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Ogun Govt Signs MoU On Urban Renewal, Public Transportation With Britain

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The Ogun State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Britain as parts of efforts to bring urban renewal and public transportation up to speed The MoU will cover modern strategies to be put in place to accommodate the expected population explosion in the state and to address its effect on public infrastructure, especially, transportation.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi, who signed on behalf of the State Government and a Counsellor and head of Future Cities Programme of the British High Commission in Nigeria, Guy Harrison, agreed that it has become expedient to be futuristic.

The partnership drive between the Ogun State and the British government is captured under a programme called “Future Cities Nigeria”, a UKAID-funded urban renewal programme. It has a timeline of three years.

According to the programme outline, UK will provide support for the Ogun State transport sector.

The British Government will also fast track housing and urban development in Ogun, which is currently facing the challenge of absorbing spillover of the population explosion in Lagos State.

Speaking at the MOU signing ceremony held at the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta, Mr. Talabi commended the initiative, saying it would complement the various efforts of the state government in its desire to plan for a common prosperous future for the people of the state and for physical infrastructure.

Talabi noted that the present administration was duly committed to providing the enabling environment for such partnerships to thrive seamlessly.

“We thank the British Government and the Future Cities Nigeria for these laudable initiatives targeted at planning towards the future in Ogun State. This level of support cannot be diminished because the Prince Dapo Abiodun led-administration is determined to change the narrative on how things are being done,” he said.

These, he said, can be seen in the various interventions of the state government in road rehabilitation efforts, the security of lives and property, as well as the ease of doing business strategies amongst many others.

“Our desire is to make Ogun State, a place where you could live peacefully, and work prosperously for the future” he noted.

Mr. Talabi reassured the partners that the present government would not just pay lip service to governance issues, but would continue to accelerate even development and stimulate rapid investments within the state through workable collaborations with Lagos State.

“Part of our effort in this direction is beginning to bear fruits with the setting up of the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission. It is meant to accelerate inter-state collaboration. We are already intensifying effort on road rehabilitation, provision of potable water supply, amongst many other initiatives still in the offing,” he added.

The State chief scribe thereafter reassured the partners of government’s commitment towards the realisation of the project in the state for the well-being of the entire populace.

On his part, Mr. Harrison, who is the leader of the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos, said that the team was in the State to support the policies of the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration in order to fully maximise all the benefits of urban renewal and transportation available.

He promised that the support of the British Government for urban renewal and public transportation in the State would be total. The primary focus, he noted, would be to develop the capacity of the people and the state at large.

“The British High Commission is extremely delighted with the State government on the various policies on sustainable development, job creation, poverty reduction and many others targeted at giving the people a new lease of livelihood,” he added.

Also, the Team Lead for the Future Cities programme, Mr. Simon Gusah, underscored the importance of planning as a prerequisite to nation building.

He said there was an urgent need for government at all levels to start planning for future challenges ahead, noting that the initiative was predicated on inclusive prosperity for all.

Mr. Gusah contended that the programme represents a catalytic intervention aimed at leveraging international and British expertise towards improving trade and investments between Nigeria and the rest of the world.

He asserted that the programme has the potential to facilitate additional finance and improved opportunities for international and UK businesses in Ogun State.

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BIG STORY

One Year After, Abuja Court Fines Senator Abbo N50m For Assaulting Woman At Sex-Toy Shop

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The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, on Monday, awarded N50m damages against the senator representing Adamawa North, Elisha Abbo, to be paid as compensation to a female attendant at a sex-toy shop, Osimibibra Warmate, whom he assaulted.

Justice Samira Bature gave the order in her judgment on the fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by Warmate against the senator.

The video clip of the alleged assault of the woman by the senator had gone viral.

The police had in 2019 charged before a magistrate court in Zuba, Abuja with one count of assaulting Warmate at a sex-toy shop in Abuja.

But the presiding magistrate, Abdullahi Ilelah, had dismissed the case after upholding the no-case submission filed by the senator.

