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FCT demolishes over 137 illegal hostel blocks, hotels, others

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Muhammad Abdullahi

The Federal Capital Territory ( FCT ) has during the weekend demolished over 137 illegal hostel blocks, hotels and other buildings at Iddo Sarki, a community adjacent the main campus of the University of Abuja. 

A combined team of FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, Department of Development Control, Department of Security Services and other relevant agencies, carried out the exercise,  said to be in line with Ministerial directive to remove every contravention and illegality within the nation’s capital. 

Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation,  Ikharo Attah, said that FCT Minister was angered by people’s  continued disregard for warnings, to stay away from local chiefs who have  no authority to sell lands or transfer any valid title to buyers of such land, according to the provisions of the Land Use Act. 

Attah noted that the exercise was a quick intervention to avert further distortion of the city’s development plans, as well as rescue desperate business men and women from economic waste.

He said, it was unfortunate that certain  people have continued to ignore timely warnings to venture into  land transaction with local chiefs, without relevant government’s approval.

Attah stated that the millions of Naira invested in constructing the illegal hostel blocks and other developmental projects on the land, would have been properly directed, had they complied with  official procedures. 

He added that  the shortcut process undertaken by the investors had not only infringed heavily on extant laws, but distorted Abuja Master plan, while leading into collosal economic waste.

According to him, FCT Minister has avowed commitment to espousing investment in the city, but would not tolerate illegalities and disobedience to the provisions of the Land Use Act. 

He said: “FCTA is pained about what is going on here. FCT Minister had briefed the Directors of Development Control , security services and DRTS, and had given us a matching order to stop what he termed as extreme illegality here.

” These people took advantage of the closeness of the University of Abuja to sell every available land here. You can imagine that someone here had built a house that runs into hundreds of millions of Naira, without a proper approval,  but just based on ordinary agreement signed with the chief on foolscap sheet , that for me is an aberration. 

” No one here has any allocation.  It is very sad and worrisome that Abuja is going this way. What the natives are telling people here is that if you buy land and build, before Development Control will come you would have recovered your money.

” The Minister has ordered that this place be cleared as a signal to people. Those who want to build hostles for students can approach the administration and the University management and do it on build, operate and transfer ( BOT ) or build,  operate  and own (BOO) arrangements with a proper allocation and development approval from government. 

” The chiefs have denied that they never sold any land, while the buyers who insist they bought the land from the chiefs are now lamenting. We asked them to produce papers of approval, but none of them have done that. They said they bought the land between N2 million and N7 million. 

” We have done this, because we have the mandate to secure the city within the context of the Land Use Act .

Also speaking,  Acting Director,  the Department of Control, Garba Kwakur, disclosed that the land in which the illegal development was going on had been allocated to the Nigerian Navy. 

Kwakur further added that while the developers have no valid title to the land, the buildings erected on it had no approval. 

” All this area has long been allocated, part of this land has been allocated to the Nigerian Navy,  they have complained about encroachment.

” We have come here several times and sensitised them to stop this illegal development,  FCT Administration is not very happy with what is going on here.

” We have marked the illegal buildings several times,  and they were cleaned off. We have met with the Chiefs and youth leaders on the need to get permit before any expansion,  but they have not done that,  Kwakur said.


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NIPSS,dRPC Finance ministry, inaugurates TWG to monitor Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Intervention programmes

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Participants at the TWG inauguration event in Abuja comprising representatives of MDAs and CSOs in a group picture on Tuesday, 21st September 2021
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The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in collaboration with the development Research and Project Center and the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning on Tuesday inaugurates a Technical Working Group (TWG) to monitor and evaluate budgetary implementations for Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programmes and policies.

The TWG led by Dr Zakari Lawal (mni), which is part of initiatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Partnership for Advancing Women’s Economic Development, PAWED, aims at entrenching accountability in women’s economic advancement policies and programmes and the monitoring group is comprised of 10 MDAs from across Nigeria.

The event which held at the Bolton White hotels, Abuja had in attendance officials and representatives of the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies(NIPSS), dPRC, MDAs and representives of women associations as well as representatives of Christian women and Muslim women associations

The the terms of reference for the technical working group which was spelt out at the event has as parts of the objectives of the group, the provisions of support in the areas of development and implementation of the pilot monitoring and evaluation framework and to track and rate women’s empowerment project/policies/ interventions at both the national and sub national levels.

