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Abiodun: We’ll set up special committee on rehabilitation of public schools

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…says bill to institutionalise Head Teacher-General underway

The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun says his administration will soon set up a special committee on the rehabilitation of public schools in the state.

According to a statement issued in Abeokuta by Kunle Somorin, the governor’s chief press secretary, Abiodun made this known when he received the Ogun State chapter of the Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON) at the Exco Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.

He explained that the special committee would look into the public schools that are not included in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) programme.

The governor informed his visitors that his administration has paid the state counterpart fund SUBEB with the view to further intervene in the development of basic education in the state.

He further disclosed that the state government would be launching its Education Trust Fund for the purpose of the Special Committee, adding that funds from the trust fund would assist the special committee on rehabilitation of public schools.

” We have paid another counterpart fund to SUBEB so they can Intervene further, but beyond SUBEB, we realize they can’t do it alone, I have decided that I am going to set up a special committee on the rehabilitation of public schools.

“That special committee’s responsibility is basic education infrastructure, it will look at schools that SUBEB will not be handling and we have decided to launch our Education Trust Fund specifically for this purpose.

“Yhe fund will be a sinking fund where we will creatively look for money we can put into the fund and it is that fund that will assist the special committee on rehabilitation of public schools to ensure that all the ones not covered by SUBEB is not left for another SUBEB year,” he said.

Abiodun,.who also noted that his administration has decided to localize the production of school furniture in the state, added that the decision would not only empower more artisans, but would also ensure they can be held responsible for a any shoddy job.

“I have requested that the provision of more furniture for our schools across board, but this time, I have decided to localize it’s production to avoid what happened in the past whereby we awarded a contract to someone somewhere, who then brought the furniture to a central position, from where the furniture would then be distributed across other parts of the state.

“We have now decided to change the model where our furniture are made from a central position, let us even use this to empower artisans in the immediate vicinity where we have this furniture deficit.

“So, let the artisans in Ogun Waterside be the ones to get the contract to provide the furniture for Ogun Waterside, artisans in Ijebu-Ode provide for Ijebu-Ode, so we can even make them responsible. If the items are substandard, we know who to hold. And we don’t now have pay for the cost of transportation too,” he said.

He noted that primary school teachers are important to the education value chain, saying that his administration would continue to do all it can to continue to develop the education sector in the state.

Governor Abiodun also noted that his administration would make available affordable homes in the state for the head teachers of primary schools.

The governor who reiterated the decision of his administration to ensure that the appointment of Head Teacher-General is made permanent, disclosed that a bill that would institutionalize the title of Head Teacher-General in the state is underway

“You mentioned the gazette of the title of the Head Teacher-General, what has slowed that down is because we are trying to ensure that it has the required legislative backing.

So, we are working on that to ensure that we have a law, a bill that is drafted that turns into a law so that it is properly institutionalized, so nobody is going to come after my tenure to reverse it,” he said.

Earlier in his remark, the Chairman of the association,.Balogun Olatunji, while commending the governor for the prompt payment of salaries and the rehabilitation of school buildings across the state, submitted that the association is solidly behind the aspiration of the governor for a second term in office.

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NERC transfers regulatory oversight of Enugu Electricity Market to EERC

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Following the Enugu State Electricity Law signed by Governor Peter Mbah and the recent constitution of the Enugu State Electricity Regulatory Commission, ESERC, by the Mbah administration, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has formerly transferred the regulatory oversight of the Enugu State electricity market to the state agency effective May 1, 2024.

This is the first time NERC would be ceding such regulatory authority to any state electricity regulatory agency.

The transfer was made known by NERC on Monday in an April 22, 2024 Order No. NERC/2024/039 signed by the Commission’s Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and the Commissioner for Legal, Licensing, and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye.

The transfer is sequel to the amendments of the Paragraph 14 (b) of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution by the 9th National Assembly in 2023 as well as the Electricity Electricity Act 2023, both of which effectively devolved power generation, transmission, and distribution from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List and also empowered the states to manage and regulate their electricity markets within their jurisdictions.

It is recalled that the Mbah administration initiated the Enugu State Electricity Bill 2023, which the governor signed into Law in September the same year and also set the pace in March 2024 constituted the Enugu State Electricity Regulatory Commission (ESERC) led by Chijioke Okonkwo as the Chairman/CEO.

The Electricity Act 2023 provides that within 45 days of receiving formal notification of the enactment of the law under subsection (1), the Commission (NERC) shall draw and deliver to the State Regulator a draft order setting out a plan and timeline for the transition of regulatory responsibilities from the Commission to the State Regulator, which transition shall be completed not later than 6 months from the date on which the formal notification in subsection (1) was delivered to the Commission.

