Family announces burial plans for Tony Ebireri

A popular chemical engineer, banker and brand manager, Mr. Tony Ebireri, is dead.

The man of many talents was 50.

Ebireri died on Tuesday, January 25, 2021 following a protracted illness.

‘’Mr. Anthony Ebireri will be laid to rest on Friday, May 7, 2021 in Ugbimidaka-Elume, Sapele Local Government’’ a statement by the Head of the Family, Mr. Wilson Ebireri, said

‘’The Christian wake will take place at the family compound, 1 Marford Close, Off Reclamation Road, Sapele on Thursday, May 6, 2021’’.

Tony Ebireri began his career with Nestle Nigeria PLC, one of the largest food and beverage companies in Africa, as a brand manager.

He also worked in United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC as Brand Manager, Prestige Banking and Chief Operating Officer/ Business Manager, Dekento Limited.

A business man and politician, Ebireri earned his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Benin and a Master’s Degree from University of Lagos in Business Administration.

April 29, 2021

FATHER MBAKA IS EVERYTHING APART FROM WHAT HE CLAIMS TO BE

 

An outsider distilling the avalanche of verbiage, will be surprised that after supporting the President two times to win the Presidency, Father Mbaka has made a complete U-Turn, preposterously asking President Buhari to resign or be impeached.

Here is the point of departure: Father Mbaka asked for a meeting and to the shock of Presidential Aides, he came accompanied by three contractors. The President graciously allowed them in, and to everyone’s surprise, Father Mbaka asked for contracts as compensation for his support.

Anyone familiar with President Buhari knows that he doesn’t break the laid down rules in dealing with contracts or any other government business for that matter. He requested the appropriate authorities to deal with the matter in accordance with laid down rules.

Inside the Villa, discretion prevailed, that if those pictures and requests were made public, the followers will turn against the religious leader. None of it was released. Now, this is what is eating Father Mbaka.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

April 30, 2021

2003, Benue South and power shift agitation

By Michael Jegede

The fresh agitation and quest for power to shift to Benue South, one of the three senatorial districts in Benue State, popularly known as Zone C, appear to be gathering momentum as the 2023 General Election is gradually drawing closer.

Since the creation of Benue State on February 3, 1976 by the late General Murtala Mohammed, the Benue South Senatorial District mainly peopled by the Idomas, has never been given the chance to produce a governor.

The governorship seat has always rotated between Benue North East and Benue North West predominantly occupied by the Tivs. The Benue North East and Benue North West are otherwise known as Zone A and Zone B respectively.

The Tiv ethnic group has 14 Local Government Areas (LGAs) spread in Zone A and B (seven in each of the two zones). The Idomas, who are the second largest tribe in the state, have 7 and Igede ethnic group is in 2, giving a total of 9 LGAs that make up Benue South Senatorial District (Zone C).

The population of Benue State, according to the 2006 census, was 4,253,641. Of this figure, Zone A had 1,513,660, Zone B 1,432,334 and Zone C 1,307, 647. The projected population of the state by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2016 is 5,741,600. The Benue North East projected figure is 2,043,200, Benue North West 1,933,500 and Benue South 1,764,900.

Whichever population figure is considered, Zone C (which comprises the Idomas and Igedes) is obviously the least populated among the three senatorial zones – about 30% of Benue population. Zone A and B peopled by the Tiv is about 70% of the state population. This explains why the Tivs have tenaciously held on to power making it hard for anyone from Zone C to become governor in the state over 45 years after it was created.

However, the people of Benue South believe that the time has indeed come for their Tiv brothers and sisters to allow them have a feel of the coveted seat, hence the renewed agitation for power shift to Zone C in 2023.

Various groups and individuals have risen up in pursuit of the actualization of the Benue 2023 project for zone C. They are doing everything possible to persuade the people of Benue North East and Benue North West to, for the sake of fairness and equity, give a person of Benue South extraction the chance to be governor in 2023.

