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THE STATES

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Benue

The Benue State Commissioner for Works, Mr Benjamin Ashaver,
says over N55.3 million has so far been recovered from the Value Trust
Investments for non-execution of rural roads project.

Ashaver told
reporters on Wednesday in Makurdi that the money was recovered from the
contractor for his inability to execute the project, adding that the contract
which was awarded in 2004, had 18 months duration from the time of award.

He expressed regret that though 30 per cent of the contract
sum had been paid as mobilisation, the contractor still failed to complete the
job.   Ashaver said the contract was
awarded at the sum of N2.303 billion, pointing out that the contractor was duly
mobilised for the job and paid N691.068 million but expressed regret that the
total work done by the contractor amounted to only N195.799 million.

 

FCT

The Federal Government will eliminate all equipment with
high toxic contents known as Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) by 2025, the
Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, said on Thursday.

Polychlorinated
Biphenyl are a class of organic compounds found to be fire-resistant, stable
and non-conductive to electricity and with low volatility under normal
conditions.

Equipment containing PCBs include transformers, capacitors,
ballasts, paint additives and hydraulic fluid additives.

Mailafia gave the indication at the inauguration and first
meeting of the Inter-ministerial Steering Committee for the Polychlorinated
Biphenyl management project in Nigeria.

Represented by Dr Uju Okoye, the Deputy Director in the
Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, the minister
recalled that the production of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) had been
banned globally since the 1980s due to their toxicity.

 

Jigawa

The Jigawa State Government said on Wednesday that it had
begun the spraying of farms with insecticide to reduce the destruction of
produce by the quela birds.   The
Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Rabiu Isa, said in Dutse that the spraying
of farm produce was being carried out in four local government areas.

Isa identified the four council areas as Guri, Birniwa,
Kirikassama and Kafin-Hausa, saying the exercise was carried out in the
affected areas in collaboration with the Jigawa Agricultural Development Agency
(JARDA).

The commissioner said that the agency had deployed extension
workers equipped with insecticide and sprayers to the affected areas.

 

Jos

Maj.-Gen. Henry Ayoola, the Commander, Special Task Force
(STF) in Plateau, has said that it would partner with the Rotary Club of Jos to
restore peace to the state.

Ayoola said this in Jos on Saturday at the installation of
Marlvis Olubiyi as new President of the club.

He lauded the clubs stand on character molding and described
such as a necessary tool for peaceful coexistence.

He solicited the club’s collaboration in the area of youth
empowerment.

Ayoola congratulated the new president and lauded the
programmes she outlined to achieve in her one year tenure.

Earlier, Olubiyi said she would provide a borehole and a
transformer for the school of the deaf in Rukuba.

“We are also going to organise essay competitions for
secondary school students,’’ she said. She explained that the essay
competitions would be centred on peace to enable the students to learn more
about peace and its importance.

She also said road shows would be conducted on Saturdays to
preach peace to the residents of Jos.

Our correspondent reports that prizes were given to those
who arrived early for the event. The gesture, according to the immediate past
president of the club, Nalfa Banfa, was to encourage people to keep to time.

 

Kano

The Kano State Government has approved N33.3 million for the
clearing of the drainage at Farm Centre, in Kano metropolis. The state
Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr Yunusa Dangwani, disclosed this while
briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting in Kano
on Wednesday. He said the clearing of the drainage was necessary to prevent
possible flooding in the area and to guard against possible outbreak of
communicable diseases.

According to him, the council has also approved N669 million
for the state participation in the 8th National Council on Tourism, Culture and
National Orientation in Ilorin, Kwara.

 

Katsina

The Katsina State government says it has awarded a N454
million contract for water projects in six local government areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Jamilu Mamman, disclosed this
while briefing newsmen in Katsina on Thursday. He said that the contract was
approved by the state executive council at its meeting held on Wednesday,
pointing out the contract comprised the expansion and upgrading of semi-urban
water schemes in Kankia, Mai’adua, Batsari, Mani, Danmusa and Zango Local
Government Areas of the state.

The commissioner said the contract, with a completion period
of three months, was part of the state government’s commitment towards ensuring
enhanced water supply throughout the state.

 

Kaduna

Zubairu Isa, 45, of Hayin Rigasa Area, Kaduna, on Wednesday
appeared before the Kaduna Sharia Court 2, for alleged trespass on a plot of
land belonging to one Musa Magaji of Kontagora road.

The complainant told the court that the accused encroached
on his property at Rigasa and started building on it. Magaji further told the
court that the accused had refused to take heed of his repeated warning to stop
the construction.

