Friday, 19 October 2018

BREAKING: Nnamdi Kanu makes first appearance after soldiers' invasion [Watch Video]

BREAKING: Nnamdi Kanu makes first appearance after soldiers' invasion [Watch Video]

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was today, 19th October 2018, spotted in Israel.

According to a live video shared on Facebook by Castro Nkume, the controversial activist was seen praying at a place popularly known as the "Western wall" in Jerusalem.

Kanu’s whereabout has been unknown since 14th September 2017, when soldiers of the Nigerian Army stormed the Afara Ukwu, Umuahia country home of IPOB leader, resulting in a clash between his supporters and the soldiers. Many of his supporters were reported dead.

Watch the YouTube version below:


Thursday, 18 October 2018

Chinese city to replace streetlights with artificial moon by 2020

Chinese city to replace streetlights with artificial moon by 2020

Chengdu, a city in China, has unveiled plans to replace the city’s streetlights with an illumination satellite, also known as “artificial moon” by the year 2020.

According to Independent UK, Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu aerospace science and technology microelectronics system research institute, disclosed this at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship activity held in the city.

According to Chunfeng, Chengdu’s streetlights will be replaced with the satellite that will boost the glow of the real moon.

He said the testing of the illumination started years ago and is now ready.

He was quoted as saying the artificial moon is eight times brighter than the real moon.

The artificial moon will reportedly be able to light an area within a diameter of 10 to 80 kilometres while the precise illumination range can be controlled within a few dozen meters.

He said the man-made moon will have a coating that can reflect light from the sun with solar panel-like wings, adding that the angles of these wings can then be adjusted to allow the light to focus on a precise location.

However, the exact details of the spacecraft, the launch date and how the artificial moon would be maintained were not revealed.

Source: Independent.co.uk
Air Peace seals multi-year aircraft spares deal with planemaker, Embraer

Air Peace seals multi-year aircraft spares deal with planemaker, Embraer

Air Peace airline has signed a multi-year aircraft spare parts deal with planemaker, Embraer on the maintenance of its fleet.

The deal, the airline confirmed in a statement on Thursday, would cover more than 250 components for the six Embraer 145 jets it recently added to its fast-growing fleet in line with its drive to connect unserved and underserved domestic and regional routes under its subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper.

The deal was unveiled at the ongoing MRO Europe 2018 summit in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Air Peace currently has the biggest fleet of Embraer 145 jets on the West Coast of Africa, it was learnt.

The airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, described the deal as a guarantee of “efficiency and competitive results”.

The deal, Olajide added, would make spares readily available for the airline’s maintenance needs, heavily cut down the time spent on maintenance and increase the number of serviceable aircraft available to operate the airline’s flight schedules.
Proceedings of the Nigerian Senate of Thursday 18th October, 2018

Proceedings of the Nigerian Senate of Thursday 18th October, 2018

Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 11:43am.

EXECUTIVE SESSION
Senate moved into an Executive Session at 11:45am.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki reported that at the Executive Session the Senate deliberated on the issues bordering workings of the Nigeria Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general.

Senator Monsurat Sunmonu moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Wednesday, 17th October 2018. Senator Shuaibu Lau seconded.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS- First Reading

1. Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2018 (SB. 701) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2018 (SB. 701) was read the First Time.

2. Nigeria Police Academy (Est.) Bill, 2018 (SB. 702) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Nigeria Police Academy (Est.) Bill, 2018 (SB. 702) was read the First Time.

3. Presidential Programme on Rehabilitation and Reintegration (Establishment and Implementation) Bill, 2018 by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Presidential Programme on Rehabilitation and Reintegration (Establishment and Implementation) Bill, 2018 was read the First Time.

EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION: Confirmation of nomination for the appointment as Chairman and members of the governing board of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in accordance with the provision of Section 2 of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (Amendment) Act 2007.

1. Mr. Tunde Lemo- Chairman.
2. Engr. Nurudeen Abdurahaman Rafindadi- Managing Director.
3. Buba Silas Abdullahi- Executive Director.
4. Babagana Mohammed Aji- Executive Director.
5. Engr. Shehu Usman Abdullahi- Executive Director.
6. Loretta Ngozichukwu Aniagolu- Executive Director.
7. Mujaidu Stanley Dako- Executive Director.
8. Vincent Oladapo Kolawale- Executive Director.

Senator Emmanuel Bwacha seconded that the Senate do consider the Confirmation of nomination for the appointment as Chairman and members of the governing board of the FERMA in accordance with the provision of Section 2 of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (Amendment) Act 2007.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred it to the Committee on FERMA for further legislative action and to report back in two weeks.

PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS.

1. Report of the Committee on National Identity Card and National Population Commission on the screening of Dr. Abdulmalik Mohammed Durnnguwa for Confirmation of Appointment as Commissioners by Senator Suleiman O. Hunkuyi.

Senator Duro Faseyi seconded that the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on National Identity Card and National Population Commission on the screening of Dr. Abdulmalik Mohammed Durnnguwa for Confirmation of Appointment as Commissioner.

Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi presented the report.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE.

Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration on the report of the Committee on National Identity Card & NPC on the screening of Dr. Abdulmalik Mohammed Durnnguwa for Confirmation of Appointment as Commissioner for the NPC.

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

The nomination of Dr. Abdulmalik Mohammed Durnnguwa as Commissioner for National Population Commssion was confirmed.

2. Report of the Committee on Special Duties on the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Bill, 2018 (SB. 335) by Senator Abdul Aziz M. Nyako.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole to resume the clause by clause consideration of the report of the Committee of Special Duties on the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Bill, 2018 (SB. 335)

Senate reverted to plenary and reported  progress.

Senate resolved to stand down the Bill for legal directorate scrutiny.

3. Report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on FCT University of Science and Technology (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 59) by Senator Barau Jibrin.

Senator Joshua Lidani seconded that Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on FCT University of Science and Technology (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 59)

The report was LAID.

Senator Jibrin Barau presented the report.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the report on the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on FCT University of Science and Technology (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 59)

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

FCT University of Science and Technology (Est, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 59) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

“I want to thank all who made this possible. This Bill will reduce the pressure on existing universities. Thank you all for your contributions.”-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

4. Report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Accommodation, Logistics, Feeding, etc on the Onshore and Offshore of the Nigerian Pilgrims by Senator Adamu Aliero.

Senator Kabiru Gaya seconded that the Senate do consider the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Accommodation, Logistics, Feeding, etc on the Onshore and Offshore of the Nigerian Pilgrims.

Senator Adamu Aliero presented the report.

“I’m happy to say that the Committee on Foreign Affairs did an oversight of the 2018 Hajj and is preparing a report. In the memorandum of understanding signed by Nigeria, 50-50 was not used, but 70-30 was used.”-Senator Monsurat Sunmonu.

“It shouldn’t cost more than N1million to go for pilgrimage.”- Senator Kabiru Gaya.

Senate resolved to stand down the Bill to another legislative day.

ADJOURNMENT
Senate Leader moved that all other items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.

Plenary is adjourned to Tuesday 23rd October, 2018.

#GavelBangs

Signed:
New Media Department,
Office of the President of the Senate,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Corps member dies of kidney ailment a day before POP

Corps member dies of kidney ailment a day before POP

The Ogun State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mrs. Josephine Bakare, has disclosed that a corps member died of kidney-related complications a day before the passing out parade.

Bakare disclosed this at the passing out parade of the about 3,799 corps members for the 2017 Batch ‘B’ Stream 1 in Ogun. The corps members had completed their service year on Thursday.

She charged them to keep themselves busy and utilise lessons learnt.

The corps members comprised 2,026 females and 1,773 males.

The coordinator advised the youths to use the opportunity to engage themselves in self-development endeavours, rather than wait on non-existent jobs.
ISIS takes 700 hostages – including US and European citizens, executes ten daily

ISIS takes 700 hostages – including US and European citizens, executes ten daily

A U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighter runs in front of a damaged building as he crosses a street on the front line, in Raqqa city, Syria, in 2017.
Photo Credit: AP.
ISIS has kidnapped 700 people from a refugee camp in eastern Syria, and will 'kill ten hostages every day' unless their demands are met, Russian president, Vladimir Putin said today.

The Islamist terrorists have already murdered a number of hostages, and have warned of daily executions to come, the Russian President said.

ISIS fighters attacked the refugee camp in Syria's Deir-al Zor province last week, and kidnapped some 130 families, including several U.S. and European nationals.

Speaking at the Valdai discussion forum in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Putin said ISIS leaders had made demands, but did not specify what they were.

“They have issued ultimatums, specific demands and warned that if these ultimatums are not met they will execute 10 people every day.

“The day before yesterday they executed 10 people,' Putin said, adding: 'This is just horrible, it is a catastrophe.”

Culled from Daily Mail.
My Russia Memoirs Part 3: My Thoughts, Impressions and Experiences, By Amb Adichie Izuchukwu

My Russia Memoirs Part 3: My Thoughts, Impressions and Experiences, By Amb Adichie Izuchukwu

VOLGOGRAD: I spent a day in Volgograd - The day Nigeria's Super Eagles challenged Iceland’s national team in the second Group D match. I spent ten hours interacting with locals before match, we arrived via a 2.30hrs flight of Ural Airlines. Volgograd is located in south-eastern Russia. The city was built as a fortress on the right bank of Volga. The longest city in Russia, the total area of the city is 565 sq. km. There is an interesting and rich history in Volgograd, with a lot of historical monuments, culture and architecture. The city has experienced many historical events.

We arrived the most important industrial, economic and cultural / historical center of Russia, with the population of over 1, 500,000 people. The Major industries there are chemical, petrochemical, woodworking, petroleum, light industry, food industry, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, machinery, building materials and energy. Also in Volgograd, there is an airport, more of railways because of the economic importance of the city, the largest river port in Europe and cryogenic rail tankers which transport Petroleum products. There are also two federal highways across the city.

