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FG Assures Nigerians Of Reliable, Affordable Electricity



The Minister of Power, Engr. Saleh Mamman, has reiterated his commitment of the present administration to solve the challenges in the power sector in order to provide reliable and affordable power to Nigerians.

Mamman, who stated this weekend in Abuja during the 2020 end of the year seminar organized by the Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), chapter of the Ministry of Power, said government efforts at improving the state of electricity supply top the citizenry was unwavering.

Speaking at the seminar with theme, “Covid-19 pandemic strategic thinking for optimal performance”, the minister noted, however, that, achieving the determined milestone in the power sector of the economy would be a mirage without the total support and commitment of the staff of the ministry of power.

Represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Otun Emmanuel, the minister lodged to give priority to the issues of salaries and welfare of the staff of the ministry to ensure that they are fully prepared to contribute their quota towards development of the sector.

Mamman, who particularly pledges to carry every staff member of the ministry along, however, charged the union leaders to engage in useful dialogue and communication that would strengthen the relationship between the management and the staff of the ministry.

He said, “There is need for dialogue and communication because they are very crucial and key elements that fast tract development in any organization”.

In his address, the Chairman of JNC/ASCSN, Comrade Bala Mohammed, said the seminar was intended to unite the staff and management of the ministry.

According to him, “It is so important considering the fact the management and the staff are like a bird with two feathers of which if one of the feathers develops problem, the bird cannot fly.

“This is imperative at this juncture to appeal on behalf of the ministry staff to the minister’s representative to convey our request to the Ministry of Power to please liaise with the Head of Service  of the Federation for a better and proper replacement of the out gone Permanent Secretary”.

He argued that such a better replacement for the immediate past Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Christian Ohaa, will go a long way in boosting a better environment and harmonious working relationship in the ministry.

“I wish to appeal to the staff to be dedicated to their duties at all times. Let me also use this auspicious occasion of today to urge you all to pay attention to all aspects of the tasks required to move the ministry forward and most, especially to deliver its mandate to Nigerians.

“We are gathered today with our staff today, like a kind of come together and have a better understanding, better thinking on how to move the ministry of power forward.

“Otherwise, we call this programme strategic thinking in Covid-19 for better performance. So, we are doing this in order to get ourselves together, inform together  so that we look at the way forward so we can do better in the ministry and the areas we need to improve in order to provide service for Nigerians.

“Like you are aware, we have power challenge of power supply in the country and Mr. President is doing everything possible to ensure that power is available, stable and quality and as well affordable to all Nigerians. So, to that direction, we that are at the helm of affairs at the Ministry of Power, we need to get ourselves prepared in order to work towards achieving those goals”.

Mohammed, who lamented the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the ministry, said the deadly dampened the morale of the workforce, which also to some affected production and performance at the ministry.

The chairman noted that the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic was a very trying period for staff of the ministry, most especially when the government releases a circular forbidding some category of staff from coming to the office, which according to him resulted in encumbrance on many of the senior personnel.



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Gov Uncovers 3,900 Ghost IDPs In Borno Camp



The Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum has fished out fake internally displaced persons (IDPs) at a IDPs camp in Maiduguri during a surprise visit to the camp.

Around midnight, yesterday, Zulum showed up at Mohammed Goni College of Islamic and Legal Studies in Maiduguri, where internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Abadam Local Government Area of northern Borno were being camped.

Zulum immediately sealed the entrance and supervised a headcount to identify actual IDPs, in order to put a stop to rampant cases of dubious residents pretending to be displaced, who spend day time at IDP camps to share food meant for IDPs, and towards the night, they return to their homes to sleep, with some of benefiting from other means through which the state distributes food to vulnerable non-IDPs in communities.

The governor’s mission, which ended past 1am, discovered that out of 1,000 households in the records of humanitarian officials, 650 households comprising 3,900 IDPs were ghosts.

