FG Approves $1.2b for Kano-Kaduna Rail

The Federal Government has approved $1.2 billion for the construction of the Kano-Kaduna standard gauge railway project.‎

The Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amechi, said in Kano on Saturday when he visited Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, that the Federal Government was negotiating with China EXIM bank to finance the project.‎

“We are negotiating with China EXIM bank and we are convince that this negotiation will end by June,” he said.

The minister said that the Federal Government would provide about 100 locomotives for narrow gauge rail that would run through Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Funtua and Gombe to improve the economy.

“Before the end of June Lagos-Kano narrow gauge rail would have more locomotives that would run through Lagos, Port Harcourt, Funtua, Kano and Gombe states in order to boost the economy,” he said.

Amechi, however, thanked the governor for his efforts and the role he played during the last National Assembly election in Rivers where the party won one senatorial seat and four House of representative seats.

Responding, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, expressed his happiness and commended the president for fulfilling campaign promise.‎

He said that Kano-Kaduna standard rail project would save the road from total collapse.

Ganduje said that the state government recently signed a $1.8 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese firm to construct light rail in the state capital.

‎He said that the light rail project would give a mega city outlook similar to other cities across the world. (NAN)

LAUTECH: Management Insist On Resumption Date

The Management of Ladoke Akintola University has ordered the staff and students of the university to resume back to school on Friday, 27th of January 2017.

The university took this step after the university confirmed to Journalists that the Governors of the owner states, Oyo state and Osun state, Mr. Abiola Ajimobi and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola have paid the sum N500 million into the account of the school to pay the salaries of workers in arrears.

The mail signed by the Registrar, J. A. Agboola sent to students and on the university website is as follows :

“LADOKE AKINTOLA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OGBOMOSO
NOTICE TO STAFF AND STUDENTS

All staff and students are hereby informed that the University will reopen for normal activities on Friday, January 27, 2017.

Students are to note the following for compliance:

Friday, January 27: Resumption

Friday, February 3: Revision week ends

Friday, February 10: Lecture free week ends

Monday, February 13: 2015/2016 Harmattan Semester Examinations begin

All students who are yet to complete their registration are to ensure that they do so and pay their tuition fee during the revision week.

On behalf of the Governing Council, Senate and Management, headed by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. A. S. Gbadegesin, we wish you all the best.

Signed
J. A. Agboola
Registrar
REG/ADM. 108
Monday, January 23, 2017
Distribution
All Staff and Students”

Osun Govt Secures German Medical Experts to Tackle Cancer

In line with the Six Point Integral Action Plan of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the Osun State government has secured the commitment of a notable German institute to assist the state on improved health care delivery.

A team of seasoned German oncologists from the Institute for Operative Medicine of the Otto-yon Guericke-University, Magdeburg, Germany, will be in the Osun state between Feb 1 to Feb 4 2017 to perfect plans on collaborative effort on control, treatment and management of various class of cancer in the state.

The programme will include cancer screening right from Primary Health Centre to Secondary and Tertiary health care system. Cancer is known to be third leading cause of death in this part of the world.

The Institute for Operative Medizine of the Otto-yon Guericke-University had acceded to the request of the state government to tackle headlong health challenges posed by cancer related diseases and as well render services on general surgery operation

According to a letter of acknowledgment signed by the Head of the institute, Prof. Hans Lippert, the institute will also support the state Government fully in cancer preventive awareness

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health in Osun State, Dr Adeyinka Eso, said the four-day visit of the German oncologist team will afford the medical experts in the state health ministry some high level technical interaction on control and management of cancer disease at all tiers of the state health system.

City Mirror

APC gives Gov. Bello ultimatum to pay workers

The Kogi State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has given the Governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello four weeks ultimatum to reconcile the on-going staff audit in the state.

Sen. Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi West), who spoke on behalf of the party gave the ultimatum at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.

He said that staff audit the world over was a periodic exercise to monitor and evaluate public servants for promotions, retirements, new employment opportunities and elimination of ghost workers.

According to the chapter,the strategy adopted by the state government has in the exercise has caused so much pain among the genuine civil servants, rendering them jobless and without salaries for almost a year.

Melaye called on the governor to pay civil servants, pensioners and other concerned workers all their entitlements for the past one year.

He said that with the N30 billion bailout given to the state government, its workers ought not to be subjected to any form of hardship.

He said: “The bailout fund is primarily meant for those purposes, while part of the N 11.2 billion Paris Club refund was also aimed at ameliorating the suffering of our people.

