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Lai Mohammed says NTA can compete with CNN

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Information Minister, Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, is seeking for the approval of N181.5 billion ($500 million) credit facility from President Muhammadu Buhari.

The loan, according to Mohammed, will enable the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) compete with the likes of Cable News Network (CNN).

While defending the loan request before the senate committee on Local and Foreign Loans, the minister explained that there is no better time for NTA to digitize its operations.

“The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2006 gave June 17, 2015 as deadline for all members of the organisation to migrate from analogue to digital. Regrettably, we were unable to meet the deadline alongside most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the deadline was moved to 2017, which was not reliable and today the target is June 17, 2020,” he stated.

On how the loan will be deployed, the minister explained that the loan is aimed at establishing the media and culture industry centre, digitize all NTA stations, and at the same time construct integrated television services to infuse on network, which is the signal distributor and essential component of the digitization project.

Mohammed restated the need for the country to meet the new deadline, saying if the world migrates from analogue to digital and Nigeria remains analogue, it means the country would be unable to enlighten, entertain and educate Nigerians.

The minister further stressed that Nigeria has the manpower and technology to operate on a global scale, as he said the creative industry was not just about television alone, but film, music, fashion and photography.

According to him, the creative industry employs no fewer than one million young persons directly and indirectly.

Mohammed said, “If this project is approved, there will be more visibility for our people in the music, fashion and film industries.

“In 2014, we made $23 million from music alone and about $53 million in 2019 and we are looking forward to making $83 million in 2025. You can imagine the kind of growth we will have if only we digitize all the NTA stations in the country.”

The minister maintained that the project for which the Ministry of Information and Culture planned to borrow the loan, is about employment and revenue generation, as he said the industry contributes 1.492 to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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 Sanwo-Olu opens 11 Road Network, Health Centre, Classrooms blocks in Bariga

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…Says Projects Symbolise ‘True Transformation’ At Grassroots

Residents of Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in the eastern part of Lagos State have reaped what could be termed “bountiful dividends” of local government autonomy entrenched in the State.
 
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was in the area on Friday to inaugurate 11 road network recently completed by the council chairman, Hon. Alabi Kolade. Governor Sanwo-Olu’s intervention accelerated the completion of the 1.6-kilometre long road projects, two years after they started.
 
The Governor, accompanied by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and members of the State Executive Council, commissioned a state-of-the-art CMS Primary Health Centre and fully furnished three blocks of classrooms built by the council in Gbagada Girls Junior Secondary School.
 
Sanwo-Olu said he was thrilled by the quality of the projects delivered, while paying glowing tributes to the council chairman, whom he described as a “true grassroots leader”. He said the projects were the core of social intervention programmes whose benefits to the people could not be quantified.
 
The Governor said: “This is the first local government that I have taken a full tour to commission projects. I am not only impressed by the quality of projects, I am totally encouraged by what we have seen. We have seen three strategic life-changing interventions in Bariga LCDA. The chairman has intervened in the health sector by providing a Grade-A Primary Health Facility.
 
“Hon. Kolade intervened in education sector with the building of three modern classroom blocks in Gbagada Girls Junior Secondary School and donated buses to carry the pupils free of charge. He also intervened in infrastructure, given all the roads he has built for the people of Bariga. This is a real transformation of a local government and I will use this good example in Bariga LCDA as a point of encouragement to other local council chairmen.”
 
As a reward for the quality of projects delivered, Sanwo-Olu promised to appoint additional Special Adviser from Bariga LCDA to support the State Government’s effort in driving more development at the grassroots. He charged other council chairmen to emulate the example set by the Bariga LCDA boss, saying their social programmes and capital projects must address the welfare of their residents.
 
Sanwo-Olu also said the State Government would be embarking on massive rehabilitation of key roads in the council, pointing out that the long-awaited re-construction work on St. Finbarr’s Road would be starting soon.
 
“As a Government, the quality of projects we have inaugurated today demonstrates our commitment to lifting people at the grassroots and show them that our labour is to improve their wellbeing. We will be starting massive rehabilitation of St. Finbarr’s Road, starting from the gate of University of Lagos (UNILAG). We will be rehabilitating Jagunmolu Street, Diya Street and Shoniyi Street,” the Governor said.
 
