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Sanusi: Reps Make U-Turn …Publish Members’ Salaries, CPC Tells NASS

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The House of Representatives yesterday changed its mind on its invitation to the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to appear on the floor of the House.

The House, which was presided over by Deputy Speaker, Bayero Nafada, rather directed that the CBN governor should now appear before committees of the House of Appropriation, Banking, Drugs, Narcotic and Financial Crimes at a date to be determined by the committees.

Hon. Igo Aguma had raised a counter motion to that of the Senate Leader, Tunde Akogun for Sanusi’s appearance.

The CBN Governor was said to have arrived at the premises of the National Assembly by 10am prepared for his appearance.

The Tide gathered that the change of mind by the Reps was fallout of indications that Sanusi had come better prepared than he was when he made a similar appearance before the senate on Wednesday.

Sanusi had stood by his comment on the allegation that about 25 per cent of the nation’s budget was consumed by the National Assembly even when senators pointed out to him that his figures were inaccurate and misleading.

He was said to have arrived at the Reps wing of the National Assembly with loads of documents apparently to tackle members of the House of Representatives.

The House gave the committees one week to report back on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has showered praises on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for sticking with his position that 25% of the overhead of the Federal Budget is consumed by the National Assembly.

Sanusi was asked by the lawmakers to explain to them and to Nigerians how he came by the said figure but he couldn’t. He rather remained adamant that he was convinced that the lawmakers’ jumbo pay was digging a big hole in the nation’s treasury.

In a statement made available to our correspondent, National Publicity Secretary of the group, Osita Okechukwu said, “We salute Governor Sanusi’s courage and uncommon passion for public good in the midst of intimidation by hostile senators and at the risk of losing his job, he maintained his stoic stance that the NASS’s expenditure was bleeding heavily on the national treasury.

“We waited anxiously for Governor Sanusi in this hour and salute him for upholding his own ratings, for Nigerians hold in very high esteem the man who exposed the errant bankers who played casino with depositors’ funds.”

The CNPP suggested that the federal lawmakers were earning a lot more than the official emoluments approved by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

“We challenge the NASS members to publicly tell the world whether they abide by the emolument and allowances benchmark prescribed by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission {RMAFC}.

“Governor Sanusi talked only of the Report of the Budget Office but diplomatically did not expose the Trade Center antics of the NASS members and their food is ready economic policy; where instead of law making, they engage in contract sharing and contract splitting. This is the conduit pipe NASS members use to bleed our national treasury, subvert the Millennium Development Goals and undermine our decayed infrastructure.”

The group however prayed the National Assembly members to desist from haunting down people like Sanusi whom they described as a patriot and focus on saving the country’s democracy from the threat posed to it by the monumental corruption in the land. He said, “CNPP wishes to appeal to our Distinguished Senators and Honourable members to instead of haunting down brave patriots like Governor Sanusi; to graciously embark on soul searching, look inwards and as a matter of urgent national importance remove the specks in their eyes, which regrettably has converted the National Assembly into a Trade Center.”

Meanwhile, the Congress for Progress Change (CPC) yesterday called on the National Assembly to publish detailed facts concerning the basic salaries and allowances of its members for the sake of enhancing transparency in the public sector.

A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Aghanya Dennis in Abuja made the call in a reaction to the summon on the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi by the National Assembly.

“This observation has become very necessary in view of the recent summoning of the Central Bank Governor by the Senate to explain his claims that 25 per cent of overhead of the government’s revenue is spent on the National Assembly,” it stated.

The statement noted that constituted authorities should be allowed to function without any form of intimidation from any arm of government.

“Instead of summoning him in the usual manner of the NASS, his office should have been simply asked to forward its records to substantiate his claims,” the statement added.

The party further called on Nigerians “not to be intimidated by the incessant summoning by the National Assembly as they were selected to represent us”.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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