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Power Generation Hits 7000 Megawatts In Nigeria

Nigeria’s power generation as at September 2017 has increased up to 7001 megawatts with transmission up to 6,700 megawatts and distribution rising to 4,600 megawatts.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola speaking at the executive session of the National Council on Power meeting said this increase can, however, be improved.

Fashola said this increase in power generation can be improved on if states and local governments pay more attention and implement the law on power sector reform programmes.

The National Council of Power conference which was held in Jos, Plateau State involve discussions about actions aimed at solving issues of power generation, transmission, distribution, liquidity, metering and estimated billing, among other challenges.

The Council comprises policymakers in the energy industry, members of the national assembly, permanent secretaries of power, commissioners and special advisers in charge of energy and power, chief executive officers of power companies, developing partners in the power sector and representatives of professional bodies.

Transmission, distribution, rehabilitation and expansion strategy towards the energy mix in the country was the focus of the meeting with the executive session headed by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing.

Other dignitaries at the event include the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, Chairman, House Committee on Power, Honourable Daniel Asuquo, among others.

NAICOM To Sack Managing Directors Over Unsettled Claims

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on Friday said it would sack managing directors of insurance companies that refused to settle indisputable insurance claims.

NAICOM spokesman, Rasaaq Salami, said in a statement that the Commissioner for Insurance (CFI), Alhaji Muhammed. Kari, announced the sanction at the on-going 2017 Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Professional Forum in Abeokuta.

The statement quoted Kari as saying that “the commission had received various requests from claimants to use companies statutory deposits to settle discharged claims, as stated in the law.

“We are however alarmed by the incessant complains of failure of insurance companies to settle genuine claims and discharge claims to policy holders.

“These claims and balances has risen to an unacceptable level where again we are now required to withdraw the self-regulation option given operators to total enforcement of the law.

“The commission is now also looking at the operations of intermediaries that hold back clients, companies’ money,and collude to steal them.

“Such actions being criminal would be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, ’’ Kari said

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, called on operators to develop products that Nigerians needed.

Amosun urged the insurers to use their operations to create wealth and collaborate with the government on infrastructural development.

He urged them to collaborate with higher institutions to boost insurance knowledge, while assuring that his administration would continue to provide conductive environment for insurance to thrive in the state.

The statement said that the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, also at the occasion, urged the operators to play according to rules.

“The insurers should not take up businesses and go about praying that claims should not come,” the statement quoted the monarch as saying.

Protect Nigeria’s Interest, Minister Urges New Ambassadors

Newly deployed ambassadors-designate from Nigeria have been urged to make the country’s interest a priority in the course of their duties abroad.

The Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Khadijat Abba-Ibrahim made the call while presenting letters of credence to some non-career ambassadors who have just been deployed to different countries across the world.

“I want to congratulate them to serve as ambassadors of Nigeria to various countries which Nigeria has unique and strategic relations. The conferment of this prestigious position with responsibility is a testimony of your invaluable and mutual service to the country, noted Abba-Ibrahim.

“There is no doubt therefore that you will do your country a proud in your respective post, the minister implored the Ambassadors.”

According to her, Nigeria occupies a strategic position in the international scene as the most populous black nation and the largest economy in Africa.

“Our rich culture also places the country in a prominent position in our bilateral and multilateral engagements, according to Abba-Ibrahim.The country is therefore expected to capture the interest of other countries with regards to political, economic and other social cultural matters.”

“I am pleased to note the government expectation of you in your esteemed role as ambassador in your respected countries with this regard.

She assured them of the Ministry’s support to ensure that their individuals’ mandates are actualized.

She noted that administration of President Mohammadu Buhari had prioritized security, anti-corruption and economy and job creation as the key cardinal pillars that the country would be projected to a greater high.

The minister said that this should serve as a guide in their engagement with the Nigerian community and their host country with the aim to achieve strategic partnership and benefit to Nigeria

“I assure you of the ministry support of achieving this prime objective although lack of fund has been a challenge to the ministry but the country as a whole.”

“However, with the gradual recovery of the country from recession, we are hopeful that the ministry financial situation will improve to enable it discharge it duty effectively in the ministry and in her mission abroad,” she said.”

