I DEMAND NOTHING BUT THE BEST FROM YOU, AMBODE TELLS NEW CABINET MEMBERS

I DEMAND NOTHING BUT THE BEST FROM YOU, AMBODE TELLS NEW CABINET MEMBERS

…Says Completion Of On-Going Projects, Activation Of New Ones Remain Immediate Priority

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday swore-in five new members of the State Executive Council with a charge on them to hit the ground running and offer only the best of services to the people.

Lagos State Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (3rd left), with the newly appointed Cabinet members, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye (2nd left); Commissioner for Science & Technology Mr. Hakeem Popoola Fahm (left); Special Adviser on Communities and Communication, Mr. Hakeem Sulaimon (3rd right); Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson (2nd right) and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Olusegun Banjo during their swearing in at the EXCO Chamber, Lagos House, Ikeja, on Monday, February 5, 2018.


Newly appointed Cabinet members, Mr. Ladi Lawanson as Commissioner for Transportation; Mr. Hakeem Sulaimon as Special Adviser on Communities and Communication; Mr. Olusegun Banjo as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget; Mr. Hakeem Popoola Fahm as Commissioner for Science & Technology and Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye as Commissioner for Commerce, Industry & Cooperatives during their swearing in by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at EXCO Chamber, Lagos House, Ikeja, on Monday, February 5, 2018.

Speaking at a brief swearing-in ceremony held at the Lagos State Executive Council Chambers in Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Ambode said the new cabinet members were appointed based on their track record, expertise and experience, and as such they must immediately settle down in office and inject new ideas to reinvigorate and reenergize government machinery to the overall benefit of the people.

Addressing the appointees, Governor Ambode said their immediate mandate is to see to the completion of all on-going projects and activation of new ones to make life better and comfortable for the people.

“As you settle down to your new assignments, I demand nothing but the best from you. Your immediate task as you hit the ground running is to quickly bring yourself up to speed with the mandate of your MDA and key into the immediate priority for this year which is the completion of all on-going projects. This, however, does not preclude the initiation of new projects that are considered highly essential and critical to the general well-being of our people,” the Governor said.

Specifically, Governor Ambode said the appointees must be mindful of the fact that the greatest asset of his administration is the goodwill of the people which cuts across all segments of the society, saying that he remained committed to sustaining the goodwill by upholding the policy of inclusion and implementing programmes and projects which in turn would positively and directly impact on the livelihood of all residents.

The Governor said making Lagos work for all was a 24-hour job which required selfless service, hard work, dedication and an uncompromising focus on the improvement of lives of all residents, a development he said necessitated the vision of his administration from inception to build a clean, safe and prosperous State guided by the rule of law, as well as a globally competitive smart City.

According to him, “As simple as it sounds, this is a tough task but I am happy to state here that the job has been made uncomplicated because we have the best team working together to achieve this vision. Today, we are delighted to welcome on board the newly sworn-in members of the State Executive Council.

“You are joining a winning team of committed professionals and politicians who have been working round the clock for the past 32 months to make Lagos functional, efficient and a haven for business, tourism, entertainment and sports.”

He said the achievements so far recorded were massive but a lot still needed to be done to achieve the desired vision and moving the State forward on the path of sustainable growth, which was why the government was injecting new ideas with the appointments to reinvigorate government machinery.

Governor Ambode said as members of the Executive Council which is the highest policy making body of the State and also charged with the responsibility of implementing government programmes through the various MDAs, he expects the new appointees to bring their knowledge, expertise and experience to bear on the mandate of the Ministries to which they have been assigned and the overall vision of the present administration.

Besides, Governor Ambode commended former members of the State Executive Council for their dedicated service and contribution to the achievements so far recorded by this administration, just as he also appreciated the leadership and members of the House of Assembly for ensuring due diligence and speedy confirmation process for the new Cabinet members.

The newly appointed cabinet members are Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Fahm; Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson; Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Segun Banjo; Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye; and Special Adviser on Communities and Communications, Mr. Hakeem Sulaiman.

Responding on behalf of the appointees, Oladunjoye thanked Governor Ambode for finding them worthy to be part of a robust administration which, according to her, had been implementing projects and policies in all sectors of the State, assuring that they would key into the vision and mission of government and offer nothing but the best to move Lagos forward.


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2019: PDP Hails IBB’s Declaration on Buhari

2019: PDP Hails IBB’s Declaration on Buhari,

Says Its Repositioned Platform Ready for a New National Consensus

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the declaration by former President Ibrahim Babangida that President Muhammadu Buhari should not seek a re-election in 2019 as apt and yet another pointer to the fact that Nigerians across divides have reached a consensus against President Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This is just as the party commended the former military President for admonishing the APC’s attempt to use its phony restructuring agenda as a decoy for wooing voters ahead of 2019 election.

The party said General Babangida’s position on the need for a dynamic, nationalistic and development-driven leadership is a direct reflection of the feeling and aspirations of Nigerians and completely captures the direction of the repositioned PDP for a better Nigeria.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Sunday said the fact that General Babangida’s declaration on President Buhari is coming on the heels of similar declaration by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has further vindicated PDP’s position on the misrule of the Buhari administration and the APC.

The PDP further described as an understatement, General Babangida’s reflection that the Buhari administration and its APC has polluted the nation’s “leadership actuality” adding that it is not unmindful of the yearnings of Nigerians to use the platform of the repositioned PDP to propagate a new coalition that would return the much desired new atmosphere in the polity by producing the president that will acceptable to the majority of Nigerians.

It is now obvious to all that the time has come for all Nigerians to jettison all personal interests and divisive tendencies and rally forces under a truly national platform as now embodied in the PDP to rescue our dear nation from total collapse.

In line with the new consensus for the election of a truly Nigerian President in 2019, the repositioned PDP is completely open as the epicenter of the much desired new broad-based political engagement of all Nigerians in their aspirations irrespective of creed, tribe or class.

The repositioned PDP presents that credible platform, re-engineered with best democratic standards for unhindered accommodation of all interests from all parts of the country in our collective search for a new beginning.

We therefore urge all Nigerians, particularly our leaders across board, to join forces with the PDP to once again return the nation to its pride of place as a thriving economy and a truly democratic nation come 2019.

IBB Advocates Two-Party System, Denies Issuing a Statement Against Buhari

Former Military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has said that a two party-system remains the best for the country in the circumstance the country found itself in the current political dispensation. He issues this statement to PRNigeria to disown the earlier statement credited to him to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari should not contest in 2019. PRNigeria has in the past issued statements on behalf of the Former President.

Please read the full text of the authentic statement signed by Former President Ibrahim Babangida today:

 

 

MY COUNSEL TO THE NATION–BY GENERAL IBRAHIM BADAMASI BABANGIDA, GCFR

My attention has been drawn to a press statement on the State of the nation with a particular reference to 2019 general elections and beyond.

 

Let me categorically state that as a former President and Statesman, I have unfettered access and channel of communication with the highest authorities in the country without necessary going public with a sensational statement. Therefore, the views expressed in the alleged statement are not mine but that of the writer.

 

However, with due respect to individual opinion and constitutional rights, it is worrisome that Political events and civil unrest in many parts of the country have raised many questions on the governance and unity of our great nation. Indeed 2018 has been inundated with political clamours and hot debates over the corporate existence of this country. Many of contributions, including constructive criticisms and engagements, have shown greater concerns for the corporate existence of Nigeria beyond 2019 general elections.

 

It will be recalled that in my recent message on this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, I specifically expressed the dire need for proactive measures to stop farmers/herders clashes in the middle belt as well as Cattle rustling, armed robbery, Kidnapping, gangsterism and Cultism in other parts of the country.

 

Our security agencies have to step up surveillance with more efforts on intelligence gathering towards ensuring maximum security of life and property.

 

Recent happenings and utterances by political gladiators are alarming and not in the interest of common man that is already overstretched and apparently living from hand to mouth due to precarious economic conditions.

 

Despite all these challenges, I am optimistic that the political actors will play within the ambits of political norms and decorum to ameliorate the problems facing our society now.

I am a realist that believes in all issues in a democratic atmosphere are sincerely discussed and resolved in the spirit of give-and-take. Since after my military years that metamorphosed to being the only Military President in the history of Nigeria and my civilian life, I always have one clear objective that freedom can only be achieved through democracy.

