Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has blamed the delay in completion of the N120billion Bonny-Bodo Road on failure of the Federal Government to pay N60billion counterpart funding for the project.
He asserted that every fund expended so far on the Bonny-Bodo Road project had been provided by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG).
Wike stated this at the send-off ceremony of former NLNG managing director, Tony Attah, which held at the company’s corporate headquarters in Port Harcourt, last Saturday night.
The governor, who was accompanied by the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, maintained that since the N60billion counterpart fund for the 38-kilometre Bonny-Bodo Road would be paid from the federation account, it would be wrong for the Federal Government to continue to claim glory for the funding of the project with the NLNG.
“The Bonny-Bodo Road is not funded between the Federal Government and NLNG. I don’t agree. With due respect, it is funded between NLNG, all the states of the federation, and the Federal Government.”
The Rivers State governor noted that if the Federal Government was committed to the even development of all parts of the country, it ought to have provided the N60billion counterpart funding for the speedy completion of the Bonny-Bodo Road.
“If this nation is a country that all of us belong to and all of us mean well for ourselves, that is one project that ought to have been completed by now, because of the economic interest that will benefit all of us.”
He eulogised Attah for the convivial relationship the NLNG, under his watch, maintained with the government and people of Rivers State.
The governor said that Attah would be remembered for overseeing the commencement and completion of NLNG corporate headquarters’ building in Port Harcourt, and for ensuring that all fabrication works for the company’s $10billion Train 7 were done in Rivers State.
According to him, 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) from the NLNG Train 7 project, would be used to transform the state.
Based on the convivial relationship Attah nurtured and sustained with the state government, the governor said it was also possible for all those working for the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to cultivate better relationship with state governments in the Niger Delta.
The governor remarked that by ensuring the speedy completion of the NLNG headquarters in Port Harcourt, Attah had proved that the claim of insecurity in the Niger Delta by IOCs was indefensible.
“IOCs will say there is insecurity in Port Harcourt, insecurity in Warri, insecurity in Bayelsa but there is no insecurity in taking the oil and gas.”
The governor declared that posterity would forever be kind to Attah for all his good deeds as the managing director of NLNG.
According to him, any government that was committed to the development of the country must engage technocrats like Attah.
“NLNG will never forget you (Attah). The Amanyanabo of Bonny will never forget you. Rivers State will not forget you. You have done very well. And I want to tell you by the powers conferred on me in the next award of the state; you are going to get the second highest honour as far as Rivers State is concerned.
“I want to thank you for what you have done for Rivers State. I want to thank you for what you have done for the people of the Niger Delta.”
The governor enjoined the new NLNG Managing Director, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, to emulate his predecessor, and sustain the existing cordial relationship with the state government.
He implored Mshelbila and the board of the NLNG to collaborate with the Rivers State Government to develop a vast reclaimed expanse of land opposite the NLNG corporate headquarters in Port Harcourt.
“Everybody should come back here. This is where it is happening. Philip, opposite you, we have sand-filled the area, provided infrastructure. Come and partner with us. Chairman (NLNG board, Edmund Daukoru, the Amanyanabo of Nembe), you are from Niger Delta, tell your people to come and get a place here. They should not be living in Lagos and flying in and putting the cost on your head. Let them come here. The safest place is here. Rivers State is very safe.”
The governor used the occasion to reaffirm Rivers State Government’s ownership of 45 per cent stake in OML 11, which was formerly operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers
As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.
Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0
Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment
The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.
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