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Yakubu Dedicates ThisNigeria Award to INEC Staff, Youth Corps Members



Yakubu Dedicates Nigeria Award to INEC Staff, Youth Corps Members



The Nigeria newspaper has conferred its inaugural Gold Award in Public Service on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in recognition of his efforts to reposition the country’s electoral system for free, fair, credible, and inclusive elections, despite daunting challenges. gathered that theIMG-20211201-WA0079 conferment took place today at the newspaper’s well-attended Inaugural Lecture and Gold Prize ceremony, held at the Yar Adua Centre in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Two other individuals who also received Gold Awards were Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, for good governance, and the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof Ishaq Oloyede, for his contribution to the education sector.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mattew Hassan Kukah, delivered a lecture on “National Cohesion for Sustainable growth and Progress,” with a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and former governorship candidate of the Labour Party for Kwara State, Mr Issa Aremu as discussants. A former Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTRA), Dr Tonnie Iredia, moderated the discussion.

In his acceptance speech, Prof Yakubu dedicated the award to the Commission’s staff members, members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and other critical stakeholders involved in elections.

He said: “We have just successfully concluded the Anambra Governorship Election. Next, we have to prepare for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council election. We are preparing for two more governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States. In between, we have seven bye-elections to conduct. So, it’s a hectic period for us.

“In INEC, we are used to more of condemnation than commendation. So, when commendation comes, especially from a friend like Eric Osagie, we genuinely appreciate it.

“This recognition is dedicated to all the hardworking staff of INEC. But I would also like to dedicate this to all those who have constructively criticized the Commission. We cherish constructive criticisms. As a teacher all my life, I know that there can’t be new knowledge; there can’t be progress without constructive criticisms.

“I would like to recognize the role of the National Peace Committee (NPC), chaired by our respected former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar. But let me also recognize a category of Nigerians that are hardly recognized. Yet, they play a very, very critical role in conducting elections in the country. I am not referring to the security agencies that also play a very good role. I am not referring to other stakeholders – political parties, the media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), but I am referring to election duty staff: those young Nigerians on national service. I have said it over and over again that you (National Youth Service Corps members) are among the most educated, the most hardworking, the most readily available election duty staff in Nigeria. We cannot do without you.”

He added: “I recognized the critical role of the NYSC when we travelled to the Republic of Liberia for their election. The Liberian Electoral Commission was battling with where to get election duty staff. They were looking for teachers and other categories of staff. And the Chairman (Liberia Electoral Commission), who is my very good friend, turned around and said to me, ‘we know that in Nigeria, you have no issues at all. The number of young Nigerian serving the nation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is probably half of the population of the Republic of Liberia’. And so, in that respect, we have no issues with capacity.”

Governor Wike, in his speech, commended the Commission for conducting what he described as a “free and fair governorship election” in Anambra State.

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Delta Reviews Ayakoromo Bridge Contract to N10.5bn





Delta Government said it had approved an upward review of contract cost of Ayakoromo Bridge project from N6 billion to N10.5 billion.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, told journalists in Asaba that the review was part of decisions reached at the first State Executive Council meeting in 2022, which was presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Thursday.

Aniagwu explained that the contract for the construction of the bridge which was awarded in 2013 had to be reviewed as a result of present economic realities in the country.

He said that the project was priority to the present administration in the state, adding that it was expected to be completed and inaugurated within the next 15 months.

“The Ayakoromo bridge also came up today and the Exco has approved an upward review of that contract which was awarded in 2013 at the initial cost of about N6 billion.

On the Independent Power Plant (IPP) in Oghara, Aniagwu said that the council gave approval for a programme that would enable the IPP come on stream by bringing in Independent Power Generating Companies under lease to own it.

“We have some turbines and equipment that they (the power generating companies) need to buy. We will bring them in and they will pay us some money from the beginning to some time and they will own the plant thereafter,” he said.

According to him, the state government took the measure because it does not want to engage in outright sale of the power facility where the state may be short-changed.

The commissioner further stated that Exco approved the upgrade of Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) to enable it to beam its signals across the state and to the entire South-South region. 

To this end, he said, transmitters and other tools would be provided for the Asaba station and Ubulu-Uku sub-station to enhance the strength of the signal.

“The good one for me is that Exco approved the upgrade of Delta Broadcasting Service. So, in the next six months, we will, as much as possible, provide them with transmitters that would be able to cover the entire state,” Aniagwu stated.

On road infrastructure, he said that approval was given for the construction of Idheze internal roads in Isoko axis, rehabilitation of 5.6km Idere-Ase road in Isoko South, construction of Umuchime-Ogbele road, Ogume in Ndokwa West and construction of Ovie Whiskey Palace Road, Jesse, in Ethiope West.

While saying that the Okpe- Ekuku-Agbor road in Ika South was also approved for construction, the Commissioner disclosed that the Exco approved the rehabilitation and expansion of the Ugbolu – Asaba road as well as the Flood Control measures of Sakpoba Water Board, Oghara and the Ajagbodudu Market road. 

“We also approved the rehabilitation of Ugbolu-Asaba road, to enable people easily access the film village coming to fruition soon. The road will also be expanded,” he added.

