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Benue Gov’t. to Strengthen Existing Bond with Journalists

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  1. Mr Dennis Akura, Special Adviser to Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue on Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, has promised to strengthen the existing bond between the government and the media in the state.

Akura made the pledge on Friday in Makurdi, when members of the Correspondents’ Chapel, paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

He said Journalists play key roles in the development of the society, stressing that their roles would never be undermined.

“The bond we share will be further strengthened so that the new Benue promised by Gov Alia would be known to the world through you even as the governor fulfills his promises,”he said.

Akura said the underdevelopment witnessed in local government areas of Benue would soon be over with the coming of this administration.

“This government will  improve the workings of the local government by ensuring that rural roads are graded so that security agents could easily move to crisis areas.

“The graded roads will enable rural dwellers and farmers to move their goods to the markets.

“We are going to grade rural roads so that security agents can move to problem areas easily and rural dwellers can also transport their goods to the markets to avoid wastage,” he promised.

He, therefore, charged the Correspondents to keep the local government chairmen on their toes by ensuring that their activities were  adequately reported.

He also tasked  them on balanced reportage, advising that they should not be compromised.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Correspondents, Mr Emmanuel Antswen, sought for synergy with the adviser and the bureau for members of the pen to discharge their duties diligently, observing that the office was a very sensitive organ of the government.(NAN)

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Abia Govt. Declares War Against Indiscipline, Task Force Enters Streets

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The Abia State Harmonized Task Force (ASHTF), Aba Zone, on Tuesday began the enforcement of the law against street trading, illegal parking, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and environmental nuisance.

The Aba zone team, led by Chief Uche Wogu, the Transitional Chairman of Aba South Local Government Area, began the enforcement from Bata Junction down to Aba Main Park.

The enforcement also continued throughout the entire city centre, after two weeks of sensitisation.

Addressing newsmen during the exercise, Chief Wogu said that ASHTF would ensure that all wrong methods of enforcement were eliminated from the system.

“What will change is that nothing will be business as usual as there are massive reorientation of the mentality of the people of this town.

“In the past, you had all sorts of people in the task force doing things recklessly but now, we believe in the rule of law.

“You see people jumping into vehicles, causing accidents and all manner of things. ASHTF has six zones, two in Umuahia, and four in Aba and each zone has Mobile Courts attached to them.

“We have four mobile courts in Aba and when anybody defaults, we would all make use of the mobile courts and the court will issue the penalty charges.

Wogu said that each offence had its penalty and any offence that had a cash payment had to be paid into the single treasury account.

Prince Emmanuel Ahumibe, the Coordinator of ASHTF, Aba Zone-B, has also assured residents that there would be no harassment of any sort.

Ahumibe added that ASHTF was a task force with a difference that would do its job with human face, sensitisation and civil enforcement.

“We will use the mobile courts adequately to ensure that road obstruction, illegal parking, street trading and too many other things were eliminated,” Ahumibe assured. (NAN)

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Naira Appreciation: FCCPC Intensifies Enforcements to Discourage Unfair Price Hike

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it will intensify monitoring and enforcement in formal and informal markets to ensure that business owners do not unfairly inflate prices.

Dr Adamu Abdullahi, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, was reacting to complaints by consumers that in spite of the appreciation of the Naira against the dollar, prices of goods were still increasing.

Abdullahi said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, that the situation was unacceptable, and the Commission was committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.

He said that the operatives of FCCPC would work with trade associations, farmer groups, and other stakeholders to combat price-fixing, and dismantle cartels.

This, according to Abdullahi, will encourage increased competition and ultimately lead to lower prices for consumers.

”The FCCPC understands the significant financial strain these rising prices are placing on Nigerian households. As a result, the Commission is taking proactive steps to addressing this issue.

”While the FCCPC cannot directly regulate prices, the Commission will utilise its existing legal framework to enforce fair competition and consumer protection provisions.

”This includes monitoring and investigating unusual price hikes, addressing complaints filed by consumers, and taking action against any businesses found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging or cartel formation.

”The Commission remains committed to educating consumers about their rights and empowering them to make informed choices.

”We will engage in advocacy and public awareness campaigns to raise awareness about price gouging and other unfair trade practices and provide guidance on how to identify and report such practices.

”We will collaborate with relevant regulatory bodies to develop a comprehensive and coordinated response to anti-competitive practices, price gouging, and other consumer protection issues,” he said.

He encouraged consumers to continue to report suspected price gouging and other unfair trade practices through contact@fccpc.gov.ng.

”Together, we can work towards a more stable, fair, and competitive marketplace for all Nigerians.” (NAN)

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Lagos to Extend Blue Rail Line to Agbara in Ogun  

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The Lagos State Government is currently in discussions with the Ogun government to extend the Blue Rail Line further down to Agbara.

Mr Olasukanmi Okusaga, the Director of Rail Transport, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (LAMATA), stated this on Tuesday in Lagos.

Okusaga was on an inspection tour of the ongoing construction of the Blue Line Phase 2 project being handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

He expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved so far and revealed ongoing discussions with the Ogunt government to extend the Blue Line further down to Agbara.

“The project, which was awarded in 2023, is expected to be completed in three years.

“It will include six stations in Festac, Alakija, Trade Fair, Volkswagen, LASU and Okokomaiko along with three bridges in Maza Maza, Satellite town and LASU. This phase covers. 14 Kilometres.

“There are also plans to construct a depot in Okokomaiko,” Okusaga said. (NAN)

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