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Ibadan explosion: Presidential committee to investigate breach of explosive control law

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President Bola Tinubu has ordered the setting up of a presidential committee to investigate the possible breach of explosive control laws in the country following the recent explosions that rocked Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.

An explosion that rocked the Bodija area of Ibadan on Tuesday night killed two persons and wounded about 80 others. It also destroyed several buildings, vehicles, and other properties.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents on the explosion after the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, said the council has ordered an immediate investigation to unravel the immediate course of the unfortunate incident.

According to Badaru: “The first question has to do with the Ibadan explosion, where the governor said a preliminary investigation suggests that there are some explosives around the area where it happened that are owned by illegal miners.

“Well, we have also seen another report suggesting a gas explosion. Our team is there, trying to find out the cause. The council has already set up a committee to look into how the control of explosive law is broken if, indeed, there are explosives around the area where this incident happened.

“That was why the committee was set to look at the laws, to see where the chain is broken, to see how it can be fixed, and to further [see] if this is happening rampantly around the country.”

Badaru added: “You all know that there’s a strict law on the movement, storage, and ownership of explosives, and that is being monitored. If there’s any breakdown, we will find out and deal with it.”

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Minister urges stakeholders to unite in advancing frontiers of N’Delta devt

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Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, has called on Governors and Ministers from the Niger Delta region, as well as government agencies, International Oil Companies (IOCs), development partners and other critical stakeholders to join hands with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in fast-tracking  the development of the region.

Ekpo made the call in a speech delivered at the 6th Meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta (NCND), with the theme: “Stimulating Strategies for Economic Growth and Development in the Niger Delta Region,” held yesterday at Unity Hall, Government House Complex, Asaba, Delta State.

A statement by Ekpo’s spokesperson, Louis Ibah, quoted the Minister as lauding the management of NDDC for projects executed so far to boost infrastructure and human capital development in the region.

Ekpo however said working unilaterally without inputs from other critical stakeholders had its limitations for the NDDC in the formulation of policies and projects for the region.

He said, “The Niger Delta region has what it takes to develop this country and the region, but we have to be formidable in whatever we are doing. The NDDC is just a small entity that is crafted for the Niger Delta region, all of us should bring in inputs into whatsoever they are doing, we should come in and contribute, we should come in and say this is what we want. So, I call on stakeholders in the region to come down and sit with the NDDC and marshal out what needs to be done to move this region and our nation forward.”

According to the Gas Minister,  ”When the NDDC acts on its own, they will only do what they believe they should do, and to the level that they think they should do it, but when we come together with them, we can fashion out something more important and sustainable for the region.”

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BDCs committed to checkmating attack on the Naira – ABCON boss

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The President, Association of Bureau De Change operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, says the BDC operators are committed to wading off attacks on the Naira by speculators.

Gwadabe said this in an interview with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to him, ABCON, as a self-regulatory body, has platforms to check excesses of BDC operators.

“We have inaugurated state chapters whereby we can have a data repository of participants in the forex market.

“This is for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to understand this market and to know the participants, give them a simple registration,” he said.

Gwadebe said that what the foreign exchange market needed was a kind of harmonisation; a centralisation and KYC to know all participants in the business.

“This will enable the CBN to track other players in the market other than the BDCs and their levels of involvement.

“The BDCS are collaborating with the regulatory authorities for physical verification of offices using technology.

“We want to balance international obligations with our own objectives. International obligations are templates that have been built without our input.

“We are coming with our own template to balance it. We have seen some illegal economic behaviour, and the CBN and the security agencies are aware, and I am sure they will nip it in the bud,” he said.

He said that the recent wave of depreciation of the Naira was of concern to the BDCs operators.

“I am happy that the authorities, and even the BDCs as operators, have identified the peer-to-peer (P2P) platform.

“The P2P is a platform like the Binance, where speculators use the dollar to buy USDT, a stablecoin that is pegged at one to the dollar.

“As long as Binance and such other platforms continue to be profitable, the Naira will continue to depreciate.

“There are many of them in the system. Binance has been nipped in the bud, but there are still many. They are online platforms with no registration, no restrictions,” he said.

Gwadabe said that the CBN and the security agencies were already aware of the antics of the platforms.

According to him, they are more of an illegal economic behaviour, and the people behind them have no patriotism in them.

“People have turned dollars to be an asset; to be a commodity of trade that is why those platforms continue to thrive.

“We have seen where people are buying dollars into their domiciliary accounts to finance these schemes.

“A lot of millions of dollars are going out from the system. It is one USD to one USDT. The market can be liquid.

“Binance alone has four billion dollars liquidity and more than two million transactions.

“Most of them source money to finance their transactions from the open market, and that is one of the reasons why Naira is depreciating,” he said.

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Agro-cargo airport will improve economy of Ogun — Assembly members

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By Omobolaji Adekunle, Abeokuta

Members of the Ogun State House of Assembly Committee on Works and Infrastructure have conducted an assessment visit to the State Agro-Cargo International Airport, Iperu, positing that the project upon completion and take-off would further improve the State’s socio-economic values.

Members of the Committee led by the Chairman, Hon. Adegoke Adeyanju, who were conducted round the facility by the Project Manager of Craneburg Construction Company, Nicholas Mfarrej, opined that the project possessed enormous economic potentials that would add value and attract investment opportunities to the State.

Adeyanju, in company of the Minority Leader, Lukman Adeleye, Olusegun Kaka, Lukmon Atobatele, Damilola Soneye and Wasiu Ayodele lauded the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun’s ingenuity for initiating the project, stating that the level of work done by the contractor was commendable.

Taking the lawmakers round the facilities, the Project Manager, Nicholas Mfarrej said that the project was over 80 percent completed, assuring that it would be delivered within a record time.

Mfarrej also took the Assemblymen to other facilities within the airport including the warehouse, passenger lounge, control room, crew room, cargo warehouse, runway, control tower, apron, watch tower, fire station and administrative building amongst others.

He noted that adequate quality control measures with modern engineering techniques were being deployed at every phase of the construction of the project.

In another development, the lawmakers visited the damaged portion of the collector drainage on the Ojumele-Ajegunle Road in Makun-Sagamu, which was being rehabilitated, tasking the residents of the area to embrace maintenance culture of the project, thereby desisting from indiscriminate dumping of refuse that often silt up the drainage.

The Chairman called on the State Ministry of Environment, as well as Urban and Physical Planning to put in place measures towards checkmating the excesses of residents who often violated environmental and building regulations, causing impediment hindering the flow of water into the drainage, especially during the rainy season.

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