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Nigeria Gets 60% Afreximbank Energy Funding – Afreximbank Boss

ABUJA – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on Wednesday said Nigeria has been one of the largest beneficiaries accounting for almost 60 per cent of its $30 billion funding of the energy sector in Africa. President of the African Export-Import Bank, Benedict Oramah, disclosed this at the ongoing 7th edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES 2024) in Abuja on Wednesday. “The support provided to the sector by the bank is in excess of $ 30 billion. Nigeria has been one of the largest beneficiaries accounting for almost 60 per cent of the total funding of the sector. “And it’s important to the point that afreximbank has been able to make those modest contributions in the oil and gas sector because the bank is predominantly African in ownership and control,” Mr Oramah said. Mr Oramah, represented by Haytham ElMaayergi, Executive Vice President, Global Trade Bank (GTBA), said the continent lacks extensive traditional energy infrastructure, stressing that this presents an opportunity for leapfrogging in a more efficient way to renewable technology. “Our aspiration in the area of energy security and energy transition will remain aspiration unless we have access to adequate funding resources that we control. “With a lot of international banks withdrawing funding out of the oil and gas sector, the investment in the industry has become severely limited with the corresponding impact on exploration and production. Afreximbank has intervened in a big way, quickly becoming the largest financier of oil and gas deals in the continent,” he said. He noted that Afreximbank and Africa Petroleum Producer Organisation (APPO) are in the final stages of setting up the African energy bank. He explained that the Africa energy bank being set up under a multilateral financial institution agreement will focus on providing funding for the energy sector on the continent, noting that it was structured to ensure African origin and control. “Afreximbank is committed to helping manage and operate Africa energy bank to ensure that it has the best possible chances of success. “The strategic goal of the Africa Energy Bank is to play a leadership role in shaping the energy landscape in Africa, through strategic partnerships with proven African and international financial institutions and investors and also to provide sustainable financing in this area of the oil and gas sector. “The Africa energy bank will need considerable support to get off the ground. We will need support from member states to achieve the level of capitalization that is adequate to support the energy sector,” he said.

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Reps want frequent power grid collapse probed

The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, called for an urgent probe of the frequent collapses of the nation’s power grid. This was sequel to the adoption of a motion titled “Need to investigate the recent frequent collapse of the national grid moved by the member representing Orhionmwon/Uhunmwode Federal Constituency, Edo State, Mr Billy Osawuru. Leading the debate on the floor of the House on Wednesday, Osawuru commended the Federal Government for the proposed plan to increase power capacity to 20,000 megawatts from the 12,522 MW projected within the next three years as contained in the Electricity Act, 2023 signed into law by President Bola Tinubu. He, however, added that in a space of one week in August 2023, Nigeria recorded three national grid collapses. The national grid collapsed twice within 6hrs and on the 19 August 2023, another system collapse was recorded. Osawuru further argued that the frequent grid collapses in 2024 have negatively impacted the economy, “Reducing industrial output and raising manufacturing expenses.” Firms operating in the country “are forced to invest in alternate power sources, thus, raising operational costs and leaving end users with exorbitant prices, which citizens cannot afford, especially with subsidy removal effects,” he added. The nation is currently facing multiple challenges of insecurity, and it is believed by security experts that grip collapse helps criminals to perpetrate their activities under the cover of darkness. The lawmaker also maintained that if the frequent national grid collapses are thoroughly investigated and solutions proffered, the economy would be better off and citizens’ welfare enhanced. Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Power to liaise with critical stakeholders in the power sector “To urgently investigate and proffer solutions to the embarrassing development and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.”

