Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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President Tinubu Identifies Local Government as Key Pillar in National Security Framework


President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has emphasized the crucial role of local government systems in Nigeria’s national security architecture. He stressed the need for urgent legislation to safeguard and enhance the autonomy and effectiveness of local government administration to address critical national challenges.

This was contained in a statement signed by Henshaw Ogubike Director (Information and Public Relations)

Represented by the Minister of Defence, H.E. Muhammed Badaru Abubakar CON, President Tinubu made this declaration while presenting a keynote address at a National Discussion on Nigeria’s Security Challenge and Good Governance at the Local Government Level.

The event which was organized by the House of Representatives and held at the Abuja Continental Hotel, Abuja.

The President highlighted the strategic position of local governments in promoting human security by delivering essential services like healthcare, education, sanitation, and social welfare programs directly to communities. He noted that empowered local governments can ensure communities are safe, prosperous, and resilient.

Expressing concern over the decline of the local government system, President Tinubu acknowledged its degradation and incapacitation have contributed significantly to developmental setbacks and the nation’s inability to effectively address prevailing national security threats.

He emphasized his administration’s commitment to strengthening local government systems to address social and economic challenges. Empowering local authorities with necessary resources and capacities to implement sustainable development initiatives can create sustainable opportunities and ensure a stable nation.

President Tinubu commended the House of Representatives and its partners, the UK International Development and PERL, for organizing this important national dialogue. He hoped that the event would yield plausible measures to rejuvenate the local government system in Nigeria.

A Weekend Balderdash


By Kehinde Bamigbetan

The offensive article, “Tinubu’s Minister, submits the N200 billion budget for the project already existing”, written by a blogger called Echezonam Ibezim was primed to titilate your appetite for sensational hogwash, fast becoming the pastime of gatecrashers into journalism.

In the author’s desperation to report negatively, he betrayed gargantuan ignorance of the gaps in the country’s geo-data environment.

The Solid Minerals sector relies on scientific data on the nature and occurrence of rocks underground to determine reserves of commercial quantity that investors can use to make decisions on business ventures.

The National Geodata Centre lauded by KPMG is the repository of geological data. We have improved on it with the launch of the advanced Nigerian Minerals Resource Decision Support System, which the Minister launched on May 14. It aggregates geological, hydrological, demographic, and economic data to facilitate investment decision making.

A Geodata Centre is a repository. It is like a bucket or store of information. Its relevance to investors is the quality of its data.

It is obvious that the writer is unable to distinguish between the bucket and what it must contain ! To clarify, a bucket you wish to use to bath must have water. The bucket to paint must have emulsion.

The data centre we have established must have accurate and comprehensive data to cater to investors seeking to mine over 44 minerals. If it doesn’t, investors won’t take Nigeria seriously. If the government is able to make the data available at the data centre, it will de-risk investment and enable them to venture into actual extraction and processing.

However, the data in the facility is grossly inadequate, hence the need for ambitious and aggressive data gathering to fill the gap. This challenge was identified by the previous administration. It led to the implementation of the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project. Due to funding constraints, NIMEP explored only five out of Nigeria’s 44 minerals and was restricted to specific regions of estimated occurrences.

These were Gold with Nickel and PGM; Pegmatite minerals ( Tantalum, Niobium, Tin and Lithium); Lead, Zinc and Silver; ⁠Baryte and Iron ore.
Compare this with Sierra Leone which, between 2018 and 2022 spent $7.8 million to execute a nationwide Airborne Geophysiscal Survey of its 71,740 square kilometres enabling her to develop data sets on the occurrences and reserves of all key minerals.

With Nigeria’s land space of 923,768 square kilometres, more than 12 times the size of Sierra Leone, the cost of a similar Airborne Survey will exceed the N200 billion budget proposed – which is not even available !

