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Bello commiserates with Makinde over mothers demise

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Bello commiserates with Makinde over mothers demise

Governor, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has commiserated with his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde over the death of his mother, Abigail Makinde.

The governor’s mother died on Thursday at the age of 81.

Bello in a condolence message issued on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed described death of a mother as painful and traumatic given the kind of bond that usually exist between mothers and their children.

He however urged Governor Makinde to take solace in the fact that the late Mama Abigail lived a long life and bequeathed good legacy for the state through the kind of children she had been able to raise.

Governor Bello prayed God to grant Makinde the fortitude to bear the  irreparable loss and eternal rest for the Late Mama Abigail.

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Omo-Agege asks Niger Delta Agitators to sheathe their swords

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Omo-Agege asks Niger Delta Agitators to sheathe their swords

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has admonished members of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) to put off their planned attacks on oil facilities in the region
This was contained in a statement issued by his special adviser, Media and Publicity in Abuja yesterday.

Omo-Agege said going ahead with their threats would create economic setback for the country and additional environmental degradation in the area.

His appeale came on the heels of recent threats by a coalition of nine militant groups in the Niger-Delta region expressing readiness to resume hostilities by attacking oil and gas facilities if Federal Government did not meet the demands of #EndSARS protesters across the country.
After an emergency meeting in Delta State last week, the militant groups under the aegis of the RNDA, also announced their preparedness to disavow the ceasefire accord with the Federal Government and engage military forces.

Specifically, they threatened to resume attacks on some identified oil facilities in the region if nothing was done to redress the issues of poor welfare, armed oppression and inequality in the standard of living between the citizens and political elite.
But speaking when he hosted a delegation of Oil and Gas Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON) in Abuja, led by elder statesman, Chief (Dr ) Wellington Okrika, the Delta Central lawmaker urged the agitators to sheathe their sword and allow peace to reign.

He assured that their demands would be tabled before The Presidency.
The senator stressed that with the nation still battling with the challenges posed by Covid-19 and the aftermath of #EndSARS Protests which was hijacked by hoodlums, it cannot afford another militancy problem at the moment.
“Whatever it is, we must maintain peace in the Niger Delta. I say this in view of the new agitations by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers. We are just coming out of the #EndSARS protest which, of course, we all witnessed how a peaceful protest was hijacked by those with sinister agenda.
“We are all witnesses to what happened afterwards even when we must acknowledge that in a democracy, protest is a right provided those that do it do so peacefully without abridging the rights of others,” Omo-Agege said.
Speaking further, he urged HOSCON members to “go back to our people in the Creeks and tell them we are here for them. We are here to champion their request. We don’t want the peace of the Niger Delta to be disturbed or disrupted. We are here to protect the interest of our people.
“Yes, I may be the Deputy President of the Senate today but, I am first of all, a Senator representing my people. I am here and I am your own. I am your eye. We shall not disappoint you.

“Take this commendation to our brothers in the Creeks that they have done well in keeping the peace and we will table their request before the authorities as they have channelled that request through me. We shall ensure the right things are done”.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly, Omo-Agege argued that the annual contribution of 2.5 per cent actual operating expenditure by oil companies to the Host Community Development Trust Fund would be increased to, at least, 5 per cent.

He also reiterated his call at the Second Reading of the bill on the floor of the Senate where he made a case for gas flaring penalties to be paid to the host communities and not the Federation Account.

He pointed out that the funds would be used to ameliorate the living conditions in Niger Delta communities, as they remain the ones that bear the burden of environmental degradation from the oil industry.

“That I come from the oil bearing communities is one of the reasons why I am DSP today given our contribution to the economy of the country. It is only natural that I champion anything that would promote the interest of the people of the Niger Delta.

“The PIB is a very crucial bill. If properly handled it would bring a lot of Foreign Direct Investments into the oil economy. This is the best time to take advantage of the oil we have and the best way to do so it to encourage FDIs and this can only be achieved when the Niger Delta is peaceful. That is why I am suing for peace.
“Let the Niger Delta Region begin to look like the region that produces the wealth of the country. The Host Community component of the PIB law is of utmost importance to us in the National Assembly and we believe it should be a win-win for all stakeholders. And so, we are determined to ensure that we have an improvement on what we have before. I am  also confident that we have made good impression with our colleagues and we would get something favourable for the oil bearing communities.

“I also believe Gas Flaring Penalty cost should come to the Host Communities and I am sure we have impressed it on our colleagues to allow that to stay. That money shouldn’t go to the Federation Account but to the people whose environment are impacted by gas flaring”, he added.

The bill is currently before the Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Petroleum Downstream and Gas for further legislative work.

Earlier, Chief Okrika, called on the Deputy President of the Senate to intervene in the issues brought before the Federal Government concerning the PIB, gas flaring, 13 percent derivation payment to the states instead of the oil bearing communities, the N98bn gas flare fund and the controversy surrounding the Pipeline Surveillance Contract.

He lauded the legislative interventions of the senator, adding that members were impressed with his contributions not only on issues concerning the Niger Delta but his general contributions on matters relating to national discourse.

Other members of the delegation include Dr Mike Emuh (National Chairman), Mrs. Josephine Odungide (National Women Leader), Princess Christy Ejeh, Anthony Oghenovo, Jonathan Osigho, Joy Richard and Ann Izi.

