October 2019
Recently crowned Miss Ambassador for Peace Africa, Her Majesty Queen Blessing Ikpomwosa has marked her birthday as she hosts friends, fans, colleagues, family members, beauty queens, Abujabased celebrities and some few showbiz Executives at a Dinner Reception in FCT Abuja.

The Dinner reception was overwhelmingly impressive, as the ambiance was filled with lots of fun, including loads of food and drinks to keep the mouth and time locked-in. Queen Blessing told our reporters that she was quite grateful to God and her management as regards her success in recent times.

She appreciated her fans, friends, colleagues and family members as well as other invited guests for making out time to share such amazing and significant moments of her life. Queen Blessing expressed gratitude to Torley Company, which recently signed her as a Brand Ambassador.


She thanked Torley Company for providing all the champagne bottles available in excess for guests and invitees throughout the dinner reception, as she described the significant role Torley drink played in furnishing the event.

Speaking as a Brand Ambassador of Torley Drink Company and reigning Miss Ambassador for Peace, she promised to remain committed and focused in meeting the demands required to promote the brand to excellent fruition, especially by exploring her networks and promotional capacity.

Friends and well wishers had so many prayers, wishes, gifts and testimonials to share with the Birthday Beauty Queen, stressing the exceptional strength and intellectual vigour she flaunts. Queen Blessings is one amongst several Beauty Queens in Nigeria that is delightfully outspoken, flexible, compassionate and angelic in beauty.




The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N718.6 million for the supply of one mobile security scanner at the Lagos Port Complex.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, briefed State House correspondents yesterday on behalf of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, after FEC at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The FEC meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Mohammed said the scanner would boost security at the port as well as attract more revenue.
“The Ministry of Transportation presented a memo for approval for the award of contract for the supply of one mobile security scanner at the Lagos Port Complex.

“The contract is worth N718.6 million; the purpose of this memo is to supply this scanner which will enhance security at the Lagos Port Complex.
“Hitherto, many vessels have refused to berth at the Lagos Port because they have not been too satisfied with the level of security.
“The installation of this scanner is going to enhance security at the airport and will enhance revenue because more ships will now be willing to come to berth at the Apapa complex,” he said.
Mohammed also fielded questions on Federal Government’s move to check fake news and hate speech.
The minister said fake news and hate speech present clear and imminent danger to the unity of Nigeria, especially given the multi-value, multi-religious and multi-ethnic nature of Nigeria.
According to him, the campaign, which has the support of many traditional media organisations, has succeeded largely in bringing to the front burner of national discourse, the issue of fake news and hate speech.
He noted that rather than abate, the cancer of fake news had been growing worse by the day as it got to a climax just before and during the last general elections.
“That prompted the President to direct me to set up a committee to look into how we could strengthen the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in particular because most of these hate speeches and fake news were primarily on television and radio.
“At the end, the committee made recommendations to the President, which included one that we should insulate NBC from political interference; whoever is going to be the regulator must not be a person who has a political affiliation or partisanship.
“More importantly, that for breaches of regulations related to hate speech, the fine should be increased to serve as a deterrent was approved.
“So, today, under the broadcast code, when it is going to be re-issued, a fine of N5 million as against the usual N500,000 has now been approved by the President for any infringement that has to do with indecency, incitement, or hate speech.
“In addition, if any particular broadcast house infringes three times, then it will risk the suspension of its licence,” he said.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N5.72 billion for the construction of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (NDIC) zonal office in Bauchi and for 12 consultancy services for development of NDIC’s offices.
Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She said that the contract sum included Value Added Tax (VAT).
“Today, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, presented two papers to council.
“The first paper that we presented to council and council approved was for the construction of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) zonal office in Bauchi.
“The contract is in the sum of N3.239 billion including VAT; this project is to be completed in 96 weeks.
“The NDIC has been operating from a rented office accommodation; the office accommodation has since become unconducive for a good working environment.
“The corporation will therefore be saving money but also in building the office accommodation, when it is completed.
“It will provide comfortable and clean environment for the staff to bolster morale as well as increase productivity.’’
Ahmed said that, during the process, due approvals from the Bureau of Public Procurement were sought.
