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I will be last Edo governor to work on manual files, says Obaseki

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Godwin Obaseki has pledged to be the last Edo governor to attend to issues of governance using manual files, as he plans to launch an e-governance platform before the end of the year.

Mr Obaseki disclosed this on Friday at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Alaghodaro summit with the theme “Edo of our dreams: Building a sustainable future.”

According to him, “Edo will run on e-platform this year and will only attend to files on e-platform. I will be the last governor to work on manual files in the state.”

“We are going to leverage on technology because it is the new order of the world and the emphasis now is in using technology.

“Nigeria public and civil service are weak and need help because whatever policy and pronouncements made by the government will not work because the civil service is weak,” Mr Obaseki said.

He said in the next five years, the state would graduate about 10,000 soft engineers, as the training of youths to become soft engineers had already commenced.

“In the past three years, we had been able to transform the way our children are learning, this gives the children the confidence and the preparation they needed for the future.

“I have no doubt in my mind that with the 275,000 of them we have on our database. which we tracking today; we will be able to follow through,” he said.

Listing other achievements, he said, “Primary health care reform is our priority as a government. I have made up my mind that we will have at least one standard primary health care centre in every ward in Edo with well trained staff and technology.

“We see Edo as a health hub because we have everything it takes to become a health hub. We have revamped the Edo Specialist Hospital and we are also building a new Stella Obasanjo Hospital.

“With the level of gas deposits in Edo, we can generate 10,000 megawatts of power in this state and we will to remove our people from darkness.

“Our goal is that we would have built 200 kilometers of streets light starting from Benin. We have to continue to grow the economy to sustain our future.

“We have set up innovation hubs and the success phase we have attained just confirmed to us what is possible, now that we have piloted the next phase, it is to just roll out.

“We have trained more than 32,000 beneficiaries in various Information Communication Technology, we have set up two jobs centres, we have trained over 23,000 beneficiaries through skills and acquisitions,” he added.

(NAN)

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Aiteo oil leak in Nembe worse than Gulf of Mexico spill: Gov. Diri

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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa says the ongoing oil leak at the Aiteo exploration facility in Nembe is worse than the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The Aiteo oil leak was reported on November 5 this year.

“Today happens to be a very dark day for me. What we have seen, I believe, is worse than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. In all my life, I have not seen such a magnitude of oil spillage,” the governor stated. “Our people are endangered. Our people’s source of livelihood is endangered. I empathise and sympathise with the people of Nembe on behalf of the government and the people of Bayelsa state.”

On April 20, 2010, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the “largest spill of oil in the history of marine oil drilling operations.” 

According to the EPA, four million barrels of oil flowed from the damaged Macondo well over 87 days and capped on July 15, 2010. 

“I like to give you hope that we will stand shoulder to shoulder with you. Your government will activate every constitutional means to arrest and redress this magnitude of the oil spill. I, therefore, call on the federal government, the operators of the oil field, NNPC, and Aiteo to immediately look for superior technical know-how to contain and stop the spread of the oil,” the governor urged.

Mr Diri directed the State Emergency Management Agency and Ministry of Health to provide relief materials and healthcare services to the people immediately.

The management of Aiteo had visited the impacted community and donated four truckloads of food items, medical supplies, and a cash gift of N5 million and pledged to stop the leak in the shortest possible time. 

An oilfield operated by Aiteo Exploration and Production Company Limited has been spilling crude into the Santa Barbara River and Nembe creeks since November 5.

The management of Aiteo had enlisted foreign experts from Boots and Coots, a Halliburton company currently working to cap the leaking well.

Mr Diri claimed that an estimated two million barrels of crude had been spilt into the river, polluting the flora and fauna of the area.

However, sources close to the oilfield said so far, five barges of 1,000 barrels capacity consisting of a mixture of crude and water had been evacuated since the oil recovery commenced three weeks ago.

(NAN)

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2023: Dark horses trying to destroy APC, says Patriotic Association

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A group, Zamfara State Patriotic Association, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and elders of the All progressives Congress (APC) to save the party from the hands of some dark horses.

On Wednesday, the chairman of the group, Ibrahim Nabature, made the call while addressing a press conference in Gusau, Zamfara.

“There are some dark horses trying to destroy the party before the 2023 general elections if things do not go their way,” said Mr Nabature.

He further stated that the group had observed with dismay that some governors were bent on destroying APC, citing the crisis rocking the party in several states after their congresses as attempts to destroy the party.

The group’s chairman appealed to Mr Buhari and party elders to intervene and rescue the party.

“Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, a foundation member of the APC, had at no time ever discussed or thought of leaving the party without the knowledge of his true supporters across the country,” he said.

Mr Nabature explained that Mr Yari’s faction of the APC was in court challenging the dissolution of the Lawal M. Liman-led caretaker committee in Zamfara.

“Therefore, he cannot abandon the party he helped to build for newcomers. It is the handwork of some forces who were his friends now turned enemies,” he added. “Yari had done so much for Zamfara and the APC in the state and at the national level.”

He fingered some governors, who he described as agents of destruction working to strangulate the party before the 2023 elections due to their selfish reasons.

The Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee had dissolved the party executives shortly after Governor Bello Matawalle defected to the APC on June 29. 

(NAN)

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Eighty-nine billion naira generated in November at Apapa: Customs

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Apapa area command,says it raked in N89 billion as revenue in November.

The customs area controller of the command, Malanta Yusuf, announced this in a statement signed by NCS spokesman Abubakar Usman in Lagos.

According to Mr Yusuf, the amount generated is the highest monthly collection by any of the NCS’s commands.

“This feat is coming after the command generated N86 billion in the month of October following improved inter-agency synergies, enhanced trade facilitation, speedy dispute resolution and prevention of revenue loss,” he said.

Mr Yusuf, who described the N89 billion revenue as the beginning of improved outputs for the command, also said the tempo for the rising revenue profile would be sustained.

He commended the NCS comptroller general, Hameed Ali, for his support in deploying artificial intelligence tools and improved logistics.

“This N89,097,888,609 collection is an improvement, but we are aiming higher than this. Our first step is to improve our stakeholders’ compliance level, which in my assessment is commendable. The second is to strengthen the inter-agency synergies between customs in Apapa and other agencies of government,” explained Mr Yusuf. “This is also a huge success. We are gradually making Apapa Port a no go area for perpetrators of illegalities because all recent attempts at smuggling prohibited items through the port were uncovered.”

According to Mr Yusuf, while customs officials facilitate trade, collect revenue, and promote ease of doing business, their attention would also be on national security.

He added that this would continually be evident in their mode of cargo examination and intelligence sharing with sister agencies.

“By the time we commence the use of scanners and other tools of artificial intelligence, trade facilitation will be at a higher speed and as the flagship command, this will reflect very positively on our revenue,” he said.

(NAN)

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