 

Some people find this freedom as an avenue for eroding democracy by antics of hate speeches under the guise of religion, tribal or self-imposed mentorship. This trend of pitching political class and the people against one another is unhealthy and must be discouraged by all and sundry.

 

The clamour for re-alignment of governance in the country as we are approaching the 2019 election year is a welcome development only if the agitations are genuinely channelled through appropriate channels of law and order and the observance of the supremacy of the Constitution. Therefore, any attempt outside this circle of democratic tenants is deceptive and divisive idea capable of plunging our political journey into disarray.

 

Our present political parties and their structures need parameter pillars that will make them stronger with unique ideologies. However, our present political parties need surgical operations that will align them into a reasonable number. I have been an advocate of a two-party system but in our present reality in Nigeria, our political parties can fuse into a strong political association or party that can form a formidable opposition to a ruling party.

As students of history, we are aware that many advanced democracies have two distinct ideological political parties, with a handful of smaller political groupings that serve as buffer whenever any of the known political parties derailed or became unpopular. I still believe in a two-party system as the best option for Nigeria.

 

It is high time that we engage in constructive dialogue on national issues in order to have a political solution to our myriad of problems. It is sad that Nigeria had its fair share of conflicts, and we cannot continue to fall back to those dark years of bloodshed.

 

As a people, now is the time to come together to address all Communal conflicts and criminality under any guise so as to unite the country in line with the vision of our founding fathers so that we can forge ahead in the task of building a more prosperous nation.

​Maj-Gen Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya

Dole has called on persons in Boko Haram captivities to “surrender and submit” to military troops operating in Sambisa Forest of Borno state to end the war.

Nicholas made the call at the weekend, while handing over 84 rescued people from Boko Haram to Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Head of Rescue Operations, Bello Danbatta at Military Command and Control Centre, Maiduguri.

According to him, this is the last phase of the operation for people still in captivity to surrender to troops in the front lines of

Sambisa Forest. His words: “We are asking everybody in Borno State to give cooperation in terms of giving information about fleeing Boko Haram members. Their

spiritual and operational bases in the forest have been re-captured by our ground and aerial troops. “People need to be vigilant in their localities, if you see any suspected persons, report to the military or any of the security agencies.”

He continued: “As I address you now many of them have surrendered and many more will surrender to our troops. The most important thing is that we are treating this people very humane because they are Nigerians.

He said that the Army is not killing people and receiving them with dignity, as they are citizens of the nation.

“We are trying to rescue them and that is why we are in this military operation. The narratives of Boko Haram that we are going to kill the surrendered insurgents are not true. It is part of Boko Haram tactics of changing acts of terror and campaigns against the people in captivities,” said Nicholas.

He explained that the rescued persons including women, children and the aged would undergo medical examinations, rehabilitation and de-radicalization process.

Danbatta commended the military over the rescue of the civilians from Boko Haram captivity.

He said the agency would assist the rescue persons and reunite them with their families.

Some of the rescued persons expressed joy over their freedom from many years of slavery in the hands of the insurgents.

Narrating her ordeals, a teenage girl (name withheld) said she was forced to marry four times during her four-year stay with insurgents in camps.

Her words: “We have no food and water to take in forest camp. Many people including women, children died in the camps due to starvation.

“I was abducted from my village in first quarter of 2013. I suffered various form of inhuman treatment in the camp; but I am now freed by the military and happy to be re-united with my family. They are taking good care of us, since we left the forest camp

Posers over EFCC Charges Against CCT Boss, Danladi Umar

What informed the sudden filing of criminal charges against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr. Danladi Yakubu Umar after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had cleared him twice of any fraud in writing? Is it an attempt to punish Umar for allegedly refusing to dance to the tune of the EFCC in some recent high-profile cases he presided over?

 

These are posers being thrown to the Federal Government by a cross-section of Nigerians agitated by the sudden somersault in the ways and manner the EFCC is going about in the discharge of its responsibilities.

 

Finding by the PRNigeria in this matter shows that while it is true that a former Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service Mr Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo wrote a petition on alleged N10mn bribe against the CCT boss in the cause of his trial on false asset declaration, the EFCC had twice investigated the petition and issued Umar a clean bill of health.

