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IYC, NDDC Disagree Over N3.8bn Non-existing Contracts

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The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has disagreed with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for admitting that it awarded over N3.8bn contracts for procurement of health equipment to fight Lassa fever under the commission’s former Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa.

The commission at the weekend disassociated itself from a document claiming that it awarded N5.5bn contract to Signora Concept Services Limited as claimed by the Ijaw Peoples Development Initiatives (IPDI) saying the document was fake and unauthorised.

But Odili admitted, “In early 2019, there was an outbreak of Lassa Fever in Ondo and Edo states, which overwhelmed the capacity of the state governments to cope.

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“The governor of Ondo State made a request to the Commission for intervention. As a result, the then management, headed by Prof Nelson Braimbaifa on 20th February 2019 awarded a contract for the procurement of 21,000 Lassa Fever prevention kits for the region in the sum of N903 million. The items were supplied and distributed.

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“The contractor was duly paid. As the scourge persisted, there was need for further intervention. Another 1,000 protective kits were ordered for N1, 092,283,500. This contract was awarded on March 11, 2019. The last contract for Lassa Fever was awarded on April 16, 2019 in the sum of N2, 425,242,248.

“All the kits were supplied and distributed to the nine states. As at date, the Commission is yet to pay for this last contract. Payments had been suspended on ministerial order due to the need for verification of past contracts”.

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Also, the Signora Concepts Services Limited while dismissing a report claiming that it was awarded N5.5bn contract by NDDC to supply Coronavirus personal protection equipment confirmed being among the companies that benefitted from the Lassa Fever contracts.

The firm in a statement signed by its Operation Manager, Patrick Ijeomah, explained that the commission under Brambaifa awarded Signora Concepts and 21 other companies contracts on Lassa Fever kits.

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He said, “Some of the materials are still in the warehouse of NDDC till date. Amount paid by a former IMC Acting Managing Director, Dr. Joy Nunich, was N2.9bn and a balance of N972million still outstanding.

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“Contracts had various medical accessories ranging from Lassa Fever kits, cholera vaccines and science equipment. It is not true that these items were never supplied as all the companies involved supplied the items and those items were dully inspected by officials of the commission and also distributed to the various communities.

“It will be pertinent to mention that the supply of these items became necessary due to the floods that ravaged the communities of the Niger Delta, which increased the possibility of cholera and Lassa Fever outbreak and made it impossible for women in labour to deliver safely in the various community primary health centres”.

But the IYC in a statement signed by its Chairman, Transition Implementation Committee, Kennedy Olorogun, Secretary and a member of the committee, Frank Akiefa and James Tobin, said there was no evidence of such contracts in the region.

Olorogun regretted that successive management of the commission was marred by controversies especially in the area of fund management.

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READ ALSO: COVID-19: Bayelsa Converts Hospital Donated By Chevron To Isolation Centre

He said, “Recently, the council was alarmed to the effect that under the leadership of Prof. Nelson Brambaifa and Dr Joy Yimebe Nunieh, the Commission reportedly approved the sum of N2.9 bn with an outstanding balance of N972million for the purchase of medical facilities for Lassa Fever kits, Cholera vaccines and Science equipments.

“And the Commission admitted that these items were supplied and distributed to various communities in the region. Without mincing words, the council frowns at the opaque manner the management of the commission conducts its activities especially as it relates to the management and distribution of the financial resources meant for the development of the region.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the council is up in arms with the commission on the said humongous funds that was approved by the commission for the purchase of medical items that would have been utilized for the benefit of the people of the region but was fraudulently frittered away by the top echelon of the commission.

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“At no time was the council intimated about the activities of the commission with respect to the distribution of medical items for maternity purposes. The council has a very efficient and robust administrative structure down to the communities across the States of the Niger Delta.

“Therefore, it is amazing to hear that the Commission distributed medical items to aid safe motherhood delivery in the region as a result of a ravaging flood that affected the region”.

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Olorogun urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to probe the Lassa Fever contract and how the health equipment was disbursed in the region.

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(Source: NATION)

(PHOTO: credit)

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PUNCH Petitions IGP Over Seizure Of Correspondent’s Phone

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The PUNCH Newspaper has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba, over the attack on PUNCH correspondent, Toni Ufor, by some policemen attached to the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) on Wednesday.

 

The officers also seized Ufor’s phone and Identity card.

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Editor of The PUNCH Ademola Oni in the petition described that action as unwarranted, provocative, uncivilised, crude and barbaric.

 

Ufoh, Oni said, was assigned to cover the case of some tenants, who allegedly defrauded by a developer, Adewale Tunde, at the Milverton Office of the SFU in Ikoyi.

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He said: “The reporter’s offence was that he had the audacity to conduct interviews with the victims allegedly defrauded by the developer in front of the premises of the 

 

“The power-drunk policemen descended on the helpless reporter, accusing him of recording the SFU office.

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“After he was made to identify himself as a journalist, the overzealous policemen arrested the reporter, deleted all the interviews he had conducted on his telephone set and went ahead to seize the set and confiscated his ID card.

 

“These cops equally threatened to lock up the journalist when he demanded the return of his set and card which are his lawful property.

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“The intervention of one of the crime reporter on the Metro Desk of the newspaper failed to assuage the flaming impunity of these policemen, who ensured they frustrated the coverage of the assignment for reasons best known to them.”

 

According to Oni, attacks on PUNCH reporters by officers of the Nigerian Police Force have become a recurring decimal, from Lagos to Imo, from Enugu to Kaduna in the recent past.

