74 Million Nigerians Register To Vote – INEC Chairman

INEC

The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, says the commission had 74 million voters in its register by the second week of January.

The INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, made the fact known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Mr. Osaze-Uzzi quoted Mr. Yakubu as making the fact known at the 15th edition of the Daily Trust Dialogue, where he was represented by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Solomon Soyebi.

The chairman said the figure was expected to reach between 80 and 85 million by 2019 because of the on-going nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

He assured Nigerians that only their votes would determine the 2019 general elections and beyond.

Mr. Yakubu noted that there had been a lot of improvement in the electoral process since the current commission came on board.

He said the commission was not unmindful of the enormous responsibility of conducting elections in a democracy.

He said INEC would continue to engage all Nigerians to ensure an all-inclusive process.

The INEC chairman stressed the commission’s resolve to adhere strictly to the timelines provided in the recently released Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 general elections.

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Senate Committee Applaud Fashola For 70.58% Q2 Performance For 2017 Budget

OFFICIAL PORTRAIT OF THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF POWER, WORKS & HOUSING

Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, Minister of Power, Works and Housing

The Senate Committee on Works Tuesday applauded as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde  Fashola SAN, reported that the 2017 Budget for his Ministry has achieved 71.58 per cent implementation as at December 2017.

 

Fashola, who had gone to the Committee Meeting to defend the 2018 Budget proposal for his Ministry, told Members of the Committee that based on all the payments made to contractors for all the works done since the commencement of the projects to date, the current Budget Performance for the second release of the Budget year now stood at 71.58 per cent.

 

Recalling that he first reported a performance of 15.3 per cent based on payments of N57Billion made after the first release of money, the Minister, who explained that he could not quote the full performance then because, although the works had been completed and the certificates in, they were yet to be paid for, pointed out that based on some payments that were made between December 2017 and January 2018, the Performance had now gone up to 71.58 per cent.

 

He told the Committee, ’’As I said in my introductory remarks, as at December 2017, we could only report what we had paid for, which was a lot less than the work that had actually been done; because the releases that we had for first release under 2017, was made in August 2017 and it was for N57Billion as you could see. So it was not until December 2017 that we got the second allocation of N120Billion and we also got some disbursements from the SUKUK in the sum of N57Billion’’.

 

’’Now, based on some payments that have been made between December 2017 and now (January 17th 2018), after the second release came to hand, we have paid out N57Billion as I said in the first release, N57.4Billion also released under the SUKUK and N120Billion. So this takes the Budget Performance up from 15.3 per cent in Q1 to 71.58 per cent as at today’’, he said eliciting applause from the Committee Members. He noted that this is the first time the Federal Government has recorded such impressive performance.

 

The Minister, who noted that the budget has run just a little above two Quarters (June 2017 – January 2018), declared, ’’Our new performance now is 71.58 per cent. The details of those payments are what is broken down in Annex 1 covering, I believe, about 526 projects at various levels’’. He added that the Overhead Costs of the Ministry and its Parastatals currently stood at 62 per cent while the Personnel Cost which, according to him, was being implemented would be reported through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

 

Referring the Members to Annexure 1 of the document, Fashola said it contains details of the 526 projects listed there and various roads across the six geopolitical zones including breakdown of payments, physical progress of work, the certificates and the amount that have been paid, the budget performance and the progress of work achieved.

 

The Minister reiterated that the 2017 Budget was in the sum of N586.535Billion for the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and its parastatals.

 

Also contained in Annexure 1, he said, were Overhead Costs in the sum of N15.047Billion, broken down in Paragraph  B for the main Ministry, Parastatals and Agencies like FERMA and so on and so forth, the Personnel Costs amounting to N13,556,553,547 also itemized for the three sectors of the Ministry as well as the breakdown between the Main Ministry and the other sectors.

 

Responding to questions from members, especially on the status of roads in the 2017 Budget which were not awarded in the Budget year, Fashola reiterated his earlier call for a bulk amount to be provided in the annual budget to fund roads adding that it would make for the continuous funding of the roads not awarded during the budget year.

