Nigeria’s Entrepreneurship Spirit, FG’s Effort At Ease Of Doing Business To Spotlight At Bola Tinubu Colloquium

Gov Ahmed Inspects First Completed IFK Project

Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed says he is impressed with the quality of work done on the recently completed Adura-lere-Isale koko-Sanni Sheu road in Ilorin, which is the first project to be completed under the state Infrastructure Development Fund, IF-K.

While inspecting the road on Monday, the governor commended the contractor in charge of the project for a job well done.

According to the State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Aro Yahaya the road project cost N174m.

The Commissioner also disclosed the State government’s intention to link the completed road to Akerebiata axis so as to enhance connectivity of road and ease traffic as enshrined in the 2017 budget.

At the Geri-Alimi underpass, Alhaji Ahmed urged the contractor handling the project to work according to contract specifications and deliver the project within the stipulated time.

The contractor, Engr. Abass Mahmud while taking the Governor round the construction site, noted that the expansion work and repair of the retaining walls has in no way hindered vehicular movement along the axis.

While inspecting the 7.5km Asa-Dam-Egbejila- Airport road, Governor Ahmed urged the contactor to fast track the job, and promised that payment would be effected as and when due under the IFK.

The project Contractor, Engr. Sulaiman Elega attributed the slow pace of work on the project to the fluctuating exchange rate in the country which he said has affected the quotation given as at when the contract was awarded.

The governor in his response directed the Commissioner for Works and Transport to review the contract sum and compare with current realities with a view to releasing more funds to the contractor where necessary.

Nigeria Is Making Steady Progress Under Buhari –Oyegun

Despite the seeming unending controversies dogging its administration, the APC-led Federal Government is making sure and steady progress whose impact will continue to steer the nation towards growth and stability, the ruling party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said.

Speaking Monday in Kuru, Plateau State, at the opening of a 4-Day retreat organised for members of the Sokoto State Executive Council, Permanent Secretaries and Directors-General in the state civil service, Oyegun said President Buhari has not deviated from the goals he set for himself during the campaign.

“We were firm with our pledge to fight corruption, tackle insecurity and steer the economy towards growth. On these points, we have not deviated. What the critics have failed to acknowledge is that our country is making positive progress.

“Forget the arguments about (Customs DG’s refusal to wear) uniforms and (Senator Dino Melaye)’s certificates currently raging in Abuja. The truth of the matter is that we inherited a bad economy but steadily we’ve progressed. We are at a point where we are taking the turn to consolidate on economic growth in our nation,” he stated.

Oyegun said the Buhari administration has achieved a lot in the agricultural sector, and these achievements have now ensured the country becoming self-sufficient in rice and other key crops.

He said the impact will be felt most when the country begins to export these products to other countries.

While commending Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for his firm and dedicated leadership in Sokoto State, Oyegun said by prioritising education, and especially girl-child education, work on Sokoto’s future has started in earnest.

In his remarks, Tambuwal said Sokoto State is 100 percent in support of the Federal Government’s ongoing commitment towards economic diversification using agriculture as the vehicle for sustainable development.

“We will continue to pursue policy framework and compliment all efforts that will guarantee growth and economic viability. We will create the required enabling environment and support investors willing to invest in our State,” he added.

He said the retreat was organised to explore potentials towards enhancing capacity of public officers and promote harmonious working relationship among civil servants and political appointees for the betterment of Sokoto State.

“It will dwell on fundamental issues that have to do with leadership, democracy, good governance, justice and security. The presentations will prioritize key areas like agriculture, education, healthcare delivery, women and youth empowerment and development of the solid mineral subsector,” Tambuwal added.

On his part, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau commended the Sokoto state government for considering his state as venue to host the retreat.

“This shows that peace has returned to our state and we are working assiduously to sustain it,” he added.

Speaking in the same vein, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Buba Gyang, said historical ties between Sokoto and Plateau states have made it imperative for the leaders to work towards communal harmony and integration of the populace.

According to him, Sokoto has set the pace in peaceful coexistence among different groups of Nigerians residing in the state. “You don’t discriminate against indigenes and residents in your schools. This is highly commendable,” he added.

The theme of the retreat is “Consolidation of achievements and new strategies for efficient service delivery in Sokoto State.”

O-Pig: How Osun Became A Major Player In Pig Farming

…Over N400million naira disbursed as loan to 3,645 pig farmers in Osun

A recent visit to pig farms across the state of Osun has revealed how the state became a major player in pig farming business in Nigeria.

In order to boast pig farming business, the state had sent some 40 students to Germany as part of its O-Pig programme in 2014.

With the skills acquired in Germany, many of the Pig farmers who are now expert in pig fattening has with the help of government set up various lucrative pig farms across the state.

A member of the Pig Farmers Association of the State who spoke on behalf of his colleagues applauded the government, revealing that despite the fact that the governor is a Muslim who doesn’t eat pork, yet he has supported their efforts because he recognizes the economic potentials inherent in Pig farming.

At one of the pig breeding centers visited in Ilesha, state of Osun, 

some of the beneficiaries of the initiative spoke on the benefit of initiative to the farmers and the state at large.

