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FCTA Arrests Five Over Vandalisation Of Abuja Light Rail Infrastructure

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Transport Secretariat yesterday, September 14, vowed to prosecute five suspected vandals who were arrested while vandalising facilities of the rail track of the Abuja Light Rail project.
The suspected criminals who specialised in vandalising perimeter fences, communication cables, and rail track cables were arrested by the vigilant security personnel assigned to guard the railway facilities.
The Mandate Secretary, Transportation Secretariat, FCTA, Uboku Nyah who visited the various sections of the vandalized rail track at Kukwuaba, said such an act of sabotage from the citizenry was highly condemnable.
Nyah wondered why residents, whom the government expended so much funds to provide social infrastructure that would ameliorate their living conditions, would be involved in the act of sabotaging the effort of the government.
He vowed to ensure that appropriate authorities institute legal actions against the suspects to serve as a deterrent to others.
He said: “Over the past few days, the FCT Minister has been emphasising the importance of efficient transportation particularly rail transportation, in line with the vision of the renewed hope agenda of the President, in providing cheap and safe transportation for our people. The anchor of that is on rail transportation, which can move people massively from one place to another, and the government has invested heavily in that infrastructure.
“We are sad to come and see what has happened. We got this report in the office that there has been a lot of vandalisation on our protective fences, tracks, and communication cables. We came to see what has been happening, and we can confirm what we have seen. It is sad and very condemnable that the people that we are working for are doing this because people didn’t come from outer space to cause this level of vandalisation.
“What this means is that we have to spend double, and delay the project. We had expected that within the year the rail services would start. But, when we came here and saw that even the cables and the protective fences have been vandalised by our people, it is something that takes us back, and it is criminal for anybody to do this. That is why the Minister of FCT and the government of FCT don’t take it lightly, as the full weight of the law will be visited on the people.
“Fortunately, a few of these people have been taken in, and whatever is due legally will be done to discourage other people from acting against the interest of the government and the people”.
Narrating how the arrest was effected, the General Supervisor, SEGAD Security Japhet MaiKeffi, said he and his men were on their routine patrol when they sighted the suspects digging the rail tracks to remove the armoured cables.
He added that his team immediately swung into action by chasing the suspected vandals who took to their heels to escape arrest that night.
The lead member of the gang who gave his name as Salisu Ibrahim and spoke in Hausa language narrated that: “On our way to work(cable vandalism)in the middle of the night, we sighted a torch light from afar and we guessed it must be coming from the security personnel assigned to guard the railway facilities. Am actually a motor mechanic, but had to switch to vandalism due to lack of a job and its lucrativeness.
“As we attempted to approach them to clear ourselves, suddenly a vehicle started chasing us and in our confused state, we took to our heels to escape from the security men.
“We thought everything was over the next morning and decided to resume from where we stopped the previous night, but unfortunately we walked into their ambush and I was apprehended.
“Our work is to vandalise, steal the cables, and sell and this is the fourth time I’ve been involved in the activity.”

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Registrar Lauds RSG For Sponsoring Candidates To Write Neco Exam

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The Registrar of National Examination Council (NECO), Prof. Dantari Ibrahim Wushishi, has commended the Rivers State Government for its patronage in sponsoring candidates in public schools to write NECO examination.
The Registrar made the commendation over the weekend when he visited the State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Ovy Chinedum Chukwuma in his office in Port Harcourt.
He disclosed that Rivers State was the first among other States to patronise NECO and to also support their operations in the State, adding that the gesture was because of the government’s high regard for education of its citizens.
He stressed that the examination body is highly challenged to continue to provide, quality service to the nation, hence, the running cost of the council is from funds generated from registration fees from candidates of which Rivers State is given high patronage.
In his words, ” The Federal Government does not give us any appropriation to conduct the examination. Federal government only provides personal cost for payment of salaries. Whatever we do to conduct examinations and deliver to nigerian are all generated from registration fees and other sundry fees associated with the examination”, he said.
Responding, the Commissioner for Education, Dr Ovy Chinedum Chukwuma, said registration of candidates for the examination is a direct result of the high premium the state governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara placed on education in the State.
In his words, “we have deep commitment and partnership with NECO and we are ready to do more, “adding that the Ministry will not fail the expectations of NECO on them and encouraged them to place NECO globally, such that it would be recognised all over the world.
The commissioner and the registrar with their different teams also monitored the on going NECO Examination together in the State.

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG

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The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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