The minister said that the second memo that was presented to council and council approved was also in respect of NDIC.
She said it was for the award of contracts for 12 consultancy services for the development of NDIC Corporate head office annex in Abuja, its office in Ikoyi, Lagos as well as a training centre in Lekki, Lagos.
“In 2015, FEC had approved the construction of these three buildings; so what we are asking for now is for the stage three, which is the construction phase of the work for the consultancies relating to architecture, structural, mechanical engineering.
“The total amount that is approved is the in sum of N2.489 billion.
“This is for 12 consultancy firms for three different categories of professional work for the three office buildings,’’ she said.
A senior female military officer, a Colonel in the Nigerian army on Wednesday donated her one month salary to Nigerian children who were among returnees from South Africa.
Newsmen reports that the female officer, who said she would prefer to remain anonymous, made the donation at the headquarters of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) in Abuja.
“I was diagnosed with cancer in the year 2000 and was declared cancer-free in 2003.
“I spent a year in the hospital and later that year I was readmitted for six months before I was declared cancer-free in 2007.
“I am doing this because I survived cancer twice and while in the hospital I made a pledge to God that when I leave the hospital I would help the needy.
She said that if the Managing Director of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyeama, could offer to transport Nigerian evacuees from South Africa free of charge, she also should be able to do something for humanity.
She urged Nigerians to contribute to the development of humanity in their own little ways.
Responding, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that she had just received the sum of N500, 000 from a kind Nigerian, who donated her one-month salary to Nigerian children “whose parents have lost their jobs and are back to Nigeria.”
The NIDCOM chair expressed appreciation to the female officer for her kind gesture and to other Nigerians, who showed love and kindness to the returnees.
She then urged other well-meaning Nigerians who wished to make donations for the benefit of the returnees to do so.
The House of Representatives has vowed to reclaim the land belonging to the National Council for Arts and Culture within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that has been ceded to an unnamed individual.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Hon Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama (PDP-Edo) who spoke during budget defence by the Council however said House will give every legislative support for the rapid development of the nation’s Culture and Tourism sector.
The lawmaker said the Culture and Tourism sector occupy a critical and strategic position to the growth of the economy and national development, adding that sector remained the only unifying avenue for the country and as such would not be relegated for whatever reason.
He stressed that under the leadership of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the House would do everything possible to give priority attention to the promotion of the sector through adequate budgetary provision.
He said “as a Committee, we will wade into the matter to retrieve the landed property from that individual for the Council. You cannot acquire government land and give it to an individual. Rather, you can only acquire an individual’s landed property for government use.
“We will allow the judiciary to do its own job. Right away, the Committee will pay an on the spot assessment to the site for members to see things for ourselves.
“If needs be, the leadership of the House of Representatives will take up the matter with President Muhammadu Buhari who is fighting corruption from all directions today and we must all be ready to support him for the benefit of all and sundry. This is corruption of the highest order, to take government land and give it to an individual”.
The lawmakers passed vote of confidence on the Director General of the Council, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe for his passion in the promotion of Arts and culture in the country which they said has lifted the image of the country in the comity of the nations.
Defending the council’s budget estimate for 2020, Director General of the Council, Otunba Runsewe raised alarm over poor funding of the Agency despite its numerous responsibilities, citing the meager N100m allocated to it in the 2020 budget proposal as an example.
Runsewe said; “our financial situation is so pathetic, what can the N100m do for us, from it, we will host the National Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST, this festival started in 1973 immediately after the Civil war, it has been a unifying avenue for Nigerians from different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds to come together to showcase their different cultures, “We just finished this year’s edition in Benin City, Edo State and participants from 30 States of the federation and the FCT, Abuja were in attendance, this helps to promote peaceful coexistence in the country.
“Even at the Edo festival, over 300 unemployed youths acquired various free vocational trainings and obtained necessary certificates in their fields, this is the only way we can keep the youths busy from drugs addiction and other social vices ravaging our society.
“We also have the annual Abuja carnival to counted with from this allocation, it involves all the States of the federation converging in Abuja for the one week cultural display, we are coming to a point that it will no longer be possible to host the two events due to inadequate funding, we may have to pick one of out of the two.”