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Obi Condoles With Victims of Onitsha Building Collapse, Urges Compliance With Standards

The Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, has expressed sadness over the lives lost in the collapsed building at Ochanja Market in Onitsha. Obi however, urged the general public to adhere strictly to engineering and building standards for the safety of the general public. In a press release signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Valentine Obienyem, Obi lamented the tragic loss of lives and injuries sustained in the incident and emphasized that the victims were individuals striving to make ends meet. While expressing gratitude to those involved in rescuing trapped victims, Obi called on the government to investigate the root cause of the collapse. He advised strict compliance with regulations governing the building and construction industry. “I firmly believe that building collapses will be a thing of the past if we adhere to standards and procedures. Only trained, licensed, and professional personnel should handle building projects, and materials must meet project specifications,” Obi stated. He also urged the government to implement measures to ensure that building projects nationwide meet required standards. Obi extended condolences to families who lost loved ones and offered prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured and eternal rest for the deceased. Meanwhile, a member of the rescue team at the incident has commended Obi for providing the needed equipment which were used to save some of those trapped in the rubble. He wrote: “All the life ambulances in the ANAMBRA State Rapid Response Unit were called to the scene including ours from. One outstanding fact is that about five out of six of the vehicles present at a time had the inscription ‘Donated by ANAMBRA State Government under Governor Peter Obi’. “We picked up patients. So, somehow HE participated in the rescue of the living. Thank you, Sir

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Victor Osimhen Gifts Young Fan N2.5m For Imitating His Style

Super Eagles star, Victor Osimhen, has gifted a young boy who dressed like him and showcased similar football skills with N2.5m The boy, seen in a video wearing a mask resembling Osimhen’s, caught the attention of the footballer when popular Instagram blogger, Tunde Ednut, shared the clip on his page on Tuesday. Reacting to the video , Osimhen requested Ednut’s assistance in locating the boy. With Ednut’s help and that of content creator, Eriq Morak, the boy was located in Ivory Coast. Giving an update, Ednut wrote, “I initially thought this little man was Nigerian. You won’t believe we found him in Ivory Coast. “#eriqmorak found him. He lives in Ivory Coast. I couldn’t see his message, so he reached out to #ogb recently_ and OGB messaged me. I spoke to the family briefly to make sure it was the boy.” Osimhen then reached out and gifted the money to the boy, eliciting gratitude from his family, who shared a video thanking the footballer for his generosity. Watch Video Here: VIDEO: Victor Osimhen Gifts Young Fan N2.5m For Imitating His Style Super Eagles star, Victor Osimhen, has gifted a young boy who dressed like him and showcased similar football skills with N2.5m The boy, seen in a video wearing a mask resembling Osimhen’s, caught the attention… pic.twitter.com/q3aUsq4d15 — Punch Newspapers (@MobilePunch) February 28, 2024

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Abuja court frowns at incessant delays in trial of anti-Tinubu air passenger, Uja

A Federal Capital Territory Magistrate Court sitting at Zuba has frowned at the incessant adjournments and delays in the trial of an anti-Tinubu air passenger, Barrister Obiajulu Hansel Uja, for criminal offense. Uja, an ‘Obidient supporter’ was arrested in April last year when he caused uproar during an Abuja-Lagos Ibom Air flight with his lone protest and demand that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, then a President-elect, must not be inaugurated as Nigeria’s President on May 29. The defendant, who is a lawyer by training, had since been put on trial before Magistrate Abdulazeez Ismail Muhammad of the Zuba Magistrate’s Court. He was specifically charged with public nuisance, resistance to lawful arrest, threatening violence and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace contrary to sections 396, 267, 188,172 and 144 of the Penal Code Law. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges but was denied bail by the trial court for various reasons. However, at the proceeding slated for definite cross examination of a prosecution’s witness, Magistrate Muhammad was shocked when he discovered that neither the Federal Government’s lawyer, Umo Inna, nor defence lawyer, P. U Ogbadu, was present in court. To worsen the situation, no explanation was offered for their absence in court. Muhammad who was taken aback by the development said in a brief ruling that ability to remain relevant as an institution requires the need to recognise challenges and begin to take difficult decisions. “Frivolous adjournment in criminal matters must be prohibited. In the instance of this case, I will lean on the side of substantial justice to grant an adjournment at the instance of the prosecution. “Against this background, this matter is adjourned to the 4th day of March, 2024 for definite cross examination”. Uja’s trial for criminal offense has suffered a series of adjournments. At one point, the Kuje prison authority, after a medical checkup of the defendant based on the court order, found that he was mentally unstable. A Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Hospital Abuja, Dr. Olusegun Shoyombo, had also in his medical report confirmed the mental insanity of the defendant. However, a judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice Edward Okpe, put the mental issue of the defendant to rest when he admitted him to bail and held that Uja was fit for trial. Consequent upon the High Court decision, the matter started with the prosecution calling its witness before Magistrate Mohammed Abdulazeez. The prosecution has since finished leading their witness and is now time for defendants to cross examine the prosecution witness. Meanwhile, the cross examination has been shifted to March 4 by Magistrate Muhammad with a warning not to tolerate any further unnecessary delay in the trial.

