Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers has requested for consent of the State House of Assembly to borrow N18bn from Access Bank for the construction of a flyover and two major internal roads in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The Speaker, Mr Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani, read the letter containing the governor’s request during plenary on Monday.
“The N18bn loan is expected to be channeled towards construction of a fourth flyover at the GRA Junction, dualisation of the popular Mummy B and Tombia internal roads,”Wike explained in his letter.
The governor pleaded with the lawmakers to accord an accelerated consideration to his request.
On the method for repayment, the governor said it would be serviced through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state targeted at the 2020/2023 fiscal year.
The 25 members of the house voted in support of the governor’s request as they were all of the view that the fund when released would be used to further complement infrastructural development in the state.
In his response, the speaker stressed that the fund when accessed should be judiciously invested on the proposed projects.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Obike Ukoh (NAN)https://nnn.ng/wike-seeks-assemblys-approval-for-n18bn-loan/
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
COVID-19 FG will support MSMEs with N75bn loan — DG SMEDAN
The Federal Government will support Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with N75 billion survival fund to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.
Alhaji Dikko Radda, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), dislosed this during the closing of National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) in Katsina on Friday.
The SMEDAN boss said that the N75billion survival loan would support 500,000 MSMEs and 333,000 artisans across the country.
He pointed out that the implementation of the N75 billion MSMEs Survival Fund nationwide would help to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses.
He explained that NBSDI was designed to provide entrepreneurship skill and empowerment material (equipment) to bridge the capacity gap of the youth.
According to him, the programme is also aimed at enhancing youth engagement in productive ventures, thereby ensuring that they become independent.
“The initiative is designed to ensure that more professional services will be provided by local and well trained young artisans leading to reduction in job losses to immigrants from neighbouring countries.
“It further seeks to pursue a drastic reduction in poverty as most of the our of youths who still rely on stipends from parents are empowered to become self – reliant,” Radda said.
The DG announced that the National Business Development Initiative was being implemented in seven states of the federation.
There are Katsina, Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Niger, Lagos, Kwara, Bauchi , Zamfara and Ekiti where a total of 1,397 entrepreneurs will benefit from the programme.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi
Military destroys illegal refineries, recovers stolen crude
The Defence Headquarters says military has intensified its aggressive fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, bunkering, economic saboteurs and other criminal activities in the country.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, said this while giving weekly update on the operations of Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
Enenche said that between Sept. 12 and Sept. 17 , the military arrested seven suspected oil thieves, discovered barrels of stolen crude oil and destroyed numbers of illegal refineries in the South- South and South West zones.
According to him, within the period under review, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team in the South South located and immobilised an illegal refining site at Mudukiri Creek, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers.
“The site had a metal reservoir laden with an estimated 150,000 litres of illegally refined AGO.
“The team discovered eight metal storage tanks and four dugout pits laden with about 1,289.45 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil,”he said.
He said that Nigerian Navy Ship JUBILEE clearance operation team acting on credible intelligence on a suspected pirates and sea robber’s camp at Otoyo, Akwa-Ibom, raided the camp.
He said that the patrol team with superior power dislodged and deactivated the camp in the area.
“The team recovered one AK 47 rifle with two magazines, two Pump Action Rifles, 20 rounds of 7.62 and 39mm ammunition, one Fishing Gun, one Tecno phone, a bag of hard drugs, one diving face mask and one hand held metal detector.
“ Between Sept. 12 and Sept. 17, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team around Utan Inyata Creek arrested two suspects and two small-sized wooden boats laden with 165 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon,”he said.
“The suspects and items are currently in custody and will be handed over to NSCDC Uyo Command for further necessary action,” he said.
He explained that Troops of Operation AWATSE in the South West zone, also intensified the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements in the area.
He recalled that the vessel and her crew members were arrested on July 31 for sailing without obtaining requisite documents.
“Troops have continued to dominate the general area with clearance and aggressive patrols while maintaining surveillance to rid the area of pipeline vandals and other economic saboteurs,” he said.
He expressed the Military High Command commendation to all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their commitment, determination and dedication.
He encouraged the troops to remain firm and decisive in curtailing the activities of all criminal elements in the country.
“Members of the general public are hereby assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies will continue to tackle the security challenges and will ensure that normalcy is attained in all the geo-political zones of the Country.
He, therefore, solicited for the support of the public in providing credible information to assist the military’s operations,
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Gov. Diri sues for understanding over Bayelsa, Rivers boundary dispute
Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has called on the Rivers State government to show understanding in order to amicably resolve the dispute between Oluasiri Clan in Bayelsa and their Kalabari neighbours in Rivers.
The Oluasiri communities in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa and their Kalabari Ijaw kinsmen are locked in dispute arising from the location of oil wells within the boundary area.
Diri made the plea in Yenagoa during a meeting with stakeholders from the Oluasiri clan led by the paramount ruler, Chief Iyerite Awululu.
He sought the support of Ijaw leaders and elders to resolve the age-long feud between the two Ijaw communities.
In a statement by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor said the state government will protect its territories and work with the communities to ensure safety of residents.
“I’m calling on my brother governor of our sister state that this is a time that we need to look at the realities.
“As a people from the old Rivers State, we need to sit together and resolve our internal disputes, which should be easy to do because both feuding communities are of the Ijaw extraction.
“We have no difference between the Nembes and Kalabaris. They are all Ijaws and so no other person should beat the drums of war against two friendly Ijaw clans,” he said.
To this end, Diri directed his deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, to chair a committee to drive the process of peaceful resolution of the boundary adjustment issues.
He also restated his administration’s resolve to ensure the protection of lives and property across communities in the state.
The governor said his administration would engage security agencies on the need to curtail acts of lawlessness, particularly in the Oluasiri axis of the state.
“I will sit with my security commanders and see if we can beef up security in Oluasiri to protect lives and property.
“We have already set the ball rolling and we will take some security measures in that area in the interim pending when a substantive police station will be set up,” he said.
Also, the governor directed the state Ministry of Health and Water Resources to make the cottage hospital built by Shell Petroleum Development Company functional as well as provide potable water.
Earlier, spokesman of the clan, Mr Iniruo Wills, highlighted a number of issues that require government’s intervention.
Wills said the meeting was to seek assistance in the areas of security and resolution of the legal dispute between the two states concerning the boundary delineation among others.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz