The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has disclosed that arrangements are in top gear to attract the sum of $100 million from development partners to develop critical infrastructures in the state.
Fayemi said some development partners had visited the state to see how best they can collaborate with his administration in the areas of investment and economic empowerment for the people of the state.
The governor disclosed this while rendering account of his stewardship and receiving feedback from chairmen and secretaries of community development associations and town unions in his hometown, Isan, Ekiti.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, Fayemi said his administration had injected some valuable inputs into the system to make Ekiti marketable to local and foreign investors.
The governor said that from the beginning of year 2020, the state would witness massive construction of rural roads in a bid to tackle one of the problems militating against agriculture and rural development, one of the five pillars of his administration.
Fayemi told the elated representatives of communities that a total of 1,000 kilometres of rural roads would either be reconstructed or rehabilitated, while dredging of waterways for erosion control was already ongoing.
The 2020 fiscal year, the governor added, would witness renovation of all public schools to engender more conducive teaching and learning for pupils and teachers while grants were recently approved for the schools.
While restating the commitment of his administration towards providing an enabling environment for socio-economic development, Fayemi appealed to community leaders to always release land for prospective investors who want to use it for either industrial or agricultural purposes.
The governor revealed that some of the community initiated and self help projects abandoned by the last administration have been given attention with some completed and commissioned for use.
Fayemi explained that the state had witnessed the commissioning of 36 projects through the support of the World Bank with an affirmation to complete all other projects within the allotted scope of time.
He said: “On the economic situation of the state, this administration has taken pragmatic approach by engaging and partnering development agencies and multinational organisations with a view to getting them to invest in our state.
“To boost our infrastructure development, efforts are in top gear to attract a sum of $100 million to be invested in some critical infrastructures that are important to the acceleration of the socio-economic development of our dear state.
“For example, Promasidor has taken over Ikun Dairy Farm and this is expected to provide jobs for our youths, improve our internally-generated revenue and enhance the socio-economic standard of our people.”
“To realising our dream of optimising the full potential of our relationship with development partners, we have paid huge counterpart funds to many agencies, which has culminated to tremendous support that we have received, while others are under processing for Ekiti development.”
Fayemi highlighted the abolition of taxes on education, free health for the aged and vulnerable children, regular payment of salaries, subventions and pensions, building workers capacity, reduced backlog of gratuities as part of his achievements in the last one year.
Others included the recruitment process to fill vacancies into the civil service, Teaching Service Commission and board of technical schools, reintroduction of elderly monthly allowance tagged “Owo Arugbo” with the addition of “Ounje Arugbo,” an initiative of the wife of the governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, aimed at feeding the elderly, among others.
Fayemi, while soliciting for continuous cooperation to boost the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state, assured the people that his administration would continue to invest in participatory governance, social investments, knowledge economy, agricultural and rural development, and infrastructural and industrial development to move the state forward.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development in the state, Prof. Adio Folayan, explained that the forum was to give room for discussion on issues bordering on the development of the state.
APC, PDP Bandy Words Over Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request
The ruling All Progressives Party (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have argued over President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for approval to borrow $4 billion and €710 million to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget.
Recall that the president made the request in a letter he addressed to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in reaction to the development, cautioned the NASS against approving the request, saying it could set the country’s debt profile skyrocketing without a feasible repayment plan.
With the approval to borrow $8.3 billion and €490 million loans by its legislative body barely two months ago, Nigeria’s debt profile risks reaching over N40 trillion.
“More alarming is that the debts that APC is hanging on Nigerians are for nebulous projects whose scopes, utilities, locations and contractors are largely vague; a development that validates apprehensions of a huge swindle on our nation at the expense of innocent Nigerians, including generation yet unborn.
“Our party holds it as an act of wickedness that individuals who know that they will be leaving office in less than two years will be accumulating debts instead of seeking ways to reduce the liability they have brought upon our nation.
“The APC knows it will not be around after May 29, 2023. That is why it is pushing our nation into a deeper economic quagmire with foreign loans, which are largely diverted to the personal pockets of their corrupt leaders,” the opposition PDP said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday.
But responding to the PDP’s criticism, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday, said the loans are for “the good of the country” and well-being of the citizenry.
The ruling party also accused the opposition party of looting foreign loans obtained during its 16 years rule rather than spending on infrastructure and economic growth as, according to it, Mr Buhari-led government is doing.
“It was in PDP’s era that loans to fund power generation, purchase arms and ammunition to fight a raging insurgency were misappropriated and diverted to fund PDP activities; and the borrowed money ultimately found its way to the pockets of cronies, friends and family members of administration officials. Nigeria is still servicing a $460 million loan taken from China to fund a phoney Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) contract awarded in August 2010.
