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What I will Do With Bayelsa Money if Elected Governor-Agbedi




Hon. Fred AGBEDI is a third time member in the House of Representatives. He was  former state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Bayelsa State. He also served as Special Adviser to Governor Dickson on Political Matters.

Agbeti who represents Sagbama/ Ekeremor Federal constituency in the House of Representatives is one of Governorship Aspirants  in the forth coming governorship election in Bayelsa state.

   In this interaction with the members of the Federated Correspondents the Aspirant bares his mind on the development of the state and his plans if elected.


Can you speak briefly about yourself?

I am Fred Agbedi from Agoro community in Ekeremor Local Government Area  of Bayelsa State, I am the member of the House of Representatives, representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency, of course the third time member in the House of Representatives.

I was first in the House in third Republic which was 1992 under the National Republican Convention (NRC), today as a member of PDP, am serving my second term in the ninth Assembly at the House of Representatives. In Bayelsa state, I have held series of offices. I was the pioneer Secretary of NRC in Ekeremor LGA which office I contested and won to the House of Representatives. I have been chairman of PDP in Bayelsa state since 2005 to 2008. I have also  been  Special Adviser, Political Matters to Gov. Dickson and of course two times Director General  of Dickson Campaign Organisation, the Restoration Campaign 2011-12 and also 2015
to 2016, I have led three campaigns across the length and breath of
Bayelsa State and that makes me an household name and a committed loyal member  of the PDP.
I attended COE  where I read English and History, I attended
Uniport where I read English, I attended University of Abuja where I read Master in Public Administration am currently defending my seminar
on my thesis at Uniport. I pride myself as a professional politician, I have
been in politics for about four decades, I believe that am the only
professional politician that is running for the governorship position in Bayelsa state. I am also a professional in many respects, as teacher, character moulder, trainer, a Counsellor. As somebody who studied English, I can expressly express the desire of
my people and as graduate of Public Administration, am an
administration expert and for you to be a governor, you must have that
competence which I have as a development study student, a development expert of course

  Why do want to be Governor of Bayelsa State?

why I want to be a governor is to develop Bayelsa and I believe that if you want to be a governor, then you must understand the essence of a governor, the essence  number one is to realize that you are to be a servant and you must be able to render service, you should not see yourself as boss or rather you should see yourself as the servant of the people that is what I know very well and that is what I have come to do, to be the servant of the people. I also know that the position of a governor is a supervisor, yours is to supervise others, you understand the essence of supervision and you
too must have the capacity to supervise, because the governor does not do everything by himself, the governor identifies competent and capable hands who represent him in implementing policies and actions of Government and until you understand that a governor is a supervisor and that as a
supervisor, your first responsibility is to identify the right people
who have competency and capacity to implement policies of Government is what makes you stand out as a man who  knows your job from day one and so I realize that as a governor your duty is to supervise and understand how to check, monitor and applaud your lieutenants when they have done well, the ability to call your lieutenants to order when you believe that they are straying out of the radar and of course treat where it’s important and necessary to treat policies and their implementation and if you see that they are not achieving the desired goals and because I know and understand this, and I feel that the only way to express this is to serve at a greater height, which is the geographical expression that we refer to as Bayelsa.

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  Can you talk about your contributions to  develop your constituency?

I am  serving at my Federal constituency, I have rendered projects to my federal constituency as a member of House of Representatives. I have attracted empowerment to atleast 16 to 20 communities  in my constituency, I think that I have gone to the level that I have come to seek the same role at the center and that is why I have come and have been mandated to fly the flag of Peoples Democratic Party in the November 16, governorship election in the state.

 What is your plan to develop Byelsa?

One of my plans is to render services, to serve my people. I feel that Bayelsa should be empowered. First and most important is the empowerment of Bayelsans.
  Bayelsans don’t have financial
empowerment, if they don’t have skill empowerment, then of course
there is nothing you can bring to Bayelsans that will be worth more
than empowerment.

Ques. What is empowerment?

