I Can’t Wait For Russia 2018..Rohr 

The Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr,  says he is ready to lead the team to a respectable place as he cant wait for the Russia 2018 World Cup games.

Rohr will handle the national team for the first time at the World Cup  after qualifying the Super eagles for the mundial in a tough group which had the superpowers of African football, Cameroon,  Algeria and onetime African champions, Zambia

“Yes, I’m impatient and a little excited too, we’re proud to have been the first Africans to qualify for the World Cup,” the German stated.

“Now we have to make a good result at this World Cup.

“We have some hope of a good result in our first match against Croatia.”

The Super Eagles are drawn in Group D with Croatia, Iceland and Argentina.

The three-time African champions will face Croatia in their first group game at the Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16.

Their second game is against Iceland at the Volgograd Arena on June 22, while they will take on Argentina in their last group game on June 26 at the Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg.

Doping Ban Challenged By Russian Athlete

An appeal against the suspension of so many Russian Athletes banned for life over doping allegations by the International Olympic Committee has began on Monday at the world’s top sports court.

The week-long hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport includes appeals from 39 Russians who competed at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, which were tarnished by a vast, Moscow-backed doping scheme, according to multiple independent investigations.

The mass hearing is an extraordinary session for CAS and forced the court to temporarily move from its small headquarters in Lausanne to a large conference centre in Geneva.

The hearing began shortly before 10:00 am (0900 GMT), but none of the athletes were on hand yet, a source close to CAS said, explaining that the first session primarily concerned procedural issues.

Another three Russian biathletes have also appealed against their IOC ban, but their cases will be heard later.

Among the witnesses scheduled to testify is Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping lab (RUSADA).

He was the key whistleblower who exposed the cheating programme that IOC president Thomas Bach has described as an “unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympics”.

But Rodchenkov will not testify in person. Instead, he will appear via video-link from the United States, where he fled after the sudden deaths of two senior ex-RUSADA executives.

Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren has also been announced as a witness.

McLaren authored the report on Russian cheating for the World Anti-Doping Agency that read in part like a Cold War spy novel, and laid out the workings of the programme — from the use secret state agents to passing urine samples out of testing labs through mouseholes.

But none of the testimony will be open to the public, in keeping with the court’s standard practice.

Those mounting appeals are some of Russia’s most celebrated Olympians, like cross-country skier Alexander Legkov, who won 50km gold at Sochi, and double bobsleigh champion Aleksandr Zubkov — both of whom were later stripped of their titles.

Injecting further drama into the hearing is that fact that the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, start on February 9 and 21 of the 42 banned Russians say they want to compete.

CAS has said it will deliver a decision between January 29 and February 2.

But even if any of the Russians secure what would be a surprise victory on appeal, the road to Pyeongchang would still remain complicated.

The IOC has banned Russia from the 2018 Games

Russian athletes who want to compete are being forced to pass a unique set of anti-doping tests.

Those deemed clean will be allowed to appear in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag as an “Olympic Athlete from Russia”.

On Friday, the IOC said the pool of Russians who could potentially be eligible for the 2018 Games had been reduced from 500 to 389.

None of the 42 banned Russians were on the list, making it nearly impossible that any of them could clear their names by the end of the month and then maneuver their way towards Pyeongchang eligibility by February 9.

Russia’s deputy prime minister responsible for sport Vitaly Mutko — a key figure in the doping scandal — said last week that he believed around 200 Russians would ultimately be cleared for Pyeongchang. (AFP)

Rangers Shock Heartland, Abia Warriors Stop Plateau United As Enyimba, MFM Lose

Enugu Rangers recorded their first win in the Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) this season after a difficult win of  1-0 victory against South-East rivals Heartland at the Dan Anyiam Stadium,Owerri on Sunday

 

 

The Flying Antelopes after losing their first two opening games of the campaign  had a victory which eased pressure on the coach of the team Gbenga Ogunbote courtesy of a 10th minutes strike by Bright Silas.

 

 

Heartland, missed the chance to earn a point in the game when Lucky Emariojoke missed a penalty on the dot of half time. They are currently without a win in this campaign.

 

In Umuahia, champions Plateau United lost for the first this season as they were handed a 1-0 defeat by Abia Warriors.

 

Samson Obi stabbed home Chinedu Ozor pinpoint cross in the second minute to hand the hosts an important win.

 

At the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers United beat four-time champions Kano Pillars 2-1.

 

Bamba Bakari gave Rivers United the lead on 19 minutes, while Junior Lokossa levelled scores in the 31st minute with his third goal of the season.

Ivorian forward Guy Kuemian got the winning goal for the home team in the 59th minute after he was teed up by the impressive Oche Salefu. It was Kuemian’s second goal of the season.