 

In the petition, the ex-custom boss had alleged that the CCT boss directly demanded a bribe of N10mn from him to do him an alleged favour but that he paid a sum of N1.8mn into the account of one Gambo Abdullahi in 2012. Upon receipt of the petition, the EFCC caused an investigation into the petition and in its report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) with a Reference No EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56 dated March 5, 2015, personally signed by the then Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde exonerated the CCT boss from the bribery saga.

 

The EFCC report received by the office of SGF on March 6, 2015 was categorical that “the facts as they are against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will therefore not be sufficient to successfully prosecute for the offence.”

 

Upon further push from the same petitioner, PRNigeria observed from EFCC’s documents at its disposal, show that in 2016 a fresh investigation was conducted into the same N10mn bribery allegation and the same anti-graft agency in its second report absolved Umar of any wrongdoing and that the bribery allegation against him remain a mere suspicion.

 

The EFCC’s second report with reference EFCC/P/HRU/688/V30/99 dated April 20, 2016 and submitted to the SGF and signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Emmanuel Adegboyega Aremo, read in part: “Kindly recall our correspondence of March 5 2015 with Reference EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56 with above subject caption. We will like to reiterate the Commission’s position in regard to this matter as earlier communicated to you and state that the allegation levelled against Justice Umar were merely suspicions and consequently insufficient to prosecute the offence.”

 

Cross section of Nigerian including legal practitioners and civil groups are wondering what informed the sudden change of mind by the EFCC in filing criminal charges against the CCT Chairman in spite of the fact that he (CCT boss) has been clearly cleared of any wrongdoing in the alleged petition against him.

 

It would be recalled that shortly after the Tribunal discharged and acquitted Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki from the high-profile false asset declaration charges brought against him by the Federal Government, the EFCC apparently unhappy with the decision of the tribunal had indicated in the media that it would charge the CCT boss to court on the bribery saga in which he had been cleared twice by the same EFCC.

 

In his reaction to the latest EFCC action, a legal practitioner Mr Yunus Abdulsalam said that EFCC would be putting itself on trial in the court of law and in the court of public opinion.

According to the Abuja based legal practitioner, the EFCC would have so many questions to answer in the court than the defendant if the anti-graft agency should try to arraign the CCT boss in the court.

 

“As a matter of fact, the law does not permit EFCC to blow hot and cold at the same time, the same law does not permit the anti-corruption agency to approbate and reprobate at the same time.

 

“As an agency saddle with mandate to investigate, EFCC must in the face of the law be consistent in its reports and in the instant case, EFCC cannot be said to be consistent and my candid opinion is that no attempt should be made to arraign the CCT boss in court by EFCC so as not to ridicule itself.”

 

Also commenting, the Executive Director Global Network for Justice, Elder Akinboyewa Jolayemi faulted the purported charges against the CCT boss, claiming that it is a clear afterthought on the side of EFCC and a ploy to subject the CCT boss to a mere humiliation, probably because he refused to do the hatchet man job for the commission or the power that be.

 

Jolayemi advised EFCC to put its house in order and should not subject Nigeria as a nation to ridicule and mockery before the international community.

 

The EFCC had on February 2, brought a two-count charge against the CCT Chairman Danladi Yakubu Umar bordering on alleged receipt of N10m bribe from one Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo in the charge signed by Festus Keyamo as a private prosecuting counsel and one Offem Uket an official of EFCC. Umar was accused of receiving N1.8mn through his Personal Assistant, Gambo Abdullahi for a favour to be afterwards shown to the petitioner who was standing trial for a criminal offence before the tribunal. No date has been fixed for arraignment of the CCT boss at the High Court of FCT, Abuja

Fayemi leads FG delegation to African Mining Indaba in SA

Fayemi leads FG delegation to African Mining Indaba in SA

….Presentation of country’s new airborne electromagnetic survey tops agenda

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, is leading the Nigerian delegation to the Investing in African Mining Indaba, which kicks off  in Cape Town, South Africa, tomorrow, Monday February 5th, 2018.


The Nigerian delegation comprises critical stakeholders, including officials of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), officials of some state governments in charge of minerals and mining; financial experts, investors and operators.