“I told to him several times but he refused to stop the
building so I brought the matter to court to seek justice,’’ he said.

 

Kwara

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar on
Saturday in Ilorin announced a N500, 000 annual cash award to the best Islamic
Studies graduate of the University of Ilorin.

The Sultan announced the grant at the opening of an
international conference on the Life and Works of Shayk Adam Al-Ilory held at
the university.

The Sultan said the ‘Shaykh Al-Ilory Award’ would commence
from the next convocation of the university, adding that it was meant to
inspire the students and publicise the life and works of the late scholar.

He described Al-Ilory as a “great and outstanding
personality” worthy of emulation.

The Sultan said it was necessary to put in place the right
institutional framework for the training of future Islamic scholars, to prevent
the propagation of divisive ideas and behaviours among Muslims.

“It is imperative for the Muslim Ummah to be able to apply
his seminal ideas and teachings in addressing some of its pressing problems.

“The legacy of Shaykh Al-Ilory is undoubtedly a legacy
worthy of emulation.

“We must consciously cultivate an active and dedicated class
of scholars who would dedicate their lives to the pursuit of knowledge and its
dissemination.

“We must all realise that Islam is predicated on knowledge
and Muslims societies are necessarily knowledgeable societies.

 

Ondo

The Secretary, Ondo State Gymnastics Association, Bolanle
Adebiyi, said the maiden Tunji Dairo Open Gymnastics Competition was to enable
states within South-West Zone II of the NSC to identify gymnasts for 18th
National Sports Festival.

The competition is being sponsored by Tunji Dairo, who
represents Owo Constituency II in the state House of Assembly.

Adebiyi said on Saturday in Akure that the competition was
for gymnasts from Osun, Ekiti and the hosts Ondo.

“It is a preparatory championships ahead of National Sports
Festival and we will use it to know how prepared our athletes are for the
festival.

“Since we are not participating in the zonal eliminations,
we have to organise zonal competitions like this to know the athletes we will
invite to camp when it commences.

“The states are to present 24 gymnasts each at the
competition which will begin on Monday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Akure
Township Stadium.,’’ she said.

It would be recalled that the Ondo gymnasts won three gold,
four silver and one bronze at the 17th edition of the festival in Port Harcourt
last year.

 

Lagos

Some medical experts on Thursday expressed divergent views
on the Federal Government’s plan to establish a world-class private managed
hospital in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.    In separate interviews in Lagos some of the
experts said, that the hospitals would improve access to healthcare service,
others said it would not benefit the average Nigerian.

The Federal Government had on August 15 announced plan to
set up six private sector-managed mega-hospitals. Under the scheme, the
government is giving the private sector the nod to mobilise resources to
establish and manage the facilities in selected states in the six zones.

The National President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA),
Dr Osahon Enabulele, said that the establishment of the mega-hospitals would
improve access to healthcare service.

 

Osun

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) on
Wednesday called on Nigerians to support the Osun-Osogbo festival for the good
of the country.

Mr Olakunle
Makinde, the Curator and Heritage Sites Manager, Osun Groove, made the call
while speaking with newsmen ahead of the festival’s grand finale scheduled for
Friday.

Makinde said that since it was only two of the Nigerian
heritage sites that had made it to the UNESCO world heritage list, Nigerians
should support it to make it the envy of nations.  Our correspondent said  that the Osun-Osogbo in Osun State and Sukur
in Adamawa are listed on the World heritage list by UNESCO. The curator said
that as the official custodian of the groove, NCMM supported the people of
Osun, the traditional ruler of Osogbo and the Yoruba people to ensure the
sustenance of the cultural heritage.

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Bagudu Vows To Lead Rescue Operation Over Yauri Abduction

