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Govt Explains Power Outage In Rivers

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Last week, the Rivers State Government got the approval of the
state House of Assembly for an old loan sought by the government for the provision of potable water to the state.
Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari clarified the position of the state government over the loan which had suffered delay by the federal government for over a year.
She said, “Everything else was done but for reasons unknown to the Rivers State Government, the responsible officers in the Ministry of Finance failed to sign off the release of funds thereby delaying the Rivers State Government robust sector’s complete overhaul and rejuvenation, therefore denying the people the people of the state access to good water.
“Not willing to give up, the Rivers State Government continued to push and the scheme with the loan was again approved in the 2014 budget. Now, the Federal Government has finally signed off for this fund to be drawn down for work to start, but due process required that the Rivers State House of Assembly endorsed it once more. This is what necessitated the representation of the old loan to the House”.
Also within the week, the Chief of Staff Government House, Sir Tony Okocha inaugurated the Elders Council in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area with the charge to woo more members into the swelling opposition party in the country.
Sir Okocha also explained the rationale behind the new N44 billion water loan from the World Bank and African Development Bank by the Rivers State Government, saying the loan has been misrepresented by the opposition, even when the state government meant well for the state.
Last week Friday, Commissioner for Local Government Affairs in the state, Samuel Eyiba spoke to newsmen over the delayed local government council fund that has led to non-payment of salaries to council staffers in the state.
Mr. Eyiba had commenced tour of local government areas as part of the ministry’s function to oversee activities of councils in the state.
Last weekend, he visited Okrika Local Government Area and expressed satisfaction over what he saw. He later said, “these visits are not to fight them, but how to help them to focus where we see gaps and challenges and advise them rightly”.
On the council’s delayed fund, he explained that the development was as a result of a court’s judgement obtained by one Linear Consult who claimed to be agents of 19 local councils in the state that obtained Paris Club loans.
Eyiba explained that because of the court’s judgement and subsequent directive by the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) to deduct the loans from last month’s allocation, there was delay in salary payment. He however, disclosed that the matter had been settled and assured that such delay would not happen again.
The Commissioner’s clarification on the council fund was coming on the heels of an earlier explanation by CTC chairman of Oyigbo Council, Hon. David Onyegorom who dismissed claims in some quarters that the situation was as a result of manhunt by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on some council senior officials.
According to Onyegorom, EFCC is not after any local government official, but rather there has been disagreement over the payment of loans by councils over money lent to ex-chairmen by Paris Club.
On weekend, Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, spoke to Government House correspondents on the current power outage problems faced in the state, blaming vandals along the Omoku axis for the problem.
Mrs. Semenitari stated that in order to address the problem, the state government has started replacing the stolen cables which made the state to lose about 150 megawatts of electricity from the Omoku Gas Power Station. She revealed that already the Transmission Company of Nigeria, (TCN) has begun repairs and replacement of stolen power trunk limes.
“The fact of the matter is TCN is reconducting lines between Oginigba and Nzimiro which affects parts of old Port Harcourt township”, she said .
In order to avert such incidents in the future, she appealed to communities habouring electric wire lines to set up vigilantes that will help protect such sensitive facilities.

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…Urges Ondo Gov To Shelve N2bn Gov’s Lodge Project

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the Ondo State government  to shelve its plans to build a new governor’s lodge at the cost of N2 billion in the interest of the state.
Mr Fatai Adams, the state PDP Chairman said this when he spoke with newsmen at the state party secretariat in Akure, yesterday.
Adams expressed concern over mass resignation of doctors in the state due to poor remuneration.
“We are seriously alarmed by the unfortunate resignation of over 109 doctors from the state public service over the inability of the government to pay their due salaries and hazard allowances as at when due.
“I’m sure you will all recall that Ondo State was the destination for medical tourism in the South West because of the first class service delivery found here under the PDP administration.
“According to the Nigerian Medical Association records, no medical house officer has been employed by the state government since 2019, a situation that is responsible for the poor services rendered in the hospitals.
“The present administration has a backlog of unpaid salaries of workers, it is proposing to build a N2 billion new governor’s lodge in Akure. This is not only ridiculous but the surest evidence that the government has completely lost direction,” he said.
Adams added” “Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Oluwarotimi Akeredeolu’s predecessor built a very befitting governor’s Lodge in 2013, a few years before Akeredolu assumed the reins of government.
“To spend N2 billion of tax payers money on another lodge at this time is the height of callousness and wastefulness,” he said.