 

Former champions Enyimba put up a lacklustre display against Katsina United at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium and were defeated 2-0.

 

It was the Peoples Elephant first defeat in six games but they are yet to win this season.

 

Martins Usule and Usman Barau scored both goals for the Chanji Boys to ensure they picked their first win of the season.

 

MFM FC of Lagos’ troubled start to the season continued as the Olukoya Boys lost 3-1 against El-Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri.

 

After a goaless first half, former junior international Bello Kofarmata put the hosts in front a minute before the half hour mark following a fine assist by former Enugu Rangers forward Ocheme Edoh.

 

 

Nasarawa United vs Sunshine Stars in Lafia. Photo courtesy LMC Media.

 

Edoh doubled the lead four minutes later, while Adegboyega Adekunle reduced the deficit for MFM in the 76th minute.

Sunday Anthony made the points safe for El-Kanemi when he netted the third in the 89th minute.

 

In another match day three fixture, Samad Kadiri scored the winner as Lobi Stars beat Go Round FC 1-0  at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi. It was Samad’s third goal of the season.

 

FC IfeanyiUbah also secured a vital 2-0 win against 10- man  Kwara United in Nnewi.

 

Godwin Obaje opened scoring for the Anambra Warriors in the 23rd minute from Bright Onyedikachi’s corner kick, his third goal of the campaign.

 

Obaje was replaced two minutes later by Chijoke Alakwe following an injury.

 

Ekene Awazie got the second goal of the game following a beautiful assist by Alakwe in the 63rd minute.

 

Kwara United were reduced to 10 men when Sunday Udechukwu was sent off seven minutes before the end of the game.

 

The Harmony Warriors have now lost their three games this season and are the only club who are yet to pick a  point.

 

Victor Mbaoma opened his goal account for the season as Akwa United beat Yobe Desert Stars 2-0 in Uyo.

 

The former Remo Stars striker was on target on half hour mark, while  Micheal Ibe scored the second goal three minutes later.

 

Sunshine Stars suffered their first defeat of the season, going down to a 2-0 defeat against Nasarawa United in Lafia.

 

Douglas Achiv and Ishaya Anyu were the goal scorers for the Solid  Miners.

In the day’s last fixture, Wikki Tourists defeated Niger Tornadoes 1-0 with captain Mustapha Ibrahim netting the winner on the hour mark.

 

 

Astronauts For Space Stations To Be Selected By China

China will start selection for the next generation of astronauts who will train to work space station initiated by the government, said on Monday by the local media reports.

 

Yang Liwei, The Deputy Director of the China Manned Space Agency and the first Chinese astronaut in space said this during an open day at Beijing’s Astronaut Center of China.

 

“The selection work will commence as soon as possible and that Chinese engineers and scientist will be eligible to apply.

 

“We plan to select suitable candidates from space industry companies, research entities and universities and train them into engineers and payload specialists capable of working on the space station.

 

“Those who want to apply for an engineer’s post will need a master’s degree, while candidates for payload specialists will need a doctorate degree.

 

“They will also have at least three years of working experience,’’ Yang said.

 

According to the report, the country is developing and building parts of a manned space station and plans to start assembling it in space in 2020.

 

The station is scheduled to become fully operational around 2022.

Peaugot Plans Electric Models For All Car Products Come 2025

 

Carlos Tavares CEO of Peugot, Citroen, Vauxhall, Opel and DS brands has stated that the French car making company PSA is coming out with the electric brand for all their products  by 2025

He said this on the sidelines during the Detroit Motor Show. The CEO stated in his words that the PSA group would be totally electrified by 2025 which means all their cars would come in hybrids or fully electric.

Europe’s second-biggest car maker had only committed to having electric options on 80 percent of its range by 2023 until now.

Automotive News quoted Tavares as telling the paper’s World Congress that PSA would offer 40 hybrid or fully electric models within seven years.

Tavares also announced that PSA was planning a comeback in the United States after an absence of more than 20 years.

PSA last year took over General Motors’ loss-making Opel and Vauxhall operations, in a 2.2-billion-euro ($2.6-billion) deal aimed at narrowing the gap on German giant Volkswagen in Europe.

BREAKING: Niger Delta Avengers Threaten To Resume ‘Deadly’ Attacks

The Niger Delta Avengers has on Wednesday announced its plan to resume deadly attacks on oil installations and facilities in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

Spokesperson of the militant group Murdoch Agbinibo in a statement which was published on the group’s website said the round of attacks will be the “most deadly and will be targeting the deep sea operations of the multinationals.”

Calling for the restructuring of Nigeria, the group said their plan to attack oil facilities in the oil-rich region of the country is due to killings and division happening in some parts of the country.

