The Abia Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chris Ezem, said individual rededication was key in winning the fight against corruption in the country.
Ezem said this on Wednesday, in Abuja at the opening of a three-day National Retreat on anti corruption and crime prevention organised by ESS-DEE Foundation, an NGO.
The retreat with the theme, “Unveiling the New Concept of checkmating Corruption and Crime Prevention in Nigeria” was organised for government officials.
Ezem said rededication to doing the right as individual, group, organization and at the various arms of government would address the problem of corruption in the country.
“That discipline that will make us shun wrong things and embrace doing the right things in our homes, offices and wherever we find ourselves must start from us as individuals.
“You can fight corruption from every corner without succeeding, but with commitment by individuals to stop doing the wrong thing, the fight will be successful.
“We have the laws and agencies saddled with the responsibility to fight corruption but have not succeeded because the individuals have not decided to rededicate themselves to stop doing the wrong things,” he said.
He called on Nigerians to play by the rules as individuals in line with the national anthem that emphasised on being honest and faithful to the country.
Ezem said expeditious hearing of corruption related cases by the judiciary was also, key to winning the fight against corruption.
Dr Stephen Momoh, a Director with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure and Chairman of the Retreat said the event was to develop new strategies against corruption and crime.
H said the fight against corruption was a collective one that must not be left in the hand of government alone.
“If we depend on government alone to solve the problem of corruption in the country, it will not succeed because we are all involved and have contributed to it in one way or the other.
“Until we begin to search our consciences to begin to have the right values, we will not succeed,” he said.
Momoh called on the anticorruption agencies to begin to focus on corruption prevention and not waiting for the offence to be committed.
Mr Sunny Iwunwa, the Chairman, Ess-Dee Foundation said corruption had impacted negatively on the development of Nigeria.
He said the focus on government officials for the retreat followed the fact that the public officials were the first contacts in the formulation and implementation of anti corruption policies.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno on Monday swore in 19 new Commissioners as members of the state Executive Council.
Speaking at the ceremony in Maiduguri, Zulum congratulated them on their appointment and tasked them to hold regular meetings with stakeholders in their ministries to ensure regular feedback on their activities.
“These feedback and recommendations should be forwarded through the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG),” he said.
He also urged them to lead by example by ensuring punctuality at work.
Earlier, the state Chief Judge, Justice Kashim Zanna, represented by Justice Fadawu Umaru, administered the oath of office on the commissioners.
Meanwhile, the SSG Alhaji Usman Jidda has said that the governor has approved the merger of the Ministry of Sports Affairs and Youth Empowerment with that of Poverty Alleviation.
Jidda said in a statement in Maiduguri on Monday that Sainna Buba, has been appointed as the commissioner, while Mohammed Arab, has been posted to Ministry of Health. Pogu Lawan, was posted to Ministry of Inter-Governmental Affairs and Special Duties.
Others included; Isa Haladu, Ministry of Works; Abatcha Ngala, Ministry of Religious Affairs; Mustapha Gubio, Ministry of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Resettlement; Lawan Wakilbe, Ministry of Education; and Tijjani Goni, Ministry of Water Resources.
Ali Mustafa, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Sugun Mai-Mele, Ministry for Local Government and Emirates Affairs; Babagana Malumbe, Ministry of Higher Education; Yerima Lawan, Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism.
The rest were Yuguda Saleh, Ministry of Housing and Energy; Abubakar Tijjani, Ministry of Transport; Modu Lawan, Ministry of Animal and Fisheries Development; Adamu Lawan, Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning; and Kaka-Shehu Lawan, Ministry of Justice.
The Organised Labour in Ogun on Monday directed workers in the state’s payroll to immediately proceed on an indefinite strike action from June 28.
The leadership of the organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), declared the strike while addressing workers at the Arcade ground of the state Secretariat, Okemosan, Abeokuta.
The workers had earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum addressed to Gov. Dapo Abiodun on June 7, on issues bothering on the non-remittance of the 21 months workers’ deduction.
Other issues were contributory pension, review of Ogun Pension law and immediate implementation of consequential adjustments on minimum pension as mandated by the 1999 constitution among others.
NAN reports that the workers gathered and sang solidarity songs against the government while berating the governor for failing to honour the agreement contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2020.