What is empowerment, it is to make sure that  Bayelsans have access to funds, how do they get access to funds, we have Bayelsans that have core competencies in business that as a governor, you must identify the
core competencies of Bayelsans and patronize them, you don’t only
patronize them, you ensure that the service they rendere is paid for
that is the only way to grow your people, as a contractor, business
men, the state patronises you, we should be able to pay you so that
you can make profit, revenue with which you move forward. Once you
empower Bayelsans very well, they will turn the state’s economy around, they will make the economy robust and they will move to compete at the national level and our government will not only empower them and leave them to go and compete at the national level, we will also assist
them where the governor needs to intervene where they are in a
competition and how they are going to have such ventures.  Bayelsa government will
follow up and ensure that we support them to have  ventures at the end of the day. Not only that, we want to grow Bayelsa, not only
to the national level but also to the international level because if we want to be a
national and world player, we must have financial muscle. No matter how competent you are, no matter how effective you are in delivery of
projects, if you don’t have the financial muscle, you will not be able to compete at the national and global level and so that is what our
target is that at the end of the day, Bayelsans, whatever, it will cost
them  to be in competition at the national level and globally, we would ensure that they have that basis to be able to compete wherever they find themselves in Nigeria and across the globe.

  What  do intend to do about encouraging   investors?

If we are talking about investors, the people that can invest  locally are the Bayelsans and if Bayelsans have access to funds that enable then   build factories, industries, it’s the business men that are going to enter into partnership with other business men to  come and grow industries, to come and build factories and so we want to empower Bayelsans in such a situation whereby Bayelsan business men can pull N2 – N5bn  together to say this is the factory we want  to built and they will use the financial muscle and strength they have to
attract partnership to build that factory, to build that industry.

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  What does government need to do actualize this?

What Government needs to do is to create enabling environment, a conducive climate, build infrastructure, social amenities and security that will bring a driving economy base, that is what our Government is going to do. Anything about factory, industries and funding of public projects  that are industry oriented will be the responsibility
of businessmen to partner with other businessmen to bring them. Take for example, we are talking about Aggae Deep Sea Port, where the state government has done so much and has done a lot of works and are still looking for investors to come and invest, if we have Bayelsans who can
pull together 3 to 5 Billion Naira, am sure that we would have achieved
a lot or long mileage as it is today because government funds are not
sufficient to develop Bayelsa as it ought to be.  So, once Bayelsans
have good money, once they have financial muscle and financial
capabilities they can attract partners that can put-in so much
billions to bring such projects into fruition, you will see that
Bayelsan money will be domiciled in Bayelsa and they would be financially empowered to strength Bayelsa economy and to attract other investors to come and partner with our business men to invest in factories and industries and to grow Bayelsa, employment will come. Its by so doing we will have robust economy in Bayelsa,   and as a
government we will also attract revenue to boost our internally Generated Revenue.

 Do you have any  plan to establish a   refinery?

Yes, our government when we come onboard will  also bring to the table the issues of oil production. Bayelsa state has oil wells, we have the attala farm, the marginal oil field and what do we need, do we need to sell crude, which is between 40 to 60 dollars per barrel and failed like the way Nigeria fail in selling raw materials?  For me, the right way to go is to tell our partners with the Bayelsa oil company to build refinery. We don’t need to sell the raw crude, we need to refine. If people who don’t have access to crude oil want to built refinery, what about us that  already have access to crude oil. What we need is a refinery to process the crude and this will bring down the cost of this finished products.  Because in Nigeria, Bayelsa is paying more than any other state and other part of this country because Bayelsa has deep riverine areas and anything you are buying at deep riverine, you can never determine what the cost is, so for me, Bayelsa oil company will encourage our partners
to built refinery, process the crude to     what ever finished products that is going to  come out of the crude
oil.  If we have a refinery,
people will be employed, the petrol, diesel that we are going to
process in Bayelsa will reduce the cost of the finished products in
the state, it will create employment opportunities and of course the
government will also draw revenue from it. I am also saying that as a
chairman House Committee on oil and gas resources in the eight
Assembly in the House of representatives, I went into a number of discussions with the major players in the oil industry. You all
know that the Bonny NLNG is a success story and it’s one of the
highest finance contributors to the Federal Government   
and if the Bonny NLNG will bring two more NLNGs will certainly solve the financial  problems of the country,  whatever amount you want to fund your budget with three NLNGs in  Nigeria can solve that problem and they are desirous of getting it done. In the course of our discussion with SHELL, we have agreed that the bony NLNG should invest in Brass NLNG and shell has also volunteer to invest in that project and so, that dream is ongoing, as chairman of that resources in the House of
Representative, we have taken discussion largely to implementation level such that it’s only when some of us come on board, having realise it to this point,  as a governor I can drive it to completion. And what do you
expect, an NLNG in Brass will open up the brass axis, it will bring
employment opportunity for our teeming youths and will also promote businesses and then as a state we are going to drew revenue from it. That is the way to go.