Volgograd is a major tourist center. It is a monument-city and a hero-city, visited by hundreds of thousands of Russians and foreign nationals, annually.
Tourists are attracted by Volgagrad's nature, mineral springs, spa and rest-houses, along with the rich and glorious history. There are many museums and monuments, with a vibrant culture and architecture. This city has a well-developed transportation network. Buses, trolleybuses (powered by electricity), tramsway, minibuses and taxis.

With two goals from Ahmed Musa, Nigeria’s Super Eagles' defeated the Icelandic team whose national fans were their twelfth man on the pitch. Inside the 45,568 capacity Volgograd Arena, located at Lenina Ave 76, Volgograd, were not more than two hundred Nigerian supporters, including Football Made in Anambra Delegates, led by my principal, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah. Other Nigerians present includes, the Gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 18, 2017 Anambra State Governorship Election, Mr. Oseloka Obaze and Alex Iwobi's family.
Security were on ground and well-coordinated. The locals were happy with Nigeria's contingents. There was no White Night, another surprise? Yes, definitely! We boarded Ural Airlines back to St. Petersburg the next morning after the match. Though I was asleep for most part of the journey, one thing I couldn't take, was the mineral water served in the plane. It is commonly consumed in Russia.

ST. P’BURG:  Back to St. Petersburg, from the heroes city, and up next was lunch at McDonald's, a boat cruise over the St. Petersburg's canal and dinner at KFC with the Football Made in Anambra contingent, proudly led by the big boss, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah and his family, including Master Ejie Ubah, his last son whose birthday fell on the same day. It is worthy to note that Ejim's birthday song was led by the Nigeria Football Federation's, (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, after which the Football administrator gave a vote of thanks to Dr. Ubah for his commitment to the growth of Football in Nigeria and for sponsoring the over fifty-three member Anambra contingent to Russia.
A boat cruise in St. Petersburg was remarkable. They were varieties of boats and operators. One may choose to cruise with small private or multi-level river cruiser. Having booked a boat trip in advance, due to increase in demand by tourists, we cruised from the popular Palace Square canal to the inner city. Our boat trip was conducted by a tour guide.

As we cruised, we sang the Nigerian National and FC IfeanyiUbah Club Anthem.

It was indeed an unforgettable and exciting moment for us all as our happiness and team spirit kept us together. It also offered us a good opportunity to expand our knowledge and horizon.

After our boat cruise, we retired to KFC, where we had our dinner. Before we could go back to our apartment to end the day, we've had the interesting part of people from different nations asking to take pictures with us. The photo session has been a concurrent affair, since my first day in Russia.
St. Petersburg is a city that was built on a river with different islands, the bridges are unarguably the main connection - late nights and early morning, when the Metro stops running. One could find schedules for the bridges anywhere like; tourist books inside a taxi, Google, hotel receptions, bars and restaurants, tour guides, etc.

Being on the right side of the river is always advised. Most bridges go up between 1:00am-5:00am, with Palace Bridge being the first. We were earlier informed about the time schedules during our tour to Vasilyevsky Island by a guide and consequently, I was able to be on the right side of the river during my visit to the Palace Bridge the night after.

Vasilyevsky Island is situated across the river from the Winter Palace - The Hermitage. Having constituted a large portion of the city's historic center, it's bordered by the Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva Rivers (in the delta of the Neva River) in the south and northeast, and by the Gulf of Finland in the west. Vasilyevsky Island is separated from Dekabristov Island by the Smolenka River. Together they form the territory of Vasileostrovsky District, an administrative division of Saint Petersburg.

Two of the most famous St. Petersburg bridges, Palace Bridge and Blagoveshchensky Bridge, connect it with the mainland to the south. The Exchange Bridge and Tuchkov Bridge across the Malaya Neva connect it with Petrogradsky Island. Vasilyevsky Island is served by Vasileostrovskaya and Primorskaya stations of Saint Petersburg Metro. In addition, the island is serviced by bus routes and tramway lines.

RELIGION:  People who doubted the existence of religion in Russia are urged to rethink because there are churches, cathedrals and mosques in the major cities. During the Soviet years, churches were destroyed and those that survived being destroyed have been rebuilt in the last two decades.

In Saint Petersburg, I visited the largest Russian cathedral in the city known as Saint Isaac - Isaakiyevskiy sobor. It is the largest orthodox Basilica and the fourth largest (by the volume under the cupola) cathedral in the world. The Church is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint.
It took forty years to complete the building of St. Isaac (1818 - 1858) which is gold plated. The Cathedral also serves as a tourist center where tourist needs to pay 400 руб for a ticket and 200 руб for a tour guide.

GOOGLE:  Staying in Russia compelled me to be accustomed to “Google Translate”. This was due to difficulty in communication caused by language barrier. The app was an aid during shopping, movements and most of my communications with locals and people from other countries that attended the World Cup event. The app was also needed to hotel apartments as it was the only means of communication with taxi drivers.

KRESTOVSKY: I thought I had seen it all. However, a visit to the Krestovsky Stadium the venue of third Group D match between Argentina vs Nigeria came with new surprises.

