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We’re Ready For Dialogue With Militant Groups –FG

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L-R: Chairman of the Exhibition, Pastor Tony Aduroja, Pastor Joy Amenkhienan, representative of Rivers Governor, Mr Tex Warriboko and Regional Pastor, Christ Embassy, South-South, Nigeria, Rev. Tom Amenkhienan, at the Christ Embassy's 2012 LoveWorld Exhibition in Port Harcourt, on Monday

The Federal Government, has reiterated its
readiness to dialogue with the members of Jama’atu Ahli Sunna lid Da’awati wal
Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram and other aggrieved groups if only they
ceasefire and embrace dialogue.

The Vice President Namadi Sambo made this
call yesterday in Abuja at a National Symposium, organised by
Nasirul-Lahi-Faith Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) with the theme: “Islam and
Peaceful Co-Existence in a Contemporary Multi-Religious Society.”

He said, “it is clear today that the
terrorist attacks are clearly against all segments of our society, which is
uncalled for. I must seize this opportunity to call on all the groups to
ceasefire and come forward for dialogue. Government is ready to discuss.

“History has proven that even wars that are
fought for decades, at the end, are concluded only by dialogue. I am not aware
of any religion in the world that encourages unprovoked and relentless attack
on other people,”  he said

He said President Goodluck Jonathan
led-administration was doing what was humanly possible to tackle the menace of
insecurity occasioned by the activities of militant groups across the country.

Sambo gave the assurance that the activities
of militant groups in the country would not jeopardise government’s effort at
stimulating Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs)

“Our desire to propel Foreign Direct
Investment cannot be jeopardised Insha Allah. We are therefore extending our
hands of friendship to our foreign friends with genuine intentions to come and
do business in Nigeria.

“Such gesture will not only be appreciated,
but will go a long way in strengthening the cordial relationship mutually
shared by our countries.

The vice-president commended the organisers
of the symposium, saying that it would help educate the public on the Islamic
view of peaceful co-existence and the concept of Jihad.

He enumerated the milestone the Goodluck
Jonathan-led government had made toward ensuring the success of the
Transformation Agenda, to include improved electricity supply; education and
transportation system.

In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr.
Sa’ad Abubakar, averred that the search for peace and mutual coexistence
remained one of the greatest challenges facing the country.

According to him, impunity has become the
order of the day, while the values of tolerance and moderation which provided
the bedrock of Nigeria’s religious and collective existence are being trampled
on.

“Much worse, the disregard for human life
has not only become rampant, but is increasingly glamourised. “

The Sultan enjoined the Muslim Ummah to
strive at all times to discharge their responsibilities seriously and
effectively and to promote moderation and toleration in the society.

“We must equally open effective channels of
dialogue with all segments of society, including those who hold contrary
opinions to that of our own.

“We must endeavour to resist the urge for
exhibitionism and brinkmanship.

“We must, as a nation, develop a collective
consciousness where the pain of any member of our society regardless of creed
and ethnic origin, shall be the collective pain of all of us.”

He commended NASFAT for its laudable
socio-economic activities in the country.

The National President of NASFAT, Alhaji
Sheriff Yussuf, had earlier explained that the symposium was being organised to
help find solutions to the current security challenges in country.

“Just as NASFAT responded in 2005 with a
National Discourse on Corruption when our collective image as a people was
being soiled by the scourge, this platform today is intended to cleanse the
seeming public mindset that the orchestrated scheme of terrors had been a
campaign being perpetrated by Muslims to impose Islam on the country or as a
mark of hatred against people of other faiths. “

Following the Federal Government’s decision
to dialogue with Boko Haram, Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwabbo has
declared that his administration was ready to dialogue with the religious sect,
Boko Haram for the sake of peace in the country.

He made the revelation yesterday when some
national officers of the party visited him to sympathise with the state over
the incessant attacks by the sect on north-eastern states.

National Organising Secretary of the party,
Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha led the team. Governor Dankwabbo noted that it would
be imperative to dialogue to guarantee peace and development of the state and
the zone.

‘’A lot of lives were lost which are
irreplaceable, property were destroyed and many more challenges. I want to
thank you on behalf of the good people of Gombe state for the concern and to
assure our party, the PDP, that we will do everything possible to shun
violence; we would do everything possible to tolerate dialogue and call on
whoever is ready to dialogue with us in line with the principle of PDP, to
bridge the gap of misunderstanding, so that there would be peace, there will be
progress and there will be development.

I also want to assure you, that we have
taken measures to ensure that some of the victims that lost their property, we
have taken measures to support them, but those who lost their lives, it is most
unfortunate, lives are irreplaceable. But those who lost their property we have
taken some remedial actions to ensure that they didn’t lose, completely’’.

In his remarks, Borno State Governor,
Kashim Shettima warned that the entire north would become inhabitable in the
next five years, if nothing was done urgently to stem the menace of Boko Haram.

‘’For now, we have to do it in our enlightened
self interest, because nobody would stay in northern Nigeria; believe me in the
next five years! Believe me, nobody!! None of us here is prepared to. Somebody
was telling me that he went to greet the Sultan of Sokoto, when he came out,
the area boys came and knocked on his car and were asking for money. If you
refuse to give them, they will scratch your car.”

Another friend was telling me that his wife
and driver were driving in his Prado jeep in Kano. Some boys came and broke the
windscreen and said,’’ that you bastards, you are enjoying the comfort of an
air conditioned car and we are suffering!’’So, the bottom line is poverty”.

National Organising Secretary of the PDP,
who led the team to the two states, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha equally restated
the call for dialogue with the sect, to find lasting solution to the violence
threatening peace in the north.

‘’We believe security is everybody’s
concern; without it, there will be no meaningful development, investors will
never be encouraged to come and put in their fund and the unemployment trend
will then persist, with its associated crime. So, we ask people of goodwill to
come together and dialogue. Even during wars at the end of it all, people must
come round and discuss and we believe that’s the only way out.

The PDP as a party condemns in totality,
violence and terrorism and call on all those, whose responsibility it is, to
take all steps necessary to bring this to an end. We believe enough is enough.
We have been saying that Nigeria deserves to be among the top twenty countries,
by the year 2020 and this would be a mere dream, as long as peace isn’t with
us.’’

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90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

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We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

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Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

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Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

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