Comrade Patrick Abba Moro, an erstwhile Minister of Interior, who has been a very potent voice for the people of Benue South in the Senate since he became their senator in June 2019, is in the forefront of the agitation for power shift to Zone C. The senator with an outstanding record of achievements by way of bills, motions and empowerment programmes, aimed at bettering the lives of the masses, sees his advocacy for power shift to Benue South as part of his responsibility to speak for his constituents.

Moro, in the current agitation, made his first open plea for a governor of Benue South origin at the Benue State Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in August last year. He used the event which had the incumbent Governor Samuel Ortom and some other prominent Benue citizens in attendance, to implore political leaders in the state to pluck up the courage to support someone from Benue South to be governor come 2023.

Speaking with unmitigated boldness at the gathering, the Benue South Senator said: “Today, I stand on behalf of the good people of Benue South Senatorial District to say that as we set the stage and march towards 2023, the good people of Benue South asked me, if I come here, to say that they crave the indulgence of the Benue people to support somebody from the Benue South Senatorial District to become Benue Governor in 2023.

“Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to say here that by all calculations that our amiable Governor (Samuel Ortom) is the fifth Governor of Benue State of the Tiv speaking area of the Royal families.

“I, therefore, plead with our brothers from Zones A and B to support someone from Benue South to become Governor, even if it’s for just one term. Today, we are on the threshold of history, and I urge our political leaders to pick up the courage to support one of us to become Governor, to build inclusiveness in the Benue State and the Benue of our dreams.

“All of you know that a Tiv man, the revered JS Tarka, fought for the minorities, and therefore, I call on our Tiv brothers and sisters to pick up from where our revered statesman (late Senator Joseph Sarwuan Tarka) stopped by making 2023 a year where Benue will build new inclusiveness. A year where the Benue people will say ‘enough is enough’, that we are one people because we work together, and together we stand stronger.”

Since he fired the first shot at the Benue PDP congress in 2020, Moro has remained vociferous in the push for Benue South to be given a chance to produce the governor of Benue State in 2023. He has never shied away from making a strong case for power to shift to Benue South at every opportunity that comes his way.

In a recent interview widely published in national newspapers and online media, the senator insisted that nothing should stop his fellow Benue citizens in Zone A and B from allowing Zone C to taste the governorship seat come 2023.

According to him, “Apparently all the kindred houses in the Tiv speaking area in zones A and B have become governor. One person in each of the kindred – five of them – have become governor. So, in 2023 we expect that if we believe sincerely in the corporate existence of Benue State somebody from Benue South should be supported to become governor.

“In the past, because elections are about numbers and the Zones A and B have the numbers to always win elections, one Chief Godwin Daboh of blessed memory, had postulated that a person or persons of the Benue South Senatorial District will only be supported to become governor after the five kindred houses, royal houses, ruling houses of the Tiv speaking area become governor. And like I said in my first advocacy, at that time some of us felt it was eternity. Some of us felt that it was too long away. And it was never going to come. But it has come. A current governor of Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom is from the last ruling house of the Tiv speaking people to become governor. And that is why we find it auspicious at this time to ask to be supported to become governor. Because the five houses that have been the basis for not supporting a person from the Benue South have produced governor.

“We are not all made up of mediocres. We have meritable people. We have people who have the intelligence, the educational qualification, the acumen, all the qualities that the governor should possess. Therefore, this time around we are insisting that we should be supported. And I am saying personally that this time around we must talk. The people of Benue must talk. We must debate. We must negotiate. And if somebody from Benue South is not going to be governor, I will insist that our brothers should give us reasons why, because we are part and parcel of Benue State.

“We have been supporting our brothers from Zones A and B to become governors without questions. In the last election for instance, nobody from Benue South contested against the governor for his second term. And so, I think that the message is sinking. The advocacy is becoming more intense and aggressive because the awareness is there already that this is the time – like an idea whose time has come. I will continue to talk to our brothers and sisters and other stakeholders too will continue to talk. And at the end of the day, we expect that the people of Benue will see reason to support a candidate from Zone C.”

