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Nigeria loses former Super Eagles star



Former Super Eagles defender, Ajibade Babalade has died.

Babajide died at age 48 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The retired footballer, who won bronze at the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal, died on Friday afternoon, September 4, while being rushed to the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

A close family friend of the deceased confirmed his death in a statement to TheCable

“I can confirm to you that he died from cardiac arrest around 11am today,” the source said.

“He was the one that drove himself to the hospital yesterday that he was not feeling too good.

“On getting to the hospital, after taking his vitals, the doctor told him he had to be admitted because of his blood pressure, which was high. And it was what the medical personnels in the hospital was trying to work on.

“Until this morning, when the boy that stayed with him in the hospital saw the way he was breathing, he had to call his elder brother who rushed down to the hospital to see for himself.

“It was the elder brother that now called for his immediate discharge and referral to UCH. It was at the entrance to UCH that he breathe his last.

“I feel so pained that my friend is gone. I am heartbroken and devastated. Just yesterday here, he still posted his first son’s picture on his Facebook to wish him happy birthday.

“May his soul Rest In Peace.”

He is survived by a wife and three children, who all are based in the US.

Ajibade started his professional career at Stationery Stores of Lagos state in 1990, before joining 3SC and helping the Oluyole Warriors to the tournament of the CAF Champions in League in 1996.

He also enjoyed several stints abroad, playing for Ivorian side, African Sports, Anyang LG Cheetahs (Korea), SK Sturm Graz (Austria), and Indian club Mohun Bagan AC.

In October 2008, Babalade was named as manager of the Shooting Stars FC.

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“What do you need?” – Gov Makinde issues open cheque to Ibarapa land




In an event organised by the Oyo State government for the people of Ibarapa Zone, Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde has issued an open cheque to the people on what they need to make their lives better.

The governor made the statement during a stakeholders’ town hall meeting on the 2021 budget held in Igboora on Monday.

The meeting is the fifth public consultative forum on the budget which was specifically organized for the people of Ibarapa Zone comprising Ibarapa central, Ibarapa East and Ibarapa North.

The Governor, in his keynote address asserted that the ultimate power in governance rests in the hands of the populace. He noted that it will be a step in the wrong direction if the people do not determine what constitutes their budget.

Governor Makinde who was ably represented by the Hon. Speaker, Oyo state house of assembly, Rt. Hon Adebo Ogundoyin explained that the rationale behind the expansion of this year’s stakeholders consultative forum is as a result of the success recorded in the 2020 budget.

He said irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ghastly drop in oil prices, which led to a slash of the 2020 budget, the government can boast of a successful budget implemention because the people were carried along.

According to him, the governmemt hopes to achieve more with the 2021 budget through execution of people oriented projects in the state.

He said: “Last year, we produced our first budget, which we tagged, “The People’s Budget,” because we came out and engaged in town hall meetings and sought your input. You spoke, and we listened. You made it clear that you wanted more capital projects and infrastructural development. You indicated that payment of salaries and gratuities was a sore point. As a result, of last year’s budget of N213.8Billion, capital expenditure was pegged at N103.4Billion, while recurrent expenditure had a value of N110.4Billion.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 happened. Additionally, the fall in oil prices affected federal allocations to states. We had to slash the budget. However, we decided that whatever cuts we were making, payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities, and other emoluments to the state workforce will not be affected. After the reductions, recurrent expenditure remained N108.9Billion while capital projects took a 36.9 per cent hit and came down to N65.2Billion.

He added, “We were able to carry out these people-centred projects because we started off the budget year by asking you the question: What would you like us to do for you?

“And so, we are back this year on a similar mission. And this time, we are expanding the process and making it even more open and transparent. Last year, town hall meetings were held in the three senatorial districts. This year, we are upping the ante. Town hall meetings will be held in the seven geopolitical zones of the state.”

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the community took turns to make requests of their pressing needs. Issues touching security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply, tourism and health were deliberated on.

In his response to the people’s needs, the governor assured that every requests made will be considered with a scale of preference., keeping in view, the budget allocation for the zone.

He disclosed that the government will begin the construction of the stadium in Igboora to provide job opportunities for indegines and a good environment for sporting activities in the community.

As a son of the soil, the governor’s representative, Hon. Ogundoyin also promised to sponsor empowerment projects for tertiary institutions in Ibarapa. This he said will help to project the community’s image in the state.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Barr. Adeniyi Farinto, appreciated the people of Ibarapa for their warm reception.

He also thanked Governor Seyi Makinde for being an examplary leader with a large heart for his people.

Farinto, reacting to the request by traditional monarchs to increase their 5% allocation to cater for their upkeep, explained that the 5% budget allocation for monarch is according to the Constitution and can not be modified by any state government.

He however assured that the government will explore other means to make life better for the traditional rulers.

The event was attended by the Permanent Secretary for Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs Mofuluke Adebiyi; Hon. Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Seun Fakorede; State house representatives; directors in the ministry of budget and economic planning; top government officials; traditional rulers; local government council caretakers and other stakeholders in the zone

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Makinde felicitates Adelabu at 50




…says it’s time to imbibe politics without bitterness in Oyo

Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has congratulated a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, on the occasion of his 50th birthday anniversary.

Makinde, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, expressed gratitude to God for granting Adelabu, his opponent in the 2019 election, the grace to witness the golden jubilee of his birth.

He noted that achieving such a landmark age can only be a privilege from God.

The governor admonished the businessman, who flew the governorship flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 election, to see the new age as a great responsibility and a challenge to put in more efforts into serving humanity and making a meaningful impact on society.

