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Stem Killings Of Nigerians By Boko Haram, Bandits, Wike Tasks Buhari …Pledges RSG’s Support To Members, Families Of Legionnaires …As President, VP, Service Chiefs Honour Fallen, Living Military Heroes

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to redouble efforts in fulfilling his cardinal electoral promise of securing the country.
This is as President Muhammadu Buhari, last Saturday, led the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, members of National Assembly, service chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps to honour the nation’s fallen and living military heroes.
Speaking during the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Ceremony in Port Harcourt, last Saturday, Wike said Nigeria was at the crossroads and everyone was wary about the prolonged Boko Haram insurgency in parts of the country.
According to governor, there were also the unbridled killings by bandits and the increasing insecurity in most parts of the country with members of the Armed Forces made to pay the price of containing the internal wars continuously.
“We acknowledge that some progress has been made in the fight against the insurgents. However, the generality of Nigerians believe that the progress made can’t be good enough insofar as Boko Haram, its affiliates and bandits are still active in the North-East, North-West and some other parts of the country, killing, maiming and kidnapping helpless people, including school children, and destroying and displacing hapless communities.
“We, therefore, call on Mr President to redouble his efforts and fulfil his cardinal electoral promise to secure the country and ensure that Nigerians feel safe and remain safe and secure wherever they are in their own country.”
Wike pointed to the need for the Federal Government to take as top priority, the equipping of the nation’s Armed Forces appropriately.
This, he noted, would motivate men and officers of the military to be well poised to accomplish the noble task of securing the country, and ensure that Nigerians feel safe within their various communities.
“We also count on our Armed Forces to quickly end the raging insurgency and restore peace and hope to all our distressed people and communities who bear the physical, emotional and psychological scars of war and destruction.”
Speaking further, Wike stated that officers and men of the Armed Forces were enduring symbols of national unity.
He said, Nigerians were proud of them for their principled loyalty to the nation, including their capacity and commitment to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity, democracy and constitutional freedoms of the citizenry.
“It is also significant to appreciate that, for several families across the nation and communities, today’s remembrance ceremony is a very painful reminder of the loved ones that they lost years, months and even barely weeks ago.
“Perhaps, granting consent for a loved one to enlist into the Armed Forces knowing that he or she may die in the service remains one of the toughest decisions any parent, guardian or spouse can make.
“But they did and gave their loved ones to the service of the nation; for the love of our nation; and for the peace and security of their people.
“What they did is, therefore, a great and inspiring lesson in courage and selflessness, for which we owe them all the possible debt of gratitude, respect and honour.”
Wike stated that Nigeria has been at war for over 10 years, and that has kept the Armed Forces seriously engaged in offensive combat against terrorist groups like Boko Haram, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), and bandits.
These terrorist groups, Wike remarked, are fanatically bent on destroying Nigeria in vain pursuit of their devilish social, economic and religions agendas.
Wike said, in all these wars and violent conflicts, whether within or outside the nation’s shores, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces are and have been the primary victims.
“While most survived to tell their stories about the horrors of war and conflicts; some inevitably paid the ultimate price, while some others survived with horrific bodily wounds and scares.”
Wike, therefore, pledged that the Rivers State Government would continue to identify with them and support their families to cushion their pains.
He donated N50million as support fund that would help widows of the fallen heroes to have something to do to eke out a living.
In his speech, Rivers State Chairman of Nigerian Legion, ACG Justice Chichi said the Nigerian Legion has received all the financial donations made on the day of emblem launch for the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
He described the support from the governor and the Rivers State Government towards the success of the event and their welfare as extraordinary show of kindness.
Earlier, at the Isaac Adaka Boro Park, Wike had inspected the guard of honour mounted by men of the security agencies, and later laid the wreath at the feet of the Unknown Soldier.
Some of those who also laid wreaths included the Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo; Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani; and Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi; with the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Sani Mohammed, leading other military commanders to lay wreaths.
Wike also released pigeons as a mark of peace for the event.
There were prayers said by military chaplains and imam for the personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the ex-servicemen.
A 21-gun salute was shot in honour of deceased ex-servicemen.
Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari, last Saturday, led the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, members of National Assembly, service chiefs and members of the diplomatic corps to honour the nation’s fallen and living military heroes.
The event, which involved laying of wreaths at the National Arcade in Abuja, was the climax of the main activities lined up to celebrate the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC).
First to lay the wreath was the president, followed by the vice president, the Senate president, speaker, House of Representatives and Chief Justice of Nigeria.
In another order, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) and his Federal Capital Territory (FCT) counterpart, Malam Mohammed Bello, laid the wreaths.
Thereafter, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor; the Chief of Army, Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, performed the exercise.
Other dignitaries, who also performed the wreath-laying ceremony, are members of the diplomatic corps and their representatives as well as Nigerian Legion and widows of late officer/soldiers represented by Hajia Aisha Lemu.
Buhari, thereafter, signed the anniversary register, and released the ceremonial pigeon as a symbol of national peace.
The celebration started with series of activities including Jumma’at prayer on January 7, at National Mosque and Interdenominational Christian service on January 9.
The AFRDC is celebrated globally to recognise and appreciate the sacrifices made by their citizens for the cause of peace.
In Nigeria, January 15 is set aside annually to honour fallen heroes who laid down their lives in service to humanity during the first and second world wars, Nigerian Civil War, peace support and various internal security operations.
The event is also used to honour veterans still alive and as a medium for soliciting financial, moral and material support for the families of the fallen heroes.