“On the 15th of January 2018, being the 62nd historic Remembrance Day of the 1956 discovery of commercial oil by Shell Darcy in the now forgotten and dejected Oloibiri Community in the Niger Delta; the high command of the ND Avengers summoned a meeting of all our operatives from across the Niger Delta to review the progress of our operations so far and deliberate on the planned actions for the future.

“It was agreed in that meeting that the killings and division presently playing out in Nigeria along divergent grounds makes this the perfect time to restructure this country. Our demand unambiguously is for the government to restructure this Country,” the statement read in part.

The group said after announcing a ceasefire in November 2017, some of the elders in Niger Delta intervened and appealed that they should ceasefire. The Avengers, therefore, said they are disappointed because the elders have not achieved any result.

“On the 3rd of November 2017 we promised to reactivate “operation red economy” but as usual some over patriotic elders intervened and appealed as they have done twice before then for us to avail them some more time to attend to the demands of the Niger Delta as championed by the Niger Delta Avengers.

“That we have not achieved any meaningful results despite the opportunities we have availed the Niger Delta elders means that they are either irresponsible or the Nigerian government is not sincere with them as it is their trade in stock.”

The group said they have resolved not to listen to the Niger Delta elders and all they wish for is Nigeria’s restructuring and a control the resources of oil-rich Niger Delta.

“We wish to state in plain terms that anybody against restructuring is an enemy of this country and particularly an enemy of the Niger Delta Avengers. We want to control our resources and directly use them to better our lot instead of been enslaved and made to beg before crumbs are released in a dress rehearsal-like manner to intervention agencies that are ineffective.

“While 1 Billion Dollars from the excess crude account is been released to fight a Boko Haram in the North; successive government acts blind to the very bold array of challenges our region from which this wealth is generated is facing.”

The group also accused the Nigerian Army of releasing 244 members of the Boko Haram sect to Borno state government while thousands of innocent Niger Delta youths suffer in various prisons across the country and demanded the release of Niger Delta activists held captive.

“It is on the above premise that we are demanding the immediate release of all Niger Deltans Activists and Freedom Fighters that are held captive by the Nigeria Armed Forces.”

PDP And Her Meeting Point With Thugs In Ile Ife

By Sodiq Lawal

Fellow Brethren, I have surfaced again. I hope I could spare you this ordeal but something in me retorted. I have not been in perpetual silence for nothing. I have been brushing aside the temptation to write these days for many reasons. On top of it is the advice I received from elders and colleagues whom I respect so much that I should tarry a while. Trial it may, I overtly obliged and retired permanently to observations. At least they say, time is healing.

I have observed for a million times about the relationship between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the thugs at Iremo road in Ile-Ife, they have turned Olatakale compound as their secular home for meetings.

Over ten years, they have been using the Olatakale compound for many social miscreants. Thugs restiveness in the ancient city is dangerously accelerating. They have become the order of the day which unleash irreparable material loss, anguish, hatred, revenge, pain and moral degradation on youth, families and society at large.

Often time, critics contend that we only write to attack without proffering solution. It is not true. Contrary to what some are circulating that if you don’t speak for PDP, you are speaking for the APC. It is baseless. It doesn’t take special training to know our brothers are going nowhere. Let me tell them that everyone I know, including me, loves and wants them to succeed. The reason is simple. They are youths. They should not be used by politicians. The society is looking up to them. They represent the time to come.

The issue of the PDP meeting with the street boys continue to raise many questions.
For example, are they not the one used to distort elections?, could it be that the boys are facing cultural dilemma in the ancient city? Or, are parents and guardians miserably failing in their duty of providing the needed support to the youth? Perhaps, the society is not caring enough! In whichever direction one points the “accusing finger” I think the problem of street youths in Ile Ife deserves our attention. The future of our community is seriously threatened by this phenomenon.

My personal philosophy as an educator is based on the fact that the greatest aim of education is not knowledge, but action. Though it is good to have knowledge about or in something that knowledge fails to ‘serve’ society if it is not put into action.

Action brings results. Results bring improvement and progress for the benefit of the community. Knowledge becomes creative and open when it leads to action! Africans have an adage: “It takes the whole community to bring up a child.” Undoubtedly, children are our heritage and it is the responsibility of
us as adults to identify, talk about and take action on any factors that put our children youth “at-risk”.

The use of thugs in Nigerian politics has not only led to waste of human resources, but it has also resulted in the dearth of able- bodied men who may be useful in the future of Nigeria, and low participation of women in politics.

Without doubt, Nigerian politics has since independence, been characterized by thuggery and violence. Little wonder, politics is conceived as a dirty game and exclusive right of thugs and hooligans in Nigeria.

