- FG Releases N2bn for Take off of Maritime Varsity in October
The federal government announced Tuesday that it had released N2 billion for the take off of the Maritime University, Okerekoko Delta State by October.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who disclosed this in Akure, Ondo State while declaring open the second National Council on Niger Delta said that academic activities would soon commence at the university, adding: “We believe that as soon as it takes off, of course, academic activities and engagement and all of that will go on within the period.”
The theme of the second National Council on Niger Delta organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is “Fast-tracking the development of the Niger Delta region: options and prospects.”
Osinbajo, who restated the commitment of the present administration towards rapid development of the Niger Delta region, added that “for us development of the Niger Delta region is not optional.”
The vice President also noted that the issue of Ogoniland clean-up was very much on course and that the government was working towards ensuring that right things were dome at the right time.
He promised that the clean-up exercise would not be limited to Ogoniland alone but all other affected areas in the oil-rich region.
The present administration, he said, was ready to support the establishment of modular refineries in the region in order to create wealth and employment in the region in particular and the country at large
“One of our plans for the Niger Delta region is to support the establishment of privately owned modular refineries. Many of the licences handed out by the previous administrations have since expired.
“The biggest challenge that these licenses have been facing has been funding,” he said.
Osinbajo also disclosed that the administration was committed and now working towards establishment of Refineries Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to support the investments.”
His words: “Now, modular refineries project is supposed to be privately led, but with the collaboration of the Federal Government, State Governments, we have done a fair lot of work on these modular refineries.
“We have released guideline for the establishment of modular refineries. We have met with several interested parties from the various parts of Niger Delta region, with investors and some cases with the state governments.
“This is the project we are committed to, we want the state governments to also work with the local governments so that we can draw a kind of commercially viable plans that can sustain the modular refineries when they take off.
“In addition, we are trying the young people who were previously involved in the artsinal refining in alternative means of refining including skills that would enable them participate in modular refineries.”
UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.
The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.
Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.
British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use”
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.
“It is very good news,” Hancock said.
Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.
On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.
Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.
“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.
“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
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