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Rep Promises To Resuscitate Steel Firm

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The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development, Rep. Abdullahi Halims (APC-Kogi), has promised that the Ajaokuta Steel Company will begin to function effectively within the next four years.
Halims, in an interview with journalists, yesterday in Abuja, pledged that Alaja Steel Company and the Katsina Steel Rolling Mills will also function optimally.
“At the end of four years, I want to tell you by the grace of God, we will see the Ajaokuta Steel Company working very well.
“We will see the Alaja Steel rolling out mills, we will see the Katsina Steel rolling out mills and the entire steel sector making gains out of production,” he said.
Halims explained that the Nigerian Steel Industry, established as a base for industrialisation, had remained unproductive.
The lawmaker identified outdated laws that were no longer favourable to the sector as a major factor militating against the progress of the industry.
He said that the sector had not done enough to enable Nigeria to achieve its target of becoming one of the world’s top economies by 2020.
According to the chairman, the main objective of the committee is to ensure implementation of policies that would stimulate and reposition the sector to serve as a backbone for industrialisation.
Halims said that benefit of having a functional steel industry included job creation that would guarantee economic growth for future generations.
The legislator said that without a vibrant steel sector, the oil and gas sector which earned the highest Gross Domestic Product in Nigeria’s economy will not exist.
He said that pipelines, refineries, tank farms, railway, automobiles, vessels, turbines, modern bridges, razor and knives, among other things would be lacking without a functional steel sector.
The parliamentarian maintained that Nigeria had come a long way and that there was need for the steel sector to play its role as a vital instrument of growth.
He said that the committee which derived its powers from the Act of the National Assembly would work in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
The chairman said that when the committee became fully operational, laws regulating the sector would be reviewed to ensure optimum performance.
Halims also said that the committee would interact with the stakeholders in the industry and constructively engage regulators and key players in the sector.
The chairman further said that the committee would engage consultants to support in technical areas for effective results.
Halims explained that within 30 days to 60 days, the technical team would carry out a field assessment and make recommendations acceptable to the parliament for further actions.
The chairman maintained that the committee would be interacting regularly with the media to brief Nigerians on the activities of the committee.

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Your Appeal Needless Distraction, Stop Denigrating Judiciary, Diri Admonishes Sylva

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has described the appeal filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 11, 2023 poll in the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, as a needless distraction.
In his reaction shortly after the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja dismissed the application of Chief Sylva and the APC for lacking in merit, Governor Diri said the case was not only a distraction for him but for the entire state.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that he was not surprised about the outcome of the case given the character of the APC candidate.
He said the verdict was a victory for the people of the state and that he was ready to meet Chief Sylva at the Supreme Court.
“It (the appeal) is a distraction not only to me but also to the government and people of the state. You also know the character of the person involved. So this is not unexpected.
“However, it is victory for Bayelsa State and I do not think I want to waste my time calling on anybody to work with us. They already said they are going to the Supreme Court. So, we will meet them there”, he said.
Meanwhile, speaking with journalists shortly after the court session, counsel to Governor Diri, Mr. Chris Uche (SAN), explained that the appellant (Sylva) failed to provide evidence and that the verdict of the appeal court vindicated his legal team and the election tribunal, which earlier upheld Governor Diri’s election.
Mr Uche said by the victory, the governor can now concentrate on his service to people of the state and expressed the confidence that, given the facts of the case, the verdict of the Supreme Court will not be different.
Meanwhile, Governor Douye Diri, has admonished Chief Timipre Sylva to face the reality of his serial losses at the courts and stop casting aspersions on the judiciary.
The Tide reports that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja last Thursday, July 18, upheld the judgement of the Bayelsa State Election Petition Tribunal and affirmed the re-election of Senator Diri as governor of the state.
The appellate court ruled that Chief Sylva’s case lacked merit as he could not provide convincing evidence to invalidate the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that election did not hold in 182 polling units.
But, Chief Sylva, in a statement reacting to the judgement, accused the appellate court Justices of breaching several portions of the Nigerian Constitution.
He also said the judgement “sadly reflected some of the concerns expressed by the CJN recently.
“By referencing the “concerns” of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Sylva was trying to be smart by half. To be sure, there were no conflicts or inconsistencies in the judgement of the Appeal Court as the verdict was clear as crystal and consistent with the earlier judgement delivered by of the state election tribunal.
“After losing the November 11, 2023 governorship poll, Sylva poured dirt on INEC. Having lost at the tribunal and the appellate court, the APC candidate now acts the bad loser he is by denigrating the judiciary.
“For a man whose party already accepted defeat in the election, one wonders the “stolen mandate” that Sylva lays claim to. For us in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the governorship poll was won through the overwhelming support and endorsement of the Bayelsa electorate. The well-delivered verdicts of the tribunal and appellate court have equally put a seal to the votes of the Bayelsa people. Sylva can only play to the gallery by whipping up sentiments to deceive those gullible enough to believe him.
“There are no two mandates in Bayelsa State and the overwhelming majority of people of our state know who has it. Sylva can only lay claim to a phantom, non-existent mandate.”