He pleaded with the Committee to assist the Council to retrieve its banded property ceded to an individual despite the Council having all the necessary documents and a huge amount of foreign donation to develop the land.
Nigeria’s first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Folake Solanke, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Mr Layi Babatunde, SAN and many other senior lawyers have charged young lawyers in the country to embibe the virtue of intergrity and hardwork in their practice.
The senior lawyers gave the advice at the maiden mentoring session for young lawyers tagged ‘time out with the masters’ organised by Lawbreed Ltd.
Other senior lawyers who attended the session include Prof. Abiola Sanni, Mr. Wale Adesokan, SAN, Mr Wemimo Ogunde, SAN, Olusola Idowu, SAN, Mr Niyi Onipade, SAN, Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN, Mr Lekan Yusuf, SAN, Mr Dotun Makinde, SAN, Prof. M. Abdulrasaq, Chief Akinwande Delano, SAN among many others.
In her opening remarks, Chairman of the event, Chief Solanke urged young lawyers to imbibe virtues such as integrity, honesty, courtesy hard work, good appearance and punctuality in other to succeed in their profession.
She noted that it worrisome that the standard of the bar has deteriorated and urged the young lawyers to make strenuous effort to elevate the standard for the sake of the profession.
Chief Solanke said, “I appeal to the authorities to consider a drastic cut in the number of students admitted to read law in the Universities and for training in the Law School. The situation is dire.”
On his part, Chief Olanipekun admonished young lawyers to resist the temptation of always relying on artificial intelligence, saying the best gift is what one puts in his or her brain.
He said, “Law is not for lazy people. It is not a part time profession. You cannot be trading and at the same time be practicing law. You must be focused, cultivate good idea and habits.
“It is very worrisome that nobody wants to read books again. Everyone is now relying on artificial intelligence. You must resist this. The best education and knowledged you can give to yourself, is the one you put inside your brain. You must strive to be the master of whatever area of the law you chose to pursue. You must read widely and show that indeed you are a learned person is every aspect of lives.”
Organiser of the event, Mr Layi Babatunde expressed concern that young lawyer are now averse to reading judgments but would rather rely only on law reports.
“As young lawyers, you must be wary of ‘fast food’ advocacy. Fast food is quick and available, but most times it is not quite healthy. Over indulgence in it could be disastrous health wise.”
Former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Section on Business Law, Mr George Etomi, tutored young lawyers on pathways to becoming a successful commercial lawyer, while past chair, Nigerian Branch, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), Mr Tunde Busari coached the lawyers on the pathways to becoming a successful Arbitrator.
Other Senior lawyers took time to speak to the young lawyers.
The new Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joi Nunieh, has assumed office with the official handing and taking over ceremony from erstwhile Acting Managing Director, Dr Akwagaga Enyia, at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
Dr. Nunieh said under her watch the Commission will impact on all rural communities spread across the Niger Delta region.
She gave the assurance during the ceremony, adding that her team would pursue the developmental programme of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The new NDDC Chief Executive Officer spoke shortly after the erstwhile Acting Managing Director, Dr Akwagaga Enyia, handed over to her in the presence of the Acting Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh and the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang, who constitute the three-man Interim Management Committee.
The committee, inaugurated on Tuesday by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was charged to oversee the activities of the NDDC during the period of the forensic audit ordered by President Buhari.
Nunieh expressed appreciation to President Buhari for the opportunity given to the Interim Committee to serve and assured that the team would not disappoint the President, people of the Niger Delta region and indeed the whole country in carrying out their mandate.
She stated, “The Committee will take the NDDC to the next level and we will not fail the people of the Niger Delta. The youths that came to the NDDC headquarters to welcome us were very positive. We cannot afford to fail the people.
“We are here because Mr. President expects that the forensic audit should be done properly from 2001 to date. There will be no compromise and the people will know that a new team is here to work.”
Nunieh assured that every village in the Niger Delta will feel the impact of the new management team.
“We will reach out to all the villages because rural development is very important to us”, she assured.
Earlier in her remarks, Dr Enyia urged the NDDC management team to work in unison with the Interim Management Committee to forge ahead and achieve the objective of fast-tracking the development of Nigeria’s oil-rich region.
She said that the Federal Government made the right choice in appointing the new management team and prayed that they would lead the Commission to achieve the mandate for which it was set up.
