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Why We Seized Saraki’s Property –Kwara Assembly

The Kwara State House of Assembly has said it directed the seizure of the Alimi Chalet and an expanse of land, popularly called ‘Ile Arugbo’, allegedly acquired by a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

The Assembly said the property belonged to the state government and there was no evidence the politician paid for them.

In a statement by the Special Assistant to the Speaker, Ibrahim Sheriff, the Assembly said the allocation of the posh property to Saraki by the last administration was a “violent violation” of the Kwara State Former Governor’s Pension Law 2010, as amended, which had already taken care of him (Saraki).

The state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Kola Shittu, described the legislature’s action as “ill-conceived, malicious and another indication that Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is out on a vendetta mission.”

But, the Assembly in a statement titled, ‘Our position on the seizure of Alimi Chalet, Saraki’s House’, said there was an evidence the property was illegally acquired.

The statement indicated, “The Ile Arugbo had been erected on land originally meant for the expansion of the Civil Service Clinic and Phase II of the State Government Secretariat without any evidence that anyone paid a dime to the government for the land.

“The noise surrounding the affected property is politically motivated, as other public property unlawfully acquired are also being looked into.

“We dare say that allowing impunity to stand, no matter who is affected and how long it has taken place, is a disservice to the state and its people.

“Apart from the fact that the purported sale of the Alimi Chalet did not conform to the Kwara State former Governors’ Pension Law 2010, as amended, which incidentally was the brainchild of Saraki, we contend that there is no record anywhere that Saraki paid a dime to have the property transferred to him. The transfer only fits into what the late Fela Anikulapo called ‘paddy-paddy’ arrangement.”

The Assembly challenged the affected parties to prove they legally acquired the property by presenting evidence of payment.

“The pension law takes adequate care of the former governor (Saraki). The law allows ex-governors to own a five-bedroomed duplex, as opposed to the Alimi Chalet, which consists of three separate chalets with three boys’ quarters of three rooms each and, therefore, does not fit into the recommendation of the pension law of 2010.

“Aside from the three houses on over one hectare of land on Alimi Road supposedly given to Saraki under the state pension law, Saraki also got N250m under the same law to build another retirement home for himself.

“The said Alimi Chalet, which was gifted to him, is the property of the people of Kwara State and was never contemplated as a gift to former governors,” the Assembly said.

Source: Punchng

Ihejirika, Former Army Chief, Bags Quantity Surveyors Award

Azubike Ihejirika, former chief of army staff (COAS), has bagged an award from the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS).

The organisers of the award said Ihejirika was considered based on his contribution to the profession and growth of the institute.

The former army chief received the award at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the institute in Abuja at the weekend.

Expressing delight over the award, Ihejirika said: “It’s an exciting experience to be remembered for ones contributions to professional development and ultimately national development ultimately, I am happy.”

He said being part of NIQS assisted him to successfully execute projects when he was the number one officer in the army.

He added that the profession has great prospects to contribute to national development.

“It will pay to get quantity surveyors and all forms of construction and infrastructural development. There are a  lot of benefits, it will address cases of abandoned projects because the QS has knowledge of construction process,” he said.

“It has the ability to monitor cost trends and is in a position to forecast or foresee likely impediments in the implementation of projects.

“Without being a QS, I wouldn’t have done the much I did in terms of project implementation, so my knowledge of this encouraged me to take on abandoned projects and ensure that no project was abandoned while I was leaving office.”

Bola Owasanoye, chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), said the  NIQS has collaborated with the ICPC to monitor constituency projects intended for development.

Owasanoye said the issue of building collapse, unnecessary upward review of contract and so on, and charged the institute to put all hands on deck, uphold its code of ethics and punish infractions.

He called for more collaboration with the institute to stamp out corruption.

Murtala Aliyu, president, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria,  charged the board to draw up a strategic plan for the profession and for the institute before the next 50 years.

Source: thecableng

FCTA warns erring park, garden, property developer against illegality

Property developers and managers have been warned that nobody will be spared in the ongoing enforcement exercise, to sanitize the activities and developments within hundreds of recreational Parks and Gardens in Abuja especially the Federal Capital City (FCC).

Making this declaration, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through its Parks and Recreation Department, insisted that developers and operators of parks and gardens must obey the rules and regulations guiding the activities of such designated places in the nation’s capital city, or face the wrath of the law.

According to the Director Department of Parks and Recreation, Arc. Ali Ukele, the government would not desist from carrying out demolition and other forms of enforcement exercise, until Garden and Park developers and operators change their attitude and obey the laid down rules and regulations.

