FG Secures EU’s Commitment on Rebuilding of North East, Niger Delta

The European Union (EU) on Monday pledged its support for the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to rebuild some parts of the North East and Niger Delta regions by earmarking 20 million Euros for the reconstruction of markets and warehouses in Borno and Delta States.

The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Arrion, who gave the pledge during a visit to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun in her office, said the funds would be offered to the two States in the form of budget support.
“Sometime ago, we talked about budget support but we will be able to do that only at the State level, using a special instrument meant for countries emerging from war, and we can look at States in the North East and look at specific projects in terms of financial support to their budgets,” he said.

However, Mrs. Adeosun said all the financial analysis needed to facilitate support to the States had been put in place, pointing out that the Fiscal Sustainability Plan required a 21-point fiscal reform programme that enhanced transparency, accountability and efficiency.
According to the Minister, the funding arrangement would help in healing the wounds caused by insurgent activities in the North East. She said it would also give hope to the Niger Delta people who have been impacted by pipeline bombings and the attendant environmental problems in the area.

The EU Ambassador said the quest to invest in Africa was largely informed by the need to discourage migration to Europe, pointing out that several thousands of Nigerian citizens have continued to migrate to Europe.

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Saraki Denies Defecting To PDP, Restates Commitment To APC

For the second time in less than a week, the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, has restated his commitment and loyalty to his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Media reports were rife that Saraki had defected to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after he attended the party’s senate caucus meeting on Wednesday.

But Saraki’s media aide, Bamikole Omishore, in a statement said the reports were “entirely untrue as the Senate President stands committed to the APC; a party that he helped midwife and worked for its victory in the 2015 elections.” He said Saraki’s presence at the PDP caucus meeting was in his official capacity as the Senate President and chairman, National Assembly.

“He attended the end of session event of the PDP caucus yesterday evening and spent only 30 minutes before leaving the members to continue with the event.

“The Senate President would like to assure every Nigerian that he is committed to the APC-led government and appreciates the confidence reposed in him and the APC during the 2015 General Elections.”

Omishore, on Monday, July 18, had defended his boss’s loyalty to APC, noting that the Senate President was committed to championing the ideals of the party.

Credit: Guardian

Ocholi’s Death: FRSC Restates Commitment To Govt Convoy Drivers’ Re-training

The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Boboye Oyeyemi has reiterated the need for the retraining of government officials’ drivers in order to avoid convoy crashes. Oyeyemi made this known following the fatal accident, which occurred on Sunday along Kaduna- Abuja road in which the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Barrister James Eneojo Ocholi, his wife and son died.

The Corps Marshal, who addressed a section of members of the press in the aftermath of the crash, noted that the death of the minister in the crash was a tragic incident that has challenged FRSC to step up its campaigns against carnage. Oyeyemi said he was personally touched and would work with relevant stakeholders to develop appropriate strategies that could address future occurrences. According to the Corps Marshal, following the unfortunate incident, FRSC is more determined to work with the Executive and members of the National Assembly as well as other relevant stakeholders to workout appropriate modalities for ensuring crash-free roads.

He said the training and retraining of government drivers is part of the immediate measures being taken by the FRSC to avert convoy crashes in the country. He noted that when FRSC trained the drivers of the Governors’ convoy, the benefits in terms of improved driving culture became immediately noticeable, saying the Corps would be working with members of the Federal Executive Council to put some measures in place, including re-training of their drivers to avoid convoy crashes.

“We are working with the Minister of Works, Power and Housing to install traffic signs at some strategic points along the highways. We are equally committed to working with the National Assembly to step up advocacy and enforcement strategies to curtail issues of speed violation and promotion of use of seatbelt,” Oyeyemi said. Meanwhile, the Corps Marshal has revealed that, James Elegbede, the driver of the late Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barrister James Ocholi had no driver’s license as his name was not found on the data base of FRSC. Oyeyemi, who stated this while presenting the accident’s Road Traffic Crash Investigation Interim Report to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday at the meeting of the body at the presidential villa, Abuja, said Ocholi, his wife and son had died in the accident as a result of over speeding.

He disclosed that a search conducted on the commission’s database showed that the driver do not have a valid driver’s licence. Oyeyemi said “There was no record in the driver’s national data base of the driver of the minister with the name Taiwo James Elegbede. “However, there was a record found on the driver’s licence database of the driver of minister’s back up vehicle with the name Ibrahim Abubakar. Oyeyemi said after losing one of the rear tyres of the vehicle, the driver who was in high speed applied break and thereafter lost control of the vehicle.

