By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
In a significant move to propel small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) forward and tackle security challenges, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has taken the decision to demolish the renowned UTC Shopping Complex, the capital’s largest graphics design and printing hub.
Hassan Ogbole, Deputy Director of Monitoring and Inspection at the Department of Development Control, explained that the existing structures were deemed defective and required upgrading to align with international business norms.While acknowledging the inconvenience caused to traders and occupants, Ogbole emphasized the necessity of creating a modernized facility capable of meeting global standards.
Strict enforcement notices were issued to the occupants well in advance, urging them to vacate the premises to facilitate the construction process. However, some occupants deliberately chose not to comply, hampering the authorities’ efforts to proceed with the development plans.
“The condition of the complex has deteriorated significantly, rendering it unsuitable for habitation and business activities. We must make way for a new development,” stated Ogbole, underlining the urgent need for reconstruction.
Addressing the security concerns in the area, Peter Olumiji, Secretary of Command and Control at the FCTA Department of Security, highlighted the importance of remodeling the complex. In addition to meeting global standards, the revamp aims to eliminate criminal activities, including the forging of official documents, that have been prevalent within the complex.
One of the traders, Samuel Onuchukwu, expressed concern about the temporary site provided by the developers, citing inadequate security measures for conducting business. Many traders are still in the process of removing their goods and property from the shops and offices, further complicating the situation.
Authorities are cognizant of the challenges faced by the occupants and assure them that adequate measures will be taken to ensure a smooth transition during the reconstruction process. The demolition of the UTC Shopping Complex marks a significant step towards fostering a thriving business environment and enhancing security in the area.
Traditional ruler preaches love, peace among communities
Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, the Alara of Ilara Kingdom, in Lagos State, has urged community members to always love and forgive one another for peace to reign in the neighbourhood.
Ogunsanwo gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Epe on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said that he became the Alara of Ilara with the blessing of God, adding that nothing could be achieved without God’s approval.
“God loves us and we should love one another because no matter the number of years we spend on earth, it is short compared to our life span we will spend in the hereafter,” he said.
He, therefore, appealed to all community members, political and religious leaders, youths and residents to live in peace, harmony and unity.
“I urge community members to shun evil deeds and sins and be of good character.
“Nigerian leaders should be of good character, always be grateful and contented with what God gave them,” he said.
The traditional ruler also appealed to political leaders to assist the less privileged and “not to look down upon the poor because God is always with those who spend in His mighty name”.
He called on political office holders to always seek advice from traditional rulers and the people at the grassroots for them to succeed.
Ogunsanwo prayed for God to protect and guide all the newly appointed ministers and other elected office holders.
“The situation of Nigeria calls for prayers, as we will continue to pray for our leaders and representatives for God to guide them aright.
“Everyone should be each other’s keepers. Nigeria shall be great someday,” he said.
Ogunsanwo appreciated all the dignitaries and community members that attended his just concluded third year anniversary.
He said that during his reign on his forefathers throne, the community would witness tremendous infrastructure development and presence of the government
First Abuja indigenous minister assumes office, pledges partnership with private sectors
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Hon. Zephaniah Jisalo, who is the first Abuja indigenous minister, on Monday assumed office immediately after his swearing-in by President Bola Tinubu.
Jisalo, who was received by the management and members of staff of the ministry, pledged partnership with private sectors to fulfill one of the ministry’s mandates.
The minister, described his appointment as significant, being the first ever minister of Abuja indigene, adding that his appointment was tasking considering the ministry’s mandates.
He assured the management and staff of his cooperation with them to deliver on his duties according to the ministry’s rules and mandates.
“I thank all the directors and the staff who have come here today to welcome me.
“I think I am a man of the moment as FCT ever got this kind of appointment, it is a welcome development to all residents of the FCT and the indigenous people of the FCT,” he said.
Jisalo served as the Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council for first tenure of four years in 2004 and re-elected in 2007.