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What will your administration do about  the brass fertilizer company?

The Brass fertilizer company that has been on the dream line, I have discussions to the extent that the former Managing Director of NNPC has said what will need to do to make it come on stream and by that discussion their expectation is not much 
beyond Bayelsa state government’s power and having understood that
this is what they want to have Brass fertilizer company to come on
stream because it will also generate employment again, which will generate business, which will generate income, I think that, that is
the way to go because if don’t address the issue that will create
employment, issues that will,   bring about robust business environment, issues that will create more
revenue base for the government, then of course, we will still be
relying on feeding bottle democracy.  

  How do you mean?

We say we are  a federal government, but we are practicing unitary system of government, at the end of the month, we all go to Abuja to collect whatever they appropriate to us, we do don’t know what they are given to us, they just say this is what belongs to you and you pick it and come back, which is not enough to sponsor our budgets and as for some of us, the first and most important thing to do is to look inward and generate an economy that will be self serving and we talk about this because if investors are coming to Nigeria and they land in Lagos, the moments they talk to Lagos audience and they know that it is  a business that is going to succeed, Lagosians will tell you am buying it half  a billion naira, or one billion or two billion and of course
they don’t have any reason to come to Bayelsa when there is already
money, when there is local content that is going  to boost their
investment of course they have to talk to that audience and then move
away from there, that is the sentiment we are coming to government to solve. Bayelsans will have the capacity to put money on the table in negotiating and creating business partnership that will develop our state.


FEC Approves  N24.2bn for Free Internet in 20 Airports, Varsities, Markets




By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

The Federal Government has approved two contracts worth N24.20 billion for the provision of broadband for free internet in 75 public places, including 20 airports, tertiary institutions and markets across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, disclosed that an aggregate sum of N209.

36 billion was approved for various projects.

Giving a breakdown of his own approvals, Professor Pantami said his two memoranda were related since they both were focused on providing free internet connectivity services, explaining further that the second one was complementary to a similar approval last year.

“So both memos, you will discover that they will provide broadband to these institutions at the price of approximately N24.20 billion and the project is going to be implemented by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

“The duration for the project is four months minimum and a maximum of five months and there is a budgetary provision for that. Also, the fund to sponsor the implementation has been secured by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.

“For universities, it’s because we have learned bitter and better lessons during the COVID-19, so we don’t want to go back to that, we want to ensure that students and staff benefit from unlimited internet. For airports, we know the difficulty when you land without any connectivity. So it will even at least make our airports more lively if there is at least internet connectivity that is for free.

“Thirdly for the market, it’s to support innovation-driven enterprises that are being championed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we try to give global visibility to our innovators, to our micro, small, and medium enterprises, so that their market is not going to be narrowed and restricted only to our local communities”, he explained.

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The council also approved two major contracts for the construction of a Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration Wiiyaakara in the Kana council area of Rivers State and a 100-bed specialist hospital in Ogoni.

Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, said these projects are aimed at facilitating efficient and cost-effective approaches to contamination management and environmental restoration while supporting the well-being and welfare of the people who have been impacted by the negative effects of contamination in those areas.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Environment, HYPREP Project Office, I presented two memos one for the award of contract for the construction of Centre of Excellence for environmental restoration at Wiiyaakara, Bori in, in Khana local government area of River State, in favour of CCECC Nigeria Limited, in the sum of N41,472,263,848.60, with a completion period of 24 months.

