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Buhari to review 13 per cent derivation for oil states

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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has informed that his administration will look into the constitutional 13 per cent derivation benefit to the Niger Delta region to ensure even spread of developmental projects that meet the needs of the people.

Receiving Isoko Traditional Rulers and personalities led by His Majesty Ovrawah, Omogha 1, Odiologbo of Oleh, at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja on Friday, President Buhari assured the royal fathers that the constitutional provisions for Niger Delta development will be carefully studied for inclusiveness, especially in the prioritization of Federal Government projects.

“I have listened attentively to your address and I will still update myself with details of development in your area as it relates to oil and gas, and lack of infrastructure.

“I will look at the constitutional 13 per cent derivation and what previous governments have done, in order to know what we can do,’’ the President said.

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President Buhari said the Isoko kingdom had very qualified citizens that have distinguished themselves in various professional and entrepreneurial skills in the country, expressing surprise that the domain was not adequately captured in Federal Government appointments.

“I will revisit your address and ask for clarification. I will do my best on this issue,’’ he added.

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President General of the Isoko Development Union and spokesman of the community, commended President Buhari for “performing well’’ in leadership, while urging him to consider some anomalies in the spread of development projects in the Niger Delta.

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“With eight oil fields of flow stations in Isoko land, we appeal to His Excellency to direct NNPC to establish a gas plant and a modular refinery in Isoko land. It will be beneficial to the nation and it will create employment and generate revenue,’’ he said.

High Chief Amadhe said the Isoko community and its indigenes had been side lined in Federal Government appointments, with the last appointment of a minister in 1975, noting that the region was also ignored in siting of federal educational institutions, skill development centres and infrastructure.

“Your Excellency no meaningful project has been sited in Isoko since the inception of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs,’’ he added.

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Senate President Wants Buhari To Declare State Of Emergency In Power Sector

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The Senate President,  Ahmad Lawan has  called on the Executive to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency in the power sector to overcome the legion of problems stalling steady power supply in Nigeria.

Lawan stated this on Monday while declaring open a one-day round-table discussion with the theme: “Addressing Nigeria’s Power Problems” organized by the Senate Committee on Power.

The Senate President declared that the privatization of the power sector in 2005 and 2013 was a grand scheme conceived with the intention to defraud Nigeria.

According to him, “For me if there’s any sector of our economy that is so important and yet so challenged, it is the power sector. I believe that this is a sector that needs a declaration of emergency.

“This is an opportunity for us in this round-table to exhaustively discuss not only the problems of the power sector in Nigeria but the solutions and way forward.

“The truth is that we all know what is wrong. What we really need to do is to have the political will to take on the challenges generally.

“From the electricity power reform of 2005 to the privatization of Gencos and Discos and to what is happening today, we know that everything is a fraud. If we play the ostrich, in the next ten years we will be talking about the same things.

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“I think the time has come for us to have courage. I want to remind us, that we have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. What will give us an edge is to have a competitive environment.

“Our industries and businesses must be able to produce things that can compete favourably with products produced in other countries in Africa. We are not in that position today, and we all know the consequences of that.

“Even our citizens, who have capital, will rather relocate to Ghana, produce whatever they want and bring to Nigeria to sell. Where does that leave our country? No employment opportunities; Nigeria becomes a dumping ground”, he lamented.

The Senate President, therefore, called for a review of the privatization exercise undertaken by the Goodluck Jonathan administration which led to a takeover of the power sector by private Generating Companies (Gencos) and Distribution Companies (Discos).

Lawan added  that the National Assembly would make a significant contribution to the reform of the power sector through enabling legislation required to turn around the fortunes of power generation and distribution in Nigeria.

“If we went wrong with our privatization of Gencos and Discos, the time has come to look into it.

“Whatever we have to do to review these things, we should do. We must do it in the interest of the people of this country. We must admit there was something done wrong.

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“This round-table actually is an idea of the Senate, that we should come together to talk among ourselves. Ours is to provide legislative interventions, but we are also part of the government.