In 2011, Hon Jisalo was elected into the Federal House of Representatives to represent Abuja Municipal/Bwari Constituency.
During this period he served in various House Committees including Sports, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Defense, Customs & Excise, Appropriations, and National Security & Security.
Jisalo said he would use his wealth of experience to implement government policies as mandated by the ministry.
“You know I am a legislature, I have learnt how to implement projects, government policies, so we will work together to achieve our mandates.”
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Ibiene Roberts, said the management and members of staff of the ministry were glad to receive Jisalo as their new minister.
Roberts said the ministry had consistently since it creation thrived on the collaborative efforts of dedicated officers, each contributed in their unique talents to ensure the ministry had fulfill its mandates.
“As we embark on this new chapter under your guidance, we are reminded of the power of fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and a renewed sense of purpose.
“The management and staff of the ministry and agencies under it pledge their unalloyed loyalty and look forward to working closely with you towards actualising our mandates and aspirations.
” Your wealth of experience will certainly guide us aright on this exciting journey.
“Minister, we are confident that your leadership will inspire us to reach new heights, exceed our expectations, and continue our trajectory of growth and success, ” she said.
N/Delta Chieftain applauds Tinubu for returning NDDC to Presidency
A Niger Delta Chieftain, Mr Nature Dumale, on Sunday hailed the decision of President Bola Tinubu to return the supervision of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) back to the Presidency.
Dumale, who is the National Secretary of the First Phase Ex-agitator, gave the commendation on behalf of ex-agitators in a statement issued in Yenagoa.
“It is heart-warming to hear that the NDDC will henceforth report directly to the President like the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
“This development is like an answered prayer. I had in the past led a campaign for the commission to be directly supervised by the President positive impact, ” he said.
Dumale, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Strategic Communication Committee (SCC) said, “Tinubu has, by this singular act, demonstrated his genuine intention to turn around the fortunes of the NDDC and by extension, the Niger Delta region.”
He said that the the Niger Delta had suffered lack of development over the years because greedy individuals were allowed to convert many interventions of the Federal Government for the region, into their personal gains.
Dumale said, “We, in Niger Delta region want to use this opportunity to appreciate Mr. President, for the wisdom in returning the NDDC to the Presidency.
“We believe that this will speed up the development of the region, and stem the culture of turning the Commission into a cash cow.
“For us, it is a sign that the President has good intentions for the Niger Delta region for summoning the political will to move the interventionist agency back to the Presidency. This means that he wants proper supervision of the NDDC.
“As ex-agitators, we can boldly say that the Niger Delta has been suffering because of mismanagement. This move will engender accountability, transparency and the much touted development of the Niger Delta, would become a reality.
“This is one step Mr. President has taken to give us hope as leaders in the region. We believe that the NDDC under the supervision of the Presidency would facilitate meaningful development.
“The only time we experienced some development was when NDDC was under the direct supervision of the Presidency. As soon as it was moved to the Ministry of Niger Delta, it became a cash cow, for the Niger Delta Cartel, whose only agenda, is to keep the Niger Delta underdeveloped”.
Dumale said that they discovered that apart from the NDDC and the PAP, there is a Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP), which mandates the ministries of petroleum, environment and Niger Delta affairs, to work in synergy in articulating the development of the region.
“We live in an environment where a lot is taken away on a daily basis by the Federal Government, yet there is little to show for it.
“The condition of Ogoni-Onne-Eleme Road, which is part of the East-West road, comes to mind. The road has remained a death trap making it impossible for free movement of goods.
“We are standing behind President Tinubu and we await, with great enthusiasm and renewed vigour, the speedy development of our homeland” he stated.
Dumale warned that the ex-agitators were empowered with education and strategies to hold their leaders accountable and would no longer tolerate mismanagement of their commonwealth.
Dumale called on President Tinubu to compel the NDDC to make public, its forensic audit report, insisting that persons responsible for diverting the resources of the commission must be held accountable.
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