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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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Oyo will take full advantage of Lagos-Ibadan rail projects – Makinde

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said on Monday that the state would take full advantage of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Rail project when it becomes fully functional.

Governor Makinde, who stated this at the end of an inspection tour of the rail project which he embarked upon alongside the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemisola Saraki and other Federal and State government officials, stated that Oyo State would put everything in place in terms of infrastructure to ensure that the residents derive the full benefits from the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project.

He added that when completed, the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project would bring lots of economic benefits to Oyo State, adding that his administration would harvest the benefits for the good of the state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that “so far, a lot of effort has been put into the rail project, though a lot of things still need to be done.”

The Governor, the Ministers and other officials had embarked on the inspection tour from Ebutte Metta, through Iju, Abeokuta and then Omi-Adio, Ibadan.

He said: “I can say that so far, so good, work is going on and a lot of effort is being put into it. A lot has been achieved so far and a lot of things still needed to be done. But for me personally, it is a wake-up call for us in Oyo State because the track is already here and we need to pace ourselves up to meet up with what we have to do so that the handshake can be seamless and the benefits can come to our people.

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“Concerning the benefits it will give to the people of Oyo State, it will bring people closer here. People will start spending money in Ibadan, staying in our hotels. You can actually do your work in Lagos and come back and sleep in Ibadan. So, we know what we really have to do to decongest Lagos and harvest people so that we can improve our own economy and set a target to get out of Lagos’ shadow.”

Governor Makinde stated that when the rail project is completed, it would offer a lot of benefits in the areas of employments and other aspects of the economy, adding that the Government would key into the programmes being followed on the rail project.

He added that the State would need to construct a road to link the rail line and also ensure proper security of lives and properties around the facility.

He said: “In the areas of employment, some companies may decide to come and set up in Ibadan because if they produce goods, it can come from the dry port here, all the way straight to Apapa port, which is where we just came from today. So, we see a lot of benefits economically. Even socially, people who want to come to Ibadan and Oyo State for socio-activities are now free, due to the nature of the road.

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“We have to key into the programme that is being followed right now such that if we need to construct a road that will fit into this; if we need to look at the security aspect of things; the users of this facilities should be able to say they are in a safe and secure place.

“When you are starting from scratch, you have the opportunity to design your capacity, facility to match up with the challenges you are faced with. That is why we call those ones greenfield projects. They are actually better than brownfield. The problem that the Honourable Minister just spoke about between Ebute-meta and Apapa is because of the brownfield nature. But here is a little bit far remote from the main city. So, we have the opportunity to treat it as a greenfield project.”

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Makinde promises to inject more funds, procure equipments for OYSROMA

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Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde on Monday  assured the people of the State of better services from the Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA) as he declared the readiness of the administration to inject more funds and procure more equipments for the agency within the first quarter of the year 2020.

 

OYSROMA chairman,  Hon. Kamil Akinlabi made this known  during the management meeting of the agency at his office

 

He added that Governor Makinde was poised at ensuring the operations of the agency get to other parts of the State as quick as possible in order to ease flow of traffic and movement of goods as well as farm produce from the hinterlands.

 

“I am happy to say that His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde has promised to increase funding to our agency and also help in the purchase of necessary equipments in preparation for the agency to move its operations to other parts of the state.

 

“This is a news that gladdens our heart as we can now have enough facilities and manpower to move outside the Ibadan metropolis and start works on roads that are equally economically-viable, that will yield commercial interest to the people of the State and the government.

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“There are roads in the hinterland around the State that are begging for attention and we are using this opportunity to again assure the people of the State of the readiness of the government to do repair works on roads that are in need of our attention,”he said.

 

The former lawmaker also noted that the increase in funding to the agency with the provision of necessary equipments would further enhance job quality, better efficiency and supervision of projects being carried out by the agency.

 

He charged the management and staff of the agency to be more alive to their duties, stressing that their dedication to work would further improve the productivity of the agency.

 

” I want to use this medium to implore our staff to be alive to their duties, be more dedicated to work so that we can achieve more than what we had last year.”

 

 

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Libya summit: ‘This terrible situation cannot be allowed to continue’, UN chief tells world leaders

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As fight continues between forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, which control large tracts of territory in the country, and the government in Tripoli, world leaders attended the International Conference in the hope of finding a political solution.

General Khaftar’s forces have besieged the capital since April, and the fighting has been fuelled by increasing foreign interference. Whilst the government is backed by the UN, The Libyan National Army of General Khaftar has support from Russia and some Middle Eastern States.

The human toll, Mr. Guterres told the assembled delegates, has been severe, with international humanitarian law defied on multiple occasions: “More than 220 schools in Tripoli are closed, depriving 116,000 children of their basic human right to an education. Migrants and refugees, trapped in detention centres near the fighting, have also been affected and continue to suffer in horrendous conditions. This terrible situation cannot be allowed to continue”.

The Libyan threat to an already unstable region

Reiterating his belief that there is no military solution in Libya, the UN chief issued a reminder of the dangerous consequences of a full-blown civil war which, he said, could lead to a “humanitarian nightmare”, and leave the country vulnerable to permanent division. A civil war also risks further destabilizing the entire southern Mediterranean and Sahel region, exacerbating the threats of terrorism, human trafficking, and the smuggling of drugs and weapons.

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Mr. Guterres welcomed the recent ceasefire between the two sides, and urged them to “engage in good faith dialogue on political, economic and military issues in a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned inclusive process”, which, he affirmed, will be supported by the UN.

“We will stand with the Libyan people as they work to resolve their differences through discussion and compromise in good faith”, concluded the Secretary-General, “and chart a way to a more peaceful future”.

Foreign powers vow to stay out of Libyan affairs

After the Conference, Mr. Guterres announced that all the participants had pledged not to interfere in the conflict, and to respect a UN arms embargo., and he called on all Libyan parties to take part in a “Libyan-owned and Libyan-led dialogue”, under the auspices of the UN, to pave the way for a political solution to the crisis.

The Secretary-General said in a press conference that a meeting to discuss the economic reform necessary for the normal governance of Libya will take place in the next two to three weeks.

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