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Wike’s Vision, Ingenuity Drive Rapid Dev Of Rivers -Nsirim

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulnus Nsirim, has said that the state has become a major player in national politics because of the vision and ingenuity of Governor Nyesom Wike towards rapid infrastructural development of the state.
Nsirim emphasised that the state has recorded giant strides under the leadership of the governor, and charged the media in the state to shift its focus from the urban to the numerous rural development projects executed by the Wike-led administration.
The commissioner, who disclosed this at a luncheon he organised for media executives and journalists in the state, last Friday, emphasised that in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global economic recession, the governor has been on the driver’s seat pursuing his developmental agenda.
“That is the kind of governor we have in the state,” he explained.
He said contrary to the impression being created, Governor Nyesom Wike, has evenly spread developmental projects across all the local government areas of the state.
On how the governor has been able to achieve results, Nsirim said, “His Excellency has put God first, and he has a passion to develop Rivers State. He is selflessly committed to making Rivers State investors’ destination of choice, and of course, he is a prudent manager of resources.”
He noted that critics of the Wike-led administration had resort to accusing him of concentrating development in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor, but quickly dismissed their claims by saying that the government under Governor Nyesom Wike has spread developmental projects to all the local government areas of the state.
He encouraged the media to find time to go across the length and breathe of the state to ascertain the achievements of the governor.
“I don’t know how many journalists know about the Sakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road, the Abonnema Ring Road, Abalama reclamation project and the cassava processing company etc.
“I don’t know how many journalists have been to Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government areas, and the stretch of Andoni-Opobo Unity Road to see the amount of money that is being sunk there by this administration.
“Opobo people drove home in their vehicles for the first time in the history of the kingdom under Governor Nyesom Wike. And that is because there is a governor who is committed to ensure that development is spread throughout the length and breathe of the state”, Nsirim pointed out.
He urged the media to guard against the practice of armchair journalism, adding that the state government was open to welcome any constructive criticism that would contribute to the development efforts of the administration.
“I have said to journalists that it is only a bad leader that will not want constructive criticism, but what we shouldn’t promote is armchair criticism. The media must not allow itself to be a dumping site for armchair criticism, but you see, that is what we find most of the time. A lot of people are just there with pull-him-down syndrome. They don’t see anything good. It shouldn’t be so”, he added.
He challenged media practitioners to always uphold the tenets of objectivity and fairness in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities to society.
“It is important that now that we have so many people straying into the profession, the legacy we leave behind determines the sustenance of the tenets of the profession. You cannot afford to leave behind a situation where professionalism is thrown to the dogs,” he said.
Nsirim commended the media in the state for the cooperation given to the Wike-led administration in the execution of its NEW Rivers Vision agenda.
He appealed to journalists in the state to continue to partner with the governor, who is determined to bequeath a worthy legacy for posterity.
“When the history will be written, you will be proud to be part of the success story,” he told the media practitioners.
He conveyed the felicitation of the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to the media practitioners, and solicited for more cooperation with his ministry and the government in its determination to develop the state in the remaining years.
In his remarks, the acting Chairman of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Rivers State Council, Mr. Amaechi Okonkwo, lauded Nsirim for boosting a cordial relationship between the Wike-led administration and the media.
He described Nsirim as an astute administrator and seasoned media professional whose goodwill has secured a friendly relationship with the media, urging that the relationship should improve even better.
Others such as the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Stanley Job Stanley; Mr Ngo Martin-Yellowe of RIVPA; the General Manager, Rivers State Television, Pastor Dafini Gogo-Abbe; all lauded Nsirim for building a bridge of friendship between the state government and the media in the state.
The media executives who spoke on behalf of the various segments of the media pledged 100 per cent support of the media to the administration.
The luncheon was attended by general managers, publishers as well as top management and representatives of virtually all the leading electronic, print and online media organisations in state, including the recently appointed General Manager of Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Chief Ernest Chinwo, and the Publisher of National Network Newspapers, Pastor Jerry Needam, amongst others.

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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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