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Ogun set to create 32 more councils

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The Governor Ibikunle Amosunled administration in Ogun State has concluded plan to increase the number of local councils in the state from 20 to 52 by October, 2015

A highly placed source within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, who confided in our correspondent on Wednesday, said the governor has set machinery in motion to create 32 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in addition to the existing 20 local government areas in the state.

This came as the state’s 20 local government chairmen were expected to hand over (vacate office) today, following the expiration of their threeyear tenure.

Amosun, who had declared his intention to create LCDAs before his re-election in April, held a valedictory meeting with the 20 council chairmen in Abeokuta yesterday.

The meeting was also attended by the state Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Yetunde Onanuga, House of Assembly Speaker, Suraj Adekunbi, state APC chairman, Alhaji Roqeeb Adeniji, and top party chieftains.

It was learnt that the governor thanked the chairmen for their services to the state and ordered them to hand over government property in their possession to their respective heads of local government administration today.

Briefing reporters shortly after the meeting, held behind closed doors, Amosun restated his commitment towards bringing government closer to the grassroots.

He assured residents that his government, will fast track the creation of the LCDAs, adding that the state would set up transition committees to regularise the process of referendum for the creation.

Although the governor declined to disclose when the proposed LCDAs will take effect, he said the state House of Assembly would grant approval to their composition.

Amosun, however, stated that he would prefer the procedures and processes are completed within the next two to three months.

Speaking on behalf of the outgoing council chairmen, Hon. Rotimi Ramon of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area, lauded the governor’s leadership style, which, according to him, had tremendously enhanced local government administration.

Ramon, who is the state chairman of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), however, called for urgent review of the revenue sharing formula to allow states and local governments have a fair deal.

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Reps Committees probes identities of contractors involved in N18.9b bush clearing contracts

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The Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives, PAC on Wednesday, resolved to unmask the real identities of the owners of the companies which took contracts valued the sum of N18.9 billion from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for clearing of bushes, land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others during the last COVID-19 lockdown of the country.

The resolution followed the appearance of representatives of two of the 20 affected companies at the resumed investigative hearing of the Committee on queries to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the federal government by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation.

The affected companies are: Easy Construction Company LTD and NUKAAG VENTURES LTD respectively while the remaining 18 companies failed to show up.

The Committee being chaired by Hon Wole Oke (PDP-OSUN) said that the two representatives of the Companies (Johnson Philip and Taiwo Idowu), were of the Managerial cadre and as such not competent to appear before the Committee going by the Rules of the House.

Responding to a question posed by the Chairman of the Committee on whether they were familiar with the submission submitted to the Committee on the award and execution of the contractors so as not to mislead it, they both said no.

Consequently, the Committee directed the duo to leave immediately and directed that the Managing Directors or Chairmen of the companies should personally appear before it and speak to the submission before the Committee.

In addition, Hon Oke directed the Clerk of the Committee to write to the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC to furnish the Committee, the detailed information of the affected 20 companies, including year of incorporation, Corporate offices, names of the owners, shareholders amongst others.

According to him, “we are not concerned about who won the contracts, what we are after is to deter value for money paid out and the sites of the projects, and we will carry that mission to the latter.

“The Clerk should also write the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, to furnish the Committee about the financial status of the companies.

Hon Oke assured that the Committee would carry out a diligent investigation into the matter as it was interested in finding out the location of the projects and the significance of such projects to the country.

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Blackout looms as IKEDC stops operations

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The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEC) has announced a shutdown of operations following the issues between the National Union of Electricity Employees and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TUC).

In a statement on Wednesday via its verified Twitter handle, @IkejaElectric, the Disco announced the shutdown of operations.

The statement read partly, “Due to the ongoing nationwide picketing of Transmission Stations by the NUEE, we are currently experiencing disruption of power supply as most stations within our network have been shut down.

“Kindly bear with us as we await an amicable resolution by the relevant stakeholders.”

Organised labour had on Tuesday directed workers in the power sector to shutdown and commence an indefinite strike over pending issues with the TCN.

The aggrieved workers under the aegis of the NUEE were at the Abuja national headquarters of the TCN Tuesday as a prelude to the proposed strike.

The union noted that the strike was in protest of a directive by the TCN Board mandating all PMs in acting capacity going to the Annual General Meeting to appear for promotional interviews.

In a circular titled, ‘Call to Action,’ which was addressed to senior assistant general secretaries and zonal organising secretaries, dated August 15, 2022, the General Secretary of the NUEE, Joe Ajaero, directed electricity workers to ensure total compliance, vowing to paralyse operations of the TCN nationwide over anti-masses activities.

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Electricity workers’ strike throws South-East into blackout

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Power distribution has been halted completely in the entire South-East States.

This follows the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) power stations.

The development threw the five South-East States into a total blackout, Wednesday afternoon.

Emeka Ezeh, Head Corporate Communications, EEDC, confirmed that that operations across the franchise area of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) have been disrupted.

He said, “as a result of this development all our feeders are out of supply and this has affected supply to our esteemed customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.

“Consultations are ongoing among critical stakeholders in the power sector to address this issue and possibly restore supply.

“The Management of EEDC hereby encourage customers and neighbourhood associations to be vigilant and protect the electrical installations within their environment against elements who might take advantage of this outage to vandalise these installations.”

“We, therefore, appeal for continued patience and understanding while this is resolved,” he noted.

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