TOP STORIES: We will break jinx of non-harmonisation of database in Nigeria – Hon.Tunji-Ojo.

…As UNILAG holds International Week.

The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has given the assurance that the current administration will be break the jinx of the non-harmonisation of database in the country, saying the integrity of the nation’s travel documents would be restored by so doing.

The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has given the assurance that the current administration will be break the jinx of the non-harmonisation of database in the country, saying the integrity of the nation’s travel documents would be restored by so doing.

   

He gave the assurance in Lagos on Monday while speaking at the opening ceremony of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, International Week 2023. The theme of the week is “Breaking the borders of partnership.”

The Minister, who said saving citizens’ biometrics data in different formats and by different agencies was not only a waste of time and resources, but that it made the job of security agents cumbersome.

“Identity is who we are, what we are, and what we live for. But today, what we have is a  duplication of our registration. We have the BVN in the bank, the international passport,  the NIN, SIM card registration by telecos, and so on, all of which request your data. The  integrity of our travel documents must be restored through the harmonisation of our  data.

“We have the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, under the Renewed Hope  Agenda, to harmonise the country’s database. When we harmonise our data, there will be  an exchange amongst agencies such that when our people need data for passport and visa applications, or BVN, with their NIN, their data can be pulled out.

“This will not only save  us stress, cost, and energy but also help us optimise our processes and the country’s  security architecture,” he stated.

On the issuance of passport and visas by Nigerian embassies, he said the process had been made less stressful and that the clearance of backlog of travel documents in the last three weeks was a testimony to the new mode of doing things in the ministry.

Tunji-Ojo, harping on the theme of the event, opined that partnerships were the cornerstone of progress.

“The beauty of the present century is that it  has afforded us the luxury of connection; it has given us the strings and needles upon  which we can weave for ourselves a world where, though we are far away, we are interconnected.

“The theme, “Breaking the Borders of Partnership,” reminds us that the challenges we face are not confined by geographical boundaries. Whether it’s addressing climate change, promoting global health, ensuring peace and security, or fostering economic prosperity, our world is more interconnected than ever before.

“To tackle these complex issues effectively, we must embrace partnerships that transcend borders,” he added.

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, minister of interior, says passports will be delivered to homes and offices of applicants from February 2024.

Also, during the opening ceremony on Monday, the minister said applicants would  not need to wait longer than two weeks before their passports would be ready.
     

“We have commenced the automation of our end-to-end passport application process, and we have given a timeline from which Nigerians will begin to experience the sweet experience,” Tunji-Ojo said.

“By implication, Nigerians will not need to wait longer than two weeks before they get their passport.

“By January next year, Nigerians will be able to complete this application process online, and by February next year, with collaboration and partnership with other relevant stakeholders, Nigerians will have their passports delivered to their homes, offices, and other locations of their choice.

“This, of course, would be extended to our visa application process. We are deploying technology throughout the entire process to make it as seamless as possible.

“To achieve this, we have set everything into motion to open more visa application centres across the world.

“In this regard, we are also working on strengthening our visa-on-arrival policy.

“We are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enforce the principle of the doctrine of reciprocity, and a committee has been set up in the ministry to achieve this.”

He further called for the harmonisation of data to restore the integrity of travel documents.

“Identity is who we are, what we are, and what we live for. But today, what we have is a duplication of our registration,” Tunji-Ojo added.

“Arguably, Nigeria is the only country I know that has a BVN for the bank, the international passport, the NIN, SIM card registration for telecos, and so on all of which request your data.

“The integrity of our travel documents must be restored through the harmonisation of our data.”

Court sentences killer cop Drambi Vandi to death for killing pregnant lawyer Bolanle Raheem.

The Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square has convicted and sentenced to death by hanging a police officer Drambi Vandi over the murder of Lagos-based lawyer Bolanle Raheem. ASP Vandi shot Mrs Raheem dead on December 25, 2022 during a stop-and-search exercise.

   

Ruling on Monday, Justice Ibironke Harrison held that the Lagos State Government has proven the case against the convict beyond all reasonable doubt.

“The court finds the defendant guilty on one count of murder. You will be hanged by the neck till you are dead,” the judge held.
On January 16, 2023, the Lagos State Government arraigned Vandi before the court for shooting to death the 41-year-old pregnant lawyer at the Ajah underbridge checkpoint.

The convict faced a one-count charge of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The police officer was attached to the Ajiwe police division in the Ajah area of the state. He was suspended two days after the incident.

The prosecution team led by the attorney-general and commissioner for justice Moyosore Onigbanjo called 11 witnesses, including eight police officers.

The other prosecution witnesses include the husband and sister of the deceased and also a pathologist.
Vandi was the only witness who testified in his own defence.
In his testimony before the court, Vandi told the judge that the bullet presented in court, which was said to have killed the deceased, did not come from the rifle he carried on the day of the incident.

He also claimed that he had never seen the bullet until it was tendered in court.

Lagos Govt Marks Two Markets for Demolition Over Environmental Challenges.

As a measure to restore sanity across Lagos metropolis the State Government has marked no fewer than two markers in Lagos Island Local Government for demolition, after the traders were found to have being contravening the sanitation laws in the state.

