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08042018 - Education in free fall! •Sector gets paltry N3.9 trillion out of N55.19 trillion in 10 years

PAGE 4, SUNDAY Vanguard,

PAGE 4, SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 8, 2018

SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 8, 2018, PAGE 5 From right: Engr. Chime Benjamin, HOD Works; Engr.Ndanenu Kingsley, SA, Technical Matters; Hon. Oshilonya Vincent, Political Adviser; Barr. Cynthia Opute, Secretary to Ndokwa East LGA; Hon Juan Governor, Chairman, Ndokwa East LGA; Chief Humphrey Oseji, Manager, Community, Security, Public and Government Affairs, Pillar Oil Ltd; Mr Moses Akpe, CLO, Pillar Oil Ltd; Mr. Shittu Toyin, Security Co-ordinator, Pillar Oil Ltd and Mr Chukwuka Nwanegbu, Igbuku Community Rep, when Pillar Oil Ltd paid a courtesy visit to the chairman of Ndokwa East LGA in Delta Northern CAN, Christian elders disown Arewa pastors •’They constitute a danger to Nigeria’ By Sam Eyoboka In what can be described as a double whammy, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the 19 northern states and Abuja, as well as members of the National Christian Elders’ Forum, NCEF, over the weekend, disowned some pastors who made a solidarity visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa last week. Presenting themselves as members of Arewa Pastors’ Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace in Nigeria, and led by Bishop John Abu Richards, the group had paid a courtesy visit to President Buhari, urging him to continue his good works and not be distracted by nay sayers. The President thanked members of the delegation and also used the opportunity to debunk accusations in some quarters that he is biased against Christianity. But in a swift reaction, both CAN and NCEF came out strongly to lampoon the Arewa Pastors in two separate statements. According to a statement signed by Reverend John Hayap, CAN’s publicity secretary, “these folks who described themselves as Arewa Pastors are unknown to us,” insisting that the body is not known to the Christian Association of Nigeria in the North and cannot be said to be representing Christians in the North. “We have searched through all our chapters in the 19 Northern states and Abuja and we found out that the leader of the delegation and most of them reside in Port-Hacourt, Rivers State,” the CAN PRO stated. He alleged that the leader of the group is from Benue State, according to findings with most of them from the South-South states. Rev. Hayap wondered why the Christian leaders did not seize the opportunity of being with the president to draw attention to Leah Sharibu’s plight. “Boko Haram was said to have retained Sharibu, the only Christian among more than 100 kidnapped girls who were freed recently, prompting the Northern CAN to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to obtain her release. Boko Haram refused to release Leah Nathan Sharibu, 15, because she would not renounce her faith and convert to Islam. The Northern Christian leaders are all busy praying for the safe return of Leah Sharibu, and would not engage in politics. We love the president and we pray for him daily,” he concluded On its part, the NCEF, in a statement signed by the chairman, Elder Solomon Asemota, said “President Buhari made a veiled reference to NCEF in his speech when a group of persons purporting to be Arewa Pastors’ Non- Denominational Initiative for Peace in Nigeria led by one Bishop John Abu Richards visited him”. According to NCEF, “this group portends danger to all Christians in Nigeria, especially when these impostors want the President to link them with the security agencies. One newspaper quoted them as saying: ‘we demand His Excellency, 1. That you support our 5,009 Arewa Pastors Peace and Unity National Delegate Prayer Congress at the Eagle Square on Thursday, April 26, 2018. We will want His Excellency to link us with the relevant security agencies in our crusade for peace and fight against hate speeches and those dark walls that separate us as we will network with our counterparts from the East and West to hand over those of our colleagues being used by the enemies of our togetherness to inject confusion and false stories into the public space resulting to the destabilization of peaceful co-existence we were enjoying Enugu State Executive Council (EXCO) has approved N2,572,686,367 for the construction of new classroom blocks and renovation of dilapidated structures in primary and junior secondary schools in the state under the Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB). Part of the approval, aimed at improving the standard of education and creating a conducive learning environment in the state, according to the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, who briefed newsmen after the meeting of the council, was the procurement of classroom plastic chairs and desks, white boards in the country’”. “This request,” NCEF pointed out in its statement, “shows clearly that these people are not Christians much less pastors. When a child of 15 years, Leah Sharibu, can defy death, they are asking for security protection”. On the issue of Islamisation raised by the Arewa Pastors, NCEF pooh-poohed their position, saying “this statement portrays ignorance of the meaning of jihad. Muslims killed in jihads are martyrs while Christians and By Michael Eboh The Federal Government has given approval to Green Energy International Limited to commence the construction of the 12 million standard cubic feet per day, MMSCFD, capacity Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, extraction plant at Ikuru Town, in Rivers State. The Approval To Construct, ATC, license of the 12MMSCFD capacity plant, was issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to Green Energy, operator of the Otakikpo marginal field in Oil Mining Lease, OML, 11, sequel to the company’s successful submission of the detailed engineering design, DED. The company was, in 2017, issued with a Licence to From left: Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi; his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; and Secretary to Ondo State Government, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde; during the