Gosh! Straight away, I called this one of the most beautiful stadiums ever seen. Krestovsky Stadium, officially Saint Petersburg Stadium which is also called Zenit Arena is a retractable roof stadium situated in the western part of Krestovsky Island in Saint Petersburg. It serves as home ground for FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. The stadium has a capacity of 67,000. It is thirty minutes by road from Hilton Hotels.

INFRASTRUCTURE:  Russian is known for its breathtaking infrastructures. The bridge leading to the stadium is elegant. In architecture, beauty lies in the performance and behavior of a structure. Zenit Arena is a well secured stadium. A graceful structure striking a permanent pose. The structural form has an aesthetic appeal that's driven by the 3 Es of engineering designs. The engineering creativity of St. Petersburg Stadium satisfies the requirements of efficiency and economy, and is also elegant with its glowing lights with inter changing colors.

ARGENTINA:  Before this scintillating game, I did not see the Argentines going further. The team was dysfunctional with weaknesses in many facets. Against Croatia’s midfield, they were badly exposed thus placing on Lionel Messi needless pressure.

Marcos Rojo’s clinical volley in the 86th minute rescued the Argentines after Victor Moses’s penalty canceled out Lionel Messi’s opening goal.

The hearts of Nigerians were broken and it was another extraordinary evening.

Although the quality of football might not be that high as we expected, but we were treated to a late night show that was worth it.

THE METRO:  The Metro transport system in Russia is almost a tourist attraction in and off itself, with most of the stations dating back to the 1930s.

A metro station is a rapid railway station transit system. Each station provides a means for passengers to purchase tickets, board trains, and evacuate the system in case of an emergency.

Rapid transit systems are powered by electric trains which operate on an exclusive right-of-way, which cannot be accessed by pedestrians or other vehicles of any sort, and which is often grade separated in tunnels or on elevated railways.

They are breathtaking, resembling underground palaces with marble walls and floors, bas-reliefs, chandeliers, and even mosaics and stained glass windows.

I will always advise everyone to travel via metro, even if they don’t want to, just for the feel of it because I have had a good taste of it.

CENTRAL AREA: Central Area in Moscow was my favorite destination with all its glamorous hubs, magnificent structures and well laid out transport system. It is one of the best planned cities in Europe. Most locals do not often use all the metro stations. This is due to an increased number of car ownership after the fall of the Soviet Union. This phenomenon has contributed to Moscow being rated as the worst traffic congested city in the world.

As an organized system, the traffic laws weren't exclusive though the locals often disobeyed them damming the consequences. There are fixed speed cameras. Anyone caught by a fixed camera will have a penalty ticket sent to the registered address of the car owner. The speed limit is 60 km/h. Without a hands-free kit, it is illegal to drive while using mobile phones. The minimum age to drive a car is 18. Also, wearing of seat belts is mandatory. Another thing that caught my attention was when a taxi driver told me that it is illegal to drive a dirty car if the registration number is unknown.

Russia has many traffic regulations. Knowing them is key to avoiding trouble with the traffic police.

POLITICS: I totally understand that some people have made decisions about not visiting Russia, because they don't agree with Putin and his politics - but just like almost every other country in the world, the government in Russia enjoys support from its citizens on the issue of foreign policies notwithstanding the weak economy base. However, the newer economy are hugely dependent on state involvement and private involvement remains inefficient.

PUTIN: Maintenance of pension fund and regular payouts is a priority of President Vladimir Putin. Although benefits and rate of funding are often adjusted, with retirement age pegged at 65 years, every Russian Federation pensioner has been a priority of government.

Government has also developed some other policies to support the citizens. There are existing health insurance schemes. Government has also introduced a policy that reward each parent who have a second child with money and two bedroom flat apartment, this was due to the fear of decreasing population.

1F1F:  In Moscow, we did the laudable. The 1F1F Project is expected to produce one million football stars. The Africa Football Revolution Initiative Project - 1 Family 1 Footballer was successfully unveiled on Saturday, 14th July, 2018 in Moscow, with the leadership of FIFA, CAF and some Presidents of various Football Associations in attendance.

BYE RUSSIA:  President Vladimir Putin deserves commendation for opening up Russia to the World through the World Cup. On a good note, there were much to see and do in Russia. It was absolutely a remarkable period of time, experience, and a dream come true.

The LOC were excellent in the organization even though it was a world event. There was amazing unity as even the old historical Nazism style of life was discontinued. There was a clear signal of a capable security and technical excellence. I felt the artistic discipline and architectural expression rooted in deep history and collective manifestations of human intellectual achievement.

Would I feel unsafe coming back to Russia since the government has given the FAN ID holders free visa entry till the year end?

I actually felt safe the entire time.

I and my colleagues - the Chief of Staff, Chief Protocol Officer, Director of Graphics, Creativity and Image Making amongst others had no trouble with immigrations going back to Nigeria through the same Qatar Airways route after our thirty days in Russia which saw France beating the highly spirited Croatians to win the 2018 World Cup.

Spasibo Rossiya 2018.
Air Peace to set up maintenance hub in upgraded Asaba airport – Gov. Okowa

Air Peace to set up maintenance hub in upgraded Asaba airport – Gov. Okowa

Air Peace Airline has indicated intention to make Asaba Airport its operational and maintenance hub, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has said.

