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Failed Implementation Of Erosion Rescue Project, Engineer Sule Reads Riot Act To NEWMAP

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By Yahaya Idris, Lafia

Irked by the slow pace in implementation of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has threatened to sack members of the project team if they failed to move to the project office in Karu.

Engineer Sule handed down the threat when he recently hosted representatives of the World Bank, as well as NEWMAP national officials on a spot assessment visit, at the Government House.

The Governor, who was miffed by the inability of the state to utilize funds at its disposal, having already committed over N500 as counterpart funds, directed staff of NEWMAP in the state to either immediately move to the project office in Karu or leave the job.

Reacting to the comment by the World Bank Representative, Dr. Amos Habu, a Senior Environmental Specialist, suggesting that the NEWMAP project activities in Nasarawa State is slow, Engineer Sule warned that he will not work with staff who are slow in discharging their responsibilities.

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“By the time you finish your assessment and your review, we will sit down with them, we will take a decision.

Gov Sule of Nasarawa State

“For the few time that I’m here, we will do things, we will move in the direction that we are going,” he stated.

The Governor lamented that the state was only able to utilize N700m out of the $2m in the project account, mostly attributed to the slow pace of activities and especially the project is unwinding in 18 months.

“Those who are slow don’t work with me. They have no time working with me, they don’t have to waste their time pretending because there is no need for that.

“When it comes to commitment, we will meet our commitment,” Engineer Sule stated.

The Governor expressed dismay that some NEWMAP staff are refusing to relocate to the project office in Karu mostly for personal reasons.

“They don’t need office in Lafia, they need an office in Karu, where we have GIS set up, we have all the mapping of the state, we have everything done.

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“All they need to do was move and I am sending this message to them right now, move or get out, so other people who can afford to move to Karu will come in,” he said.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Amos Abu, the World Bank representative, said the team was in Nasarawa State to give on the spot support to the NEWMAP team in the state so that they can move quickly.

Dr. Abu disclosed that compared to the pace of the project across 23 states of the federation, NEWMAP activities in Nasarawa is slow, mostly because of the lack of implementation of activities.

“We cannot afford to be moving at the pace the state is currently moving. I said this because of the objectives of the project itself. It will help you to address erosion, flood, other natural disasters,” he stated.

According to the World Bank specialist, because activities are not being implemented, the state is not able to draw sufficient money from the project account.

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“Today, the state has only received two million dollars, out of this we still have 1.3m dollars in the project account. This is a vivid pointer to the slow pace of activities,” Dr. Abu said.

While noting that the project has less than 18 months to close, Dr. Abu said his team will do what they call deep diving with the NEWMAP team in the state, with a view to understanding how they can move things faster.

Also speaking, Dr. Salisu Dahiru, NEWMAP National Coordinator, said they were in the state to meet with the project team in Nasarawa, with a view to looking at the books, data and operational issues on ground, in order to identify bottlenecks and deliver solutions.

Dr. Dahiru added that Nasarawa, being one of the vibrant states that is contiguous to Abuja, has suffered lots of deforestation, either through creation of human habitat or industrialization, stressing that there is need to provide opportunities for the state to recover some of these natural resources.

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PCRC Decorates Bauchi Governor As National Patron, Present Him With Certificate Of Honour

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The National leadership of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) on Wednesday decorated Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi state as its National patron.

Accordingly, the forum presented a certificate of honor to the Governor in recognition of his relentless efforts, philanthropic gestures and excellent performance towards the upliftment and development of PCRC in Nigeria.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Governor at the Council Chamber, Government House, Bauchi, the National Chairman of the Committee, Faruq Abdullahi Maiyama said the honour done to the Governor was in appreciation for his outstanding support to the PCRC when he was the FCT Minister notably the allocation of land.

He noted with satisfaction, the support and cooperation of the state government to the Police Community Relations Committee in the state especially the inauguration of the Community Policing Advisory Committee and the Community Policing Committee in Bauchi.

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“I am very impressed to be in Bauchi not because of the reception accorded to us, but this is the first time we are coming to Bauchi for our NEC meeting in which the governor would be decorated as the National Patron. Kauran Bauchi is a National figure haven served before as FCT Minister where he supported us in many ways.”

“Your Excellency, you are a man of the people and that’s why we decided to conduct our NEC meeting just to show you our appreciation for your support to us.”

The National Chairman said PCRC was committed to the promotion of peace and security in the country and pledged to work with critical stakeholders in order to achieve the set objectives.

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A statement issue by Mukhtar Gidado, Senior Special Assistant on Media, said Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed told the visitors that already, the state government has inaugurated the Community Policing Advisory Committee and the Community Policing Committee to assist police in curbing criminal activities in the state.

The Governor who spoke through his Deputy, Senator Baba Tela said his administration will continue to support security agencies including voluntary organisations in a move to rid the state against all forms of criminal activities and social vices.

“I sincerely welcome you to Government House Bauchi on behalf of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi state, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, we all know the importance of community policing committee and security to our development.”