Ambassador Eniola Ajayi, who responded on behalf of other ambassadors pledged not to disappoint President Mohammadu Buhari and the nation in general for the confidence repose on them.

“We want to reassure the president who has reposed the confidence in us to serve as ambassador and represent him in different countries of the world that the confidence will not be misplaced.”

“We understand the enormous task and the challenges in the country and social environmental, political, security and economic across the world.

“We hope to make the life of every Nigerian count through inclusion at our various countries of posting whether young or old, weak or strong, male or female, irrespective of tribe or religion,” she said.

Ambassador Ajayi expressed determination to support in re-building national image, that president Buhari was already achieving abroad.

She pledged the commitments of the envoys to attract more foreign investors to the country through our mutual relationship with their host countries.

Obaseki Bans Road Transport Employers Association

The Edo State Government has announced the immediate proscription of the state’s chapter of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

The association has been ordered to close their offices across the state.

The ban became necessary to ensure the protection of lives and property and prevent the possible breakdown of law and order in the state.

The government assured all law abiding citizens that security agencies will be available to maintain peace and orderliness, and urged the public to desist from relating or transacting any business with the group until further information is provided by the state government.

The Edo State government is committed to sanitising the road transport sector and will not tolerate actions that could undermine the smooth implementation of the transport master plan.

The state government is resolute about enthroning law and order across the state and urges all law abiding citizens to go about their businesses without any fear of molestation.

Okorocha Advocates Nigerian Unity

Owerri the capital of Imo State was agog during the weekend with presence of prominent traditional rulers in the country as the state held its maiden edition of OzuruImo New Yam Festival with the theme
Promoting National Unity Through Cultural Orientation. Speaking at the event in Owerri, the state governor, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha, said he is always keen to consolidate the unity of the country, adding that the presence of prominent Nigerians and notable Paramount rulers have dramatized his passion to promote unity in Nigeria.

Governor Okororcha, explained that theme of the Imo State New Yam Festival was carefully selected and the event was specially organized to kick start the language of unity in Nigeria and to inform the world that Nigeria is one, `our focus should be on things that unite us as a

nation and not on Boko Haram and IPOB. The governor totally condemned the activities of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu and stated that no reasonable Igbo man will support the secession or division of the country. He further maintained that every well meaning Igbo man has condemned IPOB in all ramifications, ` Igbo business men have real estates and other valuable assets outside Igbo land than in Igbo land, a man that wants to go for secession cannot build mansions in Lagos, Plateau, Kano, Abuja and the rest of the states.

Imo State Governor who also functions as Chairman Progressives Governors Forum condemned generalization of the activities of IPOB and their leadership, he also suggested that the activities of IPOB should be seen as the project of Nnamdi Kanu and his actions should be singled out as an action of an individual.

His words: we can see the Ooni of Ife and the Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Imo, His Royal Majesty Eze Samuel Ohiri sitting side by side, for our sons and daughters, it gives them a sense of unity wherever they are, I want to appeal to wherever they are, I want to appeal to all to please remain calm, we are one and only one nation, an injury to one is an injury to all In his speech at the occasion the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, scored Governor Okorocha high for his numerous achievements, particularly in the area of infrastructure and free education, stating that he was highly excited at the level of togetherness, brotherly love and peaceful coexistence of different tribes in Imo state, I am feeling our togetherness here in Imo State, is high time we know that we are cut out from same cloth, it is one big family`, he said He maintained that he doest joke with the unity of the country because he is passionate about it.

He said `Nigeria is a very unique nation with different culture, tradition and heritage, our diversity is our greatest strength, we shouldn’t write it off like that, we should look beyond our different backgrounds and look at how we can close the dotted lines. Another prominent Traditional Ruler in the country who spoke at the occasion was the Chairman of the Cross River State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Majesty Etimyin Etim Okon Edet, he described Governor Okorocha as an advocate of peace and urged all the traditional rulers to always preach the gospel of peace and unity.

Adding his voice the Chairman Imo State council Of Traditional Rulers, Eze Sameul Ohiri described the theme of the event as timely, designed to strengthen the unity of Nigeria through cultural orientation and urged both the political and traditional institution to always be in the frontline of promoting peace in the country. It was a two days event which started at the palace of Eze Imo at Mbari Street with speeches from notable paramount rulers in the country, while the second day was for cultural carnival; all the autonomous communities came with their cultural troops to showcase their cultural identity.