Furthermore, Nigeria’s low investment in solid minerals exploration is an international embarrassment, and this administration is determined to reverse the stigma. According to Standard & Poor ‘s survey on exploration budgets of countries in Africa, Nigeria spent the least, only $2.5 million dollars on exploration in 2023 compared to Ivory Coast’s $ 147 million. The figures for a few other countries are DR Congo, $ 133 million, South Africa, $ 117 million, Ghana, 99.7 million, and Mali. $ 83 million are instructive.

The Minister’s budget proposal, tagged NIMEP 2, was conceived by the Ngerian Geological Survey Agency, to explore identified mineralised corridors, gather more data on government-owned licences, explore targeting methods for specific minerals and develop local exploration expertise.

There must be something wrong with a writer flinging ill-digested and ill-informed trash into the public space to raise false alarms. It comes from the permanent political campaign mindset that keeps the election loser on the field after the match has ended.

Now that you know the truth, be free from the bile and prejudices which goaded your ill-informed insinuations and have the courtesy to apologise.

Bamigbetan is Special Adviser to the Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals Development.

Matawalle Shows Solidarity With Security Agents Along Abuja -Kaduna Highway


On his way to Kaduna, the Honourable Minister of State for Defence, H.E Dr Muhammed Bello Matawalle MON, spotted people gathered in clusters alongside Armed Forces personnel.

He promptly instructed his convoy to stop, allowing him to assess the situation.

He disembarked and entered the community near the Rijana Forward Operational Base, where he witnessed the aftermath of a successful operation against bandits. The Armed Forces had just recovered rustled cows, which were being temporarily held at a local school for onward transmission to the Kaduna State Government.

Dr. Matawalle commended their resilience and praised the security agents for their bravery. He also addressed the military men, the Police DPO, and other security agents present, charging them to continue protecting Nigerians with unwavering dedication.

This impromptu stoppage by Minister Matawalle serves as a morale booster and a demonstration of his commitment to supporting security agents in their vital work.

Alliance Hospital Achieves Milestone with Birth of IVF Triplets


Alliance Hospital is celebrating a significant achievement in its IVF program with the successful delivery of its first set of triplets. This landmark success comes just over a year after the hospital’s state-of-the-art IVF center was commissioned.

According to Dr. Christopher Otabor, Chief Medical Director of Alliance Hospital, the IVF program has achieved a remarkable 70% success rate, surpassing global averages of 35-40%. He shared the inspiring story of a woman from Canada who became pregnant after multiple failed attempts at IVF in her home country. Currently, the IVF center has nearly 15 ongoing pregnancies, with the birth of the triplets being a particularly joyous occasion.

Dr. Otabor attributed the success to the hospital’s investment in top-tier equipment and dedicated personnel. “Our commitment to excellence has led to superior performance, and we are proud to be making a difference in the lives of families,” he said.

In addition to IVF services, Alliance Hospital also performs complex surgeries, including hip replacements and spine surgeries, showcasing its broad medical capabilities.

To celebrate the birth of the triplets, Alliance Hospital presented the family with walkers and announced a scholarship program for the children. Each child will receive ₦100,000 annually for primary and secondary education and ₦300,000 annually for university education.

Dr. Mike Enokela, Head of the IVF Center, expressed his delight at the milestone, noting the increasing demand for IVF services due to rising infertility rates. He emphasized that the center has attracted clients from both Nigeria and abroad, with impressive success rates and a reputation for helping women conceive when other centers could not.

The IVF center also offers advanced services like pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for couples at risk of genetic disorders, ensuring healthy pregnancies and fulfilling the desires of many families.

Dr. Enokela praised the hospital’s CMD for providing the enabling environment necessary for such success. “We are honored to be part of the journey, writing stories of joy and happiness for many families,” he concluded, celebrating the hospital’s role in transforming lives through its IVF program.

Pan Arewa Group Urges President Tinubu to Reverse Dickson Akor’s Appointment


The Jigawa Conscience Alliance, a Pan Arewa group, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reverse the appointment of Mr. Dickson Akor as a member of the Governing Board of the Federal University of Technology, Babura, Jigawa. The group cited Akor’s past expulsion from the University of Abuja for examination malpractice as a key reason for their opposition.

