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The Palace of the Attah Igala has expressed great shock, and described as serious embarrassment to the entire Igala Kingdom a report on Channels Television News at 10pm on Sunday, June 14, 2020 concerning the interview granted by His Royal Majesty, Agabaidu, Attah Igala, Dr. Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni II to a reporter from the .

“The Palace which holds Channels Television in high esteem as one of the most respected News Platforms in Nigeria was terribly disappointed with the manner in which their reporter packaged and presented the interview with HRM, Attah Igala – the part of Attah Igala was chopped off only to present to the public what the reporter so desired, while leaving out the core message of HRM, Attah Igala which calls for peace, unity and proper education of our people on important aspects of history. What the Palace has done with the case and the eventual judgment, was to set the record straight and thank God the evidences tendered did the job and history is being corrected” the Palace of the Attah Igala said in a statement signed by Onoja Okpanachi President,ARISE IGALA Grassroots Sensitization Initiative.

His Royal Majesty, the Attah Igala
Dr Michael Idakwo Ameh Oboni II

The Palace expressed grave disappointment queried the reporter’s inner motive in misleading members of the public by sending out a video that suggests that Attah Igala was celebrating the court judgment when in real sense the video was not related in any way to the court judgment as pushed by the Channels Television reporter. If the Reporter needed a video clip he would have asked the Palace or at least verified any of such (in his possession) before putting it on air. Painfully, that video clip the reporter attached to that report was from a visit of HRM, Attah Igala to Lagos in 2017 – an event that is totally different from what the reporter sent out to the public via a respectable platform such as Channels Television.

“For the record, what the Attah Igala has done was legal and the right way to go about issues in a civilized society. He is not the first to do this but he has to pursue this to a logical conclusion through the judicial system as the case has always been swept under the carpet. It is in pursuit of his fundamental human rights and records to be set straight – the history of Nigeria being taught in our schools is fundamental and should be revived. If it were, the noise going on about the judgment wouldn’t have been as many would have long been exposed to the truth”.

“Even Atta Ibrahim Onoruoiza, the first Paramount Chief/Attah/Ohinoyi of Ebiraland was part of an investigation during the colonial era and it was concluded that Ajaokuta was founded by an Igala and so he (Atta Ibrahim Onoruoiza) went further to propose the traditional structure be maintained by the lineage of the founder. All these records are there in the archive of the Northern Nigeria. In particular, Memos with reference No. 30631/69 (16th of February, 1939) and No. 851/19A (28TH February, 1939) from Kabba Province settled this matter of founders and owners of Ajaokuta”.

“Unfortunately, the Channels Television reporter, instead of staying with the key message of HRM, Attah Igala which actually originated from his own question during the interview (the recorded audio of which we have) decided to mislead members of the public through wrong video that has nothing to do with the story. We do not expect such unprofessional conduct from a reporter of a reputable news media like Channels Television”.

The statement reiterated that the reporter should have focused on the call for peace and the historical facts as stated by Attah Igala; that Igala and Ebira (Igbirra) were never enemies; Igala Kingdom has always provided leadership and protection to many ethnic groups of the great Kwararafa Kingdom including Ebira; Igala Kingdom was long established before the settlement of Ebira in Okene and surroundings; Attah Igala had an Ambassador in Ihima before the arrival of Ebira from Koto after parting ways with their other brothers; The balkanization of the pre-colonial Igala State was designed intentionally to reduce the power of the revered Igala State. One of the negative impact is the continuous attempt to annex Ajaokuta because it fell into the old Kabba Province while other parts of Igala Kingdom were shared into other provinces thereby reducing the control of the Attah Igala in colonial arrangement of ‘divide and rule’.

“So, in setting the record straight, our mission is restoration, peace, unity and progress of the people and the state”.

“The Palace demands an apology from the Channels Television and warns that henceforth, an interview with HRM, Attah Igala should not be treated like interview with any other person on the roadside, as the Stool is one that can be treated with levity”.

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NPA vows to upgrade country’s maritime hub status



Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation

In a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos by NPA General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Mr Olaseni Alakija, Bello-Koko disclosed this in Abeokuta, Ogun,  at the first retreat for the reconstituted board of directors.

The theme of the retreat was “Expanding the Frontiers of Service Excellence.”

He noted that investments in modern deep seaports would attract very large merchant vessels with the attendant multiple socio-economic benefits, as well as boost port revenue performance.

The statement said Bello-Koko disclosed that a lot had been done, especially in the last few months, to resolve most of the identified constraints to the efficient movement of cargoes to and from ports.

Such efforts, he said, were in line with the new direction and measures being put in place to actualise NPA’s aspirations,

“Nigeria accounts for about 70 per cent of cargoes imported into West and Central Africa and the country controls an impressive stretch of the Atlantic Ocean.

“Nigeria’s rich aquatic endowments and her border with landlocked nations makes development of deep seaports a huge potential revenue earner for the nation.

“The move towards earning the status of hub in the region is in line with our new vision statement.

“This was adopted at the recent NPA Management retreat with the theme ‘To Be The Maritime Logistics Hub For Sustainable Port System In Africa,” he said.

