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Agunloye Refutes Obasanjo’s Allegations On Mambilla Power Project, Says It’s “Baseless And False”

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Former minister of power and steel, Olu Agunloye, has denied the recent allegations against him about the Mambilla power project.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in a recent interview with The Cable, challenged Agunloye to tell Nigerians where he derived the authority to award a $6 billion contract to Sunrise Power and Transmission Ltd in respect of the Mambilla hydropower project in 2003.

Sunrise Power is currently in arbitration with Nigeria at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris, France, over an alleged breach of contract by the federal government.

Sunrise is asking for a compensation of $2.3 billion, claiming it had spent millions of dollars on financial and legal consultants before the contract was jettisoned.

The company is also asking for a $400 million settlement being the terms of the agreement it entered with the federal government in 2020 to end the arbitration.

Nigeria is fighting the claims on the grounds that Agunloye, who “suspiciously” awarded the contract one week to the end of his tenure as power minister in 2003, acted “illegally”.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the former minister refuted the claims as baseless, false, and malicious.

According to Agunloye, the nature of the initial contract for the Mambilla power project, was awarded as a “build, operate and transfer (BOT) contract in May 2003 under my watch”.

“Under this model, the contractor, Messrs Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (Sunrise), was responsible for sourcing funds and executing the project with its own funds,” the statement reads.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) was not obliged to pay any amount to Sunrise.”

Agunloye also explained that the investment required for Sunrise to construct the hydroelectric project up to completion was estimated at a maximum of $6 billion by four ministers of power and former President Obasanjo before his own tenure.

He stated that the allegation by the former president that he awarded a $6 billion contract (N800 billion in 2003) to Sunrise was inaccurate and misleading.

The former minister added that for 20 years, he was never questioned or interrogated about awarding any unauthorised Mambilla contract by any Nigerian president, including Obasanjo.

He also raised concerns about the change of contract model for the Mambilla power project after his tenure, noting that Obasanjo split it into smaller components.

“On the 28th of May 2007, a day before handing over power to President Umaru Yar’Adua, President Obasanjo changed the terms of the Mambilla project from Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT), which would not have required any investment from the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to a fully funded FGN EPC contract,” he said.

It was gathered that Agunloye and some officials of the ministry of justice have been quizzed over the Sunrise affair and may soon be charged in court.

 

Credit: The Cable

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Aare Abisoye Fagade Joyously Celebrates The Coronation Of The 43rd Olubadan Of Ibadan, Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin

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In a momentous celebration that echoes through the vibrant streets of Ibadan, Aare Abisoye Fagade extends his exuberant congratulations to Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin on his enthronement as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadan. This landmark coronation ushers in a new era of leadership, heritage, and progress for the illustrious city of Ibadan.

With a heartfelt connection that spans decades, Aare Fagade has cherished the guidance and wisdom of Oba Olamilehin, whom he has revered not only as an esteemed uncle but also as a distinguished entrepreneur and an astute politician, a legacy passed down through his father, the late Elder David Oladokun Fagade. The bond between their families is woven into the very fabric of Ibadan’s history, making this occasion deeply personal and profoundly significant.

“Today, we celebrate not just a coronation but the dawn of a new chapter in the storied history of Ibadan,” proclaimed Aare Abisoye Fagade. “Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olakulehin embodies the virtues of wisdom, integrity, and visionary leadership. His ascent to the throne heralds a future filled with promise and prosperity for our beloved city.”

Aare Fagade’s jubilant praise for the new Olubadan is accompanied by fervent prayers for his reign. “May the reign of Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olamilehin be showered with divine blessings, peace, and unprecedented growth. May his leadership unite us and inspire us to reach new heights of excellence and harmony.

The coronation of Oba Olakulehin is not merely a ceremonial event but a rallying cry for all Ibadan indigenes to come together in support of their new monarch. Aare Fagade calls upon every son and daughter of Ibadan to embrace this momentous occasion with unity and enthusiasm, pledging their support to a reign that promises to uphold the grandeur and legacy of Ibadan.

As the city of Ibadan rejoices in this historic event, the air is filled with anticipation and hope for a future sculpted by the vision and guidance of Oba Akinloye Owolabi Olamilehin. Aare Abisoye Fagade stands proudly with his fellow Ibadan natives, celebrating the dawn of a new era.

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JUST IN: President Tinubu Renames National Theatre After Wole Soyinka

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Nigeria’s President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has renamed the national theatre in Lagos after Wole Soyinka.

Tinubu made the pronouncement in a birthday message to the Nobel laureate who turns 90 on July 13.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us,” Tinubu said.

“I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.

“We do not only celebrate Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.”

 

More to come…

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HEALTH: FG Inaugurates Committee To End Mother-To-Child Transmission Of HIV

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The federal government has established a multidisciplinary committee to eliminate the transmission of HIV from mothers to children in Nigeria.

Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Tunji Alausa, launched the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Pediatric HIV Programme Committee in Abuja on Thursday.

Alausa highlighted that Nigeria accounts for 25% of global mother-to-child HIV transmission and emphasized the ministry’s commitment to collaborating with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCP) to ensure that no child is born with HIV, thereby eradicating vertical transmission.

“As you are aware, Nigeria contributes 25% of the global burden of HIV transmission between mothers and their children,” Alausa said.

“Despite testing approximately 4 million pregnant women in 2023, our PMTCT (prevention of mother-to-child transmission) and pediatric HIV coverage remain at about 35%, falling significantly short of the 95% target.

“Through the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCP), we will provide effective governance for this programme.

“Eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ensuring care for all persons living with HIV, especially our children, aligns with the renewed hope agenda of Mr President.”

Also speaking, Temitope Ilori, the director-general of NACA, expressed concern over the low coverage of PMTCT and pediatric HIV in Nigeria.

Ilori said about 140,000 children below 14 years old are living with HIV as of 2023, with 22,000 new infections and 15,000 AIDS-related deaths occurring among underage people.

The NACA DG noted that the newly constituted committee will drive the implementation of the initiative, in line with the sector-wide approach to health care in Nigeria.

“Nigeria faces a critical challenge in preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and ensuring access to care for children living with HIV,” Ilori said.

“The objective of today’s meeting is to formally inaugurate the acceleration plan committee to provide oversight to the PMTCT and pediatric HIV programme implementation in line with the three-one principle of one coordinating agency, one strategic framework, and one M&E system.”

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