The two markets already marked for demolition by the state government were the popular Jankara and Bombata Markets, discovered would be brought down as regeneration of the entire Lagos Island intensified.

The State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who announced the decision on Sunday, hinted that Pelewura Market, also in Lagos Island, would soon be brought down after due consultation with other stakeholders.

He said that erecting illegal structures on drainages and indiscriminate dumping of refuse drain collectors would not be tolerated, saying this are major reasons for flooding across the state.

Sanwo-Olu said, “”On this drainage and regeneration tour of Lagos Island, you have noticed the journey started from Idimagbo Avenue Corridor that once well built.

“As we were walking, you could see that at some points, the drainage were blocked, in some other places, they have built over the drainage. And you can also see the inter-locking of the roads but other roads have failed towards Ojo-Giwa. The entire stretch, where we have a lot of the markets buiit on drainages.

“Essentially, the drainage is the problem- all right down public school which was a social media hype at some points. You could see the reason why the place was flooded. The Jankara Market, we went down to Oroyinyin where we went for a water swim.

“There were roads there but the drainage has sunk. We need to do total rebuild and what this has offered is that, we need to have firsthand information what the problems are and to be able to profer and look for solution.

“We went to Bombata Market, we saw that it cannot remain as it is. We also went to Pelewura Market which we saw has indeed outgrown a market in a modern city like our state.

“Finally come here at Ilubirin Pumping Station. We have been on this project for almost two years and it is because of the depth of the work that has to be done . We need to complete it. On my right, you can see the manual pumping that goes directly into lagoon. On my left, we are building a proper drainage infrastructure which is 6m×1.2m. It goes all the way down to where it will be discharging.

“We are currently doing piling to be able to sink all the three pumping stations. All of them are here, generators are here and we are going to build crane that will be installed at this construction site.

“I’m told it is about 80 percent completed because all the procurements have been done. It is a civil work that needs to be done about 32 piles. The contractors have assured us that within two and a half months we will be finalizing,” Governor Sanwo-Olu assured.

Continuing, Sanwo-Olu stated, “What will be happen now is that we will be opening two major drainage channels from Thomas on the right and a new one from the Idimagbo, both of them will flow into the drainage and take them straight into the lagoon. Each of them will be automatically activated. We have built capacity and we have also built redundancy for final solution of drainage evacuation for Lagos Isalnd and I’m sure by December or January, this project will be completed.

However, Governor Sanwo-Olu warned, “Internally, we have work to do about three markets that we saw. The Bombata Market, Jankara Market and Pelewura Market. I’m using this as a notice to all the illegal squatters and all other people that are doing things there that we will clear up the entire markets. The Bombata and Jankara markets are going to be ground zero and there is a full design on what we are going to put there.

“On Pelewura Market because it harbours a large number of our citizens, we will give them adequate notice and we will be working with our concessionaires and all othe stakeholders will be brought on board and we will all agree as to when the demolition and evacuation will start.
“Regarding the roads, we will invite the original contactor-Julius Berger which did fantastic job at that time. We will bring them back to site to start work within a week and start assessment of Idimagbo Avenue, Odo-Giwa and come out at Adeniji-Adele Road.

“As from Idumagbo up to Ebutero on the right, there will be a long time regeneration of the entire area. We have done our own but the way of life of our people must change. No matter how well the drainage is, if people still drop refuse inside the drainage, it will get filled up.

“So, I’m using this channel to appeal to our citizens. We will not tolerate bad behaviour and from tomorrow, the ministry of the environment will start giving notices to all of our store owners on drainage where shops and all sorts of things that do not fit in and we can’t allow a few to destroy the larger number of us,” Sanwo-Olu gave stern warning.

We’re not paying fuel subsidy anymore – Federal Govt clarifies.

The Federal Government is no longer paying subsidy on Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), Malam Mele Kyari, disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Monday in Abuja.

He said that contrary to insinuations on social media, the federal government was no longer paying subsidy to any person or group for bringing petroleum products into the country.

“No subsidy whatsoever. We are recovering our full cost from the products that we import. We sell to the market.

“We understand why marketers are unable to import. We hope that they begin to do so very quickly and these are some of the interventions government is making. There is no subsidy,’’ he said.

Kyari further stated that the pockets of low queues witnessed across some states recently were due to bad roads that had made transporters to divert the product to other routes.

“We have seen in very few states pockets of very low queues. This is not unconnected with the road situation and that’s why we’re seeing some blockades on our roads.
“Moving the products from the southern depots into the northern part of the country takes them much longer time now than it used to be.

“They have to re-route their trucks around many locations for them to be able to reach their destinations and that created delays and some supply gaps. But, that has been filled and we do not see any of such problems again.

“Secondly, because of the full deregulation that we have in this sector, marketers are now competing amongst themselves,” he said.

The NNPCL group managing director also said that some of the queues were caused by the preference of customers to patronise filling stations that offered low prices.

“You must have noticed that some fuel stations will reduce their prices by N2 or N3. So customers will naturally run to the places where you have that reduction in prices and probably create panic.