“Nigerians should also reflect and recall that the PDP had in its 16 years of misrule pushed the country into a dark ditch of insolvency, and a period in which most state governments could not pay workers salaries, not even the minimum wage, or settle contractors’ bills and cater for patients in hospitals, to name a few,” the APC interim National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, said.
A’Ibom Gov Signs Anti-Open Grazing Law
Akwa lbom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has signed into law a bill to prohibit open rearing and grazing of livestock and provide for the establishment of ranches in the state.
The Speaker, Aniekan Bassey, with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Uko Udom (SAN), presented the bill for signing on Wednesday at the State Executive Chambers, in the Governor’s Office, Uyo.
The governor, after signing the bill into law, stated that the new law was no respecter of persons irrespective of status or calibre.
He instructed relevant authorities of government to ensure that the law was implemented and enforced to the letter with strict compliance, stressing that, culprits must be brought to book accordingly.
The new law will promote modern techniques in animal husbandry, prevent the destruction of farms by wandering cattle while reducing clashes and killings between herders and farmers in the state.
It will also promote international best practices in livestock administration, regulation and control in the state, among other things.
The state Assembly passed the bill on Tuesday, and the Speaker, Aniekan Bassey, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to communicate the decision of the House to the Governor for his assent.
Also at the Executive Chambers, the Speaker who was accompanied by the Leader of the House, Udo Kierian Akpan, and the Clerk of the Assembly, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to the signing ceremony witnessed the inauguration of two C\committees by the Governor.
The committees are the Akwa Ibom State Gender Based Violence Management Committee, chaired by the First Lady, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, and Akwa Ibom State Road Safety Management Committee, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo.
NASS S’East Caucus Moves To Reconstruct Federal System
Members of the South East Caucus of the National Assembly have resolved to join hands with other patriotic Nigerians across regional, religious, political, and ethnic divides to reconstruct a federal system where the rights, happiness, and prosperity and those of unborn generations are guaranteed.
Making their feelings known in a communique issued at the end of an extraordinary meeting held at the Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja last Wednesday, the law makers said the topic of the meeting centered on review of developments in the South East, particularly the security situation in the region vis-à-vis the sit-at-home orders by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and the detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“We expressed solidarity with our people of the South East over the marginalisation of the region in the scheme of things within the Nigerian commonwealth. The Caucus feels the pains of our people and their quest for equity, justice, and protection of their lives and property in every part of the country. The Caucus, therefore, resolved to continue to fight for a level-playing ground and an enabling federal system where Ndigbo are able to develop their homeland at their own pace and equally pursue their happiness and actaulise their enormous potentials in every part of the country, unmolested.
Reviewing the sit-at-home orders by the IPOB and the mayhem some nefarious elements have seized the opportunity to visit on the lives, properties, and psyche of the people, the Caucus equally reviewed and rued the incalculable economic losses and hardships these have brought upon the region.
They, however, condemned in strongest terms the disruption of the ongoing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in some parts of the South East, particularly the incident at Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, where the English examination organised by the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, on Monday, September 13, 2021, was ruthlessly scuttled by armed men, who chased away the students, teachers, and examiners before setting ablaze motorcycles belonging to the teachers.
“This is certainly not who we are as a people. On the contrary, we are a people, who have always cherished and encouraged learning from the ages. We are a people that fully appreciate the place of education in the liberation and enlightenment of the human mind and the socio-economic and political emancipation of a people”.
The South East legislators equally condemned in strongest terms the incessant killings in the South East, adding “This must stop immediately. We call on the security agencies to unravel the culprits behind these wicked acts and ensure that they are brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
“ Noted with delight that IPOB has called off the Monday sit-at-home order and resolved to ensure that nobody uses them as façades to bring ruination on Igbo land.
“ Call on our people to go about their lawful businesses and enjoin our governors and the security agencies to rebuild confidence in our people by not only ensuring the security of their lives and properties, but also ensuring that our people feel safe as they undertake their legitimate businesses.
”Elaborately discussed the issue of Mazi Nnamdi and resolved to intervene. To this end we resolved to set up a committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. We will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in regard.
“Appeal to our people not to allow anyone to destroy the South East region. The post-war South East was not built through government patronage, but largely by the sheer determination and sacrifices of our people, who refused to resign to fate or bow their heads in defeat.
“It is in Igbo land that you easily find hospitals, schools, roads, and other social amenities built by individual or communal efforts of the people, home and abroad, through the instruments of the town unions and other community organisations such as the age grades, Umuada, etc.
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