Consequently, Nigeria politics manifest in acrimony, assault, assassination, intimidation, harassment, maiming and killing.

This trend is not a phenomenon of recency; thuggery, brutality and violence political behaviour have been with us for the past four decades. Immediately after independence the politicians, in an attempt to capture, exercise, and retain power within their regional settings involved themselves in various acts that were politically immature, unwise and disastrous.

They adopted a style that was antithetical to democratic tenets and good governance. They recruited, trained and empowered thugs to harass, intimidate and victimize perceived political opponents and opposing views against their political ambition. This culture of thuggery has not only been imbibed and sustained as part of the country’s political behaviour since independence to the present moment, it has been one of the potent causes of the low participation of women in politics.

Analysing A ‘Budget Of Enduring Legacy’

On December 28, 2017, The Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola presented the 2018 Draft Budget in the sum of N173,980,083,007 before the State House of Assembly, presided over by the Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salaam. The budget presentation was the last fiscal journey of the incumbent administration which would end on November 26, 2018. KAZEEM MOHAMMED was at the budget presentation and he writes. 

So far, Governor Rauf Aregbesola had presented eight budget estimates before the State of Osun House of Assembly, out of which seven had been passed and executed at various percentages, while the eighth one is pending before the parliament. The last budget, meant for the 2018 fiscal year was presented on the 28th of December 2017 and tagged ‘Budget of Enduring Legacy’. The draft budget as presented before the parliament was N173,980,083,007. The estimate is 16 per cent higher than the 2017 approved budget which stood at N146,632,746,980.

The budget presentation was in compliance with Section 121 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, which states that “The Government shall cause to be prepared and laid before the House of Assembly at any time before the commencement of each financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditures of the State for the following year”.

The recurrent expenditure of the proposed balanced budget of ‘Enduring Legacy’ is N85,105,590,726 representing 49 per cent of the total estimate, and Capital Expenditure N88,874,492,281 representing 51 per cent of the budget. The ratio seems to be in line with recommendations by various experts that government should ensure that capital expenditure is higher than recurrent expenditure in the budget as a yardstick to guarantee development.

Governor Aregbesola said that the 2018 budget was to consolidate all the various achievements his administration had recorded in those various sectors and sub-sectors of the economy in the last seven years. It was also to leave an enduring legacy for the State in line with the policies and programmes of his administration, bearing in mind that it was going to be the last budget to be presented by his administration.

The budget, Aregbesola said, was “equally targeted towards ensuring the completion of all the ongoing projects as much as we can and with a view to bringing about continuous improvement in the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Osun. Like the previous years’ budgets, the 2018 budget is in line with the Six-Point Integral Action Plan of our administration; and has also been packaged towards ensuring achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the state in line with the national economic policy and international best practices”.

“Our ultimate goal for the 2018 Budget is to ensure a continuous improvement in the welfare and standard of living of our people. This will be achieved by consolidating the previous achievements of this administration and doing everything possible to recover the lost glory of the state. Thus, the 2018 budget has been carefully packaged to ensure the effective realisation of our vision as encapsulated in our Six-Point Integral Action Plan.

“It is important to intimate this august Assembly that the preparation of the 2018 Budget has been very participatory. Relevant inputs were sourced and received from various stakeholders across the state in order to enhance the quality of the Budget”, the governor said.

The breakdown of the proposed revenue of the budget, shows that the government is expecting, N27,064,054,430 (15.56) as government share of FAAC; government share of VAT, N8,870,044,300 (5.10); government share of Excess Crude Account, N77,780,840 (0.04); other revenue from FAAC, N5,052,679,630 (2.90); personal taxes, N25,142,496,000 (14.45); corporate taxes, N9,713,000,000 (5.58); licenses – general, N1,599,640,000 (0.92); fees – general, N20,863,528,350 (11.99); fines – general, N182,085,000 (0.10); sales – general, N2,258,594,450 (1.30); earnings –general, N3,683,227,100 (2.55); rent on government buildings – general, N335,776,500 (0.19); rent on land & others – general, N279,085,000 (0.16); repayment-general, N26,025,957,907 (14.96); investment income, N462,950,000 (0.27); interest earned, N60,458,590 (0.03); re-imbursement general, N632,800,000 (0.36); domestic aids N5,749,000,000 (3.30); foreign aids, N795,607,070 (0.46); domestic grants, N7,979,390,530 (5.59); foreign grants, N4,381,500,000 (1.52). The current year receipt totaled, N151,955,945,697 (87.34). Under Financing Of Specific Projects By Other Capital Receipt, the expected revenue from internal source, is N1,500,000,000 (0.86), external source N20,524,137,310 (11.80), totaling N22,024,137,310. Therefore, the total projected fund available for the implementation of the budget is N173,980,083,007.