 

According to the Minister, this would also solve the recurring problem of a project meant for one annual budget reappearing in the budget for the following year or being abandoned adding that the present process whereby the Procurement Law stipulates a process that takes up to six months as well as other processes involved before the award of a contract was responsible for the aforementioned situation.

 

’’The truth is that I don’t see any self-respecting public officer, not the least of the people who are with me here, that want to start a project and not complete it; that I can say on their behalf, they don’t want to abandon any project. But from their experience, which I have come to share, is that in some budget years, when budget is passed they find zero location for some projects. So their enthusiasm is lost if their tool is taken away”, he said adding, however, that things have changed in the last two years.

 

The Minister continued, “The question we must ask ourselves is, can we finance new projects every year? We are constructing roads in a very limited weather window and a very long drawn Procurement process of about six months every year and without completing one, we go to another because our constituents want them”.

 

Fashola, who also noted that some of the roads being constructed run from 50km to  about 500 kilometres, added that if in a state where they have three to five kilometre roads, it usually took 24 months to finish. Would it be physically possible to expect such lengthy roads to start and finish in one budget year? He advised that that it was necessary to adopt a process that would work for the country. “Our resources are not increasing in the same exponential manner in which we are committing to new projects and we have projects that will have to be completed”, the Minister said.

 

Commenting on the budget performance, Chairman of the Committee Senator Kabir Gaya, commended the Minister for the performance saying in the history of budget performance in the country in the last ten years there has not been such achievement adding that the budget for Works in 2014, which, according to him was much smaller than the 2017 budget could not achieve up to half performance while the 2017 budget of over N500Billion had performed so much in just two quarters.

 

“I want to say that in the history of our budget performance for the last ten years we have not seen such but in just two years we are seeing systematic progress. There was a budget of N20Billion I think in 2015 and the budget in the last two years has tripled that. This shows that this Government is concerned about improving the state of infrastructure”, the Chairman said.

 

Noting that there have been some projects abandoned for 10 years before the coming of the present administration, the Chairman declared, “This administration has graciously put money into them. So I think Honourable Minister, I believe you are equal to the task you will continue to handle it and we know you are capable”.

 

Also commenting on the performance, another member of the Committee, Sen. Barnabas Gemade, from Benue State, described it as something that had never happened before in the country. His words, ’’In line with the Chairman’s comments, I will like to say here that I have not seen any Budget of that magnitude funded up to 71 per cent; never’’.

 

Most of the Committee members were, however, agreed that although the idea of creating a bulk budget to fund roads was good, it was necessary that the Government continued to function with the existing Procurement Law, Budget practice until such a time a new and acceptable Budget plan would be put in place.

 

With the Minister at the Budget Defense were the Permanent Secretary, Works and Housing, Mr Muhammed Bukar, the Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr Ibrahim Tumsah, the Director, Public Procurement, Mr Ibrahim Badeiri, the Director Highways, Planning and Development, Engr. Chuks Uzo, and the Director Highways, Construction and Rehabilitation, Engr. Yemi Oguntominiyi among other senior officials of the Ministry.

 

 

UNILAG Commends President Buhari For TV Station Approval

 

president-buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, January 18, 2018, received commendations from the management of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, for granting the institution Nigeria’s first Campus Television License.

In a meeting with the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and the Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu, at the Presidential Villa, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the TV station would completely alter the communication style in the university, and enhance its visibility across the continent.

Prof Ogundipe stated that “It is now on record that the present administration signed the first campus TV license & we remain deeply grateful to the President.

“The university is a brand. We want the university to be the research hub in Africa, and we are working towards being among the best three in the entire continent,” the Vice Chancellor added.

Apart from the TV Station, Prof. Ogundipe noted that the Federal Government’s Independent Power Plant to improve electricity was already ongoing, while the NEEDS assessment fund for training of academic staff had already been received.

In his remark, Prof. Akinfeleye said it took the university 25 years to get the first campus Radio station license, but the TV station license was processed in three years.

“It is interesting that President Buhari signed the first TV station license for a university. We will use the TV station for pedagogical purity of education,” he said.

Adesina, who congratulated the Vice Chancellor on his recent appointment, said President Buhari is fully committed to improving the standard of education in the country, urging the management team to take the university to higher heights.

