Niger Delta leaders on Saturday praised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for liberating the country’s petroleum sector from its quagmire.
They also praised the minister for playing a crucial role in the development of Nigeria.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is committed to the development of Nigeria. He will always support the Niger Delta region through thick and thin”
In a statement in Yenagoa, the leaders praised Sylva for the zero-fuel queues situation in the country and the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGAPS) at Emeyal, Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State.
They commended the minister for defending the interests of the Niger Delta people, changing the image of Nigeria for the better and attracting International Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to the petroleum sector.
The leaders also hailed Sylva for creating jobs for the people, placing greater emphasis on the distribution chain, indigenous capacities for the oil and gas industry as well as choosing courses which tend at least to a better and more desirable development of the country’s petroleum sector.
Signed by the chairperson of the Niger Delta People’s Movement (NDPM), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, the leaders applauded the former Bayelsa State governor for his honest leadership, dogged commitment to principles in the practice of politics, the rule of law and the best democratic tradition of fairness and justice.
“Chief Timipre Sylva should be applauded in his quest to bring about economic and social development in the country.
The leaders who met in Yenagoa for three hours commended the astute politician for opening up local manufacturing in the country, improving the environmental condition of the oil producing areas and making the South-South geo-political zone, particularly Bayelsa State proud by his achievements in politics.
“Chief Timipre Sylva and other ministers have done South-South proud. The zone has never had it so good in terms of provision of amenities and infrastructure” they said.
The statement emphasized sound business policy, creative power of the petroleum economy and operations of the petroleum industry.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is travelling on the road that leads to success”
The leaders called on critics to emulate the virtues of Sylva by pursuing peace, progress and development.
“In spite of the current financial crunch, the Federal Government is up to date in its obligations to the Niger Delta region”.
The leaders also advised critics of Buhari’s appointees from the South-South geo-political zone to join Nigerians, home and abroad, in celebrating the achievements of the petroleum resources minister.
“Chief Timipre Sylva will continue to seek what is best for the good people of the Niger Delta region” the statement said.
Chief Timipre Sylva is one of the most ardent promoters of the unity and development of the Niger Delta region.
Greenfield students: Probe ‘missing $30m safe school fund’, SERAP tells Buhari
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations that $30m safe school fund is missing, mismanaged or diverted, and to bring to justice anyone suspected to be involved, as well as recover any missing money.”
SERAP urged him to “direct Mr Malami and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate why the Safe Schools Initiative, established to bolster security at schools in response to the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls has failed to stop frequent abductions of students, and to ensure the safety and security of Nigerian children in schools across the country.”
SERAP also urged him to “ask the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Mr Gordon Brown to wait for the outcome of any investigation into the spending of the $30m initially budgeted for the Safe School Initiative programme before leading the international community and donors to push for more funds for the programme.”
SERAP’s letter followed the killing of three abducted Greenfield University students, and the plan launched by the Federal Government last week to raise additional funds for safe schools.
In the letter dated 24 April 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Rather than pushing to raise more funds for the Safe School Initiative programme, your government should prioritise and ensure a thorough, transparent and effective investigation into the spending of the $30m initially budgeted for the protection of schools, prevention of attacks, and continued education of students.”
The letter, read in part: “SERAP will also consider asking Mr Brown to use his influence to insist on transparency and accountability in the spending of the $30m safe school fund before rushing to engage donors to commit to additional funding of the Safe School Initiative programme.”
“SERAP also urges you to ask Mr Brown to put pressure on the 36 state governors to accept voluntary scrutiny by Nigerians and civil society regarding the spending of any funds spearheaded and raised by him to improve safety and security in Nigerian schools.”
“Despite the $30m safe school fund meant to ensure safety and security in 500 schools, and to provide a school environment free of fear, no school has been protected, as illustrated by the recent spate of abductions and killings of students in several parts of the country.”
“Allegations of corruption in the spending of the $30m safe school fund undermine the safety and security of Nigerian children in schools, and deny access of poor children to quality education in a safe environment because the money that the government should be spending to provide safe schools for Nigerian children is squandered or stolen.”
“The Nigerian government has a legal obligation to protect Nigerian children from all forms of violence and other human rights abuses including abductions, killings, and to prevent and combat corruption in the spending of funds budgeted to improve safety and security in schools.”
“Attacks on students, teachers and their families violate constitutional and international human rights law, and force many families to keep their children home. This aggravates existing disparities in access to education, further marginalizing the poor.”
“The government’s apparent failure to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of the $30m safe school fund is contrary to the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], and violates Nigeria’s obligations under international law and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”
“According to our information, the Federal Government, state governors and security agencies together with foreign governments and UN agencies last week launched a plan in Abuja to finance safe schools in Nigeria.”
“Mr Gordon Brown who attended the meeting reportedly promised to rally global support for the programme, and stated that ‘donors are all ready and willing to help in the latest move to fund and re-energise the initiative.’”
“The plan to raise more funds for safe schools was launched barely a week after the 7th anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls, which led to the launch of the Safe School Initiative programme.”