Enyia said that with the wealth of experience of members of the new team, she was confident that they would leave an indelible mark in the annals of the Niger Delta region.
She urged the directors of the Commission to cooperate with the new team to check the negative publicity that had been the lot of the Commission in recent times.
President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with legal luminary, educationist and philanthropist, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who turned 90 on Wednesday.
The President prayed God to grant the legal icon longer life, good health and strength.
He joined Chief Babalola’s family members, friends and professional colleagues in celebrating the nonagenarian, whose life’s story has been a study on focus, discipline and commitment to God, and serving humanity.
In a statement by the Special Adviser (SA) on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, the President believed the bright and resourceful lawyer and farmer has every reason to be thankful to God, considering the many rungs he had to climb, and obstacles he had to overcome to get his education and start a rewarding career that turned out a blessing to many and the nation.
President Buhari hailed Chief Babalola’s dedication to equipping the society with knowledge and skills, and his investments in key sectors of the economy that directly impact on livelihood, especially in health, education and encouraging entrepreneurship.
The President urged the philanthropist to sustain the good works that he started over the years and remain consistent in serving the nation.
Afe Babalola Multi-System Hospital, a new generation tertiary health centre with a mission to reverse the direction of medical tourism in Nigeria, has again successfully carried out its first functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).
This happened four months after it successfully performed three open heart surgeries/interventions.
The procedure was carried out on a young lady with recurrent growth in the nostrils with an extension to all the sinuses. She was diagnosed as having a case of Antrochoanal Polyp with Pansinusitis.
According to a statement by the Head of Corporate Affairs of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Tunde Olofintila, the patient had a successful surgical procedure arising from the use of minimally invasive technique (FESS) with the advantage of short hospital stay and with minimal intra-operative blood loss.
The beauty of the treatment was that the patient was discharged after an overnight admission for recuperation.
By this successful FESS, ABUAD’s Multi-System Hospital has positively demonstrated its ability and capability to use this technique as a result of which Nigerians no longer need to travel abroad for the sake of undergoing the FESS.
The surgery is a procedure for the treatment of Sinus disease and restoration of the functions of the paranasal sinuses, using tiny telescopes mounted on cameras and tiny instruments.
The development of high resolution telescopes, camera systems, medical imaging systems and instrumentations has propelled FESS to the gold standard in the management of sino-nasal diseases.
The paranasal sinuses are air-filled spaces lined by mucosa within the bones of the face around the nose.
They help to keep the skull light and assist with nasal breathing and smelling.
Diseases of these sinuses often lead to head or facial pains, facial congestion and heaviness, loss of sense of smell and impaired taste, among others.
Prior to the advent of Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, patients having sinus surgeries have had to undergo extensive surgeries involving incisions through the face or oral cavities.
These surgeries are associated with extensive tissue dissection, significant blood loss and the attendant post-operative pains, prolonged hospitalisation and facial scars.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has commiserated with the family of the former military governor of the state, Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson (retd), who died on Wednesday at 83.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, Sanwo-Olu described “the late Gen. Johnson as a complete gentleman and officer. A dedicated Lagosian.
Johnson’s was the first Military Governor of Lagos State from May 1967 to July 1975.
He said, ‘‘Although General Mobolaji Johnson has gone to be with his Lord and Creator, the memories of great accomplishments he left behind will linger on forever. One remembers how the late General Johnson’s administration worked with other seasoned professionals to establish five Government Colleges and Housing Estates, which were commissioned by the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, within one year of his administration. This, to me, is the hallmark of service and has remained a benchmark for successive administrations in the state.’’
Sanwo-Olu, who described the late Johnson as a man of vision with a mission to see a modern Lagos evolve, noted that the vision had started to manifest in what we see today as every successive administration strives to build on the developmental structure and foundation of good governance laid by late General Johnson.
He added, “We must ensure that the people enjoy the dividend of democracy. Development must touch the lives of the people directly. This is the best way to immortalise the late Mobolaji Johnson because this is virtue he lived for.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of late Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson.’’
The Independent National Electoral Commission has said 889,308 Permanent Voters Cards in Bayelsa State and 1,485,828 in Kogi have been collected as at September 30.
