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Allegations of bribery, imposition trail LG elections in Ogun State.

Owolola Adebola
Nine chairmanship aspirants for  Abeokuta South Local Government, Ogun state, have said that a  chairmanship candidate, Hon. Omolaja Majekodunmi  should be questioned for alleged huge amount of money he reportedly  paid to the party leaders in order to get the chairmanship ticket.

Speaking on behalf of the nine aspirants was Hon. Enilolobo who disclosed  this on Monday during a press conference held at Local Government Secretariat, Ake, Abeokuta South, Ogun state.

The statement reads ” We, the undersigned, wish to express our profound gratitude to His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR for his unflinching support towards the progress of Abeokuta South local government for appointing the man of the soil and a cerebral administrator to pilot the affairs of the Premier local government in Nigeria, Abeokuta South, Hon. Ayodeji Michael Shomide.

“We are unperturbed by the claim of some disgruntled elements within the fold of the party to resort to character assassination by declaring the Transition Committee Chairman of Abeokuta South local government, Hon. Ayodeji Shomide as a person whose source of income is questionable.

“While they failed to question the flamboyant, lavish life style of a staff of the Ogun State Local Government Service Commission who paid the party leaders huge sum of money to fraudulently and unlawfully attempt to buy the party chairmanship ticket, a level 13 officer whose salary is 142,330.90k per month should be questioned of his source of multi million naira wasteful bribe offer to the party leaders in other to buy the party chairmanship ticket.
” It is so obvious that his income doesn’t commensurate with the multi million naira bribe offered the party leaders, therefore, his income and lifestyle is highly questionable.
“To set the record straight, Hon. Ayodeji Michael Shomide, popularly known as AY SHO, was born into the family of Ezekiel and Elizabeth Shomide of Abeokuta South local govt, Ogun State, Nigeria.
“He attended Springfield Nursery and Primary School and had his secondary school education at Baptist Boys High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, where he got his Secondary school leaving certificate.
” He continued his higher education at Plateau State Polytechnic, where he studied Diploma in Accounting and later furthered his studies at West London College, London, United Kingdom, where he studied Business Management.
“He is extremely motivated to constantly developing in skills and grow professionally.
” He is passionately confident in ability to engage challenges and come up with interesting ideas for unforgettable project development in housing, real estate and infrastructural development.
“Hon. Ayo Shomide, was appointed by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Ogun State as the transition committee chairman of Abeokuta South local govt, where he is presently running the affairs of the local government as the number one citizen of the only Premier local govt in Nigeria.
“He established Builders Concept and Home Making Ltd. Hon Ayo Shomide is a seasoned Entrepreneur, a Builder and Property director by practice.
“Hon Ayo Shomide has demonstrated himself as good team leader, by bringing people together from beginning to the end of different projects.
“He chooses  to specialize in the construction and property industry as a result his confidence in collaborative efforts towards achieving same goal, in which he is demonstrating as the Chairman of Abeokuta South local government.
“He has since grown his company into a multi-million Naira organization.
“Hon. Ayo Shomide has much interest in service, representation and giving back to the society at large. He is happily married and blessed with children.
“However, it has become pertinent as stakeholders in the local government to lend our voice to the political imbroglio rocking the party, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abeokuta South as some moneybag politicians have hijacked the peaceful co-existence of party members in the local government.
“Following series of attack and political assassination on the personality of Hon. Ayodeji Shomide by these moneybags, we have deemed  it fit to declare our support for the Transition Committee Chairman to continue his good work as the Chairman of Abeokuta South local government, regardless of any dirty political tactics engineered by a member of the Ogun State Cabinet from Abeokuta South Local Government, whose main target is the 2023 National Assembly election.
“We can never had it this good in Abeokuta South with the performance of Hon. Shomide in the council area.
“Despite, the paucity of fund couple with the global Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted economy of the state, Hon. Shomide had in the last couple of years tremendously improved on the wellbeing of the citizens of the local government.
“With Hon. Shomide at the helms, every household in Abeokuta South can feel the impact of the state government through our dynamic and visionary Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
“Hon. Shomide has facilitated among other developmental projects to include;
1- New Health care center @ Oke Egunya, Ago-Oba.
2- Almost completed Shopping Complex @ Kemta side of Itoku market.
3-  The New Itoku Market stalls(under construction)
4- Business support scheme for Adire textile producers within the LG, with an off taker arrangement.
5-  Establishment of Traffic Mayor under the enabling law of Trace.
6- Proposed Skill aquisition center @ Blairs Memorial Panseke.
7- Proposed construction of a new computer village in Panseke.
8. Construction of Ijaiye Gbangba dilapidated bridge, among other numerous human development projects.
“We, however, call on His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun to discountenance the rabble rousers trying to pull down the people’s choice just to score cheap political goal and to misdirect our people for his own selfish political greed.
“It is imperative to inform the public that, the party is yet to adopt any consensus candidate, despite the multi million naira bribe offered the party leaders, as those imposing a particular candidate against the advice of the Governor are doing so to cause confusion among party members and simply to justify their shameful act of bribe taking.
“While we caution sponsors of the FAKE adoption of other candidate in the local government, we want to appeal to His Excellency to allow Hon. Shomide who has be adopted and endorsed by 9 out 14 lawful aspirants to continue his good work to maintain the already peaceful political atmosphere in the local government.
“We are committed with the decision of the party Apex leaders and the Governor as the leader of the party in the state.
“We don’t want another betrayer that will scuttle the continuation of Governor Abiodun beyond first term, by anyone for their selfish agenda of 2023.
“Shomide is loyal, committed party man, well accepted and very dedicated grassroots politician that will protect the interest of His Excellency in the local government.
“He remains the candidate to beat at the coming local government election. He is the only Candidate that can challenge the oppositions in the local government with his track record and achievements in office in the last year and a half years.”the statement concluded