 

Table 1:

Summary Of The Draft 2018 Revenue Budget

Percentage of the Total Revenue (%)

The analysis above showed that the government is expected to finance the 2018 budget largely with Internally Generated Revenue, particularly from taxes – personal and corporate – and other levies and fees. This is an indication that for the government to be able to carry out its projection for the year, all stakeholders must perform their civic responsibilities through payment of taxes, levies and dues.

On the projected expenditure for the year, Personnel Cost is N33,367,229,660 (19.18); CRFC (Personnel), N9,183,139,080 (5.28); other recurrent – overhead, N14,527,340,146 (8.35); CRFC (Overhead), N28,027,881,850 (16.11); Assets/Capital, N76,507,826,281 (43.98); CRFC (Capital), N12,366,666,000 (7.11), all totaling N173,980,083,007, making it a balanced budget.

 

On the capital expenditure on sectoral basis,  the administrative sector would gulp N10,298,104,640 (11.59); economic sector N60,362,255,770 (67.92); law and justice sector N902,939,500 (1.02); regional sector, N15,000,000 (0.11) and social sector N17,211,192,371 (19.37). However, the economic sector takes the largest part of the capital budget with 67.92 per cent, followed by social sector with 19.37 per cent, administrative sector with 11.59 per cent, law and justice sector with 1.02 per cent and regional sector with 0.11 per cent.

Based on functions, the general public services will gulp N24,481,246,820 (27.55); public order and safety N1,334,191,720 (1.50); economic affairs N35,724,119,520 (40.20); environmental protection N969,737,950.00 (1.09); housing and community amenities N9,854,451,660 (11.09); health N2,611,873,680 (2.94); recreation, culture and religion N302,498,830 (0.34); education N12,504,590,629 (14.07); social protection N1,091,781,472 (1.23).

The analysis of the budget has shown that the government is more committed to the economic sector as the estimated budget projects the government readiness to embark on policies and programmes that would revamp the economy and in return banish poverty, banish unemployment and banish hunger among the people of the state.

It would be recalled that the 2017 budget of N146,632,746,980 was targeted at achieving a similar purpose to enable government execute certain vital projects and programmes that could improve the wellbeing of the people, but the governor, while presenting the 2018 estimates said, “arising from the volatile nature of the international oil market which has resulted in the low price of crude oil, dwindling revenue of the State and limitation in the capacity of the state government to obtain internal and external facilities as a result of the stringent Federal Government of Nigeria/CBN regulations; and the unimpressive performance of our IGR, our intention to achieve 100 per cent implementation of the budget was greatly hampered.

“This development therefore makes it inevitable that there is the urgent need to depend less on allocations from Federation Accounts and concentrate efforts on how to grow the IGR. At this juncture, I need to solicit the support and cooperation of all the good people of the state to ensure that they fulfil their civic responsibilities by way of payment of all taxes and levies due to the state government. This is of absolute importance if we are to implement our budget”, Aregbesola restated.

EDUCATION

A total sum of N12,504,590,629, representing (14.07) of the total budget is estimated for the education sector which was described by the governor as the key to sustainable development. Based on this, any serious government that is desirous of transforming the State into an economic haven will not joke with education.

The governor said, since coming on board, his administration has not relented in its avowed resolve to revamp the education sector from the rot it inherited, saying, “we have since taken giant strides to re-construct and re-structure the education sector in order to restore quality and promote functional education at all levels in the state.

He recalled that the state under his administration operates a free Primary and Secondary Education and in addition provides Opon Imo (Computer Tablets) and other required instructional materials to pupils and students in all Public Schools. Apart from this, the improvement in the nutritional and health status of pupils being fed through Osun Elementary School Feeding Programme (O-MEALs) has helped to improve the production capacities of farmers, suppliers of farm produce and has empowered many women who were appointed Food Vendors by the State.

He also said, in order to improve the staffing situation in schools and considering the paucity of fund at the disposal of the Government, there will be deployment of Public Servants with teaching qualifications in some core subjects, in line with the on-going unification policy of the State Government, while the system of engaging Youth Corps members in the teaching of students will continue.

The governor noted that his administration, through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in collaboration with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Abuja and the Education Tax Fund (now Tertiary Education Tax Fund (TETFUND) has completed the construction of six Model High Schools, 20 Elementary Schools and 22 Middle Schools.  More than 50 per cent of the schools under construction have been completed and commissioned while others are at various stages of completion will be completed before the expiration of his administration in November 2018.

