The Adamawa Acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri, on Tuesday presented the state budget of N97.9 billion for the 2012 fiscal year for approval by the House of Assembly.
The budget estimate is made up of N38.5 billion from statutory allocation, N7.5 billion from value added tax, and N8.1 billion from excess crude oil, with N28.9 capital receipt and N6.7 from internally generated revenue.
Fintiri said that in order to utilise the budget estimate judiciously, government had proposed N87.9 billion for expenditure, out of which N17.3 billion was earmarked for personal emolument, and N22.9 billion for overhead costs, while N4.9 billion was being expected as consolidated revenue.
He said the balance of N42.5 billion was earmarked for capital projects and programmes.
Fintiri attributed the sharp rise in the budget estimate to the increase in minimum wage as well as the recent recruitment exercise in the civil service and post primary school management board.
The Bauchi State Government says it will establish farm centres in its three senatorial zones to encourage the involvement of youths in agricultural productions.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Tasiu Mohammad, disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi.
He said that the farm centres, to cost about N2 billion, would generate nearly 6,000 jobs in three locations.
He said that the centres would complement the state government’s efforts at empowering the youths through various cooperative societies established for such purposes.
Mohammad said that already, work had commenced at the farm centres and the programmes would begin once funds from the 2012 budget were released.
The commissioner said that the criteria for youths to benefit from the scheme were through registering with a cooperative society.
Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi has condoled with the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Abubakar, over the death of his wife, Hajia Mariam Abubakar.
Fayemi, in a letter addressed to the acting IGP, urged him to take consolation in the fact that she lived a good life.
“I received with rude shock the news of the death of your dear wife, Hajia Mariam Abubakar, who died on Monday.
“Her death, at this crucial time, is very unfortunate, but I hope you will take consolation in the fact that she lived a good life,’’ he said.
He prayed God to give the IGP and the entire family the fortitude to bear the great loss.
“On behalf of my family and the good people of Ekiti State, please accept our deep condolence on this irreparable loss and may her gentle soul rest in peace,’’ he added.
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi Okorie-Affia has said that corps members will henceforth be posted to four key areas for their primary assignments.
Okorie-Affia said this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Under the new policy, the posting of corps members will focus primarily in the following key sectors: rural health, education, infrastructure and agriculture,’’ the statement said.
It said the new policy was aimed at making the scheme more responsive to the development needs of the country.
According to the statement, the policy will take effect with the incoming batch ‘A‘ and will ensure effective and efficient use of the corps members.
The statement noted that the skills of corps members would fast-track the nation’s socio-economic transformation.
It said that the new posting policy would enhance equitable distribution of corps members and re-energise the objectives of the scheme.
The Gombe State Government has signed a contract worth N4.1 billion with a Chinese firm for the provision of water to Gombe metropolis and its environs.
Speaking at the ceremony on Tuesday in Gombe, Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo said the contract was for the reticulation and rehabilitation of the Gombe Township Water pipelines and the extension of the scheme to Kwami, Gadam and Bojude villages.
He said the network of pipelines would cover a distance of about 150 km across Bagadaza, Riyad, Madaki, Hammadu Kafi, Kagarawal, Tunfure and Tudun Wada Pantami areas in the metropolis.
Some other new areas to benefit from the project, he said, included Gabukka, New GRA, Arawa, Checheniya and Kanoyel “because the pipelines in those areas were old”.
Dankwambo said the project became necessary in view of the influx of people to the state due to its commercial activities, adding that the completion period for the project was 18 months.
The Katsina Government has earmarked N4.2 billion for water supply in the state this fiscal year.
The Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Jamilu Muhammad, made the announcement on Monday in Katsina while defending the ministry’s 2012 budget before the Katsina State House of Assembly Appropriation Committee.
Muhammad said that the amount would be spent on urban water supply project, semi-urban water scheme and rural water supply in the state.
He said that the government would resuscitate dams in each of the three senatorial districts in the state before the end of the year.
The commissioner said that the dams would provide drinking water for both animals and human beings, noting that the project would also enhance irrigation activities and provide employment opportunities for the people.
A 26-year-old woman, Mrs Sandra Agofure, has begged an Ikeja High Court in Lagos to free her husband, Lucky Agofure, who is standing trial for alleged murder.