On the level of response from the people of the two zones made up of the Tivs, the lecturer turned politician said: “Frankly, and to be fair to them, sizeable number of persons in Zones A and B agreed that this is the time to shift power to Benue South. Even within Zones A and B, there are advocacy groups now that are springing up – The Benue Patriot, for instance. The Benue patriot is made up essentially of very prominent Benue sons and daughters – former House of Reps members, former House of Assembly members, former Commissioners, former advisers, former special assistants to the government of Benue State – all of them are there from across the three zones of Benue. That is to tell you the level of acceptance or resonation that has taken place since the advocacy started.

“So, this is a Benue project. It is not just about Zone C. Power shift to Zone C, Benue South is now a Benue project embraced by a sizeable number of Benue citizens. Even current members of the National Assembly, majority of them are in agreement in principle that this is the right thing to do in 2023. And in the Benue State House of Assembly you can find a sizeable number of them. Therefore, I think that the agitation for power shift to Benue South is on course. And as the Senator representing the Benue South people, I am in the forefront.”

In spite of the understanding so far believed to have been shown by major stakeholders in Benue politics from Zone A and B on the need for power to move to Benue South in 2023, there are those from the Tiv speaking area not yielding to the pressure being mounted by Zone C for power to shift.

For instance, the Jechira people, a Tiv political bloc in Vandeikya and Konshisha Local Government Areas of Benue North East are joining forces to produce the next governor after Ortom who is from Benue North West (Zone B). They think the Idoma-dominated Benue South should not be talking about powershift in 2023 when Jechira has not had a real feel of the governorship seat.

Comrade Dan Nyikwagh, President of Jechira Gubernatorial Movement (JGM), a consultation group that has reportedly been going round the other Tiv ruling houses to solicit for their support, had dismissed the claim that Jechira has produced a governor. He insisted that the period the late Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu served was a military transition under former President Ibrahim Babangida.

Nyikwagh said: “George Akume from Jemgba ruled for eight years under Obansanjo, Gabriel Suwam from Sankera also ruled for eight years under Yar’ Adua/Goodluck Jonathan,while Governor Samuel Ortom who is from Minda intermediate area is serving out his eight years under President Muhammadu Buhari. So, our contention is that Adasu ruled under military transition and Jechira should be allowed to produce the next Governor.”

Also, some persons from the Kwande bloc consisting of Kwande and Ushongo LGAs in Benue North East are arguing that upon the completion of Ortom’s tenure in 2003, the governorship seat should return to them, having gone round the five Tiv ruling houses. The Kwande bloc produced the first Executive Governor of Benue State in the person of late Appolos Aper Aku from Ushongo who was in office between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983.

Jemgba (Gboko, Buruku and Tarka) had Brigadier General Atom Kpera from Gboko (January 4, 1984 – August 28, 1985) and Senator George Akume from Tarka (May 29, 1999 – May 29, 2007). Jechira produced Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu from Konshisha (Jan. 2, 1992 – Nov. 17, 1993). Sankera (Katsina-Ala, Ukum and Logo) have had Gabriel Suswam from Logo (May 29, 2007 – May 29, 2015). The incumbent Governor Ortom is from the Minda ruling house which is comprised of Makurdi, Guma, Gwer East and Gwer West LGAs.

The widely held view amongst many observers of Benue politics is that the Idomas have a justifiable reason to agitate for power to shift to Benue South in 2023. Right-thinking and fair-minded Nigerians have noted that the stranglehold on power by Zone A and B since 1976 was not only politically unfair, but clearly negates all known principles of justice, equity and fair play.