No fewer than 450 households were found to be real IDPs after Zulum’s midnight headcount which was conducted by the governor alongside an official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Air Commodore M. T. Abdullahi, and two commissioners (Agriculture, and Local Government and Emirate Affairs).

In humanitarian system, a household normally consist of at least six persons who are either related through families, or chosen to stay together for the purpose of receiving household aids.

Officials, who were part of the midnight headcount, said Zulum was not averse to approving support for any citizen who may be vulnerably in need of food since there is a committee doing that.

The governor also expressed opposition to some residents making dubious claims in other to take what is meant for IDPs while also benefiting from other existing welfare activities that target non IDPs

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Troops Chase Boko Haram Fighters Out Of Borno Town



Soldiers, yesterday, prevented Boko Haram fighters from mounting a barricade on Damaturu-Maiduguri highway in Borno State.

The soldiers reportedly engaged the insurgents in a gun battle around Mainok and Jakana towns.

A commercial driver said that the incident happened shortly after the usual daily road closure was eased in the morning.

Troops usually close the road in the evening and open it at 7am, every day.

The driver said suspected insurgents who were about to mount road barricades and attack travellers were overpowered and driven away by soldiers.

“We were on our way to Maiduguri after spending the night in Damaturu when we were stopped by soldiers at a place after Mainok.

“We were earlier asked to turn back and later we were told to stay there. Shots were later fired ahead of us, which sounded like gunfire exchange. We were asked to proceed after about thirty five minutes,” he said.

He said extra patrols were stationed along the road.

Boko Haram has made life a hell for those who ply that route.

It was on the route that a newlywed bride was abducted last week but she was freed 24 hours after.

Before decorating the new service chiefs, last Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari gave them a few weeks to tackle the widespread insecurity in the country.





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Suspend 25% Contribution To Federation Account, FAAN Begs FG



The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has called for the stoppage of its 25 per cent revenue contribution to the Federation Account.

FAAN said this would help it to address some infrastructure gaps.

The General Manager, FAAN, Mr Rabiu Yadudu, made the appeal during an oversight visit of the Senate Committee on Aviation at the Lagos Airport, yesterday.

Yadudu decried accumulated airlines debt to aviation agencies, particularly FAAN, adding that a particular airline owed N13billion for services rendered and unpaid.

Yadudu noted that one way to ensure development in the industry was to allow revenue generated by agencies in the sector to be ploughed back.

The managing director said that the practice was obtainable across the globe and was also part of the international standard and recommended practice.

“The industry still has an infrastructure gap to stabilise; therefore, government’s support in stabilising the industry is needed.

“This can be achieved by suspending the contributions to the Federation Account in compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) Doc 9562.

“This document on airport generation provides that revenue generated by the airport should be transparently re-invested wholly in operating and developing airport facilities,” he said.

Yadudu said revenue generation was low as only two airports – the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) mainly sustained other airports expenditures.

He also highlighted the global economic challenge, both national and international, which had affected airline operators, causing them to reduce fleet, frequencies or withdraw operations, thus affecting the agency’s revenue generation.

Yadudu lamented the rising operating and maintenance cost of the new terminals and existing ones due to inflation and the devaluation of the naira.

However, the managing director said the agency was tweaking its plans to make other airports that were not breaking even to perform.

He also said the airport management had embarked on aggressive debt recovery, while introducing a Pay As You Go system, adding that it had also commenced a cashless policy among other loophole blockage areas.

Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, said the idea was commendable, noting that the issue was constitutional and would require a constitutional review to achieve.

Adeyemi stressed the need for rehabilitation of airports.

“There are quite a lot of airports in the country that we need to start looking at budget inclusion for next year, not this year.

“We will not wait till there is a mishap before we start looking at fixing the runways which are in bad shape, a number of them since they were constructed have not been touched, and at times when you land in some of these airports, you don’t need to be a pilot to know that the plane will not maintain a balance,” he said.





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