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THE STATES

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Benue
The Benue State House of Assembly yesterday passed the 2016 supplementary appropriation bill of N3.8 billion submitted to it by Governor Samuel Ortom in December 2016.
The bill is made up of N1.8 billion supplementary recurrent expenditure, as well as N2 billion supplementary capital expenditure.
Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, announced the passage, after a clause by clause consideration of the report of the House Standing Committee on Appropriation.
Ikyange directed the House Committee on Finance to liaise with the Ministry of Finance, Accountant-General and the Board of Internal Revenue Service, to address complaints of delayed remittance of the mandatory 75 per cent to revenue generating ministries, departments and agencies.

FCT
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Imo State topped the number of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) applications with 103,122 in 2016.
The figure is reflected in an NBS report on “ JAMB Admitted Candidates by State and Gender within Faculty’’ released last Monday in Abuja.
According to the report, three states – Imo, Osun, Oyo – top the list of those with the highest number of JAMB applications in 2016, following the applications of statistics by state of origin.
The report stated that Osun recorded the highest applications with 83,569 applications, while Oyo recorded 81,630 applications.
Meanwhile, the report stated that Yobe, Zamfara and FCT recorded lowest applications with 12,268; 7,303 and 5,089 respectively.

Kano
A Kano Magistrates’ Court  yesterday slammed a N500,000 bail to Safiyanu Abubakar (47), for alleged forgery and obstructing of public officers from performing lawful duties.
Abubakar who resides at Sultan Road Nasarawa GRA Kano, is being tried for criminal trespass, forgery, criminal intimidation and obstruction of public officers from performing lawful duties.
According to the Prosecutor, Insp. Haziel Ledafowa, the accused committed the offence some time between 2012 to 2013, at Nasarawa GRA Quarters Kano.
He said the accused illegally trespassed and occupied a Kano State Government Quarters, No GP 405 Lafiya Road, Nasarawa.

Katsina
A Katsina State High Court recently granted a former Governor of the state, Ibrahim Shema and three others N1 billion bail and one reliable surety each.
Others standing trial with the former governor are, former Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Sani Makana, former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Lawal Safana and former ALGON Chairman, Lawal Dankaba.
The accused persons are standing trial for alleged conspiracy, forgery and diversion of public funds amounting to N11 billion.
Justice lbrahim Bako granted bail to the accused person in a ruling he delivered at the resumed hearing of the trial.

Kebbi
The Kebbi State Government recently said it would construct an international onion market at Aliero Local Government Area of the state.
Alhaji Abubakar Dakingari, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Atiku Bagudu, quoted the governor as making the promise during a visit to Aliero last Monday.
He said the governor, who addressed onion farmers and marketers at the onion market in Aliero, promised that the international market would be established in the area considering the abundance of the commodity in the area.
“The commodity is being transported to other parts of the country and neighbouring countries of Benin and Niger Republic in commercial quantities,” he said.

Kogi
Chairman, Kogi State  House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Budget Monitoring recently, said that the House  Mr John Abah, would ensure effective implementation of 2017 state’s Budget.
Abah, who spoke with journalists at the end of the Budget Defence by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Lokoja also said the budget would be passed within few days.
He expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the budget defence by the MDAs, an exercise he said started on February 8.
“We got impressive reports from the MDAs.By the grace of God, we will do some amendments based on the defence we had and within the shortest time possible.
‘’We are going to pass the budget so that with the new direction, government will hit the ground running for 2017,” he said.

Kwara
Opposition parties in Kwara State have kicked against the extension of tenure of the 16 local government caretaker chairmen by the state government.
Governor  Abdulfatah Ahmed had last Tuesday, extended the tenure of the Transitional Implementation Committee for the local councils in the state by three months.
The caretaker committees were inaugurated on November 15, 2016, and were to serve for three months, which expired on February  14.
The governor, in a letter to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, said the extension was to ensure continuity of administration pending the conduct of elections into the local councils.

Lagos
No fewer than 171  Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya last Tuesday aboard a chartered Nouvelair aircraft with registration number TS-1NB.
The aircraft landed about 4.18pm at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
It was reported that another batch comprising  161 Nigerians, had earlier on February  14 also voluntarily returned from the North African country where they had been stranded enroute Europe.
The new set of returnees were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.
They were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) , the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.

Nasarawa
Nasarawa State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it is opposed to the financial autonomy granted the institution by the state government.
The chairman of the chapter, Dr Nghargbu K’tso, said this recently when he paid a courtesy call on the state House of Assembly Committee on Education in Lafia.
K’tso said that the union opposed the financial autonomy because the university “is a public institution” that should be properly funded by the state government.
He appealed to the Assembly to ensure that the institution was properly funded to improve its standard of education and for the overall development of the state.

