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Wike Gets SCAHSA Global Award …Banigo, Obuah Hail Gov On Award

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In recognition of his outstanding achievements in the area of urban renewal, sustainable cities and provision of basic amenities to the residential areas of low-income earners, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has been honoured with the “Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award”.
Nigeria’s moment of glory peaked in New York City, United States, last Monday night when the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards (SCAHSA) presented the international award to the governor in the presence of international diplomats, development professionals, high-level administrators and leaders of international non-governmental organisations.
Speaking at the award ceremony in New York, last Monday night, a representative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mara Murillo said that the organisation salutes Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for having developed the awards and the constituency for which it has been organized.
The UNEP representative congratulated the 23 awardees who were selected for their positive achievements and leadership.
Murillo stated: “The awards recognise their feats which inspire and encourage others to innovate and replicate similar feats”.
The Vice Chairman of Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities, Dr Taj Hamad said all the awardees have made great achievements that merit the awards.
Permanent Representative of The Gambia to the United Nations, Mamadou Tangara urged all awardees to continue to work for sustainable cities across the world.
Ms Mara Angelica of the United Nations Environment Programme lent her voice to the calls for collaboration in developing habitable cities.
In an acceptance speech after receiving the award, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike pledged that he will continue his landmark projects to improve the living condition of the Rivers people.
He said: “Let me on behalf of the government and people of Rivers State sincerely thank the organisers of this award for the recognition.
“I would also like to commit ourselves to progressively provide infrastructure and social services that will enhance the living standards of all Rivers people on a sustainable basis”, Wike added.
The Tide gathered that there were 23 awards in six different categories.
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike received his “Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award” under the “Individual Initiatives to Advance Sustainable Development Category”.
The award was presented to the Rivers State governor by the Vice President of Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities, Dr Taj  Hamad.
The governor was accompanied to the international award ceremony by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, two of his children, Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyaye-Lamikanra, member representing Port Harcourt Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon Ken Chikere, Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih,  the former Minister of Sports, Dr Tammy Danagogo, Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Barrister Emma Okah, elder statesman, Prince Emma Anyanwu, and member of the House of Representatives, Mrs Betty Apiafi, among others.
The 12th Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards Ceremony (GFHS XII) was jointly organised by the Permanent Mission of The Gambia to the UN, the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the UN (AU), the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the University Peace Federation (UPF), the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) and the Better Cities Institute (BCI).
A video footage explaining the premise upon which Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike received the award lauded him for reducing urban slums and bridging poverty gaps.
The footage further praised the Rivers State governor for his positive leadership, provision of infrastructure and basic amenities.
The 23 awardees were drawn from different countries of the world, including Nigeria, China, Bulgaria, Germany, USA, India and Indonesia.
The event was beamed live on different platforms by dedicated international broadcasters.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo and the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bro Felix Obuah have hailed the “Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award” given the Governor Nyesom Wike by the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements (SCAHSA) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, describing the state chief executive as an enigma who has continued to surprise his detractors, with his ever rising profile.
In a statement in Government House, Port Harcourt, Banigo said “while the All Progressives Congress (APC) is dissipating its energy in the failed bid to hoodwink Rivers people into believing that the governor was not working.
Wike has continued to dwarf whatever achievements the APC may have claimed to have achieved in the past”.
Banigo said “Governance is about the people and the present administration has positively touched the Rivers people where it matters most, with our lean resources we have been able to deliver top notch infrastructures to our people which, has earned us accolades nationally and internationally, to God be the Glory”.
According to her, Wike’s winning of the “Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award” under the “Individual Initiatives to Advance Sustainable Development Category” is no mean feat, and congratulated the governor for making the Rivers people proud, while calling on the opposition to join the wining team.
Also speaking, Chairman of PDP, Felix Obuah said the conferment of Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contribution Award on Wike by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (CDGs) in far away United States of America was a proof of the governor’s leadership qualities.
Obuah, in a statement in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital said Wike does not deserve anything less because he has worked hard to ensure that the economy of the state was turned around from the mess it was plunged into by the previous administration.
According to the PDP boss, the good governance and sense of belonging being enjoyed by all strata of the Rivers people are not a happenstance, but a product of self-sacrifice and sound knowledge of management of human and material resources by the state chief executive.
Obuah, however, noted that the joy was not only the award per se, but the fact that the dispassionate world has been watching and has confirmed the landmark achievements of the PDP-led government in Rivers State in just two years in office in spite of the lean financial resources available to the state.
The state PDP chairman while congratulating the governor for the well-deserved award, also enjoined the good people of the state to remain focused and steadfast in their support for Wike and discountenance the snares and deception of the enemies of progress who were not happy that they have been dislodged from lording it over the people for their own self-enrichment.