Declaring the strike action, the Chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole, said the strike had become imperative following several failed attempts to meet the governor over their plight on the issue.
Bankole who was accompanied by the Chairman of TUC, Mr Akeem Lasisi, and the Chairman of JNC, Mr Isa Olude, directed all the workers to stay away from work.
According to him, the strike which will take effect from 12 a.m. Tuesday will be a total and indefinite strike, adding that there is no going back until their demands are met by the governor.
“We are here today to take our destiny in our own hands. The leadership is ready.
“We must start a new beginning; we must tell them (government) that we are workers and not slaves. The time is now; a stop must be put to this.
“Our future and the future of the workers of Ogun state is in great jeopardy.
“Governance is a serious business and whoever that is not ready for it, I think it is time we told such persons to go home.
“Having given them enough time, but they are too busy to attend to us, maybe if we go home for some time, they will have time to attend to our matter.
“There is no going back. We have given them a long rope to draw.
“It is my opinion and my conviction that Ogun state workers are saying that we should embark on a full blown strike.
“We are embarking on indefinite strike from 12 midnight; let all the workers stay back at home. The implication is that nobody is expected at work tomorrow (June 28).
“Anyone who reports for duty tomorrow (Tuesday) is a traitor and it has never been well with a traitor,” Bankole declared.
NAN reports that the organised labour went into a closed door meeting with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Tokunbo Talabi, as at the time of filing this report.
Zamfara Government on Sunday advised individuals to obtain guns and defend themselves in the height of the resurgence of insecurity in the state.The state government, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, said:” the government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits.“Government has directed the state Commissioner of police to issue licence to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves.“Government is ready to facilitate for people, especially our farmers, to secure basic weapons for defending themselves.“Government has already concluded arrangements to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 Emirates in the state for those willing to obtain guns to defend themselves,” Dosara said.He explained that the government directive followed the increase in the activities of bandits in various parts of the state.The commissioner, however, noted the state government’s commitment to ensure adequate security and protection of lives and property of citizens, particularly during the rainy season.Dosara said government had resolved to deal with the recent escalating attacks, kidnapping and the criminal levies being enforced on innocent communities.“This act of terrorism has been a source of worry and concern to the people and government of the state.“Therefore, in order to deal decisively with the situation, government has no option than to take these measures,” Dosara said.According to him, residents must however, apply from the Commissioner of Police, licence to own guns and such other basic weapons to be used in defending themselves.“A secretariat or centre will be established for the collection of intelligence on the activities of informants.” Residents are strictly warned and advised to make sure that any information or intelligence about an informant must be true and nothing but the truth.“All information on such informants must carry correct data on the suspects, including their pictures, correct names, address, occupation and witness to testify on the facts of the information given.” Government will take punitive measures against any one found as informant.” Any person who give wrong information against anybody, will be served the same punishment with an informant and will be treated as such,” the commissioner aaid.He said government had requested the State House of Assembly to pass, as matter of urgency, the informants bill before it, to enable government to take the drastic measures on informants as contained in the bill.He said government had ordered for the recruitment of 200 additional Community Protection Guards in each of the 19 emirates of the state, making it 500 per emirate.The action, he noted, would increase their manpower and strengthen their force and capacity to deal with the bandits.The state government had also constituted an 11-man special committee to receive intelligence on the activities of informants.This committee is chaired by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe while Bello Bakyasuwa Soja will serve as secretary to the committee.He also announced an additional paramilitary unit to support control and command, to properly and effectively reinforce the operations of Community Protection Guards (CPG).This newly established unit has eight members with retired Commissioner of Police Mamman Anka as Commandant – GeneralDosara said the state government had reconstituted an 11-member state committee on prosecution of banditry related offences with Dr Sani Abdullahi Wanban Shinkafi as Chairman.Meanwhile, Gov. Bello Matawalle has ordered the immediate closure of all markets, including livestock markets in Mada, Wonaka, and Ruwan Bore Districts of Gusau Local Government and Yandoto Emirate in Tsafe Local Government.“The governor has equally banned riding of motorbikes and selling of petroleum products in Mada, Wonaka and Ruwan Bore districts, as well as Yandoto emirate.“Henceforth, all filling stations in the affected areas are hereby closed with immediate effect.“Anyone found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandit and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight.“Security agencies are by this announcement directed to ensure strict compliance.“Anyone found violating this order should be dealt with according to the rule of law.“Government would not condone any act where innocent people are being killed.“Matawallle thanked all those who honoured and respected the peace dialogue in whatever form.” In the same vein, those who refused to honour and respect the peace dialogue are hereby warned to allow peace within our communities.Government hereby directs the Military, the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and other security agencies to mobilise their operatives and take the fight to the enclaves of the criminals with immediate effect.
