…as Lawan seeks synergy between NASS, state assemblies
Worried by the c o n tinued exercise of control by state governors over their finances, the state assemblies have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to issue executive order to compel governors to release their funds. The state assemblies made this request in Abuja when they visited the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his office at the National Assembly. Spokesman for the delegation and Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, expressed concerns that the state chief executives were yet to give effect to the issue of the financial autonomy of the state legislatures.
Consequently, Oborevwori urged the President of the Senate to bring the issue to the attention of the President for possible issuance of executive order. Responding to the request, Lawan assured the state assemblies that he would handle the matter on their behalf, through the Governors’ Forum. He, however, reminded them that the question of executive order would not be necessary because it was a constitutional matter, which should be complied with by the state authorities. Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, in his earlier statement to the group, called for synergy between the National Assembly and state houses of assembly in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities to the people.
Lawan said the state assemblies and National Assembly should continue to exchange ideas on how to support each other. He said: “This kind of visit should be very often. We should have more and deeper frequent engagements between the National Assembly and the state houses of assembly. “We need to be talking. We need to be engaging each other because there are certain things that we have to do together especially the constitutional amendment in which the National Assembly takes the lead but the state houses of assembly will continue to have to play their roles as well.
So, we should not wait to be thirsty before we dig a well. We should always be proactive.” Lawan noted that there were certain legislations that required some domestication or replication at the state level because “even if we implement them at this (national) level and the states have not bought into it, it is going to have very limited success.”
The President of the Senate also encouraged the speakers at the state houses of assembly to have cordial working relationship with their respective governor without necessarily compromising their independence. “If we have to take the lead in nation building or in building our states, we have to also understand that we have to work together as cordially as possible. “We should work on relationship that is based on mutual respect for the Executive and the Legislature whether at the national level or at the state level.
“We should have a relationship that is characterised by consultations and partnerships. Once we are able to establish that relationship either at the state or national level, we benefit immensely. “It does not help anyone when the relationship is largely characterised by rancour, animosity, suspicion and unwarranted fight between the two arms of government,” he said.
Stanbic IBTC Bank supports growth of Nigerian entertainment scene
Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has reaffirmed its interest in the growth of the Nigerian entertainment industry as the bank is set to support the construction of various cinemas as well as the provision of infrastructure to galvanize growth in the industry. Mr. Damian Umeasala, Enterprise Finance Officer, Enterprise Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, made this known at the maiden edition of The Entertainment Fair and Festival Conference (TEFFEST). The theme of the event, which held at The Podium, Lekki, Lagos was ‘Entertainment is Life: Welcome to the Future’. Umeasala stated that the financial institution was already in talks with movie distributors and cinema houses like Filmhouse, Genesis and Silverbird Galleria, amongst others, to provide a funding structure for the construction of more cinemas across the country.
He also pointed out that Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc was partnering with TEFFEST to understand the dynamics of the industry so as to grow its investment in the sector. He added: “Our support for the creative sector is also in line with a mandate that we have from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under a special intervention fund called ‘The Creative Industry Financing Initiative’ in which the regulatory body has mandated all banks to set aside five per cent of their profit after tax for the purpose of lending to players and professionals in this creative sector at nine per cent interest rate.”
The Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) is a loan scheme developed in collaboration with the CBN, to provide access to long-term and low-interest financing for entrepreneurs in the creative industry. Umeasala further noted that the bank was prepared to support players in the creative sector with loan facilities either as individuals or as a group; adding that the gesture extends to media content creators for Cable TV Stations.
Respect your oath of office, CJN charges judges
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mohammad Ibrahim, yesterday charged judges in the country to always respect their oath of office by being just and fair in the discharge of their judicial functions. He said as judges accountable to God for their deeds, they must ensure that they dispense justice with honesty and transparency to all human beings that come their way.
The CJN, who spoke at the inauguration of Justice John Tsoho, as the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and Justice Benedict Kanyip, as President of the National Industrial Court (NIC), asked them to live up to expectations of Nigerians. He told them that the oath administered on them did not call for celebration but sympathy because with their status their conduct and behaviour must be guided by the oath. Justice Mohammad said dispensing justice is a tedious one that requires prayer for God to guide them from the beginning till the end of their tenure of office.
“Let me tell you here, that even though we need God to help us, the truth is that God will not help any person who does not help himself and so as Judicial officers we must learn to help ourselves so that God can be of help to us,” he said. The CJN warned them not to allow any personal interest to override the discharge of their function as demanded by law and their oath of office, adding that on no grounds should they compromise their principles.
