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Ibadan 125 room-Irefin Palace to rival London’s Buckingham Palace, Oyo govt. boasts

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Oyo State government has disclosed that the historical Irefin Palace in Ibadan has been positioned to rival the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom as the State has entered into agreement with private partners to promote notable tourist sites.

The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun stated this recently while playing host to the Irefin Royal Family of Ibadan at his office.

The family held an historical significance of being the descendants of Oba Onirefin who built the biggest palace of 125 rooms in the history of Yorubaland, during his reign between 1912 to 1914.

Late Oba Onirefin was noted for his philanthropic efforts, especially in promotion of education as he was said to be the highest donor to the establishment of the popular Ibadan Grammar School where he donated 100 pounds and the land upon which the school was built.

Olatubosun boasted that the Seyi Makinde led government has turned away from the old style of neglecting tourism as a means of generating internal revenue and has adopted the public-private-partnership model to develop and promote major tourist sites in the State.

“We want to work with the Irefin Royal Family to bring more attention to the tourism potential of the palace and the significance of it to humanity, the palace is not just a structure, it symbolizes love, it symbolizes philanthropy.

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“The late Oba Onirefin was a giver and lover of educational development, that is why the State government will support the family to promote the palace to be as famous as the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom, look at the number of people that troop to the U.K to see the palace among other sites, it will generate goodwill for the government and promote the tourism industry in the State.”

The leader of the family who doubled as the Coordinator of the Irefin Historical Palace Foundation, Prince Omokayode Ayinla Irefin said the family was happy with the stride of Oyo State government towards promoting the tourism sector in the State.

Omokayode said the Irefin Palace Heritage Tourism Development Foundation has entered into agreement with a foreign partner to train youths that are interested in tourism and send them abroad for the practical aspect of the job.

He, however called on other notable families in the State with historical potentials to emulate the Irefin Tourism foundation so as to diversify the State’s economy and gain more from foreign input into tourism.

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Health

Fg begins online registration for COVID-19 vaccination {Read details}

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has announced that Nigerians can now register for the COVID-19 vaccination through its official website.

The agency on Monday in a tweet explained, “To register for #COVID19 Vaccination, visit our website http://nphcda.gov.ng and click on ‘COVID-19 Vaccination e-registration”.

Nigeria is expected to receive almost four million doses of the vaccine tomorrow courtesy of COVAX, a global initiative backed by the World Health Organisation.

Earlier on Monday, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, noted that frontline health workers would be one of the first set of people to get the vaccine.

“The first will be the frontline health workers because they are facing the battle heavily,” he said.

“They will come first then, secondly, we will look at the elderly – those above 60, 65 years and particularly with comorbidities (people who have existing health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease – they will also be in that group.

“We will also be looking and the strategic leadership of the country, and then we would be looking at some other people like those at the point of entry, border post managers, and things like that; This will be the order in terms of priority for now.”

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News

Oyo govt. calls on DPR to sanction marketers hoarding petrol

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Oyo state government has asked the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to start monitoring filling stations in the state and sanction marketers found hoarding the product.

The State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Prof. Daud Sangodoyin made the call on Monday while featuring on a private radio station in Ibadan.

Sangodoyin said the scarcity of fuel that started on Sunday was artificial as there was no reason for most of the marketers not to sell to the people.

Most filling stations in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital were not selling fuel to motorists while those selling experienced long queues which also contributed to traffic gridlock in some parts of the metropolis.

“As government, we are doing all we can to make life easy for the people of Oyo State and this is reflected in the number of infrastructural projects around the State, for some people to be creating artificial scarcity of fuel for pecuniary reasons is wrong and inhuman.

“The Department of Petroleum Resources should as a matter of urgency swing into action and arrest the situation, they have the work of monitoring cut out for them and this is the moment to bring those marketers sabotaging government’s effort by hoarding products to book,” the Commissioner submitted.

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Opinion

Trouble Fighting Corruption In Nigeria | By Abba Dukawa

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The corrupt man is everywhere, the man on the street, the man next door, the man in the church or mosque, the man in the market or the departmental store, the policeman on beat patrol and the soldier at the check point (Okadigbo, 1987)

The present administration came to power through the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari with his top three cardinal promises of “economic development, fighting insecurity and corruption”. But the country is still languishing in extreme poverty as result of corruption and the fight against corruption has become a mere political statement.

Nigerians are alienated, angry and fed up with the way the fighting corruption is being handled  with the slow pace of the fight against corruption since the administration came to power.

Regrettably, it is under the watch of this present administration that Nigeria’s corruption perception index published by Transparency International has nosedived. With the current ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau being the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the sub-region. The country scored 26 out of 100 points, a drop from the 27 points that it has maintained since 2017. In the 2018 index, Nigeria rose by four places on the index from 148 to 144 and also dropped two places in 2019, ranking 146 out of the 180 countries.

Since 2015, Transparency International reports indicated that the administration’s war against corruption could not be said to be effective in the light of the poor performance of the EFCC in several high-profile corruption cases like defencegate,PDP  Campagn funds and the most publicised case of a former petroleum minister.

But the trouble with the anti-corruption agency in Nigeria is clearly lack of political will from leaders of the agencies assigned with the  responsibility of fighting corruption in the country as corruption cases have been on the increase. The anti-corruption agencies have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they are not able to translate their anti–corruption “crusade” into action.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act (2004) empowered the commission to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes and it is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes.

But 17 years after the establishment of the agency, strangely, all former chairmen of the commission were allegedly removed for undisclosed abuse of office.

There is no doubt that the new chairman of the EFCC will be facing an herculean task and may not like to go the way of his predecessors. He has the urgent challenge of regaining the confidence of Nigerians by turning around the commission to achieve its objectives.

Many Nigerians are expecting much from the new chairman as he takes over the mantle of leadership because corruption cases have been on the increase despite the anti–corruption campaigns. The new chairman is expected to be an agent of change in fighting the common enemy that has frustrated the realization of country’s economic development despite the enormous natural and Human Resources.

Perhaps, the new chairman should strengthen the collective effort in citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption as this will increase the chances of engaging non-state actors, especially the media and civil society organizations, in providing information to the public in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

Some other expectations of Nigerians include reform of the commission and ensuring a fair and balanced fight against corruption in the country as an officer who passed through the ranks of the commission. He should ensure that there is synergy between the EFCC and other sister anti-graft agencies like the ICPC and other law enforcement agencies in order to produce the needed results in the fight against corruption.

It will be recalled that the slow pace of court cases and financial settlements made by wealthy individuals and entities outside of the courtroom have impeded successful prosecution of cases.  The convictions of two former governors, Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, have failed to convince the public of the sincerity and effectiveness of the war against corruption.

Need for the establishment of a special anti-corruption tribunal by the National Assembly to facilitate speedy determination of hundreds of corruption cases before the nation’s courts will aid the war against corruption.

 

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DUKAWA, writes from Kano state

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