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Tongeji: Abiodun calls for more FG presence on oil rich island

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Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has called for more presence of the Federal Government in the oil rich Tongeji Island situated in the Ipokia Local Government Area of the state.

Abiodun made the call when he received the Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service, Idris Iseh Jere, in his office, on Wednesday.

He raised the alarm that neighbouring country, Benin Republic was aiming to annex the oil rich island to their country.

“We have Tongeji Island, which is situated in our Ipokia Local Government that is not accessible to us in Nigeria by road, it is only accessible by water, however, it is accessible to Benin Republic by road.

“They have continuously harassed our people, they have continuously attempted to annex them to Benin Republic because of the access that they have.

“I am hoping that one of these days, myself, the Comptroller General of Immigration and probably the Chief of Naval Staff visit our people there and see how we can have more presence in that place and continue to show our people there that we are not abandoning them,” Abiodun said.

The governor, while noting that his administration would continue to support the efforts and initiatives of the Immigration Service in the state, commended the service for the stabilizing role they played during the last general elections of 2019.

“I recall particularly the role that Immigration played during the elections of 2019 and I remain very grateful to your office for that role.

“It was a very stabilizing role; we know that some persons wanted to bring people across the border to come and rig elections, the office of the Comptroller of Immigration intervened and ensured that our borders were shut down and only Nigerians were allowed to exercise their franchise in that election and they did that with integrity and a deep sense of patriotism.

“We will continue to do everything to support the efforts and initiatives of the Immigration Service.

“We have had skirmishes along our border areas in the past, we’ve had farmer/herders crisis, we’ve had issues where herdsmen come from outside the country, commit heinous crime, they run back and leave us with that situation where our people are now fighting each other.

“We’ve had situations where law enforcement agencies from across the country, came here and arrested our people because of the absence of clearly defined borders between us and Benin Republic.

“We will continue to do everything to manage this situation because we see any form of insecurity as a threat to our socio-economic development and our drive to encourage people to come and invest here,” Abiodun said.

The governor, who further noted that his administration has also collaborated with the Lagos State Government to form a joint development cooperation so that all the border areas are not left out, added that areas such as law enforcement, physical planning, environmental issues and traffic management would be dealt with under the cooperation.

Earlier in his remarks, Comptroller Jere, while noting that he was in the state for the ground breaking of the proposed Abeokuta Passport Office Building, called on the state government to assist the service with logistics to help in its resolve to man the border, particularly as the general election drew closer.

He commended Governor Abiodun for his support to the Immigration Service in the state and acknowledged the governor for being a security conscious administrator.

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Technology, key to growth in Niger Delta — NDDC MD

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The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has emphasised the importance of technology in driving economic growth and social development in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking at the Port Harcourt Tech Expo 2024, Ogbuku, said it was necessary for the NDDC to collaborate with technology experts to impart skills to the youths and boost their chances of gaining employment in the field of technology.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that by sponsoring the Tech Expo, the Commission was demonstrating its commitment to fostering technological growth and development in the region.

He noted, “Technology is key to the future of the Niger Delta. The way technology is changing, it is only wise to change with the times and prepare for the future. We are ready to collaborate with relevant organisations to provide a training platform for our youths.

“We are already collaborating with the Rivers State Government to drive the Holistic Opportunity Project of Engagement, HOPE, project in the area of Information and Communication Technology, ICT.”

Ogbuku said that the Commission was revamping the Rivers State ICT Centre in partnership with the government to empower the youths with needed skills in the rapidly advancing technological era.

He said that the Commission would ensure that the facility was not just available but in top shape, ready to accommodate the anticipated vast number of participants in the Commission’s ICT hub and job creation initiative.

Ogbuku said further, “We need to build our youths and our children as well. We have acquired 45,000 U-lesson tablets for distribution to schools for the use of our children. We will launch the tablets and deploy them to schools across the region.”

The NDDC boss said that the world of tomorrow would be shaped by the designs and technologies emerging today.

“It is up to us, as individuals and organisations, to determine what happens next,” Ogbuku noted.

A keynote speaker and a Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA, Dr. Maurice Dawson, addressed the subject: “Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence.” He remarked that Nigeria was the fastest growing digital economy in Africa.

According to him: “Cyber Security is the act of protecting networks, devices and data from unauthorised access or criminal use and the practice of assuring confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. In a world driven by computers and the internet, cyber security was very critical.”

