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N11.5bn School Chairs Contracts Smuggled Into NDDC Budget – IMC

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The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has decried N11.5bn non-essential contracts smuggled into its 2020 budget ostensibly by members of the National Assembly.

The Acting Executive Director, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, said the contracts were for supply of desks and chairs to schools in the Niger Delta region.

A statement by the NDDC Corporate Affairs Director, Charles Odili, quoted Ojuogboh as saying henceforth the commission would only give priority to projects that would impact meaningfully on the region.

He insisted the commission would no longer yield to requests of including such projects in its budget to satisfy selfish considerations.

According to him: “This year alone, they put N11.5billion in the budget for the supply of desks and chairs to schools in the Niger Delta region.

“Where are the schools that you are going to put N11. 5billion worth of chairs and desks in the region?”

Ojougboh assured the commission would resume inspection of its projects across the region despite distractions, adding it was time to get back to the task of developing the Niger Delta region.

He said: “We have had enough of distractions and we have decided not to be bogged down anymore

“We will go about our work with renewed vigor. We are taking a special interest in the desilting projects, because, heavy rains are coming and some areas will be flooded.

“We will visit all the locations because no payments will be made until our engineers, quantity surveyors and the Project Monitoring and Supervision, PMS, have approved.”

He clarified the IMC headed by the Acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, had only paid for verified jobs that done over the years.

He said contractors now sit in their homes and get alerts without visiting the NDDC office to lobby for payments.

“It has never happened before. Today, you don’t need to come to NDDC to lobby for your payments.

“Once we verify your job performance, we will pay you because a labourer is worthy of his wages,” he said.

Ojougboh expressed delight the 29-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road with spurs linking 14 different communities in Bayelsa would soon be commissioned.

“We were there recently on a pre-commissioning visit. Once we get an approved date from the Presidency, we shall let you know,” he said.

He said road, which cuts through the swamps with 10mbridges and 99 culverts, was one of the signature projects executed by the NDDC.

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Politics

Obaseki’s Victory Shouldn’t Be Seen As Humiliation Of Tinubu – Junaid Mohammed

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Dr. Junaid Mohammed, elderstatesman and Second Republic lawmaker on Thursday said the defeat suffered by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the Edo governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu shouldn’t be seen as a humiliation of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the party’s National Leader.

The election was won by Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 307,955 votes against Ize-Iyamu’s 223,619 votes.

Four days to the election, Tinubu had made a broadcast to Edo people, asking them to reject Obaseki on Saturday, alleging that the Edo governor has been undemocratic since he was first elected in 2016.

However, speaking in a chat with Daily Independent, Junaid said Tinubu as a politician has a right to choose any candidate that will advance his cause politically, which he did by openly rejecting Obaseki and declaring support for Ize-Iyamu.

“Tinubu is a politician and politician are allowed to once in a while make flowery statements. That should not be taken to mean anything. Secondly, Asiwaju Tinubu has contributed tremendously to the political careers of both Oshiomhole and Obaseki”.

So, if for whatever reason there is now a reason that Asiwaju has to make a choice, it is not going to be a personal choice, it will be a political choice. He will go for what will serve him better politically”.

“Having Obaseki continue as the governor of Edo state or allowing Oshiomhole to have his way in terms of supporting his handpicked candidate. These are minor issues. You cannot ignore the influence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the South West and parts of the South South where Delta and Edo are”.

“I don’t see any problem in any statement he made. He made the statement but the outcome of the election was not exactly what he had wished. That is the end of the story. We should close the chapter and move on to Ondo and other theatres of contestation”.

“It should not be seen as a personal humiliation to Tinubu. In this game called politics, you cannot say that you’ll always win. You win some, you lose some. It should not be used against him because he said something and it turned out to be the reverse”.

” I don’t believe Tinubu is a fortune teller that whatever he says must come to pass. That cannot happen in politics” he said.

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FG Is Building Rail Line To Border Point not Into Niger Republic – Garba Shehu

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An agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation has a plan for “Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)” as it is called.

Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi.

Nigerian delegates to that meeting comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Boundaries Commission, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano and Katsina states.

The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce. When completed, it will serve domestic industries and play the role of a a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighboring Niger Republic for their export and import logistic chain.

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Expelling Oshiomhole From APC Can Lead To Suicide – Felix Obuah, Ex-PDP Chairman Begs

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A former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Felix Obuah, has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State to pardon Adams Oshiomhole, Daily Times gathered.

He said this on Wednesday in a statement that was signed by his spokesman, Jerry Needam in reaction to alleged plot to expel the former Edo Governor.

“As true and evident as it has shown that the APC lost the Edo governorship election, largely because of Oshiomhole’s intransigence and arrogance, expelling him at this material time could only translate to political suicide for the already beleaguered Edo-born politician.”

Obuah said being a core politician, he could discern the degree of regret and remorse that goes on in Oshiomhole’s mind.

“I’m indeed sorry for the Edo APC supporters on the account that the state had suffered in the hands of Oshiomhole both as Edo State governor and as the national chairman of the party.

“Nonetheless, I beseech you to forgive him but if contrary to my plea, you are still bent on discarding him, I think the PDP will definitely not accept him into our more responsible and united party,’’ he added.

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