He added: “This inauguration does not call for a long speech, but let me remind you that you are holding your new offices in trust for people and you must not do anything to betray the trust. “You should try as much as possible to justify the oath and your appointment by putting your experience to bear in the discharged of your duties.”
The CJN also reminded them of the need to respect the law by avoiding pitfalls because the Lord does not respect anybody who runs foul of the law itself, adding that they should always consult whenever they have challenges that require consultation.
My govt’ll rescue education sector–Makinde
The Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, yesterday said his administration was determined to salvage the education sector from its doldrums, adding that he would be willing at all times to give education all the supports required within the economic and political power of his administration.
The governor made this known in Ibadan, during the 34th convocation ceremony for the award of diplomas, certificates and prizes for 2017/2018 graduates of the institution held at the Sports Pavilion of the school. Makinde, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Daud Shangodoyin, said: “The problem facing education is multifaceted but we are prepared more than ever before to confront the problems and make this state a model education state to be emulated by others in terms of quality of personnel engaged in academic activities at all levels.
“In spite of the limited resources available to the government, we shall ensure the release of your capital grant as approved in the appropriation law to enable you take good care of your facilities because education is the best legacy. “Polytechnic system is important to the industrial and technological developments of the nation, hence the Polytechnic must not be relegated. So, we must wake up to save the Polytechnic system from imminent collapse or relegation to state of irrelevance in our own interests”.
Enugu IGR boost, fallout out from Ugwuanyi’s policies –ESIRS
The Enugu State Internal Revenue Service (ESIRS) has attributed the sustainable increase in the state’s Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) to the well-thought-out measures adopted by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration. Speaking during the taxpayers’ sensitisation and enlightenment programme organised by the Enugu State Internal Revenue Service (ESIRS), in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, held at Enugu, the Chairman of ESIRS, Prince Emeka Odo, said that the state government “has been implementing a cocktail of measures designed to make tax payment easier for tax payers in the state”.
The chairman stated that the event, which also witnessed the investiture of the State Accountant-General, Sir. Paschal Okolie, as Chairman, Enugu and District Society, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, was to deepen the relationship between the tax authority and tax payers.
Odo noted that Ugwuanyi’s administration has been implementing “an ambitious four-point development agenda” aimed at positively impacting the lives of the people and stressed that such feat requires that government harnesses all the potential sources of internally generated revenues in the state without additional pressure on the people. The chairman added that it was in the light of the above that the agency in conjunction with other related agencies of government embarked on the programme for effective result.
W’Bank secures $82bn to fight extreme poverty in Africa, others
A global coalition of development partners yesterday announced its commitment to maintain momentum in the fight against extreme poverty, with $82 billion for the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest.
A statement issued by World Bank Group President David Malpass, noted that the financing, which includes more than $53 billion for Africa, would help countries invest in the needs of their people, boost economic growth, and bolster resilience to climate shocks and natural disasters. Malpass said: “Today’s commitment by our partners is a strong sign of their support for the urgent mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. “We are grateful for their continued trust in IDA and its ability to deliver good development outcomes for people most in need.”
The World Bank stated that two thirds of the world’s poor—almost 500 million people—now live in countries supported by IDA, adding that the funding would allow IDA to: ”reinforce its support to job creation and economic transformation, good governance, and accountable institutions.” It further stated that the funding would also help countries deal with the challenges posed by climate change, gender inequality, and situations of fragility, conflict, and violence, including in the Sahel, the Lake Chad region, and the Horn of Africa.” The World Bank stated: “IDA will renew its support to facilitate growth and regional integration, including investments in quality infrastructure.
“The IDA Private Sector Window will continue enabling the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to mobilise private sector investment in challenging environments, a critical component to meet the scale of financing needed in developing countries.”
It explained that the IDA’s resources were replenished every three years; adding that latest replenishment (the 19th) would cover the period from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023. Specifically, the World Bank disclosed that the new funding would support projects that deliver life-changing results, including essential health, nutrition, and population services for up to 370 million people; safe childbirth for up to 80 million women through provision of skilled health personnel. In the same vein, it will enhance access to broadband internet for 50 to 60 million people; immunisations for up to 140 million children; better governance in up to 60 countries through improved statistical capacity and an additional 10 GW of renewable energy generation capacity. Also, in order to promote greater equity and economic growth, the IDA will also tackle broader development challenges, such as enhancing debt sustainability and transparency; harnessing and adapting to transformative digital payment technology.
