The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has elected Abraham Ingobere of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its new speaker and Micheal Ogbere, representing Ekeremor Constituency 3, as the deputy speaker.
Mr Ingobere, member representing Brass Constituency 3, is a third-term legislator and a former deputy speaker of the House before his emergence as the speaker.
While the former speaker, Monday Obolo (outhern Ijaw II) as the Majority Leader, and Micheal Ogbere representing Ekeremor Constituency 3, as the Chief Whip of the House.
In his remarks, the newly elected speaker said he was grateful for the House to elect him as the speaker, Bayelsa House of Assembly.
“I promise to work together with all the members of the assembly irrespective of the political party, and to work with the Bayelsa Government, led by Sen. Douye Diri, as the executive governor of the state.
“I will ensure that the will of Bayelsa people enjoy implementation of good policies for the interest of the public,” he said.
On his part, the former speaker said he was also grateful to the members who elected him as their speaker during his tenure.
He said due to the fact that the state had three senators and the present governor came from his district, he had to step aside for other district to take over.
“I thank you for the support given me during my tenure as the speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly.
“As the Majority Leader now, I will ensure that all government policies are met for the interest of the Bayelsa people,” he stated.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the current speaker from Bayelsa East Senatorial District is the first speaker from the district since the creation of Bayelsa.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan
Why FG is investing massively in railways, seaports — Amaechi
The Federal Government’s focus on railway and seaport development is a necessity to drive the nation’s economy, according to the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi stated this at the virtual 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York on Sunday.
“Many Nigerians have asked why the construction of railways.
“Eighty per cent of the cargoes we have in Nigeria are mostly imported, because the Nigerian economy is yet to generate enough production.
“However, the president is of the view that if we must produce, we must have infrastructure that enables that production, hence the focus on transportation, power and works,” he said.
The minister said although the railway project had started before the President Muhammadu Buhari, the nation’s seaports were not included in the design.
He stated that one of the first things the administration did was to rework the plan to link the rail network to seaports across the country.
“So, we started with the Apapa seaport. We are working there now and I believe by December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port.
“We then added the Warri Seaport, the Calabar seaport and Tin Can Island. We are making sure that all of them include seaports,” Amaechi said.
According to him, contract for the 386km rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Republic of Niger will be awarded on Wednesday.
He added contract award for the 1,500km eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri would follow on Sept. 30.
The minister highlighted other rail line projects in the country, including Abuja to Itakpe, and Itakpe to Warri, which he said had been completed
He said the Warri line would also be extended to the Warri seaport being developed by the federal government.
Amaechi also highlighted the government’s seaport digitalisation programme, which he said would be completed in 2021.
Mr Gurjit Singh, former Indian Ambassador to Germany, Indonesia and the African, described Nigeria as the giant of Africa.
Singh, who is the Chairman of the CII Task Force on Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, said the Nigerian rail sector had the potential to drive the nation’s development as was the case in India.
He urged Nigeria to take advantage of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor initiative to access public private partnership funding for its infrastructure projects.
Organised by United States-based Kaleidoscope Business Project, the event brought together Nigerian state governors, ministers, business executives and prospective foreign investors.
The participants included Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Samuel Ortom of Benue and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara,
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, and the Minister of State for of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Uchechukwu Ogah, also participated.
They took turns to highlight the investment opportunities that abound in their respective states and sectors in addition to the invest facilitation and security measures in place.
Welcoming the participants, the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, said the conference was part of the government’s efforts to open more windows of business opportunities in Nigeria to the world.
“With the opportunities that abound in Nigeria, this Conference aims at identifying those investors that are able, willing and committed to long term direct investment into the Nigerian economy.
“And it goes without saying that those from the Nigerian side are as desirous to meet investors in order to establish mutually beneficial relationships.
“Let me emphasise the need for us to jointly work together to enhance NIgeria economic growth and industrialization on our shared values and sound principles of mutually beneficial partnership and on a win-win business matrix,” Okoyen said.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Edo election: Why collation is delayed — INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says that delay in the receipt of collated results of the governorship election from local government areas in Edo has delayed the collation at the state level.
INEC National Commissioner May Agbamuche-Mbu announced this on Sunday in Benin.
Agbamuche-Mbu, INEC commissioner incharge of Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers, is the commissioner overseeing the Edo election.
Addressing newsmen and party agents at the state collation centre, INEC headquarters, Benin, she said that results were still being expected from the 18 local government areas of the state.
