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Okonjo-Iweala: My Father Died Same Way He Lived

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“He died in Lagos soon after he arrived from a trip to the United States of America and Ghana. We are immensely grateful that his last moments were peaceful and that he died the same way he lived his life – with quiet dignity.”
by saharaReporters, New York Sep 14, 2019

The father of former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof. Chukwuka Okonjo is dead. The former minister through her spokesperson, Paul Nwabuikwu, in a statement yesterday announced the death.

Okonjo-Iweala, in the statement, said his father died in Lagos soon after he arrived from a trip to the United States and Ghana.

“He died in Lagos soon after he arrived from a trip to the United States of America and Ghana. We are immensely grateful that his last moments were peaceful and that he died the same way he lived his life – with quiet dignity.

“Daddy was an accomplished man on so many levels – a highly respected academic, international public servant, university administrator, intellectual and traditional ruler. My father touched so many lives personally and professionally,” she said.

The former World Bank Chief added: “It is a tribute to the kind of life that Daddy lived that on his 90th birthday last year, a delegation of old students of Ibadan Boys High School presented him with a letter of commendation written in 1953 in which a colonial education administrator praised him highly for the all-round improvements he achieved in the school within a short period of time. He was only 25 then.

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“Daddy was a passionate intellectual and prolific writer whose last book was published at the age of 90. He touched so many lives personally and professionally and was an unrelenting believer and practitioner in the power of education to transform lives.

“In pursuit of this commitment, Daddy sponsored the education of at least 19 students up to university level in addition to his own seven children. He inspired and motivated so many more.

“Having witnessed the ravages of war, he was committed to unity and peaceful coexistence of all. From his marriage of 66 years to our mother, Prof. Kamene Okonjo to his dedication to duty, he was exceptional.”

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Oyo: Makinde launches, distributes 100 security vehicles

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The Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, launched the 100 security patrol vehicles his government earlier purchased to enhance security operations in the State.

Governor Makinde, who equally launched the State’s Security Code 615, declared that the welfare of security officials would be the top priority of his administration.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as making the declaration at a brief event to mark the distribution of the 100 Kia Rio units to security agencies in the state.

According to the Governor, with the launch of the sophisticated gadgets and communication tools in the vehicles, criminals would have no place to hide in the state.

The statement further added that the government of Oyo State was bent on keeping the State safe, so as to ensure that those who come to do business in the state can sleep with two eyes closed.

The Governor described the launching of the vehicles as a milestone in the State, adding that the welfare of security officers will be given top priority.

The Governor maintained that criminal elements in the State were in for a tough time, because the security agencies now have Oyo State covered in terms of communication equipment and other gadgets.

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He equally tasked security officers to be ready and up to the task to combat crimes in the State.

He said: “This administration is resting on four pillars and one of the pillars is security. We want people to come into Oyo State and feel secure. We want them to come in here, sleep with their two eyes closed.

“In furtherance of our administration’s vision for a safe Oyo State, we are here to launch these security patrol vehicles. The men are ready. They are no-nonsense officers and men. So, criminals are now in for it in Oyo State, if they ever try to come in here, I believe we are up to the task.

“I thank our service commanders for their cooperation for contributing the officers and men that will carry out this task to secure Oyo State for us. We have Oyo State covered in terms of communication, which is a new one. It means that no matter where in Oyo State, we will get criminals. I can’t wait to see officers chase criminals down the streets with the siren blaring because they now have everything that is required of them to do their job.

“I can assure the officers that their welfare will be the top priority for us. So, on this note, we will give the vehicles out and start looking at how the criminal elements will ‘pick race’ from Oyo State.”

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Earlier, the Special Adviser on Security to the Governor and Executive Secretary, Oyo State Security Trust Fund (OYSSTF), Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni (rtd), maintained that security patrol vehicles being launched had been equipped with state-of-the-art security equipment.