“The second memo, which is equally approved, and is also in line with the UNEP Report on the level components, is the contract for the construction of Ogoni 100-bed specialist hospital in favour of Messrs Tannit Medical Engineering Limited, in the sum of N18,308,463,225.37, plus 7.5% of VAT, with a delivery period of 24 months”, Abdullahi said.

Moreso, the Ministry of Works and Housing received what seemed to be the biggest approval at the Council meeting as the Minister of State for the ministry, Umar El-Yakub, disclosed that for his two memoranda, FEC approved the sum of N95.98 billion.

He said the first memorandum was “for the award of contract for the dualization of the Akure/Ita Ogbolu –Iju/Ado Ekiti state border, on the Ondo Stateside, in favour of Messrs Samchez Nigeria Limited and Messrs Horizon Construction Company Limited, in the sum of N46,684,481,745.44, with a completion period of 24 months

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“Section two of that road was awarded to Messrs Kopek Construction Limited at the cost of N49,295,088,593.98, with a completion period of 30 months. So, one is doing it from the Ekiti State border and the other one is on the Ondo Stateside. That’s the two sections of the contract was awarded”, he said.

Again, the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo, who also spoke at the briefing, said his two memoranda; the first being for the renewal of a management contract for the management ports facilities and the second for procurement of two tugboats for operations at the Lekki Deep Seaport, pooled an aggregate of N26.77 billion.

“The first memo was the renewal of the management contract for the management of Tugs, Pilot Cutters, or Mooring Launches within the limits of the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports complex.

“This management contract was signed between Nigerian Ports Authority and Messrs LTT Coastal and Marine Services Limited, initially in April 2007, for 15 years, which therefore meant the agreement had expired in March last year.

“The purpose of the memorandum is to seek Council’s approval to renew the management contract, as provided in the management agreement and endorsed by the Bureau of Public Procurement, in favour of Messrs LTT Coastal and Marine Services Limited, for the sum of $29,871,615.22, which is an equivalent of N12,440,332,875.44, inclusive of 7.5% VAT, at an exchange rate of one US dollar to N416.46

“The second memorandum that was considered by Council and approved is in respect of a contract for the design, construction, and supply of two 80 tons … marine tugboats to support the operations of the newly commissioned Lekki Deep Seaport in Lagos.

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“The contract was awarded to Messrs the De Pasa Marine International Nigeria Limited for €30,183,540.20, which is an equivalent of N14,330,329,389.75 at the CBN prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment, inclusive of seven and 7.5% VAT and with a completion period of 15 months,” he said.

Also, the Ministry of Aviation got approval for the construction of 150 room capacity hostel for over N2 billion, according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who briefed on behalf of the Minister, Hadi Sirika.

“On behalf of the Minister of Aviation, who presented a memo to Council today, seeking Council’s consideration and approval for the award of contract for the construction of a 150-room capacity female hostel, at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria in favour of Messrs Best Homes Construction Limited, in the sum of N2,244,713,424.56, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a completion period of 12 months.

The Federal Minister of Information and Culture also presented a memo to the Council, which was approved today, for the procurement of 13 operational vehicles for the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria for the sum of N383,968,500, in favour of Kaura Motors, with a completion period of three weeks.

“The operational vehicles will be used for the day-to-day operations of the FRCN and in particular, they will be used to report, and gather news, concerning the various tribunal cases and also for the National Population Commission Census coming up sometime in May. Thank you very much,” Mohammed said.

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DSS Confirms ‘Entrenched Interests’ Plot to Install Interim Government




By Gom Mirian, Abuja

The Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday said it has confirmed a plot “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.

The plot includes embarking on violent protests nationwide to engineer the declaration of a state of emergency as well as securing frivolous court injunctions to stall the inauguration, the DSS said.

In a statement yesterday, the Public Relations Officer of the secret police, Peter Afunanya, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.

“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.

“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”

There have been agitations for Tinubu, the president-elect, not to be inaugurated on May 29, 2023 based on complaints by his opponents on the presidential election.

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Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), specifically called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Olukayode Ariwoola, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), not to inaugurate Tinubu, tagging it an “illegality”.