Aregbesola who hinted that adequate provisions have been made for the sector in the 2018 budget, noted that the administration will remain irrevocably committed to the joint ownership and co-funding of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso and the College of Health Sciences, Osogbo with the Oyo State Government, just as he stressed that “we will continue, as usual, to meet our financial obligations to the higher institution in the 2018 fiscal year within the limit of available resources.

HEALTH

A total sum of N2,611,873,680 (2.94) is budgeted for the health sector in the 2018 budget estimates to compliment the remarkable achievements made by the government so far in the areas of infrastructural development, improvement in the health equipment status in our hospitals, and distribution of medical consumables and capacity building through sponsorship of health workers on further studies.

The governor said, in line with our vision, we are prepared to continue to save our people from avoidable deaths due to emergencies, poverty, and inadequate health facilities, saying, the administration will ensure increased accessibility to qualitative healthcare services in all parts of the state by completion of all on-going projects and specifically ensuring that the renovations and upgrading of the 9 State Hospitals in the State are fully completed.

“In 2018, this administration will continue to provide essential drugs and medical consumables in all our hospitals at subsidised rate.  The ‘O’ Ambulance Scheme, no doubt, has been used to save a lot of lives in situations of emergency in the State.  More efforts will be made in the New Year to make the scheme more functional to achieve the purpose for its establishment.  Regarding Primary Health Care and Disease Control, a lot of intervention activities will continue to be carried out, including spraying of houses under the indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in the Malaria Control Programme in three Pilot Local Government Areas, distribution of Insecticide Treated Nets to pregnant women and children as well as distribution of drags tables to health facilities, as well as awareness and sensitisation programmes for the control of diseases like malaria, Avian Flu, Tuberculosis HIV/AIDS, Monkey Pox etc.

“Regarding LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, the government will continue to perform its statutory responsibilities towards the Institution as it has always been doing.  LAUTECH Teaching Hospital is a Centre of Excellence known for the provision of quality tertiary health services to the people of the State of Osun in particular and Nigeria as a whole.   It needs to be mentioned that through innovation and ingenuity of the management of the hospital, we now produce oxygen which is used locally within the hospital as well as for sale to other health care providers. The hospital has also begun production of essential drugs and consumables”.

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Osun, being an agrarian economy with arable fertile soil, can only move forward positively by revolutionising agriculture and the governor said, his administration will continue to put agriculture on the front burner of the state economy, as it would not only provide employment for the teeming masses, it will also encourage rapid agro-allied industrialisation of the state, generation of income and improved welfare of the citizenry.

Aregbesola said, in the 2018 fiscal year, the state government will continue to commit resources to promote and encourage robust investments in Agriculture, saying new projects and programmes to serve emerging needs of agriculture as a business would be considered. Among the projects to be considered are: Development of three abattoirs and cattle markets in Osogbo, Iwo, Ilesa/Ife in the State of Osun in order to ensure the consumption of wholesome meat by the populace and also to grow IGR; collaboration with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to enhance distribution of improved varieties of crops and uplifting agriculture from peasantry to commercial farming; encouraging Public-Private Partnership (PPP) through CBN-NIRSAL Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) in the running of the Agriculture Projects to enhance sustainability and overcome constraints associated with meeting budgetary expectation.

Others are expansion of Fish Farm Estate to squarely address animal protein deficiency in the diet of our people. Interested Fish Farmers shall be allocated land space for fish pond construction including Service Providers in the area of Hatchery, Feed Mill and Fish Processing Establishments in the Estate; assisting farmers in the areas of Agricultural Mechanization, deployment of new technology, Soil testing and food laboratories in order to reduce drudgery and youth aversion to agriculture as well as boost the productivity of agricultural factors of production, among others.

INDUSTRIALISATION, FINANCE, INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND COOPERATIVES SECTOR

Given the importance attached to this sector a sum of N60,238,255,770 has been allocated to sector in the draft 2018 Budget.

The sub-sectors under this sector are:

Transportation (Works)

Having recognised road construction and maintenance as pivotal in the achievement of economic, social and political goals, the governor said his administration is determined, with all patriotic zeal, to increase the tempo of construction and rehabilitation and maintenance works within the 9 Federal Constituencies of the state. He hinted that there had been massive construction and rehabilitation of over 1500km of Intercity and Intra-city roads, including an appreciable kilometres length of rural and Local Government roads across the length and breadth of the State where several billions of naira had been committed.

In a bid to salvage the State from the scourge of poor road networks and with total commitment to the security of lives of citizenry, he said his administration has taken a giant stride to embark on the dualisation of Gbongan–Akoda Dual carriage way, Adebisi Akande Trumpet interchange Bridge and Osogbo (Old Garage)–Ikirun–Ila–Odo–Erinle–Kwara State Boundary, while the construction of MKO Abiola International Airport at Ido–Osun is currently on–going which is first of its kind in the history of the State.