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“I have the authority of the management of PUNCH Nigeria Limited to request that you use your good offices to direct that the errant policemen return the telephone set and the ID card of Ufor to him at the corporate head office of PUNCH Nigeria Limited, PUNCH Place, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Magboro before 6pm December 30, to ensure fairness.

 

“We also demand that these overzealous policemen be punished for taking the laws into their hands by attacking an innocent Nigerian, obstructing a journalist from carrying out his lawful duty, and dragging the image of the Force in the mud through their crudeness and brazen display of their self-imposed power,” he wrote.

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Ijaw Youths Apologize To Sylva Over Misunderstanding With IYC

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By Chris Ochayi

 

Concerned Ijaw youths residing in Abuja, the nation’s capital, have tendered an unreserved apology to the Minister for State Petroleum Resources, Chief Dr. Timipre Silva and his Chief Security Officer Mr. Muhammed Salisu Abdullah for the unplanned altercation with the IYC Abuja Chapter last week.

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The group while calling for calm and tranquility in a statement, Tuesday by Taritimi Okoye urged members of IYC Abuja Chapter, the NPF/D S.S, attached to the minister to bask in spirit of the yuletide season to forgive each other and embrace peace.

 

According to the statement, “ The concerned IJAW youths residing in Abuja, would like to seize this medium to apologies to the entire family members of his Excellency, Chief. Dr. Timipre Sylva, the Honorable Minister for State Petroleum Resources and his Chief Security Officer, Mr Muhammed Salisu Abdullahi for the negatives incidents which occurred last week.

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“In the spirit of the Yuletide season, we also use this medium to urge and appeal to injured IYC members and the NPF/D.S.S attached to the minister to forgive each other and embrace peace.

 

READ ALSO: Lagos Bread Seller, Others Wins N1m In ALAT’s 5for5 Promo

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“While, there has been claims in the media as published on 24/ 12/ 2021 by the Ijaw youths council leadership headed by Mr Chief Diplomat Adam Ogomugu Marbo that Mr. Muhammad S. Abdullah who is the Chief Security Officer the minister, was the person who gave the order that led to violence and destruction of properties which occurred at the minister residence on the 21 / 12/ 2021.

 

“Besides that, we want to equivocally state here that the security operatives on duty on that faithful day, was only carrying out their official duty which is to protect lives and properties of Nigerians and our leader at their respective residence.

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“ It is worthy to note, that the manner in which the IYC used it’s bus to barricade the minister’s gate was quite uncalled for and indeed provoking, the worst is that there wasn’t any known prior confrontations or grievances.

 

“However, because this is not a good conduct as such, it is therefore expected, that all well meaning Niger Deltans, the IYC leadership and Ijaws living both at home and abroad would and should speak against it.

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“Generally, this incidents has brought a lot pains to the families of H/E Chief Timipre Silva and his C.S.O, and Injured N.P.F/ D.S.S on that day, as well as the IYC Abuja chapter members who got injured during their invading to the Minister residence, So it won’t be a nice action to make a fuss and categorize this issue as a political issue.

 

“In the light of the above, we are appealing and also calling on all parties involved to embrace peace and further restrain from all future planned attacks on the Mohammed and the Minister’s image; because the CSO, was only doing his job to protect Nigerians living in the neighborhood and working for the minister.

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“Any further attempt to rubbish the image and career of Mr. Abdullahi, a very charismatic Nigerian Police Officer, who has diligently served the nation would be tantamount to amounting more pain for the minister.

 

“We therefore urge all parties to embrace a peaceful approach to resolve these sad incidents in other to heal wounds and engender prosperity for all Nigerians, “it added.

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Lagos Bread Seller, Others Wins N1m In ALAT’s 5for5 Promo

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Zainab Ayoola, a 37-year-old bread seller in Lagos has become the 1 million naira cash prize winner in the Bank’s December edition of Wema Bank’s ALAT 5for5 promo.

 

On Thursday, December 16, 2021, the Ilorin native joined five other millionaires who had won the monthly draw since July 2021, when the promo began across the country.

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Zainab who sells bread in the Bariga area of Lagos, was close to tears as she attempted to explain the moment she won,

 

“I was shocked when I got the call that I had won a million Naira because I am just a petty trader. I have never done any transaction or sales worth that amount before.”

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The single mother promised to use her winnings to train her teenage daughter. “I am grateful to the bank for blessing me this December, they have made my life and this festive period better,” she said.

 

Nneka Stephens, a 27-year-old medical doctor, also won N100,000. She heard of the promo on social media and was elated. ‘I am very grateful to the Bank for giving me this Christmas gift! Since I’ve been banking with ALAT, I have conducted multiple transactions and they have been seamless,” she stated.

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Dotun Ifebogun, the Divisional Head, Retail Business, Wema Bank Plc stated the bank’s focus on actively spearheading financial inclusion while rewarding customers, ‘So far, the lives of our winners have changed because we are giving them an opportunity to make a difference. We are not only creating financial freedom, but we are also educating our winners on various ways they can operate their Wema account using functions such as the USSD code and the ALAT app rather than visiting a physical bank. It’s important that we encourage our customers to explore various possibilities.

 

Since the promo began in July, 426 customers across Nigeria have won over 21 million naira, by conducting transactions via the digital banking platform, ALAT, and using Wema’s USSD code – *945#. ALAT and Wema Bank will continue to reward loyal customers in the 5for5 promo till March 2022.

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