In his remark, Shehu reiterated that President Buhari would always work towards creating an enabling environment for purposeful and visionary projects.

“It’s a signal of the President’s clear thinking. He will never put an obstacle on the path of progress. If you are ready with a project that will bring good to society, the President will instantly approve and support you to do it,” he said.

 

 

 

Traditional Group Protest Against Removal of Hon. Akinsola

Wale JAGUN

Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, Special adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Arts and Culture and daughter of the deceased.

Hon. (Chief) Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, former Special Adviser on Housing Lagos State

A traditional group in Igbogbo, the Olombas has protested to the traditional ruler and chiefs in Igbogbo on Tuesday, January 16, 2017, against the removal of Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, whose last duty post was the Special Adviser on Housing.

 

The traditionalists stormed the Adeboruwa palace in Igbogbo to protest against what they described as removal of their representative who has been taken care of them.

 

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Chief Saheed Alowonle, the Vice Chairman, Association of Igbogbo Traditional Worshippers said that they were shocked at the removal of the former Special Adviser who they described as promoter of culture and tradition.

 

“It is very shocking that such a representative who has been taken good care of we the traditionalists and others can be removed because of witch hunt” Chief Alowonle protested

 

He alleged that her removal was a witch hunt by some political leaders and enjoined the traditional ruler and others to intervene in redressing the situation.

 

They also queried why the government did not replace her with another person from Igbogbo

 

High Chief Tajudeen Alade Duduyemi Onasanya, the Odofin of Igbogbo who spoke on behalf of the monarch, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo and Chiefs, appreciated the protesters for conducting their affairs peacefully.

 

“On behalf of our revered kabiyesi, Oba Kasali, chiefs and entire Igbogbo residents, I welcome and thank you  for conducting your affairs in peaceful conduct. This shows that we are law abiding and peace loving people” Odofin of Igbogbo stated

 

He enjoined the protesters not to see the removal as a witch hunt but as a political exercise which can happen at any time.

 

He stated that Hon. Akinsola’s removal cannot be described as a witch hunt because she was not the only one removed.

 

On behalf of the kabiyesi, Chief Onasanya pledged that the community will liaise with the political leaders on the request that another person  of Igbogbo should be appointed to replace.

 

Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola was first appointed as a Special Adviser in charge of Arts and Culture in 2015. She was later appointed to as acting Commissioner for Tourism after the sacking of Mr Folarin Coker and in December 2017, deployed to Ministry of Housing as special Adviser before her removal in January 2018 by the Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.

 

Traditional Group Protest Against Removal of Hon. Akinsola

Wale JAGUN

Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, Special adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Arts and Culture and daughter of the deceased.

Hon. (Chief) Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, former Special Adviser on Housing, Lagos State

A traditional group in Igbogbo, the Olombas has protested to the traditional ruler and chiefs in Igbogbo on Tuesday, January 16, 2017, against the removal of Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, whose last duty post was the Special Adviser on Housing.

 

The traditionalists stormed the Adeboruwa palace in Igbogbo to protest against what they described as removal of their representative who has been taken care of them.

 

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Chief Saheed Alowonle, the Vice Chairman, Association of Igbogbo Traditional Worshippers said that they were shocked at the removal of the former Special Adviser who they described as promoter of culture and tradition.

 

“It is very shocking that such a representative who has been taken good care of we the traditionalists and others can be removed because of witch hunt” Chief Alowonle protested

 

He alleged that her removal was a witch hunt by some political leaders and enjoined the traditional ruler and others to intervene in redressing the situation.

 

They also queried why the government did not replace her with another person from Igbogbo

 

High Chief Tajudeen Alade Duduyemi Onasanya, the Odofin of Igbogbo who spoke on behalf of the monarch, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo and Chiefs, appreciated the protesters for conducting their affairs peacefully.

 

“On behalf of our revered kabiyesi, Oba Kasali, chiefs and entire Igbogbo residents, I welcome and thank you  for conducting your affairs in peaceful conduct. This shows that we are law abiding and peace loving people” Odofin of Igbogbo stated

 

He enjoined the protesters not to see the removal as a witch hunt but as a political exercise which can happen at any time.

 

He stated that Hon. Akinsola’s removal cannot be described as a witch hunt because she was not the only one removed.

