned motorists and other road users to be patient while driving during and after the festive period to avoid unnecessary roads mishap.
Mr Dauda said that the government understands the expediency of the fire service department and its official, stressing that government is working assiduously within its tight revenue to ensure that the operating vehicles and equipment of the State Fire Services function effectively.
According to him, the government has directed the Vehicle Inspection Officers in the state to ensure that motorists and other road users comply with roads’ rules and codes.
Responding, the committee Chairman, Mr Adesola Sangodipe, charged the state government to urgently address the shortcomings in the fire service department and consequently urge officers of the Vehicle Inspection Officers department to be prudent in their operations and always remit the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to government coffers appropriately.
Similarly, the State House of Assembly has applauded Governor Abiola Ajimobi for his commitment towards the development of the State through road infrastructure despite the state’s dwindling revenue.
The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Kehinde Subar, representing Ibadan South West Constituency 1, who is also a member of the House Committee on Works and Transport, gave this commendation during an inspection exercise of the committee to the reconstruction/rehabilitation of the Mobil-Oluyole-Wema Bank-Apata Road and the dualization of Efunsetan-Podo roundabout-Tollgate Interchange Phase II, both in Ibadan.
Mr Subair said the inspection was part of the oversight functions of the committee on any awarded project that the state government embarked upon to monitor and know if the project is done to specifications and standard.
While appreciating the Governor, Mr Subair said that Mr Ajimobi understands the plight of the citizens because he executes environment/business friendly projects, adding that development and businesses can only thrive in a conducive environment with good and accessible roads that will attract foreign and local investors.
“The Committee is very satisfied with the level of the projects, all the measurements are accurate and the thickness of the asphalt is realistic. We also commend the Ministry of Works and Transport for playing their part by supervising the projects,” he stressed.
While commending the contractors handling both projects, Adold Engineering Development Company Limited and Hitech Construction Company respectively for carrying out the projects according to specifications, Mr Subair noted that the committee is very satisfied with the levels of the projects’ completion.
He also pointed out that there would be easy movement of vehicles, economy improvement and less traffic gridlock especially along Apata-Odo – ona road and therefore appealed to the people of the area to make use of the road judiciously as the present administration would do more to fulfil its electioneering campaign promises.
NDDC Seeks Partnerships to Reduce Dependency on IOCs, FG for Funding
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has disclosed plans not to rely on oil multinationals and the federal government to raise funds for development projects in the region but instead pursue Public-Private Partnerships arrangements to drive development in the Niger Delta region.
According to the NDDC Managing Director, Mr Samuel Ogbuku, this PPP model would ease the financial burden of the central government.
Mr Ogbuku, speaking during an Executive Management and staff meeting at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, announced that a summit was in the offing to enable stakeholders to explore opportunities for collaboration.
He stated the NDDC would not relent in its PPP campaign to bring sustainable development to the Niger Delta region.
“We intend to leverage our PPP initiative during the summit, which will take place in April. It will help us to showcase what we can offer and show the world the future of NDDC.
“We cannot continue to rely on international oil companies and the federal government to raise funds for development projects. We intend to show the world that NDDC has been rebranded.
“We will take the campaign to all relevant organisations. Last week, we were at the meeting of the Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lagos. Henceforth, NDDC will be attending the OPTS quarterly meetings.”
The NDDC boss further stated that the commission would also focus on capacity building for youths in the region.
“We are going to focus on youth development programmes; we have come up with a new concept of working with the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce in the training of our youths and young entrepreneurs.
“We will show the world that we have young entrepreneurs. The various Chambers of Commerce will help us to make the programme sustainable. We will focus on empowering young people because the government cannot employ everybody.”
On NDDC’s commitment to its contractors, Mr Ogbuku affirmed that the Commission was engaging them to arrive at practicable ways of liquidating the debts saying, “We have been meeting with the contractors, and gradually, all legitimate debts will be defrayed.”
The NDDC boss said there was a need for reform within the Commission in order to bring it in line with the NDDC Establishment Act. For instance, he said, “we are reorganising the directorates to bring the number to only 13 provided for in the Act.”
Aremu Tasks CBN, NLC on Dialogue Over Cash Scarcity Strike
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Director-General of the Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, Kwara State, Mr Issa Aremu, has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to engage the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in a social dialogue to avert the planned strike over the continued cash scarcity.
Mr Aremu made the call on Thursday in Ilorin on the sidelines of the Interfaith Prayer organised to mark the 40th anniversary of the institute.
Recall that Business Post earlier this week reported that the president of the NLC, Mr Joe Ajaero, directed affiliate unions of the group to be on standby for a picketing exercise across all branches of the CBN nationwide.
The directive, according to the trade unionist, became imperative following the expiration of a one-week ultimatum given to the apex bank to make cash available for Nigerians.
Speaking on the development, the MINILS head said it was unprecedented that the labour union is threatening to picket the CBN, tasking the apex bank to use every means at its disposal to ensure monetary stability in the country.
The DG, who was once a labour leader, noted that depositors had been subjected to a lot of hardship in recent times over the CBN financial policy.
Mr Aremu said that CBN must be more transparent and engaging and look at the overall policy’s impact on the growth and development of the nation’s economy.
He said that this would ensure the confidence of Nigerians in the banking system.
Mr Aremu explained that such a cashless policy should be gradually introduced after the appropriate infrastructure had been put in place.
“It also requires mass sensitisation and awareness, and there is a limited time for implementation of the policy for Nigerians,” he said.
The institute’s head lauded the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, saying it “provides loans (in kind and cash) to smallholder farmers, which had boosted agricultural production, especially rice”.
He, therefore, insisted that picketing of the apex bank by labour leaders was avoidable and preventable, advising CBN to address all concerns by organised labour.
On the 40th anniversary of the institute, Mr Aremu said, “This gathering is all about appreciation to Almighty God in the Holy Month of Ramadan, in which Catholic lent also runs. Both Christianity and Islam stress gratitude. Gratitude pleases Allah, while ingratitude displeases Him.”
“Glory to Almighty for sparing our lives to continue the institutional building that started with President Shehu Shagari’s formal inauguration in 1983,” he said.
Nigeria to Get 25,000 Tonnes of Wheat from Ukraine
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria will get about 25,000 tonnes of wheat from warring Ukraine, with the federal government designating Port Harcourt as the target location for the grains.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, disclosed this on Wednesday during a briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.
Mr Abubakar revealed that the Rivers State capital had been selected as the hub for the 25,000 metric tonnes of wheat expected from Ukraine, as Russia also extends its supply of grains to the country through a United Nations arrangement.
He explained that the wheat consignment from Ukraine is on the high sea.
The agriculture minister stated that the hub would create economic activities in the area.
As part of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Ukraine exported 6.9 million tonnes of wheat, 20 per cent of which was sent to African countries. Out of this, Nigeria will get about 1.8 per cent.
Some 2.67 million tonnes of wheat, or 43 per cent, was transported to the poorest countries and those with incomes below the average.
The grain initiative will allow Ukraine to remain a top agrarian nation and will allow Ukrainian farmers affected by the Russian war, which started more than a year ago, to sow and be able to receive income from their harvest.
The grain initiative was launched on July 22, 2022, with the first bulker carrying Ukrainian food commodities leaving the port of Odesa on August 1.
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