Credit: NationalMirror

FG Restates Commitment To Total Clean-up Of Ogoni Land

The federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to resolving cases of environmental degradation in Niger Delta.

The government plans to implement a strategy that involves empowering the people while protecting the environment.

Addressing a stakeholders meeting in Bori area in Rivers State on the United Nations’ Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on the clean-up of Ogoni land, the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, said that implementing the UN report remains a top priority of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, had tabled the problems of the people at the meeting with the Minister.

Having met with the people of Ogoni, the Minister proceeded to Yenogoa with the same message of a total clean-up of the area. There, the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, lamented over the plights of the people suffering the effects of oil pollution.

Mrs Mohammed said that the Ministry was working on a mechanism that would help it address the problem of pollution in the Niger Delta overall.

The Minister had said at an earlier meeting with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, “This is a protracted issue; an issue that we are now concerned that the pollution is beyond the oil companies. It is one we have to try to understand.

“What are the alternatives for young people and those that are in the community who have been part of these third party breaks?

“We have to put in place something that gives them a future and hope.”

Credit: ChannelsTv

Buhari Assures EU Of Commitment To Human Rights Protection

The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday told the European Union that his administration was doing its utmost best to protect the fundamental human rights of persons in the ongoing counter-terrorism operations against Boko Haram insurgents.

The President gave the assurance on Wednesday while addressing a special session of the parliament in Strasbourg, France.

President Buhari said that his government shared the European Union’s commitment to peace and security, respect for human rights, democracy and good governance as well as equality and tolerance as ways of developing prosperous and strong societies.

On our part, we have updated our Rules Of Engagement in fighting terrorism and pay very close attention during operations to the treatment of captured terrorists, civilians caught up in the conflict and in general, safeguarding property.

“Our aim is to use minimum force necessary in our fight against terrorists,” the President told members of the parliament and the European Union commission.”

Credit: ChannelsTv

Buhari Expresses Commitment To Ayade’s Signature Projects

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday expressed the commitment of the Federal Government to the signature projects of Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, which are the construction of a 260km superhighway and a new deep seaport.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the superhighway that will link Calabar to Northern Nigeria, in Obung Village, Akamkpa Local Government Area of the State, Buhari said the road will open a window of opportunity for the people of Cross River State and Nigeria as a whole, as well as reduce travel time.

His words, “That I am here in person underscores the importance the Federal Government attaches to this. It is indeed a significant milestone in the economic and policy of the governor.

“This is the first groundbreaking under my presidency. I commend Ayade and his team for their foresight in conceptualising this project.

“I want to assure you of the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure the completion of the project. I promise I will come back to commission it. I urge the governor to ensure work is done on it quickly.”

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Army Reiterates Commitment To Finding Chibok Girls

The Nigerian Military has reiterated its commitment to finding the missing Chibok Girls, kidnapped over a year ago.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television, the Army spokesperson, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, said the military does have a strategy towards finding the girls, but the main focus is that the girls are rescued alive.

He also wants Nigerians to disregard videos and audio recordings of Boko Haram members, claiming victory over the military.

“The issue of the celebration shouldn’t bother Nigerians”, adding that “we are the ones fighting, we know what we have done, we know how far we are planning and we won’t be distracted by that.

“As far as Nigerian military is concerned, we are succeeding in isolating them, we are succeeding in ensuring that their hide out have been completely trashed.

“As I’m speaking with you, we will continue doing the coordination and process between the Air Force and Army to ensure that the so called “Terrorist”will no longer have business in the country”, he maintained.

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President Buhari Vows Commitment To Niger-Delta Amnesty Programme

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged commitment to prosecuting the amnesty programme in the Niger-Delta with vigour, to bringing about lasting peace and stability in the area.

This is contained in a statement on Thursday in Abuja by Mr Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The statement explained that Dr Jamila Shu’ara, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, stated this while delivering Buhari’s message at the ongoing 167th Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) International Seminar in Vienna, Austria.

She said the president was also committed to ensuring stability in other parts of Nigeria, thus making the operational environment safe and attractive once again.

“Nigeria is committed to tackling corruption, especially in the extractive industry.

“The country will strive to bring back transparency and accountability in public life, especially in the petroleum industry which is the mainstay of national economy,’’ she said.

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