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Agric Remains Key Priority Of Our Govt -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has reiterated that agriculture remains one of the key priority areas of his administration.
He, therefore, stated that adequate steps have been taken to ensure the realisation of the vision of unlocking the food potential of the state agricultural sector through public, private partnership (PPP).
Governor Fubara stated this during the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SPAZ) Two Assessment Programme of the Federal Government, supervised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with African Development Bank (AfDB), with the theme: “Industrialization of Agricultural Sector for Inclusive Economic Growth”, held in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The Governor, who was represented by the Rivers State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Victor Kii, noted the state’s abundant fertile land, water resources and vibrant agricultural commodities, which place the state in advantageous position for partnership and investment in the agro-processing sector.
He said, “Our state is blessed with fertile land, abundant water resources and a vibrant agricultural commodity.
“As a Government, our Governor has made agriculture one of the key priorities of his administration. He has taken very decivise, concrete steps to translating this to reality,” he said.
Accordingly, his policy direction in respect to the Ministry of Agriculture is a public private partnership arrangement. So, I urge you all to explore the potential for public, private partnership and investment opportunity in our agro-processing sector,” he stated.
The Governor asserted that the tripod collaboration is a testament of the state government’s commitment to promote sustainable development and economic growth.
He also expressed optimism that the implementation of the SAPZ Two in the state will help to harness the state’s agricultural resources, create employment opportunities and boost agricultural industries.
He said, “This collaboration between the Federal Government and the African Development Bank and our state is a testament to our shared commitment to promoting sustainable development and the economic growth of the state.
“As a major boost, the implementation of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Two programme will harness our agricultural resources to draw innovation, create employment opportunities for our youths and boost the agricultural industries in our state,” he added.
In his remarks, the leader of the Federal Government delegation and National Coordinator of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Two, Dr Yusuf Kabir, said the programme focuses on boosting agriculture for industrialization for the growth of the nation’s economy in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
Represented by the Financial Controller, SAPZ, Temitope Olaiwola, Dr Kabir, said with the phase one of the programme started in 2022 in seven states and the FCT, and lessons learnt from the implementation, the team was in Rivers State to assess the level of preparedness for the phase two of the project.
“As we are aware, the major focus of Renewed Hope Agenda of this government is agriculture. And until agriculture is industrialized, we go nowhere. And that is the full focus of SAPZ.
“It is not enough for us to produce, but it is important for us to industrialize our production, the value chain is preserved and ensure that our economy moves forward and improves the lives of our people at the end of the day.
“We started the phase one of SAPZ in 2022 in seven states and the FCT. Although we experienced a lot of implementation delay, we have a lot of lessons learnt. And based on the lessons learnt in implementing the programme in the pilot states, we decided to go into second phase.
“Therefore, I can say the states coming onboard the second phase, they are not disadvantaged states, because all the lessons learnt in implementing phase one will be used to improve on running phase two states,” he noted.
Also speaking, the representative of the African Development Bank, Ms Monde Nyambe, expressed the bank’s commitment to ensure that SAPZ Two is also implemented in Rivers State.
Nyambe, who is the Task Team Leader of the Nigeria SAPZ programme, noted that the presentations by the state government and discussions are to ensure the state’s eligiblity to participate in phase two of the programme.
In his vote of thanks, Head of Livestock and Veterinary Services, Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Godswill Ukoikpoko, thanked the Federal Government and the African Development Bank for chosing Rivers State for the second phase of the SPAZ programme, at a time the state government is giving agriculture desired attention, assuring of the state’s readiness to sustain the programme.
Highpoints of the programme were presentations of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), General and Financial Feasibility reports as well as Detailed Engineering Drawings by consultants which are prerequisite for the state’s eligiblity for onboarding the programme.

