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Minister of power inaugurates 5 projects under Presidential Power Initiative

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The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, has inaugurated five projects, located in Okene, Kogi state, Amukpe, Delta state, Potiskum, Yobe state, Apo in Abuja, and Ihovbor, Edo state, under the phase one of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI).

The phase one of the PPI is targeted at increasing Nigeria’s wheeling capacity by 272 megawatts, thus culminating in a more robust delivery of electricity to consumers across the nation.

Speaking at the commissioning of the 60MVA power transformer , Adelabu, said: “Concurrently, we are remotely inaugurating four additional sites, namely Amukpe in Delta State, Potiskum in Yobe State, Apo in Abuja, and Ihvobor in Edo state.

“This is why we commend the strides that have been made by the FGN Power Company under the Presidential Power Initiative. In particular, the partnership that has been forged with the German government and Siemens Energy which led to the production and installation of these world-class equipment we are commissioning today.

“PPI, I must note, is a strategic and systematic approach to solving Nigeria’s perennial problems of unreliable and inadequate electricity supply. I am delighted that with the German Government’s partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria on the execution of the PPI, we will be able to deliver reliable power supply to the entire country. Mr. President has mandated that we accelerate our Agreement with Siemens Energy, and we are currently finalizing the scope of that work with all stakeholders.”

Similarly, the Managing director/CEO, FGN Power Company, Mr. Kenny Anuwe, said: “Today marks yet another historic day in the journey of our beloved country, Nigeria and the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI). The inauguration of four other sites, which include Amukpe in Delta State, Potiskum in Yobe State, Apo in Abuja and Ihovbor in Edo State, will collectively boost the transmission wheeling capacity by 272MW for onward delivery to electricity consumers. These signify a pivotal step forward in the revitalization of the power sector, serving as a masterstroke that will profoundly impact our industrial, social, and commercial life as a nation.

“The PPI has embarked on a noteworthy initiative by deploying Ten (10) Power Transformers and Ten (10) Mobile Substations across Nigeria. This strategic move will augment the transmission wheeling capacity, a pivotal component of the current administration’s concerted efforts to expeditiously deliver enhanced power supply. Importantly, the deployment of these devices underscores our steadfast dedication to advancing improved electricity access for the people of Nigeria.

“Let me at this point express my profound gratitude to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, His Excellency, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his single-minded determination to continue the pursuit of improved power supply for Nigerians, as initiated by his predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I extend my gratitude to the Honourable Minister of Power for your exemplary leadership and dedication to fulfilling the mandate of the PPI. Special thanks are also due to the former Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello and the incumbent Governor of the State His Excellency, Ahmed Usman Ododo for your invaluable support during the project implementation in Okene, which has made the commissioning of this project a reality.

“We acknowledge the importance of improved power supply towards the attainment of the present administration’s Renewed Hope agenda and assure Mr. President of our determination to provide all necessary leverage towards the attainment of his administration’s national objective.”

He said: “When, on August 31, 2018, the Federal Government of Nigeria established the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), the underlying objective was to coordinate the partnerships and secure financing for the project that would improve the country’s power transmission, distribution, and generation capacity for the benefit of Nigerian households and businesses.

“Through hard work and driven by an immeasurable sense of patriotism, the Nigerian government was able to reach an agreement with the German government, resulting in Siemens Energy’s emergence as the implementation partner to deliver on PPI’s mandate to modernize and revamp infastuctures in the power sector .

“Partnering with the German Government, Siemens A.G and Siemens Energy, we were able to set for ourselves and our dear country Nigeria, the ambitious task of boosting power supply from an estimated 4,000 megawatts to 25,000 megawatts.

“We are aware of the country’s economic and social potentials and needs. Therefore, FGN Power Company, through the PPI, has laid plans for an even distribution of power infrastructure across all the geopolitical and potential economic power zones of the country.

“This is why this commissioning of the power transformer in Okene, Kogi State is important. We strongly believe that with improved power supply in Kogi State as well as in other parts of North Central Nigeria, investments in agriculture and food processing will begin to spiral, and with that, there will be spontaneous personal, regional, and national economic growth.”

He added: “This administration is setting the course towards economic development, and access to energy is the foundation for job creation and economic growth. I am happy to announce that with our partnership with Siemens Energy, we have been able to create more jobs while also delivering capacity building in the area of power sector engineering for Nigerian engineers.”