The question being constantly asked is: Why should the gubernatorial position be the exclusive preserve of the Tiv people in a state where there are other ethnic groups? Even though the majority status of the Tivs confer electoral advantage on them, many have wondered why they are finding it difficult to embrace the spirit of inclusiveness by giving the Idomas and Igedes of Benue South the chance to be governor.

In his words of Ejemba Ogwuche Rexman, a former Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to ex-Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Steven Lawani, “The vociferous agitation for power shift in Benue State by the Idoma minority ethnic group of Benue South is as old as the state.

“Fundamentally, the agitation by the Idoma ethic group for a shot at the Benue governorship position is not an aberration; it is for fairness, justice and equity and to give them a sense of belonging in their own state.

“The monopolistic appropriation of the Benue governorship position by the predominant Tiv ethnic group on demographic reason is archaic. Even if politics is a game of numbers, we have witnessed the emergence of a minority as the president of the US. Democracy is about fairness and equity.”

Ex-Governor Suswam now Senator representing Benue North East in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, had said it was feasible for Zone C to produce the governor in 2023, if the Idoma leaders keep on reaching out to their counterparts in Tiv land. Stressing that it would only take the consensus of both the Tiv and the Idoma ethnic groups for the Benue South governorship project to be realizable, Suswam admonished that the agitation should be done with diplomacy and avoidance of needless social media war.

According to him, “You don’t necessarily need to be antagonistic, you go about it diplomatically, because I have seen some social media write-ups that will not augur well for the agitation. When I was contesting, the Idoma people said NO; they want their own, yet, I would go and stay in Idoma land for one week. So this is not something you tackle with force, it entails diplomacy.”

Michael Jegede, a media professional writes from Abuja

2021 MAY DAY PRESS STATEMENT

2021 MAY DAY: CDWR FELICITATES WITH WORKERS IN NIGERIA AND THE WORLD

NO TO LOSS OF JOBS, RETRENCHMENT, CASUALIZATION, CONTRACT STAFFING AND OTHER ANTI-LABOUR POLICIES

GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYERS VICIOUSLY ATTACK WORKERS’ RIGHTS; LABOUR LEADERS MUST RESIST ATTACKS

Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) felicitates with workers in Nigeria and the world in these trying times of global pandemic and economic crises occasioned by sustained attacks on the living standards of workers. As we celebrate 2021 Workers’ Day, Nigerian workers and trade union leaders should draw a balance sheet of the state of the trade union and how to adequately resist the ongoing attacks and crises facing the country.

Employers of labour (private and public) are using the COVID-19 Pandemic to drive down wage and attack living standards. Job losses and unemployment keep soaring daily, many who are lucky to keep their jobs have been forced to earn lower wage despite being hit by record high inflationary rate.

The N30,000 minimum wage was passed into law in April 2019, twenty-two (22) months after, 18 states have not implemented it, in fact, some states have not implemented N18,000 minimum wage passed into law in 2011. Besides, the value of the N30,000 minimum wage has been largely eroded by the ever-rising cost of living. Hence, there is the need for a new higher minimum wage for workers considering the rising cost of living. CDWR calls for an adequate minimum wage that will be adjusted automatically to reflect the rate of inflation and rising cost of living. However, the response of labour leadership to the non-implementation of minimum wage has been abysmally poor, the best coming from labour are empty threats. CDWR has proposed sustained mass action and warning general strike to kick start a campaign to force the governors to pay.

In the same vein, public sector workers have come under severe attack in many states of the federation. For instance, Kaduna State government has become vicious against workers since the year 2015, El-Rufai sacked 21,000 workers in 2017 and introduced a 25% pay cut in 2020. Few weeks back, Governor Nasir El-Rufai announced the sacking 4000 workers, placed embargo on recruitment and restricted local  government staff to maximum of 50, placed compulsory retirement of workers who are 50 years and above and conversion of workers on Grade Level 01-06 to casual workers. CDWR condemns these attacks and demands their reversal. So far, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at the state and national levels have responded poorly to these attacks since 2015 and this had emboldened Governor El-Rufai to intensify the attacks. Should labour (NLC and TUC) fail to resist these attacks, other states will be motivated to do same if not worse.