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As Nigerdock recants operational breaches, FG may lift suspension on the facility

The Eyewitness reporter
The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to lift the suspension order on Nigerdock following its willingness to abide by the rules and its contributions to the growth of the National economy.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, stated this recently when he visited the firm in Lagos in the company of the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye and some Management Staff of the Ministry.
Addressing the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani and other officials of the company, the Minister pointed out that the reason why they were suspended was as a result of complaints from other Terminal Operators, saying Nigerdock had operating advantages over them.
“What led to your suspension was that I received complaints from Terminal Operators, saying that you are not on the same level with them. In the sense that they pay more to the government than you do. You’re likely to attract freight at a much lower cost to the detriment of businesses”,  the Minister disclosed.
He, therefore, urged them to liaise with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to work out all the operational licenses needed to enable them to operate and the latter will forward the same to the Minister of Transportation whose prerogative it is to give approvals.
Speaking further, the Minister said: “We will never do anything to undermine the things you are doing here in terms of generating wealth and jobs for Nigerians.  The only thing we are saying is that the law should be followed. We should not encourage lawlessness “.
Responding, the CEO, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani, said the firm has taken notable steps in this regard as they have been granted bonded permits by the Nigerian Customs and they are currently working with Nigerian Ports Authority to ensure all processes of getting the needed approvals are followed accordingly.
“We are seeking your support Honourable Minister and that is why we wrote a letter of appeal for your guidance and your support to see that we have followed all processes and procedures” Jarmakani stated.
Furthermore, Jarmakani informed the Minister that in the 30 years of its existence, Nigerdock has employed more Nigerians than its peers, assuring that the company will not undermine the country’s extant rules and regulations.
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APMT advocates road tax credit programme to attract investments to port industry.