The statement said the acting managing director described the board retreat as very timely, as it signposts a unity of purpose and shared vision.

According to him, the vision is one in which the executive management works closely with every section, unit, department, division and directorate and embraces an all-inclusive strategic outcome for the organisation with the requisite buy-in of the board.

“In appreciation of this, I will like to crave the understanding of the board with regards to the executive management’s limitations in actualising some of our goals and objectives, which I am sure distinguished board members must have noticed in the course of the tour of ports that preceded this retreat,” he added.

The NPA boss informed the board that recent interventions made by the authority had led to significant improvement in terms of ship and cargo dwell time at the ports.

He, however, explained that some of the benchmarks which were yet to be achieved were dependent on “externalities and variables” that required concerted inter-agency actions.

He said that NPA, despite dogged efforts, has yet to optimally achieve the said benchmarks due to systemic administrative constraints and red-tape.

He enumerated the constraints as conflicting directives from the agencies operating within the ports and reporting to different supervising ministries with jurisdictional overlaps and duplications of functions.

He informed the board that concerted efforts were being made to expand NPA’s revenue streams, in addition to revenue from traditional port operations.

According to him, unlike the practice in sister Francophone countries where government funds the dredging of ports, the NPA was responsible for funding its.

This, he said, has put a lot of strains on its resources and capacity to invest in critical port infrastructure.

“We are facing decaying port infrastructure, for example, sections of the quay aprons or walls at the Tin Can Island Port, Onne, Delta and Calabar Ports are collapsing and require huge funds to repair them.

“With the increasing pressure to remit more revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the federation, it has become very difficult to have sufficient funds to attend to these decaying facilities.

“There is then the need to explore alternative funding sources outside the traditional port service offerings,” he stated.

Bello-Koko explained that the authority was blessed with prime real estates which could serve as alternative funding sources outside the regular budget.

“NPA has a lot of high value landed properties in Onne, Snake Island, and Takwa Bay that are designated free trade zones.

* Apapa Wharf

“They are mostly allocated but burdened by poor arterial road network and other infrastructure to make them attractive for private investments which would bring good revenue to the authority and the Federal Government.

“Management will need the support of the board to drive the process of alternative revenue sources to actualise the lofty aspirations of the authority,” he said.

The Acting MD also disclosed that management had opened correspondence with some multilateral financial institutions such as the French Development Agency (AFD), African Development Bank (AfDB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and Sanlam Infraworks (a Central Bank of Nigeria approved fund manager for InfraCorp).

He explained that these were all part of plans to access long term low interest credits for port infrastructure upgrades and expansion.

“In making the Nigerian seaports more business friendly, we have been able to deploy technology to address the perennial traffic gridlock that has been frustrating the conduct of business around the Lagos ports corridor.

“A software application code named “eto” is gradually restoring sanity to trucking business despite the initial teething problems and resistance by vested interests hitherto profiting from the chaos.

“The authority has accredited 33 private truck terminals within the Lagos area, in addition to the Lily Pond Truck Transit Park and Tin Can Island Port Truck Transit Park, to ensure trucks do not park indiscriminately on the access roads.

“The trucks would only be allowed to transit to the port after obtaining electronic tickets via the “eto” call-up platform and the authority is collaborating with the Lagos State Government to ensure enforcement and compliance with the e-call up system, he said.

He added that other solutions being implemented was the push to link all seaports to the national rail network, as well as optimise the use of the inland waterways through the transfer of cargo or containers via barges.

Bello-Koko said that currently the authority was streamlining barge operations to ensure efficiency, safety and cost effective cargo delivery for increased port revenue.

He said that the Bonny Seaport project in Rivers, boosted by two major railway projects, would massively transform the economic landscape of the country, particularly the South-South and South-Eastern regions.

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BREAKING: Former CBN Deputy Governor Obadiah Mailafia Dies at 64



A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, has passed on at the age of 64.

Mailafia, who was a columnist with The PUNCH was said to have died at midnight after a brief illness.

The former deputy governor, who was the Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress in the 2019 election, was a known government critic and had advocated for public sector and exchange rate reforms.

Mailafia was born on December 24, 1956, in the Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

He later graduated top of his class at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1978 with a First Class B.Sc.Honours Social Sciences degree (Politics, Economics, and Sociology). He also has an M.Sc. from the same institution.

He subsequently won a French Government Scholarship to France, where he earned a Certificate in French Language and Civilisation from the University of Clermont-Ferrand in 1985.

Mailafia later proceeded to the United Kingdom as a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Scholar at Oriel College, earning a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1995.

He joined partisan politics in 2018 amid the rising killings in Southern Kaduna.

Despite losing, he remained an ardent government critic and got into trouble with the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), when he alleged that a northern governor was a Boko Haram commander.

This earned multiple invitations by the Nigeria Police Force, forcing him to recant his statement.

In his last interview with The PUNCH, Mailafia said the refusal of the CBN to sell foreign exchange to bureau de change operators may not yield the expected result because corrupt bankers would frustrate it while the BDC operators were being shielded by a “Jigawa cabal”.

He had also lamented that Nigeria was operating a “dollarised” economy which was hampering economic growth.

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