The governor who emphatically said that his administration would do everything possible to complete all its ongoing projects across the state, was categorical that Oba Adesoji Aderemi Osogbo East Byepass road would be completed before he leaves office in November.

Industrialisation

The State Government had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a foreign firm for the resuscitation and sustainable operation of Cocoa Products Industry, Ede. Full operation is expected to commerce at the factory very soon. All necessary and preliminary works had been carried out for the establishment of three factories at the Omoluabi Free Trade Zone, Abere, in Ede North Local Government Area of the State.

Other sub-sectors are finance, commerce among others.

YOUTHS, SPORTS AND SPECIAL NEEDS

Aregbesola said it is the plan of his administration that the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) committee will commence preparation for the engagement of another batch of the 20,000 volunteers for the scheme very soon. The OYES since inception, has attracted accolades and commendation from both far and near.  The World Bank has adopted the scheme as a template for youth empowerment all over the world.  The Federal Government of Nigeria has fashioned Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) and You-Win after of OYES.  The laudable scheme, which provided instant employment to 20,000 unemployed agile youths of the state is designed to be a rolling scheme so that many youths of the State will benefit from the initiative.  The volunteers on the scheme are expected to disengage after two years of participation to give opportunity for another batch.

Aregbesola who assured that the 2018 Budget will be objectively and faithfully implemented appealed to all and sundry to continue to cooperate with his government in the arduous task of remoulding the state by always performing their civic responsibilities, saying, “the welfare of our people will continue to be accorded top priority, our activities will continue to be guided by the highest regard for the people of the state.

Domestic Violence By Debbie Obasa

Domestic violence basically means a violent or aggressive behaviour within home or typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. It is a violation of a person’s fundamental human rights, which the Nigerian constitution forbids. A prohibition act [The Violation Against Persons Prohibition Bill (VAPP)] was passed by Nigeria House of Representatives and the Senate in 2013 and May 2015 respectively. The act came as a result of agitations for protection of persons against different forms of violence. Violence, both at the home front and the larger society, is fast becoming a trend recently in Nigeria and it has to be curbed. Daily, there are reports of people killing or maiming their spouses; or a scorned lover pouring acid on ex-lover; or someone being forcefully taken away from his/her family and loved ones.

However, under the VAPP Act, we have laws covering issues like rape, spousal battery, forceful ejection from home, forced financial dependence or economic abuse, harmful widowhood practices, female circumcision, or genital mutilation, abandonment of children, harmful traditional practices, harmful substance attacks such as acid bath, political violence, etc. The perpetrators claim that traditionally, in Nigeria, the beating of wives and children is widely sanctioned as discipline. Therefore, in beating their children, parents believe they are instilling discipline in them. It is the same some husbands beat their wives.

Yes, in actual fact, some women force their husbands to anger, but that must not translate to laying of hands or other form of attacks as punishment or correctional measure. Gbenga Kola, a resident of Ile-Ife, Osun State, said his culture abhors violence against women.

Most times, women are mostly the victims of domestic violence, hence, the need to put domestic violence issues in the front burner of discussions and consider what the law says about it. 25% of women reported forced sex cases in the hands of either their partner or a former partner. Also, the 2014 Demographic and Health survey showed that over 50.5% of married women have experienced at least one or more forms of physical, emotional or sexual violence in their marriage. Relationship inequalities is also a strong indicator of physical violence.  REASONS OR EXCUSES THAT GIVEN FOR PHYSICAL ABUSE

1)      High level of wife beating occurs when the woman is making more money than her husband, or partner.

2)      Husbands being drunk.

3)      Financial issues

4)      Rejection of partner sexual advances

5)      Hereditary

6)      Husbands who are very controlling or highly tempered.

Another form of rampant recently in Nigeria is The Acid Bath. Acid bath is an act of violence where the perpetrator throws acid onto his or her victims body, resulting to disfigurement and possible loss of eye sight. Acid bath is a social ill that needs to be immediately addressed.

The Osun State House of Assembly has passed the Anti-Domestic Violence Bill, 2013, into law. House Leader Timothy Owoeye (Ilesha East) moved the motion for its passage and it was seconded by the Deputy Chief Whip, Akin Taiwo Adeyemi at plenary.  The Speaker, Najeem Salaam, said the law protects women and other vulnerable people from all forms of domestic abuses, such as battery and denial of their rights.

