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Senate Urges FG To Fund Port Project

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The Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government to make funds available to contractors handling Baro River Port project for final completion of the project.
The call followed the adoption of a motion at plenary on urgent need to complete all the necessary components of Baro River Port Project of Lower River Niger.
The motion was sponsored by Sen.Bima Enagi (APC-Niger) and co-sponsored by 22 other senators.
Moving the motion at plenary, Enagi said the Federal Government had awarded contract for dredging of the Lower River Niger, construction of Baro Port and installation of cargo equipment.
He said the project was designed to ensure access road for movement of goods and services to Northern part of the country for improvement in socio-economic activities in the north.
He said Baro port project was expected to generate 3,000 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs.
He added that the project on completion would improve the road network by keeping heavy duty trailers and trucks off the roads.
This, he said would help expand the life span of the roads.
Enagi said the Baro Port and cargo handling equipment components of the project had been completed and commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 19.
He, however, said the Lambata -Bida road awarded in 2015 and the Agaie-Katcha-Baro road awarded in 2018, if completed, would facilitate movement of goods from the port to the northern part of the country.
The lawmaker maintained that the Lambata -Bida road had only recorded 20 per cent completion while the Agaie-Katcha-Baro road recorded only per cent progress.
He said funding of the access roads had been grossly inadequate as N670 million and N4.5 billion so far had been released for the project out of the N17 billion and N33 billion appropriated.
Enagi said that over N40 billion had been expended on the various components of the Baro port project without achieving any significant progress towards utilisation of the port.
Also contributing, Sen. Adamu Alero, (APC Kebbi), who seconded the motion said there was the need to also complete construction of second Niger Bridge.
He said heavy vehicles conveying goods for haulage were contributing in destroying the roads in the country.
Alero said the completion of the Baro port would have significant improvement on the economy.
Sen. Ali Ndume, (APC-Boronu) urged President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan to personally meet with the executive to provide funding for completion of the project.
He said the senate could use the opportunity of working on the budget at the moment to appropriate fund for the project.
Senate in its resolution also resolved to urge the Federal Government to facilitate rehabilitation of the narrow gauge railway in Baro to ensure rapid socio -economic growth of Nigeria.
It also urged for continuous dredging and maintenance of National Inland Water Ways (NIWA) of the River and Benue Niger to ensure navigability.
The Senate also mandated its Committees on Marine Transport and Works to investigate activities on the Baro Port and make recommendations to facilitate its completion.
Earlier, the Senate at plenary also received and adopted an Ad-hoc Committee on investigation of the causes of pipeline explosions in Komkom, Rivers and Ijeguu in Lagos state.
The report was presented by Sen. Gobir Ibrahim (APC-Sokoto).
The senate having adopted the 16 point recommendations of the report, urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to identify those responsible for the pipeline explosion for appropriate sanction.

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CVR: Traditional Ruler Tasks INEC On Mass Mobilisation

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A traditional ruler in Elele community, in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief  Mike Elechi, has called on the indigenes of the community and the state to participate in the Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR) to enable them choose who will govern them in the next general elections.
Sir Elechi also used the opportunity to call on the Independent National Electoral Commission  to organise stakeholders meeting in his community, saying that such  interactive session would shed more light on the importance of the electoral process. 
Elechi stated this in an interview with journalists in his home town over the weekend, saying that the call became imperative following the hardship faced by the citizens as result of bad leadership in the country 
The former Permanent Secretary said although he was yet to see the commencement of the exercise in the area, he, stated the need to organise stakeholders meeting by the electoral empire which would achieve the desired objectives.
According to him, INEC has by this exercise provided an opportunity for full participation of those above 18 years who were not registered during the last exercise 
The Chief Executive Officer of Vintage Farms, said INEC had provided yet another platform for eligible voters to register and vote out bad government led by the federal government. 
“As I urge INEC to carry out adequate sensitization ,it behoves those above 18 years to register and vote and as well be voted for. 
“Get your voters card to enable you throw bad governance into the dustbin. 
“It will also help us get out where we are now.” 
Elechi pointed out that his community has a large number of voters in Ikwerre Local Government area, stressing that concerted efforts should be made to ensure that the exercise was in the area .

