Sola Adeyemo, Ibadan
The renowned Professor of Virology,Tam David-West is dead. He was aged 83.
Confirming the demise, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University College Hospital (UCH), where the social commentator breathed his last, Mr Toye Akinrinlola, told New Telegraph on Monday that the don died at exactly 11.05 a.m.
His words: “Professor Tam David West was brought in here over a week ago and was admitted to the Private Suite of this hospital. He died at 11:05am today,” Akinrinlola said.
New Telegraph’s checks revealed that West’s remains have been deposited at the hospital’s morgue.
A family member, who guided the deceased to the hospital while speaking on a condition of anonymity, said: “We took Baba to UCH precisely 11days ago. The deceased had spent 11 days at UCH before he breathed his last. He was rushed to UCH when he fell sick. His children are already on their way to Ibadan.”
In a statement on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sorrow at the passing of his ally whom he called “the indomitable Tam David-West.”
David-West was Petroleum Minister when Buhari was the Military Head of State between 1984 and 1985 when oil prices slumped to about $10 a barrel.
Before his ministerial appointment, he served as Commissioner of Education in the old Rivers State. He was also Minister of Mines, Power and Steel under former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida.
“He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own,” Buhari said of David-West.
The President condoled with the deceased’s family, the people of Buguma, Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, the academia, and all those who loved David-West.
Buhari prayed for eternal rest for the deceased’s soul, urging all who believe in David-West’s ideals to approximate same for the betterment of Nigeria, and humanity in general.
Magu decries prevalence of corruption in Nigeria, calls for solution
cting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, yesterday expressed concern over the growing level of corruption in the country, describing it as endemic and a terminal disease that must be tackled headlong.
Magu stated this after a road walk to commemorate this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, with the theme; ‘United against Corruption.’
The EFCC acting chairman, who was represented by the Makurdi Zonal Head of the commission, Johnson Ayo Babalola, urged Nigerians to join hands with EFCC to fight corruption in the country.
He sensitised the people on the importance of the anti-graft agency and the need for everyone to join the EFCC family in the crusade.
“Corruption is a cancer in our national body polity. It is a terminal disease and that’s why it’s been severally referred to as an existential epidemic.
“Not only did we not want looting, we also don’t want marginal stealing, we don’t want situational thieves,” he said.
He said the anti-corruption road walk was to sensitise Nigerians on the fact that everyone had a role to play in the anti-corruption crusade.
He solicited the support of Nigerians irrespective of religion, tribal, profession and age diversity, among others, to join hands with the commission to wipe the malaise out of the nation’s body polity.
The walk began at the EFCC Zonal Office, Makurdi, through Wadata, to Low Level Round About, back through Kashim Ibrahim Way (Tito Gate) to Government House and terminated at EFCC zonal office.
Other agencies like police, FRSC, DSS, civil society organisations (CSOs), NYSC, Immigration and NGOs of different extractions, among others, also participated in the exercise.
NOUN commences 20 new courses, gets 649 prisoners as students
The Governing Council of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has said that the delivery mechanism of the university had been improved to ensure that graduates of the open distance learning institution were the best in knowledge skills, value and character among graduates in Nigerian university system.
This was as he added that no fewer than 649 prisoners in various Correctional Centres were currently students of the university, undergoing courses, mainly in conflict resolution because of its reformative potential.
According to the Council, an intensive capacity building programme had been approved for members of staff under the auspices of the NOUN’s World Bank funded Africa Centre of Excellence for Technology-Enhanced Learning (ACETEL).
Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council of the university, Prof. Peter Okebukola, disclosed this on Monday during a press conference at the Victoria Island, Lagos Liaison Office of the university, where the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, noted that university had 550,000 students across 81 study centres in the country.
Okebukola, who hinted that the Council had approved the upgrade of NOUN study centres across the country, beginning from next year in phases, however, said that discussion had reached advanced stage for the mobilisation of law graduates of the institution to the Nigerian Law Schools.
The Council chair, who was also supported by the Vice-Chancellor, said 20 new programmes had been approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence in 2020 academic session at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
“These new programmes are poised to continue NOUN’s leadership role as the flagship in Africa Open Distance Learning (ODL) and provide a diversity of courses that will appeal across all the geo-political zones in the country, thus fulfilling its mandate of assuring that Nigerians have access to flexible and equitable education,” Okebukola said.
