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Gov. Uzodinma meets, briefs Buhari on Imo security situations

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Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has updated President Muhammadu Buhari on security situations in the state, including the recent killing of staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by bandits.

The governor, who spoke to the State House correspondents after the closed door meeting with the President, said two suspects were apprehended Monday in connection with the incident.

According to him, the suspects are currently helping the police in their investigation.

The INEC Staff were attacked while carrying out the on-going continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise on the fateful day.

“To of the bandits were arrested on Monday and are helping the Nigerian police command in the state , to do a very thorough investigation.

“Until that is done, I will not speak much on that,” he said.

The governor, however, stated that the initial plan of the bandits was not the INEC Staff but the Correctional Centre Facility in Okigwe.

He said on getting the information on that, the state government in collaboration with security agencies fortified security around the centre thus frustrating the bandits, who later vented their anger on the INEC Staff.

Uzordima said: “The incident that happened, that involved the INEC Staff, regrettably, INEC was not the target.

“We had the information that the Correctional Centre Facility in Okigwe was to be attacked by bandits and we caught their conversation so we fortified the facility.

“True to it, the bandits, while approaching Okigwe, saw how fortified the place was and they tried to escape through Ihitte-Uboma , where they ran into INEC Staff on  continuous voter registration and out of anger and frustration, attacked them. ”

On the insinuation in some quarters that the state government was responsible for some of the atatcks in the state and beyond due to internal wrangling within the governing party, Uzodinma dismissed such claims.

According to him, a government in power cannot shoot itself on the foot by causing mayhem.

The governor also dismissed the call by Prof. Afe Babalola that an interim government should be formed at the end of the Buhari administration on May 29, 2023 instead of conducting the general elections.

According to him, the nation constitution does not provide room for the formation of an interim government.

“By May 29, 2023, if there is no elected government, our constitution has not provided for an interregnum. So we shouldn’t give a gap otherwise, you will be creating room for anarchy.

“What will be the process for selecting the interim government because by May 29, the President will not have the constitutional powers to function as a President anymore.

“So, I don’t think we will decide to abandon our constitution and it should be the instrument guiding our actions as a country.

“If there is any opinion that he thinks it is worthy to be canvassed, superior to what is currently in the constitution, such opinion should be taken to the National Assembly and they will through due process, amend our constitution, to factor in such an opinion,” he said.

Uzodinma said he also updated the president on the progress of work on two reconstruction of Federal roads located in Imo.

He said he had gotten the president’s approval to work on the roads such as; Owerri-Orlu and Owerri-Okigwe, adding that the affected roads would be due for inauguration in May.

“The roads are almost 95 per cent completed and by next month, they will all be completed and the president has graciously approved that he will be there to inaugurate them,” he said.

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Energy supply in Nigeria rises to 87,785MWh

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Nigeria’s electricity supply rose by 6.5% on Wednesday to 87,785.56MWh compared to 82,402.24MWh recorded in the previous day, information from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) indicates.

The rise in energy supply is following the 6.7% increase in energy generation from 83,446.56MWh recorded on Tuesday, 17th May 2022 to 89,064.87MWh on Wednesday. This implies that 98.56% of the generated energy was supplied by the GenCos.

Nigeria’s energy generation, meanwhile, is still below the minimum 105kMWh required to record some level of stability in power supply in the country as Nigerians continue to grapple with epileptic power supply, with multiple grid disruptions recorded so far in 2022, causing widespread blackouts across the country.

Nigeria’s energy generation on Wednesday peaked at 3,838MW, a 0.9% increase compared to 3,804.4MW recorded on Tuesday, while off-peak generation was stated at 3,552.9MW.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has informed the general public and industry stakeholders through a disclosure that the commission will be commencing the processes for the July 2022 Minor Review of MYTO – 2022 to consider changes in relevant macroeconomic indices, generation capacity and CAPEX required for evacuation and distribution of the available generation capacity in compliance with extant rules

Also, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has reported completed work on the 330KV Akure Transmission Substation in Ondo State, which is expected to deliver up to 96MW of electricity

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Covid-19: FG, IFAD distribute Agro-inputs to 958 farmers in Kogi, Niger states

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The Federal Government of Nigeria and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) have commenced the distribution of agro-inputs to farmers in some selected states in the country.

During the flag-off on Thursday in Kogi State, 560 Kogi farmers (197 male, 363 female) benefitted from the distribution of the inputs, while 398 farmers (183 male and 215 female) benefited in Niger State,

Recall that in early 2020, there was an outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which affected the world and disrupted farming activities and food systems.

To cushion the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on farmers, IFAD gave a grant tagged ‘Rural Poor Stimulus Facility’ (RPSF) to VCDP through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The grant is said to be for vulnerable farmers in VCDP states of Enugu, Kogi, Nasarawa, Anambra, Benue, Niger, Taraba and Ebonyi to sustain production and help them recover more quickly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the flag-off ceremony of distribution of rice production inputs to farmers under the IFAD Covid-19 pandemic RPSF grant, the acting National Program Coordinator of FGN/IFAD Value Chain Development Program, Dr Fatima Aliyu, disclosed that 2,793 vulnerable farmers will receive agro-inputs to support their farming activities through RPSF programme.

She noted that the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) is a joint program of the Federal Government of Nigeria and IFAD and is implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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Dr Aliyu explained the project aims to improve the incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava on a sustainable basis.

“A total of 602 farmers will receive these inputs free consisting of 40kg certified rice seeds, 2 litres of herbicides, 2 bags of NPK and 1 bag of Urea fertilizers in Kogi state.

“VCDP will also provide extension services to targeted farmers who will receive training on good practices in the application of fertilizers and agro-chemicals as well as farm management and climate-smart agriculture.

“To enhance transparency in the process, the Programme engaged International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) for the effective management of the input – supply, redemption and delivery in all the 9 States through the voucher input redemption system.

“We recognize and appreciate the support of IFAD in our quest to improve the livelihoods of our smallholder farmers and specifically to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agricultural sector, particularly for VCDP farmers”, she added

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