Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, has stated that the construction of a road leading to the Ogun portion of Olokola Free Trade Zone and the deep seaport would cost N26 billion.
The governor disclosed this during a community Demand Review tour of Ogun Waterside Local Government Area at Abigi.
The road, expected to pass through five communities, will start at J4 junction of the Lago-Ijebu-Abigi-Ifire-Makunomi to Olokola.
He said it has become expedient for his administration to execute the project to encourage investment in the state. Daniel explained that his administration is determined to turn the state into an industrial hub by ensuring the success of the project which he said, would be the first of its kind on the African Continent.
He however, allayed the fears of the people about the project, saying he had met with President Umaru Yar’Adua who personally expressed the determination of the Federal Government to move the project forward.
Daniel also said arrangements have been concluded with some international investors to set up a 140,000 metric tones Petroleum depot at a cost of $50 million within the free trade zone.
He said promoters of the project to be sited at Abigi have also promised to construct a ferry port for the neighbouring communities.
It was gathered that during the tour, the governor inaugurated a N100 million engineering equipment at the state-owned Gateway Petro-chemical and Gas Institute, Oni.
He assured students of the institute of mass employment opportunities in the various projects being put in place.
He commended the council Chairman, Tola Ajayi for bringing dividends of democracy to the door step of the people.
43 Farmers Killed By Insurgents Buried Amid Tears, Wailing
Some 43 rice farmers killed on Saturday by insurgents at Koshebe village in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State were buried yesterday amid wailing and tears by residents of the community.
The farmers were killed at about 11 a.m. as they harvested rice on their farms.
The incident is the latest in the unrelenting killing of farmers in the North-East by Boko Haram insurgents, who have been campaigning for a strict Islamic code since 2009.
The insurgency has taken hundreds of lives and displaced thousands of residents, although the Federal Governments has been fighting back to defeat the insurgents.
Speaking at the burial of the farmers, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, said that residents informed him that the death toll could be as high 70 because some of the farmers were still missing.
Zulum advised that Nigeria and some of its neighbouring countries should forge closer cooperation to defeat the insurgency, which has wracked Nigeria for over a decade.
He pleaded with the Federal Government to recruit more indigenes of the state into the military and other security agencies to combat the insurgency.
Zulum said that his administration would recruit more hunters and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), to complement the efforts of the military and other security agencies.
“We will restrategise and ensure total domination of the Zabarmari, Gonglong, Koshebe axis of the state.
“We will recruit more CJTF and hunters so that our people can take the fight to all nooks and crannies of this area.
“We appeal to the Nigerian Army and Air Force to strengthen their support with a view to defeating the insurgents.
“We have six million people in Borno State and we need to farm if we must survive,” Zulum said.
He observed that the insurgents who killed the farmers were from Wuda-Taya Game Reserve in the area.
The governor said that there was need to raid the area to save the farming community known for mass production of rice.
The out-going Chairman of rice sellers in the area, Malam Hassan Zabarmari, called for more security presence to protect farmers.
“We are expecting bumper harvest but with this incident, we are afraid to go to our farm in Koshebe village which has been vacated.
“The insurgents have even started burning our farms. We need help,” he pleaded. (NAN)
UNFPA Advises Against Stigmatising People Living With HIV
Assistant Reps, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Omolaso Omosehin, says the issue of stigmatisation of people living with HIV and COVID-19 is a major concern to the fund.
Omosehin, also the Head, Lagos Liaison office of UNFPA, said the fund had integrated messages against stigma into its awareness campaign.
In an interview with The Tide source in Lagos, he urged the public to shun stigmatisation, show kindness and support people that are sick.
“In the case of HIV, the stigma has reduced; in any case, you are not required to disclose your status, except you want to, and that has helped to remove the stigma.
“Someone may have HIV, and you may never know, because he is taking his drugs.
“The message and awareness about HIV is there, that if you shake hands, hug or even kiss someone with HIV, you won’t get the infection, that has helped to reduce the stigma.
“Unlike COVID-19, if someone coughs near you or shows other symptoms of the virus, you will pull back, mask up, even advise the person to keep a distance,” he said.
On whether the threat of COVID-19 was bigger than HIV, Omosehin said everyone was susceptible to COVID-19 infection, adding that adequate preventive measures was critical to reducing one’s risk of infection.
He said: “COVID-19 comes suddenly, and may have a fatal outcome, unlike HIV/AIDS. At the onset of HIV/AIDS, it was a fatalistic infection, because lots of people died.
“Now, HIV is no longer a death sentence. We don’t expect anyone to die of HIV, except they are not diagnosed on time.
“If you are diagnosed, and you have HIV, you can receive treatment and live a normal life.”
According to him, though, HIV is a life-time scourge, because a carrier never really gets cured, COVID-19 is not a life-time disease, except now that it has become a pandemic.
He said the nature of the virus kept changing, adding that no one knows when the virus would end, except a vaccine comes.
Omosehin advised Nigerians to embrace precautionary measures against COVID-19 pandemic, saying “the present strain is more virulent than before’’.
He said that ages of those who developed complications after contracting the virus had dropped from the elderly to the middle age.
“Let nobody live under the impression that COVID-19 is gone; in fact, the virus we have now is more virulent than the virus we had before.
“We need to continue to observe social distancing, masking up, and regular washing of hands.
“There are many things that can retain the virus for a period of time; so, don’t live under the impression that your hands are clean.
“Restrict your visit to only places that are important to reduce your chances of catching the virus,” he said.
On Nigerians’ attitude to COVID-19, Omosehin said some people believed that COVID-19 doesn’t exist, while some propounded theories about the virus, which affects their perception and reactions to the virus.
“We have that false information that is causing confusion,” he said.
The UNFPA head in Lagos said lifting of the lockdown gave some people a false confidence that the pandemic was over.
He said that it was far from being over with a second wave of COVID-19 infection currently affecting some countries.
Peddling Falsehood May Undermine National Security, Group Warns Nigerians
The Coalition of Northern Patriots (CNP) has warned Nigerians against falsehood capable of undermining the security agencies.
The group made the remark in its special report on the security situation in Northern Nigeria, yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference to unveil the report in Abuja, Leader of the coalition, Alex Samuel, said the appraisal was necessary to put things in proper perspective.
The CNP also insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian military have successfully quelled the threats posed by criminal elements in the North.
The group said this feat was particularly impressive with the concerted effort by some interest groups to undermine troops’ progress.
The report reads partly: “The Coalition of Northern Patriots as a result of the appraisal of the security situation in the 19 states in Northern Nigeria wishes to state that the operations of the Nigerian military have been very successful in addressing the security challenges posed by criminal elements. This is also on the heels that there has been a concerted effort by some interest groups to undermine the efforts of the security agencies.
“This much was traced to the fact that there is a grand conspiracy to undermine the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through a well-crafted campaign of calumny to discredit the Military, the police force and every organ of the Federal Government in an attempt to co-opt northern youths across the region into participating in their orgy of violence against security agencies, arson and looting as was seen in Lagos, Ibadan and other parts of southern Nigeria.
“It is thus the position of the Coalition of Northern Patriots that indeed there have been concerted efforts by the security agencies towards addressing the security threats in Northern Nigeria most proactively and efficiently.
“That the security agencies must be wary of agents of destabilization that dot the nook and crannies of Nigeria with an overarching plot to cause a violent overthrow of the government by instigating the populace against the constituted authorities in the country.”
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