Aniagwu said that Exco also approved the repudiation of the Udu Harbour Market due to non-performance of the contractor, and that the contract would be re-awarded to a more competent company.

He disclosed that the council approved the appointment of Michael Imoh as the Ovie of Aviara in Isoko South, adding that Solomon Usoro Onyesom was endorsed as the Okpala-Uku of Ashaka Kingdom in Ndokwa East.

The Commissioner also announced that the government gave approval for the amendment of the declaration to the throne of Uvwie Kingdom regarding succession to the throne, even as he said that a 500-seater auditorium was approved for construction at the Delta State University, Abraka.

On his part, the Commissioner for Urban Renewal, Chief Arthur Akpovwowo, said approval was given for the transfer of the Department of Town Planning and Urban Development Board from Ministry of Lands to the Ministry of Urban Renewal.

Akpovwowo disclosed that approval had been given for the ministry to work at Ekuku-Agbor in Ika South,  Ovu in Ethiope East and Akugbene in Bomadi Local Government Areas, and assured that the ministry would ensure that illegal activities in town planning and development were put to a halt. 

He sued for the support of all in correcting the ills bedevilling town planning and development in the state.

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2023: Obasa Hints on Type of Leader Nigeria Deserves



…Says Tinubu laid foundation that makes Lagos a successful state



The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Thursday said Nigeria desires a leader with an experience of success in previous assignments.

Dr. Obasa said this at the Anchor University’s first Distinguished Public Lecture of the faculty of Humanities in Lagos stressing that leaders can only succeed when they have the requisite capacities to meet the desires of their followers.

Noting that Nigerians currently yearn for more from their leaders in the face of daunting challenges, Obasa expressed hope that the country would meet the collective dream of the citizens soon.

“If you place our country side by side some countries and compare developments in the last 50 years, you would agree that we have challenges.

“However, we are all leaders in our various spheres. Leadership has to do with the roles you play in your various communities.

“Today, people choose to go to Dubai instead of some other countries. Look at their development in the last 50 years. We heard stories of how their leaders visited Ibadan for medical checkups.

“Now, what do we have? Nigerians visiting the country and others for medical reasons.

“Today, China is a super power because of its growth and development.

“That is why we have to talk about leadership and the most important thing for us now is to have a leader who understands and can handle our situation such that a man living in a corner in Ipaja, who does not have interest in who the leader is, enjoys what should be simple amenities of life,” he said.

The Speaker argued that fixing Nigeria requires good governance and that the country currently has an opportunity to get it right ahead of 2023.

“And as you are aware, if anyone applies for a job, the first things that are asked for are the person’s credentials and experience.

“So in chosing who would be our leader in 2023, we need to ask questions about who is competent enough and had done something similar to what we desire.

“We can still remember that not long ago, we had someone in Lagos State who laid a solid foundation, particularly in relation to revenue. We know that without revenue, there is hardly anything we can do.

“We had that person who used his intelligence to move the revenue from just N600 million to billions of naira and today, the State gets multi-billion naira revenue for development.

“See the infrastructural development in Lagos State now and you will agree that we need people who are experienced and highly exposed for leadership positions.

“Leadership is not about who is old or young. We have had some young governors who have no positive thing to show about the development of their states,” he stressed.

Obasa, who was honoured by the institution, promised a robust relationship between the university and the government. He also urged the management to assist the government by making suggestions that would help the State.

The guest lecturer at the event, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju, corroborated the Speaker’s position emphasising that the right leadership is what Nigeria needs.

The Professor of History and Strategic Studies at the University of Lagos, also commended the Lagos State government for the giant strides recorded so far.

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Delta Govt Donates 5 Amoured Carriers to Army, Police





Delta Government on Wednesday handed over 5 armoured personnel carriers to the 63 Brigade, Nigerian Army and the state police command to strengthen their operations.

Presenting the armoured vehicles shortly after the State Security Council Meeting held at Government House, Asaba, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said three of the security vehicles were for the Army while two were for the Police.

He expressed appreciation to the various security commands in the state for the work that they have been doing to consolidate on the peace and security in the state.

According to him, the various security commands have been doing so well to keep Delta State peaceful, pointing out that it was his hope that the state government’s gesture would add up to the vehicular needs that will enable them carry out their operations.  

“We have just risen from a Security Council Meeting where we discussed a lot of issues concerning the security of the state.

“And we also expressed our appreciations to the various commands for the work that they have been doing to consolidate on the peace that we have in our state.

“In furtherance of the various logistics provisions for the Army and the Police, this afternoon, we are handing over two Armoured Personnel Carriers specially built for the Army.

“One had also been previously delivered to the Army making it three for the 63 Brigade and two had earlier been delivered to the Police, making it a total of five Amoured Personnel Carriers.

“So, we are glad that at this point in time in this early part of the year, that the remaining two to the 63 Brigade have been delivered.

“We do hope that in the course of the year, we will be in a position to also provide other logistic needs for the various commands.

“They have been doing so well to keep Delta State peaceful and we are very grateful and we hope that this will add up to the vehicular needs that will enable them carry out their operations,” the governor said. 

Highlight of the ceremony was the handing of keys of the Amoured Personnel Carriers for the Army to the 63 Brigade Commander, Brig. General Abdulraman Idris and State Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Ari.

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