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Senator Yayi vows to continue empowerment programs, denies personalizing govt funded projects

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Senator Solomon Adeola (Yayi), representing Ogun West Senatorial District, has denied personalizing government funded projects declaring that nothing can stop him from empowering Ogun citizens.

This was contained in a statement signed by his media adviser, Chief Kayode Odunaro stating that:

“Our attention has been drawn to a story published in some online newspaper under the title “Group Accuses Yayi of ‘Personalising’ Govt-Funded Projects” on February 14, 2024 edition.

“We would not ordinarily engage a faceless group going by the name of Yewa/ Awori Youth Network with an unknown signatory.

“However, the fact that the story was used to put out what amounts to mis-information of the public tending towards a libelous and fake news compels us to correct the mis-information and enlighten the general reading public.

” Incidentally, the blogs never made any effort to hear from the Senator or his representatives as the profession demands on a ‘statement’ impugning the person of an elected representative by the purported group whose identity cannot be verified or ascertained beyond the reporter.

For the records, the story alleging that Senator Adeola ‘personalized’ government funded projects as his own is planted by over ambitious politicians positioning themselves for governorship and deputy governorship positions in the run up to 2027 governorship election. These are characters that are completely intimidated, spellbound and shamed at the effective representation that Senator Adeola has brought to bear in Ogun West Senatorial District in less than 8 months of representing the district at the Senate with thousands of constituents directly benefitting from Federal Government as facilitated by the senator.

For the avoidance of doubt, two weeks ago Senator Adeola held an unprecedented three days empowerment programme that directly benefitted over 20,000 constituents. The first was the scholarship and bursary award scheme for 1600 students of tertiary institutions from Ogun West. For the effective implementation of this programme funded through the facilitation of the Senator, a Scholarship and Bursary Board chaired by a professor and other eminent academics was set up.

To put lie to the asinine allegation of ‘personalising’, the address read at the occasion of the award to appreciative students and parents by Senator Adeola stated inter-alia, “I am facilitating this scheme in conjunction with Teacher’s Registration Council of Nigeria and the Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.”

Again, the programme banner as any programme of the senator, boldly carried the portraits of the President and governor of Ogun state, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to clearly show that the event is in fulfillment of electoral promises made by the party of the Senator in government at state and federal level, APC. How such a public declaration amounts to personalization can only come out of the recess of disturbed minds allergic to good educational development and succor for students being championed by Senator Adeola.

The second facilitation of Senator Adeola for his long-suffering constituents in Ogun West was the empowerment of 5000 Market men and women with financial grants. This was the second time the senator is facilitating such programme to free our traders from debt peonage associated with taking loans for their trade from loan sharks. In that programme that granted each trader, N50,000, the senator has also publicly stated that, “I am facilitating this programme of empowerment tagged “Oloja Yayi” in Ogun West in conjunction with Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), with Start Up Grants for agro-manpower, artisanal manpower and cage culture carp specie restocking for market women and men.”

For the third programme facilitation by the senator which involved empowering 15,000 trained women and youths with equipment and cash grants to start practicing their acquired skills towards income generating self-employment, as well presentation of Ambulances to hospitals, patrol jeeps to security agencies, mini buses for tertiary educational institutions in the senatorial district and books and school furniture, the senator has publicly stated that, “ Today, in conjunction with Federal Cooperative College, Oji River, Federal Cooperative College Ibadan, Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Technology, National Productivity Centre, Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Lagos, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Computer Professional Registration Council, Federal College of Fresh Water Fisheries, New Bussa, Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research, NIFOR, Benin, constituents already trained in various skills and vocation will be empowered with equipment and start up grants as follows: ..”. With such public declarations and acknowledgements that were contained in the programme brochures of each occasion, the least that can be said is that the sponsors of the faceless group are against these benefits for constituent Nigerians coming through the facilitation of Senator Adeola.

And beyond direct benefits to individual constituents, all the 78 infrastructural projects like 156 Classrooms spread across 13 primary and secondary schools, construction of Primary Health Care Centres, Police Stations, Roads and Town Halls facilitated by the senator have visible projects sign posts naming the Senator as facilitator and the government agency executing the projects. So much for the imagined ‘personalising’ of “govt-funded projects”.

The mention of the breach of procurement law and the project tracking organization without any evidence in the statement contradicts the allegation of personalizing government funded projects by the senator. No procurement law was breached in projects well executed and publicized for tracking organizations to monitoring as the statement indicated. `

Beyond facilitating dividends of democracy for his constituents, it is clear that the sponsor of the politically motivated statement attested to the Senator’s legendary generosity and philanthropy. Their grouse against this is equally their legendary stinginess in the act of giving back to the people. The senator owes no apology or explanations for being a renowned cheerful giver or for his unparallel facilitations as he stated publicly at the last occasion of empowerment.

The laughable aspect of the sponsored statement was the call for relevant government agencies like Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, and EFCC to probe the Senator. Unknown to them, was the fact that the senator officially invited ICPC to monitor the three- day empowerment programme and two uniformed officers of ICPC were at the events in Ilaro throughout the programmes, a fact that further attest to the fact that Senator Adeola could not have personalize government funded projects he facilitated.