Explaining further, NERC said the ESERC now holds the exclusive power to set and adopt end-user electricity tariffs within Enugu State, tailoring these charges to local conditions and requirements.

Also, while ESERC manages local tariff methodologies, any electricity sourced from grid-connected plants and the related tariffs for generation and transmission services must still receive approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), ensuring alignment with national energy policies.

Furthermore, the final tariffs approved by ESERC for consumers in Enugu State will be definitive for the state, with the Enugu State Government responsible for supporting and implementing tariff-related policies, ensuring that electricity pricing is both fair and attuned to the specific needs of the state’s residents.

Consequently, NERC ordered that: “Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC, EEDC, is hereby directed to incorporate a subsidiary EEDC SubCo under the Companies and Allied Matters Act for the assumption of responsibilities for intrastate supply and distribution of electricity in Enugu State from EEDC.

“EEDC shall complete the incorporation of EEDC SubCo within 60 days from the effective date of this Order and, EEDC SubCo shall apply for and obtain a licence for the intrastate supply and distribution of electricity from EERC.

“EEDC shall identify the actual geographic boundaries of Enugu State and carve out its network in Enugu State as a standalone network with the installation of boundary meters at all border points where the network crosses from Enugu State into another state.

“EEDC shall create an Asset Register of all its power infrastructure located within Enugu State.

“Evaluate and apportion contractual obligations and liabilities attributable to EEDC’s operations of its subsidiary in Enugu State.

“Identify all the applicable trading points for energy o take for the operations of EEDC SubCo in Enugu State

“Confirm the number of employees that are required to provide service to Enugu State as a standalone public utility; and transfer the identified assets for operations in Enugu State, contractual obligations, liabilities and employees to EEDC Subco.”

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Eko Disco: WPG sacks Tinuade Sanda

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West Power & Gas Limited, WPG, the majority shareholder of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, has terminated the appointment of the former managing director of the Disco, Tinuade Sanda.

WPG disclosed this in a recent letter signed by the chairman of WPG, Charles Momoh.

The letter noted that Sanda was no longer an employee of the company on April 17, 2024.

“We refer to your contract of employment dated April 1, 2022, signed between you and WPG Limited. At this moment, we advise you that your service is no longer required, and accordingly, your employment with WPG Ltd is hereby terminated effective April 17, 2021, by clause 10.2 of the Contract. “WPG is obligated to pay you three months’ salary instead of notice and advises that the due amounts have been credited to your account. You are requested to kindly return all the Company’s properties (whether WPG or EKEDP ) in your possession, including but not limited to laptops, identity cards, and status cars upon receipt of this letter.”

The Development comes amid controversy surrounding Sanda’s removal by EKEDC.

Sanda was earlier seconded to the Disco and had returned to WPG when she was removed as EKEDC MD. Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh was appointed as Sanda’s replacement.

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NAPTIP reunites 2 Gombe kidnapped children with families

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Monday, reunited two kidnapped children with their parents in Gombe State.

Mr Aminu Shira, the NAPTIP Commander in the state, who stated this in Gombe, listed the children as Usman Kabiru, 11 and Aisha Shehu, four-month-old.

He said that Kabiru and Shehu were rescued in Lagos and Abuja, respectively, and handed over to the agency by the Gombe State Police Command.

Shira said the agency would ensure that the children receive proper care from their families.

He also said the Police Command on Jan. 16, handed over nine suspects and five victims of child trafficking to the agency in the state.

The NAPTIP official said that cases of child trafficking, sale of babies and sexual exploitation were instituted against the suspects currently undergoing prosecution.

Shira, however, said the victims were undergoing rehabilitation and skills acquisition training at the agency.

“Three victims were empowered by the command for full rehabilitation and re-integration into the society.

“Two female victims had been enrolled into skills acquisition training (tailoring) for six months here in Gombe.

“The agency sponsored all financial bills for the training and monthly allowance for the victims during the period of the training.

“One male victim has enrolled into Sheikh Jafar Memorial Primary School Arawa, Gombe, to continue of his education sponsored by NAPTIP,” Shira said.

He urged residents of the state to report suspected human traffickers to the agency, adding that: “NAPTIP will always remain committed towards the prevention of all forms of exploitation against women and children and liberating the vulnerable in the communities towards ensuring a safer and better society”.

It would be recalled that the Police Command on Jan. 10, confimed arrest of 16 persons for alleged child trafficking and criminal conspiracy in the Gombe State.

It also rescued three children from the suspects.

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