Barely three months to the expiration of the tenures of council chairmen in Delta State, Chairman, Oshimili South Local Government Area of the state, Barr (Pst) Chuks John Obusom has rolled out the achievements of his administration in the last two and half years.
The council boss reeled out some of his achievements Wednesday when leaders and members of the Indigenous Correspondents’ Chapel (ICC), of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council had a media parley with him in his office.
The chairman who assumed office, October 2014 disclosed that he was able to develop a reformed model for the identification of indigenes of the council which has been infiltrated by some persons from across the Niger.
“We have been able to establish a thorough and a reformed way of identifying Oshimili South indigenes. Before I assumed this office, so many people from across the Niger, you see them flouting identification letters. This has made us not only to loss crucial positions in terms of employment. Even outside here, in the military and other places, some people have gone there using Oshimili South slot”, he revealed.
He noted that several things actually went wrong in the identification process, “so we reformed that process. I personally signed identification letters and I will screen you, if I need to make calls, I do and of course before you have my identification, you must have established that you are from Oshimili South. I was able to write to the ministries doing the screening. If you don’t have anybody with my own signature don’t honour it”, noting that the move has yielded positive result.
The chairman pointed out that the step has taken care of non-indigenes who masqueraded as indigenes of the council area, “I think that is a reformatory step”.
Pastor Obusom also disclosed that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the council which lacks organization when he assumed office was properly harnessed, “we did what is called enumeration, trying to identify our revenue sources and then we discovered also that there is need to have a revenue bye-law as there was no one that was effective then. And after that we set up a system of revenue collection where revenue that are been generated is channeled to the banks, there is no cash collection, any cash collection is illegal”, stressing that, “we tried to dissuade self-help in revenue collection. When they use taskforce to molest people here and there which to me as a lawyer is unacceptable and we have to make sure that people are tried through due process to ensure that they have been served and we will now use a judicial process to be able to get our revenue”.
Other successes Barr Obusom reeled out includes: removal of revenue courts from rented apartments across the council which according to him led to the erection of a gigantic revenue court in the council premises, “I have tried to check, I have never seen a local government council in the 774 LGAs in the country that built a revenue court”, bought a 13KVA transformer to end about three years blackout in the secretariat, make the environment conducive for workers, started poultry farm with 2% allocation which the law requested of the council to set aside for agriculture, “we have just finished disposing some of them and we want to start stocking for the Christmas period”.
He added that the council was able to partake in the grading of the out-roads with the fixing of the tractors to sand fill some roads that need attention with particular reference to the Oko area in spite of the financial down turn, “on assumption of office also when we had SURE-P, we were able to get farm seedlings; okro, yams for the farmers at the Oko area to boost food production and we were able to construct and commission Ogbogonogo Mini market with over 300 shops (lockup and open shops)”.
Oshimili South Local Government Chairman, Pastor Chuks Obusom, a Barrister-at-Law is not very pleased with the problem of waste management in the Asaba metropolis, a situation that is fast defacing the Delta state capital city and almost turning it into a dingy environment.
The council chairman expressed his disapproval and disenchantment with the situation when he hosted members of the Indigenous Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) who paid him a courtesy call.
In answer to a reporters’ question, Obusom said: “I am not pleased with the sanitation situation in Asaba. I feel bitter about the waste management situation of Asaba.”
He recalled how in a bid to tackle the problem an inter ministerial committee involving the local government office of the Secretary to State Government (SSG) and the Waste Management Board, in which the committee among other things screened all the PSPs during which it was discovered that they did not have the facilities to do the job.
The frustration of the council chairman is that the Delta State Waste Management Board insists that it is their sole responsibility to handle waste management.
But for the problem of waste management, Obusom told the journalists that although he would not be the one to assess the performance of his administration, but observed that upon assuming office, he and his team had set goals.
He said: “We have a reformed way of identifying Oshimili South indigenes. In time past people from across the Niger (from the Eastern states) flaunt identification materials claiming to be indigenes of the local government. Now, I personally sign identification letters. By this we have been able to check those non indigenes masquerading as Oshimili South indigenes.”
Also, Obusome noted that his administration carried out a reform of revenue generation in the council. “We had to enact our revenue bye-law that outlawed physical cash collection. Any cash collection is illegal. Cash collection has to be channeled to the banks directly,” he pointed out.
He continued: “Before we came on board there were no revenue courts. We built a twin hall revenue court, we furnished and equipped. I have checked and have not found from the 774 local governments in Nigeria any revenue court like we have here.