The NLC has threatened to embark on a “five day national industrial action” if Nasir El-Rufai proceeds with his plans to sack workers. We welcome this but hope this time around, it is not the usual empty threat issued in the past. Therefore to give bite to this threat, the CDWR challenges the NLC and TUC to mobilize for one-day warning general strike as a first step and to be escalated as the situation develops in order to build strength which has been severely weakened since the suspension of the September 28, 2020 general strike. Demands in such national action must also cover non-implementation of minimum wage by some states and private employers, mass sacks in Kaduna State, casualization in the private sector, hike in electricity tariff and petrol prices, growing state of insecurity, massive corruption in government etc. Unless the labour leaderships are prepared to struggle and resist all anti-labour policies, government and employers of labour will intensify attacks on working and living standards.

There is a growing casualization and contract staffing policy in the private sector that has placed many Nigerian workers on poor working conditions and insecure employment and simultaneously secures massive profit for the capitalist. Currently, workers are being sacked and forced into casual status or replaced with another set of casual workers on poorer working conditions. Many workers are owed backlog of salaries and disengagement entitlements. Many employers violate Pension Reform Act, 2014 by deducting and not remitting to Pension Fund Administrators or refusing to implement it while the NLC and TUC fail to intervene. Many cases of infractions reported to National Pension Commission (PENCOM) are left unattended to leaving employers of labour to continue the violation. All these attacks are taking place unchallenged because the trade unions have largely abandoned their responsibility. The most painful is the fact that many factory and construction workers want to join a union to enable them fight back but some top labour leaders are either disinterested in organizing the workers or shamelessly reach a deal with company owners not to unionize workers.

Nigeria has low productive capacity because past and present bourgeois governments and the capitalist ruling elites have looted resources meant to develop basic infrastructure and industries while society has been configured on exploitation. Contract system has become one major avenue of looting public resources. The budgetary allocation for healthcare, education etc., have been abysmally low while jumbo salaries and privileges for top political office holders and private companies have been scandalously high. Electricity tariff and petrol prices are regularly hiked, something that contributes to increasingly high production cost and high cost of living. Unfortunately, the labour leadership are not engaging the capitalist ruling elite to resist these broad-day robberies but rather choose to enter strategic alliance at the expense of workers and the poor masses.

On the occasion of the 2021 May Day, CWDR calls on the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to go beyond mere sloganeering and issuance of empty threats and begin the mobilization of workers and masses to resist these attacks. All past compromises, social partnership and illusions in the benevolence of the government and employers are no more tenable. The only way to seriously defend workers interests is through mass struggle.

Nigeria is facing a serious crisis, it is the working people, young, the old and the poor who pay the price. This cannot be allowed to continue. We call on workers and trade union activists to always mount pressure on labour leaders, hold them to account and demand a truly democratically run unions in order to ensure there are leaders that always act in the interests of workers. To do this requires building an active rank and file that not only holds leaders to account but is also willing and able to take initiatives when necessary.

By and large, to fundamentally end this iniquitous, self-serving and parasitic capitalist rule, in addition to struggle against anti-poor policies and for better conditions, the working people have to struggle to defeat capitalism and enthrone a socialist order. This will require the formation and building a mass political party of working people and the poor on a socialist program. Hence, we call on Nigerian workers, trade unions and pro-masses organisations to build such a mass political party or join and build Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) to wrest power from self-serving, corrupt and exploiting capitalist ruling class. Only socialism wherein resources are collectively owned and democratically and transparently managed by the working people can meet the needs of all and rescue Nigeria and humanity at large.

