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We invested heavily on resumption of commercial flights to Makurdi – Ortom

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The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that the State Government invested heavily to ensure that commercial flights operations resumed in Makurdi.

Governor stated this Monday, April 17th, 2023 at the resumption of commercial flights to and from Makurdi via the Nigeria Air Force airport by Air Peace.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony at the Civil Wing of the Makurdi Airport, Governor Samuel Ortom pointed out that it was no mean feat for the State Government to facilitate the resumption of air travel to and from the state, noting that the State Government has met stringent conditions stipulated by aviation agencies.

In his words, “It has been a long journey that has been in the making. In fact, it has taken us the better part of two years to meet the stringent regulatory requirements for the resumption of Commercial Aviation in our State.

“In the course of this journey, we have had extensive engagement with all the key players in the Aviation Industry, including the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), amongst others.

“As a State Government, we have invested heavily in time, goodwill , and financial resources to help to meet the NCAA’s rigorous requirements for the resumption of Commercial Aviation services here.”

According to the Governor, the State Government’s intervention at the airport included, “Procurement and provision of an NCAA-approved Digital Airport Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle, along with training, equipping and testing of over 50 Fire staff; provision of a state-of-the-art Ambulance and trained health personnel for Emergency Rescue Services.”

It also included “Facilitating the Geodetic Survey of the Airport to ensure the Airport is included in ICAO maps so that pilots can rely on instruments (and not just their eyes) to fly into Makurdi; provisions of Airport Tarmac markings and related airside signages.”

Governor Ortom explained that other requirements were “Provision of operational vehicle for NAMA; strengthening of access control and security screening; provision of temporary spaces for Terminal operations; provision of a subsidy to defray Air Peace against any unanticipated route risks; amongst others.”

He disclosed that “We are also in the process of providing long-term accommodation for the NAMA personnel as well as a Tent to protect the ARFF truck and serve as a rest area for the Fire personnel, among other commitments.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema who spoke through the Grounds Operations Manager of Air Peace, Ayodeji Adeyemi, commended Governor Ortom for the determined efforts towards ensuring the resumption of Air Peace operations in the State.

The Assistant General Manager Aerodromes of the NCAA, Mr. Sylvanus Dakup and Mrs. Comfort Ogbuagwu of FAAN in separate goodwill messages congratulated Governor Ortom for his commitment and the investment of the State Government towards meeting all safety requirements for the resumption of commercial flights at the Makurdi Airport.

Earlier, Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Jude Uungwa lauded the Governor’s resilience in ensuring the take-off of the operations of Air Peace in Makurdi, adding that the State Governor has also made available digital gadgets for safety operations as well as a 32-seater bus for the operations and logistics.

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President Tinubu commissions NDDC’s power station in Ondo

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has commissioned the multi-billion naira 132KV Transmission Line and I32KV/33KV electricity substation at Ode-Erinje in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the President, who was represented by the Minister for Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, said that the project demonstrated the determination of the Federal Government to develop the Niger Delta region.

He said that the Federal Government was placing priority on electricity as one of the sure ways of boosting industrialization in the country.
The President congratulated the NDDC for completing the project and enjoined the people of the Niger Delta region to continue to support the Federal Government.

In his speech, the Ondo State Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, gave kudos to the NDDC for what he described as a landmark project.

He declared: “I am deeply grateful to all individuals, organisations and stakeholders whose dedication and collaboration has brought this project to fruition. A special acknowledgment is owed to the current management of the NDDC under the Chairmanship of Mr. Chiedu Ebie and the Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku for its invaluable partnership, unwavering support, and steadfast commitment to realising this high impact endeavour.”

“I appreciate our esteemed Royal fathers, in this district, the resilient residents of Ode-Erinje: our gracious host community, and the entire people of the Southern Senatorial District for their cooperation and steadfast support throughout the journey of this project.”

“This transformative project will bring significant benefits, including job opportunities, new investments, better healthcare and support socioeconomic development in the district. Moreover, the project will, no doubt, boost economic activities and improve the quality of life for our citizens by ensuring reliable and affordable electricity supply.”

The Governor urged the people in the Senatorial District to own the project and protect it , considering what they had been through for about 15 years without electricity supply. “It is our collective duty to protect the Substation and other allied facilities from vandalism,” he said.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, said that the project was a reflection of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s strong desire to have the Niger Delta Region transformed into a zone of peace and development.

He stated that the NDDC was dedicated to advancing the implementation of the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda. Our commitment to this project, which has been in progress for over a decade, remains unwavering. As a board, we have chosen to focus on initiatives that will positively impact the lives of the people, regardless of who initiated the project.

Also speaking, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, affirmed that the electricity project would complement the Federal Government’s effort in the power sector, noting that the benefits were enormous.

He assured that the electricity sub-station would illuminate over 2,000 communities across five local government areas within the oil-producing region of Ondo State, significantly impacting lives and boosting businesses.
Ogbuku commended the traditional rulers and leaders in the area for protecting the project from the activities of vandals.