 

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Ndume Hails Zulum For Resettlement Of IDPs In Borno

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Senator representing, Southern Borno and immediate past Majority Whip of the Senate , has hailed Borno State Government for its efforts in the ongoing Reconstruction Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR) project which led to the resettlement of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their ancestral homes in 10 communities of Gwoza Local Government Area.
For over a decade, insurgency in the State and its environs led to exodus of the people of Gwoza including those in the Mandara Mountains from their homes. Gwoza was declared Boko Haram caliphate, until troops recaptured and liberated the town few years ago.
Senator Ndume noted that since the return of peace in the areas, Governor Babagana Zulum has not only resettled displaced people, but has also embarked on monthly distribution of food and non-food items as palliatives to the people.,
According to the Senator, resettled communities include Pulka, Limankara, Warabe, Ngoshe, Kirawa, Izge and Bitta. Others are Hambagtha, Modube and Yamtake villages, even as he said, the people of Ashgashiya, Wala and other communities would return to their ancestral homes soon.
His words “I want to specifically appreciate Borno state government under the leadership of Governor Babagana Zulum who injected huge resources that led to the resettlement of thousands of IDOs back to 10 liberated communities of Gwoza.
“These include not only Gwoza, but Pulka, Limankara, Warabe, Ngoshe, Kirawa, Izge and Bitta. Others are Hambagtha, Modube and Yamtake villages. I am happy to inform you that very soon, the people of Ashgashiya, Wala and other communities would return to their ancestral homes by Allah’s grace.”

Nneka Amaechi -Nnadi

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Edo Guber: If APC Does Not Allow Free, Fair Poll, It’ll Trigger Crisis – Obaseki

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The Edo State government has condemned attempts by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to negatively spin comments made by Governor Godwin Obaseki, where he warned that if the APC does not allow for a free and fair election in the state, it will be a recipe for crisis in Nigeria.
In a statement, the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, who clarified the view expressed by the governor during a recent political meeting in the state, accused the opposition party of trying to exploit the instrument of violence to influence the outcome of the September 21 governorship election in the state.
Mr Nehikhare said the governor spoke at a stakeholders meeting, on Sunday, July 21, 2024, in Benin City, the Edo State capital, and warned that “if a free and fair election is not allowed to hold sway in Edo State on September 21, 2024, it will trigger a major cri­sis in Nigeria.”
The commissioner said: “The attention of the Edo State govern­ment has been drawn to the negative spin that the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is fruitlessly attempting to put to the comments made by His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, at a stakeholders meeting, on Sunday, July 21, 2024, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
“For the records, we want to restate the comments of the governor on that occasion which is that: “If a free and fair election is not allowed to hold sway in Edo State on September 21, 2024, it will trigger a major crisis in Nigeria.
“Recall that on Thursday, July 18, 2024, ahead of the rally to inaugurate the APC National Campaign Council in Benin City, which was held on Saturday, July 20, 2024, the party assembled a large number of people believed to be thugs, most of them bearing firearms around the precincts of the Benin airport, on Airport Road, Benin City, to cause mayhem in the state, resulting in the unfortunate death of a police officer, Inspector Akor Onuh, attached to MOPOL 45 Abuja and the wanton destruction of properties and injuries to several citizens who were going about their lawful businesses.”
He added, “The mob then moved around the city, attacking other institutions, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) secretariat, inflicting violence and terror on the lawyers in their secretariat, with one of the lawyers, Mr. Israel Idahosa, being severely injured and his property destroyed.
“They also intimidated and harassed private citizens who were putting on any material that had the insignia of the ruling Peo­ples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, within the Benin metropolis.
“As they say, the morning shows the day and the APC has clearly shown their plan for the September 21 governorship election in the state, which is to cause mayhem, make the state ungovernable, and take advantage of the chaos to manipulate the forthcoming governorship election.”
Mr Nehikhare noted, “We howev­er want to advise the APC to, for once, read the mood of the nation and understand that with the current hardship, unattainable cost of living, and pervasive hunger in the country, a slightly irresponsible behaviour by the political class can ignite a crisis that will have a domino effect and cause a conflagration across the nation.
“This note of caution is even more appropriate with the ominous threat of a nationwide protest with the potential to degenerate into a widespread breakdown of law and order.”
He urged residents in the state to go about their activities lawfully, noting, “While we urge all Edo people to go about their lawful businesses without fear, we call on the Nigeria police to do their job and apprehend the hoodlums, most of whom have been positively identified and captured in videos, carrying firearms at the location of the crisis.

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