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Sen. Kawu Sumaila mourns victims of Wudil accident

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***Calls for urgent action to complete Kano-Maiduguri Road

The Senator representing Kano South Senatorial District Sulaiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila has expressed sympathy with the families of 11 persons who lost their lives in an auto crash along Kano-Maiduguri federal Highway on Friday.
11 people lost their lives while 16 others were injured, with one person rescued unhurt in the auto crash at Gaya junction along the Kano – Maiduguri road.
The accident involved two vehicles – a Toyota Hummer bus with registration number KTG 190 XB and a Hijet mini pick-up with registration number KTG 501 YG.
In a statement he personally signed, Senator Sumaila expressed grief over the death of 11 persons, regretting that Kano-Maiduguri road has remained a death trap to many road users.
He said, the over 550 kilometre dualization project was awarded by the Federal Government at the end of the second tenure of the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is yet to be completed 17 years after.

Senator Sumaila explained that the importance of the road to the Nigerian economy cannot be over emphasized as it serves as an international link between Nigeria and the Chad republic, Cameroon, Niger republic and the Central Africa, which is supposed to serve as a boost for businesses among the affected countries.

According to him, also the road also connects Kano with Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno states, where it is playing a greater role in the economic activities of the states.

Senator Sumaila, however, lamented that despite its important, the road has claimed several lives due to non-completion of the project.

He said for almost 17 years since the award of the project, a portion of the road particularly from Wudil to Gaya has not been completed.

He said it is regrettable that although over 50 kilometers of this portion of the road have been completed, however, a distance of less than 30 kilometers of the portion has not been completed, thereby, causing accidents for its users.

Sumaila, regretted that the non-completion of the project has compelled traders from within Nigeria and the neighbouring countries to divert their businesses to other states other than Kano.

“Apart from cases of accident, armed robbery has been a constant occurrence on the road for several years. I have personally complained to the relevant authorities, yet, the problem persisted,” he said.

“It is very sad that the Federal ministry of works and housing and the contractor handling the project have failed to complete this project despite allocation of huge amount of money in the budget. I will continue to pursue for the completion of this road.”

Senator Sumaila lamented that “This is the reason why we are fighting for fairness in the budgetary allocations to the six geopolitical zones, but some people for their selfish interests are kicking against our moves.

“With enough budgetary allocations to the geopolitical zones, this kind of projects would have been finished in time. It is our duty as members of the National Assembly to channel the plights and yearnings of our constituents to the executive arm of government for the right thing to be done to improve their wellbeings.

“And one of the surest way to achieve this is to ensure fairness and equality in budgetary allocations. This is the only way projects that have direct bearing to the lives of the common man will be executed. Kano-Maiduguri, is one of the roads that is playing significant role in the wellbeing of many Nigerians, therefore, the federal government should not joke with it.

The senator, therefore, appealed to the Federal ministry of works and housing and the contractor handling the project to ensure completion of the road in order to save the lives of the people.

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Rising electricity tariffs killing small businesses, NASSI calls for urgent action

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The Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI) has expressed deep concern over the recent increase in electricity tariffs that is threatening the survival of its members
A statement by issued on Friday by the National President of NASSI, Chief Dr. Solomon Vongfa Daniel indicated that the hike poses a significant threat to the survival and growth of small-scale industries across the nation.
“The recent increase in electricity tariffs is a major blow to small-scale businesses in Nigeria. Many of our members are already struggling with rising input costs and a challenging economic climate. This additional burden threatens to push many of them out of business altogether.”

According to him increased electricity costs will directly eat into already tight profit margins, jeopardizing the financial sustainability of small businesses.
In a bid to manage costs, some businesses may be forced to reduce production, leading to job losses and decreased output.
“The additional financial strain will hinder the ability of small businesses to invest in expansion or modernization, hindering overall economic growth.

NASSI urged the government to consider providing targeted subsidies or tax breaks to support small businesses during this difficult time.
“We encourage the government to invest in renewable energy sources and promote energy efficiency measures to create a more sustainable and affordable electricity supply.
The association calles for open dialogue with policymakers and stakeholders to explore solutions that address the concerns of small businesses and ensure a stable and affordable electricity supply for all Nigerians.

“NASSI remains committed to supporting its members and advocating for policies that promote a thriving environment for small-scale industries.
“We urge the government to take urgent action to address this critical issue and ensure the continued success of this vital sector of the Nigerian economy.”

