Apparently unhappy with the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue over its poor revenue generation, the State House of Assembly has called for total overhaul of the Board to facilitate greater efficiency.
This was the fall-out of the lawmakers’ deliberation at last weekend legislative session while contributing debate on the 2011 Appreciation Bill presented by Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi last week.
The lawmakers unanimously agreed that Amaechi’s 2011 Budget proposal of N414.1 billion tagged Budget of Transformation was rightly articulated and focused, but expressed dismay that the N77. billion proposed in the budget as amount to be internally generated by the Board for next year was totally unacceptable.
Before committing the 2011 Appropriation Bill to committee stage, the legislators agreed that if the Board of internal Revenue is overhauled and repositioned, there is no way it cannot generate more than what was stated in the budget.
The chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon Jones Ogbonda, who took the first swipe while contributing to the general debate frowned at the benchmark of N77.1 billion proposed in the budget by the state government as internally generated revenue (IGP) for 2011 budget, noting that the success of every budget implementation depends largely on the level of revenue it generates internally.
Going by the figures, Hon Ogbonda said the State government depends solely on federal allocation in order to meet the expectations of the budgets.
According to him, the situation is unhealthily and precarious to the economy of the state. He therefore urged the state government to look in-wards in order to widen the horizon of its internal revenue base even as he appealed to the state government to resume dialogue with striking lecturers of the state-owned tertiary institutions in order to find a lasting solution to the hungering RSG-ASUU face-off.
In their various contributions, Hon. Chidi Lioyd (Emohua), Ibroma kichner (AKULGA II), Hon Hope Ikiriko (Ahoada West), and Hon Onari Brown (AKULGA I), agreed that there is need to fine tune the revenue drive of the state even as they acknowledged that Amaechi administration has made a huge investment in infrastructural development in the State.
The lawmakers while reviewing the 2010 budget performance averred that the executive arm of government has implemented the budget as appropriated. The legislators remarked that next year’s budget estimate will be geared towards accomplishing the hope and aspirations of the Rivers people and urged their colleagues to give the appropriation bill the desired attention it deserved.
Hon. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja (Opobo/Nkoro), however urged his colleagues to critically look into the budget with a view to ensuring compliance into budgetary rules.
The speaker, Rivers Assembly, Rt. Hon Tonye Harry while committing the bill into the committee stage reminded the legislators of enormity of the task ahead as they are likely to forfeit their Christmas and Boxing Day holidays as part of the sacrifice they will make in order to ensure the passage of the bill into law before the end of this year.
Bekweru Weli & Esther Ihekoromadu
Nothing Must Stop Anambra Poll, Buhari Orders Security Chiefs …As NSA Confirms New ISWAP Leader’s Death
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Armed Forces and other security agencies in Nigeria to ensure that nothing stops the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.
This is as the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno (rtd), has said that the new leader of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), Mallam Bako was two days ago killed by the military.
Recall that the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor had told State House correspondents penultimate Thursday that the ISWAP leader, Abu Musab Al-barnawi was eliminated by the military.
Briefing journalists after the meeting of security chiefs presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the NSA, said President Buhari gave the armed forces the marching order in response to the heightened security challenges in Anambra state.
Monguno said, “The President has directed that under no circumstances will anything be allowed to stop the elections from taking place successfully. The people have a right to vote and select their leader.
“No group or individual will be allowed to stimulate anarchy and chaos, leading to murderous activities.
“The President has made it very clear that the Armed Forces and all law enforcement agencies must make sure that the elections take place even if it means overwhelming the entire environment with the presence of security agencies.
“There are so many implications for elections to be sabotaged by non-state actors; in the first place, we are in a democracy, secondly it is important to note that if these non-state actors should succeed in destroying the potentials for orderly elections, then it is natural that other parts of the country would also want to copy this same situation.”
He further said that in the last two months, the military has recorded a lot of successes in the fight against insurgency in the North-East zone of the country which put pressure on the ISWAP and the Boko Haram Islamic terrorists.
“The fact again is that the armed forces, the land forces have done an excellent job because in the span of one month we have been able to take out the leadership of the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) – that is Abu Musab Al-barnawi.
“Two days ago, the man who succeeded him, one Malam Bako, one of the prominent leaders of the Shura Council of the Islamic State of West African Province, was also taken out.
“They are also contending with leadership crisis. You know these things are also accompanied with inherent issues of trust, conflicts, mutual suspicion and other things.
“So, the operations being conducted by the armed forces in the Northern parts of the country put a lot of pressure on the Islamic State of West African Province, Boko Haram and also the tangential group known as Islamic State in the Greatest Sahara.”
The Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, who also attended the meeting, reiterated that the police are ready to ensure there is peace in Anambra and all other parts of the country.
He said, “In particular, we talked about the Anambra governorship election coming on 6th of November and we want to assure the people of Anambra State and all Nigerians that the government is committed to conducting that election.