Giving a brief of the project, the NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Sir Victor Antai, said that the contract provided for the construction of 45km double circuit 33KV Feeder lines from Omotosho Power Station (Hook-up point) to Okitipupa and two 30MVA, 132/33KV Injection Substations with breakers, gantry and substation automations. It also provided for the construction of 3-bedroom semi-detached bungalow as service quarters.He explained: “The project is aimed at complementing the Federal Government’s effort in the power sector by improving power supply to Okitipupa, Igbokoda and other neighbouring communities in Ondo South Senatorial District with direct value to chain in small and medium scale industries, job creation and consequently ,engender growth and development in Ondo State.

Giving a goodwill message, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on NDDC, Senator Asuquo Ekpeyong, said that the project symbolized a significant step in our collective effort to enhance the quality of life and economic potential of our region. He observed: “This project is not just an infrastructure endeavor but also a beacon of hope for what can be achieved when we unite with purpose and determination. A closer look at this specific project reveals several positive milestones in bridging the infrastructure gaps in the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole.

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Abiodun approves disbursement of BTA differentials for Ogun muslim pilgrims

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Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has doused the palpable tension among the Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims by ameliorating the shortfall in their Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) as a result of unexpected vagaries of the foreign exchange rates.

While NAHCON used 1,252.01 per dollar to calculate hajj fare (BTA inclusive) to give 500 USD as BTA to each pilgrim, the CBN released BTA at 1,530.86 per dollar, which gave each pilgrim 415USD instead of 500USD earlier proposed.

Going by this development and in order to give each pilgrim 500USD at the new exchange rate of 1,530.86 per dollar, the differential to be paid for the State 934 pilgrims stood at N119,560,712.70.

In the face of the shorfall therefore, and in an effort to make the 934 State pilgrims perform their hajj rites without stress as well as making them comfortable during the hajj exercise, the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun with dispatch, has intervened by paying BTA differential of the sum of 119,560,712.70 for all the 934 State pilgrims for 2024 Hajj Exercise.

This prompt intervention by the Governor will enable the pilgrims to collect 500USD agreed without blemish and douse every anxiety earlier caused by the sudden increment.

To this end, the Consultant to the Governor on Islamic Affairs, Sheik Iskeel Lawal, expressed appreciation to the Governor for the timely intervention and prayed for the continuous success of the administration.

Meanwhile, Governor Dapo Abiodun, has implored the pilgrims to be patriotic and pray fervently for the state in particular and Nigeria at large, adding that the courage and sagacity exhibited by President Bola Tinubu in the quest of changing the ugly narrative of the past require robust spiritual support from all Nigerians.

“As you are going on this special and highly essential spiritual exercise in the holy land, you are expected to pray for the sustainability of this tempo of development and transformation embarked upon by our administration in Ogun State.

“In the same vein, our President, Asiwaju Bola Hammed Tinubu needs your supplications and fervent prayer to continue with his courageous and selfless move towards changing the ugly past for the survival of our nation”, Abiodun averred .

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Emir of Kano in Ijebu Ode, felicitates with Awujale on 90th birthday

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The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ahmad Ado Bayero, has paid homage to the Awujale and Paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Alaiyeluwa Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, CFR, GCON, JP, Ogbagba II, to felicitate him on his 90th birthday and 64th coronation anniversary.

The visit, which took place on
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024, was also meant to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between the Awujale and the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero.

It further reinforced the enduring ties between two of Nigeria’s most respected traditional institutions and
attracted dignitaries from both the Ijebu Traditional Council and the Kano Emirate.

Speaking on the significance of the visit, the Emir said, “I was supposed to be here during the 90th birthday and 64th coronation anniversary but I was out of the country. So, upon my return, I decided to pay homage to my father. I say he is my father because when my late father was alive, he used to refer to him as my brother. So, if he is my father’s brother, then he is my father.”

The Emir wished Awujale many more years on the throne of his forebears and expressed his readiness to pay another visit very soon.

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State was represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Ganiyu Hamzat, who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of the Governor.
Members of the Ijebu Traditional Council who joined the Awujale to receive the Emir of Kano were the Orimolusi of Ijebu-Igbo, Alaiyeluwa Oba Jayeoba Lawrence Adebajo; the Obiri of Aiyepe, Alaiyeluwa Oba A.R. Okubanjo; the Dagburewe of Idowa, Alaiyeluwa Oba Sikiru Okuribido; the Ebumawe of Ago-Iwoye, Alaiyeluwa Oba A.A.A Adenugba and the Elerunwon of Erunwon, Alaiyeluwa Oba J.A.Okubena.

Others were the Obelu of Ensure, Alaiyeluwa Oba Abdulsamad Olalekan Kasali; the Sadereren of Isonyin, Alaiyeluwa Oba Abdulsamad Omotayo; the Oru of Imoru, Alaiyeluwa Oba (Engr.) Adeposi Bashorun; the Oliworo of Iworo, Alaiyeluwa Oba G.A. Onafuwa, Otufosejoye of Irete, Alaiyeluwa Oba AbdulGaniyu Awokoya Yesufu; and the King of Fuji music and Olori Omooba of Ijebuland, Chief Wasiu Ayinde Marshal (popularly known as KWAM1).

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