Folasade Abdul Salami,Abuja
The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Government to make it mandatory for owners of private commercial buildings to obtain a comprehensive home owners’ insurance on their property to protect buildings against fire, collapse and other unforeseen acts of destruction.
The Lawmakers also advised the Federal Government to set up a court to prosecute building code offenders by directing professional bodies to withdraw licences of any culpable in building collapse
These were sequel to debate on a motion followed titled: “The need to prosecute building laws violators” sponsored by Sen Nelson Effiong
National Assembly correspondent Folashade Abdulsalami reports that the upper legislative chamber, which expressed worry over the increasing rate of building collapse in the country, identified corruption and low rate of prosecution of offenders as some of the causes of increasing rate of building collapse in the country.
Contributing senators however called on the governments at all level to as a matter of urgency, prosecute corrupt building regulation officials found to be culpable in any building collapse.
They also noted that statistics has shown, between 1974 and 2010, 401 lives were reportedly lost from over 60 collapsed building in the country.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, in his ruling directed the senate committee on Land and Housing, to invite all agencies saddled with the responsibilities of enforcing building code compliance to brief it on the state of investigations into building collapse in the country and actions taken within the past five years.
Away from the plenary session, first time senators under the umbrella of G77 have denied that they are warming up to confront the executive over the issue of Senate Presidency.
Recent media reports had it that the group emerged to challenge ranking senators, save Senator Bukola Saraki from impeachment and checkmate the executive on issues relating to the senate.
The minority leader, Sen Godswill Akpabio who briefed the media on Tuesday, as leader of G77 said the group was created to deepen democracy and facilitate legislative work.
He added that more senators are jostling to become members of the group, a move that could transform to G90.
Folasade Abdul Salami ,Abuja
Scores of protesting youths under the aegis of Citizen United For Peace and Stability-CUPS otherwise known as Occupy National Assembly, has called for the resignation of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki in the face of his ongoing trial at the Code of Tribunal ( CCT) on alleged false assets declaration.
The group which came in their thousands besieged entrance of the premises of National Assembly carrying placards with various inscriptions, barricaded the main entrance forcing lawmakers and staff to make do with the alternative entrance at the back of the complex to resume work.
The group noted that the immediate resignation of Sen Saraki was necessary due to his deficience in integrity and inability to live above board as a National Assembly leader, stepping down as Senate president.
Apart from the immediate resignation of Sen Saraki, the group also accused the National Assembly of padding the 2016 budget and causing delay of budget assent.
They therefore demanded for immediate revisit of the grey areas identified in the 2016 budget by president Muhammadu Buhari.
National Assembly correspondent Folashade Abdulsalami reports that the protesters who vowed for a prolonged stay of their protests till their demands are met further demanded for the return of the 36 exotic cars recently procured by the senate allegedly for some of its committees stressing the prices of the cars are exorbitant.
Pro Saraki Group demonstration
Earlier, a Pro-Saraki group, Nigerians unite for progressive change, in motely crowd of supporters, invaded the National Assembly in the same venue to show solidarity for the embattled Senate president, Sen bukola Saraki saying that the on going CCT trial of Saraki was an attempt by enemies of democracy to emasculate the senate.
The group called on Nigerians to stand up to prevent any attempt to halt the progress the senate has been making under the leadership of Sen Saraki to defend democracy stressing that he should be allowed to perform his legislative duties.
Though the Senate did not officially respond to the protests but Leader of the senate, Ali Ndume in his personal capacity , described the trend as dangerous precedent.
Senator Ndume who made the remark while briefing the media on efforts being made by the Senate to bring to an end the impasse between National Assembly and the Presidency over the 2016 budget, said the anti – Saraki protesters in particular were wrong in their action, saying Senators were elected by their constituents and not civil liberty groups or activists
He added that there are clear process to with representation of any lawmaker, assuring that the disagreements between the Senate and by extension , the National Assembly and the presidency over details of the 2016 budget would be resolved before the week runs out.
National Director of Public Affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, United States of America (USA), and lawyer, Amjad Mahmood Khan, has condemned their activities of terrorists groups across the world, using the name of Islam to perpetrate their acts.
Addressing Guests at UC Irvine, in the United States of America, as part of its nationwide True Islam campaign, Khan said extremist groups such as the Islamic State, have distorted the true teachings of Islam to further their agendas.
“The Prophet Muhammad has specifically said, ‘Do not strike terror in the hearts of people,'” Khan said. “And that is exactly what ISIS is doing, contrary to his teachings.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community launched its True Islam campaign days after the attack in San Bernardino in which 14 people were killed and 22 seriously injured.
