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COUNT ON OUR Readiness and Full Commitment to Diligently Carry Out This Noble National Assignment To The Best of Our Abilities Being An ADDRESS BY MR. AFOLABI JOSEPH-RAJI ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY AND MEETING OF MEMBERS OF KOGI STATE SELECTION COMMITTEE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA SPECIAL PUBLIC WORKS (FGN-SPW) PROGRAM ON AUGUST 6TH 2020.

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Protocols.

The Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Members of Kogi State Selection Committee of the Federal Government of Nigeria Special Public Works (FGN-SPW) Program hereby express our profound gratitude to Your Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello,
The Executive Governor of Kogi State for nominating us for appointment by the Federal Government to serve on this noble Committee.

We are quite aware of the enormous and sensitive responsibilities assigned to the Committee to carefully and transparently select 1,000 citizens from each of the 21 Local Government Areas of the State to participate in the Special Public Works Program, as well as to identify and select various projects fairly distributed across all Wards and LGAs in the State to be executed under the Special Public Works Program between October to December 2020.

We hereby assure Your Excellency – The Executive Governor Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello; The Honorable Minister of State for Labour and Employment – Mr. Festus Keyamo,
SAN, His Excellency, President Muhamadu Buhari, GCFR; and the Good People of Kogi State – whom we were appointed to serve, of our readiness and full commitment to
diligently carry out this noble national assignment to the best of our abilities by the Grace of God.
As we may be aware, The Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, recently initiated the Special Public Works Program to create 774,000 Jobs across the Nation as one of the post COVID-19
palliatives to cushion the negative effects of the global pandemic at the grassroots.

The Special Public Works Program is aimed at creating 1,000 jobs in each of the 774 Local Government Areas of the country through labour intensive techniques which will
focus on maintenance and light rehabilitation of public infrastructure across the Country over a period of three (3) months from October to Dec e Special Public Works Program is a dry season/off-season transient job program and participants will be recruited majorly from the pool of unskilled persons from the
grassroots which include itinerant workers or labourers with little or no educational qualifications, farmers, artisans, and the likes who currently hold no formal employment
or earn very low income.

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Each of the participant will be paid a Monthly stipend of Twenty Thousand Naira only (N20,000) over a period of three (3) months from October to December 2020 by the
Federal Government. At this juncture, it is pertinent to highlight the socio-economic impact of the FGN Special Public Works in the State. For instance, Kogi State with twenty one (21) Local Government Areas will present 21,000 participants who will each receive a monthly
stipend of Twenty Thousand Naira (N20,000) over a period of three (3) months. This will translate to additional disposable wage income of N420million per month and a
huge sum of N1.26billion over the three months period into the State’s economy particularly for low income earners.

Furthermore, the 21,000 participants from the State will be engaged in maintaining and improving public infrastructure and the physical environment across the State through the implementation of selected public works/projects in all the Wards and Local Government Areas in Kogi State.

In order to ensure transparency and fairness in the implementation of the Program, the Honorable Minister of State for Labour and Employment – Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN
approved the constitution of a 20-member State Selection Committee in every State of
the Federation to handle the process of selecting participants for the SPW Program.

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The 20-member State Selection Committee which is being inaugurated today comprises
of capable and responsible persons of integrity who represent diverse interest in the society as follows:
1. Chairman
2. Vice Chairman
3. Secretary (the State Coordinator of National Directorate of Employment)
4. Three Representatives of Traditional Rulers from the three Senatorial Districts of
the State (members)
5. One representative of the State Governor (member)
6. Market Woman Leader (member)
7. Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in that State or his
representative (member)
8. Chairman of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in that State or his Representative ( member )

9. Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in that State or his Representative (member)
10. Six representatives from three recognized youth organisations in that State. Two
each from each of the three Senatorial Districts (one male & one female)- members.
11. One Representative from a recognized Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in that State – (member)
12. Two representatives from Institutions / Stakeholders representing interests
peculiar to that State (members)
The State Selection Committee is charged with the following responsibilities:
i. To ensure even representation of persons to be engaged in all the wards in the
LGAs
ii. To identify, select and compile the details of special public work projects to be
evenly spread across all Wards in every Local Government Area across the state.
iii. To develop and coordinate areas of collaborations with the State and Local
Government.
iv. To ensure proper and successful implementation of the Special Public Works
Program in their respective States.
v. Ensure strict compliance with the guidelines of the programme as communicated
by the Honorable Minister.
To underscore the importance of the task ahead of this noble committee, the Honorable
Minister of State for Labour and Employment – Mr. Festus Keyamo said, and I quote;
“You (the Committee members) must therefore see this task as a serious, patriotic
national assignment. This programme can rightly be described as one of President
Buhari’s many star programmes for the lowly, weak and vulnerable people in our society.
Hence you must treat it as such.”
The Honorable Minister has equally emphasized and continue to reiterate the fact that
“this program is for all Nigerians” and should not be seen as an “APC Program”. Hence
the constitution of independent State Selection Committees devoid of political
interference.
As I conclude, I wish to enjoin Your Excellency to support this National Program in your characteristic manner to record massive success in Kogi State through robust collaboration between the State Government, Local Governments and the State selection committee.

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As the most-centrally located and most-connected state in Nigeria, and the major travel
corridor from the South to Abuja and the North, and given our proximity to the Federal
Capital Territory, the effective implementation of the Kogi State Special Public Works
Program is poised to be a major inspirational example to the Nation.
Once again, on behalf of all Committee Members, I wish to assure Your Excellency of
our full commitment to diligently carry out this noble national assignment to the best of our abilities as we further seek your kind support for the successful implementation of the FGN Special Public Works Program in Kogi State.
Thank you very much.
Afolabi Joseph-Raji
Chairman, Kogi State Selection Committee
Federal Government of Nigeria
Special Public Works (FGN SPW)
August 2020.


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Edo Elections: PDP Protests Siege on Governors By Security Agents

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September 18, 2020

Press Statement

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protests the clampdown on its governors by security agents in Benin City, Edo state capital, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.

The national leadership of the party, in a press conference addressed by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, alerted the nation and the international community of the security siege on PDP governors in their lodging in Benin City.

The party expressed shock that security agents were detailed to surround the lodging of our governors to harass and intimidate them, whereas APC governors, including the governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, his Imo state counterpart, Hope Uzodimma as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, are left free in the comfort of the residence of the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole in GRA, Benin City.

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Our party considers this siege as provocative and completely unacceptable as there cannot be two sets of laws for the citizens of our nation. In as much as the APC governors are given the liberty to stay in Benin City, our governors must not be harassed or stampeded to leave the state.

At any rate, we are confident that our governors will not allow themselves to be stampeded.

The PDP calls on all stakeholders in the Edo governorship election, particularly the security agencies, to work towards a peaceful, credible, transparent, free and fair election on Saturday.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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Flood Preparation: NEMA reactivates Humanitarian Coordination Forum (HCF) in Kogi State.

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Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday in Lokoja reactivated it’s Humanitarian Coordination Forum (HCF) in Kogi State as part of preparedness for the looming flood disaster in some part of the state.

Speaking at the event, NEMA Head of Abuja Operations Office , Mr Bitrus Samuel said that the reactivation of the forum was to ensure effective and efficient coordination of activities when the floods come.

He said that the forum would largely be responsible for the success of response to the disaster which he said will come with humanitarian crises.

Samuel explained that the forum made up of critical stakeholders in disaster management will develop strategies and set direction for the required response.

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Going by the the 2020 flood outlook and flood prediction, Samuel said that the flood will.have severe impacts on people, infrastructure, farming and fishing in Lokoja, Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Ajaokuta, Dekina, Ofu, Idah, Ibaji, Igala-Mela.and Adavi local government areas of the state.

He urged the people in the council areas to brace up for a higher magnitude of flood similar to the 2012 experience, saying that the flood will come anytime from now.

The Officer cited the River Niger current flood level of 7.02 metres as a clear indication that the flood was on the way, saying that the country would be at the receiving end , being at the lower part of the river.

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According to Samuel, the forum should quickly put in place search and rescue and response measures so as not to be caught unaware.

He also charged members to identify high grounds for use as camps for people that will be displaced as a result of the flood.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who was at the forum’s meeting reports that it is made of representatives of the Red Cross, Navy, civil defence , media, marine police, fire service, Air Force, members of civil society and relevant ministries and departments.