Sandra was testifying before Justice Lateefat Okunnu at the ongoing trial of her husband, who allegedly murdered one Princewill Oduocha on February 6, 2010 in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
The witness, who was being led in evidence by Agofure’s lawyer, Mr Olarenwaju Ajanaku, said the accused was innocent of the charge preferred against him.
She claimed that Agofure and the deceased were friends, adding that he was not responsible for his death.
Sandra said: “On that fateful day, my husband and Princewill had a quarrel over a N1, 000 debt being owed him by my husband.
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State said on Monday that the State Government is to establish a security outfit to complement the efforts of the police and other security agencies in protecting lives and property in the state.
Aliyu made the announcement when he received the Igbo Community and other non-indigenes residing in the state in his office in Minna.
“Tomorrow there will be a public hearing by the Niger State House of Assembly on a bill for a law to establish Niger State Vigilante so that in every ward we will have a vigilante that will complement the police and other security forces in the state,” he said.
PDP chieftain in Sokoto State, Alhaji Abdullah Bafarawa has canvassed for dialogue between the Federal Government and members of the ‘Boko Haram’ sect, as a way of resolving the nation’s present security challenges.
Bafarawa gave the advice while answering questions from newsmen at the Sultan Abubakar International Airport, Sokoto.
‘I strongly advocate a political forum where dialogue will take place between the Federal Government and members of the sect in enhancing peaceful co-existence among Nigerians,” he said.
The Kaduna State Government has given hawkers three months ultimatum to leave the streets or face the full wrath of the law.
The Director of Environment in the state, Mr Solomon Guruza, gave the warning while speaking with newsmen in Kaduna on Tuesday.
“The government will not return goods seized; we have given them three months notice to leave the roads. At the expiration of the ultimatum, government will rid the streets of the presence of illegal traders.”
A guard with the Church of Christ in Nigeria, Mr. Baba, was on Sunday evening murdered after church service in Potiskum, Yobe State. Garba was said to be a Karekare man from Kopkop village in Daigubi area of Potiskum.
His killing came on the heels of allegations by the Cooirdinator of a non-governmental organisation, Stetanos Foundation, Mr. Mark Lipdo, that indiscriminate and selective killings, mostly targeted at Christians, were still going on in Yobe State.
Our correspondent learnt that 62-year-old Garba was murdered by two young men on a motorcycle, who trailed him to his house located east of Potiskum barracks after church service. The killers were said to have waited for Garba in front of his house and on sighting him, shot him at point-blank range.
Emirates Resumes Flights To Nigeria, June 23
The UAE carrier, Emirates Airlines, would start carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India from June 23, the UAE Embassy said as it announced revised rules on Covid-19.
“We look forward to facilitating travel from these countries and supporting various travellers’ categories,” the airline said in a separate statement, yesterday.
“Residence visa holders from India and travellers from South Africa should’ve taken two doses of a vaccine approved by UAE authorities and carry RT-PCR tests reports from labs approved by the federal governments of these countries.
“But for Nigerians vaccination is not made mandatory but all other conditions apply.
“In addition to the above, Indians have to take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to their travel.
“While there are four vaccines in the UAE for use on eligible individuals against the Covid-19 infection – Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V and Oxford-AstraZeneca, it is unclear if the UAE has approved vaccines administered on Indian, South African and Nigerian citizens in their countries,” it stated.
“All travellers are also required to present a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 48 hours before departure.
“UAE citizens are exempted.
“Only QR coded PCR test result certificates are accepted.
“All passengers must take a rapid PCR test four hours prior to flight departure.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.
“Passengers should undergo institutional quarantine until they receive their PCR test result, which is expected within 24 hours.
“Passengers should produce a negative PCR test certificate with a QR Code from labs approved by the Nigerian government.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival to Dubai Airport.
“Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations.
“Entry will now be permitted to residents who have received two doses of UAE-approved vaccines,” the state said.
The revised procedures for travellers coming from the Republic of India, South Africa and Nigeria were issued by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai.
They are effective from June 23, the Dubai Media Office said.