In a statement issued by the group’s National Chairman, Hon. Abdulahi Shehu-Dutse, and made available to newsmen in Abuja, the group expressed dismay at the appointment, questioning how someone with such a tarnished academic record could be entrusted with a significant role in a university’s governance. Akor, a former sociology student, was expelled from the University of Abuja following his involvement in examination malpractice during a course, SOC 804, as confirmed by the university’s disciplinary committee and senate in October 2021.

Shehu-Dutse’s statement detailed the expulsion process, highlighting that Akor continues to falsely claim a master’s degree from the University of Abuja and parades himself with a procured honorary doctorate degree. The expulsion letter, dated November 5, 2021, and signed by Deputy Registrar Alkassim M. Umar, was referenced to validate these claims.

The group underscored the inappropriate nature of Akor’s appointment to a university governing board, stressing the potential damage to the institution’s integrity and the future of its students. They noted widespread concern among stakeholders from Jigawa and Kano states, as well as from the University of Abuja, regarding this “shameful” appointment.

Hon. Shehu-Dutse also referenced a previous lawsuit filed by Akor against the University of Abuja and its Vice Chancellor, which was dismissed for lack of merit by Honourable Justice A. I. Kutigi in November 2020. The group’s chairman urged President Tinubu and the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, to act swiftly in withdrawing Akor’s appointment to protect the institution’s reputation and educational standards.

The statement commended President Tinubu’s directive to review recent appointments in federal universities’ governing boards and emphasized that Akor’s removal should be a priority. Shehu-Dutse expressed confidence that Professor Mamman, known for his strict standards as the former Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, would not tolerate such a controversial figure in the academic administration.

Attempts to reach Mr. Dickson Akor for comment were unsuccessful. A senior management staff member from the University of Abuja, preferring anonymity, confirmed the authenticity of the documents presented by the group and expressed frustration with Akor’s refusal to acknowledge his wrongdoings.

The Ministry of Education, when contacted, requested a formal written inquiry to respond to the issue.

NAF@60: Badaru Emphasizes Importance of International Cooperation, Partnership


The Honourable Minister of Defence, H.E. Muhammed Badaru Abubakar CON, mni, has emphasized the significance of international cooperation and partnership between the Nigerian Air Force and other air forces worldwide.

Speaking as a Special Guest of Honour at the 60th Anniversary Celebration and Third African Air Force Forum Conference held at the International Conference Center, Abuja, the Minister stressed the importance of collaboration in enhancing capabilities and effective discharge of the Nigerian Air Force mandate.

Badaru commended the Nigerian Air Force for their substantial contributions to joint efforts in countering terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other criminal activities that have plagued the nation. He also praised the sharing of knowledge, experience, and resources with other air forces through platforms like the African Air Forces Forum.

The Minister acknowledged the challenging security landscape globally and in Nigeria, but expressed confidence in the Armed Forces’ ability to overcome these threats.

He highlighted the Federal Government’s significant investments in acquiring various platforms and defence equipment for the Nigerian Air Force, made possible through local and international partnerships.

Reiterating President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to ending insecurity in Nigeria, the Minister emphasized that security remains a top priority, and no efforts will be spared in restoring peace and security in the country. He urged unity and determination in supporting the Nigerian Armed Forces in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

The ceremony’s highlight was a tour of the exhibition stands, where foreign air space technological firms showcased their innovations in the aviation sector, by the Minister along with the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, and other Service Chiefs.

Nigeria to Collaborate with Pakistan on Defense Equipment Production – Matawalle


The Honourable Minister of State for Defence, H.E. Dr. Bello Muhammed Matawalle has assured the Pakistan Government of Nigeria’s readiness to partner in the production of Defence equipment and hardware through the newly signed Nigerian Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Act.

This was contained in a statement signed by Henshaw Ogubike Director (Information and Public relations), Ministry of Defence.

The Minister who stated this when he received the delegation from the Pakistan Air Force led by
AVM Zaeem on courtesy visit to his office in Ship House Abuja.