“Any attempt for Yahaya Bello to think otherwise in this regard, after four weeks from today, will be met with peaceful revolution across the 21 local government councils.

“About 80 per cent of workers’ salaries and entitlements have not been paid since January 2016.

“We urge our civil servants to be patient and be very law abiding till the next four weeks.

“We also call on the state government to re-order the priorities of state in line with the needs and aspirations of our people.

“The solar street light, the Revenue House and SDG Office, being celebrated for 1 year in office for example, have no tangible value and cannot put food on the table of our people.

“All the public hospitals were filled to maximum capacity in the last eight months, until some few days ago when the Nigerian Medical Association officially called for their closure.”

He traced the development to ‘’non-payment of salaries and lack of needed drugs.’’

The lawmaker also expressed concern that rather than enjoying the dividends of democracy, Kogi indigenes were subjected to pains.

Meanwhile, the state Auditor- General, Alhaji Yusufu Okala, has said that the state lost approximately N213, 034,857,280.44, to “ghost workers/unintended beneficiaries.”

He disclosed this when the Staff Screening & Validation Committee, jointly led by him and the Auditor-General of the Local Governments Areas, Malam Usman Ododo, submitted their report to Bello at a Stakeholders’ Forum at the Government House, Lokoja, July 25, 2016.

Okala said, “As at the time of inaugurating the Staff Screening and Verification Committee on Feb. 22, 2016, the total staff on the nominal payroll of the state (State MDAs and Local Governments) was 88, 973 with monthly wage bill of N5, 809,578,703.72.

“After the conclusion of this exercise on July 24, 2016, the cleared and validated workforce is 63, 870.

Receiving the report, Bello lamented the colossal loss recorded by the state through the syndrome but promised that his administration had put a permanent stop to financial theft in the state.

He also promised that the state government was determined to re-position the state civil service to facilitate economic drive and growth of the state.

The governor, therefore, announced the setting up of an 11-Man Review Committee to entertain complaints that might arise from the screening and submit its report within 21 days.

NAN

School Feeding: Niger Govt Lauds Aregbesola over Employment of Over 4000 Workers

Niger state government on Wednesday showered praises on the Rauf Aregbesola led administration in Osun especially the success recorded by the governments school feeding policy saying the scheme had created over four thousand jobs in the state

Niger state Commissioner for education, Hajia Fatima Madugu, made the commendation at the opening of a two-day stakeholder meeting and step down training on Home grown school feeding programme.

Hajia Madugu who said “Osun state has become the best in the implementation of the school feeding policy ” explained that the objective of the Niger state government is ” to become the second best in the implementation of the school feeding system.

The Commissioner observed that the Home Grown School feeding system was the most complicated of all the social intervention schemes introduced by the federal government but said it would achieve the retention of pupils in schools in addition to creating jobs.

The focal person of the programme in the state Mrs Afiniki Dauda in her speech assured that the feeding policy would kick off in the state in the next six weeks.

In a communique at the end of the technical session the state government was advised to put in place the legal framework work that would ensure the sustenance of the programme.

The communiqué also wanted the Niger state universal Basic Education Board to come up with data of school pupils while also seeking for logistic support for the smooth running of the scheme.

City Mirror

Land Control: Supreme Court Throws Out FG Suit Against Lagos

The Supreme Court has struck out a suit filed by the Federal Government seeking an order to seize control and management of its land in Lagos State from the state government.

After upholding the preliminary objection filed by the Lagos Government to challenge the competence of the suit, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, unanimously struck out the Federal Government’s suit.

The dispute between the federal and Lagos State governments was about “general control and management of federal land within Lagos State particularly the re-issuance of certificates of occupancy, granting consent or exercising rights of ownership.”

Justice Dattijo Muhammad, who read the apex court’s lead ruling, agreed with the Lagos State Government that the court lacked the power to exercise its “original jurisdiction” in the suit because the Federal Government had “transferred its title in the land to others”.

LASG Stops LAWMA from Collecting Waste Bills

Following a directive by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, The Lagos State Government Waste Management Authority (LAWMA)is no longer authorised to collect waste bills from resident. Rather, all payments are to be remitted to Private Sector Participation Operators.

This was revealed by the Chairman, Olumuyiwa Adejokun, and General Manager, Mr. Segun Adeniji, of the agency at the opening session of a three-day training workshop for officials of the agency.

