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17 Oil Wells: Ariolu, MOSIEND Hail Wike Over S’Court Victory

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The Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barrister George Ariolu, has lauded the Supreme Court of Nigeria, for delivering a firm judgement on the disputed 17 oil wells involving Rivers and Imo states.
Ariolu, while addressing newsmen, yesterday, also hailed the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his bold and courageous approach towards recovering the state’s assets.
He described the verdict of the apex court as victory for the rule of law, democracy and the people of Rivers State.
Following the verdict by the apex court, he expressed optimism and confidence that Wike would continue to fight and win more battles in the interest of Rivers people.
Speaking further, he said the ultimate victory was another validation of Wike’s popularity among Rivers people, especially on his programmes, which have continued to impact positively on the people.
Describing Wike as an architect who has erected political structure for good governance, Ariolu urged Nigerians to support him, stressing that they should give the governor fresh mandate in 2023.
He, however, maintained that the recent verdicts of the Supreme Court have restored and re-affirmed the hope of the common man in the nation’s judicial sector.
Ariolu noted that the lawyers and judges who delivered the landmark ruling have written their names in gold, adding that they would be remembered as revered legal practitioners.
He said, “It is now glaring that the Judiciary is the last hope of the common man.
“We are very happy with the judgement given by the Supreme Court and that is why we are affirming our loyalty and commitment to the governor of the Rivers State.
“I think we are now having a Judiciary we are supposed to have.
“The Supreme Court has done the right thing by affirming that the 17 oil wells in dispute belonged to Rivers State,” he continued.
The council boss, who described the ruling as good development for the sustainability of the country’s democratic experiment, pointed out that the landmark judgement has relieved the state of oppression, pervasion of justice, disunity and disharmony.
Similarly, a frontline socio-cultural organisation in Niger Delta region, Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in Niger Delta (MOSIEND) has commended Governor Nyesom Wike, over the Supreme Court judgement on 17 oil wells ruled in favour of the state.
The oil wells, the group said, were located in Ndoni and Egbema communities in Rivers State, respectively.
The group, in a statement by its Zonal Secretary, Godwin Opiuyo, commended the Judiciary for living up to its responsibility for fair judgement.
MOSIEND said the judgement brings to an end the lingering and prolonged boundary dispute between Rivers and Imo states.
The statement described Wike, a Presidential aspirant hopeful of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as not somebody you can intimidate, adding that Rivers properties remains safe under his care.
The group said they were pleased with the ceding of the 17 oil wells to Rivers State by the court judgement.
The statement commended Wike for resisting the forces of evil against the financial prosperity of Rivers State.
“We commend the Wike for his resolute in recovering the communities and the 17 oil wells for Rivers State”.
Opiuyo further appealed to the governor to make massive investment in human capital development across the 23 local governments of the state to reduce poverty.
MOSIEND said the proposed Wike decision to embark on stomach infrastructure is strategic and aimed alleviating poverty and improved lives amongst youths.
Recall that in 2019 there was a disputed 17 oil wells in Akri and some other communities when a presidential directive conjured a certain boundary adjustment arrangement that transfers all revenues accrued within those locations to our neighbouring Imo State.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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World Bank To Fund $30bn Projects In Nigeria, Others

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The World Bank has said it is set to disburse a total of $30billion to fund existing and new projects in Nigeria and other countries as part of a global response to combat the ongoing food security crisis.
According to the bank, it is working with countries on a $12billion new projects fund for the next 15 months.
It said the projects are expected to support agriculture, social protection to cushion the effects of higher food prices, and water and irrigation projects.
It added that most of the funds would go to Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia.
The global bank disclosed this when it announced how it plans to be part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis.
It stated that it intends to roll out this fund in existing and new projects in agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water, and irrigation.
It said, “This financing will include efforts to encourage food and fertiliser production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers.”
World Bank Group President, David Malpass, said, “Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable.
“To inform and stabilise markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage.”
The bank added that its current existing portfolio includes balances of $18.7billion in projects with direct links to food and nutrition security issues, covering agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, social protection, and other sectors.
It stated, “Altogether, this would amount to over $30billion available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months. This response will draw on the full range of Bank financing instruments and be complemented by analytical work.”