Free Speech: CHRSJ, CSOs Meet In Lagos To Carpet Government’s Move

A civil society group, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has teamed up with other rights organisations to fight attempts being made by the Federal Government to curb free speech in the country.

At a day workshop in Lagos on Friday, 22ND of September, 2017 held at the Ostra Hall and Hotel located in the Central Business District, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos the CHRSJ joined 150 others to appraise the state of the country with respect to series of moves to curtail free speech in the country to say a resounding NO, saying government should rather enhance the right of the people for free expression.

According to the CHRSJ, the various organizations that attended the workshop tagged ‘NationalDialogue on Hate Speech: Help Give A Voice to Everyone, Everywhere, were unanimous in their belief that hate speeches only arise when avenue for free expression are limited or non-existent.

Executive Chairman of the CHRSJ, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman blamed the Federal Government for the rising wave of hate speeches, saying the government has not made itself an institution for every Nigerian as its actions, plans, programmes and policies have largely been dictated by nepotism and bias.

Only last week, Sulaiman on behalf of the CHRSJ cautioned the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and members of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) against turning himself or the Police into a law court of law, saying that only a court of competent jurisdiction could determine whether or not what is said is a constructive criticism or not and not the police or the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led-Federal Government.

Commenting on the state of the nation, Sulaiman stated that the wave of violence in the South East of the country is a direct result of official neglect of the people of the area by the current Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government.

“Government has neglected a whole section of the country and what do you expect the people so neglected to do if not to fight back in the best way they can. We are not in support of the methods being used by the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) but we are saying that the government itself should do a soul searching to know where it had done something wrong in the way it has managed the affairs of the country.” He said.

On the moves to curb freedom of expression, Sulaimon who had faulted the government of deliberately trying to hide under the guise of fighting hate speech to clampdown on the opposition and the civil society, said such efforts should be discontinued forthwith in the interest of peace of the country.

Apart from the clandestine move to clampdown on free speech, Sulaiman also accused the government of trying to regulate the activities of the civil society groups, religious bodies as well private organisations through the instrumentality of the NGO Bill currently pending before the National Assembly.

“The bill is dangerous for the peace of the country as we have resolved to resist it with all the power and resources that we can muster. It won’t pass and we will ensure that it will never pass. This is why we are so much in support of this workshop where well over 150 CSOs are participating.” He said.

He listed some of the leaders in the CSOs present to include personalities such as Comrade Ayodele Akele who is the National Secretary of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Comrade Gbenga Sesan who is the executive director of Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO), Father John Patrick Ngoyi, director of Justice Development Peace Commission (JDPC), Roland Kayanja, director, UNIC (TBC) and many others.

On the NGO Regulation Bill, Sulaiman praised the efforts of the former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor (Comrade) Chidi Odinkalu for exposing the shenanigan of members of the National Assembly who have been working clandestinely on the bill without the knowledge of the Nigerian public.

“We salute the courage and patriotism of Professor Odinkalu for exposing the perfidy of members of the National Assembly to the Nigerian people. Such acts of courage are very rare in this country where everyone who should matter most has capitulated to the whims of the establishment for pecuniary gains.” He said.

Commenting on the dangers inherent in the legislation when passed, the CHRSJ said a similar law is currently operational in Uganda where the sitting leader, President Yoweri Museveni is using the same law to further perpetuate himself in office after having spent 31 years in power.

“The law is very dangerous, it is the same law that is operational in the East African country of Uganda, where the incumbent, Yoweri Museveni is scheming to further seat tight in office after 31 years in power. The law is what the Uganda dictator is using to silence the opposition, the media and the civil society who are wantonly arrested and jailed on trumped up charges to pave the way for his emergence as a life president of the country.” He said.   

Group Demand For Investigation And Sack Of EFCC's Magu

Dismisses Falana As A Corruption Entrepreneur

The Transparency In Government Initiative (TGI), a network of anti Corruption NGOs has advised Nigerians to disregard the vituperations of Femi Falana who railed against the National Assembly and the Department of State Services for revealing only the tip of the iceberg on the monumental corruption, extortion, human rights abuses and impunity going in the EFCC under the watch of Ibrahim Magu.

