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Ogun urges corporate organisations to support NGOs



The Ogun state government has urged the corporate organisations and wealthy individuals in the country to continue giving succour to Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), individuals and other less privileged organisations, so as to give back to the indigents in the society.

The State Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-govermental Affairs, Mrs Olufemi  Ilori-Oduntan stated this while declaring open the 11th annual charity lecture of the Less Privileged Children Encourage Initiative (EI), themed “Access to Justice: The Dilemma of the Less Privileged and the Way Out,” held at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.

She stressed the need to support the humanitarian project of the NGO which had distributed school uniforms, sandals, school bags, writing materials, free mid-day meals, free textbooks and provided free medicare to over Thirty Five Thousand (35, 000) less privileged children in different parts of Nigeria including Ogun State.

Ilori-Oduntan showered encomium on EI for complimenting government efforts at supporting the less privileged people for over 20 years despite the economic challenges in the country

“I am highly impressed with this initiative and I sincerely commend the Less Privileged Children Encouragement Initiative (EI) for its steadfastness, drive, doggedness, consistency and persistency through the years in its service to humanity regardless of age, race, gender, culture, religion or current life situation.

“Permit me to specially thank and appreciate Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi and his very supportive wife, Dr. Bukunola Akinlesi for birthing this initiative and keeping this NGO going despite myriad of challenges over the past twenty (20) years,” Ilori-Oduntan said.

She also expressed her readiness to personally work closely with EI in its health outreach project in supporting sickle cell patients in various communities.

“Your work in the area of donation of drugs every first Friday of the month to the Sickle Cell Warriors Club in the last 20 years is a testament to the resolve of EI to better the lives of the less privileged. I am also passionately involved in providing succour to children living with sickle cell and will be happy to join hands with EI in reaching out to these children.”

She expressed confidence in the capacity of EI as NGO with over 450 volunteers in sustaining its humanitarian services to Nigerians for a better society

She said Prince Dapo Abiodun’s administration in the past three years under the Federal Government’s social investment programme being coordinated by her ministry ensures provision of free meals to 178,128 pupils in schools while 3,505 cooks were engaged in the Home Grown School Feeding programme.

According to her, “9,171 people have benefitted in the first phase of the Household Upliftment Programme and 3,853 people have benefitted in the first stage of registration of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP,) while the Ogun State Emergency Management Agency (OGSEMA) also provides relief materials to victims who were affected by flood, fire and windstorm amongst social investment programmes by the State Government.”

Mrs. Oluyemi Orija, a thorough-bred legal professional and founder of Headfort Foundation delivering the 11th charity lecture of EI, stressed the need for citizens to have equal access to the legal system in Nigeria.

Orija whose foundation has in the past four years provided free legal services to 416 innocent inmates in various correctional facilities, asked Nigerians to always make good use of offices of Legal Aid Council across the 36 States in the country, to seek legal redress in court

She revealed that her foundation had sensitised over 3,000 persons on their fundamental human rights across the country, she however solicited for volunteers, partners and fund to provide free legal services to  more less privileged in the societyCo-founder of EI, Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi speaking on the sideline of the event, expressed satisfaction with the achievements recorded so far in the past 22 years of impacting on the lives of less privileged across States in Nigeria.

He added that the lecture had in the past eleven years assisted greatly in capacity building of people running NGOs, particularly on how to put in place solid structure to attract the needed fund for sustainance of their various humanitarian services in the society.

“Several people get inspired after attending this lecture, through this training we’ve been able to inspire many people who are involved in humanitarian services, assisting them on how to set up structures for their NGOs,”Akinlesi stated.

He however stressed the need for more NGOs to compliment the efforts of the government at providing support for those in need as no government can do it all.

Akinlesi enjoined those running NGOs to be trustworthy in order to attract the needed support from wealthy individuals and corporate organisations for the people.


Tinubu calls for good governance at 64th ECOWAS Session



President Bola Tinubu has called on ECOWAS leaders to prioritise good governance for the citizens in the quest for socio-economic transformation and development of the region.

At the 64th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Tinubu emphasised that good governance would guarantee improved quality of life and stable environment.

‘’Let me also underscore the need for us, as leaders, to prioritise good governance for our people, as it serves as a catalyst for socio-economic transformation and development.

‘’The delivery of good governance is not just a fundamental commitment; it is also an avenue to address the concerns of our citizen, such as improved quality of life and a stable environment conducive to the achievement of sustainable development.

‘’By providing good governance that tackles the challenges of poverty, inequality and other concerns of the people, we would have succeeded in addressing some of the root causes of military intervention in civilian processes in our region.

‘’Our gathering here today is, therefore, a clear demonstration of our resolute commitment to the development and effective integration of our sub-region.

‘’As a people, we aspire to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region, built on good governance and the rule of law, where people would have the opportunity to realise their full potentials for sustainable development,’’ he said.

On the issue of democratic abortion in some member countries, the President underscored the need for sustained efforts to ensure the return of peaceful transition of power based on the people’s choice.

‘’Allow me to emphasise that, to further strengthen our regional democratic achievements and uphold the right of our people to elect the leaders of their choice, the region agreed upon specific punitive measures to be taken against any Member State opting for unconstitutional change of government.