The event was part of the group’s effort to bring that campaign to Orange County, especially to college campuses. The group already has an informational booth every Saturday at Cypress College, where it hands out similar information, and plans to hold more events in Orange County in the coming months.
Life and Teachings of Muhammad
Ajma Mahmood Khan also focused his talk on the Prophet Muhammad, his life and teachings. He said Muhammad “was strongly in favour of a pluralistic society, He sought peace among non-Muslims. He had a special place in his heart for the poor and the marginalized. He wanted equality for women.”
The word “Islam” mirrors the ideology of the religion’s founder, Khan said. Islam is derived from the Arabic root “salema,” which means peace.
Khan referenced two historic documents, which he said clarified Muhammad’s intent to uphold the ideals of peace and tolerance. One was the Charter of Medina, a constitution, drafted by Muhammad, which formed the basis of a multi-religious Islamic state in the city of Medina.
The second document was a letter written and sent by Muhammad to the monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery offering Christians his respect and protection. A reproduction of the letter is still displayed at the monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt, Khan said.
Why, then, do extremist groups such as ISIS quote passages from the Quran encouraging the killing of non-Muslims? Khan said the passage from the Quran ISIS and other extremist groups print on fliers and distribute for recruitment purposes is taken out of context.
“They deliberately leave out the passages that come before and after, which clearly and emphatically state that war is an option only when your ability to practice your faith is under attack,” he said. “True jihad, or holy war, is not waged by the sword.”
After the talk, Orange Coast College student Nicole Rost said she learned a lot about the history of Islam and about Muhammad.”I did not know that he emphasized so much on respecting all religions,” she said. “I was surprised to hear that.”
Rachelle Reiff, a Sophomore at UC Irvine, said she was particularly intrigued that Muhammad wrote a letter to the monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery and his respect for Christians.”As a Catholic, I was really impressed by that fact,” she said. “I do believe that Islam is a peaceful religion. Now, I feel like I have more facts when I talk to people who don’t.”
Holds Centenary Conference in December
Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Nigeria will hold its annual conference in Ilaro, Southwest Nigeria in December 16th to 18th.
Abidemi Sikiru, Ado Ekiti.
Ekiti state government has mourned the death of six medical doctors and one driver, who died in a motor accident near Kaduna on their way to Sokoto state for Nigeria Medical Association NMA fifty six annual conference.
The state governor Ayo Fayose described the death of the medical doctors and a driver as the lowest point in the history of the state and monumental loss not only to the people of Ekiti but to Nigerians, declaring a three day of mourning from Monday to Wednesday.
In a statement released by the special assistant to the governor on public communication and new media Lere Olayinka the governor directed that all flags should be flown at half mast, described the death as an eclipse of professional and intellectual figures, who lost their lives in active service to mankind, saying Ekiti had lost some of the best trees in its forest of medicine.
Folasade Abdul Salaam, Abuja
The President of the Joint Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPDW), Ekaete Umoh has called for that basic and compulsory education for children with disabilities in Nigeria.
She made the while presenting the 2016 base line survey in Abuja. Umoh said that development of persons with disabilities has been observed to be extremely slow due to high rate of illiteracy adding that the World Bank reported not less than 3% of persons with disabilities receive any formal of education, especially in the global south, Nigeria being one of those countries listed.
She however noted that with sound education, people with disability can effectively participate in governance and contribute their quota towards development of the nation.
Mrs Umoh acknowledged the support from international development agencies, on tremendous impact on key sectors across Nigeria.
Bearly two weeks after an officer of State anti Robbery Squade was alleged of illicit dealings with armed robbers in Ogun state, the poeple of Elepe Estate, Aga community under Ikorodu local government of Lagos state has also cried out to the Police High Command on the activities of State Anti Robbery Squad,SARS officials in the local government.
Leading some members of the community on a distress call, the secretary of the Elepe Family in ikorodu alleged that the SARS Officials in Ikorodu of providing cover for some groups of hoodlums who were alledge to have illegaly demolished several homes in the Estate.
Speaking with newsmen, some of the home owners who expressed disappointment over the allege malicious demolition and the connivance of security agencies with landgrabbers.
An eye withnes accout revealed that the over fourtheen demolished houses in the community were at their various stages of completion before the illegal acts.
MITV crew later visited the Ikorodu area command to see the Officer in charge ,Special Anti Crime Squad, SARS , who spoke off camera. The officer who pleaded anonymity denied the allegation, adding that a metalic gray toyota Camry was arrested in connection with the demolition.