“Also by law, two percent of our allocation is set aside for operation of our poultry farms. We look up to providing our people with products from our farms in December. We have partaking in the grading of the earth roads. We got farm seedlings for our farmers, and we also constructed the Ogbeogonogo mini-shops. We converted the primary school to mini-shops and relocated the school,” Obusom observed.
Asked why the council management allowed the indiscriminate siting of filling stations even in residential areas in Asaba, Pastor Obusom he exonerated the council saying that the Oshimili South Local Government is not in charge of giving approval for the siting of filling stations.
He also described as untrue, allegations that some serving council chairmen including himself have signed a written document with Governor Okowa to be imposed and returned for a second tenure.
Obusom said: “It is a lie. That is not true to the best of my knowledge. There is no agreement signed with any local government chairman for purposes of imposition. The Governor has said it time and time again that people should go and work in the areas where they seek elective offices and test their popularity. As for being imposed because a document was signed with the governor is a lie.”
Earlier, ICC chairman, Comrade Bartholomew Ozah told the Council Chairman that the journalists who represent the various organs of the local and grassroots media including the online news outfits commended him for his leadership ingenuity that the chairman brought to bear in the administration of Oshimili South Local Government, pointing out hoever that there is always enough room for improvement.
Earlier, Chairman, ICC, Comrade Barth Ozah, commended the council chairman over his leadership ingenuity which he brought to bear in the administration in the council.
Comrade Ozah urged him to always engage the community media who are in the better place to enlighten the populace on the programmes and policies, “especially, regarding the successes you have recorded as well as your views on critical issues”.
Distinguished academic and former Delta state Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Professor Patrick Muoboghare has been invested as a Patron of the Team SMART for Okowa organization, even as the well respected scholar has endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for a second tenure, declaring that there is no vacancy in Delta state government house in 2019.
Speaking at the occasion of his investiture, Prof. Muoboghare expressed happiness over the honour done him by the group and said that their mandate was a clear objective that was in consonance with the believe of every well meaning person of Delta Central Senatorial Zone that the present Governor of the State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa will remain as the State Governor till 2023 when it will be the turn of the Central to produce the next Governor, stressing that the State since 1999 has been prearranged politically not to endanger peace and unity among the zones.
“I will continue to say that in Delta Central, we have no Governorship Candidate for 2019, we have for 2023, because there is no governorship vacancy in Delta State for 2019. When the time comes in late 2022 we will sort that out, for 2019, it is a concluded matter that Senator Okowa remains the Governor,” He said.
Muoboghare thanked the DG and the leadership of Team SMART for Okowa for carrying every one along in the implementation of their mandate, stressing that they are unifying the entire system for the benefit of the State Government.
“Team SMART for Okowa is doing very well, the group is like informal government, they understand deeply the workings of government and what government is doing and so they are a bridge between the government proper and the electorate, explaining the policies and actions of government to the people.
“ Most times, people do not understand what government is doing, so government engaged volunteers who are not working for pay, but those who believed in the government with a view to helping them carry the message to the grassroots, for when you are convinced about a message, you deliver it. The leadership of the Group is without doubt, firm believers of the credible implementation of the SMART Agenda of the Governor and they are sending the message to the people,” he noted.
He therefore called on them to remain focused and not to be discouraged by anybody, especially people from the opposition.
“Sometimes they will call you names, they called people names, even the Governor they call him names, they will continue to call you names, they will say that they have given you billions just to make sure that you are provoked, but please do not lose focus,” he appealed to them, even as he promised to work with them for the full actualization of their objective which he noted was in the interest of peace and unity of the State.
In his opening address, the Director General, Team SMART for Okowa, Hon. Sunny Orishedere had assured that the Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa would continue to appreciate the efforts of leaders who have contributed immensely towards the social, political and economic development of the State.
Hon. Orishedere, who led the State Executive Council of Team SMART for Okowa to honour Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, the Chief Consultant to the Delta State Government on Education Matters, recently at his homestead in Ogor, Ughelli North Local Government area of the State, disclosed that the visits to leaders across the state by Team SMART for Okowa was in line with the Governors resolve that Leaders in all sectors in the State should be appreciated for the fact that they will continue to be critical in the affairs of his administration towards the full realization of the SMART Agenda.
“Just like the Governor, we in Team SMART for Okowa believes that without father, we cannot see further and the words of our fathers are the words of wisdom.
