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Don’t Subject 10th NASS Principal Offices to Regional Zoning—Niger Delta Youths

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The Niger Delta Youth Congress (NDYC) has advocated that principal offices of the National Assembly should not be subjected to regional zoning, but merit and competence.

This is contained in a statement by Mr Israel Uwejeyan, National Coordinator, NDYC, on Friday in Lagos.

Uwejeyan said that the practice of regional zoning would impose unnecessary limitations and perpetuate division within the National Assembly.

He added that such zoning would also stifle the diversity of thought and restrict the assembly’s ability to elect leaders based on merit, competence, and vision.

According to him, removing regional barriers allows for a broader pool of qualified candidates and harnesses the wealth of talent that exists nationwide.

“We advocate that the members of the national assembly are mature and not children, hence they should be left to exercise their autonomy in selecting their own leaders.

“We contend that the esteemed members of the national assembly possess the necessary wisdom and maturity to make informed choices regarding leadership.

“They are well-equipped to identify capable leaders who can effectively address the challenges facing our nation.

“By granting them the independence to choose their leaders, we foster an environment that encourages independent thinking and political growth,” he said.

The NDYC national coordinator also said that the zoning of the senate presidency might end up creating more problems than solved.

“It can result in a situation where the most qualified candidate is excluded simply because they do not come from the region or ethnic group that the position has been zoned to.

“This could lead to a leadership vacuum and contribute to the underdevelopment of the senate and the country at large.

“Zoning is a divisive concept that has the potential to stoke ethnic and regional tensions; It creates a sense of entitlement among certain groups who feel that they are entitled to certain positions, regardless of their qualifications or suitability for the job.

“This could lead to resentment and friction among different groups, and ultimately undermine national unity and cohesion,” he added.

He, therefore, called on the national assembly to transcend parochial interests by abandoning the practice of regional zoning.

According to him, by doing so, members can prioritise the greater good and work collectively toward the advancement of our nation.

“This shift will foster an environment of cooperation, enabling robust debate and the emergence of consensus-driven, well-rounded leadership.

“The NDYC strongly advocates for the elimination of regional zoning for the principal office within the National Assembly.

“We firmly believe that the mature members of the assembly are capable of selecting their leaders based on merit, competence, and a commitment to national unity.

“Embracing an autonomous leadership selection process will pave the way for a more inclusive, progressive, and prosperous future for our great nation,” he said.

He said that leadership positions should be earned based on qualifications, experience, and proven track records, rather than being predetermined by regional considerations. (NAN)

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POLITICS

Tinubu Tasks APC Stakeholders in North-Central on Unity

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President Bola Tinubu has urged the stakeholders and members of  All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North-Central Zone to remain united in order to take the party to the next level of development.

Tinubu made the call on Saturday at  the Zonal stakeholders meeting of the party in Lafia.

Tinubu, who was the Chairman of the meeting, was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ( SGF), Sen.

George Akume.

The president said:” I want to appeal to all of you to maintain unity. We need to maintain unity of purpose, unity of brothers and sisters for the progress of our party and the country at large “

He also commended Governors of the zone for initiating projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.

Tinubu solicited continued support and prayers from the stakeholders, APC members and other Nigerians to enable him succeed.

The president assured of his administration’s commitment to continue to provide infrastructure and other good policies that would improve the lives of Nigerians.

On his part, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the APC National Chairman, said the party has introduced a lot of reforms,  including e- registration for party members.

” We have introduced e-registration for party members as e-registration will give us accurate numbers of our party members,” he said.

Ganduje appreciated Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa and the North Central APC leaders for inviting him to the meeting.

He also called on the stakeholders and other members of the party to embrace unity for the overall development of the party and Nigeria at large.

The APC national chairman urged  Nigerians to support Tinubu’s administration to succeed.

Also Speaking, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara , who is the North-Central APC Coordinator, said the meeting was to discuss issues that would move the party forward.

” It is also to thank our party stakeholders for the success of our party and to interact with ourselves for the overall development of our party,” he said.

The governor urged stakeholders and other members of the party to build a formidable North-Central zone, urging,

” Let’s all make North-Central formidable.”

On their parts,  the Nasarawa governor, Gov.  Usman Ododo of Kogi and Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue, also called for  unity among APC members.

Sule said: ” Dear members of APC, let’s have the party in our hearts for the progress of the party and for the overall development of the country.

 Also, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Rep. Idris Wase, Hajiya Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, Minister of Police Affairs ( State), Hajiya  Hajarat Danyaro, member representing Nasarawa Central at the State House of Assembly, among other stakeholders ,  urged for focus and unity.

