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2019: Ensure Votes Count, Wike Tasks Broadcasters

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on broadcasters to work to ensure that the votes of Nigerians count in 2019.
“You have a responsibility. You have a role to play. If you don’t play that role, history will not forgive you. You owe this country truthful reportage of the emerging political events”, he said.
The governor also announced the immediate sack of the General Managers of Rivers State Television, Garden City FM and Radio Rivers for failing to participate in the activities of the Broadcasting Organisation Nigeria (BON).
“I hereby sack the General Managers of the three state-owned Radio Stations. BON will be here in Rivers State for their AGM and the General Managers of the three state-owned are not here, when those from other states are here. People must learn to take their jobs seriously “, he said.
He spoke at the Government House, Port Harcourt last Monday during a courtesy visit by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).
“BON must work towards telling the world that things are not working in the country. This federal government has failed”, he said.
He said that BON must strive to hold the Federal Government to account on issues of credible elections.
The governor said: “Why are you not broadcasting on key issues that negatively affect the people ? Why are you not telling the people the truth? BON should play their critical role as we head into 2019”.
The governor declared that President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the fifth amended Electoral Act because they want to rig the 2019 General election.
“ You must work to ensure that the votes of the people count in 2019. For us in Rivers State, nobody can rig us out. We are prepared to ensure that the votes of our people count. There is only one party in this state and that is the PDP”, he said.
He noted that INEC as an institution has become irresponsible, working against the processes for credible polls.
Governor Wike said that the build up towards 2019 does not indicate that there will be credible elections.
Earlier, the Chairman of Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, Mr John Momoh thanked the Rivers State Government for hosting the organisation.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government says Rivers State is a media friendly environment.
The State Chief Executive, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike made this assertion while speaking at the 71stGeneral Assembly of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, 27th November, 2018.
Represented by His Deputy, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Governor Wike said ”out of over 250 radio and television stations in Nigeria under your organization; over 25 of these stations are located in Rivers State”, noting that the State has provided the needed investors’ friendly environment for them to operate.
He said the State Government also embarked on a number of projects that positively impacted on the lives of people resident in the State which includes good road networks, bridges, jetties, schools, hospitals, markets amidst adequate security.
Governor Wike however regretted that some media houses do not present the true positions of events in Rivers State.
“They collaborate with the opposition to paint and present Rivers State in bad light before the national and international communities. This is unbecoming of the media profession and grossly unfair and we call on BON to do the needful to bring such erring members to sanity”. Governor Wike stressed.
The Governor reminded BON that it has a great role to play in the upcoming 2019 General Elections, stressing that Prompt and accurate reportage of events would go a long way in curbing incidences of election rigging in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed who spoke through the Director of PR/Protocol in his Ministry, Sunday Baba expressed delight that the meeting came at the commencement of the 2019 electioneering campaigns, noting that under the guise of freedom of speech and information some people had disparaged individuals and institutions with fake news which according to him is counterproductive.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, John Momoh said it was a wakeup call for broadcasters to re-examine their roles and discern for themselves the next step forward in the complex space of the art of today’s broadcasting, noting that the General Assembly offers broadcasters another opportunity to do this which according to him is justified by the theme”Changing Media Landscape.”

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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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