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VSF task force on COVID-19 insists, all of its palliatives got to targeted beneficiaries

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VSF task force on COVID-19 insists, all of its palliatives got to targeted beneficiaries

The Victims Support Fund (VSF) Emergency task Force has stated categorically that all its support items from its Phase 1 and 2 donations had been distributed to targeted beneficiaries by the State governments and CSOs.
This was coming against the backdrop of recent narratives that many States hoarded palliatives meant for the vulnerable groups to cushion the effect of the six months lockdown on account of the Coronavirus pandermic.
The Spokesman Victims Support Fund
Covid-19 Emergency Task Force Alkasim Abdulkadir in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday said, the attention of the Task Force was drawn to stories especially on social media on the unsettling matter of government and private warehouses being broken into across the country.

He said in the first phase of their intervention, the Task Force identified six states including the frontline states, in addition to the Federal Capital Territory. “These were Lagos and Ogun States as epicentres of the pandemic in Nigeria. Others were four North East States (Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba) targeting the IDPs as the most vulnerable population needing palliative measures.
“The task force is therefore compelled by the happenings around the country to clearly state that:
The VSF Task Force on COVID was inaugurated by the Chairman of the Victims Support Fund, Gen. Theophilus Yakubu RTD Danjuma in April 2020 adding that it was set up as a vehicle to provide succour to vulnerable populations hit by the effects of Covid-19.
“The task force worked with State Governments and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to identify and distribute the palliatives to vulnerable households.
“All VSF Covid -19 Emergency Task force items are clearly branded ‘VICTIMS SUPPORT FUND COVID -19 EMERGENCY SUPPORT PROGRAMME’
He said the task force did not collaborate with any other organisation apart from the local CSOs
“The food items were identified and procured for distribution to households across the six states and the FCT.
“Each household received the following: rice, 10Kg; beans, 10Kg; garri, 10Kg (Lagos and Ogun States only); maize, 10Kg (FCT and the North East only); vegetable oil, four (4) litres, and salt two (2) Kg. “Other items that addressed hygiene like hand washing soaps, detergents, masks, Hazmat suits, goggles, boots, were also procured and distributed. All these were packaged in one 50kg bag.”
He said in the second phase, the focus of the interventions was on Edo, Delta, Enugu, Ebonyi and Ekiti States.
“Equally, the VSF also donated Video Conferencing facilities to the NCDC and ICT equipment and technical support to the Federal Ministry of Health.
“The next phase of the interventions which will commence soon, will focus on: Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Benue, Plateau and Niger states.”
He said it is worthy to note that the events were well publicised in the media and the Task Force was well received in all the States visited.

“VSF has set the pace in ensuring that the donations reached the beneficiaries in a timely manner.”

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FG expends N16.4b for 87 fire trucks to boost fire service operation

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FG expends N16.4b for 87 fire trucks to boost fire service operation


The Federal Governmemt has expended N16.4b for the purchase of 87 fire fighting trucks to boost the operations of the Federal Fire Service across the country.The Assistant Comptroller general of Fire, Federal Operations Karibo Samson stated this over the weekend after conducting a fire exit drill at the Federal Secretariat, Phase 1, Abuja, in commemoration of the the 2020 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.It was part of the activities to in commemoration of the the 2020 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction by the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster management and Social Development.He countered insinuations that the approach to fire fighting has been lackadaisical saying the narrative is coming from 30 years hang over.”I went back 30 years because I have that much experience. We are enjoying a new lease of life in the fire service, it has never been like this before.”We have a spread of about 12 zones now. Federal Fire servicewise the federation is split into 12 zones.”So we have a reach into virtually every state in the country at the moment. This kind of trucks valued at cost of N189m and we have taken delivery of about 87 trucks of this nature so you now understand where I am coming from.”He said President Buhari has been very good to the fire service adding that the comptroller general has very good vision for the system that is why they have spread into all the zones in the country.”There is no fire officer that will take his fire vehicle into fire scene and will tell you there is no water whether at the federal or at the State level that will take a truck from the fire Station knowing there is no water in that vehicle and get to the fire scene and will begin to lament there is no water or fuel.”That narrative is in the last 30 years not now. If you go to any fire Station you will see this modern vehicle in every fire station that belongs to the Federal fire service.”On the Synergy with the State Fire service, he said they are in all the States of the Federation, sayjng they are not there to take over their jobs.”The Federal fire service is in nearly every State of the country now. Meanwhile we have the State fire service. Like in Abuja we have the FCT fire service responsible to the metropolis. Federal fire service is in all the States to compliment the efforts of the various State fire services, we are not there to take over their job.”He cautioned Nigerians the Harmattan is around the corner sayin being the peak period for fire occurrences he wants everybody to be safety conscious.He said there is no need to burn bushes which can not controled.”Always make sure you have fire extinguishers that are workable around you, in your houses, in your vehicles.”There are places you might call us of which there may be no network to get across to us. You must be fire safety conscious by getting fire extinguishers, fire blankets to assist you in the kitchen and then make sure you have our contact number.”You can also reach the fire service on 112, if you call 112 from anywhere in the country we will turn out the nearest fire station to that scene. “Those of you in Abuja you can reach us on our control.room phone number. Immediately you call that number somebody is going to respond to you.”Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said more than 20 public and private buildings witnessed varying degrees of fire incidents this year

Farouq said the purpose of the fire exit/evacuation drill was to ensure effective and efficient use of the exit facilities available in the case of emergency.She noted that such drills would ensure orderly exit under control and prevention of panic that had been responsible for much of the loss of lives in major fire disasters.The minister said, “What we have just done is remarkable, considering the series of incidences of fire disasters in public and private buildings in Nigeria.“In 2020 alone, we have witnessed more than 20 fire incidents in both public and private buildings.“Experience and research have shown that panic, stampede and smoke inhalation rather than burns from fire have been responsible for loss of lives in the major fire disaster history.”Farouq noted that the 13th of October every year had been set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness, educate the public and to mobilise political will and resources in ensuring disaster risk reduction globally.

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