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Wike Issues Warning To Directors Over Delay Of Rural Development Projects

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Federal Capital Territory (FCT), minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike, has warned that he would not allow anyone to slow down the development of rural communities in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

The minister said any director who refuses to act on files that he has already approved, is a saboteur, warning directors in the Administration against sitting on files for weeks, saying once he has granted approvals, the bureaucracy should be able to do its due diligence within seven days and ensure the release of funds.

Wike gave the warning on Tuesday in Abuja during the flag-off of the 5-kilometre Naharati-River Ukya-Unguwan Hausawa road in Abaji Area Council of the territory.

The minister said: “I know that you had suffered quite a lot in the past and you want things to change immediately. I want to appeal to you to be patient. I will never associate myself with anything that will not work. As I tell you that things will turn around positively, be assured that they will turn around positively. The decisions taken by Mr President may not materialize immediately but just be calm. You will reap it.

“We had a meeting on Monday with the most senior director and I was telling them that woe unto that director who will keep a file, that I have approved, for weeks. Woe unto you because you are a saboteur. Once I approve, do the needful. You can take a week to do due diligence. You don’t need to take 20 days.

The contractors are humans. When the money does not get to them on time, they incur more costs and then they begin to seek variation even though they know that variation is not in my dictionary. So, I need the support of the bureaucracy so that we can deliver the dividends of democracy to the people”, he said.

Wike assured that all the rural roads being flagged off would be completed before the end of the year, noting that President Bola Tinubu has mandated him to ensure even development of the councils.

“Mr President has mandated me and the Minister of State to see that we come to the Area Councils for you to feel the impact of governance. We have talked about insecurity. If you don’t have good roads can you fight insecurity? One of the ways of fighting insecurity is to provide good roads so that security agencies can chase criminals and apprehend them. If you don’t have good roads you can’t go to the farms. This road also supports agricultural development.

“The president has told us that development should not only be concentrated in the city. One of the reasons for rural-urban migration is access to amenities and when you provide that in the rural areas, people will stay in their areas.

“Insecurity does not know any political party. Hardship does not know who belongs to which party. Therefore the council chairmen owe the people to provide good governance. They have all agreed with us to work with this administration to make sure that our people will not lose out and I want to commend them for that.

“All these projects we are starting will be completed this year. None will get to next year. We must make people have confidence in the government by fulfilling our promises. Be assured that these roads in the six Area Councils will be completed before the year ends.

All these we are doing have to do with the 2023 budget. We are going to flag off more roads in the 2024 budget. It is your right. We are not doing it we are helping you. No. Mr President came to you and sought your mandate, that he would touch your lives. He is doing that now”, he added.

Earlier, Chairman of the Council, Abdullahi Abubakar said the road will facilitate the movement of goods and services by supporting agricultural development.

While he called on the people to remain united in their determination to see the project through to completion, he expressed the support of his people for the administration.

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister

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Power Sector: FG To Establish 3 Gigawatts Of Solar Energy in 25 States – Minister
…say poor funding, insufficient gas supply responsible for power deficit
By Gloria Ikibah
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had said that the federal government is working towards the establishment of three gigawatts of solar energy sources across the 25 states in Northern and South Western parts of the country.
According to him, this is a novel approach that will go a long way to solve the power problems, even as he called on state governments to invest in power generation in their states.
The minister stated this at a two-day Power Sector Stakeholders Interactive Dialogue/Workshop organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Power with the theme “Confronting Nigeria’s Power Challenge as the Nation Migrates to a Multi-tier Electricity Market: A Legislative Intervention” on Tuesday in Abuja.
Adelabu who said that hydro energy would be deployed for the coastal cities, also lamented that the country has witnessed incessant collapse of transmission which is caused by lack of adequate infrastructure.
He admitted that most of the infrastructure in the power dates back to the 1960s, with no single backup for the national grid, and called for alternative sources in the situation where there is a collapse of the grid.
The Minister also disclosed that the major factors responsible for the power deficit currently faced by the country is as a result of inadequate financing and insufficient gas supply.
Adelabu who lamented the current state of power supply across the country, however, assured Nigerians of the determination of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to address the challenges and make Nigeria a suitable place for business.
He said “No sector can function optimally without the power sector. Over the years, poor financing, and inadequate gas supply have been responsible for the energy deficit we have in the country. But a lot of work is going on to address these challenges.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the
Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep. Victor Nwokolo explained that the purpose of the interactive dialogue/workshop was to provide a dynamic platform for stakeholders to evaluate the progress so far in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) development.
He revealed that discussions will centre around the seamless transition to a Multi-Tier Electricity Market, as outlined in the Electricity Act of 2023.
According to him, “his transition, holds immense potential to enhance competition, efficiency, and reliability within the electricity market, ultimately benefitting consumers and driving economic growth”.
He said: “Through collaborative brainstorming and analysis, we aim to chart a clear roadmap for this transition, ensuring that it is smooth, inclusive, and conducive to sustainable development.
“Furthermore, this workshop will serve as a platform for stakeholders to explore innovative solutions to the persistent challenges plaguing the power sector. From infrastructure development and financing to regulatory frameworks and consumer engagement, we will examine a wide array of issues and propose actionable strategies for improvement.
“In addition to these objectives, we aspire for this workshop to foster enhanced collaboration and partnership among stakeholders. By bringing together legislators, representatives from government agencies, regulatory bodies, industry players, academia, and civil society, we aim to cultivate a culture of cooperation and collective action towards our shared goal of a vibrant and resilient power sector”.
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How Yahaya Bello withdrew $720,000 from Kogi account to pay child’s school fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

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Yahaya Bello Withdrew $720,000 From Kogi Account To Pay Child’s School Fees -EFCC Chairman

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

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