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Terrorism: I’ve No Link With IPOB, Eze Ndigbo Tells Court

The Eze Ndigbo of Ajao Estate, Lagos, Frederick Nwajagu, has told Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the state High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square that he has no link with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Nwajagu, who is standing trial before the court over an allegation of terrorism, told the court that his threat to bring the banned organisation to protect the lives and Properties of Igbo people in Lagos was an empty one. The 67-year-old self-acclaimed Eze Ndigbo was arrested on April 1, 2023, by the Department of State Services (DSS) over an alleged threat to invite members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to Lagos to secure properties of Igbo people in the state. On May 9, the then Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), had arraigned the defendant on a nine-count charge of attempting to commit acts of terrorism. The defendant was accused of attempting to carry out acts of terrorism under Section 403(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015; participation in a terrorism meeting to support a criminal entity, attempt to finance an act of terrorism and preparation to commit an act of terrorism under sections 12(c), 18, 21, 29 & 12(a) of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022,” amongst others. The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Still, the court rejected his attempt to secure bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the alleged offence and the severity of its punishment. While testifying in his own defence, the defendant told the judge that he was not aware that there was a law in Nigeria prohibiting a person from mentioning the name of IPOB. He also denied ever referring to himself as a king in Lagos but as a leader of the Igbo-speaking people in Ajao Estate. The defendant testified that the leaked video that was tendered as evidence and played in court, where he was speaking to a group of people in his house, was not the original but an edited one. He said, “After the 2023 election, some people came to my house. I gave them drinks, and I made the statement because I believed there is freedom of speech and association in Nigeria. “I have no connection with IPOB,” he said. Nwajagu, however, said that what he said in his house was an empty threat to calm the Igbos down.

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Ogun Begins Free Surgery Programme

Ogun State government has commenced the process of offering free surgical services to indigents in the state. The executive secretary of Ogun State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Afolabi Dosunmu, who stated this at the flag-off of registration for the intervention held at the state Hospital, Ijaye, Abeokuta, said the intervention was a directive given by Governor Dapo Abiodun to provide succour to the people at this difficult time. Dosunmu said hospitals in the state are ready to carry out the directive of the governor. “The modalities are very simple as long as you are a resident of the state, as long as you have one surgical need or the other, you are free to walk into any of our state or general hospitals and enroll on the insurance scheme. “The doctors there will assess you if it is a case that is ready for surgery and once all other parameters have been concluded, we will get the surgery done.” He said those whose cases are not ready for immediate surgery, would be enrolled for them to have access to the intervention when they are ready. He added: “It is possible for someone to have, for example, cataract, and the cataract is not yet matured, we will still enroll the person. We will give the person a date for when the cataract is going to mature. “For example, if you want to remove a fibroid when you see the doctor and the doctor says your electrolyte is a bit high or your blood pressure is a little bit high, it needs to be controlled before you can be taken in for surgery.” The executive secretary noted that surgery operations would start on Tuesday as there were a lot of cases that needed urgent attention. “We have a matching mandate from the governor for us to enroll 70,000 people and it is broken down to 20,000 pregnant women till they deliver even if the delivery is through cesarean section. The child is delivered, in the first six months, we will take care of its medical needs. “We have also been asked to enroll 20,000 market women and 30,000 poor people in the state. Among the 70,000, any other person in the state that needs surgery, they have to come down and get their surgery done.”

