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NERC Boss Applauds Power Privatisation

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The Chairman,  Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi says  privatisation of the power sector is the best step to  improve   power generation in the country.

Amadi said this  in Ibadan at the inauguration of  NERC’s Ibadan Forum Office at Iyaganku Quarters, Ibadan.

The Chairman,  who was represented by Dr Abba Armiya’u, a NERC Commissioner, said  the privatisation of the sector would create more opportunities for Nigerians.

Amadi, who  said a major opportunity would be in the aspect of improved services, added:

“However, the privatisation and the reform cannot work if we do not have the support of all stakeholders.

“As we have noted in the telecom sector, the mobile phone, which was once a symbol of the elites, is now available to all  irrespective of your status.

“In a short while, power generation shall also improve and we therefore urge the public to assist in protecting our equipment and send in their due advice.”

Amadi said the Ibadan Forum Office, established to cater for consumers complaints, would be made up of five members who are not officials of the  company.

“This is another vital step as part of our customers’ complaints mechanism. Prior to this, we have commissioned the Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt and the Kano offices,” he said.

In his address, Mr Bolaji Oyesiku, the Managing Director, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, said that the forum was an affirmation that the customer was the king.

“The old negative story about us is quietly passing away and within a year or two, the difference shall be obvious as this forum sets to handle unresolved issues,” Oyesiku said.

The building was inaugurated by Mr Olugbenga Opatunde, the Special Adviser on Infrastructures in OyoState while the plaque was unveiled by Mrs Mary Awolokun, NERC’s Commissioner for Engineering Safety and Standard.

Reports say that Mrs Eniola Oyedele, a member of the forum representing non-governmental organisations, thanked  NERC for giving them the opportunity to serve.

Other members of the forum are Mr Babajide Taiwo of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Mr  Ismaila Alapa  of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Minerals and Agriculture.

A lawyer, Mr. Oseni Wasiu from the Consumer Protection Council and Mr Morakinyo Akindiji of the Nigerian Society of Engineers are also members.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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