Showing posts with label General News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label General News. Show all posts

September 8, 2018

Flood In Kogi: Over 4,000 Kogi Residents Displaced - See Photos.

Flood In Kogi: Over 4,000 Kogi Residents Displaced - See Photos.

Over 4000 residents of Kogi State have been displaced by flood following the overflow of rivers Niger and Benue in the last four days.


The State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Sanusi Yahaya, disclosed this to Channels Television in a recent interview in Lokoja.

According to him the water level in Lokoja at the confluence point has risen 10 meters above, which he says is beyond the normal level.

In the past weeks, several other states have witnessed increased rainfall which has led to flooding in some areas.



Consequently, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) in a statement on Thursday warned that the steady rise in water levels and weather forecast for the coming weeks have put Nigeria at risk of witnessing a recurrence of catastrophic flooding similar to what it witnessed in 2012.

“There has been systematic daily rise in the water levels on both rivers. Records from our measuring stations in Lokoja (River Niger) & Makurdi (River Benue) clearly show this,” the agency said.

“This situation calls for watchfulness on the part of the riparian states as there is still a likelihood of occurrence of river flooding. Shiroro Dam has already joined Kainji and Jebba Dams in spilling water. This has contributed to the steady rise in the water level,” NIHSA explained further.

In 2012, catastrophic flooding had affected up to 30 states in Nigeria and resulted in the deaths of over 300 people and displaced more than two million people, according to data from the National Emergency Management Agency.

NIHSA believes the country is at risk of a recurrence of the disaster if steps are not taken.


Source Credits: Ebirareporters.blogspot.com
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August 19, 2017

Becarefull Strange Desease Has Killed Nothing Less Than 50 People In Kogi State.


A strange disease, whose symptoms include diarrhoea, bloodstained vomiting and high fever, has killed 50 people at Okunran, Okoloke and Isanlu-Esa villages in Yagba West Local Government, Kogi State.

Initial reports had suspected Lassa Fever, but medics told Commissioner for Health Dr. Saka Audu, who visited the affected areas yesterday, that it was a strange disease.

“We initially suspected Lassa Fever after getting some misleading reports about people bleeding around. So, we made a diagnosis for viral haemorrhagic fever (Lassa fever), but the result was negative,” Dr. Jannette Hathorn, a Consultant at ECWA Hospital, Egbe told Audu.

She said the first case was that of a child of two and half years, who died 12 hours after he was brought to the hospital.

“We are sure it is not Lassa fever; but our concern is that we do not know exactly what is happening. We have not arrived at a definitive diagnosis.

“Two adult patients were also brought here; one showed symptoms of ulcer-viral illness, but there was no bleeding component of any haemorrhagic symptom.

“We isolated them and both of them were treated for malaria. When they started improving, we let them go.

“Another parent brought a child to the hospital and pleaded for help. He said 50 people had died in their village with similar symptoms of bloodstained vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

“When the child died, we called the World Health Organisation (WHO). Yesterday (Wednesday), their officials came and took samples of everything; we must know exactly what we are dealing with,” she said.

Audu, who described the situation as “serious”, said the visit was to assess it, “especially since many lives have been lost to the disease”.
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June 13, 2016

In Kogi, ceramics firms’ workers grumble over labour violation, exploitation

In Kogi, ceramics firms’ workers grumble over labour violation, exploitation

In Kogi, ceramics firms’ workers grumble over labour violation, exploitation
Crossview of West African Ceramics Company, Ajaokuta

The establishment of two ceramics firms, namely West African Ceramics Limited and BN Ceramics Industry Nigeria Limited, to create jobs for the unemployed people was the best thing that happened at Ajaokuta, a town in Kogi State. But sooner than expected, many of the workers started complaining of alledged dehumanisation and exploitation.

West African Ceramics Limited, Ajaokuta, established in Nigeria since 1995 under the name Royal Ceramics, located in Suleja, Niger State, is a leading brand name in the Nigerian ceramics market and Sub-Saharan West African region due to growing demand for European standard quality tiles. Its competitor, BN Ceramics Industry Nigeria Limited, is also carving a niche for itself in the same area.