“This is because those who don’t know why they are doing it will think that there’s something happening or that there’s an ominous sign of scarcity,’’ he said.
According to him, there are over 1.4 billion litres of petrol available for local consumption, both on the seas and on land, adding that there is no cause for alarm.

Kyari explained that market forces were now playing out and that marketers were competing for the product and how to satisfy their customers as well.

‘’There are few issues we’re engaging them to resolve, alongside other agencies of government, particularly critical issues around access to foreign exchange.

“And as you all know, government is doing so much to ensure supply of forex into the market. “We know that this FX markets will stabilise the current I&E window is around 770.

“And we know that those inputs from government will crystalise and they will come to an equilibrium position in the FX market and this is the dream of this country,’’ he said.

Kyari assured marketers of a stable forex and a situation where the prices of the product would align with the prices of other commodities. (NAN)

Address Ondo State People Or Resign Now – Civic Group, ORF Calls On Governor Akeredolu, Decries Vacuum In Administration.

According to the group in a conference text made available, “It is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf, the state of comatose that Ondo State has found herself in recent time.

An Ondo State socio-political group, Ondo Redemption Front (ORF), has called on the State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu to address the state or resign from his position if he is no longer medically fit to continue to govern the state.

   

The group which stated this on Monday during a press conference held in Ondo State, decried the lack of governance at the executive level in the state and appealed to the House of Assembly to foster cohesion instead of allowing itself to be used as a tool for destabilisation and distraction by the purported impeachment plan of the deputy governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

ORF in the release by its Chairman, Ayodeji Ologun, reminded the people of the state that at such critical time in the history of the state, what was urgently needed were healing, mutual trust and collective advancement of the delivery of good governance.

According to the group in a conference text made available to SaharaReporters, “It is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf, the state of comatose that Ondo State has found herself in recent time and regrettably so because she used to be the shining star of the west and a reference point in good governance and social welfare of the citizens. Governance has suddenly taken flight, leaving the people without leadership, direction or representation in all forms.

“We condemn the absence of leadership and representation by the Ondo State hierarchy and demand that henceforth, individuals so elected should be allowed to perform their democratic duties as provided for by the laws of the land. We are a people of pride and a voice. We can not be silenced to the advantage of a few.

“It has been thirty one full days that Governor Akeredolu was “smuggled” into Nigeria after about initial four months of absence from not only his duty but the state. The purported return of the Governor established an aberration in history whereby state duties were transferred to personal residence of the governor where he met with the House of assembly members of the state and purportedly transmitted a letter notifying the assembly of his return and resumption of duty.

“Since the purported resumption of duty, not only has the Governor been seen in any public gathering, he has failed to carry out any state function even in the least, an address to the good people of the state. This leaves so much to be desired and further reinstate the fact that the Governor is unwell and his handlers are only marauding to give the people of the state the true status of the health of their governor.

“While we understand the fallibility of men and the sovereignty of God in matters of health, there is a duty to perform and only the physically fit as provided for by the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria can perform such duty and one, the health of Akeredolu is being doubted.

“The secrecy by which the return and whereabouts of Governor Akeredolu have been shrouded call for concern and suspicion and we dare say that we can’t afford to again have a repeat of the Yaradua scenario where the nation was in the dark of the living or otherwise of the then president.

The life of a public office holder should be a transparent one and the people of the state deserve to know the true state of the health of Mr. Governor.
“The people and by the virtue of this press conference are demanding an address by the Governor to the people of the state to clear the controversy surrounding the state of his health and his capability to continue to lead the state.

“We state and unequivocally too, that should the governor fail to address the state in a couple of days, we call for his resignation and in the alternative, the State House of Assembly is hereby called upon to immediately constitute a medical board comprising qualified and unbiased professionals and experts who can provide an impartial assessment of the Governor’s health status and the findings of which should be made public as provided for by the law and put to rest any speculation and should the Governor be found incapable of the discharge of the duties of his office, the provision of the law should take its course.”

Tinubu Appoints Fela Durotoye As SSA.

President Bola Tinubu has appointed motivational speaker and former presidential candidate Fela Durotoye and four others to serve in the media and publicity directorate of the Office of the President.

 

A statement on Monday by the president’s spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said they were appointed with “full respect for the tenets of Nigeria’s federal character principle and the supremacy of merit.”

Mr Durotoye was appointed senior special assistant to the president on national values and social justice.

Fredrick Nwabufo was named senior special assistant to the president on public engagement.

Linda Akhigbe was appointed senior special assistant to the president on strategic communications.

Aliyu Audu was named special assistant to the president on public affairs.

Francis Abah was appointed personal assistant to the president on special duties.

The statement added that President Tinubu has further approved the secondment of Mrs Akhigbe to serve as the communications adviser to the president of the ECOWAS Commission.

“The President tasks all new appointees who are serving in the Media & Publicity directorate to uphold the highest standards of decorum and decency in their engagements with all members of the public as they advance the President’s determined bid to renew the hope of Nigerians in a restructured economy and unified society that caters sufficiently to the needs of all, regardless of any differences,” the statement noted.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.