Reps probe unspent budget funds since 2009
he House of Representative has resolved to probe unspent appropriated funds, including constituency projects, otherwise known as zonal intervention projects (ZIP), funds not remitted to the treasury in the last 10 years.
The decision was taken following the adoption of a motion sponsored by the speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and five other lawmakers on the “need for refund of unspent budget funds.”
In adopting the motion, the House also resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee led by Hon. Francis Charles to undertake the investigation and report back to it within eight weeks for further legislative actions.
The ad-hoc committee is expected to identify the defaulting ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and the extent of their involvement.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari recently accused the National Assembly of spending N1 trillion on constituency projects in the past 10 years, without much to show for it.
Presenting the motion on behalf of the speaker, chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Abubakar Fulata, said in the last 10 years, there is no instance where the budget was funded 100 per cent.
The lawmaker argued that because there have not been 100 per cent implementation of capital budgets, there is no way the government can claim to have funded constituency projects 100 per cent.
He said it is imperative for the House to probe non-remittance of unspent ZIP funds by MDAs, noting that “I was shocked when I heard that N1 trillion has been spent on constituency projects.”
Fulata, who stated that releases for capital projects in the past 10 years have hovered between 40 and 70 per cent, added that most of the times, the funds released for constituency projects are not fully utilised by the MDAs.
He further noted that: “Releases of constituency and other project funds are based on total sum provided in the annual national budget. Aware that most constituency projects, like other capital projects, are awarded at an amount lesser than the budget provisions by government MDAs.
“Also aware that unspent funds of MDAs are returned or rather automatically mopped up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the end of each financial year.
“Further aware that excess funds accruing from the under-valued awards of constituency projects are not returned to the treasury. Concerned that those funds are misapplied to other expenditure items contrary to extant public financial management laws and regulations.”
Supporting the motion, chairman, House committee on public accounts (PAC), Hon. Wole Oke, expressed concern that MDAs have failed to realise that violation of the Appropriation Act carries stiff sanction.
“If MDAs reduce the value (of constituency projects), what do they do with it? They either misapply it or warehouse it,” Oke stated.
Reps okay local government autonomy bill
he House of Representatives yesterday passed through second reading a bill that will grant full autonomy to the third tier of government in the conduct of election for chairmen, vice-chairmen, and councillors.
Titled, “a bill for an act to alter section 7 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and for related matters”, it is sponsored by Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos (PDP, Plateau).
Leading debate on the general principles of the bill, Bagos said the intendment of the proposed legislation is to instill democracy at the local government level and institute a law that will provide guidelines for periodic elections.
“Essentially, this bill seeks to provide for election and tenure of office for local government chairmen/councillors and also prescribe mode of exercising legislative powers of the local government council,” he stated.
He said the bill “seeks, amongst other things, to alter section 7(1) of the principal act by substituting section 7(1) with new section 7 (1) (a) –(2) to provide for the office of the chairman and vice chairman of local government as stipulated in the bill.”
The provisions, according to him, include, “qualification and disqualification of chairman, declaration of assets and liabilities, oath of office and election of chairman. Others include nomination and election of vice chairman, removal of chairman or vice-chairman from office, tenure of office of chairman and election of councillors.”
The lawmaker noted that the current provisions in the constitution were nebulous and susceptible to abuse because it did not provide any guidelines.
Section 7 (1) of the 1999 constitution states that “the system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed, and accordingly the government of every state shall, subject to section 8 of this constitution, ensure their existence under a law, which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.”
Bagos, who represents Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency, submitted that when passed into law, the bill will put an end to the practice whereby state governors dismiss and appoint local government chairmen at will without recourse to any law.
He argued that it was undemocratic for governors to unilaterally appoint local government chairmen and councillors instead of allowing people at the grassroots to choose their leaders through democratically conducted elections.
“This law will put paid to the present practice whereby local government chairmen are appointed by governors. It will make it mandatory for council officials to emerge through election,” the lawmaker said.
The bill was unanimously passed when Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila put it to vote.
Dangote to partner govt in building inclusive economy
an-African conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited, has reiterated its commitment towards partnering various tiers of governments in the country in building sustainable and inclusive economy for the benefit Nigerians.
To this end, the group said it had concluded plans to scale up investments in the agricultural sector, in response to the on-going public policy focus of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The company, which stated this in Kano during a ceremony organised to mark it’s ‘Special Day’ at the on-going 40th Kano International Trade Fair, noted that it particularly intended expanding its sugar investments.