However, cross section of workers who spoke to Daily Trust alleged that the two firms, operated by Indian and Chinese expatriates, are not complying with the extant labour laws of Nigeria.

It should be noted that the relationship between employers and employees (industrial relations) is structured, mediated and regulated by general and specific laws as enshrined in relevant public policies of international labour standards, coded in conventions and recommendations, as well as national legislations with a view at ensuring that in the course of employment, people work in dignity and humane conditions. 

There are pointers that employees in these firms are not getting a fair deal from their job places.

In West African Ceramics Limited and BN Ceramics Industries Nigeria Limited, workers who spoke to Daily Trust at their factories near the Niger (Murtala) Bridge in Ajaokuta, some 10 kilometres from Itobe town, on condition of anonymity for fear of intimidation and likely sack, alleged that there have been cases of noncompliance with labour law on employment, remuneration and the adoption of unethical measures in punishing employees.

There are also concerns over alleged disregard for the rights of workers to rest and leisure. The workers claim they are underpaid, and made to work during weekends and holidays with no commensurate appreciation.

Workers, especially at the West African Ceramics, express their displeasure over prolonged working hours and casualisation of workers and working without appointment letters. A similar situation was alleged by employees of BN Ceramics Limited.

Workers in West African Ceramics described how majority of the staff earn only between N18,100 and N20,100 while those in BN Ceramics earn between N18,000 to N30,000, a remuneration they say is not commensurate to the workloads of workers at the factories who work from 7:00am-7:00pm.   

Workers of the two companies alleged disregard for industrial legislations which seek to protect workers from work-related hazards and diseases and refusal of the companies to pay compensations for injuries or disabilities suffered in the course of work, citing how some workers, especially at the West African Ceramics, suffered injuries and died in the cause of their jobs without compensation.

Some workers in BN Ceramics voiced their displeasure over alleged racist dispositions being exhibited by some of the expatriates of the companies. Alleging an instance of high handedness and molestation of workers by Chinese expatriates which, sometimes ago, culminated into the shooting of one Oloye Elega, a cleaner in the company, under a controversial circumstance. They also frowned at the company’s policy of employing women for night shifts and the attendant abuse they are bound to suffer by virtue of their night work.

The concerned workers appealed to the government to intervene by prevailing on the two companies to stop all forms of anti-workers’ activities and improve on the welfare and wellbeing of workers.  

But in a reaction, the Human Resource/Administration Manager and Spokesman of BN Ceramics, Malam Saliu Mohammed, said that the working condition provided by the firm is the best the firm could offer. He said that the firm pays daily wages to employees of N600 - N1,000 for work done from 7:00am to 7:00pm and a bonus of N10,000 if an employ makes a 28 working days in a month through weekends and holidays or N13,000 for 30 working days work. He said that work officially closes by 5:00pm everyday while the overtime period is between 5:00pm and 7:00pm. The sum of N120, he said, is paid for the two extra hours of work while work during public holidays attract twice that amount. 

Salihu debunked allegations of high handedness and molestations of workers levied against expatriates in the company. He, however, said that language barrier between the expatriates (Chinese) and Nigerians working in the company often make some of the expatriates to raise their voices whenever they issue instructions to workers. 

On the alleged shooting of a company worker, Oloye Elega, by an expatriate in the company, Salihu said that the incident occurred, adding that it was not intentional. According to him the concerned expatriate staff footed the medical bills of the injured staff and he was arrested by the security agencies who seized his passport. 

But when Daily Trust contacted the Oloye on the matter, he complained of being abandoned by the company, saying that he was not compensated by the company.