Governor Okowa, who made the disclosure Wednesday in Asaba at the presentation of the budgetary proposal for the 2019 fiscal year said Nigeria’s premier carrier, the Air Peace resumed daily scheduled flight operations in and out of Asaba Airport on Monday, 8th October, 2018.

“The management of Air Peace Airline has indicated interest to make Asaba Airport its operational hub, where it can quickly build its maintenance hangers”, the governor revealed.

According to the governor, his administration has made considerable progress in the quest to make Asaba Airport an international gateway, with the successful completion of the runway rehabilitation work, adding that the airport has been approved and upgraded from Category 8 to 6 Airport to receive and dispatch large aircraft by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Proceedings of the Nigerian Senate of Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

Proceedings of the Nigerian Senate of Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:59am.

Senator Andy Uba moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 16th October 2018. Senator Jeremiah Useni seconded.

POINT OF ORDER

Senator Theodore Orji cited order 42 & 52 and spoke on the pipeline explosion in Abia State due to the negligence of duty by NNPC staff that led to the loss of 150 lives. The villagers had gone to scoop oil from the leakage as a means of livelihood when the explosion occurred.
“It’s very regrettable because people have refused to do their jobs. NNPC and DPR are supposed to do monitor these issues. Scooping oil should not be allowed. From the incident, it is clear the leakages were reported but those in charge ignored these reports.” -Sen. Victor Umeh.

“I want to say it was a gory site. I saw human lives charred like rats. This is due to the negligence of PPMC and DPR. We have lost premium on human lives. This calls for serious investigation. The committee on downstream should investigate this.”- Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa.

“As we go into the prayers to look into how we can truly come up with resolutions, we need to show that lives do matter in this country and make this a very good example of that, I say this to those committees we’ve referred this to,...”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“...because from the presentations and those who have contributed, this is just clear negligence on the part of those who are responsible and could have prevented the loss of lives of 150 people who have died.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“Those who will finally agree to look into this matter should treat it with the seriousness that it deserves. The Committee on Petroleum Resources and Police Affairs should perform a proper investigation and recommendation.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

”Let us have a report in 2weeks and also find out what the Federal Government is doing about it.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Senate resolved to:
1. Order NEMA to send relief materials to the affected individuals.
2. Order depots to commence immediate repairs of the leakages.
3. Refer to the Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream for proper investigation and recommendation.
4. Observe a minute silence for the repose of souls.
5. Senate should send a delegation to the Abia State Government and the community.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki reminded Senator Abu Ibrahim, Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs to bring a proper report next week on the case of the death of ICRC worker, Hauwa Leman and corper, Anita Akapson.

Senator Magnus Abe cited Order 42.1 on the death of former senator Cyrus Nunieh from Rivers State on 18th August, 2018 at the age of 87.

Senate resolved to:
1. Observe a minute’s silence in honor of the deceased and;
2. Send a delegation of the Senate to condole with the family.

Senator Bassey Akpan cited Order 43 and drew the attention of the Senate to the two divisional police headquarters burnt down by APC in Akwa Ibom which led to the cancellation of the primary elections.

PRESENTATION OF REPORTS.

1. Report of the Committee on Information and National Orientation on the National Orientation Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (SB.333) by Senator Suleiman Adokwe.

Senator Jide Omoworare seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Information and National Orientation on the National Orientation Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (SB.333).

The report was LAID.

2. Report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions by Senator Sam Anyanwu in respect of:

a. Petition from Andy A. NnaNna against the National Population Commission (NPC) for denying him appointment to the post of Director, Administration and Human Resource Management or Secretary to the Commission.

b. Petition from O. J. Omoke against the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) for alleged wrongful withdrawal from the academy; and

c. Petition from Prof. Emmanuel Ume Lekwa Imaga against the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) for his wrongful dismissal from the service of the university for alleged gross misconduct.

Senator Ibrahim Gobir seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

The report was LAID.

3. Report of the Committee on Gas on gas flaring (prohibition and punishment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 337) by Senator Bassey Akpan.

Senator Sha’aba Lafiagi seconded that the Senate do receive the report of the Committee on Gas on gas flaring (prohibition and punishment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 337)

The report was LAID.

EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION: Confirmation for appointment of the nomination of Olanikekun Olukoyede, Esq. as the secretary of the EFCC in accordance with the provision of section 2(3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Est.) Act 2010.

Senator Biodun Olujimi seconded that the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President C-n-C on the confirmation for appointment of the nomination of Olanikekun Olukoyede, Esq. as the Secretary of the EFCC.

A MOTION OF THE DAY

Illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks in customers accounts with particular focus on Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges by  Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu seconded the motion, “The ATM charge is not the only charge we get from the bank, there are VAT charges and so on; this is unacceptable. We have the Customer Protection Agency in Nigeria, but they are not living up to expectations.”