Warmate, through her legal team including Esosa Omo-Usoh and Nelson Onuoha, went on to sue Abbo in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed before the FCT High Court and marked FCT/CV/2393/19.

Justice Bature upheld the plaintiff’s case in a judgment on Monday by ordering the senator to pay N50m to the applicant.

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War Of Words: Amaechi Fights Wike At Supreme Court Justice’s Burial

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday engaged in a verbal fight at the burial of a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, in the Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.

Amaechi, who is the Minister of Transportation, while speaking at the funeral service, lamented what he termed the rising insecurity and political intimidation in the state, saying the state was back to the time of Ateke Tom, a former militant leader, who is now the traditional head of Okochiri town in Okrika LGA of the state.

“You have lost your voice. The sage (the late justice) has gone under and nobody is speaking. When I was governor, I gave people voices, but they have blocked those voices.

“Everyone is scared. We are going back to when Ateke held sway. We are going back to the period where we run away from our people. We are back to a period when nobody could speak. But from next year, I will begin to speak, if nobody wants to speak.

“We are all here because we need to bury a man God has blessed. I have stopped traveling because of bad weather, but I told myself I must be here because of Justice Whyte.

“If you knew Justice (Karibi-Whyte) very well, you will know I was close to him. I was one of the few people he mentored,” Amaechi stated.

Wike on his part described the late Karibi-Whyte as an epitome of unshakable integrity, civility, and dignity, but noted that comments credited to Amaechi were embarrassing.

Responding to Amaechi, Wike who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Emeka Woke, said the minister had lost touch with developments in the state, adding that since the launching of Operation Sting by his administration, the security situation had improved greatly.

Wike said, “It is unfortunate for Amaechi to come to Kalabari land and accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan of not developing the area six years after he had left office.

“I wonder why the former governor will choose to make such embarrassing remarks at the funeral of late Justice Karibi-Whyte, a man he (Amaechi) claimed to be his mentor.”

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Nationwide Strike: Nigerian Govt Releases Details Of Agreements With Labour Leaders

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The Federal government on Monday made public the details of its agreements with organised labour.

A statement on FG’s Twitter handle said officials held consultation meetings with leaders of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) on September 15, 24 and 27, 2020.

The resolutions reached included establishment of Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff.

It is chaired by the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, and comprises ministries, agencies, NLC and TUC.

They will work over the next two weeks.

They are to examine the justification for the electricity tariff review; review the deployment of meters, and advice FG on issues hindering implementation.

During the two-week period, DISCOs will suspend implementation of the electricity tariff adjustments.

The statement reiterated that the petrol subsidy regime has stifled downstream sector growth.

“In addition, the dire financial circumstances of the Federation preclude the ability to sustain any subsidy on PMS, and thus makes the deregulation of the sector inevitable. NNPC will expedite the rehabilitation of its Refineries, with a 50% completion target for Port Harcourt by December 2021.

“NNPC will integrate national leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN into the Steering Committee established to oversee the Rehabilitation Exercise. A Validation Team comprising of Reps of @NNPCgroup, @nigeriaeiti, @icrcng, NUPENG and PENGASSAN will be established to monitor the progress of the Rehabilitation of Refineries, Pipelines and Depot Networks.

“The Federal Government will continue to facilitate licensing and delivery of new modular and regular refineries. FG will ensure delivery of 1 million CNG/LPG Autogas Conversion Kits, Storage Skids and Dispensing Units under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Programme, by December 2021.

“A Governance Structure for this project will be established and will include Labour Representatives. FG will work to facilitate the removal of tax on minimum wage. FG will make available to Labour 133 CNG/LPG-driven Mass Transit Buses immediately, for use in major cities nationwide, and thereafter extend to all States and LGAs before December 2021.

“Ongoing FG Housing Initiatives will have 10 per cent allocated to Nigerian workers. Moribund National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) will be revived before the end of 2020, to institutionalize dialogue and engagement on socio-economic and labour issues to forestall future crises,” it disclosed.

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