Ukele who spoke during the demolition of illegal structures at Cachez Garden, Wuse Zone 1, Suez Garden, Wuse Zone 4, as well as The Junkyard and Riverplate Garden in  Central Business District (CBD), all in the FCC.

He decried that despite series of warnings by the administration, residents continued erecting illegal structures in parks and gardens, reiterating that nobody, no matter how highly placed in the society, would be spared in its ongoing removal of illegal structures and activities within such places.

He affirmed the FCT administration’s resolve to sanitize the activities within the gardens, adding that most of the activities being carried out in the parks were wrong, as the places were meant for relaxation and not for selling of intoxicating beverages or hard drugs.

He said: “There are some park operators that have approved allocations but a lot of them don’t have, so if you don’t have and you are operating illegal parks or structure, go and remove it.

“We intend to sanitize the activities and building in the parks, so nobody will be spared in this exercise. We have been holding series of meetings with them against this act.

“There are security threats because people sleep in parks, and we have complaints from neighborhoods that they come from parks and rob or disturb them in the night, then disappear again into the parks, so this is the issue.”

Recall that FCTA officials from relevant departments under the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) last month commenced intensive and comprehensive identification and removal of infractions within Parks, with the aim of sanitizing them in line with the purposes for which they were allocated to their developers and operators.

The exercise, according to Director, Development Control Department, Murktar Galadima, was a follow up to its ongoing sensitization campaign and enforcement of development standard,which the government will continue till it achieves its goal.

The development control director revealed that it’s going to be all over FCC, wherever there are designated parks, to ensure prevailing activity are in line with what was approved for the development of such places.

Source: blueprintng

Nigerian Girls Win Silicon Valley Contest for App That Spots Fake Drugs

Five months ago Jessica Osita had never used a computer, sent an email or even browsed the internet, yet she is part of a team of five teenagers who have just won a major tech award in California.

Despite their limited tech knowledge, the Nigerian teens learned how to build a mobile app from scratch by using opensource software from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.]
The app, called FD-Detector, helps users identify fake medicines using a drug’s barcode to verify its authenticity and expiration date.
“I feel very excited and relieved. I’m extremely proud of myself,” Osita, 15, told CNN from San Francisco, in the group’s first interview since they won the 2018 Technovation Challenge on 9 August.
Named Team Save-A-Soul — Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye — spent five months researching and building the app and hope it can be a solution to the widespread sale of counterfeit drugs in Nigeria.
For Osita, there was a more personal, poignant reason for creating the app — her brother died after fake drugs were administered to him following an accident.
“My brother died from fake drugs. I’m very motivated by the death of my brother to solve this problem,” she said.
“With this app, we will relieve the burden. I feel very excited,” said Osita, who has ambitions to become a pharmacist. “I want to produce genuine drugs,” she says.
Osita and her four other teammates beat teams from the US, Spain, Turkey, Uzbekistan and China in the finals to secure the top spot in the junior category at the competition.
“Some people told me ‘you’re a girl, why are you going into tech?'” said Osita. “At first my parents didn’t understand what I was doing, but it’s only recently that they see what I’m doing. They are very, very proud.”
Since their win, they have been feted and the world’s media has been clamoring to interview them.
One of her teammates Promise Nnalue, 14, told CNN: “People are calling us celebrities and taking pictures with us. I’m very happy. We could not have done this without our mentor. She really believed in us and encouraged us,” said Nnalue, who aspires to become a doctor.
Speaking to the teenagers it is clear that their mentor Uchenna Ugwu has had a profound impact on their lives. Ugwu was the one who introduced them to computers and coding through her Edufun Technik organization, which teaches STEM to underprivileged children in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria.
Ugwu says her organization has taught approximately 4,800 school children since 2014 — over 60% of whom have been young girls — as a means of closing the widening gender gap in STEM education.
“This is the first interview I’m granting,” Ugwu told CNN from San Francisco where she says they are still in shock from the win.
“I’m overwhelmed. It was a beautiful experience for them. They have experienced so many firsts. They were entering a flight for the first time. The girls were scared and overwhelmed. They asked me ‘How can we compete with these countries who have been using tech for a very long time?’
“I told them ‘it’s not how long ago you started, but how well you do.’ I’m so proud of them because they were so determined to learn,” she said. “They were not the most talented in the coding class but they were the most determined. They stuck with the classes when a lot of their peers dropped out,” she added.
Ugwu, a mother-of three, said they practiced their pitch endlessly, and it was their effort and passion that helped them win.
“The girls really impressed a lot of people,” she said. “To be honest, every progress we made was a win to me.
“They have come very far qualifying out of more than 2,000 apps submitted. They are winners in every way,” she said.
“Five months ago, they didn’t have access to the internet or how to write an email. They could not believe that they had the opportunity to touch the almighty computer. It’s amazing.”
Nigeria has been fighting against drug counterfeiters for decades. In June, Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) destroyed counterfeit drugs worth nearly $10 million.
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Technovation is run by education nonprofit Iridescent and challenges girls aged 10-18 to create an app that solves problems in their communities.
“It is inspiring seeing the hard work and determination of girls around the world working to solve big challenges in their communities with smart solutions,” Iridescent founder Tara Chklovski said in a statement.
The teenage girls will partner with the Nigeria’s drug regulatory agency, Technovation’s organizers said.  Ugwu hopes this win will encourage other young girls to tackle some of the problems Nigeria is facing. “The next thing is to use this moment to inspire more girls. How do we leverage on this to build our nation? How do we inspire other girls to start thinking about solutions to our problems? We need to let young people know that they are the solutions to their problems, if we do that Nigeria will be better.”
Source: CNN