“If we have Institutions in Nigeria, they should make sure to do their jobs to protect Nigerians. Banks should have recognizable charges to let customers know what they are up against.”-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

“It won’t be out of place to Institute a committee that will call on the CBN to tell us what these charges are about. The Senate by fiat should abolish charges if they can’t be verified.”- Senator Bala Na’allah.

“There’s no bank that makes profit on these ATM charges because the maintenance and breakdown of ATMs are so expensive, the payment for security also attracts these charges.”- Senator Gbolahan Dada.

“The monetary policy guidelines are not being adhered to and as such, the Committee on Banking and Finance should take charge of that.”-Senator Philip Gyunka.

“These banks should stop ripping Nigerians off their hard earned money.”-Senator Adeola Solomon.

“People do not understand that the cost of technology is high. If there is a problem with the ATM, you have to pay for someone to fix it. We cannot force it on the banks to reduce costs.”-Senator Ibrahim Gobir.

“The common man is also a victim. Banks declare profit and you wonder where it is coming from; it’s from the sweat of the common man. I want to add that we come up with a law that puts banks on their toes.”- Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.

“The Senate must take serious stand on this issue. Nigerians are really suffering. The bank system is not encouraging. I had an issue, took it to the bank and was refunded but how many Nigerians can do this? The issue needs to be addressed.”-Senator Kabiru Gaya.

“Banks have come up with other ways to make money and are declaring large profits. Because of certain limits, you make 10 transactions and you are charged for each. It is illegal. CBN should be called upon to review its actions on resolving these issues.”-Sen. Barnabas Gemade.

“This is a motion that touches on the lives of every Nigerian irrespective of what part you belong to or political affiliation you might have and that is why we are here, to always defend and protect the interest of our people.”-Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“We need to look at ways to ensure that our resolutions go beyond just the debates — so that whatever action we take will come into effect.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“This Senate has done this many times before; when there was a hike in the mobile telecommunication data charges, we intervened and put an end to that. When there were discrepancies and increases in electricity prices, we also took action.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“We have done this on a number of similar cases. I want us to take effective resolutions.
For me,  this is a major step that we are taking. This is because I introduced the first ATM machine that came into Nigeria over 25-years ago.”-Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“Now, after 25-years, we should have grown out of these excessive charges and moved on. So, I believe this is something that we must address to create an environment that protects all Nigerians, because these kinds of charges in this economy affects everyone.”-Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Senate resolved to:
1. Direct the Committees on Banking Insurance & other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate;

2. Mandate the Committees on Banking, Insurance & other Financial Institutions and Finance to invite the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria to appear  before the Committee in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks;

3. Urge the Central Bank of Nigeria to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers account as well as instructing the commercial banks to configure their machines to extend to N40,000 per withdrawal pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees and;

4. Urge the Consumer Protection Council to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS.

1. Report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts by Senator Shehu Sani on:

a. The implementation of the new external capital raising of USD2.786 Billion from the International Capital Market approved in the 2018 appropriation Act; and

b. The external capital raising of USD82.54Million to refinance the balance of USD500Million matured Eurobond in the International Capital Market.

Senator Gershom Bassey seconded that the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on New External Capital raising of $2.786 Billion from the International Capital Market.

Senator Shehu Sani presented the report.

“Let us ensure we carry out oversight functions to make sure these funds are used for their purpose in growing the country.”-Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan.

“I thank the committee for their work. It is important we see to it that these monies are utilized.” -Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu

“The Committee on Finance should ensure the monies are released immediately.”-Senator Barau Jibrin.

Recommendations:
1. Senate approves the implementation of the new external capital raising of USD2.786 Billion from the International Capital Market approved in the 2018 appropriation Act.

2. That the Senate do approve the external capital raising of USD82.54Million to refinance the balance of USD500Million matured Eurobond in the International Capital Market.

3. That the Senate do approve the issuance of the above, but advise that the Federal Government do everything possible to limit its requests for external borrowing and source for other means of generating revenue internally. This is to avoid driving our country into debt.

4. Direct our various committees to carryout extensive oversight on the various MDAs to ensure that the previous loans that have been granted are properly utilised. This oversight should be fixed immediately.

“Before the end of the week, we will fix a date where all our committees will carryout oversight to ensure that all the previous loans have been properly utilised.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

”I thank the Committee and all Distinguished Senators for the cooperation with the executive to ensure that we quickly pass this loan to ensure the proper funding of the 2018 budget.”-Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

2. Report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on the screening of nominees for appointment as chairman and members of Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)

1 Dr. Muhammed Isah, Chairman (Jigawa, North-West)
 2 Murtala Kankia, Member (Katsina, North-East)
 3 Emmanuel E. Attah, Member (Cross River, South-South)
 4 Danjuma Sado, Member (Edo, South-South)
 5 Ubolo I. Okpanachi, Member (Kogi, North-Central)
 6 Ken Madaki Alkali, Member (Nasarawa, North-Central)
 7 Prof. S. F. Ogundare, Member (Oyo, South-West)
 8 Hon. Ganiyu Hamzat, Member (Ogun, South-West)
 9 Saad A. Abubakar, Member (Gombe, North-East)
 10 Dr. Vincent Nwanli, Member (Ebonyi, South-East)

“Hon. Ganiyu Hamzat and Dr. Vincent Nwanli failed to show up and present their credentials for the screening.”-Senator Sam Anyanwu.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the report on the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on the screening of nominees for appointment as Chairman and members of Code of Conduct Bureau.

