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No forest reserves were sold by Abiodun’s government — Odusile

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…Says reserves concessioned by last administration

Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta

The Ogun State Government has refuted the rumours making the rounds that it has sold some forest reserves in the Ijebu axis of the state, to foreign investors.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Abdulwaheed Odusile, who stated this while fielding questions from journalists on the protest by timber merchants made up of Timber Sellers Association, Plank Sellers and Ijebu Sawmillers, and Timber Contractors Association, said the forest reserves were concessioned by the immediate past administration in the state.

The Chairman, Board of Trustee, Timber and Saw millers Association, Ijebu-East, Mr. Taiwo Adeboye, Chairman, plank Sellers Association, Eyirin Chapter, Adesanya Sulaiman and Secretary, Ijebu Saw Millers and Timber Contractors Association, Akinukawe Funmileye, had led their members on a protest, accusing the State Government of selling the only surviving forest reserves in the axis.

They called on the State Government to rescind its decision as it would create unemployment and cause untold hardship on the people.

Odusile, however, insisted that the reserves were never sold by Governor Dapo Abiodun-led administration, but were concessioned to two Nigerian companies for N800m per annum by the immediate past administration.

“Government is aware of their complaints. What they protested about is not the making of this present administration, but by the previous government. Since government is a continum, we are looking into their complaints. The House of Assembly is also looking into the issues.

“I want to state categorically that the forest reserves were concessioned to two Nigerian companies. And it is just a part that was concessioned; the larger parts are still there for people to use. I can assure you that we did not sell the forest and we will resolve all the issues amicably,” he said.

Odusile reiterated that the present administration would not do anything that would bring hardship to the people, pointing out that the State Government would always take the interests of the people into consideration before taking any major decision.

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Tinubu appoints Agama as SEC DG

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Mariga Aliyu Katuka as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC is the main regulatory institution of the Nigerian capital market and supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale, said in a statement on Friday in Abuja his principal also appointed Mr. Emomotimi Agama as the Director-General of the commission.

Also appointed into the board of SEC are Frana Chukwuogor, Executive Commissioner (Legal and Enforcement), Mr. Bola Ajomale, Executive Commissioner (Operations), Mrs. Samiya Hassan Usman, Executive Commissioner (Corporate Services), Mr. Lekan Belo, Non-Executive Commissioner and Mr. Kasimu Garba Kurfi, Non-Executive Commissioner.

“The President anticipates that all members of the Board of this critical commission will bring to bear their wealth of experience and competence in advancing the commission’s core mandate of developing and regulating a capital market that is dynamic, fair, transparent, and efficient, to bolster investor confidence and contribute immeasurably to the nation’s economic development,” the statement added.

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Continuous conduct of research key in resolving Air Force challenges — AOC

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By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Tactical Air Command (TAC), AVM Francis Edosa, has revealed that the continuous conduct of research and development will help in resolving most of the challenges confronting the Air Force.

Edosa, represented by the Chief of Staff, TAC, AVM EmekaAshiegbu, made the disclosure in Makurdi at a one-day Intra Command Research and Development Competition over the weekend.

He explained that  through research  the service had deployed several platforms to quell crises in most troubled parts of the country, adding that it also builds the capacity and enhances service delivery.

The AOC further explained that in the military industry, research involves the continuous development and upgrading of prototypes of new military systems without necessarily going into full scale development or production.

Edosa said that the competition “is germane  to our effectiveness as a service and imperative to the myriad of security challenges confronting our country.”

He charged participants to contribute meaningfully at the competition to improve the service.

The Guest of Honour at the occasion, Air Commodore Albert Bot, charged them to contribute their quota through research and development to advance the service to greater technological heights.

He said such contributions would help in curbing the menace of insurgency faced in most parts of the country.

Bot commended the Air Force for the application of air power in joint and interagency counter insurgency operations, which he attributed to modest outcomes in research and technology.

He said through research and development, crisis had been brought down speedily across many troubled parts of the country.

He also commended the Federal Government (FG) for having deep interest in research and the promotion of local content.

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Rotary Club of Rockcity offers free medical services to over 500 beneficiaries in Ogun

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Omobolaji Adekunle

In commemoration of Rotary Family Health Day, an event organised by Rotary Club of Rockcity under Rotary District 9110 in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  offered free medical services to over 500 beneficiaries in Abeokuta communities.

The exercise which held at Kugba Primary Health Care Centre, Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital benefitted ten communities which included Oke-Aregba, Adatan, Oke-Odo, Labawa, Igbaru,  Kugba and other neighboring Communities.

Rotary family Health day is a day set aside by Rotary International to offer free  health care services, health promotion talks and distribution of disease prevention materials to families which form the basic units of every community.

The event was well organized with registration booths for beneficiaries, blood pressure measurement stands, and several fundamental blood tests were carried out to screen beneficiaries for Malaria, Hepatitis B and HIV for consenting individuals. Diabetes screening was also done.

Medical Doctors and other healthcare professionals were on ground to consult and offer professional services to beneficiaries.

Items such as Insecticide treated mosquito nets for nursing and pregnant mothers, sanitary pads and some basic medications were given free to people.

Health promotion talks on the importance of good personal hygiene as a veritable means of preventing diseases was given by Rtn (Dr) Moses Olanrewaju who is also a member of Rotary club of Rockcity.

Speaking with journalists the President of the club, Rtn (Engr) Gbolagoke Oluleke Adebiyi explained the aims and objectives of the exercise and the need to have this kind of gesture in the society, urging the government at all levels to ensure easy access and affordable healthcare to people.

According to him “Rotary family health day is one of the projects tagged for the health of the smallest unit of the society which is family. The purpose is to provide succour to the family which plays a pivotal role in any community.

This is why Rotary International gives family health all the attention it deserves because Rotary International is known for service to humanity.

The president  expressed satisfaction with the turn out of people; “this implies that people need more  access to free and affordable health care services,” he said.

“If this kind of service comes up often, a lot of families that don’t have the privilege to go to hospital due to their economic conditions would have the opportunity to complain about their health and benefit a lot. They would be able to use the avenue to express themselves about what they are going through to doctors

“My advice to the government is to make health care services affordable for the masses, especially the less privileged. When the health care is affordable for people, health-seeking behaviors will be prompt thereby forestalling preventable complications.”

He however appreciated all members of the Club and volunteers who participated in the exercise.

Further more, a medical consultant and member of the Club, Rtn (Dr) Moses Olanrewaju reiterated the choice of the venue saying:

“We chose Kugba Health Centre for this year’s Family Health Day because of the economic situation in the country and there is a need to extend our hands of service to the communities.

“We have carried out many basic health clinic tests and we have really detected a lot of diseases running among the members of the community. People that will need further specialist care are appropriately referred to the nearest secondary or tertiary health institutions like State Specialist Hospital, Ijaye or Federal Medical Centre, Idi-aba.

“Some non-communicable diseases have also been detected and have been appropriately referred. Also, patients have been adequately counselled on the need to seek health at appropriate health facilities in order to safeguard their health. We can confidently say that Rotary has positively impacted this community and we are sure that the services rendered have improved the health of families,” he added

The community head, Alhaji Lateef Muiz appreciated the members of Rotary Club of Rockcity for their kind gesture, stating that some members of family who could not have opportunity to go for medical check-ups due to financial constraint have been able to do so through this and have benefited a lot from the exercise.

On behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. Soliu Yusuf expressed his pleasure over the exercise which he described as an avenue that has enabled people to know what they don’t know about their health, adding that the exercise has been very useful for the vulnerable people in the communities.

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