On their part, in an interview with Daily Trust in Abuja, the management of West African Ceramics, represented by the human resource manager,  Alhaji Abdulraheem Bello, and three others, namely, Alhaji Adama Samari (labour contractor), Alhaji Mohammed Ndanusa (administrative director) and a trustee of the National Union of Chemicals, Footwear, Rubber, Leather, and Non-Metallic Product Employees (NUCFLANMPE), Comrade Isiaku Musa, denied most of the workers’ claims, insisting that the company complies with the relevant laws regulating industrial relations in Nigeria. “The company places premium on the wellbeing of its workers which it demonstrated in workers remuneration of a sum above the national minimum wage, ranging between N20,000 and above, depending on the categorisation the worker falls under” Bello said. 

He said that workers are entitled to one day off, per week, sick, casual and annual leaves. 
On the issue of overtime, Bello said that workers in West African Ceramics are not forced to embark on overtime work, as alleged. He added that the official working ours last between 7:00am and 4:00pm, with a one hour break interval, while workers are at liberty to do overtime which lasts between 4:00pm and 7:00pm  Commenting on the complaints over prolonged casualisation of workers without conversion and promotion, Bello said: “The confirmation of a staff on probation is legally six months, subject to performance, there are some that have spent about two years on probation.”

 He said that the management will address the issue of appointment letters for its workers.
On the case of industrial safety, he said that the company has an industrial clinic to handle emergency cases and three other designated hospitals where sick staff are usually referred to for treatment, if need be.
The negligence of employees in using protective wares is responsible for cases of accidents that led to the death of a staff and loss of body parts of some other workers for which the company spent over N4 million for treatment and compensation, he said. Though, the  workers refuted this claim.

Source Credits : DailyTrust.

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Deforestation: Kogi to plant 400, 000 trees : Vanguard.

Deforestation: Kogi to plant 400, 000 trees : Vanguard.

Yahaya-Bello

By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO, LOKOJA

The Kogi State government has commenced the planting of 400,000 trees to combat climate change and mitigate the effects of environmental disaster in the state caused by deforestation. Yahaya-Bello Yahaya-Bello The state Commissioner for Environment, Dr. (Mrs) Rosemary Osikoya who revealed this during the flag-off of the ‘Let’s Green Kogi’ said 20,000 trees will be planted in each of the 21 local government area of the state.

Osikoya said the gesture is in fulfillment with the United Nation environmental renewal programme aimed at fighting environmental disaster which the state has keyed into. She said the Tree planting scheme will not only serve to reclaim the lost ground through afforestation and forest regeneration, but have been designated for places that will as well served as recreational centres. She also urged individuals and corporate organisation to join the tree planting campaign so that together the state could be saved from erosion and other environmental degredation.

“Kogi is going green, introducing urban afforestation, which is a classical departure from what we know. The time has come for Kogi to understand that climate change is also business. We must come together to managing and taking full values for the trees. “It is our duty to advocate for extreme decarbonisation of Kogi state. There is the dire need to have a balance between utilisation and regeneration.”

She said the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello will through the ‘Let’s Green Kogi’, create a foray of greenery that has a camouflage of beauty and elegance, “As we embark on this project, we encouraged individual to plant trees so that as we drive through a canopy of trees, it will be like paradise.”

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June 11, 2016

Senator Ogembe Reaffirms His Commitment to Youth Emancipation in Kogi

Senator Ogembe Reaffirms His Commitment to Youth Emancipation in Kogi

Senator Ogembe with the corp members


Credits : Kogireports,

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May 4, 2016

Massive Debts, Insufficient Capital, Cripples Kogi Savings and Loans Ltd Again

Massive Debts, Insufficient Capital, Cripples Kogi Savings and Loans Ltd Again

 Gov Yahaya Adoza Bello
By Otori Ozigi, Lokoja.
*Kogites Urges Yahaya Bello to Offer Lifeline.

It has been finally established that a conglomerate of insufficient capital and outstanding massive debts obtained by both internal and external customers have combined to cripple the serially troubled Kogi savings and loans Ltd for the second time in her mortgage banking history.

