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Senator distributes N117m constituency items as ICPC threatens arrest

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Senator distributes N117m constituency items as ICPC  threatens arrest

By Usman Tanko Abuja

Enugu-North lawmaker, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, has hurriedly distributed constituency items worth N117m following threats by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission that he would be arrested and prosecuted if he failed to distribute the items which had been kept in his compound for over a year.

Utazi, who was accompanied by officials of the ICPC, defied the heavy rain in Enugu on Tuesday where he distributed transformers, grinding machines, tricycles and motorcycles.

As chairman of the anti-corruption committee in the 8th Senate, Utazi, who once boasted of being an anti-corruption champion, carried out oversight over the ICPC, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other ant-graft agencies.

However, the ICPC said in a statement on Sunday that that the discovery of the constituency items was made during its Constituency Projects Tracking exercise.

The agency said the items covered by this amount and recovered from the legislator are 168 and 51 numbers of motorcycles and tricycles respectively.

“They were discovered to be stashed away in a compound in Mkpologu town of Uzo-Nwani Local Government Area, believed to be owned by the senator,” the ICPC stated.

The commission said it recovered 203 grinding machines and another 60 motorcycles and five transformers in the compound which had been procured under another constituency project.

The anti-graft agency subsequently impounded all the items and sealed the senator’s compound.

The ICPC said the tricycles, motorcycles and grinding machines were meant to be distributed to the lawmaker’s constituents to empower them as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to alleviate poverty.

“The senator has pledged to the ICPC that they would be distributed to beneficiaries on Tuesday August 6, 2019,” the commission had said.

The ICPC findings indicated clearly that the contract for the procurement of the items was awarded on 23rd January 2018, under the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the senator’s constituency projects.

It added, “Investigations have also shown that the companies awarded the contracts for the project are as follows: Al-Amir Int. Ltd., Du-Lumac Ltd., Com Technologies System Ltd. and Chumax Agency Ltd.

Some residents had, however, faulted the ICPC’s approach, insisting that Utazi should have been arrested for diverting constituency items.

The ICPC had in June began the first phase of investigation of fraudulent procurement practices in the award of over N15bn contracts for constituency and other projects in 12 states located in the six geo-political zones of the country.

 

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Desertification; Borno Government Flags Off Planting Of 1 Million Tree Seedlings

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Desertification: Borno Government
Flags off planting of 1 million tree seedlings

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri he

To fight desert and desertification and others the environmental challenges, the Borno state Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, has flagged off 1 million Tree planting campaign for the planting of 1 million seedlings.

While flagging off the 2020 Tree planting Campaign at the Borno state University, Maiduguri on Wednesday with a Theme “Tree for Restoration” Governor Zulum said “this year tree planting campaign which is first of it’s kind in the last 10 years . Today’s event as the theme implies ” Tree for Restoration” is very much necessary as the bilateral pressure from desertification, deforestation, soil erosion coupled with poverty and insecurity have destroyed most trees.”.

“This occasion demonstrates the government commitment in Pursuance of my 10 point agenda which entails tree planting to encourage Agro Forest
and environmental restoration ” It is very apparent that human activities like bush burning illegal tree felling has continuously put pressure on our already fragile ecosystem, thereby threatening food security”, the governor added.

He further stressed that “the geographical location of the state at (Lat 11 N of the equator ) which is among the Frontline states facing the desertification challenge in Nigeria. The government is seriously concerned and committed in reversing the scenario so as to save our people and Environment.”

He said to address the environmental challenges the state government has already commenced raising of some seedlings and the annual 1 Km desert reclamation programme which is handled by the Ministry of environment, saying that . “at this juncture, government has made it a policy henceforth made it a policy that all construction work should be accompanied by planting of trees to cushion the environmental impact of such developmental projects.”.

” The government has also provide alternative source of energy to firewood in form of gas cookers wood efficient stoves.. After this exercise. Install direct all local government area councils, clubs associations and individuals to liaise with the state ministry of environment to collect tree seedlings for planting at designated centres, he said.

The governor therefore solicited for a greater collaboration with Federal ministry of environment National Agency for Great Green wall . and NGOs to ensure sustainable and serene environment

Earlier, the State Commissioner of Environment, Hon. Modu Walama said one million species of trees including those with commercial values will be planted across the Nine Local Government Areas of the state.