SIGNED

 

Comrade Rufus Olusesan                                        Comrade Chinedu Bosah

National Chairperson                                                  National Publicity Secretary

PRESS STATEMENT

LAGOS STATE SPN COMMEMORATES WORKERS ON MAY DAY, CALLS ON WORKERS TO JOIN AND VOTE SPN IN THE FORTHCOMING LG POLLS

The Lagos State Chapter of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) commemorates with Nigerian workers in general and workers in Lagos State in particular on this year’s occasion of May Day.

We commend the steadfastness and resilience of workers as we celebrate this year’s May Day in the face of mounting insecurity, low standards of living and increasing anti-poor policies.

In Lagos State, the high rate of inflation has made mincemeat of the N30,000 minimum wage that Lagos State Government claims it is implementing ahead of other states. Employing the excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic, it claims it could not garner as much Internally Generated Revenue as before in meeting its constitutional obligations. The humongous amounts claimed to have been spent on tackling COVID-19 has not translated into increased allowances for health workers in Lagos State. Needless to say, the healthcare infrastructure is nothing to write home about in Lagos State.

The memories of the role of the Lagos State Government in the repression of the #EndSARS is still vivid in the minds of many workers and youth. Despite obliging the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Compensation for SARS-Related Abuses and Other Related Matters with the powers of investigating the Lekki shooting, the same Panel was hounded to succumb to persistent applications by Lekki Concession Company, a company owned by Lagos State Government to order repossession of the Lekki Toll Gate without concluding its investigation.

The Lekki Toll Gate is a clear demonstration of prioritisation of mega-profits by the Lagos State Government over and above the lives of its citizens. Despite residents of the Lekki-Ajah axis paying through their nose to pass through the Toll Gate, yet there is no improvement in the state of the Lekki-Epe Expressway.

However, the situation is not totally hopeless. The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) has announced it will be holding Local Government elections in July, 2021.

This is an opportunity to replace anti-poor politicians, irrespective of their parties, either All Progressives Congress (APC) or People’s Democratic Party (PDP) starting from the local government level.

We call on workers in Lagos State to join the Socialist Party of Nigeria with the aim of voting in working class candidates into power. We must be prepared to fight all attempts of LASIEC to impose obnoxious conditions such as workers resigning their jobs before contesting the elections which have been declared as unconstitutional, null and void by the Supreme Court. We must also be prepared to fight an attempt of LASIEC to disobey the Court of Appeal judgment ordering the re-registration of the SPN

 

SIGNED

 

Comrade Rufus Olusesan                                                           Shoyombo Monsuru

Chairperson                                                                                    Publicity Secretary

Communiqué Issued At The End of the Emergency Meeting of The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Today, Thursday, April 29, 2021.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) after its emergency meeting today, Thursday, April 29, 2021, considered crucial issues regarding the programs of the party as well as extensively reviewed the state of the nation, especially the escalated insecurity engulfing all parts of our country and resolved as follow:

NEC lamented the heightened insecurity pervading all parts of our nation due primarily to the misrule of President Muhammed Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as their failure to decisively tackle the menace of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, bloodletting and acts of violence in our country.

NEC urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare a national state of emergency on security.

NEC also urged President Buhari to, without delay, convoke a national conference on Security so as to galvanize ideas and options to tackle insecurity in our country.

NEC further commended the efforts of governors, senators, House of Representatives members and other officials elected on the platform of the PDP in forcefully seeking solutions to the spate of insecurity in our country.

With regard to the programmes of our party, NEC expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the NWC in preparation for the November 6 Governorship election in Anambra state and asserted its readiness to do everything possible, within the confines of the law, to win the election.

NEC also received reports on the e-registration of members as the NWC announced the membership of the committee set up to conduct the exercise.

The Edo State Governor, Chief Godwin Obaseki has been appointed to serve as Chairman, while his Adamawa State counterpart, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, is appointed to serve as Deputy Chairman.

The statutory members of the committee are the National Organizing Secretary, National Treasurer, National Financial Secretary, Deputy National Secretary and the National Publicity Secretary.