 

On behalf of the kabiyesi, Chief Onasanya pledged that the community will liaise with the political leaders on the request that another person  of Igbogbo should be appointed to replace.

 

Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola was first appointed as a Special Adviser in charge of Arts and Culture in 2015. She was later appointed to as acting Commissioner for Tourism after the sacking of Mr Folarin Coker and in December 2017, deployed to Ministry of Housing as special Adviser before her removal in January 2018 by the Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.

 

Indiscriminate Refuse Dumping In Lagos Will Be A Thing Of The Past Soon – Lagos Commissioner for Information

Kunle ADELABU

–  Pledges LASG support for community media

Bamigbetan Reception 1

Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan (standing) flanked by the Ministry’s Director, Public Affairs, Mrs,Toro Oladapo (left) and Publisher, Oriwu Sun Newspaper, Alhaji Monzor Olowosago (right) during a reception in honour of Hon. Bamigbetan as the new Commissioner for Information & Strategy by the State Community Media Forum

Lagos State Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan has assured Lagosians that challenges being posed by indiscriminate refuse dumping  in the state is a phase which would soon pass.

 

The newly appointed Commissioner gave the assurance during a reception tagged, ‘One-On-One With Commissioner’, which  was organized  by the State Community Media Forum at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information & Strategy, Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, in honour  of  his  appointment.

 

Hon. Bamigbetan also pledged the State Government’s support and cooperation for Community Media in recognition of their role in history.

 

Speaking on the issue of indiscriminate refuse dumps on some streets of Lagos, the Commissioner stated that the government has put in place a clear vision to improve waste management, emphasizing that Lagosians will begin to enjoy the well-packaged waste management measures, tagged “Cleaner Lagos Initiative”, being rolled out by the State very soon.

 

“We are not in panic mood at all because we know where we are heading for. The compactors are ready and we have the human resources and other necessary things to deal with the refuse situation in Lagos

 

“This is a temporary difficulty which we are going through. It’s a phase which we are going to pass soon”, Hon Bamigbetan   assured.

 

“As part of the efforts  in demonstrating state government’s seriousness to tackle the refuse situation, the Governor recently appointed a Special Adviser on Refuse Initiative. The CLI has has also started packing refuse across the state in the government’s bid to tackle the challenge.”

 

Addressing publishers of Community Newspapers, Bamigbetan underscored the importance of Community Media in information management, explaining that from inception, they always provided relevant information and have a longer lifespan as they can be read at any time, thereby essential in passing information to the grassroots.

 

He stated that the support for Community Media by the current administration in the State was in line with its policy of the government of inclusion, pointing out that the Ambode administration has continually used community-driven policy as its competitive edge in governance.

 

He tasked the publishers to take advantage of the huge population of the State and improve their production, while not sidetracking high ethical standards and training for operators.

 

He said that Community Media is even more relevant now that some of them have gone online thus making their information global and advised the operators to develop their entrepreneurial skills, which he said, if well developed could make them print at least 500,000 copies per day.

 

Speaking further, the Commissioner urged the operators to get acquainted with the laudable projects of the State Government and communicate this effectively, stressing that the policy thrust and the vision must be well understood by the residents for a better appreciation of government projects and programmes.

Earlier, the publishers took turns to applaud Mr. Bamigbetan’s appointment as the Commissioner for Information & Strategy and commended him for bringing Community media to limelight under the current administration.

 

Alhaji Monzor Olowosago, Publisher of Oriwu Sun, stated that the appointment is a right step in the right direction in view of the vast journalistic experience of Mr. Bamigbetan and his ability to mobilise the people of the grassroots.

 

Olowosago commended him for his role in standardizing the operations of Community media in the State and for creating a platform of engagement for the operators while also assuring the Commissioner of their support and cooperation.

 

Also at the reception were Mrs Tosin Oladapo, Director of Public Affairs. Ministry of Information & Strategy, Mr Tayo Akanni, Head ICT, Ministry of Information, Mr Musbau Rasaq, Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly and Mr Yinka Aderibigbe, a senior reporter among others.