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FG Postpones FAAC Meeting Over AGF’s N80bn Probe

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The Federal Government has announced the postponement of May, 2022 Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.
The sudden postponement may not be unconnected with the ongoing investigation of the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, over alleged fraud to the tune of N80billion.
The FAAC meeting is a monthly meeting where the federation allocates monthly revenue among the three tiers of government.
The meeting had earlier been scheduled to hold virtually between May 18 and 19, 2022.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said this in a letter signed by Director, Home Finance,Stephen Okon.
The ministry said the meeting was postponed due to “certain circumstances.
“I am directed to inform you that the Federation Account/Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings earlier scheduled to hold/virtually on the 18th and 19th May, 2022 have been postponed due to/certain circumstances,” the circular reads.
“In view of the foregoing, I am to further inform you that the new date for the meetings will be forwarded to you in due course.
“While we regret the inconveniences this change might cause you, please accept the assurances of the Minister’s warm regards,” the letter read in part.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on Monday arrested and detained Idris over an alleged N80billion fraud.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, announced indefinite suspension of Idris, last Wednesday.
Ahmed said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

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Nigerian Out-Of-School Children Hit 18.5m

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Nigeria has 18.5million out-of-school children (OSC), the highest number in the world, and out of the figure, 10million are girls, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said.
The Chief of UNICEF Field Office in Kano, Rahama Farah, stated this at a media dialogue on ‘Girls’ Education under the Girls’ Education Project 3, GEP 3’, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and implemented by UNICEF.
“For those lucky to be in school, their condition is also not enviable given the situation of public schools in the country. Only recently, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), said 50per cent of schools in Nigeria lack basic furniture”Farah said.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Hamid Bobboyi, said this in Abuja at a one-day civil society organisations’ CSO-Legislative Roundtable Meeting where some National and State Houses of Assembly members were present.
According to him, emerging constraints in basic education delivery in the country may necessitate an increase in the consolidated revenue funds from the current two per cent to four per cent.
He buttressed his position for an increase in funding on the security challenges bedevilling the country, insisting that rising student population also poses urgent need for teaching facilities.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Basic Education, represented by Senator Frank Ibezim, decried the failure of State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs), to sustain some UBEC-initiated projects such as classrooms and libraries earlier introduced by the commission in all constituencies in the country.
While commending UBEC over the construction of classrooms in schools across the country, he lamented the poor maintenance culture, noting that there is no school in the country that does not have a dilapidated block.
A representative of MacArthur Foundation, Mr Dayo Olaoye, called on stakeholders to review the impact of the country’s annual budget on education, stressing that it was not enough that the country is increasing its budget to the sector.
“As we think about reforms, let us think beyond buildings that have been delivered, let us start thinking about how many children have been brought to school,” he said.
“If classrooms are dilapidated, and there are not enough furniture, what about teachers and the quality of the ones available? The Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, said there are over 300,000 unqualified teachers in the system.
“Education is very important to be left in the hands of quacks and that is why at TRCN, we are stepping up efforts at ridding the system of unqualified hands. We implore teachers and their employers to take advantage of the various windows TRCN is providing to improve the quality of teachers in the country so as to get better results from our education system,” he said.
For the General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Dr Mike Ene, there is need for better funding of the education sector.
He noted that in many states, teachers are overwhelmed by the number of pupils and students they handle.
“In so many states, there is inadequacy of teachers. Some states have not recruited teachers in the last 10 years and yearly, teachers are leaving the system through retirement, resignation or even death. Worse hit by poor staffing are schools in the rural areas. Such schools are called hard-to-staff schools.”
It is in that regard that the welfare packages announced by the Federal Government are very much necessary,” he said.
Also speaking on the issue, the National President of the National Association of Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, decried the manner some state governments are implementing the Basic Education Policy of the government whereby pupils and students in primary and junior secondary schools are to enjoy free education and are given textbooks in some core subjects.
“Some states are not doing well in that respect. They have abandoned the programme. They are not funding education as it ought to be funded. Even counterpart funds that some states should put down to complement the funds from UBEC are not provided. Some states have even misused UBEC funds and are suspended from getting further grants.
“We are talking now about our tertiary institutions that are grounded by workers’ strikes, the basic education level, which is the foundation, is not faring better too. Something urgent must be done to redress the situation before the sector collapses finally,” he noted.

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