“Therefore, whatever that is required to support the executive arm of government to turn-around this sector, in fact we are more than prepared to do so through legislation.

“If we are going to amend the power sector reform, we are prepared to do that, and expeditiously. Tell us where the issues are, because we can’t afford to delay any action to make the power sector of this country perform.

“In the sixties, we were comparing ourselves with Indonesia, Malaysia and the rest, now we started comparing with Ghana, Togo. With all due respect, that tells us we are not making progress where other countries are.

“This round-table is an opportunity to come up with measurable roadmaps because we are not going to leave the implementation to the executive alone. We want to participate in every inch of the way.

“Every bit of what is to be done; we want to be part of it, so that we can contribute meaningfully to take the power sector to the next level.

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“It is really disheartening that we are still talking about 4,000 megawatts. I don’t understand this. Other countries within Africa are talking of so much, even Ghana is three times better than what we are doing.”

He also called on the federal government to deploy the political will towards revamping Nigeria’s failing power sector. “We are yet the largest economy in Africa, for how long can we sustain that position?

“I believe that we have to declare a state of emergency on Power, and courageous decisions must be taken by the government”, the Senate President said.

 

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Yuletide: 1,700 FRSC Personnel Deployed To Oversee Traffic Activities On Highways

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At least 1,700 personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have been deployed to oversee traffic activities on highways across Ogun and Lagos States.

The personnel would be overseeing the Lagos – Ibadan; Sagamu – Ijebu Ode; Sagamu – Mosinmi – Ikorodu; Abeokuta – Sagamu; Abeokuta – Ibadan; Abeokuta – Ifo, Sango – Ota and Idiroko corridors.

The Route Commander, Florence Okpe Public Education Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, Ogun State Sector Command made this known in a statement.

 

This deployment, according to the statement, is part of the Ember Months Special Patrol Operations which will commence from Thursday, December 19, 2019, till Monday, January 20, 2020.

 

The Special Patrol Operations would focus on, excessive speed; dangerous driving; wrongful overtaking; lane indiscipline; use of phones while driving; seat belt violation; overloading violation; tyre violation (expired/ substandard) as well as speed limiting device violation; unlacthed vehicles violation; child restraint violation; passengers manifest violation by commercial vehicles and use of drugs & intoxicating alcoholic beverages while driving.

 

The FRSC Ogun State Command has also embarked on aggressive motor parks public enlightenment campaigns across the state.

It has also concluded arrangements with the NDLEA to conduct joint drug tests on drivers suspected to have consumed illicit drugs as well as those that have consumed intoxicant alcoholic beverages beyond the legally tolerable level.

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In addition, eye examinations would be conducted in partnership with the National Optometric Association (NOA), to ensure only drivers with good eye sights are allowed to drive passengers during the Yuletide.

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Using Phones At Checkpoint Is Wrong, Says Military Chief

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The Army has said that the use of phones when approaching a military checkpoint is wrong because it is a security loophole.  Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Major-General Usman Mohammed disclosed this  on Monday.

Major-General Mohammed reacted when he was asked why the military frowns on motorists using their phones while approaching a checkpoint.

“It is a security measure when you are approaching a checkpoint,” he said, “you don’t make phone calls. Because the tendency is that if you are making a phone call, you might be communicating with some bad guys. Or you may use that particular device to set up some certain devices.

“It is a general convention; it is not peculiar to Nigeria, it is everywhere; people who have travelled abroad know that you don’t make phone calls when approaching a checkpoint.”

He stressed that relations between the military and civilians were improving.

Speaking further, he  also noted that while human rights violations have not been eliminated, the military is working assiduously to limit such crimes.

“We soldiers are part of the society,” he said. “We didn’t fall from the sky. We are a product of the society in which we are operating. Where you have one or two individuals behaving differently from what the military stands for, you don’t say everybody is abusing human rights.

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“Where those occur, we identify those individuals, investigate and sanctions are applied.

“But generally, we are doing a lot in terms of educating our personnel, and also we are instituting measures to ensure that human rights violations are reduced to the barest minimum.”

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