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Insecurity: Uzodinma Gets Buhari’s Approval for Advanced Technology Battle in S/East

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Uzodimma launches 68km Orlu-Mgbee-Akokwa-Uga, Owerri-Mbaise-Umuahia Roads

… Mu’azu Sambo not aware of any Orashi River dredging*** 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the deployment of advanced technology to tackle insecurity in Imo and other parts of the South East.

Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo revealed this to correspondents after a closed-door meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

He said he was in the villa to thank the president for the various support and assistance given to the state and appeal to him to approve the tech deployment to enable the area to deal effectively with the security menace.

According to him, with the president’s approval, advanced surveillance equipment will soon be delivered to the region that will enhance the fight against insecurity without collateral damage.

The governor particularly thanked the president for the recent conversion of the Federal Medical Centre Owerri to a University Teaching Hospital for the Federal University of Technology, and the approval that converted Alvan Ikoku College of Education to a Federal College of Education.

While stating that he came to visit the president on behalf of his people.

Uzodinma said the visit was “also to thank him for the various supports he gave to us during our period of security challenges and the support he has also given to us in terms of the various approvals.

“Only two weeks ago, Igbos that came home from Lagos and outside South East enjoyed the benefit of the second Niger Bridge, something that is worthy of commendation.

“I also appealed to him for further support, to support us with some technological deployments; we have planned to be able to do an advanced kind of security control in the South East and he has also given his approval to that.

”And in a moment from now, we’ll be getting some surveillance equipment and some modern technologies that will help us manage security so that we can fight crime with little or no collateral damage to the environment.”

On assurance for citizens of Imo State in the New Year, Uzodinma said: “Well, my people are enthusiastic and committed Nigerians and we believe in the unity of the country.

”We believe that for us to grow as a people, we need the support and cooperation of the Federal Government and that I’ve always stood for.

”So, going forward, I know 2023 will be better than 2022. And the level of development we witnessed from 2020 to 2022 will be improved upon.

“And my people have seen a lot of things. If you go to South East, in Imo State, for instance, we got the approval of Mr. President that has now enabled the government  of Imo to partner with the Nigerian Navy, to dredge Oguta River to Orashi River to the sea,

”This is opening up that maritime route, if there is a naval base, we will now manage and control pipelines vandalism, crude oil theft, and all forms of criminality that besieged that area for a very long time.

”And the crime has gone down tremendously since the Naval base was established.

“So I think we have hope for a better Nigeria. The road that we just completed that was commissioned by Mr president, the Owerri to orlu dualised expressway, Mr president has approved that Imo State Government be refunded.

“The good news is every day I come to Mr president, one positive approval or the other. So our people are happy, we’re committed, we’re happy; we have never had it so good.”

The governor maintained that the APC-led administration had done well in terms of the provision of infrastructure and security in Imo.

”So, that is why I continue to tell you, that the party to beat in my state is APC. Those who are fighting me in my state are not saying we’re not working. They’re not saying we’re not developing the place. They are not accusing us of corruption.

”All they are saying is that they are contriving, instigating insecurity out of desperation, and then blaming the security on a government.

“I’ve seen at the sub-national that critical security measures are managed and controlled by Federal Government.

”So I cannot be blamed for insecurity, because you cannot single out Imo State.

“National security is about the 36 states of the Federation and FCT inclusive.

“So, I think we’ve done so well. And I’m happy by the grace of God, as soon as we’re able to bring the security to naught, we’ll have an environment that we will all celebrate and be happy with.

“During this season, we had relative peace in Imo State, and Christmas is a very critical period for us and new year is also very critical. And apart from a few scratches in the hinterland, we are on top of the security situation now in Imo State.”

It would, however, be recalled that when the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo was asked to corroborate the prospect of dredging Oguta River to Orashi River, and thereafter to the sea, he said he was not aware of it.

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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