Senate Passes National Poverty Eradication Commission Bill For Second Reading.
Folasade Abdul Salaam, Abuja
The Nigerian Senate has passed for second reading, a bill seeking to establish National Poverty Eradication Commission in Nigeria.
This was sequel to the consideration a the bill sponsored by Sen Ibrahim Gobir at the plenary.Presenting the lead debate , he said the bill when passed into into law will provide a more potent solution for the eradication of poverty .
Senate had already set machinery in motion for a more potent way of eradicating poverty in the country as against various agencies that had been established in the past without enabling laws for their operations
National Assembly correspondent Folashade Abdulsalami reports that the bill which got overwhelming support of members for passage to second reading .
The bill proposed a Director- General for the organization under the supervision of a Chairman and six other members from each of the six geo- political zones.
A welcome development
Deputy President of the senate,Sen Ike Ekweremadu in his ruling said the bill was a welcome development towards addressing poverty eradication in the country . He said that the gap between the rich and the poor in the country was unacceptable.
He , however advocated for the adequate funding of taxation institutions for efficiency of towards performing thief statutory roles.
The bill was therefore referred to the committee on national planning to report back in four weeks.
In another development, the 12- man committee was set up by the Senate to addressing other contentious issues among senators .
Senator Ali Ndume, inaugurated the committee
Abidemi Sikiru, Akure,
Chairman Ondo state independent Electoral commission professor olugbenga ige has announced the outcome of the local government election held in all the two hundred and three wards across. the eighteen local government areas of the state.
He stated that Peoples Democratic party won all the eighteen local government chairmanship seats
The chairman informed that out of two hundred and three wards PDP won two hundred and two seats while candidate of Allied Congress party of Nigeria win in Oba ile ward nine in Akure south local government area of Ondo state.
Vice Chancellor Debunk Allegation
The Vice Chancellor of Ekiti state University,EKSU Professor Samuel Oyebandele has debunked the allegation that two students of the citadel of learning died at the institution health centre.
He stated this while speaking with journalists on the rumour students of the university intents to go on rampage over the alleged death of students.
Professor Oyebandele informed that one of the students died in one of the hospital in Ado Ekiti the state capital,while another student of the school had an accident and brought to the school health center but he did not die.
President of the institution student union government,SUG Ibrahim Adebayo lauded the effort of the vice chancellor for his quick respond to the matter. He also lamented on the poor condition of the school health centre.
The Ivorian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Adama Toungara has welcomed British Minister for Africa, James Duddridge to the Aggreko power generation facility www.Africa.Aggreko.com) in the Vridi area of the Ivorian capital, recently. Minister Duddridge was in Abidjan to meet government ministers and business leaders to foster closer economic and trade links between the two countries and met with Minister Toungara on April 7th.
The 200 MW gas-powered facility plays an important role in supporting the local grid, helping to keep essential infrastructure and services running, while also ensuring power supplies to business and domestic users. The facility has been operating since 2010 when the first 70 MW was installed. This was increased to 100 MW in 2011 and expanded to its current capacity of 200 MW in 2013.
The relevance of the project
Minister Toungara said: “The 200 MW of electricity generated at this facility is important, both for Ivory Coast, and our neighbours. This capacity is helping to build a stable and sustainable energy supply for the continued economic development of the region. We value Aggreko’s partnership and count on their continued support in the coming years as we work to increase generation capability.”
“Aggreko’s power plant in Abidjan is a great example of a British company successfully exporting innovation and its unique capabilities to Africa,” commented Minister Duddridge. “I’ve been deeply impressed by the operations at the facility, seeing first-hand the benefits the project brings in terms of helping drive wider economic growth through robust power supplies and the training of West Africa’s next generation of energy sector professionals.”
Getting it Right
The visiting dignitaries toured the plant with Christophe Jacquin, Aggreko’s Managing Director, Africa Project Sales. Mr Jacquin said: “The Ivorian electricity grid is recognised as best in class in Africa and we are proud of our contribution through our partnership with the Government and the national utility, CI Energies. As Ivory Coast looks to increase its installed generation capacity to 4000 MW by 2020, Aggreko stands ready to support the realisation of this ambition that will see Ivory Coast develop its position as the energy hub of West Africa.”
With more than 2 GW currently installed across more than 30 African countries, Aggreko is the largest supplier of modular power services to the continent. Aggreko first entered the African market in 1995 and has since established a presence across the continent with service centres in Lagos, Luanda, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Durban, Walvis Bay, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, supported by regional hubs in Dubai and Paris. Across its African operations Aggreko employs more than 700 people, more than 90% of which are African nationals.