The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this, on Wednesday, during a quarterly meeting with media and Civil Society Organisations held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
Yakubu also said the number of uncollected voters cards in Bayelsa stood at 33,874 and for Kogi, 160,522.
He noted the figures will be made available at the commission’s stakeholders’ meetings in Yenagoa and Lokoja and also uploaded on the commission’s website.
He said the commission will make available detailed figures of PVCs collected in each state by LGA as part of its effort in deepening transparency and accountability.
”For the governorship election, Bayelsa State has 8 Local Government Areas (LGAs), 105 Registration Areas (RAs), 1,804 Polling Units (PUs) and 923,182 registered voters of which 498,790 (54.3%) are male while 424,392 (45.97%) are female.
”The number of PVCs collected across the State as at 30th September 2019 is 889,308 (96.3%) with 33,874 (3.7%) uncollected. Kogi State, on the other hand, has 21 LGAs, 239 RAs, 2,548 PUs while the number of registered voters is 1,646,350 of which 825,663 (50.1%) are male and 820,687 (49.9%) are female. The number of PVCs collected is 1,485,828 (90.2%) leaving 160,522 (9.8%) uncollected.
”All uncollected PVCs have been retrieved from our LGA offices and will be deposited at the branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Bayelsa and Kogi States for safekeeping pending the resumption of Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).”
Meanwhile, the INEC chairman said the commission would accredit media organisations to report from the two states.
Yakubu, however, appealed to the media to be objective and professional while reporting the elections.
”Let me also appeal to the media for accurate, objective and professional reporting of the elections. INEC does not believe in censorship,
”It is our collective responsibility to combat fake news. The best antidote to fake news is more openness and transparency. We are open to verification of information either through our state offices or the national headquarters of the commission.”
Director-General of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, has said the scheme is waiting for directives from the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on when to begin the payment of the N30,000 new minimum wage to corps members.
He said serving corps members would be contacted about the payment once the NYSC gets details on the commencement of payment from the finance minister.
Ibrahim spoke in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a meeting between top management of the NYSC and representatives of state governments with the theme: Optimising the Potentials of Corps Members for National Unity and Development: The Role of State Governments as Stakeholders.
The director-general also said corps members would be communicated about the payment of arrears on the new minimum wage, which was signed into law in April by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “The minister (of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare) has announced it and further details will be given to us by the Minister of Finance (Mrs Ahmed). This, we are waiting for.
“I want to assure that just as the minister said, the corps members also benefitted from the minimum wage. The moment we get the details, they will be contacted.
“We are going to commence the payment, as directed by the Federal Government. I have spoken to my corps members when I visited Jigawa State about four days ago. I told them that they also have benefitted from the minimum wage. And they were so excited and were praying for the Federal Government, saying it will enable them to perform more duties for the country.
“Once the government commences with the civil servants, the corps members will enjoy the same. Our minster has directed that the further details will be communicated to us by the minister of finance.”
Dare said the scheme had made immense contributions to the socio-economic, political and cultural development of the country, 46 years after it was established.
To sustain the achievements, the minister urged all levels of government to fulfil their obligations towards ensuring a smooth operation of the scheme.
He called for the creation of a working environment that would be conducive for the potential of corps members to be fully harnessed for national development.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N718.6 million for the supply of one mobile security scanner at the Lagos Port Complex.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, briefed State House correspondents yesterday on behalf of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, after FEC at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The FEC meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Mohammed said the scanner would boost security at the port as well as attract more revenue.
“The Ministry of Transportation presented a memo for approval for the award of contract for the supply of one mobile security scanner at the Lagos Port Complex.
“The contract is worth N718.6 million; the purpose of this memo is to supply this scanner which will enhance security at the Lagos Port Complex.
“Hitherto, many vessels have refused to berth at the Lagos Port because they have not been too satisfied with the level of security.
“The installation of this scanner is going to enhance security at the airport and will enhance revenue because more ships will now be willing to come to berth at the Apapa complex,” he said.
Mohammed also fielded questions on Federal Government’s move to check fake news and hate speech.
The minister said fake news and hate speech present clear and imminent danger to the unity of Nigeria, especially given the multi-value, multi-religious and multi-ethnic nature of Nigeria.