Similarly, promoting inclusion of those living with disabilities; strengthening the rule of law; and investing in human capital, including efforts to achieve universal health coverage. “Along with these priority areas, IDA will sharpen its focus on crisis preparedness, resilience building, and supporting countries in their national climate-related action plans,” the bank said.
Be good ambassadors, Obaseki tells Nigerian Army applicants
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has appealed to youths in the state, who applied for the Nigerian Army recruitment, to be good ambassadors, urging them to avoid hard drugs, crime and other anti-social behaviours. The governor, who spoke when he visited Edo indigenes participating in a two-week screening exercise into the Nigerian Army, was represented by Head, Edojobs, Mrs Ukinebo Dare. Addressing the applicants, who are between the ages of 18 and 26 years at the Nigerian Army Cantonment, Ekehuan Barracks, venue for the screening exercise, the governor’s aide enjoined them to remain focused and determined as it will enhance their capacity to meaningfully contribute to the building of the state and nation.
Obaseki said: “We are proud of you and are looking forward to you being good ambassadors of Edo State during the six months training you will undergo after this screening exercise. “For those of you that will make it into the training school, we wish you all the best and we are looking forward that at the end of six months when you are graduating, we will come back to congratulate you for making Edo proud.” The governor’s aide disclosed that the Edo Innovation Hub was ready to organise entrepreneurial programmes to engage applicants who would not scale through the screening process.
She commended the collaboration that exists between the Edo State Government and the Nigerian Army. One of the Screening Officers, who spoke on con-dition of anonymity, said about 2,000 persons drawn from across the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State, were shortlisted for the recruitment process into the Nigerian Army. He gave the two categories of applicants for the 79 Regular Recruits intake into the Nigerian Army as Non-trade and Tradesmen/ women.
Focus on multi-million dollars gas project at Ogidigben, Olu of Warri pleads with Buhari
The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to focus on the actualisation of the multibillion dollars Ogidigben gas project in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. Ogiame Ikenwoli, who made the appeal while addressing thousands of Itsekiris and visitors during his fourth coronation anniversary at Ode-Itsekiri, (Big Warri) yesterday, said the gigantic project would engage Nigeria’s full priority, given the economic importance, such as job creation, and enhance economic potential.
“We believe that this should be one of President Buhari’s star projects and we will continue to plead with him for work to resume at the shortest possible time”, stressed the Warri monarch. He, however lauded Mr. President for giving approval and traction to the new Warri deep sea port, and the minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, for their joint action of making the project a reality. On the last general elections, the Olu lamented the losses by the Itsekiri nation, arising from mutual suspicion, greed, selfishness, narrow mindedness and unhealthy rivalry”, which he said left bitter experience within the Itsekiri nation.
“Needless to say that I am aware of all the horse trading that took place across party divides, driven mostly by these personal and very parochial considerations, as it stands today”, stressed the monarch amid loud ovation. He regretted that Itsekiri has come down from the position of four members at the state House of Assembly to mere two seats and blamed the setback on the action of politicians.
He reminded his people of Federal Government plans to have a national census and enjoined the people to make themselves available for the exercise, explaining that Warri South is the only few local government that the delineation is taking place.
Osun disburses N2bn to indigent citizens
… as govt launches programme to tackle unemployment
Osun State Government has launched Public Workfare and Special Grant Transfer programmes under the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO). It is aimed at providing immediate labour intensive work opportunities for indigent unskilled youths and provides life-sustaining assistance for the aged and persons with disabilities respectively in the state. Governor Adegboyega Oyetola at the launch in Osogbo yesterday, presented a cheque of over N2billion to 25,907 indigent and vulnerable citizens.
He disclosed that the programmes are in tandem with the administration’s resolve to improve on the state’s extant social investment policy and its vision to give adequate attention to the welfare of the aged and people with disabilities across the state.
He noted that the Public Workfare programme would not only enhance the capacity of participating unemployed youth but also create and improve basic social and economic infrastructure in the state. He added that the programme “has taken over 10,000 vulnerable youths away from roaming the streets and are participating in productive service and earning monthly stipends.”
The governor said that the Public Workfare will also increase the income and consumption capacities of young participants and their households, raise effective demand in local markets, and increase household assets ownership, savings, and investments.
“Since inception, the Public Workfare component of YESSO has resulted in increase in the income and consumption of the young participants and their households and more importantly, active participation of these selected unskilled and unemployed youths in this programme has reduced youth restiveness and other social vices in our society,” he added.
