The Federal Government may drop the solar project as the proposed alternative power for some Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) facilities in Badagry, following an unfavourable report on its suitability in the environment.
Director-General(DG) of ASCON, Mrs Cecilia Gayya, disclosed this during an interview with newsmen, yesterday, in Badagry.
The Federal Government had agreed to help with the installation of solar power at the college, following a request by its management.
This came as the college continued to battle with the challenge of enormous funds spent on running generators in the face of poor public power supply.
According to the ASCON DG, the college facilities gulp some 52,000 litres of diesel every month.
“You can imagine how much that comes to in a month, with the current cost of diesel at about N700 per litre,’’ shesaid.
Ministry of Power officials, who had earlier communicated government approval of the college’s request for assistance, had thereafter come for a survey ahead of the solar project.
It was to be provided under the government’s Rural Alternative Electrification Scheme.
Gayya, however, said that the survey by the government revealed that solar was not a favourable option, given the salty environment of the institute in Badagry.
“They sent a team of engineers here to do a condition survey of our power needs and the environment, and the report they submitted was that solar would not last long here because of issues like the saltiness in the environment.
“So, they are suggesting that we do gas; that is where we are now.
“We have had a series of meetings on that because of the cost implication of gas instead of solar.
“But whatever happens, we are looking forward to a situation where we will have a significant improvement in our power situation,’’ she said.
The director-general said that the 49-year-old institute had, despite numerous challenges, had continued to find ways of meeting its mandate.
She identified ASCON’s key role as the development of capacity of management staff in both public and private sectors, not only in Nigeria, but across the African countries.
The director-general said that the institute was making impact both locally and internationally in that regard, with various agreements entered into.
Gayya, however, said that the COVID-19 pandemic affected business in the college, especially when it broke out in 2020.
“We started the year very excited with the contacts we had made and suddenly everything grounded to a halt.
“Since then, we have not been able to make up for that loss from 2020 to 2021,’’ she said.
According to her, the electioneering period in the country which has followed, is also challenging, with the organisation largely dependent on the government for patronage.
“It is an uphill task improving patronage in such a season,’’ she said, noting that the college was, however, working around it.
“We are still patronised, but not to the level we want to be,’’ she said.
She said the college was on the verge of introducing virtual training programmes, which would reduce costs for customers and ASCON.
Gayya said it was also making its training more flexible, taking it to states and organisations, which preferred such option.
The director-general, however, said facilities at the Badagry location remained available to host organisations seeking world-class management training and other programmes.
She said that the college had been given a boost with first-class facilities provided under the Central Bank of Nigeria intervention projects.
The director-general also said that the situation of the road leading to Badagry was getting better, with the speed of contractors on the rehabilitation project improving by the day.
“What you saw today is about 70 times better than what this road was, at the beginning of the year,’’ she said.
Fubara Set To Create New Cities In Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has disclosed that arrangements are at advanced stages to achieve the development of new cities in the state that would help to decongest Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Fubara said that the new cities would end the one city status of Rivers State and attract more investors into the state.
The governor stated this when he inspected the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority’s (GPHCDA) office and project sites in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
Fubara said: “I can assure you that in our time, we might not achieve the dream of that big city in four years, but we will add a few things that would also help us in getting at that target.
“This is because, we are thinking of decongesting the present one city state that we have, which is Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor. We are thinking of developing other parts of the state and our coming here is to see what the agency has been doing, what you have done already and what we can also do to make us achieve more new cities in our state.”
Fubara noted that despite the challenges the agency has been facing, there would be remarkable difference in what it would achieve within his tenure if the agency’s development ideals are aligned with those of the state government.
He, however, charged the agency to be self-sustaining by attracting investors as outlined by its establishment law.
Also speaking, the Sole Administrator of GPHCDA, Amb Desmond Akawor, said that since its establishment in 2009 by the Greater Port Harcourt Law, the agency has been slowed down in creating more cities because of its operational structure and the nature of the Public-Private Partnership it adopted.
Akawor, who is the Rivers State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained that a new legal framework has been fine-tuned by the last GPHDA board, which the current management would present to the governor.
He said: “I am sure that with your directives, we will be able to reschedule some of the projects so that we can move forward with all of our partners, especially in the area of reforming or strengthening the public private partnership arrangements.”
Majority Leader Seeks Immortalisation Of Slain DPO
The Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Edison Ehie, has appealed to the Police High Command to consider the immortalisation of the murdered Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in charge of Ahoada East Divisional Headquarters, SP Bako Angbashim, and commiserated with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Emeka Nwonyi; officers and men of the Police Force; and the family of the deceased over the brutal murder of the DPO.
Ehie, who made the appeal in a statement said the slain DPO deserves to be immortalised as he was a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, adding that the calamitous killing and decapitation of the DPO by Mr Gift David Okpara Okpolowu, alias 2 Baba and his criminal gang is “an unprecedented low which shocked me beyond words and threw my constituents into an endless mourning circle”.
As the Honourable member representing Constituency 2 at the Rivers State House of Assembly and the incumbent Leader of the House, Ehie said he is using this medium to unreservedly condemn the senseless killing and decapitation of the DPO, and also to reiterate the call for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of his killers and everyone associated with the condemnable act.
Describing SP Angbashim as a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, the lawmaker said the slain DPO was the one who single-handedly restored peace and order in Ogoniland.
“Even within the few months he spent in Ahoada East Local Government Area, the results of his gallantry were visible for all to see and appreciate.This is why his killing is not only calamitous and lamentable, but an affront to the government of the day in the State”, he said, adding that no government worths its salt will fold it’s arms and allow criminals and bandits to freely prey on its citizenry in order to make the State ungovernable.
On this score, therefore, Ehie thanked the Governor of the State, Sir SiminalayiFubara for prompt response to the situation which he said has already started yielding wonderful fruits, with some of the criminals associated with the killing of the DPO now under police detention and interrogation.
He also thanked and commend the officers and men of the Police Force as well as operatives of other sister security agencies in the State for their uniquely stellar efforts in fishing out the killers of the DPO.
The Majority Leader, however, called on all Ekpeye people, traditional rulers, chiefs, political elites and the general public to gratuitously assist and work with the police and other security agencies in ensuring that the killers of SP Angbashim are fished out, apprehended and made to face the full weight of the law, saying, “May our State never again witness this type of murderous orgy and life wastage”.
Ehie also appealed to the Police High Command in the State to consider the immortalisation of the slain DPO, while also appealing for meaningful and deserving support to his family and dependants.
While conveying his heart-felt condolences to the Nigerian Police, especially the officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command, the lawmaker prayed the Almighty God to grant them the fortitude to bear the monumental loss. He equally extended his deepest condolences to the family of the DPO, and prayed God to console them and heal their wounds.
Ehie further noted that “the biggest debt we collectively owe SP Bako Angbashim is to redress his killing by arresting his killers and subjecting them to justice.”
Appeal Court Upholds Banigo’s Senatorial Election Victory
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, yesterday, upheld the judgment of the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that declared Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the Rivers West Senatorial District Election held on February 25, 2023.
The Appellant Court, in her judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial Candidate, Hon. Asita O. Asita as “lacking in merit”.
In her reaction shortly after the verdict at the court premises, the Banigo hailed the judgment, describing it as an “incontrovertible victory of irreversible Senate seat”.
She expressed gratitude to the Almighty God, the leaders/stakeholders of the PDP and the entire members of the Rivers West Senatorial District for their unflinching support.
Banigo assured them of her loyalty and total commitment towards realising the tenets of her Kingdom Mandate.
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