burial ceremony of the late Madam Ibilola Oni Awoseye, in Ilara Mokin, Ondo State yesterday. non-Islamists including traditional worshippers are the victims of conventional jihads. It is stealth jihad by Islamists(fundamentalists) in the establishment who have assembled impostors posing as Christian pastors to promote political Islam by discrediting responsible Nigerians in their defense of Democracy and Rule of Law. “This explains why no Christian should speak in defense of Islamism or political Islamism because of extreme ignorance on the subject. It is clear that this body of impostors of Christianity wants protection in their crusade against democracy in the promotion of Sharia in Nigeria. The same security that did not protect Leah Sharibu, now must protect them against Sharibu’s religion. In the face of the above fact, CAN is being gradually replaced by impostors before the present administration,” NCEF chairman stated. The Arewa Pastors, during their visit, had pledged loyalty to President Buhari: “Your Excellency, we the 19 Northern States pastors under the New platform called the Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace in Nigeria believe in your leadership and we are here to let you know that we are fully standing by you and your government to ensure that you succeed and peace is restored to every and corners of the country. “And to counter those deceiving and poisoning Nigerians with fake news to destroy your good intentions for the country especially those giving the impression that you are against Christians and some ethnic groups in Nigeria which is a big lie for instance: Some Pastors using places of worship to preach hate. People using Church to preach violence”. FG approves construction of cooking gas extraction plant in Rivers and sporting equipment. Uche also disclosed that the council in keeping with the four-point agenda of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration as it concerns quality education and welfare of workers, approved N271 million as bailout fund to Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) to enable the institution offset the remaining 7 months monetization arrears owed its workers. The education commissioner explained that prior to the inception of the present administration, ESUT workers were owed 14 months arrears of their Establish, LTE, the plant by the DPR, which is the first in the series of licences to be obtained by companies for such project. In a statement in Abuja, weekend, Green Energy said the engineering design was produced under supervision of the indigenous operator by its contractors, PCC-LAMBDA Consortium, formed between Nigeria Indigenous companies and a Chinese company - Peiyang Chemical Equipment Company Limited, PCC, who is the original equipment manufacturer, OEM, and would By Peter Duru, Makurdi TNational he Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, has Enugu approves N2.5 billion for construction, renovation of classroom blocks, others monetization, recalling that the state government three months ago had approved an equivalent amount for the institution, which was used to pay the first phase of 7 months arrears, accordingly. “These arrears of monetization owed the staff of ESUT dated back as far as 2006. This is the money owed by previous administrations. But His Excellency in his magnanimity and concern for the welfare of staff of the state has made this fund available to make these workers happy and motivate them to put in more efforts to ensure that educational delivery is improved” he said. also be responsible for manufacturing and design activities associated with the project. The company, which began production in February 2017, said the LPG plant would be completed within 12 months, adding that it was determined to ensure full utilization of the gas produced from the field for LPG and power generation amongst other projects. Commenting on the project, Director of Legal and Corporate services, Green Energy, Mr Olusegun Ilori, explained that the gas utilization plant involves the use of the lean gas to power donated relief materials to victims of herdsmen crisis in parts of Benue state and also simultaneously commenced the training of women displaced by the crisis in various arts and craft. Making the donation at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Daudu, Guma local government area, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Benue State, Dr. Netawe Yilwatda, said the gesture was the commissioner’s little way of lending a hand to the needy. Yilwatda said, “It is a known fact that these displaced persons are in dire need of all the help they can get, that is why we have decided to bring our little support to encourage them. “We are also training the women in various arts and craft so that their stay in the camp can be put to good use and when they eventually return home the 12 megawatts, MW, gas generator at Otakikpo field out of which 5MW would be dedicated to the host communities in line with its MOU with the government, while the LPG & propane would be bottled and sold. He said, “Part of the LPG shall be for domestic use within Otakikpo communities in order to support small scale industries to stimulate the economy of the Niger Delta. He said the company recently delivered six megawatts gas generator to the community while the other batches would arrive within the year. INEC donates relief materials to victims of Benue crisis, trains female IDPs in arts and craft they can start businesses of the own. “Recall that we had earlier distributed learning materials to the children to also help them study while in the camp. All these are intended to encourage everyone to be useful to him or herself. Receiving the materials, the Chairman of Guma local government area, Mr. Anthony Shawon, who lauded INEC for identifying with the victims of the crisis in the state, enjoined other wellmeaning organisations to emulate the electoral body. Representative of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Angela Omerigbe, commended INEC for initiating the arts and craft programme and donations stressing that it all came timely. Among items donated to the IDPs were bags of corn, rice, garri, salt, beverages and some non-food items.