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Senators Rate 9th National Assembly High

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Senators on Wednesday at plenary commended the 9th National Assembly at the mid-term assessment of its performance in the last two years.
The lawmakers, who spoke during a special session to mark the second year anniversary of the 9th Senate, commended the various legislative interventions of the National Assembly, especially on  security, economy and governance.
The lawmakers, who spoke included the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC-Kebbi); Deputy Leader, Ajayi Boroffice (APC-Ondo); Deputy Whip, Aliyu Sabi (APC-Niger), and Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi).
Others were Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC-Kwara); Gabriel Suswam (PDP-Benue); Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu); Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos), Olubunmi Adetumbi (APC,-Ekiti), Ibikunle Amosun (APC-Ogun), and Suleiman Umar (APC-Kwara).
The rest were Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo (APC-Bayelsa); Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP-Ondo); Istifanus Gyang (PDP-Plateau); Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi); Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo); Nora Daduut (APC-Plateau); Jibrin Isah (APC-Kogi); Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa), and Francis Fadahunsi (PDP-Osun), amongst others.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in a speech delivered at the special session, said 742 bills were introduced by the ninth Senate in the last two years.
According to him, out of the total number of bills introduced during the two sessions of the Assembly, 58 have been passed, while 355 bills have gone through first reading.
Contributing, Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said the realignment carried out on the budget cycle by the National Assembly was to insulate businesses and the economy from going into recession.
Deputy Whip, Sen. Aliyu Sabi, said: “As we celebrate two years, we are guided by the legislative agenda.
“The unity of purpose which we have worked for, has enabled us to achieve those great strides.
“The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) is a testimony on how the National Assembly has been able to work in unity in the interest of the nation.
“We need to work together to find common grounds to problems that beset the country,” Abdullahi said.
In his own remark, Sen. Garbriel Suswam, said: “Inspite of challenges and shortcomings, the 9th Assembly had taken major steps to achieve some of its legislative agenda.”
He said that the executive has been intransigent in implementing the resolution of the National Assembly.
He appealed to the Senate President to ensure that the Electoral Bill presently before the National Assembly was passed transparently, while accommodating provisions for the use of electronic card readers and electronic transmission of results during elections.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi, on his own part, described Executive-Legislative relations under the ninth Assembly as a good one.
The lawmaker, who  called for the introduction of State Police, to curb rising insecurity in the country, also advised that the constitutional review exercise, be used to bring the South East region at par with other parts of the country.
Sen. Solomon Adeola similarly said that the Senate had on two occasions rescued Nigeria from a looming economic crises when it slid into recession.
He added that such a prompt response was extended by the National Assembly to the issue of insecurity amid its recommendations to the Executive arm of government, which were aimed at tackling the spate of insecurity faced by the country.

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PDP Inaugurates E-Registration Committee

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday inaugurated e-registration Committee to facilitate electronic registration of its members nationwide.
The committee is Chaired by the Governor of Edo, Mr Godwin Obaseki, while Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State is the Vice Chairman.
The party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, at the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, said that the e- registration was a project dear to the party and had been on the card since 2010.
Secondus said that the party decided to digitalise its membership for proper database, due to its size, reach and to move with time.
“When we say that PDP is the largest party in the continent, we are not grandstanding but stating the obvious.
“There is no nook and cranny of this country that you won’t find PDP members.
“In 2019 general elections, the PDP was the only political party that fielded candidates in all the positions: Presidency, Governorship, Senate and House of Representatives and in all the 36 states’ Houses of Assembly.
“Even in states where we are not in power, our members still out number even the ruling party in such states.
“We are the only party since inception in 1998 that has been consistent in name, motto, manifestos and logo,” he said.
Secondus said that reports available to the party across the country showed that many more Nigerians want to join PDP and that the exercise would provide them such opportunity.
Secondus advised members of the committee to use their wealth of experience to deliver on the mandate assigned to them.
“In appointing you as the Chairman of this project, the party took into consideration your background and your love for data and record keeping.
“We have absolute confidence that you and your team will deliver in this assignment that is expected to update the database of our party across the country.
“Membership registration into our party is a continuous programme, what we are embarking on is to digitalise it for proper analysis of issues.
“The place of women and youths in our party cannot be over-emphasised and this programme is going to help toward proper planning in our party,” Secondus said.
Obaseki, in his remarks promised that the committee would reach out to PDP members across the nation.
He promised that the exercise would be all inclusive to the men and women, especially youths who were living in the digital world.
Obaseki said the committee would leverage on the existing platform of the party and produced a membership register that the party would be proud of .
“It is very worthy that our party being a big party has decided to digitalised membership and position the party to take over in 2023,” he said.
The party’s National Organising Secretary, retired Col. Austin Akobundu is the Secretary to the Committee, while the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan; Agbi Emmanuel, Prof. Wale Oladipo, Sani Kutigi, Cyril Maduabum and Hon. Austin Opara will serve as members. 

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