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NNPC Has Not Taken Over Road Construction, Fashola Clarifies

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  • As Apex Oil Firm Commits N600bn To Address 21 Roads Covering Over 1, 800 Kilometres
  • Nigeria’s Works and Housing Minister Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has said that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) is not taking over the construction of roads from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

The Minister made this disclosure during the symbolic presentation of Cheque for 21 critical roads funded by NNPC through the Tax Credit Scheme which took place at the Ministry’s headquarters in Mabushi, Abuja on Tuesday.

According to Fashola, the NNPC has committed over 600 Billion Naira to address 21 roads covering over 1, 800 kilometres.

While shedding light on the scheme the Minister said, “NNPC is not taking over roads, NNPC is not constructing roads, NNPC is just putting forward its tax liabilities to the authority who is supposed to collect, which is the Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS).

“And they are dedicating it to build roads that have been awarded and would have been completed but for insufficient budgetary provisions.”

Fashola further made it clear that this is a tax credit intervention and essentially, the private sector company is putting forward what should have been its tax compensation for liabilities to government.

The Minister revealed that the scheme which is under the executive order 007 was inherited from the previous administration who didn’t implement it.

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However, the Buhari administration recognized it and used it to execute the Obajana – Kabba road as a strategic partnership with the private sector.

He added that it is being used to address the Apapa – Oworoshoki expressway which serves the nation’s largely established port.

Fashola explained that the scheme was not for one company alone as any company who is interested in it is free to apply to Federal Government.

He said the Buhari administration amended the Executive order 007 to give room for the roads to be impacted to be diverse and also allow smaller companies to come together as a group to use their tax liabilities for smaller roads that will aid their businesses.

He expressed happiness that the amendments have attracted the interest of conglomerates like Dangote group, the oil industry which is stepping in with 600 Billion Naira to address 21 roads covering over 1, 800 kilometres.

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He also noted that telecommunications companies have indicated their readiness to take part in it.

Speaking further on the amendment made by President Buhari, Fashola revealed that a governing process had been put in place that requires the Ministry of Works and Housing to look into certification, send them to FIRS for verification within five days after which NNPC is expected to pay within 30 days.

He also said that an agreement had been reached with the contractors that nobody would ask for price variations even though some of the contracts are over ten years old.

In his address, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammed Nami who thanked the federal government for the tax credit scheme said it was introduced due to the insufficiency in budgetary allocations.

He expressed optimism that it will contribute in no small measure in bridging the gap in road infrastructure.

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Earlier, the General Manager International Energy Relations Mr. Garba Hadejia who represented the Group Managing Director of NNPC lamented that since most pipelines have been vandalized, the only option left for his organization has to transport its products by roads.

‘’However, the bad condition of some the roads were adversely affecting the movement of petroleum products hence the decision of NNPC to support the Ministry of Works and Housing by partaking in the Cash Credit’’ he said.

An indigenous contractor, Mr. Isioma – Ezi-Ashi of Sermatech Nigeria Limited who spoke on behalf of his colleagues thanked the Federal Government for the scheme and promised that the contractors would do their best to ensure its the success.

The occasion also witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, among the stakeholders: The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, FIRS, NNPC and the Contractors.

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Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States

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The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.

The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.

Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”

“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.

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“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.

“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”

Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”

 

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Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life

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Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.

Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”

Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.

The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.

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While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.

According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.

The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.

“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.

“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”

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Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.

Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.

The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.

Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).

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Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks

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The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.

The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.

Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.

CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.

Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.

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DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.

She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.

Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.

Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.

Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.

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ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.

CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.

CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.

The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.

CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.

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  • Source: Independent

 

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