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Adamawa

The Madagali Local Government area of Adamawa says it will engage the services of private revenue collectors to boost its internally generated revenue.

The council chairman, Alhaji Chibado Tijjani, disclosed this to newsmen in Madagali.

Tijjani said that the measure became necessary because of the poor performance of the council’s revenue collectors.

“The performance of the council revenue collectors is not encouraging at all.

“We need to engage more serious tax agents to handle the revenue generation,” Tijjani said.

He urged the people in the council area to pay their taxes and other levies promptly to the government to enable it to meet the growing developmental needs of the electorate.

Bauchi

Bauchi State Government has identified 11 cotton producing areas and set up a committee to resuscitate and fast-track cotton production.

Alhaji Isa Jibril, the Permanent Secretary, Deputy Governor’s office, stated this when he received in audience the new Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaji Sagir Saleh, in his office on Monday.

He said that already, the state government had bought improved variety of cotton seeds, worth over N2 million, for sale to farmers at 50 per cent subsidy.

Jibril also told the deputy governor that the state government had disbursed a grant of N225 million to nine community banks to enable them to migrate to micro-finance banking.

Our correspondent reports that the deputy governor doubles as the chairman, Micro-finance bank committee

Benue

A 32-year-old teacher, John Agbo, was on Monday arraigned at a Makurdi Chief Magistrate’s Court for collecting N8,500 each from three persons to buy them fake admission forms.

Agbo, from Ugbokolo in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue, was charged for cheating in contravention of Section 322 of the Penal Code Law.

The Prosecutor, Mr Moses Akor, told the court that the complainants, Justine Tersoo, Doris Akputu and Jennifer Ikoamo, reported the matter to the B Division Police Station in Makurdi.

They said each gave N8,500 to the suspect to buy the admission form of Open University, Lafia, for them but the forms he brought were fake.

Akor further said that Agbo was arrested during police investigation and that N25,000 had been recovered from him.

However, when the case was mentioned on Monday at the court, the accused pleaded not guilty.

FCT

The Nigerian Navy yesterday signed a partnership agreement with an European firm, TP Marine Global services Ltd., to establish a ship building facility in Lagos.

Speaking at a brief ceremony in Abuja, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ola Ibrahim, said the project would be wholly financed by the firm while the navy would provide the land for the facility.

Ibrahim, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral,  James Oladimeji, said the completion of the facility would mark the beginning of self reliance in ship maintenance and repairs in the navy.

Our correspondent reports that the facility will be sited at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos and will be engaged in ship building, repairs and maintenance of vessels.

Kano

The National Association of Kano State Students (NAKSS), has pleaded with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the State Security Service  (SSS) to help it to locate the whereabouts of its missing member, Auwal Shanono.

A statement signed by the union’s National President, Auwal Dansherif, in Kano yesterday said that Shanono got missing recently.

The union also appealed to the National Union of Road Transport Workers  (NURTW) to assist in locating the missing student.

Katsina

Farmers in Funtua, Faskari, Malumfashi, Bakori and Dandume Local Government Areas of Katsina State on Tuesday called for the revival of the annual agricultural shows aimed at promoting professionalism and markets.

A cross section of farmers told newsmen in Funtua , Katsina State, that such shows would enhance competition among farmers and encourage the cultivation of varieties of crops.

They maintained that such initiative would also boost food production and provide the avenue for farmers to sell their produce at competitive prices to compensate for their investments.

Lagos

A former governor of Lagos State, Chief Lateef Jakande on Tuesday urged heads of governments at all levels to step up efforts to take education to its rightful position.

The renowned journalist and elder statesman told newsmen in Lagos that the poor state of education in Nigeria was due to neglect by succeeding governments.

“My advice to the newly inaugurated governments at all levels is for them to ensure that they honour all pledges they made during their election campaigns.

“First and foremost, they should make education their first priority by ensuring that they return it to its former high position,’’ Jakande said.

Ogun

Residents of Abeokuta and its environs have lamented the scarcity and high cost of kerosene, newsmen report.

The residents who besieged the NNPC mega station to purchase the commodity raised alarm over the alleged persistent hike in price by the management of the station.

Our correspondent who visited the mega station located at Abiola Way, Abeokuta yesterday, observed a disorderly crowd of customers pushing themselves in a bid to purchase the cooking commodity.

Some of the residents who spoke to newsmen alleged that the attendants did not follow due process in the sale of the commodity.

Ondo

The Ondo State Government has warned that it would no longer tolerate illegal extension of structures to the roads, particularly in Akure and other major towns.

The Commissioner for Land and Housing, Alhaji Sikiru Basaru, told newsmen in Akure that the state government was committed to the success of its urban development projects.

Basaru said that appropriate government authorities were ready to arrest and prosecute whoever violated the existing laws in the state.

“The development of our society is in the overall interest of everyone in the state.

“No society can move forward until the people cultivate the habit of obeying the rules, regulations and laws put in place by the government to facilitate development,’’ Basaru said.

Oyo

Mr Taiye Adeleye, the South-West Coordinator, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), said on Tuesday in Ibadan that the scheme had registered more than 90 per cent of the federal workforce.

Adeleye said at a one-day provider sensitisation seminar organised by the United Health Care International that the scheme was the best method of providing medical care worldwide.

He said the Federal Government would soon roll out a programme that would enhance the scheme to cover all Nigerians by 2015.

The coordinator said the scheme was also designed to cater for the vulnerable, physically challenged, orphans, aged and pregnant women.

“This scheme is designed by the Federal Government for different segments of the society.”

Adeleye said the NHIS had ensured that Health Management Organisations (HMOs) registered the beneficiaries and provided them with quality medical care and products.