It said the updates are part of the committee’s keenness to protect passengers and ease hassles for them without compromising on Covid-19 preventive measures, said the Chairman of the Supreme Committee, Sheikh Mansoor Al-Maktoum.
The Media Office announcement said the updated travel protocols are part of a normal process of revising and optimising preventive measures based on the latest local, regional and international developments.
Bagudu Vows To Lead Rescue Operation Over Yauri Abduction
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State last Saturday vowed to lead the rescue operation of teachers and students abducted from the Federal Government College (FGC), Birnin Yauri, in Ngaski Local Government Area of the State.
Bagudu, who is also Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum, spoke when local hunters visited him.
Reports had that the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, also paid a solidarity and sympathy visit on Gov. Bagudu.
Bagudu assured that some other governors and stakeholders will join him in the ongoing search operations for the abducted students and staff of the school.
According to him, he will discuss with his colleagues and security agencies in this direction, so as not to jeorpardise the ongoing commendable operations to rescue the abducted students and staff.
He said: “But, we will go out there and like I promised, the day we will move out, I will not be in the office because we will join you in the field.”
The Kebbi State Governor said that this would be done barring all consequences in a bid to rescue the abductees.
Bagudu argued: “It is not weapons that win wars, but it is the will that bad people cannot triumph and we will show that, we have enough will power .
“President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies have been doing the best they could with limited resources.
“But, we also need to mobilize, kit ourselves and take on these bandits. Our various scriptures as Muslims and Christians allow us to put our lives at risk in defence of our honour, property and our faiths.
“In what the bandits are doing, they have challenged all of us, so, we can’t let them.”
Bagudu asked the hunters to go back and fully mobilise, pending when he gets the necessary clearance from the security agencies, adding, “we will meet in the field.”
The governor maintained that governors were not sworn in only to sit down in the office and work.
He stated that they are aware that one day they would be required to lead in the field, even though they are not military or police personnel.
He said that if hundreds of thousands of people can be mobilised during campaigns, same should be done now to join the search party.
He said: “What happened in Birnin Yauri should be the last straw. We should follow these bandits wherever they are and take them on.”
Bagudu also described the abduction as very callous, even as he lauded the security agencies, management of the school, ‘Yan Sakai and vigilantes for their heroic efforts since the bandits struck at the college.
Govs, Others Task Security Agencies On S’East
South-East governors and leaders have requested security agencies in the zone to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the zone.
They made the call on Saturday in Enugu after a meeting attended by political leaders, socio-cultural organisations, clerics and the traditional leaders.
The Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who addressed reporters after the meeting, condemned the killing of civilians in the zone by security agencies.
Umahi urged them to discharge their duties within the law and in accordance with their rules of engagement.
The Ebonyi governor reaffirmed the commitment of the region to the corporate existence of the country.
Umahi, however, said that such union must be based on love, mutual respect and equality of rights irrespective of one’s religion, ethnic group, political inclination and creed.
The governor said the various secessionist groups from the region were not speaking for the people of the area.
He said the leaders from the zone had set up a committee to engage the agitators to allow elders of the region to address their fears.
“We have come out publicly on many occasions to speak against such agitations,” he said.
Umahi said the meeting was in fulfilment of the June 11 agreement they had with a federal government delegation led by the Minister of Defense, Bashir Magashi, a retired major-general.
“Consequent upon that, we scheduled our own meeting today to discuss and articulate our positions.
“This is to enable us not only engage the presidential team but also engage our people over all burning issues,” he said.
The governor said leaders from the region had noted with concern threats against the Igbo people by some groups in other regions.
“The meeting pleaded with leaders of other regions to note such threats to our people, address it and protect our people,” he said.
He said that governors from the South-East had assured people from other ethnic nationalities of their safety in the region in spite of the prevailing circumstances.
The leaders condemned the killing of security personnel and burning of government infrastructure in the region.
He called on National Assembly members from the region to support the creation of state police in the ongoing efforts to amend the constitution.
The governor said the meeting endorsed the South-East joint security unit called EbubeAgu, and requested the personnel to work with statutory security agencies.
Those present at the meeting included Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
Anambra and Imo states were represented by the deputy governors, Nkem Okeke and Placid Njoku respectively.
Others were the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, and President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, George Obiozo.
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