According to him, the campaign, which has the support of many traditional media organisations, has succeeded largely in bringing to the front burner of national discourse, the issue of fake news and hate speech.
He noted that rather than abate, the cancer of fake news had been growing worse by the day as it got to a climax just before and during the last general elections.
“That prompted the President to direct me to set up a committee to look into how we could strengthen the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in particular because most of these hate speeches and fake news were primarily on television and radio.
“At the end, the committee made recommendations to the President, which included one that we should insulate NBC from political interference; whoever is going to be the regulator must not be a person who has a political affiliation or partisanship.
“More importantly, that for breaches of regulations related to hate speech, the fine should be increased to serve as a deterrent was approved.
“So, today, under the broadcast code, when it is going to be re-issued, a fine of N5 million as against the usual N500,000 has now been approved by the President for any infringement that has to do with indecency, incitement, or hate speech.
“In addition, if any particular broadcast house infringes three times, then it will risk the suspension of its licence,” he said.
Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, performed the ground breaking of the multi-million naira Ekiti Secretariat Mosque, with a promised to allow religion freedom in the state.
The governor spoke in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday during the foundation laying of the N32.4 million State Secretariat Mosque, which was graced by prominent Muslim leaders.
Fayemi, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Hakeem Jamiu, described the project as crucial to government, saying proximity to a place of worship will help the civil servants to focus and become more productive.
The governor also assured that his government would continually strive to ensure religious harmony for sustainable development and peace, saying no society could thrive under recurrent religious crisis.
“We believe in religious harmony and tolerance. We will continually promote peaceful co-existece among our citizens and respect their rights of association.”
“This project represents part of our commitment to development . Our government won’t fail in ensuring the freedom of association of all citizens as long as it is not abused.
“We will not fail in our duty to be fair to all religions in the state, because Muslims represent a pivotal part of our state who have contributed to peace building and development.
“I appreciate our Muslim brothers for sustaining peace and for living peacefully with people of other faiths. Our government will continue to support you,” he said.
President General, League of Imams of Alfas, South West Region, Edo and Delta, Alhaji Jamiu Kewulere, said the project coming under Fayemi showed that this government had respect for religious tolerance.
“We appreciate the governor for his support for Muslims and for approving the construction of the structure within the Secretariat. We promised our continued support for his government.”
President, Ekiti chapter of Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Yakubu Sanni, stated that the project was conceptualised long ago, urging Islam adherents to donate for the project to be completed in record time.
He urged members to promote Islam in a positive way by cooperating with government through their public conducts.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested 30 students of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, as well as those of Olabisi Onabanjo University.
The anti-corruption body arrested FUNAAB, MAPOLY students on Wednesday, after storming the Ibogun campus of the OOU in the Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State to arrest some students of the school.
A student of OOU, Samson Adeyemi, who is also the students’ spokesperson, claimed the EFCC agents took away 18 students from the Ibogun campus.
According to him, the agents arrived at some students’ hostels around 12am on Tuesday and broke in through the windows and the doors before making arrests.
Our correspondent learnt that operatives raided student apartments, claiming that they were Internet fraudsters. Some cars, laptops and phones were taken away.
It was learnt that they carried out the operations in Safari, Abule-Ojere, Gbokoniyi, Kemta and Alabata, all in Abeokuta, reportedly dominated by MAPOLY and FUNAAB students.
An eyewitness, who recorded a 25-second video of the raid on a building in Abule-Ojere, said the operatives carted away from a car, laptops, but could not get the suspected Internet fraudsters living in those apartments.
A student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was accosted on his way home by EFCC officials, but was later released after they searched him and could not find any incriminating material on him.
It was also obtained a 50-second video from one of the victims whose apartment was allegedly raided by the EFCC.
In the video, the victim believed to be a student of MAPOLY lamented that he was not a fraudster, but his apartment was raided.
The victim claimed that the operatives broke into his room through the windows and ransacked his apartment.
Our correspondent also obtained a video where a vehicle carrying the EFCC operatives was moving around Abeokuta.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Student Union, Johnson Idowu, said the school had not received any report of arrest of MAPOLY students by the EFCC.
He said, “We learnt that the EFCC came to Abeokuta, but there was no pictorial evidence to prove that. We have not received any report that our students are among those arrested.”