Hon. Kolade said the projects were part of social intervention programmes being implemented by the council, adding that more capital projects would be completed in various communities within the council in the coming weeks.
 
The council boss recalled how Sanwo-Olu facilitated the completion of the inaugurated roads, noting that the Governor, after listening to the council’s complaint, immediately re-mobilised contractors handling the projects back on the sites.
 
He said: “Bariga LCDA has been benefiting from the magnanimity of Governor Sanwo-Olu. I recall his efforts towards the completion of the roads being inaugurated today. I made a complaint to him about the neglect of the roads and he immediately approved that the contractor should return to site to ensure the projects are delivered.”
 
Kolade said the usefulness of the projects to the people demonstrated the capacity of the LCDA to transform development programmes in the grassroots. He said the council had embarked on the construction of additional 21 roads, out of which 18 would soon be delivered and opened for use.
 
The council boss said the development agenda of the Sanwo-Olu administration, known as Project T.H.E.M.E.S, inspired the council to carefully select programmes it would invest in, adding that the projects being commissioned were products of the current administration’s development efforts.
 
The CMS Primary Health Centre is built with Accident and Emergency section, laboratory, pharmacy, and maternity. There is also a fully kitted ambulance stationed in the health centre for emergency purpose.
 
Other projects inaugurated by the Governor in Gbagada Girls Junior Secondary School included a mini school hall, 24 modern lavatories, recreational arena and five buses that will take pupils on a free ride to and from the school.

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Bayelsa: INEC presents certificate of return to PDP candidate, Diri

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Bayelsa Governor-Elect, Sen. Duoye Diri

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented certificate of return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri as the Governor-Elect of Bayelsa state.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, told a news conference that the commission took the decision after the Supreme Court sack Lyon as the governor-elect of the state.

He said, “The commission has received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement of the apex court which disqualified the deputy governorship candidate and vitiated the joint ticket of the party earlier declared winner in the election.

“The court also ordered the commission to “…declare as winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa State the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast with the requisite constitutional (or geographical spread)”.

In compliance with the orders of the court, Yakubu revealed that INEC convened a meeting to review the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested.

Without the votes scored by the APC, he put the total number of lawful and valid votes cast in the election at 146,999.

Out of this figure, the INEC chairman stated that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri, scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172.

He added that the party scored more than 25 per cent of the lawful votes cast in all the eight Local Government Areas of the state.

According to the INEC boss, the total number of registered voters in places where the election was not held or cancelled as a result of sundry violations is 90,822 while the candidate of the Accord party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes.

“The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With this outcome, the election is conclusive at first ballot.

“Consequently, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected as governor and deputy governor of Bayelsa State respectively,” he declared.

Yakubu noted that the tenure of the incumbent governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, would end at midnight on February 14, 2020.

Thereafter, the governor and deputy governor-elect were presented with the Certificates of Return, in line with Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

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Bayelsa Governor-Elect, David Lyon gets sacked hours before inauguration

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…Nobody else will be sworn in as governor – Oshiomole

The Governor-Elect of Bayelsa state, David Lyon alongside his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo was on Thursday sacked by the supreme court.

David Lyon who supposed to be inaugurated on Friday, 14 February 2020 was shown the ‘exit door’ following the decision of a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the All Progressives Congress’ candidate as the winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.

The Apex Court ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which are the Peoples Democratic Party.

Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment made the orders after disqualifying the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election.

The court upheld the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which had disqualified Degi-Eremienyo in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

The court ruled that Mister Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had infected the joint ticket with which he and the governorship candidate, Lyon, ran for and won November 16, 2019.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives has reacted to the sack of Lyon and Degi-Eremienyo by the supreme Court.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, insisted that aside its candidate, no other individual got the required number of votes.

“Nobody will be sworn in on Friday as the new governor in Bayelsa state,” Oshiomhole declared.

“In this case nobody apart from David Lyon meet desire spread as expressed by the Supreme Court.

“The next candidate who happens to be a PDP candidate does not have one-quarter of the votes cast in that election.

“This judgement lacks the fruit of justice,” Oshiomhole announced.

He noted that the APC, through its legal team, would explore all legal options to ensure that its candidate is sworn in as governor of Bayelsa state.

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