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FG says states must key into open defecation-free campaign for progress, sustainability

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The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, says for Nigeria to make progress in the open defecation-free (ODF) campaign, states must key into the process and show more political will.

Adamu, who spoke at the ongoing Nigeria Media Water Week in Abuja on Tuesday, said it is worrisome that only few states have inaugurated their roadmap towards ending the open defecation practice.

According to him, whatever policy that the Federal Government is doing is not meant for it alone, but for the states and the entire nation.

“State governments need to key into these programmes. What we are saying is that the key to the success of this open defecation campaign is with how much state actors are willing to prioritise it to give it all the political support that it is getting at the national level.

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“If the political will at the national level is similarly obtained at the state level, I think we can quickly get rid of this problem, but if we at the national level are driving a programme and it is not getting the same push at the state and local government levels, then that is a huge challenge’’.

He said the entire ODF campaign is hinged on advocacy and behaviour change for everyone to build and use their toilets, saying the Federal government would continue to pass that message with the state governments.

The minister noted that annually, the ministry, in partnership with the development partners, brings out the Water, Sanitation Routine Mapping (WASHNORM) survey to ensure that progress is made to improve WASH in parts of the country.

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“We are monitoring how much states have fared in terms of improving access to potable water and toilets, handwashing and we share it with the states.

“I believe that at some point, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) may come on board, naming and shaming activities may begin to unfold just the same way it is happening in India.

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“Kids were given whistles, if they fund anyone defecating openly, they would blow the whistles and harass them to stop, that was how the ODF was achieved’’.

Also read;Former senior provincial official arrested for taking bribes

Adamu added that the ministry had inherited 116 ongoing and abandoned projects, with some lacking funding, and those not viable were dropped and others prioritised to be completed in stages.

The ministry said since 2015, it had pursued the goal of completing the many inherited hydropower projects across the country and had recorded successes in this direction, explaining it is not privatising its dams, rather some of the facilities are on concession, particularly those for power generation.

Also, Adamu outlined nine completed and ongoing hydropower projects being prepared to add 2,672 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, consisting of nine projects located in five states including Kaduna, Taraba, Gombe, Benue and Nasarawa.

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They include the 30MW Gurara I hydropower project in Kaduna, completed and put on concession; 360MW Gurara II plant, also in Kaduna, with its engineering, procurement and construction contract already awarded.

Others are the Kashimbila, Dadin-Kowa and Itisi hydropower projects with capacities for 40MW each and located in Taraba, Gombe and Kaduna states respectively.

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The government said both the Kashimbila and Dadin-Kowa hydropower projects had been completed and are ready for concession, while a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on the Itisi project.

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Fubara orders audit of LGs accounts in Rivers

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Fubara orders audit of LGs accounts in Rivers

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has ordered the audit of the accounts of the 23 Local Government Areas for the past three years.

Fubara gave the order to the Auditor General of the state on Wednesday while swearing in the Caretaker Committee Chairmen of the local councils at the Executive Council Chamber of the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Also read: BREAKING: Fubara swears in caretaker chairmen for 23 LGs

The governor said the audit of the accounts is intended to serve as a check for the incoming chairmen and make the local councils more accountable.

Fubara urged the caretaker chairmen to protect the interests of their people, not to see themselves as superheroes and to demonstrate that the government was right in appointing them.

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He, however, cautioned that their tenure would not be excessively long, because the process for local government area elections would commence soon.

The governor also ordered a probe of the tenures of the outgoing local government chairmen, saying that the current events in the state are a product of democracy.

He warned against violence, stating that it is not his approach, urging the officials to sort out the salaries and entitlements of the outgoing chairmen.

Fubara explained that the fight against tenure extension is not just about the state, but the entire country, as allowing it in one state could lead to it being replicated nationwide.

The governor pointed out that Rivers State was not doing anything unusual, as most states in the country are also run by caretaker committees.

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BREAKING: Fubara swears in caretaker chairmen for 23 LGs

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BREAKING: Fubara swears in caretaker chairmen for 23 LGs

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, on Wednesday, sworn in new caretaker chairmen for the 23 local government areas of the state.

The governor inaugurated the new caretaker chairmen hours after the House of Assembly, led by factional Speaker, Victor Jumbo, screened and approved the nominees sent on Tuesday.

 

Also read: I didn’t start governing fully until this February – Fubara

 

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Theheute reports that the swearing-in is currently ongoing at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital, amid tight security.

Our correspondent reports that the first batch of 11 caretaker chairmen are taking their oath of office.

The swearing-in comes a day after the governor forwarded the list to the state House of Assembly and the nominees were invited for screening as early as 8 am on Wednesday.

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Just In: Protesting youths chase Rivers LG from council secretariat

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Just In: Protesting youths chase Rivers LG from council secretariat

The Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Rivers State chapter, Allwell Ihunda, escaped death narrowly as protesting youths chased him along Moscow Road in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Tuesday.

Ihunda, who is the outgoing Chairman of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, was on his way to the council secretariat with some aides and security details when the incident occurred.

Also read: BREAKING: Protesting youths burn Plateau farmer’s house

It was gathered that he had alighted from his vehicle and tried to make his way into the council but met a group of youths who occupied the entrance.

Almost immediately, the youth started shouting, chasing him, the youths tried to get hold of Ibunda, who raced towards his car.

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But the security details attached to the Mayor, as he is fondly called, resisted the youths from getting hold of their principal, shooting into the air to disperse them.

Ihunda jumped into a black SUV vehicle, escorted by aides and zoomed off while the youths continued shooting into the air.

Two other vehicles, including a white van believed to be that of aides of the outgoing chairman, were spotted going after him, while the youths rained abuses at him.

Some of the youth were heard shouting, “That is him, Allwell. Chase him. Who is he? Look at him, Mayor is running. Chase him. Are you mad? God punish you.

“Don’t run, come, you will see pressure. We are not afraid of you. You are mad. Thunder will fire you.”

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But some of his security details were seen trying to calm the youths who refused to listen to them, saying, ” Why is he running?”

Recall that the state ALGON had vowed not to vacate office after the expiration of their tenure on June 17.

The LG chairmen, who were elected under the administration of Nyesom Wike as governor, had cited the local government amendment law made by the Martin Amaewhule-led House of Assembly.

The law extends the tenure of the council chairmen by six months due to the failure of Governor Siminalayi Fubara to conduct local government elections.

The Amaewhule-led 27 lawmakers loyal to the FCT Minister have been having a running battle with Fubara, due to the disagreement between him and his predecessor.

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Fubara survived an attempt to impeach him last year, which worsened the political crisis in the state.

Fubara, in a state-wide broadcast on Tuesday, directed the heads of local government administration to take charge of council affairs from Wednesday, June 19th, pending further directives.

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