“We must continue to work with leaders of the state whose yesterday made today possible. This becomes necessary to ensure constant interaction among stakeholders in the Delta State projects, and most especially thanking them for the wonderful role they played during the 2015 victorious election for Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa,” he stated.
The DG, said that the Group was geared towards sensitizing the People of the State on the activities of the Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’s SMART Agenda, adding that within the past one year, the Group has taken the sensitization campaign to over 16 local Government Areas of the State during the first phase of their tour, while disclosing that the second phase would commence soon.
He commended Prof. Patrick Muoboghare for his contribution to the educational sector in the State and for his leadership qualities, even as he commended Chief Benson Asore who he described as a renowned leader in the State that has been working assiduously for the Success of the Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’ administration.
Prof. Patrick Muoboghare was later invested as a State Patron of Team SMART for Okowa by the Director General, Hon. Sunny Orishedere and the ceremony was witnessed by members of the State Executive Council of the Group.
Also at the occasion included a renowned chieftain of PDP in the State, Chief Benson Asore, Leaders and Executive members of the PDP in Otor-ogor ward 1 and 2 in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Reported by Ugbolue Chijioke
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted the leave to the notorious Kidnap Kingpin, Chukwudidumeme Onuamadike otherwise referred to as Evans to proceed on his suit, challenging the abuse of his fundamental human right.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka in his ruling Wednesday agreed with counsel to Evans, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, that service on the first and second respondents had been properly served.
The Police had argued that the suit was not ripe for hearing since the Inspector-General of Police IGP and the State Commissioner of Police have not been personally served.
The judge dismissed the defence by the first respondent – Lagos state Police Commissioner and second, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Justice Anka subsequently ruled that hearing on the alleged infringement on the rights of the suspected millionaire kidnapper could proceed.
Evans who was arrested early in June 2017 in his Magodo Mansion, Lagos had on June 28 through his Lawyer, Mr Ogungabje filed a fundamental rights enforcement action before a Lagos Federal High Court in Lagos, praying it to order the police to either charge him to court or release him immediately.
Following this, the Nigerian Police prayed the court to grant it more days to hold Evans so as to conclude its investigations, after which he would be prosecuted.
President Muhammadu Buhari and some of his aides are controlling Acting President Osinbajo, according to Reuters.
In a report titled: ‘Nigeria stand-in careful not to upset the boat as Buhari steers from London’, the news agency said Buhari has kept a grip on power despite his medical leave.
Since May 7, Buhari has been in London receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
“Even from far-away London, Buhari and his aides have restrained Osinbajo,” the report read.
“Osinbajo and his aides often hold meetings which have enlivened a presidential villa criticized for inertia — but he still seeks approval from Buhari or his chief of staff.”
An unnamed presidency official reportedly said Osinbajo is scared to take any action without Buhari’s consent.
“He (Osinbajo) is so scared to offend President Buhari to the extent that he takes no major action without consent from him through phone,” the official who asked not to be named, reportedly said.
“He flew to London for a few hours last month to get Buhari’s approval to appoint two ministers who had been already cleared by parliament.
“During the meeting, Buhari even asked Osinbajo to give the ministers no portfolio as he wanted to assign them himself after his return.”
The report said Osinbajo is “walking a tightrope” to avoid policies that may annoy Buhari and his inner circle.
“The chief of staff and his team are working alongside Osinbajo on the understanding that (he) will not run in 2019,” a government adviser was quoted to have said.
“Osinbajo has never said he wants to run… as we enter the election, the issue of mutual trust becomes crucial because nobody wants to be ambushed.”
Reuters said “the more business-friendly” Osinbajo has been reluctant to challenge Buhari and that the acting president’s bold economic reforms to “wrestle the naira into shape is fast closing”.
The agency said the news of the imminent return of Buhari could affect the steps being made to bring Nigeria out of recession.
“President Muhammadu Buhari signaled over the past weekend that he is ready to return from receiving medical treatment in London as soon as his doctors allowed it,” the report read.
“That could put paid to investor hopes for economic changes to qualify Nigeria for a World Bank loan to drag it out of recession. It will also leave the plethora of naira exchange rates standing, albeit perhaps closer to each other.”
Cobus de Hart, senior economist at South Africa’s NKC African Economics, was quoted as saying he was in doubt if the return of the president would go “hand in hand” with the acceleration of reform implementation.
“We don’t expect any deviation from the current economic policy stance should President Buhari return,” Hart was quoted to have said
“One could hope that the return of the president goes hand in hand with an acceleration of reform implementation, but we doubt this will be the case.”