Speaking on behalf of the network at a press briefing in Port Harcourt, Messers Chinedu Nwankwo, (Convener) Ogaba Ochefu (National Secretary) and Obaiton Musa (Publicity Secretary),maintained that any attempt to ridicule or impugn the integrity of the National Assembly, the arm of Government that defines democracies will be an invitation to anarchy.

The group threatened to expose the schemes whereby Falana has corruptly benefited from various heads of the EFCC by acting as intermediary for massive rewards for interventions in high profile matters, on account of his false perception as a vocal anti Corruption crusader, when he is indeed profiteering from the fight against Corruption by currying favours from every head of the EFCC since the time of Ribadu and Waziri.

While maintaining that they are in full support of the war against corruption and exposing all underhand dealings of some high profile individuals, the group however said corruption that must be fought in keeping with the rule of law and due process, and through the nurturing of strong institutions and not by arbitrariness and impunity.

The group frowned against the exploitation of the war for material gains by IPOs and criminal gangs, while alleging a whole industry of corruption has grown around the EFCC under Magu.

While noting that they are also aware that a lot of members of the National Assembly are not also without blame, the anti corruption network disclosed that the law and our constitution has assigned certain roles to them, and they are not the ones currently on trial at the moment.

The group disclosed that Falanas flippant dismissal of the DSS and the senate is because he has no pecuniary benefit from defending them and believes that the masses are not on their side, as he always pretends to be on the side of the masses.

Can he account for his superfluous wealth only from legal briefs as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria?.Is he not receiving money corruptly by underhand dealings on corruption cases? Is FALANA not aware that suspects are paying missives bribes to IPO”s in order to either have their charges reduced, or simply from avoidance of the negative image and trauma that an EFCC trial is designed to bring on suspects.

Is he not aware of the massive bribes paid to EFCC Lagos office under one Iliasu Kwabai by many banks and their MD’s to settle issues of Diezani and other loots? ls that the kind of agency that should fight corruption in a transparent manner to earn the respect of Nigerians? The group queried.

We advise Falana and the likes of Prof. Itse Sagay to rather call for the resignation of Magu and setting up of a commission for a wholistic investigation into the affairs of EFCC under the tenure of Ibrahim Magu. This enquiry should offer witnesses protection to volunteer information on how they were threatened to part with huge amounts of money and locked up with renewable court orders until they settled the IPOs.

Continuing the group stated that the media was also commissioned by these IPOs to give such cases huge publicity and pronounce suspects guilty before trial and queried, Is the EFCC a court of law? Working in tandem with the media include a cascade of Magu sponsored NGOs including CACOL, SERAP etc to demonize and harass critics of the EFCC.

Look at the show of ignorance and lack of articulation that Magu displayed in the senate screening; is that the calibre of officer that should head such an important Government agency like the EFCC? .A man who doesn’t know how much the organization has recovered yet he is an accountant. Why won’t there be re-looting of the recovered loot in such circumstances where the head doesn’t keep records!

The fight against Corruption is not physical but mental and calls for someone with a high IQ and adequate formal education. Not someone who doesn’t understand that he even reports by law to the Attorney General, the chief law officer of the Federation .Someone who sees the fight against. Corruption as a lucrative business and where there is broad day-light robbery and extortion of suspects just because gullible Nigerians have been whipped into an anti corruption frenzy by the media- where any suspect is assumed guilty and any treatment is accepted by the populace.

The group equally called on President Buhari to sack and investigate Magu and send a replacement immediately to the National Assembly. Magu has failed to build any structures in the EFCC and runs the place like a one man business, where everything begins and ends with him. No wonder he has lost control of the IPOs and the various atrocities they are committing in his name. The group also warned Falana to stop misleading Nigerians just because he is a loquacious lawyer or risk full exposure of his corrupt dealings, maintaining that he is not even that sound as a lawyer.

President Buhari Arrives In London

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in the United Kingdom after leaving the United States, where he attended the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

The President departed New York earlier on Thursday and arrived in London hours later.

Meanwhile, the Presidency had hinted prior the President’s departure that he would travel through London on his way back from New York.

Although the reason for the stopover is uncertain, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, had told newsmen that the trip would not exceed its scheduled timeframe.

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