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Senate Passes NDDC N1.9trn 2024 Budget Jerks It By N44,833,046

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The Senate has passed the 2024 budget of N1,911,844,833,046 for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The NDDC budget was jerked by N44,833,046, where it moved from the initial N1,911,800,000,000 that was defended on Monday by the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Samuel Ogbuku when he presented the NDDC aggregate Expenditure of N1.911 trillion tagged “ Budget of Renewed Hope Agenda” before the Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, APC, Cross River South led Senate Committee on NDDC to N1,911,844,833,046.
The budget was read the third time and passed after the clause by clause consideration.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, submitted its report in less than 12 hours after the public hearing on the budget, where Ogbuku, appeared for defence of the budget.
According to the Senate, it considered increase by N44.8 million in Personnel Costs, Overhead Costs, Internal Capital estimates as well as adjustments in the Reve profile of the Commission, as well as considered the extra sum of N44, 833,046 being the difference from the Revenue Projections proposed by the Commission and the amount approved by the National Assembly as reflected in the Appropriations Act, 2024.
Ekpenyong said, “the Committee considered increase In Personnel Costs, Overhead Costs, Internal Capital estimates, as well as adjustments in the Revenue profile of the Commission.
The Committee also considered the extra sum of Forty Four Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty Three li) Thousand and Forty Six Naira (N44,833,046) being the difference from the Revenue Projections proposed by the Commission and the amount approved by the National Assembly as reflected in the Appropriations Act, 2024 and consequently recommends the following as the expenditure profile: Personnel Expenditure- N38,545,349,193 Overhead Expenditure- N29,246,506,753 Intemal Capital Expenditure -N8,785,574,130; Development Projects- N835,267,402,970 and Legacy Critical Projects to be funded through Borrowings – N1,000,000,000,000.TOTAL EXPENDITURE: N1,911,844,833,046.
“That the lifespan of the Year 2024 NDDC budget should elapse on 3ist December, 2024.”
The passage of budget was sequel to the consideration of the report of the Committee on NDDC that was presented by the chairman, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, APC, Cross River South.
Shortly after presenting the budget, Senator Olamilekan, APC, Ogun West) observed that the Chairman of NDDC Committee was silent on the performance on 2023 upon which the 2024 was predicated.
Senator Adeola who was the first to pick holes in the report and queried how the budget performance of the agency for 2023 was not properly assessed before approving the 2024 budget in line with the legislative tradition, said that it amounts to process abuse for a proposal to be adopted without finding how the previous year budget was executed to justify fresh proposal, adding, “There is no mention of the performance of 2023 budget, so on what is the proposal for 2024 predicated?”
The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio had to contend with complaints on observed lapses by Senators who made contributions on the bill.
Speaking in the same vein, Senator Adamu Aliero, PDP, Kebbi Central who explained that NDDC has proposed to borrow N1 trillion in the budget proposal which he observed was not in the borrowing plan of the Federal Government, however admonished NDDC, as a child of necessity that must use the money appropriated to it to serve the interest of the people, adding that NDDC’s budget is more than two states put together without the impact been felt.
He said, “NDDC is a child of necessity and the money must be used in the interest of the people, even as its budget is more than two states and we have not seen much”.
On his part, Senator Seriake Dickson, PDP, Bayelsa West called for support of NDDC having gone through forensic audit so that request for borrowing could be brought later by President Bola Tinubu.
In his contribution, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, APC, Edo North maintained that things have improved in the NDDC and explained that the President could write to the Senate for borrowing after the budget might have been passed into law, urging lawmakers not to “judge the NDDC by its dirty past”.
He recalled how the South South governors called for forensic audit of accounts of the NDDC. “Mr. President, you recalled that we as governors agreed that forensic audit of NDDC be carried out. This was done and jobs done were paid and those not done were separated.”
After contributions, the President of the Senate, Akpabio called for vote and the budget was passed into law.