‘’While the imposition of punitive sanctions may pose challenges, it is important to underscore that the struggle to protect the fundamental liberties of our Community Citizens must be upheld and respected.

‘’To this end, I would like to reiterate the imperative of re-engaging with the countries under military rule on the basis of realistic and short transition plans that can deliver democracy and good governance.

“On our part, we should be prepared to provide them with technical and material support, to ensure the achievement of these strategic goals.’’

Tinubu said that the countries involved in alliance against democratic tenets would not be allowed to distract the community of its resolve to follow laid down rules and regulations for dealing with such actions.

‘’It is important that we also review some development in our sub-region including the move by some of our members under Military rule to float an Alliance of Sahel States.

‘’This phantom, push back-alliance appears intended to divert attention from our mutual quest for democracy and good governance that will impact the life of our people.

‘’We refused to be detracted from pursuing the collective dreams, aspirations and the noble path of ECOWAS integration as laid out in our institutional and legal frameworks,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government are in closed door meeting to further deliberate on issues affecting the region in the last one year and those arising recently.

The body is expected to receive special reports on the practical arrangement for the Launch of the ECO , report on Member States in Transition, report on States of Implementation of the ECOWAS  Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) as well as decide on the venue of the 65th ECOWAS Session.

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Naira notes: There’s sufficient stock for economic activities, CBN assures Nigerians



Amidst complaints by some Nigerians about scarcity of Naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says there is adequate supply of the currency.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CBN gave  the assurance against the beck drop of complaints by some bank customers  on scarcity of Naira notes at the counters, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) Points of Sale (PoS), and Bureaux de Change (BDCs).

Some officials of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) also claimed that the DMBs were not getting adequate supply of cash from the CBN.

But, according to a statement issued by the Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, there is no shortage of Naira notes, as there is adequate supply of the currency in the economy.

The apex bank said that the seeming currency scarcity was occasioned by large volume withdrawals of cash from various CBN branches by DMBs.

It said that panic withdrawals by bank customers was also partly responsible for the seeming scarcity.

“The attention of the CBN has been drawn to reports of alleged scarcity of
cash at banks, ATMs, PoS and BDCs in some major cities across the country.

“Our findings reveal that the seeming cash scarcity in some locations is due largely to high volume withdrawals from the CBN branches by DMBs and panic withdrawals by customers from the ATMs.

“While we note the concerns of Nigerians on the availability of cash for financial transactions, we wish to assure the public that there is sufficient stock of currency notes for economic activities in the country.

“The branches of the CBN across the country are also working to ensure the seamless circulation of cash in their respective states of operation,” it said.

The CBN advised members of the public to guard against panic withdrawals as there was sufficient stock to facilitate economic activities.

It also advised Nigerians to embrace alternative modes of payment, which would reduce pressure on using physical cash.

Meanwhile, the CBN also warned Nigerians to beware of fake Naira banknotes in circulation.

Its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi-Ali, gave the warning in a  statement.

Sidi-Ali said that the counterfeit Naira notes were mainly used for transactions in food markets and other commercial centres across major cities in the country.

She said that any person found complicit in the circulation of the counterfeit currency notes would face severe sanctions.

The director said that the law provided punishment by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years, for any person found culpable of counterfeiting Naira notes or any other legal tender in Nigeria.

“The attention of the CBN) has been drawn to the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, especially higher denominations by some individuals.

“The CBN is in constant collaboration with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate fake Naira banknotes, arrest and prosecute counterfeiters.

“Members of the public are also encouraged to report anyone suspected of having counterfeit naira notes to the nearest police station, branch of the CBN, or via,” she said.

She enjoined all DMBs, Financial Houses and Bureaux de Change and the general public to be more vigilant.

Sidi-Ali urged them to take all necessary precautionary measures to curtail the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit notes.

“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment for day-to-day transactions to mitigate the risk of spreading counterfeit banknotes,” she said.

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NOA lauds Dangote’s oil production in Lagos



The National Agency (NOA) has commended Dangote Refining Company and the Federal Government for restarting local production of petroleum products in the country.

Its Director General, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a letter of congratulations to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, celebrated the delivery of the first cargo of 950,000 barrels of crude oil to the Dangote Refining Company.

“The supply from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) is a major breakthrough for the country after many years of importation with attendant supply hicups, corruption and detrimental impact of high foreign exchange demand on the economy.

“The NNPCL and Dangote Refining Company said the breakthrough is a cheering news that underscores the resolve of government and Nigeria’s progress towards economic stability and prosperity.

“For him, the Dangote Refining company, the biggest in Africa, will become a major player in the petroleum production and supply chain in Africa and help to tackle the many problems affecting the sector, including unstable product pricing in the country.”

According to the director-general, this is the beginning of the onward march to self-reliance and development because more refineries will soon come up. We hope that our other refineries will return to business”.

Outlining the benefits of local production of petroleum products in Nigeria, the NOA DG said “This means jobs for our people in that sector, reduction of foreign dependency for supply in NIgeria and huge savings in forex.

“The economic growth outlook will be better with stability of local energy supply.”d

According to the director-general, NOA’s new vision seeks to promote national positives to encourage citizens to renew their hope in the country and reflect the true narrative of our nation’s progress and challenges.

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