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Associates, Friends of Late Cairo Ojuogboh plan befitting farewell

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Senator Gada and Edwin Clark
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***Want FG, Delta State to immortalize him

Associates, friends and family of Cairo Ojuogboh have come together to organize a befitting farewell for him under the leadership, directive and supervision of Chief Clark whom they described as the father of the nation
Ojuogboh a medical Doctor and former house of representatives member slumped and died in Abuja February 8, 2024 while watching the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final encounter between Nigeria and South Africa.
Senator Abubakar Gada who is the second chairman of the burial organizing committee unveiled the programe of activities to journalists in Abuja on Friday.
He said the program of Activities included National evening of Tributes in honour of Cairo Ojuogboh holding in Abuja on Sunday, 14th, April 2024 with Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the Chairman.
Senator Gada described late Dr. Ojuogboh as an enigma and a personality that the nation will take a long time missing him as the mourning continues.

“He was a nationalist, Ojuogbo had no tribe, he had no ethnicity, he had no boundary, Cairo was for the country and indeed for humanity.
“When he suddenly passed on, it was with shock and disbelief which we are still battling to come to term with that reality.

“Cairo was a household name in Nigerian politics, Cairo was a friend.We miss you Cairo and we will continue to miss you.

“He has had his life dedicated to building bridges and reconciling the community, societies and indeed the nation tirelessly. God will surely give the family the fortitude to bear this loss.”

On the need for the Federal Government to immortalize him, he said Ojuogboh by his standing, naturally is an immortalised individual because generations yet unborn, will meet and reflect on his life and sacrifices for humanity as a medical doctor, as a politician, as a parliamentarian, endlessly.

“So, coming to specifics, Cairo is from Anioma in Delta state, he crisscrossed this nation in his effort to make society not only harmonious but consciously, development-oriented.

He called upon the government of Delta state to use health sector facility or infrastructure to immortalise Dr Ojuogboh.
“I will also call on the Delta State House of Assembly to immortalise, in addition to whatever respect, they will accord Dr Cairo, they as parliamentarian should immortalise him by having facility, state assembly facility, in Delta state to immortalise Cairo.

“Ojuogboh died during the semi final match the of African Cup of Nations, we have had loses but the most expensive and costly to the nation was that of Ojuogboh

“And so, sport family and the sport sector is hereby invited to immortalise, Dr Ojuogboh as a nationalist, patriot and a sport promoter and fan who believed in the unity that is guaranteed in sports and sportsmanship activities in the country.
“This is because sports happens to be one sector that unifies the nation so easily, so patriotically at all times and it is one thing that has no tribe or religion, or geographical limit. And it’s a reflection of the entirety of what Ojuogboh stood for and believed in.
“He lived and left this country while celebrating Nigeria’s success and victory in this formidable and socio-cultural and psychological sector, sports.

“For this, we call on all, without limits, these level of government to deservingly, reward and immortalise the name of Dr Cairo so that it will be for eternity.”

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Kogi Community, Monarch Celebrate Triplets After 17 Years Of Waiting

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

OBA Frederick Durojaiye Balogun, the Olu of Apata and people of Akpata community in Oworo District of Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi on Monday embarked on a wide jubilation as their queen finally delivered a set of triplets after 17 years of waiting.

The Queen, Olori Teniola-Faith Balogun delivered the babies in the early morning of Monday at the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja after 17 years of marriage to the Oba.

Oba Fredrick Balogun, the Olu of Apata whose Palace was agog with praise singing and dances as the people celebrated with the royal family, in apparent display of his faith, glorified the omnipotent God.

The elated Oba Frederick told journalists who visited him that God had been very faithful to his family over the past 17 years of waiting upon Him saying that they had put their trust in Him.

“This is our day of joy and rejoicing after receiving these precious gifts from God Almighty after several years of waiting and trusting Him.

“In fact, I am short of words to appreciate and thank God for what He has done for this royal family. No wonder people have gathered around to celebrate with us.

“Another impressive and wonderful thing our God has done for us is that the queen and the triplets are all in good health condition.”

He described the triplets as harbingers of good things to come and a sign that 2024 is a year of many good tidings coming the way of not just Apata community but Kogi and Nigeria as a whole.

The Oba also expressed gratitude to his family members, friends, people of Apata community and environs as well as the hospital management for standing by the family all through.

One of the chiefs, Elesho of Apata, Chief Ayodele Rufus-Balogun, in celebration mood, described the arrival of the triplets as “huge blessing” to the Apata community, the Oworo district and Kogi State.

“You can see for yourself how jubilant our people are over the birth of these triplets to our Oba. We are indeed grateful to God”, he said.

Mr Babatunde Adekunle, Secretary, Apata Community Development Association and close associate of the King, said year 2024 would remain indelible in the history of Akpata community.

“We are all gathered here singing and dancing because our joy is full with the blessing we have received from the Almighty God through our royal family”, Adekunle said. (Ends)

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