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Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion

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The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has blamed the congestion in Nigeria’s correctional facilities on the country’s Judiciary, explaining that the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCOS) was not allowed by law to reject inmates sentenced to correctional centres or to release them.
Aregbesola, represented by Special Adviser on Nigerian Correctional Service, Suleiman Tala, stated this while delivering a paper at a policy advocacy conference entitled, “Decongestion of Correctional Centres: Status Quo”, organised as part of the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Order of The Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria, Lagos Metropolitan Council, which was held in Lagos, adding that the primary responsibility of NCOS is to hold offenders pending the adjudication of their cases before a law court.
“It is important for the public to be aware that the NCOS and the Ministry of Interior are trying their best to tackle the issue from different angles as the length of time the inmates stay at the custodian centre is not determined by NCOS but by the justice system. I may not be able to reiterate exactly what the challenges are with the judiciary, however, as it affects the NCOS we are doing all we can not to compromise the traditional responsibility of the NCOS,” he stated.
Representing the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, accepted that the police contribute to the congestion but gave his reasons.
“Inconsistence of the appearance of police officers to give evidence at trials has been identified as one of the alleged causes of prolonging trial but the IGP has mandated officers must attend court cases as at when due. The police are being hampered by a high level of distrust between the citizens and their police institution,” he stated.
Also at the conference, Lagos State Catholic Archbishop, Alfred Adewale Martins, who was represented by Rev. Paschal Uwaezeapu, stated that decongestion of the prisons would continue to be a matter as long as the government has refused to fix the country.
“The prison would continue to be congested if we don’t fix the society. As long as our society is a place where everybody takes for himself without considering the neighbour then our prison would continue to be congested. If we need to fix the prison we need to fix the family. These prisoners come from a family. We need to fix the education system also. We need to promote justice, without all these, the prison will soon overflow,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight, KSM William Adebisi, urged the government to declare a state of emergency on the congestion of prisons.
“The government needs to take the matter seriously as it affects the health of the inmates, economy of the company and behavioural change of the inmates,” he stated.

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FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer

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The Federal Government has announced plans for a Eurobond issuance in the International Capital Market (ICM) to raise $3billion.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said, yesterday, that Virtual meetings with investors have been scheduled for today, and September 20, 2021.
It said, “In order to avail local investors the opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds, meetings will also be held with local investors.
“This is the first time local investors will be included in the Roadshows, and this is one of the reasons why a Nigerian Bookrunner (Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd) was appointed as one of the Transaction Advisers.
“Through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to $3billion but no more than $6.2billion.”
According to the DMO, the issuance for which all statutory approvals have been received, would be to implement the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act and that “Proceeds are for the financing of various projects in the Act.”
The agency gave further insight, saying, “In addition to providing funding to part-finance the deficit in the 2021 Appropriation Act, the issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria benefits the country in many other strategic ways; amongst which are: 1. It is an inflow of foreign exchange, leading to an increase in External Reserves.
“External Reserves help support the Naira Exchange Rate, and Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
“When Nigeria raises funds externally, through Eurobonds, it frees up space in the domestic market for private sector and sub-national borrowers. In effect, it helps the sovereign not to crowd out other borrowers in the domestic market.
“The issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria has opened up opportunities for Nigeria’s corporate sector notably banks, to issue Eurobonds to raise capital in the ICM.
“By so doing, their capital base has been strengthened to provide banking services whilst also meeting regulatory requirements. Nigeria has a sovereign yield curve in the ICM, extending up to 30 years.
“The local listing of Nigeria’s Eurobonds on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Ltd., have increased the range of products on these two (2) exchanges and their respective market capitalization.
“Overall, Eurobond issuances by Nigeria and the investor meetings that precede the pricing have provided a strong global platform for Nigeria to tell its own story and opportunities available in Nigeria for investors.”
The Transaction Advisers appointed by Nigeria for the issuance were: International Bookrunners – JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets Limited; Joint Lead Managers -Standard Chartered Bank and Goldman Sachs; Nigerian Bookrunner – Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd; Financial Adviser – FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd; while White & Case LLP, was appointed International Legal Adviser; and Banwo&Ighodalo would serve as Nigerian Legal Adviser.
The last time Nigeria accessed the ICM was November 2018.