Ogun
The Ogun State House of Assembly yesterday summoned the management of the state’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Bureau of Transportation over the collection of riders’ permit in the state.
The Assembly had asked the agencies to appear before it on Friday.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Suraj Adekunbi, issued the summon while responding to the presentation by his deputy, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, who spoke under motion for adjournment citing order 19 rule of the House.
Adekunbi said that there was need for the two agencies of government to maintain the status quo in relation to the collection of riders’ permit until all issues surrounding this was resolved.

Sokoto
Governor  Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has re
leased N 1.2 billion for payment of accumulated gratuities from 2010 to retired staff of local government councils in Sokoto State.
The Sokoto State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Alhaji Mannir Dan’Iya, said this on Monday in Sokoto.
According to him, all approved funds have been released and payments are being effected accordingly.

Taraba
The National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office     (NASSCO) in partnership with Taraba State Government, last Tuesday began training of Community Based Targeting (CBT) Team for Federal Government’s Conditional Cash Transfer programme.
The National Coordinator of NASSCO, Mr Peter Papka, said the trainees would be sent to the six selected local government areas in the state to identify the poorest and vulnerable persons to benefit from the programme.
Papka listed the six selected LGAs in the state as Karim Lamido, Sardauna, Ardo Kola, Gassol, Takum and Ussa.

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FG Sets Up To Recover Illegally Refined Crude Oil

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In a bid to block revenue leakages, the Federal Government, yesterday, inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Members of the committee, who took their oath at the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, were drawn from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, Defence Headquarters, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
The Solicitor-General of the Federation (SGF), and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Umar Mohammed, who represented the AGF at the event, said the major mandate of the committee, was “the recovery of illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
According to the SGF, “In line with the policy of the current administration on security and economy, as well as the preservation of the environment from negative hazards.
“The office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in collaboration with all stakeholders, have put in place a mechanism for effective and efficient management of illegally refined products recovered from dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“This mechanism was agreed by the relevant stakeholders and submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who considered and approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the purpose of implementing the Mechanism known as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For the Recovery of Illegally Refined Petroleum Products (Crude Oil) in the Dug-Up Pit found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
The SGF said the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“The responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee shall be guided by the SOP, developed for the project.
“The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019.
“It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country”, the SGF added.

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FRSC Threatens Sanction Against Fleet Operators Over Speed Limit

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will sanction any fleet operator found sabotaging the implementation of the Speed Limit Device.
Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said this during the 2021 annual safety managers retreat yesterday in Abuja.
The retreat aimed at sensitising safety managers on the implementation of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme to attain best practices in fleet operations.
The theme of the retreat is: “Assessment of Speed Limit Device Implementation in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”.
Oyeyemi, represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle operations, Mr Hyginus Foumsuk, said that the corps would also sanction Speed Limit Device vendors identified for complicity.
The corps marshal expressed concern on the spate of road accidents and needless loss of lives, especially involving fleet operators.
“These, according to many experts investigations, could have been avoided if the concerned safety managers had been responsive in their duties,” he said.
Oyeyemi said that recent findings by the corps have also revealed a low level of compliance on the installation of Speed Limit Device and associated sharp practices among some fleet operators.
He noted that these practices included tampering with Speed Limit Device and connivance with vendors to deceive enforcement operatives.
This, he said, was with compliance certificates without actual installation of the device, calibration above the approved speed limits and others.
According to him, these shall no longer be tolerated as the corps will not hesitate to sanction violators henceforth.
Oyeyemi urged relevant stakeholders to address the decline on the proper vehicle maintenance as well as implementation of the passenger manifest by fleet operators and the drivers’ recruitment policy.
“We all know the essence of the passenger manifest and the significance of its proper implementation. You are therefore urged to take these issues seriously in the interest of safety.
“Passenger manifest is considered pivotal, thus its enforcement should continue along other traffic offences to compel the needed compliance. It is therefore pertinent that strict adherence to the existing policies be sustained,” he said.
“There is need for fleet operators to introduce improved practices to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers in compliance with traffic regulations.
The Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, commended the efforts of the corps on road safety.
Irukera noted that injury and fatality on the road were caused by speed, describing speed as a catalyst, aggravator and mitigator.
He urged motorists to take cognisance look into installing Speed Limit Device to avoid road traffic crashes and save lives and property.
He, however, assured FRSC of the commission’s support to punish violators, saying that excessive speed attracts a penalty.

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Sokoto Assembly Approves 2021 Virement Request Of N155m

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The  Sokoto State House of Assembly yesterday approved Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s  request of N155 million virement warrant on some capital projects  in 2021 approved budget.
This approval  followed the consideration of a letter by the state governor presented at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Achida.
Alhaji Bello Ambarura, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in  the assembly, had  moved a motion asking  the lawmakers to consider the request at its plenary session.
Ambarura said that the request was necessitated by the present administration’s commitment to addressing  a number of developmental projects.

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