 

 

Commissioner Embarks On Familiarization Tour

Rotimi Ogunleye

Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, Honourable Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development

The newly appointed Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, on Thursday, January 18, 2018, embarked on familiarization tour of two major roads that are scheduled for reconstruction in Ikorodu Division.

The roads are Igbogbo-Bola Tinubu-Gintin-Ijede and Agric-Isawo-Isheri roads in Igbogbo/Bayeku and Ikorodu West Local Council Development Areas respectively.

The tour according to a senior of the ministry who spoke with THE IMPACT was to ensure the smooth take-off of the roads awarded to the construction giant, Hitech Construction Limited.

The Commissioner was accompanied by high-powered delegation from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and Ministry of Works and Infrastructures..

Commissioner Embarks On Familiarization Tour

Rotimi Ogunleye

Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, Honourable Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development

The newly appointed Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, on Thursday, January 18, 2018, embarked on familiarization tour of two major roads that are scheduled for reconstruction in Ikorodu Division.

The roads are Igbogbo-Bola Tinubu-Gintin-Ijede and Agric-Isawo-Isheri roads in Igbogbo/Bayeku and Ikorodu West Local Council Development Areas respectively.

The tour according to a senior of the ministry who spoke with THE IMPACT was to ensure the smooth take-off of the roads awarded to the construction giant, Hitech Construction Limited.

The Commissioner was accompanied by high-powered delegation from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and Ministry of Works and Infrastructures..

CLI: Lagos, PSP Operators Settle Court Case Delaying Implementation

CLI

The Lagos State Government and operators of Private Sector Participation (PSP) in the waste management sector have agreed to amicably resolve dispute leading to a suit before a Lagos High Court in Igbosere on the implementation of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).

The CLI, which is a new waste management policy of the State Government, was established to address, enforce and regulate the challenges in the solid waste management systems within the State in line with global best practices.

The PSP operators had sued the State Government and an environmental utility group contracted to implement the new initiative, Visionscape Group, to contest the alleged decision to jettison them for a new investor for the collection and disposal of waste in the State.

At the last adjourned date, parties in the suit had informed the court of their readiness to settle the matter out of court, while the case was adjourned for activation of discussions leading to the amicable resolution of the dispute.

When the case came up again on Wednesday before Justice Oyekan Abdullahi, counsel to the PSP operators, Tosin Adesioye, from the Chambers of Ebun Adegboruwa & Co, told the court that parties in the suit had made substantial progress on the discussion to settle the matter.

The lawyer also applied for two more weeks to be granted to the parties to perfect the terms of settlement.

Responding, counsel to the State Government, Mr Saheed Quadri, affirmed the position of the counsel to the PSP operators, saying that it was true that parties had met severally even up till Wednesday (yesterday) on the issue.

Quadri, who is the Director of Civil Litigation in the State’s Ministry of Justice, said it was gratifying to report back to the court that settlement had reached an appreciable stage, and asked for a short adjournment for parties to conclude on the amicable resolution.

In his brief ruling, Justice Abdullahi commended the lawyers to the parties for their individual and collective efforts to amicably resolve the matter, saying that it was obvious that substantial progress had been made.

“I want to commend all the counsel in this matter for their individual and collective efforts. I can confirm seeing the progress made so far and I want to appreciate all the parties involved in the settlement process. It is my hope that the team of legal minds in this suit will be in touch with one another,” Justice Abdullahi said.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to January 29, 2018 for final terms of settlement.

 

 

Power Generation at 4,327MW Despite New Gas Pipeline Incident

Electricity

Power generation in Nigeria increased by 1,100 megawatts in four days despite last Thursday’s fire incident that affected the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline supplying gas to some power plants, The Punch reports.

While the nation’s current transmission capacity was put at 7,000MW, network operational capacity stood at 5,500MW. Total electricity generation stood at 4,327MW as of 6 am last Thursday, January 11, compared to 3,227.9MW last Sunday, when 12 power plants were idle. The rise in generation followed the resumption on Monday of gas supply to six power plants.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said on Friday that routine gas supply for power generation was not affected by a fresh fire incident which engulfed a segment of the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System because an alternative pipeline was re-streamed immediately to prevent the disruption of gas supply to power plants in parts of the country.

– Energy Mix Report