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Speaker Abbas mourns Ogbonnaya Onu

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By Gloria Ikibah
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Abbas Tajudeen, has expressed sadness over the death of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, one of the founding fathers of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who died on Thursday.
Chief Onu, who was the first civilian governor of Abia State, served as the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari. He was aged 72.
Speaker Abbas, in his condolence message through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Musa Abdullahi Krishi, described the late Onu as a brilliant scholar, excellent engineer, disciplined politician and an elder statesman, whose passion for democracy and good governance was immeasurable.
The Speaker recalled how Chief Onu, as the national chairman of the defunct All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP), worked with leaders of other progressive legacy political parties to form the APC, with the aim of changing the country for the better.
Speaker Abbas commiserated with the Onu family, the people, and governments of Ebonyi and Abia States, while praying to God to grant him eternal rest.
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Hospital detains my wife, newborn triplets over unpaid bills – Physically–challenged photographer cries out

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My name is Maxwell Matthew. I was born in 1992. I am from Kogi State but I have lived in Edo State since childhood. I studied Biochemistry at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, in the state. Before that, I ran a national diploma in Science Laboratory Technology at the Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi. I have been a photographer right from my secondary school days. I am married and live in Benin City with my wife. I am the first child of my family.

Were you born disabled?

No, I have not always been disabled. In 2014, I was involved in an accident when I was on my to cover a wedding in Benue State, and that was how I became disabled.

How has it been for you since then?

That year when I had that accident, I was about to enter the major seminary of the Catholic Church. So, I was in the hospital for almost a year. In 2015, I decided not to go back to the seminary because I was in a wheelchair.

All through the time I was in the hospital, I was confined to a wheelchair. I had to reach out to my catholic priest and tell him of my condition.

I told him that even if I were then on a wheelchair, I would love to go back to school. I had to sit the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination all over. I wrote the exam in a wheelchair. I also sat the Post-UTME and passed both. That was how I got admitted to study Biochemistry at AAU.

After a while, I started using a walker, the one that has four legs, to move. After a while, I was asked to start using crutches. So, from my 200 level to my final year, I was using crutches, and have been using them ever since.

What spurred you to continue schooling despite the disability?

I don’t want to be seen as a liability. I don’t want to have to beg to eat or be seen as a beggar simply because I have a disability.

I want to fulfill my destiny, and my life does not lie on my leg that was cut off. Whenever I go to the hospital, I always tell the nurses to stop telling me sorry because my head was not cut off.

If it was my head was cut off, then I would know that life is over. But, I am still alive. That means there is hope. I want to fulfill the destiny that God kept for me.

Education is part of the process that refines us to become who God wants us to become. I am the first child of my family, and I want to also be a role model to other of my siblings; because I feel that, if I give up now, it will affect my younger ones and those who are looking up to me.

This is why I decided to pick up the mess I found myself in and turn it into a message to the world so that the world would see that disability is not inability.

This was also why I reached out to my reverend father and he encouraged me to go back to school. He also supported me financially and morally. He was the one who bought my first JAMB form for me.

What are the difficulties you’ve faced so far?

The difficulties I faced, most especially during school days were the accessibility to the lecture rooms and the distance. It was not easy for me.

God helped me through, and a lot of people were involved in assisting me. My coursemates were nice to me and there for me. They helped me and assisted me in a way they could.

Was there any time you felt discriminated against?

Yes, of course. Discrimination has become part of me. A physically challenged person or a person living with a disability would always receive discrimination from one or two people in the community. Although we have loving people, who are always there to show us love, there are many good people out there who are ready to assist us.

Recently, I went to a particular church for a programme and I was asked to drop my crutches on the floor. They warned me never to put my crutches on the chair but on the floor. It got me so saddened. I looked at the usher in disbelief. I kept asking myself why an usher in the house of God would treat me like that. Those crutches are my legs; why should I drop them on the floor?

The pastor, who did not know what was going on, picked up the microphone and expressed anger. He wondered why I would be arguing with the ushers and disturbing the church. I was so embarrassed that day that I felt like the ground should open up and swallow me. I eventually walked out of the church feeling down, bad, angry, and deeply embarrassed.

There are always people who discriminate against me, even when I am trying to enter a public vehicle and some public places. As we receive warm welcomes sometimes, we also receive not-so-good ones at other times.

Some people don’t treat us well. I wouldn’t say because some people are not treating us well, we shouldn’t talk about those empathise with us.

Even during my service year, it was a wonderful experience, from my service to my PPA, God has always placed wonderful people on my way and I enjoyed my service year.

Where did you serve?

I served in the Edo State House of Assembly in Benin, and from 2022 to 2023; I was attached to the House of Assembly.

Did you get support from family?

My parents have been so wonderful. They always want to see me happy. I do not have anything to regret. My siblings, my friends, and especially two of my friends that I met at Auchi Polytechnic, have all been there for me.

How did you meet your wife?

Hmm… It’s been a wonderful experience getting married to my wife. I had known her from our secondary school days, but we were just distant friends. We didn’t live close to each other.

Funnily enough, she was a junior student in my secondary school. But, somehow, when she was serving, I was in my 300 level. One day, she reached out to me after she heard about my accident, and empathised with me. Apparently, since the accident, she had not been able to reach out to me.