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Diri Cautions Appointees Over Early Politicking

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has cautioned his appointees against early politicking ahead of the 2023 elections, saying he would not hesitate to sack any of them found wanting.
Speaking before commencement of the weekly state Executive Council meeting in Government House  Governor Diri frowned on the activities of some of his appointees, which he said were hitting up the polity ahead of the 2023 elections, stressing that it was too early for open politicking. 
A statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying despite people having the right to aspire to any political office, the time was not ripe for politicking. 
Diri reminded his appointees that the administration lost considerable time last year due to COVID-19 and needless litigations, stressing that it was in a hurry to deliver on its campaign promises and would not afford to waste time politicking. 
He wondered why appointees would be involved in open politicking when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not even released a timetable for elections.
The state helmsman urged members of his cabinet interested in open politicking at this time, especially those from Bayelsa West Senatorial District, to resign or be ready to be sacked.
He called on all those involved in the early politicking to immediately withdraw and follow the directives of his administration, saying his government was not ready for politics at this time. 
“I find it very difficult to believe that appointees in this government have already started open politicking.
“Yes, it is the constitutional right of anybody to contest but even the Bible tells us that there is time for everything. At this time, we are trying to stamp our feet to meet up our campaign promises to our people.”
“I hereby caution all those involved to immediately withdraw. If you are prepared to continue with this government, you must listen to the music of this administration. We are not prepared to start politicking from this year”, he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Diri has also sworn in two new Special Advisers.
They are, Alabo Ozubide, Special Adviser, Legal Matters, and Onuma Johnson, Special Adviser on Non-Indigenes. 
While congratulating them, he said their appointments were based on merit and in line with his campaign promises, charging them to avoid friction with commissioners,just as he reiterated that their cooperation with commissioners would deliver development to the people of the state. 
“We promised that when elected, we would appoint a Special Adviser from among non-ndigenes. This appointment is in fulfilment of that promise. We believe that you will be able to synergise and gather non-indigenes together.
“Often, we see role conflicts between special advisers and commissioners that duty bound to implement government policies. You as special advisers should cooperate with them,” he said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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PDP Urges Nigerians To Embrace E-Registration Of Members

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Nigerians to embrace in its online membership registration scheduled to begin in August.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan made the appeal during a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to visit www.iampdp.com for the online registration at the comfort of their homes.
He also expressed delight over  requests from Nigerians  and the interests they were already showing  for the online registration.
Ologbondiyan urged Nigerians to come to PDP and own the process.
The PDP spokesman also commended Nigerians on the way they embraced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) online ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).
He said “PDP is happy to hear the INEC saying no fewer than one million Nigerians have completed their online pre-registration.”
Ologbondiyan said  the way Nigerians embraced the CVR showed they were dissatisfied with governance in the country and ready for 2023.
He urged Nigerians of voting age and those yet to register for Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to continue with the CVR.
He said “We appeal to those who are educated, especially members of the PDP to encourage others to participate in the ongoing CVR.”
Ologbondiyan also urged Nigerians to register to enable them to vote, pointing out that people should know it is  their rights to vote.
Asked how PDP would conduct its e-registration with the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) recent comment on Nigeria network covered, Ologbondiyan said as far as PDP was concerned, every  part of Nigeria had network coverage.
“From the information we have received from all our members across the 36 states and across the 774 local governments area of the country, there is no where that we have received a report that they cannot carry out online registration.
“Even INEC has come out to say that they have no problems with online registration.
“We are happy that INEC has come out to reveal that not less than one million Nigerians have so far participated in the Continuous Voters’ Registration exercise of the commission,” he said.
On  inquiry over the role of the National Assembly members on  electronic transmission of election results, he said the party would meet its members in the National Assembly to review their participation.
He said “The PDP is calling a meeting between the party and caucus in the National Assembly to review the participation of members in the legislative activity of the National Assembly as it concerns the voting on transmission of results.”

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