He urged the Ministry of Information and Strategy to sensitise residents on the law.  Meanwhile, provision of penal code applicable in the Northern part of Nigeria specifically encourages violence against women. Underneath its provisions, the beating of a wife for the purpose of correction is legal by use of section 55(1) (d) of the penal code.

The penalty for such acts under Section 19 (1)of the Violence against Persons Acts 2015 prohibits spousal battery and provides thus: “a person who batters his or her spouse commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000 or both. The law further states that an attempt to commit the act of spousal battery also attract imprisonment not exceeding 1year or a fine not exceeding N100,000 or both. Inciting another to commit the offence also attracts a jail term not exceeding 2years or a fine not exceeding N200,000 or both.

It is unfortunate that despite the enactment of laws prohibiting domestic violence against women, it still occurs by the day and not all of these are being reported, hence the need for enlightenment in this regard.

If you know anyone who is a victim of domestic violence, share this with them, support them, you could be saving their lives as all forms of it should be reported to security officials.

FG Clears The Air On Attacks And Killings By Herdsmen In Benue

…says allegations against Buhari unkind, incorrect

Insinuations and allegations that the attacks and killings are happening because President Buhari is Fulani are both unkind and incorrect. These attacks long predated the Buhari government. In 2013, no fewer than nine cases of herdsmen attacks were recorded in Benue State alone, with more than 190 people killed. In 2014, there were no fewer than 16 recorded attacks in Benue, which claimed more than 230 victims. Between January and May 2015, six attacks left more than 300 people dead, again in Benue State alone.

This historical context is important for a proper understanding of the issue, and to avoid unnecessarily politicising what should be regarded and dealt with as acts of criminality. These attacks have been a longstanding issue, and successive governments have struggled to contain the situation.

The Buhari administration is more than fully committed to bringing the cycle of violence to an end, prosecuting the attackers, and preventing further killings and attacks. The security agencies have standing instructions to arrest and prosecute any and all persons found with illegal arms.

Federal interventions
The recent killings in Benue and Taraba States have elicited the following Federal responses:

1. President Buhari has met with the Governor of Benue State on the matter to assure him of the Federal Government’s commitment to protecting farmers and communities.

2. President Buhari has directed the Inspector General of Police to relocate to Benue State.

3. On Monday January 8, 2018, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau convened a security meeting on the issue, bringing together Federal and state government officials: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Heads of security agencies, and the Governors of the most affected States: Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Taraba.

4. On Wednesday January 10, 2018, the IG held a stakeholders engagement with the Benue State government, elders, community, religious and traditional leaders etc

5. Since the first week of January, immediately following the January 1 attacks, the Inspector General of Police has deployed the following to the affected areas:
• Ten (10) Units of PMF
• Police Special Forces
• Counter Terrorism Units
• Conventional Policemen.
• Police Explosive Ordinance Department
• Special Police Joint Intelligence and Investigation Teams
• Police Aerial Surveillance Teams (Police Helicopters)

6. The Nigerian Army has deployed Special Forces to Benue, Taraba, and Nasarawa States.

7. In Benue State, eight (8) suspected herdsmen are in Police custody over the recent killings, and are currently being prosecuted.

8. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working to establish cattle colonies across the country, in 2018. These colonies will provide grass and water for the cattle, and education and healthcare facilities for herders. They will also have Agro-Rangers deployed to secure the facilities.

• Being text of a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by the Presidency Media Office.

Killers Of Ibe Kachukukwu’s Uncle Sentenced To Death

A Delta State High Court sitting at Issele-Uku, under the trial judge, Justice C.I. Ogisis yesterday sentenced the killers of Felix Boise, the 75-year-old uncle to Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukukwu, to death by hanging.

Justice Ogisi sentenced the three defendants namely: Sunday Luka, a 32 year old driver, Danjuma Kaika, 37 and Luka Agu, 33 all from Nassarawa State. They also made away with the deceased’ Kia Rio car.

The victim was murdered at his farm on June 9, 2014 at Onicha-Ugbo in Aniocha North Local Council of Delta State by three persons who were arrested, prosecuted and have been jailed.

The three defendants, who were labourers in the deceased farm were charged to court on a four count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit murder under section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap C21, Volume 1 Laws of Delta State, 2006 and murder under section 319(1).

Other charges are conspiracy to commit armed robbery contrary to section 6(b) and punishable under section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap R11, Volume 14 Laws of the Federation, 2004 and the substantive offence of murder under section 1(2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms Act.

While delivering the death verdict, Justice Ogisi, said the punishment for the offence committed by accused was mandatory and does not have the discretionary power to mitigate the death sentence.

The trial Judge, who sentenced the first and second accused persons on all four count charge, however, discharged the third accused person on count two and four but was sentenced on counts one and three.