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

Dr. Muhammed Isah, is confirmed Chairman of Code of Conduct Bureau.

Murtala Kankia, Emmanuel E. Attah, Ubolo I. Okpanachi, Ken Madaki Alkali, Prof. S. F. Ogundare, Saad A. Abubakar are confirmed members of Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)

“We hope that they will continue to play key roles in the Bureau and I wish them all a successful tenure.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

CONSIDERATION OF BILLS

1. A Bill for an Act to amend the Immigration Act  and for other matters connected therewith, 2018 (SB. 230) by Senator Gbolahan Dada.

“I support the 2nd reading of this bill.”-Senator Rose Oko.

A Bill for an Act to amend the Immigration Act  and for other matters connected therewith, 2018 (SB. 230) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the Committee on Customs and Excise Duties to report back in 4 weeks.

 2. A Bill for an Act to repeal the National Planning Commission and re-enact National Planning Commission Bill, 2018 and other matters, 2018 (SB. 637) by Senator Rose Oko.

“It is a very good bill. If there is planning and no implementation, it would be wrong. There should be a follow-up.”- Senator Ibrahim Gobir.

A Bill for an Act to repeal the National Planning Commission and re-enact National Planning Commission Bill, 2018 and other matters, 2018 (SB. 637) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the Committee on National Planning to report back in in 4 weeks.

3. A Bill for an Act to repeal the National Board for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Education Act and re-enact the National  Commission for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Education, 2018 (SB. 560) by Senator Barau Jibrin.

“I’m sure with this kind of bill we’ll provide an enabling environment for our people and also provide opportunities for young people to have such technical education that will support our industries and create employment...”-DSP, Ike Ekweremadu.

”...and going to the civil service will create a pool of self employed young men and women.”- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

A Bill for an Act to repeal the National Board for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Education Act and re-enact the National  Commission for Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurial Education, 2018 (SB. 560) was read the Second Time.

DSP, Ike Ekweremadu referred the Bill to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report back in 4 weeks.

4. A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal University of Sports to make comprehensive provisions for its due management and administration and for related matters, 2018 (SB. 692) by Senator Ogba Obinna.

“I thank Senator Obinna for this. He has brought up what binds us together, which is sports. This is in the right direction. I support this Bill.”- Senator Philip Aduda.

A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal University of Sports to make comprehensive provisions for its due management and administration and for related matters, 2018 (SB. 692) was read the Second Time.

“All aspects of sports need to be enhanced. We have sports psychology, sport physiology and most of these things are not taught in regular universities, so with a specialized university for sports, I’m sure some of these things...”- Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

”...will be put in place and we will be able to have the requisite manpower to deal with the specialized areas that are relevant to sports. I thank the Senate for the debate.”-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu referred the Bill to the Committee on Sports and Social Development to report back in 4 weeks.

ADJOURNMENT
Senate Leader moved that all other items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.

Plenary is adjourned to Thursday, 18th October, 2018.

#GavelBangs

Signed:
New Media Department,
Office of the President of the Senate,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
South East NUJ Lauds Obiano Over Appointment of Journalist As Executive Assistant, Political Matters

South East NUJ Lauds Obiano Over Appointment of Journalist As Executive Assistant, Political Matters

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Zone C (South East) wishes to thank the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano for finding one of their own, Comrade Abuchi Onwumelu, worthy of being appointed Executive Assistant (EA) on Political Matters.

  In a release jointly signed by the
Vice President, NUJ Zone C, Comrade Petrus Obi and his secretary, comrade Kenneth Ofoma, the zonal leadership viewed the gesture as a worthy and fitting recognition and encouragement of hard work and innovativeness.

 'We also acknowledge that this appointment is just one out of many of our colleagues, who serve at different levels and sectors of government in Anambra state under the present regime.

  'This has added to the already sparkling record and profile of His Excellency, as one of the most media friendly governors in the country. This attributes surely must not go unrecognized at the fullness of time.

  'Comrade Onwumelu is the Chairman, Fides Communications Chapel of the NUJ, Anambra State Council, and also the Administrator of one of the most vibrant WhatsApp platforms in the country, Media Practitioners Only (MPO) – a virtual platform which has been agent of social change and mass mobilization of media practitioners and none practitioners alike.

  'Comrade Abuchi Onwumelu holds a Professional Diploma in Journalism (PDJ) from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in Political Science from Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) and a Nigeria Certificate In Education (NCE) in Ecumenism/Social Studies from African Thinkers Community of Inquiry College of Education (ATCOICOE), Enugu.

  'He has been engaged in media practice for the past 10 years with about six years spent serving as a media aide to the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor.

    'He is an active member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and currently the Chairman of the Fides Communications Chapel of the Union by virtue of which he is a member of the State Executive Committee of the NUJ.

   'He is an active member of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and certified as a teacher by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN).