John Ashbourne, Africa economist at Capital Economics, also gave his opinion on the president’s imminent return.
“There is a possibility that Buhari returns, sees things improving and thinks there is no need to change anything. Further reforms are desperately needed to achieve meaningful growth,” he reportedly said.
Laolu Akande, spokesman of Osinbajo, was not available for comments as he had not responded to a text message sent by TheCable as of the time this report was filed.
Back in February, when Buhari went on his first medical leave in the year, Babafemi Ojudu, special adviser to the president on political matters, said all the achievements recorded under Osinbajo were as a result of the foundations laid by the president.
“There is nothing that has been done since the vice-president started acting that did not start under the president,” he had said.
Asked if Osinbajo had been consulting Buhari, he said: “Almost on a daily basis… Well, there are areas he still needs to consult the president, I mean is not a regular thing but major decisions he still has to consult Mr. President. The president is still the president.
“He is more experienced, he has been in the game longer than the vice-president and if there are major issues that he needs to take decision on, he could call on him and say, ‘sir, what do you think about this we are about to take decision on it, do you have opinion?’ That does not mean he is not in charge.”
The Federal Government has approved N39bn loan to Electricity Distribution Companies for the supply of meters.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday in Kano at the 18th Monthly Power Sector Stakeholders Meeting hosted by Kano Electricity Distribution Company.
He said the gesture was part of power sector recovery programme of the government aimed at ensuring uninterrupted power generation and distribution.
He added that it was also aimed at ensuring that every consumer of electricity is provided with a meter.
“It is also aimed at ending the series of complaints by consumers who applied for meter but were not supplied at the appropriate time,” he said.
The Minister explained that the successful implementation of the power sector recovery programme would assist in resolving the conflict between distributors and consumers over tariff collection.
NAN reports that Fashola said that power generation improved tremendously in 2017 to 6, 863 megawatts compared to 2016.
He attributed the reason for the increase to government efforts to end rampant vandalism of gas pipelines.
“With this development, we have also noticed increase in the distribution of electricity to consumers across the country.”
Fashola said that presently, the Federal Government is generating electricity beyond the carrying capacity of distribution companies, “which is a serious challenge to our efforts.”
“It is a serious problem that the distribution companies do not have enough carrying capacity to accommodate more of the generated electricity due to one reason or the other,” he said.
He said that government had embarked on several projects to expand transmission capacity and distribution of power in the country.
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has empowered the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, to reorganize the state chapter of the body.
A letter, dated August 1, 2017 and signed by the President and Chairman of Council of the Institute, Dr. Rotimi Oladele, reads in part, “please kindly reorganize the Delta State Chapter of NIPR, and dissolve the outdated/unapproved leadership structure you might have come across over there”.
According to the letter, Mr. Ukah was given 60 days from the date it was signed to conduct a credible election of the Chapter’s Executive Committee as laid down by NIPR laws.
The letter further stated that “the Council has absolute confidence in your person as a senior member of the institute and also in your office as the Honourable Commissioner for Information in the state as well as the Supervisory Commissioner for NIPR in the state “.
“On behalf of the Council, l thank you very much for your cooperation ” the letter concluded.
Our attention has been drawn to fake campaign posters of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu for the 2019 governorship elections in Delta State pasted by unknown persons across the Federal Capital Territory.
The office of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources hereby dissociates itself from the campaign posters which he has absolutely no knowledge of. The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources has not indicated any interest in running for any elective political office in Delta State.
Dr Kachikwu is focused on delivering on the reforms currently being implemented in the petroleum sector under the leadership of President Buhari and Ag President Osinbajo in line with his duties as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Chair of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He remains committed to effectively representing his state of origin, Delta State in the federal cabinet to institutionalise transparency, accountability and productivity in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
It is gratifying that, despite challenges, measurable progress has been made in achieving important milestones under Kachikwu‘s watch and today, the petroleum sector is more transparent and contributes more to the national coffers. Consolidating on this progress remains the priority of Dr. Kachikwu and he refuses to be distracted from this focus.
Dr. Kachikwu would like to urge stakeholders in both the Oil and Gas sector and indeed the general public to discountenance these unfounded speculations.
The Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources assures all Nigerians of his and Government’s continued commitment to the welfare and well-being of the citizenry, while thanking them for usual cooperation and collaboration towards achieving the lofty dreams of a thriving Oil and Gas sector for Nigeria.
Ministry of Petroleum Resources
14th August, 2017