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4 Die In Lagos Boat Mishap

At least four people have been confirmed dead in a boat mishap that occurred in the Ikorodu area of the state. It was gathered that the boat, which took off from Addax jetty in Lagos, capsized along the Ibeshe/Ikorodu channel en route to Ebute Ipakodo, Ikorodu at about 7:17 p.m. on Monday. Confirming the incident via a statement issued on Tuesday, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) spokesperson, Wuraola Alake, said the submerged boat has also been recovered. Alake, who had earlier announced the recovery of three casualties alongside the rescue of 11 passengers, in an update on the incident, said the LASWA officials have recovered an additional corpse from the scene of the boat mishap. She said, “In continuation of the search and rescue operations on the current mishap involving Oluwaseyifunmi boat, one additional corpse has been recovered along with the submerged boat from the scene of the incident. “The exact cause of this incident is still being investigated, as some of the rescued passengers denied the claim that the affected boats were engaged in boat racing. “The passenger at the Addax Jetty filled out no manifest before passengers boarded the boat, but 9 out of the 11 rescued passengers later filled out the manifest at the Ibeshe ferry terminal after LASAWA and other first responders had rescued them. “At the same time, the other 2 passengers refused to put down their details. “Eleven passengers were confirmed to be alive, while the recovered casualties have been handed over to the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority LASEMA and the State Environmental Health Management Unit (SEHMU).

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No More Room For Killer-herders In South West – Igboho

Yoruba nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho has vowed to ensure that killer herdsmen are chased away from the South West region. Igboho, in a viral video yesterday, said the federal government and the soldiers deployed to Yoruba land, especially Ekiti State, where two monarchs were recently killed in broad daylight cannot combat the dare devil killers. “I want you all to stand with me so that we can liberate ourselves from the herders encroaching on our lands. Let us mount security in all the Yoruba lands ourselves, if not, they will take our lands. “We don’t have to wait for the government or anyone. Let’s just work in unison. We cannot farm on our lands because of these herders and our people are going hungry and angry. We don’t need the soldiers the government claims to have deployed to Ekiti State. We work in accordance with our elders and mount the places ourselves. “It was my mother that was my fear before but now she’s gone, I have nothing to be scared of again. I am now back to take back our land,” he said While debunking rumours about him working for politicians, the Ibadan-based activist queried if he could be working for politicians and they would still want him dead. “I am not working for any politician. In fact, if I incidentally slapped someone, the government would be ready to arrest me and put me behind bars. I know they are watching me closely now to know my next action but I’m ready to take a step to stop these marauders’ activities in our lands,” he maintained. Adeyemo’s Ibadan residence was raided by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in July 2021. He was subsequently arrested in Benin Republic on his way to Germany on July 19 together with his wife, Ropo. Although he was released in October 2023, the freedom fighter recently returned to Nigeria to bury his mother.

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APC Professionals Hail ALGON President Over Commonwealth Appointment

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Professionals Council has congratulated the national president of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon. Alabi Kolade David, over his appointment as the vice chairman of Commonwealth Local Government Affairs Board. In a congratulatory message the National Director General of the Council, Dr. Seyi Bamigbade described Hon. Alabi’s elevation as deserving rewards for hard work, saying it is a testament that his sterling leadership style is being appreciated beyond the shores of Nigeria. Bamigbade further notes that Hon. Alabi’s unwavering commitment and support for a robust public service has again been recognized and appreciated with his new elevation. “As the ALGON leader and the Executive Chairman of Bariga LCDA and Chairman of Conference57, you have consistently demonstrated exemplary dedication and competence in your roles. “Your emergence as Vice Chairman of Commonwealth Local Government Affairs Board did not come to us as a surprise as we have always known you as an achiever with a burning passion to make a difference. “We are not in doubt that this new feather to your cap of accomplishments will ginger you to more excellent service to the human society”, he said.

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