Worried by the spate of criticisms that have greeted the Hate Speech Bill which passed first reading last week, the Senate has distanced itself from the proposed legislation
The acting spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, told journalists in Abuja on Monday that contrary to widespread impression, the bill was not the idea of the ninth Senate
He said it was solely being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, based on his conviction.
Akwashiki described as unfortunate, the statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which insinuated that the bill was a Senate bill, skewed to make the alleged third term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari possible.
He maintained that the fate of the bill would be determined on the floor of the Senate after a robust debate by senators.
Meanwhile, the ex-spokesperson for the Senate, who sponsored the bill, insisted at a news briefing on Monday that his proposed legislation is aimed at achieving peace in the country.
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.
Niger gov presents N148.2bn 2020 budget to Assembly
iger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, yesterday presented a budget of N148.2 billion for the 2020 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly.
The budget proposal represented a decrease of 13.2 per cent compared to the 2019 budget, which was N194, 698,816,253.00; including a supplementary budget of N30, 247,947,518.42.
The governor said the decrease indicated the readiness of the state to adjust its fiscal responsibility in line with the current economic realities of the state.
According to Governor Bello, “The budget, christened Budget of Inclusion for Sustainable Development, consists of Recurrent Expenditure of N69, 968,379,598.50 or 47.21 per cent and Capital Expenditure of N78, 243,549,951.32 or 52.79 per cent of the budget.”
He added that the budget was specifically anchored on the completion of projects that had attained 75 per cent completion and above.
Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Bawa Wuse, assured the governor that the lawmakers would ensure that the budget was scrutinised and given speedy passage.
He also expressed the readiness of the Assembly to partner with the executive and security agencies in ensuring that the security challenges facing the state were brought to an end.
NAVC/ICPC canvasses youth-empowerment as panacea for corrupt practices
Abia State Coordinator of the National Anti-Corruption Volunteer Corps (NAVC/ICPC), Rev Blessed Amalambu has said that if the war against corruption would succeed in Nigeria, the citizens should be empowered to hold government accountable, stressing there should be law to end impunity in the conduct of government business.
Amalambu, who made the recommendation in Umuahia during the 2019 Anti-Corruption Day with the theme “Together we can fight against corruption,” added that the clauses in the Constitution that had given undue rights and privileges to certain offices and positions for power of monopoly in decisions and policies should be removed as monopoly or power of discretion bred corruption.
He said: “There should be transparency and access to information. In Nigeria, there is law encouraging freedom of information, but it is not applied or enforced. Vital information should be made public as to create room for proper enlightenment of the general public. “There should be community monitoring initiatives in our various local governments. This will help to detect leakages of funds and improve the quality and quantity of services.
IPPIS: FG must correct anomalies in the payroll system – Rector
s the management of the Federal School of Surveying, Oyo, prepares for mass convocation of its graduates in the past ten years, the Rector of the professional institution, Surveyor (Dr.) Dupe Olayinka, has said that the school was not opposed to the Federal Government’s policy of Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS) unlike the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) but said that there were a series of anomalies in the system.
The Rector of the 111-year-old institution who spoke with journalists at the school during the 20th convocation press conference, disclosed that staff of the school had been captured twice in 2016, but in the recent capturing initiated by the Accountant-General of the Federation, 37 of the school’s staff were missing in the list released, while names of three staff already deceased surfaced on the list, and one staff that had voluntarily retired also had his name on the list. Due to the anomalies, the first female Rector and indigene of Oyo town lamented that staff’s November salary was yet to be paid.
Olayinka said: “It is better we are getting our salaries from the centre. If it is going to check corruption, there is no institution that would say no.
“The fear of ASUU and other unions is because some that have been captured have issues. After the exercise had been done in this institution, names of no fewer than 37 of our staff were missing from the list.
“Three staff who were deceased were surprisingly on the list, and one staff that had voluntarily retired had his name still on the list. This is confusing.”
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