Group Executive Director, Strategy and Governmental Relations, Engr. Mansur Ahmed, who represented Aliko Dangote, the president/chief executive of the company at the Special Day, hinted that as part of the company’s support to the development of agriculture sector, the three million ton per year fertilizer plant it was constructing would be commissioned early next year.
Ahmed said the group would also kick-start the developing of six large scale rice milling plants to be situated in six northern states of Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Niger, Kebbi and Sokoto, with a combined total milling capacity of 1.5 million per annum.
The group executive director said Dangote`s growing investment in the agriculture sector, was to complement existing and continuing investments being made in other sectors such as: cement, salt and other consumer products.
“We are also, as some of you may be aware, significantly involved in the oil and gas sector, with an on-going construction of one of the world’s largest petroleum refinery, which we hope to commission within the next 12 to 15 months.
“This will not only put an end to the embarrassing importation of products into our crude-oil rich country, but will also significantly boost our intra-African trade position,” Ahmed told at large gathering at the event.
Dangote commended the Federal Government’s policy, saying that it was one effort meant to bring Nigeria back on track, adding that such policy initiatives were necessary if the nation was to attain sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation.
He said: “I must also commend the leadership of KACCIMA for the very apt theme of this year’s edition of the fair: Promoting Agricultural Value Chain for Nigeria’s Sustainable Economic Development.
“Clearly given the current focus of both the Federal Government and Kano State and indeed most other states in the country on the agricultural sector as the only incontestable route for the revival and sustained growth of the Nigerian economy, there can be no more pertinent subject-matter to which we should direct the attention of all the participants at this fair.
“This is especially so in Kano, which had in the past been recognised as the leading agro-industrial hub not only in Nigeria, but indeed for the entire Sahel region of Africa. I have no doubt that a few of us in this gathering can remember, with some nostalgia I hope, the sights, sounds and smells of a bustling industrial life that hit you as you approach Bompai and Sharada industrial layouts in the 1960s and 1970s.
“Those bustling industries, which were clearly the manufacturing components of carefully planned agricultural value chain linkages, including groundnuts, leather, cotton, among others, created the dynamic Kano economy of the 1960s and 70s, which helped sustain and consolidate Kano’s long-standing status as the great Entrepot of the Trans-Saharan trade route.
“I have no doubt that had our leaders continued to develop those value chains, our experiences as people and as a nation over the past half a century, would have been incredibly different and certainly much more pleasant,” he stated.
He also noted that regrettably, military misadventure into the nation’s socio-economic and political development, which precipitated the civic war and its attendance oil curse, changed the steady and orderly economy attainment.
“But we must thank Allah for our current leaders and their efforts to bring us back to our senses. For it is incontestable that for Nigeria and indeed for Africa, the route to sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation is through effective exploitation of our enormous agricultural resources.”
Thank God for the “President Buhari’s insistence that we cannot expect to achieve development and modernisation until we create the capacity to produce what we consume. It is only by developing our agriculture along its various value chains that we can ensure sustainable, inclusive economic growth that create jobs for the teeming youthful population,” the group executive director said.
1.4m Ekiti residents still practice open defecation – UNICEF
he United Nations Children’s Endowment Fund (UNICEF) has said that no fewer than 1.4million population of over two million residents of Ekiti State still practiced open defecation.
This, UNICEF said informed the ranking of Ekiti as second in open defecation practice in the country and the South-West states.
UNICEF declared importance of concerted effort to curtail the uncouth habits in the 36 states of the federation considering the fact that Nigeria had been ranked second in open defecation globally.
UNICEF Chief Field Officer, Akure, Ondo State, Dr. Tushar Rane spoke in Ado-Ekiti yesterday during Open Defecation Free celebration for 54 rural communities in Ekiti West and Gbonyin Local Governments which had been declared free by the international body.
Rane said: “Nigeria was ranked second to India in Open defecation globally and this is unwholesome and deleterious to the well-being of the citizens.
“The recent mapping survey conducted by Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) revealed that 1.4 million practice open defecation in Ekiti, second in ranking in Nigeria and southwest.
“We salute the resolve of Ekiti government to make water available to every household in Ekiti, this is commendable, because the practice of open defecation constitute great hazards to people’s health.
“The celebration here today shows that we can do it. We can make the entire state and Nigeria open defecation free, if the right steps are taken.
“In all these rural components , UNICEF helped those who have the means and those who didn’t have the means to build toilets in their homes to achieve this feat that will be of benefit to our health.”
