BY ABAH BENJAMIN ENEOJOH.
The Federal Controller of Works Kogi State, Engr Kojogbola J. Olatunde has announced the intention of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to partner with Kogi State Ministry of Works to deliver on the “Operation Zero Potholes” agenda of His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello in this Yuletide season.
Engr Kojogbola made this known today in Lokoja while receiving delegation of the Honorable Commissioner for Works and Housing, Engr Abubakar S. Ohere, led by the Head of Civil Department, Engr Simon Oguche.
Earlier Engr Oguche revealed that his Team was here according to the directive of the Honorable Commissioner for Works and Housing, Engr Abubakar Ohere to ascertain the condition of Highways and work progress in the State as the Christmas period is fast approaching. “Most especially work progress on Murtala Bridge in Janata.” He added.
Oguche further reiterated that the passion of Governor Yahaya Bello to deliver on the ” Let’s Do More” mantra on road infrastructures in the State is keenly driving us in the State Ministry of Works and Housing.
Recall that Governor Yahaya Bello on a working visit to the site at Janata expressed dismay when he was informed that the removal of surface asphalt on the Murtala Bridge has taken three months without substantial progress on work done
The Governor after making his enquiry from site Engineers however, assured that the Federal Government would give immediate attention to the road as he would convey the slow pace of work to the respective quarters.
Responding, Engr Kojogbola said he is working assiduously to make sure there would be no Pothole on all the Federal Highways in the State before the Yuletide season.
He further hinted that all the flash points in the State are currently receiving serious attention including the Jamata Bridge.
” Serious work is ongoing at Felele road, even on Ajaokuta road, we have commenced asphalt overlay and on Lokoja-Ganaja road contractors have been mobilized to site with three months duration to complete”
Kojogbola also assured that Jamata Bridge Will be opened in the festive period for free flow of traffic.
Asked whether the section1of Ganaja road will be done before the festive period, the controller said the particular place that the road was over-flown by water to opposite side was the section 1 and because the contractor was not ready to commence his job, the contract was revoked and a new contractor will commence work soon.
The controller further said “seeing the effort of both the State Governor and the Honorable Commissioner for Works, we will also join the “operation zero Potholes” agenda of the state”
At Jamata, the representative of the contractor on site, Engr Martins Adeyinka noted that his job is not just scarification of asphaltic wearing course but total overhauling of the Bridge which will take two years before completion.
Engr Martins hinted that for the sake of the festive period, his Company is working both day and night to make all the road users happy, noting that before the end of the first week of December, everybody will have smooth drive on the the both Lanes of the road.
Martins revealed that the pressure from the road users would not make him do substandard job, stressing that the installation of Expansion Joint and the abutment alone will take alot of time but because of the Yuletide season “we shall extend all of that to the month January for free traffic flow on the both sides of the road”
In the same vein, at Gitto Project site in Felele, The project Director Engr Frank Rizzo also revealed his work plan and the timeline for this festive period.
He promised to make the road passable on both Lanes for the travellers in this Yuletide season.
Engr Rizzo apologized for his slowness on the job but attributed the cause to the presence of underground water which was later stabilized by addition of sharp sand.
He assured the Team that the road will be opened to traffic on both sides with upto four kilometers asphalt overlay before the second week of December.
Finally, the Team Leader, Engineer Oguche charged the contractors to be more committed to their jobs stressing that the only thing that is expected of them is quick and thorough job that could make an accident free road in this festive period.
Former Niger President Tandja Passes On At 82, Causes Of His Passage Not Reveal
Former President of Niger, Mamadou Tandja is dead. The sad occurrence was confirmed by Niger government in Niamey on Tuesday but did not state the cause.
The government declared “three days of mourning throughout the national territory” for the 82-year-old.
Late Tandja was forced out of power in February 2010 after plotting to remain in office despite a two-term limit.
He was succeeded by President Mahamadou Issoufou in 2011.
The former leader had been ill for several years and was flown to France, Germany and Morocco for treatment.
Tandja passed away as Niger prepares for the December 27 presidential election.
Mourners across the country and around the globe took to their various social media handles to pour condolences as his passaged was described as one too many.
The former president will be remember for his services to his people and humanity in general.
South-South Leaders Demands Restructuring Of Nigeria, True Federalism
Governors and people of the South-South geopolitical zone have demanded the restructuring of Nigeria, in line with the principle of true federalism to guarantee peace, security, and stability of the nation.