APO (African Press Organization)
The African Media Initiative has announce the launch of its pan-African journalism contest. Called the 2nd Zimeo Awards for Excellence in Media, the contest is open to professional journalists in Africa reporting or writing for print, radio, TV and digital.
The announcement calls on all interested journalists to reflect on their prospective entries and await details of submission dates and procedures.
The competition will recognize journalism excellence in 15 categories namely Gender/Women’s right, The youth agenda,Maritime economy,Business and finance,Technology and digital journalism, Agriculture and food security,Health,Education,Peace and security.
Others are ,Energy & infrastructure,Extractive industries,African Union Agenda 2063,Conservation and climate change, Sustainable Development Goals Reporting and Sport/ economics, culture/sports management
The call for entries will be issued in June 2016 and journalists are encouraged to present either single stories/articles or thematic packages in the following languages, English, French, Portuguese, Arabic and Kiswahili.
A panel of independent judges will be looking for entries through these criteria! a Demonstration of a high quality of reporting/writing in terms of originality, depth, rigour, research, investigative enterprise, innovativeness, clarity, proper sourcing, fairness, accuracy, exhaustive analysis of the context and background and an above average understanding of the subject matter.
The report will examine whether data-driven and use creative digital tools like mapping, crowdsourcing and visualization to help tell the story. Communication of the topic in a way that makes the story relevant and engaging to audiences and that contains evidence of its likely social impact or benefit to society. Provision of where possible, a pan-African perspective and the multi-sourced of the reports.
Launching the contest, AMI CEO Eric Chinje said: “When we launched this contest last year, we were pleasantly surprised by the huge volume of entries and we’re hoping this year won’t be any different. The contest is taking a slightly different characteristic as it is now inviting Kiswahili entries, following strong recommendations by journalists for its inclusion.”
The contest’s judging coordinator, Wangethi Mwangi, said: “As with last year’s, we’ll constitute judging panels to address the different regional and language groups and plan to maintain the highest standards of fairness in the judging process.
The Department of State Security (DSS) has arraigned two
artisans before an Isolo Magistrate Court , in the suburb of Lagos for allegedly cloning the
mobile line of Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.
The suspects – Rilwanu Jamiu and Balogun Stanley Oyewole who claimed
to be cocoa dealers, were said to have attempted to perfect a N50
million transfer with the said mobile line.
Prosecuting counsel from the DSS, Mr Peter Okerinmodun told Chief
Magistrate Adeola Adedayo that the suspects were arrested after using
the cloned mobile line of the Governor to send a text message to the
Accountant General of the State requesting for transfer of N50
He said the suspects conspired with others now at large to commit the
crime on February 10, 2016 at about 10 hours.
After the charges were read to the accused persons, they pleaded not
guilty, while the prosecutor asked that they should be kept in
protective custody pending the outcome of the legal advice of the
Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) in view of the fact that their
lives could be endangered by other suspects who were on the run.
But Magistrate Adedayo overruled Okerinmodun, saying the DSS ought to
have kept them in custody judging by the fact that their lives could
be in danger.
She said since the offence for which the accused persons were charged
to court was bailable and the fact that the Magistrate Court is a
court of summary trial, she was inclined to grant bail to the accused
She, therefore, admitted them to bail in the sum of N1 million each
and two sureties in like sum.
Magistrate Adedayo ruled that one of the sureties must be a religious
or community leader within the jurisdiction of the court, and that the
accused persons must provide five years tax clearance certificates.
She further ordered the accused persons to be remanded in Kirikiri
Prison pending the perfection of the conditions attached to their
bail, and adjourned the matter to May 10, 2016.
A Nigerian Mr. Hafis Bello , has won the Best Presentation Award at the 2nd Annual Conference at Hamad bin Khalifa University, HBKU, Qatar.
The title of Mr. Bello’s research paper at the conference was:
Impact of Changing Lifestyle and Consumption Pattern on Municipal Solid Waste Generation in Residential Areas: Case Study of Qatar
The event took place on Saturday April 16, 2016 at the Education City, Doha.
Nigerian In Diaspora Organization, NIDO-Qatar, congratulated Mr. Bello on this exceptional achievement and proud of the excellence he has displayed, which is typical of Nigerians,
NIDO Qatar , therefore encouraged other Nigerians to emulate Mr. Bello’s hardwork.
PR/ NIDO-Qatar Secretariat.