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W/ African power pool to complete North Core transmission line by 2023 –Chairman



W/ African power pool to complete North Core transmission line by 2023 –Chairman

… As Director says Water bill ‘ll empower states to regulate water resources within their catchment areas***

Mr Sule Abdulaziz, the Chairman, Executive Board of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), has reiterated the commitment of the pool towards completing the WAPP North Core Project.

Abdulaziz,  who is also the Acting Managing Director, TCN, made this known at the 52nd WAPP Executive Board meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which was part of the 16th session of the WAPP General Assembly.

Mrs Ndidi Mbah, TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, in a statement in Abuja, on Friday, said that the North-Core transmission line project would link Nigeria with Niger, Burkina Faso, and Benin.

While highlighting key project implementation updates, Abdulaziz said that “the WAPP North Core Project that seeks to interconnect Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Benin is in the implementation phase with the procurement process underway.

“The project is expected to be completed by 2023 and is part of efforts of the WAPP to integrate the power systems of West African countries by delivering priority projects, that would ensure that all 14 countries in the mainland of ECOWAS are eventually interconnected”.

He listed other projects undertaken within the West African sub-region to include the construction of the 330kV Volta (Ghana) to Lome ‘C’ (Togo) – Sakété (Benin) interconnection line that has been completed and would soon be energised.

Abdulaziz said that the WAPP Cote d’Ivoire – Sierra Leone – Guinea (CLSG)  project would also be commissioned very soon.

He noted that WAPP had continued to take giant strides towards the effective operationalisation of the ECOWAS regional electricity programme, by continuing to harmonise the market rules and agreement by market participants on regulatory issues.

“This will ensure flexibility in the power system and increase trading opportunities for market participants, among others”, he said, while tasking members to be determined to attain the set goals of the pool.

He said that although a lot had been achieved under the current leadership of the pool, more still needed to be done, until the goal of the founding fathers was achieved.

Also speaking, the Secretary-General of WAPP, Mr. Siengui  KI, urged members to be resilient, saying, “we must at all costs continue our journey towards the ultimate goal of our institution, which is the implementation of a competitive regional electricity market.

“ We absolutely must redouble our efforts to this end, the goal being, more than ever, within reach.

“The new Executive Council, will have to sit for the next two years and a new Vice-Chairman will be elected, as the former vice Chairman, Mr. Hamidou Traore has been re-designated”, he added.

Earlier, while welcoming participants to the meeting, Mr. Baba Coulibaly, the Director-General of Sonabel,  the power firm hosting the meeting, called for more commitments.

“ In our sub-region, the stakes in the electricity sector are so high that we must rigorously ensure that the decisions are implemented on time”, he said.

In the meantime, Mr Bashir Magashi, Executive Director, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission (NIWRMC), has said that the water resources bill, when passed into law, would grant states the right to regulate water resources within their catchment areas.

Magashi told the newsmen, in an interview on Friday, in Abuja, that passing the bill, won’t harm waterfront communities, but would give them a better regulatory advantage and promote synergy with the government.

“The objective of the Bill is to ensure that the nation’s water resources are regulated, protected, used, developed, conserved and managed equitably, providing an enabling environment for women and children to have easy access to water sources”, he said.

According to him, Section 2(2) of the water resources bill gives the states the power to regulate the water resources that flow within the state, by which they can set up their own regulatory agencies.

“Also, section 27(3) of the Bill empowers the Commission to have Catchment Management offices in each of the hydrological areas, which makes for easy synergy with the River Basin Development Authorities and states and the formation of Catchment Management Committees (CMCs) with the stakeholders in the catchment”, added.

Bashir also stated that the bill provided for effective and efficient synergy between the Federal and State-owned regulatory bodies, down to the Local government level, to enhance Integrated Water Resources Management in the country.

“Section 12 of the Bill provides for the Honourable Minister, in consultation with the Federal Executive Council, by notice in the Gazette, establish a Committee to coordinate the implementation of any international agreement.

”Either entered into by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a foreign Government or any international body or organization relating to investing, managing, monitoring and protecting Water resources amongst others.

“The Minister shall also consult with all affected states, prior to entering into any international agreement.

“This bill, when passed into law, will also aid Public-Private-Partnership between stakeholders in the water resources sector and solve the issue of indiscriminate drilling of boreholes, the cause of the reported earth tremor”, he added.

“ It is evident that the Bill would be of great benefit to the River Basins, through its effective implementation”, Magashi further said.




LASG Reiterates Ban On Commercial Motorcycles In Restricted Areas



LASG Reiterates Ban On Commercial Motorcycles In Restricted Areas

The Lagos State Government has reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘okada’ in 10 Local Government Areas, (LGAs) and 15 Local Council Development Areas, (LCDAs) in the metropolis still persists.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa declared this at the weekend, while on tour of some restricted areas within the state, where large numbers of motorcyclists (okada riders) had resumed operations.  

Reaffirming the State Government’s ban on okada in the Local Government Areas which include; Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Eti-Osa, as well as the Local Council Development Areas under them which are; Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba and Coker Aguda. With others at; Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo, the Transport Special Adviser urged both riders and passengers to keep off.

He implored the general public to comply as both the riders and passengers are liable to 3 years in prison if apprehended and prosecuted, with their motorcycles impounded and crushed in the public view, in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.

While soliciting support on government policies by all and sundry, the Special Adviser noted that despite the available existing interventions and viable alternatives provided for okada operators which were expected to cushion the effect of the ban on their livelihood, the recalcitrant riders have refused to take advantage of them.