The South-South leaders believe the country is not at peace with itself and not working as it should, particularly for the people of the region.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, who is the Chairman of the South-South Governors Forum, stated this on Tuesday as the position of the zone during the regional stakeholders meeting with a presidential delegation.
This followed an initial meeting which failed to hold as a result of an emergency National Security meeting.
The delegation, led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, met with the governors and other leaders of the region at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Governor Okowa informed the delegation that the people of the South-South were committed to the restructuring of the country in a way that would guarantee true federalism and devolution of powers to the states to create and manage their own police and security architecture under a federal structure.
He called for true federalism guided by the principle of derivation, revenue sharing, and control of resources by each state of the Federation as it was the case in the first republic.
According to the governor, the kind of federation the South-South desires is one where federating units are constitutionally empowered to create their own structures like local government areas, manage their elections, and control their judiciary.
“We are all aware of the huge endowment of this country; as such, it is imperative to stress that with a little bit of efforts, imagination, hard work, sacrifice and leadership, every state of the Federation as of today, has the ability and capability to contribute to the national purse.
“This should be encouraged rather than the whole country depending substantially on a region of the country,” he said.
Governor Okowa added, “What is worse and even more painful in this ugly situation is the deliberate lack of understanding, empathy and the uncompromising attitudes of some Nigerians, who have refused to understand the challenges of the South-South region of the country especially, the degradation of the environment and our waters.
“As a result, most of the demands of the region have remained unattended to while the resources of the region have been used continually to develop other parts of the country”.
On behalf of the region, he reiterated the call for the relocation of the headquarters of major oil companies from Lagos and Abuja to the South-South.
Privatise Them Now
The governor also requested the immediate implementation of the consent judgment entered in the Supreme Court Suit No: SC/964/2016 to enable the South-South region get its share of the $55billion shortfall of collection on deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contracts.
He called for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region’s major seaports in Port Harcourt, Calabar, Warri, in order to enhance the economic development of the region.
In addition, Governor Okowa demanded that the two refineries in Port Harcourt and one in Warri should be privatised.
“Enough is enough. Let us now privatise them and in doing so, however, allow the states and the region among others, considerable equity in the name of fairness and justice,” he said.
The governor observed that one of the major failures of the intervention agency – Niger Delta Development Commission (NCDC) – was its refusal to forge and foster synergy, consultation, and cooperation with the state governments, especially on project location, development, and execution.
He stated, “We have resolved and we, as the state governments, will no longer allow NDDC to execute any project(s) in any state of the region without it consulting state governments.
“Frankly, enough is enough and we have a court judgment to back our position.”
In his remark, Professor Gambari explained that the stakeholders meeting was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari, to the delegation comprising all the ministers from the region to visit and consult with representatives of the people regarding the recent #EndSARS protest.
He noted that reports indicated that there were instances where the breakdown of law and order was recorded in various locations in the South-South states.
Decades Of Mishandling
The presidential aide lauded the governors for their quick response and actions in addressing the crisis in the region.
Beyond the issue of #EndSARS, he said the President acknowledged that the people in the region have been dealing with other concerns that were particular to them, such as the degradation of the environment due to decades of mishandling and adherence to environmental standards.
Professor Gambari promised to convey the demands of the governors and leaders of the region to the President.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, on his part, urged the leaders of the region to avail themselves of the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly, since most of the issues raised were constitutional matters.
Present at the meeting were Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Governor Ben Ayade (Cross River), Governor Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Governor Douye Diri (Bayelsa), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).
Ministers present included Godswill Akpabio (Niger Delta), Timipre Sylva (State for Petroleum), Goddy Agba (State for Power), Festus Keyamo (State for Niger Delta), Osagie Ehanire (Health), and Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture).
While the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was absent, the National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze Okocha, among others were present.
Ex – Nigerian And Biafran Soldier Col Nwobosi Passes On At 82
A former Nigerian and Biafran soldier, Col. Emmanuel Nworah Nwobosi, passed on
The elder statesman died at the age of 82 on Tuesday.
Col Nwobosi was formally Captain in the Nigerian Army, and Colonel in the defunct Biafran Army, as well as Chief of Staff to the late Biafran leader, General Emeka Ojukwu.
He died on Tuesday at his Obosi in Idemili North Local Government of Anambra State, his country home.
Hon. Emmanuel Nwobosi (jnr) on behalf of the family, said that the patriarch died after a brief illness associated with old age.
He said further that the family will give details of his funeral arrangement later.
“Yes, my father, Col Emma Nworah Nwobosi, is dead. He died today (Tuesday) after a brief illness, reasonably associated with old age,” he said, according to the Sun.
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