Further nominations will be taken from the Board of Trustees, the National Assembly, Forum of State Chairmen as well as the youth and women demography of our Party.

NEC unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus as well as the member of the National Working Committee (NWC).

NEC further cautioned party members at all levels to be wary of agents of distractions and division while praising the effort of the NWC for being focused and purpose driven in piloting the affairs of the party.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary

 

PRESIDENT BUHARI LAUDS SEGUN OGUNSANYA’S APPOINTMENT AS CEO AIRTEL AFRICA

The elevation of the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Networks Limited, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, to MD/CEO of Airtel Africa Plc, has received plaudits from President Muhammadu Buhari, who says the flag of Nigeria has been hoisted proudly across the African skyline once again.

Congratulating Ogunsanya, the President says the appointment has once again proven that Nigeria has a surfeit of quality professionals, who can hold their own in any part of the continent, and even beyond.

President Buhari is sure that, with the cognate experience of the new MD/CEO for Africa, which spans consulting, banking, fast moving consumer goods, and telecommunications, he would acquit himself creditably in his new role, and repeat the strides that made him position Airtel Nigeria as the second largest telecommunications company by revenue, serving over 50 million customers.

He urges younger Nigerians to draw inspiration from Ogunsanya, saying with focus, dint of hard work, and resourcefulness, they would reach the peak of whatever careers they have chosen for themselves.

The new Chief Executive Officer, an electronics engineer and chartered accountant, joins the board of Airtel Africa Plc from October 1, 2021.

“The reward for hard work is more work,” says President Buhari, as he wishes Ogunsanya greater successes ahead.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media and Publicity)

April 29, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI PLEDGES BETTER COLLABORATION WITH ZAMBIA

 

Nigeria and Zambia will deepen collaboration between the two countries, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured.

The President spoke Thursday at State House, Abuja, while receiving a Special Envoy of His Excellency, Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

He said the two countries would explore further areas of collaboration for the good of their peoples, and benefit of the African continent.

The Special Envoy, Hon Joseph Malanji, who is Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, thanked Nigeria for her “big brother role in ECOWAS and the African continent,” stressing that “equity is when strong ones strengthen the weak ones.”

The Zambian President called for stronger bilateral relations and greater impetus for the Joint Commission of Cooperation between the two countries.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media and Publicity)

April 29, 2021

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR

PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU MOVES TO CREATE 6,000 JOBS AS LAGOS ADOPTS WASTE CONVERSION

…Adiyan Waterworks Phase II Reaches 85 per cent completion

…‘We Have Stabilised, Restored Confidence in the Environment’ – Commissioner

Lagos State is transiting from traditional waste management to conversion of waste materials – an innovation that is projected to generate 6,000 jobs. The recycling is also expected to promote a cleaner environment, which will promote good health and boost aesthetics.

Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tunji Bello spoke of the development on Thursday at the on-going inter-ministerial press briefing organised to mark the second anniversary of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

Waste conversion, the Commissioner said, is necessitated by the limitation of the State to set up new dumpsites. He said the existing dumpsites had overreached their holding capacities, prompting the switch to waste conversion to reduce the volume of waste being taken to the dumpsites.

Already, the pilot scheme for recycling has been rolled out by the Ministry in organised housing estates, employing a mobile application known as PAKAM, which enables users to request for pick up of recyclable materials from their homes by registered aggregators on the mobile application.

Bello said the mobile app’s usage had been growing organically, stressing that there were over 2,000 kilograms of waste transactions being conducted on the app, which registered 41 recyclers and over 120 aggregators.

He said: “Waste sorting and conversion are very crucial in this period, whether we like it or not.  We have begun our waste recycling exercise and the process is activated already. But we are currently focusing on plastic waste because of its non-degradable nature. Waste conversion is our top agenda now and one of the strategies being employed is to start from organised residential areas across the State, such as gated estates where we have residents’ associations.