Investigations conducted by this independent journalist spanning over several months, have revealed that the bank was being owed over 800 million naira by multiple customers who are allegedly feeling reluctant to repay their loans for reasons best known to them, even as all debt recovery efforts initiated by relevant authorities are not yielding the desire results.

According to impeccable sources close to Lugard house, the Kogi State government which is already aware of the state of affairs of the bank, is reportedly on the verge of conducting a “forensic auditing” of the moribund bank with a view to ascertaining the true picture of her debt profile and the entire balance sheet before taking a definite decision on the best way forward.

In the same vein, our authoritative sources close to one of the anti – graft agencies in Abuja that had investigated the bank in recent time, sequel to series of petitions received from multiple sources, confirmed last week that the present crisis rocking the bank have nothing to do with fraud as being rumoured, stressing that such financial crime could not be established against the management of the bank after diligent scrutiny.

It would be recalled that the bank has a long history of running into turbulent operating storms, as it had suffered bankruptcy in the past that kept her out of business between 2004 and 2007 before former Governor Alhaji Ibrahim Idris gave the bank a N270million lifeline in 2007 that resulted in a fresh commencement of business for the bank in 2008. Part of that lifeline totaling N105million was reportedly jointly sourced from the 21 local government areas in the state, who are statutory stakeholders in the bank.

As at last week, contrary to rumours making the rounds, the bank was still in full operations in all her branches located in Lokoja, Okene, Kabba, Ayingba, Ankpa and Ajaka, just as it was confirmed that it had sent some of its workers into the already saturated labour market in the state, largely due to liquidity and undercapitalization challenges.

According to our reliable sources, payment of salaries and other allowances to the remaining traumatized and demoralized staff members, have become huge challenges in view of the fact that such payments was being tied to availability of cash.

Financial experts and seasoned bankers who spoke to this journalist last week in Lokoja, were of the view that the Alhaji Yahaya Bello led administration should urgently take steps to inject what they called “substantial amount of money” to recapitalize the bank in line with CBN extant guidelines that pegged such recapitalization cap at N2.5billion before the operating license of the troubled bank is revoked by the apex bank in keeping with best business practices.

When contacted last week, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Alhaji Abdulazeez Otohinoyi Suberu declined comment on the issue, stating that the situation of the bank had already been brought to the attention of the present government which he said was still studying the situation before they can come up with an action plan on the bank.

Meanwhile, a cross section of Kogites who spoke to this journalist on this issue were of the view that the state government should quickly initiate moves to save the bank before it goes down in view of its economic benefits to the good people of the state.

They are of the view that since Kogi state as a whole have not benefited from National Housing Fund (NHF), compared to other states, it has become imperative to resuscitate the bank so that it can continue to exist as a financial vehicle for the realization of the growing housing problems of Kogites.

Credits::: Kogireports.

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Kogi First Lady Celebrates Birthday at Orphanage in Agassa Photos.

Kogi First Lady Celebrates Birthday at Orphanage in Agassa Photos.

Rashida Bello Birthday With Orphans 1
Rashida Bello Birthday With Orphans 2 Rashida Bello Birthday With Orphans 3

Source Credits ::; Kogireports..

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May 2, 2016

Workers’ Day: Full Text of Kogi Governor’s Address

Workers’ Day: Full Text of Kogi Governor’s Address

 Yahaya Bello at Workers Day
BEING TEXT OF AN ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO OF KOGI STATE TO THE STATE’S WORKERS ON MONDAY, MAY 1 (MAYDAY), 2016.

The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Honourable Simeon Achuba.
The Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Honourable Umar Imam
The Chief Judge of Kogi State, My Lord Justice Nasir Ajanah
Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Her Honour Mrs. Ayoade Folashade Arike
The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Honourable Edward Onoja
The Head of Service (Acting), Kogi State Civil Service,
Political Appointees and Members of Government.
Leaders and Members of the Nigerian Labour Congress
Leaders and Members of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria
Great Nigerian Workers!
Ladies and Gentlemen,

May 1st every year is a testimonial to the indomitable spirits of men and women, the Workers, who play the most invaluable roles in the Development of any Society. It is a day set aside by the World to pay deserved tribute to the people who constitute the Engine-room of every Society. These people, individually and collectively, labour, often without recognition and commensurate remuneration, to oil the wheels of progress in every Administration.