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Public Utilities, Engr. Bamidele Faparusi, stated that Governor Kayode Fayemi had given an executive order that no one should practice open defecation in the state as it had become illegal for anyone to get involved in the act.
He said: “Every household must have a toilet. If people built their houses and considered it worthy to build a kitchen, I believe that they must consider it expedient to build a toilet.
“Go out and spread the news that it has become a grievous offence in Ekiti to defecate openly.
“Open defecation pose a lot of health hazards. This celebration will stimulate other communities to comply and key into one -house -one- toilet campaign. 54 communities have been declared open defecation free by UNICEF and by 2020, all the small towns in the two councils will assume the same status.”
Oyetola to ANAN: Join hands with govt to banish corruption in Nigeria
sun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has implored accounting experts to join hands with government at various levels in the fight against corruption and other public misconducts.
He also charged the professionals in the accounting sector to continue to uphold the professional ethics, standard and best practices for them to be able to contribute meaningfully to the economy and compete favourably with their national and international peers.
This is even as the President and Chairman of Council, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Prof. Muhammad Akaro Mainoma, lauded the administration of Oyetola for being transparent, accountable and for raising the bar of good governance in the State.
Oyetola spoke yesterday at the 6th Session of Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Programme, organised by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) at the De-Distinguished Event Hall, Osogbo.
The governor, who described ANAN as a strong stakeholder in the nation’s economy, called on its members to collaborate with the Federal Government in its bid to rid the nation of corruption and turn the economy around.
He stressed that the war against corruption and the resolve to revitalise the economy can only be won when all hands are on deck at the institutional and personal levels, adding that ANAN occupies the forefront in the task.
He said professionalism and integrity are central to the accounting profession, hence the need for the practitioners to uphold the tenets and flush out the bad eggs in the profession.
The governor, who noted that the new entrants into the accounting profession are its strength and hope, enjoined the leadership of the association to always ensure that the best hands are recruited into the profession.
, saying “the senior members must endeavour to mentor the younger ones in order to sustain the integrity of the profession.”
He also lauded the leadership of the association for considering Osun as the venue of the 2019 edition of the programme.
“It is heart-warming that your association organises the annual Mandatory Continuing Professional Development Programme to build capacity of your members, integrate new members into the family and interrogate issues that are germane to the nation’s economy.
“The war against corruption and the resolve to revitalise the economy can only be won when all hands are on deck at the institutional and personal levels and ANAN occupies the forefront in this task.
“Professionalism and integrity are central to the accounting profession. Indeed, they are the currency of the profession. I implore you to continue to uphold these two tenets and flush out the bad eggs in the profession.
“New entrants into the accounting profession are its strength and hope. There is therefore a need to ensure that the best hands are recruited into the profession. Senior members must endeavour to mentor the younger ones in order to sustain the integrity of the profession.
“I equally urge the mentees to be ready to surrender themselves to mentorship and abide by the ethics of the profession”, Oyetola stressed.
Earlier in his Welcome Address, the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), President and Chairman of Council, Professor Muhammad Akaro Mainoma, thanked Governor Oyetola for his support and magnanimity in hosting the Association.
He described the governor as “organised, youthful, energetic, trustworthy, orderly, loving and acceptable.
“Your laudable achievements are evident in the drive at boosting the Education, Agriculture, Mining, Textile and Tourism sectors in the State, strengthening of the State’s capacity for internally generated revenue, fostering industrialisation and sustenance of safe and peaceful state for citizens,” Mainoma added.
In his own remarks, the Osun State Chairman of ANAN, Dr. Sunday Olaoye also lauded Mr. Governor for keeping to his campaign promises by paying the workers’ full salaries as and when due, adding that the current administration had been a blessing to workers and entire citizens of the State.
Why OSBC must compete with best in broadcast media, by Egbemode
sun State Commissioner For Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Olufunke Egbemode has charged management and staff of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation to begin to do things differently to achieve better results so that the media outfit would compete with the best radio and television stations across the country.
This is just as the Commissioner said the administration of Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola would do the best with the available resources to support the media house to achieve optimum performance and best results.
Egbemode made the remark yesterday while addressing the management and staff of OSBC during a familiarization visit to the radio and television conglomerate station, located at Òkè-Baálé in Osogbo, the state capital.
The Commissioner, who said Oyetola was expecting more results from the media outfit, said OSBC had the capacity to be the best in the country going by the array of professionals that the station was blessed with, emphasizing that they must begin to do things differently in order to compete with the best broadcast media in the country.