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the state governor on emergency and environment, Imam Salih Adams described the reactivation of the forum as a timely intervention.

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He also described it as a relief to residents who he said are already griped with fear over the impending disaster.

Adams said that the state government under the leadership of Gov. Yahaya Bello placed too much premium on life and property and had in line with this put in place measures to mitigate the effects of the flood.

He promised that government will make available all necessary needs and cooperation to the forum but harped on the need for members not to betray the trust reposed in them and ensure efficient use of resources that will be put at their disposal.


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Flood sacks over 70 communities, displaces over 50,000 persons in Kogi

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Flood from the River Niger has submerged over 70 communities and over 50,000 people have been displaced from their houses in different parts of Kogi State.

Residents of some of the communities spoke in Lokoja on the sidelines of a stakeholders sensitisation/advocacy meeting on 2020 flood that the flood had wreaked havoc in the affected areas.

They said that the communities have been experiencing massive flooding for the past five days.

The one-day meeting was organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in partnership with the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOSEMA).

One of the residents, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, who is also the Desk Officer in charge of ecological and emergency matters in Kogi Local Government Council, said that 66 communities had been submerged by flood in the area.

Abdullahi said that over 50,000 people have been forced to evacuate their houses and are now being accommodated in schools, fueling stations and other makeshift buildings.

He said that some of the victims in Edeha and Koton Karfe communities have been sleeping on roads and other open places, co-habiting with mosquitoes and dangerous reptiles.

He said that schools have been closed as they have been converted to temporary camps for the victims, calling for urgent intervention from the State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

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The desk officer said that the victims have lost their means of livelihood to the flood, as their farms and livestock were also washed away by the rampaging floods.

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Similarly, the Chairman of the Flood Committee in Ibaji Local Government Area, Mr Omonu James, said that floods had sacked thousands of residents from their houses in the area.

James said that the problem of the victims was compounded by the area’s terrain as it had no upland for them to relocate to.

Accordingly, he said, all the 26 schools in the council had been converted to camps for the displaced persons but said that the camps lack basic facilities.

He added that one death, that of 17-year-old Michael Egwuaba, had been recorded since the floods started, but that the number could rise if urgent measures were not put in place to mitigate the effect of the disaster on the people.

In Lokoja metropolis, many residents living along the bank of River Niger and other flood paths have been forced out of their houses by the floods.

The situation is said to be very grim in the suburb communities of Egan, Konami, Buzih, Ebwa, Even, Lagan Budan, and Gbuj,e where residents had been forced to relocate to the neighbouring Niger State.

They appealed to the government to quickly come to the aid of the displaced persons, especially in the area of provision of water, drugs, blankets and mosquito nets for the victims.

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Gov. Yahaya Bello who declared open the meeting said that a substantial amount of money had been released to purchase drugs, food, water and other relief materials for the victims.

Bello, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, also directed that 21,000 youths recently engaged under the Federal Government’s public works programme be deployed to help in the rescue operation.

He said that maximum security would be provided for the personnel involved in the search-and-rescue operation, promising that more succour would be provided for the victims.

The NEMA Director in charge of training, Mr Mohammed Usman, said that incessant flooding had become a serious threat to the country’s efforts at becoming self-sufficient in food production.

Usman said that nine local government areas in Kogi were among the 102 in the country that had been identified as highly probable risk areas for flooding in 2020.

He called on the state government to urgently take preventive and mitigative measures to reduce the impact of the flood on people and the economy of the state.

He said that NEMA would also, in line with the Federal Government’s directive, assist the victims to find their feet and go back to farms as soon as possible.

Stakeholders at the meeting, including, the Red Cross, Navy, Civil Defence, Police, NIMET, fire services and the media all expressed their readiness to make their services available to the government.

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The Navy, marine police, civil defence, Red Cross and the fire services assured that they had enough men and equipment on the ground to confront the disaster.

Mr Julius Mejayan, Executive Secretary, KOSEMA, said that highlands had been identified and camps established across the nine local government areas prone to the disaster.

He listed the council areas as Bassa, Lokoja, Kogi, Omala, Idah, Ibaji, Dekina, Ofu and Igala-mela, warning that residents must be ready to move at any time from now.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s, they do not reflect the views of Opera News.Read more>>

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