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Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media

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The Federal Government has tasked the media to put Nigeria first in the reportage of the country’s activities, particularly the fight against insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja during the ceremony of the renaming of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters Building after the former Managing Director and Board Chairman of NAN, late Wada Maida.
Mohammed said it may seem obvious and trite, but for any professional, including a journalist in Nigeria to be able to carry out his or her responsibility at all, the nation must first exist, in peace.
“In other words, if the country goes down, all professionals and everybody go down. It is that stark, and this is why I want to use this platform to appeal to our media to put Nigeria first”, Mohammed said.
Speaking further, the minister said if one picked up most newspapers, watched most television stations or listened to most radio stations in the country, one will be right to think Nigeria is a country at war.
While acknowledging that there were challenges in the country, especially in the area of security, Mohammed, however, said the Buhari administration had not only acknowledged the challenges, it is earnestly tackling the challenges.
“A good example is the decisive manner in which our gallant troops are tackling the banditry in the North-West or the way they are combating the terrorists in the North-East. Our security agencies have also successfully tackled the separatists in the South-East and South-West and the militants in the South-South. Unfortunately, these efforts have only been perfunctorily reflected in the reportage of the security challenges that we face. This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic.
“To illustrate the damage this non-acknowledgement of the efforts of the security agencies pose to the country, let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited me in my office here in Abuja. They said some of their colleagues who would have come to Nigeria for their programme tagged,‘A Week in and For Nigeria’ during the month of July, did not come out of fear of the security situation in Nigeria. However, those who made the trip said they travelled to their hometowns across the country and returned to Abuja safely. If Nigerians in the diaspora can be afraid to come to their country, imagine how foreigners, including investors and tourists, will feel about coming to the country.
“Whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today is mostly due to the unflattering portrayal of the country by the country’s media.
“Even when some media organisations report fake news, they never have the decency to retract such stories and apologise. They simply move on as if nothing has happened.
“We are not saying the media should not report on the security challenges we face. All we are saying is: Be fair and report accurately the efforts being made by the state and federal governments to tackle the challenges. Even if you don’t want to encourage the men and women in uniform fighting to keep us safe, please don’t discourage them with negative reporting. The security challenges we face today will be successfully tackled and Nigeria will not cease to exist, despite the antics of naysayers”, Mohammed added.
Mohammed congratulated the family, friends and associates of the late Maida for the great and much-deserved honour done to him.
He commended the management and staff of the NAN for coming up with the idea to immortalise the late Maida.
“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the proposal was not difficult, upon realising the role played by Alhaji Wada in making NAN the respectable agency that it is today. A man who was everything from Zonal Editor to Foreign Correspondent to Editor-in-Chief to Managing Director to Board Chairman, a man who built this glistening NAN headquarters edifice deserves to be immortalised by the organisation he served so well in his lifetime”, Mohammed stated.
Mohammed prayed that God will continue to comfort and strengthen the family of Maida, even as he prayed that the soul of the departed continues to rest in peace.

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