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NDDC contracts: Akpabio visits National Assembly, seeks peace

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Nearly two months after he accused senators and House Representatives members of being the biggest beneficiaries of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contracts, Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio on Tuesday visited the National Assembly on fence-mending.

He attributed his face-off with the federal lawmakers to mischief-makers, explaining that the visit was primarily to seek a harmonious working relationship between his ministry and the Legislature.

Akpabio first met with the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly, Amos Olatunde-Ojo, before another round of closed-door talks with the Chairman, House Committee on NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, and  Spokesman for the House, Benjamin Kalu. The second meeting was ongoing as of the time of filing this report.

After the meeting with Olatunde-Ojo, reporters demanded to know from him if he submitted more names of the NDDC contractors or clarified the earlier list he sent to the House.

Akpabio said: “No no no, you are wrong. That was not what the  Speaker demanded. The Speaker wanted to know whether there was undue influence from any section of the National Assembly in respect of contracts in the NDDC.

”He did not say whether they were contractors so I’m hearing it from you.”

The minister explained that his visit was to congratulate Olatunde-Ojo on his ‘elevation’  and in furtherance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s call for a cordial relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.

His words: “I am here(National Assembly) to congratulate the acting CNA for his elevation and of course to solicit the continuous cooperation of the National Assembly towards the development of the Niger Delta region.

”In any case, I am a senator, so seeing me in the National Assembly should not be a surprise; as a former Minority Leader of the Senate and a  senator, I believe I am a senator for life.

”Nobody will refer to me as Governor Akpabio, they will always refer to me as Senator Akpabio so this is a homecoming for me. The National Assembly is supposed to resume today(yesterday) but it had been postponed.  I had intended that as soon as the resumption takes place, I will be here as part of my effort to support the President’s decision that there must be a much more cordial relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.

”So far, I believe that whatever disagreement that could have occurred between my own ministry and the National Assembly must have been as a result of mischief and that mischief must be put to rest so that we can work in one accord for the sake of the nation.

”It is important as a minister to make efforts to work towards ensuring that cooperation comes on board for the benefit of the region.

”The National Assembly is one, we must ensure that there is harmony between the Legislature and the Executive. Today, we have a better National Assembly in terms of Legislative-Executive harmony and cordiality.”

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NIGERIA

No going back on Water Resources Bill – FG

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The Federal Government has declared it will go ahead with the Water Resources Bill.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed told reporters the bill was not designed to cause water wars in the country.

He said the bill is a panacea to likely water conflicts in the country.

He said critics of the bill have either not read it or might be mischievous.

He said there is no hidden agenda behind the bill.

He said it is not a subterfuge reintroduction of RUGA.

Mohammed made the clarifications at a joint briefing with the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu in Abuja.

He said: “There is nothing new about the National Water Resources Bill. This is because it is an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence for a long time.

These are:

– Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004

– The River Basin Development Authority Act, Cap R9 LFN 2004

– The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N1100A, LFN 2004

– National Water Resources Institute Act, Cap N83 LFN 2004

“So, why are the laws being re-packaged as the National Water Resources Bill 2020?

“The answer is that they are being re-enacted with necessary modifications to bring them in line with current global trends as well as best practices in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

“The overall objective of this amalgamation is the efficient management of the Water Resources Sector for the economic development of Nigeria and the well-being of its citizens.

“The Bill provides for professional and efficient management of all surface and ground water for the use of the people (i.e. for domestic and non-domestic use, irrigation, agricultural purposes, generation of hydro-electric energy, navigation, fisheries and recreation).

“The Bill will ensure that the nation’s water resources are protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all persons.

“Critics contend that the Bill is aimed at taking the resources of a certain part of the country for the use of herders. In other words, the Federal Government is seeking to implement RUGA by subterfuge.

“We also want to state that the Bill is for the good of the nation, and has no hidden agenda whatsoever.”

Adamu said the bill was sent to all the states for concurrence without any object.

He said the bill predated the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said:” This was never a Buhari bill, it is a bill for Nigeria. It started 2008 long before the President thought of winning election.”

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NIGERIA

#Fuel hike: No going back on strike, protest – NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has vowed to proceed with its planned strike and protest with effect from September 28 following the failure of the Federal Government to reverse the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price.

Rising from its National Executive Council meeting in Abuja a few minutes ago, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the proposed action by the organised labour would proceed from next week.

He stated that the decision was unanimously taken by the chairmen of the 36 states and FCT chapters of the NLC.

Details later…

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Business

#Technology: Sanusi Urges Youths To Explore and not Rely on Government

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The Former Central Bank Governor, CBN, Mohammed Sanusi (II), has urged Nigeria youths not to rely on government but to explore and create opportunities for themselves, especially with technology.

The former CBN governor who was the guest speaker on the second day of the Kaduna Investment Summit explained that over-reliance on oil has left the country unproductive.

“We need to think over and over again as to how we understand economics and what we see. How do we understand technology or electricity are we consumers or are we producers and that’s why investment in human capital is so important.

“Produce young men who know that they are worth more than just using their phone to import a pair of shoes,” he said.

Sanusi said Nigeria has to take economic diversification more seriously in order to experience growth and development.

Referencing Malaysia, Sanusi gave a breakdown of the economic growth of both countries within a 30-year period.

According to him, for Nigeria “there was an increase in wealth but without any structural transformation”.

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“We were growing but we did not diversify and that explains the huge levels of poverty in the country, it explains the huge levels of inequality in the country, it explains the vulnerability of the economy to shocks, it also explains the relatively slow pace of growth because when Malaysia started, they started from a GDP per capita level lower than Nigeria’s GDP per capita in 1985. It started from $310 to $4,045 while we started from $345 to $2,055”.

He also stressed the importance of the government creating the right environment and infrastructure for private businesses to thrive.

The former CBN governor who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency noted that with the right environment, the country can move away from being only consumers to producers of technology.

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