On the Special Grant Transfer, Oyetola said it was “due to our active performance in fighting the scourge of unemployment among our youths, the World Bank gave the state the opportunity to participate in Special Grant Transfer; a programme designed for persons with disabilities and the aged to avail them the opportunity for enhanced consumption and improved health system.” While commending the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its efforts at reducing unemployment, especially among the youth through YESSO, Oyetola called on well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with government at all levels in the fight against unemployment in Nigeria so as to build a virile nation where peace and progress will thrive.
“As a front runner in Social Protection Policy and Practice in the country, the programme we are inaugurating today is just the beginning of the numerous social interventions we are engaging in to make life better for our people,” the governor declared. Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Lawal Azeez, commended the so-cial protection programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari and Oyetola. He lauded the efforts of the state government in taking the masses out of the scourge of poverty, hunger, unemployment and other societal vices.
In his remarks, the Head of Unit, Osun Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) Public Workfare and Special Grant Transfer, Mrs. Funmilayo Oladosu, enjoined the beneficiaries to be more active and productively invest their stipends so they can become better persons at the end of the programme. Also, the Osun YESSO Coordinator, Mr. Olabanji Hammed, applauded the efforts of the state government for always putting smile on the faces of the citizens regardless of their socioeconomic status. In their separate remarks, some of the beneficiaries commended the administration of Oyetola for prioritising the people’s welfare and for improving their standard of living in the state.
FG ready to solve your infrastructural, funding challenges, Fashola tells Surveying School Rector
In recognition of the series of infrastructural and funding challenges being faced by the management and students of the 111-year-old Federal School of Surveying, Oyo, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has promised Federal Government’s readiness to provide succour in order to make the Geoinformation and Mapping institution more relevant to the growth and development of the country.
The minister gave the exciting news during his speech as the Visitor to the institution at its 20th convocation ceremony where 10 sets of graduates from 2008 totalling 971, were awarded certificates of Ordinary Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and post HND degrees. In her address, the Rector of the institution, Surveyor (Dr.) Dupe Nihinlola Olayinka, an associate professor from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), who secured accreditation for all the courses being taught in the school within six months of her assumption of office, had complained that the school was lacking in funds and infrastructural facilities in spite of some giant strides she had made.
She had pleaded with the minister to include the school in TETFUND; “like other institutions to take care of the welfare of students and the staff, raising the budget ceiling from its current N450m to about N1.4bn demanded by the Procurement Unit; completion of new Administrative building for staff offices, among others.”
In his response, Fashola who was represented by Dr. Famous Eseduwo, with the Surveyor-General of the Federation and Chairman, Governing Council, S. A. Taiwo, in attendance, said that his ministry; “is aware of some of the challenges of the School such as infrastructure deficit, funding deficit, absence of TETFUND support, deficiencies in the enabling Act, under-funding and so on. We have started relating with the appropriate stakeholders towards finding lasting solutions to the identified challenges of the School.”
Court upholds Nsuke election as MOSOP President
A Rivers State High Court sitting in Nchia, Port Harcourt, has upheld the election of Fegalo Nsuke as the president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). The court presided by Hon Justice B. B Green struck out a suit seeking to upturn the election of Nsuke as MOSOP president following an affidavit of withdrawal from the complainants, Mr Gideon Amba, Chief Theophilus Dike and others.
Gideon Amba and Theophilus Dike, former Kingdom Coordinator of Eleme and former Financial Secretary of MOSOP respectfully, had approached the court to seek the extension of Legborsi Pyagbara’s tenure by one year. They also prayed the court to declare Nsuke’s election as invalid because the electoral committee, which conducted the elections, was set-up by the deputy president of MOSOP in the absence of the then president, Legborsi Pyagbara.
Metro and Crime11 hours ago
Man butchers lover, sells parts to herbalists, clerics for N1000 each
News23 hours ago
Wike accuses Dickson of plotting to destabilise Rivers
News23 hours ago
Oshiomhole, NWC members arrive Benin for rally
News23 hours ago
NSA: I’m not in position to condemn Bayelsa, Kogi guber polls
Metro and Crime10 hours ago
Umahi: I’ve made provisions for minimum wage
Metro and Crime16 hours ago
Scores cheat death as tanker falls on Victoria Island
News23 hours ago
Tension in Edo as APC youths barricade roads
Sports11 hours ago
Ex-Nigerian youth international, Philip Osundu, is dead