Connect with us

Politics

…As Senate Receives 2018 Budget Report

Published

on

The Senate yesterday received the report of Committee on Appropriation on the 2018 budget estimates.
The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Danjuma Goje, laid the report before the Senate in plenary, six months after it was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senate and House of Representatives had promised to pass the budget on April 24, but failed to do so.
There were equally assurances that the budget would be passed in the first week of May but it was not passed.
The Senate had on several occasions accused Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of not keeping to appointments with the various standing committees to defend their budgets.
Subsequently, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, on April 12, mandated the Appropriation Committee to tidy up reports on the budget latest by April 13.
With this development, the January to December budget cycle would not be obtainable with the 2018 budget.
Buhari had on November 7, 2017 presented a budget of N8.6 trillion before a joint session of the National Assembly.
The president who announced the 2018 budget as “Budget of Consolidation”, said the projected expenditure would drive rapid economic recovery.
He said at the session that with a benchmark of 45 dollars per barrel at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar in 2018, the budget would consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.
In another development, the Senate, yesterday pleaded with the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to call off the over three weeks strike it embarked on which has affected the health sector across the country.
The union had on April 18, embarked on industrial action due to the “insensitivity and lackadaisical attitude of drivers of the health sector”.
The Senate’s resolution was sequel to a motion on “Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Need to Take Precautionary Measures” by Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos) during plenary.
The upper chamber also urged the Minister of Interior to take necessary steps to check immigration.
It further urged the Minister of Health to ensure alertness to combat whatever cases that might arise and get Ebola vaccines ready for an emergency
Tinubu recalled that an infected immigrant, Mr Patrick Sawyer who arrived Nigeria in July 23, 2014 was notable for been the index case for the introduction of Ebola virus into Nigeria.
Tinubu, who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment said the tide, as at then, was stemmed by quick response of the government.
She said that recent reports by the WHO, showed that the disease was back in neighboring Congo with 19 deaths and 39 infected casualties recorded so far.
“The WHO states that Nigeria and other African countries are at risk of spread.
The lawmaker said that unless hospitals were prepared properly and equipped with Ebola vaccines, it would be an epidemic Nigeria might be unable to take on.
Contributing, Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Olushola Adeyeye called on the Senate to intervene for a quick resolution of the ongoing strike by health workers
On his part, Sen. Victor Umeh (APGA-Anambra) noted that “prevention of the disease was better than cure.
“We must ensure that Nigeria is not taken unawares again. We should be on the alert,” he said.
In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki, said all stakeholders must ensure adequate steps were taken to forestall any occurrence.

Continue Reading

Politics

Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law

Published

on

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined some states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum for states.
The governor also signed the Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Bill, into Law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it is committed to tackling the menace of drug abuse frontally to reduce the ravage among youths in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the delegates of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, led by the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.
Sanwo-Olu said his government was building a massive rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejirin to tackle drug abuse, adding that his administration would  partner with the Church to ensure that the people lived a better life.
He said governance started from the leadership of spiritual homes, noting that government and church can jointly build a community that would outlive all, while restating the commitment to improve the movement of people on road, water as well as building rail infrastructure to make Lagos a livable city.
Speaking earlier, Ndukuba thanked the governor for partnering with the church in the welfare of the people and commended him for his outstanding performance in tackling Covid-19. 
 Also present at the courtesy visit were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tayo Ayinde, Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, among other dignitaries.

Continue Reading

Politics

Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism

Published

on

Delta  State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the National Assembly to embody in the 1999 Constitution being amended, true federalism and independence of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor made the call on Monday at a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an independent RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including laying its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
According to the governor, the current practice where recommendations of the commission are presented to the President has led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992 as no President demonstrated the political will to forward the amendments to the parliament.
He commended RMAFC for ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
“For quite some time a lot of talks have gone on in the revenue allocation and it’s very unfortunate that in this country we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was actually reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable.
“But, the challenge is that when you have done all this work, you are going to eventually, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, lay this before the President and the President ought to lay it before the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been a challenge there, because what is there in our laws that will ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly?
“We hope that the National Assembly takes a look at this amendment because RMAFC is supposed to be an independent commission, a commission on behalf of all federating units and component parts of the federation.
“They cannot tie your hands; the constitution ought to be amended to enable chairman of RMAFC to directly lay before the national assembly whatever review it has come up with so that nobody stands it down,’’ he said.
Okowa stated that the National Assembly must do what was right because “a nation is a nation.

Continue Reading

Politics

Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders

Published

on

The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Property to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.
Members were more particular about the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, whose property and money were recovered by the Federal Government. 
 The chairman, ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Property, Ademora Kuye, said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Abacha.
He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared before the committee in Abuja.
“We need to know the state of those property and to also know if the property have titles of deed,’’ Mr Kuye said.
The committee also queried the sale of federal government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.
Mr Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the property the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for, contrary to claims made by the PIC.
He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.
He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of federal government’s assets sold, amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.
Mr Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the federal government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.
Responding to Mr Kuye’s submissions, the Executive Secretary, PIC, Bala Samid, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.
He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.
“We approached the federal government to report them and the federal government said that we should give them time”.

Continue Reading

Trending