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Mixed Reactions Trail Oyo Speaker’s  ‘Hasty Approval’ Of N7.6b CBN Loan

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Reactions have continued to trail the action of the Oyo State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin, as lawmakers expressed dismay against his decision to overrule their submissions and further approve the N7.6b  CBN loan requested by Governor Seyi Makinde to upgrade farm settlements in Akufo and Eruwa areas of the state to farm estates.

The lawmakers  are of the opinion  that there is a need for Governor Makinde to spread the scope and usage of the agricultural loan to other zones in the state and not limit it to Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements alone.

 

The governor, had in a letter sent to the State House of Assembly urged the lawmakers to allow him access Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan to develop Akufo and Eruwa farm settlements into farm estates.

The letter, which was presented on the floor  of the assembly during Thursday’s plenary informed that the proposed farm estates are to serve as pilot projects which will be used to develop other farm settlements across the state.

Other farm settlements in the state, which were not covered in the CBN loan facility as requested by Governor Makinde included; farm settlements in Ipapo in Oke-Ogun geo-politcal zone, Fashola farm settlement in Ilora Afijio local government Area, Iresaadu, Ijaiye, and Lalupon in Lagelu Local government area.

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This approval makes it the second loan so far approved for Governor Seyi Makinde by the lawmakers within five months having earlier endorsed a N10 billion infrastructure loan request in July.

It was reliably gathered that the two farm settlements are housed  in Ido/Ibarapa East Federal constituency where the Speaker, Ogundoyin  hailed from.

However, not satisfied with the choice of the two farm settlements to enjoy the loan facility out of the many others in the state, the lawmakers insisted that the loan should be spread across other farm settlements.

In their separate reactions, Hon. Isiaka Tunde representing Oyo East/ Oyo West State Constituency and his counterpart from Iseyin/Itesiwaju, Hon. Dele Adeola expressed their dissatisfaction on concentration on the loan, challenging the rationale for selecting two farm settlements within only one Federal constituency (Ibarapa East/Iddo). They maintained that the loan be spread to other parts of the state.

Also corroborating the lawmakers’ position, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Abiodun Fadeyi and the Minority Leader, Mr Asimiyu Alarape further called for the extension of the loan facility to other farm settlements in the state .

 

The duo, however urged the  executive arm of government  to ensure judicious use of the agricultural loan to enable it achieve the purpose for which it is sought, while other lawmakers, also enjoined Governor Makinde to spread the loan facility to take care of other areas.

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Despite heated debate by members on the issue, the Speaker, Hon. Ogundoyin finally ruled that the loan would be approved as presented by Governor Makinde.

“Other states have been accessing this agriculture loan facility, especially in the North. But we thank God the state government is ready to work with the federal government and provide counterpart funding to show seriousness in accessing this loan.

“We know that the CBN and federal government are interested in agricultural development and this is a blessing to Oyo state. Moreover, our own goal is to develop the state through agriculture. If we decide to spread the money as requested by some lawmakers, we might end up not achieving anything and have abandoned projects.

“These two projects can be the engine room for the other projects. We are taking the projects one at a time. If we can achieve two projects out of seven then for the remaining five, we do another two next year and thereafter, then we will be able to make progress”, Ogundoyin responded.

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Nigerian physician, Funsho named one of TIME’s most influential people in the world

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TIME named Nigerian physician, Dr. Tunji Funsho to the 2020 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

Dr. Funsho, a cardiologist based in Lagos, Nigeria, is the first Rotary member to receive this honor for the organization’s work to eradicate polio, having played an essential role in ensuring Africa’s certification as wild polio-free in August of 2020.

“I’m honored to be recognized by TIME for my part in ensuring that no child in Africa will ever again be paralyzed by wild polio, a disease that once disabled 75,000 African children every single year,” said Dr. Funsho. “Eradicating the wild poliovirus in Africa was a team effort that required the cooperation and dedication of governments, partners, Rotary members, hundreds of thousands of health workers, and countless parents who chose to have their children vaccinated against polio.”

As the leader of Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, Funsho has worked alongside Rotary members throughout the country to raise awareness about the importance of polio immunization, encouraged governments and public figures to support polio eradication, and served as a vocal leader and advocate for Rotary’s fight to end polio in Africa.

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Dr. Funsho works closely with Rotary’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI): the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. As a member of Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force on Polio, he has coordinated immunization and advocacy campaigns with the Minister of State for Health and the Inter-Agency Coordination Committee for Polio Eradication. He has also worked closely with the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, the Dangote Foundation, the Traditional Leaders Council and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria.

In August 2019, Nigeria reached three years without a case of wild poliovirus. Nigeria’s progress, led by Rotary, its GPEI partners and local and national governments, was the result of decades of sustained efforts, including domestic and international financing, the commitment of hundreds of thousands of health workers, and innovative strategies to immunize children who previously couldn’t be reached due to insecurity in the country’s northern states.

On 25 August, the African region was certified wild polio-free. This historic announcement means that five of the WHO’s six regions, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are now free of the wild poliovirus. The virus is now endemic in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Rotary’s nearly 32,000 members in Africa have played a critical role in helping the region achieve its wild polio-free status by holding events to raise funds and awareness for polio, and working with world governments and national and local leaders to secure funding and support for polio eradication.

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Lagos govt. approves full reopening of churches, mosques

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The Lagos state government on Saturday approved the full reopening of worship centres in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who announced this during a briefing in the state said churches are now allowed to observe their mid-week services, while the mosques are also allowed to carry out their five times a day prayer routine, with strict compliance to COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must, therefore, strive to prioritize the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society,” the governor said.

Before now, the state had allowed for a gradual re-opening of places of worship as lockdowns eased.

With the full re-opening now, the governor has urged Lagosians to continue to act responsibly and maintain the required levels of hygiene.

Some other parts of the world have witnessed a resurgence of COVID-19 infections and rising possibilities of “hard lockdowns”, which according to Governor Sanwo-Olu may become inevitable for Nigerians if caution is not applied.

“Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable,” he warned.

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“The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitizers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times”.

The total infections in the country have now risen to 56,956, with 48,305 patients recovered and 1,094 deaths recorded.

At the onset of the virus in Nigeria, Lagos became the epicenter, gapping other states with its case load despite frantic efforts to curb the spread.

However, in recent times, other states such as Plateau have started to witness a surge with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 stating that it might become the new epicenter in the country.

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Photos: Oyo deputy gov. donates patrol motorcycles to security operatives

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The deputy governor of Oyo state, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan on Friday made a personal donation of patrol motorcycles to security operatives in Oke Ogun area of the state to boost their role of ensuring the safety of lives and properties.

Speaking at the event, Olaniyan noted  that Security is one of the cardinal objectives of the present administration headed by Governor Seyi Makinde, adding that the government has invested massively to provide facilities and equipment for security operatives in the state to perform their roles.

Speaking further, the deputy governor remarked that ” In the light of the security challenges in the country, it is imperative that we support the government in tackling this malady. It was therefore a delight for me to donate patrol motorcycles, from my purse, to the various security outfits operating in the Oke Ogun area of our state.”

He stressed that security matters should be the responsibility of all and not the government alone.

Olaniyan, however , urged well meaning individuals and lovers of peace to support the government in creating a safe and conducive environment for growth.

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