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Diversification: Nigeria Needs To Invest More In Other Sectors – Gov Bagudu



Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu has advocated heavy investment in other sectors of the nation’s economy if the much talked about diversification of the economy from oil and gas must be a reality.

Bagudu spoke Monday at a public hearing on a bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian economic diversification council organised by the Senate Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs.

The governor, who is a former senator said Nigeria is a blessed nation in all sense of the world and “we need to support different sectors of Nigeria, we need to support different constituents of Nigeria to do better.

“We have done well in petroleum and gas not because it is the only sector, but that is where we put in the most money. May be we have put, on an average basis between 1990 to 2010, which have been investing about 10 billion dollars in petroleum and gas when I say we, it is both public and private sectors”.

According to him “if you measure how much has been going into agriculture, for example, in that period, may be, it is less than 500 million dollars.”

He said it will not be surprising that the outcome will be different, adding, “may be if we take mining, whether it is gold, which every state has something to offer, again may be we have not invested as much.

For him, “diversification has restructuring is an element of that so that we support the constituent parts whether they are states or sectors so that each can contribute more than it is contributing.

“Some of the anger we have had in the land may be result from the lack of inclusion when oil production was contaminating water bodies or in the oil producing states.

“Those who hitherto used those fresh water bodies as sources of livelihood for fisheries so those water bodies taken over by weed. And they also got angry and they said it doesn’t matter, you can go on producing oil but what about us.

He said late President Umaru Yar’Adua recognised that we had an amnesty programme that was restraining them and may be similar things are happening elsewhere that if we recognise and provide legislative backing to our diversification quest, we will be able to tell the world we are serious about diversification.

“The evidence in the last seven years had some positive traction that we can build and we can do better and quicker, adding that “it’s a collective”.

“Nigeria is a trillion dollar investment destination. Nigeria, what is our federal budget, less than 35 billion dollars, may be the national assembly is about to pass the 2023 budget I’m sure it won’t be up to 40 billion dollars. What is the budget of Brazil a country that is similar to Nigeria in terms of population, about 700 billion dollars.

“So if somebody is taking care of 220 million people with 700 billion dollars, you are taking care of 200 with less than 10 per cent of that. Isn’t it a no brainer that you will not be able to achieve as much. But we have to all come together, we have to borrow more money if that is what is required or we have to support all sectors to produce more money so that we can fund all our priorities bad.

On the forthcoming election, he thinks “we have made a statement enough in Nigeria that everyone is convinced that free, fair and transparent elections always lead to more confidence in the society, less rancour in the society.

He said the value of free, fair and transparent election is there for all to appreciate, adding “what is important is for everyone to see what more can I do to ensure that we have free, fair and transparent election.

“Sometimes, we are all guilty in the sense that we think it’s somebody who should solve the problem.

However, he said even transparent elections do not guarantee the best outcomes, sometimes still, democracy is based on appeal of populist leaders, leaders who are popular at a particular time.

“We should all play a role to ensure that our processes are strengthened And they are strengthening. Today INEC is enhancing the transparency of election by better accreditation, speedy accreditation, better transmission of results in good time, security agencies are helping, above all President Buhari has committed to free, fair and transparent election even in states where our party has lost elections.

“We are a blessed nation in all sense of the word and we have to support and we need to support different constituents of Nigeria”, he concluded.

Mr. Thomson Akpabio from Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) drew the attention of the committee to section 332 which stipulates 2% tax on imported textile while it imposes 10% on locally produced one thereby serving as a disincentive to local manufacturing.

The sponsor of the bill, Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) expressed his delight that the public hearing was well attended as stakeholders made very meaningful contributions that will enrich the legislation.

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ANTI PARTY ACTIVITIES: Esan Central APC, Suspends Nine Leaders, Appoints Bello



Nine Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Esan Central LGA have been suspended at an extraordinary meeting held this evening at Irrua, the LGA capital.

The suspended leaders include APC State Vice Chairman, Chief Francis Inegbeniki, Esan Central foremost Party Leader, Prince Willy Shaka Momodu, Ward Leader, Hon Abudu Ugbesia, among six others.

The suspended nine APC leaders are alleged to have held a clandestine meeting at a hotel in Eidenu, Irrua on the eve of the House of Assembly election and resolved to work against their party candidate for the House of Assembly election, Hon Victor Edoror. It is alleged that they were induced by the ruling party and their grand conspiracy to disallow Hon Edoror to get into the House and become the Speaker which might scuttle their agenda for Esan governor candidate from Esan Central LGA.