He added that Governor Makinde had also approved the upgrade of communication equipment of the police to be able to reach the hinterlands of the State.

Owoseni said: “One of the cardinal pillars of Governor Makinde’s administration is security and, in furtherance, it is your commitment that the security operation of Oyo State will be improved. Consequently, when you marked your 100 days in office, 100 motor vehicles were procured, among other things, to bridge the security infrastructure gap of the security agencies in Oyo State. In addition to that, some security equipment were procured, because, without the equipment, the vehicles won’t be useful.

“Also, the Governor has kindly approved that communication gadgets should be installed in those vehicles including the upgrading of the communication infrastructure of the Nigerian Police in the State to enable us to reach as far as Saki and our border areas, which the State did not have before. We are here today, Your Excellency, with all the enablement you have provided, including the light-up project that the State has kick-started, which also has an impact on security.

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“The vehicles are ready for the operatives who will man them to be deployed to identify key areas in the whole of Oyo State.”

 

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Those eyeing Oyo Gov seat should wait till 2023 – Makinde

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, told his political opponents to wait till 2023 to face him at the polls.

The Governor, who was speaking while flagging off the reconstruction of the 65-kilometre Moniya-Ijaye-Iseyin Road, said that the people of Oyo State rejected the main opposition party in the state because they did nothing to develop the state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde as saying that even though the previous administration awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of the road, the job was not done while the money released was shared for the purpose of elections.

“We have told them to meet us in 2023,” Governor Makinde said, adding: “Though they got money, they did nothing. They spent the money on elections but did you vote for them? If they come to ask for your votes, will you vote for them?”

The Governor further stated that he was determined to execute the Road contract as a way of fulfilling his campaign promise.

He said: “I appreciate you for giving us the opportunity to serve you. During our campaign from here [Moniya] to Oke-Ogun, I promised that I will reconstruct the road if I become the Governor and, today, I am happy that it is the same project we are flagging off.

He restated the resolve of his administration to construct infrastructure that will target the State’s economy, adding that when completed, the road, which is quite close to ongoing Dry Port project at Olorisaoko, will aid the movement of agricultural produces and mineral resources from Oke-Ogun area to the Dry Port for onward exporting.

The 65 kilometre road is being executed by KOPEK Construction Company, at the cost of N9.9 billion.

The Governor, who described the road as an important one that can uplift the economy of the State, said his Government was embarking on the total reconstruction of the road as opposed to the planned rehabilitation by the immediate past administration.

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He berated how the road had been abandoned for years, culminating in loss of lives and properties as well as the destruction of farm produces due to the deplorable condition of the road.

The Governor further said: “On this project, we are not talking about patching but total reconstruction of the road. I know you are all aware that there is a Dry Port project ongoing here in Olorisaoko. So, when they are conveying agricultural produces and solid minerals all the way from Oke-Ogun, this is the point where we will be exporting them.

“You can recall that I also promised that the money we will spend on infrastructure will be targeted on expanding our economy and this road is a major road that can boost the economy of Oyo State. When we got into office, we discovered that the money that was awarded to carry out the road project was shared among those who held offices in the past administration. They spent the money on campaign and the last election and, upon that, you did not vote for them.

“This road was abandoned for eight years. Countless number of people have died on the road. Time has been wasted. In 2015, during the electioneering campaign, we had accident on this same road too but we thank God that no life was lost. It was because of that incidence that made me promise that if I eventually get the people’s mandate to serve the state, we won’t spend beyond 45 minutes to reach Iseyin from Moniya in the morning, afternoon and night. We will also mobilise security operatives to be patrolling the road.”

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Governor Makinde added that State Government has given the contractor, KOPEK Construction Company, a mandate to deliver a quality road project that will be adopted throughout the State, noting that the company had been given the mandate to deliver a road with an asphaltic thickness of 50mm as against the 40mm thickness being targeted by the previous contractor.