Speaking at the event tagged, ‘Reformed Waste Management in Lagos State: The Role of LAWMA,’ Adejokun noted that the directive was part of the reforms to make the agency more effective.

He said, “The government does not have the huge funds required to manage waste in the state. This is why the governor has decided to embark on waste management reform.

“LAWMA issues bill to commercial outfits when waste is collected, and when the bills are paid, LAWMA keeps 40 per cent of the payment, and the PSP operators keep 60 per cent. But the governor has directed that 100 per cent of the fund should go to the PSP operators.”

Irepodun Town Gets New Ruler

A retired civil servant in Osun State, Prince Abdul-Wahab Adegboyega Oladunjoye, has been installed as the new traditional ruler of Irepodun town, Oke-Osun in Osogbo local government area.

During the coronation of the new traditional ruler at Irepodun market square, the head of kingmakers, Pa Liasu Odediran, declared that the nomination, selection, appointment and installation of Oladunjoye as the new king for Irepodun town followed the due process.

Odediran added that the processes fulfilled all the necessary conditions in accordance with the tradition and custom of the people of the community.

Also, the chairman of Irepodun community, Pa Sulaimon Akande said the new traditional ruler was acceptable to the entire people of the town and assured that the people of Irepodun town would support the reign of the new king.

Speaking shortly after the coronation ceremonies, the new king urged the state government to provide basic socio amenities for the people of the area.

Oladunjoye urged the state government to grade the road leading to the the town, provide health care facilities and post more teachers to Irepodun to curb rural-urban migration.

Why Agriculture Remains Our Only Panacea To Economic Recovery- Aregbesola

Nigeria’s enduring economic recovery will only materialize only when the country revitalizes her investments in agriculture and make it a venture that attracts the bulk of the most productive segment of the population.

This was the conclusion of the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as he brought together all officials of the state involved in the agriculture sector to further find fresh ways to improve the state’s performance in agricultural investments.

At the interactive session with officials of the State Ministry of Agriculture and it’s agencies, Governor Aregbesola painted a gloomy picture of imminent acute famine and drought the nation may likely face if the heavy reliance on oil continues.

A statement by the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor signed by the Director, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, quoted Governor Aregbesola as saying that the Governor declared that oil can no longer be the economic mainstay of the nation if it plans to exit the recession facing it present.

The Governor charged the agriculture officers in the state to sit up, redouble their efforts and re-dedicate themselves towards the transformation of the dreams of the state from peasant, rural, subsistent agricultural state to a modern, industrial and commercial agricultural state.

Aregbesola said, “At this critical juncture and judging from the economic crisis of the present, the country and our state have no alternative than to diversify and stop relying on what comes from Abuja, if we must survive.

“We must forthwith stop importation of food items and start cultivating our own food crops. We have everything we need to be a great agricultural nation. Let us undertake a survey to know where each state has comparative advantage over others.

“Our Ministry of Agriculture and its agencies must put their acts together and go back to massive agricultural practice and production.

“The situation at present requires that we do everything humanly possible to awaken the huge potentiality of our agricultural sector.

“Failure to do this leaves us with only two alternatives. It is either we float or sink, but in our state, we shall float because our administration is determined to leave no stone unturned this time around at ensuring general wellbeing of its citizenry in making the state food basket of the nation.”

Aregbesola was quoted further as noting that unless the nation and the state plunge their resources and energies towards agriculture, millions of people, particularly children, will face serious hunger.

He stated that only agriculture can rescue the nation from the nationwide and global economic meltdown currently being experienced arising from the oil glut and the activities of the Niger Delta militants.

Governor Aregbesola said that the only panacea to the current economic imbroglio is for every serious minded government to rise to the occasion and look for alternative means by exploring the abundant potentialities in agriculture.

The governor said with less than two years to the end of his administration, he would not relent in his bid to turn around the sector so that there would be food security .

Osun Advertises Request for Expression of Interest for Competent Aggregators

The state government of Osun has advertised a request for Expression of Interest for competent aggregators to activate market-driven agricultural value chain in the state.

The Osun agricultural value chain initiative is an initiative of the state government of Osun to partner with competent aggregators to spur private sector-led and market-driven agricultural value chain development

Use link below for more details

Expression Of Interest Agric (2): http://osun.gov.ng/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/expressionOfInterest_agric-2.pdf

Expression Of Interest Non-agric (2): http://osun.gov.ng/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/expressionOfInterest_nonagric-2.pdf