The Investing in Mining Indaba, is regarded as the biggest African mining event with  significant interests from governments, organisations, financial institutions and investors  within and outside the continent.

One major highlight of the Nigerian government’s participation in this year’s event is the presentation to the global audience of the New Nigeria Airborne Electromagnetic Surveys Results.  

The presentation which will be done by the Minister, would be followed by a technical session featuring global and Nigerian mining experts who would discuss the new electromagnetic survey results.

The presentation and the technical session are scheduled for Wednesday, at an event designated as Nigerian Day at Mining Indaba 2018, at the Cape Town International Conference Centre, Cape Town.

Dr Fayemi, last December disclosed that the Ministry had secured the delivery of 26,000 line kilometre of electromagnetic data, following the payment of outstanding fees to the consultant that handled the project. He also said that the ministry would undertake extensive electromagnetic Airborne Geological Survey of promising parts of the country this year, as well as the completion of the National Mineral Database.

According to a statement by the Ministry, Nigeria’s participation at the 2018 Mining Indaba is expected to serve several strategic objectives, including: “Signal to the international mining community, Nigeria’s economic policy priorities which focus on the diversification of the country’s revenue base by repositioning the mining sector for greater productivity.

“Take advantage of the attendance of key decision makers and influencers in the industry from all over the world to engage in high-level Economic Diplomacy, to address the misconceptions about Nigeria’s mining industry, especially in the light of recent recorded improvements in both hard risk and perceived risk factors in the Nigerian Mining Jurisdiction as well as improved geological data.

“Network with other government delegates (especially of African countries) and representatives of multilateral organizations, to explore potential areas of cooperation and to ensure Nigeria takes a lead and visible role in advancing the objectives of the African Mining Vision (AVM).

“Ensure robust tracking of the competitive activities of other mining countries towards identifying ways through which Nigeria can improve the marketability and competitiveness of her mining industry.”

 

LAGOS REVS UP ECONOMY WITH NEW POWER AND PROPERTY LAWS

LAGOS REVS UP ECONOMY WITH NEW POWER AND PROPERTY LAWS

…To Deliver 3,000MW In Three Years

The Lagos State Government has perfected plans to bring about a quantum leap to the State’s economy in 2018 through the Embedded Power Supply Project and the review of the Land Use Charge Law.

The power project, aimed at delivering an estimated 3,000 Megawatts to homes and industries, is expected to lift the economy of Lagos which is Nigeria’s industrial hub, while the revised Land Use Charge Law had been designed to improve the values of property in the State.

The State’s House of Assembly had last week announced the passage of two bills expected to provide the legal framework for the programmes by enacting the Lagos State Embedded Power Supply Law 2018 and the Lagos State Land Use Charge Law 2018.

Both laws are expected to be signed this week by the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.

Speaking on the development, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan said the two strategic laws were part of the grand plan of the present administration to boost the economy and make life easier and comfortable for the people.

He said: “The Embedded Power Supply programme will provide the enabling environment for the private sector to generate not less than 1000 mega watts every year in the first phase of three years by using gas to produce power and distributing the electricity to consumers.

“As enabler, the Lagos State Government will guarantee the off-take of the generated power.

“This new product is expected to expand the distribution network and increase metering capacity of the electricity distribution firms in Lagos State including Eko Distribution Company and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company.”

Bamigbetan said to ensure return on investment by participating companies and encourage more electricity companies to invest in the embedded power sector, the law has been arranged to provide the framework for the government to support the firms in the collection of tariffs and enforcement of contracts.

Speaking further, the Commissioner said: “A novel feature of the law is the introduction of provisions for the prosecution and sentencing of those who tap electricity illegally or use the power produced through the embedded power system without entering into contracts with the companies.

“Defined as power theft, industry watchers believe that this is the first law to provide penalties for a major cause of financial failures of electricity companies and with regular power supply in homes and industries, the Lagos State Government expects a giant leap in the production and growth of the economy,” Bamigbetan said.

Besides, the Land Use Charge Law is considered as the answer to the agitations of residents for a transparent process of determining rates.

Under the revised law, estate valuers authorised to assess and value tenements will ensure that the data are reliable and the indices are explicit.

The revised law also exempts tenements owned by non-profit organisations, religious bodies and public cemeteries and burial grounds.