He further admonished him to imbibe politics without bitterness by freely contributing his quota to the development of the state without any hint of political consideration.

According to Makinde, anyone who reaches the 50th birthday landmark is on his way to becoming an elder statesman and, as such, bears more responsibilities on his shoulders.

 He said: “I celebrate my brother, Oloye Adebayo Adelabu, the governorship candidate of the APC in the March 9, 2019, governorship election, in our dear state, on the occasion of his 50th birthday.

“Anyone who lives to celebrate the golden jubilee must see it as a great privilege from God and one should be grateful. It is on this note that I give gratitude to God on behalf of Chief Adelabu.

“Also, a 50th birthday is always celebrated with fanfare, because it is considered a landmark; it is the invitation to becoming a statesman and it confers on one a great respect as well as responsibility.

“I encourage Chief Adelabu to note that this is the time for politicians across all divides in the state to eschew politics of bitterness by freely contributing their quota positively to the developmental efforts of the incumbent administration, since the saying is always right: government comes and government goes but the people always remain.

 “I will admonish my brother to, in the spirit of this new age, freely discharge his responsibility to the people by committing himself more to serving humanity and making a meaningful impact on the society.

“It is my expectation that as he clocks 50 and with the responsibilities that come with it, Chief Adelabu will attune his mind to collaborating with the Oyo State Government to return the State to the Pacesetter status it occupied especially in the First and Second Republics.

“As he celebrates his golden jubilee, I pray to God to continue to grant him good health.

“I wish him a very Happy birthday and many happy returns.”

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NLC, TUC suspends nationwide strike; reach agreement with FG




The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress in the early hours of Monday called off the planned nationwide protest and strike following an agreement with the Federal Government.

The decision to suspend the strike came in after an eight hour meeting with the Federal Government on Sunday night.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige broke the news to reporters at the end of a marathon meeting, which commenced at 8:30pm on Sunday and ended in the early hours of Monday.

In a communique, the meeting agreed to set up a Technical sub – Committee to look at the increase in electricity tariff.

The committee was given two week to submit its report.

Ngige; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; Minjster of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of State for Power, Jeddy-Goddy Agba; and the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha signed on behalf of the federal government.

While NLC President, Ayuba Wabba; TUC President, Quadri Olaleye; Secretary-General of TUC, Musa Ozigi-Lawal; NLC Secretary-General, Emma Ugboaja; NUPENG President, Williams Akporeha; PENGASSAN President, Festus Osifo; President NUEE, Martin Uzoegwu and President, SSAEAC, Chris Okonkwo signed on behalf of Organised Labour.

The meeting also agreed that the Power Distribution Companies should suspend the application of the cost – reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.

The meeting also agreed to revive the moribund National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) and be inaugurated before the end of 2020 to institutionalise the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio – economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis.

The Federal Government agreed to make available to Organised Labour 133 CNG/liquified petroleum gas (LPG) driven mass transit buses immediately to major cities across the country.

The communique reads: “To cushion the impacts of the downstream sector deregulation and tariffs adjustment in the power sector, the Federal Government will implement the following:

“A specific amount to be unveiled by the FGN in two weeks’ time will be isolated from the Economic Sustainability Programme Intervention Fund and be accessed by Nigerian Workers with subsequent provision for 240,000 under the auspices of NLC and TUC for participation in agricultural ventures through the CBN and the Ministry of Agriculture. The timeline will be fixed at the next meeting.

“Federal Government will facilitate the removal of tax on minimum wage as a way of cushioning the impacts of the policy on the lowest vulnerable.

“Federal Government will make available to organized labour 133 CNG/LPG driven mass transit buses immediately and provide to the major cities across the Country on a scale up basis thereafter to all States and Local Governments before December 2021.

“Housing: 10% be allocated to Nigerian workers under the ongoing Ministry of Housing and Finance initiative through the NLC and TUC.

“Consequently, the NLC and TUC agreed to suspend the planned industrial action.”

The meeting also agreed on the urgency for increasing the local refining capacity of the nation to reduce the overdependency on importation of petroleum products to ensure energy security, reduce cost of finished products, increase employment and business opportunities for Nigerians.

“To address (1) above, NNPC to expedite the rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna and to achieve 50% completion for Port Harcourt by December 2021, while timelines and delivery for Warri and Kaduna will be established by the inclusive Steering Committee.

“To ensure Commitment and transparency to the processes and timelines of the rehabilitation exercise, the management of NNPC has offered to integrate the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) into the Steering Committee already established by the Corporation.

“A validation team comprising the representatives of the NNPC, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), NUPENG and PENGASSAN will be established to monitor progress of the rehabilitation of the refineries and the pipelines/strategic depots network and advice the Steering Committee periodically.

“Post rehabilitation, NNPC shall involve the PENGASSAN and NUPENG in the process of establishing the operational model of the Nation’s refineries.

“The Federal Government will facilitate the delivery of licensed modular and regular refineries, involvement of upstream companies in petroleum refining and establishing framework for financing in the downstream sector.

“NNPC to expedite work on the Build Operate and Transfer framework for the nation’s pipelines and strategic depots network for efficient transportation and distribution of Petroleum products to match the delivery timelines of the refineries as agreed.

“The Federal Government and its agencies to ensure delivery of 1 million CNG/LPG AutoGas conversion kits, storage skids and dispensing units under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Programme by December 2021 to enable delivery of cheaper transportation and power fuel. A Governance Structure that will include representatives of organized Labour shall be established for timely delivery,” the communique added.

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