The security challenges facing the country will soon be a thing of the past as they have been described as temporary.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the assertion at the presentation of an award of the ‘Best Minister of the Year 2022’ at the 10th edition of the Heroes of Democracy Award Africa which held at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
“Our nation is going through challenges, especially on security. These challenges are temporary and do not define us. We are defined by the greatness of the Nigerian people, in their strength, ingenuity and resilience, as exemplified by the quality of the recipients of today’s awards.
“We shall overcome all the challenges. A time is coming when we shall look at this period in retrospect and give thanks to the most high for the stormy waters we have waded through and the triumphs we have recorded over the challenges that look so huge and gargantuan today,” the minister informed the gathering.
Speaking further, the minister noted that he has never really taken award seriously, but was moved by the transparency with which the organisers came about the winners and the need to encourage others in public office to put in their best to advance the course of humanity.
“I came from an ideological tradition that places humanity in the centre of the universe and deprecates self. All our actions – physical, social, economic and political – should advance the cause of humanity. We therefore strive to solve all problems, as humanly possible, and provide the greatest good for the greatest number. These, and the grace of God, prepared and recommend me for every high office I have held and have been my guiding principles.
“But in all honesty, I have never been fazed by awards. However, given the open and transparent efforts made by the organisers and the extent to which they have gone to get the opinion of a cross section of Nigerians on their choice for the award, I am indeed humbled by their honest choice. It is my sincere wish that the award will inspire young people, upcoming politicians and others who are still looking forward to fulfilment in life. I want them to know that passion, dedication and doggedness are worthy virtues to attaining success and recognition,” the minister stated.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola further urged the youths to strive for self-development and pursuit of excellence in our quest for development and building a great nation.
The Minister of Interior emerged best ‘Minister of the Year 2022’ from a category with three other nominees which includes the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mallam Isa Ali Pantami and Former Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
Other awardees at the event are the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who won Legislative Personality of the Decade Award; Governor of Niger State, Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello, who won the Man of the Year Award; Businessman and 2023 APC Presidential Aspirant, Mr. Tein Jack-Rich, who won Democracy Spotlight Politician of the year; Sen. Barau Jibrin, who won Senator of the Year Award amongst several others.
The event was attended by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy Agba; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore; Business Tyconn, Alh. Sulieman Baba Ali; Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa; Nigeria Immigration Service, Idris Isah Jere amongst several others.
FG Declares War On Vandals, Oil Thieves As Aregbesola Commissions 8 Newly Acquired Gunboats
The Federal Government has vowed to bring down its might on vandals and oil thieves who are sabotaging the nation’s economy, this is also as it charges the security forces to collaborate to end the scourge.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the declaration at the commissioning of eight gunboats acquired for use by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Tuesday, 30 August, 2022.
“Those who steal crude oil not only deny the country of the much needed revenue, they sell the stolen goods at discounted prices, well below the market value. This black market creates a glut and forces down the official price. They have therefore made Nigeria to suffer the double jeopardy of loss in revenue and drop in value of the product.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has given us the resources and the marching order to take the war to them. As a step in this direction, the Federal Government is taking adequate steps to equip relevant security agencies and, by extension, the NSCDC, which is the lead agency in the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure,” the minister stated.
The Minister further stated that the government is not oblivious of the dangers crude oil theft portends for the country, stating that the value of such theft is estimated to be in its billions.
“In the latest estimate, billions of dollars are lost to oil thieves and vandals. There is no gainsaying the fact that the Federal Government is committed and determined to curb the menace of oil theft which is bleeding the economy mindlessly, a development which has led to a drop in the earnings of the government. This unhealthy development has equally led to environmental pollution and other health hazards recorded in places where crude and refined products have been unleashed on the environment from broken pipes.
“Government is not oblivious of the danger the above scenario poses to national security and socio-economic development. No responsible government would sit down helplessly and watch this reckless display of brigandage by a few unpatriotic and criminally minded individuals who put personal interest above any other consideration,” Ogbeni Aregbesola informed the public.
Speaking at the event, the Commandant General of the NSCDC, Abubakar Audi, mni, declared the Corps’ readiness to put an end to pipeline vandalism and pillaging of the nation’s resources.
“Let me use this medium to assure the Federal Government and the good people of this great country, that the Corps is determined more than ever before and fully committed to the war against oil theft and illegal oil bunkering and will therefore make judicious use of this operational equipment to take the war to the doorstep of these economic brigands and saboteurs.
“I have directed continued strengthening of effective synergy with the military, relevant sister agencies as well as other stakeholders in our avowed commitment to checkmate the ugly trend,” the Commandant General stated.
Also speaking at the event, the Garrison Commander, 6 Division of the Nigeria Army, Brig. Gen. S. S. Tilawan, said the war has the assurance of the Nigeria Military, noting that they will continue to support the fight against illegal bunkering of Nigeria’s crude oil product whilst strengthening the collaboration between the military and the NSCDC.
Also at the event were the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Frank; Sector Commander, FRSC, Umar Salisu; Commander, River State Command, NDLEA, Ahmed Mamnda; members of other security outfits and senior officers in the NSCDC.
Lagos State Government Builds Multi-million naira Lekki Estate Ferry Terminal
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu is living up to his campaign promises to make the state more convenient to live for resident as well and one of the most beautiful states in Africa.
The governor since he got elected in 2019 hit the ground running improving the State’s socio-economic development, as well as security of lives and property, carefully fulfilling the six pillars of the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda.