Omoboyeje Olalekan, a graduate of Animal Production and Health, who is one of the farmers trained in Germany, stated that the training was very impactful as he learnt modern skills in pig farming and application of modern technology to his trade.

Speaking on the success of the initiative, Director-General, Office of Economic Development and Partnerships, (OEDP), Dr. Charles Diji Akinola revealed that the government has disbursed over N400million naira as loan to 3,645 farmers in the O-Pig programme which kicked off in July, 2014.

Also financial grant to the tune of N40million naira has been provided to pig farmers in the state. So far, over 2000 Pigs have been sold by the German trainees and over 1000 pigs are presently being reared at the Ilesa Pen.

Herdsmen/Farmers’ Clash: Kwara Govt Appeals for Calm, Vows To Apprehend Culprits

Following the recent clash between herdsmen and farmers in Yashikira community of Baruten local government area, the Kwara State Government has appealed to all aggrieved parties to remain calm and refrain from taking law into their own hands.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, who made the appeal in a statement on Monday, condemned the clash and vowed that those involved in the unfortunate incident will be apprehended and be made to face the law.
“The Kwara State government is backing the State Police Command and other security agencies to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of the acts of violence with a view to bringing them to justice,” he said.
Alhaji Gold added that the State government remains committed to protecting lives and property in line with the rule of law and will not hesitate to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone or group found to have instigated or taken part in any act of violence.
The SSG, therefore, called on all citizens and residents of the State to remain calm and go about their lawful activities without fear as the State government remains resolute in the task of maintaining law and order.

Saraki Attends Senate Investigation; Says “Institutions Must Be Stronger Than Individuals”

Today, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, submitted himself to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

He said: “As the President of the 8th Senate and Senator from Kwara Central, I am proud of the Senate as an institution and its Constitutional role to represent the interests of the Nigerian people.

“Further, I am proud to honor the Senate Rule Book that guides our conduct and activities, which is why today I am presenting myself to the Committee today.  

“I am here in person because I believe that what you are doing will help strengthen this institution.

“The institution must continue to be strengthened to carry out its mandate, rather than strengthening individuals.

“We must find ways to guard the institution and ourselves against those who wish to tarnish the institution and individual’s reputation because of 5 minutes of fame – they try to bring anyone else down.”

When asked if he had imported the SUV that is the subject of the investigation, the Senate President said:

“I did not import any vehicle. I did not ask anybody to import any vehicle on my behalf.”

Speaking on the Customs Import Duty policy, he said:

“We raised the issue on the Customs policy based on the interest if Nigerians. But those who want to fight the Senate for raising the issue of retroactive duty. Urge committee to protect the institution of the Senate so that it is not ridiculed.”

Fashola Commissions 100 Housing Units, Commends Federal Controllers As Worthy Ambassadors Read more at:

The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has commissioned 100 Housing units in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.  The Ministerial Housing Scheme was financed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in collaboration with Viva International Limited.

The Housing Estate is equipped with 50, 000 litres of water supply and reservoirs, 2 nos 500 KVA transformers, lush green recreational areas, fully asphalted road network with street light, walkways and drainages is expected to accommodate about 100 families.

The Minister acknowledged that, ‘’though construction of the housing estate started during the tenure of the last administration, but President Buhari has proven that change does not have to be dysfunctional as a result of ideological and political differences by completing this laudable housing project’’.

Fashola said that a lot of skill acquisition training programme for artisans are currently on-going in the country which in effect provided about 1,000 job opportunities to artisans who were employed during the construction of this housing project.

He added that this present administration will continue to pursue infrastructural development as a way out of the nation’s economIic woes.

The Minister applauded the present management and the leadership of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for returning the bank to profitability and disclosed that the mortgage institution returned a surplus of 2.7 billion for the first time in 20 years in 2016.

The Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajumobi represented by the Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Isaac Omodewu commended the efforts of the Federal Government through FMBN in bridging the housing deficit gap in the country.

Sen. Ajumobi stated that because housing plays a major role in human development and other sectors of the economy, his government took the initiatives of providing housing loan to Civil Servants in the state and in operating land discount policy to encourage private developers to build in order to add to the housing stock in Oyo State.

In his address, the Acting Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Richard Esin, stated that the estate and other housing estates across the country are being financed from the resources of the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme.

He informed NHF contributors that the Minister has graciously approved that NHF loans of N5 million and below will now attract 100 per cent funding for the purposes of affordability.

The Minister also paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajumobi where he briefed the governor about the federal government intervention on housing and road projects in the state.

He commended the Federal Controllers of Works and Housing, adding that they are good ambassadors and representatives of the Federal Government and should be accorded necessary support to promote socio-economic development.

Buhari Administration Using Infrastructure Development To Rebuild The Economy

The Federal Government under President Muhammdu Buhari is using infrastructure development as a vehicle to take the nation out of recession and rebuild the Nigerian economy; and putting the country’s resources where it is necessary for the people.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN affirmed this during a courtesy visit on the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun as he continues his inspection tour of projects in the South-West geo-political zone.

