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Buhari approves refund of money spent on projects in Imo airport



The Imo state government says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the refund of all expenses incurred on projects in the Sam Mbakwe International Airport, Owerri.

Declan Emelumba, commissioner for information and strategy, said this on Wednesday while briefing journalists after the state executive council meeting in Owerri, the state capital.

He said Buhari approved refunds incurred on both already executed projects in the airport in terms of infrastructure, as well as the amount the government is expending on the ongoing dualisation of the roads to ease movement from Ngor Okpala to the airport.

In 2019, there was a fire outbreak at the VIP lounge of the airport, hence the renovations and repairs in the facility.

Emelumba said the government is also making efforts to ensure that the night landing facilities at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport are installed before Christmas.

This, the commissioner said, is to enable ‘Imolites’ (a term used to mean indigens of Imo) coming from outside the country to land at the state’s airport instead of going through the Port Harcourt airport.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that all the expenses incurred on Imo airport by the state government in terms of infrastructure provision and renovation be refunded, including the amount the government is expending on the ongoing dualisation of the roads to ease movement from Ngor Okpala to the airport,” he said.

Speaking further, Emelumba said the state executive council approved an estimated N474 billion appropriation for the 2023 fiscal year.

The commissioner also said the council approved a proposal by the governor to empower 25,000 Imo indigenes on Friday, December 16, 2022, adding that this would be followed by another empowerment of 27,000 people next week.

He added that the government regrets attacks on expatriates handling the road constructions on the Owerri-Okigwe road and Owerri-Mbaise- Umuahia road.

Emelumba, therefore, assured that the government would beef up security going forward, and that the projects will go on unimpeded.

“Kidnappers are detractors who don’t want the progress of Imo state,” he said.

“Their plan is to stop the good works by the government and slow down the progress of the roads, hence the government has assured all contractors of increased security.”

Also speaking on the recent promotions of civil servants announced by Hope Uzodimma, the state governor, the commissioner said the council approved — barring any hitch on documentation — that all promotions affecting workers are to be payrolled for December 2022 salary.


IPMAN debunks shutting down filling stations




The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has described as “fake” news doing the rounds that its over 30, 000 members would be shutting down their filling stations.

The National Controller Operations, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, who spoke with The PUNCH on Tuesday, said the memo to members which emanated from the Chairman, IPMAN Borno chapter, Mohammed Kuluwa, earlier on Tuesday, asking all its members in the state to suspend services was a wrong move.

“Fake news. Bad eggs and sabotage,” Osatuyi told The PUNCH over the phone.

Also, the IPMAN National President, Elder Chinedu Okonkwo, told The PUNCH when contacted via the telephone that Kuluwa should not have issued the statement credited to him.

“He should not have issued the statement. In fact, he has retracted it,” Okonkwo said.

Kuluwa had earlier directed that IPMAN members in Borno State should suspend ordering products from source until further notice.

The association said the decision followed, “the critical situation as it affect our sourcing and selling of product at lost (sic) and the action of the authority to impose the selling of product at a lost price (sic) on our side,” the first statement read.

However, in the retraction issued later, Kuluwa said, “Having met with the concerned authority, all filling stations should open with immediate effect. Continue selling while the association continues with further consultation and accordingly keep you informed.”

On Sunday, the Public Relations Officer, Ibadan Depot, Mojeed Adesope, was said to have also issued a similar statement ordering IPMAN’s members in Oyo State to stop buying products and shut down their stations.

Mojeed, however, denied issuing such a statement.

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JUST IN: IPMAN directs members to suspend operations, shut filling stations




There are reports that oil marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) have directed its members to suspend all operations across the country.

IPMAN appears to be making good on its earlier threat to consider shutting down filling stations this week if the Federal Government goes ahead to enforce the N195 per litre price for petrol.

This was made known in a statement signed by the IPMAN Chairman, Mohammed Kuluwa, who said that marketers were also ordered to suspend the payment of ordering products from the source until further notice.

The association in the statement said, ‘’The decision followed the critical situation as it affect our sourcing and selling of product at lost and the action of the authority to impose the selling of product at a lost price on our side”.

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WhatsApp rolls out new features, including voice note status




Instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, has rolled out a set of new features including voice note status, which enables users to record and share voice messages of up to 30 seconds as status updates. 

According to the Meta-owned company, WhatsApp users that prefer talking to typing can now send more personal updates via voice status. Users will get the option to record voice notes by tapping the microphone icon on the status screen.  

The release of voice status by WhatsApp came as a response to the significant increase in voice messages recorded by the platform last year. WhatsApp disclosed that its users were sending an average of 7 billion voice messages daily, indicating that many are more comfortable talking than typing. 

WhatsApp on Tuesday also rolled out other features pertaining to status to improve the user experience. These include:

Private Audience Selector: With the realization that every status a user shares may not always be right for all of their contacts, this feature provides users with the flexibility to update their privacy settings per status so they can choose who views their status each time they update it. WhatsApp noted that a user’s most recent audience selection will be saved and used as the default for their next status.

Status Reactions: WhatsApp has added status reactions to provide users with a quick and easy way to respond to status updates from their friends and close contacts. According to the company, this was the number 1 feature users wanted, following the launch of Reactions last year.

“You can now quickly reply to any status by swiping up and tapping on one of eight emojis. You can of course still reply to a status with text, voice messages, stickers, and more,” WhatsApp stated.

Status Profile Rings for New Updates: With the new status profile ring, WhatsApp said users will never miss a status from a loved one. This ring will be present around your contact’s profile picture whenever they share a status update. It will be visible in the chat lists, group participant lists, and contact info.

Link Previews on Status: With this feature, when you post a link on your status, you will automatically see a visual preview of the link content, just like when you send a message.

Visual previews make your statuses look better, and also give your contacts a better idea of what the link is before they click.

According to WhatsApp, all these updates have started rolling out to users globally and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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