In another presentation, a lead forensic examiner, Dr. Tombari Sibe, said that the landscape of cyber security was widening on a daily basis. Speaking on the topic; “Cyber Security; Emerging threats and countermeasures,” he noted that the global cost of cybercrime was rising exponentially, adding that it was a top risk threatening digital transformation in Nigeria.

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Again, fire razes four shops in Benin

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By Elvis Omoregie, Benin

Men of the Federal Fire Service, Edo State Fire Service, Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport Benin, the University of Benin Fire Service (UNIBEN) and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), on Wednesday battled helplessly to put out a raging fire that razed four shops on the busy Ugbowo-Lagos road.

The fire incident was said to have started from one of the shops, dealing in Hospital and Laboratory equipment, and later spread to other shops within the building.

It was gathered that the fire incident occurred by 2pm and caused a lot of anxiety as residents and shop owners made frantic efforts to salvage the goods, while operatives of the different fire services were on ground to fight the fire, without any luck.

The correspondent who visited the scene of the inferno discovered that all four shops directly opposite the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) were completely razed in the inferno.

Speaking with one of the shop owners who operates a Boutique, Mr. Sunday Madubuko said about 2.45pm, a shop next to his was on fire, as he was told by the shop sales girl.

“The sales girl ran to my shop telling me that a fire was burning in our office, I told her I  don’t have a fire extinguisher. Before I knew it, the fire extended to my Boutique. All I  know is that the fire started from the Laboratory Shop and spread to other shops. The cause of the fire, I still don’t know. What I lost in the inferno is goods worth over N20,000,000,” Madubuko said.

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Okuama: Delta Gov. inaugurates IDP Mgt committee

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By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba

As a way of bringing succour to the displaced people of Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori on Wednesday inaugurated Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Management Committee.

The Committee has veteran journalist and former Editor of The Guardian Newspaper, Mr Abraham Ogbodo as Chairman, and Director of Personnel Management, DPM, Ughelli South Local Government Council, Chief Austin Emaduku as Secretary.

Other members include Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, Hon. Festus Utuama, Hon. Reuben Izeze, Dr Richard Kofi, Chief Oviri Uto, Hon. Josephine Oduaran, Obukohwo Henry Ediyo, Karo Ovemeso and Austin Ohwofaria who will serve as Camp Commandant.

Inaugurating the Committee at Government House Asaba, Governor Oborevwori charged the Committee to carefully plan the resettlement and rehabilitation of the innocent citizens of Okuama community.

Oborevwori said, “I welcome all of you to the inauguration of a Committee charged with the duty of planning and coordinating the settlement and rehabilitation of our people at Okuama.

“Much as we condemned in strong terms the dastardly act that took the lives of our gallant officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

“We will do everything we can to reduce to the barest minimum the attendant effects on the common man in Okuama community.

“Innocent people have been displaced, their homes and properties destroyed, this was, and still is, an unfortunate and most unexpected development.

“Like I said when I visited Okuama the other day, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and the military agreed that innocent people in Okuama should not be made to suffer needlessly.

“This is why we sincerely believe that sooner than later, the innocent ones will be allowed to return to their homes.

“It is now right for the government to set up a committee to plan their resettlement and rehabilitation ahead of their return. This is the minimum we owe our people, we have to reassure them to have a sense of belonging as we make adequate arrangements for their settlement and rehabilitation.

“Note that you have been carefully chosen based on your previous antecedents, we are therefore confident that you will do a transparent, thorough and selfless job that not only the people of Okuama but every Deltan will be proud of you as you make adequate arrangements of receiving them and lessening their pains.

He urged them to attach a sense of urgency to the assignment.

“We must demonstrate the highest degree of love and responsibility towards our people. That is the least we can do for them.”

Responding on behalf of members of the committee, the Chairman, Abraham Ogbodo, expressed appreciation to the governor for finding them worthy to serve in the committee.

He said their appointment into the committee was a call for service and assured the governor and Deltans that, by the grace of God, they would live up to expectation by delivering the needed services to the people.

According to him, members of the committee would work with the sense of urgency that the state assignment requires, assuring that they would be transparent, thorough and selfless in addressing the humanitarian crisis in Okuama.

Recall that Okuama is the community in Delta State where about 17 soldiers were ambushed and brutally murdered by criminal elements a few weeks ago.

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