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Otti reiterates commitment to making Aba investors’ choice



The governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti has assured Abians and residents of the state of the commitment of his administration to ensure that he makes Aba a destination choice for investors.

This is even as Otti who assured that days of mediocrity in governance were gone, said that his aim was to make Aba and Abia truly economic hubs of not just the Southeast, but the country at large.

Otti who was speaking in Aba, the commercial nerve of the state while flagging off of a major deplorable road in Aba; Port Harcourt road, which serves as one of the major entry and exit route from Aba through the Ala Oji axis of Enugu-Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway, which has remained impassible in the last 10 years, stated that his administration was a clear departure of what was obtainable in the state during previous administrations in the state.

The governor who lamented the negative effect the abandonment of Port Harcourt road has caused business owners on the ever-busy 6.7km road, Aba, and the state at large, stated that the choice of a reputable construction giant to reconstruct the road was a deliberate attempt by his government to breathe life to the businesses on the stretch of road that provides technical services to multinational companies in the state, Rivers State and other parts of the country.

Though the governor could not make public the cost of the reconstruction of the road, he however said that the road would be completed in the next 18 months and expected to serve a long span of 20 years.

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“I am glad that we are taking yet another step in fulfilling one of our major campaign promises, which is to permanently break the jinx of Port Harcourt road, Aba and to revive the life of economic activities along this corridor; activities that once gave Aba a peculiar advantages starting from the 80 years when the late Sam Mbakwe, Governor of old Imo State constructed this road to feed into the booming oil expansion business in Port Harcourt.

“This road became one of the busiest parts of Aba and a destination for business engineers, government officers, and contractors working for multinationals in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

“For about two decades it was all about bliss and blush for businesses around this area until things began to fall apart in the mid to late 1990s followed quickly by the unfortunate collapse and abandonment of the few parts of the road.

“With time, people with businesses and corporate headquarters around the area began to disappear, finding more favourable locations as it became clear that successive administrations didn’t have the will to make the right commitment of rescuing this stretch of road and sustain its economic advantages up till this day.

“We were very careful in choosing the contractor that will handle this project in order to ensure that we don’t repeat the errors and misjudgment of the past for which the state wasted billions of taxpayers’ money without any measurable improvements in the condition of the road for more than 20 years.

“During my campaigns in Aba, I told you that I shall only go for the best because you deserve no less.

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“We resisted the temptation to start another trial and error on a road as important as this and decided to accept the engineering design and bill presented to us by possibly the best civil engineer in Nigeria with over 50 years of operational experience and several landmark projects in all parts of the country.

“For us, Port Harcourt Road in Aba is not just any other road, it will be a testament to our willingness and determination to rebuild ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated.

“I will refuse to be drawn into the tragedies and heartbreaks that were associated with previous attempts at fixing this 6.7km road, but would rather invite you to look to the future with great optimism and expectations.

“Certainly the days of mediocrity are over. We are here to rebuild and this flag-off exercise is a definite confirmation that Aba’s days of glory are about to be restored.

“The choice of Julius Berger is to do a holistic job of not just fixing the road but to address the age-long flood problems at notoriously and problematic points, using appropriate technology and expertise and ultimately, see to it, very minimal maintenance at regular intervals.

“This road shall continue to support existing, new, and returning businesses and their activities for at the very least, another twenty years, post-commissioning.

“It is our expectation that on completion, the reconstructed Port Harcourt road will drive the economic recognition of this resilient city and send a clear message to the businesses that had left, that the Elephant is back on its feet, never to stumble again.”

READ ALSO  Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over misappropriation of funds

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Julius Berger, Lars Richter, noted that the project was a milestone achievement of Alex Otti’s government.

This is even as he stated that the governor wanted the best for Aba, which was why he chose their company to do the work.

Richter, while thanking the governor for the trust he has for the company, assured that the reconstruction would be done according to the design, stating that he looked forward to a long partnership with the state government.


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Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over misappropriation of funds



Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over alleged misappropriation of funds

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution for the detention of top officials of West African Examination Council (WAEC) for failing to account for the funds appropriated to the organisation.