L-R: Former President, Shipowners Association of Nigeria, Greg Ogbeifun; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko; President Nigerian Maritime Law Association, Funke Agbor; Executive Director ENL Consortium, Mark Walsh and Chief Financial Officer of APM Terminals Apapa, Courage Obadagbonyi at the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) 2022 in Lagos on Tuesday.
The Eyewitness reporter
The Chief Financial Officer of APM Terminals Nigeria, Courage Obadagbonyi has advised the Federal Government to replicate some of the tax laws operating in other sectors of the economy to the maritime industry in order to attract more investments.
According to him, tax programmes such as pioneer legislation, Infrastructure and Roads Tax Credit Program which companies like MTN and Dangote have used to successfully build hundreds of kilometres of roads and bridges across the country can also be replicated in the ports.
Speaking as a panelist during a session on ‘Financing Maritime Assets – Ports and Shipyards’ at the just concluded Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) 2022, Obadagbonyi said, “I am of the school of thought that funding of viable infrastructural projects is not an issue in terms of availability of cash.
“There is a lot of private equity and multilateral funding available if the projects are well positioned and investors have a line of sight to their payback.
“I think what we need to do is publicity and sell these projects to the right individuals with the right pockets. There are incentives that are available to investors in Nigeria.”
Speaking further, he said, “I think with more publicity and engagement with private stakeholders, a lot of some of these challenges that are bedeviling us with investing in port infrastructure can be fixed.
“For instance, we have great tax laws that incentivize investment in this country.
“Things like pioneer legislation, Infrastructure and Roads Tax Credit Program which companies like MTN and Dangote have used to successfully build hundreds of kilometres of roads and bridges across the country can also be replicated in the ports.
” We also have great capital allowance provisions that encourage investors.”
He advised the Federal Government to embark on a massive awareness campaign to further attract private capital to the nation’s seaports because, according to him, based on the latest data published by the Debt Management Office, the country’s debt profile currently stands at N42 trillion, which is about four times the country’s total revenue budget per annum.
This, he said, makes the cost of borrowing more expensive.
Obadagbonyi said Nigeria had to find creative ways to unleash private sector participation in port rehabilitation instead of depending on government funding through borrowing.
NIMS 2022 was declared open on Monday by the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo.
“Sustainable financing models are important to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country,” Sambo had said while declaring the summit open.
The Minister said Nigeria remained committed to the sustainability of the blue economy.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim said, “I am aware of Nigeria’s significance to the maritime sector of West and Central Africa.
” Carbonisation is the greatest challenge of our time, which IMO is working to address. The upgrading strategies shall be concluded in July 2023.
“By next year, we shall adopt the long-time strategy. However, prior to that time, we shall continue to support member countries.”
He lauded Nigeria’s role in the suppression of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea but cautioned that stakeholders must continue to remain vigilant as continuous capacity building is key to success in this regard.
APM Terminals Apapa, the largest container terminal operator in Nigeria, has invested more than $438 million at the Lagos Port Complex Apapa.
The amount was invested in developing infrastructure, acquiring equipment and improving processes at the terminal.
The terminal has also been at the forefront of digitisation of port operations in Nigeria in line with its commitment to introducing new innovations to help both shipping lines and landside customers achieve improved supply chain efficiency and flexibility in a cost-effective manner.
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NIMASA unveils N17.4 billion new highrise headquarters on Victoria Island


The Eyewitness reporter
The Director- General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh and his management team stood tall Tuesday when the tall, magnificent highrise building that will serve as the agency’s headquarters, was unveiled and commissioned.
Sharing in the moment of glory of the epoch-making event was the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim, who had the rare privilege of commissioning the edifice, and the Minister of Transportation Engr Muazu Sambo together with his permanent secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani.
Apparently awed by the N17 billion tall and ultra-modern building, Mr. Lim said that more important is human competency and capability, while leadership is the most paramount.
He however lauded the initiators of the befitting project while expressing confidence in the leadership of the transport sector of Nigeria.
 He also extolled the dynamic role of the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo and the heads of the various parastatals under the supervision of the Transportation Ministry.
“An important element is human competency and capability, with leadership being the most paramount to consider, which I have seen exhibited by the Minister.
“He is an extraordinary and rare leader. I am very confident to look forward to more prosperous opportunities and development of maritime activities of Nigeria”, he said.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo expressed gratitude to the IMO Secretary-General for making out time to visit Nigeria and also having a first-hand opinion on the developmental strides in Nigeria’s maritime sector.

 He stated that Nigeria will strive to ensure Nigerian maritime activities are in line with best practices, while also embracing new technologies in the frontier of global maritime discourse.

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu commended the Dr. Bashir Jamoh-led Management of NIMASA.

She noted that NIMASA should aim higher as there is room for improvement.

The NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh  again thanked the IMO Secretary-General for his visit to Nigeria

 “Your name will remain in gold as long as Nigeria’s Maritime Administration is concerned”.

Jamoh further intimated him that NIMASA has embarked on various projects in the year, 2022, all with the aim of ensuring a robust and conducive maritime environment is attained in Nigeria.

This, he said, has been made possible with the support of stakeholders across the board.

In July 2021, the Federal Executive Council approved N17.4 billion to purchase the new highrise building that is located on Victoria Island.

The magnificent edifice is a 16- storey High rise building christened Kanti Tower which sits atop 6600sq metres of land and it is said to consist of the latest technology fittings, a helipad and a parking bay for over 100 cars.
 It was developed through a joint venture between the Lagos State Development Property Company – LSDPC and Senkay Nigeria Limited.
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