On this day, on behalf of the People and Government of Kogi State, we salute Workers all over the World. We salute you, Great Nigerian Workers. Above all, we salute each and every person who is a part of the Kogi State Civil Service at any level. Thank you for your Labour and Contribution. We acknowledge that Governments and Societies, including ours, are helpless without the Workers.

**Solidarity Song**

The ideal Workforce is the one in which Workers are consistently improving in skills and salaries. It is one in which the operating environment allocates dignity to human beings and rewards merit. It excludes redundancy and stagnation by a smart process of job placement and transfers. It provides continuous learning through training and retraining. Above all it works seamlessly to generate maximum productivity. It is our aspiration as an Administration to build that Ideal Workforce in Kogi State. However, reality shows we have a lot of work to do.

We cannot deceive ourselves that all is rosy with the Worker, whether in Nigeria or here at home in Kogi State. We inherited a Kogi State in which unpaid salaries and general atrocious working conditions were the norm. All sorts of tricks were devised by previous administrations to short-change the Kogi State Worker. The worst is of course the scourge of ghost-workers. Thousands of non-existent ‘workers’ paid from Kogi State coffers thus bringing it under undue strain and leaving the real workers either totally unpaid or only receiving meagre percentages of their wages.

I was a former Federal Civil Servant. I was never owed salaries during my time in service. When we came into Office, Kogi Workers were already on strike for at least 6 weeks, fed up with the then PDP Government’s kleptomania, lack of transparency and disastrous policies. It hurt me that a so-called Government could receive all the Federal Allocations due to it and still find the heart to leave workers unpaid. I decided that my Administration will be different. We remain committed to improving the lot of our Workers by eliminating every scheme in the system designed to exploit and cheat them.

Accordingly, the ghost-worker syndrome is an evil this Administration is committed to eradicating forever. The first line is the Screening Committee we set up soon after our Inauguration, led by Brigadier-General Paul Okuntimo (Rtd). General Okuntimo is a fine officer and an incorruptible gentleman. The Screening Committee is scheduled to conclude her work within the next one week and we shall thereafter expect to have only genuine workers on our payroll.

No more will people sit in Pay Offices and fabricate thousands of names, add them to the nominal roll and siphon Kogi State resources with them on a monthly basis. No more will people sit down in Lagos, Abuja, even abroad, and receive bank alerts for salaries from the Kogi State Government. No more will Kogi State pay salaries to ghost-workers who are ‘serving’ in non-existing institutions discovered all over the state by the Screening Committee. We are dismantling all of that satanic infrastructure. Our people will no longer be robbed.

On this Workers’ Day I must also seize opportunity to sound a timely warning to every genuine Worker in the Kogi State Civil Service: ENSURE THAT YOU ARE SCREENED. If the Screening Committee has somehow missed you, seek them out and do the needful. Once the Screening Exercise is done, we will only be paying salaries to Workers who have gone through the process. If you miss this train, you will have only yourself to blame.

Let me state that nothing happens without somebody knowing about it. We are therefore encouraging whistle-blowing. See something, say something. Everyone is encouraged to reach the Screening Committee or any of my appointees with information that will help us to completely sanitise the system. We will shortly set up a Call Centre so that those who prefer anonymity in this regard can put a call across and not have to fear detection or persecution.

In any case, I personally guarantee protection and maybe, some token reward, to every whistle-blower but only for giving us actionable intelligence.

We have also been inundated with allegations of collusion between some labour executives and the past administrations in cheating the very Workers they represent through corrupt practices. We will of course investigate and anyone found culpable will have a date with the Anticorruption Agencies. We are cooking something nice for Kogi People, I know the kitchen is getting hot but I promise you there will be no sacred cows. Let those who cannot stand the heat get out of the kitchen!