Land Dispute: Firm Floors FCT Minister, Others In Court, Gets N7.5m Compensation

Justice Goodluck Olasambo of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, on Friday declared that Interland Resources Nig Ltd, as the rightful owner and beneficial holder of the interest subsisting in the Certificate of Occupancy in respect of Plot No. 802, located in cadastral Zone 803 within Wuye District, FCT Abuja together with its perimeter fence, appurtenances, rights of way and easement thereto attached.

Justice Olasambo made the declaration in a judgment on a suit filed by Interland on April 2, 2012, challenging the wrongful revocation of its plot of land.
The first defendant in the suit marked FCT/HC/CV/2939/2012 is the FCT Minister, while the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and Ajama Ventures Ltd are 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

Barrister Ademola Adewoye filed and argued the matter on behalf of the plaintiff.
Justice Olasambo also declared that the action of the defendants, their agents, whatever names so-called to lay fresh demarcation beacons on the said plot with intent to appropriate, balkanize and re-allocate the said plot No. 802, or any of its part thereof to 3rd Defendant or to another person constitutes a trespass, same being unlawful unwarranted.

The court ordered the defendants, their agents or officers to remove the new demarcating beacons they placed on the plot or any of its part thereof to the 3rd defendant or to another person.
In addition, the court declared that the 1st and 2nd defendants have waived their right to contend that the plaintiff is not the title holder of the land, by reason of various correspondences between the parties.


In this regard, Justice Olasambo ordered the 1st and 2nd defendants to accept and register the Power of Attorney in favour of the plaintiff.
Consequently, the court awarded the sum of N7.5million as general damages and trespass against the defendants, in favour of the plaintiff.
Before granting all the reliefs of the plaintiff, Justice Olasambo stated that the plaintiff duly tendered in a piece of evidence (exhibit PW1D), a Certificate of Occupancy, issued to him on December 19, 2004.

Going by section 83(3) of the Evidence Act, the court held that it was bound to reject documents of the 1st and 2nd defendants earlier admitted in evidence showing that the certificate of occupancy was forged and faked.
Justice Olasambo found out that the documents were authored by the 1st and 2nd defendants, who are interested parties, years after the legal action was instituted in April 2012.

“Both exhibits DW1A, DW1A -3 (documents) tendered by the 1st and 2nd defendants are caught up by section 83(3) of Evidence Act, and therefore ought not to be admitted. Consequently, the exhibits are hereby discountenanced by the court for being admitted in error, Justice Olasambo held.

The court held that revocation of a plot must be issued in strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.
“Plaintiff right of occupancy as stated in the Land Use Act remains unfettered and subsists.
“The 1st and 2nd defendants have failed to impune the validity of their documents, their assertion that the certificate of occupancy was wrongly and mistakenly issued to the plaintiff is unreliable and not credible.

“The certificate of occupancy therefore remains valid and subsisting. I hold that the plaintiff has established superior interest in the plot of land having exhibited a valid Cof O. The plaintiff has a better title to the said plot 802, the court held.

On the allegation that the certificate of occupancy was forged, the court noted that the report of the ministerial committee which probed the incident as presented by DW1 was “Hearsay evidence” as the witness did not show he was a member of the committee.
“The allegation of forgery has not been effectively proven against the plaintiff by the defendants. All particulars of facts upon which “allegation of mistake” were not pleaded by the defendants, Justice Olasambo held.

Source: Independentng

NIQS Unveils New Office Headquarters, History Book to Mark 50th Anniversary

The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has unveiled a newly built secretariat and a history book about the institute to mark 50 years of existence.

