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FG approves N1.3bn surveillance cameras for Lagos, Abuja airports

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The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved a contract worth about N1.3bn for the design, supply and installation of PTZ long range tarmac camera surveillance system at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after a meeting of the council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Mohammed, briefed the journalists on behalf of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

“The total sum of the contract is N1,278,594,250. This is in order to upgrade and provide security and safety for the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, especially to avoid incidence on the air site and runway,” he said.

Mohammed added that the council approved a contract worth N783.52m inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT for the procurement of two hydrographic survey boats for the National Inland Waterways Authority.

The minister said the contract was awarded in favour of Messrs First Index Project and Services Limited with a completion period of six months.

Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, on his part said the council approved N35bn for the building of a power station by the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority in Akamkpa, Cross River State.

Adebayo said the contract for the power station, which is to power the Calabar Export Processing Zone, was awarded to Messrs Mutual Commitment Nigeria Limited.

According to him, the exact contract sum is N35,411,119,159.47 and the contractor will finance 75 per cent of the project, which is in the sum of N26,558,339,337.10 while the NEPZA would finance 25 percent which translate to N8,852,779,792.37.

He said the council approved a payback period of 10 years for the contractor’s portion.

Adebayo said on completion after 11 months, the plant would be operated by the contractor for five years during which it would build local capacity to take over the running of the plant.

He said, “The whole intention of the upgrade of the two zones is to create zones with world class standards. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is desirous of making Nigeria a manufacturing hub, especially now that we have signed on to the Africa Continental free Trade Area Agreement.

“So, by putting 24-hour power in the two processing zones, it will make it more attractive to foreign investors to come and set up manufacturing concerns here in Nigeria.”

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said the council approved the categorisation of Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria that is in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, as a power producing and strategic company.

With the approval, Adegbite said production of aluminum would start in Nigeria.

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Freedom At Last, as Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame are Release

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Two former governors Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye have been released by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).

They were serving jail terms for corruption allegations until they were granted a presidential pardon by President Muhammadu Buhari a few months ago.

The Council of State had approved the pardon alongside 157 other convicts in April this year.

The former governors were convicted by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal High Court, Abuja in 2018.

Dariye was convicted of stealing N1.16 billion while serving as Plateau governor from 1999 to 2007 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. But his term was eventually reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal in Abuja, while his conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Nyame, who was Taraba governor from 1999 to 2007, was convicted of stealing N1.6 billion from the state’s treasury and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. The judgment was also upheld by the Supreme Court.

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Former NARSDA Boss, Prof Seidu Mohammed Passes On

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Former Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, NARSDA, and one-time governorship aspirant,  Professor Seidu Muhammed Ogah has been confirmed dead. It was gathered that he died in Abuja.

A statement by Agency disclosed that the former NARSDA boss died at Nisa Premier Hospital in the early hours of Monday. .

”It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Prof Seidu Mohammed Onailo, our former Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency, NARSDA which occurred on August 8, 2022, at Nisa Premier Hospital in Abuja,” the statement read.

The 62-year old former NARSDA boss,  a Professor of Space Science,  hailed from Abejukolo in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State and is survived by his wife, children and other relatives.

He was a visiting Professor of Remote Sensing and GIS, Kaduna State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Remote Sensing from Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria in 2004, and received his M.Sc. degree in Soil Survey /Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System from International Institute for Geo-information and Earth Observation (ITC) Twente University, Enschede, The Netherlands in 1993, where he studied as a European Economic Commission Scholar.

He also served as a senior lecturer in the department of Geology, University of Jos from 2007-2009. Over the years, he made significant contributions to the development of models for desertification assessment and predictions in the North West region of Nigeria. This model has been applied by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) as well as other Nigerian institutions in studying the menace of desertification in the country. The model is currently being used to study the green belt region in West Africa.

An erudite scholar prolific writer,  he had over 40 publications in applied space science. He has made tremendous contributions to the implementation of the space programme in Nigeria.

Under his leadership at NARSDA, Nigeria launched three satellites. He was the Chairman, Governing Board, African Regional Centre for Space Technology Education, Ile-Ife as well as the Chairman, Board of Directors, GeoApps + Limited.

He was also a Fellow of the Nigerian Association of Radio and Planetary Sciences, the Astronomical Society of Nigeria, the Nigerian Institute of Physics, the Cartographic Association of Nigeria as well as a fellow and board member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Meanwhile, reactions and condolence messages have been coming in, as the people mourn the demise the thoroughbred intellectual.

Reacting to the death of the foremost academic and researcher, prominent indigene of Abejukolo and Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu said the death was a great loss to the people of Omala Local government, Igala Kingdom, the Nigerian nation and the academic world.

Late Prof S. O Mohammed

“Professor Seidu Mohammed was not only a leader of the people of Omala Local government, Kogi State and the entire nation, but an intellectual colossus whose academic works have been of immense benefit to scientific research, especially in the area of remote sensing”.

Director-General of the National Productivity Centre, Dr Kashim Akor in a message of condolence to the family and people of Kogi State described the death of the space and remote sensing expert who developed and advanced space technology across the continent, as a colossal loss to Nigeria.

He further described the space Professor as a rare gem who had distinguished himself both in the academic, administrative and space management across the world.

He said during his tenure he resolved alot of thorny issues in the country with the aid of space technology, as he was still rendering professional advises to the current handlers.

Also reacting, former Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris commiserated with the people of Kogi State, particularly Omala local government over the sudden death of Professor Seidu Onailo Mohammed who also served as Director General, Directorate of Rural Development DRD during his first term between 2003-2007.

Idris who expressed shock over the sad development, described his death as a great loss to Kogi State and Nigeria at large.

He recalled how he contributed greatly to the rural electrification efforts of his administration,  having served as Director General at that point in time, during his administration in Kogi State.

The former Governor stated that his death came at a time when his services were needed both at the state and national level, praying to Almighty God to forgive him his shortcomings while on earth.

His burial is expected to be held at Abejukolo in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State Tuesday according to Islamic rites.

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Crime

Hanifa : Court Sentences School Proprietor to Death

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Remember Hanifa the little girl who was abducted on December 4, 2021 on her way home from Islamiyya and subsequently discovered to have been killed by  her teacher and school proprietor, after demanding N6m ransom, at Dakata, Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State?

Well, Justice has been served as Kano State High Court on Thursday sentenced the Proprietor of Nobel Kids Academy and North West Preparatory School, Abdulmalik Tanko, the principal suspect who masterminded the kidnap and killing of the 5-year old school girl, Hanifa Abubakar, to death.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Usman Na’abba, sentenced him to death by hanging while delivering his judgment on Thursday.

Details later….

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