Masu gudu, su gudu. The guilty are afraid. Evildoers may run, but they cannot hide.

Like I have repeatedly said, we intend to do things differently. A cardinal principle on which this Administration operates is transparency and open communications. I wish to bring to your notice the following facts:

• We have received four federal allocations since our assumption of Office in January, 2016 out of which we paid full salaries for January and March.

• In January we received about N2.6bn while our salary bill came to about N2.7bn. We paid full salaries.
• In February we received about N2.5bn and applied that the differentials between allocations and wage bills for January and March as well as other pressing needs of the State which has direct impact on the lives of the people, including you, the Workers. You will admit that Kogi State, with a population of about 3.5m people cannot spend all her money to service a Workforce of about 100,000 people. Security, obligations to contractors, rehabilitation of infrastructure, etc are also pressing and unavoidable.

• In March our allocation was about N2.3bn but we again paid full salaries to the tune of about N2.9bn.
• For April, allocation is about N2bn only. Even though the nearly N900m gap between allocation and wage bill is a huge challenge, we still hope to pay full salaries and even start defraying some arrears incurred by previous Administrations.

We put these figures in the public domain in the hope that Organised Labour will have the information they need to match us good faith for good faith. It saddens Government when industrial action is embarked upon in a capricious manner that seems to say that only the interests of striking workers matter. We believe that we can always partner together to manage every situation, including tight financial situations, in order to achieve the best results.

I am aware that almost as soon as were sworn in malicious persons serving evil interests both within and without Kogi State filled the media with rumours that we have accessed and frittered away the Bailout Funds. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality we met on ground at the CBN was that the previous application made on behalf of the State by the last administration was fraught with irregularities and shoddily done. In a word, it was so badly done it could never be approved. We had to start from scratch.

We are glad to announce that our efforts have paid off. This week we received approval to draw down on the first tranche of our Bailout Funds from the Federal Government. This will amount to about N20bn. We will draw down on the balance of about N30bn as we meet the milestones for implementation of the first tranche as set by the Central Bank of Nigeria. I also announce a commitment to use that money for salaries and emoluments of our workers. I am certain that by the time we fully disburse the Bailout Funds, disputes over outstanding emoluments will be over.

I therefore call on the Members and Leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Kogi State University Chapter to call off their ongoing Strike and let our dear Students go on with their education on schedule. In return, I promise them, and indeed all Workers of Kogi State, that there is now some light at the end of the tunnel.

We are also building momentum on our promises to the people in our manifesto. The promise of a New Direction is not ‘One Chance’ by any stretch of the imagination. Our New Direction Blueprint Team has taken our manifesto and produced the Quick-Wins which we are already implementing. I will speak more on that during the 100 Days’ events.

The main Blueprint which identifies planned developmental strides in every year of our 4-year tenure will soon be ready too.

My People, your Government in Kogi State is running with a 4-year Plan, a Blueprint for Accelerated Development of the State in all areas and socio-economic indices within this current term of office. We are focused on this one tenure. Those going around scheming against 2019 should therefore leave us alone. We are not open to distractions at any time. Like power, 2019 and beyond lie in the Hands of God. I trust that when the time comes, God and the great People of Kogi will decide who will lead this State further.
In closing, it is my pleasure to announce a donation by the Administration of two brand new buses to the Kogi State Chapters of the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Unions Congress respectively. The Kogi State Government charges the Leadership of the Unions to deploy these vehicles in the best interests of their members and in service to God and humanity at large.

Once more I felicitate with all Workers on this May Day, 2016. In particular, I felicitate with the Disciplined, Supportive, Resourceful and Productive Workers of the Kogi State Civil Service. I identify with you today, and always, and promise our continued commitment to your welfare and rights.
Solidarity forever.

Thank you very much.

ALHAJI YAHAYA BELLO
EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR, KOGI STATE.

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