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Gov. Bello reaffirms commitment to rural transformation, development



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By Friday Idachaba

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to meeting the need of rural and remote communities of the state to access infrastructure for human development services.

Bello disclosed this while inaugurating Ife-Olukotun Community Town Hall in Yagba-East Local Government Area constructed under the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach of the State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA).

The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Folashade Arike-Ayoade recalled that the World Bank-Funded Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) closed in June, 2020.

He said that this, however, did not assuage the pressing need to meet the obligation of increasing access of the rural and remote people of the state to infrastructure for human development services.

Bello said that to fill the infrastructure gap, the state government had taken over funding of the Agency after the exit of World Bank and had so far provided funds to support micro projects in 12 communities and two vulnerable groups.

He said that the desire to fast track development especially, at the rural level informed the decision of this government to whole heartedly embrace the Nigeria Covid -19 Action Response and Economic Stimulus Programme (N-CARES) in the state in spite of its stance on the pandemic.

The governor described the construction of the 450-seat capacity town hall with facilities for offices and public toilet as a feat and an achievement made possible through the cooperation and commitment of the people of Ife-Olukotun.

“This is really a symbol of unity and I pray that this continues because a united community is a progressive community and can achieve great things”, he said.

Chief Momoh Dauda, General Manager of the Agency said, “CSDA is now fully supported by the state government using the template of the World Bank CSDP approach.

“Under this arrange, the state government provides 90 per cent of projects costs while the benefitting communuties provide just 10 per cent in cash or kind.

“So, that’s why we must appreciate His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello he initially released N135 million and has just released N100 million for the Agency to continue with our projects and affect lives”, he said.

Alhaji Isa Adeboye, community leader and Secretary of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) in the state, commended the state government for the construction of the town hall and execution of other projects emphasing government presence in the community.

Adeboye who is also the pioneer chairman of the CSDA expressed appreciation to Governor Bello for appointing Dr Folashade Arike-Ayoade, a daughter of the community as SSG.

Dr Kehinde Mohammed, National President of Ife-olukotun Descendants Union, speaking earlier, commended the agency for always supporting the community’s developmental initiatives.

The projects, according to him, include “Building of stores at the Central market; Renovation of classrooms at Jamat Comprehensive High School, Ife-olukotun; Renovation and Equipment of Science Laboratory at Westley High School, Ife-olukotun.

Mohammed revealed that construction of the town hall edifice took N13,185,641.10k with the State Government, through the CSDA contributing N8,996,381.10 while the Ife-olukotun Community contributed N4,189,260.00 in cash and kind.

The Olukotun of Ife-Olukotun, Oba Shuaibu Mohammed Ayegbajeje who was full of appreciation to the Governor Bello and pledged the support of his community for the governor’s presidential ambition.

The highlights of the occasion was the Commissioning of the edifice and an open declaration of support for the governor’s presidential ambition by the SSG as she also appealed to other communuties in the state to fully support him in view of his administration’s landmark achievements across the state.

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Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho gives out state of the art Solar panels to Kogi East




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The senator representing Kogi East Senatorial district in the Red Chamber, Jibrin Isah (Echocho), has given out high-powered solar panel lights to some communities in his senatorial district.

The state of the art solar lights packaged with fluorescent bulbs illuminating that have long lasting life span is targeted at providing high level of visibility for security agents and local vigilantes to counter criminal activities carried out by men of the underworld especially at night.

One of the recipients of the solar lights in Abejukolo-Ife, Omala Local Government Area of Kogi state, Comrade Jerry Ochada, said the intervention by Senator Echocho is a welcome development.

Ochada further thanked the ranking Senator for his intervention while hinting that “in the coming days, the solar lights will be installed along Omala local government area (Secretariat Road) and some streets in Sabongari Area of Abejukolo”.

The Senator also gifted 36 solar powered lights each to the Okenyi community in Ankpa local government area, Dekina township; Etutuekpe community in Dekina local government and Ugwolawo township in Ofu local government area.