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“In spite of the influx of the population of people who are coming to the state from neighbouring states, we have been able to keep the state safe with the support of relevant security agencies including voluntary organisations.”

Governor Bala Mohammed therefore reassured that, his doors will remain open for improvement in the security of the state and acknowledged the outstanding performances of security agencies in the maintenance of peace and security in the state.

 

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Nigeria @ 60: FCT Minister Of State, Dr. Aliyu Donates Cooking Gas, Food Items, To Trademore Flood Victims

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…. Warns Residents To Stay Off wmWaterways.

By Yahaya Idris, Abuja.

Hajiya Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, FCT Minister of State.

As part of activities to mark Nigeria 60th Independence Anniversary, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has donated 50 pieces of Cooking Gas and assorted food items to victims of Trademore estate in Lugbe area of Abuja Municipal Area Council who were recently ravaged by flood.

The minister who visited the scene of the flood used the occasion to warn residents to stay off waterways, while assuring that the administration would approach the Ecological Funds Office for assistance.

A signed press released by SA Media, Austine Elemue, said Dr. Aliyu commended residents of the estate for demonstrating maturity and sense of patriotism during the disaster, stressing that governance is a collective responsibility.

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In her words: “I came this afternoon bearing in mind all that has happened to residents of this estate. Despite my tight schedules, I still finds it pertinent to come here in person to commensurate with you over the loss of life of our brother and the wanton destruction of property.

“I am here to also appeal to you as much as possible before any intervention from Ecological Funds office or any relevant government agencies to stay clear of waterways. Certainly, this year’s rain not only in Trademore is very heavy with colossal damages associated with it. This also tells us to appeal to our brothers in this estate and other parts who have constructions along the water-line to move to higher ground for now.
“One, it is better to be alive. This is not time to trade blame over who construct what on the waterways. But we are appealing that if you are along the waterline, you have to move before something else happen to you.

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“So I want to appeal to you that natural disaster do happen without advance notice. It is not within your power or that of government. We feel your pains and we know what it means to loss a life. I want to also thank you for your patience and understanding with the government and the situation we find ourselves in”.

The minister used the occasion to task Nigerians to celebrate the 60th independence anniversary of the country, noting that despite the challenges faced by the nation, October 1 was worth celebrating.
According to her, “Nigeria will be 60 years tomorrow. No matter the situation we find ourselves, October 1 still remains a day to celebrate. To come of age and to clock diamond age is not an easy task.

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Whatever anybody will think of Nigeria, we appeal to you to put the country first. Country first will move us forward, but patience and collective responsibility will take us further. Nation building is a collective responsibility”.

Earlier, the chairman of Trademore Estate Phase 3, Engr. Adewale Adenaike, commended the minister for her prompt response to the flood victims, just as he tasked the FCT Administration to address the situation urgently before it goes out of hand.

Adenaike, also stated that the ecological problem in the estate was beyond the capacity of the Abuja Municipal Area  Council, hence the need for the intervention of Ecological Funds office to come to the aid of residents of the estate.

 

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NAF Names Buildings After Arotile, 9 Other Officers

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Late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile

The Nigerian Air Force has named a two-block of 4 x 2 bedroom married officers accommodation at the NAF Base in Abuja after the late first female fighter pilot, Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.

This is happening a few weeks after a remodeled Pilots’ crew room ’ at the 115 Special Operations Group, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was named after the pilot who died in a car accident at the NAF Base in Kaduna in July.

Disclosing this during the inauguration of the buildings at NAF Base Asokoro, Abuja, on Wednesday, the Director of Administration, Air Vice Marshal A. Pani, said nine other deceased officers, who died in active service, were also similarly honoured with blocks of buildings named after them.

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He said that the buildings were constructed by the Ministry of Defence as part of its 2018 capital project.

Pani stated, “These blocks are, therefore, being named after nine officers and one airman to immortalise them in recognition of their sacrifices.

“In this regard, at NAF Base Bill Clinton Drive, one of the two blocks of 10 x 1 bedroom transit accommodation is named after Flying Officer AA Mohammed (NAF/5082), who was KIA (killed in action) on 5 Sep 20 in Birnin Gwari while the second block of 10 x 1 bedroom transit accommodation is named after Flt Lt Akweke Junior Nwakile (NAF/3014) who was KIA on 21 Jul 14 while participating in Operation Lafiya Dole in the North -East.

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“Additionally, the two blocks of 4 x 2 bedroom married officers accommodation are named after Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile (NAF/4512F) who died as a result of road traffic accident on July 24, 2020 at NAF Base Kaduna and Flt. Lt. John Ayonoteh Adams (NAF/3104) who was KIA on Feb 19, 2013 while participating in Operation Zaman Lafiya.”

Abubakar, said the provision of befitting accommodation for the personnel and their families remained a top priority for the NAF.

“We are currently undertaking massive renovations, remodelling and upgrading of existing accommodation in NAF Bases across the country in order to bring them to acceptable standard,” he noted.

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