The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that Edo state’s service sector contributed N1.2 trillion to its N2.3 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.
The State Commissioner for Finance, Joseph Eboigbe, disclosed this Wednesday, while presenting the “2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Frame Work (MTEF),” at a-one-day workshop organised by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, at the Government House in Benin City, in collaboration with the Edo State Employment and Expenditure for Result (SEEFOR) programme.
Eboigbe said despite the vast land and gas deposit in the state, the agricultural and industrial sectors contributed less to the state’s GDP, noting that the information provided by the NBS has availed the state government with data to address the structural imbalance in the state.
According to him, “NBS published the GDP of Edo State covering the period 2013 to 2017, which measured economic activities in the state. It showed which sector contributed the most to the GDP, allowing the state to know the areas of focus. It broke the state into three sectors which include agricultural, industry and services sector.”
The Commissioner said the total GDP of the state for 2017 was N2.3 trillion, out of which the services sector contributed N1.2 trillion.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Princess Otse Momoh Omorogbe, said the workshop was organised to facilitate engagement with members of the public for improved service delivery and development.
She said the workshop allows for the participation of residents in the state’s budget preparation.
She added: “The state prepared a citizens’ budget which is a simpler form of the state’s approved annual budget. Its main objective is to present Edo State’s budgetary information in a manner that is easily digestible for its citizenry.”
The Director of Budget, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Oseh Michael, who delivered a paper on Edo State Citizen’s Budget, said the objective of the 2019 approved budget is to consolidate on government’s efforts in building a viable state.
Michael noted, “The objectives of the 2019 budget is to consolidate on government’s efforts to build the Edo of our dreams and to reflect government’s desire to carry everybody along in its plans and projects, aimed at bringing growth and development to Edo State.”
“Key goals of the budget are continuous investment in repairs of existing structures and the development of new socio-economic infrastructure; strengthening internal capacity for projects execution and governance; continuous investment in programmes and projects for wealth creation, particularly through industrialisation, agriculture and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) development.”
One of the stakeholders at the event, Stella Ojeme, of Child Protection Network, described the programme as apt as it gives stakeholders the opportunity to share ideas to enhance the 2020 budget.
Ojeme urged the state government to ensure the budget covers the interest of the children who are exposed to abuse.
President, Network for the Advancement of People with Visible Disability (NAPVID), Melody Omosah, said Edo State Government is on the right track, advising the government to ensure that suggestions are accommodated in the state’s 2020 budget.
Those working against Governor Godwin Obaseki’s second term bid ahead of 2020 governorship election in Edo State have been urged to have a rethink.
The call is coming from the contractors to the state government, under the aegis of Edo Contractors Forum, while throwing their weights behind the governor’s second term bid.
A statement in Benin City on Wednesday, signed by Austine Aimiuwu (Coordinator) and Pastor Friday Emuze (Secretary) respectively for the forum, urged those working against Obaseki’s second term to have a rethink, sheath their swords and key into the governor’s vision and good works.
The duo said the forum, which has been in existence for over two years, has been working silently with Governor Obaseki, in accordance with the Wake And See policy of his government.
They said, “The forum has decided to open up in view of the negative public propaganda being mischievously orchestrated by some passives aggrieved party leaders within the APC in the state.
“The forum stated that it is not true that Governor Obaseki has abandoned some groups of party leaders in the state, in terms of contracts awards and political patronage and benefits.”
The forum further stated that besides the major construction works like the ongoing state secretariat, reconstruction and other major construction projects being handled by some multinational firms, all other infrastructural development projects across Edo State are being executed by Edo State government indigenous contractors.
“Their presence and impacts are very visible in all the 18 local government area in Edo State. The forum members are currently handling over 230 primary schools infrastructural development projects across Edo state, on behalf of Edo-SUBEB.
“Edo people have never had it so good in view of the massive and holistic improvement and socioeconomic development of Edo state, and we therefore advice all well-meaning and good people of Edo state, irrespective of their political affiliation to key into the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s good vision for Edo state and rally round to support the Wake & See governor, as Edo people want the governor ever than before to seek his well-deserved second term bid, to complete his good work and move the state the next level of socioeconomic development and advancement.”