Highlighting some of the viable alternatives made available for the operators by the State Government, Giwa stated that the; Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA); (vocational training), Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment; (internship programmes), Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) (Loan for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs), Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme “LEAP”) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES) are all trade support for the riders.

He also said the State Government’s First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE) and other sustainable modes of transportation were also part of interventions provided to minimize the inconveniences of the motoring public in executing their daily activities.

Giwa averred that the position of government on okada is very clear, stressing that there is no going back in order to consolidate on the achievements made so far in the decrease in accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to the communities within the State.

He added that the Security formations who have been partnering with the State Government including the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Navy and Air force are still on ground to sustain enforcement on all the banned corridors, as well as the State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) and the Anti-Okada Squad.

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Manufacturers urge FG to dialogue with NLC over plan to picket CBN offices



Manufacturers urge FG to dialogue with NLC over plan to picket CBN offices

…Says Business no longer lucrative***

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the NLC on its planned picketing of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offices nationwide.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), President, Joe Ajaero on Wednesday directed workers to embark on strike over the lingering cash crunch and fuel scarcity.

Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby to picket all branches of the CBN nationwide during the strike which is expected to begin on Wednesday, March 29.

Dr Okwara Udensi Edo/Delta Chairman of MAN, in an interview in Benin, said embarking on strike was not the best option as it would compound the present sufferings of Nigerians.

“For us as manufacturers, strike is not the best option, dialogue is the best thing so that we will not suffer more.

“Embarking on industrial action will ground our businesses, road transport workers might join the strike and this will cripple our activities.

“But unfortunately, it seems strike is the language the government understands.

“I read on the news that the CBN says it will mop up the old N500 and N1,000 notes to commercial banks.

“Must people tell them they want to go on strike before they mop up cash to banks, he said.

He regretted that the manufacturing sector had continued to witness high costs of production, a situation that was not good for economic development.

“We now buy diesel for between N820 and N830 per litre, how many litres of diesel will you buy to run your generator to produce?

“Raw materials we used to pay between N350,000 and N400,000 to convey from Jos to Benin City in 2022 is now about N800,000 as of today.

“Business is no longer lucrative, profit margin has been swallowed by the high cost of production.

“Customers are not ready to buy at higher prices, manufacturers are just selling to stay afloat,’’ he said.

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Ojerinde: Absence of ex-JAMB Registrar’s children in court stalls alleged fraud arraignment



Ojerinde: Absence of ex-JAMB Registrar’s children in court stalls alleged fraud arraignment

The absence of the four children of Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in a Federal High Court, Abuja, stalled their arraignment on Friday.

 Ojerinde and his children; Mary Funmilola, Olumide Abiodun, Adedayo and Oluwaseun Adeniyi, alongside their companies, were to be arraigned before the court.

Olumide Abiodun Ojerinde was a member House of Representatives at 9th Assembly representing Irepo/Orelope/Olorunsogo Constituency of Oyo State.

The Federal Government, through the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), had, in a charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/119/23, sued the Ojerindes on 17 counts bordering on money laundering.

Ojerinde and his companies are currently facing a money laundering trial before Justice Obiora Egwuatu.

The former JAMB boss was, on Jan. 26, re-arrested by the operatives of the anti-graft commission while he was heading to his car with one of his sons after trial Justice Egwuatu adjourned further proceedings in the charge preferred against him.

ICPC lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle had, on Feb. 15, notified Egwuatu that Ojerinde was re-arrested on suspicion that he might have committed some other offences not unconnected with the present charges before the court.

He said for this reason, the commission obtained a warrant from the court dated 6th of Dec, 2022 for his re-arrest.

But Ojerinde, in a suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/179/2023, sued the commission for alleged unlawful detention and breach of his fundamental rights.

While Ojerinde’s suit before Justice Egwuatu was adjourned until May 4 for mention, his trial was fixed for the same date for hearing continuation.

The fresh criminal charge against Ojerinde and his children before Justice Ekwo, it was gathered, was connected to the latest finding by the anti-graft commission.

While the FG is the complainant, Ojerinde, Doyin Ogbohi Petroleum Ltd, Cheng Marbles Ltd, Sapati International Schools Ltd, Trillium Learnings Centre Ltd,, Standout Institutes Ltd and Esli Perfect Security Partners are 1st to 7th defendants respectively.

Mary, Olumide, Adedayo and Oluwaseun are the 8th to 11th defendants in the trial.

Although they were not in court, they were represented by a lawyer, Ajibola Bello.

Upon resumed hearing, ICPC’s counsel, Henry Emore, informed the court that the matter was slated for the defendants to take their plea.

He said the 2nd to 7th defendants were corporate persons while the 8th to 11th defendants were natural persons.

Emore said though the defendants were to be arraigned, the 8th to 11 defendants were not in court.

He said the matter was filed on Monday and the court, on Wednesday, graciously gave them today for the defendants to take their plea.

He, however, said they were unable to serve the 8th to 11th defendants.

The lawyer prayed the court for a short adjournment.

Justice Ekwo directed Emore to serve their lawyer in open court since he was present.

“I grant you a leave to serve them now through their counsel. Let the court record shows that this is by leave of court.

“When a lawyer is representing defendants in court, it means that the lawyer knows the contact of the defendants and can reach them,” he said.

The judge, who adjourned the matter until April 19, said: “there shall be consequence if the defendants are not in court in the next adjourned date.”

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