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Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State last Saturday vowed to lead the rescue operation of teachers and students abducted from the Federal Government College (FGC), Birnin Yauri, in Ngaski Local Government Area of the State.
Bagudu, who is also Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum, spoke when local hunters visited him.
Reports had that the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, also paid a solidarity and sympathy visit on Gov. Bagudu.
Bagudu assured that some other governors and  stakeholders will join him in the ongoing search operations for the abducted students and staff of the school.
According to him, he will discuss with his colleagues and security agencies in this direction, so as not to jeorpardise the ongoing commendable operations to rescue the abducted students and staff.
He said: “But, we will go out there and like I promised, the day we will move out, I will not be in the office because we will join you in the field.”
The Kebbi State Governor said that this would be done barring all consequences in a bid to rescue the abductees.
Bagudu argued: “It is not weapons that win wars, but it is the will that bad people cannot triumph and we will show that, we have enough will power .
“President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies have been doing the best they could with limited resources.
“But, we also need to mobilize, kit ourselves and take on these bandits. Our various scriptures as Muslims and Christians allow us to put our lives at risk in defence of our honour, property and our faiths.
“In what the bandits are doing, they have challenged all of us, so, we can’t let them.”
Bagudu asked the hunters to go back and fully mobilise, pending when he gets the necessary clearance from the security agencies, adding, “we will meet in the field.”
The governor maintained that governors were not sworn in only to sit down in the office and work.
He stated that they are aware that one day they would be required to lead in the field, even though they are not military or police personnel.
He said that if hundreds of thousands of people can be mobilised during campaigns, same should be done now to join the search party.
He said: “What happened in Birnin Yauri should be the last straw. We should follow these bandits wherever they are and take them on.”
Bagudu also described the abduction as very callous, even as he lauded the security agencies, management of the school, ‘Yan Sakai and vigilantes for their heroic efforts since the bandits struck at the college.

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Govs, Others Task Security Agencies On S’East

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South-East governors and leaders have requested security agencies in the zone to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the zone.
They made the call on Saturday in Enugu after a meeting attended by political leaders, socio-cultural organisations, clerics and the traditional leaders.
The Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who addressed reporters after the meeting, condemned the killing of civilians in the zone by security agencies.
Umahi urged them to discharge their duties within the law and in accordance with their rules of engagement.
The Ebonyi governor reaffirmed the commitment of the region to the corporate existence of the country.
Umahi, however, said that such union must be based on love, mutual respect and equality of rights irrespective of one’s religion, ethnic group, political inclination and creed.
The governor said the various secessionist groups from the region were not speaking for the people of the area.
He said the leaders from the zone had set up a committee to engage the agitators to allow elders of the region to address their fears.
“We have come out publicly on many occasions to speak against such agitations,” he said.
Umahi said the meeting was in fulfilment of the June 11 agreement they had with a federal government delegation led by the Minister of Defense, Bashir Magashi, a retired major-general.
“Consequent upon that, we scheduled our own meeting today to discuss and articulate our positions.
“This is to enable us not only engage the presidential team but also engage our people over all burning issues,” he said.
The governor said leaders from the region had noted with concern threats against the Igbo people by some groups in other regions.
“The meeting pleaded with leaders of other regions to note such threats to our people, address it and protect our people,” he said.
He said that governors from the South-East had assured people from other ethnic nationalities of their safety in the region in spite of the prevailing circumstances.
The leaders condemned the killing of security personnel and burning of government infrastructure in the region.
He called on National Assembly members from the region to support the creation of state police in the ongoing efforts to amend the constitution.
The governor said the meeting endorsed the South-East joint security unit called EbubeAgu, and requested the personnel to work with statutory security agencies.
Those present at the meeting included Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
Anambra and Imo states were represented by the deputy governors, Nkem Okeke and Placid Njoku respectively.
Others were the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, and President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, George Obiozo.

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FG’ll Complete 2nd Niger Bridge, Next Year -Fashola

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has reaffirmed that construction of the Second Niger Bridge would be completed next year.
The minister gave the assurance at a forum in Abuja yesterday, to mark the sixth year anniversary of the present administration.
According to Fashola, the bridge, which will serve as a major link between South East and South West Nigeria will be delivered between the second and third quarters of 2022.
Records show that construction of the bridge commenced on Sept. 1, 2018 with construction cost put at N336 billion when the contract deal was signed.
The minister, however, made no mention if the construction cost of the facility had changed since the commencement of work.
He said that the project would facilitate influx of investments to the South East when completed.
Fashola said that the construction work had gone beyond the water level, explaining that most bridge works were done under water.
“So, what you see currently is the final work. The sub-structure which entailed building cement structures under water often costs a lot of money.
“We should finish the bridge next year between the second quarter and third quarter,’’ he affirmed, saying that construction time was lost because of COVID-19.
The bridge is 1.6km long and furnished with other ancillary infrastructure, including a 10.3km highway and an inter-change, expected to be completed next year.
The bridge spans from Asaba in Delta State to Ozubulu, Ogbaru and other communities in Anambra State.
The existing Niger Bridge, linking Onitsha and Asaba was completed in December, 1965.
It was built by the French construction giant, Dumez.

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