To further strengthen the machinery of government, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, yesterday, swore-in four new Commissioners.
The Rivers State Governor also swore-in Chief Boma Dappa as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Degema Local Government Area.
Performing the swearing-in ceremony at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said there would be a minor cabinet reshuffle.
He charged the new commissioners to see their appointments as a privilege to serve the people of the state and not an opportunity for self-enrichment.
The governor urged the commissioners to establish themselves as persons who are known for the development of the state.
He said: “These appointments are not opportunities for appointees to enrich themselves. If you attempt to enrich yourselves, there will be consequences.
“Anyone who attempts to derail our vision, we will not notify the person before he is shown the way out. We are determined to move the state to the next level”.
He called on all the new commissioners to show loyalty to the administration as they work towards a New Rivers State.
“I demand total loyalty. If you divide your loyalty, you will not be in my cabinet. This administration is determined to actualise her vision for the state”, he said.
The commissioners sworn-in by the Rivers State governor include Mrs Nancy Nwankwo, Mr Chinyere Igwe, Mr Michael West and Dr Reason Onya.
He directed the caretaker committee chairman of Degema Local Government Area to pay salaries and work with security agencies to maintain security in the area.
The governor urged the Degema Council chairman to ensure the regular payment of salaries, saying that salary payment should not be compromised.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has challenged the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) leadership to mobilise Christians to register en mass and obtain their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to enable them vote in better leaders during the 2019 general elections in the country.
Wike gave the charge, last Wednesday, when the leadership of CAN paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor said as a Christian state, Rivers State deserves active mobilization and participation of Christians in policy-making, and promised to give Christians all the needed support in spite of the persecution of the state by the Federal Government.
The governor thanked CAN members for their support to his administration, saying that he will not let them down.
He promised to renovate the secretariat of CAN in the state to enable them have a befitting office.
Wike said: “But for the prayers of Christians, the state would have been subdued by challenges. It would have been very difficult for us to carry out our assignments. The state has been persecuted for no just reason”.
The governor challenged those opposed to the Rivers State Neighbourhood Watch Law to go to court, stressing that the law has come to stay.
He regretted that some persons who have ulterior motives were politicising the initiative which was aimed at synergizing with security agencies through provision of intelligence and information for improved security, noting that security has grown beyond carrying of arms.
Wike said: “Rivers State Government was not the first state that initiated Neighbourhood Safety Corps. It was started by Lagos State Government.
“When criminal activities became so much in the state, everyone focused on prayers and did everything humanly possible to support security agencies. When I took over in 2015, they repeatedly changed commissioners of police. I bemoaned the incessant changes that disorganised the security architecture of the state.
“That was how they planned to declare state of emergency in Rivers State. They claimed there was so much crime. I cried for help, but they refused to help. I told them that God sees their refusal to help and it will lead to national crisis.
“What is happening today? We are no longer talking of kidnapping; we are confronted with killings everyday in different parts of the country. Whether you call it Fulani versus farmers, community versus community, whether you call it terrorists or whatever colouration you want to give it,there are killings everywhere.”
Wike said: “They thought they want to paint Rivers State black, now Nigeria is black. If they had come to our rescue to support us then, if they had not played politics with the security of Rivers State, maybe God may have forgiven. But because they thought we have nobody, they shut their eyes.
“This Neighbourhood Safety Corps, we just went to Lagos, studied what Lagos State did and replicated it here. Federal Government never said anything against Lagos State.
“Today, security has gone beyond carrying of guns. We must have to get intelligence. We must be proactive. We don’t have the number of security men that can cover all the communities. We adopted what Lagos State did. We are employing men and women who are committed to make sure that this state is safe. These young men and women will give intelligence to security agencies and work in synergy with them”.
The governor said: “I assented to a law constitutionally passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly, and they say I must be punished for carrying out my constitutional responsibility.
“I prefer that I have done my work, so I can die than not doing it and still die.
“What are they afraid of that they are telling people that they will carry arms? Look at what the law says. If you are giving out information, criminals will come after you. They will not carry arms without the approval of the security agencies.
“They are now trying to politicise the whole outfit. The law has come to stay. If they don’t like it, the courts are there for them to challenge it”, the governor argued.
He said it was baseless for anybody to allege that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps would be armed to attack opposition elements in the state.
The Director of Legal Affairs of CAN in the state, Rev Dan Obinna, who read the address of the association, praised Wike for the impressive performance of his administration through massive projects’ execution and security.
CAN congratulated the governor for the numerous national and international awards he has won, and assured that it would continue to support the administration.
Obinna said the body has planned sustained prayer and fasting programme in support of the government.
“We join all other progressive people to say that the Rivers State governor has done well. We knew it from the beginning; that was why we started the spree of encouragements when we awarded you the Apostle of Peace.
“We commend you on your frontal approach on the issue of security in the state. We especially commend you for the establishment of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps which is your most recent strategy in handling security matters in the state”, Obinna said.
He solicited the assistance of the state government in renovating the body’s secretariat and provision of a bus to enable the association effectively carry out its duties.
Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion
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.
FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer
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.
Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media
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.
- News4 days ago
Shell Trains 40 Imo Youths For ANOS Gas Project
- Business4 days ago
Estate Surveyors Reject Housing Deficit Report
- Business4 days ago
FG To Shut Ikorodu Terminal Over Explosive Overtime Cargoes
- Sports4 days ago
Remo Stars To Appoint Ogunbote Head Coach
- Sports4 days ago
CAF CL: Why Akwa United Struggled Against CR Belouizdad
- Sports4 days ago
NFF, Premier Lotto To Seal Partnership Deal
- Business4 days ago
CBN Not Supporting Solid Minerals Dev – Minister
- Sports4 days ago
Akwa United Can Stun CR Belouizdad In Algeria – Ikpeba