So, she said that she would come to visit me. She asked me for my address and I sent it to her. So, when she got to Benin, I went to pick her up from a popular junction. When she saw me, she was shocked because she never knew how bad my accident was. We both went to the office where I was doing my internship. We spent the day together and she left.

We kept communicating until we fell in love. It was clear that we were both interested in each other.

At that time, a catholic priest encouraged me to settle down with a good lady. Then, I didn’t know how to go about it. He advised me to check amongst my friends and look for a good lady.

So, one day, I called my father and told him that there was a female friend of mine who came around and we used to know each other from secondary school. My father encouraged me to talk to her, so I later opened up to her.

What was her reaction when you told her?

It was like the same thing that was on her mind because there was no rejection or a no from her. It was as if she was expecting it.

What was the reaction of her family?

The truth is that, from the very first day, there was no discrimination, I was warmly welcomed by her dad and mum, and then I left.

It was after I left that I learnt that some distant relations, not the immediate family, started questioning my wife’s parents on why they would allow their daughter to marry a man with a disability.

You know there will always be bad eggs in the family. The tussle lasted for some months, but the parents stood their ground that since the daughter said it was me she wanted, they were going to support her.

The father called me and said I should bring my family to do the right thing. They also said they were not expecting a big wedding. They encouraged me to come with whatever I could afford and do the traditional marriage.

What year did you get married?

We got married in 2022 and we just gave birth to triplets. They were born on Good Friday.

So what was that thing that attracted you to your wife?

I will tell you that discipline is one of the core values that I saw in her. She is well-trained and an easygoing person. Then, we share the same ideologies. When you meet a real friend, you won’t have difficulty getting along with such a person.

She is not just my wife but she is my friend and sister. To date, she doesn’t look at my weaknesses or disability; she only concentrates on my ability. She became a good photographer because she was ready to learn.

When she told me she wanted to go and learn photography, I asked her if she wanted to learn because I am also a photographer, and she said no. Today, she is a good photographer and even better than I am.

Where is she from and how old is she?

She is from Isoko-North LGA in Delta State and I am a year older than her.

How did you feel when you heard about the news of the arrival of your triplets?

It was a mixed feeling, A few months into her pregnancy; we discovered that she was carrying triplets. I saw it as a challenge. I always had this feeling that whatever came my way, I could handle; not because I had the resources at hand but because God made it to come my way. That means God wants me to face it.

So, when I received the news, I was excited and joyful. At the same time, I began to wonder how I was going to survive in the economic situation. I am not that stable with my photographer. I just rounded off my national service. I don’t have a job that can sustain me and the family yet.

But, my wife has been a wonderful woman, very contented and managing what we have. She doesn’t complain or put pressure on me. She is a very strong woman who believes in me and that I can take care of her with the little I have, she never felt discouraged.

Since she gave birth on a Good Friday, she has been in the hospital with our triplets.

Why hasn’t she been discharged?

We’ve not completed our payments. The first bill we received was N455,000. I begged the doctor to reduce the money, explaining my condition, but there was no consideration.

I was only able to deposit N156,000. After some time, they brought another bill again, and up till now, my wife and triplets are still in the hospital.

So now, we still owe them close to N400,000 but I wouldn’t know what the next bill would be like including payment for the days they’ve been spending in the hospital.

I need good Nigerians to help me get a good job because if we can find our way to bring them out of the hospital, I need to take care of them and I wouldn’t want to keep managing terribly.

The mother and the babies have been in the hospital for more than two weeks now. They are in the Intensive Care Unit and are currently on oxygen because they are preterm babies kept in the incubator.

We need financial assistance to be able to take care of the children as I am not buoyant enough; I also need an artificial limb for easy movement.

Do you have a child before the triplets?

Yes, we have a son. The triplets are two boys and a girl. So, we have three boys and one girl in total.

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Just in: Fleeing Binance Executive, Anjarwalla Found In Kenya

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Nigerian government says Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, who escaped custody in Nigeria, has been found in Kenya.

A source in the presidency, who preferred anonymity, confirmed the development as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the International Criminal Police, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Kenyan Police Service have deepened talks to quicken Anjarwalla’s extradition.

“We know where he is. He is in Kenya, and we’re working with the authorities to bring him back to Nigeria”, the source said.

The EFCC chairman, Ola Olukuyede, last month, in a statement, stressed that the commission is collaborating with INTERPOL, the US, UK, Northern Ireland and Kenyan authorities to extradite Anjarwalla, who has been on the run.

The commission had instituted five-count charges bordering on tax evasion, currency speculation and money laundering against Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, the firm’s executives.

EFCC arraigned Binance and the two executives on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Recall that Anjarwalla escaped from custody on March 22 and has been at large since then.

Meanwhile, the government confirmed that EFCC had fully taken over the case of Binance from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.

For months, the Nigerian government sustained its crackdown on Binance over its role in manipulating the country’s Foreign exchange market.

During the 293rd meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, in February, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, had said that more than $26 billion had been funnelled through Binance without a trace.

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