Dr Segun Aina, Group Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Ltd., said the company would pay dividend of N418.4 million to its shareholders for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2021.
Aina said this at the company’s 40th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday in Lagos.
The figure represented 15 per cent increase when compared with the N364 million paid in 2020.
According to him, this marks the eighth consecutive year that the company is declaring and paying dividend to shareholders.
In attendance were shareholders represented by the Secretaries to the State Governments (SSGs) of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos States.
All resolutions presented for shareholders’ approval were adopted.
Aina said profit before tax grew by 149.8 per cent from N3.75 billion achieved in 2020 to N9.37 billion in 2021.
He said the growth was driven by the increased focus on the different areas of the business and gains in investments.
The out-going chairman assured the shareholders of the company that the Board had put in various best practice governance policies in the year under review.
This, he added, would ensure the company’s investments created sustainable impact in the ensuing years.
Aina thanked the shareholders for the great privilege and rare honour given to him by shareholders to be the Group Chairman of Odu’a Investment between May 2020 and June 2022.
Aina also urged his fellow directors and management to remain focused on the delivery of the company’s five Years“SRC-2025” (Sweat, Revive and Create 2025) Strategic Thrust.
Commenting on the result, the Group Managing , Mr Adewale Raji, said profit before tax for 2021 included revaluation gains of N7.11 billion from the company’s investment properties portfolio, which was N2.63 billion in 2020.
According to him, if this accounting gains are stripped off, the normalised profit before tax for 2021 will be N2.26 billion and N1.12 billion for 2022, representing an appreciable 102 per cent growth.
Raji also reported that the company celebrated 45 years in November 2021 since it commenced operations, and that as part of the celebrations the Odu’a Investment Foundation was established to positively influence the next generation of youths.
He said that would be achieved with focus on health, education and youth empowerment.
“Our Agric Investment Subsidiary, South West Agriculture Company (SWAGCO) Ltd., has begun to make significant effort in investing in agriculture opportunities that will drive capacity development for a new generation of commercial farmers and entrepreneurs.
“We have committed a large proportion of our land bank towards these efforts focusing on cassava, maize, paddy rice and dairy.
“The company’s investment in oil and gas, through acquisition of part of BITA Marginal Field, and the setting up of BITA Exploration & Production Ltd., with our JV partner is gathering momentum,” Raji said.
According to him, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) that replaced DPR is currently finalising the model for licensing and contracting documents that will govern the operations of the 2020 Marginal Field Bid Winners.
“This is the critical hurdle to scale to make the coast clear for a field development plan and approval that will lead to achieving ‘’First Oil,’ he said.
As Aina ends his tenure in the Board of Odu’a Investment Company Ltd., the new chairman, Mr Bimbo Ashiru, former Commisioner for Commerce and Industry in Ogun, said his plan is to achieve the company’s target of N40 billion profit after tax by 2035.
Ashiru was a two-term commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ogun State from 2011 to 2018.
“Be rest assured that we are a team and there is nothing special that I could do than to focus on the 2035 target. We will be reaching a minimum target of 40 billiion profit after tax.
“On other businesses, we are going to ensure we are doing the right thing.
Odu’a will be one of the giants in the oil industries.
“In the area of hospitality, we want to ensure that we have the world class hotels in Nigeria. What I am bringing is my experience, pedigree and what I have done in the past,” Ashiru said.
Also, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, commended the Board and management of the company for the impressive performance.
Akeredolu thanked the management of Odu’a for achieving all the fundamentals suggested by the states in order to have a better performance.
Also his counterpart, Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, congratulated the new chairman, saying that “he has what it takes to run the affairs of the company.”
He enjoined the board to ensure a better performance in the next financial year that would be more visible.
He assured of the state’s full support to the growth of Odu’a Investment Company Ltd.