The resolution was pass d during an investigative hearing carried out by the House Committee on Basic Examination Bodies, chaired by Hon. Oforji Oboku.

The officials are: Amos Josiah Dangut, Head of National Office, WAEC Nigeria, who represented the Registrar; Angus Okeleze, Senior Deputy Registrar; Victor Odu, Acting Director of Finance; Segun Jerumeh, Deputy Director of Finance.

The motion for the arrest of the four WAEC officers was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo, during an investigative hearing, after the officials failed to answer their questions to their satisfaction.

The lawmakers during the hearing were in heated arguments with the WAEC officials whether the examination body was accountable to Parliament or not.

Dangut had earlier in his presentation to the Committee argued that WAEC was not an agency of government, hence not accountable as other agencies.

But the lawmakers insisted that WAEC Nigeria was a creation of an Act of the National Assembly, hence must account for all their activities to them.

The lawmakers also pointed out that WAEC’s convention dictates that they must submit to the legislation of any of its member countries.

Following the arguments, Hon. Okonkwo said: “I will like to move a motion that while pending the investigation to look into the activities of WAEC Nigeria, the invited Guests before should be taken into custody and held at the Police Post while we seek for solutions for these issues they are bringing upon Nigerians.”

READ ALSO  Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians

Meanwhile, there was mild drama at the venue of the investigative hearing as one of the WAEC officials kept shouting at the lawmakers that it was being unfair to them.

Thereafter the WAEC officials were taken away by members of the Sergeant at Arms of the National Assembly where they were detained in one of the member’s office for about 15 minutes.

However, after a brief closed door session, the Committee resolved to allow them go and come back at a later date with relevant documents demanded of them.

In his intervention, Oboku who presided over the session, directed the WAEC management to bring the audited statement of accounts of the examinations body from 2018 till date.

He also directed that the delegation to present relevant documents in respect to a N5 billion loan that the Organisation secured in 2022 to buy a customised calculator among others.

The Chairman said WAEC cannot operate outside the supervision of the National Assembly.

He insisted the WAEC officials bring the requested documents, else there would be sanctions.

Source: Authorrity Nigeria

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EFCC’s failure to file processes stalls Kwankwaso’s rights enforcement suit



Military capable of ending security challenges, says Kwankwaso

The inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to file processes before a Kano High Court on Tuesday stalled hearing in a fundamental rights suit filed by the 2023 presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso and seven others.

The other applicants are the NNPP, Dr Ajuji Ahmed, Dipo Olayanku, Ahmed Balewa, Chief Clement Anele, Folashade Aliu, and Buba Galadima.

When the matter came up for hearing,
Counsel to the EFCC , Mr Idris Ibrahim-Haruna, told the court he was not ready and sought for an adjournment to enable him file responses.

“My lord service was effected in Abuja. We are very sorry for the inconveniences and seek for another date to enable us file our responses.”

Responding, Counsel to the applicants, Mr Robert Hon, told the court that he was ready to proceed with the hearing.

He urged the court to dismiss the application by the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment for not giving the court a genuine reason for not filing their responses.

“My lord we served the respondent with all the court processes on June 10, and by the rules of this court they have five days to file their responses.”

He urged the court to adjourn the case for definite hearing.
Justice Yusuf Ubale, ordered the EFCC counsel to file his responses and adjourned the matter until October 24, for definite hearing.

The court had on June 10, granted an Interim order stopping the EFCC from arresting Kwankwaso and the seven responders.

READ ALSO  Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians


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Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians



Don’t devalue naira after implementing new national minimum wage – Workers tell Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians to shelve planned protests against bad governance in the country, slated for next month.

The appeal was made known by Information Minister Mohammed Idris, who briefed State House correspondents after a meeting with the President on Tuesday.

Idris said Tinubu urged the organisers of the protest to shelve the plan and await the President’s response to their complaints.

“The issue of the planned protest, Mr President does not see any need for that. He’s asked them to shelve that plan. He’s asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas,” the minister said.

