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Kogi Communities Jubilate as Dangote Cement Obajana Plant reopens



There were huge scenes of jubilation among affected host communities following the Federal Government’s order for the immediate reopening of the Dangote Cement Plc plant at Obajana in Kogi State.

Members of the host communities from Iwaa, Oyo, Obajana, and Apata who spoke to newsmen said they could now heave a sigh of relief as the consequences of shutting down the factory were better imagined than described, a situation which was worsened with the recent ASUU strike that kept students at home across the country.

Recall that the National Security Council (NSC), chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, had Friday directed the reopening of the cement plant, after raising concerns about job losses, potential increase in criminality and resultant unemployment in the area and the State due to the shutdown.

Dangote: Our acquisition of Obajana Cement plant followed Due Process

Minister of Interior, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola told newsmen that an agreement had been reached between the Dangote Group and the Kogi State Government on the need to reopen the factory, while urging both parties to respect the agreement.
Reacting to the latest directive, Secretary of the Association of Fresh Fish Dealers at the Obajana market, Mrs. Lola Adinu, told newsmen that her association members were overjoyed when the news came that the Federal Government had ordered the reopening of the factory.

Mallam Bala Dreba, a 50-year-old commercial motorist plying the 43km concrete Obajana-Kabba road that was constructed by Dangote Industries Limited, said travelers from the South and from the North were apprehensive about the security of the road and its environs since the recent invasion of the company by Government vigilantes. Dreba said the road is now the most important road network linking the Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria.

Commercial motorcyclists who brandished green leaves in victory were seen cruising in different directions on Friday evening and Saturday morning to celebrate the announcement by the Federal Government.

Adamu Ibrahim, a 45-year-old commercial motorcyclist, and father of four lamented that commercial activities had been paralysed after the invasion of the plant by thugs. He expressed joy that the situation is now reverting to the usual economic bustle in Obajana.

A community leader, Pa Isaac Ade, said the Federal Government’s announcement was welcomed with jubilation in his neighbourhood because the lives and the livelihood of the host communities revolve around Dangote Cement Plc.

“Without this company, the communities cannot survive, the markets cannot survive, the commercial motorcyclists cannot survive, and if I may add, this Local Government and the state, in general, will be badly affected,” Mr. Ade averred.

Dangote Cement Plc is the biggest taxpayer and employer of labour in Kogi State. The conglomerate is a part of the Dangote Industries Limited, which is also the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the government, as well as the highest private-sector taxpayer to the Federal Government.

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Shareholders Associations in Nigeria, had all berated the Kogi State Government over the invasion and the closure of the cement company.

In the same vein, the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) as well as the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) were among groups who condemned the invasion of the Dangote Cement plant, saying the move was capable of driving away investors in the country.
The associations said the hasty move by the state in resorting to self-help could send the wrong signal to investors within and outside the country.
Peter Dare, a businessman at the Obajana main market described the closure situation as worrisome, but added that activities in the market were picking up soon after the government ordered the reopening of the factory. He said thousands of people would have been impoverished if the company was not reopened.
At Iwaa, location of the multi-million naira hospital built by the Dangote Cement Plc, the story was the same, as residents were jubilating that the Federal Government waded into the crisis and rescued the situation.
A Septuagenarian, who sought anonymity, said he had been wondering how he would offset the tuition fees of his two children in the university following the calling off of the eight-month-old industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Some of the Dangote Cement staff who are indigenes of Kogi State welcomed with excitement the intervention of the Federal Government. They had earlier expressed fear that the closure would have sent them out of jobs.
Dangote Cement Plc Obajana Plant had said that most of its workforce, and technical students at the Dangote Academy situated in Obajana are indigenes from Kogi State.

In a statement, the Advocacy Centre for Industrialisation in Africa (ACIA) had expressed regret that the invasion and forceful closure of the Dangote Cement Plc at Obajana has cast a shadow on the Ease of Doing Business in the state.

The Arewa Youth Assembly, a conglomeration of youth groups in the 19 northern states had vehemently condemned the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, describing his closure moves as a war against employment and the youth.


Just In: Tinubu Meets Kwankwaso At Aso Rock




President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is currently holding a meeting with one of his key challengers in the February 25, 2023, Presidential Election, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Kwankwaso, who came fourth in the election, was the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

He is the first presidential candidate in the keenly contested election to make a visit to the Aso Rock Villa having held an earlier meeting with the president in Paris before his inauguration on May 29.
Details later..

Daily Trust

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Dr.Y.Z Ya’u Elected as Convener of Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room



Dr YZ Yau

In a highly contested election held at the Abuja Continental Hotel, Dr. Y.Z Ya’u, the Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has emerged as the new Convener of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room.

The announcement was made in a statement released to the press by Ali Sabo, CITAD’s Digital Rights Officer.

The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room is a coalition of more than 70 civil society organizations dedicated to monitoring Nigeria’s electoral process and elections across the nation.

Established in 2010 before the 2011 general elections, the Situation Room undertakes regular analysis and disseminates information on significant developments and events related to electoral conduct in Nigeria.

With a primary focus on improving the quality of Nigeria’s electoral system, the Situation Room aims to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations to engage and monitor the electoral process effectively. It supports coordination and synergy among various election stakeholders, promoting collaboration, proactive advocacy, and prompt action in response to incidents during elections.

The Situation Room’s secretariat is hosted by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), a civil society organization founded by Clement Nwankwo. It serves as a platform for advanced planning, scenario building, evidence-based analysis, constructive engagement with stakeholders, and election observation.

During elections, the Situation Room sets up a physical Election Situation Room comprising an Analysts’ Room and a Technical Room. The Analysts’ Room consists of experts in democracy and governance issues, while the Technical Room houses a Call Centre and a Social Media desk. Field observers deployed nationwide for general elections and off-cycle governorship elections send reports to the Communication Room, where they are verified and published on the Situation Room’s social media platforms.

Incidents reported by field observers are escalated to relevant election stakeholders, such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, for prompt resolution. The Situation Room issues statements based on these reports, drawing attention to issues such as logistics challenges, security concerns, voter intimidation, and inducement. It calls upon the appropriate authorities to take immediate action in curbing such challenges.

One of the areas of particular focus for the Situation Room is the collation and transmission of election data, which it often identifies as the “weak link” in the Nigerian electoral system. By closely monitoring this stage of the electoral process, the Situation Room aims to ensure transparency and credibility in the declaration of winners.

With Dr. Y.Z Ya’u as its new Convener, the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room is poised to strengthen its efforts in promoting free, fair, and transparent elections in Nigeria, thereby contributing to the growth and consolidation of democracy in the nation.

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Passage of Police Pension and Training Bills Receives Commendation from Inspector-General of Police



IGP Usman Baba Alkali


In a momentous development, the National Assembly of Nigeria has passed the Police Pension Board Bill and the Nigeria Police Force College, Training School and Institution (Establishment) Bill.


The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has hailed this historic achievement and commended the National Assembly and well-meaning Nigerians for their support.


The passage of these bills is expected to bring about significant changes in the country’s policing system, standardize training procedures, improve police productivity, and alleviate pension-related hardships. The IGP expressed gratitude to all stakeholders involved and assured retirees that efforts are underway to implement the bills and address their long-standing pension concerns.

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