“We want to see how far we can get the conversation process right from these organised residential places before we start replicating the idea in markets where large tons of waste materials are generated daily. The recycling process has commenced in a number of estates and we have distributed plastic separators to sort waste materials at sources in order to make the recycling process easier.”

Bello explained that circular waste recycling would reduce the amount of waste generated and transported to landfills. He said the Ministry had manufactured a recycling bank in its premises to aid waste conversion, adding that efforts were being made to establish recycling banks in Government-owned estates across the State.

The Commissioner revealed that Lagos had recorded 85 per cent progress towards the completion of 70 Million Gallons per day Adiyan Phase II Waterworks being revived by the Sanwo-Olu administration. The waterworks, Bello said, is expected to serve over three million residents in Lagos communities, including Ikotun, Idimu, Isolo, Agege, Ajegunle, and Amuwo Odofin, amongst others.

He disclosed that the State Government had reached an agreement with its Ogun State counterpart on the right-of-way for reticulation and laying of pipes for the network of Adiyan Phase II Water project. The process, he said, has paved the way for the commencement of laying of pipes for the project.

On efforts put forward by the State Government to address flooding, Bello said: “A total of 42 primary channels were approved and executed under maintenance and dredging of Primary Channels programme; 34 channels were executed by direct implementation while eight channels were executed by contracts. Most of these primary channels span across multiple Local Government Areas and effectively drain several catchment areas simultaneously. We have completed projects of more than 100km in length.”

In the last two years, the Commissioner said, there has been a tremendous progress towards restoring aesthetics and sanity in the environment.

Bello said Sanwo-Olu, after mounting the saddle, quickly moved to tackle the waste management crisis by rejuvenating the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to efficiently remove heaps of filth dotting the State.

Part of the efforts, the Commissioner pointed out, was boosting human capacity in waste collection, which, he said, generated 30,000 jobs. He added that LAWMA had increased the number of trips completed daily at landfill from 357 to 850 on the average; 87 new waste collection vendors were engaged to drive up efficiency in the value chain.

 

April 26, 2021

Press Conference

Afegbua’s Allegation Spurious, Irresponsible

 

The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to a spurious and irresponsible allegation by one Kassim Afegbua, upon which he claimed to have petitioned the EFCC and ICPC, asking that the leadership of the party account for an alleged sum of N10 billion.

According to this Afegbua, the said sum was allegedly realized from the sale of “forms in 2019”.

While the PDP, our leaders and members are aware that there is no truth in the allegation, however for the benefit of the public and our teeming supporters, the PDP states as follows:

The PDP did not raise Afegbua’s fictitious sum of N10 billion as alleged by him. For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP generated the sum of N4.6 billion and raised a budget for its expenditure, in line with all known financial regulations of our party.

This budget passed through the organs of our party and received the approvals from the NWC, the Governors’ Forum, the Board of Trustees as well as other organs of the party.

As a law-abiding political party that respects the doctrine of rule of law and transparency, the budget was presented to the National Executive Committee (NEC) where it also received a final approval.

It is imperative to state that all the sums received and budgeted for passed through the due process of approval by the necessary organs of the party.

Moreover, the PDP has no account under the name or guise of Afegbua’s ghostly Morufu Nigeria Limited.

Having said that, as a political party, under whose administration the EFCC and the ICPC were formulated and established, our party strictly adheres to best practices of transparency, accountability and probity in all issues including our financial administration.

In addition, our party has since submitted the audited account of its financial expenditures to the INEC for 2019, in line with statutory requirements of the law.

The PDP will not in any way be distracted by an inconsequential blackmailer hired to mudsling our party and its leadership, in order to divert attention from the salient issues of insecurity and drooping economy trailing the failures of the APC administration to provide good governance.

For the benefit of unsuspecting members of the public, the activities of a certain Afegbua have always been suspect and we urge Nigerians to be wary of such characters and their backers.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan

National Publicity Secretary

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