The TWG will also support the advocacy for and the dissemination of the WEE Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, support NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC WEE outreach and will function under the guidance and oversight of the NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC.

In the his address, the DG NIPSS, Brigadier C.J. Udaya, represented by Dr Nasrideen Usman, said that the TWG is constituted to foster the accountability components of the NIPSS strategies and asked that there be more clarity especially in terms of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholders and, that it should be well articulated and clearly stated so that every stakeholders like the NIPSS, dRPC TWG and the CBN will know what is expected of them and also guide the implementation of the initiative.

He said the TWG is expected to make recommendations to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), the development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) on the development of advocacy strategies for the affective implementation of WEE policies.

He further added that the monitoring group would also support NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE outreach and engagement activities; submit reports of its activities to NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE at regular intervals; and carry out other ad hoc duties as requested by NIPSS, FMFBNP & the dRPC.

He remarked that ‘with women constituting over 44.82% of the labour force in Nigeria, empowering this segment of our population is not only key to achieving economic independence, but also, it is critical in sustaining the nation’s overall economic development’ therefore, the nation stands to gain as it will go a long way in address some of its economic challenges when women are economically and adequately empowered

He concluded by imploring the 20 committee members drawn from the CBN, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, budget and National planning and other MDAs, to work hard in order to ensure transparency in the implementation of women’s economic empowerment in the country.

In his goodwill speech, Dr Zakari Lawal (mni) Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, stressed the need for strengthening the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for women’s economic empowerment in the country and gave assurance of the federal government readiness to set in mechanisms to promote transparency in the allocation and implementation of policies in the country.

He expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders and MDAs involved with the the project and urged the would be leaders of TWG to take their responsibilities with all seriousness.

At the end of the inaugural event , Princess Adeshola Ogunleye and Mrs Mary Madu Haman emerged the chair and co-chairpersons respectively .

The TWG will be training participants in techniques and skills for tracking budget allocation and implementation on Wednesday and Thursday at the Bolton White Hotel in Abuja.


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Shocker! Kidnappers detain pregnant woman till child birth, keep new baby, set mother free

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A pregnant woman, has allegedly been set free and her baby taking away by kidnappers, after detaining her till the birth of her child, introducing a shocking but gory dimension to what has now become a sort of epidemic in parts of Africa.

Reports coming from Ghana, said the woman, who was identified as Josephine Panyin Mensah, was seized and taken away from her home in Takoradi, when her pregnancy was already due at nine months, but that her abductors only allowed her to go, after she gave birth and her baby taken away.

According to the source, the kidnappers who were interested in the unborn baby bolted with the baby after she had been delivered, adding that family sources indicated that the distraught woman is currently receiving treatment at the Effiankwanta Teaching Hospital.

The victim, was said to have gone missing on Thursday, September 16, after she went for a dawn walk in Takoradi, and that the police immediately swung into action leading a search party for her after a report was made to the by her husband, Michael Simmons.


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Breaking: Davido’s photographer dies

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Davido’s official photographer Fortunate Umunname Peter aka Fortune is dead.

He died three months after the hit maker’s close friend and associate, Habeeb Ademola Uthman aka as Obama DMW passed on.

Davido had also lost his bodyguard of six years, Ogbeide Tijani Olamilekan (Teejay) in 2020.

In 2017, Davido lost two friends and team members, Tagbo and DJ Olu.

Fortune was born and bred in Bariga, Lagos but hailed from Owerri.

He has been working with Davido since 2019.

He was born on July 10, 1997 and started off as a graphics designer before he moved to photography after his aunt, Dr. Harriet, got him his first camera which forced him to move back to Lagos from Owerri.

The exceptional photographer has made portfolios for Davido, Pogba, Popcaan, Lilbaby, Cassanova, Mayorkun, Wizkid, Jidenna, Tiwa Savage, Burna boy, Patoranking, Akon, DMW and many others.

His last Instagram post was on July 10 where he made a birthday post with a caption “Rolling stone +1”


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