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Ogun govt calls for more investment in tourism

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Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta

Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon Motunrayo Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo has called for more private sector investment in tourism sector due to the boundless opportunities the sector offers.

Hon Adeleye-Oladapo disclosed that the government will also explore the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mechanism to envision a technology driven Cultural/ Tourism Research Centre for cultural/tourism education, training, workshops, exhibitions, and performance

The Commissioner stated this while speaking during the World Tourism Day held at June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta.

Describing Prince Dapo Abiodun led administration as one that has remained committed to developing the tourism sector in the state, Hon Adeleye-Oladapo said that investors should embrace the favourable disposition of the present administration towards Private Public Partnership and invest hugely in the tourism sector with potentials to create employment and also generate income.

She said because the state is naturally endowed with rich cultural and tourism potentials, it has to a greater extent transformed into a tourism hub and destination of choice in Nigeria for both residents and foreigners.

The Commissioner said with a vsion to set a standard for tourism in the state, the government through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has transformed and brought to limelight hitherto obscured sites, monuments and heritages in the state like the first orthodox hospital in Nigeria, Sacred Heart Hospital, Itesi, Abeokuta, the second storey building in Nigeria, Ota, the Olumo Rock, Abeokuta among others.

She explained that the government has also ensured that the popular Adire fabric synonymous with the state become an exportable commodity such that it has finds its way into every home nationally and by extension globally in the form of the accessories like duvet, bags, beads, hair-bonds, file jacket, shoes, wristwatch, bands and so on.

This vision was said to have propelled this administration to introduce the Adire Ogun Digital Market Place which has positioned the Adire merchants in a global market while creating economic viability and sustainability for the trade to thrive.

The Commissioner said her Ministry has been working round the clock to evolve better marketing and promotional strategies that will further encourage more visitors and tourists visits to the various tourist sites across the State.

She said “we are giving deserved attention to the development of all-inclusive long and short-term cultural/tourism blueprints that will retain the Gateway State in the pride of place in the comity”.

Adeleye-Oladapo disclosed that as a way of further promoting culture and tourism in the state, her Ministry has played prominent roles in the promotion of socio-cultural and traditional festivals in State which includes the Ojude Oba Festival, Oroona Festival, Lisabi Festival, Akesan Festival. Iganmode Festival, Egungun Festival. Eyo Festival, to mention a few.

She said though for years back cultural heritage and values have received inadequate attention but that there is a new resolve, determination to revive, sustain and promote cultural heritages like never before to give them global prominence.

The Commissioner said as a way of ensuring that tourism gets to the next level in Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun led administration is poised to approach tourism in a holistic perspective to engage all other sectors and activities in tourism value chain which include but not limited to aqua-tourism, agro-tourism, medical tourism and transportation

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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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