Dr Bello said that besides Nigeria’s willingness to partner with Pakistan to enhance military needs and requirements, the need to collaborate in exchange of real time intelligence sharing will also deepen the long time established relationship with Pakistan Government.

He assured the delegation that the Ministry will come up with the requirements for proper documentation and further engagements that will be of great benefit to both countries.

The delegation led by Air Vice Marshal Zaeem, are in Nigeria to participate in the 60th Anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force and 3rd African Air Force Forum slated for May,23rd and 24th 2024 in Abuja while the grand finale will be on May, 25th 2024 at Kaduna. This historic events will attract several Chiefs of Air Staff and many aerospace industry leaders from across the world.

Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation AVM Zaeem said that Pakistan will support Nigeria in the Production of Military equipment cooperation to boost the nation’s fight against insecurity.

He further said that Nigeria and Pakistan have maintained military ties over the years and they are willing to help Nigeria fight insecurity by providing real time intelligence sharing and training.

Sanusi Reinstated as Emir of Kano Four Years After Deposition


Muhammadu Sanusi II, who was deposed as the Emir of Kano in 2020, has been reinstated by Governor Abba Yusuf. The announcement was made on Thursday following the governor’s signing of the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

Governor Yusuf stated, “With the full support of the kingmakers, I have approved the reappointment of Malam Sanusi Lamido.” The new law effectively repeals the Kano State Emirates Council Law of 2019, which had established additional emirate councils and led to the creation of the emirates of Karaye, Bichi, Rano, and Gaya.

Sanusi II was originally dethroned by former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje in March 2020 following a prolonged dispute. The recent legislative changes, passed by the state assembly earlier on Thursday, dissolve the emirate councils created under Ganduje’s administration and restore the singular Emirate of Kano.

Deputy Speaker Muhammad Butu explained that the repeal was necessary to restore Kano’s historical unity and prestige, which had been compromised by the division into multiple emirates. Majority Leader Lawal Hussaini Chediyar Yan Gurasa added, “The abolished Emirates did nothing but create division among the indigenes of Kano. The unity which was visible for thousands of years in Kano was divided. We are now reverting to our old historical background; one Kano, one people, one Emir.”

The reinstatement of Sanusi II marks a significant shift in Kano’s traditional leadership and aims to consolidate the emirate’s historical identity and unity.

How the Niger Delta Music and Arts Program (NDMAP) Will Turn Around the Entertainment Industry in the Niger Delta Region


ByMartins Ogolo

The Niger Delta Region has far too long been known for several wrong reasons, ranging from kidnapping to pipeline vandalization to several other social vices. This is not because the youths are not industrious or talented, but for the fact that the talents of our youths haven’t been properly harnessed.

Niger Delta Development Commission’s Holistic Opportunities and Programs for Empowerment (HOPE), was birthed by the Chief Samuel Ogbuku-led administration. One of the cardinal sections of PROJECT HOPE is the Niger Delta Music & Arts Program (NDMAP), whose main focus is to develop talents such as musicians, movie producers, content creators, cinematographers, and visual artists.

The Niger Delta Music and Arts Project (NDMAP) is designed to stimulate prospects for active and passionate young creatives/entertainers. Also, NDMAP will preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of the Niger Delta region through music and art. It will provide a platform for indigenous creatives to showcase their talent, fostering a sense of pride and identity within the region.

Over the years, we have seen the tenacity and audacity of indigenous youths in the creative industry as they soar amidst all the prevailing circumstances. The Niger Delta Music and Arts Project is an intentional strategy designed to identify active and responsible ‘green horns’ and give them the needed support through processes that will:

  • Discover
  • Nurture
  • Reward
  • Expose their talents and abilities.