She said: “This is to inform you all that we are still waiting for results from the local government areas.
“I am sorry we have to wait before we start collation. Only one local government has arrived in the centre.
“We are going to wait until at least, when results from seven local government areas arrive in the centre before we start.
“We do not want anybody to cast aspersions on us. So we are going to wait,”.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Kayode Olaitan
COVID-19: NCDC announces 221 new cases, total infections rise to 56,956
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Friday.
According to it, the new cases are confirmed from 18 states in the country.
The new infections brought the total number of confirmed cases to 56,956 in Nigeria.
The public health agency said that Lagos had 59, the highest number of cases, followed by Abia with 46 cases and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 22.
Among others were; Rivers, 11, Bauchi, 7, Benue, Ekiti and Imo, 6 each, Kaduna, Kwara and Ondo, 4 each, Ogun and Osun, 3 each, Bayelsa, Edo and Kano, 1 each.
According to it, those discharged on Friday include 100 community recoveries managed in Oyo State in line with new case management guidelines.
The health agency sadly recorded one more death, which brought the national death toll to 1,094.
It noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It cautioned that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 was higher when people did not wear face mask in public places.
“Wear your face mask properly at all times. Adhere to all non-pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19,” it urged Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as the people of Edo State prepared to vote their preferred candidates at the governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19, NCDC urged all to observe the COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It noted that relevant stakeholders must take actions that would reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election.
“Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations; providing additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing, with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Mandating the use of face mask for everyone, regular cleaning of polling stations, tables and other surfaces highly essential because those are the areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiply hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, while staff at the polling units should practice hand hygiene frequently,.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
Edo Election: Yiaga Africa to adopt PVT methodology to check credibility of election results
Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation says it plans to deploy its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) methodology to assess the credibility of the Sept. 19, Edo Governorship poll.
Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, Yiaga Africa said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
He said the group through its Watching The Vote citizens movement, would also deploy 500 observers to monitor the election.
According to Itodo, the PVT is an advanced election observation methodology that employs well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology in providing timely and accurate information on conduct of elections.
He added that the process will monitor accreditation, voting, and counting, and it will independently verify the official governorship results as announced by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The PVTs are not opinion polls; Yiaga Africa citizen observers do not ask voters for whom they cast their ballot; PVT relies solely on official results from polling units.
“This tested and proven election observation methodology has been deployed in over 50 countries worldwide, including Nigeria.
“Yiaga Africa deployed the PVT in the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa governorship election where it detected fraud and manipulation of results collation and declined to verify the official results declared by INEC.
“In a statement jointly signed by the Chair of Yiaga Africa election observation mission for Edo, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, Nigeria’s and Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, the organisation said it would deploy 500 stationary observers.
Itodo said that the observers would monitor the conduct of the process and provide systematic, accurate and timely information on the Election Day process.
He said specifically that Yiaga Africa would provide accurate information on the quality of the Election Day process and ascertain if the official results announced by INEC reflected the total votes cast.
Itodo explained that since the PVT was based on official results from a representative random sample of polling units, Yiaga Africa would estimate the state-wide results for the governorship election within a narrow range based on well-established statistical principles.
He said that if INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated range, then the public, political parties and candidates would have confidence that the official results reflected the ballots cast at polling units.
Itodo, however, said that if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling units’ results, Yiaga Africa would oppose it.
He said that the PVT was a component of Yiaga Africa’s comprehensive election observation methodology spanning the electoral cycle.
“Therefore, in assessing whether the 2020 Edo governorship satisfies the electoral integrity test, Yiaga Africa will consider a range of issues such as shortcomings in the pre-election period.
“The quality of election day processes and the scale and scope of critical incidents.’’
Itodo said that on Election Day, Yiaga Africa would receive 4,500 text messages containing approximately 56,000 individual pieces of information about the election.
He added that the messages would be reviewed and analysed to ensure that the information was complete, authentic and accurate before dissemination.
Itodo said that after poll, Yiaga Africa would issue its estimated projections based on its preliminary data.
He added that on Sunday, Sept. 20, the group would share its preliminary Watching The Vote findings on the conduct of setup, accreditation, voting and counting.
Itodo said that immediately INEC announce the official results for the election, Yiaga Africa would hold its news conference and issue its statement on the election result.
“Yiaga Africa Watching the Vote is “Driven by Data for All Nigerians Beholden to None!”
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Ali Baba-Inuwa