Senator Echocho promised to donate more lights to other Local Government Areas before the end of 2023.

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Natasha doles out N300, 000 for installation of Ohueta/Ogidi Community Transformer




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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate in Kogi Central, Barr. Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan has given N300,000 to Ohueta/Ogidi community in Okehi LGA to finance the installation of new transformer in the area.

The community has been experiencing total blackout for some months before the leaders of the community approached the PDP senatorial candidate to help in financing the installing of the new transformer for the people to enjoy the festive period.

Natasha in her philantropic disposition was eager to respond to the call by donating the money to end the days of blackout in the community.

The PDP senatorial candidate was represented by Director of Programs and Planning, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan Campaign Organization, Hon. Jacob Anebe who presented the money to the community leaders.
Anebe explained that the PDP senatorial candidate swiftly responded to the plea of the community leaders and donated the money to complete the installation of the new transformer for the residents of the community to enjoy the festive season.

He noted that Akpoti will continue to respond to the call of her people and do more when she gets to the Senate.

He further called on the people of Kogi Central to support and vote for Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan in the 2023 Kogi Central senatorial election to do more for the people of Kogi Central.


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HOSTCOM applauds President Buhari for PIA




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***asks for licence to operate modular refinery

Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being the only Nigerian President that has actualized their dream by signing into law the Petroleum industry Act (PIA)

Paramount ruler of Nembe Kingdom Edmond Dakoru, spoke at the weekend during the official commissioning of the Abuja Liaison office of the HOSTCOM .
Speaking through his representative Erenghotie Ansley-Thomas Esq, he thanked the present administration for the (PIA), efforts of which he said previous administrations had frustrated.

“For a government to sign the PIA, which happens to be an improved version of what started in the past deserves our commendation. It takes the political will and commitment on the part of government and the drivers of that sector to be able to do that because several efforts have been frustrated several times”.

“For those who are not aware of how previous efforts were frustrated may not see what good we have received by the enactment into law of the PIA

Ansley-Thomas said the PIA has “principles set out for the protection of the environment, principles set out to address issues of Host Communities (HOSTCOM).

However, he expressed fear that any piece of legislation, no matter how well intentioned those who enacted it may be, until those saddled with the responsibility of operating it or giving expression to it come in tandem wit the spirit of the law, they may only be driving the letter, which could be compromised or sabotaged, as we have seen in so many cases.

“As much as we have a very robust legislation, it is important for HOSTCOM and other stakeholders to collaborate on how to enforce or tho insiststhe implementation of the PIA”.

On his part the National President of HOSTCOM His highness chief Benjamin Style Tamaranebi requested the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and the Health, Safety, Environment and Community of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and other relevant MDAs to use the earnest powers of their good offices to incorporate HOSTCOM’s budgetary provisions in their budgetary provisions by partnering with the Commission and Authority for Environmental intelligence gathering and data collation.

He also requested that HOSTCOM be provided with every project draft EIA to ensure the effective implementation of Sustainable Development processes.

He wants HOSTCOM to be allowed to monitor every project from Inception to commissioning.
Other demands are for HOSTCOM to be shortlisted in the NUPRC and NMDPRA protocollist.

The President also requested that HOSTCOM is given the opportunity participate and assist in providing environmental field
management plan from field to field basis as well as participate in ensuring building cryogenic plants on build, operate and own (BOO) basis in order to strategically end gas flaring.
He also wants payment of gas flare funds, and its remittance to be made to HCDT on project development and investment basis for Community sustainable development.

As an entity he also demanded that HOSTCOM be given license to operate modular refinery in the producing states to end illegal refining and crude oil theft and to have license to lift petroleum products for fairness and equity.

“The accomplishment of the aforementioned objectives will inevitably be the foundation that would overhaul the legacy mistakes to improved livelihood and socio-political and economic advancement of the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing oil and gas and citizenry of our great country.

“We are optimistic that the bounty of your benevolence knows no bounds and would be memorable in the annals of HOSTCOM history to the producing oil and gas States in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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