Those having sleepless night and high blood pressure on the unprecedented and effective representation of the Senator, which has rubbished their lackluster delivery of dividends of democracy and their vaunted political ambitions, should take note that more of the senator’s facilitation of projects for his constituents are in the offing as it is the hallmark of the senator over his years as a legislator par excellence. The tradition continues and no detractor can stop the people benefitting from dividends of democracy.

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Damagum returns as National Chairman, urges members to work for party’s success

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Ambassador Umar Damagum has retained his position as the acting National Charman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

On Thursday, the PDP conducted its 98th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

In a communique after the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Barrister Debo Ologunagba said the NEC urged all members to continue to work together for the success of the party for the benefit of Nigerians.

A day earlier, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party passed a vote of confidence on Damagum.

Ologunagba said: “NEC charges all organs, leaders, critical stakeholders and indeed all members of the PDP to close ranks, put aside every personal or group interests and work together in the overall effort to reposition and return the PDP to power at the center in the interest of the Nigerian people.

“Consequently, NEC received and approved the Timetable for Party Congresses across the country.

“NEC also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the party.

“Similarly, NEC approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

“NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general.

“NEC charges all Party members to continue to work together for the success of the PDP for the benefit of Nigerians and sustenance of Democracy in our country.”

Before the NEC meeting, PDP members loyal to the party’s presidential candidate in the last election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had moved against Damagum, over allegations that he was working for former governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike.

Wike led a group of five PDP governors that rebelled against Atiku while contesting the presidential election last year.

Atiku lost the election to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who appointed Wike as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

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Reps Urge Ports Operators To Cooperate For Economic Diversification

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By Gloria Ikibah

The House of Representatives has appealed to ports operators in Nigeria to cooperate and align with Nigeria’s economic diversification move.

The Chairman House Committee on Ports And Harbours, Rep. Nnolim Nnaji, made the call at an interactive Session of the Committee with all Terminal Operators and Nigeria Ports Authority Licensed Agents, on Thursday in Abuja.

He explained that the Committee’s interactive session was very crucial because of the invaluable roles the sector plays in the nation’s economy and national life.

He saud: “It therefore presents us with urgent need to effect changes that will restructure this unique and high-tech sector and position it to strategically compete in the global space.

“This sector is very dynamic and we must constantly review the standards, facilities and operational guidelines to keep pace with its obtainable global best practices.

“I wish to reiterate the Committee’s commitment to ensure that the sector remains one of the best through appropriate legislation and oversight in order to bequeath to Nigerians, a Ports and Harbours that is properly regulated and better managed for greater efficiency”.

The Committee Chairman also said that it was important to harmoniously promote the objective of professionalizing the modus operandi of the sector to improve Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and revenue generation.

“We intend to collaborate with relevant Stakeholders in the industry to ensure that appropriate avenues are created for its economic development and then make it a hub for better non-oil revenue generation. It is imperative to note that the House of Representatives will continue to support total rehabilitation and upgrading of our Ports and Harbours and allied services. We shall ever be ready to provide the necessary legislation and needed oversight to achieve this purpose”, he added.

Rep. Nnaji disclosed that the purpose of the meeting was to provide the interface for members of the Committee to interact with Stakeholders in the industry, most especially Terminal Operators and NPA Licensed Agents regarding their operations and various activities in the Ports and also create the enabling environment and synergy towards achieving the goals of the Federal Government in the Maritime sector, as well as aligning the sector with its contemporary demands, developmental goals, international standards and best practices.

“It is pertinent to note that the Committee’s role is not only to oversight the NPA, but also to partner with stakeholders in the sector to achieve maximum success taking cognizance of government’s quest on increasing revenue generation, port decongestion and boosting infrastructural development for effective service delivery. Thus, we must be committed to transparency, collaboration and open dialogue with all stakeholders to enhance ease of doing business”, the chairman said.

The lawmaker enjoined the stakeholders to bring their exclusive viewpoints and experiences on board as they will be invaluable in shaping policies and recommendations of the committee.

While briefing the committee, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, Mrs Urunta Chinyere, told the committee that there was the news for the digitization of the operations of the agents.

According to her, if operators can adopt the model, it would enhance revenue generation.

“We observed that most of the terminal operators are doing partial implementation of what we ask for. They are not fully complying to what they are supposed to do”, Chinyere said.

In his response, the Managing Director of Five Star Logistics, Mr. Rigor Nazzari, said that his agency has fully complied with all the models.

According to him, there are operators specific issues at the terminals that need to be addressed by the council.

The committee chairman thereforw called on the terminal operators to comply with the council and upgrade their systems.

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Aisha Yesufu queries Gov. Ododo for trying to prevent EFCC from arresting Yahaya Bello

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Nigerian female social activist, Aisha Yesufu,  has expressed displeasure with the role played by Kogi Stars Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo in stopping the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from arresting his predecessor, Yahaya Bello.

It was gathered that the Kogi Governor on Wednesday, obstructed the arrest of Bello by operatives of the EFCC.

Recall that the EFCC operatives had stormed Bello’s residence in Abuja in an attempt to arrest him over an ongoing fraud investigation.

But Bello was reportedly smuggled out of his residence by Ododo to evade arrest by the anti-graft agency.

“I cannot imagine I, Aisha Yesufu as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a Governor will come to Abuja where I am, to prevent @officialEFCC from arresting someone.

“As in, prevent it from carrying out its constitutional sanctioned duty. Nahhhhh!
Kai! Poor Nigeria!”

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