Some demonstrators also went to the defence headquarters building in Abuja on Tuesday to protest the outcome of the presidential election in what might be understood as an invitation for military intervention.

Afunanya alleged that some protests are being sponsored.

“The planners, in their many meetings, have weighed various options, which include, among others, to sponsor endless violent mass protests in major cities to warrant a declaration of State of Emergency. Another is to obtain frivolous court injunctions to forestall the inauguration of new executive administrations and legislative houses at the Federal and State levels,” he said.

“The DSS supports the President and Commander-in-Chief in his avowed commitment to a hitch-free handover and will assiduously work in this direction. It also supports the Presidential Transition Council and such other related bodies in the States. It will collaborate with them and sister security and law enforcement agencies to ensure seamless inaugurations come 29th May, 2023.

 “Consequently, the Service strongly warns those organising to thwart democracy in the country to retract from their devious schemes and orchestrations.

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“Stakeholders, notably judicial authorities, media and the Civil Society, are enjoined to be watchful and cautious to avoid being used as instruments to subvert peace and stability of the nation. While its monitoring continues, the DSS will not hesitate to take decisive and necessary legal steps against these misguided elements to frustrate their obnoxious intentions.”

IPOB Denies Plan to Print Biafra Currency, Form Govt

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Wednesday said it has no plans to print Biafra currency and operate a government in exile.

IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, warned those he described as autopilot to desist from such a move.

In a statement he signed, Powerful distanced IPOB from the autopilot group, stressing that the group has no faction.

Powerful, who distanced IPOB from those operating Radio Biafra in the United States, noted that those operating under the guise of the Directorate of State are not members of IPOB.

“We the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of the great liberator Nnamdi Kanu once again reiterate that IPOB is not part of the formation of Biafra government in exile anywhere.

“The people behind the shambolic Radio Biafra government in exile in the USA are not IPOB members, and they should stop linking themselves to us.

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“Those piloting government in exile in the USA are not IPOB members, and they don’t mean well for Biafra freedom and restoration.

“IPOB has no plan to print Biafra currency, stamps, and other important state documents because we are not yet a sovereign nation. If we print currencies now, where can they be used as legal tender,” the statement read in parts.

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Oando Grows 2021 Revenue to N722bn




Oando Plc has announced an increase of more than a half in turnover for 2021, according to its unaudited earnings report issued yesterday.

The increase helped the oil driller halt its two-year run of losses that began in 2019, the report showed.

Shares in the company had gained nearly 10 per cent, the upper daily limit allowed by the Nigerian Exchange, as of 10:14 WAT in Lagos after the news hit the market.

But the stock was yet to see any movement in Johannesburg, where it has a secondary listing, as of the time.

A messy shareholder dispute involving an indirect shareholder, Ansbury Investment Inc, had prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to bar the firm from holding annual general meetings, making it impossible to release its financials for three years until last June.

At the heart of the conflict were loans granted to the shareholder, which forced Oando to make a huge impairment allowance that tipped the company into a loss after tax of N207.1 billion in 2019 and N140.7 billion in 2020.

Revenue for 2021 grew to N722.4 billion from N477.1 billion, while other operating income slowed to N36.7 billion from N43.6 billion as the company recorded a loss on fair value on commodity options in contrast to a gain one year earlier.

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Oando earned N112.1 billion from reversal of impairment of financial assets, where a loss in the sum of N62.9 billion was posted a year ago, boosting operating profit.

Finance income expanded by almost fivefold to N44.1 billion, helping cushion the hit of net finance cost on profit.

Pre-tax profit stood at N48.4 billion compared to a loss before tax of N134.3 billion in 2020, while profit for the period came to N34.7 billion relative to a loss after tax of N140.7 billion one year prior.

Earnings-per-share was N3.04 compared to a loss per share of N9.05 in 2020.

“Bullish oil prices throughout the year saw us record a 105% increase in average realized oil sale price whilst a surge in militancy and sabotage across the Niger Delta resulted in a 40% decline in average hydrocarbon production compared to 2020,” said CEO Wale Tinubu.

“Despite the challenges, a strong revenue performance, coupled with the refund of a longstanding receivable contributed to a Net Profit of N34.7 billion,” he added.

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