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Service chiefs in Ibadan, promise to restore security

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Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said the Nigeria Armed Forces is working tirelessly to restore security and end all forms of insecurity facing Nigeria.

He made the promise when he led other service chiefs on a visit to Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, on Thursday.

Other service chiefs who accompanied Irabor on the visit are Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Zubairu Gambo; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao; outgoing General Officer Commanding, 2 Division, Major General Anthony Omozoje.

Irabor said they were in collaboration with other security agencies to address all issues of insecurity.

While recognising the police as the first tier in internal security, Irabor assured of the constant intervention of the Armed Forces as the need arises.

He said, “The leadership hierarchy of the Nigeria Armed Forces changed very recently and we considered it expedient to go round to see our troops, officers to familiarise ourselves with them and beyond that to equally bring the charge of Mr President to them having being charged to take all measures necessary to address the various security challenges across the country in partnership with other security agencies.

“We have had specific interaction with our troops and we felt it necessary to let you know that we are working assiduously to address all issues that have to do with insecurity, of course, in partnership with other security agencies.

“We know that the military stands ready to give support to the authority and see that cases of insecurity are addressed holistically. We know that the police remains the first tier of internal security and where the police need the intervention of the Army, we stand very ready to give support to the police.”

The service chiefs had earlier visited the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army to interact with and boost the morale of the Nigerian soldiers.

Oyo deputy governor, Mr Rauf Olaniyan who received the service chiefs on behalf of Governor Makinde, demanded the Nigerian Armed Forces to deploy more troops to the Oke-Ogun area of the state.

Makinde hinged this appeal on the existence of borders around Oke-Ogun making it vulnerable to security issues.

He said the state government would continue to provide logistics support for security agencies.

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NNPC to inject fresh N1tn into road projects

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is to provide additional N1tn for road projects in Nigeria, NNPC Group Chief Executive, Mele Kyari, has said.

Kyari, in a video clip seen in Abuja, disclosed this on Thursday during a tour of the ongoing construction work on the Agbara-Badagry road, Lagos.

He said the N1tn would come through the Federal Government road infrastructure tax credit scheme.

He said, “We are very happy about the state of this road development. We are very happy with this intervention across the country not just in this place. We are doing 1,800km across the country. We are taking another set of over N1tn of investments in road infrastructure in the country.

“We believe that this tax credit system which Mr. President has put in place is the game changer for our country.

“We believe that in the next 24 months, there will be massive change to the entire road network in this country and this is why the NNPC is your company and working for all of us.

“We think that it is the best way to intervene and bring up our infrastructure. We are adding another set of cash, we have not reached the final numbers, but I know it is over N1tn.”

According to a Punch report, the NNPC in the third quarter of 2021 announced its intention to provide funds for the reconstruction of selected road projects in order to ease the movement of petroleum products.

This was executed under the tax credit scheme that was funded by the NNPC through the Federal Inland Revenue Service in accordance with the President’s executive order 007.

The construction exercise was under the management of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, as the NNPC provided funds for the construction of 1,804.6km of roads at a cost of N621,24bn.

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Military under pressure to compromise elections, says CDS Irabor

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Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has disclosed that the security agencies and the military have been under pressure to compromise general elections through financial inducement.

He however assured Nigerians that the military would maintain neutrality in the whole electoral process.

He spoke at the weekly ministerial press briefing on Thursday in Abuja and gave updates on strides made by the military in the fight against insurgency, terrorism and banditry.

He stated that military personnel were being trained to follow the codified rules of engagement before, during and after the elections.

The CDS disclosed that over 300,000 persons had been freed from the hands of abductors since 2016 while refugees who fled the North-East owing to insurgency were already returning.

General Irabor who admitted there were few sabotaurs within the military asserted that they had not succeeded.

He debunked a recent allegation by an international news media which accused the military of carrying out over 10,000 illegal abortions on female victims of the war in the North-East.

According to him, it is impossible for the military to have been engaged in a planned abortion programme since 2013 and as the military commander in charge of Operation Lafia Dole between 2016 and 2017, he never heard of any such thing.

The CDS also revisited the alleged Lekki tollgate massacre in 2020, insisting that the Nigerian military is not interested in killing its own people, but more concerned about protecting the citizens.

He added that the efforts of the military in the fight against crude oil theft had been yielding positive results with the increase in the crude oil production of 1.6 million barrels per day.

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FG recovers N120bn from crime proceeds —Lai Mohammed

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has said it had realised at least N120 billion as proceeds from criminal financial operations since the bill on Proceeds of Crime Recovery Management was signed into law earlier this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure at a news briefing where Minister of Environment presented the scorecard of the ministry under the Buhari administration in Abuja, yesterday.

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Mohammed said:  “I have an update on the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act (POCA), 2022. In line with the new law, all relevant agencies of government have now opened ‘Confiscated and Forfeiture Properties Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

“I can confirm that so far, the Federal Government has realised over N120 billion, among other currencies, from POCA. This money will be used to fund the completion of ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the country such as the Second Niger Bridge as well as Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kano Expressways. We will continue to update you on this,” he added.

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