“The election has to be free and fair, we are going to put every machinery in place to ensure that people are well secured. That is the only way to ensure that we promote democracy and good governance in this country.”
Among those at the meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd).
Others are the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao; Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
KPMG To Invest $1.5bn To Deepen Decarbonisation In Nigeria, Others
KPMG professional, yesterday, said it will inject more than $1.5billion over the next three years on the development of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), in a bid to deepen global decarbonization programme in Nigeria and other effected countries.
A statement made available to newsmen said that the development strategy is designed to support KPMG firms’ clients in making a positive difference.
According to the statement, “As part of its ongoing multi-billion-dollar investment program, KPMG plans to spend more than US$1.5billion over the next three years.
“The collective investment will focus on training and expanding KPMG’s global workforce, harnessing data, accelerating the development of new technologies, and driving action through partnerships, alliances and advocacy. The key to the transformation will be embedding ESG in the organization and client solutions to drive measurable change.
“The new global ESG strategy focuses on five priority areas, such as Solutions, Talent, Supporting developing nations, Collaborations and Alliances and Listening and taking action.”
#EndSARS Victims Drag FG To ECOWAS Court
As #EndSARS protesters commemorate the first anniversary of the protest that erupted from Ughelli, Delta State, to other parts of the country over police brutality and extra-judicious killings, three victims of the protest have sued the Federal Government at the ECOWAS Court for justice.
This was revealed by lawyers from three chambers, yesterday, in a document signed by four lawyers including Bolaji Gabari, Mojirayo Ogunlana-Nkanga, Gaye Sowe, and Nelson Olanipekun, and made available to Vanguard during a virtually held press conference on the matter.
According to the lawyers, their service is purely pro-bono to the three applicants who approached them, and also explained why the applicants approached the ECOWAS Court, which is a regional court that adjudicates cases within its jurisdiction of member states in West Africa sub-region, and it is known for its neutrality and adherence to international standards in adjudicating cases.
They also pointed out that justices that comprise the panel at the ECOWAS Court are judges with various international experiences, and not one judge that will adjudicate on the matter brought to them, which that the court has lived up to its name as it would analyse the issues and facts before it, would give an international standard judgment, and has the boldness in determining cases without being influenced, and its judgment will have a ripple effect.
They also stated that the three applicants who approached them are seeking justice, and have declared that the Nigerian state has violated her obligations under the Nigerian Constitution, International laws and most especially the African Charter.
They said: “Three Applicants who witnessed and were victims of the military and police onslaught that occurred in the event popularly known as #EndSARS protests which took place on the 20th of October 2020 at Lekki Tollgate have filed an action before the ECOWAS Court seeking the enforcement of their fundamental rights.
“The Applicants, who continue to suffer untold psychological and mental trauma and threat to life, from that day, have approached the ECOWAS Court, known for its neutrality and adherence to international standards in adjudicating cases, to consider and hold that the rights of the Applicants and other peaceful protesters have been grossly violated by the Nigerian state and its agencies.
“The Applicants seek amongst others, the declaration that the Nigerian state has violated her obligations under the Nigerian Constitution, International laws and most especially the African Charter; failed and fails to protect the lives of the Applicants and citizens; protect its citizens from extrajudicial killings, police brutality and to promote and provide security for its citizens; that the State persistently tolerates and promotes a climate of impunity in the country as a result of its systemic failure to condemn, effectively identify and secure accountability for a series of grave attacks against the Applicants and people of Nigeria and failure to convict perpetrators of human rights violations in the years preceding the 20th and 21st of October 2020 Lekki Tollgate shooting and till date.
“All of these constitute a gross violation of fundamental human rights guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 9 and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
“Given this disregard for the rights of Nigerian people, we are commencing litigation against the Federal Government of Nigeria at the ECOWAS Court of Justice to seek redress for the victims and accountability against the government who through her agents were involved in the rights abuses that led to the #EndSARS protests and its aftermaths.
“We will pursue our demands through the ECOWAS Court to ensure that the government of Nigeria is held to account for the killing of Nigerian citizens and the abuse of their rights as enshrined in the Nigeria Constitution, the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights and other International Human Rights instruments that Nigeria is a signatory to.”
They also lamented that, “Today, victims of police brutality are yet to be adequately compensated, and justice has yet to be served either for their families or on the perpetrators.
“Post the proscription of the protests by President Muhammadu Buhari, the online and offline attacks on human rights defenders, the arrests and illegal detention of protesters, the deregistration of organisations and blanket tag of terrorism on bank accounts belonging to protesters, etc. were some tactics the government and its agencies employed, presumably to silence the dissenting voices.”
The lawyers also added that the choice of ECOWAS Court is the fact that this strategic litigation is to push against that wave of clampdown of citizens across Africa, “So we are not just fighting for Nigeria but we are fighting for Africa.”
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