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FG, States, LGs Share N1.1tn May Revenue

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A total sum of N1,143.210 trillion May 2024 Federation Accounts Revenue has been shared to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils in the country.
The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) disclosed this in a communiqué issued at the end of its latest meeting, according to a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Bawa Mokwa, on Monday.
The FAAC June 2024 meeting was chaired by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun.
According to Mokwa, the communiqué revealed that the N1,143.210 trillion total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N 157.183 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N463.425 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N15.146 billion and Exchange Difference revenue of N507.456 billion.
The statement disclosed that total revenue of N2,324.792 billion was available in the month of May 2024. Total deduction for cost of collection was N76.647 billion while total transfers, interventions and refunds was N1,104.935 billion.
It added that gross statutory revenue of N1,223.894 billion was received for the month of May 2024. This was lower than the sum of N1,233.498 billion received in the month of April 2024 by N9.604 billion.
“The gross revenue of N497.665 billion was available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) in May 2024. This was lower than the N500.920 billion available in the month of April 2024 by N3.255 billion.
“The communiqué confirmed that from the N1,143.210 billion total distributable revenue, the Federal Government received total sum of N365.813 billion, the State Governments received total sum of N388.419 billion and the Local Government Councils received total sum of N282.476 billion.
“A total sum of N106.502 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.
“On the N157.183 billion distributable statutory revenue, the communiqué stated that the Federal Government received N61.010 billion, the State Governments received N30.945 billion and the Local Government Councils received N23.857 billion. The sum of N41.371 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.
“The Federal Government received N69.514 billion, the State Governments received N231.713 billion and the Local Government Councils received N162.199 billion from the N463.425 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue.
A total sum of N2.272 billion was received by the Federal Government from the N15.146 billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL). The State Governments received N7.573 billion and the Local Government Councils received N5.301 billion.
“From the N507.456 billion Exchange Difference revenue, the Federal Government received N233.017 billion, the State Governments received N118.189 billion and the Local Government Councils received N91.119 billion. A total sum of N65.131 billion (13% of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting States as derivation revenue.
The statement added that according to the communiqué, in the month of May 2024, Companies Income Tax Oil (CIT) and Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) increased significantly while Import and Excise Duties, Royalty Crude and Gas, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL), CET Levies and Value Added Tax (VAT) recorded considerable decreases.
It added that the balance in the ECA was $473,754.57.

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