They appealed to party members to remain focused and united for the progress of the party.

They appealed that all hands must be on the deck to take the party to the next level of development.(NAN)

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POLITICS

Niger Assembly Halts Ongoing Construction of IBB University Teaching Hospital Over Substandard Quality

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From  Dan Amasingha, Minna. 

Niger State House of Assembly joint committees on works, health and Nutrition have directed the immediate suspension of the ongoing construction of IBB University Teaching Hospital Minna due to lack of compliance with the contract specifications.

Chairman of the House Committees Arch.

Suleiman Abubakar Gomna and his counterpart, Pharm.
Umar Nasir gave the order during an oversight visit to the project site in Minna.

The Lawmakers described the project as below standard and a deliberate plan by the contractors to shortchange the state government. 

Abubakar Gomna expressed sadness over the substandard nature of the ongoing project noting that, Poor quality work has repercussions that extend to safety and communication in addition to wasted time, resources and materials.

The lawmaker explained that lack of adequate quality control procedures and improve construction project efficiency can have a ripple effect of high expectation.

“There is  urgent  need for material testing towards  ensuring  quality and standard.”      

Chairman house standing committee on health and Nutrition, Pharmacist Umar Nasir said durability, strength, and quality of materials play a pivotal role in the safety and longevity of structures in construction and can significantly impact the overall performance of a construction project.

The Head Project Management of Think Lab Group Limited, Mohammed Lawal Aliyu disclosed that the project consist of three phases which includes; renovation of old structures and building new one.

He said infrastructure such as road, electrification and water as well as supply of medical equipment is also embedded in the contract.

Daily Asset gathered that the contractor, Think Lab Group is  handing the project have already access an advance payment of N9 billion from the state government .

The House committee are insisting that, to  ensure that sharp practices was not recorded, the company must abide by the directives from the lawmakers in order to have an edifice that will stand the test of time

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POLITICS

Reps Query Abandonment of Skills Acquisition Centre Project in Akwa Ibom

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Ministry has queried the contractors for abandoning the skills acquisition center project at Iwuo Achang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep.

Eugene Dibiagwu, issued the query at an investigative hearing on the abandoned Skills Acquisition Center.

He said that the lack of commitment by the contractors had made them part of the problem Nigeria is facing over abandoned projects.

He added that it was ridiculous that the project was yet to be completed after being paid 85 percent of the contract sum.

“As a contractor that has been paid up to 85 percent, you were supposed to have completed that project; you know the reason why you have not; we will not allow the project to die that way.

“We understand the situation we found ourselves in in the country economically regarding the cost of materials.

“We will engage the ministry of Niger Delta so that they will know whether to consider further valuation for your request for additional money.”

He expressed shock that part of the fence built by the contractors had broken, saying the committee would unravel whether the fence the contractor built that fell was their fault or of a natural cause.

He, however, charged the contractor to do everything possible to complete the project, adding that the committee would not join issues with the contractor until the project was completed.

The committee said that if the skill acquisition center must work with all the necessary facilities to make it functional, it would require an additional N2 billion from the N4.2 billion earlier quoted for the project.

“We are looking at an additional 2 billion naira, which will bring the total project to 6.2 billion naira, having committed 4 2 billion naira initially.

“And even if we commit 6.2 billion naira, the center will not still work considering what is left to be done. That center cannot train one person even with 6.2 billion naira.

The committee added that this is because the center would accommodate training workshops, train personnel to man the center, and also equip the training center to work.

It would be recalled that the House, on Nov. 23, 2023, deliberated on a motion titled “Need to Complete the Construction of the Skill Acquisition Center at Iwuo Achang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State”.

The House had urged the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to ensure completion of the project within the 2024 fiscal year and mandated the Committee on Niger Delta Ministry to ensure compliance.

However, the Chairman stated that the contract for the center was awarded on March 15, 2010 by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to three companies.

He stated that the project had reached about 85 percent completion 12 years ago but was abandoned due to an unexpected increase in the price of goods.

This, he said, left the property vandalised and in deplorable condition.

The contractors who appeared before the committee include Stegis International Agency Nigeria Ltd., a civil construction building, and Enarosol Nigeria Ltd., a landscaping and perimeter fencing company.

Others include Y. S. Associates, Electrical and Mechanical Works.

The contractor who tried albeit unsuccessful to defend their actions, were requested to appear with copies of the contract agreement, interim performance certificates, and any other relevant documents relating to the project.

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