The event which took place on Saturday at the new building in Mabushi Abuja was well attended by top dignitaries including members of the institute, past presidents, former ministers and respected industry stakeholders.

Speaking to HousingNews at the event, the President of Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, QS Obafemi Oluwole Onashile said that it was a remarkable event because it marked a beginning of a new era for the professional institute.

‘’Today is a remarkable day because we are unveiling our new 5-storey secretariat in Abuja. It is a project that took 17 months to construct. It’s a testimony to the capacity of quantity surveyors in project delivery. We give glory to God that the project is completed with 5 floors including a basement for services. It is not a story of abandoned project,’’ he said.

On the institute’s 50th anniversary, he said that it is was very important because of how far they have come over the years.

‘’It is worth mentioning that 50 years ago when NIQS was starting, we had barely 20 qualified quantity surveyors in Nigeria including British nationalities; meaning that indigenous quantity surveyors then were less than 10 or 15. Now 50 years after, we can boast of an institute with over 10,000 members out of which 4,000 are corporate qualified members practising in Nigeria and beyond. In the 50 years of our existence, we have done very well. Our capacity and qualification is now very well recognised even internationally as we have just signed reciprocity agreement with the Canada institute of quantity surveyors. So as a Nigerian quantity surveyor, once you produce your qualification certificate of NIQS in Canada you are given automatic ticket to practice there,’’ he said.

He also stated that this is the same for Nigerian Quatity Surveyors in the Middle East, Australia and other parts of the world. This, he said is a testimony to how far the institute which was established in 1969 has come.

Also speaking to HousingNews, the immediate past President of NIQS, QS Mercy Iyortyer, said that the event is a celebration of legacy and hard work.

‘’On our 50th anniversary, we are unveiling our secretariat and launching the NIQS history book. This is very important to us. A lot of people will read the book and appreciate the history of the institute,’’ she said.

She also revealed that the land upon which the secretariat was built on was allocated to the institute during her tenure as the FCT chapter chairman of NIQS, when Mallam Nasir el-Rufai was minister of the FCT.

She said, ‘’we paid him a visit and requested for a land for our secretariat, to move it from Lagos to Abuja, and he graciously gave us a land. When I was president, 3 years ago, I was privileged once more to ensure that we got approval for the drawings. We secured the land, fenced it and got the whole thing rolling. The bills of quantity were prepared and we started with the tender process, and we have followed due process in all we have done.’’

Her joy, she said, is that the project has taken less than 2 years, proving to be a good project delivery. ‘’Everything was delivered on time and to specification, and within budget as well. We are very grateful to all those who contributed to the development of this project. Our own quantity surveyor was also key to the delivery of this project.’’

The NIQS had previously operated from a rented apartment which disrupted their activities because of issues with landlords. Mercy Iyortyer said that was what pushed them to embark on this project and that it was a dream come true.

She appealed to the FCT authorities to help provide a durable access road to the building.

Lawan Advocates Local Contents in Engineering Projects

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has canvassed for the application of local contents in all engineering projects undertaken in the country.

He stated this in Abuja at a book launch on “Engineering and Sustainable Rural Development In Nigeria” which was authored by Engineer Ahmed Amshi.

Lawan, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ola Awoniyi, also made a strong case for rural dwellers.

He said, “I believe in the local contents and I think it is high time we insist on the local contents when it affects our engineering projects in this country.

“After all even if we don’t insist on the local contents, those big companies use Nigerian engineers.

“The bulk of the work, the real engineering work, is done by Nigerian engineers. So we must insist on local contents.”

Lawan promised to take up the issue of local contents at the Senate as a good ambassador of the engineering profession.

He noted that Nigerians have always given a good account of themselves anywhere in the world and in all fields of endeavour.

He urged Nigerians to believe in themselves as they are the only ones who can develop Nigeria.

He said, “Nigerians are the people to develop Nigeria. Nobody else will help us develop our country.

“Nobody will get us out of our misery, our challenges but ourselves. So we should believe in ourselves,” Lawan said.

Commenting on the title of the book, Lawan said for Nigeria to develop at all, the process must start with the development of the rural areas.

He said the bulk of the population resides in the rural areas.

He said, “Therefore if there is anything we have to do, it’s for us to target the rural areas.

“Our farmers deserve every intervention. Our farmers and those in rural areas deserve every kind of subsidy.

“Other countries have achieved greatness because they face the reality of development.

“They subsidise farming, particularly for those that have chosen to stay in the rural areas.

“Therefore as a government, we don’t have too many options but to face the reality that the rural areas have to be attended to properly,” Lawan said.