She said: “I think it’s time that you started doing things differently to achieve better results. you need to become more creative with the way you operate. This media house is so big and blessed with some of the very best in the media industry, OSBC should be the best in the country.
“People expect so much of OSBC. This is a massive investment, you are big and it is expected that you should be the loudest. You should not underestimate yourselves. The good times can’t wait. It has to be now. From this very moment, things must wear a new look.
“This media house has no choice but to live up to its billing.”
You have the requisite crop of professionals
. All that is needed now is to pool our wealth of experience together, get creative and hit the ground running. It’s a new day and you must stop operating in the grey areas and brighten up what you do as broadcasters.
“You have a responsibility to help this government succeed in a lot of ways, you must help project the image of the government positively. It is our collective responsibility to make our state work.
“I know there are challenges and I commend you for keeping the flag flying in the midst of a strong wind. But we just have to keep on, we can’t wait till the Governor give us a billion naira. We need to get things running.
“The government will definitely assist OSBC to function better but it will have to be based on set goals and priorities because of paucity of funds.”
Ebonyi, ex-female lawmaker bicker over N80m entitlements
A former member of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Hon. Maria Ude Nwachi and the state government are trading words over an alleged N80million statutory entitlement of the former female lawmaker.
Nwachi, who represented Afikpo North East State Constituency in the 5th Assembly, alleged that the state government in connivance with leadership of the Assembly denied her statutory and privileged entitlements including severance allowance totaling N80million.
But the state government described her claims as nothing but one of the dimensions of the Ponzi trap for gullible people as no House of Assembly member’s allowance in Ebonyi State, whether in whole or in part was closed to the amount she claimed.
Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji described it as laughable.
He said: “My office has noted as laughable the disdainful Ponzi arrangement of one Hon Maria Ude Nwachi which she orchestrated to trend in different Social Media platforms so as to attract pity with corollary pecuniary intentions. Most pitiable is the conspiracy of syndicates who are already sharing in different media classifications this manufactured ordeals of the said Madam Nwachi.
“Worst still are those who know the antecedents and potentials of this woman and would still desire to set trap for unsuspecting members of the public to make this Xmas profitable for the smartest arrangers But Nwachi also alleged that her aides were also denied their own entitlements till date.”
Nwachi, who contested for Afikpo North/Afikpo South Federal Constituency in 2019 general election under the platform of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) lost to PDP candidate, Hon. Idu Igariwey.
She accused the state government and the leadership of the state Assembly of humiliating her in all fronts throughout the end of the state 5th Assembly.
Nwachi said: “It is alarmingly worthy to note that I am owed to the tune of over N80million in statutory and privileged entitlements, including my severance allowance.
“Since I was elected into the State House of Assembly in 2015, and throughout my embattled four-year tenure which ended this year, I never received the monthly stipend of N500, 000.00.
“In April 2018, I was denied my N15million Constituency Projects
Allowance made to every member of the House. This is in spite of the fact that I had delivered an ultra-modern public toilet project among others with my personal funds. I have never borrowed money from a bank
in my life but I borrowed from Fidelity Bank to complete some of the
projects for my people. Thank goodness I have completely paid off that
loan; which was a thorn on my flesh.”
Security Trust Fund Bill scales first reading in Enugu Assembly
Enugu State Security Trust Fund and Other Connected Purposes Bill yesterday scaled first reading at the State House of Assembly.
The executive bill, which was presented by the Leader of the House, Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu during the plenary, sought to provide money for the acquisition and deployment of security equipment, financial and human resources to prevent crime and preserve public security in the state. Ezeugwu said that the bill sought to promote efficiency of all security agencies as well as reserve part of the fund for training and retraining of security personnel in the state.
He said that the bill when passed would establish a board of trustees to manage the security fund to be headed by a chairman, who would not be less than 45 years of age and be appointed by the state governor.
Other details of the bill indicates that the chairman and members of the Board shall hold office for a term of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further term of three year and no more.
Ezeugwu listed the functions of the Board to include procuring and maintaining of equipment “including but not limited to patrol vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, water cannons, protection vans, lorries, buses, recovery vehicles, drones and helicopters as may be required for use in Enugu state by federal, state and local government security agencies”.
Speaker Edward Ubosi said that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi would present 2020 budget proposal to the House of Assembly on17th December, 2019. Ubosi urged his colleague to get prepared as the bill would be deliberated on a later day.
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