Oath of Office
Dr Kayode Fayemi has taken his Oath of Office as the sixth Governor of Ekiti after the state Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, swore him in on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Fayemi was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with 197, 459 votes against his closest opponent, Prof. Kolapo Olusola of the Peoples Democratic Party who scored 178,121 votes.
Fayemi, a former Minister of Mines and Steel, had served as governor of the state between 2010 and 2014 under the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha at the colourful ceremony.
Other dignitaries at the event include Governors of Kaduna, Malam Nasir El-Rufa’i; Oyo, Alhaji Abiola Ajumobi; Kebbi, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu and Lagos, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.
Former Governor of Ekiti state, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has surrendered at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) office in Abuja in accordance with his promise.
Fayose wore a T-shirt with the inscription: “EFCC, I Am Here”, clutching a small hand bag as he was led into the commission on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fayose arrived at the EFCC Annex in Wuse II at exactly 12.59 p.m., a minute before the 1p.m. time announced that he would report at the commission.
He was accompanied to the EFCC by Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike and former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode.
Fayose’s tenure as governor ended on Monday and had, on Saturday, presented “Hand-over Note’’ to his successor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who was inaugurated on Tuesday.
Speaking to newsmen on arrival at EFCC office, the former governor said “I am here in line with my promise that I will be here on the 16th of October.
“And, like I said to EFCC, they should await my arrival. This morning they have been to my house; they cordoned off my street which I feel personally was unnecessary. It is unwarranted.
“When a man says he is coming, Nigerians should be given him benefit of the doubt.
“I had led Ekiti and the best I could give, I have given. Therefore, every question, whatever they need to ask today, I will be able to respond appropriately.”
He had, in a letter to the EFCC, said his term of office “to which I enjoy immunity against investigation and prosecution shall lapse on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.
“As a responsible citizen of our great country, who believes in the rule of law, I wish to inform you of my decision to make myself available in your office on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018 at 1p.m.
“It is to clarify issues or answer questions within my knowledge,’’ he said.
Gov. Wike, who addressed journalists as Fayose was received by EFCC officials, said: “He wrote a letter to EFCC that he will submit himself on Oct. 16.
“He is hale and hearty and I believe that EFCC should know he is well. Our fear from the present report that we have is that he may be harmed.
“But, let Nigerians know that he came by himself to the EFCC without anybody harassing him.
“So that is why I brought him here today.”
For his part, Fani-Kayode said: “we are here to stand in solidarity with our friend and brother.
“He is going in hale and hearty; we trust God and we believe he will come out the same way.’’
Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has scheduled December 2018 for the commencement of the issuance of Nigerian Passport with 10 years validity.
Mr Mohammed Babandede, Comptroller-General of NIS, disclosed the plan when he visited Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state in Ibadan.
The immigration boss and some senior officers were in Ibadan for the first International Conference on Border In-Transition at the University of Ibadan.
He explained that the new passport would have some new features and would run concurrently with the old ones.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the new passport with 10 years validity.
“We have increased our patrol of forest areas, unlike the hitherto street patrol system operated before this administration and improved on our services as directed by the president,” he said.
Babandede said NIS had also improved accessibility to visa through the introduction of Visa-on-Arrival for immigrants whose countries were without an embassy.
“We have initiated the centralisation of Temporary Work Permit for immigrants who are in the country for a temporary assignment as well as made it easy for women to do a change of name across states.
“We have also introduced forward-front-border patrol to curtail activities of smugglers and criminals in the border areas.
“We will continue to ensure adequate security of the border and the country at large,” he said.
For his part, Ajimobi charged NIS to ensure regular monitoring of the nation’s borders to ensure peace in the country.
Ajimobi, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, advised the NIS boss to initiate policies to check illegal immigrants into the country.
He also urged NIS to improve border policing and ensure recruitment of credible people into the service.
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development says private investors have expressed readiness to commit about 3.32 billion dollars to fund some projects in the mining sector.
Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, the Minister of State, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 3rd Nigeria Mining Week, organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Spintelligent.
According to Bwari, the fund will be used for gold mining and refining, foundry works, lead/zinc exploration and production, tin, tantalite and columbite mining and processing, among others.
He said that the ministry was making effort to focus on tackling challenges hindering the formal exploitation of gold, tin and lead-zinc as well stop indiscriminate export of the mineral commodities to foreign smelters.
Bwari said that the ministry had also developed new guidelines for the export of mineral commodities to ease the process of export permits and other licensing issues.
The minister of state said that the mining week aimed to reposition the sector for economic diversification in line with the Federal Government’s economic agenda.
Bwari said that the ministry had designed some innovations in the sector to complement the Federal Government’s effort to create alternative sources of wealth through the development of mineral resources.
“We have strengthened our policy and institutional frameworks for investors in the mineral sector to ensure ease of doing business.
“Government has released funds from Natural Resources Development Fund for the generation and provision of necessary geosciences data to attract investors.
“Five exploration contracts and consulting services for gold and platinum group metals, Rare Earth Metals, Base Metals, Barytes, and Iron Ore, were recently awarded through competitive bidding to carry out resource mapping for potential minerals.
“The Electro-magnetic survey data for three highly prospective gold and lead zinc zones have also been acquired and are available for interested investors.’’
He said that government had also initiated a “Partnership Scheme’’ with the private sector for the implementation of a National Integrated Infrastructure Master plan.
According to the minister of state, construction of the 3,035 megawatts Mambila Plateau Hydro-power Plant is already under way and this will boost economic activities in that zone of blue sapphire and bauxite minerals.
Bwari said the dredging of River Niger and construction Warri Port as well as the Escravos Channel had all been completed.
“These works would facilitate export and import of goods using flat bottom vessels.
“The Central Corridor Railway Line linking Warri Port to Abuja through the North central, home to iron ore, steel plants, coal resource and pegmatite bearing lithium, is also under construction.’’
The minister said that the rail line from Warri Port through Ajaokuta to Itakpe was already completed.
He noted that completion of outstanding projects in Warri and Escravos would ease access to the deep sea and open up business opportunities for Ajaokuta and Delta steel Plants, paving way for shipment of bulk goods. (NAN)
A senior health official in India’s Rajasthan city, Veenu Gupta, says Zika virus outbreak in the country is turning out to be worse in 2018, with 12 fresh cases in the past 24 hours.
The official said that a total of 72 people had been diagnosed with the infection.
“All these patients are from the western Indian State of Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur, barely 300 km from the national capital.
“A number of victims are migrant workers from eastern Indian states, while others are local people.’’
Gupta said that out of the 72 cases, 60 patients had recovered, while 12 were still under observation.
“To counter Zika, fogging and anti-larvae activities have been intensified in the city.
“Over 280 teams of the health department are conducting the door-to-door survey and so far 96,000 houses have been surveyed.
“Over 244,000 containers were checked and larvae found in more than 55,000 containers, which were treated.’’
The Indian Health Ministry has already set up a control room at the National Centre for Disease Control to undertake regular monitoring of the situation in Rajasthan.
India’s Additional Secretary (Health), Sanjeeva Kumar, in a video conference with top State health officials, asked them to “curb mosquito breeding and also intensify vector control strategies to contain Zika outbreak’’.
The ministry has also directed all states to adhere to the norms of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme for controlling Zika.
It, however, said: “there is no need to panic as it is not fatal’’.
Zika virus disease is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, with symptoms including fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, and headache.
This is the third Zika virus outbreak in India since January 2017 when it first manifested in the western state of Gujarat, with a second outbreak in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in July 2017. (NAN)