Source: Punchng

Reps Pass Bill On Prohibition Of Estimated Billing

The lawmakers, who expressed the overwhelming support during the debate on a Bill for an Act to amend the Electric Power Reform Act, 2005 which scaled through third Reading at the Committee of the Whole, stressed the need for the DISCOs to provide compulsorily install prepaid meters to all power consumers across the country.

The bill which was sponsored by Hon Femi Gbajabiamila passed through Third Reading in the 8th Assembly but was recently re-introduced after the Senate failed to concur with it.

In his explanation, Hon Gbajabiamila, who frowned at the unfair practice adopted by the operators observed that the Bill seeks to prohibit the estimated billing practice by the power providing companies on their simple whims.

He stated that it is a practice that is unlawful and highly fraudulent.

The Bill was unanimously passed by the House in the 8th Assembly but the process wasn’t concluded and he wished for its completion on the 9th Assembly.

Hon Gbajabiamila stated that the excuse of the unavailability of electricity meters causing the estimated billing practice should be unacceptable to a people-sensitive House.

Also at the Committee of the Whole, the House passed the Bill for an Act to provide that, 20 per cent of jobs Available in all Federal Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Companies be distributed among the physically challenged persons in Nigeria; and for related matters which was sponsored by Hon. Gbajabiamila.

In his lead debate, the Speaker stated that the Bill seeks to take care of the special needs of those who are physically challenged and protect them against discrimination on the basis of their challenges.

He expressed the desire for the report to be approved so as to ensure the physically challenged constituents get what is fair.

Source: tribuneonlineng

Ebeano Supermarket Begins Construction of Gudu-Lokogoma Road in Abuja

Nigerian retail company, Ebeano Supermarket has commenced the construction of a 2.7 kilometres road linking Gudu district to Lokogoma in Abuja.

The road construction which is a Corporate Social Responsibility project by the Supermarket is expected to be completed in two months, barring any weather disruption.

The road has been in a very bad condition for years, making it difficult for residents of Lokogoma and adjoining areas have easy access to Gudu and into the city centre.

According to the Supermarket Branch Manager, Chidi Kossi, the project was inspired by the company’s willingness to do something for the community.

‘’Our intention,’’ he said, ‘’is to make life better for people by supporting the government to provide some infrastructures.

‘’The company is driven in the direction of corporate social responsibilities, and this is just one of many.’’

According to him, the company has also undertaken other projects in Lagos and Delta states.

‘’In Lagos, we built and donated Ibeji Lekki General Hospital to Lagos state government to help reduce infant mortality rates. Also in delta, we have built two schools, and a laboratory complex and have as well provided lots of uniforms and learning materials to school pupils in need. Our vision is to simply make the lives of people better. It is just a way of being a blessing to our society,’’ he said.

Corroborating his views, the project site engineer, Godwin Nwokoye said that the road, upon completion will open up the area to further development.

‘’It has been a hectic experience for residents and those who use the road, but that is going to change now,’’ he said.

The 2.7 kilometres road will be built with a dual drainage and a bridge at the middle.

Building Collapse: Fashola Advocates Teaching of Building Code in Schools

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, Thursday, advocated the teaching of the compliance to the national building code in the Nigerian schools.

Fashola, who spoke in Abuja when members of the national building code advisory committee paid him a courtesy call, also called for the involvement of students in the process.

The minister, who lauded the activities of the committee which was inaugurated in July 2018, described students as ‘critical stakeholders’ in the implementation of the code nationwide.

Fashola said: “It is good that you want to see the governors so that they will domesticate it (the national building code), but I think there are more critical stakeholders in the built industry that you need to relate with.

“Essentially for me, I think, this committee can be more visible more than it has been. The critical stakeholders for me are students because they are going to be involved in the industry within the decade from now.

“And unless we expose them to the best practices, best charter very early in life, they will learn it very late.  To do this, every level of education is involved.

“We can break down what they need to learn in easy module and they can learn it just as we learn the Nigerian history in primary  school and by the time you get to the secondary school,  the history contents would change, and if you do it as a degree, it becomes tougher.

“I think, this is the place that you can get involved. You should get the school principals, the school owners both at the state and federal levels involved so that basic knowledge and essential of building are inculcated in the people from the childhood’’.

The minister also called for severe punishment for any professional found wanting in any building collapse.

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Architect Mohammed Jimoh Faworaja, had highlighted some of the committee’s activities within the year.

Faworaja, however, said gas piping in construction of houses was part of the drafted guidelines that will be added to the national building code.

Source: Blueprintng

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