The protest against economic hardship, which is gaining traction on social media, has been scheduled to hold across all states of the Federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, starting from August 1.

DAILY POST reports that the prices of food and basic commodities have gone through the roof in the last months.

Many Nigerians currently are battling one of the country’s worst inflation and economic crisis sparked by the government’s twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and unification of forex windows.

Source: Daily Post

READ ALSO  Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill
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Amnesty International warns Tinubu’s govt against threatening protesters



Presidency: Obi’s supporters behind planned protests

Global human rights movement, Amnesty International has berated the Bola Tinubu-led government for threatening protesters.

AI was reacting to comments made by Tinubu’s media aide, Dada Olusegun, who said those planning the nationwide protests in the country will “meet the strongest resistance of your lives.”

In a post on X, the organisation stated:

”Threatening peaceful protesters is unlawful. It is a clear attack on freedom of assembly — which is guaranteed by international law and Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution:

”Nigerians must not be denied the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed right to peaceful protest; through veiled threats of violence and false insinuations.”

Source: Naija news

READ ALSO  EFCC’s failure to file processes stalls Kwankwaso’s rights enforcement suit
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Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill



The Senate on Tuesday speedily passed the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 (Amendment Bill). The bill, which scaled first, second

The Senate on Tuesday speedily passed the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 (Amendment Bill).

The bill, which scaled first, second and third readings, just minutes after it was transmitted by President Bola Tinubu, was instantly passed by the upper chamber.

In a unanimous vote after a clause consideration in the Committee of the Whole, the National Minimum Wage Bill scaled third reading and was passed.

Earlier on Tuesday, the President transmitted the National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.

The President separately wrote the Senate and the House of Representatives requesting expedited consideration of a bill for an Act to amend the National Minimum Wage Act, 2019 to increase the National Minimum Wage from ₦30,000 to ₦70,000.

The President also asked the lawmakers to reduce the time for periodic review of the national minimum wage from five years to three years and related matters.

Last Thursday, Tinubu and the leadership of the Organised Labour agreed on ₦70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The truce between the government and labour sides followed a series of talks between labour leaders and the President in the last few weeks after months of failed talks between labour organs and a tripartite committee on minimum wage constituted by the President in January.

The committee, which comprised state and federal governments and the Organised Private Sector, had proposed ₦62,000 while labour insisted on ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage for workers who currently earn ₦30,000 as minimum wage.

READ ALSO  Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill

Labour had said ₦30,000 was unsustainable for any worker going by the economic vagaries of inflation and high cost of living which followed the removal of petrol subsidy by the President.

Despite its initial insistence on ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage, Labour accepted the President’s offer of ₦70,000 last Thursday.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, said Labour accepted ₦70,000 and rejected a proposal by President Bola Tinubu to pay ₦250,000 minimum wage on a condition to increase petrol prices.

He also said Labour agreed to the ₦70,000 offer because minimum wage won’t be reviewed once in five years anymore but once every three years.

The transmission of the wage bill came about six weeks after the President said in his Democracy Day speech on June 12, 2024, that an executive bill on the new national minimum wage for workers would be sent to the National Assembly for passage.


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Robbers rape two female students of Tai Solarin University



Armed robbers have raped two female students of the Ogun State-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode.

Armed robbers have raped two female students of the Ogun State-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode.

It was gathered that the two first-year female students of the institution were raped by robbers on Monday.

The incident reportedly occurred around 12:30 am when the robbers invaded students’ apartments.

A source at the school disclosed that the suspects, armed with guns, forced the students to surrender their phones and other belongings before leading them to an uncompleted building where they took turns to rape them.

Police spokesperson in the state Omolola Odutola confirmed the incident in Abeokuta, the state capital.

“The incident was reported at the Igbeba Police Division at about 10 am. Our operatives immediately combed the area in search of the suspects. Efforts are in top gear to arrest everyone involved in the crime.

“In the meantime, the survivors have been taken to the school clinic for treatment,” she said.



READ ALSO  Amnesty International warns Tinubu’s govt against threatening protesters
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