  'He is also a trained and certified Peace Corps Officer. He has academic training and practical experience in Media,  education and Religious/ecumenical matters.

Media practitioners in Anambra State in the year 2015 honoured him with "Creative Media Award" while National Union of Anambra State Students (NUASS) Nationwide recently at Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square honoured him with "Excellence Media Award".

   'Comrade Abuchi Onwumelu took the media industry by storm despite his young age.

   'As we once again congratulate Comrade Onwumelu for this recognition, we urge him not only to be a worthy ambassador, but to work even harder by discharging his duties creditably and excellently in order to justify the confidence reposed in him by Governor Obiano.

   'We pray the Almighty Lord to continue to guide and protect the Governor in his onerous task of providing quality governance and leadership to Anambra State - Light of the Nation,' the statement read.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Bianca: MASSOB gives APGA 7 Days Ultimatum to remove Ojukwu’s pictures from campaign materials

Bianca: MASSOB gives APGA 7 Days Ultimatum to remove Ojukwu’s pictures from campaign materials

Following the denial of the Anambra South senatorial ticket to Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s wife, Bianca by the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA); the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB) has given a 7 day ultimatum to the leadership of the party to remove all images of the late Biafran leader from its billboards and other campaign materials or face its wrath.

MASSOB zonal leaders from Abia South, Abia Central and Abia North, Mazi Fred Onyenaucheya, Chief Obi Anyaogu and Pastor Evans Okoronkwo, respectively, as well as Iron Lady of Biafra, Mrs Comfort Ogbuokiri, said the denial of the senatorial ticket to Bianca amounts to humiliation and insult to the late Biafran leader.

MASSOB insisted that as Ojukwu’s wife, Bianca deserves an automatic senatorial ticket from APGA as a result of her husband’s selfless contributions to the party and Ndigbo.

“It is an insult on Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu for APGA to deny his wife a senatorial ticket. APGA has humiliated Ojukwu. Therefore, we are giving a 7 day ultimatum to the party to remove Ojukwu’s images from their billboards and other campaign materials or face our wrath. They have been using Ojukwu’s images to campaign and win elections, but denied his widow a senatorial ticket. Ojukwu’s name is good for them to pass election while his widow is not good to fly the APGA senatorial ticket. Now, they have denied his widow a senatorial ticket, they should detach his images from their party and allow him to rest in peace. Senator Victor Umeh was given automatic ticket as the APGA senatorial candidate for Anambra Central, what’s wrong in giving the Anambra South senatorial ticket to Bianca Ojukwu as a mark of respect for Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu who lived his life for Ndigbo?

“Ojukwu is the same with his wife, there is no difference between them. Bianca represents Ojukwu. You cannot pretend to respect Ojukwu while disrespecting his widow, Bianca. BIM is saddened with the ill treatment meted out to Bianca by APGA. This is why we have given them 7 days to detach Ojukwu’s images from their party. We will conduct such humiliation on the family of our revered leader.”

MASSOB warned APGA should to stop parading itself as an Igbo party, stressing that no Igbo party would disrespect Ojukwu as APGA had done.

“What APGA did in denying Bianca the Anambra South senatorial ticket amounts to spitting on Ojukwu’s grave. No sensible Igbo man or party would show such disrespect to Ojukwu as APGA has done. This shows that that APGA is not an Igbo party as it claims. APGA should stop parading itself as an Igbo party.”
Police re-arrest robber 5 days after regaining freedom

Police re-arrest robber 5 days after regaining freedom

The operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command have re-arrested a robbery suspect five days after he was released from Ikoyi Prison.

The suspect, Tunde Okunola, 26, was re-arrested in Marwa Roundabout, Lekki with an accomplice, Segun Adigun, 27, while trying to rob one Gift Omini at around 4;45 a.m on Wednesday.

While the gang, Okunola and Adigun were arrested in the morning, another robbery gang operating on okada, Raimi fatai, 16 years and Yusuph Balogun, 22 years, was arrested Wednesday night at the National Stadium, Surulere after snatching a handbag from a lady.

Okunola, who was released from Ikoyi Prison on Friday October 5, 2018, was re-arrested early Wednesday morning after robbing Gift Omini of her mobile phone while riding okada.

Okunola, in his statement to the police disclosed that he had spent six months and two weeks in Ikoyi prison before being released five days before he was re-arrested.

The suspect, while pleading with the police, stated that he is a trained barber and was looking for funds to do his freedom in Lagos. He added that if released, “I will never step into Lagos again”.

The victim, Gift Omini had told the police that the suspects who were riding okada used a short axe to dispossess her of a mobile phone. “My shout for help attracted the attention of RRS officers at the Roundabout and they chased and arrested them”.

Fatai and Balogun were arrested by RRS officers after a chase. They disclosed that they live in Boundary, Ajegunle, Lagos and that they were trying to raise money for freedom after undergoing training as barbers.

Speaking on the development, the Command's Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti stated that the police is not unaware of criminal elements who would want to seize the opportunity of the coming festive period to engage in crime. He added that the Command is leaving no stone unturned to make Lagos unconducive for criminals.