“The last time tree planting campaign was carried out in the state was over a decade due to the insurgency and other factors . Commended the governor for giving the ministry the go ahead and approving the fund to raise 1 million seedling for planting across the state. I urge you your Excellency to make tree planting a condition for construction of all government constructions works,” he added.

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Borno government launches free maternal care services with over N80 million worth of drugs, delivery kits

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Borno government launches free maternal care services with over N80 million worth of drugs, delivery kits

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

In it’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality rate and improve healthcare delivery, as well as transportation challenges the Borno state government has launched free maternal health services to pregnant women and nursing mothers across the state and distribution of ambulances to 71 Healthcare facilities across the state.

While Launching the Free Maternal scheme and presentation of free drugs to General Hospitals and health facilities in the state, which held at Medical stores in Maiduguri on Wednesday, Governor Baba gana Zulum said “this administration is today launching a free antenatal and maternal drugs and services in order to reduce maternal maternity rate in the state and also to see improve healthcare delivery in line with our 10 point agenda”.

“If you go to our hospital across the state, you will see women in their numbers attending antenatal and most of them does not have money to buy drugs. As from today women across the 71 health facilities across the state should receive free health services drugs and delivery kits”. The governor added.

Governor Zulum said ” I directed all Managing Directors, the Hospital Management Board and the ministry to ensure that pregnant women across the state get free delivery kits, drugs and services. I also call in the PMOs to furnish to my office with the analysis of the scheme for one months to enable us plan and ensure sustainability of the scheme”.

He said ” to ensure the sustainability of the scheme, the state government will therefore, set aside N1 billion in the 2021 budget and subsequent budgets, I therefore directed the ministry and , the Hospital Management Board to ensure the ambulances are maintained regularly”.The PMOs should ensure funds are made available to maintained these ambulances”

Earlier, the Borno state commissioner for Health , Dr Salihu Kwayabura said “according to the data from the 2018 National Demographic Health survey NDHS , 51 percent of all pregnant women in Borno state received quality antenatal care ,however only 26 percent deliver in the hospital under skilled attendance”

.Dr Kwayabura Represented by the Director Medical Services, Dr. Buba Mahalia said “furthermore, transportation to the health facility was recognizes as a major challenge. The government of Borno state , especially, this administration is ever committed to reversing this ugly trend and improving the health of the people generally. It is in recognition of this that a lot of investment has gone into Infrastructure, Human resources, equipment and technology and referral systems

“Before you here today are various drugs and medical consumables worth N80 Million for distribution free of charge to 51 major Primary Health care facilities and 24 functional secondary health care facilities across the state .They includes 5000 antenatal care registrational cards, 3000 tin of fersolate, folic acid and B complex each containing 1000 tablets, over 2500cartons of infusion drips and assocesties, magnesium sulphate, 5000 doses of misoprisol and 1000 doses of oxyyicin to address the challenges of excessive bleeding and obstructed labour ., The commissioner added.

Dr Kwayabura further said ” Your Excellency I present to you 16 ambulances and 33 tricycles ambulance to ease transportation and strengthen referrals . This singular major investment in the health sector is intended to compliment the investment in infrastructure, human resources for health and equipment that has been deployed a cross various parts of the state.”

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Governor Zulum Appoints Alh. Mustapha Umar Aliyu As New Emir of Biu

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Governor Zulum Appoints Alhaji Mustapha Umar Aliyu as New Emir of Biu

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

The Borno state Governor , Prof. Babagana Zulum has approved the appointment of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Mustapha Umar Mustapha Aliyu as the new Emir of Biu following the demised of his father Late Alhaji Umar Mustapha Aliyu who died on Tuesday 15th September, 2020.

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state made the appointment in a letter conveyed in a message delivered to the new Emir by the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Kadafur and the Secretary to the Borno State Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa on Monday in Biu.

The letter reads ” His Royal Highness, Alhaji Mustapha Umar Mustapha Aliyu ( Midala), is hereby appointed as first class Emir of Bayo to be known and recognized as “Emir if Biu” comprising of Biu, Bayo Hawul and Kwaya Kusar local government areas with the headquarters in Biu”.

Governor Zulum said ” in exercise of the power conferred on the Executive Governor by section 7(1) of the Borno state Local government laws 2020 and Section 5 of the Chief’s (appointment and dethronement) Law. Cap. 25 of Borno state 1994 following order, “.

“The order may be cited as First Class of Emir Biu appointment order 2020.”, the letter added.

The Emir is expected to be turbaned at a letter date after some traditional rites in accordance to the culture and traditions of the Emirate.

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