“The Federal Government has a responsibility to ensure that federal authorities and state governments are transparent and accountable to Nigerians in how they spend safe school fund, and to tread carefully in raising additional funds before probing the spending of the $30m fund.”
“According to our information, the Government Secondary School in Chibok is still in ruins despite funds that were committed to its renovation. Allan Manasseh, spokesman for the Chibok community reportedly stated: ‘It was a substandard structure, every wind that blew destroyed a part of the building. It kept falling off again and again and till today it has not been used.’”
“Corruption poses a critical threat to the enjoyment of the right to education. It weakens institutions, erodes public trust in government and impairs the ability of states to fulfil their human rights obligations. It also undercuts both access to and the quality of education, and hits hardest at the most vulnerable and marginalised sectors of society.”
“Education is a basic right enshrined in various international treaties ratified by Nigeria, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Education is empowering, and enables children to realize all of their human rights.”
The letter is copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Mr Brown.
SERAP Deputy Director
For more information or to request an interview, please contact us on: +2348160537202
SANWO-OLU TO UNVEIL ICONIC PROJECTS AT SECOND ANNIVERSARY
How far has Governor Sanwo-Olu gone in his journey to A Greater Lagos? This is the main question that will be answered as the administration marks its second year anniversary as from Tuesday, April 27. Mr. Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat mounted the saddle on May 29, 2019.
A series of activities have been put together to showcase the administration’s performance and impact on Lagosians. But it will not be all about what has been achieved; Sanwo-Olu will be offering Lagosians a glimpse into the future, which he often refers to as #A Greater Lagos. He will be unveiling new projects, which the administration will build to make life more comfortable for the citizenry.
The mid-term report will begin with briefings by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government rendering accounts of their achievements in the past two years.
Events of the second-year anniversary include media interviews and interaction of key members of the Lagos State Executive Council, including Dr. Hamzat, the media and various segments of society.
Mr. Governor will unveil iconic projects in the Health, Education, Transportation, Housing and other sectors, besides the various infrastructure projects that have been completed during his tenure.
The ground-breaking of the New Massey Street Children’s hospital, which is billed to be the biggest in Africa, will be performed by Mr. Governor. New schools and housing units will be commissioned.
Since taking the oath of office, Governor Sanwo-Olu has commissioned roads across the State, such as the Tedi-Muwo Road and Link Bridge at the Lagos-Ogun State boundary that cuts across Alimoso and Agbado-Oke Odo; the 1.4km dual carriage Pen Cinema Bridge; the 13.68 kilometres Oshodi-Abule-Egba BRT corridor; 31 networks of roads in Ojokoro LCDA as well as six junction improvement projects to tackle traffic congestion under the Traffic Management Intervention Plan.
In Lekki, the Government is building the Regional Road and the Lekki-Epe Expressway. In Ikorodu, work is progressing on Agric-Isawo Road; Bola Tinubu-Igbogbo-Imota Road; Ijede Road; Oba Sekumade Road in Ipakodo; and Itamaga to Ewu Elepe Town.
No less than 3,500 housing units have been delivered with thousands more to be completed before the end of the second quarter.
Major strides are also visible in water transportation as an alternative means of commuting passengers to reduce pressure on road infrastructure across the five divisions of Lagos State. No less than 15 jetties are in various stages of completion at the Ijede Waterfront and Offin in Ikorodu; Marina Waterfront, VIP Chalet, Apaa and Isalu Ajido in Badagry; Oke-Ira Nla and Takwa Bay, Eti-Osa; Liverpool Road in Apapa; Ebute-Ero on Lagos Island; Mile 2; Ijegun-Egba and Ilashe in Ojo; Ito-Omu in Epe, as well as Ilado in Amuwo Odofin.
Mr. Governor has just performed the ground-breaking of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line Project to complement the 29km Blue Line Project, which has reached 93% completion stage. Phase One of the project will be delivered in the last quarter of year 2022 to convey passengers from Okokomaiko to Marina.
In social intervention, over 38,000 residents are beneficiaries of programmes that provide empowerment for youths and succour to other residents through agriculture; healthcare and grants for women in rural areas. There are many who have graduated from the State’s 19 Skills Acquisition projects. These figures exclude the residents who enjoyed free treatment in public hospitals during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Smart City Project is on. About 3000km of fibre-optic cables are being laid in the first phase of the project, which will be 6,000km when completed. It will provide faster and more reliable internet that will improve education, security and commerce to boost the attainment of a 21st Century Economy.
Schools, hospitals, security agencies and members of the public can hook up to the internet connectivity to advance teaching and learning; consultation and treatment of patients as well as surveillance of crime and traffic violations across the State. Besides, thousands of cameras will be installed to check crime.
The recent acquisition of body cameras for security and traffic monitoring is an innovative approach to monitoring, identifying and checkmating criminals.
Governor Sanwo-Olu will round off the second year anniversary events by engaging the media, captains of industry and other stakeholders at an interactive session on May 28 when he will deliver a state of the State address.
HC, INFORMATION & STRATEGY
APRIL 25, 2021