He added that the challenges being faced by road users plying the road would be over in 12 months, charging the contractor, KOPEK Construction Company to deliver to time and to make sure it employs youths in the beneficiary communities as workers during the construction in order to create jobs for the teeming youths.

He said: “I want to assure you my people in Akinyele and Oke-Ogun, jobs are coming. Be united and be ready to work because being able to work is the antidote to poverty. I want to implore the contractor, KOPEK, to employ our youths. We want Oyo State’s money to remain in the State. I also want to tell the youths too to cooperate with the contractor. Try and be organised so that you can be given jobs that can give you earnings within the next one year.

“We don’t want this project to be abandoned again and that was why we had to make upfront payment of 60 per cent to the contractor. We want Messrs KOPEK Construction Company to complete this project within a year. By this time next year, I am coming to commission the road.

“I implore you all from Moniya to Iseyin to take care of the road. The standard of the road we want the contractor to do is the one we will adopt throughout the whole of Oyo State. For those who are familiar with Engineering work, 40mm is the thickness of the asphalt they did before but we have instructed the new contractor to make it 50mm because we expect that trailers will begin to ply through the road after completion.”

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Earlier, the Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation, Professor Raphael Afonja, stated that the goal of the State Government was to have the contract completed in 12 months, noting that the project “was conceived to bring the much-desired uplift to Oke-Ogun zone as the food basket of state in particular and Nigeria in general. It will also contribute significantly to improving socio-economic activities in Oke-Ogun zone in particular and Oyo State generally.

Afonja added: “The project in its earlier conception by the last administration was for limited rehabilitation, it has now been upgraded to a total reconstruction. The asphaltic surfacing has been increased from 40mm to 50mm and the stone base from 150mm to 200mm to provide a more durable road that will stand the test of time. We have also made provision to correct the inadequate system that was observed in the initial design of the road.”

Community leaders from Akinyele Local Government and Oke-Ogun areas, Alhaji Rafiu Adebiyi and Senator Hosea Agboola, appreciated Governor Makinde for making the road construction a reality.

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IITA-ACAI to train 30,000 farmers in Abia, Benue, Oyo, Osun, Ogun 

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About 30,000 farmers from Abia, Benue, Oyo, Ogun and Osun states will benefit from the training on the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management & Best Planting Practices, says Godwin Atser, ACAI Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist today.

The trainings are aimed at empowering farmers with the knowledge to boost cassava and maize productivity and yield per hectare. This will subsequently increase farmers’ incomes, better their livelihoods, and create jobs for more people.

The trainings are being done in close collaboration with state Agricultural Development Programs (ADPs) and other extension service providers.

To ensure a seamless and successful dissemination of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices tool, the team has developed videos and translated same into local languages – Igbo, Yoruba, and Tiv, targeting the respective zones.

The ACAI team has also procured mini-projectors and mobile phones to empower extension service providers in the participating states.

The Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management was first developed by the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project. The tool has since integrated the best planting practices of ACAI. Farmers who use the toolkit have more than doubled their cassava yield from the national average of 9 tonnes per ha to more than 20 tonnes per ha.

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“It is amazing to see how the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management & Best Planting Practices Decision Support Tool is changing the face of cassava farmers,” Atser added.

Dr Alfred Dixon, IITA Director for Development & Delivery described the toolkit as an innovation that combines a set of agronomic recommendations and plant protection products to control weeds and increase the productivity of cassava.

Beyond Nigeria, several other countries have requested for the toolkit with ACAI team training partners in Liberia, Tanzania, Burundi, and Zambia.

Apart from the use of videos, the ACAI team has put up the recommendations from the Six Steps on Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices on the 3-2-1 service of Airtel where subscribers in Nigeria can dial 3-2-1 and get information on cassava weed management and other agronomic practices free of charge up to 10 times in a month.

“The idea is to get the recommendations to thousands of farmers across Nigeria and Tanzania so they can get better yield from cassava farming,” Dr Dixon added.

 

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