The meeting which was attended enmass by angry members and party executives of the party across the LGA appointed former LGA Councillior, and House of Assembly election aspirant, Hon. Bello Oyaziwolo, as the acting Leader, to oversee the affairs of the party pending the determination of the investigation into the degree of involvement of each of the suspended leader.

Interestingly, the Deputy Leader of the Party in Esan Central LGA and former Vice Chairman of the LGA, Hon Francis Ubene, was exempted from suspension because preliminary investigation revealed that he was in the meeting allegedly called by Chief Inegbeniki, but he refused to agree with their alleged plan to sabotage the election for Hon Edoror because according to him “I have forgiven him and if I have forgiven him, I cannot work against him or the party”.

Speaking with Hon Bello, after the appointment, the new LGA Leader said he was not interested in Leading the party for selfish reasons but would commit himself to helping the party rid itself of betrayals and inept leaders in the LGA and hopefully allow a free process to produce the next LGA Leader.

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Delta: Oborevwori’s Victory, A Turning Point, Says Ebireri



Media Consultant, Henry Ebireri, has urged Delta State governor-elect, Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori to embark only on programmes that are genuine, attainable, purposeful, durable and people-oriented.

He also urged him to make a significant impact at improving the lot of the masses.

In a statement in Sapele, the media consultant described the March 18 governorship election in Delta State as ‘’’a turning point, a landmark in the history of the oil rich state’’.

He appealed to Oborevwori to steer Delta State in the needed direction.

‘’There is a very high expectation from the governor-elect by the people. He must direct his energy towards inculcating the spirit of self-reliance among the citizenry through economic and empowerment programmes’’

The media professional listed security, youth and women empowerment, agriculture, health, education, infrastructural development, industrial revolution, cultural and tourism rebirth,  communication and sports development as key areas to be addressed by the governor-elect.

The statement underscored the future of Delta youths infrastructure and security challenges.

He urged Oborevwori to be fair to all.

He also urged him to recruit only qualified, competent and meritorious hands to help him develop the oil-rich state.

 ‘’They should be people of integrity, honesty and trust. The team should comprise only tested, dedicated, loyal, courageous, selfless, focused and visionary men and women’’

Ebireri further commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his immense contribution to the political development of Delta State.

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Press Release



Senator Ovie Omo-Agege Rejects INEC’s Declaration of Oborevwori As Winner of Delta Poll

A while ago, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Delta State announced Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, gubernatorial flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor-elect following the March 18 governorship election.

The declaration was made despite the myriad of infractions and acts of impunity on the part of the PDP in the course of the election. These were brought to the attention of INEC with incontrovertible proof.

The March 18 election was characterized by massive fraud, unprecedented vote buying and voter suppression perpetrated by the PDP in the course of the election.

The fraudulent nature of PDP’s so-called victory are just too damning and daring for it to be acceptable in any decent society. Most of those infractions are on the public domain and known to INEC officials and the security agencies involved in superintending the election.

In the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, the results pointed to an unequivocal rejection of the PDP. Of the three senatorial zones in the state, APC won two while PDP controversially edged out the Labour Party in the Delta North Senate race.

It was an unadulterated verdict of Deltans on how they have fared under 24 years of governance of their state by PDP.

On the basis of the factors listed and more that will come later, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, governorship candidate of the APC in Delta State as well as the leadership of the party, unequivocally reject the declaration by INEC of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori of the PDP as winner of the March 18 governorship election.

We will challenge this fraudulent result using all legal means.

As a democrat and Deputy President of the Senate, Omo-Agege will explore all lawful avenues to reclaim the mandate freely given to him by the good people of Delta State.

To the numerous supporters of APC and the entire public that share in Omo-Agege’s vision of building a new Delta State, we urge you all to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding.

I can assure all our teeming supporters and all Deltans that the PDP pyrrhic celebration of a stolen mandate will be short-lived.

By the grace of God and the clearly expressed wish of the people, this electoral heist will be reversed and Senator Omo-Agege will be sworn in on May 29, 2023 as the lawfully elected Governor of Delta State.

Sunny Areh
Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy President of the Senate and Governorship Candidate of APC, Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege

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