The Niger Delta Music and Arts Project (NDMAP) involves creating original music, producing films that highlight local stories, generating engaging content, and utilizing cinematography to capture the essence of the region. The overarching goal is to celebrate and promote the artistic vibrancy of the Niger Delta through a multidimensional approach. The Niger Delta Music and Arts Project is designed to create platforms, enable talents, and empower creatives in five considered skill sets of this specimen:

  • Music production
  • Movie production
  • Cinematography
  • Creative content
  • Visual arts

Using arts and creative endeavors as a means of raising awareness by telling correct narratives about the Niger Delta, the Music and Arts Project will also:

  • Facilitate cultural exchange and collaboration among artists from diverse backgrounds, encouraging a vibrant and dynamic creative scene.
  • Promote economic empowerment by supporting local artists through performances and collaborations with the broader artistic community.
  • Establish partnerships with government and non-governmental organizations to garner support for sustainable development.

The MAP, which is designed to create a regional entertainment industry, will enable platforms for ninety (90) creative youths in these categories and empower nine (9) youths (Prides of Niger Delta) in the categorized set. The NDMAP will incubate passionate and hopeful creatives to help them grow organically into a fully structured enterprising venture with the requisite mentorship and monitoring paraphernalia required for growth.

The Niger music and art project is designed to run for a period of forty-one (41) days, implementing four cardinals:

  1. The Interest/Nomination Stage
  2. The Audition Stage
  3. The Selection/Incubation Stage
  4. The Grand Finale/Empowerment.
    These four strategic process implementations were detailed to ensure that truly the core objectives of NDMAP will be achieved.

End Note:
NDMAP seeks to create a meaningful and sustainable impact on both the artistic landscape and the region of the Niger Delta. I must commend the resource consultant for project HOPE, Ambassador Blessing Fubara, for his ingenuity and hard work behind the scenes to ensure the project meets global standards. The MD/CEO NDDC, Chief Samuel Ogbuku, has of course shown his sincerity in changing the fortunes of Niger Delta youths, which is why he has given full support and expanded the scope of the program. The long term plan of the Holistic Opportunities and Programs for Empowerment (HOPE), is to have an “Entertainment Park ” which will serve as a breeding ground for young Niger Delta Talents to groom them and give them competitive advantage over their counterparts from other parts of the country , so much so that they don’t have to search for greener pastures outside the region , as the market is readily available .

I enjoin all well-meaning Niger Deltans to embrace this life-changing opportunity, as even future generations will benefit greatly from it, as its effect will be felt and enjoyed as PROJECT HOPE has come to stay.

To register on the PROJECT HOPE database, kindly click: https://ndjobsskillsdb.ng/data-register/

To Register for NDMAP Click :

Wike Unfazed by Political Distractions, Vows to Deliver Key Projects for Tinubu’s One-Year Anniversary


The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barr. Nyesom Wike, has reaffirmed his commitment to delivering key projects set for inauguration to mark President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s one year in office, undeterred by political distractions from Rivers State.

During an inspection tour of several projects slated for commissioning at the end of the month, Wike emphasized his dedication to fulfilling his mandate.”I am not distracted. If I were, you wouldn’t see this level of performance.

My focus is on my work as the Minister of the FCT, and the progress we’re making speaks for itself,” Wike stated.Wike expressed satisfaction with the progress of road works and lauded contractors for adhering to specified timelines.

“This is the final inspection to ensure we are prepared for the inauguration of various projects. From what we have seen, we are ready for the commissioning starting on May 27th and concluding on June 6th. It will be a nine-day event,” he explained.

The Minister highlighted that the projects’ timely completion is a testament to the effective collaboration between the government and contractors. “We are pleased that contractors are meeting deadlines, and all promises made have been fulfilled.

We have ensured financial support, and none of the contractors is facing cash flow issues,” Wike added.A significant highlight of the upcoming inaugurations is the launch of the Metroline for commercial operations.

“With the President’s approval, we believe the Metroline will commence operations on May 27th, marking a major milestone in our infrastructure development,” Wike revealed.Addressing concerns about malfunctioning streetlights, Wike assured that ongoing maintenance work would ensure all projects are completed by the inauguration date.

“Massive work is being done on streetlights, and we are committed to finishing all intended projects by May 27th,” he concluded.

Wike’s focus on project delivery underscores his resolve to bring tangible benefits to FCT residents, setting a precedent for performance and accountability amid political challenges.