The General Manager, United Health Care International, Dr Olusegun Odujebe, said the forum was organised to educate the health care providers and get feedback on their activities..

Plateau

Members of the House of Representatives voted for Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as Speaker on Monday because the PDP did not carry them along on its choice of who to vote for, Rep. Godfrey Gaiya said yesterday.

“We (members) were not carried along in arriving at the PDP decision; no one sought our input.

“The party just announced a candidate and issued a directive,” Gaiya (PDP-Kaduna) told newsmen in a telephone interview in Jos.

The defeat of Mrs Mulikat Akande-Adeola (PDP-Oyo) by Tambuwal (PDP-Sokoto) in Monday’s contest is seen as a negation of the PDP’s zoning formula, which reserves the seat for the South-West.

Sokoto

The Sokoto State Governmnt spent N439 million on Ramadan feeding programme in four years, Governor  Aliyu Wamakko has announced.

Receiving the report of the six-member committee set up to review the programme in Sokoto, Wamakko said his administration was committed to the sustenance of the programme as part of his campaign promises.

He said the Ramadan was a period when all acts of benevolence was highly rewarded by God.

Wamakko urged wealthy individuals, members of the state executive council and other top government officials to complement the efforts of the state government in ensuring that the programme was sustained and improved upon.

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Senators Fault Buhari’s Planned Farm Settlements

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Some senators have expressed concerns over plans by the regime of President. Muhammadu Buhari, to establish farm settlements in each of the 108 senatorial districts in Nigeria.
They noted that any arrangement to acquire land by the Federal Government at the moment without giving details of what it would be used for, might face stiff resistance from various communities.
The President had last month, directed the National Agricultural Land Development Authority to set up the integrated farm estates in 108 senatorial districts nationwide.
Already, the policy has been greeted with criticisms from the leadership of the various ethnic groups in the middle belt, and southern part of the country, describing it as an attempt in disguise, to create grazing areas for cattle.
The Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, Matthew Urhoghide, said the Federal Government should give details of the project before approaching state governments for land allocation.
He said, “We are in the Senate to represent our people. I know what my people want
“What we quarrel against is open grazing; we are not against ranching. We are not saying that a Fulani man that has a herd of cattle cannot come to the South to do the business of ranching but he cannot come to carry out open grazing.
“Grazing has two effects. It leads to wanton destruction of farmland. You cannot use animal husbandry to destroy crop farming. There are also criminal cases associated with it including murder.
“If the Federal Government is coming to get land in my state for ranching, it is okay because we need beef, which would be richer, when it is from the ranching system.
“However, the government should make its intention very clear on the policy to avoid major clashes and crisis.”
Similarly, Senator Abba Moro, representing Benue South in the red chamber said government could make arrangements for herders to do the business of ranching but not at the  expense of the farmers.
He advised the Federal Government to go to the drawing board and come up with a modern arrangement to make ranching the way to go.
He said, “When government policies are viewed with suspicion, when citizens lack trust in government policies, then something is wrong.
“Until we address the root causes of conflicts between herders and farmers, and genuinely come out with the right way to go through dialogue, any policy that is thrown at the citizens will be looked at with suspicion which would cause some level of tension.

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Senator Wants Improved Network For Results Transmission

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The Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu, says  Nigeria requires 95 per cent of national network coverage to enable electronic transmission of election results in the country.
Kalu said this in an interview with The Tide source yesterday in Abuja.
Recall that 52 senators on July 15 voted against electronic transmission of results in the forthcoming general election while 28 voted for and 28 absentees.
The senators insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission should be compelled to seek clearance from Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) while the National Assembly would have to approve the verdict of NCC.
Kalu, insisted the current network coverage was inadequate.
“I have never been against transmission of results , I only said we don’t have adequate coverage where we live,this is the issue.
“We have coverage, but it is not adequate.
‘Like Abia North Senatorial District where I come from, there is no adequate coverage, may be 43 per cent coverage, so how are we going to do that.
“ I believe in electronic transmission,but I want to quickly urge the NCC to deploy their technology to ensure wider coverage; I believe in that process because it is transparent.
“ I don’t want to listen to officials who want to buy equipment and make commissions, I am telling myself the truth, if we even have a coverage of 95 per cent it will be okay, but we have below 50 per cent in the entire country.
“I am not talking about my constituency.
“ It wasn’t a party decision to vote against e transmission and not a clique decision, it was out of my conscience.
“ I can only do what I will do that will benefit all Nigerians,” Kalu said.

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Igbo Stakeholders Decry Absence Of S’East Govs At Forum

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The absence of four Governors of the South-East in the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting held last Thursday in Enugu has been strongly condemned by members of the Concerned Igbo Stake-holders Forum (CISF). 
The leader of the group, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa told newsmen in Enugu that there was no justifiable reason that would be enough for these governors to be absent in a meeting of such magnitude.
According to him, it was wrong particularly coming at a time when the region is battling socio-economic and security concerns stemming from the sit-at-home order issued by the proscribed separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
His words: “The absence of the Governors of Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra States leaves a lot to question the commitment of these governors to the growth and advancement of the South-East in missing a crucial meeting held within their geopolitical zone.
He further described as very disturbing the conspicuous absence of the Anambra Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, or a representative from the state at the meeting. 
Okenwa said that the body language of the South-East governors in recent times leaves no one to doubt that these governors have magnified their interest above that of the region and Ndi-Igbo in general.
“Their gaze at the forthcoming elections in 2023 is becoming an unbearable distraction for them in delivering their mandate to the people,” he also lamented.
The group, therefore beckoned on Ndi-Igbo, regardless of political party affiliation, to unite and formidably negotiate a favourable space in the political scheme of things.
According to him, when this is done, we will ensure an unhindered growth and development of all Igbos, he added.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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