“The acronym, T.H.E.M.E.S, represents the six pillars of the State’s strategic development agenda, namely: Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism, as well as Security and Governance”.
The administration has again scored more points with construction of Lekki Estate Ferry Terminal in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
The construction of the project that is expected to commence in September, 2022 and complete under 12 months plans to support Lagos state on its mission to develop a multi-modal transport infrastructure through the delivery of a safe, efficient and affordable means of alternative transport on the inland waterways for the people and business of the state.
It is part of government effort to solve the transportation challenges in the state through the development of an efficient integrated multi-modal transportation system by encouraging private investment in the sector. The project is in conjunction with Lekki Estate Ferry Terminal Limited and Plaform Capital who is investing millions of dollars for the project.
The infrastructure component of the project includes Shopping malls, car parks that would accommodate over 200 cars, floating restaurants and lounge, health safety and environmental services
The project is also aims to develop a ferry terminal along Admiralty way water front in Lekki Phase 1 belonging to Lagos state Ministry of Transportation, procure state of the art passenger ferries and operate water transportation services for the citizens residing in Lekki, Ajah, Igbo Efon, Ikota, Awoyaya, Lakowe, Sangotedo and its environs.
It is also intended to complement the efforts of state government in addressing the critical infrastructure shortage and bringing the dividend of democracy to the people through collaboration under a Private Partnership (PPP) with Lekki Ferry Estate.
Lekki Estate Ferry incorporated as an SPV to build, manage and operate maritime passenger and freight services. The company will offer transport services through its fleet of ferries with routes that include Lekki to Marina, Lekki to Ikorodu, among others.
No Passport Booklet Shortage Again In Nigeria – FG; Deploys 10,000 Booklets To New P/Harcourt Passport Production Centre
There is no shortage of booklets again for the production of passport in Nigeria, the Federal Government has revealed.
This was made known by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, at the commissioning of the Enhanced Passport Production Centre in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital on Tuesday, 9 August, 2022. The newly commissioned passport centre will now be responsible for the production of passport demands from Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa States.
“We have left no stone unturned in our quest to make passports available to Nigerians. Last year alone, we provided 1.3 million passports to Nigerians. As of today, there is no booklets shortage in Nigeria.
“As at the second quarter of this year (in June), the NIS have provided 645,000 passports out of the 750,000 applications received. To address the challenge of the backlog, we have sent 11,000 booklets to Ikoyi, 11,000 to Alausa and 8,000 to FESTAC centres in Lagos.
“We have also sent sufficient booklets to all the centres nationwide to address this challenge. There is therefore no excuse again for delay and non-issuance within a reasonable period,” Minister told the cheering public.
The Minister also urged the listening public to make sure they apply by themselves online to avoid being shortchanged by unscrupulous elements.
“I will urge applicants for the Nigerian passport to apply early enough before their travel date to avoid cutting corners and falling into the hands of scammers and other opportunists. It is important also that they apply by themselves at the Nigeria Immigration Service portal and not through touts and unscrupulous officials, which often bring heartaches.
“We have provided a window of six weeks and three weeks for fresh application and renewal respectively, after biometric data capture, by which time, other things being equal, the passport will be ready for collection. This timeline is to enable NIS investigate and validate the claims of applicants and confer integrity on the passport issued. It is a reasonable provision in passport administration by global standard. There is no wait-and-get passport service anywhere in the world. The only wait-and-get passport is passport-sized photograph from Polaroid camera,” the Minister stated.
The Minister further stated that the Passport Production Centre launched today will serve applicants from Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa States, but was quick to add that it doesn’t confer any advantage or disadvantage on any of the centres, noting that a deployment of 10,000 booklets has been deployed to serve the fours states with immediate effect. He also stated that there are currently no backlogs in any of the four states.
“The production centre we are launching today will serve Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa States for production purpose only. It doesn’t confer any advantage or disadvantage on the applicants in any of the four states. It’s simply a production centre.
“We have also delivered 10,000 passports to this centre. This is in addition to the fact that there are no backlogs to be cleared. In some advanced countries we often like to cite, it takes months to procure their passports. But in addition to the standardized timeline, we have also introduced tracking mechanism in the application process, to enable applicants monitor the progress of their application.
“We are also introducing data capture centres all over the country before the end of this year, to eliminate physical contacts with NIS officials. We shall continue to introduce necessary and available innovations to passport administration in order to best serve applicants in our quest for establishing citizenship integrity,” the Minister stated.
While speaking, Governor Nyesom Wike, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Gogo Banigo, promised to continue to support the Nigeria Immigration Service in the state, as it was the policy of his administration.
“We would continue to support the Nigeria Immigration Service, just as we provided the building now housing the production centre.
“Just as we provide support to all security agencies in the state and in particular, the agencies under the ministry of Interior, we would continue to prioritize the welfare of the citizens of the state,” Gov. Wike stated.
During his opening address, Acting Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Idris Isah Jere, revealed that the service will no longer condone any act of indiscipline by officer, noting that they must be professional in carrying out their assigned duties.
Also at the event were: the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, represented by Brig. General EC Echebuwe; Commander, 115 Special Operations Group, Group Captain AA Opaleye; Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Mr. Friday, Eboka; Controller of Customs, Rivers State Command, Dappa Williams; Rivers State Director, Department of State Services, Mr. Mohammed Shittu; Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Umar Salisu Galadunchi; Rivers State Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mark Balm; amongst other dignitaries.
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