Fashola requested for collaborative effort between the state government and the Controllers of Works and Housing, appealing that they are granted access at the highest level in order for them to serve and assist the state in whatever capacity to achieve “your developmental goals politically, socially and economically”

The Minister mentioned that the contractors on many of the federal roads in the state are back to construction sites and thus assisting in relating to the neighboring states of Lagos, Oyo and Ondo and further generating employment of Nigerians at the various sites.

Fashola expressed appreciation for the dedication shown by the Governor Amosun in rebuilding federal roads in Ogun State and stated that the Federal Government is committed to repayment of the funds expended on federal roads.

The Federal Controller of Works, Engr. Popoola, earlier said that there are 1,380 Kilometre of federal roads in Ogun State and that the Governor took it upon himself to repair some of the roads and also assisted in removing markets along the federal highways at Mowe and Ibafo.

In response, Governor Amosun expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for the intervention on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway stressing that the road is the busiest in the country; adding that no development could get to any place without infrastructure.

He requested that Ogun State should be adequately compensated for the N123bn which had been certified as expenses on federal roads out of a total of N223bn expended.

Governor Amosun said that state government would be grateful if attention could be focused on the Shagamu-Ajebandele Road reconstruction as it was done on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway; adding that federal government should urgently intervene on the Papa-Olorunsogo interchange Road and the Lagos-Abeokuta old road.

Saraki Accuses Magu Of Cooking Up Stories Against Him Because He Failed Confirmation

The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has reacted to a letter written by the embattled acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it was “mere mudslinging campaign”.

On March 10, Mr Magu wrote a letter to Mr Buhari, indicting Senate President Bukola Saraki, his aides and and a former managing director of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, Robert Mbonu in the diversion of about N19bn from the N522bn London-Paris Club refund.
But in a statement by his spokesman, Yusuph Olanionu, Mr Saraki said the allegations by the EFCC chairman against him on London-Paris Club loan refund were baseless and unfounded.
“Our attention has been drawn to the circulation of a report I the media said to have been leaked by the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu to some journalists where he made several allegations against Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, as it concerns the payment of the Paris Club Fund refund to the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
“Let us first state that these allegations are not new. The EFCC had from the onset of its investigation into the Paris Club refund made attempts to drag in the name of Dr. Saraki and we have promptly denied any such involvement of the Senate President. In fact, the EFCC itself came out to deny the report as it then said it had nothing to indict the Senate President. The anti-graft agency said the investigation was still on-going then.  Yet, as at that time it had all these information it is now dishing out.
“It is obvious that at this point when Mr. Magu believes the Senate President should be blamed for his failure to secure confirmation as Chairman of EFCC by the Senate, he would want to fight back by cooking up reports and masterminding its leakage.  We maintain our stand that Dr. Saraki has no direct or indirect link to the distribution of the NGF money. No money from the Paris Club refund was paid to Dr. Saraki.
“In addressing the specifics of the allegation in the reports as we gathered from the press, EFCC believe that since the Senate President has worked in the same organisation with Mr. Robert Mbonu before, whatever transaction he is involved in should be linked to the Senate President in this era of mud-slinging and much-raking. We would like to say that Mr. Mbonu is not representing Mr. Saraki in any transaction he does with the NGF and no money from his company, Melrose, in his dealing with Nigeria Governors Forum came to Dr. Saraki either directly or indirectly. And if the EFCC has any information to the contrary, we challenge them to make it public.
“We state categorically that no aide of the Senate President acted on Saraki’s behalf in whatever they do with Mr. Mbonu.
“Again, If Melrose paid any money to a jeweller or any shop,  that has nothing to do with the Senate President. We believe Melrose must have the necessary documentation in support of their transaction and we are sure the EFCC is aware of all these.
“In the same vein, if Melrose chose to invest in another company, that decision has nothing to do with the Senate President and the act of drawing a link between Mbonu and Saraki can at best be only pure mischief.
“At this point, it should be noted that Xtract Energy Services Limited is a well known foreign exchange dealer with almost 15 years of existence in the market and the company is widely known to do business with many organisations in the country.  The last time the Senate President patronised the company was on December 19, 2014 and we challenge Mr. Magu and the EFCC to prove that the Senate President transacted any form of business with the foreign exchange dealer in the period of the payment of the Paris Club refund.
“We call on members of the public to view this concocted and leaked report as Mr. Magu’s form of fighting back. The report has no truth in it. It should be noted that the Senate President was not behind Magu’s failure to get confirmation from the Senate. That was democracy in action. Dr. Saraki is merely a presiding officer and first among equals. Dr. Saraki did not in any way interfere with the confirmation process.”

Kogi SDGs berates Contractors Executing Projects Without Adherence To Specifications, Begins Revocation Of Contracts

The Sustainable Development Goals, Kogi State has berated the attitude of some contractors currently executing the 2014 CGS/SDGs projects without adherence to the bill of quantity and specifications as contained in the contract documents.

According to the statement released from his office, the Special Adviser to the Governor on SDGs, Arc Abdulmumeen Okara who was on an unscheduled inspection of the SDGs projects across the Central Senatori